Saturday 31 May 2014

Perfect Packing Priorities

I haven't actually been here for the last few posts - I haven't even had much Internet access so I'm sorry if you have commented and I haven't replied: I will get caught up eventually.

I've been at my cousin's cottage in Norway, if you've hung out here for while you've probably seen several posts of photos of the cottage and the island and the beach - we try and go at least every few years and its beautiful!

Anyway this time I thought I'd show you my packing priorities:

Hand sewing kit

Hand quilting kit

Tara's quilts (here and here) to be finished and delivered to her grandmother for onward delivery

 Given that we don't have hold luggage ... not much room for clothes!

Friday 30 May 2014

Real Wrestling

Many years ago the Giant Lone Start quilt was all the rage in blogland.  I started one, and then ran out of fabric, then ran out of fleece for the backing, then kind of lost interest, but it has now sat in a box, maturing, for long enough that I'm in love with it again

Mind you, trying to quit it could be a severe test of our relationship - there is an awful lot of it, hence the wrestling!!

I nearly went with Hadley's 3 / 6 quilting - and it wasn't long before I wished I had, but I wasn't going to unsew anything, so I carried on with double echo quilting.  I did each of the diagonals, and the vertical and the horizontal

And as if that wasn't barmy enough, I've gone on to repeat the double echo: so far I've done outside the star, and next I will do inside, and then I think she'll be done!

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Super Squishy

There are some bloggers that for some reason seem to be on my Facebook feed rather than my Bloglovin feed, and Kate is one of them (I've now got her on Bloglovin too!).

A while ago Kate posted on FB that she had some wool left over from assorted projects, was there anyone who wanted it.  Before I even saw the post, Amo had tagged me - was this something the kids at Crafty Church could use?

It certainly is, so I messaged Kate and she very kindly posted the wool to me - an enormous envelope arrived, with LOADS of wool!

Thank you Kate - I plan to make corn dollies with it - the kids will love it

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Bodger Benta

 In my last post I accused husband of being a bodger: Google defines a bodger as

But I prefer Urban Dictionary's definition:

My bodge doesn't involve hardware stores or junkyards, but is an unorthodox solution to a problem

Back in April I posted that I had nearly finished this tessellated quilt : 

And I really thought I had, but when I finished the binding and was checking for loose threads I found a seam that had totally missed.  Now I *could* have undone the hand sewing of the binding, undone the machine sewing of the binding, undone the border, fixed the problem and redone all the above.

But in the words (I think) of a TV comedian " we don't want to do that".  Using the embroidery machine for quilting Cut Sew Quilt seemed to work really well, so I decided to see if I could do something similar.

This was the test stitch

And this was the repair stitch

Not bad at all.  If you look for the problem it is still clearly there, but there is no danger of the seam unravelling further

You cant see it clearly, but I've done 14 of these spirals all round the outside - I rather like them!

Sunday 25 May 2014

Beautiful Baby and Bodger Brian

I didn't get any sewing done yesterday as we were celebration this beautiful baby

turning into this amazing 20 year old

Happy Birthday Niki, love you

Husband is an odd job man - it's what he does to keep the wolf from the door: he fits kitchens and bathrooms, fixes computers, mends things, moves radiators or light switches . . .  you get the picture.  The down side is that my house doesn't get much attention, but the upside is that if he gets it into his head to solve a problem he doesn't stop until it is solved!

I have quite a lot of sewing stuff that lives in my car: easy to unload when I have a class . I have bought some stackable Euro crates, and a dolly with wheels to take then from car to class.

I generally do this by fixing the stuff with bungee cords and holding the top and using that as a handle.  The downside is that I stack more stuff than I *need* to get it tall enough that I can push it like that.

Husband's choice of reading matter is usually ScrewFix, Maplins and RS Components catalogues, and he commented that here was a Euro dolly for sale in RS Components, with a handle.  Well the price was nearly double the cost of the dolly alone, and I couldn't buy just a handle, so I figured that was the end of that - until an hour later he called me down to show me his latest bodge:

He taken tent poles from a long defunked tent (of course he didn't throw the poles away with the cover - they might be useful one day); bent them at 90o about 2" from the ends, and heated the bend so it's permanent, and they now wedge into the holes at the ends of the dolly, so I have removable handles!

Bless his cotton socks!

Saturday 24 May 2014

Crafty Church Catch Up

Back in February one the regulars at Crafty Church (hello Janet!) showed us this completed quilt

Since then she's been working on other projects including a hexi quilt, but this month she brought along another quilt: the same design as the flowery one above, but SO different

Isn't it great!  She also made three matching cushion covers

And Lynn has been working on a Hungry Caterpillar cushion: last month we basted it before she had to rush off, and she's been hand quilting ever since, and on Saturday we finished it

Pinterest Proof

I love Pinterest, and have loads of crafty pins: often though I pin whilst thinking "humm, really?"

