Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And the winner is...

The winner of my awesomesauce giveaway is.....  Diane, comment 55!  

Congrats Diane, I'll email you shortly!

I had a right old chuckle reading everyones joke's, thanks guys :o)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giveaway day!

No real reason... just wanted to show you guys some love... and I missed out on my 200 follower milestone so consider it a belated gift (I think were at 247 now! Golly!!).

I have 2 charm packs of Momo's It's a hoot line to giveaway to one lucky reader.

Just leave me a comment below to enter. You could tell me a joke if you felt like it... the dirtier the better (snigger snigger).

Followers get an extra entry, because I love you all! And if you blog or tweet about it then let me know in another comment.

International entries welcome. You have until Wednesday 30th November to enter.....

***EDIT - If you are, or think you might be, a no-reply blogger, leave your email address! Its common sense people!! Alternatively, you could go here to learn how to remedy it ***

Ok go!

***EDIT - This giveaway is now closed.***

Thursday, November 24, 2011

And everybody was pillow fightin'...

Those kicks cushions were fast as lightning!

Its here its here its here!!! I got my Brit Quilt Swap cushion today, from the lovely Cottilello!

She must have done some pretty good stalking because I didn't feature anything in my mosaic with either tree's or selvedges on... but I do love them... how did she know??!

She also sent the sweetest string of bunting, which I have just the perfect place for. Its going in my bedroom and I don't care who knows it!

On top of both of those lovelies was a little package of the cutest little charms and buttons. Just look at the deep colour of those purple ones.... beautiful.

One of my favourite parts of the pillow/cushion is the back, oddly enough. I just love what she did with the selvedge strip of boots! And the fabric covered button pulls on my heartstrings just a little bit :-)

And so ends another swap, and another thing ticked off the winter sewing list. This was my first time being swap mama in the BQS and I enjoyed it, but boy was I feeling the (self-imposed) pressure! Just making sure everyone got partnered up with the right someone was so much responsibility!! I'd do it again in a heartbeat though... if only because I love being in on the secrets lol ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pillow for Grandad

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments. I'm feeling the love big time :-)

Just to let you know, Granddad is much better, and when I got to the hospital last night I found out he is coming home today! Yey :-)

Amy made a great suggestion, she said "Why not make him a coming home present?", and so, when I couldn't sleep last night, that's exactly what I did! So I'm here to tell you I have now made up with my sewing machine. She missed me, but understood. And the way we were up partying at 2am made her very cheerful indeed... hopefully the neighbours weren't too annoyed!!

I had most of a charm pack of Moda's Java left from another project (which I got on super duper sale, £3!!), but not enough to make a pillow exactly the same as the I made before, from this tutorial. So I used what I had, and trimmed the block square (I think it was 11 inches?). Then I used 4" sashing to make it bigger and I think it worked out pretty good.

It has an interest, but is in no way fussy or girly. My Granddad appreciates the finer things in life such as a good single malt, the latest Pratchett novel, the grand prix and architecture. So this geometric kind of pattern is perfect for him.  I stitched in the ditch just around the main block, and then straight line quilted a couple of rows either side. Simple, elegant,  understated.  

I bound one side of the envelope on the back with a red stripe print, I think its American Jane, and just hemmed the other side because really you never see it.... and I didn't have enough left to do both.

I might make a matching one for Granny for Christmas :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Hey peeps! So sorry Ive not been around much recently, I can't quite believe I haven't blogged in over a week... And I was doing so well ;-)

I don't normally bore you guys with the ins and outs of my personal life, I figure you came here for the craft, and you probably stayed for the craft, and if I start blabbing about all the usual things you might leave! Work, family, friends, dating...oh the stories I could tell... hahaha! However this isn't my usual forum to do so.  But, I've been uber busy for all the wrong reasons this week and I thought I better check in and let you know I'm still here.

My Granddad had a bad fall and broke his hip on Thursday; my weekend was full of hospital visits and to-ing and fro-ing and cooking and being with family, so not a lot of room for crafting… He's doing a lot better now and should be out of hospital this week, but it was pretty scary for a while there. 

I'm totally exhausted from not sleeping, and not even getting home until late each night, but I'm hoping to have a little bit of time one night this week to reacquaint myself with the sewing machine and get some stuff done. Although I've made a pretty good dent on the old winter sewing list,  I've got quite a few Christmas presents left to make. Most of which I can't even show you because the sneaky famalam read this here blog :-) 

Since I don't think I've ever written a post without a picture (I have actually, only one, its here if you want to read it), I'll leave you with this... 

