Wednesday 29 June 2011

and now the shopping

I was lucky enough to go to Amsterdam a few years ago with girlfriends, and found the most amazing market street with about a dozen fabric shops.  So when we planned our weekend in Holland, I knew I wanted to go back.  Slavka and Niki weren't interested, and chose to stay in the centre and shop, but Lisa and I wanted to go, and Brian came with us (sigh).  We walked (and walked and walked) and found the market street.

I was fairly restrained (having a bored man outside the shop does that I find) but did manage:
This firm postage stamp fabric suitable for bags

and in the same thickness this coffee sack print

And this newspaper print (I bought this last time in the firm, bag fabric, and in a sort of laminated tablecloth fabric, but this time it's 100% cotton)

I did look at the obviously dutch fabrics: windmills and clogs etc, but they were all done in a sort of tile design and I couldn't see any use for them.  we say a shop with hundreds of Russian dolls, so I decided to get this: lovely for an I-Spy quilt, or fussy cutting some of the dolls if nothing else

and then finally I got these two very dutch ribbons

Tuesday 28 June 2011

shopping and sewing

So what shall I show you first?  Shopping? Or sewing?

Alphabetically, sewing comes first, so let's start with that. It's quite a time on the ferry over to Holland: about 7 hours, so I took plenty of hand sewing

This is beaded lace stitched onto a plain backing as another block for the textured quilt

This block was created a while ago, using fusible bias binding (the sort that is often used in black for stained glass windows) but hadn't been stitched, and now it has

Mother-in-law has a little table in the hall where she puts her milk (she still gets milk delivered daily from a milkman, so do we) as she closes the front door.  She puts it onto a cardboard beer mat that she brought home from a pub about 100 years ago, and it's fading.  She did ask me to bring over some crayons or colouring pencils to brighten up the colours a bit, but I thought maybe she needed a Milk Mat:

and finally I made six blocks for the June Block Lotto, I hope they are OK being hand stitched

Sunday 26 June 2011

A romantic story...

This post has nothing to do with craft or patchwork, but lots to do with romance...

15 years ago we had an au pair, Slavka, to look after the girls when Brian and I were both working. (she wasn't planned, but she and her best friend came over together, best friend worked for friends of ours while Slavka was put with a horrible family, so she came to us temporarily, but we fell in love and wanted to keep her) after 18 months she went home but we kept in touch, we've jokingly called her our oldest daughter!

About 4 years ago she got married, but soon after her husband cheated on her, and they split up. About the same time, nephew #1's wife cheated on him. Two years ago, first born daughter, Lisa, had an 18th, and invited *everyone* she knew, and Slavka was able to come. With a little bit of matchmaking from nephew #2, she and nephew #1 met, and fell in love, and she is now moving from Holland to Reading.

All say together, ahhhhhhhhhhh!

So on Friday we took the girls and the car to Holland. We shopped in Amsterdam, in the rain, on Saturday (I did get fabric, photos to follow) and this morning we packed every spare inch of space in the car (even leaving the girls behind, they'll fly home with nephew on Wednesday) with Slavka's stuff, and she'll follow in three weeks time.

I'm blogging this on the ferry, thanks to the Stena Line WiFi, and we have decided that ferry (one day upgrading to cruise line) is the way to travel! I have caught up on blog reading, hand stitched: two texture blocks, a milk bottle mat for mother-in-law, another two mini log cabin blocks for a 36 block wall hanging (3 to go, yippee), read some of my book, and had a lovely three course meal . . . Bliss!

Friday 24 June 2011

Blogger problems

At the moment this blog is not accessible to many viewers, so I have temporarily (I hope) moved to

Five A Day

The Five A Day quilt has been delivered, and Katie is delighted with it, I hope her Mum-in-Law likes it too when she gets it

Thursday 23 June 2011

Blogging on an ipad

Ah, I think I have discovered a problem with creating blog posts on the iPad, I hope you like the BIG photos! I will change them when I get onto the pc ;-)
This is a block for the texture block I am making. The four squares have been embroidered on my embroidery machine, and each has a very different feel to it.

