Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Viva Frida






I was asked to make a toy big for Frida as her collection of 'object d'art' is growing as fast as she is. She has also just started to crawl and so her bits n bobs end up all over the place. A fabric bag to enable a quick 'swoop' around the room was requested... 

I set to work.... It looks pretty 'grungy' doesn't it?.... I don't know how to brighten up these pictures taken with my phone... I guess I should get out the 'proper' camera but it is so quick to use the phone...!  But I guess you get the picture. 

 Not your normal fabric for a toy bag but I had been holding this in hand for just such a use.....

Good old Alexander Henry.... Always reliable for that fabric you think "who on earth would buy that?"

I'm off up to Nannie-sit next week... Good job I don't charge travelling.... 200 miles each way... But to paraphrase Al Jolson....
" I'd drive a million miles for one of her smiles.... I'm her Naaaanie"



Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Argh! Spam

Anyone else get dozens of spam comments on the same post? I have had a positive barrage of silly spam comments on a post I wrote 2 years ago. I used the term Lucky in the title so perhaps that has something to do with it. I have just edited the post & changed the title - I will check to see if that has done the trick or if they then pick up on another one. Blogger's spam system picks them up so they don't show but I still get them through as an email... Blurgh!!!  I'll let you know how I get on.

I am hoping to do some sewing for the next week as I have a 4 legged houseguest - Betty - staying. I love having a dog around but sadly my 'housemate' doesn't want one permanently, although he likes dogs too but doesn't want the tie. So I keep my diary free for the time Betty is here and can spend some time at my sewing machine. It is going to be hard because it's lovely golfing weather but I can make up with nice long walks..

It is month 12 in the Siblings Together Bee and that means my month.. I have chosen a really easy design as I am sure everyone is working hard to get their quilts finished. So hopefully they are making me 2 Trip Around the World blocks, really quick & easy to piece, no colour preference just 'happy childlike' fabrics - we'll see what this lucky dip turns out like.

A quick look at a sample made for a Jelly Roll class...

oops... just realised I need a picture of it sewn together.... never mind you get the idea I'm sure...    

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

On a Roll...

I have been tied up with the secret project (among other things) and I had got behind with my Bee blocks.
2 days behind the Bernina and I am right up to date..
First it was Scrappy Sprouts for Sarah - I love this design but for some reason I  really struggled with starting this block, probably because I was trying to get it done when I wasn't in the right frame of mind, I was trying to rush it. Once I had time to focus and concentrate it was a really simple block to construct, as with most Scrap projects the hardest part was sorting through the fabric stash.
Having this problem has made me realise that I need to have some kind of system, going through my heaps of fabric to get 6 yellow 2 1/2" square takes too much time up. So I am cutting my scraps into usable sizes ahead of time 3,4 & 5 inch squares and strips in the same sort of sizes, they can be sorted into colour groups for quick choosing.. 
So onto the next block & Penny had chosen a woven design from the Moda Bakeshop - a great free reference stop. That favourite size 2 1/2" came in with with strips of colour being 'inserted' into a white square. 
It's a rotten photo, the colours are a lot brighter in real life.. The beauty of this design can only be revealed when all the blocks go together.

The last of the Siblings together blocks (where we are using our own fabrics) was a block for Sue a Reverse Star... Another 2 1/2 " square project with a little wonky star thrown in.
So the next Bee blocks were for my Bumbling Honeys Bee... Here we receive the fabrics & instructions for a more specific design. First up was a simple 9 patch for Jo which was framed by low volume fabrics - a good job Jo supplied the fabrics - low volume fabrics are at a low ebb in my stash.
I loved this design, it has a fresh modern feel. I don't know how Jo will put he blocks together, I think straight up against each other will work so long as the patterns offer contrast. 
Last up was a simple Log Cabin design for Kate, she sent really vibrant fabrics which look super together, other blocks have the same pattern fabrics but the plains are different colours.... Going to be so cheerful this one.
So that's me all caught up..... Hurrah!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Hush Hush Sewing...





Ok... Move along there please.... Nothing to see here - well no sewing anyway. 

It's not my normal excuses... I have been sewing ... Yes honestly but it's for a secret project - no book deal for me but someone has to be a test pilot for those books that appear on the shelves. So while I have had very little time for sewing lately, what time I have had has been spent on working to a deadline.... This Saturday... Phew!
If you are waiting on a bee block from me I can only apologise & say it will be you shortly but between this and helping my elderly parents through a period of ill health some things get moved down the queue.
On a lighter note we had a visit from FF (Fabulous Frida) this weekend which was a joy..... Although her first tooth made an appearance, so this normally happy child was a bit below par at times... But I always try to look on the bright side - a night on the sofa with Frida sleeping on my chest was special... Yes really..!!  There is nothing better than watching a sleeping baby. So long as you get a proper sleep the next night.!

We had a testrun of a prototype bread oven in the garden..... Mmmm! Great pizza.
Lovely woodsy flavour to the crust... A few modifications will be needed but for a first run it worked well.. Although one of the chefs seems to have taken 'wood smoked' literally..



Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Where did March go?

I have been distracted.... my attention has been centred elsewhere & you don't need to know any of the details but I did manage a great day out in London meeting up with other members of one of my sewing bees... Bumbling Honeys came out of my visit to the first Fat Quarterly retreat and I was so happy to meet up with them again after 2 years.. ( I missed last years meet..)
So off I set to Islington for a day of chat, eating and shopping.. we visited Raystich for fabric and Loop for wool (and apparently I 'enabled' in a handbag shop!!)

Although I have enough fabric to insulate a house I did have to purchase some lovely organic cotton and patterns to make the Fabulous Frida some clothes.. - a sneaky way to get swag past the chancellor, who is rather smitten with said Granddaughter FF.
So one afternoon I managed to make up this small pinafore for her to wear on holiday & took it out to Spain as we have just had a lovely relaxed week indulging in family time & tapas...
Here she is in her Charley Harper ensemble..... I think I'm going to be making a few more of these..


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I'm sewing.....



Has Spring sprung?





You won't believe it but one of my resolves for this year was to get myself organised. I figured that I wasted a lot of time searching for things that have been misplaced or buried. Unfortunately this takes some time to achieve & blogging has taken a back seat as usual.... Enough..!

I am juggling a lot of 'Sewing Balls' in the air at the moment..... Bee Blocks.... Class Teaching Samples, Projects for a book (not mine) and finally a quilt for my parents....
I don't know about you but I have always been a 'last minute' type person..... I work best with a deadline..... My parents celebrate their Diamond (60 years) Wedding Anniversary on March 6th - and before you ask...... they waited a few years for me to come along.... so there!  So last week I suddenly decided that a quilt would be a great present.... I'm not such an airhead to think I could get this done in such time that I have available ... So I searched my UFO's...... Ta Dah....!! I found one.... 
This was a design I came up with 2 or 3 years ago for a class using a Layer Cake... The fabrics are William Morris designs and the colours are, thankfully suitable for my parents.... I cheated by using a border stripe fabric for speed and am now quilting it.. 
I bought a class from Craftsy - Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine...with Ann Petersen 
This is a really good class, she has a ton of information - some of which I already knew but she takes it a step further, and some ideas which are totally knew to me. The tips on spray basting have speeded up the process and given me a super sandwich to sew on... And there is more than one process to quilt a large quilt on a domestic machine..   I'm not advertising but I always thinks it helps to hear from a neutral party... 

That little patch in the bottom right is auditioning for the quilting.... It is simple and can be sewn in one continuous line.... Both of which tick my limited machine quilting skills box....

Doti has been 'patiently' waiting on my blocks for the Siblings bee.... I have to confess they have been finished for a couple of weeks but got 'tidied' away with another project.... I thought I would be remaking them.... Happily they were found and have gone off in the post.... Her designs request was for Slab Blocks.... Simple monotone scrap blocks with a flash of white.... She has been hand quilting them as they arrive... I think this quilt will be lovely & snugly...
A siren red block....
And a precious purple......

If my stash had been organised this would be a really speedy process..... Off to sort a bit more & finish the quilting on Diamond Links..... I may put the binding on as I have already fixed the edge down & can handsew it during the evenings.... Time is getting tight....



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Normal Service.....?

 Well I have a whole list of excuses for my period of 'radio silence' but most of it can be summed up by one picture.....


Just the best thing you could have in your stocking at Christmas....!
Followed by a houseful for NYE and after that I went into meltdown for a few days....

Hope you all had the Christmas season you wished for...... 
And now for 2014 ~ no resolutions, recriminations or promises..... It's a new Year.