What I hope/want/need to do when I get home tonight:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Savvy Season Swappin'

So I was kinda hoping to give you more of an in-progress look at what I was planning for the savvy season swap, but I got all caught up in it this week and have actually finished my whole swap parcel!!!

I'm not so into just showing finished parcels for swaps, I like to give a bit of background and talk about my design idea process, but this one time, pretty pictures will just have to do. 

The main part of the swap pressie is this mini quilt:

Its a super scrappy dresden, using all my red and green Christmas prints.  I pieced 4 strips into 8" blocks, and cut the blades from the strip sets. I just love how it makes a really cool target shape. Its appliquéd on to my favourite countdown to Christmas print, and backed with that ikea print that everyone loves!

I FMQ'd it in a small stipple pattern, and bound it in that red gingham. I also stamped the label right onto the backing fabric. Man I loooove to stamp!  

I had a few blades left from the strip sets, so pieced those together into a mug rug. This one, I straight line quilted in a zig zag pattern which I think looks uber cool. Really want to try this again...

My partner really likes little houses, so I couldn't resist making them a little row of cute cottages! I stamped the house numbers too, but just so it doesn't give the game away, I've hidden them. I LOVED making these... I used this tutorial, and it was so much fun picking out the different scraps and stuff.

I also made this miniature garland of felt decorations. I love the Scandinavian feel of plain red and white decorations, and I hope my partner does too. 

The hearts and stars aren't fixed to the ribbon though, so my partner could use these on their tree if they wanted. Or you know, somewhere other than a messy bookshelf...

And finally.... my latest bit of stitchy wonder:

After all the advice you guys gave me, I switched to use a high quality calico, and a super sharp needle, and this one came out perfect! I wanted this to have a hint of Christmas with the red/green/aqua colour scheme, but not too Christmassy that you couldn't have it out all year round if you wanted. Oh and I used perle on this one, instead of DMC, and its such a neater look. 

I've really enjoyed getting all whisked up in Christmas this last week... I thought I should start early lest all the super talented people in this swap get the better of me. So now I'm done. And feeling good. And I've crossed another thing of my winter stitching list. Not that this was actually on my list. But never mind. 

This, my Brit Quilt Swap pillow fight parcel, and my modern table runner parcel, are all packed up and ready to ship now!

*Edit* - Since I'm just in the nick of time, I'm gonna link up this mini quilt over here:

Come check out the rest of the lovelies!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zip Phobia? Moi?

You know when everyone's doing something and you just have to join in... well it seems like buying crazy amounts of cute coloured zips is the new thing. Isn't that right Had, Ceri, SusieQ?

I sooo want in on it, not least so I can organize them into cute little rainbow patterns, but until last night I had a slight zip phobia. I say slight in that I have actually sewn a zip with some success before, but this was about 8 years ago, during my GCSE Textiles. I need to know if I can sew zips again, and if it would be worth my while buying into the zip craze! I want to be able to stick them in pillows and pouches and bags and other thingymabobs. But I needed a small project to dip my toe in, without the fear of mucking up something I'd worked hard on... you know.

Enter Ceri with her perfect timing. Amongst the beautiful bee blocks she returned to me this week (you'll get a full reveal when ALL the blocks are back!!), she also included a few zips.

Enter this tutorial, which I got stuck into last night and made this little number:

I used medium weight fusible interfacing on top of plain quilters cotton. I think I should have used lightweight, as it is a little to stiff for my liking (there aren't many times you will hear me say that), and the corners were a complete bulk-a-rama. And I hate the way it always crinkles up really bad when you are turning it through the right way. But. Its cute. And sturdy. And I'm fairly impressed with how close I got the zip to the edge of the fabric. And I didn't break anything. And its a good size, useful even.

All these photos were taken with my iPhone, impressive huh?
I had to cut down the zip an inch or so to fit the tutorial, which was nerve wracking to say the least! But I coped, eventually.

Then I sorta freestyled it a little bit, using the tutorial's directions but changing the measurements to fit the zip I had. On this one, because it was smaller, I didn't use any interfacing, and its a lot more...poofy.   

Probs should have used lightweight interfacing in this one too really. 

I like it, I LOVE the colour of the zip, but I'm not entirely sure of its purpose yet. It could be a cute little change purse. Or a card purse for all those loyalty cards you need to carry but don't want cluttering up your normal wallet. Or a miniature sewing kit. I'll have to give it a bit more thought. Or gift it to an unsuspecting relative for Christmas... problem solved!

