Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Teacher's Pet!

I know we are only heading towards half-term here, but I have made 4 out of 5 teacher Christmas gifts already!

Just a sneak peek for now; once the patterns have been released I will give you a better look, promise.

I love it when things I have to make don't even get the chance to appear on my To Do list!

I do have a list for tomorrow though, to cram into the time before I head off to school for the Saxon afternoon and then back again for the pre-PGL parents' evening.  Hoping for at least a couple of ticks, but time, and sofa time will tell.

Monday, 20 October 2014


Instead of weekly aggro in the form of make-it-up, chose-what-you-like "homework" (yep I'm doing the inverted comma fingers, and other gestures), this year the kids all now have weekly proper homework, spellings, maths and stuff, and only one half-termly creative project.

One each still felt like too many at some points last and this weekend.  But the projects are done, and I will have my proud mummy moment, even if my input was more than I was hoping for.

We have progressed from papier maché covered balloons to a Sutton Hoo helmet, a leopard and giraffe masks…

Although this did take up a lot of time and energy, we also managed a trip to the park in the unseasonably warm weather, conkers and flip flops, I like it;  and I also did some prep for another bit of pattern testing…

Teacher Christmas gifts already; girly swot!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

I am going to love this quilt!

I know, only one block made, but I am smitten!

I pretty much mastered the 1/4" wheel, I didn't stitch through any seam allowances and resisted the urge to press it.  Hence it looks a little wrinkled and wonky, but fortunately that's just bad lighting and urgent excitement to take a photo!

If you are wondering, the block is only 6 1/2" in diameter.  Those pieces are tiny!

Roll on next month!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Pin when you're winning...

I have been pinning.  I haven't really bothered with Pinterest lately, but today I have been at it; I had forgotten how useful it is.

Stitch Tease buddies please do not go and get all worried about everything I have stuck in my Stitch Tease folder - everything has ended up in there, not all of it should be, but for now I'm not telling you which!

I used to love using flickr to search out inspiring quilts, blocks and fabric combos, I even tried earlier, but it was so shockingly slow and annoying, I gave up.  What a shame.  I probably met a lot of you guys on flickr; end of an era eh?

So anyway, I think I am decided… well, probably.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Little Things...

Today I was house-bound waiting for a courier, so I was more than happy to ignore the rain outside, catch up with all my Sky+ recordings, drink hot chocolate, and do a little stitching.

The girls have taken to playing on an old phone of mine, so having been given my orders before school, I whipped up a little case…

… and then a couple of simple purses for their birthdays next month…

Then it was back to the books, plotting, scheming, and going round in circles, then back to square one with my Stitch Tease blocks.

Procrastinator, moi?!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Calm before the storm...

I need to be doing some much needed research and development for next month's Stitch Tease block.  It'll be my month, and as any longtime followers may recall, November heralds the start of busy time here at FB towers, so I need to make the most of the quieter days before Half Term.

So if our internet connection decides to exceed snail's pace, I will be scooting about, looking for inspiration.  I have one idea already, so maybe tomorrow I will pull these out again…

… and have a trial run.

Apologies for no new photos, I haven't got the time patience to wait for anything new to upload!

My emails seem to be coming through one. at. a. time. too, so apologies if I owe you a reply.  I'm hoping that when everyone else is out tomorrow and all other devices are switched off, I will be able to download like the wind, although even a steady breeze will do!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sew Together Bag...

I did it!  I managed to get the binding on before my eyes gave up in the gloom last night.  Please excuse the rainy day photos, obviously not my fault, but I couldn't wait to show you.

I am so glad I dove right in to make this Sew Together Bag, because it actually isn't complicated to make, it just looks it.

The pattern in great, it could do with a few more photos or diagrams, but the Quilt Barn Sewalong fills all the gaps if you are feeling unsure.  When I make the next one I will probably only be referring to the pattern for the measurements then be off.

I used some of my hoarded Melody Miller arrows and a little of my Cotton & Steel winnings, and I am so glad I did.

