Saturday, 31 March 2012

Wing It to Hexagon Park

I happily finished this quilt today, just in time to give it to one of my dearest friends at her baby shower tomorrow :)

I used Lynne's wonderful pattern Hexagon Park and used the great fabric Just Wing It, which I won a layer cake of from the talented Maureen. Thanks to these amazing ladies! Also huge thanks to Laura for suggesting I put the two together, you have such great taste (and have become one of my idols)! I'm pleased with how it turned out. For a special baby girl my 'Wing It to Hexagon Park' quilt:

I didn't put the border on from the pattern but I think it works well without it and since this is a gift for baby and mummy it's just big enough! The backing is one of the sheets that belonged to my Great Aunt and the binding is Kona ice frappe (a contender for the backing for my Rose Stars but not the final choice!!)

I did big loopy quilting, which reminded me I must do fmq practice!! It's not too bad though and I'm glad I did it large because it's kept the quilt nice and soft. I just hope she loves it.

In other news it's been an amazing fabric week! Thank you so much to everyone that joined in and supported the Stale Stash Swap, I got some awesomeness as a result and hope you did too!

First up from the lovely Kerry at PennyDog these delights, the one on the right is her own fabulous design!

She also very kindly sent these cute charms and brilliant buttons (that I had to wrangle away from my daughter!!)

I got these lovely prints from the fabulous Jess at The Elven Garden. I've been a bad blogger recently but I just went over there and she's working on some gorgeous projects, she has such a great eye for creating fabric combinations! I will be using the Habitat (on the right) in my Rose Star quilt

Then some scrummy DS from my wonderful friend Susan at Patchwork n Play

If you haven't seen it already you have to check out her AMAZING farmer's wive quilt, Sunnybrook Farm, which incorporates these yummy fabrics and more! It's spectacular!

I also got half a yard of this Spirographix from the talented and hilarious Danny at Mommy For Reals

I'm honestly in love with it!! The colours are so gorgeous, more so in real life. Now just thinking how to put this to good use :)

Finally I had a conundrum recently when I found out I was the very lucky winner of a fat quarter bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop, thanks to their great St. Patrick's Day giveaway on the Jolly Jabber as part of the Quilting Gallery's blog hop. Why the conundrum? Because I had to chose my prize!! I know, I know, what a tough job!! It was really hard though, they have so much choice and so many great lines. I was thinking with my head though. I have so many projects on my To Sew List and a stash of fabric to make them with. I like buying fabric for a project or knowing what I'm doing with fabric as soon as I've bought it!! So aside from this stash of fabric I have accumulated that is already assigned to quilts I'm going to make, I don't have much else. Really I didn't need another set of prints, although there's so many scrummy ones, so I was sensible (??) and got this:

An utterly delicious FQ bundle of Pure Organic Kona Cotton Solids. It so gorgeous!! Thank you so much to the Fat Quarter shop team for the great giveaway and the amazing customer service as always :)

Out of general nosiness what bundle would you have picked??

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

less blogging, more sewing

Linking up to the fabulous

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Not having my computer has meant I've been getting a lot done but I've not got many pictures, so you'll just need to trust me!


I made my little girl a sunhat using this great tutorial.


- Stained QAL, I'm working on my number 2 blocks now

- Hexagon Park, I've nearly finished this quilt top, which I'm giving a very dear friend when I go to her baby shower at the weekend

- Rose Star, still working on it... mostly outside in the sun... which is why I've not been taking pictures or being a good blogger... forgive me?!


completed: 1
new projects: 1
in progress: 4

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tagged Thursday Think Tank

I've been tagged twice so I'm succumbing and answering some questions since two inquiring minds want to know!! 

The rules are to answer the questions, tag 11 people and get them to answer your 11 questions and so on.

First off I was tagged by my fabulous friend Rachel at Mammafairy Sews, here's what she asked:

1.  If you could live in any country in the world, which would you choose, and why? 
It's a tough one but most probably Canada, I love it!! It's not too far to New York either! 

