Sunday 30 September 2012

September - month in review

September -- another fun month frolicking with fabric.  What shenanigans did I get up to in the 30 days of September?  Here is my mosaic:

September was a month full of making bee bocks and swap items!  And of those most of them were stars!!  I tackled paper piecing and even took a class in embroidery with Aneela Hoey herself.  My favourite items were the Zakka Nesting boxes in Blitzen Christmas fabric and a variety of linen fabrics.  I am getting prepped for Christmas at a slow and steady pace :)

I am most proud of making a paper pieced star [ET Phone home] for a bee block.  I was terrified of making that block so at the 11th hour I buckled down and just got on with it and miracle of miracles didn't cry while making it!  And it actually looked pretty good when it was finished.  What a relief!  I also loved the end result of making the Open Wide pouch - a Noodlehead pattern.  There are so many fun - and free - things to make out there.

And that is the ninth month of 2012 finished.  Wow, 2012 is going by so quickly.  Three months remaining to try to complete all that I have on my many lists so I can go into 2013 with a clean slate sewing room.  I do love to challenge myself!!!

I must also mention that I managed to complete 2 out of 5 goals on my 3rd Quarter Finish Along with Quilter in the Gap - yay!  Two isn't bad - I made two in the last quarter as well so at least I'm consistent!  My finishes were the Brit Quilt Mini Quilt and my Pretty Pleats Tote Bag.  Sadly I did not get my Mod Sampler done despite great efforts last week.  Never mind - I'll just have to add it to the next quarter :)

Here is to a GREAT October!

Linking to Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day.

Friday 28 September 2012

Open wide and just one feather

Whoop whoop!  I completed a couple of things off my to-do list (100 Day Hustle) and UFO/WiP list (Lazy Bums) and I definitely need a whoop whoop!!

You see, I have LOVED the Anna Maria Horner 'feather bed' quilt since I had a glimpse of it on a blog a few months back and ever since that moment I have wanted to make a feather.  There is a free pdf pattern on her blog for it so I had a look but a singe feather was too big for what I needed it for for (mug rug) and looked wayyyy too complicated so I made up my own - and it turned out (though it looks more like a tree!!)!

I love it but know what I would do differently with the paper piecing next time.  As I am quite new to that technique, I think I made it more difficult than it should have been.  Newbies eh?  Geesh!  I used some fine fusible fleece and did a pocket sack (or whatever the term is) instead of doing binding so it lays nice and flat but is quite thin.  I even practised my free motion quilting on it - a trial for my Mod Sampler quilt perhaps!!?? 

This was supposed to be a mug rug but I think it is too nice (and too thin and with a ridiculous cream coloured background!!!) for putting dirty mugs of coffee on so it will be going on the wall instead - MY wall!  It was meant for a friend at work but I think I will just make her a different mug rug!  So actually, the mug rug is still on those lists... drat!

I also made one of those awesome Open Wide pouches from the Noodlehead blog and I. LOVE. IT.  She writes the best patterns and tutorials - so easy to follow and presto - the coolest little zippy pouch a girl can have.  I showed some of the girls at work and they said "what do you put in it?".  My questions back was - "what don't you put in a zippy pouch"?  Am I right?

I made it for another work colleague who very kindly hauled back three boxes of Grape Jello and a large jar of Cheez Whiz (correct spelling!) from her trip to Canada this summer.  She asked me if there was anything I wanted bringing back so I made a mental list of about 20 things but figured I couldn't take advantage of her like that, so I asked for Cheez Whiz and ANYTHING grape flavoured [grape is not a flavour they do here in the UK - blackcurrant yes, grape NO].  She didn't want any money for the goodies so how does one say thank you?  With something sewn, of course!!  Hope she will like it!

My mental list contained some of these things:  Red licorice Twizzlers, Coffee Crisp, cereals including Fruit Loops, Honeycombs, Alphabets, Corn Pops and of course Kraft Dinner (Spirals are the best) and plain Hershey Kisses.  These are the things I miss!!  Crazy eh?  If you live away from your home country, what foods do you miss most?

