Friday, 12 February 2016

flowering


I finished my third and final appliqué block for my green tea and sweet beans quilt. 


The flowers were English Paper Pieced using Mini Hex Den papers and then hand appliquéd.


I didn't really like the appliqué flowers in the green tea and sweet beans pattern book so I decided to make my own and used three different epp shapes:


It is just over a year since I finished the first one and nearly as long since the second one! I knew it would be a long project!


I love seeing these blocks together and it's making me excited about the quilt as a whole! I'm really happy with the background fabrics too.


I still have a few more blocks to hand piece so it might take a little while longer before I get this one done :)

There are some great deals to be had on fabric this weekend...

You can get a discount on Green Fairy Quilts new arrivals with the code LOVE, including Vintage Picnic and Aria

Fat Quarter Shop have 30% off Valentine's Day fabrics! It's not all hearts ;)


There are lots of temptations at Fluffy Sheep Quilting, the Blueberry Park charms are a great way of getting a selection of Karen's beautiful prints!


And a huge stack of fabulous prints have been added to the Pink Castle Fabrics sale section, no coupon needed just stock up before they sell out!



Hope you all have a LOVE filled weekend!

linking up to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Thursday, 11 February 2016

I don't do well with change


I've thought a little too much about writing this post, the words to say, how to explain myself properly and why I need to say it. I'm just going to do it and hope it comes out okay. 

Since the new year began I have begun feeling anxious, something I've never really experienced before. I knew it was coming because I do not like change at all. In September my youngest will start at school. I realise this is a nice thing, she will be ready for it and I'm sure she will enjoy it. I will not, well maybe I will eventually, but it's going to be hard. 


I realise this is not a disaster, I do truly know how fortunate I am and am so grateful for all the happiness and love in my life. I can't help how I feel though and part of me is crumbling. All I ever wanted since being little was to get married and have babies. Everything I did before was just the preamble to living the life I wanted. Two degrees, a couple of careers and a previous serious relationship that taught me a lot, led me to find the love of my life and we created the family we wanted. It's not all roses all the time, I had post natal depression after we had our son and three kids is a lot of work. There are times I feel like screaming, times all I do is shout and days that feel like years but it's all worth it when one of the kids says or does something cute, wonderful, caring or just perfectly them. 

I have spent most of the past 8 years being a stay at home mum (I prefer full time mum but I know that can cause offence - sorry) and that time will end later this year. I do now work part time but currently only about one day a week. I'm not having an identity crisis, I know I will be able to find something else to do and hopefully a career I will enjoy. I am just going to miss it. I'm going to miss seeing this face all day...


even with food all over her!

I cried when the other two started school - I'm a total sap - but this time I will walk home alone. That sounds dramatic but that's how it plays in my head. 

There are so many wonderful things about seeing my kids grow, watching them become more independent, seeing them find their own joy in reading, drawing, writing, learning. Doing work like this:


I did think about home schooling (for like a second, I don't have the patience!) because I love being around them. I enjoyed primary school and my kids do too so I'm happy about it. I'm just not great at letting go or change.

There must be other mums that have dealt with this? 

source: image by LoVE

I'm not trying to be 'woe is me', really I know this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of everything, but I am struggling. I hope by even this time next year I will be totally okay with them all being at school because my life will be filled up with more good things. So I'm working on setting up plans for things to do once she's at school and I guess what other 'hat' I will be wearing along with being a mum. That gives me focus and I can get excited about it. But then I think about what's going to happen and I just feel a bit sick. My heart beats so fast and I am dreading her starting school. I cry thinking about it and have feelings of being overwhelmed. It's like waves of panic. If my anxiety gets any worse I think I will go and see a doctor, currently it's not all consuming and I would like to avoid that. I've joked it's like pre-anxiety anxiety but it's not really funny. I don't want to waste the next few months worrying about September when I could be having fun with Lois. 

I have tried not to think about it but it doesn't work and I'm worried if I just 'suck it up' then I'm going to get a lot worse. I'm having bad days and good days, honestly even bad hours and good hours. The back and forth is exhausting!

I decided to write this because I know a lot of you are parents and/or you might be able to relate to what I'm going through. I would so appreciate any ideas or advice you can offer. Any general advice for dealing with anxiety? Please leave a comment or send me an email if you prefer. Thank you xx

I'm being brave and hitting publish...




Monday, 8 February 2016

incoming


I have been meaning to blog all week but somehow haven't quite managed it. I have some personal stuff going on in my head and want to share but need to find the words... don't worry it's nothing terrible and hopefully I can express it properly soon. Anxiety is running rife so I will be leaning on all of you if you'll let me.

For now I'm just going to show you the goodies that have joined my stash recently.

I picked some pretty fabrics from Sunny Day Supply - I really couldn't resist these cats and matches, which are so fabulous! The daisy print feels beautifully soft and the middle print is going to prove so useful, sort of retro but also modern.


I love the extras I got with my order, along with a sweet hand written note. Such great customer service and just so thoughtful! 