2. What started you sewing?
I have always done little bits on and off since I can remember but I started sewing last Summer, to make things for my kids. Two wonderful women in my family quilt so that was a great encouragement and once I'd seen the amazing things going on in blogland that was such an inspiration.

3.  Did you ever feel like never doing it again?why? 
Yes. Not that I didn't want to but I have wobbles where I feel like I'm not very good at it.

4. Which gizmo has made your life truly easier? 
 Getting Judy Janome from my mum made a huge difference, my basic machine couldn't cope!! I'm not sure a sewing machine counts as a gizmo though so I'd say rotary cutter and cutting mat.

5. What do you do for a living- if you are a stay at home now, what did you do before? 
I was manager of a make up counter at John Lewis and adored it. Before that I was a lecturer in Sociology at a university for five years.

6. What treat could you not give up?
does coffee count because I can't give that up

7. Which book made you cry the most? 
Probably loads (I cry easily) but I remember crying reading I Know This Much Is True Wally Lamb

8. Favourite flower?

9. When did you last overeat, and why?
I might have eaten way too much pizza just before I was ill! I must have needed it ;)

10. What is the most romantic thing that has happened to you?
Everything about my relationship with my husband has been completely romantic. I think when he proposed, my wedding day or the other day when he bought me that hot water bottle!
wonderful flower fight    Lucy
that's my sister smacking me in the face on my wedding day,
a huge flower fight ensued!
11. What age would you like to have stayed?
Six - it's just magical!

Next up being nosy is the wonderful Susan at Canadian Abroad

1. What is your favourite cartoon from childhood?
Thundercats - HO!

Thundercats Logo.JPG
2. What is your favourite restaurant in the world and where is it?
Fuel - it's a vegetarian cafe/bar near me. Not rated, or fancy - plain and simple, cosy and welcoming.

3. If you could buy any fabric bundle you wanted right now (someone else was paying) what would it be?
If someone else was paying I wouldn't say no to an Oakshott ColourBox!

4. What is your favourite quilt made by someone else? (Please include a link or photo if that is possible.)

This one makes me cry every time I look at it, it's so utterly perfect in my eyes. Mary @ Molly Flanders' Lark Quilt


5. I need a day on the beach. Where would you recommend?
San Francisco and take me with you!

6. If a sewing retreat could be held in the place of your choice and all your friends would be able to attend where would you have it?
The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester

7. What is the first sign of Spring for you?
Daffodils and blossom

8. Do you have a favourite smell?
The smell after it's rained really heavily

9. If you drink wine, what do you prefer - red, white or pink? If you don't drink wine, what is your favourite drink?
Well I like pink and a bit of white but I'm a total lightweight so rarely drink alcohol. Just lots of coffee!

10. What sewing task do you dread the most?
It's funny because it depends what mood I'm in - at various points I can dread all different things but once I'm doing it I love it!! I sort of hate finishing something if I'm enjoying making it, it's like the fun is all over... until I start again!

11. You are making me a desert - what is it, and will you give me the recipe?

Lemon Blueberry Bread hot out of the oven and sure, here it is

So that's it from me.

I'm tagging these fine folk, so hopefully I can learn some randomness about them!

Becky at The Barefoot Seamstress
Catherine at Sew Wonderful Life
Cindy at Live A Colorful Life
Deborah at Simply Miss Luella
Erin at Billy Button Design
Jessica at Messy Jesse
Kelly at Jeliquilts
Laura at Quokka Quilts
M-R at Quilt Matters
Rebecca at Making Rebecca Lynne
Steph at Hope Sewing Is Genetic

1. What's the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?

2. What is your favourite time of day?

3. Which colour of fabric do you use the most?

4. Did you have a toy/blanket that you took to bed when you were little?

5. What song always gets stuck in your head?

6. What's the best concert you've ever been to?

7. What did you want to be when you grew up?

8. Camping or a hotel?

9. Do you have a nickname?

10. Can you play any instruments?

11. Would you rather call/text/email or write a letter?

If you made it through all that you deserve a blinking medal!!

Two final things, I've added a couple of new buttons on my sidebar, check these out:

If she's recovered from her lovely weekend I'll be linking up to:

Thursday Think Tank
Oh and go swapping!!

Charm About You
p.s. I'm behind on blog reading yet again and I'm going to be without my computer for the next few days because it's being pimped. I'll be reading blogs but it's too fiddly to comment on my phone, sorry if I seem awol. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

the one where I need you to shout at me a bit

So there's some seriously fast paced swapping going on!! Fabric is going like hot cakes!

If you've not joined in the Stale Stash Swap yet you really should, remember you can give a shout out for something you need and it's perfectly fine to decline a swap if you don't see anything on offer you fancy - we all have different taste! It's also a great chance to go and visit some other blogs, so check out the links :)

I also happen to know (yes I did it!) that there are swaps going on behind closed doors, via email - sometimes people are willing to stash raid a bit further if you have something they really want ;)

If you're not able to join in this time don't worry I may do it again in the future! Although I would be very grateful if you'd help spread the word now and stick the button in a post or on your sidebars because the link is open for another week yet :)

Charm About You
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Charm About You"><img src="" alt="Charm About You" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

So less fabric and more sewing news... although there's not a whole lot going on, which is where the required shouting comes in!


 - a little embroidery to go in my son's room

- mother's day gifts


- I only did one Rose Star block this week, you can see it here. This is genuinely my favourite thing to sew and I have 4 more blocks cut out so I'm hoping for more progress next week.

- Name swap. Following all the comments when I showed the secret swap badge for the Fat Quarterly retreat, I wanted to offer some options of thread (well not much - I'm desperate to use this perle!), so can you please tell me honestly which thread you prefer. Personally I'm still inclined to go with the blue, it pops more and will be read more easily - you have to bear in mind that it's not going to be thick embroidery so the name will quite thin. Here's an idea:

So which one would you want your name written in?? Tell me!

no progress

- Only one block made for the Stained QAL created by the fabulous Sarah at Narcoleptic in a Cupboard. Since everyone (finger's crossed) is nearly back to full health in our house I'm hoping things will ease up a little bit and I'll be able to sew.

I also have 2 baby quilts that need making. I know it's not going to take me long to sew the Stained top so can you all shout at me for the next few days??! And I'm asking you to so it's ok ;)

I've requested you do three things so I think that's enough or you'll all think I'm bossy!

I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Stale Stash Swap begins...

Charm About You

Happy Spring Equinox! What a better way to celebrate than swapping gorgeous fabric! :)

This is a fun linky fabric party concocted by the wonderful Krista at Krista Stitched and me.

Here are the rules:

- Offer to swap a fat quarter (18" x 22") of good quality quilting cotton fabric.

- You can offer as many as you like but must be willing to swap each one individually, although if someone wants to swap more than one with you obviously that's fine.

- You must be able to swap internationally, if you're swapping one fat quarter the costs shouldn't be too high. Of course you can chose to swap with someone in your own country, just please be open to international swaps. No posts should be limited to only participants of one nation swapping. **I know people are worried about postage costs so that's why I'm trying to limit the fabric amount, please also bear in mind there are slower postage methods you can use that you could arrange with the swaps!!**

- Write a post, add the button to your post by copying the code below into your HTML and link up!!

Charm About You
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Charm About You"><img src="" alt="Charm About You" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

- Once you've swapped please edit your post so it's clear your swap is closed.

You can either ask people if they have specific fabrics you want to swap for in your post or leave it open. When you see some you like let people know what number link you are and see if they want to swap for some of yours.

You can still play if you don't have a blog by checking out the links but you'll have to be able to email pictures or link to a flickr picture of the fabric if people don't know the fabric line already.

The link will stay open for a week so you can check back and offer to swap more if you see something that takes your fancy! It's up to you whether you're quick off the mark to accept swaps or bide your time to see what's out there!

Let's all play nice :)

Here's what I have to swap (I only have one fat quarter of each fabric, the pictures below don't do justice to the colours so you might want to google them! sorry.):

Swirls Twirls (orange), City Blooms by Kitty Yoshida, Benartex

Play Dot (grey/pink), Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey, Moda

Chinese Lanterns (grass), Lark by Amy Butler, Westminster SWAPPED!

