Thursday, 30 December 2010

Gifts, Painting & a finished Quilt

This is the felt mug rug from Jackie, and the felted necklace that she made me - aren't they great!  She also made me a to-be-stuffed-and-decorated Christmas tree, so that is in my hand sewing pile for an evening or too in front of the TV

 I've been felting too - I found a felting kit that I'd bought for the childminding kids (until I realised how lethal it was), so I had a go.  The felting needle was difficult to hold, so I glued it into a lip stick lid (bottom right, below) and it works great. 

 Brian decided he needed to lift the floor boards in the sewing room, so I had to move everything off the left shelves and take them out.  I thought I would take a during and an after photo - but I'm now not sure that the after photo is much better!  However, after a day out of action, I now have everything back in place and am ready to get on with sewing as soon as we have the NYE party out of the way!



Also today we have been painting Lisa's room - mostly Lisa painting and me moving stuff out of her way, so here is a photo of her room during and after.  Just need to get rid of a whole lot of junk now!!!

And finally I today finished the hand sewing on the binding on Santa's Forest.  This was made from donated green fabrics from the lovely ladies at BQL.  It isn't the main green scraps project, but made wonderful use of the excess green and is looking good on the sitting room door for this year, and the Log Cabin Candles should be finished by next year!
 I actually quilted Santa's Forest - free motion swirls, incorporating my name and the year too :-)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Two sales from ETSY :-)

 I got what I was sure was a spam email from PayPay telling me that I had an unclaimed $3:00 in my account, but when I went into the PayPal account, there was a sale for two Seaside Applique embroideries

I keep thinking I ought to get into a routine listing stuff in my ETSY shop - new listings sell better than old ones, but old ones selling are a lovely surprise!

Another $3 in the retirement fund!!!

Monday, 27 December 2010

What a lovely Christmas (and an awesome surprise)

As well as having  5 lovely days of Christmas with my mum for the first time in in about 25 years, we had a really unstressful time with family and friends (and we managed to assemble at least 4 items from Ikea - thank you mummy!)

I got some lovely pressies (including the box set of Lost :-) but I want to share my crafty pressies:  I did two Secret Santa Swaps with the members of the Yahoo group; BQL  My 'purchased' gift was this cup that I can make a quilted block for, to put between the two layers - it came wrapped in this great crazy patch paper, so at the moment this is the design!  Thank you Secret Santa

This is the BQL 'made' gift - a tardis-like toile bag with perfect length straps and an inside pocket - lovely :-), thank you again Secret Santa

We also do a Secret Santa with husband's family - but not always quite so secret!!!  From oldest nephew I got this book - he was drawn to it by the 'with attitude' part of the title! Thank you Scott!

From Plum I got this lovely Rug Mug (thank you Plum)

And Niki got me this lovely Sew and Save sewing kit.  Ideal for hand sewing - especially as I need to get a project ready as we embark on 89 (!) hours (plus bonus footage) of Lost!!!

My lovely Jackie sent me a goodie bag of treasures ...a felted necklace, a to-be-stuffed-and-decorated Christmas tree, and a very sweet snowman mug rug ... all of which I will show you when the camera has new batteries!

And now for the surprise ....

I have been a follower of Stash Manicure for ages.  It's one of the blogs I look at each morning before I get up - it has some great ideas from guest bloggers as to how to use up scraps etc. When the blog editor, Madame Samm, posted some Christmas giveaways, I added a few comments, and today she announced the winners --- and one of them is ME!!!

Day 2 Winner
#48 SlikStitches 
( from England)
you have won Carrie's patterns, Carrie Nelson


Lot's of extra goodies to you...
Layer cakes, extra patterns, notions,
cuppa cozie, thimble its ( love those)
layer cake...Value PRICELESS..!

Not only have I won two quilt patterns ... 'my' day was the bonus day - so there are other goodies coming to me too.  I think I need to lay down, in front of the letter box will be the ideal place!  My only previous memories are of winning a jar of hunny when I was 8, and winning a bottle of wine when I was so young that my mum had to go and collect it - and drink it!

What a way to end the year :-)

Monday, 20 December 2010

A creative day - and boobs

[4 posts in 4 days - what's going on?]

Today Niki chose the Santa's forest wall hanging for me to work on in between taking her to, and collecting her from work - so I did!

The blocks had to be joined into rows and then the rows joined to make a flimsy. Then the backing fabric and the flimsy had to be basted to the wadding, and then I started quilting (shock, horror!)

I have slightly overdosed on swirls, and I've not yet finished the quilting, so it still may not be a wall hanging by Saturday, but it's getting closer all the time!

(and talking of closer - here is a closer pic of the quilting...)

In between swirls, I have been taking an occasional break to make boobs!!!

Yes you did read that right!
A fellow blogger, Nina Lise, known as Mrs Moen, is running a community project called 'make a Boob' - click here for the website and more info.

The idea is to offer breast cancer patients a little art therapy and to create awareness and involvement.

