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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Seething!

Yes, I only waited in all morning; then when I rang to ask how late the engineer was running, I was told there had been a problem with the system and no-one was coming today.

Shouting and swearing has gained me my own handler - about bloody time!


You can see by the awesome mobile signal we have, I am holding out little hope!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Slowly...

Hello there!

Apologies for yesterday - I pre-empted the success, or otherwise, of our move to BT Infinity with a scheduled post, but when it came to it, we did not change internet provider, (an ongoing saga of international phone calls and disappointment!), but after tea last night I felt really ill, and took myself off to bed and didn't get round to stopping the test card making an appearance, sorry.

I am feeling fine now, but we are still on the super-slow Virgin internet; they are in no hurry to let us go, and what with no incoming calls on our home phone, (engineer here tomorrow for that), and no way of contacting my lovely new Indian friend in the call centre directly; he has taken on my case personally, so I am on daily mobile calls at 12.30 until both sides come up with the goods.

I won't even go into my reaction to the phone bill I just received with pre-payment for the new services effective from yesterday!!

So maybe by this time next week it will all be sorted; I am not putting any (more) money on it though!

I have more chance of getting these finished in the next 7 days…


I pieced both tops over the weekend; I have ordered some fabric to sash them up to size c. 60" square.  No opportunity for better photos as yet, but they look stunning ;)

So if I vanish again, you know where I am, and I'm sure you can imagine what I will be muttering under my breath xxx

Friday, 23 January 2015

Sashing...

I can probably count the number of people who will i) know what I am talking about, and ii) think it's funny when I say that in my head I always say 'sashing' in the That's Life 'sausages' dog voice!

Honestly it's been a long week, dealing with BT, the garage, listening to the central heating with renewed paranoia and now a new hissing in the downstairs toilet cistern.  So forgive my madness!

This week I did manage to sash all the Amsterdamer blocks though…


They look beautiful and I can't wait to piece the tops, but this weekend I fear school projects and homework will win over sewing.

PS. We are changing internet providers on Monday, so if the estimated 20 minutes of downtime turns into 20 hours, don't send out a search party xxx

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The last of Christmas, and then some...

This week I took delivery of my last Christmas present.  My lovely sister sent me a Pink Castle gift certificate, which I duly spent, first thing Boxing Day morning, if memory serves me well.

I splurged the lot on a Cotton & Steel pre-order…


Gorgeous, and well worth waiting for, especially the Melody Miller canvas, which has make me into a bag written all over it!

I also received a very green bundle from The Village Haberdashery today, mostly to add to the boy-child's Minecraft quilt, and the rest for the commission quilt for a friend, including bargainiferous C&S windows for the backing…


Basically, happy me!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

#scrappylogcabinqal

I promised you a finish, so here is number 3 from my FAL list already, my #scrappylogcabinqal cushion…


Inspired by the instagram shenanigans, and enabled by the offcuts from my Amsterdam quilts' sashing, it seemed silly not to whip something up…


So on Sunday, as I dearly wanted to be able to do some hand quilting in front of the TV,  I set to it...


I finished up the binding last night; unfortunately the weather wasn't playing ball today, so no great photos I'm afraid…

Oops, hastily stuffed!
I used a tea-towel, with ready-sewn twill edge for the back; again, concentrating on using up what I have stashed away for those one-day-I-will projects!  I'm doing quite well at that so far this year; although when I show you what has been landing on the doormat this week, you may disagree ;)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Mystery Catch Up...

Over Christmas I stitched up a few more of the mini blocks for my Amitié BOM quilt which I don't think I have shown you.  I've made 5 out of the 11 of November's blocks, although I am stalling on the rest, as future packages will contain more of the fabrics required; I am following the instructions, not making excuses!


I now need to get at least the same of December's made, before I can crack on with the amazing January package that arrived yesterday…


This is now starting to look like the quilt that Jen was working on at FQR last summer and got me all excited to join up in the first place.  So thrilled!

I need to crack on with the girls' quilts tomorrow, as well as a couple of other projects on a deadline, but I really really want to get my appliqué-action on asap.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Infinity x 2...

I made my second Priory Square voile infinity scarf on Friday whilst the boiler men did their thing.  I couldn't waste the whole morning making tea and giving advice, so I settled for some long straight seams and a cosy finish!


I backed the voile with a wide width of navy jersey that I picked up from the village fabric shop when it first opened back in October; £2.50, according to the price tag, well spent!

Having rather a lot of infinity scarves, a couple of voile/velveteen, many voile on voile, this new weight is possibly my new favourite, a dangerous discovery; never has the hashtag #needmorenecks been so true!