I tried the sharpie pens on a mug - NOT dishwasher proof, I even bought fancier sharpie pens, still not dishwasher proof.

So when I pinned the silk screen instructions I wasn't convinced. But a friend send a Red Cross package of unwanted fabric stuff (thanks Lise) and it included some fabric that looked suitable, and I had mod podge on my desk, and could reach an embroidery hoop so I figured I'd give it a go.

Prepare to be astonished! (not at my screen making skills though!).

I so didn't expect it to work, so there are no clean pictures of the screen, but here is an after picture (washed but still a bit stained)

And here is the result!!!!

And together

Friday 23 May 2014

Big is Best

I've made a few bags (reversible tote bags) recently that have finished smaller than I wanted - you would think I would learn but it has taken me a while but I think I've cracked it!

I made a biiiig bag for Jackie's daughter and decided that was the size I wanted too, so I made one side then left it until I'd got some fabric for the other side.

Well Lisa came home with these fabrics for me (amongst others!)

So once I'd got this lot out of my sewing room

I started to finish the bag.  Do you remember I put pockets into a bought tunic a few weeks ago?  The method had stayed in my mind as a possibility for bag pockets.  Not in the side, but in the top of the bag.

This picture shows what I tried to do.  So the method had sort of stayed with me, but if you've ever put in seam pockets you'll see what I didn't see at this stage - my pockets are going to have flowers on the outside - the hidden side!

Never mind

I have an enormous (22 x 21 x 5) tote bag that I love, it is fun hessian (burlap / jute) on the outside, and big flowers with deep patch pockets on the inside

. . . And has two seam pockets: one between each ends of each handles, and I'm ready to take pretty much anything anywhere!

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Back to Blogging

I haven't been blogging for a while, or sewing, or reading anyone else's blogs - partly due to having visitors and being out and about with them as well as spending time at work, and sleeping occasionally!

Nearly a week ago I taught the Chertsey museum ladies how to make tissue pouches, and other variations on the theme.  We started with Show and Tell - they brought in the finished bags they made from their crazy patch blocks

Then they got started on the tissue pouches, and the wine coaster variations. 

(Our visitors were on their way from USA to Norway - I had to empty sewing stuff from my car to make room for their luggage - it didn't take long for a cat to make themselves at home on the cutting mat bag! )

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Griping about Google

Some years ago I decide I would like my blog name to be rather than a small change, but the idea made me happy, and for £10 a year I figured it was a good plan.


The switchover was a problem, and for a few weeks I thought I had lost my blog, but eventually I found an on-line geek who could understand the problem, and give me a solution - yippee.

The next few years I spent days before the anniversary trying to update the payment details; so last year I wrote notes on how to find the info. 

So a few days ago my email arrives

And I wonder whether last years' notes will help at all
 Ah, probably not

So I follow the link


I don't have so how am I supposed to click it?

A bit of Googling and it turns out that I need 

So, for *this* year I am sorted - and next year I'll check this post and see how much they have changed again!

Saturday 17 May 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival Post Part 2

I can lose hours and hours visiting Amy's online Bloggers Quilt Festival each year, she does an amazing job organising it all, and I always find new bloggers to follow, and to inspire me

Here is my entry to the scrappy section

These string blocks had been building up over many years with no particular purpose other than to reduce the bulk in the scraps drawer.  At Christmas I received a message from a childhood friend that she was dying of cancer; although I had already arranged to be visiting family in May, nearby her home, and therefore seeing her too, she wasn't sure she would still be alive.  

The feeling helplessness is beyond description:  I just wanted to be able to hug her, but even that wasn't possible due to distance.  So these blocks were joined (inspired by Nicky's fractured quilt) and bound and posted as substitute for a real hug

(I notice the photo was taken before I finished it - it did get finished and posted immediately! Hence no final photo)

Olaug received the quilt, and loved it.  She sadly died last month, so it's her mum I will visit next week, not her :-(

Rest in Peace Olaug xxxx

Friday 16 May 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival Part #1

I can lose hours and hours visiting Amy's online Bloggers Quilt Festival each year: she does an amazing job organising it all, and I always find new bloggers to follow, and to inspire me.

I'm entering this in the hand quilted section:

It's a brick layout iSpy quilt that has been hand pieced and hand quilted and even hand finished - not my usual style at all! 

It started when I needed some hand sewing to take on holiday, and it finished when I was invited to a virtual baby shower for the lovely Sarah who blogs here, so this is now Molly's iSpy quilt.

EDIT: And here is Molly ON her quilt - isn't she a sweetie!

I hope you enjoy seeing it - I certainly enjoyed making it!!!  Do visit Amy's blog and see all the other entries!