Linking up with Whoop Whoop, TGIFF, Aloha Friday and Show Off Friday

September Finishes


I must say that this blogging and Flickr sewing/crafting/quilting world contains the most generous bunch of people I have ever come across!!  I am so grateful to be a part of it and thank each and everyone one of you for making my days better.  When I am feeling blue or overwhelmed, or not so confident, I log in and read your wonderful blogs and feel encouraged, motivated, and often touched by the stories that are told.  Thank you all for being there... and for sharing. 

The sharing that extends to giveaways is amazing!  Yesterday I received a lovely bag sewn by Nicole of Nickels Pickles.  This was a prize that I won in her Blog Hop Party and it is just the right size for my embroidery materials - thank you Nicole it is perfect!  Just the right amount of space inside and those pockets will be perfect for my scissors and tracing pencil.  I am fascinated how it is constructed too - 'sew' well done!

A few days ago I was also the lucky recipient of a set of handmade 'Juicy Watermelon Coasters' made by Ellie of Color my World by Ellie Q.  Click on the link to see her tutorial on how to make them.  I must say that they are the neatest things ever as the watermelons have shaggy edges (and I love shaggy/frayed edges!!).  And the coasters have dots - I LOVE dots!!  She also sent some amazing fabric 'just for fun' she sad!  Fun indeed!  Thank you so much!!  Hmmm - what should I make with these pretties??

Schwin & Schwin is a blog I've been following (they do great linky parties for linking all types of crafts) and I entered their draw in late August for an Amy Butler Lark jelly roll and luck was with me 'coz I won!!  It arrived last week from Southern Fabric - thank you!!  :)  Some really interesting fabrics in this roll so I think a few strips may make their way into my Great Granny blocks. 

My Sailor Mouth Swap parcel arrived from Nicke of Kiss Kiss Quilt too which I will blog about soon (it is sooooo cool!!) and today I received a Pay it Forward pressie from Emily of Strawberry Patch and I will do a separate blog post about that as well!!  So much goodness going on it is hard to keep up! 

THANK YOU everyone for being so kind and for being so generous!

Happy Friday night to you! 

Monday 24 September 2012

My date with a MOD

Tonight I had a date with a 'mod'... 

But you are a married woman I hear you say!!

Not to worry - it was with my Mod Sampler quilt [Oh Fransson free pattern].  I started this quilt in January and it is number one on my to-do list for Quilter in the Gap's 3rd Quarter Finish A Long, Lazy Bums UFO group and for the 100 Day Hustle... 

Tonight the 'mod' was ironed, a few seams were fixed and I de-threaded the back for an hour or so.

Then I got busy making the back.  Using some fun bright green Happy Drawing squiggles as my feature fabric, I added three of the spare blocks that didn't make it onto the front and I now have a set of floating squares in squares on the green surrounded by crisp white.  I will have to add more white along the two sides so it is big enough to baste and quilt - but I am slowly but surely getting there!

Terrible terrible terrible indoor photos - sorry! 
Plus it looks as though the lens is dirty too. 

Will this quilt be done for the end of the month?  I still have to complete the back, sandwich, baste, quilt [any suggesions?], decide on and make the binding then hand stitch it on, attach the label, and wash, dry and photograph it. 

Hmmm.... I hope so :)

Linking with the wonderful Fabric Tuesday and WiP Wednesday

Saturday 22 September 2012

Hundred Day Hustle

Apparently there are only 100 days until the end of 2012.  Not only are the weeks passing by quickly - the YEARS are too! 

So, I've made a to-do list and I have linked it to Kelsey Sews for the 100 Day Hustle linky event that she is holding.  I am going to try to get some of these projects done/completed/finito/finished before the stroke of midnight before the bells of Big Ben toll on the last day of 2012.  How many of these pretties will I get done?  

Here is my mahoosive to-do list:
  1. Kelsey SewsFinish Mod Sampler quilt
  2. Finish Vintage Holiday quilt DONE 18 October
  3. Finish Great Granny Squares quilt
  4. Make Paramouthy Stitches Tote Bag for Di DONE October
  5. Finish My Precious Amy Butler Happy Hour quilt  
  6. Start and finish green Pervalong quilt
  7. Finish Girl on a Swing embroidery (Aneela Hoey design)
  8. Make a pillow out of Girl on a Swing embroidery
  9. Complete Pretty Pleats Bag #2 DONE 19 October
  10. Finish Wonky Log cabin quilt (blocks from efforts of two bee groups)
  11. Make something with Polaroid blocks
  12. Finish making paper pieced Union Jack pillow from FQ Retreat
  13. Make more Union Jack blocks for Mr Crafty Shenanigans' quilt
  14. Make feather Mug Rug for friend at work DONE
  15. Make a Open Wide zippy pouch for friend at work  DONE 23 September
  16. Finish Wonky Stars lap quilt
  17. Finish Arrows Quilt (efforts from a bee)
  18. Make Star Block Bee quilt (efforts from a bee)
  19. Make a frame coin purse for UR Priceless Blog Hop DONE
  20. Make Christmas decoration/ornament for secret partner in LMQG Swap DONE
  21. Make a wine gift bag
  22. Make Christmas pot holders for pressie DONE 3 November
  23. Make a Kindle cover
  24. Make a few Christmas gift wrap bags or drawstring bag DONE 26 November
  25. Make Christmas hanging dish towels
So that is my list -- which doesn't include all the things I'm sure I will no doubt start from scratch during the next 100 days!!!  I have quite a few of these linked to my 'Lazy Bums' list as well [and Quilter in the Gap's 3rd Quarter Finish A Long] so it would be a miracle if they all got done!!

How about you?  Why not pop over to Kelsey Sews and link up your goals for the last 100 days of 2012 -then get sewing! The linky will be open to add your list from September 22nd to September 25th!

Friday 21 September 2012

Softly Against Black - yay!

OH MY GOODNESS - I'm a finalist!!! 

Last week, Stitched in Colour had a mosaic linky called 'Softly Against Black' and I entered this mosaic:

...and I am a finalist!   I put together some of the yummiest greens, greys, a touch of teal and the coolest canvas fabric (bottom row with yellow on it ) called Yoshiko Jinzenji Beige Cotton Canvas from Fresh Modern Fabrics, and turned it into a fresh and subtle mosaic. 

So -- please feel free to pop over and VOTE FOR MINE - it sure would make me feel pretty special  (though being a finalist is pretty special anyways)!

Happy Friday night everyone!!!


I can't resist a good quilt along.  I wish I could do them all but I had to pick one (more)... so I chose the Pervalong with Charlotte

One day I will do the Groovy, the Stained Glass, the Mod Pop, the Swoon and I should really finish the ones I'm already in - The Great Granny and the Vintage Holiday.  I should also complete the bee quilts that I have on the go - the Arrows quilt and the Wonky Log Cabin PLUS the Star Bee and Kinky Bee which are October... oh and then there is the My Precious Amy Butler quilt half completed, the Oh Fransson Mod Sampler and Mr Crafty Shenanigans' Union Flag quilt still to finish... 

Am I crazy?  Do I need another quilt along in my life?  Of course I do!!  And the reason is simple:

I like busy.  I need busy.  Busy is my bezzy-oppo.  Busy hangs about and keeps me, well.... BUSY!! 

Here are the colours I believe that I will be making my Pervalong out of:

Green - yay for green.  I love green.  Annie over at the Village Haberdashery has several different  Fractured Quilt along bundles ready for sale with all the right amounts of fabrics in - how clever is that?  Just pick one and join in! Or create your own like I did [with the help of the Pervemaster herself].  Visit Charotte's blog to get the fab code Annie has set up for you too (discount - hint hint)!

So?  Are you going to join the Pervalong too?

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Stitchin' ~ WiP

On Saturday I went a-stitchin'. 

Yup, I drove to an embroidery workshop/class hosted by the wonderful Pennie of Thames Catering & Events and taught by Aneela Hoey herself!  How amazing is that!!?  The day included a SIGNED copy of her new book "Little Stitches".  I missed taking her class at Fat Quarterly Retreat so I didn't want to miss this opportunity to stitch with her and to have her new book!

The day was great - food, friends, fabric... what more could a girl want right?  I even learned a few things!  This is what we worked on:

First time filling in an area - time consuming but effective!

I have lots to do on it to catch up with everyone else who have already [ over achiever Kelly I won't name names] finished theirs!  I think the little girl on a swing is so darn cute!  It reminds me of my beautiful niece so if my sister thinks she would like this as a wee pillow for her bedroom for her birthday present, then that is who will receive this.  I should have made the dress pink to match her room... oops - should have thought of that before really.  Nevermind. 

So yes, another work in progress to add to my never ending list!  I do love my list though - lots of variety and projects in different stages -- an exciting list!  Linking to Fabric Tuesday, WiP Wednesday and TNT Thursday

A dotty winner

Before I announce the winner of my Blog Hop giveaway, let me remind you that the Dots on Dots Blog Hop continues - click here for the full schedule!  I am so pleased that you liked my Cathedral Block that I shared on my hop day. 

I loved reading about your favourite autumn/fall childhood memories!  Thank you all for sharing!  Many of my own memories of growing up in Canada are similar -- watching the leaves change colour, raking the leaves and jumping into those piles, homemade Halloween costumes, having a back-to-school haircut and the smell of leaves burning... the list goes on!  And yes, I am like many of you - I STILL love buying new pencils and a pencil case in September just as we did when we were kids (though now I know how to make my own pencil case!).  Oh to be a kid again! 

So who was the lucky winner of the dotty vintage fabric and notions, the striped orange Oakshott [wow!] fabric, handmade Zakka ribbon, a handmade drawstring pouch and a craft magazine?  

mtnquiltr has left a new comment on your post "Dots on Dots Blog Hop":

Your block looks so pretty, I'll just have to try one! My favourite fall memory is going back to school with all those shiny new supplies, and yes, the new lunch box!

Congratulations mtnquitr - I will be emailing you for your address!!  Thank you to everyone who entered and shared such lovely comments and memories.  And "WELCOME" to all my new followers! 

Enjoy the rest of the Blog Hop!

Sunday 16 September 2012

The End ~ Zakka Nesting Boxes

"This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end"

The Doors lyrics for 'The End' pop into my head when I think that this is the last Zakka project of the book!!  24 weeks all done.... awwwww.... 

I love Zakka.  I made a small nested box last week for the Sailor Mouth Swap and wasn't sure if I would make this style of box again -- but I did!!  And I made all three - and yay I love them and I now have Christmas containers!!!  I used more of the Moda Blitzen mini charm pack from Fat Quarterly retreat.  This Basic Grey line uses some of my favourite colours - red, aqua, grey, green... YUM!

I made a geeky/cheeky snowman for one of the side of the large box.  He's quirky and definitely not perfect - but that appeals to me!  I used fours types of linen making these nesting boxes - mostly scraps from making the other projects.  I've got Essex Linen in putty, linen in green and a cotton/linen blend in tan - plus I added a small a piece of Waterford linen in that I bought from The Village Haberdashery simply because I wanted to try it!  It is slightly thicker than the rest and lighter in colour.

I love Christmas fabric!  The binding is from the Figgy Pudding line from a few years back - I bought A LOT of it and it seems to make its way into a lot of my projects!  I still love it! 

I made the snowflake using my regular foot on the sewing machine and is the opposite side from the snowman.  This is the more 'classy' side and the snowman is the 'fun' side!  I made the smile and eyes on the snowman using techniques I learned yesterday at an Embroidery workshop with Aneela Hoey (more about that another day!).

The medium sized box has a present/wrapped gift on each side.  I used my regular foot to create these.  And there you have it - the FINAL Zakka Style Sew Along project!  My weeks won't be the same without sewing something out of linen!  I suppose I will have to concentrate on Christmas tree decorations now...

Linking to the Zakka linky party for the last time over on LR Stitched.  The post each week, the guests and the prizes have been amazing and the effort that went into everything was awesome - thank you for this sew along and thank you for giving me Zakka in my life!! 

....what shall we all do next!?

GIVEAWAY REMINDER!!  Click here to enter the London Modern Quilt Guild is giving away!

Linking up with Jed & Ivy Aloha Friday, Pieceful Life Little Quilt Monday and Sew Happy Geek Manic Monday.

September Finishes

Saturday 15 September 2012

Scrap vomit swap

Scrap Vomit Squares Pack - InternationalI've joined another swap but I had to because this one will give me a variety of 2.5" squares that I can either put towards making my remaining Great Granny squares (the quilt-along of which I am so very very behind in) or perhaps I could put them towards a 'scrap vomit quilt' or 'ticker tape quilt' that you see all around blogland.  Or I could just move them about and make different patterns and stare and drool... Yup, this is most likely what I will do with my 2.5" squares when they are sent to me!

Gnome Angel is coordinating the swap which is sectioned into two groups - Aussies or All Others.  I have a few squares already cut and pressed which are the ones that didn't make the cut to be in my Great Granny blocks - so I feel under control for cutting the 3 sets of 49 - 2.5" squares blocks to post out.  Deadline isn't until the beginning of October.  I can do it, right?

Of course I can!!

Friday 14 September 2012

LMQG Giveaway

Happy Friday! 

Would you like to win this cute bundle of Kitchy Kitchen Fabric???

Of course you do!  Hop on over to the LMQG blog for your chance to win!  Good luck!

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Holiday Sew & Stitch Along

I can't wait for this Sew & Stitch Along - I love making things for the holidays!!!  How about you? 

Our own version of...

Ok, so you know how there are the main Olympics and also the Paralympics?  Well, the Paralympics were once run alongside, or parallel (hence its name) to the main games. 

So, my FQ Retreat and blogging friend Di of Willowbeck Designs and I are having our very own "parallel" swap - our own private version of Mouthy Stitches 2.  You see, we both missed signing up for the main event (which filled up in a matter of hours!!) so to cheer ourselves up decided we needed to become our own team and swap the same tote bags that the Mouthy Stitches gang will be making and swapping - but we'll just swap with each other.  So exciting!! 

We've called our little swap 'Paramouthy Stitches' -- get it!!?  One could misinterpret it as 'Pair-of-mouthy-stitchers', but I like the reference to the Olympics and Paralympics better!  Gold medals to us for sure!

Being a good girl, I followed the rules of the real main event and made a mosaic of my likes to help and assist my secret partner non-secret partner stalk me.  Here is my inspiration mosaic:

Click here to see the credits.  I am excited to see what sort of mosaic Di makes - will it be colourful? - challenging? - full of paper pieced inspiration?  I am super excited and can't wait to sew for her! 

Just finishing a Lemsip and about to go to bed to dream about sewing a tote bag!  Have a great night!

Monday 10 September 2012

Dots on Dots Blog Hop

Happy Monday everyone - and welcome to the Dots on Dots Blog Hop ~ and my giveaway!  A huge thank you to cheerleaders Sew we Quilt and Quilt Taffy for organising us all!!  The full Dots on Dots Blog Hop schedule can be found by clicking here.

I love dots.  I love fabric.  So it is only natural that I love dots on fabric!!  Dotty fabrics are the best stash builders and come in so many variations!  When I went through my stash of yummy dotty fabrics, I kept coming back to these four fresh and happy fabrics in my favourite colours so I decided I should make a Cathedral Window block - something that I have wanted to make for ages and would showcase these dots nicely!    

