Friday, 27 June 2008

Oh lucky day !!

I started off today in a funny old mood. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know I have 2 children. Jess is nearly 18 and Patrick is 11. Patrick is due to start high school in September and it is a tradition in their last year of junior school to go to an outward bound activity centre for the weekend. Moutain biking, canoeing, rock climbing etc. Well it is this weekend - he went at 8.30am today - Friday - and will not be back til 2pm Sunday. Aargh ! I am seriously missing him already. The teachers that are in charge are all lovely and I know he will be fine and having a whale of a time but it is the first time he has been away. What can I say - I'm his mum and I worry. It's a funny thing putting the care of your child into anothers responsibility. I can't wait until Sunday. He was so excited going this morning with his sleeping bag and HUGE holdall of stuff. DH Jason took him as I couldn't trust myself to make a show of myself - lol ! Apparently Patrick had the biggest bag out of all the kids and Jason nearly put his back out LOL.... Well at least he won't be short of clean shorts and boxer shorts or anything else for that matter. He could probably kit out half the kids in his class :-) Better to be over-prepared I say....

Anyway once I'd got my morning routine underway - dishes, emptying bins etc I hopped on the PC for some blog-reading to cheer me up as I was feeling a bit mumsy and emotional. What happened next was entirely the fault of Linda. She had posted that Hancocks of Paducah were having a sale and telling us to go there and have a look. Now I admire Linda greatly - she is a fantastic quilter and a lovely lady so I had to just do as she said. It wouldn't be polite not to - lol !

And because I was feeling in need of a pick-me-up look what's coming to my house

I am so excited. I fell in love with these fabrics and they work out so cheap in comparison to buying them over here. Thanks Linda. Yes I was on the way to feeling a bit happier. Just turning off the computer when there was a knock on the door. Nice postman with a big box.

Jason asked was I expecting anything. I replied yes I was but only a pincushion which as you understand is a small item. Now as I said this box was BIG. What could it be ?

I think I am the luckiest quilter in the world today. I was completely overawed and amazed as I kept pulling out one thing after another. Just look at this treasure

And the icing on the cake was this

How completely gorgeous is this ? Do you see the hand embroidered flowers and fantastic workmanship on this. This must be the most beautiful armchair caddy EVER. Thankyou SO much Mar. You are a star ! It was certainly my lucky day when Linda partnered us all up.

I will treasure these. I love everything.

My own little parcel for the swap is almost ready to go and will definitely be gone by the deadline. I have a plan for the weekend to keep as busy as possible so I don't miss my little baby so much.

So thanks to two wonderful ladies my day went from blah to brill ! Have a good weekend all.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

What I've been doing.

Last week my DH had a call to fix a couple's computer. When he came back he told me that the lady ( called Sally ) had a hobby that he thought I would be interested in. She was a dolls house enthusiast. I have always been fascinated by these and have thought that maybe one day I would build one and furnish it. Anyway Jason had to return to the house and Sally very kindly showed me her collection. She has one finished completely. Another one which is going to be a bridal shop half-done and a huge ( about 6 feet tall ) mansion built and ready to start decorating. Absolutely beautiful. I could have spent hours looking at them. Of course she saw I was interested and gave me some magazines to look through. You would not believe the stuff you can get.

Anyway I came home and had a little look on the net for dolls house quilts - what else ? Then obviously I had to try one out.

This measures about 6 inches square and was great fun to do. Sally very generously gave me this bed so I could use it for size. In return I made her one of these in brown and cream. I may make some more of these for the dolls house I see in my not so distant future - lol ! I was prowling about on Ebay and couldn't resist this either - so sweet.

I may just start getting a few things as and when I see them. Oh yes - I need a new hobby - lol !

I have also been doing a little crochet. One of the womans magazines I get has launched an appeal in conjunction with Save the Children. Apparently it is a sad fact that approx 2 million babies die each year in Africa from hypothermia. They are asking for as many little knitted or crocheted hats as possible as they could literally save a babies life. These will maintain precious body heat that is lost through the head. Here are some finished ones

I've made 8 so far but the rest are not sewn up yet. They are very quick to do and take hardly any yarn. I will keep making them in between other work.

What else ? My 3D hexagon quilt is coming along.

I was considering making each hexagon from one colour - such as a dark, medium and light shade of each colour. As you can see I decided against it as I like the complete randomness of all the fabrics. Doing this is quite addictive. I have little piles of them everywhere.

I am doing my best to keep up with all my favourite blogs but am finding I am having less time to comment. Life seems too busy lately. I have had a couple of bad migraines - think I need some quality time alone with my Janome - lol !

Take care x

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Winners !

Wow - I have so much enjoyed all your comments this week. I have lots of new blogs to visit too. I will get there in time.

The winner of my little bag and the fat quarters is Suzette . . . hurray !

And the closest guess for the mystery prize was Karen-Log Cabin Quilter who was only 7 out. So far I've cut out 507 fabrics and Karen guessed 500. Well done.

If you would both care to email me your addresses I will get the parcels out to you.

Thanks to all for joining in the fun .

Busy week with not a lot of sewing done but I am determined to make amends on that front. Take care xx

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Doesn't time fly. . . .

. . . . when you're having fun ? Honestly I would advise anyone thinking of setting up a blog to do so. I never knew how much pleasure I would get from doing this. Meeting loads of talented and wonderful people all sharing our fantastic hobby. I love it !

As you may know this is my 100th post so in true bloggy tradition I have little giveaway. Leave a comment on THIS post and I will draw a name on Wednesday evening ( 18th June ) my time ( GMT ). Here is the prize.

A little stitchery bag that I have been working on and which I have so enjoyed making. My lovely son Patrick ( 11 years old ) can't believe I am giving this away. I am going to do another one for myself though so that is alright.

I also bought this 6 fat quarter pack from a fabric seller that visits our quilt group and this can be yours too. Very pretty fabrics. I have nearly used these a few times but I did buy them especially for this so have resisted. Aren't I a good girl ?

Now for a bit of fun and because I am avoiding doing my ironing - lol - I am doing another little MYSTERY prize. If you win this one you will not know what is coming to you til you get it. Now to be entered into the mystery draw you have to do the following...

On my last post I showed the 3D hexagons I am working on. If you would like to guess how many different fabrics I have cut from my stash so far I will put you in my mystery draw. Here are some pictures to help

This is what I have sewn together so far and the little pile of completed hexagons ready to be joined on.

These in the box are all tacked over papers and ready to be sewn together in groups of 3 and the stuff in front is a pile of fabrics ready to be tacked over papers when I have had chance to cut some more.

So if you would care to comment just for the bag and FQ's please do so but add a guess for the mystery prize. Clear as mud ? lol . I will give the prize to the closest guess.

Good Luck !! Anyone who reads this but doesn't have a blog feel free to comment as long as I have a way to get in touch if you are the winner.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Summer Charm Quilt.

Since I started quilting 5 years ago I have always admired charm quilts. I think the true definition is one where every fabric is used only once. However I believe it is common to use one fabric twice for a bit of fun and to see if anyone can spot it.

About a year after I started making quilts I decided to make my own charm quilt - I chose the thousand pyramid design. Because my stash was a bit puny I began to buy charm packs from sellers on Ebay and started piecing away mostly by hand. This is the result

I love this quilt and use it a lot when I'm reading alongside one of my cats on top of the bed. ( I know my cats are clever but it is me reading and the cats trying to sit on the pages- lol ! ) Anyway I like looking at all the fabrics and remembering what other quilts I used them in. Patrick who is 11 likes doing this too but would rather die than admit it in front of his mates :-) Now because I bought a lot of the fabrics in packs especially for this quilt there are loads of them ( nearly all ) that are JUST in this quilt and no others. Do you see what I'm getting at ? To cut a long story short ( you'll be glad to hear - lol ) I now want to make a charm quilt with fabrics that I have in my stash only with no extra charm packs bought in. As my fabric collection has increased a little since a few years ago ( here's the bit where my DH chokes on his coffee - lol !! ) I think I will be able to manage a nice size quilt quite comfortably.

I bought this book a short time ago and it contains patterns and templates for 36 different charm quilts. Everything you can think of - squares, rectangles, tumblers etc. I had to pick one. Eventually I decided on one called 3-D hexagons. It is basically a shape which when joined together in groups of 3 makes a hexagon like this...

I have gone through my scrap box and fat quarters and yardage and cut a bit off every one. This took a bit of time let me tell you but was great fun. I cut out the basic shape on freezer paper and pressed them to the backs of all my fabrics. I have piles of these all over the place but am slowly getting organised. I am tacking these over the papers and putting them into a box according to colour like this. I am trying not to repeat any of the fabrics but I'm sure one or two will get duplicated.

I couldn't resist sewing some up.

This is a great project to do in spare moments - nice and portable. Now and again I'll rip off a bit of freezer paper and cut some templates and leave them next to the ironing board along with my little piles of fabrics and press a few ready for tacking. Now when I say this is my Summer project I don't mean I will get this done THIS Summer - lol ! I'm sure it will be a long term thing.

It was great going through all my fabrics and chopping bits off - fun, fun,fun !! I would recommend this to everyone if you like hand work. And the book is a good one.

Other news is I have started the Summer round of the 4 seasons quilt swap but this time there will be no pictures as I KNOW the person reads my blog - lol !
Have a great weekend and stay tuned for next post - I am getting excited about this.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A little finish.

Here are the abandoned Dear Jane blocks from my last post. They really were a bit pale and uninteresting so I used my brightest prints to jazz them up a bit. Now they look much better. I replaced one of the blocks as I found another one in a basket that was a bit nicer.

I machine quilted some spirals in the sashing and hand-quilted the actual blocks. I was feeling very daring too and attempted something a bit different in the border. Normally I only do straight lines or meandering with my machine but this time I had a go at a leafy vine. I used a white cotton so it wouldn't stand out too much if it was totally rubbish - lol. Once I got going though it was fine. It came out not bad at all if I do say so myself :-) So next time I do something like this I may use a thread that you can actually see lol !

It measures about 20 inches square. I may put a hanging sleeve on this and pop it up on the wall by my sewing corner. It's very summery.

Since I started blogging the list of blogs I read has gone through the roof. It's fantastic to meet so many great ladies ( and a couple of chaps ) on the same wavelength - too much inspiration at times - I want to do it all. Anyway in order to cut down on the time I spend trawling round I've set up bloglines which is taking a bit of time. Once I've listed all my favourites it should leave me a bit more time. If I've not commented on your blog for a while it's not because I'm not reading it it's because I'm still getting organised. Blogging is such amazing fun - I never knew 'til I started my own.

So this is post 98 - I'm sure you know what I'm getting at - lol !! I'm busy arranging a little something but can't show pictures yet of course.

I also ordered the Civil War Diary Quilt book to see what all the fuss was about. It should have been sent out within 1-2 days. After 8 days of postman stalking I emailed them and only THEN have they sent it. It should be here tomorrow - I'm not very impressed :-( It's only travelling 40 miles - I could have walked and got the bl***y thing quicker - lol !

Keep stitching.....