Friday, 31 August 2012

Not *more* shopping?

No idea how this happened, but all these fabrics jumped into my shopping basket today

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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

hand sewing hexies

I'm starting to miss my sewing machine, but I'm coping with assorted hand sewing projects!

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Ribbons and stuff

Couldn't resist these fab ribbons, just need to find a use for them: I seem to be better at buying them than actually using them :-)

I got stencil brushes to go with crayons I got at Festival of Quilts, and some great cookie cutters
I really need to cut down on my shopping - back to work next week so my shopping time will be seriously reduced :-(

For all who know uncle Isaac, his visit was boring, and it's now over for us, and life has returned to normal x X
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Monday, 27 August 2012

Charmed, I'm Sure

So often I look at fabrics and fall in love, but I don't have the money or the space to buy them.  Wouldn't it be lovely to have even just a little bit of all the yummy fabrics.  Well Sarah (who blogs at Narcoleptic In A Cupboard) had a great idea, and enough friends to pull it off:

54 of us each buy a metre of Japanese fabric, and chop it into 5 inch squares (charms) we then send them off to Sarah.  We then trust Sarah to create 54 piles of different charms and package them up to send them back to us.  We are all posting pics of our intended fabrics on a Flickr
group to ensure that no two of us get the same fabrics, and oh boy there are some fab fabrics that people are contributing

This is my first swap, and I am *very* excited :-)

You can click on this picture and drool over the fabrics that are being contributed - but be warned, this carries a severe envy warning!!!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

button bling

A quiet afternoon on front of the TV, watching the clouds and rain that herald Isaac, and threading buttons to make a necklace :-)

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kits for kids

I got these two today, one for God Daughter, one for niece: no sew quilt kits.  One comes with pre-snipped fleece squares which get tied together, the other is two big pieces of fleece which need snipping round the edge and tying, apparently no quilting required in the centre.  I'm itching to have a go myself!

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

oops, I bought some fabric!

Went shopping today and found some lovely picture fabrics for the next batch of I-spy quilts.  As the shop was kind enough to stock them it would have been rude of me not to buy any!
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Friday, 24 August 2012

I spy bricks

A bit of hand sewing, picture fabrics (8"x4") and Kona solid (ash I think) cut to 1.5 wide.

I can't go any further at the moment as I've run out of picture fabric!

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Thursday, 23 August 2012

African Bee Block

The Bee Block for the Out Of Africa Bee for July is slightly late, but I needed to get some extra supplies.  May wanted a scrap book style in pastel colours.

I never really got the hang of scrap booking, but I eventually got obsessed with the block, and had a fab time shopping for it.

I started with a plain raw edge Union Flag

I bought charms, and I made shrinkies from London themed stamps

I used wooden buttons to represent the family pets (hedgehog, budgie and cats, I couldn't fond a lizard)

 I added an assortment of buttons, and a chain

And I added a final shrinkie of my church

It's a little bit scrapbook, a little bit steam punk, a whole lot of bling, and great fun to make

I hope May likes it!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Festival Fabric

Festival of Quilts is a place of inspiration, but also a place for shopping, and I picked up some yummy pieces that I hadn't seen before

These will be added to some plain cream, and will be made into a 9 patch which is half colour and half cream, with the dividing line being on three HSTs, but for now they have to go into the "Itching to get started" pile

These picture fabrics are for bags (the stamps) and for I-Spy quilts

And I've been looking  at Thermofax stuff for years, but this is the first time I've seen an image I can see myself using, so as soon as I find a few spare hours . . .

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Intermittent Activity

During the summer, when I get six weeks off work, you'd think I would have plenty of time to sew and to blog, well this year I have failed on both.  I've been spending lots of time catching up with family and friends instead which is not always appropriate for a patchworking themed blog!

Wifi connections and sewing are both likely to be thin on the ground for the next few weeks, but in the last few days I did managed a few bits of making, and a bit of shopping that will (eventually) lead to making . . .

This is part of the queue that was heading for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, from the doors opening the queue took about  15 minutes to pass us (drinking coffee rather than queueing!) and then we sauntered in

I bought some fabric (pics to follow soon) and I bought some fab bits of bling, and spent today making bracelets.

I bought a sewing themed bracelet a while ago from eBay, but the catch wasn't fab, so I transferred the charms onto the new bracelet, and added a few new ones for me

And made another for a friend whose birthday is soon

I also received a fab pressie from Jackie - she made me this cutting board bag which will make transporting stuff to classes (ie tomorrow) much easier - thank you, Bestie, Love you

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Splurging on Slough Centre

I live quite close to Slough town, thank you, I feel your sympathy.

I think it was Chris Tarrent who said that "Happiness was Slough in the rear view mirror" and he may have been right, at least as far as a lack of patchwork shops is concerned.

However, a major revamp of Slough town centre is on the cards . . .

It made the front page of the local papers . . .

What do you reckon they'll spend the money on?  A new rubbish bin?  Six month's tax for the Mayor's car?  An artist to paint what it could be like if they were to spend a bit more money?

NOW I hope your sympathy is more sincere, I bet your town council spend more on your town centres!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Doing it for Dorset

We might have got to Birmingham this afternoon, but the quilt show doesn't open until tomorrow, So we made good use of the free time, and made Dorset buttons while chatting and watching TV

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Fab Felting

Jackie and I spent a great day with Carmen who taught us so much about felting that my head is reeling!

We made bowls, brooches, flowers and slippers, and were sent on our way with a bag of wool to carry on making!


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Sunday, 12 August 2012

Baggy Blog

There was a 'recipe' for a fairly basic bag in a quilt magazine a few months ago, and I made a few for friend's birthdays (but forgot to take photos).

It occurred to me that with just a little more thought the bag could be reversible.  And that instead of tying the straps to adjust the length, I could use D rings.  And that I could add two pockets, one inside and one outside.  And that I could make it bigger.

Well by this time I'd put the original pattern piece and instructions in a *very* safe place (along with post postcard themed rubber stamps, and some half made turquoise trousers that I also cant find) so I proceeded without the help of instructions or pattern . . .

And I'm really chuffed with the result -a big boxy, very comfy bag that should hold all my shopping from Festival of Quilts!

(Did I tell you I was going to Festival of Quilts? Via Jackie's?  One more sleep until I go, yippee!)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Fantastic Friends

Have I mentioned before how lovely other crafty people are?  I'm sure I have, and I'm sure you  all know it already, but I want to share a lovely surprise that arrived just now via my postie

Annabelle and I have been following each others blogs for a very long time, almost since the beginning for me.  Although she lives quite locally and we occasionally shop at the same fabric shops and attend the same Quilt Shows, we have never arranged to meet up, but I still count her as a friend.

Annabelle sews, and cooks and has even inspired me to cook and to make bread (no mean feat!).  She also visits shows and exhibitions that I can't get to, and takes such great photos I feel that I have been too.

However, Annabell, I have discovered, is amazingly generous too.  She recently asked for my address, and I happily passed it on and then promptly forgot all about it (menopausal memory!) so I was surprised when postie knocked on the door just now with a delivery for me.

The two things that get consumed quickest in the house are chocolate and cups of tea - and mind-reader Annabelle sent me this fab plaque, and a tea cosie that fits my favourite teapot perfectly

Annabelle, thank you so much - both perfect for this house!!!!!!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Quilty Question (part II)

Well I had a go at the shrinkies, and they have come out OK

As predicted, they have shrunk, but fairly evenly (apart from some of the letter boxes which seem taller and thinner than their friends).

I remembered to punch holes before I baked them, so I can stitch some on, and maybe stamp others on.

I had read about transfer printing by printing onto the shiny side of freezer paper.  The print came out of the printer OK, and obviously wet, ready to be pressed onto the fabric, but all I got was a smudge :-(  I quite accept it was my fault, but I think maybe not a process that works for me.

I am going to look for some ribbons and some lace, and maybe some chains and buttons at the Quilt show next week and see what happens.

The following month is animal themed, and I cant decide - the hedgehog? the lizard? the cats? the budgie?  I'm tempted to make lots of blocks!!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Quilty Question

I am a member of a Quilting Bee: Each month we all make a block for one member, and we will all get a month over the next year and a half when the block are made for us.  The loose theme of the Bee is to make a block representing where you live, and each month the recipient gives us her request within that.

This is the month of a lovely lady called May , and she is the overall organiser.

May gave us this brief:
I'm making a scrapbook quilt, free style, with your blocks and some of mine thrown in.
This scrapbook will tell the tale of this trip and a bit of my own travels here and there.  Anything goes, piecing, stitchery, 3D... I'm going to use lace, buttons, ribbons and who knows what else as well. Colours: pastel, mainly pink or rose as guideline. Yellow, baby blue, orange, purple, green... Motives: think of pictures. What would you take a picture of in your country? Animals, buildings?

All of which took me straight out of my comfort zone!!!

I have started with a pastel raw edge Union Flag

... but from her requests, it is clearly too bland at the moment.  I'm off to Festival of Quilts next week, and can look for buttons, lace, etc, but do I add them to the pink, to the blue, anywhere?   I'd love to go a bit steampunk, but don't have the confidence to even start

I have bought these rubber stamps, and I have some Versa Craft stamp pads which work on fabric, but I have the same issues with using these. - where do I put them?

Another idea is to print a photo of Windsor Castle onto it.  According to Pinterest, I can print onto the shiny side of freezer paper and then press that onto the fabric, is that scrap booky enough?

Has anyone used shrinkies?  I could maybe make buttons with some, perhaps with images of Windsor, or maybe using these stamps, how small will they get?

Sorry I have gone off at a bit of a ramble here, can you tell I have *no* idea what to do!

Any suggestions welcome

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Philosophy Takeaway

My Oldest daughter, Lisa, is part of a group at Greenwich University who are passionate about Philosophy.  Many of them study, or have studied Philosophy, and they run a "Come And Chat" stall at Greenwich market, and issue newsletter and essays which are also posted on their Philosopy Takeaway blog

Good mum that I am try to be, I follow the blog, and always read and [like] the posts, even though some are way too deep for me.

However yesterday's post really spoke to me, and I have converted some of it to Wall Art posters - see what you think, or better still go and visit the blog and read the whole thing :-)

A Quilty Completion

I have been working on a request from  a customer.  A lady called Katie found my website and contacted me to ask if I would make a quilt as a Christening present for a little girl, Ava: Katie is going to be her God Mother.

Katie had seen Ben's Quilt,

but we didn't have the time to get the blocks decorated by family and friends, so we combined a very girly I-Spy block with three photos of Ava that Katie sent me.

(I have blocked out the photos of Ava as I don't have permission to show them, but the lovely photos show she's a real sweetie)

The binding was finished last night during the Olympics, and I'll get the quilt to the post office as soon as poss so it arrives in time for the Christening - I hope the days goes well Katie.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Dorset Button Link

Hello, I am still here, just catching up with other stuff rather than making or blogging!

Several of you left lovely comments regarding the Dorset Buttons.  I did start to take photos as I made some more, but then I found this page with the most amazing photos and step by step instructions, and decided not to reinvent the wheel!

So - if you fancy making a Dorset Button, go and visit Craft Stylish, where the very clever Diane shows in very clear detail how to make one