Saturday, 31 August 2013

It's only 6 months late...

I was just trawling through my drafts posts on blogger and found this blog post half started. I really thought I'd posted it months ago. So with apologies to Janet for the delay here's a long over due post! (I was nominated in February - I hang my head in shame but life was not so great for me back then.)

The lovely Janet  has nominated me for a Liebster.

The rules (1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate
4. Choose 11 blogs with less than 200 followers and link them in your post.)
have been amended slightly to include the tagging questions that went about in another blog award not so long ago.

First off here are 11 random facts about myself:

1. I love to dance. Need I say more.

bionic woman meets the robot from Lost in Space
I look like the bionic woman here doing that slow motion running thing
but pictures of me dancing are always embarrassing or make me look
like one of the walking dead. I had blisters on my feet at the end of this night and 
the male receptionist smirked at me padding through reception in the wee hours carrying my shoes.

2. I have each of my ears pierced twice.
3. I learnt to fire eat and breathe just because I could.

I'm really a dragon

4. I do not like peas. 
5. I only let my Mum cook me eggs. Ok I'll eat them in a cake or quiche made by someone else but can't stomach fried, boiled, poached eggs etc made by anyone else. I feel queasy just at the thought.
6. I'm addicted to watching The Walking Dead. I want to look away but I can't stop watching. I say I will because I find it too upsetting and then find myself watching it on demand tv on the laptop when I miss it! Once when The Walking Dead was on Chief phoned. I was half listening to him and half watching the TV. A zombie grabbed someone unexpectedly in a deserted chemist. It really made me jump and I screamed so loud down the phone Chief thought I was being attacked. 
7. My father was fluent in about 7 languages.
8. I love my niece dearly but this is the reason I won't let her use curling irons on my hair again.
Bournemouth 21/08/2013 
9. I am a complete photo junkie. I love taking pictures and viewing other peoples. I'm now surprised it took me so long to get a DSLR
10. My favourite thing to do is go away for a long weekend. Or midweek mini break. 
11. I am not a good swimmer. I would love to have proper lessons. Mum taught me how to swim and she can't swim herself.

Now on to Janet's questions: 

1. Where were you born?  Do you still live there and like it?  If you don't live there would you want to live there again?

I was born in Oxfordshire England, Yes I still live there in the same house I grew up in. Which is, to some, a bit unusual to say the least. But it's how life worked out for me. 

2. How many pets have you had in your life time?  Do you have one now?
We had one dog when I was growing up called Griffy (technically he was my brothers dog.) I also had a black rabbit called Twitchy Jam Jar.  I guess I must have had umpteen goldfish won at fairs that never survived my over feeding and a few rescue birds over the years. I have no pets now but if my life was different I'd have a dog. 

3. What is the most unusual place you have visited?
I haven't travelled very much so I can't think of anywhere. Chief would be much better at answering this question. Although he can't always say all the places he's been so he may not tell the truth on that one either. 

4. Do you live in a castle, mansion, house, condo, apartment or tent - or a box on the street?
It may one day come to a box on the street. But at the moment it's a semi detached stone cottage.

5. What made you laugh out loud most recently?
Probably watching a rerun of something like: Only Fools and Horses or maybe something I read in a book. I laugh out loud a lot. At least once every day I'm sure.

6. Do you wear the colour purple?
Yes! Purple is my favourite clothing colour. I try to avoid buying too many purple clothes because other wise I could end up looking like Willy Wonka. 

7. Do you tell people how old you are or are you coy about your age?
I'm happy to tell people my age. What's the point of lying. Although for years my niece corrected and told everyone I was 32 and I never corrected her. She also thought I was a teenager. 

8. What is your pet name for your most loved one?
In blogland I call him Chief. Sometimes I forget and call him that to his face. But it's hardly a pet name as his boss and colleagues call him Chief (Well, the one's that don't call him sir!). I don't think I have a pet name for him and if I did and shared it on her I may well not live long enough to write another blog post ;-)

9. What is the most favourite thing you have ever made - quilting, knitting, sewing or some other needlecraft?
I always say my hexie quilt but that's getting a bit boring now. So how about the plus quilt I made for my Mum.

10. Do you do crossword puzzles or Sudoku?
I sometimes help my Mum with the crossword puzzle in the paper. Although help often means I fill the wrong word in and make a mess of it.  I'm not really a Sudoku kind of girl. I have a real passion for online scrabble and always have at least 10 games on the go on facebook!

11. How many times a year do you wear longjohns?  Do you know what longjohns are? :)
I have never in my life worn long johns. Nor will I. I don't like the idea of anything that's all in one that might make going for a pee in a hurry difficult. I do like the idea of thermal underwear though. Oh and you know how Hadley is not a fan of jeggings. Well I hate Onesies. It must be an age thing but why the F*** does a grown up want to wear a giant baby grow?

Now I find it hard to know how many followers people have these days so rather than nominate blogs I'm going to post 11 questions and if anyone wants to use them as the basis of a blog post go for it!

1. What's the last good book you read? (I'm always looking for recommendations!)
2. Who in your opinion is the best fictional detective ever and why?
3. I have a milestone birthday in January what's the best present you could give me? (it's ok you don't have to really!)
4. What's your favourite meal?
5. What scares you the most?
6. Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
7. If your fabric stash was on fire what would you save first?
8. What craft/skill do you wish you possessed?
9. What would be your dream destination?
10. What would you like your obituary to say about you?
11. When was the last time you cried and why?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Getting my Laura Ashley on

Did you see this fab post from Kerry the other week?  I'd have loved to have gone to this exhibition. I've never been a huge Laura Ashley fan but have had some clothes from Laura Ashley over the years. In fact in the earliest days they were from jumble sales and destined to be repurposed into other items. I remember buying a navy needle cord dress and cutting it up. I can't remember what it became.  I had this conversation with Kerry and happened to mention that I had a Laura Ashley dress in my stash from the 1980's waiting to be recycled and Kerry informed me they're now very popular with student girls who buy them on ebay. I even had a look on flickr and found a few young girls living it up in the same style of dress.

So I got the one out of my stash. Now it was never bought with the intention of being worn. I just liked the fabric. I remember it was once worn by my Mum to Le Manoir in the 1990's when we had an invitation to afternoon tea and she had nothing to remotely suitable to wear.  The style of dress never appealed to me maybe because when it was fashionable it was generally worn by two types of people. (This is to my mind and yeah I'm going to shamelessly stereotype.)

Type 1: Middle aged women who were in the WI and really rather prim and proper. It was the kind of dress I thought people might wear to a tea party at the local vicarage.

Type 2: Younger women of the frumpy variety who wore velvet Alice bands, sensible slip on shoes and had names like Chlamydia Double-Barrelled.

You have to remember in this particular era I was either a pre teen or a teen. I generally had a more quirky and eccentric idea of dressing. Only not in frocks like this.

But now maybe 25 years after it was made I thought I'd try it on. You know just to see what it actually looked like on. So get ready for a giggle!

I had to get Mum to take the pictures so I'm 
pulling faces and frowning wondering 
if she's taking the picture and if my head will or will not make it into shot!

After checking the size, the first thing I noticed was it's a size 12 and actually a bit snug. I was aware over the years how dress sizes have been enlarged and adjusted to cope with the ever expanding womanhood. But I had no idea that even in my life time dress sizes had got so obviously bigger. I'm an 8-10 by today's standards so didn't expect a size 12 to feel snug. Or maybe LA dresses were always more petitely cut?


I even borrowed the sandals Mum wore to my brother's wedding in 1985. I think they're probably the only 1980's shoes we have in the house.  



So there you go, me in vintage Laura Ashley.  I'm not sure it's really me. But I have to say it is the kind of dress that makes me want to do some twirling and then head off to the vicarage for a nice cream tea...

I don't think I'll embark on a career as a model.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

What I Should Be Doing v. What I'm actually doing.

Whilst I have not lost my sewing mojo I am finding it hard to get back into the swing of things now I've had my holiday. Work is crazy busy. I could do without people suggesting things I could do, when I already have more than enough to do. On the sewing front though I really do need some suggesting.  Having scrubbed my list at the start of the month in favour of keeping things simple, I've forgotten 95% of what was on that list!

So what could I have been doing this afternoon? 