This next one was also done on the embroidery machine, it hopefully looks, and will feel, like Dixie the guide dog when she was a puppy

And Dixie as an adult dog

and some pretty textured buttons

and some rikrak

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Temporary Blog (I hope)

I am starting this blog as a (hopefully) temporary measure while SLIKstitches is being sorted.  Thanks for coming to visit me here, and not letting me feel left out of all the blogging and crafty fun!

I went to Sandown for the National Quilt exhibition last weekend.  I forgot the camera so no inspirational photos, but i did remember the wallet . . . so did manage some shopping!

I thought this panel would be great for teaching foundation piecing (it is sold with the idea of making a wall hanging, but I reckon it can be chopped up and used by lots of people)

This is some scrummy fabrics from the Pure range from Moda (by Sweetwater I think) which I HAD to have, and some super French linen fabrics, which not so much called my name as shouted it!

and then a few jelly rolls fell into my bag (I've seen a few 1600" quilts on blogs and I'd like to make one), together with some night sky and stained glass bias binding for the Museum and Library classes, and a few odd bits that will be used one day

Friday 17 June 2011

Museum Session

 I had a great afternoon at Chertsey Museum today - 8 ladies all having a go at smocking!  Luckily I had prepared 8 sections of fabric ready to be gathered and smocked, and they all got stuck in.

 Most managed to get two lines stitched, generally top and bottom of the gathered area

 some started on a third row

 while others just worked from the top

I confess I completed very little, but largely because I didn't have a spare piece stitched ready to be gathered, so I thought that was a jolly good excuse!

I have, however managed some embroidery - machine embroidery on another block for Hilary's texture quilt.  This is four squares filled with a programmed fill stitch, so nothing technically impressive, but it feels lovely!

and this block is an embroidery of a Labrador puppy - must be Dixie!!!

Hang on in there

Well Blogger seem to have taken my followers and followees from the old blog, along with the tabs and the ability to comment, (apart from Victoria who is obviously special as her comment got through) but not yet put them on the new blog

I have confidence that Blogger will sort it out, and that normal service will be resumed ... soon?

Thursday 16 June 2011

No longer a Blogspotter :-)

One of the blogs that I follow is SpiceUpYourBlog, where a guy called Paul posts hints and tips on how to make your blog stand out.  The last few posts have been about removing the .blogspot part of the blog name, and today there was a video showing how easy it was (he has a really sexy voice, so I am really happy to llisten to his posts)

So now (to be completed over the next few days) my blog URN is

.... ta da .....

how exciting is that?  So I have  


which I didn't think I could do ... Thank you Paul-with-the-sexy-voice!

There is nothing else to be done - I've paid my $10:00, and Blogger will complete the redtape, and as soon as it's all completed they will move all my posts to the new address, and will redirect all blogspot visitors to the new site, so there is nothing for anyone else to do

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Quilting = happiness

I found this quote and link on Lis's blog,

Emily L. Burt, Postgraduate Student and Jacqueline Atkinson, Professor of Mental Health Policy, have looked into the connections between health and craft hobbies and report:

"Results: Cognitive, emotional and social processes were uncovered, which participants identified as important for their wellbeing. Participants found quilting to be a productive use of time and an accessible means of engaging in free creativity. Colour was psychologically uplifting. Quilting was challenging, demanded concentration and participants maintained and learned new skills. Participants experienced ‘flow’ while quilting. A strong social network fostered the formation of strong friendships. Affirmation from others boosted self-esteem and increased motivation for skill development. Quilts were often given altruistically and gave quilting added purpose."

Which is all great to know!

Sunday 12 June 2011

where did that week go?

I cant believe I haven't posted for over a week, although we've been so busy that maybe I can believe it!

We had a weekend in Weymouth with husband's family followed by a week which included Niki getting into a tangle with another driver (totally his 'bad', luckily no one hurt at all, but very scary, ) and time out to get quotes and arrange the insurance claim, and the old furniture being collected by a charity (who refused the sofa bed due to a tiny coffee stain on the mattress!).

