Thursday, 31 October 2013


Enter my giveaway here (open until 4th Nov, international entries welcome)  - it won't bite!

Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


How is it that I always feel like I never have enough time to sew all the things I want to and then, rather than finish the things I've started, I go ahead and start something new?! bonkers. Even more bonkers is that fact I'm sure I've said that before ;) The quilter's curse of beginning projects!

So here's what I'm up to...

I loved making the last rainbow log cabin quilt, so I'm at it again:

I finished embroidering the alphabet panel and got it all cut up and sewn into blocks - I think it's going to look so pretty! Just need to press and trim these:

 Was hard at work last night doing some hand quilting and have finished one row of feathers:

And I've nearly finished my latest rose star block:

I intended to do a full on WIP report this week but it's half term so I'm impressed with what sewing I've done and I want to get on with it not talk about it!  

Today we spent the day with friends carving our pumpkins. She wanted happy and he wanted scary:

We even all managed to have lunch and do the pumpkins while Lois napped. Baby and pumpkins might not have worked so well!

We moved Lois into her own room yesterday (I say we but actually my husband was the one building the cot bed, clearing, putting up a new curtain rail, etc.). And she slept right through from 8pm until 6am this morning! I couldn't believe it. I also cried last night knowing I wouldn't be sleeping next to her (as I have for the past 9 months) but that was probably the exhaustion taking over ;) It is a little sad but I will accept that phase is over if I get more sleep as a result... although as many of you mums may know, she slept through the night but I didn't. Getting back into a good sleep routine will take time for me.

Just in case you missed it...

Be sure to go and enter my GIVEAWAY to win yourself some haberdashery (sewing notions if you're American!), open until Monday 4th November and international entries welcome!

Also check out Le Challenge and join us on November 15th to link up any project with the theme STRIPES for your chance to win $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 28 October 2013

fast basting and a GIVEAWAY!

**giveaway now closed**

For many of us basting is a chore. A boring but necessary chore. I actually enjoyed basting, all those pins and a couple of hours crawling about... some how it felt like a satisfying job. Since having the 3rd baby though my back is not as strong and when faced with basting my giant feathers quilt I just couldn't stand the thought of it (also I don't have enough pins!!). I did contemplate basting the traditional way with a good old needle and thread, and I got great advice from the ever helpful Helen, but again it is so big I just couldn't face it. Time is also a factor, considering how little free time I have I want things done quickly. Done right but done fast!

what better way to test your basting than have a baby walk over it!!

The solution for me was to use Hobbs Heirloom Fusible wadding from Minerva Crafts. So brilliant. This HUGE quilt took me less than 40 minutes to baste. I stuck a few pins in too, only because I'm hand quilting and know I will be throwing it about so if I hadn't pinned it would have been even less time!

night shot but you get an idea of the scale - that's some of it in front of our piano
I know I would have spent at least a couple of hours if I basted this using just pins. Pressing the iron took far less effort and it looks super neat and nicely basted. I wouldn't have needed to pin if I was machine quilting it or didn't have children attacking it.

Hobbs Heirloom Fusible would be a fantastic product to use when you are short on time, if you want to try an alternative to traditional methods or just like the idea of using something easy. It feels a tiny bit stiff but not horribly so, just enough to tell me it has worked and is stuck together. It is quilting like a dream too:

As a celebration of becoming a new sponsor and to introduce their brilliant products Minerva Crafts are giving away a pack of sewing and haberdashery goodies (worth £20), open to everyone!

They stock such an amazing range of products including fabric and quilting supplies. While I know fabric is always lovely to win, haberdashery is crucial!


To enter leave a separate comment for each:

1. Leave a comment, if you like you could tell me your favourite haberdashery (sewing notion) essential.
2. Like Minerva Crafts on facebook or sign up for their newsletter (at the bottom).
3. Be a follower of Charm About You (GFC, any reader or by email subscription).
4. Share a link to this giveaway - tweet, facebook, pin or blog.

That's four chances to win! ONLY if I can contact you so please leave your email address in the comment (no reply bloggers will NOT win).

The giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway ends Monday 4th November and the winner will be chosen by

Good luck!

If you need some supplies right now remember to use the discount CHARM10 at the checkout to get 10% off at Minerva Crafts!

*I did not know haberdashery was a UK term and yes it is sewing notions! Here's the Oxford dictionary definition of haberdashery:

noun (plural haberdasheries)

[mass noun]
  • 1British small items used in sewing, such as buttons, zips, and thread.
  • 2North American men’s clothing and other items sold by a haberdasher.
  • 3a shop or a department within a larger store that sells haberdashery.

Reading winners

Here are the five lucky winners of a copy of The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier:

and they are...

Congratulations I will be in touch to get your details!

Stay tuned because there will be a sewing related giveaway later on today, open worldwide!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

getting spooky

The kids and I had great fun the other day with some Sharpies and felt. We decorated some skulls after I was inspired by Rebecca's Day of the Dead post.