I have only just opened and taken out the fabric for Fi in the last month of the first cycle of the HipBee's. Before you tell me off for being really lazy. I should point out they arrived whilst I was on holiday last week. I haven't left these since the end of July or anything! I am still deciding what block exactly to make. Maybe eating the chocolate would help me focus? I'm willing to try if you think it would help. ::wink:: ::wink::


I could have been making an elastic thingy to attach to this do-dah of Chiefs.


I could have started on my top secret military commission for...well it wouldn't be top secret if I told you. But does anyone know the best place for me to buy a bag of those little polystyrene balls that you put in bean bags from? I know I've seen them somewhere where I shop online regularly. but I can't remember where. And trawling all my fav fabric shops is likely to make me cave - sooner rather than later - and buy fabric for my stash...or other stuff. Because trawling is making me find other stuff I never knew I needed.

I could have ordered more fabric to get started on Chief's quilt. But he's about to go to Cyprus for a month so it's not like there is any rush and I thought I'd wait until pay day on Friday before I made any substantial fabric purchases.

What I actually did  this afternoon was catch up on the last two episodes of The Walking Dead and ponder what I would give away for my long over due third blogiversary. Oh and eat a few more of these.

Violet Cremes

But I do need to get focused. I'm missing the sewing!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Vintage Sheet Quilt Show Off Time

In August I set myself one goal and one goal only: To finish the vintage sheet quilt I started at the beginning of the year and if I managed to finish the matching cushion to go with it that would be a bonus.  Once I had the materials I needed to complete it from Mary I was good to go.

Vintage Sheet Quilt 

As an added incentive I linked up to A Year of Lovely Finishes for August over on Fibre of All Sorts Blog. You can read my original post here.

So now it's time to link up again and do my big reveal. This of course meant taking some, at least half decent, pictures.  Not easy with big quilts when it's windy and my fence is not really up to the job. If I'd waited until I could take it on a proper location shoot I'd probably be revealing this when this blog is vintage!

Vintage Sheet Quilt

If you've been following the progress of this quilt you'll remember that
I got the majority of the vintage sheets from the UK & Ireland vintage sheet swap over on flickr.
If you're in the UK or Ireland and interested in a vintage sheet swap then do check out the group as if there is enough interest there will be another swap later in the year.

Vintage Sheet Quilt

Vintage sheets can be hard to source.  Boot sales and Charity shops are probably your best bets. Unless you're lucky enough to come across a relative that has an airing cupboard stashed full with them.
I failed miserably to find a vintage sheet so was very grateful when Helen came to my rescue.

I had no idea what a lovely stash of fat quarters I'd get through the swap.

Vintage Treasure
It has kind of made me vintage sheet addicted.
How do you know if you're vintage sheet addiction? Here's five ways to tell for sure:

1) You watch Get Carter for the first time and when Brit Ekland has phone sex with Michael Caine you spend most of the time wondering if you could find the bedding Brits lying on at a boot sale and plan what you'd do with it.

2) You see a family member is decorating and you grab the vintage sheeting they're using as dust sheets and steal it even if it does mean their wood flooring and carpets gets covered in paint.

3) or you have a nervous breakdown because having found said bedding being used as dust sheets you also discover it's covered in paint splatters from years of other decorating projects.

4) You brave the box of linens at the local charity shop even though it smells like a pensioners sofa and some of the 'linen's in there are covered in stuff you really don't want to handle without gloves, a SARS mask and a hazmat suit.

5) You go to stay with an elderly relative and note that she has vintage sheets in her airing cupboard - which of course you looked in - having spotted vintage linens on your bed. You stuff a few in your super tote because she's bound not to miss them. Then you wonder if she'd notice if you cut up the sheets on your can always buy her some cheap replacements from Ikea or Primark anyway.

Vintage Sheet Quilt

The beautiful purple sheet for the backing, along with the classic stripy binding, was supplied by Mary.
Mary has a great Etsy shop, supplying pre cut charm squares of vintage sheets, make your own vintage bunting kits and vintage sheet baby quilt kits. Mary is super helpful if you need vintage sheets for other projects of your own.

Vintage Sheet Quilt

The idea behind this quilt is that I can sleep under it in summer when it's too cool for just a sheet and too hot for a duvet. I haven't measured the finished quilt, but here it is on my 4ft bed. It could have perhaps done with being a bit wider.  But it will serve its purpose. It's certainly long enough to cover my toes.

Vintage Sheet Quilt

So there you have it. Possibly my largest finished quilt to date and a positive picture of retro loveliness.

Monday, 26 August 2013

What I did on my Holidays: Part 2 - Bournemouth and Boscombe

Wednesday was Chief's last day with us. We decided to walk down to the lower gardens and play some mini golf. First N and I made a quick trip to H&M to buy stuff. There isn't one in Oxford and I'd taken a shine to a dress my niece had brought with her that she said came from there. We left Mum and Chief sat on a bench and I came back with two vest tops, some make up and the dress.

Bournemouth 21/08/2013

After golf we owed Chief a winning ice cream. (He told niece she had won. Although said that anyone who got a hole in one was due an ice cream. He then went and got one himself!)  We had a walk along the beach and the first paddle of the holiday for us. Mum couldn't be bothered to take her shoes off and lived to regret it when she got caught out by a wave and ruined her shoes.

Bournemouth 21/08/2013        P1150048
N helped Mum sort her wed feet/trouser situation and as you can see I made good use of my downsized supertote.
I took the scarf I made but it was far too hot to wear and the large supertote never got the photo shoot I was hoping.

We all had lunch back at the hotel and then it was time for Chief to leave. I felt a bit sad that he was going because I know it'll be October now before I see him and we were all having such a good time together. N and I then headed for the pool. I'll spare you those photos!

After dinner on Wednesday we decided to walk into town and look at the Candlelight Night in the lower gardens. On the way down we listened to Rufus Stone playing soul music at the pier approach stage. This is a new still-being-constructed area. They started demolishing the much hated Imax cinema complex at the start of the year. It gives much of Bournemouth town it's sea views back.

Rufus Stone Bournemouth 2013
The crowd got up and started dancing as Rufus Stone sang songs like Soul Man.

Bournemouth 21/08/2013
The gardens were heaving. I'd never seen so many people at a night light.
It was hard to actually see the candlelight displays.

As we couldn't see much we headed towards the town where we could hear a different kind of band playing.

Bournemouth 21/08/2013
We stopped to listen to a couple of songs. They played music by the likes of Elbow.
Once they got drumming the ground shook.

After this we headed to the nearby taxi rank and got a taxi back to the hotel. It spared mum's legs and stopped us having to fight our way back through the crowds.

Thursday, we decided to go on the sight seeing tour bus. N had picked up a leaflet about this at the hotel and as we'd never done this before down in Bournemouth we thought we'd give it a go and get off at Boscombe for a while. We last went to Boscombe in 2007 on our first holiday. We all boarded the land train on a grey but fine day to find when we got to Boscombe the pier was closed and there were major refurb' works going on. I seem to remember we had one cuppa in a cafe before getting the land train back - all wishing we hadn't bothered. Boscombe is very different these days though. A fortune has been spent regenerating it and building an artificial surf reef. The surf reef has been controversial as it has never worked properly and currently is awaiting more works in order to get it up and running. 

Boscombe 2013
We had a walk on Boscombe Pier which unlike Bournemouth Pier is free to go on.

Boscombe 22/08/2013
Mum and I on Boscombe Pier

We spent about an hour at Boscombe before getting the bus again to continue with the tour. We got off at Bournemouth Pier and popped in a couple of shops. Mum needed to replace the shoes that got ruined by a wave the day before. Whilst Neve and I found shoes in the M&S sale, Mum opted to get hers from Superdry!

Cool at 80
Outside the Superdry store with Nanny's new purchase!

We got back on the tour bus and did a chunk of the tour again just so we could get off at the stop that was conveniently right outside our hotel. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool. Making the most of the gorgeous weather.

Bournemouth Bus Tour 2013
The main picture shows Bournemouth Pier from the bus. The bottom two pictures are of the fab looking San Remo Towers at Boscombe. A Grade II listed apartment complex built in the Spanish American Style. Loved this complex.

As this was our last night N decided we should get dressed up. This meant going into dinner an hour later than normal as N does not do speedy getting ready and wanted me to have a go at curling her hair.  

Bournemouth 23/8/2013

Strangely we were the last people left in the restaurant as there had been two coach parties in at the hotel that week and the one from Yorkshire was going home early the next day. As we arrived for dinner the other coach group: from Northern Ireland were singing Congratulations and two cakes with lit candles were brought out. They were all about to go off and take part in a talent show so had had an early dinner too. We spent some time in the lounge after dinner and kept seeing people dressed up as black and white minstrels or Carmen Miranda pass by.  They were a very friendly bunch, although N struggled with the thick accents and asked me at one point what country they were from and what language they were speaking!

Friday was our last day. We had one final walk into town and back along the beach. Loading my brother, who'd come to pick us up, with bags and shoes so N and I could paddle.

Suits you sir.
Bro carried N's bag and my shoes. He really doesn't like
the sand between his toes thing!

Bournemouth 23/8/2013
N and I had one final picture taken. None of us wanted to leave. We hope 
to return next year for some more of this fun!

So that was Bournemouth for us this year. Glorious weather and great times. I'm back at work tomorrow. (BIG sad face) and once I'm back into my routine I'll be back to sewing. I've also got a long over due 3rd Bloggiversary give away coming up.  Until then I hope you've all had fab holiday's too!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

What I did on my holidays: Part 1 Bournemouth and Brownsea Island.

We were so lucky with the weather down in Bournemouth. It was glorious weather all week. I swear the place has it's own little pocket of sunshine, as we've rarely had rain when we've been down there. Bournemouth is one of my favourite seaside places. Yes, if you're looking for a more peaceful, crowd free coastal spot then Bournemouth is not for you. If you want a clean sandy beach, plenty to do for all ages and shopping five minutes from the beach then you'd be hard pressed to find a better venue.

Bournemouth 2013A

We arrived on Sunday and just chilled around the hotel. Chief phoned on Sunday night and said he'd finished work far earlier than anticipated so he was going to drive down to mine and spend the night so he'd not have so far to drive down the next day. He'd contemplated driving straight down on Sunday night.  However, he thought as he'd already driven down from the North East of the country and he'd not booked a hotel, he might be better breaking the journey at mine.  By the time I was getting up on Monday and thought I'd ring to see if he was on his way, it turned out he was already sat in the hotel reception!

Mum, N and I had planned a couple of hours shopping Monday morning so after breakfast we headed off leaving Chief to settle in and catch up with some sleep. When we returned we all had lunch in the hotel before heading for the pool. (And yes that is the lesser spotted Chief in the pool with me above!)

Tuesday, we headed off to Poole. It was a much shorter journey by car. (About half an hour shorter than going by bus!) and we didn't have the lengthy walk down to the quay as there is a multi storey car park about 100 yards away from where the Brownsea Island ferry goes from.  Chief had never been to Brownsea Island before so we decided we'd get off at Brownsea Island which is National Trust run so you have to pay to enter, as well as the ferry.

Mum and N headed off for a leisurely stroll and so did Chief and I. Mum can't manage quite as much walking and we thought it would make the best use of our time on the island if we split up.  Chief and I came across some red marks on trees. When you stood at certain spots the red marks lined up to make heart shapes.

Brownsea Island 2013A

We'd agreed to meet up in an hour for lunch so we didn't really have time to explore much of the island and actually it was busier than I'd ever known it. (Lots of noisy children to scare off any wildlife!)

Poole and Brownsea Island 20/08/2013
Just behind the wall is the the garden to the adjacent NT cafe. Great views while you eat. 
Behind is Brownsea Island Castle. It's a 5 star hotel for John Lewis staff. There is a four year wait
for holidays as the hotel only charges 3 star prices.

Brownsea Island 2013B
The big picture in the collage is Old Harry Rocks from Brownsea. The rest of the pictures give you an idea of what it's like on Brownsea Island.

Brownsea Island 20/08/2013

Mmmm local ice cream. Just had to be done!

It takes just 20 minutes on the ferry from Poole to Brownsea Island. On the way back it takes 45 minutes as they do a harbour cruise which normally takes in all the other islands in the harbour. This time tidal restrictions meant they risked running aground if they attempted to go around the back of Brownsea Island. It's normally quite shallow anyway so they have to keep to especially marked channels.  So they did a different harbour tour which gave us a chance to have a better look at how the other half live on Sandbanks.