I got the inspiration for the 12" block from the Modern Blocks book and found the tutorial for that block here in a very easy to follow tutorial as I needed just a few more visuals to complete it.  Practice makes perfect on sewing curves (and I still need some practice), but overall I am very pleased with my final result!  

The 'windows' in this block make the perfect frames to highlight these dotty fabrics.  Against the Kona Coal they are fresh and happy and I am looking forward to hanging it in my sewing space once I add some hanging tabs.  
I wonder what everyone else has made?  Be sure to check out these Dots on Dots Blog Hop participants today:
September 10th
[Amy's] Crafty Shenanigans ~ you are here


Now for my giveaway!!  I was thrilled and quite amazed at the response to my Quilting Gallery Blog Hop giveaway last week.  Thank you to everyone who entered and became a new follower - you guys are amazing!  It also means I now have more than 200 followers so let's celebrate again with another giveaway!  This giveaway bundle is inspired by the colours of autumn/fall. 

The complete prize bundle includes:  one FQ of orange striped Oakshott fabric, vintage fabric with little white DOTS, five co-ordinating vintage buttons, some vintage binding and vintage lace PLUS handmade [by me!] Zakka ribbon, a handmade [by me!] plaid drawstring gift baggie and a card-craft magazine!

To enter, please leave ONE comment telling me what your favourite 'autumn/fall' memory from childhood is.  Mine would be 'posing' for our back to school photo on the driveway with our brand new lunch boxes!  This giveaway is open to everyone near or far and you don't have to be a follower to enter [but it would be super nice of you if you were!].  Random number generator {or similar} will pick a winner on the 17th of September so be sure I have a way to contact you!!  I will re-draw if I don't hear from the winner after two days.   

Thank you for stopping in to the Dots on Dots Blog Hop today and good luck in the giveaway!  Don't forget to visit the other blogs throughout the rest of the Blog Hop! 

Happy sewing and I hope to see you again soon!

Linked to Sew Happy Geek ~ Manic Monday 

Sunday 9 September 2012

Cheeky Monkey


56 pressed and cut 5" charms of Kokka Cheeky Monkey on its way to Sarah of Narcoleptic in the Cupboard...

... along with a cheeky little "Cheeky Little Monkey wearing his little red polkadotty underpants" brooch for the most bestest [and cheeky] swap mama.  I hope she likes him!


Penultimate Zakka

Zakka entered my life in April of this year.  That's only five months ago but if feels like I have always had Zakka in my life!  I have loved making the projects in the book and have enjoyed following along with this 'Style-Along' - my first follow along!  I don't often buy craft books but there were quite a few projects in this particular book that pulled me in.  And the linen looked lovely...  I was hooked! 

So this week it was the "Happy Garland Message Board" using an embroidery hoop.  I think it is pretty cute and now I have something little to go on my little wall in my sewing room/closet/office area.

The book has beautiful and fun projects but a lot of silly errors and definitely not enough diagrams (I am a visual learner) but that didn't stop me from making 16 of the 24 projects listed!  I skipped the first project [tote with scary triangles] and went straight to the Zakka House pouch.  It was the first time I had ever used linen and I loved it!!  Plus I got to use buttons -- I love buttons!!  It was fun being creative and being brave to modify the embellishments and to see what everyone else was making too!! 

My favourites {I love these}:
The Orchard Path Pouch, the Pencil Case and Little Red Zakka bear

My most used projects {I love these too!!}:
House pouch and Sewing Kit

The most difficult/challenging:
Zakka Zip Organiser

I have jumped ahead of next week and made the small square basket [the other side and inside have swear words on it as it was made for my Sailor Mouth Swap secret partner]

And there you have it - just a little Zakka summary.  I will be linking up my Happy Garland Message Board to LR Stitched.  Fingers crossed!!

Happy Zakka-ing!!!

Linked to Septmber finishes