Then last night I took a bit more felt and embroidered a couple of black skulls.

This was a nice surprise for them this morning!

It's a start for our Halloween decorating.

I got round to a little EPP too and am back to making more individual Rose Star blocks. This one includes some gorgeous fabric I swapped during the fugly party with the lovely Laura. I think they look very un-fugly!

Once I've finished this post I'm going to get the binding on this beauty:

I am resolved to get more time at my sewing machine. I have bee blocks to get done too but I'm bursting with things I want to make and they won't get done without some machine love!

It's pretty hard to tear myself away from my adorable family though...


Guess I will have to wait until they've all gone to bed ;)

**If you're in the UK make sure you enter my paperback GIVEAWAY!**

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Monday, 21 October 2013

Paperback GIVEAWAY: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

**Giveaway now closed**

'Set in the tangled forests and sunlit cornfields of Ohio, Tracy Chevalier's vivid novel is the story of bad men and spirited women, surprising marriages and unlikely friendships, and the remarkable power of defiance.
When modest Quaker Honor Bright sails from Bristol with her sister, she is fleeing heartache for a new life in America, far from home. But tragedy leaves her alone and vulnerable, torn between two worlds and dependent on the kindness of strangers. 
Life in 1850s Ohio is precarious and unsentimental. The sun is too hot, the thunderstorms too violent, the snow too deep. The roads are spattered with mud and spit. The woods are home to skunks and porcupines and raccoons. They also shelter slaves escaping north to freedom.
Should Honor hide runaways from the ruthless men who hunt them down? The Quaker community she has joined may oppose slavery in principle, but does it have the courage to help her defy the law? As she struggles to find her place and her voice, Honor must decide what she is willing to risk for her beliefs.'

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier is now available in paperback and has been chosen as a Richard and Judy Book Club pick this Autumn.

'Her biggest novel yet, and her best... it's the characters that stay with you, and the courage of the abolitionists.' The Times

'Her best novel since Girl with a Pearl Earring... As a serious novel about a genuine moral dilemma, it is highly recommended.' The Independent

You can read my review of The Last Runaway here and also read more about Tracy's research and the quilt she made here. I have since re-read the novel and can honestly say I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. I also finally read Girl with a Pearl Earring and was just as enchanted. If you haven't read any of her books you really should and now you have the opportunity to win a copy of The Last Runaway

HarperCollins are kindly giving away 5 paperback copies of The Last Runaway to Charm About You readers.


To enter to win a copy please comment on this post.

For a second chance share this giveaway via twitter, facebook, instagram, pin or blog and leave another comment.

UK entries only.

**PLEASE leave your email address in the comment, a lot of you are no reply bloggers and can not be contacted!

The giveaway will be open until Monday 28th October and the five winners chosen by

Good luck!

p.s. If you were one of the original lucky winners of a hardback copy and have had a chance to read it then please let me know what you thought by leaving a comment on the original review post. Thank you!

Friday, 18 October 2013

applique and an owl

I'm just brilliant at post titles but at least it describes my finishes this week!

First I finished up this little zip bag for a gift, I actually did two (the other one has a 'D' on it) but failed to take a picture before the party.

I used some scraps and followed the open wide zippered pouch tutorial by Noodlehead, so much easier for little hands to open and close I think.

That's a check off my FAL list!

I also got the little October owl finished for my Woodland Sampler. I adore those oak leaves.

I'm really hoping to make some quilting progress this weekend. I'm overwhelmed by projects so I'm going to really try and focus and do one at a time (HA!).

Linking up:

at Quilt Matters this week

and finish it up friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, 17 October 2013

what? pardon? huh? sorry.

That's pretty much what I find myself saying all day. I can't really pay attention to anything, I don't really know what anyone is talking about, I forget EVERYTHING and, at this point, I'm pretty sure I've built up a tolerance to caffeine. Sleep deprivation has taken over.

Despite it all I've done a bit of basting for my crazy small Liberty scraps EPP:

To give you a vague idea of scale they are smaller than the dots on my tablecloth and they actually make Lois' cup seem like a monster!!

And here's the cutey herself - she's practically running with the walker now so most of the pics were blurry!

Linking up:

splish splash stash

Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


I love it when a plan comes together and it seems like I'm on a roll with my Le Challenge makes. This week I finished my high voltage lampshade:

Last night the fates conspired and I have the perfect project for next month's theme, which is STRIPES. So I had a dig and found the perfect fabrics:

I think it'll look good. If you're working on something with stripes or fancy having a go, and you complete your project, please link up with us at Le Challenge on November 15th for your chance to win  a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. Go here to read more!

I'm also well on the way to finishing quilting a pattern I'm testing:

And doing some planning for putting my alphabet blocks together (I'm going to have to catch up on the proper ABCBOW now I have the book 'S is for Stitch' by Kristyne Czepuryk but I will start when I've finished some other stuff!). Don't you just love my highly technical drawing and planning?! No quilt design software here!!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced