Tuesday, 30 April 2013


What a busy weekend!  

I [nearly] completed this:
Just the hem left to do and then I can wear it!

I made three of these:
Drool bibs

I met up with:
Di, Moira, Liz and a few others from the Kinky Bee
Photo borrowed from Tuppence Ha'penny Quilt blog - thanks Pennie!

I sewed with:
Me, Pennie, Kelly, Amanda - plus Nathalie who was our host (no photo, sorry)

I received this:
100 charms from (Lee) May Chappell - thank you!!!

I also received this:
Cookbook from (Marion) My Quilt Diet - thank you!!

And yay I received this too:
My Fab Little Quilt Swap mini quilt from (Wendi) prsd4tim2.  Thank you!

I also tidied ... ok, not really... ok..maybe a tiny bit!!!
[no photo obviously!!]

And I did some gardening:
Rhubarb topped up with soil, lettuce planted, parsnips planted, potatoes chitting on
the windowsill and the tomato plant was planted.  I just hope there is no frost!

And now it is Monday evening Tuesday evening and I MUST get the house tidy for when dad and Debbie arrive!!  AND I need to get a couple of blog posts set to 'publish' by themselves while I am on holiday!
Fingers crossed my giveaway goes live as planned on May 6th.

Happy sewing!


Blogger is acting up AGAIN! I switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox a while ago because Blogger wouldn't let me attach pictures to my blog posts. Now it seems Blogger won't allow me to attach pictures using Firefox ether.

Anyone else experiencing this nightmare?

Any solutions?


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Fab Little Quilt Swap - sent

As you know, I'm a swap addict!!!  It truly is an addiction!  I do love a good swap and the Fab Little Quilt Swap Round 3 has been great! 

My partner had a great inspiration mosaic to draw ideas from.  After sketching several ideas in my graph paper notebook, I finally settled on a triple Wonky Churn Dash mini quilt.  It measures 18" x 18.5".  I learned that my partner loves green so I concentrated on green with aqua.  I am totally in love with what I made so I really really hope she loves it!  I will have to make myself one now since I have now have a churn dash addiction!!

I added some white on white hand stitching for a bit of texture in the largest white space which I am quite pleased with.  I am not a confident hand quilter so that part was nerve wracking for me!  A little stitch in the ditch helped hold it all down.  Here it is before ironing or washing:

The back is finished with some numbers print from Ikea and I know my partner likes text print.  I couldn't resist buying some after seeing so many yummy quilts with it!

Hanging corners were added and so was my label so she knew who it was from!  I also sent a few 'English' goodies - some Fox's boiled sweets (aka hard candies) which are a Limited Edition British Collection and are all delicious, I may add (I bought two packages since I had to test them first)!!  I also sent a Royal Navy baseball cap since I know she is a military wife/forces family.

And the most fun - I added a pack of homemade Heather Ross postcards in a homemade Heather Ross envelope using the software from the Heather Ross Prints book.

So there you have it - another swap completed.  I can't wait to see which mini comes through the letterbox for me!!  

This is one of my 2nd Quarter FAL goals - yay - done!
she can quilt

I hope you like it partner!!!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Modern She Made 3 - sent

My addiction to swaps continues and for Modern She Made Round 3 we had to include a star somewhere in the project.  After a couple of different ideas and a failed test block, I switched ideas and soon jumped on the Marcelle Medallion bandwagon!  It meant that I could expand my fabric pull to add some warmer colours.

Using the Liberty print as my colour inspiration, I used some Kaffe Fassett shot cotton, some Lizzy House, some white on white, Kona and some Moda Grunge lime green.  There are a couple of pink prints in there too.

I did my first ever hidden zip and I am pleased it turned out!  I also added a tag to the side using some Union Jack ribbon (see picture above).

I did a little machine quilting around the turquoise in the middle and some stitch in the ditch to make sure it held firm to the wadding.

And I added a few goodies to go with it - UK edition Starbursts, a postcard and a Tea Wallet with some Twinings Tea inside.  I used the same fabrics as in the cushion cover so my partner has two coordinated items! 

Partner - I hope you like what I made for you.  I loved making a cushion cover because some new skills were acquired!!  The Marcelle Medallion could be improved if it was paper pieced instead of having to do Y seams and use templates, but I am pleased with the outcome regardless!  Enjoy!

Linking to A Lovely Year of Finishes and Let's Get Acquainted.

This was one of the items on my 2nd Quarter list - yay - I got one done!!! Linking up to She Can Quilt.
she can quilt

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Handprinted III - received

Handprinted III has been one of the best swaps I have been in and I have been daydreaming about handprinted fabric ever since!!  I was in Group 18 and what a great group to be in!  Leslie of Maze & Vale was the organiser extraordinaire and she prints the most amazing fabric.  I used her fabric in my 4 Things quilt top.  I've already shared what I sent so here is what I received!

