Thursday, 27 September 2012

Crafty Pressies

I am very aware there has been an appalling lack of sewing, but I do have a whole range of excuses involving additional hours at work (lots) hours at the gym (far fewer) several days of celebrating my birthday, and now packing for a girly weekend away. It's a tough life!!!

 However, my friends are helping me cope. Just look at this yummy fabric Jackie sent me (Warm Memories charm pack). Not only is it gorgeous, but it goes perfectly with the top charm squares that were left from another pack, all yummy warm colours - I can't wait to start!

Jackie also sent me these two for my kitchen, one shows how well she knows me, and the other how much she loves me, love you J x x

I also got a fab package from Plum [link to follow when work out how to link on the iPad!) at Plum Quilts. She and I are virtual twins, so hers is one of the few birthdays I manage to remember. She sent this awesome fabric (I L.O.V.E. text fabrics) some pearle quilting threads, and this fab little covered notebook, even with colouring pencils, perfect for recording quilty inspirations Next weekend Jackie will be over, and will be meeting my mum on Saturday, and hopefully Plum on Sunday at the Richmond and Kew quilt show!

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Super Saturday and Smashing Sunday

I had a really busy Saturday:  Mum and I went to Sandown, but on the way popped in to meet . . . In Real Life . . . a fellow blogger, Annabelle from Annabell Serendipity

Annabelle was exactly how I imagined her, a lovely chatty crafty lady who has a beautiful home, and makes a lovely cup of tea - what more can you ask for!  I did have a go at taking photos, but they didn't come out at all well, and as neither of like ourselves in photos anyway, we gave up after a few attempts.

We then went to Sandown which wasn't actually the patchwork show that I expected, it was a Creative crafts show, (all shopping), so we went round  a few time, bought a few bits and pieces and then set off home again

Despite the rain on Sunday we had a lovely day in Greenwich visiting Lisa at Uni.  We did the touristy thing at Cutty Sark, and had a lovely meal at the Gipsy Moth, a pub next door to the Cutty Sark.

Here's my lot in the Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark was a tea clipper for much of her working life, and my girls really liked the tea quotes stencilled on the floors of the ship:

There is no trouble to grave that it cannot be diminished with a nice cup of tea

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world

If you are cold, tea will warm you
If you are too heated, it will cool you
If you are depressed it will cheer you
If you are excited it will calm you

But they didn't have our favourite which actually came from Annabelle

Money can't buy happiness
But it can buy Tea
And that's almost the same thing

We have been to Greenwich to see Lisa this time of year  for the last three years as it's my birthday:  I thought I'd show you the lovely pressies my family got me:

Three beads for my Troll bracelet:  a budgie from Niki, a Mum heart from Lisa, and a Troll from Brian

Also from Lisa some lovely Vanilla smellies (my favourite :-)

And from my mum, these gorgeous enamel red saucepans

We also met Lisa's boyfriend while we in Greenwich: he ticked lots of boxes (no fancy hair style, no trousers hanging down to his knees, doesn't use 'like' three times in every sentence, and didn't spend the meal glued to his mobile phone)  He was lovely, but then both my girls have been brought up to have impeccable taste, so of course he would be!

He even knows how to pick a perfect birthday pressie:  He wanted to know a book that I already had and enjoyed (Lisa told him "I before E except after C") and he chose this one which I am thoroughly enjoying, thanks Liam (the combi moneybox is from Lisa, isn't it great!)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Half Day Happiness

I love half days - the kind where I get away from work actually on time, come home to a cuppa with Niki (who was on her way to first tutor a couple of children, and then go to work at the bowling alley until midnight) and then sew :-)

I nearly finished two draw string bags for a friend's twins (the older set of twins had similar bags about 5 years ago!)  Just need to get into town to get some cord

I stuffed and finished Lucia's taggie "L" - thanks for the tip Plum, I put the bell into a plastic bag before I put it into the L

And I stitched and stitched and stitched that pile of 2.5 inch strips into a quilt top about 58" x 42" (150 x 110cm)

The are at least 50% I-Spy fabrics, so they make a really busy quilt top, but I am loving these scrappy Jelly Rolls.

