Friday, 28 February 2014


The winner of four fat quarters of The Design Studio Collection from Minerva Crafts is

*I'm guessing guilt is a typo! ;)

Congratulations Carolyn (and your mum!)! I am sending you an email.

Have a great weekend everyone, unfortunately I've been feeling like this so I'm hoping to have a bit of a break and chance to relax!

Thursday, 27 February 2014


The baby is 13 months old now and her hair is starting to grow, it's still silky baby soft and super strokable:

Fred had a smart haircut before school started again this week:

Partly he needed it because he was starting to look very 70s surfer dude but mostly he needed it because during the holidays he decided to cut his hair. Chunks off the front and back. Lucky that it was long and a quick cut made it all better...

his sister however has to walk around with a chunk missing out of the front of her hair (look closely, the middle of her fringe has a short tufty bit where her brother played hairdresser):

I'm trying to brush the longer bits to the side to cover it.

That'll teach me not to go and make lunch while they are 'crafting'!

**Last chance to enter my fabric giveaway - ends tomorrow**

Linking up to the very random Really Random Thursday

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

having fun playing

**Be sure to enter my giveaway of 4 fat quarters, open until Friday 28th!**

Here's my Amethyst block for February of the Classic Meets Modern QAL at Sew at Home Mummy:

Fabrics: Lakehouse dots white on white; Voltage Dot in red and Cross Square in red, Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt;
Red Chevron, The Sweetest Thing by Zoe Pearn

It came together pretty easily though my Y seams aren't perfect. I'm really pleased with my red and white theme and am going to try and use some of the Voltage Dot in each block to tie it together even more. I love seeing all the blocks people have made each month, they all look so different. 

I've got the final flower appliqué block for the butterfly quilt under way. I enjoy picking threads to match fabrics for appliqué, it's my favourite thing next to picking the fabrics themselves!

I can't remember if I gave you any feedback about the big bundle of cheap thread I got from this Ebay shop (sorry if I'm repeating myself). To be honest they are thicker than I would like but they are doing the job. The quilt police would hate them, they are fairly visible. For the mere fact that I got a huge variety of colours for not that much money I am happy with them. If I got serious about doing appliqué though I think I would slowly try to build a collection of colours in a thinner thread. I haven't had any breakages so I know the cotton is strong and for the purposes of making my eldest daughter a quilt that's probably a good thing! Her current job ambitions are to be a scientist, investigator (too much Scooby Doo you can never have too much Scooby Doo!) and a ninja - curious and active about sums her up.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 24 February 2014

happy accident

some times that happens... you mess up but it doesn't look too bad. I clearly wasn't really concentrating when I sewed this butterfly

It's meant to look like this

But the mistake still works and I like it so I'm keeping it in. Who knew it would look so different just swapping the wings! Actually I think the top one will look fantastic with the Alice Brooks butterfly blocks because it's similar. One more butterfly and one appliqué block left to do. Oh and stitching the antennae obviously!

(sorry for the bad evening pics, it was the only chance I've had to get a picture of them!)

I've posted some fabric inspiration for this months theme order at le challenge, go take a look and share any ideas you have!
Le Challenge

Friday, 21 February 2014

Bees of a Feather quilt and a GIVEAWAY!

**The giveaway is now closed**

Ta Dah!

Here is my Bees of a Feather quilt:

Ok these are clearly not the grand reveal photos I was hoping for. No that's my 6' tall husband standing on a ladder after it totally poured with rain and was rather windy!

I did get some pictures earlier in the week before I washed the quilt. I snuck into my neighbours garden and threw it over their big fence and then their slightly worse for the weather shed!

The quilt measures approximately 85 x 100" and is VERY hard to take a nice picture of in winter, in the wet, in my little suburban house with a rubbish camera. So forgive me and I hope you gain some sense of its magnificence! 

The feather block is from this Anna Maria Horner pattern.

This quilt would simply not exist without the help of two very wonderful groups of ladies. My Scrappy? Sew Bee It! bee made me the first round of feathers back in October 2012 and then the Bee A Brit Stingy crew made me another set in January 2013. They did a fantastic job and I love having a quilt made by friends that have taught me so much and really inspired me. 

Thank you to AnnikaCarlaCatherineCharlotteChristianeColletteDeborahDebraDiEmilyErin
HelenJanJanetJanineJeanneJessJodi, KarenLisa, May, Nicky (twice!), RosaSana and Sheila for making the feather blocks and making it such a special quilt. Honorary thanks to Helen for her always excellent advice.
there's another row on the other side of the fence!

I had a lot of fun piecing the feathers, though at times it was like a puzzle. I added some low volume prints here and there to make the rows the same size. 

The back was done 'jelly roll race' style with wide strips of prints I love that I cut from stash. A couple of these prints were given to me by other friends so it's nice to include them.

Thankfully I was able to use the fusible wadding to baste the quilt, I wouldn't have enough pins and just couldn't face anything else! It worked like a dream, has been through the wash and is lovely and crinkly soft. I would definitely use it again and for those that hate basting you should give it a go. 

I hand quilted with Aurifil 12wt cotton in 4241 for the stems and 2214 (a gorgeous deep golden colour) around the feathers. I used a milliners needle and had no problem hand quilting the fusible wadding with the thicker thread.    

Since the weather is still miserable and cold this will keep us snug on top of the duvet and brighten up our bedroom. Another check off my FAL list :)


Now for the giveaway!

My sponsor Minerva Crafts are kindly offering one reader the chance to win your choice of four fat quarters of The Design Studio Collection by Camelot Fabrics. These are really beautiful prints and you get to pick any four!

