Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Holiday at home

Sorry that it's been a bit quiet around these parts, we've been having a "holiday" at home. Yvonne and I managed a half day trip to the Festival of Quilts! I was rubbish and took precisely 2 photos, neither of which are decent enough to put on here. We had a fab time and managed to meet up with quite a few bloggy/twitter friends (the first time for Yvonne), Di, Trudi, Katy, Justine, Ange, Lucie and Brioni. I hope I didn't forget anyone, apologies if I did. It was lovely to be surrounded by so many like-minded people. I had the great thrill of seeing my Sneaky Stars Quilt hanging in Justine's Simply Solids booth...shameless plug alert...quilt kits are now available here. I also got to meet one of my most favourite designers, the inimitable Ms Tula Pink!

Like a mad woman I decided the day before heading off to Festival of Quilts to make a Tula Pink bag to carry all my loot in, and then tracked her down like a crazy stalker at the show so she could see it :) This photo doesn't really portray the scale of the bag very well but let's just say I could probably have smuggled a small child into the festival in this one ;) It went down a storm and there will be a pattern available sometime in the not too distant future.
Since Festival things have been more sedate but hubby has been home so we got a few domestic type things crossed off our to do list. I'm not sure that they could really be classed as holiday activities though. Garage clearing is not the ideal mode of relaxation.
I did spend an afternoon admiring a gorgeous garden..
Hand Drawn Garden by Anna Maria Horner
...and we revamped some orange pine furniture (well, mainly hubby but I supervised). Hooray for Annie Sloan chalk paint!
That's more like it!
Hubby managed to transform the bureau too but I didn't get a before pic. I still need to decide what I'm putting on top of it :)

I love how they turned out. The family room feels much more homely now. It's nice to be able to display some of our retro items in such pretty furniture.
Every home should have a Humpty Dumpty biscuit barrel!
Besides that there has been very little sewing going on. I'm hoping to get some done this week as hubby is back at work now. Before I go I must show you a gorgeous hoop that arrived a while ago from Susan. Perfection!
I hope you're all having a good time :) Catch you soon x

oops, almost forgot. Message for Sabrina, please can you check your junk email box as I've sent you a couple of emails :)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Mega Giveaway winners

Thanks to everyone who took part in our 3rd blogiversary giveaway! We were delighted that so many of you took part :) I'll crack on with the results now. First winner generated by Random.org is:

Second winner generated by Random.org is:
I've emailed the first winner and will contact the second winner once the first one has chosen which prize they want.
Once again, thanks to all who took part. Sorry to those of you that didn't win, better luck next time :) Catch you soon x

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

So now I'm at Liberty.....

...... to tell you about my playtime with some of my hoard of Tana Lawn fabrics. And I am so relieved to, finally, show you what I've been doing with it.  Oooh, actually I can't decide ..... should I show you the finished object right NOW?  Or should I be a bit of a tease? And show you how I got there?  What do you think? 

I'm sorry, I can't hear you.... What do you think?

Oh ok, that's better I thought you'd all left the room.  Just like my husband does when he asks me a question and I -apparently - take too long answering him.  So his eyes glaze over and he wanders off into another room!!!
And then... has the audacity to shout out 'it's no good talking to me when I'm in the other room. You know I can't hear you'  ###?@@!!!

 Correne just popped in and told me I should warn you to make a drink and grab a chair as this may take some time. Or you could always skim through and look at the pictures I suppose.  But don't tell me or I might cry. Ok? :-)

So, where was I?  Oh yes.  You said you'd prefer to wait to see the finished project didn't you?
Excuse me?  What was that?  Alright, no need to shout. ;-) I'll show first and 'tell' after then.

Oooh isn't it amazing?!!!!! A roll up to make you feel much better. Sitting on Correne's brilliant Liberty picnic blanket kindly gifted to me.  

I fell in love with Liberty in the early/mid 70's when Correne was just a little tot.  It was just me and her back in those far off days (she is going to be cursing me reading this, you can probably hear her shouting not so far off days Mother!!!)  Funny isn't it how rapidly you can change from a 'Dear Mum' to an 'Irritating Mother'  in the blink of an eye with just a couple of words? :-)) Although, thankfully, gone are the days when she preferred to keep me in a cupboard to be reached out occasionally for an opinion and bunged back in the cupboard again when it was the wrong opinion!!!  Happy Days. Teenage years.  My advice? For what it's worth.  Just keep loving each other no matter what, try VERY hard to not say anything either of you will regret and when you come out the other side you will have the best friend you always dreamed of.  No kidding, honestly.                                                            

Mmmm, what happened there?  How unusual, I got side tracked.  So, just the two of us in our little family unit.  Not a lot of money, but lots of shops to window shop in and my absolute favourite was a little shop in Cotham, Bristol that stocked bolts and bolts of fabulous Liberty.  I used to drool at the window displays and as a treat,  go in and smooth the fabrics and dream about what I could make with them.  Oddly enough little as she was Correne didn't mind waiting, she usually started chatting to anyone who'd listen to her. I'm not saying she was patient, I guess she just knew which battles to fight. Hehe, nothing much has changed really except that she has her own passion for fabrics now. :-)
I wanted to put a photo in here, of us from way back but they're still packed up from the move and waiting for the next move, hopefully later this year!
I used to make clothes and such like for people back then and one happy day a customer placed a bag of Liberty fabric in my (shaking) hand and asked me to make her a dress!!!!  How lucky was that?  I did, of course and I never told her that the money she paid for the material would have fed me and Correne for weeks!  :-) So, to cut a long story short...... What you think this is a long story?  Hmmm.  You don't know me very well then. Anyway, the offcuts from that dress which I was very kindly allowed to keep were the start of my Liberty stash which I have added to and made from ever since. Clearly, the giveaway has shown that I've got quite a lot. 

So to the quilt that has got me so excited.  Was that 'finally' I heard you say? :-)  Cheeky!  I started making tiny hexies out of the Liberty back in September 2011 (no excuses, I like to think things out and mull them over for a while. A bit like a cow eating grass then chewing the cud as it processes through it's four parts of it's stomach or something like that! GCE Biology from the late 60's is a bit hazy.)  And when I'd made the little hexie flowers I appliqued them to some Kona solids 5" squares. 
 Made into needle cases and pin cushions for Christmas Gifts.
I carried on making the flowers in between other projects and it wasn't until earlier this year that I decided to make them up into a quilt/wall hanging.  So one lovely afternoon when visiting with Correne and Jess we were all sat hand sewing and I finished appliqueing all of the flowers onto the 5" solids squares. You know how you have a vision of something in your head and it's just.. missing...a little something?  You can't put your finger on it.  But it feels wrong... kind of.....  Well, I knew how to fix it.   How?   I had a bit of a  very long browse on ebay and ... Eureka.  Jackpot!! Found it, the missing link.
Perfect.  A fat quarter of Liberty lawn called Lucy's Farm. Discontinued I believe.  So I had a few tries at the layout.
Yikes!! I know it's Liberty. But awful!!! 
Errm.  Better but not quite. 

Keep going....
Mmmm nice. 
Very nice.
Yes, oh yes. (Steady on, nearly had a Meg Ryan - When Harry met Sally moment!!)  
The backing.  Liberty Rossmore Cord as soft as Mackinlay's sweet little baby hands.
Perfect with Correne's (now mine all mine) fabulous Liberty Stile Picnic Blanket.
Which I promise you will NEVER go near any grass!!! 
and really finally...
A close up shot of the inspired way Correne pieced the back including the selvedge.

And you'll be relieved to know that I still have plenty of Liberty left to carry on making pretty things with.  And for more giveaways too probably, cause I do like to share! :-)

Phew, if you have stayed with me through all of that I am so proud of you!  You have real staying power.  If you skimmed over it and only looked at the photos, still thank you.  I know I've gone on and on. But I have to say I've waited for... shush I'm counting... er... a very long time!!! Let's say nearly forty years to own/make a Liberty Quilt and what do you know just like buses two come along at the same time!! And I am one very happy bunny.

Thank you so much for visiting I've really enjoyed sharing my Liberty story with you. And I hope you don't think I've taken too much liberty with your precious time!   Till the next time  Take good care of yourselves.  Happy Sewing.  Xxx    

Monday, 5 August 2013

Fat Quarterly Liberty reveal

Today's the day I can finally reveal what I made with the gorgeous stack of Liberty Stile I showed you last week! Issue 14 of the Fat Quarterly ezine is out today. Inside you'll find lots of gorgeous projects to try or to inspire, along with my project the Liberty Stile Garden party picnic blanket.
Posh photo taken by Jess
 I had such fun with this project! It's already gone to a very happy home with Yvonne :) I do believe that Yvonne will be popping in to tell you about her very own Liberty project this week and there might just be a sneaky shot of this blanket in use on her table :) I can't wait to hear what you all think of it!

If you're looking for our Mega Giveaway it's here. We've been overwhelmed by the response so far. Apologies if I haven't managed to answer every comment, there are lots of no-reply bloggers that I couldn't respond to and while I would normally comment here on the blog I can't do that this time because of the giveaway (it wouldn't be right if I won, now would it?!). Catch you soon x

Friday, 2 August 2013

Mega Giveaway!

I'm a day late in posting this but I think you're going to agree that it's worth the wait :) To celebrate our 3rd blogiversary we are offering our most extravagant prizes ever and you all know we've been pretty generous in the past.
First up is this fabulous stash of Liberty Lawn and Liberty Rossmore cord along with some beautiful handmade cards. Feast your eyes on this!
Here are a couple of close-ups so you can get a better idea of what's on offer. The fabrics all come from Yvonne's personal stash...
 and the cards and lined envelopes lovingly handmade by Yvonne. I will just point out that Yvonne's card making is legendary amongst our family and friends and it is virtually impossible to part with the cards once they are no longer on display. I have drawers full of cards which I can't bear to throw away!
Secondly we are giving away a Lap-size quilt kit for the soon to be released Sneaky Stars Quilt! This prize is 3 and a half metres of Kona solids of your choice along with the pattern to make the quilt top. The winner of this prize will be given a code to redeem on Simply Solids site. Just so you know, this is not a sponsored prize, we're paying for the kit and the postage :)
So, what do you think of that then?! As we are being super generous we're going to offer you up to 2 chances to win.
First chance - leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower, new followers are more than welcome, the button's up there on the right-hand side ;)
Second chance - share the love and let others know about the giveaway on your Twitter/Facebook/Blog etc. then come back and let us know that you have. (I'm going to try to post this on Nellie's Niceties Facebook page so you can share it from there if you're on there)

There will be 2 winners chosen by Mr Random Number Generator. The first number generated will choose which prize they want and the second will have to make do with the remaining prize ;) What a hardship!
The giveaway will run until Saturday 10th August 2013. Comments will be closed at 2pm BST and the draw will take place soon after that. I'll post the winners on the Sunday barring disaster.
What are you waiting for, get entering ;) Catch you soon x

Edited to add: Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you are a winner. There are lots of no-reply blogger comments and I'd hate to have to re-draw if I can't contact you :) 
Edited on 10/8/13: Draw now closed. Thanks for taking part. Winners will be announced tomorrow.