Sunday, 30 June 2013

FQR Name Tag Swap Reveal

With all the finished FQR Name Tags popping up on blogs and flickr it's beginning to sink in that my jolly to London is not too far away!  Eek!!

So, what seems like waaaay back I joined in the FQR Name Tag Swap and then promptly proceeded to fret and wring my hands in case I couldn't come up with an idea that there would be even a chance my partner would like.  However, a teeny bit of bloggy research led me to a most helpful post on her blog which provided the inspiration image I needed.

A geometric design and a certain shade of embroidery floss helped to get me started.

And, after a wee bit of a squash and a squeeze I had a name tag which I hope Sarah over at Duck Egg Threads will enjoy wearing at the retreat.  It has now arrived safely and Sarah has sent a lovely thank you email and seems to like it!

Learning point for me: it is hard to get a name, a blog name and a design into a name tag that doesn't mean my partner will feel like she is wearing a sandwich board!  Thankfully I didn't get a partner whose blog name is enormous!  This tag finishes up at 3.75" x 3.25".

The tag underwent a little adjustment when I realised that a thread had started on the flickr group expressing preferences for pin tags or lanyard tags.  So, Sarah now has a tag she can wear either way!  It even co-ordinates with the aeroplane bag she made to take to retreat which was made fom the fabric of the first image/design from which I drew my inspiration.  Check out her bag here.

So, from one Sarah to another I really do hope your tag fits the bill (or at least doesn't embarrass you)!  See you in July!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sewing Machine Couture

Many of you will have seen Judith's brilliant sewing machine covers that she made for her daughter's machine and her class models.  If you didn't, check here and here.

Recently, I got to have a wee go at her pattern and made a pretty new outfit for my Janome.  Doesn't she look smart in her designer gear?

Making the most of my small Ruby scraps, again!

Handy side pocket for tools and notes which had the option to be elasticated (useful for keeping your foot pedal and leads in), though I choose not too for this one.

J's step by step instructions for the handle opening were great, as this was something I've never attempted before.  I'll definitely not be so nervous about it next time!  Quilting style and "additions" are a matter of personal taste, so I sketch appliqued some wee flowers to the grey Essex linen and just quilted some groups of straight lines to stabilise the cover.  I love how pretty it is!  Anything in Ruby's gotta be a winner, right? Ok, so I'm Ruby obsessed - not sure I even want to apologise for that.

Anyway, if you get a chance to make one of these covers at J's classes or if she publishes the pattern (if she does, I will come back and tell you) you really should.  Great, clear instructions as always with plenty of pics to help.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Making Me Smile - 26/52

School Cup for Music and Grade 4 Music Exam for Trombone - very proud mummy!

This week marks the end of an era for us here, and while there might be a little tinge of sadness as my lovely son finishes his years at Primary School, I can't help but be caught up in his excitement and enthusiasm for the new beginnings he is about to make.  

I feel blessed to be able to smile at the milestones in life.  

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Goings On ...

Feels like lately I'm either playing catch up with my sewing because there's little time available to indulge in needle and thread, or I'm playing catch up with blogging the things I actually do manage to sew!

Anyway, just so you know that this blog isn't all about showing you the beautiful blocks that other people make and send my way, here are some of the goings on around these here parts ...

Hoping the sun shines for the recipients of my gifts.

When the time came to start thinking about End of Term pressies (which I dread), I thought I'd make some more of the sunglasses pouches I made for my colleague who was heading off on her Australian adventure back in March.  So that's my wee stack of cases ready for Friday morning and a few left over for some July gifting too ;-)

I also managed to piece together the sampler blocks for my MIL's birthday quilt.  I wasn't entirely sure about using such a busy wee print for the sashing but, on the basis that I was trying to make best use of the fabric I had to hand, rather than having to order even more, I went ahead and gave it a go.  My honest opinion is that I would still want to choose carefully any sashing that's so patterned, but with these other fabrics from the same line, I think it worked out not too badly.  I adore the deeper pink of the dogwood border fabric and think it finishes the quilt top off nicely.  I'm going to have to push myself in July to get it basted, quilted and bound before the end of the month, but I am so glad I had the forethought to make the blocks well in advance!

