Wednesday, 31 October 2012

October month in review

October is over.  It was 31 days filled with sewing fun [and lots of fabric shopping]!

My favourite item from October has to be my Vintage Holiday quilt - I can't stop staring at it!  I finished it - woohoo!  And I am anxious to get my Scrappy Stash log cabin quilt done too as I think it will become a favourite in our house as well!!  Even with my dozen finishes, I didn't manage to complete all of the bee blocks I should have in October (sorry folks) so this weekend is a dedicated sewing weekend to get those done and in the post!  And [very exciting], I also finished a few items in October that I haven't shown you yet as they are for 'revealing' another day!   I'm participating in the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop and the UR Priceless Blog Hop - so join me in some hopping in the next week or so!

And the best news:  I completed 6 projects (out of 25) from my 100 Day Hustle list and 3 projects (out of 9) from my 4th Quarter goal list.  Happy days for me.

How was your month?  I'm linking to Fresh Sewing Day - check it out and see what everyone else was up to too!

Building houses, planting trees

This week I am concentrating on a few more of my WiP's and things that are listed on my Lazy Bums list and 100 Day Hustle list.  I decided it was time to build another house and plant a tree.  What I mean is:  sew a wonky house and another wonky tree to go with the other dwellings and trees in my slowly expanding village.
Newest additions to the village

All four trees together
I love wonky.  I'm sure you gathered that by now?  I've got wonky stars and wonky log cabins, wonky trees, wonky houses and even a wonky donkey or two!  I love wonky so much that I even subjected THREE Bee groups to my wonky ways! 

Six houses have been 'built' so far

Wonky is whimsical and I seem to be drawn in by the carefree and quirkiness of it, and perhaps the child-like naivety of it as well.  How could I resist a bit o'wonk?  Here are all of my wonky trees and houses mixed in together.  What a happy wonky village!

I am so fortunate that two members of the Lazy Bums group are making me a couple more houses and trees to add to the growing community I have here on my kitchen table.  I can't wait for the new additions to arrive so they can be introduced to the neighbour folk!  [all metaphorically speaking, of course!]  Thanks guys!

Linking to Freshly Pieced WiP Wednesday and Applique Thursday with A Quilting Reader's Garden who get a big thank you for the Woven Quilted book that was sent to me and arrived the other day.  There are some neat projects in there that are on my to-do list now!!  Thank you!!


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Wonky Donkey zippy pouch

I finished making my Wonky Donkey paper pieced block into something - a zippy pouch! 

This pouch is about 10 inches by 9 inches and holds my Zakka book perfectly! 

I bought this red on red dot fabric at the Knitting & Stitching show thinking it would match my Vintage Holiday quilt but it did not so I used it for the Donkey pouch instead - and he loves it (because in MY world my sewn animals speak to me!!).  I love the red on red dots too!!

I used some yummy Kona for the inside.  And look - I did pebble quilting all around the donkey! 

Happy to have it done so I can link it up next week for Donktober .  Remember -- it's ridonkulous!!


Linking to October Finishes, Manic MondayTGIFF OctoberQuest and Finish it up Friday.

P.S.  The paper pieced donkey pattern is available FREE from Craftsy. 


Can you say YUM?

Stay tuned for more -- another day :)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Friendship Cake ~ Day 1

Ever heard of Herman the German Friendship Cake?  My mom made something similar when we were kids so when a work colleague offered me a portion of the 'batter', I said yes please!

Today is Day 1 - transfer the 'batter' into a bowl and cover with a tea towel. 
Done.  Team GB tea towel no less!

Day 2 tomorrow - stir. 
How easy!! 

Day 3 to Day 10 -- I will need to look at the 10 day schedule to be sure when to stir and when to add various ingredients but how cool is this!!?  I can't wait for Day 9 when I divide it up and give away 3 portions and Day 10 when I can bake a cake with the last portion of 'batter'!  Can't decide if I will make a chocolate cake or a lemon drizzle cake....

Stay tuned :)

Sew Seasonal soon

Happy Monday!

I started making handmade Christmas projects back in July and have been plodding along steadily ever since to make a variety of festive items.  I thought maybe this year would be a 'handmade Christmas' though I think I should have started in April!  Or perhaps in May for "Merry May"...  Here are the things I have made so far:

Thank you cards ~ Hanging Tea Towels ~ Smiling Snowman Notebook/journal cover ~ Vintage Holiday quilt ~ Figgy Pudding Mug Rug ~ Zakka Nesting BoxesBig Bird Christmas Tree Ornament ~ Red felt Christmas Tree ornamentTiny Christmas Embroidery [in progress] ~ Snowman [in progress]

On November 6th I will be sharing what I have made for the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop so please do come back!!   Here is a sneak peek for you!

