Sunday, 26 February 2012

Magazine launch and giveaway!

My yummy fabric purchases at the launch
I went to the All Craft Media launch of "Modern Quilting" (a new quilting magazine) at Ray-Stitch in London on Friday night - how cool is that?  I ate cupcakes and met the editor Vick Guthrie and designer Janet Clare, and chatted with a few of the other girls from the London Modern Quilt Guild who also attended. 

The reason I am so excited is that our picture (of the newly formed LMQG taken after our 1st meeting) is on page 4 and again on 111.  I know it is just a small photo, duplicated twice and my name isn't listed, but how cool is that anyways!!?  We got a 'goodie bag' for attending the launch which contained the new magazine, a block viewer and a magazine called "Sew Hip".  I also purchased a few bits of fabric, a swatch set of the Klona (not Kona) fabrics and a water soluable pen as Ray-Stitch offered those attending a 25% discount!  The magazine is on shelves on 28 February 2012.  The Sewing Directory has an offer on subscriptions here or you can purchase it at select retailers. 

I have subscribed so this means I have a spare copy!  To enter to win my spare copy of the first issue of Modern Quilting, please leave a comment here telling me why you'd like to win it.  For a second entry, blog about my giveaway on your blog and link back here, and for a third entry, simply follow my blog and let me know here in a comment.  Draw will close on 29 February and I will announce the winner on 1 March.  Good luck! 

Friday, 24 February 2012

Union Jack block (for quilt or cushion)

For Mr Crafty Shenanigans' birthday, I made him a Union Jack block with the promise of a whole quilt to be created - eventually!  He told me not to rush it so guess what?  I'm not!  Since the beginning of February, I've only cut out two more blocks worth of fabric but haven't sewn them together yet. So (or should I say 'sew'), this weekend I plan to do a few more.  These will be 'scrappy' ones and not red, white and blue!  Stay tuned.  By the way, my pattern came from the good folks over at Bramble Patch.  

Potatoes and garden(ing)

I am getting mentally prepared for my 2012 gardening season!  We only moved to this place last May so I didn't get to do any vegetable growing last year apart from a few sad tomato plants.  So, this year I am preparing to grow:
  • potatoes - four types
  • tomatoes - cherry and regular
  • green, yellow and purple beans
  • carrots - two types
  • several lettuces
  • several different herbs
  • rhubarb - two types
  • and I want to plant an apple tree plus whatever else I can fit in!
The yard is on a steep downward angled slope with really bad weeds and horrible grass, and has a flat-ish patch at the very bottom which gets 100% shade (now that we have a wooden fence).  I don't have a proper patio so I hope to make a levelled area too, in the area that the previous tenants made what they called a 'rockery' (an area of pebbles - bags and bags of pebbles and a few cigarette ends).  Nice.  I have three raised beds to put in but they need to be at the left side of the yard to get the sun, which is where a thorny rose plant and bush are.  These may have to be sacrificed!

I have my potatoes chitting away nicely here in the living room, ready for the nice weather to arrive, and a picture of the 'before-before' garden.   

This is 'before-before'.  Since this picture was taken we have had a wooden fence put up.
Happy gardening!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Shoulder (baby burp) blanket

One of the ladies I work with was anxiously waiting for her second grandchild to arrive - this little one was LATE!  This gave me time to create a little something for grandma to have when she babysits the little bundle of girlie joy that would enter the world!  I started with a wonky star in pinks, which I knew the grandma would like, and continued making it into whatever it wanted to be!  I don't actually possess many pinks in my stash or scrap collection so I used what I could.  For the back, I put some super soft dimpled cream minky fleece on the back and sewed it up into a rectangular blanket/burp pad/shoulder protector/mini play mat.  She was really pleased with it when I gave it to her and has commissioned me to do a cot size quilt!  Yay for me!  Sorry the photos aren't that great - I should have put the blankie on a darker background! 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Placemat tops

Last night, just before I went to bed, I sketched out two placemats.  The inspiration came from the two pieces of printed 9x9 inch scraps of fabric I had (one of cutlery and the other of tea cups).  I paired each print with a few coloured fabrics and left them on the sewing desk.  Changed a colour this morning on my way out to work and then I was ready!  So, tonight at about 7:30 pm I made the first one, making note of the dimensions of each piece.  Finished it in 50-55 minutes as I had no pattern and I was doing it improv-style.  Took a tv break and just made the second one in about 35-40 minutes.  Hopefully tomorrow night I will complete them.  WIP Wednesday!!

Purple, orange, mauve shot cotton and green shot cotton

Navy, red, turquoise, orange and mustard yellow dots

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Lemony loveliness

Lemony loveliness.  "LOVE"-liness.  Yup this is one of my favourites - I love it!  Lemon Pudding Cake.  Simple, easy, delicious.  This will help make our Valentine's Day dinner quite yummy!  My husband, Mr Crafty Shenanigans, likes this recipe too! 

Just out of the oven.  Fluffy on top with a custard-like pudding on the bottom.

Recipe from 'Milk - Best of Milk Calendar Recipes, August 1991', Dairy Farmers of Ontario


Sunday, 12 February 2012

St Valentine's Day fabric basket

I've been a busy girl and have finished my homework!  I was trying to think of what to make for the London UK Modern Quilt Guild February Challenge [St Valentine's so could be red/pink/love or however you interpret it!] and I was searching through the quilting blogs for inspiration and ideas and discovered Pink Penguin's tutorial for Fabric Baskets.  I whipped this scrappy one up in a couple of hours - and I still have a few days to spare before Valentine's Day!!
I will certainly make a few more with my stash of scraps AND with the scraps I will get at the March LMQG meeting (we are having a scrap swap). I zig-zag stitched some wadding scraps together for the inside and the bottom of the basket is actually a cotton/linen sample from John Lewis so this truly is a basket made from scraps!  There you have it - my St Valentine's themed scrap basket.  I LOVE scraps, I LOVE red, I LOVE plaid, I LOVE free stuff and I LOVE this basket.  Best of all it is MADE WITH LOVE!   

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Jax - my little beauty

Awwww... isn't he cute?  This is Jax.  He's a big part of my life and I love him to bits.  He loves the quilts that I make and is often found sleeping under one. 
Dachshund/beagle = doxle

Saturday, 4 February 2012

My sewing space

I live in a tiny place but I still managed to make sure I had a lovely corner  to do my crafts in.  I have a great Toyota sewing machine on a rescued old school table, which is actually too small for most things.  This is where the slightly bigger kitchen table comes in handy!  I finished all the Oh Fransson! Mod Sampler blocks this morning - just need to buy some bright white fabric for the sashing now.  I shall add this to my growing pile of 'works in progress' and carry on crafting!
My sewing station and Mod blocks all finished and ready for sashing.

Underside of Mod blocks showing my pressing.

Mod blocks showing the 12 fabrics used.