Friday 30 September 2011

Its a wrap...

.... well actually its a rather large quilt but it is all finished!  From this:

To this: freshly out of the washing machine, so slightly damp!

I know I cheated on the back of the quilt, but I just didn't have the time to do otherwise: and I did stay with the theme of crosses!

I used a very similar colour binding and hand quilted each cross

I also put a cross through each cross

I am loving this quilt

It is the first QAL that I have done, and although there were times when I never thought I would get it done (and when I came back from a weeks hols and everyone was streets ahead of me) I am so glad that I joined in
I would also like to repeat what Hadley said in her blog: the QAL was put together brilliantly by Sarah and Jennifer, and there are a great bunch of people who have participated and commented over at flickr.  I don't think that I have ever done a quilt so quickly, normally I pick them up, put them down etc over a period of months, so this is a novelty for me!
And lastly, how lovely was the weather today.  i got home from work before 5o'clock today, so sat out the front, on my bench in the sun and read my book. Bliss

Thursday 29 September 2011



Here is a piccy that Sarah sent to me when she read my post earlier - thanks Sarah :-)

And in other news - I have completed the hand quilting of the ATSQAL and have machine sewn half of the binding on.  Too tired to do any more this evening!

Waiting patiently

When I left home this morning, just before 7am it was foggy.  By the time I got to the school I was visiting, about 8am, it was still foggy.  I have been inside all day: when I walked out this afternoon it was gorgeous.  When i got in my car the digital thermometer initially read 42 degrees, although it quickly settled at 27 degrees. And I have been inside all day :-(


Sarah-can't get a copy of the pic she posted, so here is the mug rug

Both my goodie swap partners have received their packages now.  I got to make for the lovely sarah at narcolepticinacupboard, who I was already following and whose blog I really enjoy reading and for Steph at stephiestories.  I am beyond thrilled that both of them liked their parcels: it makes all those worries worthwhile, and on top of that, I have a new bloggy friend in Steph, as I didn;t know of her blog beforehand.
I can't wait to see who has been making for me, and match up their comments and pics in flickr, so postie, hurry up!

I treated myself to this yesterday

 There are some fabulous embroidery patterns in here

Can't wait to start having a go: I have some ideas already

Tonight I want to try and get the binding on my across the sea quilt and then spend the weekend finishing it all off
Hope the weather is just as fantastic where you all are

Sunday 25 September 2011

Carnivals, Crosses and Christmas

Yesterday was the last of the carnival season for us.  We were at Burnham on Crouch, a small town on the Dengie Estuary - on the other side of the estuary is Basildon, Rochford etc: two very disimilar places to Burnham

The Queens tea was at the Royal Corinthian Yacht club and this was our view:

The carnival was an evening one so tea was at 4pm.  Then we had to go and meet the float and get that prepared:

And remember, at the end of the carnival, in this case about 9.30. it all has to come back down again.  It was a very long day and we got home about 11.30.  There were loads of people watching, some of whom were there to ruin the atmosphere: the group of blokes, about 25, who were actually aiming coins at the girls and chucking them: how foolish: don't they know how us mama bears will attack when our young our attacked!! Needless to say they didn;t stay around.

So, today was a really lazy day.  I did do a bit of catching up on housework and gardening but then have spent the rest of the day hand quilting my across the sea QAL quilt, sitting in the sun in the conservatory (sorry, Susan, I did say I had been very lazy and that I hardly dare tell you what I had been doing!)

I have been using embroidery thread to sew around the crosses and then sewn a cross in the middle of the block too.  Each block has a different colour, I have tried to pick out a colour from the block

See, I still have crosses on the back of my quilt!

I think I am about 2/3rds done.  I will do some more whilst I am watching Downton Abbey tonight

And I have joined something else:  Emily from Strawberry Patch ramblings is organising a christmas fabric swap, just for those of us on this side of the pond.  I know there are others on the go too, but they are international and shipping costs could get very dear.  Go on over and take a look - and then sign up.  Its such a great way to get some varied christmas stash!

Friday 23 September 2011

Alternatives and giveaways

As I have said before, I knew that I would not have time to cut out all the little pieces for the across the sea QAL, even though they look fantastic.
So this is my alternative:

One giant greek cross, so I am still saying with the theme, but going large instead of tiny - and this probably took me about 90mins to complete.  Now I don't have to stress that I might get behind.  If I am really on the ball I may even start basting this weekend

The lovely Annabella is having a fantastic giveaway here.  You could win these amazing fabrics - how gorgeous are they:

So go on over and have a look.  Annabella also does the most spectacular photography - you will be inspired!

