Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 in review

I wasn't sure that I'd achieved much in 2012, but then I looked back at my post from this time last year, and realised that actually, I've done more than I thought!

A year ago, I was working on hand sewing some ornaments, and I wrote out some resolutions for the year:

1. Stop procrastinating and get the machine fixed!
Done, if you count making Hubs buy me a machine for my birthday....

2. Make something for myself, as everything I've made so far has been given away. I'm thinking about making a case for my kindle like this.

I made two skirts, a kindle cover, two bags and a mini-quilt for moi

3. Make something for Hubby for our second wedding anniversary in April - hopefully a version of the Dead Simple QAL from

Ta Dah!


4. Have another go at a cushion and get the backing right this time! Thanks for the helpful suggestions last time to fix the bodge I made of my hexie panel cushion, the velcro did work.

Went a bit cushion crazy....

5. Get nice camera so I can take decent pictures of my triumphs and disasters rather than using my phone!
Done - hopefully you can see some difference!

I've been a bit busy with other projects too:

1. Dusky Pink Kona Geranium Dress, Size 12-18 months with extra embroidery, 2. IMG_0218, 3. IMG_0191, 4. Untitled, 5. Scrappy Swap Boxed Pouch, 6. H's finished quilt, 7. Tortoise tidy, 8. Lizzy House fabric basket, 9. Zoo Windows in the window!, 10. Zoo Windows back, 11. peassss, 12. Isla, 13. amy4, 14. 3 in 1 infinity scarf, 15. Kindle Cover, 16. IMG_0199

Bring on 2013, I wonder what I'll be able to do this time next year?

PS - sorry if I've been quiet recently, work and Christmas have taken over my life!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Burning the midnight machine-oil

I didn't update on Saturday as I had absolutely zilch to say - the machine was not touched in a whole week, as the pre-Christmas school madness  kicked into gear.

Since Saturday morning, the machine has whizzed and whizzed and whizzed. I gave my first handmade gift today which went down really well, hope these will be as successful!


Cushion for Gran, using Cath Kidston fabric from IKEA - thanks to Lucy for the zip help!


Front of Gran's cushion, from my Aneela Hoey class.

One of the many scarves - unfortunately this was the only one which managed to be circular, the rest were too short, booo.


Next, a table runner for one Mum (spot the farrrrr too puffy wadding, that made quilting a nightmare! Had to do the inside-out-envelope jobby rather than binding it due to this too)



It looks like it should be on the end of a bed!

Here's the other table runner - the observant of you may notice that it actually looks more like two table mats....



I was intending to use the HST BOF from Blossom Heart Quilts, but I really ran out of time and energy so went with the stars instead - fewer seams to deal with!

Right, back to hiding in my ostrich hole until Thursday, when the great Xmas migration begins!

PS - How cool is this little dude who arrived in one of my cards?!?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Presents, presents, presents

Well, it's T-11 days til we leave for my parentals for a pre-Christmas wedding, and the madness has really begun. We've had Christmas meals, mince pie and mulled wine parties and last Scouts before Christmas, we've still got carol concerts, pantos, more Christmas meals and a full time job to keep us busy up until we leave!

The big weekend job has been getting on with some presents, using lots of really great tutorials - there's still time to use them if you need! The most useful were these three: Kindle CoverBoxed Pouch and Apron

Here's the pics:

One of my best friends loves fantasy novels, and has just got a Kindle so I made her a quick cover with some Michael Miller fabric that I know she'll love.

Kindle Cover

Kindle Cover

I always find it strange making stuff to other peoples' taste, but I think it'll suit her :D

Next up is an apron for D who is an amazing baker (she does the best Coca Cola Cupcakes!)


Melody Miller Apron

Sorry about the rubbishy photos, they're all wrapped now so I can't retake them!

I've also made some boxed pouches, one pencil case size for a colleague (who is lovely, hence why I cut into my viewfinders for her!) and another big enough to use as a make up bag for a friend. I love this tutorial, it's so easy!




I've also finished the cushions for my friend, so they'll be in the post tomorrow.


I've enjoyed making these, and I'm fairly sure that she'll be pleased with them, but I don't think I'll take on another commission - too much stress!

Still got lots to finish, including two Christmas table runners which CAN'T be late - wish me luck!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Goodbye November.... Hello to the madness of December!

1. Cushions for M and the kids, 2. HST BOF Ornament Block, 3. Cushions for M and the kids, 4. Cushions for M and the kids, 5. Embroidery from Little Stitches with Sew Stitchy sashing, 6. H's quilt all rolled up, 7. Cushions for M and the kids, 8. Cushions for M and the kids, 9. Cushions for M and the kids, 10. Scrappy Swap Boxed Pouch, 11. Scrappy Swap Boxed Pouch, 12. Fab Scrappy Swap bits

This month has been dominated by the Scrappy Swap (just to be clear, I didn't make the last pouch, I just received it :D), delivering H's quilt and making lots of cushions as a commission for a friend.  I also went to a class with Aneela Hoey, which was fab!