Sew Seasonal Blog Hop

 P.S.  Only 57 days to Christmas... just sayin'.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Wow - it's time again for the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.  Thank you Amy for organising such a wonderful event and I am looking forward to seeing all those quilts linked up so I can seek inspiration for my 2013 quilting adventures (aka To-Do list!).  It is a great way to find new blogs to follow too - a fun way to 'meet' each other!  If you are new to my blog -- WELCOME!  I hope you have a look around.

This is my second time entering the festival and I'm just so happy to share one of my finished quilts and to take part! 

I have decided to enter my Vintage Holiday Quilt because I love it so much.  This winter-y/festive quilt is my most recent finish and it seems quite timely since the weather here in the UK has dropped dramatically with winter definitely on its way!  Only 58 days to Christmas... My quilt is ready :)

I've only been quilting since September 2009.  I've been a crafter all my life and have a Bachelors of Art in Fine Art with a major of Sculpture and Printmaking.  If I had stayed at art college instead of going to university, I would have majored in textiles.  I love working with my hands.  I love different materials and mediums and I get such a thrill from making things and seeing my handicrafts completed. 

This summer, I heard about a quilt-along that would be making a Christmas quilt.  Ok I thought - I haven't got a Christmas quilt and I could hang it on the wall as decoration if I don't snuggle under it.  The quilt on the front of the pattern drew me in and I got started as soon as it arrived electronically [Vintage Holiday by Camille Roskelley].  I linked my finished quilt up to the Fabric Mutt who hosted the QAL.  A huge thank you to Heidi for all her hard work!  I thoroughly enjoyed making the blocks. 

I used some of my precious fabrics that I have hoarded since the autumn of 2009 [plaids and snowflakes].  When I first started quilting I thought that I would only ever make quilts using paid (I love plaid!!) but then I discovered the world of other fabric!!  This quilt is a mix of plaids, homespun checks and printed quilting cottons and combines my love of modern fabric with my love of those yummy plaids (though they are sometimes considered 'old fashioned').

I am so proud of myself that I was brave and managed to do free motion quilting on this quilt.  I've come a long way in 3 years and I have a long way to go but I am enjoying every minute of quilting, creating and crafting!  For the baubles I did stitch in the ditch around each one and then in the white space around them I did the free motion.  I'm really pleased how it turned out.  My stitch length is pretty consistent and I can't wait to see how it looks once it has been washed and dried.

I made a pieced back as you can see above and a full picture here:

Quilt stats
Quilt measurement:  52" x 66"
Quilted by:  me
Quilted with:  Aurifil thread
Wadding:  80/20
Pattern by:  Camille Roskelley 'Vintage Holiday'
Category:  Favourite Throw Quilt, Favourite Home Machine Quilted and Favourite Quilt Photographer

I hope you like my quilt as much as I do!  Be sure to pop back here on November 6th for my day on the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop!  There will be more Christmas sewing for you to look at! 

Happy sewing and enjoy the rest of the festival.  Voting starts in a few days!

Sew Seasonal Blog Hop

Friday, 26 October 2012

Paramouthy Stitches sent

On Wednesday I shared with you the amazing tote that I received from Di for our Paramouthy Stitches swap.  This swap was our own private swap that ran parallel to the Mouthy Stitches swap that both Di and I were too late to sign up for!  She suggested that perhaps we should swap a tote with each other so I jumped at the chance because Di is so lovely and makes wonderful things.  We met at Fat Quarterly Retreat in the summer and have been blog-pals ever since. 

And this is what I made for her:

Di's mosaic was filled with rainbow colours and a variety of shapes.  I'm not naturally a rainbow person so I gathered two piles of potential fabrics - one full of rainbow colours and one with pink and green colours (she likes pink and green).  In the end,  I managed to combine all of the chosen fabrics on the tote.  The tote and its various colours are linked through four fabrics - the grey main fabric, the pink, the green and the purple.

The grey fabric is the outside of the tote, the inside pen pocket and the keychain clutch.  The pink fabric is an appliqued bird as well as the handles, interior pocket lining and interior of the keychain clutch.  The green dotty fabric is a bird, a rectangle on the back of the tote and the tab on the keychain clutch.  And lastly, the purple Kaffe Fassett fabric is an appliqued bird and rectangle.  I gave the birds hand-stitched swirls that trailed to the other side of the tote.

This was the first time I had ever made an internal (hidden?) pocket with a zipper or attached a clip/hook thing for keys/keychain clutch. 
Top left picture show the bird zipper pull which ties in the red fabric
from the rainbow side.  The red and aqua fabrics on the tote are
both from Aneela Hoey's new 'Sew Stitchy' line.
The bottom row right hand picture shows the interior of the bag with the zippered pocket, pen pocket, crazy lining and the keychain clutch which attaches to the 'Live Long - Laugh Often' clip in the bottom row middle picture.  For the lining I used a foundation piecing log cabin fabric (kind of unique, right?) but afterwards wondered about my choice of cream fabric for the inside of a tote but maybe she's not a slob like me!!??

The birds were inspiration from her mosaic.  Their legs are my favourite thing -- I freemotioned them and they are quite wonky and hilarious but quite cute all at the same time.  I will need to replicate the birds for myself one day as they brought a lot of joy and humour to me in my sewing room over the last week.   This is what they looked like on the wrong side:

And there you have it.  That pretty much describes the tote and keychain that I made Di  for our amazing (and very fun!!) Paramouthy Stitches swap!  Click here to see what she made for me :)  And can you believe it - this is one of the many things I listed on my 4th Quarter Finish Along list with Quilter in the Gap!  Yay - I finished something!

P.S.  I also made her a little key purse/coin purse thing:

Linking to Finish it up Friday, TGIFF OctoberQuest and October Finishes.

October Finishes


Thursday, 25 October 2012

TNT Thursday - another wonky donkey

Happy Thursday to you! 

Last night at about 11:45pm I had a sudden urge to make a Sock Donkey which was shown last week as part of Donktober.  I just finished him tonight so here he is... another wonky donkey!

This is the first time I've made a Sock Donkey!!  I didn't realise that one pair of socks would make such a large animal!  You see, the tutorial used knee high socks so I thought if I used regular socks that the donkey would be smaller - well - not so much!

I've made sock puppets before but never a stuffed animal out of a pair of socks.  Yay - I tried something new!  I'm not happy with his 'arms' (= front legs) and how I've sewn them on... and maybe, just maybe, they are stuffed a little too full!!??  I love his tail - it is the cutest part of him!  His mane is good too - I made a double one so he has more hair.

Donktober I would love to say 'no socks were hurt during the making of this donkey' but that would be a lie.  I like to think they were 'improved'...

Linking to TNT Thursday [the last one!], TGIFF OctoberQuest, Jed & Ivy Aloha Friday! and October Finishes.

October Finishes

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Paramouthy Stitches received

Today has been a fantastic day!! 

My blog friend Di of Willowbeck Designs and I both missed out on joining Mouthy Stitches when the sign up list went live (it filled up VERY quickly!!) so in an email exchange about how sad we both were at missing out on the action, Di suggested that perhaps we do our own swap just like the Mouthy Stitches group.  I said absolutely and so 'Paramouthy Stitches' was born!  [a play on words - para meaning parallel and just as the Paralympics were 'parallel' to the Olympics, our swap was parallel to the 'main event' of Mouthy Stitches].

So today I received my tote and yay BIG YAY, Di made me the perfect tote!  I always felt a little bit guilty with the mosaic I gave her for inspiration but I am so pleased she saw that I love wonky stars [it was rather obvious I've been told]!!  And she made me four of them!  I love wonky stars! 

The front of the tote has a big wonky star:

And the back of tote has three wonky stars in a block I have admired for a very long time:

...and one of those stars is itty bitty at only 3"!!  Awesome!

I adore text prints [this one is Crab Shack and delicious] and green and blue are two of my favourite colours AND I love wonky so look at that - all my favourites in one tote!!  Sorry for night-time indoor photos - it doesn't show the colours properly but they are wonderful, believe me!! 

She even made me a hidden pocket for the stuff I carry that needs to be secured and zipped away:

Di also made a handy key fob perfect for my set of keys as the handle means I can put it on my wrist and walk hands free from the car (parked at the very top of the hill) with all my grocery bags down the hill to walk to my gate (locked) to get the groceries long the path to the front door (also locked) so having the keys on my wrist will save my teeth which is how I usually carry them from the car to the cottage when my hands are full!!

This swap has been so much fun!  I have enjoyed making Di her tote and at times fretted and worried if she would like what I was making for her and not being able to share any in-progress pictures meant that it was a blind swap.  Exhilarating but nerve wracking all at the same time!!  I had absolutely NO idea what Di was making for me and the anticipation of it arriving felt a bit like Christmas moring waiting to open a present!  I am thrilled with my amazing tote and my key fob.  

Di - you got me 100% spot on and I will certainly enjoy using it!  It is absolutely 'me'.  Thank you very much :)

More Christmas WiP's

My handmade Christmas preparations continue in my closet sewing room...

Pin placed there to show tiny scale of design.  This is a 3" hoop.
That little bit of embroidery took me an hour!  AN HOUR!  I'm  soooooo S...L...O...W....  Didn't help that I ripped out what I had done once on the tree and once on the mug because it didn't look right so I re-did it.  And looking at it in the picture I think that mug has another chance to be ripped out again as I'm not so sure I like how the curve on the top is going.  Like I said, I am a slow embroidererererer person.  But it will get done, eventually!

I used one of the transfers from Aneela Hoey's "Little Stitches" embroidery book which makes it so easy to transfer onto the fabric and then start.  Finishing is another story altogether!  I still need to get on and finish this one too....

So many works in progress, so little time!  Linking to Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday!