Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Fabriholics Anonymous - Check in time

Hi my name's Jan and I'm a Fabriholic.

That's the easy part. Admitting that I kind of love fabric so much I can't stop buying it and sometimes hoarding it away until the perfect project comes along. Given how much fabric I own and how much sewing I've done I do wonder if I don't have too much fabric. So it was a no brainer for me to sign up to 6 months of fabric fasting with Fabriholics Anonymous.

But how have I done this first month?

Well, the only fabric I have bought are these vintage pillow cases. When I signed up I said the exception to my fabric purchasing would be vintage sheeting. For one there is a swap imminent and also vintage sheets are so rare around these parts it would be silly of me to leave any behind in a charity shop.

@memmens look I found pillow cases this am. Yellow is mt fav'

No other fabric has been purchased. I've even sent some little scraps out of my stash to others. I think I've done pretty well considering there was a big UK destash going on the other weekend on IG. But even though I followed the feeds with delight I didn't place a single bid. Afterwards I didn't really feel I'd missed out on anything. I think it may have been worse to have wanted something and tried for it only to be pipped to the post - Looking for the silver lining there!

Of course my lack of sewing time this month due to lurgys and birthdays has meant I've been less fabric focused. Oh and Saturday night Chief asked to see his quilt. He said it was OK. (This is as enthusiastic as he gets really.) He said he would have preferred it without the tools but it was ok and he liked the back only the green was very bright. His next comment was when will it be finished.  Ha! His guess is as good as mine. I've got to work out how to baste the beast first!


Monday, 27 January 2014

Overwhelmed (Picture heavy post!)

I have been seriously overwhelmed this last week. I really don't know where to begin. I sort of feel now how it was for people that went to Fat Quarterly Retreat that first year and came back and wanted to blog about it all, only they felt too overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. There has been lovely presents, surprises and a few meals out with more to come in the next fortnight.  I had lovely pressies from stitchy friends which I haven't even managed to photograph yet. So I'll just leave you a few photos to give you an idea of the celebrations.

40th Birthday

I woke up to find my neighbours had put three helium balloons and some flowers in my porch.

40th Birthday
Chief cooked me some yummy pancakes

40th Birthday
He bought me not one but two bunches of flowers

40th Birthday

He also bought me some more helium balloons because a girl can never have too many!

Opening more presents!

He also bought me some new walking boots (and a bag to keep them in. Which has a big skull on it.) He even let me wear his lucky 'boro hat when my head was cold.

Me modelling my new boots

We had a walk before a yummy lunch and I took some nice birdie pics (Well I think they're nice.)

First trip to Farmoor 2014

First trip to Farmoor 2014

I couldn't see bro and his family on the day because of a car accident leaving them with no transport.
Thankfully nobody was hurt. It meant I got more pressies another day!

Opening more presents!

These are the flowers from my neighbours and only a few of my lovely cards!


Chief came back for the weekend. We changed our plans and went to The Living Rainforest.

Chief pics
We had lunch at Macdonalds one the way home and I scored some vintage pillowcases in a charity shop
more on that in another post!

We had a relaxing afternoon playing word games before we went out for a fabulous Turkish meal.

Our Mezze
Our mezze sharing food. What was my favourite? - all of it!
I sat drinking Woo Woos!
But later we had some Turkish tea.

Turkish tea

Enjoying a Turkish Tea 
I think these are protection symbols. They're in a case you walk over to get into the restaurant.

Protection in the entrance way

So can you see why I'm overwhelmed still?

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Christmas can make such a difference!

Maybe it's the time of year, just getting over a lurgy and an imminent milestone birthday. But I had been feeling a bit low at the start of this week. I was also getting a bit fed up with everyone asking what I was doing to celebrate my 'big' birthday. I had previously decided I'd turn the year into a year of celebrations. With the big day looming it was starting to feeling like everyone around me was seriously unimpressed with my lack of big party, wowy trip abroad or similar. It was starting to get me down. Conversely some of those closest to me appeared for various reasons totally unprepared. A stressy day at work on Monday and by the time Chief was due to drive down on Tuesday night I was feeling completely underwhelmed about it all.