It may be slow, but at least there's a little progress.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Making Me Smile - 25/52

I spent time this week tidying up some old photographs which were passed on to me.  Since they made me smile when I was going through them I thought I'd share a couple with you.  You are not allowed to laugh, ok?

Me - a LONG time ago! Didn't my mother notice that I was having a bad hair day?

22 years later. I smiled my face off that day!!
Very skew-wiff scan- oops!

You are laughing, aren't you?!

Thursday, 20 June 2013


It's my camera skills that are wonky not the block!

Last week I showed you the first batch of the Siblings Together Block Drive churn dashes that have been making their way to me.  Among them were two lovelies from Annie B who kindly sent her blocks along with her Bee Blessed contributions.  Well, it seems there was another little churn dash stowed away in the package which we had overlooked initially so this is a big thank you to Annie for another great block for the boy quilt.  Sorry I missed it first time around!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Playing Catch Up

I have been playing catch up with MY May bee blocks this week.  All of those hard-working hipBees stitched, sewed and posted their blocks back to me within the month (thank you ladies!) but it's only just tonight that I have added my own blocks to theirs.

With 13 blocks returned by the bees I decided to make another 3 so that I can make the quilt up in a 4x4 layout.  So, after all the fab blocks the girls sent me (see here), what did I decide to add to my own first ever bee quilt?

Firstly, I made a granny square because I've always wanted one for myself and the only one I made previously will be added to my MIL's birthday quilt.

Then, because I love the quatrefoil block, I decided to see what it would be like in just 3 fabrics (which was the remit of all my blocks - kona snow, one predominantly red fabric and one cream/red mix).  It does look a little different in this limited fabric selection but I'm happy with how it turned out.

And then, I sat on the floor with the blocks all laid out and one remaining gap trying to decide what to fill it with.  I sat ... and I sat ... and I sat and then I had a little light bulb moment and remembered Jenna's Peek-a-boo block from her SewHappyQuilt series which I had wanted to make before but never got around to.

 Hey presto, empty space catered for!  I love this one!

So, do you want to see all my blocks together?  Here's a quick peek before I start to work on sashing and bordering -

Bad pic but good blocks.
 Getting exciting!

And now for a quick bedroom decor update -

When I posted the finish of my hexie flower wallhanging I was apologetic for the discordant bedlinens (as I am for these green ones too).  But, there is hope for my scheming to change the colours in my room to co-ordinate better with the Ruby fabrics I used in the mini-quilt.

What do you think of my new pillowcases?  Better, no?  It has taken me over a year to find new bedlinens that I like and that 'sort of' pass muster with my Mister.  I may have asked him for an opinion on these when he was slightly distracted ;-)   He may find himself surprised to be sleeping in something more floral that he usually finds acceptable, but I believe there were some noises of assent so the order is on its way!!!

I am now impatiently awaiting the arrival of the duvet cover and then, my next plan is to use all of my remaining Ruby and Marmalade fabrics to make a summer quilt and some pillowcases (for next summer obviously) to allow me to swap the linens around.  Nothing like thinking big, is there?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Le Challenge # 3 - Maritime

Le Challenge

Over at Le Challenge the theme set for June was "maritime" - just in time to get us all in the summer hols mood.

I thought it over and realised I had just the pattern for this theme, courtesy of Just Jude Designs and a cushion class I took a few summers ago.  That cushion was given away as a gift to my niece, so this month's challenge was the perfect excuse to make a wee row of beach huts to keep all for myself.

Hee hee - these make me smile!

I adapted the sizing of the cushion pattern to make a smaller version to fit over a stretched canvas from a bargain shop, and just neatly wrapped the quilty pic around the frame fixing in place on the back with a staple gun.

And now they are adding a little spot of cheery colour to my empty bathroom wall!

Now I'm off to check out the other maritime makes on the Le Challenge linky!