I did nothing special to pander to the demands of the jersey, and it stitched up really nicely; I stitched with the voile side down and walking foot, if that made a difference.

So a second FAL finish already, woo hoo.  I am also on the road to a third, which I am hoping will be a Wednesday reveal, can't beat a bit of cold weather stitchery xxx

Friday, 16 January 2015

We are not amused!

Today the girls had Victorian Day at school; a visit from the Rainbow Theatre and classrooms segregated into boys and girls and all that stuff.

Parents had the joy of dressing their poor little children for the day avoiding the dunce's hat.

Instead of going the sensible, easy route of eBay for outfits, I did the pillowcases, sheet chopping, take all bloody day and make it route.  It probably didn't even save any money, but hey.



The girls loved their aprons, mop caps and pillow case skirts, so that's all that matters.

I meant to get some photos of their decoupage, but forgot, sorry.  I feel a trip to Hobbycraft being on the cards at half term though!

My day wasn't as fun; keeping out the way of the chaps who came to fix one bit of the central heating and promptly ended up doing extra, aka, more expensive, things.  It may all be working, but if we can't afford to run it, at least I have my hot water bottle*!

Have a lovely weekend everyone xxx

(*that worked a treat!)

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Lemons into Lemsip...

OK, so last night you got the Lemsip shot, as I really couldn't muster up any energy to do anything; suffering the evening slump, having been on an all-day course at work and doing all the usual mummy stuff.

However I came home from work today, still full of cold but with a couple of hours to fill; other than booking the boiler man to come and listen to the worrying rumbles tomorrow, I had time to make something.

After I saw the beauty made by Rachael on Instagram last night, I knew what I wanted, nay, needed to make, and armed with a new hot water bottle, a nice big one, I took the easy route…


Drew round it, added an inch all round; layered, quilted, right-sides together and zig-zag-slash-straight stitched round the edge.  Turn through, all done, can't wait to go to bed…


I might not even wait to go to bed actually; it's another stormy night out there, so I don't need an excuse!

And before I go and put the kettle on, look what I spotted as I logged in to write this…


Half a million!!!!  Thank you xxx

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Feathers...

I've made a start on my #UKminiswap.  Mini feathers…


They are looking rather good, and well worth all the paper-piecing reverse-angle angst.  Hoping my partner agrees, (and does not get another identical in the other swaps she is in!!).

They may sit for a while before they progress; my head is full of car repairs, boiler malfunctions and a nice snotty cold and matching headache to top off the start to a fun week.  It might even snow tonight.  Oh joy!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Quick Stash Present...

The friend I sit next to at work, celebrated a big birthday this weekend, and she wanted to keep it low-key.

So I made a low-key present.

I had come across a small sample pack of Modern Folkloric from my FQR2014 goodie bag whilst tidying over Christmas, so supplemented with a few more co-ordinating prints, I was sorted…


I have no idea if this will clash horribly with her interior decor and reside in the spare bedroom for eternity, or until the next charity collection, but I am going on theory that it's the thought that counts.

I fused the top to Vilene H640 and quilted with Aurifil 50wt 2021; simple but effective.

It is not my usual colour scheme, but I like it.  The whole cushion came from stash, which makes me like it even more!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Q1 FAL 2015 here we go...

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

So I am linking up for the first time with Adrianne, and hoping she doesn't mind having some of Katy's sloppy seconds!

The first two on my 2015 list did the full 2014 FAL circuit, but in my defence, they did move along a little bit in the last 12 months!

1.The MATO…

2.  The hexy flowers…


… and now for some new additions…

3.  #ukminiswap - fabrics pulled and templates printed, the deadline will be looming before we know it!


4 & 5.  Two Amsterdam quilts for the girls, all blocks received and sashing now cut; woe betide me if they are not both finished!


6.  #scrappylogcabinqal mini; all the sashing offcuts from the Amsterdammers have given me no excuse not to make something


7.  Another Priory Square scarf, teaming jersey with the voile for a different look and feel…


8. Commission quilt for a family friend.  There have been sketches, fabric options and to-ing and fro-ing, so I would love this one wrapped up too…


9.  Must do, two aprons and hats suitable for a pair of poor Victorian children by next Friday's school workshop, or I am in trouble.  I have already pulled the sheet and pillowcases out of the packets and taken measurements...


10.  Finally a bit of a punt, but a Minecraft quilt for the young man - I have gathered the fabrics for the top, the pattern is a no-brainer, so why not!?


I may as well aim high!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

New Year Sewing...

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have spotted these already this week, but I think it worth repeating that I have actually sewn some stuff this year!

