Sunday, 30 September 2012

Mouthy Stitches Tote.

Sunday 30 September. Where did September go? Mine wasn't especially busy it just seemed to fly by.  Which is surprising as time usually drags if you're in the doldrums and I've certainly felt that way the last week or so.  I think Chief made extra effort to come down on Friday so he could give me a hug.  Today I've cheered myself up by finishing my tote for the Mouthy Stitches Swap. I really hope my partner likes. I mean REALLY. If there is any doubt I'm keeping it because just looking at it cheers me up and it did take a lot of work so I'd hate it going to a home where it isn't really liked. ::wink:: ::wink::


I sewed the hexies together this morning before lunch. I have decided that 1" hexies might be the optimum size for quick basing and piecing.  The longest bit for me is always deciding exactly which fabrics to use.  In the above picture you can just see my quick fix to where I'd messed up the size of the back of the bag.  I pieced together some small rainbow scraps (I am trying not to keep every teeny tiny scrap - but sometimes they do come in useful!) and trimmed them into a strip which I pieced between two bits of the linen. It gives the back a satisfying pop of colour.

I decided to go for the Erin McMorris - Summersault fabric for the lining. I thought it had a good mix of colours in it so it would work well with the rainbow hexies.  Whilst you could use this side of the tote as a bag, I'm hoping my partner will like the 'proper' side so much she never wants to reverse it. In that case I think this fabric makes for a super cheery lining.


But onto the bag. Now first off I have to say I really struggled getting pictures in here as the light is so rubbish so I need to get some nicer pictures outside. So just believe me when I say this bag looks much lovelier in person.

Yep I need to get the big ironing board out and give this
a proper press!

The outside is interfaced with some fleece and then quilted with Perle in rainbow colours. Due to the space dyed nature of the linen not all the Perle shows up that well. It does give the bag a nice stiffness. (For those who like a stiff one.)  It does however make the top seam much thicker than the lining and previous experience with bag making has taught me that it can be incredibly hard getting the material nice and flat to top stitch if the external material is much more substantial than the lining material (or vice versa). Therefore I opted for not turning the lining fully through. I let it sit on the top edge of the bag outer and gave it a good press. I did a layer of top stitching to close up the turned through hole and then another layer of top stitching nearer the top edge. Not only has this given a pop of lining colour to the top of the bag, it's also strengthened the join on the handles and made the handle material look more unified with the rest of the bag.

Now I just need to get these pictures in the Flickr group and hope my partner likes it. Or I'll be keeping this one!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hit, Miss or Maybe?

For all of you that think getting a great new sewing machine will suddenly make you a super sewer take it from me...a lovely sewing machine does not automatically remove the numpty out of you!

I started off my sewing weekend with a Top Secret mini block.  Which I managed to mess up twice. I made the block but it was larger than instructions said, so I thought that's ok I'll trim it. But the more I trimmed the more obvious it became to me I was going to lose certain features of the design when it was joined to sashing or other blocks.  So I thought I'd messed up and cut more pieces. The second block came together much quicker. Again it was bigger so I started trimming...and again there was no way I could get it to the required size. At which point I thought it was best I phoned a friend.  And now know what the problem was so, I've cut the pieces out for block number three, but I couldn't face messing it up a third time so I moved onto another secret project.

As it'll probably get a bit boring with me telling you about what I can't show you. (A little birthday gift for a friend and a pin cushion for my swap partner in Bee a Brit Stingy) I'll show you the other stuff I worked on in between projects.


For some time now I've thought my fridge freezer is on its way out.  It had got very frosted up inside - far more quickly than it should have done, given the time since the last defrost.  Also there has been puddles of water in the fridge under the salad bins.  I'd been running down the contents of the freezer and decided last Sunday morning to defrost it.  I also dug out the manual.  I discovered three things: There is a setting on the outside of the fridge which allows you to fast freeze fresh food. This isn't a setting for all the time use, unless you live in a humid area. I don't know how it had got on the wrong setting or how long it had been like it.  Secondly, the dial in the fridge needs to be on setting 4 to maintain ideal temperatures on the freezer. Mine often gets knocked and tends to be on 1 or 2. (I don't know why I thought that would be colder than say 6, when the reverse is true.) Thirdly there is a drain half way up the back of the fridge. I'd taken the salad drawers out and looked for a drain previously, but hadn't thought to look further up.  Solving all these issues means I want to stock the freezer back with food.  So today when I had  Chilli for lunch I made extra with three portions to freeze.  I also braised a red cabbage and got 3 portions from that.  Not bad for a 47p red cabbage - I love a bit of frugality when there is so much fabric I'd like!

Next on the sewing front I moved on to my Mouthy Stitches tote. I managed to cut the back panel of the tote too small. I had a cunning fix. But seeing as measuring and cutting was proving a challenge today I still haven't cut up the Text fabric for the charm swap!

I then pulled some scraps to start work on some EPP.  


The final episode of Doctor Who? on TV and I got them basted and laid out to give my partner an idea of what I have planned. Now is the time to speak if you don't like the look of this. Because really I'd love to keep a bag like this.

Rainbow hexies anyone? 

I'm short on yellow so I'll use yellow I can find to fill in the top gaps and then the bottom gaps I'm thinking a bit of texty goodness.  Then I think a spot of perle will figure in as well. 

I'm hoping tomorrows sewing will involve less cutting drama, as I also managed to cut myself with scissors today too!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Gearing up for a Weekend of Sewing!

Chief came down about an hour after I finished work. It gave me a precious hour to do stuff that really needed to be done before he arrived. We had a few hours together before he had to leave.  It was lovely to see him and it would have been great if he was able to stay for the weekend, but alas he can't, so I'm now gearing up for a weekend of sewing. (Well maybe a few chores too) But mainly sewing. Despite the sewing machine arriving on Wednesday I really haven't had the time to do much on it. I have several sewing commitments I need to get done over the next 6 weeks and a tonne of other things I want to make, just because. So a weekend of sewing should really help me put a dent in the to-do list.

I'd wanted to start tonight, but I feel too tired to be wielding a rotary cutter.  Instead I pulled some fabric for my partner in Mouthy Stitches.  I just got my hands on some black Essex spaced dyed Linen (Well it fell into my basket as I ordered fabric for the Addicted to Text Charm Swap.)  and I'd like to use that as the main outer with some EPP in rainbow colours to cheer it up.

The fabrics on the right are the ones I'm auditioning for the lining.  I had one other I really wanted to use until I realised I only had a fat quarter of it, so not enough.  I was trying to get a balance between a fun lining that my partner wouldn't mind turning inside out, should she want to to use the reverse of the bag and something that wasn't too light that it would show every mark whether used as the inside or the outside.  

Fabric Auditioning!

I know my favourite option but thought as I was pulling out fabric I'd see what everyone else thinks and hopefully my partner will comment.

What are your plans for the weekend and will you be sewing?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

2012: The Year of The Pouch

Here we are 9 months into the year and it feels like the year so far has been all about pouches. I've completed two swaps already focusing on pouches (Mouthy Stitches and The Framed Purse Swap) and I wouldn't rule out another swap before the end of the year if one came up!

Pouches made this year to date

Given pouches seem to be my go-to thing to do, it'll hardly surprise you that I made another kind of pouch today.  It was from Leila of Where the Orchids Grow great tutorial.  I did the version using half inch hexies.  It takes a while to piece these (I think it took me one film: 'The Man Who Knew Too Much" and an episode or 'Revenge') to actually do the hexie part.  Leila's pattern can be used if you just want to make a little flexi frame pouch without all the hand sewing. 


It's dinky but loving the Liberty!

I can also blog about another pouch I received as a present earlier in the year from Kaelin who blogs at The Plaid Scottie.  I couldn't go into details when I received this lovely surprise gift because Kaelin was sorting out the pattern. Now that's been done I can show it off to you properly.

I LOVE the KJR print Kaelin chose for my pouch.

It's a weekender jewellery pouch! I'm thinking this would make a fab Christmas gift for a friend or relative and a great stocking filler for those ladies you know that would like to keep their jewellery organised on a mini break.


And if you're thinking that jewellery or mini breaks aren't your thing (although maybe you wish they were - sigh.) how about using it for a little sewing organiser on the go? In fact wouldn't it make a lovely gift with a few bits and pieces of sewing kit for someone keen to get into sewing? 


If you want to find out more about the pouch read this post at The Plaid Scottie.  Or you can pop off and buy the pattern directly from Kaelins Etsy shop here or The Plaid Scottie Meylah Shop.

Yep, whether I'm whipping up a pouch myself or receiving a lovely one in a swap or as a gift 2012 is definitely The Year of The Pouch.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I've only gone and done it!


Done what you maybe wondering?

Bought a sewing machine, that's what! I realised I had been procrastinating because part of me was worrying about what happens if I get my new machine and I don't like it. Realistically test driving machines was just not going to be an option for me. I know that shocks a few people. But I know plenty of folk in the same position that have been delighted with their online purchases.  Still part of me has been thinking: What if I can't figure out how it works, What if it doesn't sew nicely, what if it breaks and I can't get it fixed...What if I just don't like it. I hadn't even realised this was what had been stopping me about making the purchase until yesterday.  I said this to Chief and he said, 'But what happens if you get it and you love it?'.  And put like that I had to just take the plunge and order.  

I went with the Janome Memory Craft 5900QC which is currently reduced at the majority of online stores. I'm told it'll be arriving tomorrow! Epp - exciting. But now I have a million coats and stuff to move so they can get the boxes in the dining/sewing/dumping area.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Count Down to 2013

Did you know that from 22 September there is only 100 days left in the year?  No I didn't twig either until I did my photo of the day for 22 September and then read this blog post over at Kelsey sews.  Now I didn't join the last quarter of the finish a long because I was hopeless at getting anything done the previous quarter. It was almost like putting stuff on a to-be-finished list jinxed me. Although really I think it had more to do with the fact if I hadn't finished certain things already there was a good reason for it. What I really needed was a to do list - a list of things I wanted to do and achieve and what better way to get focused than a work-a-long?

Kelsey Sews

In no particular order here's what I hope to be working on for the rest of the year.

1. Make the Tote bag for my partner in Mouthy Stitches
2. Make a pin cushion for my partner in Bee a Brit Stingy
3. Finish off the Book Shelf Cushion for LG
4. Make the purple cushion for SW.
5. Make a birthday gift for TB
6. Make the latest Noodlehead Tote bag.
7. Make a Framed purse for a special birthday gift
8. Momo It's a Hoot quilt for Mum for Christmas
9. EPP stuff for Blog Hop
10. Make my DS star for my month in HipBee's
11. Make November and December HipBee blocks
12. Make October, November and December Bee Blessed blocks.
13. Christmas table runner.
14. Sewing machine cover for new machine (Get the new machine!)
15. Top Secret something I can't reveal just yet.
16. Make a hexie flexi frame purse as per Leila's tutorial.
17. Key fob for Mouthy Stitches

Ok that'll do for now. More than enough to be going on with.

Today I was going to order a new sewing machine only I had a little accident this afternoon. I was chopping up veg for a casserole and I heard a crash and the coat rack that was fixed to the wall had fallen off under the weight of every coat we own and one of Chief's old dress uniforms.  All the coats have had to be relocated to various parts of the house until it's fixed and sadly that also means the chair at the dining room table I use when sewing on the machine and the path to my sewing machine.   At least I have an excuse to get on with my little hexies!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Another Weekend Bites the Dust

The weekends seem to fly by and as I had the day off on Friday mine has even been an extended one. But here I am on Sunday night wondering what happened to the weekend.

Saturday I decided that everything I'd moved from underneath the bench here:


Could go back underneath the bench. This areas is proving pretty good for cutting, but there just isn't the space or good enough light for me to want to sit here and sew. The benefit of keeping it for cutting only is that at least I'm managing to keep the area tidyish as I need constant access to my cutting mat.  Whilst I was doing this I decided to take a leaf out of Sarah's book and sort my scraps. I had already decided I'd relocate the contents of a plastic box so I could keep all my scraps in it.  Sarah had gone a step further and instead of just dumping all the scraps in the box she'd sorted them into plastic zippy bags by colour.  In the above picture my scraps are bursting out of the little wicker hamper basket.  Ones I've created from more recent cutting go straight into the fabric basket by the side of the cutting mat.  The real pain with the wicker basket is every time I want a certain colour or type of scrap I have to take everything out of the basket until I find it and putting it all back in is a chore.  I found once I'd started sorting scraps I kept finding a few more tucked here and there, so now my scrap box is well and truly full and I can't exactly get the lid on - but it fits under the bench with the other craft materials.  It'll make it far easier to use up my scraps and see what I've got when I do swaps. 

In the wicker basket I've decided to keep precious scraps: like some bits of Heather Ross), the scraps I've been collecting for a birdie themed quilt and also my entire Liberty fabric collection. Yes it really is that big!

I've actually added to my mini Liberty stash with these goodies from Very Berry Fabrics which just happened to arrive in yesterday's mail.  

Yum the 'compliment slip' was actually a recipe - what a great idea!

I've always been a big fan of Liberty. Have I told you that when I was a kid I was given a couple of carrier bags full of Liberty Tana lawn scraps and would use them to make collages and stuff?  I had no idea how precious they were. What I wouldn't give to now go back in time so I could go steal the bags off of my child self who clearly at 6 - 8 year old was not appreciating them as I would now!

I relented and put the heating on very low earlier and I decided to curl up on the sofa and make some of these.  

Liberty Hexies

I've got a couple of ideas about what I'll be doing with these, but I'm not 100% sure which idea to go with.  now I have to go though as I have a banana and walnut loaf to get out of the oven.  I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Playing the Tourist in Oxford

Yesterday I had an impromptu day off work and went into Oxford to be a tourist with a friend. As technically I as born in the city and have lived in the county all my life and said friend has lived in various parts of Oxford it seemed like we weren't bona fide tourists.  We just thought it might be nice to explore parts of the city we frequently pass by without much thought: The University.

For those of you that don't know Oxford University is slightly different to many Universities in as much as it comprises as many colleges (rather than just one) that create the whole university.  Each college has it's own rich history and they all recruit for students individually.  Many of them open up their grounds to the public, usually in the afternoons, and often for free. It means you can literally walk off of the street through an iron gate or heavy oak door and enter a different world.  Of course if there is an event or maybe the filming of Lewis going on individual colleges maybe shut.  When people find out I'm from Oxford they often ask me if it's really like you see on the TV on Inspector Morse or Lewis.  I would say if you go looking for that Oxford you can easily find it.  (Although thankfully with less murders!) The thing I find most amazing is I go shopping to Oxford on a regular basis and whilst it's not hard to recognise Oxford as you go up The High, it's very firmly Town.  Take a walk through any college, University Parks, The University Museums, the Jericho area, Summertown or a host of city centre pubs and you are in the world of Inspector Morse/Lewis and firmly surrounded in the Oxford of the Gown.  Even yesterday as I walked around Wadham College, Worcester College and University Parks I felt (as I always do in parts of Oxford) that I was in a different world.

I'll let you judge from the pictures if you think that Oxford really does look as you expect it to look

Keble Collge from University Parks.
Keble College from Oxford University Parks

Wadham College Grounds

The Georgian part of Worcester College which faces the Medieval part.

Worcester College has its own lake!

The Georgian part of Worcester College - you can just spot the medieval bit to the right.  
Apparently they intended to replace all the buildings but half way through ran short of funds so the older, existing college buildings survived replacement. 

The Georgian bits maybe grander but I like the charm of the original buildings.

The light and rain wasn't great for pictures but more here.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Thursday Titbits

I went to the dentist this afternoon. A sure fire way of spending money you don't want to, if ever there was one. I have to go back for a teeny tiny filling. It's in a front tooth and if I hadn't had major problems with the other front tooth the dentist said she'd leave it be. But as the opposing tooth had a cyst attached to it she's hoping to prevent any potential problems sooner rather than later.  I will also be having the other tooth x-rayed - the first time since the dental surgery.  She wants to just check the cyst hasn't grown back and isn't silently growing waiting to cause a problem. Lets hope not. That surgery was not fun.  It maybe a tiny teeny filling but the bills not looking that small. Gulp! That said now I know I won't be shelling out for any major dentistry in the next month - at least I hope not. I'm going to be able to go buy my sewing machine! Yay! I'd do it tomorrow if I wasn't out all day. Still it'll wait until next week I'm sure! Although now I've seen the Retreat tickets are about to go on sale maybe I should be saving my pennies for that!

There has been other fabric goodies arriving around here - although I've tried to be careful with my fabric spending so I don't blow the sewing machine budget.

First up though is this that I ordered from Spoonflower after getting the heads up from Susan.

Heather Ross Campervans

I've always wanted some Heather Ross Campervans to play with and whilst I have one in a mini quilt made for me in a swap I had none to use myself.  Chief wants to get a campervan (of some kind at least) when he leaves the army. He has visions of us roaming around the countryside in one.  I always have three questions when he shares this little dream: 1)Am I coming  2) Does this mean I get to retire when you do? 3) It'll have it's own bathroom right? I don't fancy roughing it in public shower blocks/toilets when I'm a retired Laydee.

My next bit of fabric goodness was from Simply Solids. Mandy has sold the business on to Justine. Of course most of you reading this will have known that already as you'd need to have been living on another planet not to know. Justine had an offer on at the weekend of a random fat quarter with orders over £10. I really needed some Essex linen to finish off a couple of projects that have been hanging about for far too long. I got a nice Christmassy fat quarter. The Simply Solids website is down at the moment for a spot of Autumn cleaning but I'm excited about how Justine will grow this business.

Essex Linen in Putty and...forgotten already

Then today I got my hands on another Spoonflower freebie quarter because I told my Mum she had to order one, of my choice and no Mum you don't get to keep it you don't sew!

Woof Woof!
I love that the packer did a little picture of a dog and a 'woof' on the packing slip!

The highlight of my day was nervously delivering the baby quilt this morning. I handed it over to my colleague who has just become a dad for the third time. When he found out the parcel was home made he said he'd open it in the office and not wait and give it to his wife to open. I did feel sort of nervous and excited because if this colleague doesn't like something he's forthright enough to not hide the fact. Not everyone does hand made do they? Anyway, he opened it up and said, "You said you made this. But which bit?" I was a bit confused so walked over to his desk and said "Um all of it." "Yeah but you didn't make this bit did you?" He had the quilt turned over and was stroking the bliss flowers - or so I thought. So I said, "Well I didn't make the fabric. But it's patchwork, the front is different bits sewn together and the back is just one bit of fabric." "Oh - yeah but how did you get this bit on it, " He asked stroking the quilting. It took me a few minutes explaining it was quilting and I'd done it on a sewing machine (albeit two sewing machines both temperamental.)  Needless to say he was impressed and thought it was better than a shop bought gift. His wife also phoned me after he'd delivered it to say how much she loved it and he phoned me later in the day to tell me the same thing. As you can imagine it made my day!

I've also been invited to join my first ever blog hop. I'm so excited. I'm sure Katy said that I could only play if I went somewhere and took pictures. I think she may have said I *have* to buy fabric too (I may have made that up) If you haven't heard about the blog hop details are here:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

That's the way the Fortune Cookie Purse Frame Crumbled

I didn't manage to get the baby quilt dried over night so hung it out on the line whilst I went off to work.  Even though it was cold in the office it was actually a great sunny day for drying outside.  It also meant I could get some better pictures than the ones you've seen so far. Scroll on by if you're bored with seeing this already!

Folded you can see the quilting detail a bit better and the lovely post wash crinkle.

I'm actually really chuffed with this quilt and so hope the parents love it as much too! 

Excited by making a whole quilt in less than 24 hours, I decided it was about time I made another framed purse. I had a Fortune Cookie Purse Kit from U-Handbag. At first look you might think it's a bit pricey. However, once you start adding up the cost of the frame, pattern, fabric and sundries, the kits at U-Handbag become a good value way of trying out some of the different purse shapes and you still have the pattern to make more once you've made the one in the kit.  

So I got cutting and stitching and had soon whipped up the pouch. Then I grabbed my glue and went to unwrap the frame from the kit.  All the frames I've had from U-Handbag come in a little plastic bag, part of which is trapped inside the frame.  I went to open the frame to remove the polythene bag and it wouldn't open. The catch didn't seem right...and then it broke off. 

Oppsy the catch has broken off of frame.

It had sheared straight off. I was just about to resign myself to an unfinished purse when I remembered that when I bought the kit I bought a back up frame too. Disaster averted!  Gluing was a whole different matter. If you've never made a framed purse before I really suggest you don't start off with this particular one. You need about a dozen pairs of hands and it's virtually impossible not to get glue all over the frame. In fact this is the trickiest frame I've had to glue. It's not very big to access all areas and the extra bulk created from the fleece in the pouch makes it tricky to manipulate the fabric.  Also the pattern doesn't use the turn through method so the raw edges are visible inside where the hinge meets.  And of course I hadn't trimmed back the fleece very well and a bit of it is showing one side. If I do this pattern again I'll still sew it together the same way until it gets to the final stage; when I'll sew most of the way round with right sides together, leaving a turning gap at the top, which I'll then top stitch shut.   I was sort of hoping I could use the kit purse as a Christmas present, but I'm not sure it's really up to scratch.

The fabric is by Jesse Jung and came in the kit. 
I love the puffy shape of this purse, just not the gluing of it!
The inside - sneakily I'm not showing you the ugly hinge parts.

I have mail to show with you, but I think that can keep for another post - when I may have even more to show you ;-)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Oh Baby It's Finished!

So I had my baby quilt top made. I came home from work and basted it. If it hadn't have been raining I'd have spray basted in the garden. (It's never been that successful for me in the past though.) Instead I set about basting with a gazillion pins on the living room floor. Then I dug out the Brother, grabbed some Aurifil (The only reel I have and the only thread I thought I might have enough of.) and set about some scribbly/stipply quilting.  I was soon regretting that I didn't snag myself a pair of cheap gardening gloves to help move the quilt around.  Whilst I have plenty of gardening gloves in the shed, I'd prefer to use ones that are clean and not covered in mud!  I only crossed over my squiggles in a couple of places. My stitches are not even. Some are quite big and some are quite titchy, most are sort of medium sized though. However, I'm sure that the uninitiated quilter will see the over all beauty of all those yummy squiggles and not the technical imperfections. They really do finish off the quilt and this is definitely the kind of quilting I want to do more of.

Once I'd quilted it, I popped on the binding (note how I make it sound like I did it in about two seconds flat!) The reality is it's taken me most of the afternoon and evening to get this finished. But finished and in the wash it is.  Before that I took a couple of snaps. Again not great light; the priority is getting this quilt to the new born as soon as possible so these will probably be the best I'm going to get.

You can't really see the quilting here or the beauty of this quilt.

The back. I accidentally had ordered double the quantity of fabric 
when I did the Rainbow Charm Swap earlier in the year.  
I had just enough left to back this quilt!

The label.

I really don't like doing labels and I almost didn't do a label for this quilt.  I sort of think it spoils it and so I'm not ruling cutting it off!

The deets:

Front: Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey and Kona Bubblegum Pink.  Sashed in Klona Grey.
Back: Bliss by Bonnie and Camile for Moda
Binding: Kona Medium Grey - I think - (I had some left over binding from another project.)

Now I just have to hope it hasn't got destroyed in the wash  (I always have first wash paranoia with quilts) and that Mum and Dad like it for their precious new bundle.

Monday, 17 September 2012

When Bad Projects Turn Good

Do you remember when I bought this fabric and told you my plans for it here?  Well Umm I actually did start cutting the fabric into charm squares. I had a couple of rotary related accidents with it and certain bits ended up with quite a gash in them. But we won't dwell on that. I sewed one row of charm squares, realised I was aiming for something so big I'd never get it finished, and popped everything into a zip lock bag and placed it in one of my fabric drawers. It's laid there ever since. Needing to be finished. Needing a plan. And over the weekend I came across it again and on closer inspection I realised how wonky a lot of the charms were. I suspect this is why I'd not done much with making a smaller version of my original plan. I must have had a really REALLY bad day cutting that fabric.  Then I hit upon a plan, a plan I could put into action today.

You see one of my colleagues wives was expecting a baby and this seemed like a mighty fine opportunity for me to make a baby quilt.  I wanted to wait until I knew whether it was a boy or girl before I actually made the quilt.  Well the baby arrived yesterday and is a little girl.  So it seemed a great idea to use some of the charms to make a baby quilt. I figured if I used this pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, I could utilise some of the wonky charms by trimming them down to a more level 2.5" x 5".  So a spot of cutting on the living room floor while I watched a double bill of Only Fools and Horses and I'd got enough.  After dinner I whipped up the quilt using some Klona Medium Grey (I think.)

366-261 17 September 2012
Sorry about the bad picture - light not great and not helped by the bulb that's
 gone and I can't replace until it's day light and I can see what I'm doing.

I think the Kona Bubble Gum Pink adds a nice pop of colour.   I have still not ordered my new sewing machine so I have two options. I can either wait until I get my new machine to quilt it (I'm hoping the end of this week I can place the order) or I can use the Brother for some Free Motion Quilting. I'm thinking large stipple...Mmm do I have enough thread?  What I can't risk is using my old Janome to do straight lines. It's already proven itself incapable of quilting - with or without the aid of a walking foot.  Either way I think a bad project has definitely turned good and another unfinished has been rescued from the depths of the Unfinished Pile!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Bee a Brit Stingy

I was going to save blogging about this until tomorrow as I've already blogged once today. But I got impatient. And it is half past nine and it feels like it could be tomorrow already.  So here goes...

Bee a Brit stingy

Which is a brand new Bee that starts in January and I've been lucky enough to be invited to join. Hey, that's two bee's in one year I've been invited to. Get me being little Miss Popularity. Actually I think in the case of this bee they just heard that last time I opened my wallet a rare moth fell out. I say fell rather than flew because it had been in there so long, without seeing the light of day, it died. 

The concept behind the Bee was dreamt up by Sheila and Nicky, who are running this Bee with the help of Helen and Archie. (I'm not sure Archie is doing much other than being in charge of biscuits - or making sure we eat enough biscuits while sewing. Whatever, Archie is doing it will involve biscuits, I'm sure.)   This Bee is about using our stashes to make for the other members rather than going out and spending loads of money on fat quarter bundles and hoping they don't get lost in the post when we post out to each Bee Member.  I'm actually all for a bit of frugality. Because whilst I was only joking about the whole dead moth thing, I do love to save a penny or a pound where I can.  I think it will be really fun to rummage in my stash in order to make the chosen block each month.  Can't wait until January now - my birthday and the Bee starting.

I think we're all chomping at the bit to get started so we are having a get to know you inter bee swap and will be making pin cushions for the person after us on the month list.  Now what to make...

Have a great weekend!

Ps. Note how a few months ago I was: Nooooo I can't join a Bee and now I'm in two...Yeah I know some of you Told me so!

Where did the week go?!

I haven't blogged since Monday because the week seems to have gone by in a flash! Monday night was our first Parish Council meeting for a couple of months as we don't meet in August. (For those of you who don't know I am a parish councillor.) Tuesday was our second book club meeting. The book we were discussing was: The Spire by William Golding - more famous for writing Lord of the Flies.

Book Group Choice!

I only bought a second hand copy because it was quite expensive and I just knew before reading it that it wouldn't be a firm favourite.  In fact when I started it I thought I'd probably not finish it. The style of the book is a stream of consciousness that gives little concession to the reader. It was a relief that on the day I started the book, a neighbour popped round and said how heavy going she'd found the book. She used to be an English teacher and a friend of hers said it was an A Level set text and not your normal reading group matter. That said, I was glad I did finish it and there was plenty to talk about.  Whoever, chooses the book hosts the meet up. I'm hoping it's summer when I choose a book as I'm not sure I have enough seats or space to get the whole group in my tiny cottage living room. I'm kind of not thinking about that at the moment!

Monday my brother had told Mum he was delivery one of his old sofa's to replace mine one. Mine was fine it was just a bit saggy in the seat department and whilst I think I prefer the colour of my old sofa the new-to-me one will do until I can afford a better one.  Strangely enough a new sewing machine is higher up my list of priorities.  Although I am thinking I need to buy a new chair so that more than three people can sit down in our living room at any one time! Anyway, I was told I needed to spring clean before he arrived with it on Wednesday (his instruction) I didn't really have the time until after it had arrived on Wednesday, so that was Wednesday taken care of.

New to me.
New to me sofa

Yesterday, Chief came down.  He was back at camp (and therefore relatively nearer to me) to sort out an exercise handover. An exercise he'd have been on had he not had to stay in the UK because of his fathers continued poor health.  It was lovely to see him, especially as I have no idea when we'll be able to get together again.  

So here we are on Friday and I've not stitched a thing.  I did forget to show you the cards I made to send to the hipBee's with their fabrics for my month as Queen Bee.

Keep Calm and Make a Card?
Fabric Keep Calm...on the HipBee cards.

I was going to go and buy some cards, when I remembered that I have a whole box of card stock left over from the days when I used to make everyones birthday cards. I haven't really made cards for ages, as I thought maybe people were sick of getting my handiwork every single year. But that does mean I've got rather a lot of card making materials. My mission is to actually use up a lot of craft materials which I have to say look quite unsightly shoved in a corner of my living room in plastic boxes.  I'm going to find lots of inventive ways of using up my crafty stash and then maybe it'll be easier to store what I do keep.  

So that's where the week has gone. But hopefully I'll get some sewing done at the weekend. I certainly have plans!

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