Wednesday, 31 July 2013


I've been a bit late to share with you all the lovely goodies I received from the Fat Quarterly Retreat Sample Swap. I sent my hoops along with Kerry, as I couldn't make it myself, and then waited in anticipation of what I'd get back :) Well, I'm delighted with  my goodies! Even more exciting for me was that 2 of the goodies are from my bloggy/ HipBee pals :) I got this fab purse/key fob and beautiful brooch from Jan.
 This gorgeous cushion cover from Catherine
 and this lovely mini quilt from Francine.
Thank you ladies, I love everything! :)
In other news, rather frustratingly my operation date has moved back by a month. I'm not very happy about that as I'm so blooming uncomfortable but I guess it gives me a bit more time for sewing when the mood takes me. It also means that I might manage to pop along to the Festival of Quilts to see Justine. The Sneaky Stars pattern has gone off for formatting and should be ready for selling in kits at the show.

It's almost time for the big reveal on another secret sewing project of mine. I had the great privilege of working with this gorgeous Liberty Stile fabric for a Fat Quarterly project! Issue 14 will be available next week :) Yvonne was slightly excited to see a little mention of yours truly on the Liberty blog (read, ridiculously over-the-top mother excited!!!) I can't wait to share the finished project with you, it's rather lovely even if I say so myself ;)
Finally, we turned three on 23rd July! It's amazing how quickly time flies by. A huge thank you to all you lovely folk who have stuck with us over the years. Tradition would suggest that we do a little giveaway to mark the occasion so I'm going to think on it over night and post a little giveaway post tomorrow :) Catch you soon x

Thursday, 25 July 2013

I think i might have.......

...... discovered a new stitch!!!!

Now, it might take me a while to get around to telling you about that as I need to procrastinate a little.
Actually, my family will tell you that procrastinate should be my middle name instead of Susan.
Well, in fact, it shouldn't even be Susan!  I was named for my maternal Grandmother Sue.  When reading through papers a few years ago we found her birth certificate and her name was actually
Sue -Ann.  I like that better, a bit quirky methinks and I like quirky.  I might have to change it.

Thinking about it, it runs in the family - forgetting your name - my Uncle, the aforementioned Sue's son was called Harry.  One day at work someone was calling for Henry Dawson, quite often and persistently, and he didn't realise it was himself till a workmate told him!! Hehe.  What a family, I so belong to them. :-)

That so very neatly leads me onto my next subject.  Siblings Together who tirelessly work to help separated siblings to spend quality time together. If you don't know of this amazing charity please click the link and read about them, it is such a worthwhile cause and I have only the greatest admiration for the people concerned with it.

Apologies for some of the photos they are photos of photos so not very clear at all, Hopefully, you get the idea from them anyway. 

I love my family
Errm...sugar!! It won't turn round.  Sadly no Jess and Simon in this photo.                    
and have so many happy memories of times spent with my sister
I know black and white. Showing my age, but you all know I'm ancient anyway. That's me on the left!
and I know that Correne feels the same about Oliver.
Hehe, couldn't resist it. Don't they look cute?
Yikes, nearly got me in there too!!           

And Jess and Mackinlay love each other as siblings too. She adores him and he cries if she leaves the room.  :-)                                                                                                                                       
It's difficult to keep him still for even a minute, most of my photos of him are blurred!

So when Lynne told us about the opportunity to make a quilt for a child at one of the Siblings Together camps we were so pleased to get involved. As Correne has been so unwell this year, it fell to me to do the honours and I am so pleased to tell you that I managed to make a complete quilt, even do the quilting. This was a massive step forward for me from last year as I had only managed to make a quilt top last year and it took me weeks to recover.                                                                             

So the quilting on the machine was a real challenge, to say the least.  I decided to do straight line quilting in the ditch.  Keep it simple. No chance for errors.  And so on. Such a dumb idea!!! What was I thinking?!!! I can't even walk in a straight line! How did I think I would be able to sew in a straight line the whole length of a quilt??  Don't ask me, I have no idea. Cue me having a hissy fit. Mumbling and muttering, walking out the room, I may have even slammed a few doors, raiding the chocolate stash, feeling guilty that I'd raided the chocolate stash.  Don't worry it wasn't till I'd eaten it that I felt guilty- I'm not that dumb!! And so on and so forth.....

So, trying to pull myself together, I sat down with a glass of wine and a cigarette - wait no I don't drink or smoke,  I sat down with a cup of hot water and had a loooong think. And that was when I realised that I'd discovered a new stitch. (I told you it would take a while to get there!!!) It's called 'meandering in the ditch stitch' or 'meandering in and out of the ditch stitch'. Depending on what seems to fit at the time of stitching!! Now I'm feeling a little less .... what shall I say.....ok.... yes......grumpy.......(nods heads vigorously)........that's the word......Grumpy. Here it is then, I'm tempted to say our but I really shouldn't lump Correne with any of the responsibility of it's creation.  After all she only offered much needed support and the compliments that come with the rose tinted specs of a daughter! is from Nellie's Niceties. 
Before quilting - spot the upside down block!              
                              The closest I'll ever get to a roll up!                                
 Don't look too closely at it please, just admire the fabric.
Well, I know it's not perfect by any means, the quilting is .... well, it holds the layers together shall we say and one of the blocks is the wrong way up.  But the fabric is bright and fun, Fairytale friends by American Jane with Kona orange, yellow and blue - colours that are right out of my comfort zone.  But it is made and sent with much love and hopes for a bright future for the young recipient.  And hopefully, the young person who receives it will have a generous heart and love it anyway for the spirit in which it is given. :-)