Laminia from do a bit sent grey sprouts on linen (yum) PLUS a pack of printed fabric bits too!  I absolutely adore the sprout fabric - I have plans for it already!!  I know the scraps will find their way into several projects because they are totally my style!

Kelsey from lovely and enough sent orange gumdrops (that's what I'm calling them anyways!) on white.  This one is really whimsical and I know it will look great wherever I use it!

Mellisa Q from a happy stitch sent grey ginkgo leaves on white.  When Mellisa posted this one on Flickr I fell in love instantly!  On my walk to work I pass a tree that has these (or similar) leaves so I thought it was really cool that she made a leaf stamp!   

Kerry-Ann from Ameliorate v. make better sent blue lace doily on linen.  This is a really lovely image on fabric and the story behind it too!

And of course I had to print myself something so I gave myself some white on white and grey on grey!  I made a screen print of two stick figures and a sun, inspired by my niece and two nephews' drawings when they were little!

The process of creating my image, preparing the fabric and turning my tiny kitchen table into a printing space, then sending the wrapped up printed fat quarters off to four lovely strangers was tremendously exciting and fulfilling.  This swap has truly rekindled my love of printmaking and I felt like 'me' again!  This is the 'me' that I lost somewhere between graduating university in 1998 and the present day.  I am so thankful to Leslie for this amazing swap - and to the four amazing women in Group 18.  Thanks everyone!!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Hidden zippy zip


Today I worked on my Marcelle Medallion cushion/pillow for a swap I am in.  Despite a few hiccups along the way while making the front (some Y-seam frustrations, one section of Border 1 misbehaving several times, some wonky star points and the tip of my finger getting caught in the sewing machine needle while sewing*), I eventually got the medallion done!!!  I decided on some simple quilting and then got mentally prepared to make the back of the cushion.  For this I wanted to have a hidden zip.  It would be my first one...EVER

I figured that since I had survived all those hurdles to make the front, I could persevere and learn how to make the back.  I then searched the Internet for some tutorials on hidden zips but I just couldn't quite work out the images so I went to YouTube.  Gosh, what did we do before the world wide web?  Here is the fab video that I followed:

And yay it all made sense and I actually made a hidden zip on the back of the cushion!  The best bit is that it even works!!  Here is the back of the cushion:

My medallion measured 19.5" once I trimmed it and squared it up so I put a 22" insert in to see how it looked.  I quite like the super-full effect!   I added a 'tag' on the side too - just a little touch of Union Jack ribbon folded into a tab so my partner can see where it was made!

So there you have it - my first ever hidden zip on a cushion.  The deadline to post our projects to our partner is in a week so I will reveal the whole front of the pillow another day.

Happy Saturday!

*Luckily the needle was only in a few layers of my skin so when I reacted and pulled my hand away, the needle just ripped out of the skin and I was free.  No blood thank goodness but I now have a crazy chunk out of my finger though! 

she can quilt Yay I completed one of my seven goals for the 2nd Quarter. Here is my original list.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

2nd Quarter Finish-A-Long goals

April, May and June

That's three whole months to tackle a list as long as my arm.  I have decided to concentrate my efforts on the following 'works-in-progress' (and ignore the rest!!!):

1.  King Kong Wonky - make backing, get quilted, make binding, bind, label.  DONE

2.  Whimsical bird with geese - make this into something!!  DONE

3.  Oh Fransson Mod Sampler - finish the quilting, make binding, bind, label

4.  Double Wonky Churn Dash mini quilt - waiting for more fabric to arrive so I can finish it (for a swap so I can only show you my 'test' block).  DONE

5.  Mini red flying geese mini quilt - make backing, baste, quilt, make binding, bind, label.  DONE

6.   Great Granny quilt - make more blocks, make backing, make binding, baste, quilt, bind, label

7.  Finish Marcelle Medallion pillow (or mini quilt) - and try to get over the experience of 'Y' seams!!  DONE

This is a whopper of a list but I am feeling quite ambitious and motivated.  We'll see how long that feeling lasts!!!

Linking up to the 2013 2nd Quarter Finish-a-long with She can Quilt.

she can quilt

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Super Swaps sign-ups

You may have already gathered that I participate in some a lot of the on-line swaps.  I LOVE swaps!  Not only do you receive something handmade, homemade, made with love (and sometimes humour) created especially for you, swaps are a great way to:
  • meet other like-minded people (the only time stalking is alright!)
  • gain inspiration for other future projects by seeing what other people sew/make
  • learn a new skill or try a new sewing technique
  • buy fabrics not necessarily your 'normal' style (and end up loving them!)
  • and I will say it again - someone sends you something too!!!
Ok, corny moment is over.  I have an announcement!  Do you want to join in a swap? 

