Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A week left of fugly hunting

I'm recovering from the horrible vomit bug that totally kicked my a**e and had me exhausted last week.
I haven't been able to keep up with blog reading, so sorry for the lack of comments but I'm back on track now!

It is officially a week (right?!) until the Fugly Fabric Party kicks off!! If you don't know what I'm talking about click here.

Thanks so much for all of you who've given it a mention on your blogs and there's been some great button grabbing!

Here it is again, just in case you missed it!:

Charm About You
<div align="center"><a href="http://charmaboutyou.blogspot.com/p/fugly-fabric-party.html" title="Charm About You"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6723225913_dc59644156_m.jpg" alt="Charm About You" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

So with one week to go:

- Collect some fugly or unwanted fabric to rid yourself of!
- You might want to think about how you're going to offer it on your blog (giveaway, postage paid, etc.) and let people know via your blog that it's upcoming.
- If you're super organised (unlike me) you could even get your post written in preparation.

If you're not sure what a link party is or you've never done one before, head over to the The Barefoot Seamstress and check out her easy guide to linking up so you can play along!

Remember there's a bribe involved ;)

I need to get the house cleaned and boring stuff like that today but hopefully I'll have some actual sewing to show you tomorrow!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Winter Stitching Check In

I'm joining in with the Winter Stitching and had to check back to see what was on my list!!

FairyFace Designs

Here's my progress:
Dead Simple Quilt - done

Drunkard's Path QAL - done

One baby quilt, which became Diagonal Stripe HST Quilt - done

2 quilts for my nieces, which became the Terrain Lattice Quilt and Terrain Lattice Quilt 2.0 - done

Does Not Compute Quilt - done

I've also managed to do a whole bunch of other makes that you can see here!

Blogger's BOM, keep up to date - done

Owl quilt - I have the fabric but it is creeping down the list of priorities so I'm not sure if this will get done this winter:

Secret Quilt - I've done nothing on this one and I'm not sure whether to abandon it.

Do more fmq practice and try to do some on actual quilts - done. I didn't remember I'd even put this on the list and it seems very serendipitous that that's what I'm currently working on!!

Love of Rain Quilt - the fabric is sitting staring at me:

Vintage Inspired/Modern Quilt - I am going to do the Across the Sea Quilt Along pattern for this. I have yummy repro fabric ready and am planning on hand quilting it. This quilt will be ALL MINE! I will start work on it soon though I hope. I'm wondering if I want to make it so much that I'm putting it off because I'm worried it won't be as good as it is in my head. Do you know what I mean?

So all in all I'm doing OK but I still have some really big projects to do...

I'm still a bit rubbish at not getting distracted and need to focus to finish something . I also have periods of doubting myself, which I hate because it makes me feel so useless and that's not really me. I'm battling through it though and my husband is wonderfully reassuring, always telling me just to do it and reminding me that most of what I want to do will only be living at our house and how will I get better if I don't keep working at it. I love that attitude. So I will continue to challenge myself and work at getting better, whilst having fun and sewing with abandon :)

I'm linking up to T.T.T. because it's Thursday!!

Thursday Think Tank

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

sofa day

I'm linking up to:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Today has been a total sofa day. Me being ill was not fun, the little girl being ill is even less so :(
She had very little energy so blankets and Snow White were the order of the day. It also gave me an opportunity to finish my second rose and star block:

Don't they look pretty holding hands!!

While she was napping I also managed to make this quick camera case:

I used this simple tutorial, the only difference was I hand sewed the closing rather than using the machine. I'm trying to improve my hand stitching and this tutorial really helped, the seam looks great (you can't see it but that's the point!)

It helps that I now have a thimble. My finger was getting so sore but no more!
I decided the thimble needed a special spot in my sewing case, the pockets were just a little too big and I didn't want to lose it. So I cut a bit of fabric, pressed and top stitched the edges and then hand stitched it onto my case:

Cute and handy!


I'm hoping to maybe try to get some more fmq done tomorrow because there's been no progress on the 'Not So Charming Rainbow Stars Quilt'.

I've also cut pieces ready for my next rose and star block (I think this might be a regular Wednesday thing!!)

no progress: everything else but I've done enough all things considered

So here's my stats:
completed: 3
new: 0
in progress: 2


Weigh In Wednesday

I'm linking up with Missy Mac Creations but I don't really have any good news :(
I gained a pound this week and am so fed up. I'm hoping it's water retention because I've barely been able to eat anything. Admittedly I've not done so much exercise (except normal looking after kids stuff) but who wants to work out when you're poorly??!
I'm on the mend so I promise no excuses next week and hope to see some loss.
Can anyone recommend some effective but gentle exercise? The next couple of days I want to go easy on myself (that makes it sound like I work out really hard, clearly I don't!! I just want a change and nothing too strenuous).


In other news... If you have facebook and fancy some free 'facebook cards' head over to moo . This is the UK site but I know the US one is doing the same thing (not sure about Canada or Australia or anywhere else, sorry!).

I used my Charm About You profile and created these:

So incredibly professional and handy for handing out at all those important meetings I attend! HA! They're just for fun, I only paid a couple of pounds postage and I wanted to check them out. They come in a cute little case and you can chose 6 different images and get 50 free cards (for a limited time!). I have to say the images didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, the colours are pretty dull so if you're going to get some I'd say pick some really bright shots. 