And just to remind you that I do get it really right some times, although Hadley may beg to differ if she's reading this and sees the colours! In my defence, Correne gave me the layer cake and it is by Sweetwater who do design great fabric lines. :-))  I wanted to make a quilt for her to take into hospital. You know, in place of a hug from me but it's been sooo hot and I don't cope in the heat, so it turned into a pillow.  Which is probably as well, Correne hates the heat too and hospitals aren't the coolest of climates to be in.
The back.
The front. Much more like it.
Pure by Sweetwater. Hand quilted in blue, brown and caramel perle. Straight lines and never once falling into the ditch. Sorted. And resulting in a happy me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
So folks, that's it for now.  Thank you so much for visiting and spending time with me.  I really appreciate it.  Hopefully, next time we can tell you about our secret projects, cause I'm bursting to tell you about mine!!!!!

Take good care of yourselves.  Happy sewing. Xxx

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


The following post contains an image with offensive language, so if you're easily offended you might want to skip past this first picture. I received this awesome package from the very lovely Sarah as winnings from a recent giveaway. There was also a pack of fudge but obviously that is long gone! Sarah and I share a very sweary sense of humour so these goodies were right up my street :) I almost choked when I saw that coaster. The hoop is perfection! From one Crafty F$$ker to another, thank you very much Sarah :) This hoop will be joining my wall of delights in the sewing room :)
So that this isn't the shortest post ever written, I can finally show the name tag that I made for my partner in the Fat Quarterly Retreat name tag swap. Dianne received it a little while ago so I'm safe to show you now :) Front..
...and Liberty back.
Here's a slightly closer shot of the hand stitching. I'm no expert but I had fun using a couple of different stitches :) 
This scorching heat is making it rather difficult to be productive but Jess and I have been sewing clothes in the last couple of days. I promise to show them here when the heat gives us a bit of respite for a fashion show ;) Stay safe in the heat. Catch you soon x

Friday, 12 July 2013

Sneaky Stars

I'm really excited to share with you a project that I've been working on for a collaboration with Justine at Simply Solids. Let me introduce the Sneaky Stars quilt.
I'm really thrilled with how this pattern has turned out. I've been working on it for quite a few months so it kind of feels like my baby. It's a super quick quilt to piece and I really hope that I'll see versions of it popping up on blogs/flickr when the pattern is released ;)
Justine will be selling kits for this in time for Festival of Quilts. I'll update you when the kits go live :) This version of the quilt will be available to view on Justine's stand at Festival of Quilts. For those of you who won't be there here are a few more pics of it.
I wanted the solids to do all the talking so I did some very simple echo quilting in white and a rather lovely blue, variegated 12wt Aurifil. I wasn't sure if it would be possible to machine sew with the 12 wt but it went through with no problems :)
The improv pieced backing really shows the star quilting up beautifully, even if I do say so myself :)
I've also made 2 other versions of the pattern so you can see how versatile the design is. First up is a baby quilt that I made for Amanda's little man. I used Noteworthy by Sweetwater and a natural Moda crossweave. Excuse the rather uninspiring picture.
Here are some close-ups so you can see the pretty fabric:
The cross-weave made this little quilt really snuggly, just what a new baby needed :) You've already seen a sneaky peek at the other version that I made. I thought it was about time I made hubby a quilt so I put this one together for his birthday in June.
I dug out the perle thread for the quilting on this one. There are 3 different colours but it's difficult to capture them properly with the camera. Either way it stands out beautifully on the black solid. 
So there you have it. The Sneaky Stars quilt kit coming soon to now available at Simply Solids! I'd better crack on with writing the pattern now ;) Stay cool this weekend. Catch you soon x

Friday, 5 July 2013

Hoop, hoop, hoop

I was giggling to myself as I wrote that title. It reminds me of a very funny sketch from Horrible Histories (if the link doesn't work it was about Egyptian hieroglyphics). It has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm showing you today though so I'd better get on with it :) I'm also slightly distracted by Wimbledon so this will be a short post. I've made up some scrappy hoops for the Fat Quarterly Retreat Sample Swap.
 I love making scrappy hoops, it's a fab way to use up some pretty scraps. I added some embroidery in the centre to commemorate Fat Quarterly Retreat 2013. The back of the hoops are very simple but contain my fancy labels from Karen. I'm hoping that whoever receives these at Retreat will be happy with them. Unfortunately I won't get to see their reactions for myself as I won't be going. I'm feeling way too uncomfortable to be gallivanting off to London for the weekend, much to my despair. I'll be keeping everything crossed that I'm able to go next year! 
Oooo, Murray has just won the match! Result :) Hope you all have a good weekend. Catch you soon x