Sandbanks is the 4th most expensive place to live in the world. I think it works out at something like 20 million pounds (Yes, 20 million pounds!!!!) per acre.  

Poole Harbour Cruise
Former England footballer Harry Redknapp apparently lives in the house in the big picture. The one directly below it is currently for sale. A bargain if you have just under 8 million pounds. I say bargain, it apparently sold for twice that 7 years ago.  I like the house bottom right myself. I checked on Right Move and for just over 7 1/2 million pounds I could buy that too!

So that's part one of what I did on my holidays. I'll fill you in with the rest another time. Today, Mum and I took ourselves off the The Chiltern Craft Fair. We try and go every year. It was so wet when we left this morning that we almost contemplated turning the car around I didn't bother to take a camera.  But I'll save what I bought for another blog post. 

Saturday, 24 August 2013


Of course some of you may not have noticed I'd been away! But I am back from the annual trip to Bournemouth my Mum, niece and I have made since 2007.  We had glorious weather all week so coming back to a dull grey Oxford yesterday and waking up to rain this morning has been a bit of a shock to the system.

I have started the holiday washing, and done a quick supermarket shop. I still need to finish sorting a gazillion photos and answer emails. Once I have photos properly sorted I'll tell you all more about the trip. Chief even managed to get down for three days and two nights!

Then and now

Now though, I have another load of washing to put on the airer. No line drying down here today!

Friday, 16 August 2013

I HEART Liberty!

I've been pretty quiet this week. I must have burnt myself out with all that bag making last weekend, as I woke up in the early hours of Monday morning with stomach cramps, extreme nausea, a banging headache and er, a touch of the: "two bob bits". (Non Brits may have to think about that. It's rhyming slang. Need I say more?) It wrote off the next two days and left me feeling a tad sorry for myself and not at all feeling like sewing.

I had a nice surprise in the mail today which reminded me I had something else I hadn't gotten around to showing you for a while.  Liberty!

Liberty Stash!
Glenjade, Thorpe and Wiltshire

At the beginning of the month I added to my ever growing Liberty stash with some more Tana Lawn from Very Berry Fabrics.  Ali allows you to build a bundle at pocket money prices, saving a few pennies along the way. At the same time I ordered the above bundle she had a free pack of hexies and papers for EPPing with every order. The Hexie packs are new additions to her shop. So you can go grab your own here. They'd be perfect for a spot of travel sewing me thinks!

Liberty Stash!

Unfortunately the order got misplaced by the Royal Mail. (Insert sad face.) But Ali came to the rescue and today my goodies arrived.

Regular readers will know that I LOVE Liberty and often sneak it into little projects: Pouches, bags, pin cushions...Now my stash is growing. One day it will be a Liberty quilt. I'd start already only I really can't decide on what pattern to do. I just know special fabrics like that need a special design. And one I won't mess up. So nothing with HST's, which I've decided are my patch working nemesis.

Liberty Stash!
My Liberty Stash! I've been adding to this for some years.

Most of the above Liberty has come from: Shaukat when I went to the Retreat. Jo, Very Berry Fabrics, Liberty Oxford (Yes, there used to be regional Liberty stores.) and friends.

One of the first things I made post Retreat was this scarf. I've been waiting to get a decent picture of me modelling it. But at this rate I'll have worn it until it falls apart and you still won't have seen it!

Liberty Tana Lawn Infinity Scarf
Not sure the name of this fabric. Katy might know as she has some needle cord in this I think?

I was inspired after seeing FQR pictures last year and Fiona @ Poppy Makes turned some silk Liberty fabric into a travel set including an infinity scarf. I always thought I wanted to do the same with some Tana, only none of my pieces were large enough.  I picked this skinny remnant up at Shaukat and literally whizzed this up in a commercial break whilst watching something on TV.

I may have to make more. I regret being so restrained at Shaukat. Thank heavens they have a website. But of course I'm not that far from London really...