For your chance to win just leave a comment telling me which four prints you would chose and what you would make with them!

If you are No Reply or unsure then please leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you.

The giveaway is open internationally until 28th February and a winner will be chosen by

Good luck, I'm off to work on another quilt that's been in progress for the last 2 years!

Linking up to TGIFF at Amy's Crafty Shenanigans this week and finish it up friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Fresh Poppy Design

Thursday, 20 February 2014

I do like penguins

Drawn by my five year old son

Back tomorrow with a b(ee)ig finish and a giveaway so don't miss it!

Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

butterflies and rose stars

I have been playing around with the layout for my daughters butterfly quilt. I had one idea but it didn't really work. So I tried a more normal layout but hated it so went back to on point and decided it needed to be bigger. I need one more appliqué flower and I made another simple butterfly block, so just two more to make:

And as a bit of practice before I begin the GTSB quilt I decided to hand sew a butterfly block. Some of my clever bees have done this for the Alice Brooks butterfly, which I am going to do as well and may hand sew that one too but this version is from the book New England Quilt Museum Quilts. It is slightly smaller so I need to add a border but I thought it would be fun to include one using the vintage pattern. I definitely need more practice hand sewing!

My EPP is fine though! I've been working on more rose stars and got another two done this week:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog

Monday, 17 February 2014

pattern winner

The winner of an imagine gnats pattern is:

Congratulations! I have sent you an email.

I would like to encourage you all to go and check out the imagine gnats indiegogo campaign and support Rachael's awesome talent!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

stash basics and thrifty sewing

**Make sure you enter my giveaway, closes tomorrow**

I got some lovely fabrics this week from the Fat Quarter Shop. Most are to be added to my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt. I wanted some basics to counter the bright 30s repro fabrics but didn't want boring neutrals so I picked some pretty patterned prints. I also got some 108" wide backing and a useful charm pack of Kona solids.

I wasn't in love with Textures when it came out but that print is gorgeous and the Dear Stella prints are fabulous stash builders.

I've done a little sewing this weekend and it's always satisfying to be able to fix something that needs repairing.

So this was the state of the edge of our bath mat. Annoying because there's nothing actually wrong with the mat itself and I like the blue colour (hard to pick up in these pictures but the last one is truest). All it needed was some binding.

I wouldn't have paired it with this crazy binding but I asked my kids to choose from my left over bindings (I save all the extra bits when I make binding so I have ready prepared binding on hand even if it's scrappy!). Obviously they chose the brightest but I love orange and pink so it's all good.

Molli Sparkles

p.s. I have been married for seven years today. It's been the best seven years of my life so far. Happy Anniversary my darling husband! You are the perfect partner and I really do love you more every day.

one day I will be this slim again

Friday, 14 February 2014

le challenge - the rising sun

I made a much needed project for this challenge and it was easy to do to, in fact I managed it while the baby took a nap so a quick, handy and fun make! I chose to interpret the theme of the rising sun by using some of my Japanese fabric.

I've used this fabric basket pattern before it is by the lovely Ayumi of Pink Penguin, who happens to live in Tokyo. 

The patchwork is made with some lovely Japanese fabric scraps, which I got a couple of years ago from the Eternal Maker, some other scraps that had been given to me in a swap and some of Karen's beautiful hand printed fabric. The bottom and lining are from Terry's Fabrics, lime and sage dotty curtain fabric. The handles are cotton webbing from the Village Haberdashery.

I made the patchwork squares larger than the pattern at 2.5" and enlarged the bottom section and lining accordingly. This means I can chuck more threads and little fabric scraps into it while I'm doing EPP or applique. It is nice to finally have a pretty bin and another tick off my FAL list!

Head over to le challenge to link up and see what everyone else made. If you want to join us a new theme will be announced tomorrow!

Le Challenge

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day and a great weekend! <3

linking up:
at Quilt Matters this week
and finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts

Thursday, 13 February 2014

more joy

My kids and I have become slightly obsessed with these gorgeous all natural yogurts* - no preservatives, stabiliser or colour. Produced by family run business Longley Farm in nearby Yorkshire I really recommend them - especially the banana, I could eat that ALL day! Once you've had yogurt like this you won't want that yucky chemical tasting c**p other companies try to pass off as yogurt. I have had to ditch other yogurts (like Activia etc), I think they are pure aspartame :( Have you noticed how hard it's become to get actual yogurt? I want to scream where's the REAL full fat stuff that's so much better than the no fat, low fat, 50 ingredients stuff?! Don't even get me started on butter.
Longley Farm haven't sponsored this post but if they'd like to send me a lifetime supply of banana yogurt I wouldn't say no. Absolutely the best yogurt and apparently, according to the man in the local deli, the cottage cheese is amazing too.

* I want to write yoghurt but the pots say yogurt, a quick google check says both are correct but yoghurt seemed right to me until I changed it to yogurt and now I'm all confused.

A birthday bundle of fabric joy was sent to me this week by the ever thoughtful Hydee

Just look at all that divine Denyse Schmidt goodness. I can think of a million things I want to do with this but I know some will find it's way into my GTSB quilt and I have let Joan chose a little bit to make the last butterfly block needed for her quilt. I hope Hydee will like that she contributed to my daughters quilt and I think since I was stroking and squeeling about how gorgeous the fabric was Joan got excited about it too! The best bit though was the beautifully written note she sent me. When you're having a tough time the knowledge that friends are thinking about you makes life that little bit easier to handle and I am ever grateful for her support and friendship.

Tasty yoghurt/yogurt, pretty fabric and great friends have made this a nice week so far!

What's been making you smile?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway, open until the 17th!

Live A Colorful Life