Friday, 29 July 2016

useful and pretty

More See It All Pouches, pattern by Laura Zuckerkuss. I enjoyed making various sizes and using different zips and fabrics. I also used interfacing and different weights of thread.

These bags are so handy with so many possible uses, I use mine for holding blocks and hand sewing projects. 

I really love this one with the lace zip and the adorable animal print - Menagerie, Indian Summer by Sarah Watson.

For some of them I used the gold sparkle vinyl again, it's so pretty!

This pencil case was the result of me not concentrating and trimming the zip off a pouch - rendering it rather useless - instead of binning the zip I made a different size pouch. A happy accident!

These will be used as class samples for my autumn teaching schedule.

☑ Along with the teacher's gifts I made, I can check the See It All Pouches off my FAL list!

linking up:

at What A Hoot Quilts this week

and finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts


Monday, 25 July 2016

tears for T.

(I wasn't sure about writing this and it has been a draft for a while but this is my life. My grief is hurting, sharing helps.)

I had a friend.

He lived far away. I hadn't seen him for such a long time but we had the best chats that made me howl with laughter. He had been my friend for the past 20 + years.

Sometimes people show up just when you need them and he was always like that, just a little 'hello miss Lucy, how are you?' message that sparked a conversation. Backwards and forwards, catching up, laughing, encouraging each other, finding truth and being ourselves. Staying up way too late, sharing our dreams and sorting our lives out.

We had a couple of the best summers. Silly, impulsive and sweet. The most fun. He had an infectious spontaneity, a kind heart and the most honest soul.

He was a great friend. He told me what he thought. When someone wasn't good for me. When I wasn't doing things that made me happy. Not always what I wanted to hear but always what I needed to. He was right but he didn't know how right, how exactly he 'got' me. And he didn't say it to be right, he said it because he cared.

I have lost a friend that cared about me.

He was awesome and I loved him. He didn't realise how amazing he was, though I told him.

I am so sad and so angry. Because 34 is too young, because I won't see him again and I want to talk to him. So much. I'm angry I didn't just buy him a ticket to come to the UK. I always told him he should come and live here. And I'm just so so sad.

In the last message he sent me, one of the things he said was "life is all about pluses and minuses".

This is a big f**king minus.

The plus is that I knew him. That he was my friend. That we had the best time together and the best talks. I am grateful for my friend.

I love you T. and may you rest in peace.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

too good ❤

Some fabrics are too good to miss and I have had awesome fabric deliveries this week.

First this stunning haul from Fat Quarter Shop, mostly Cotton & Steel because I really love the way all of the collections can be mixed together and still work so well - those ladies are very clever! 

Hot pink, rain, rotary phones and geometric designs - perfection ♡

I couldn't resist this pretty print with lovely messages on, You Are Magic in Metallic Pink, Magic by Sarah Jane

That Black and White print from Andover is so striking, I was pleased to come across that one while browsing the Fat Quarter Shop site. I also think Playing Pop is such a brilliant collection, AGF Studios do amazing prints and really thoughtfully curated collections, they are often ahead of the trends too so keep an eye on them!

I also received month 7 of the beautiful Patchwork of the Crosses BOM from Sew & Quilt:

Good news if you missed out on this years BOM, Jessie will be running it again next year so click here to sign up for the Sew & Quilt newsletter.

Finally I got some beautiful Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic from The Village Haberdashery:

The black is being used for my #giucygiucebucketbagsewalong, you can sew along and make a Flying Geese Patchwork Bag too! Click here to get the tutorial by @giucy_giuce.

Molli Sparkles

Saturday, 23 July 2016

scrap love

I had so much fun making these Bee A Brit Stingy blocks for Di. This year we started with a hexagon, a triangle and a square, every 2 months we are making each other triangles and squares. You can see my starter blocks in this blog post.  It's such a great design, I love Di's colour scheme and matched it as best I could from my stash: 

So here's how her quilt looks so far:

I've also been working here and there on my Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt. I've finished section 2:

Tonight I'm hosting the Saturday Night Craft Along, so if you're on instagram come and join in the party! Just tag me @charmaboutyou and add #saturdaynightcraftalong to your picture.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

thank you teachers!

School has very nearly finished for the summer and that means time to say thank you to the teachers for all their hard work.

