Friday 30 September 2011

It's Friday !

I guess my favourite thing today is finding out that I love swapping!

Especially when I get goodies like these:

Made especially for me by the lovely Emily at The strawberry patch!

But it is not only the goodies that are brilliant it is also getting to know everyone involved in the swap - I had to stalk my two partners secretly and I feel I want to get to know them better (hope they do too when they get what I made them!)
I certainly want to keep in touch with Emily!

 I also was inspired to try out some new things:

Free Motion Applique and/or Embroidery - love making little pictures and my first was this one here made for my swap partner

Zips in pouches - had put off doing this for a long time and thanks to Kat's no nonsense tutorial here! I am not frightened of zips!

And although I didn't send this off I also made a fabric basket from one of the tutorials recommended by the swappers

And finally I have learnt to use Flickr more during the swap by commenting on the swap items being made.  I used to think it a poor alternative to Blogging but I see it has it's place.

Now big thank yous need to go to Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting who hosted this great swap - looking forward to round 2 - but not quite yet!

Susan at Canadian Abroad who nudged me into it....I didn't go quietly!

And all those lovely people who said kind things about what I was making but especially Susan and Helen at Archie the Wonderdog!  How would I have coped without them!

Roll on the next batch - yes not just one - but four swaps!  We have been assigned partners for the Scrappy Swap hosted by Kat on flickr here! - so I am off to do a bit of stalking...just need to get my tweeds on and you may see me in the hills coming up downwind of you though of course I'll be trying to sneak around unnoticed!  Shhhh!

This post has been linked to Favourite Things Friday over at Quilting in my Pyjamas!

Thursday 29 September 2011

Friendship's Garden half way round the....


No I mean border!   Not much progress I know but getting ready for swaps: measuring tables, looking for inspiration, making a mosaic and such take me an inordinate amount of time!  

I reckon though after a few more swaps I will manage to cut my preparation time down - so I'm in for three, no four swaps:

Susan's Christmas Tablerunner swap
Emily's Christmas Fabric Swap
Kat's Scrappy Fabric Swap and finally
Brit Bee's Pillow Fight Swap

Phew - do I have time for anything else?  Deadlines all before Christmas!  Eek!

We have also had illness - first the little one, then the big one - just my middle one and us oldies and it's the whole set!  Plus kittens to cuddle - sadly not here....but at my friend's house. 

Today I was the sole cheerleader for my daughter's hockey team but only arrived after she had got hit on the head by a stick - so a quick run by me to reception for an ice pack and she was back on the pitch in defense!

And this weekend there's to be a party including sleepover for the big one who will soon be 18!  I know 18!  Where did all those years go!??  And as a favour to a friend I am on babysitting duty on the same night! (Secretly hoping to get lots of crochet or stitching done!)

Have I had time to do much?  No but here is that half border back on my washing line on this beautiful Indian Summer day.....

It has been coming along since 2005, so easy does it, but it is getting closer to that finish and how I will celebrate then...!  Party anyone!?

Tuesday 27 September 2011

My dining room!

I have recently shown you all my mucky yucky sewing space - only mucky because I do not do enough tidying up and have too many projects on the go at once!

Today I am showing you my dining room as I want my partner-2-b in the Christmas Table Runner swap that Susan is hosting at Canadian Abroad to see where her creation will be!  I am so excited about this one because I get to make my partner a table runner - not made one of those yet - and I get something fabulous in return!

Here is my Flickr inspiration mosaic

As you can see I was totally smitten with the green sunburst quilt that Trudi had on her mosaic and could not get past the idea of snowflakes!  That was it!  Thanks Trudi!  I owe you one!

I know some of these blocks are complicated but I am not expecting my partner to make any of these blocks necessarily but just to be inspired by them!  Make it as simple or complex as you wish!

Here is a mini mock up of my Christmas table with white tablecloth, crystal glass, silver candlestick and a glass bauble...a taste of what it is like in the festive season as I could not quite get my boxes of Christmas decorations out of the cupboard under the stairs!  Needless to say there will be a lot more!

Also have not cooked a Christmas dinner so that is missing too!  My husband insists on goose with all the trimmings but that's allright because he does the cooking!  Lucky me!  Fortunately I am allowed to help with the eating!

Anyway apart from two very green walls there is not much colour going on.  I have thought about cranberry, ruby, purple, fuschia,  hot pink and all the colours in between to contrast with the green!  But I am handing the choice over to you Partner-2-B....I'd like Christmas with a twist so something close-ish to the traditional but not quite!

You may also see that we have taken our traditional dark oak furniture with us from our old house where it fitted the older style of that property better.  I have plans however to lighten the wood or perhaps even stain/paint it (but don't tell my husband yet -shhh!)  The light fittings are modern though and I like that mix!

Can't wait to see what you come up with ....though I think I am going to have to!

Oh and if you are mulling over joining in - shall I,  shan't I! -just do it!  I don't think you will be disappointed and you can email me during the stressy bits for support and encouragement if you have any!  But you do have to get on with it as the sign up closes on 2nd October here!

Meet Tilly & George!

Another reason for visiting my friend on Monday was to see the new addition to her family! Meet Tilly and George

My camera strap was just Tilly  

It was even worse for George!

I really think Emily's goodies match George so well - don't you think!?  Sadly Eloise didn't let me take him home with me!   And I thought she was my friend???!  Well friendship only goes so far - I don't blame her as these two are just adorable!

Monday 26 September 2011

Opening ceremony!

I was lucky enough to be Emily's partner in the recent Goodie Swap and these gorgeous items are what she sent me.  Am I happy ?  No I am ****** delighted, over the moon and grinning with joy - I am the cat with the cream!

I went over to my friend's house as she has been watching me make things for this swap and I opened my parcel over a good cup of tea!  I was secretly hoping that Emily was making gifts for me - I thought right colours check, the letter N check but then realised there are two other Ns involved in this swap - so sorry Naomi and Natalie - I was hoping you were not getting these little treasures!

The letter needlebook particularly stole my heart as soon as I saw it on Flickr - the detail is delightfull - check out that cute little stamp with pinked edges!  

The pincushion is adorable - a bug, rabbits and birds - such cuteness! 

Then the mug rug a zesty treat!
I love the colours, the textures and the quilting - I marvel at those straight lines Emily!  
Then the back is all plushy greeness or greeny plushness or possibly both! 
Totally gorgeous and I am so happy!

You may like the photos but they just do not do justice to any of the actual items!  I'm lost for words believe me...! 

Thank you Emily I cannot say how happy I am as I have been coveting these items since I saw them on flickr!  Sorry you others, you can't have these - they are mine!  All mine!  Hahaha! 

 And BTW thanks for the hot chocolate and choc they will go down very nicely - already had to defend them from my brood!

Roll up, roll up!

You are wanted!  

Emily at The Strawberry Patch is hosting a Christmas Charm Swap and is looking for 28 people in total to sign up. 

 Some including me have already joined in but hurry if you don't want to be left out of this opportunity to grab some lovely modern Christmas fabrics just in time to make something gorgeous for your own home or as a gift for someone else's. 

 Do not worry - no need to make something  this swap is all about the fabric - only buying 1 metre of fabric and cutting it into 56x5" charm  squares is required!  Then you get 28 different prints with 2 squares of each in return!


What are you waiting for people - the sign up page is here!  And once you've signed up - go blog about it!


Sunday 25 September 2011

Just one more thing!

I have packed one mugrug and goodies package off to Partner 1.  Bye bye little Hoo - have a safe journey and settle down in your new home!

Still wanted a little extra for Partner 2 - so I thought I'd make a little pincushion...

She didn't ask for one I know but I've already made a pouch so just wanted something to go inside.  First of all I made an attempt to make something like a cupcake pincushion...

Didn't quite like it enough so I get to keep that one and soldier on.  I looked for inspiration and it came to me....

I love it and would happily have it back if Partner 2 doesn't like it!  May have to make another one if she does.  Little applique on the front and some of my Dan Stiles fabric ( from the Across the Seas baby quilt ) at the back!  Added a bit of Dan Stiles selvedge as a little label and think it looks cute!

The mugrug and goodies are all parceled up so it is good to post on Monday!

Then all I have to do is wait until they arrive....! Oh and maybe open a parcel or two myself!  Excitement level?  Sky high!

Saturday 24 September 2011

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....

Getting ready for Susan's Christmas runner plus goody swap and playing around with machine applique again....

This is what inspired me....

Result - a little wintry scene with trees, North Pole and a little deer running past....

With this method of applique and quilting at the same time the back gets a bit messy....but it is a lot quicker, and puffier!  But a bit more time may have made it look better! 

In the book the sign writing was in pen!  The wimps! Mine was with the machine and a little bit on the teeny side but hey didn't know I could....till I tried!

What has surprised you?  What have you done that you thought was impossible but you triumphed over in the end?

My list includes:

Jumping on horseback - only little jumps still and sometimes with Thelwell looking results!
Machine Applique and Embroidery - just beginning but such fun
Blogging - massive learning curve but loving every minute - thanks peeps that's down to you lot out there
Swapping - Susan and Helen got me in to and out of my first 
Going to the Festival of Quilts - thanks Susan, wouldn't have gone without you and it was such fun!

.....more challenges to come, I'm sure!

Go forth and do something that scares, unnerves you - but keep it legal ok?

PS With thanks to Hadley for satisfying my curiosity and for any nosy crittters like me here is the bookshelf where this photo shoot took place....

Friday 23 September 2011

The Backside of Across the Sea !

Well I had hoped on Wednesday evening to have caught up with the Across the Sea QAL but I made a mistake in putting my blocks together late at night.

Yesterday I thought about what I should do as it just wasn't working for me.

So instead of swapping my second and fourth block I changed up the frame around the fourth block from white to the Caribbean blue from the front.  I like it better now and that's all I'm doing as to keep up I need to get basting!

Here is a closeup of my newly framed block above and below is the teeny block which came out blurred on my photo the other day - I think this wee bird is so cute - just the right size!

This QAL is like a boulder rolling downhill - it started at a gentle pace but it seems like the pace is picking up faster and faster and soon I guess it will be over!

I will be sad about that as I have enjoyed it but I hope to have my quilt finished...

I do have my another quilt in this pattern to finish - my Fright Nite lap quilt!  I have a toothy border to go on it and am planning something different with the I guess I needn't be that sad after all....

Thursday 22 September 2011

In A Handbag!

Quoted in a loud aristocratic English outraged accent!  Denouement scene from The Importance of Being Earnest by the outrageous Oscar Wilde!  Always loved that bit !

Nothing much to do with the rest of the post but hey why not??

These little purchases wheedled their way into my basket while visiting Lisa
Lam's website  She wrote the book I recently showed you which I am going to use to make a bag with the lovely fabric Lynne kindly gifted my way!

What on earth are these things?

I have here a purse frame - I have to admit I thought English purse as in coin purse when I put it in the basket but no this would be a coin purse suitable for a giant!  It's a purse as in US style ie a handbag!  

A tube of glue that Lisa recommends for using with the purse frame!

A metal strip flex frame - more suited as a coin purse 

And a That Purple Thang! good for pushing, poking, pulling and generally turning things inside out or threading ribbon and elastic through a small space!  Emminently useful I would say and less dangerous than my usual assortment of tools....knitting needles, scissors, pencils etc

So I hope to be making more goodie type things in the near future...

In the meantime I have caught up with the Across the Sea QAL as you can see here...

Here is the quilt back in it's vast whiteness....and below are close ups of my blocks which I think have turned out well but I just feel the whole thing above isn't quite doing it for me!

The weeny one came out blurred in the photo so I will try to get a better shot later if the sun ever gets here....

Here are the two tops side by side and I know which one I prefer.....Maybe a scrappy border will lift the back needs a little something!

I hung them back to back to check out the dimensions and although I didn't put the second border on the front as I ran out of Caribbean I am surprised at how much spare fabric I will need to cut off after quilting these two together...or did I get it wrong?

[Just noticed one thing I got wrong - switched up block 2 and 4 there!  That's the problem with late night piecing!  Looks like I'm taking it apart again anyway!]

A few more things to sort out and catch up with and I will be back on track...until the next swap starts.

Talking of swaps have you seen the Modern Christmas Runner Swap that Susan from Canadian Abroad is running.  Signing up deadline is 2nd October!  Go and have a look ....and join in the fun!  You never know I might be making something for you - though I hope that doesn't put you of!


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