Super Swaps sign ups are happening over on Flickr until the 12th of April.  We will be making a pincushion or a small animal/bird.  I've been daydreaming all day about what I will make!  Bird, cathedral window pincushion, mouse pincushion, mini elephant, Zakka pincushion, hippo....  Oh the choices are endless!!  There are so many free tutorials out there to choose from, let alone what patters I have in some of the books I have on the shelf so I will see who I am sewing for and then decide!  Plus, someone will make me something too - yay! 

Here are a few of pincushions/animals/birds that I have made in the past (and why I am so excited about this particular swap because I love making little cuties!):


Hope to see you in the swap!

P.S.  This swap is not a secret swap and I think the mailing deadline will be May 31st  so you have lots of time to whip something up.  

Setting a Lovely April goal

Can you believe it is April and the fourth month of 2013.  Where is the time going?  Yeesh. 

For my April goal I have decided to finish making my Marcelle Medallion *pillow.  I'm making the centre star plus the first border and turning that into a pillow (*or a mini quilt) - not sure which yet as I want to see how large it will be as a pillow/cushion and if I can buy an insert that big.   I'm not a cushion-on-the-couch sort of person so I am clueless to what you can or cannot buy!

I will one day make a whole Marcelle Medallion quilt for myself because I NEED to make the + border and the two triangle borders because they are just so awesome!  Maybe I will just make a quilt of those bits, whole knows!!  Those are the parts that drew me to it in the first pace.  Yum!  All of the versions I have seen so far are truly amazing, especially with all of the low volume and text prints being used!  This is one bandwagon I need to jump on!  However, the templates are a crazy idea and the Y-seams are even crazier in this day and age so as I am sewing all I am thinking about is how I can make it into a paper pieced pattern instead!  hahaha

So, fingers crossed I can get it done in April.  I have decided that it will be for my secret partner in one of the swaps I am in.  I'm pretty certain she doesn't follow my blog but if she does she will have the extra thing I am making for her as the surprise!!!  I love swaps!!   

Linking to A Lovely Year of Finishes April Goal setting party!
A Lovely Year of Finishes

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Covert Robin mystery gift exchange - sent

the covert robin buttonThis is the first time I've participated in The Covert Robin hosted by Imagine Gnats.  What a clever idea - make something with a retail value of between $20 and $30 (= £13 and £19) for a secret partner, mail it, blog about it and wait for something to arrive on your own doorstep from a secret someone too!  Awesome - what could be better!?  

I am so happy I signed up - it's been a lot of fun!  I did my best to blog-stalk my partner and figure out who she was and what she liked.  She had no Flickr or Pinterest for me to browse through for inspiration so it was hard at first to decide what to make her so I made her a few things based on the following things: my partner sews amazing things and has a lovely blog, my partner loves bright, happy colours and my partner has a toddler.

I know she doesn't follow my blog so I am happy to finally post about what I sent.  It was mailed over a week ago so she should be receiving it soon!  Here it is all wrapped up.

I made her a few things.  First up - I decided to make her a Portable First Aid Roll so when she is out and about with her toddler she can be prepared for scrapes, cuts and dirt!  I filled it with a variety of bandaids, antiseptic wipes and gauze plus a few other things.  You can find the tutorial here.

I adore that red and aqua print and love the teal ribbon!  Hope she does too!  Here it is all rolled up:

I also made her an Oval Box Bag which will come in handy for a sewing mom with a toddler I'm sure!  I almost kept this for myself because I LOVE the fabric.  This blue leopard print is from Anna Marie Horner's Field Study line and I think it adds a bit of fun to the oval zippy case!

The pattern is from a free tutorial by Aneela Hoey and was a lot of fun to make even though it is more egg-shaped than oval!  I added a safety pin charm to the zip for an extra little touch.  You can put anything in there - toy cars, crayons, embroidery supplies or use it as a toiletries bag (it's washable!).  I wonder what my partner will use it for?  

And since I know my partner sews, I also sent her a finger/thumb pin cushion with a few pins in it.  I love the one Ruth gave to me (her tutorial here) so I thought that I would share some pin cushion love!

Stickers and candy were sent as well so her cute toddler wasn't left out but those are a surprise!  Overall, I used bright, happy colours and fun fabric to make a few fun things for my partner.  I hope she enjoys her gifts!

Not sure what I will receive, or when, but I sure am excited!!  Be sure to check out what everyone has sent or received over at the link up on Casa Crafty.  

Happy sewing!