The project has two main goals:

Offering people with breast cancer the opportunity to participate in workshops where they will decorate boobs. These workshops are set up in co-operation with the local chapter of the Cancer Association. Participants can decide to keep their work or to donate them to Make a Boob Art.
To create awareness and involvement through
- making circles for workshops
- participating in workshops and decorating boobs
- exhibition of Make a Boob Art

Nina Lise has asked for donations of boobs to take to the workshops: there can be plain, or already decorated.

The plain ones will be decorated at workshops, and decorated ones will be used as inspiration at workshops and stitched into Make a Boob quilt(s). The quilt will be donated to the Norwegian Cancer Association at the end of the Make a Boob project. In case there are several quilts some might be donated to hospitals or other organisations that deal with beast cancer.

The boob is made using three layers of fabric (and sandwich with wadding in the centre) and is based on the size of a CD. The instructions show how to make them using a sewing machine - but I simplified it even further by designing an embroidery design the same size as a CD ... and made loads!

One final photos - one of Niki's friend's mum made this today with the snow we have here - awesome or what!!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Stay At Home Robin Round 6

Just had a bit of fun today: Round Six of Kate's Stay At Home Robin, (see the blog here, for some amazing quilts, all to the same (ish) spec, but all very different).

This black & white version started with an orphan log cabin block, but I had its two twins waiting to be used, so for round 6 I have added them on the left. This does make the quilt wider than it should be, but I'm sure I can compensate in future rounds.

I was a bit more obedient in the pink version, and added a narrow strip of pinwheels (also added on the left). I had to force myself to do these as I'm not a great fan of triangles.

I'm glad I've finished but wont be doing such small pinwheels again. I have seen instructions where the clumpy bit in the centre of each (where all 8 triangles meet) is arranged differently so it is less clumpy, so having been inspired by Plum's blue and white pinwheels I might try bigger ones, once I've found the instructions I want

There is a pale blue SAH Robin too, but that will have to wait until another time.

I think tomorrow may be time for either the log cabin Christmas tree or the raw edge trees and cottages. I shall see how I feel - both feature snow, and I might need to work on something without snow!!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

A bit calmer now

That lovely man managed to fix my Big Brother, so all 4 essential sacks got done today, (three collected today, one to be collected next week) and I got Trygve's second table runner photographed.

For the first time I have used some surplus blocks in the backing, and I have hand quilted some of the 'squares'

I got it packaged, (together with some felt stars Trygve and Hilde wanted), and got Charlie's quilt packaged too ready to post them both ... trouble was the snow was too deep to risk a journey to the post office!

Lisa and I did some serious clearing in her room, and have a huge bag of stuff to go to the charity shop, and I managed, at last, to do some blocks for the Block Lotto, and do a bit of much needed tidying up in the sewing room

Friday, 17 December 2010

catching up - and bother from my Brother

The list of stuff to be ready for Christmas (for other people) has grown rather than shrunk!

The I Spy Quilt commissioned for baby Charlie has been finished and will be delivered tomorrow,

Two Christmas sacks have been delivered, still leaving 6 to do ... when Big Brthe embroidery machine seized up - totally!!!!

I've managed to get each sack 75% made which saves time after embroidery, but is a pain if it goes wrong as it's then wasted work and fabric

I tried using Lizzy's machine today, and that didn't seem to like something I was doing to it either, so I'm back home and I'll have to reduce the designs and stitch them 4x4 on the baby brother instead of 5x7 on the big brother.

First New Year's resolution - look to at least service if not part exchange big brother!

Anyway, happier news - the third Ornament Swap arrived last week and is now on the tree, thank you very much Nelly

Monday, 13 December 2010

I just want to share...

Stash Manicure post - fab!

I'm posting from the I pad, so much less editing possibilities, but please do read the above post from Stash Manicure - SO liberating :-)

I've finished both table runners going to Norway, and almost finished an I Spy quilt, just a few sacks and some embroidered scarves to do on Thursday and Friday and then I'm DONE!

Just hand sewing tomorrow, finishing off the I Spy, as I'm off to mum's for her birthday, straight from work, then back on Wednesday ... In time for work 12 to 6.

(Photos to follow)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Alternative advent

Lisa now has Skype, so while we were chatting just now i got a photo of her opening a pressie from her advent calendar - amazing what you can do with 24 jeans pockets and a bit of ribbon!

One Down ... to go

The first of Uncle Trygve's table runners has been
(drum roll please)

Phew! I'm really pleased with it, and although the colours are not ones I would have chosen, I have fallen in love with them (so if he doesn't like it, no problem, I'll have it back!!!)

I haven't progressed far enough out of my comfort zone to have actually quilted it (other than my version of In The Ditch As You Go) but I followed Sandie's Binding lesson on Stash Manicure and L O V E it - the binding is darn close to perfect, and I even managed mitered corners!

3 meters of hand sewing is a bit boring, but I actually watched some TV today while I did the binding, and it does give a much nicer finish than machining.

Now off to finish the Stack and Slash in the same fabrics (or is it a Stack and Whack?) If you know, feel free to remind me of the differences!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Busy week

A few days ago I had a lovely play date with Plum, Avril and Lesley (does Lesley have a blog). As well as a great chat and a scrummy lunch, plum provided us with scraps from her Meg's Flower tree quilt (which is even more amazing in real life)

We had a great time snipping, placing and ironing scraps onto postcard sized white fabric.

