Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Not FALs

I got two finishes under my belt today, one of which has been hanging around for a very long time, and neither of which are on my FAL list!

String cushion all finished

and this one, for the hospice ladies.  I finished the top ages ago, but have just not got round to quilting it.  I decided to give circles a go and it has come out really well.  The material, silky, fraying stuff was a donation, hence the odd choice of colours!

Yesterday we went to Tunbridge Wells, which I am sure is a lovely place out of the monsoon season.  I can't believe how much it rained! Today I took Beccy shopping (you will all know how much I love doing this....NOT) - for prom shoes:

Gorgeous shoes, but I wouldn't be able to stand in them for 30 seconds!!!  I should point out, that these were the first pair she picked up and tried on!  Not sure I have ever had such a short successful shopping trip

Monday, 27 May 2013

Version 2

After an uninspired start on my FQR name tag, I decided to have another go.  More stalking of my partner and I came up with this

 This was way out of my comfort zone, but I found it easy to make once I got going - just a load of slap dashness! Their name is now sewn on to the grey bits and I will finish it off properly over. Question now is lanyard or badge?

I have also made a start on a new cushion cover, to replace one that is rather old and fraying.  I decided to use my scraps so did a string block.  I am in the process of straight line quilting

And I have been catching up on my 'jobs' - tidying up the front garden, washing the windows (I know!!!) and general bits around the house.  It feels so good to be catching up.

I have the rest of the week off.  Tomorrow the girls and I are going out for the day: no idea where, but I have made it very clear that it won't involve a trip to either Lakeside or Bluewater!!

Sunday, 19 May 2013


I had a lot that I needed to do today, so instead I got on with this!

I thought it would be fun to use my chocolate fabric.  I also fussy cut some chocolate strips and cupcakes.  The picture really doesn't do it justice
Anyway, I ran out of thread so can't finish off the quilting at the moment

I had to take a shelf down in the kitchen and was left with 3 holes in the wall, so I will be using this to cover up the mess

I have also been catching up with some hand quilting on my Hipbees quilt

and finally an extra scrappy tripalong block to send to Nicky who is whipping up a quilt for Siblings Together on behalf of us Bee a Brit Stingy people

One more week at work and then it is half term, and I have the whole week off (at the moment)

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Time is marching on.
Today, Beccy, my littlest left school and tomorrow Jenny, my eldest leaves too (albeit a year late!)

Top of the Empire State Building back in 2001, when we first became a family of 3
Where has the time gone

Jenny is moving out soon (with her boyfriend!!).  She has secured an apprentiship at our local vets to study for veterinary nursing.  She will do one day a week day release at college and the rest at the vets.  The college where she had her interview for the vet nurse training offered her a place there and then, saying she was one of the best candidates they have had in ages.
Beccy will take her GCSE's over the next few weeks and then move on to her A'Levels

I am so proud of the beautiful young women they have become, both inside and out.  We have had the best of fun.  Here's to even more

Monday, 13 May 2013

Secret sewing revealed

So, the other weekend whilst I was sitting at the Sewing Directory meet up, I received an email from Lynne, asking if I was sit interested in writing up a tutorial for Abakhan on a Budget.  I knew as soon as I had seen her post and the theme was 'garden' what I wanted to make:

And here it is, all made up.  I am so pleased with it! The tutorial is over at Lynnes' with loads of photos to help you on your way.

I originally had a slightly different design in my head.  I spent a lot of last weekend doing a pro-type and finally came up with this pattern. 

I set the garden table up in the kitchen and started working on all sorts of ideas

The prototype ended up being made from fat quarters.  Its been raining here pretty much all day and I forgot to get a photo of this one on the table outside before the rain, so here it is on my kitchen table.  The pattern is very versatile: it can be made from fat quarters (maybe scraps?) or yardage and you could use four fabrics for the pieced diamonds instead of just the two
I didn't get a picture of the mock up on the garden table, due to the rain, so here it is on my kitchen table.  I put the background fabric on differently in this one, and it didn't work as well as the blue one, it was a lot more fiddly.  But hey, that's why I did a practise first!

