Friday 31 August 2012

Brit Quilt Swap received!

I received a package in the post today.  The most fabulous package let me tell you!!  It travelled all the way from Northern Ireland so I was thinking it would be my Brit Quilt Swap mini!  I was right :)  Inside, I found two carefully wrapped bundles.  One had a card attached that said 'Read Me Last' so I opened the other bundle and what did I find?  This gorgeous amazing awesome pouch.  Look at it - it is 1000 % "me"...
The zipper pull is a metal swirly heart - so many lovely details. 
I think my secret partner did a tremendous job of stalking me!  I do indeed love buttons and I have been sent the most beautifully sewn linen pouch with lots and lots of vintage buttons sewn on!  It has the best lining too - sorry no photo!  I love this pouch - here is a close-up of the stitching - incredible isn't it?

Not only did she send this gorgeous pouch, she filled it!  Inside I found these fantabulous goodies...

Ok, like I said, my partner did a tremendous job stalking me.  Galaxy Caramel - how did she know I adore Galaxy chocolate and that the Caramel one is my all-time fav?  [it arrived whole but was eaten earlier today so this picture shows just the wrapper]!!  She even sent me some charm squares of dotty fabric - yay!!  I LOVE dots - and did she know that I am in the Dots on Dots Blog Hop in September?  Even the Cath Kidston tissues are dotty!  She sent a lovely card, a Moo Card and tape measure ribbon - so awesome!!

And then I opened the second package.  Wow!!  I had seen this mini in the Flickr group and adored it!  Look at those birds - aren't they perfect!?  And the texture of the grey fabric - you really must touch it to understand how truly soft it is.  These are some of my favourite colours too.  The stitching is expertly done and I marvel at how she constructed it because this rectangle is perfectly squared up and every stitch is precise and perfect [me = jealous].  The perfect mini quilt for me.  THANK YOU Judith of Just Jude :)

And look -- she even put tiny little buttons on the label.  So wonderfully done (it is square but I took a wonky photo!) . 

Judith you are a quilting-rock star.  I am so very happy that you created this masterpiece for me.  I will hang it this weekend in my kitchen to brighten the space up and to cheer me up every time I'm in there!  Thank you!

I'm participating in the Dots on Dots Blog Hop.  I'm one of nearly 100 bloggers participating in the Sew We Quilt blog hop and I'm 'hopping' on the first day [10th of September] - yay - so be sure to put the date in your diary as I will be having another giveaway on my blog to celebrate all of my lovely followers because I have reached the next milestone of 200 followers!  Thanks guys!


And in other news...  Did I mention that I love buttons?!  A big thank you to Button Mad for sending me a set of mini heart shaped buttons.  They arrived yesterday and are so darn cute!!  I can't wait to use them!  And a huge thank you goes to Doodles and Designs for sending me the most delicious Tula Pink fabrics - I can't wait to sew something yummy with them!  I am so thankful to you both!

Ok - I'm off to sew my Sailor Mouth large item.  I completed one of the small items last night.  It is a pocket tissue holder.  It isn't too rude but if you would prefer not to see it, don't click the link!!!

And on that note, I'll see you tomorrow!

Thursday 30 August 2012

My Precious Vintage Holiday quilt


Good news!!  I have just finished the last blocks for my Vintage Holiday QAL quilt and I am in love!!  I am two weeks ahead of schedule on the block making but I just couldn't help myself.  The pattern is a dream and the blocks sew up quickly.  Here they are all together:

I know a lot of you are not fans of plaid - they are perhaps a bit too 'traditional' to be considered 'modern' - but I love 'em...well, some of them anyways!  For this quilt-along I chose to use some of my precious plaid fabrics and a set of my precious snowflake fabrics that I purchased quite some time ago.  I wanted a cosy cottage feel (I live in an English cottage) so thought this might be the perfect combination.

To sash or not to sash, that is the question.... The pattern calls for sashing so I think I will eventually add Kona Ash sashing to make the complete quilt, though I kind of like it naked and sash-free.  Regardless, my fingers are crossed that this will be a completed quilt BEFORE Christmas THIS year!  This is the first Christmas quilt I have made and I think I will add a hanging sleeve so I can hang it on my living room wall which will make the cottage feel very Christmasy indeed!  I'll be sure to take picture in December for you!  Check out all the other blocks in the Vintage Holiday Quilt-Along group - these will be impressive quilts!!

These are two of my favourite blocks from my quilt:

I love that I picked the grey Aneela Hoey print as the bauble tops with the little circles randomly appearing on each one!  I shall be be linking my efforts up to Kelby Sews for her 'My Precious QAL' linky party and fingers crossed for me on this last link-up as there are all sorts of fantabulous prizes to be won!!  Thank you Kelby for the encouragement to actually USE our precious fabric!!

Ok - I'm off to work on my Sailor Mouth Swap item(s).  Will also be linking to TNT Thursday for making my first Christmas quilt - yay!  Have a great day!

Oh and I almost forgot to share my Zakka Little Red Bear -- I used some of my precious red and white plaid for his tummy and some blue and white for the pillow!! Here it is:

Linking to the lovely Missy Mac Creations for TGIFF.  Pop over to see what everyone else has linked up!

Wednesday 29 August 2012

WiP & Lazy Bums

What am I working on?  Well -- I'm working on my 'work in progress' list, my 'unfinished object' list and my 'projects half done' list, plus a bit of bee sewing!  I'm crossing things off and what a great feeling that is... but just as soon as I complete something, I add something else!  I reckon the busier I am the more fun I have :)

Here are just a few of the things I have been working on:


I am also working on a block for Miss August in Bee Europa.  We are to make a block with a word relating to tea or tea time.  I have drawn a couple things but am yet to start the improv lettering.

I am also working on my Sailor Mouth Swap item.  So far I only have a mildly rude phrase embroidered on some fabric which will probably eventually become a pencil case. The posting deadline is 1st to 8th September so the pressure is on to get a large item (pillow, bag or large embroidered hoop) and a small item/extras finished.  In a week, look at my Flickr photostream if you want to see what I (eventually) sew. 

And lastly, the Lazy Bums group set me an August Challenge.  Random Number Generator picked Project #32 from my UFO list and I accepted the challenge and completed it!  I had to sew my wash-care label onto my Plaid Log Cabin Quilt (one of my very first quilts ever made) which makes it a completed project - finally!!  And the best bit - I have a UFO crossed off my list!

My belated Tuesday at the Herbal Table

Happy Wednesday everyone!  If you are looking for my giveaway - click here - and good luck!!

Ok - you may remember my Peanut Butter, Jam and Bacon sandwich a little while ago that I linked up to "At the {summer} Table".   I loved the reactions to my simple sandwich -- some of you thought I was crazy and a few of you liked the look of it!  [try it - you'll love it!!]

Well, Debbie from A Quilters Table is having another link up - this one called Tuesday at the {herbal} Table.  I have decided to share a treat that we make for Jax, who is my four-legged-best-furry-friend.  Ok, just one quick pic before I type the recipe out!  Here is Jax looking all fierce with his "kill"...  [EDIT: it is a stuffed dog toy by the way]
Jax - posing with 'Ducky' which was a honking mallard stuffed toy. 

Dog Biscuits - with parsley [recipe adapted from Canadian Living Magazine]

NOTE:  this recipe uses measuring cups - not a scale
  • 1 and a 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup skimmed milk powder
  • 1/3 cup melted meat fat (beef, lamb or bacon)
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
In bowl, combine whole wheat flour and white flour with skimmed milk powder.  Drizzle with melted fat.  Add egg and water, mix well.  Gather dough into ball.  On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2" thickness.  Cut using a dog bone shaped cookie cutter or shape of your choice (smaller shapes are better as they are quite crunchy and dry).  Bake on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350* oven.  Cool and use as reward treats for your dog.  Best stored in an airtight container.

I hope your four-legged-best-friend enjoys them. 

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Texting while Sewing...

Texting While Sewing was announced by Amy of During Quiet Time a few weeks ago and is a sewing linky/competition for blocks made using text fabrics.  I immediately joined the group and gathered up all my texty prints.  I even bought some new ones too (I couldn't resist as she gave a flat rate shipping code for Sew Me A Song so it would have been rude not to use it, right!?)!

Anyways, I sketched an idea and then went on holiday.  When I came back I had fallen out of love with my sketch so I decided to just get sewing and create as I went along.  I managed to make two blocks and I hardly made a dent in the fabric I have!! 

In my first block, I sewed bits and pieces of texty fabrics onto my tree trunk which is fabric with what appears to be an essay all about the history of quilting!!  I even managed to 'sign' my name with a little piece of Amy Butler selvage tucked away in the bottom corner!!

Each leaf and flower, the tree and branches and even the grass have been sewn on using three different coloured Aurifil threads, invisible thread, two different coloured Gutermann threads, some embroidery floss and a variegated thread.  I'm really pleased at how my block turned out.  It was a bit of experimentation and luck but I quite like it because of the shaggy edges to it!  I think it will become a pillow eventually! 

Here are a couple detail pictures for you of the tree trunk and the stitched leaves:

My second block is a Wonky House and Wonky Tree - two of my favourite things to sew.  I've lived in 8 different houses in 11 and a bit years so I am partial to a little house or two!  However, I'm not loving this block because of the background fabric!  There isn't enough contrast between the background fabric and the tree and house, and the fact that it is cream and brown makes it all sort of wishy-washy and dull.  I would have preferred a white background.  Oh well - I'll know for next time to buy MORE fabric so I have a bigger selection to sew from!!! hahaha

In the roof, there were words like 'die' and 'dead' (a snippet of a news report from a World War I believe) so I cut pieces of the grass fabric and put 'eggs', 'umbrella' and 'book' over the negative words!  At least they look sort of like roof tiles!  And there you have it - two texty blocks... done. 

I will be linking these blocks up to the party.  Check it out - there are some fantastic blocks on display!! 

Also linking up to Fabric Tuesday.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Blog Hop Giveaway!

If you are looking for TGIFF - press here - you have until late Sunday night to link up!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Welcome to my blog-hop giveaway -- I am so pleased that you have stopped in!  When Michele at the Quilting Gallery opened up the registrations for this blog-hop I knew that I wanted to participate and celebrate the event of reaching the first milestone of 100+ followers of my blog with a giveaway! 

How shall we celebrate 100+ lovely followers of my crazy little craft and quilting blog?  With this crazy little selection of 5 Fat Quarters and a pack of 5 Aurifil threads - that's how!

The nitty gritty details:
  • For one entry - please tell me where you blog at or what your favourite blog to read is -- I'm always looking for more inspiration!
  • For a second entry - become a follower and let me know (if you are already a follower, please say so)  
  • This giveaway is open to everyone near or far!
  • Random Number Generator (or similar) will pick a winner on Monday 3rd September at 7am GMT and will be announced Monday evening.  Please be sure that I can contact you!  I will re-draw if I don't hear from the winner after a few days.
The blog-hop list will be available on the link "Blog Hop with Give-Aways" from Sunday night/Monday morning so be sure to visit all the participants, check out their blogs and enter their give-aways.  Thank you for organising it all Michele!  Good luck with the giveaway!

Friday 24 August 2012

TGIFF is here

Welcome to Friday - not just any Friday but "TGIFF"!  I am so happy to be the host of the party this week and to be able to share my most recent finish with you!  But first - HELLO!  If this is your first time visiting my blog, WELCOME!  I hope you have a look around and come back soon [tomorrow there will be a giveaway announced]!

My finish this week is my completed Brit Quilt Swap 3 "Mini Quilt"!  Whoop whoop, it's done!

My secret partner stated that she like red and aqua, bright colours and also loved the work of Camille Roskelley (of Simplify).  So what did I do?  I went and bought the Thimble Blossoms Spool pattern and got to work!

I chose to use some Laura Gunn fabric and fussy cut a bird for one of the thread sections.  I also used some of my absolute favourite Joel Dewberry fabrics in the thread section too!  The wood plank fabric is Deb Strain 'Coming Home' and I think it works perfectly for the spool!  I decided to add a border of triangles because my secret partner had a lot of triangles in her inspiration mosaic.  I attempted something new - equilateral triangles - which were harder than I thought so only one strip was 'artistcially' added to the side!

Kona red borders were added and then I did some hand stitching and machine quilting to give the mini some visual detail. 
I made the needle to look like a gold eye embroidery needle!
Hanging corner
I enjoyed doing the hand stitching - it was a first for me.  I used some Perle cotton and embroidery floss that I had on hand along with some shiny blue thread used on the triangles in the 'artistic' border section.  This was my first time sewing 'in the ditch' (I stitched around the spool), so I actually managed to try lots of new techniques in the making of this 16" mini!  To finish it off I added hanging corners and Monaluna 'Sew Happy' pins as binding and despite the photo, the mini is actually nice and square.  I am so pleased it is now DONE and can be put in the mail!   

Fingers crossed my secret partner likes it - I've had a lot of fun making this for her as we seem to share the same taste in fabric and patterns!