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Shrunken Super Tote

Chief went off Adventurous Training on Friday. (I once suggested Adventurous Training was like PGL only to get a very whithering look, but really I think it is.)  This morning he phoned to tell me he'd spent some hours in the hospital Saturday night.  So how did he hurt himself? Which adventurous activity got him? Apparently he tripped over on camp in the dark. He got a bump on his head and a nasty gash on his leg. He informs me he was not drunk either. On the way up to Adventurous Training he phoned and I told him I'd finished a quilt. He asked if it was his quilt, then called me a slacker when I said that not only was it not his quilt, but I'd not actually ordered the fabric yet...

But seeing as he's away and can't even call for very long I found myself with a Sunday to myself. I did housework, I went for a walk after lunch with Mum. Then when I got back and had a cuppa I stuck a DVD on and started cutting out fabric to make another Super Tote. I'm not sure which blog it was I read the other day, but they said every time they go on holiday they make a new bag. Genius. I'll do the same. Like I really need an excuse to make another bag. You're probably thinking: Didn't she just make a bag for her holiday yesterday?  Ok, that doesn't count. It's mahoosive and for the beach or heading to the pool. I need something for sightseeing and shopping.

Hadley reduced the super tote pattern to 50% and knocked up this nifty little bag. I decided I'd do one at 75% so I can shove just a bit more stuff in it. (The pattern pieces at 50% looked tiny to me.)  I had to improvise to use stuff from my stash. I was down to my last two magnetic snaps and had no zips suitable to do the zipped version. I also didn't bother with the piping. I have a big bag of piping cord somewhere, all I could find yesterday was some flimsy stuff I'd ordered for framed purses (And never used.) It was a real pain to make cord from so I gave it a miss today.

Super Tote at 75%

I used two different Summersville prints to line the external pockets. It took less than a skinny quarter of the feathers fabric to make the two external pockets. I used various shades of Essex linen scraps to do the rest of the bag and it's lined in Kona Ash left over from yesterdays bag.

Super Tote at 75% Super Tote at 75%

Here are the two super totes for size comparison.  At 75% the smaller one is larger than the large side kick tote so I'm confident I'll get everything I need to in it.

Super Tote at 75%

Now I just need a holiday! Oh and for those of you who are wondering about the Paris thing. Chief is hoping we can do Paris next spring. I asked him just at the end of last week and he said he'd rather do it in the spring and he'll know more about his job situation by then.  It'll only be three birthdays since it was that birthday treat!  But next year is a mile stone birthday year for me. I'm using any excuse to celebrate all year long!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Squiffy Elephants and a Super Tote

In Bee a Brit Stingy Bee this month Nicky asked us for these blocks.  I agonised for ages over which fabrics to use for the cross bit and then which for the low volume bit. I think it's like when people open a wardrobe crammed full of clothes and then declare they have: nothing. to. wear.  First off I decided on these elephants from an early range by Laurie Wisbrun. But once I'd made the block I looked at it and thought it was wrong. I couldn't work out why I thought it was wrong...apart from maybe the elephants looked a bit squiffy. So I went on to make another block with some Lakehouse dry goods fabric as the focus and that didn't look squiffy so it must be the elephants. I then thought I'd go make another block just in case Nicky would rather accidentally, on purpose, knock the elephant block into the bin and not put it into her lovely quilt.

Bee Blocks for Nicky

Siggy block almost done
Siggy Block - reverse of the other blocks.
(Yes, I need to add details.)

With bee blocks done I decided I could get on with my Super Tote. (Well it was either that or continue to tear my hair out as to where a reward card I'll need next week has gone. I tell you I've looked in all the obvious places and a few not so obvious. I think I've put it away so safely that I've absolutely no chance of finding it.)

I had cut out the external fabric, fused interfacing and made the straps already. Then discarded the bag. I couldn't remember why I'd discarded it until I started making it. I hadn't got the right sized zip so I decided not to bother with the zip bit. The plan is to use this as a beach bag. The chances of me zipping it up are remote. With more foresight I may have added some magnetic snaps instead.


Having seen some of these at Fat Quarterly Retreat I knew they were roomier than I would normally go for. As it is I can fit loads of stuff inside easily. I'm glad I didn't skip the elasticated pockets. I almost did thinking I'd never use them.


And I can almost imagine it's on the beach already...

Finished Super Tote

...I know I wish I was!

I wish I'd eased up on the sewing pressure earlier. Look at how productive I'm being?! It's amazing how good it feels to just sew because. What have you been sewing this Saturday?

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