I used regular heavy weight iron-on interfacing on the pockets, and for the main outside panel some woven interfacing then a layer of fusible fleece (H630).  This combo has given it a nice bit of structure.

The only modifications I made to the pattern was to hand stitch down my bindings, because one, I love doing it, and two, it looks the biz!

To join the zipper tabs to the side bindings, I left an inch and a half of the binding unstitched in the middle, and on the reverse left about 4" unstitched when hand finishing.

I then tucked the tab into the binding and machine closed the smaller gap, then stitched up the 4" gap to keep it all neat and tidy.  That might make sense if you have made one!

To be honest I am not sure if it was worth the effort, because to the untrained eye it probably looks no different, but I do like to meddle!

So I am planning on keeping Zipit going with orders for a while, and start pulling fabrics for at least a couple more.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sew Together Sunday...

Unlike last Sunday, today was full of all that stuff that makes the house go round, cooking, ironing, watching films with the kids, drying their hair, cutting toenails and other mummy stuff.  But I also got a bit of sewing in.

My Sew Together Bag is almost finished - am I allowed a FAL finish before the link up has even closed?!

Love the pattern, grateful for the sew along posts, and indebted to Ange, (and I don't say that lightly!); it came together so easily having been able to give her's a good fondle, fresh off the sewing machine last weekend!

Finger's cross for a reveal tomorrow xxx

Saturday, 11 October 2014

FAL Q4 2014 - Here's hoping!

Finish Along 2014

It's here!  The final list for 2014, crazy huh!?

So I am keeping it simple, 2 roll overs, 1 slow burner and one I am hoping to finish this week!

1.  Longtime FAL listing; it won't be finished, but what the heck…

2.  Another slow burner, but these flowers will grow and become something, one day…

3.  Love these, I want them made into something pretty, and soon, because my Amitie Mystery BOM has just kicked off and I am not sure I will be able to cope!
4.  All cut and interfaced and hoping for a super quick finish…
Linking all my hopes and dreams with Katy and all the other FALers x

Friday, 10 October 2014


I hate forgetting things, I really do.  I am convinced the Zantac has addled my short-term memory, but sometimes it's quite fun.

Today I got home to the latest Love P&Q, full of lovely friends as always, but also a couple of books I had pre-ordered on Amazon with birthday vouchers, and promptly forgot all about!

A bit of fiction by the Best. Author. Ever.  And paper-piecing heaven!

Well if this delightful weather keeps up for the weekend, I'm more than sorted!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Keep the mojo running...

I don't want to come down from the high of last weekend, despite the weather, work and illness in the house; so as soon as I finished stitching down the binding on my commission quilt this afternoon, I pulled out my Cotton & Steel, and plenty of zips and started planning my Sew Together Bag…

I just need to get my act to gather to write my Q4 FAL list, this will be a new addition, and then it'll be full swing into the birthday and Christmas season.

Long may the mojo stick around!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Brit Bee Weekender pt.2

There was much laughter, chatting and eating, you get that, but by golly there was stitching!

I was actually quite unprepared for the productivity that can be mustered when you are not having to clear away all sewing in order to eat, do home work or keep the family happy.  I took, what I thought was ample to fill the weekend, and popped in my trusty hexies, just in case, but I ended up making way more than I had hoped.

Top of my To Do list was quilting and binding my #IGminiswap; success!

An off-centre spiral and semi-scrappy binding, hope my partner loves it as much as I do.

Next on my list were Bee blocks for Stitch Tease; this month for Jen, Re-mixed Geese, using the no-waste method; so quick, even with all the nattering!

Then a pair for Jude and Sarah's Bee Blessed; I used Sarah's bright idea of creating the two blocks by my usual HST method, and it worked a treat.  I was able to pop these straight into her hands, which was an added bonus…

An unscheduled tick, Susan had handed me the next Brit Bee Medallion to work on, and luckily the package contained most of the fabric needed, with some additions of mine and Ange's, I was able to get my geese border and 4-patch completed and handed straight to Sarah, woo hoo!  As these are secret, here's the highly doctored proof…

On Sunday we got printing!  Dear hubby had turned my vision into an image, I then emailed it to Thermofax to create a printing screen.