I needed to stock up on zips again and my favourite place to buy them is Rickety Rose Crafts. Rose has a fabulous range of zips and crafting supplies to make your projects pretty! Look at these great colours:


I needed some cotton webbing and this Illuminated Graph in Metallic Fog, Loominous by Anna Maria Horner fabric (which is impossible to get a good picture of but is so pretty in real life) just jumped into my basket at The Village Haberdashery:


I got my first box of the BOM from Sew & Quilt. I haven't ever subscribed to a block of the month that included fabric but Jessie has such great taste, I love the fabrics in her shop! I have seen other people making the Lucy Boston 'Patchwork of the Crosses' quilts and I am so drawn to this pattern. Also Lucy, so I had to ;)
It is taking all my willpower not to start this straight away but my pile of WIPs is crazy and this will be my reward for getting some of them finished!


More fabric too pretty to pass up from Fabricworm, unfortunately I got stung with a customs charge for these.

 top row, left to right: Pepper Dots in Sorbet, Light and Shade by Lisa Tilse; Confetti in Earth, Light and Shade by Lisa Tilse and Little Honey in Gold, Folk Song by Anna Maria Horner.
middle: Stitchy Dots in Coral, Bright Heart by Amy Butler
bottom: Arrowheads in Dusk, Wildland by Miriam Bos

And because I have no willpower when it comes to fabric I got these from Patchfinders. It's hard to leave empty handed when you work in a quilt shop! The two on the left were bought by customers and I just love them (and the middle one is only £6 a metre!), the sewing themed one arrived while I was at work and called out to be fussy cut!

 left to right: Kasuri by Hoffman; Innocent Charm in White, Coquette by AGF Studio and Sewing Studio 2 by Cynthia Frenette.

Lovely Lisa offered to send me some Thimble Pads because I had never tried them. I didn't actually realise they were leather and somehow thought they were rubber or plastic and would feel horrible, like wearing a plaster. How wrong I was! I've always struggled with thimbles, the last one I bought was leather and I do prefer that to others I've tried but after having it for a while it's started to stretch a bit and since I only really use one spot it has begun to wear away. I don't even always wear it so I also have a nice dent at the top of my middle finger! ouch! 


I've been trying a Thimble Pad for the past couple of days and I'm totally hooked. It's saving my finger! They are so easy to use and totally reusable. I was put off by how many you get in a pack, thinking they would only last a little while but Lisa assures me they last a really long time and I can believe her. I can't recommend these enough, whether you like thimbles or not they are worth a go! People have been telling me how much they love them on instagram and I wish I had tried them sooner.
If you want to try them Thimble Pads are currently on sale at Green Fairy Quilts :)

Finally one of my dearest friends (of nearly 20 years) knitted me this gorgeous hat. I'm completely smitten. The colours, the style, it's so perfectly me and it's keeping me nice and cosy on these blustery days!


Wishing you all a wonderful week! And well done for making it through all that ;)

Molli Sparkles

Friday, 29 January 2016

fun fables ~ Priscilla


Along with Dolly I finished one more block for my Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-along quilt this week and because it had bigger pieces I decided to do English Paper Piecing.

#86 Priscilla Fabric was an easy pick for this block and I enjoyed the letter! The way she stopped her younger brothers protesting about helping do dishes by telling stories "so exciting that dishwashing became a pleasure". I chose the dotty grey for the boring task of washing dishes and the Fibs and Fables print because it so beautifully represents a fairytale theme. 

   
I taught a beginner's patchwork class today and had such a wonderful time. The ladies were all so creative and enthusiastic. They made some beautiful blocks and really inspired me! As much as I am enjoying all the hand sewing I have been doing recently I am now itching to get back to my sewing machine. Hopefully I will find some time this weekend!


Linking up to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts.



Thursday, 28 January 2016

homemade amusements ~ Dolly


Aren't you glad this was the only block for the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-along this week? It is a beautiful block though and worth the time to match up all those points and corners. I hand pieced this block and want to share some tips to make it easier and go together a little more quickly!


Once all the pieces are cut I always lay out my block, this helps me make sure I am sewing the right pieces and for blocks with lots of pieces it means I can work out the best construction. There are four identical segments of this block with 11 triangles in each. I laid these out:


The block assembly in the book seems to suggest making half square triangles and sewing these together but I would rather not stop and start so much. I did split the triangles into the same two rows and then sewed each row without stopping as indicated by the arrows in the pictures below.


For the longer row there is a seam that you need to sew and then stitch back over, so that you travel back to the corner and continue sewing. You can see this seam where there are two arrows below.


I then sewed the short row to the large navy triangle, followed by the longer row - as shown in the block assembly in the book. To attach the two other triangles I again sewed continuously, following the arrows below to attach them to the previously completed piece of the block.


The middle part of the block is a simple nine patch but making sure you centre the points of the adjoining triangles is not so simple! I tried by folding the nine patch in quarters and marking the centre of the middle outer squares in the seam allowance. As you sew the block together you can align the point of the triangle with the pen mark on the seam of the square:



#28 Dolly Sometimes it takes travelling the hard road to make you realise the importance and "quality of quiet living". Those simple pleasures of "old-fashioned Sunday dinners, neighborhood dances, and card parties". I chose the Macrame print because it reminds me of the plant holders my parents had around the kitchen when I was growing up. The metallic gold/navy print represents the "easy road" while the brown stands for the time they "scrimped and saved".


Get the book for this gorgeous block and many more...


The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.

GnomeAngel.com

Wednesday, 27 January 2016