I made some simple and pretty See It All Pouches using Laura's tutorial:

The bottom two pouches in the picture above are gold sparkle PVC rather than the clear I usually use. It's a really great thickness, I bought it as an experiment (it's sold as tablecloth) but I absolutely love it. It's nice and sturdy but easy to work with and it feels smooth.

Click here for the gold, they also sell silver - for some reason it's more expensive though. FYI I bought the smallest amount and I have enough for loads of pouches!!

I got a nice set of Heyland & Whittle hand made, natural soaps so I could divide them up as little treats!

I individually wrapped the soaps and added cards the kids had made for each of their teachers, wrapped them all up and they were happily received this afternoon!

Today is tinged with sadness because it was the last day Lois and I were at home together alone, before the other kids finish school. We played outside in the glorious sunshine, then retreated inside for lunch and a chilled out afternoon with lots of cuddles.
It feels bittersweet - though I am so lucky and grateful for all the time I have had with each of my kids before they start school - it is the end of an era for me.

I'm plotting lots of fun activities with the kids over the next few weeks, we have a nice holiday to look forward to and it really feels like summer with the scorching heat today!! It's all lovely. 

I think I will have a big cry once they are in bed and then distract myself with some sewing therapy ;)

☑ This can be ticked off my fal list

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Palisades Quilt & FREE Pattern from Fat Quarter Shop!

Fat Quarter Shop has a fabulous new pattern 'Palisades' with a video tutorial, which is so fun! You can click here to get the pattern and find out more.

It is another of those very clever patterns that looks tricky but the method and instructions are so clear that it comes together quickly and easily! 

For my version I used the beautiful Chalk & Paint by Sew Caroline for Art Gallery Fabrics. I love the colours and mix of prints, so modern and fresh. The text print is really inspiring too, with words like 'create', 'believe' and 'dream'.

The pattern comes together so easily. I used my 1/4" foot and all the points are perfect! I didn't even trim the blocks, choosing instead just to trim the dog ears with scissors as I was sewing the blocks together. I hope the quilt police don't come after me!

I had a bit of a nightmare when it came to quilting, the plan was some straight line quilting to mimic the angles of the triangles but I have lost my hera marker, my favourite marking tool. I couldn't bring myself to use a pen because of the lighter colours on the quilt and ultimately it was the excuse I needed to change tack because really I prefer hand quilting. As I was basting the quilt though, it occurred to me I might as well tie the quilt - I was on my hands and knees on the floor anyway.

Hand tying a quilt as been on my 'to sew' list for a long time, ever since I used the technique to back a crochet blanket. You can read about the methods I used in that blog post.

It has made for such a soft and squishy quilt and I absolutely love it!

Once I finished tying I realised I wanted a little something in the centre and so I added some hand quilting. I tried to mimic the shape of the florals in the Sprayed Blooms print.

I also chose that print for the backing and it's stunning!!


Head over and get the free pattern HERE and to see other Blogger's gorgeous versions of the Palisades Quilt click these links:

Tina from Emily Ann's Kloset
Amy from Diary of a Quilter
Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting
Melissa from Happy Quilting
Melanie from Mostly Crafty
Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl
Afton from Quilting Mod
Brooke from Silly Mama Quilts
Megan from Quilt Story
Heather from Quilt Story
Rachael from The Floral Suitcase

☑ This can be ticked off my fal list

Monday, 11 July 2016

quick fix for blogger! ☆

*update - it appears this issue has not affected / been fixed for some but I will leave this post up in case people have image issues!*

If you blog with Blogger you might have noticed your formatting has gone a bit crazy! All of my photos were left aligned and no matter how many times I tried to format them they just wouldn't stay centred. If your photos aren't behaving you might want to give this a try...

Here's the fix:

Go to Template

click Customise

click Advanced

scroll down to Add CSS

Copy and paste the following:

.post-body img {
       display: inline-block !important;

I would advise adding the code at the top of the box (some people report that works better).
Then click Apply to Blog

Hope that helps!

link to source

Friday, 8 July 2016

I am purposeful ~ FAL Q3 2016

I have been saying 'yes' a lot lately, which means I have a few deadlines and some are secret ones that can't go on the list! With that in mind I am starting my Quarter 3 Finish-A-Long list with what must be done, followed by 'if there's any time left'...

1. A quilt made with the gorgeous Chalk & Paint by Sew Caroline for Art Gallery Fabrics. I still have a couple of rows to piece and then can hopefully get quilting this weekend.