The other major occurrence of November was a flu bug, antibiotics are helping but I still feel rubbish and tired. No LMQG for me tomorrow, despite last month's being brilliant.

Now to finish off the rest of the to-do list - leaving for Home in 19 days!

Linking up with Lily's Quilts and the Slow Blogger Linky :D
Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts

Knotted Cotton

Monday, 26 November 2012

Amazing Swap Goodies

Well, I seriously hit the jackpot in the Scrappy swap which is just finishing up!

I got an amazing package from Leanne at She Can Quilt, I'd seen the photos of these in the group pool and was really happy when they landed on my doorstep. I love everything that I received, Leanne did a great job of figuring out my taste!

I got a fab triple zipper pouch:

Fab Scrappy Swap bits
Fab Scrappy Swap bits
Love that butterfly!

Lots of GORGEOUS scraps to play with

Fab Scrappy Swap bits

And a very picturesque calendar of Canadian landscapes.

Fab Scrappy Swap bits
Not bad for my first swap!

Thank you so much Leanne :D

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Stash with a purpose!

I'm not a fan of buying fabric without a specific purpose, it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable and extravagant - do you agree?

All of the fabric which I bought this weekend after the Raystitch class has a project which it's intended for, and this made me feel less guilty about my purchases. That, and the 15% discount for having gone to a class :D

I bought lots of lovely soft fabrics to make scarves for Christmas presents for the ladies of the family - each print has got a solid to match, except for the Field Study Co-ordinates, which Annie is helping me match (thank you Nathalie!)

Loot from Raystitch

I also bought some cute Echino to make a key holder (which I've seen someone make, but can't remember for the life of me who!) to help solve the frequent "Where have you put my keys!" 'debate' (!) every morning:

I also bought some Melody Miller to make a scarf for my sister in law, tape ribbon for my bestie's apron and a mini charm pack of Marmalade that just jumped into my basket... (I do have a plan for these, honest!)

Loot from Raystitch

 I have no excuse for not getting on with things now!

Monday, 19 November 2012

A SnowGlobe for Christmas

Thank Goodness, my class with Aneela Hoey on Saturday ticked off loads of things from the huuuge to do list!

Autographed Little Stitches!

I felt so terrible as I managed to run quite late - I had to go home because I was convinced that I'd left the hob on (I hadn't), and as a result, missed two buses and then the train by one minute! Thankfully, I wasn't too late, and arrived to find the lovely ladies hadn't yet started. Aneela commented that it felt like we'd known each other for ages, and it was great to see at least one smiling face that I recognised.

Embroidery from Little Stitches with Sew Stitchy sashing

We were very productive during the session, despite me getting distracted by chatting, eating chocolate brownies and drinking all of their Apple and Rhubarb juice, and I managed to complete my embroidery (there's a photo on Aneela's blog of my nearly finished hoop - is it geeky that I'm quite excited by that??)

Embroidery from Little Stitches with Sew Stitchy sashing
(Please excuse the rubbish in the background of this photo!)

When I got home, I used some squares of Sew Stitchy to frame the embroidery. I was being lazy and didn't want to cut too much, so I left the embroidery at 9 1/2"sq - this feels a little big though.... We were discussing the art of knowing when to stop, but I'm not yet adept at this - do you think that it needs a bit more detailing to balance it out?

This will hopefully be going to a Gran (as in, one of our three Grans, not a random one!)

Oh, and to prove that I am making progress with the other items.............

HST BOF Ornament Block

I've done some more of my HST BOF blocks!
(and by some I mean "made the HSTs and trimmed them for one of the other five blocks which I need to make"......)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Sinking under!

Another week, another update! I'm sure that some of the tips on the Plum and June Blog Hop were:
a) Don't complain about how busy you are (well - tough, I'm going to!)
and b) Try to blog at regular intervals. Hopefully once a week counts as regular!

I did manage to finish one thing this week, my swap item in the Scrappy Swap. I was slightly intimidated by the talent of my partner so I sewed very, very carefully and am really quite pleased with the final results:

Scrappy Swap Boxed Pouch

Scrappy Swap Boxed Pouch

I also found quite a funky local item which I hope she'll like.

This is however the only bit of sewing which I've managed this week, due to work and family stress. As a result, the to-do list is no shorter but the big day is getting closer!

