Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Travelling Tuesday: Lyme Regis

Earlier in the year I finally ventured down to see a cousin in Somerset. I say, 'finally' because she *only* moved down there over twenty years ago and this was the first time I'd made it down. In fact the day my friend and I arrived, my cousin had put the house on the market and it's since been sold. We only had two days down there; that didn't stop us cramming so much into those two days. Top of the must do list for me was see some of the Jurassic coast in neighbouring Dorset. So I'm going to share some pictures with you of our first seaside stop off - Lyme Regis. If I have to have snow and cold right now, at least I can look at these pictures and remember a sunny April day with unseasonably warm weather!

View along the Cobb - if you've seen the film: "The French Lieutenants Woman", Lyme and the Cobb will be familiar to you.

Me on the Cobb - less French Lieutenants Woman and more Warrant Officers Wench ;-)

Lyme is famous for fossils and many people like this gentleman come to hunt for fossils on the beach.

Looking down on the Cobb

Lyme has Fossil inspired street lighting

I love the seaside and the life you can find there. I took this to 'file away' for future creative reference. I'm thinking this could be the basis of some textile/fibre art.

Monday, 29 November 2010

I think she may need this...

There is no snow here at the moment. I don't know how long that will last. It's certainly very very cold and a flannel scarf seems a very useful, snuggly present. So I made this one to tuck in the stocking I've made my niece. Ordering fabric online is not always easy. When you are judging a design on about an inch square of fabric sample and can only hope the colours showing on your monitor, bear at least some resemblance to what will turn up, it is easy to make mistakes. This fabric ended up looking a little more babyish than I'd imagined. So I'm hoping that my 10 year old niece thinks this is cute and this gift doesn't reconcile me to the ranks of one of *those* old aunties that gets it wrong. ;-)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sneaky Peek and why I don't like winter...

I can't show you much of what I've been doing creatively this weekend for fear of who might stumble across this blog. Which may be a little paranoid given I'm not sure how many people that know me actually read this.

If you are someone who knows me you will know I don't like winter. The novelty of snow wears thin quickly when you live in a country that grinds to a halt the minute the white stuff hits the ground. Thank fully there is none where I live at the moment. I don't know how much longer that will last. I don't really like the cold. I am only small. Wrapping up to keep warm in sub zero temperatures I look like a refugee about to flee her homeland wearing all the clothes she owns. Really I want to be wearing shorts, light cotton skirts and vest tops. I hate having to scrape ice of my car wind shield then have to deal with frozen locks, only to get into the car to find the inside is iced up too. Everyone seems coldy and germy throughout winter and the days are long and grey. Still looking on the bright side it provides more time for crafting so hopefully I should pick up on the crafty blogging front over the next few weeks, I'm already planning some summer skirt making...now if I can just take pictures that don't look like I take them in a dark cupboard...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Gearing up for a busy crafting weekend!

Isn't it satisfying to start a project and actually finish it completely? I've made this lap quilt for my Mum for Christmas. I think it would be equally lovely as a baby quilt. In fact the pattern is this baby quilt pattern from Oh,Fransson. My mum really feels the cold so I'm hoping she will enjoy snuggling up under this pretty quilt.

This weekend I'm itching to make a few other goodies - I'd thought I'd be out of time to do any more Christmas making, as I'm so behind with other stuff. Now I feel a bit more on top of things, I am bursting with ideas for more hand made goodies.

Apologies for the dodgy light in my photos lately - living in a cottage with low ceilings makes indoor photography a little dingy throughtout the winter and a lot of the pictures I've been taking lately really have been hurried snaps!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hope you like this partner?

This and some other goodies are what will be heading to my partner tomorrow - it's all packaged and stamped ready to go; only it won't fit through the post box letter box, so I have to go to a post office to hand it in there. It's not in the same league (but then nor is my skill level!) as that beautiful mug rug I received yesterday from verykerryberry, though I am hoping my partner will still like it! My mum actually wanted me to give it to her as she really likes the star.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

Closer to home if you're in part of the country that's having snow right now I hope you keep safe and warm. None down here in the south yet. Long may it stay that way! ;-)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Yes, lightening does strike twice in the same place...

Remember me? I haven't been having a great time of it lately so I've not been on here blogging. Life and the not so pleasant parts of it have been getting in the way, so I haven't made the effort to get on here just for the sake of it. But today I have something fabulous to share with you all.

I have been feeling unwell and am all behind with my Christmas preparations. All my good intentions to make lots of goodies for people, are unlikely to get made this year. At the weekend I went online and did some Christmas shopping that way. So when the post woman knocked on the door this afternoon and handed me several parcels I just assumed some ordered goodies were turning up.

Then when I saw this I began to wonder. The only fabric I have ordered lately came yesterday - so who else would be sending me a package and sticking a little fabric tag on the envelope? I have signed up to round two of the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap over on flickr. Could it be that my mug rug had arrived? When I opened it and saw this:

I think I did one of those happy screams (you know the kind that make everyone around you jump?). I spent ages just looking at this because I couldn't quite believe (from what I could see) that I had got one of my favourite mug rugs in the whole swap. I have to confess when I saw this in the pool I loved and wanted it, but after I got such a fantastic pin cushion in the scrappy pincushion swap I thought there is no way that lightening will strike twice. No way, surely, I would get another favourite? Well it does and I am so grateful for that!

When I unwrapped the unusual tape measure ribbon there was the lovely mug rug made by verrykerryberry and a roll of charms tied up with ribbon.

Just when I thought I couldn't get any luckier I found this box still in the envelope!

Inside was this...