I learnt quite a few important things about zips last night. 
  1. The length of the zip is the length of the whole thing, flappy bits at the top and bottom included.   It is not, as I originally thought, just the length of the teeth. This may seem obvious but I couldn't find it described in detail anywhere and it got me worried. *EDIT* A few have suggested this isn't right... And that the length is just the teeth. My reasoning behind this point is from the tutorial above. It shows a zip lying perfectly aligned with an 8" piece of fabric, it also says you MUST have an 8" zip. Ergo, the whole thing including the flappy bits is 8" long. I will happily stand corrected if anyone knows any different! *EDIT AGAIN* Helen has set me right. Turns out the industry standard for measuring a zip is from closed end to the top of the teeth. You can read more about this here.
  2. You can sew through a zip. Mental. 
  3. To cut a zip down to size, always cut from the bottom. If you cut off the little metal bar, you will need to sew another one in. just go back and forth across the zip a few times. 
  4. If you are using little covered end pieces like in the tutorial above, you don't need to do the bar thing. Ask me how I know.
  5. Zips are not that bad. Tricky to get your head around, but easy to sew. It took me about half an hour to make these 2 purses. And that includes a certain amount of faffing over fabric, cutting the zip and committing the tutorial to memory.  
  6. I'm buying in. I believe everyone uses zipit? Any other suggestions welcomed :-)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Rainbow Stitching

Since you all asked so nicely, and my camera was charged, and I was home during the relative daylight hours this weekend, I thought I would show you my stitchy project.

I thought my hand stitching was atrocious... but then I saw a pattern for a christmas hoop which I knew would be perfect for my Modern Christmas Tablerunner Swap partner (can't say more, it really is perfect) and REALLY wanted to try it. So I did. And I decided my handstitching wasn't so bad after all. And then I got the "hoop" bug. I actually can't stop now. I think they might be my newest go to gift...

I made this one for me, after seeing this pin on pinterest: 

Loved it, didn't have the right colour buttons, so tried with thread. Winner!

Well, all except for those 2 out of place red stitches which annoy the bejeebus out of me every time I look at it. But not bad overall ;-)

I think I need to find a better base fabric to use though. If you look up close you can see the threads of the fabric have been snagged and pulled.... Any recommendations?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

Because captions don't count...

A sneak peak of some stitchy work - full reveal when my camera is up and running again.
A block for Madam November, 24" square!
Amazing potatoes I made on Sunday, inspired by this pin.
Beaks looking particularly cute, and somewhat like Falkor...
Luna being crazy...  She has a thing for paper bags.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hometown Glory

"Round my hometown, memories are fresh" - Adele

I had this song in my head the entire time I was sewing this bag. Is anyone else an Adele fan? I love her...!

Something else I love? The hometown line. I've had a few FQ's for a while now, some of which I used up in my table runner... but when I hit up the LQS at the weekend I got the "wanties" pretty bad for a bit more. They also had a pattern for a reversible tote bag, which, even though I bought the pattern, I probably didnt need to... The pattern is so simple! But being a bag making newbie, I thought I would buy it anyway (you can find the pattern online here if you are interested). The link didn't work in IE (Thanks Trudi!). You'll just have to go to the stores website and use the search facility. Type "tote bag" and its the last result.

The pattern suggests you use home dec weight fabric, but this was £18.95 a meter at my LQS. My wallet gave a little shriek of horror and begged me to work out an alternative. So I bought just normal quilters weight cotton (still £11.95 a meter mind you!) and used some of the 6 yards of medium weight iron on interfacing I have left at home. I had massively over ordered for a previous project, but at 99p a yard, who's counting!

I think this actually gives a nicer finish than the sample they had stitched up in the shop... It's a lot less stiff, and the hometown fabrics have a slight sheen to them which is lost in the home dec weight stuff. Maybe for the next one (I bought enough for 2), I might try some fusible fleece. I hear great things and I haven't really tried it to its full potential yet.

The little birds are machine appliquéd with my machine's blanket stitch function... I should have used heat n bond, or wonderweb or something as well but I couldn't find it anywhere when I tried. I think thats a sign I need to clean out my craft drawers.

I also really like the subtle detail of the reinforcement stitching around the handles. The whole bag has a pretty nautical theme, which as you may or may not know, is right up my street!

Anyway, this little number is headed onto the Christmas gift pile, and can be struck off my Winter Sewing List. It wasn't actually on my sewing list... but I have changed my mind about making aprons, and replaced them with these bags. 

Happy 1st November peeps! 

P.s. I just read my 1st November post from last year and had a bit of a giggle. You can too right here...

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