Now it is your turn to link up your own fabulous finishes!  Please remember to link back here to the TGIFF party so that your readers can join in the fun as well!  Be kind and visit the other linked-up finishes and spread some comment love!!   Thank you for coming along and sharing!

And guess what? This is one of my goals that I had listed for the 3rd Quarter Finish Along with Quilter in the Gap! This means I have completed one of my five - yay!

2012 Finish-A-Long

Wednesday 22 August 2012

WiP Wednesday 22 August

Each and every Wednesday I am truly shocked that WiP Wednesday is here again!  The weeks seem to be rushing by at the speed of light these days!  I'm not complaining, definitely not, but it makes me aware (and slightly shocked) that I have so many projects on the go, and they are all at varying stages of completed-ness.  I also have a list as long as both arms of Andre the Giant of "to do one day projects" so these keep me motivated to keep working on all my WiP's.   

This past week I managed to get two more Great Granny squares completed [for the Great Granny Along] which means that I now have five finished - yay!  Only four more to do to make a small lap quilt.  I may decide that I want it bigger but I will decide that once I can see all nine blocks together.  Press here to see my other three.

I have steamed ahead in the Vintage Holiday QAL again, only because I want to link it up with Kelby Sews 'My Precious QAL' as I am using my plaids and snowflakes that I have hoarded for far too long!  I've completed 10 of the 12 blocks so far.  Here are my latest blocks:

And lastly and MOST IMPORTANTLY is my Brit Quilt Swap 3 ~ Mini Quilt.  I set myself a challenge to have it completed for this Friday so I can share it when I host TGIFF so all hands on deck to get it done!  I've done a bit of hand stitching tonight so I'll keep that to myself until Friday.  I hope my secret partner likes what I've done!

I have a few more bee blocks to complete for August [Bee Europa, Star Bee and Kinky Bee] but I am avoiding one block in particular as it is paper pieced and scary!!  ET Phone Home?? I'd rather he texted me so I could ignore it!!  I may cry when I make that one so I'm leaving it to the last minute!!  Not good advice I know but that's how daunting it is!!

Anyways, hope to see you back here on Friday for TGIFF and on Saturday for my giveaway!  Happy quilting!

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Festival of Quilts ~ my summary

What a busy weekend!!  I spent two full days at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham - it was my first time attending this festival.  There was a huge selection of modern, traditional and art quilts to see, plus a load of mini-minis and big-minis on display, and of course lots of shopping to do!  I met up with a few of the London Modern Quilt Guild members and bumped in to quite few people I met at the Fat Quarterly Retreat a couple of months ago so it felt like a 'quilty' reunion!!  And of course I managed to buy a few bits and pieces... just a few - honest!  Here is [most] of what I came away with:

A variety of fq's to go into the stash, some notions, hardware and Steam A Seam stuff!
Prestige Textiles home dec weight - mushrooms and Santa-like gnomes
[hey Kelly - you like??!!], and the red wool mix felt used for Zakka bear.
The fabric pictured next, well, my family will understand why I bought it!  They will know that this wizard fabric is totally 'me'.  You see, I went through a Merlin phase as a teenager when I read all of the Mary Stewart books about Merlin and Arthur (I still love those books) so when I saw this fabric I had to buy it!  I plan to make a pillow out of it and add homemade piping around the edge.  I know it was a totally frivolous purchase but I smiled all day thinking about making it! 

Prestige Textiles wizard home dec weight fabric bought from Fabrics Galore.
Now on to the show....

There were hundreds of quilts to see and all sorts of other quilty things on display - I even saw some quilted ball gowns!  Some of my favourite quilts were found in the 'mini' quilt section because they were regular sized quilts but made in miniature - not just a quilted 12" block if you know what I mean.  There were some extraordinary skills on display but not as much 'modern' as I had hoped to see.  Here are a few of my favourites from the show:

This colourful modern mini is by Lucie Summers - I know this much!

Itty-bitty pieces and then teenie-tiny applique on the border - wow!

How clever is this one!!?  A Union jack in landscape.  Mr Crafty Shenanigans loves this one too!
These squares are about 1 to 2 inches each - wow!  Impressive.
So there you have it - just a few photos from my weekend at the Festival of Quilts.  Next year I will be sure to pre-book onto the workshops and classes as I was too late this year and they were all sold out.  Did you attend this year?  

Be sure to stop by my blog on Friday for TGIFF and on Saturday for my giveaway!!  Happy sewing!