I had trialled it at home beforehand, and am the proud and happy owner of a navy hoody and grey slouchy Tee emblazoned on the back, as well as a nice piece of Cotton & Steel.

Anyway, we gave the pool table a break from being our cutting surface to become our printing area.  Mass production ensued, everyone who wanted had a go, and the lounge became a drying room…

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone makes with all their panels.  I screened a little tote bag, just because, and when the screen comes home, afters doing the rounds at Troods' and Katy's, I am definitely going to get a few more printed.

What I made next was a zippy pouch.  Total fluke that it fits my iPad; I do love an added bonus…

I used up a couple of Karen/Blueberry Park's scrap bags, bought at FQR when she got me into this screen printing lark, so it seemed totally right to pair it with my Weekender print.  I was running low on fabric at this point, so the lining is pieced, and I love it.

My final finish of the weekend was an impromptu sewalong with Ange and Fiona.  Using Svetlana's excellent tutorial, we all made little drawstring bags...

A little Jungle Avenue with Cotton & Steel, a sweet little combo I reckon.

And that was me!  My mojo was definitely back at full strength.  I wish I had taken photos of everyone else's makes, because there was so much gorgeousness about, but honestly, if I wasn't sewing, I was too busy eating!

Back home, I just need to get the binding on my commission quilt, then I am going to dive straight into a Sew Together Bag.  Ange made one over the weekend, and what more inspiration could I need?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Brit Bee Weekender pt.1

I do not apologise if you begin to tire of the blog posts that will pop up here and there over the next week; the first Brit Bee Weekender was so fantastic that everyone should gather a group of friends and head off out into the country to sew!

We booked The Stables back in July, and had been planning meals and looking forward to it ever since.

Sadly there were some beautiful faces who could not join us, but they were in our thoughts and prayers; the unstoppable Terri even popped in from LA, via FaceTime, on Friday evening.

I arrived first, and was able to have a good look around and have a cup of tea in the peace and quiet before, well, before the buzz of a dozen sewing machines and the best bunch of friends started chatting, laughing, eating and stitching for the next 66 hours!

The sewing space was perfect…

The kitchen was equipped for anything, even the 30 kilos of baked goods we consumed…

… and quite frankly 3 nights was not long enough!

Of course there were phone calls made to husbands, partners, children and pets (probably), we didn't cast aside all outside responsibilities, but seeing how well those left behind all coped, I see no reason why this shouldn't become an annual occurrence!

Now it won't come as a surprise to those who were following us on instagram, but it was the most productive weekend sewing-wise too, which considering the amount of talking and cake eating that went on, is actually amazing.  I will let you see all the things I made tomorrow, and leave you with the picture that sums up the weekend…

Smiling friends, wearing pyjama bottoms and loving every minute!

Today I was home, sewing alone, it wasn't fun.

Monday, 6 October 2014

FAL Q3 2014 Results...

I know you want to hear all about the weekend; I want to tell you too, but it feels like my brain is still sat in a traffic jam on the M1 and so please accept my apologies, and settle for this part-prewritten post, before I miss the FAL deadline tonight!

Finish Along 2014

So I posted my list back in July here, and here's how I faired…

1.  Rollover, rollover…

… and it rolls over again, but has moved on a little at least…

2.  Hexie rollover…


3.  Poolside revamp…

… yay, blogged here...

4.  Secret stitching…

… oh yes, revealed here

5.  Name tag, for me!

…success, blogged here and worn, along with my lovely one from Tsoniki all Retreat long…

6.  Another mini-Super Tote…

… go me!  Blogged here

7.  A post-FQR cushion…

…whaddaya know; blogged here

5 out of 7, I thank you!

Linking with Katy, who I waved farewell to only this morning, and it already feels like a week ago!

Weekender report tomorrow, sleep now.