Thank you Plum!


I haven't done much making in the last few days - except making a mess.

Yesterday we put the tree up:

This involved 4 big storage crates coming down from the loft- let's put them in the sitting room. At 7:30 last night Lisa and I decided to go to Ikea to get her a new bed - let's put the stuff from my car into the sitting room to make space to bring the bed home.

Then Scott (nephew #1) needed a left to the airport - let's put all the Ikea shopping in the sitting room to make room in the car. So this afternoon's plan was to start picking up and putting away.

But then we decided to take out Lisa's old bed, hum that left a blank wall, and there is a roller still wet with white paint, lets paint that wall. Well as we've done that we could just strip and paint the next wall ... (did I mention Lisa's room is also my cutting, pinning and ironing room?)


Deep breath. Anyway, the tree is up and looking lovely, and the mantle piece has it's usual slightly eclectic nativity scene and winter snow & trees scene.

The advent calendar is up for Niki, and the alternative advent calendar has gone with Lisa to uni (and she has promised a photo)

And yesterday two ornaments came winging their way from USA and Canada as part of the swap: thank you Peggy and Paula - I love them

Also up is this hanging that Jackie made for me last year (it's actually been hanging in the sewing room all year, but now has gone to the sitting room)

And finally I have now planned, and shopped for, the Log cabin Candle tree, and the raw edge applique table runner has been re-planned as a wall hanging, and once I get some time I will finish the two table runners for Norway, the four sacks, and then I can get on with my hangings!

Monday, 29 November 2010

My Special Boy's Quilt (finished - yippee)

Back in August (!) I started a quilt for the autistic boy that we childminded. (Blogged about here) Things were up in the air for R: mum wasn't able to keep him, and Dad was living in a different borough who didn't have a school place for him, and the foster parents thought he was going, so accepted a new child ... so my boy has been boarding at school all week, and with dad at weekends, while we waited for dad to move back to this borough so he could stay at his special school (following all this?)

Anyway, this quilt was meant to be a goodbye quilt, but he might be coming back to us, so I decided it needed to become a Christmas present, which meant it needed to be finished!

"Spiral Learning" is a memory boosting technique which is really good for children like R: asking questions and talking about what has happened helps various connection in the brain, so this quilt is all about memories: it includes a motorway sign, the family pets, our names, and favorite activities (counting planes, feeding donkeys, riding a tricycle, spotting bridges, listening to the washing machine etc)

I hope he likes it when we get it to him.

Yesterday we drove to Portsmouth to see my mum: Brian drove and I sewed, and got 80 4 inch squares stitched together in pairs for Trygve's table runner. Today they got ironed (and photographed), so I can get on with them tonight.

I also got a photo of some of the stack and slash blocks

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Working on the to-do-list (and getting distracted)

One of the items on the to-do list is a table runner for my uncle, Trygve, and his wife. They brought me the fabric when they visited in the summer, and as Christmas was ages away I put it to one side. Now, of course, Christmas isn't ages away, so I've had to get moving!

The fabric looked luscious in the stack from the fabric shop (but i forgot to take a photo) and looked pretty yummy after I'd cut it too

I'm making a stack and slash for a coffee table, and a table runner too.

Photos to follow

Meanwhile, I had bookmarked this fab little bag from Ayumills at Pink Penguin. She has given some great instructions, but I confess I simplified it a bit to make this zebra stripe bag.

It's a cute little bag anyway, but also has a cover: she describes it as a lunch bag, but I think it'll be great for bathroom stuff on an over night stay, or for taking hand sewing in the car, or for all sorts of treasures that need to go from A to B. I think a bigger version will make a great handbag too

So having made one ... I simplified the instructions further to make this Christmassy version for my BQL Secret Santa swap, and I have another 7 started on a production line!

Finally, I wanted to show you the postcards I received form Lisa this week: all hand embellished (she has the old sewing machine at Uni with her, but is worried that if she gets it out she may never get back to the essays she is supposed to write!)

Aren't they lovely

Friday, 26 November 2010

India's towel

S-I-L Lisa, is Australia has emailed me with a request: India starts kindergarten in Feb, and each child needs their own sheet (for nap time) and hand towel - it needs to be named, and the child needs to be able to identify it. Definitely an Auntie Benta job!!!

Indi asked for a princess for the towel, and I'm going to work on that after Christmas as it will take a bit of work, but she asked for a rainbow and her name for her sheets, and I worked on that last night.

This is just a first stitch out: some of the lines need to move so they meet the previous colour, but I hope she likes this! (Yellow is always disappointing in designs like this, but you cant have a rainbow without it, so I think the red outline ties it all together, and next time the violet/indigo/blue need to be more different

I also finished the Christmas Ornament for the swap that I'm doing - they were doing well until I realised I had to have a way for them to be attached to a tree ... so now the Santas have a bullet hole in the hat - not so good :-( But time has run out, so they are going in the post on Monday, bullet hole or not!