At the school gate on Tuesday, I got my first glimpse of a friend's new baby boy, born a couple of days before Christmas.  So I came home, to an empty house, (woop-woop!), and made him a quilt, like you do.

A charm pack of Sweetwater Road 15 plus some IKEA fleece, and after a little bit of head-scratching, a few extra charms to make up the pattern, a sweet little Plus quilt was all stitched up…


Very pleased with the simplicity and effectiveness of one little charm pack, and the recipient, well his mummy at least, was totally thrilled.

I have also ticked off this month's Stitch Tease bee blocks for Di.  A pair of scrappy Trip Around The World blocks…


They were popped in the mail today, along with a magazine project, so I'd call that a good start.

Next on my To Do list is, well, the list.  My FAL plans need crystallising, after I have the buzzing of the first day back in the office, followed by a school cake sale, out of my head x

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Belated thank yous...

Already a week into the New Year, and the last day of my break from work, so certainly time for belated thanks for some Christmas goodies that came my way.

Brit Bee did the Secret Santa thing again, this year it was pincushions.

I was lucky to have Susan as my Secret Santa; she spoilt me, but the evidence of how much may have been eaten rather quickly!!

She made me this superb pincushion-needle book combo, which I love!

Rocket cycle!!!
I hate putting my needles in pincushions, they always seem to end up inside the minute I look away, so hurrah for Susan's stroke of genius!

If you look closely you will be able to work out the scale of this masterpiece, so fearing it may be too large, (no such thing!), I also received this more standard sized pinnie…


Being the pet-lover I am, it will be oh so hard to stick one to the little fella… not!  Thank you Suz, you're a star!

Oh and what did I make, I hear you cry?    Well this headed off to Di


I know it has found a happy home.

The other stitchy gift I received was a needlebook from my sweet friend Aneela


It has already been loaded and popped in with my hexies, in the hope that I have no excuse not to be prepared for sewing them!  Thanks honey xxx

So that was my lovely incoming, tomorrow I will show you some of what has headed out this week xxx

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Linking under the Wire!

Last day to link up, so here I am with a short but sweet summary of my Q4 FAL 2014 results.

Finish Along 2014

I posted here, back in October; I only had 4 items, two old chestnuts, MATO and Hexy Flowers that will roll over, again, but 2 successes; 50%, glass half full; whichever way you put it, no surprise really!

I finished one of favourites of the year though, meriting centre place in my new banner…


Blogged back here, for the benefit of the FAL judge and jury.

My other finish was my Cotton & Steel Sew Together Bag…


Blogged for proof here.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side


I will be linking up my WIPs with Adrianne later this week, that'll be those 2 regularly appearing items which I really really really want to be finished this year, and maybe some other things, which I may need to start to qualify.  Otherwise it's going to be a very short list.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Around The World Blog Hop

Today I am finally joining in the fun that is the Around The World Blog Hop.  I say finally, as I have declined the offer previously but pre-Christmas I threw caution to the wind and agreed!

I was invited by the lovely Lori Hartman, who was invited by Ginny Fisher of Fish Creek Studio, who was invited by Lee Monroe aka May Chappell, who was in turn invited by Jen Kingwell, say no more!

Do take a look back to Lori's post - she has been up to some amazing things, check out her 3" blocks!!

If this is your first visit, Hi there!  I have been rambling on here for about 4 1/2 years, from the days before I knew of modern fabric, matching points and the whole online community.  Oh how times have changed for the better.  If you are feeling brave, hit some random posts from my history and I am sure you will find something to laugh at, and maybe even something that you may like!

So it's my turn to answer the all important questions on everyone's minds!

What am I currently working on?
Well unfortunately I am already working on some secret commissions; I am a semi-regular contributor to Love Patchwork & Quilting and Quilt Now magazines, and also one of the Simply Solids Blogging Team; so as much as I would love to show you, I would have to kill you!

Other projects on the go include my Amitié Textiles Mystery BOM, I have fallen behind over the last month or so (we are only 3 months in!), but I am absolutely loving it so far…


I also have another Jen Kingwell project pricking my conscience at regular intervals, my all-Denyse Schmidt Midnight At The Oasis, which I will finish this year, oh yes I will!


I am a member of the best Bee in the World, Brit Bee…

Brit Bee & friends Weekender Oct 2014
... and the second best Bee in the world, Stitch Tease from whom I have all the blocks from last November's round ready to make my twin girls a pair of Amsterdam Quilts; I have the Minky backing and binding at the ready, just the sashing to do…


I am making plans for my #ukminiswap, and have a head full of other things, so I am not going to get bored any time soon!

