Saturday, 31 July 2010

A new recruit

A couple of years ago now I had this idea for an art quilt with the theme remembrance. I asked my other half if he could get me an old uniform or part of it. It had to be a uniform that had been worn and not just some dpm (Camo) material. He never did and I never got to make the art quilt.

Just before last Christmas I kept thinking I wanted to make a casual bag from an old army uniform. It kept nagging away at me. I'd make it reversible and roomy enough to use as a beach bag. So I asked my other half if he could get me something. Of course he said he could and I waited and waited; dropping the odd hint (sounds better than saying I nagged!)

When we had our Christmas together in New Year he filled a stocking with goodies and one was a uniform. So I made this bag. Whilst I took some pictures of the work in progress I forgot to take a picture of the finished bag until just now.

There are lots of things about this bag I don't like. I'm fussy - I can tell the bits that didn't work properly. I had no pattern just an idea in my head. Then after it was made I found out about Camp Follower Bags I so wish I'd come across Tia and her work before I made my bag!

Anyway, my niece saw the bag hanging on a door handle the other day and totally fell in love with it. I said I was going to use it when I went on holiday with her. She asked me to make her one too because she said: "If I saw this bag in a shop I'd want to buy it!" Only could she have something smaller and across the body? My other half had already mentioned he had a couple of old uniforms if I could use them some how.

This is what I made for her today!

This utilises one of the patch pockets. In fact this was made from one trouser leg. A skinny quarter and some scraps.

So Miss N. I hope you like this bag and I can't wait to go on holiday with you xx

Friday, 30 July 2010

Favourite Things Friday: My Garden

A few years ago I created a pretty cottage garden. The flowers and plants told the story so I didn't need to worry too much about the existing hard landscaping and the fact most had seen better days. Then it was time to fix up the house - a project that's taken about 6 years, with a room a year. Sadly the garden was let go while the house works took priority and it was better to start from scratch, than try and work with what was there. May 2009 I started to renovate part of it. Another part has been done this year.

Before any work started

Did I say it was baaaaad?

Last year a new beginning...

And now a year on...

Now if you had created this garden wouldn't it make your favourite things list? Have a good weekend x x

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

De-stash Happy!

I went round to a friends last night who was having a major de-stash due to her down sizing for a house move. I scored all these goodies and can't wait to get creating. I've already had a delve in and sorted it into 'material type.' In amongst this lot is a hardly used sewing machine, some silk machine embroidery threads, buttons, beads, ribbons, wool roving, silk throwers waste and all kinds of other fibre goodies.

I am bursting with ideas already! I'm just too busy to start right this space though...

Monday, 26 July 2010

So much to sew - so little time

25 years ago tomorrow my brother and his wife got married! They held a big party for close family and friends last Saturday. It's meant no time for sewing. Although I'm bursting with project ideas and have my hexagon charm quilt to get on with. This is my progress on that one to date. I am sooo pleased with the results and couldn't have done it without all the kind people that swapped or donated fabric to me. I am just waiting on two more swaps now - and I'll be using those to complete the back border and maybe some additional decoration on the back. I didn't hear back from everyone I swapped with, so hope that no news is good news and the fabric squares arrived ok and are useful.

Cheers all and have a good week xx

Friday, 23 July 2010

Favourite things Friday!: Fire Eating

At the moment my world is all about Hexagons. But keep reading posts about how I got some more fabric, basted some more hexies, pieced some more hexies... might get a bit boring. So today is Friday and I've declared it Favourite things Fridays! (Or a chance for me to blog about totally random things I like.)

I belong to an activities club called Spice It's a chance to try something new and meet new fun people while you are doing it. My favourite event so far has been fire eating. Probably because I don't think of myself as a very brave sort of person and hey putting fire in your mouth has to be a bit brave doesn't it?

The pics of me fire eating were not that great. I didn't have the best technique and I found it hard to find my mouth (!) Also when you have a camera you mean to take pics, but seeing people fire eat is just so WOW! that you tend to forget to take pictures and just watch!

On the other hand fire breathing was more my thing...

I can even do fire faces...

(Just don't try this at home folks! We had a full day of training before we were allowed to do the dangerous stuff!)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

All in an afternoons work

I've finished my first two mini hexagon projects. I used some ready made bias tape that was lurking in the bottom of my sewing box to edge the needle book. It's horrible stuff so I'd not use it on a quilt, but this project has been all about scraps and what I had to hand.

I lined the inside of the needle book with an off cut of linen material I had in a scrap pack. I couldn't find my felt stash (Hhmmm need a proper reorganisation session me thinks!)so used this hand dyed felt I'd had for ages. I used scraps on the back of the pincushion to add a bit of contrast. Some of these scraps are offcuts from larger pieces sent to me in swaps for hexie making.

I think opened up the needle case looks like a mini quilt....(Oh and no looking too close at my stitching OK?)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Novel scraps for my Charm quilt

After seeing some of my status comments on facebook a few friends asked me to post a picture of my charm quilt progress so far. One of the people to then see the post was Linda Gillard who then offered to send me some scraps for my quilt. I met Linda through BookCrossing and have really enjoyed reading her three books. (If you can't wait for me to blog about BookCrossing then you can check it out here)If being a talented novelist isn't enough Linda also makes some wonderful quilts. I got home from work today and look what had arrived in the post!

I've already started turning them into hexies for my quilt.

I am not normally a fan of romantic novels but I can't recommend Linda's books enough. Great settings, interesting characters and page turning stories you don't want to put down. Linda has a website where you can find out more about her books and her quilts.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Honey I shrank the hexies...

For ages now I've been admiring all the great pincushions made out of half inch hexies I see over on Flickr. I've been itching to have a go at a project with half inch hexies myself but recently all my hexie energy has been going into my charm quilt. However, my charm quilt has stalled while I wait for more swaps to come through, so last night I started cutting out half inch hexie templates.

(What a fiddle that is!)

I didn't cut out any fabric for this as for years I've used a mail order company that supplies swatches of all the fabric they stock in 1 inch(ish) squares. These 1 inch squares are perfect for making half inch hexies and furthermore I have hundreds of them!

So right now I'm hoping I'll get a needle case out of these with a pincushion to match. I'd like to use the needle case for my quilting needles. Most of the time when needles are out of the packet they came in I have no idea what type of needle they are.

And as for my Honey:he's away with his work, so let's not mention that I'm making more hexies and even smaller ones at that. (He already thinks I'm a little mad on this one). I'll just have the needle case all sewn up by the time he sees it and he'll never know I haven't had it forever ;-)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Aunt Sally

Saturday they had a village get together in the orchard. There was a hog roast and the orchard was full of games for all the family. One of the games was Aunt Sally. Unless you're local to Oxfordshire (or parts of the Buckinghamshire borders) you probably won't have come across this game. I don't know all the rules or terminology but the white thing on the stand is the dolly and you have to throw the sticks to knock it off. This game features in many pubs and they have Aunt Sally leagues. Some serious players even make and use their own sticks.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Hexagon Charm Quilt Weekly Check In

I've created a photo journal on flickr of my progress with the hexagon charm quilt.

This is my progress to date.

I've lost track of how many hexies this is. I reckon it's got to be getting on for 800. I'd been monitoring my progress on a design sheet but, as the colour bands have largely depended on the fabric I've swapped, I didn't allow enough space for some bands. I really need to track the progress again on a new design sheet.

Monday, 12 July 2010


So it's over a month since I joined Texas Freckles Hexagon Charm Quilt Along.

I've become completely addicted and have over 750+ 1" hexies sewn together. I have taken part in numerous scrap swaps and really enjoy seeing what fabric will turn up next. I have to confess I'm not looking forward to the quilting bit. But for now I'm enjoying making hexies and sewing up colour bands.

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