Souvenir (lemon), Lark by Amy Butler, Westminster SWAPPED!

Cobblestone (charcoal), Palladium by Dear Stella SWAPPED!

Hugs and Kisses (scotch), Loulouthi by Anna Maria Horner, Westminster  SWAPPED!

Hedgehogs (yellow), Outfoxed by Lizzy House, Andover  SWAPPED!

Just so we're clear these are fabrics I love, have and will use!! I just maybe had a bit too much.

If you want to swap with me for any of these fabrics let me know and show me what you've got, just leave a comment below! Also, I'm not promising, but if I have enough of any fabric I've used in a project you've seen on my blog that you like, ask me about it and I might be persuaded to swap for something lovely!

Happy Swapping!

Monday, 19 March 2012

mad weekend and name badge worries

****Your final call if you want to join the Stale Stash Swap! It starts tomorrow :) Get your fabrics ready! Ok it's not really that urgent, the link will be open for a week but you know what they say about those early birds!! If you need a reminder of the rules please click the button below****

Charm About You

This is a going to be a long one so grab a cuppa and get comfy!!

I'll start with some makes. Since it was mother's day yesterday I made my mum a couple of gifts, a bag for her knitting and a mobile phone holder.

I used this tutorial from Buffy of Passionate Design. It's a nice tutorial - I even managed to put a pocket inside but couldn't get a decent picture. The only change I made was the straps, instead of messing around turning them inside out I used the much easier method from Jeni's tutorial!

For the phone holder I used this tutorial from She Wears Flowers. Very simple and clear instructions! It fits her phone perfectly. I chose not to embellish the flap because the fabric looks lovely as it is. The outer fabric was part of my birthday gift from mammafairy sews, I only used a bit so the rest is all mine!! The inner fabric (also used for the straps on the bag) my mum gave me and was left over from the back of the Not So Charming Rainbow Stars quilt.

I managed to finish another Rose Star block (I also got a few more cut!). This one is my favourite so far :)

If you've not joined in the Rose Star Block Party get yourself over to selfsewn and look at Clare's amazing blog, then start piecing!

Following my background dilemma I ordered a bit of Kona Apple. I adore this green and it makes the colours of the rose stars pop so nicely!

It's just not going to work out though. It's too much and though I love it right now I know I'll tire of it. I tried some darker colours too (Charcoal and a Navy blue) but I don't love them either. So I think I'm going to go with the mint or variations of mint/aqua, thank you everyone for your input!

At any rate the apple won't go to waste - I also ordered some Dr. Seuss fabric from Prints to Polka Dots
and it goes really well :) Think this will turn into a bag for the kiddies toys!

They also included some cute little square scraps with my order:

Love those helicopters!

Now my worry... I'm really struggling with the name badge for the Fat Quarterly Retreat swap. Here's the direction I'm finally thinking of taking (must credit Clare - Selfsewn - for providing inspiration for the piecing), can you all please give me honest opinions:

crap attempt at Hadley's genius photo tute!

I'm thinking of embroidering the mystery name on it with this gorgeous blue perle that Madame Samm kindly sent me when I won one of her amazing giveaways from that other brilliant blog ;)
Obviously I'll take out the basting stitches and put a back on it!! What do you think??

Finally thank you all for the kind wishes for the little ones birthday. We had an amazing time:

I had a blast with the kids and even did some bouncing of my own!

Yeah my hair's not blonde anymore, I should update my profile pic!!
If you recognise that skirt then you're probably Janine :) She kindly sent it to me after threatening to chop it up!!
I finally lost enough weight to wear it :) I'm hoping Erin and Izzy are proud of me!! Although it's mostly down to being ill not being good!!

My husband managed to snap this pic of me and my son -  very similar to the last one I showed you but fours years later :)

Unfortunately I think all the fun wiped him out because I got a call from school today and had to pick him up early because his temperature was high again :( So we're now back to this:

Linking up to Sew Modern Monday

Hope you all had a great weekend, now go get writing those posts for the swap ;)