I hope you like it - they really are very quick and easy to make, and easy to adjust the size too.  If you have any questions then please let me know.
Otherwise, all we need now is some sunshine - which definitely isn't forecast for the next few days!!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Houston - we have a winner

Thank you for all the entries to my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway: I now have so many destinations to go on to my wish list ..... maybe one day

Anyway - Mr RNG picked a number this morning:

 ... who was Needle and Nest

What a fun giveaway! We like to go to Disneyland and Monterey, CA. Thanks for the chance to win!

I have sent you an email (around 8am this morning).  If I havn't heard back by 8am GMT tomorrow, I will re-draw.

I have been sewing today, but nothing I can show just yet.  But whilst sewing I have been watching the live space walk on NASA TV.  They have a leak on the International Space Station and two of the crew have been trying to find it

 It has been so interesting to watch and listen to  - Really! What should have taken a couple of hours has taken a lot longer now!
Hope some of you were successful with the Giveaway Day

Friday, 10 May 2013

Win win

Today I visited a school where the finance lady and I are friends outside of work too.  Last weekend was her birthday, so I made her one of these from some Liberty

Thankfully it was very well received and in return I got some of these

and yes, one may have disappeared! I can confirm that this was a win win situation.  

Does anyone else feel like this week has been way longer than just four days

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see who has won my Sew Mama Sew giveaway

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Basting LynneBob

I got my lynnebobsquarepants basted yesterday.  After seeing loads of pictures recently on Instagram (I am sewonderfulife by the way) of people basting on their kitchen/dining tables, I decided to give it a go

It was the easiest quilt I have ever basted.  I can definitely recommend.  My table isn't big enough for a whole quilt, but it draped over the sides and all went together beautifully.
Now I just keep looking at pictures to decide how to quilt it: I want to hand quilt.  I started last night but didn't like what I did so will be unpicking.
hank you to the overwhelming number of comments on my Sew Mama Sew giveaway.  I have looked at so many of the places that people have suggested and my travel wish list has just got soooo much longer!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

*****Giveaway now closed - thank you******

 So, today is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  I have always enjoyed this day, finding new blogs and the promise of maybe winning something too.  But this is the first year that I have participated.  If you are a regular reader or a new reader welcome along.

So, I have rustled up a whole heap of scraps

there are a couple of liberty scraps, flea market fancy, some Summersville and lots of others too.  There are also some buttons and ribbon.  I will keep going through my fabrics and adding more to this, so there will be a nice big bundle at the end.
And I will put it all in this pouch:

We have had fabulous weather here this weekend, so to enter:

1.  Tell me of some great places to go and visit when the weather is lovely: wherever you are: you never know, I may get there one day.
2.  If you are a follower, new or old, then let me know

 I am happy to ship internationally. The giveway is open until May 10 at 5PM PST.  Good Luck!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The one with the pebble pond

Today has been a glorious day.  We do tend to get good weather in Essex: well, there has to be a perk to living in the South!

I find it difficult to just sit and do nothing, so I got on with a project that has been lingering for the last couple of years (yes...years!)
Here is the before:

a very sad looking pebble pond
And here is the after

Whoop! I love it.  I just need to get some plants in now, although I may wait a few weeks yet as I did read that it was going to get chilly again soon - I hope they are wrong

There wasn't much sewing: I have put something together for the Sew Mama Sew giveaway tomorrow, so hope you will come back then and have a look



Saturday, 4 May 2013

64 Hipbee HST's

This month it is the turn of the lovely Sarah to be Queen of the Hipbees.  She joked with me beforehand that the block she had chosen had 64 HST - this was to get me back for asking for the Lynnebobsquarepants block.  So when I saw that we could make whatever we wanted I knew it had to involve a lot of HST's.  So this is what I made:

I got the pattern off quilters cache, where the block is called 'Many Triangles'  In order to beef up the number of HST's I also made up some bonus ones from the flying geese

I count a total of 78 HST's, even better than the 64 Sarah threatened me with!  It wasn't a difficult block to do, although a little fiddly.  And if you don't follow the instructions then the seam ripper becomes your friend

Anyway, Sarah likes the block, which is all that matters - and I made her laugh as well :-)
The weather wasn't all that nice today, so it was the perfect day to do this block and also a bit of secret sewing that I needed to finalise.  I also bought a whole heap of wadding yesterday all ready to baste my Hipbee quilt and maybe the DWR too - but only if the sun isn't shining!
Off to watch some tv now, with a bit of EPP and some of this