They do a lot of fun cards but I'm assuming the quality of the stuff you pay for is better!

Oh and look what my son made at school :) Happy Chinese New Year!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Feeling fugly

I've finally caught that horrible bug going around and feel totally lousy today :(

Just wanted to remind you the the Fugly fabric party starts a week fortnight today!! **thank you Erin, I'm such a ditz!!)**

To say thank you for linking up I'm offering a prize to one of the linkers (you can call it bribery, I'm going with incentive!!)

I don't have a big stash and very little fugly fabric! So you'll be pleased to know my giveaway (open only to those that link a post with fabric offerings) will be this delicious charm pack!!

again not a sponsored giveaway, bought by me!!

Yes this time it's only one charm pack! What can I do with that I hear you say?!
Well by amazing coincidence look what's just come up on the Moda Bakeshop... this fantastic pattern by Sunflower Quilts, using only one charm pack and some solid yardage!


So what do you need to do to win? Just come back on February 7th and link up! After a week, once the linky is finished I'll pick a winner using random.org.

You must link up with a post offering some fabric to your readers (and hopefully visitors!!). Be it fugly, ugly, not your taste or just fabric you're not likely to use. You can have a giveaway, competition, swap or offer it to anyone who'll pay the postage!

Please make sure it is cotton fabric suitable for quilting and a decent size, feel free to offer scraps if they're useable (no smaller than 5x5") but make sure it's clear in your post.

Thank you to those who have already helped spread the word! Remember we want some takers for the fabric so please encourage people to come and blog hop starting Tuesday 7th and spread the word on your blog. Grab a button and stick it on your sidebar:

Charm About You
<div align="center"><a href="http://charmaboutyou.blogspot.com/p/fugly-fabric-party.html" title="Charm About You"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7009/6723225913_dc59644156_m.jpg" alt="Charm About You" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Off to completely veg and feel sorry for myself (while amusing a 2 year old with as many puzzles as I can find!!). Yucky, yucky illness :(

Monday, 23 January 2012

Smug Happy Dance

Linking up to Sew Modern Monday and Manic Monday:

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge CreationsSew Happy Geek

I'm not normally smug... rarely do I feel completely happy with something I've sewn but this time I really am! Excuse the ensuing smugness...

I have been working on my 'Not So Charming Rainbow Stars Quilt', which wasn't turning out exactly right. This has become a slight comedy of errors. Anyone spot the mistake??:

Yeah, see the middle block at the bottom - it's the wrong way round!! Whoops. I only noticed it when I was basting and at that point could not be bothered unpicking. It'll just have to stay that way!

Then when I did some straight line quilting and the bobbin ran out I stupidly put the wrong colour in - I was using a different thread to match the backing and out of habit used the top thread colour. A bit of unpicking later (I couldn't leave that - it was too obvious and annoying!!), the right thread in place and the straight lines were done.

So with renewed confidence I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and practice my fmq - Nicky will be proud :)

I had a gander at Leah Day's designs at the Free Motion Quilting Project, just the beginners ones obviously!! There's so much choice but I wanted something that would counter the pointy stars and also a design that would suit the backing fabric.

I went with the Echo Shortcut:

first and second attempts
third attempt!
My tension was all over the place and the first attempt was with the feed dogs up. I thought since this was a function of my new machine it would make it easier. I hated it, so feed dogs back up and attempt 2 and 3. My design looks less curvy and more like mussels than Leah's but I really like it!!

Happy with the pattern, I switched to the thread I'd picked for the quilt to try and sort the tension out and had another go:

Not too bad. Feeling more confident and excited I said to my husband, 'Shall I just do it on one of the stars?'. He said, 'go for it!' 

Glad I did!:

I totally love it!! The texture is amazing.

I had to stop and start a couple of times to get into all the points and I did slip outside of the star a couple of times. I sewed into the dark red square but since it already has black lines on it I just grabbed a micron pen and coloured in the little threads! You'd never know ;)

Despite that it's not bad! My stitch length is somewhat random but not horrendous, I still just tend to go a little fast sometimes:

Using the different thread really helps the design blend in to the backing, also the design works really well:

Overall I'm chuffed to bits!! Now just have to attempt this 8 more times to fill all the stars!!

In other news I had a nice delivery:

I'd seen this Habitat fabric around on other blogs and knew I had to have some. Those pixels are SO PERFECT. This may just be may favourite fabric ever (so far!!). I also got some lush Essex Linen in grey, oh so scrummy :) I've never used it before but I couldn't resist.
The service at Marmalade fabrics is fantastic, great choice, very quick delivery and so nicely wrapped. Highly recommended!

I also ventured out to Nantwich for a quilter's fabric sale. Now I have to be completely honest and say it wasn't really my sort of thing. I'm way too laid back for elbowing nice ladies out of the way for some bargain fabric but it was fun to see. There were so many people there and lots of stalls. There were also some demonstrations and I was able to pick up a few tips from a very kind and patient lady (I did ask some moronic questions!!). Much of the stuff on offer wasn't my taste but I did get these beauties:

from the lovely folks at Patchwork Corner
And I have plans for these already!

Another quick reminder of my Fugly fabric party!! Please check it out and help to spread the word, I'd love people to join in and we also need some blog hoppers to enjoy all the delights and grab some fugly fabric!! :)

Charm About You