Tomorrow we have our last carnival - yay.  I am not going to bore you with more of the disorganisation etc, but needless to say I will be glad when it is all over!

Tuesday 20 September 2011

It's Christmas....

I have really enjoyed doing the mug rug and goodie swap, its been nerve wracking and at several points I thought 'never again' - so guess what!
I have signed up for another one: check this one out:

susans christmas tablerunner swap

Susan has set it all up and will be organising.  And seeing as it is the lovely Susan, and such a fantastic idea, there was no way I was going to say no.

I was away in Turkey at the start of the goodie swap, so was a little tardy in adding my mosiac, which was a little lacking in pictures.  It probably didn't help my partners either as everything was so varied!
So, check this out for being organised - I have done my mosiac. 

This was my 3rd attempt, as I kept loosing my pictures.  On this attempt when I copied and pasted the html concerning the pictures it all dissapeared! I couldn't go back and risk loosing it all again.  i am fairly certain that if you click on the picture you will see who it is credited to: so if one of these is yours and you dont see your name, I am sorry!
Anyway, I love Christmas, and although Susan says it does not have to be christmas fabric, I am fine if it is, or has a mixture
So what are you waiting for - go and get Christmasy and sign yourself up

Sunday 18 September 2011

Getting on with it

I feel as if I have done a weeks worth of sewing today, having caught up on a few things:

I love this!  It took me forever, and there was a bit of unpicking, but I got there.  This is week 9 of  Sheilas mystery QAL.  Now, I have to own up to not having completed week 8 yet, but I have made a start:

There are seven 6" blocks to sew here.  I have deviated from the pattern as I could not paper piece 7 little blocks, so I decided on these, which I may hand stitch tonight whilst watching Downton Abbey (can't wait!).

This was the chaos that was my kitchen

Yes, I am aware that it looks as if I have been burgaled.  It is back to being nice and tidy now though!

And lastly I did these for Judiths Bee Blessed

I have never done wonky stars before - they were so easy!  These two together took about 20 mins.  I will get them in the post to you sometime this week Judith.

Now I had better sort out some tea!

Saturday 17 September 2011

Not done that before

well, after a whole week of doing nothing this is what I have managed today:

...I have finished my last item for the mug rug and goodie swap.  I really hope my partner likes this, I am certain that the item is ideal, just hope the fabric is to their liking to

I can't believe we get to send them out as of Friday, so excited to see who has  been sewing for me!

I havn't really done nothing all week.  Wednesday night I didn't get in till about 10 as I was learning how to do some training and the training was in the evening.
Thursday night I finished off my curtains:

There are two of them, but obviously it would have been very dark if I had photo'd both.  They are floor length and lined with heavy blackout lining: they were heavy and bulky to sew.  This is my £10 bargain fabric from Dunelm.  I have been lying in bed looking at the fabric and appreciating the curtains even more knowing that I got 10m of fabric for £10!
Whilst I was making them I did something that I have never done before - I sew through my finger.  Man, that is painful.  There wasn't much blood but lots of pain - also bear in mind I was using a big industrious size needle to get through all that fabric.  I now have two perfect puncture marks on my rather swollen finger.  Will try very hard not to do that again!
Tomorrow I have some studying to do (groan) but will try and get some more sewing done as well, I have some mystery quilt along blocks to get on with and the back of the over the sea QAL.  I don't think I will be doing all those crosses, I just don't have the time!
Oh, and I finally managed to join pinterest: wow, what a fabulous way to waste loads of time, I will have to be very careful with my time management with that!

Monday 12 September 2011

And another one..

Here's another great tutorial I came across on my blog hopping this evening  denim-do-it-all-bins

Hope everyone is staying safe in this horrid windy weather

Sunday 11 September 2011

Nothing going on here

Well, today I have done NO sewing at all :-(

I had a lot of studying to catch up on so I cracked on with that.  It was a slow start anyway as I didn;t get home till nearly 1am after picking Jenny up from a party, so I had a bit of a lie in till the rugby started (world cup is on: Wales were playing S. Africa) - by which time it was nearly mid day!
Anyway, I have been catching up on blogs and happened upon this  festive-fall-tutorials via Jennifer's blog.

Have a look at this tutorial:acorn owlsThese are so cute! There are loads of other amazing tutorials on there too

Saturday 10 September 2011

Bang up to date

well, I think I am now completely up to date with the QAL.  I stayed up late last night to finish piecing together the scraps and sewing them on to the quilt.  Then this morning I sewed on the green strips.  I also popped down to my local sewing shop and got hold of some batting, so I'm good to go

I took these outside, but probably at little too late, so I will try again tomorrow as the colours don't really show up that well here

And also, finally - I have made my first curtain from the material that I bought at the beginning of July: my £10 bargain from Dunelm.  I will take the pic in the morning.

Thank you to everyone for the virtual group hug that you gave to Jenny.  I read her the lovely comments you left her and she was overwhelmed, so thank you.  At the end of her first week she was positive and glad she made the choice she did

Thursday 8 September 2011

Thursday already!

At last I am catching up!! Altho still not quite there - on the QAL

I have been sewing as soon as I got in from work and then after tea, and even before I went to work yesterday morning!

I did iron this - honestly!

So, I feel like a bit of pressure has been lifted, but I still need to do the border - that can wait til the weekend (along with some revision!!)

A lot has happened these last couple of days. 
Going back to work was fine: I like my job so that helps.  I just wasn't looking forward to having to get back in to a routine but it soon all comes flooding back!

This is my eldest daughter, Jenny.  She really has had a rough week.  On Tuesday she went in to college to discuss her AS Level results (D, E, E) She really really wants to do child nursing and those grades were not going to get her to uni.  With the advise from college she has decided to retake year 12 and re-choose her exams.  She was doing Biology, Chemistry and Physcology (not how you spell it!).  She is now going to do a double award BTECH in Health and Social Studies and re start her ALevel Biology.  I am really proud of her, she has made the right decision.  She knows she won't be with her year group anymore, and that when they leave, she will still be there.  But she desperately wants to do the nursing and this is the way she has to go.
Today she has been to her first funeral - her best friends gran, who she knew and loved to pieces too.  She has had a rough day today.  On top of all that she came back from Turkey with a stomach bug that has never cleared up so she is really not eating.  She is off to the doctors tomorrow as it has been over 10 days since she has eaten properly!  She is now tucked up in bed recovering from a rubbish day!

Sunday 4 September 2011

Sunday evening blues

Well, after 6 fantastic weeks off (bar two days in the office), its back to the real world tomorrow and in to work.  Where did the time go!!  It has been lots of fun.

Today I was up early to get all my boring jobs done: sort out the garden before it rains, cook up a few meals for the freezer, housework and ironing.

Then I set to partner 2's mug rug.  I have done lots of research and I really hope I have got this right.

This was a labour of love: lots of very little half sqaure triangles, which, every time I do, I always say never again, but I knew it would give me what I wanted.  And my other pet hate: home made binding.  I nearly always buy mine off the shelf, its sooo much easier, but I knew I couldn't get away with a plain binding, it had to be bold and dotty.  So, I am really pleased with how it has turned out.
Well, I will be thinking of everyone tomorrow: back to work, school etc after the hols.  Maybe it won't be so bad.......  :-)

Saturday 3 September 2011

Back in the swing of things

I seem to be so behind on everything, that I decided today had to be dedicated to the Goodie swap  I know that once I get back to work on Monday, my days will dissapear so quickly and this swap and a non-negotiable deadline!!

 So, this dish is the 'goodie' that I made for partner 1.  It is so scary doing a swap!  I have never done one before.  I am so thrilled that there are two people out there who are making things for me.  But I didnt realise how scary it is to make something for someone else. Its easy when you make stuff for yourself: you know you like it!!
Here is the mug rug I have made.  It looks tiny but measures 9x7.  Those little squares were cut at 1.5", so only 1" when sewn.  Man, I hope my partner likes it!! I hand quilted through the white square in an aqua blue.

I am not really in to batiks, but have to grudginly admit that when they are sewn together they do look really nice. Luckily I have loads of this fabric left over!
Now I need to do some further stalking of partner 2.....

Also, you need to know that Judith at Rags to bags is having a giveaway, some 'gawjus' fabric.  Head on over and have a look - you never know....

Friday 2 September 2011

Home, sweet home

So we are back from our fantastic holiday in Turkey.  The weather was amazingly hot and the complex was fantastic.  I feel well rested (if you take the journey home out of the equation!)

 I have done 3 lots of washing and ironing, in fact I believe that we are very lucky with the weather as it has been terrible here.  I did sit in the garden this afternoon with the newspaper, but it just wasnt the same!

I read 6 books whilst away: I love reading and to sit by the pool and just read is the perfect holiday.
I have caught up with a few blogs and QALs etc - looks like I have a lot of work to do to catch up on everything!! Better catch up over the weekend, as it is back to work on Monday :-(