Here is the to-do list, so I can remember what I need to work on:
  1. Commission cushions - I'm in the process of sorting the applique letters now, just got to bite the bullet and cut into that Essex Linen......
  2. Christmas presents - I'm thinking Infinity Scarves for every female member of the family, maybe some pouches for the boys if I can find appropriate fabric. The only person whose present I have put absolutely zero thought into so far is Hubs!!
  3. HST BOF Christmas table runners (using Blossom Heart Quilts' tutorials) for our mums. One block finished so far (in September!), five to go.

2012-09-10 20.33.02 

     4.Two Kindle covers for friends (including one made in a skeleton print!) 
     5. Something to take to the next LMQG meeting for show and tell, rather than being lame and just  taking my Kindle cover!
     6. This is a good one - go to my class with Aneela Hoey tomorrow! :D
Hmmm, that list is supposed to be much, much longer, but I can't remember what else should go on. Sort of defeats the purpose of the list!

T - 34 days until we head up North, best get a move on!!  (Can someone get me out of  Parent's Eve and VI form Open Eve so I can sew more?)

PS - someone remind me next year not to watch Children in Need, can't handle the emotion!
PPS - Is it wrong to find Tom Daley so attractive???
PPPS - The Doctor Who Christmas trailer looks so amazing - the only reason why I want Christmas here   NOW!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Catching up...

.. on things what I have been up to....

Getting inspiration (and playing with the new camera!) at the stunning Fountains Abbey near Ripon...

... there must be an EPP project a la the Travelling PicStitch Blog Hop, I just haven't got the fabric for it yet.

Speaking of fabric, I stocked up at the Pink Castle moving sale:

Field Study (to go with the Washi dress pattern that I might have bought....) and a Blogger's bundle that slipped it's way into my shopping basket.

Lynne's Low Volume - Blogger Bundle by Lynne from Lily's Quilts
Photo borrowed from here as my photography skills aren't up to low volume!

I delivered this hefty thing to H - who  cried and cried and cried, so no photos I'm afraid....

H's quilt all rolled up

... however I have got a sneaky peek of this, made for my (amazingly talented) partner in the Scrappy Swap

The beginning of a zipped pouch - hope you like it partner!

I'm also being brave and going to the LMQG meeting on Sunday (eek!)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I've watched the last two Blogger's Quilt Festival with enjoyment, looking at all the beautiful quilts created by so many talented bloggers.

This time round, I thought that I'd enter, as I've just finished my nephew's quilt. According to this post, I started it in early April, so it's taken quite a while!

H's finished quilt

It's based on the Small Plates quilt in the Practical Guide to Patchwork, and was quite easy to put together, but time consuming because I was measuring, cutting and piecing really slowly.

The solids are all Klona cottons from Backstitch, (Royal, Turquoise, Copen, Jade, Holly, Lime and Orange) and the white is Klona Cream (Eclectic Maker had a sale....) The prints are from a random selection of places, but were inspired by the tortoises (Urban Zoologie) which came from a scrap pack from Fabric Rehab. I love the mix of cars, animals, numbers, robots etc - H's mum works with disabled children and I know that she'll love playing games with him, spotting and matching up all the different groups.

The backing is from Ten Little Things, and was the result of a fabric buying disaster  - for the record, I did need all of it!!

It was quilted by me using the tutorial on wavy line quilting by Bijou Lovely, with lots of overlapping wiggly lines. There's one line in each vertical row of sashing, and the horizontal rows have got (from top to bottom) 6-5-4-3-2-3-4-5-6 lines. Hubs thinks that my OCD tendencies are getting worse, but I think that it feels lovely! Also, it's yet another educational opportunity :D

This was really quite easy to quilt, despite the fact that it's the biggest quilt that I've made at 68 x 85"(first two were approx 30" sq, third was 52x68".) I can't quite believe my Pink Chalk fabric card tells me that this is only twin size - how do people quilt things bigger than this?!

It also features a little bit of hand embroidery.


(Please ignore the wonkiness of that binding!)

The binding is made up of long scraps of the solids which I used in the main body, and was attached by machine to the back then the front. You can see this quite well in the photo above - there are three different colours of binding around the bottom two blocks.

Lots of scrappy binding

It won't fit very well in our washing machine and we don't have a tumble drier, so it'll go in at my Mum's next week, I'm hoping that it'll crinkle up nicely (and hide those little imperfections where I got a bit trigger-footed with the quilting!)

H's quilt all rolled up

I'm really looking forward to giving this to his Mum, I've been sending her occasional sneaky photos via Whatsapp, and I know that she's told my mum that she can't wait to see it. Hope it lives up to expectations!

The only thing that is still missing from this quilt is a name - any ideas gratefully accepted!

  • Quilt Measurements - 68 x 85"
  • Special Techniques used, if any - wavy line quilting
  • Quilted by… - me and my little Janome
  • Best category - Favourite bed quilt, Favourite home machine quilted quilt
Amy's Creative Side