...which I've never seen before - doesn't it look yummy?

So this was the lovely package of goodies I got - and thank you again to the lovely Kerry! xox

Here it is again with the reverse of the mug rug! And now I need to go and gather my own partner's mug rug and goodies together; which I intend posting tomorrow!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday and mug rug progress.

Today is Remembrance Sunday. I am not sure what other countries do to honour the fallen in wars. In the UK as well as Armistice Day on 11 November 2010, we pay our respects to troops past and present on the following Sunday with parades through towns and villages and special memorial services.

So today, regardless of faith or politics spare a thought for those who have died in previous conflicts. Also all those fighting all over the world for us now and their families and loved ones awaiting their safe return. Lets hope they are all home safely soon.

I have signed up for round 2 of Scrappy Mug Rug Swap over on Flickr. I sat round one out because I had a lot of health related issues going on (potential broken ankle that turned out to be a sprain and then some nasty dental surgery) and I didn't want to sign up for something, find time got away from me and I either didn't send on time or sent something I wasn't really happy with. So I'd had plenty of opportunity to drool over all the lovely mug rugs being added to the group pool. So why was it when I got my partners details and could get down to stitching, I couldn't decide on a design? It wasn't like my partner has uber specific preferences or anything. I think I just had to many ideas and had to filter through them to get to one that was 'right'.

My first instinct had been to do some sort of scrappy pieced Christmas tree, but then a few turned up in the group so I thought I'd do something a bit different. But what? Out came a book on patchwork and quilting I got many years ago when I was first starting out. In the back were some examples with patterns of other types of quilting. One that caught my eye was for a folded flower/star that could be used as a centre piece in a card...or in my mind a mug rug.

It's a bit fiddly because you have to fold a seam and iron it on every little rectangle and then iron the folds to make a triangle. I marvel at how I managed to do all this ironing without ironing my fingers! ;-)

The bonus is you are layering the triangles on a background fabric (I used a calico scrap) so this makes a super dense patch for a hot mug to sit on and hopefully no chance of it marking the surface underneath.

This is too long so will need some serious trimming after it's quilted. I started straight line quilting one end, but didn't like how it looked so unpicked it. I also unpicked the centre star machine quilting and will quilt that by hand to add an extra focus. I just hope my partner likes it. She is very very quiet so I'm getting no extra clues as to what she likes in the group.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Mug Rug Practice

I haven't been blogging so much lately. Partly because I've not been taking any pictures of anything. I have finished quilting the lap quilt for mum and sewn the binding on with the machine along the front edge. I just have to sew down the back by hand. No pics at the moment. It looks more like a baby quilt now so it's a good job she's small! ;-)

I am taking part in round two for the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap over on Flickr and last night I made a practice mug rug. I just grabbed some scraps of fabric I had to hand, sewed them together - a bit randomly and voila a mug rug. I am not so happy with the binding. But it did give me some binding practice of a small sized item.

There are so many wonderful mug rugs in the group pool it's a bit mesmerising. I'm struggling to come up with a final design. I had thought of something with a pieced Christmas tree but it seems that so many people have gone down that route. I haven't noticed my partner comment on any of the mug rugs posted so far so I'm not getting any extra hints that way either!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Bad Blogger Catch Up post

I've felt really bad about not blogging lately. Am I a bad blogger? I kept thinking I needed to take pictures, although I've been putting it off because the light has been so bad lately. Then I thought today - just take some pics - because low light pictures and a blog entry are better than a heap of good intentions right?

Do you remember me getting this fabric recently? Well I was inspired to buy it after seeing this on the Seamzine Blog. I made a circle scarf as soon as I'd received my fabric order and had pre washed it.

A note for those who've not used and prewashed flannel before: I'd read on other blogs about serging or zig zagging the raw edges before washing. I'd not bothered with this thinking; it can't be that bad? Well having washed it with the voile both got tangled up pretty bad. Nothing I couldn't sort with my sewing scissors, but the flannel edges really did shred during the wash process, so it may well be worth going to the extra effort of sorting those edges before you wash your flannel. Just saying.

The flannel is so lovely and snuggly for scarves I had to order some more for some Christmas stockings goodies. I got this flannel from Fabricpalooza.

This lovely fabric isn't the only goodies by mail I've been getting lately - some I can't share with you because of Christmas (wink wink). This treat was just for me though.

I ordered these from HidenSeek as I've been admiring this art work for some time now. You can just see in the picture the beautiful decorated envelope that my goodies arrived in. They were even tied up with red paper ribbon - so cute!

They also reminded me of this feature on children's programme Blue Peter, that I saw many many years ago, about this man who'd lived abroad and sent illustrated cards and letters to his grand children and how the letters had been saved and were being made into a book. This story really stuck with me over the years. Imagine my delight and surprise yesterday when my other half took me to lunch and we nipped into the Oxfam Bookshop in a nearby town and this book was on display! It was the book they'd featured on Blue Peter all those years ago! My other half treated me to it - he said I just *had* to get it and well...I wasn't going to argue with him!

And finally I cut the fabric, sewed the top and even basted this lap quilt (actually it's the baby quilt pattern by Oh,Fransson. I thought it would make a pretty lap quilt for my mum to snuggle up under as she feels the cold. I want to make it without her seeing any work in progress. I'd have quilted it but I've decided to go down the machine quilting route and I'm waiting for my new walking foot to arrive. I keep hearing these are a 'must' for machine quilting - that might explain my lack of success with other large quilted projects in the past. I haven't decided on the binding yet. I'm loving the mix of fabric ranges. It would make a pretty darling baby quilt too.
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