Making Me Smile - 24/52

Between you and me I kinda missed Making Me Smile post no 23 - last week was more stressy than smiley, but that's ok because this week there's a load to smile about!  I look like I slept with a coathanger in my mouth my smile is so wide today!  And here's why ...

On Thursday morning my great friend Judith brought me a house guest - the gorgeous Di!  

We started our morning with home baked raspberry and white chocolate scones and freshly brewed tea and coffee.  I was doing my best domestic goddess imitation which lasted about half an hour and then I completely forgot all the things domestic goddesses should remember when entertaining because I was having way too much fun chatting and laughing!!  Things pretty much continued in that vein throughout the day and on into Friday morning too.

The past two days with Judith and Di have been a true and timely God-send.  They have been just the breath of fresh air a girl needs!  Thank you ladies - to know the blessing of good friends is truly not to be underestimated!

And, to top it all off, Di came bearing this amazing gift - all for me!

I love these fabrics - such a sweet, fun bag!

Beautifully lined and pocketed too!

I believe I may have squealed when she presented me with this super mini weekender!  I love everything about this bag - the fabrics, the shape, the size and most of all the thoughtfulness and generosity of heart that made Di make it bring it for me.  Thank you so, so very much, Di!  Seems I needn't worry any longer about being the only FQRer without a handmade bag to show off!!

 Smile, smile, smile, smile, smile!  What a great few days!!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Siblings Together Churn Dashes

Last month I posted a wee call out for churn dash blocks to make a Siblings Together Quilt for a boy for next summer (2014).

You folks were brilliant and have pledged me more than enough blocks to make a quilt and a half (almost) already. Although I was intending to make just one quilt, I didn't want to say "no" when you were all so eager to help out and I reckon I could manage a second quilt to allow the Siblings Together charity to bless a young boy in the care system.  This means that I still have some spaces (for 18 blocks) if there's anyone else out there who would like to contribute a block or two.  If you are interested, all the details and specs are here and the block tutorial is here.

Anyway, some eager beavers have already sent me their yummy churn dashes and I thought I'd let you see how great they are.

from AnnieB

from Karen, Quilty Creations

from Judith, Just Jude

from Kirstie, Miranda and Lu
from Joan, Quilting Times

Told you they were great!

Big, big thanks to Karen, AnnieB, Judith, Kirstie and Joan - they're all smashing and I really, genuinely appreciate your help on this project.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Bee Blessed - June 2013

Bit later than usual posting (indeed making) this month's Bee Blessed block, but there is still time if you would like to whip one up!  We're making these lovely Woven blocks in bright fabrics for the woven stripes and plain white fabric for the four corners.

Jenna at Sew Happy Geek has a brill wee tute for these blocks.  I made one last year for the Bee Blessed samplers and can vouch for how nice and easy this effective block is.  So, go on you know you want to make one!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The meanest quilt block ever!

HipBees June Queen is Lynz whose fabric palette for the month was inspired by the meanest-looking cat ever.  (Not Lynz's own cute Temple and Jones felines.)  Here's Mr Mean -

Told ya!  I joked with Lynz that unlike her own cuties, Temple and Jones, this dude is more akin to Vinnie Jones!

Anyway, in spite of Mr Friendly up there, a gorgeous wee bundle of solid strips dropped through my letter box with instructions to create a "drunk love login cabin style" block and maybe add in a wee bit of my own fabric to co-ordinate and personalise the end product.  Talented lassie that she is, Lynz also created her own co-ordinating correspondence cards and added teeny wee bee pins for all of us workers.  Aren't they adorable?

So, this afternoon I set to work and had a great (and much needed) creative hour piecing this block.  Here it is -

I added some Modern Whimsy Circle fabric by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman.  The colour is called saffron, but I would call it coral, and I think it works beautifully with Lynz's solids. (Hope she does too!)

I loved making this block for Lynz and need to rush it to the Post Office before I make it into a cushion or something for myself!!  Judging by the other blocks popping up on the flickr group, she is going to have one stonkingly fab quilt shortly!!

So here you go Lynz, the meanest quilt block ever, especially for you!

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