2. I have some lovely Tilda fabric that I would like to use to make things for my girls, I'm thinking some nice baskets for their room...

3. and some cute hair accessories would be good, especially since my middle daughter is growing her fringe out (again!)

4. I am excitedly planning a mini quilt from the Simply Solids bundle I curated!

5. A heap of See It All pouches - pattern by @laura_zuckerkuss - for teachers gifts and class samples. The fabric is ready:

6. Although I have never made a pickle dish I want to create a rainbow pickle dish cushion and use it as a class sample. I have been very inspired by these gorgeous blocks Mary made:

and just for me if I get time...

7. My Rose Star quilt, only a few more centre hexies to quilt and then I need a plan for more quilting?!

8. A tote bag than has been on this list many, many times and always gets forgotten or pushed down the list!! Just seeing that cloud fabric again makes me want to make it right now:

So that little lot combined with secret sewing should be plenty to keep me going! 
How do you prioritise what to do first from your lists? Deadlines, size of project, what you want to sew most or something else? Let me know in a comment!

Finish A Long 2016

Monday, 4 July 2016

Joie de Vivre Bundle Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone that entered the giveaway, it was so lovely reading about all the little things that bring you joy! So many of them made me smile and a few laugh out loud. I encourage you to read the comments if you feel like you need a reminder of life's sparkle!

The winner is...

Congratulations Sue! I have sent you an email.

This was the state of me today:

Lots and lots of sewing to do!! So many projects, so little time! I am also starting to compile my Finish-A-Long list for the third quarter :)

I am off to plonk myself on the sofa and watch the final of the Great British Sewing Bee. Come on Charlotte!

Friday, 1 July 2016

there are no words cushion

This is a very special make for me. One that represents loss, love, remembrance, friendship, community and compassion.

Last year when my friend Nat tragically lost her youngest son, I put a call out on social media asking for low volume nine patch blocks to make into a quilt. Quilters generously made and sent beautiful blocks from around the world and I was able to make three quilts for Nat and her family. You can read about the 'there are no words' quilts here.

The lovely Sharon Holland contributed a block to the quilt and also sent an extra one, which she said I could use in the quilt if needed or save it to create my own make. I'm actually crying as I remember how it felt to read all the thoughtful cards and notes that were sent, not only to Nat but also to me. The sadness is a fraction of what Nat experienced and continues to experience and that was what compelled me to do the work of providing tangible quilts, to show her and her family the love, comfort and sympathy we all wanted to give.

I decided to keep the block and, although it has taken me some time to come to use it, I will treasure this cushion and all it represents. The life of a precious little boy.

I had some vintage sheet fat quarters that I have had stashed for a long time, after a swap organised by Mary Emmens. I wanted to add something to represent joy, as a celebration of little baby MiH's short life. Also Nat is a big advocate of upcycling and caring for the planet so I thought she would like me using vintage.

I decided to add more texture by creating half circle scallops to trim the edges of the block, for my easy tutorial on how to make them click here
They feel lovely, the soft vintage fabric was perfect and the florals mix really well with the modern prints. 

The border and binding fabrics are from Gossamer by Sharon Holland - the same range she originally used to make the nine patch. I had been saving these prints and using some here felt perfect.
The back is a pretty Yuwa print and I made a covered zip back using this clever and simple tutorial by Adrianne at On The Windy Side.

I am keeping this cushion away from the kids and visitors and the cat. It's mine and will live in our bedroom.

I made my own cushion inner using some stuffing and an old pillowcase. Very simple and easy to do. It has made the cushion very plump and some use will help get it into a better shape! 

I used a pale blue perle thread to quilt the nine patch block. I quilted 1/4" away from the seams to make a hashtag pattern, a reminder of #therearenowordsquilt.

I think about little baby MiH and his mum often. I hold them both in my thoughts.

Thank you again to everyone that contributed to making the quilts, to all of you for the kind notes you sent. Thank you Sharon for making it possible for me to create my own cushion, as a remembrance and celebration.
And to my friend Nat, through the grief and pain you have such strength. I see you and the amazing job you do as a mother. I am always here for you and look forward to our always random chats through the crazy and fun times ahead.

The cushion was on my FAL list and is my last finish before quarter 3 starts. There's still a lot of quilts on that list left for me to finish, there will have to be roll overs!

linking up to TGIFF at Celtic Thistle Stitches this week and finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts