Wednesday 31 December 2014

Fabric Festivities

Well I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and I wish you all the very best for 2015!

I just thought I'd use this last post of 2014 to show you some of the fab fabric related pressies I was lucky enough to receive under the tree!

I'm a lucky girl!  (There were even more but some have been used or moved!)

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Friends and Flowers

Following on from me showing a felted flower on Facebook, (from a lesson in felting flowers), a few friends wanted to have a go.

I *had* to shop for supplies.  It was difficult to choose a supplier when I'd never bought felting stuff before, but Gillian's Glad Rags didn't let me down! 

These colours are soooo lush - aren't they awesome!

Then we met up and created: I had a few inspirational photos:

but they weren't even needed as we got stuck in and made these

 A fab evening!!! Thanks ladies

Monday 29 December 2014

Measuring Time

The conventional way to measure time is, of course minutes and hours, but sometimes . . .

A wait for a hospital appointment . . .
51 basted hexies

The drive to Portsmouth:
34 hexies

but I don't mind these waits . . . Look how they are going together:

And one final photo - it was pointed out that you couldn't really see the Red Linen quilt as child and cat had obliterated most of the view, so here it is in (most) of it's glory:

Sunday 28 December 2014

Quicker than Quilt As You Go

I've mentioned this method before on the blog, and it's what is helping me assemble / baste and quilt these strips of blocks so quickly - a few hours and they are ready for binding.

I know the result is a Coverlet rather than a Quilt (two layers rather than three) but it is just as long lasting, much cheaper, and MUCH quicker than the conventional method.

So I have my blocks in strips (in this case just 'bricks' of fabric joined into strips the same measurement as the width of the fleece)

I have already done the middle ones (numbered  16 to 21) and I am now joining the next two (15 and 22).  I have pinned them to their next door neighbours, and to the fleece below

Then I stitch through 15, 16 and the fleece, (and 22, 21 and the fleece). I press 15 and 22 open, and repeat with 14 and 23 etc.

I'm not a great fan of heavily quilted patchworks (unless its quilting in the negative spaces - Jen, you rock!) so I'm very happy with there being no visable quilting on the surface and there is no crawling around on the floor stretching, taping, pinning, or tacking the flimsey.

And I managed two and a half tops today!

Saturday 27 December 2014

So Long Lisa

So Lisa has gone - flew to Australia this morning, on a one way ticket - but she has promised her mummy that she will come back!

She's a light traveller:

and she left her room SO tidy

I felt a bit sorry for myself, but then husband sorted out a silver lining:

And I managed to cheer myself up a bit by sewing, and have finally assembled / basted / quilted this onto a fleece:

Just a few more quilt blocks in strips to go!

Good job I have another week off school ;-)

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Gifts from Girlfriends

Isn't it lovely when people give you *exactly* what you would have bought for yourself?

I met up with three girlfriends a few nights ago, and received two fab button mugs:

And a hand made hexi sewing travel kit -Jane, you are awesome!

I've nearly finished making gifts - thanks to Plum's fab tutorial I have made just a few covered notebooks for Santa to distribute on the day!

Sunday 21 December 2014

Linen Love

The red linen quilt is finally finished, in use and loved!

I think it is possibly my favourite quilt!

I had a quilting plan which I promptly forgot/ignored and I decided to quilt, by hand, a design in each big square.  It felt more like embroidery than quilting, and I had great fun drawing frixon designs to stitch over 

There are 20 or so, but I shan't bore you with them all!!!

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Internet Interrupted (2)

In the last week or so I made some Christmas Eve gifts for the great nephew and his sisters: I figured littlies get plenty of stuff at Christmas, so I would do a little something to open the night before: hopefully to help calm them down at bedtime. Sam and Nina are too young this year, and Emily is all grown up, but maybe it will work for Lulu!  These have been filled with pyjamas and Christmas story books
I also finished some sewing and embroidery for customers:

And following a family photo session (fifteen of us for Nanny's birthday), I just want to share with you this pic ... of everything I've ever made . . . These are my *best* creations!!

All 4 of us:

and all fifteen:

Sunday 14 December 2014

Internet interruption

Hello again friends - we've just emerged from ten days with no Internet at home - I've had to do grocery shopping and Christmas shopping either using the tiny screen on my phone, or, shock horror, in person!!!

We have now returned to the 21st century and I can be a blogger and a bloggee again at last, and can catch up on Christmas shopping the "traditional" (clickitty click) way

There have been lots of small projects happening here:

I added initial tags to some lingerie bags pressies as several of the recipients share a girly weekend once a year:

I made some mug caddy wraps for Christmas pressies for colleagues,

I cut a whole load more kona solid into triangles for a group quilt

And I decorated my Christmas tree

There has been more too, but that can wait for another day, this post is (almost) photo heavy enough!

But just one more . . . After Niki sewing as she was bored without Internet, Husband was clearly lost too - he *baked*!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Advent Fun

For years I have used an embroidered Advent Calendar that I made before Lisa was born - I carefully wrapped small toys or sweets, and hung them from it: the girls took it in turns to open a package each day.

Now they are older they aren't as interested, and Lisa isn't here for half the month anyway, so I haven't got it out of the loft this year.


An Advent Calendar still feels like the start of the build up to Christmas!  I went to a website to buy some wool tops, and saw they had Advent Calendar Buttons (badges) - somehow they jumped into my shopping basket, and arrived a few days ago.

Today I managed to create an advent calendar that uses the buttons (and was inspired by Hadley's Countdown Quilt) and will do just fine :-)

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Speed Dating with Stars

Mum got me a stack of Jenny Bayer charm squares a few years ago, and they have been auditioned for several designs, and rejected, but I have finally settled on a design I'm happy with. I made cream star sections, and randomly stitched them into threes with the charm squares, then left them until mum came at the weekend - so we could speed date them

I'm really pleased with the final arrangement - and am just looking for the time to stitch them together!

Sunday 30 November 2014

My Cousin and a Consequences Coincidence

The third month of the Consequences Round Robin from Richmond and Kew quilters has landed an Africa themed quilt on my workbench.  For the previous quilts I have made a patchwork block and also a machine embroidered block.  The embroidered blocks may not be what people want, so these are a sort of extra block which they can use or not, but I've had fun making.

For "Africa" this machine embroidered extra block could have been easy: elephants against the sunset, a lion's face . . . but I had an idea nagging in the back of my mind, and I was trying to see if it would be OK

Meanwhile I got on with the more traditional patchwork block.  This lady could have been paper pieced, or foundation pieced, but I created her by adding roughly shaped scraps of fabric together in strips (apron then dress then sides, bodice then arms then sides, face then hat then headdress then sides) then the strips added.
(inspired by a block seen on Pinterest, but I don't know where it originated from)

Meanwhile the 'other' idea kept nagging away.  My reluctance was due there being a long explanation behind it, but finally I thought sod it, it's an amazing story, and people can choose whether to read it or not!

I have a cousin called Kire: as well as being gorgeous on the outside (hang on I'll show you what I mean, guesses as to her age are welcome) she's gorgeous on the inside, and oh so talented.  Meet Kire Godal

She is a film maker, working with Discovery Chanel and National Geographic amongst others, and living, by coincidence, in Kenya.  She recently made a film about Lion Guardians, and it was nominated for a Wild Screen award ("considered the equivalent of the “Oscar” by wildlife film makers worldwide")  The film, a campaign film, is used to train Maasai Warriors who are becoming Lion Guardians.  Lion Guardians is an amazing conservation programme, re-educating the Maasai Warriors into a new relationship with lions

So my second Africa block tells the story of the Lion Guardians:

It's a fairly subtle embroidery: goldy orange on stone fabric, but it reads:

Lion Guardians
Traditionally Maasai males would kill a lion to 
reach manhood and warrior status - 
endangering the numbers in the lion prides.

Today the Lion Guardian conservation programme
recruits and trains Maasai men to track the lions,
collect DNA samples and produce identity cards
for them.  this confers a sense of ownership
and pride amongst the men, forming a vanguard to
prevent other Maasai men from hunting lions

The Guardians get  to know 'their' lion -
searching for it daily, and can warn cattle
herders if they are letting cattle graze too
close to the lions.  In searching for their lion
they also track and return stray cattle, and
can take groups of tourists to a pretty much
guaranteed lion sighting

I hope she likes them

Saturday 29 November 2014

Pretty Perfect Pumpkins

If practice makes perfect, I must be close to perfect at stitching the Pumpkins Pre-School logo onto shirts and sweatshirts - I've done loads this week!


We've changed the logo slightly, I'm really pleased with this version


At last released from that design, I made a gift for the Richmond and Kew quilters Secret Santa Lucky Dip. With a limit of £3 it was either going to be cr@p or hand made - I hope the recipient doesn't think it's both!!



My last job today was to man a craft table at the St Andrews church's Christmas Tree Festival. It meant I got to spend two hours colouring with kids - don't mind if I do! The church was filled with trees created or decorated by individuals, families, groups, or classes in the village. Crafty Church & St Michaels's Sunday School created a star themed tree


But ours was very boring compared to some of the others: the badminton club used shuttlecocks to make angels, and one of the preschools had penguins from footprints sliding down icy slides on their tree!

Now I'm home for the evening and thinking I just might bind the red linen quilt - Amanda at MonkeyButtons has found me some dark red for the binding