Saturday's Library class saw us making paper pieced hexagons, and the Church class involved starting to copy a handbag, and putting a new ribbon on a hat!
 I managed to squeeze in a visit to my local quilting shop  on Friday (I had to take one of my church ladies to get fabric for her bag!) and today we took a trip to Portsmouth to see mum, and while Brian drove, I stitched running stitches onto some gingham for the museum class on Friday where we are going to tackle smocking

The Five A Day quilt has has a black border added, and scrappy binding has been machine stitched to the front and pinned to the back: I just need a little time to finish it!

(Photos are from my fancy new phone - any distortion will be my fault for not driving it properly!!)

Now I'm off to bed!

Friday 3 June 2011

Five A Day

You may remember this quilt

which was a birthday present for a friend, Katie, in the village.  She has asked me to make one for her Mother-in-Law, the same but a bit funkier

We emailed back and forth, chatting about designs, colours and fabrics, and ended up with the same design (sort of woven rail fence) but using some fab Farmer John's Market Stall fabrics that I got last year, with black borders.  Funnily enough, it was the design I had planned for these fabrics, and I am L.O.V.I.N.G how it's looking so far.

I cut the fruit and veg fabrics into 5 inch strips, width of fabric, and the black at 2.5" x width of fabric.  It will be slightly bigger flimsy than Katie's, but will still be applied to an Ikea fleece, so the final size will be the same.  All the black strips have been stitched on, and the blocks have been cut to size and arranged, and they have now been pinned in columns, waiting for the time to stitch them

Don't panic Katie - (they look a bit wobbly, but once they are stitched they will lay flat!)
I had real spacial awareness issues with the triangular cut blocks, but I got there in the end without any seam ripping.  I hope you agree the name of Five A Day is appropriate!

Fabric Fun

I had a lovely day yesterday at the Fire Station Crafts Centre in Windsor. I ran two Fun With Fabric classes for kids- they brought along a T-shirt or used a basic cushion cover and I brought along bags and bags of ribbons, gems, fabric paints, buttons, felt, netting, denim, etc plus an iron and a glue gun.

The first group was mostly Niki and her friends. They went for cushion covers- deciding to make cushions for their cars, LOL


The second group brought along T-shirts and decorated every spare inch

(photos to follow)

They were all really creative, even (especially) the 9 year old, and we had great fun!

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Pay it forward

A while ago Hadley, at Flying Blind, posted about a great project she had joined. We all know that if someone does something nice for us, it's nice to pay them back, but this idea twists that around, and instead you can pay it forward! I do something nice for someone, and they do something nice for someone else, and they ... You get the picture

I was too late to join :-(

But one of her successful PIFs was Victoria from Boutique Uniquely. I follow Victoria anyway, so I waited and waited, (with a bit of stalking just in case ....) and I got to be one of her PIFs

How it works... Hadley will make something for Victoria, Victoria will make something for me.  It will be a surprise and it will arrive when I least expect it. And I will make a little something for the first 3 people who leave a comment (here on my blog) that they'd like to play. And those three people tell their friends about the project, and make them a little something. A bit like a chain letter (I've tried postcard ones, recipe ones, book ones, knickers ... None ever worked) but this works the other way, so it WILL work!

So, you can get a handmade present from me, you just have to play too, and Pay It Forward! This means YOU post this same information on your blog, and pledge to send a little handmade something to 3 readers of your blog.

It doesn't have to be quilty - just handmade.

Once you receive your "little something", you must post about your Pay it Forward on your blog to keep the fun going - be sure to use the Pay It Forward badge (*)...and please only opt in if you can commit to keeping it going :o)

So, do you want to play?

(*To capture and use the badge on Blogger: Right click on the Image, select [save image as] and save the image, perhaps to your desktop.  To add the badge in a post, load as a photo.  To load in the side bar, click on [Design], top right.  Click on [Add A Gadget], scroll down to [Picture], click on [+].  Click on [Browse] and chose the image, add and save.)