That all changed when he arrived because it was officially Christmas day.  Our Christmas day. We'd not seen each other since before Christmas and he'd been telling me for weeks how he'd got me some seriously good presents. He was not joking. The man had asked for ideas and I'd given him a few suggestions, not for one minute thinking he'd buy ALL of them and add to them with a few treats of his own.

Do you remember those years as a child when you asked Father Christmas for something and you actually got it?! That feeling of Oh.Emm.Gee long before that phrase was fashionable? Well that's how I felt opening this little lot.

All my lovely swag from Chief
So much swag!

Christmas Surprises

I didn't actually care what happened for my birthday. I seemed to have been spoilt rotten already. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The best made plans of mice and Jan?

A week last Saturday I went hunting for more vintage sheet loveliness and despite searching half a dozen charity shops I found nothing suitable for the swap. To soothe my disappointment I visited a little dress shop that I used to frequent when I regularly visited the nearby hospital. I hadn't been in there for ages. The shop is literally stuffed with clothes and it just so happened nearly everything was on sale. So ages later I headed home with a dress, two tops, a tunic and a necklace.  I spent far more than I ever would have in the charity shops, but it was lovely to have a little splurge.

So far this is what I have to chop up for the UK and Ireland Vintage Sheet Swap. With the deadline for sending in sheets a month away, I am still not ruling out adding to the pile.

Opinions please!

Foiled on the vintage sheet front I managed to piece the front and back of Chiefs Quilt. I was optimistic that I'd get it finished last week to give it to him when he came down. (Although I am slightly concerned about what I'll do for binding.)  Monday, however I started to feel not quite right and Tuesday I was going down with a lovely cold, which has put paid to any stitchiness this week. Most times I've come home from work and been to sleep. I'm hoping the cold is on it's way out, so if I could just stop coughing and shift the woolly, congested head feeling I'd be sorted. I really want to get well asap as I have a birthday week coming up!

As I wasn't going to get Chief's quilt finished I decided to give him a sneaky peek of an IG pic I took of it. He seemed to like it apart from the tools fabric which he didn't think went with the rest of the quilt. I hadn't the energy to try and explain about being on a fabric diet and wanting to use my stash, not buy more fabric. If he doesn't like the quilt though I may have to do some unpicking and have a rethink. I'll show it him in the week and hope he changes his mind when he sees it for real.

Oh and talking of the fabric diet. I haven't bought any fabric at all. Not one single piece. I was hoping to join in with the great fabric destash over on IG but I don't have the energy to get fabric sorted for destashing. Of course I won't be buying. Not that some things haven't really tempted me. A lot.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Because she knows where I live

Finish Along 2014
Last year I think I only signed up to the Finish Along for the final quarter. I didn't see any point in linking up earlier in the year because my life was so crazy and I knew the chances of me doing anything I put on the list was remote and it just felt like I was putting myself under pointless pressure. I may have been a little optimistic and thought I could get my act together for the final quarter at least.  I was wrong. Epic fail. So much so I thought I wouldn't bother linking up again with the FAL...then I found out who the new year host would be.  Katy from The Littlest Thistle. Not only would she kick my butt if I didn't sign up, but she knows where I live. So the chances are my butt will get kicked if I fail to finish at least one thing!
I certainly need a kick up the butt though to get through this lot. This is all my WIP piles save one that's hanging over the back of a chair in the dining room.
Wip shame!

So in for a penny in for a pound.  

1) A quilt for Chief - started this afternoon. I'd post a picture but I can't get it to link from IG and I don't want to post it to Flickr because Chief sees all my flickr pics! Here is the pic.  It was going to be a giant star quilt but I totally miscalculated how much fabric I'd need. There is another sneaky pic here. (It's just really large squares randomly sewn together.)

2) Seeing as I'm making for Chief maybe I can get the camera cushions made for the hide.  It would certainly be good to shift some of those poly balls!


3) Oh and it would be good to finally get that Aeroplane Bag made.

Aeroplane Bag

4) I would also like to turn these hexies into a cushion cover.

Just a few bits to sew. But should I go bigger or sash what I've done so far?

5) I also need to finish the vintage sheet quilt for my Mum. It's going to just be simple squares like the one I made myself, but as her birthday is in February I can't hang around on this one!

Charms and FQ's and the last fabric I'll be buying for 6 months!
I've actually cut more charms, I just haven't got a picture and
if I wait to get one I'll never link up!

6) Last but not least - I'd quite like to get this giant star quilt of my own finished. I cut into some precious fabrics ages ago and then couldn't get on until I had ordered the background fabric, which I did not so long ago. I have Ikea numbers for backing, some DS for the binding and the wadding. I just need to actually get on with the making! I won't even have to break my fabric diet to do it!

Precious fabrics cut into.

So there you go six items that I could do with finishing. I'll try not to get distracted along the way. I'm promising nothing though... :-)

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Getting back into the groove

I'm doing pretty well at the Fabric Fasting/Diet business. I have looked at a few sales - only with the intention of window shopping and not succumbed. Ditto all the lovely destash pictures to tempt me on IG. Often what I'd have really LOVED has already been snapped up, so that helps keep me on the straight and narrow. 

I have however, purchased quite a lot of wadding. There are some WIP's I've not bothered working on because I know even if I pieced and sorted backing I don't have enough wadding to finish them. I'm hoping with plenty of wadding on hand I'll be able to get sewing and finished a few in the coming months.

I managed to play with a fabric a bit this week when I sorted out some scraps to post off to Helen.  I can now get the lid on my scrap box. But it would be good to get those lovely scraps put to good use with a few fun small projects, so I'm joining up with Sarah@FairyFace Designs new linky to put scraps to work this year. If you're scraps are getting out of hand you may want to join in and get motivated to use up scraps.

FairyFace Designs

Having hung the lovely hoop that Reene made me in the FQR sample Swap, I've decided that I'd definitely like to hang more in my sewing area.  I'm sure I could use some scraps with a bit of embroidery or machine embroidery to make myself another hoop. There are plenty of other things I could use scraps to make too: Pin cushions, pouches, cushions, phone cosy, thread catcher, table mats...oh the list of possibilities are endless when I think about it. 

So if you'll excuse me I'm off to play with fabric. It's high time I got sewing again.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

There is always a silver lining.

Today after work I went on that long over due vintage sheet hunting trip to a local town. It was the first semi-dry day for what feels like forever and I was fairly sure if I stuck to the main roads I would avoid any flooding. (There is a horrendous amount of flooding in Oxfordshire and there has been at least one fatality already. Quite something considering how land locked we are.) I headed straight to Oxfam as I have found good stuff here before. However, what they had was far too modern and/or plain. The shop was quite busy, as were most charity shops due the the influx of people taking advantage of the dry weather to drop off stuff.

I tried four more charity shops without success. I only found one vintage sheet and that was too heavily white with a pale pink design that was so large it would have pretty much only yielded a white with a hint of pink per fat quarter, so despite the £2.50 price tag, I left it behind. The only thing I bought apart from a bit of shopping in Waitrose was 20 charity Christmas cards for the bargain price of 79p. Thankfully I have a couple of other vintage sheets I can hopefully send in for round two of the vintage sheet swap. But I've not ruled out some more hunting before I need to send in to Mary.


 There is still plenty of time to join in the swap if you've had more luck than me finding some vintage sheets. 

So I drove home in the rain feeling pretty deflated. However, when I got home there was a very snazzy red metallic envelope bearing my name and an unfamiliar return address. It turned out it was a prize from Sarah's Online Baby Shower a while back. As well as the lovely fabric buckets donated by Sarah's Mum, I won a pair of earrings too. Not only did the earrings arrive today, but along with them was a lovely purple twinkly necklace and very pretty card. Made by Lush who blogs here.

Nice mail surprise

So I may not have scored on the vintage sheet front and I may have had a wet journey feeling deflated at the end of it, but there is always a silver lining.

Monday, 6 January 2014

An Awfully Big Year

On New Years Day my sister-in-law had a milestone birthday. New Years Day can be a pretty poor day to try and celebrate. People are often tired and hung over from seeing the New Year in and if you can find a restaurant that can take a booking, it never seems quite right some how. My SIL decided that a few girl friends and family should go out for a meal the following Saturday. It was a good excuse to get a bit dressed up. (Although two many chocolates over Christmas meant my boobage would not fit into my first choice of party dress.)

Claire's 50th The Thatch, Thame
I rarely wear head to toe black for fear of
doing the "Merry Widow" look

New Years Day kicked off what is to be a year of (MBC's) Milestone Birthday Celebrations. I have one later in the month. It's hardly surprising that my school friends are having the same milestone birthday. (I had to decline another party invite Saturday night too!) But it appears an awful lot of my stitchy mates are having that same milestone birthday this year.  As January is just rubbish to try and get people together: The prospect of snow, scary weather and people all partied out from Christmas, I decided that I'd turn the whole year into a reason to celebrate. That way I can get together with people all through the year and use it as an excuse to celebrate.  The only problem was on Saturday night everyone kept asking what I was planning and I only have a few things in the pipeline which may or may not come off. So I didn't want to jinx them by talking about them.  Not to mention not knowing what Chief has planned. I'm not entirely sure he knows himself yet.

Milestone birthday celebrations
Me and the birthday girl

Claire's 50th The Thatch, Thame
The rest of the party

I wrote Sunday off, I hadn't had much sleep Saturday night and just felt like curling up under a quilt on the sofa watching TV. The original plan had been to sew. I'm yet to make a single stitch this year so far!  There is always this week...

Friday, 3 January 2014

Vintage Sheeting and a New Year Project

Charms and FQ's and the last fabric I'll be buying for 6 months!

Apart from any vintage sheets that I might come across in the odd charity shop (because really I couldn't leave them behind as it's quite rare for me to find them.) this is the last fabric I intend buying for the next 6 months! I bought these lovelies from Mary (Vintage sheet pimp and general vintage sheet loveliness enabler.) who has had a 30% off in her shop these last few days. (The 30% ends today so you do need to sprint along if you want to pick yourself up some vintage sheet loveliness!) Of course I had to take advantage of that 30% off because Mum has a birthday coming up at the end of February and has already mentioned how warm the last quilt is I made her and I thought she might like a vintage sheet quilt for when the plus quilt is in the wash.

I have also agreed to join in with round two of the UK and Ireland Vintage Sheet swap - again organised by Mary. There is still time to join in if you have some vintage sheeting you'd like to swap. Go to the flickr group here for more details. Be warned though it got me completely addicted!  (Mum's birthday will have passed before we've got our sheets back which was a good excuse reason to snap up the above charms and fq's from Mary.)

I am thinking a simple squares quilt for Mum. I know I've done this before (and not just with vintage sheets.) But I do love the simplicity of it, especially for showing off the vintage sheet patterns.  I am hoping to get out vintage sheet hunting next week. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year - New Start

Happy New Year! A new year means the perfect time for a new start and a new approach to fabric and sewing which is why I'm joining up with this. I did a fabric diet for six months before and it was really successful and strangely liberating shopping my stash to get sewing.  This maybe just what I need to get some of those WIP's done and dusted!

Fabriholics Anonymous Button
 I read about it last time the lap top was on...a couple of days ago, then promptly forgot. Which explains why I bought the first fabric I've bought in ages earlier from Mary. But I did need that for a project I've got planned so we'll ignore it and pretend I actually bought it yesterday OK? To make up for it I'll do my evaluation on July 2nd instead of 1st.

So what have I agreed to:

- To use the Stash I already have!
- Finish UFOs without distraction by shifting to other new beautiful fabric.
- Stop the insanity of constantly buying the latest and greatest fabric.
- Save the $$ I spend on stashing.
- Destash the fabrics that I realize I am never going to use.
1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.   
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete them!
4) Exceptions
  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible.  However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable.
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric.  Notions acceptable too.
  • Swap Mama Fabric: if hosting a swap you are permitted to by fabric to execute swap duties, but you may not join a swap simply for the sake of being able to buy fabric!

So wish me luck. I think I may well need it!
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