Of course none of these were even on the UFO list, so that hasn't improved at all, but I've had a lovely time!!!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sewing Saturday

Apart from a few cups of tea with Brian, I have spent the whole day sewing - and what bliss it has been.

I pieced, quilted and bound an I-Spy quilt for a friend to auction next week

And I emptied the selvedge edge drawer and made 31 blocks to be trimmed to 5 inch squares

And I embroidered a blanket for a friend's 50th next week

And I joined lots of the scraps from the 2.5 inch strips draw to make one very long strip ready to make a scrappy jelly roll race quilt

I am starting to feel I can again describe myself as a patchworker

Friday, 14 September 2012

Busy Bee

I managed to do some sewing today, yippee.  I wanted to work on the Out of Africa Bee blocks for Jen's month.  She has asked for animals to make a book for her children (2, 4 and 6 I think).  To make the bocks relevant to me, I have based them on animals we have had.  

This is Twiglet, a Vanilla Tipped African Pygmy hedgehog

And here is a machine embroidery version of him

 And this is Blue Boy my budgie

. . . with a green version of him as I had no suitable blue fabric, so maybe this should be called Green Girl

And there will be a block to depict Boris the skink,

but I cant find the stuff I need, so he will be created next weekend after my lovely friend Jacqui has lend me some "stuff"

Monday, 10 September 2012

An L of an urge

 I needed to sew - it's been 5 weeks (whinged the addict).  

I managed to join some of the I-Spy squares into 4 strips of 6 fabrics (no pics, they are on the ironing board downstairs), and I pieced some of the scrappy strips into an L shaped taggie for baby Lucia:  Fleece on the back, picture fabrics on the front, and loads of bits of ribbon poking out of the side seams.

Very busy, very colourful, and lots of textures for little fingers.  

I haven't stitched the opening closed yet - if I can find some bells I might stuff it loosely and put a few inside instead of leaving it flat, who knows!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Whatever Possessed Me?

Well I cleared my email back log - got to love the [delete] button!  But I still haven't got to the sewing machine, instead I have been 'unsewing' again!

I have been sewing I-Spy hexies together for a while - it got quite big (about twice the size of this), but I wasn't happy with it.

So in a fit of madness I took it all apart

Not content with that, I then started basting some tiny triangles (1 and 1/4 inches each side).

And then started sewing it back together
So to summarise: I took a slow project, took two steps backwards, and am now taking one *very* small step forward.

What ever possessed me?

I think it's withdrawal symptoms - I haven't switched my sewing machine on in 5 weeks!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

I-Spy Delaying Tactics

When I got back from my holiday I switched on my computer to check my emails- not the 'sewing' one that you use, dear reader, but my 'every day' one - the one that everyone else uses, including of course those people offering me jobs; degrees; an extension to a body part I don't have; a gazillion dollars to launder some money for them, etc.

Well I looked at the total number of unread messages, (not much change from 3000!) and simply closed the email programme, I was not in the mood to even see if there is anything important there!

Today I didn't even open the emails, instead I opened Audible and went back to cutting squares from picture fabrics listening to The Help (Yes, Miss Jennifer, I am certainly thinking in a Southern accent, and I am loving this book!).

However I have come to the realisation that is a delaying tactic - this revaluation came to me when I counted up and realised that in the last two evenings I have cut enough blocks to make fourteen 26 block quilt tops, in addition to a fair number of 8x4 inch blocks for the brick hand sewing top, and a good number of 5" blocks to add to the Japanese charm squares when they come.

Time to stop procrastinating, and check those emails,


Well, maybe tomorrow?

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

chopping charms

Our return home from Florida was, thank goodness, uneventful, and I spent yesterday with the girls, in between yawning and doing loads of washing, and today was back to school.

This evening I had the house to myself, so I chopped the fabric for the charm square swap while I listened to "the help" on audio book.

I was having such a lovely time I then started chopping more of my new fabrics into 5" and 8" squares ready for more I-spy quilts.  A lovely evening

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

missing my machine

After 2 weeks without access to my sewing machine I am getting serious withdrawal symptoms! Today's hand sewing has been variegated and two colour Dorset buttons, and some flying geese.  Tomorrow I leave Florida, and come home to my children, my bed and my sewing machine, oh and work!

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