How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Well I am not sure it does!  I do like to tinker a bit though; sticking to a pattern is not in my nature, but I do try, sometimes.  I like much of the popular fabrics; I do crush on Denyse Schmidt and Heather Ross,  and of late Cotton & Steel and Art Gallery Fabrics, especially my chum Katy's collection, I may have stocked up!

In broad terms I don't do brown or red!  There are some exceptions, but I am too fussy to let anyone else try to second guess those, so best to say I am totally averse!

Why do you write/create what you do?
To keep me sane!  As a wife, mother of 3 and part-time Civil Servant, it's the 'me time' I need.  I know I am not alone in this.  The most amazing by-product of starting sewing again when I hit 40 has been the friendships I have made, people I have met online and in person.  Without getting all mushy, I wouldn't be the person I am now without the friends I have made.

How does your writing/creating process work?
Something like… I need to sew something, what is everyone else making?  Ooh I can do that too!  

I don't like to miss out; I want to make all the things!  I scrappy-tripped and Marcelle-Medallioned; scrap vomitted with the help of friends and Sew-Together bagged...


In my ideal world I would have way more time and energy to do all the thinking too, but when others have such good taste and skills, I am happy to forfeit the originality most of the time.  I am currently pondering jumping into the Scrappy Log Cabin QAL, because, well, why wouldn't I?

So that's me in a nutshell.  Thanks for making it this far ;)

I have been a bad contributor though, as I have failed to recruit anyone willing to take on the baton and carry this strand of the bloghop forward.  OK, please don't be upset I didn't ask you, Christmas and New Year flew away with me and I didn't exactly put in the hours, sorry.  So if you would like to play along, please please please let me know and I will forward you the rules!

Tomorrow I will be sneaking in before the deadline, linking up with the Finish-a-Long, so hopefully see you again then xxx

Friday, 2 January 2015

All New...

So I tinkered with the blog a little today, thought it was time for a little brighten up and some new pics in the banner.  Nothing too drastic; you probably didn't even notice, but it's one of those little niggles I have been meaning to update for ages, and it feels good to start the year off with a fresher outlook.

I even asked my dear husband to give me a makeover…


Whilst on the Christmas break, I came to the conclusion that I do miss blogging, BUT I don't want to carry on as I was before.  I won't lie, blogging every day had become a bit of a strain, and although I was never under any obligation to blog, I put pressure on myself to come up something, no matter how meagre everyday.

So going forward, I have decided that I will not be blogging on weekends.  Five times a week, most weeks, will be more than enough, and will give me the chance to step away, and maybe even have the time to comment on others people's!  As of late I have been reading on my iPad, late at night, and rarely commenting.  This makes me feel bad, so I want to fix that too.

I will no longer spend each and every evening agonising about having something to blog, nor feel the pressure to have a never-ending pile of finishes to show, it will be what it will be.

Seeing as everyone has been offering up their words of the year, #onelittleword, I think mine should definitely be…

Balance

I do not have major work-home stresses, I am so lucky to have my part-time, part-year permanent job, but there is room for improvement in how time is spent at home.  We have lived here for 4 years and things need doing, clearing, sorting, arranging, a concerted effort is needed.  The kids are less demanding, and can be trusted to entertain themselves now, so we have no excuse for not getting on with things.  And get on, this year, we will!

I want to continue to take on commissions too, but also have time to finish some of my long-standing projects, ahem; I want to have time to ponder and doodle and come up with some original-to-me ideas and use up lots and lots of fabric.

Let's see how it goes!

Next week I will be joining in the Around The World Blog Hop and re-visiting my poor show of finishes for FAL Q4.  I already have Bee blocks made for January, and a few other bits sewn over the holidays, so the pressure is off for next week already.  Good job, as I have ice-skating and going back to work to look forward to.

Have a great weekend xxx

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Monday, 29 December 2014

Surfacing...

Just popping my head above parapet to say 'Hello' and hoping that you have all had a wonderful week.

I have ignored emails, haven't checked out any blogs and have only perused Instagram in the infrequent quiet times, but everyone seems quite content.

I have managed a tiny bit of hand-sewing, making slow progress on my Amitié Mystery BOM, but that's about it, other than full-on family fun, food and games.


Although it is currently below freezing, we have remained snow-free, fully electrified and without illness.  We still have ample treats to eat, and the last of the turkey will probably be used up tomorrow.  We have braved the sales, and spent Christmas vouchers, my post-Christmas contribution to the economy has been a half-priced calendar and a Uni-Kitty keyring/torch.  Success.

I do need to start working on summarising my year, checking my FAL finishes and preparing my 2015 plans.

I will be back in a day or so.  Keep eating the chocolate xxx