Saturday, 13 September 2014

Stash Raider

De-cluttering of any kind always feel like a relief to me and in the sewing room it is no different.  This summer I have methodically been culling, condensing and re-arranging my supplies.  While I was clearing out I realised that my stash is really a bit bigger than I need or indeed want to have stored in the room, so I am on a mission now to reduce what has grown by using it up.

I am not declaring a fabric purchasing ban, especially as a new Bonnie & Camille range is just about to hit the shops,  but I am going to raid my stash as much as possible for the projects I have on my list for the next few months.

So here's what I've raided so far:

  • fabrics for Reene's Mystery BOM in the Quilt Now Magazine
  • fabrics for finishing the Sparkling gemstones quilt with Kaffe Fassett fabrics (hopefully enough for backing too)
  • a package of fabrics to finish the Apple Core EPP quilt top
  • pack already cut for a pixellated heart baby girl quilt
  • selection of fqs to cut a baby boy quilt from
  • a basket of fabrics for making three gift cushions - I think there will be enough for the backings of the cushions too


Here's a wee peek at the cutting I've already done for the three butterfly cushions:

I think this is a great start to my stash raiding, now I just need to get sewing!!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Sew Together Bag

I never did quite get back to you at the weekend about my next matchstick quilting project, but there is IG evidence to prove that I did actually get it finished over the weekend.  Huge thanks to my IG cheerleaders whose encouragement kept me at it.

Want to see what I made?

First of all, let me tell you that back in the summer the very sweet Rachel from The Floral Suitcase sent me all her Bonnie and Camille scraps when she was having a clear out.  Isn't that lovely of her?  Wonder how she knew I love B&C? ;-)

So, I decided a little gift of thanks was in order but with hols and school starting back and all sorts of other dull stuff I only just got around to making her a little something this weekend.  I thought I would tackle the Sew Together Bag pattern as it's such a handy bag and I LOVE the one I was gifted and use it all the time.

Things got in a bit of a muddle but thankfully the Quilt Barn's Sew Together Bag Sew Along came to the rescue and things started to take shape.

The sew a long posts are a valuable additional resource if you are thinking of working with this pattern (esp if you are a visual learner).  All my zippy bits lined up nicely.

The matchstick quilted panel forms the outer of the bag and gives is quite a bit of structure.  I was really pleased with my effort, especially the scary binding part.

I didn't do a perfect job but I'm sure Rachel will forgive the wibbles here and there and enjoy filling it full of all her sewing gadgets and notions.

Thank you for your kindness Rachel - I will have lots of fun working your scraps into my future B&C projects.

Oh yes, and I may have started another bag with more matchstick quilting.  This one is a secret so shhhhh!!!!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Matchstick quilting

A little trouble with some thread over the summer resulted in exuberant testing of the thread feed once I'd finally been pointed in the right direction by those with greater knowledge than me. The exuberant testing accidentally became lines of matchstick quilting which I really loved. But I couldn't quite bring myself to throw away the little tester, so this week I used it as the backing on a new pincushion.

I rather think I'm more fond of the bottom than I am of the top of this pinnie which is also a test piece. It was a tester of the disappearing four patch block back when I was making my large cushion. Pretty enough itself, but I am rather taken obsessed by the matchstick quilting. A new pincushion was long overdue so I'm chuffed with this new addition to my sewing table, and using up what has been lying around for some time.


Inspired by the matchstick quilting, I have been whizzing up and down this lovely grey Essex linen with a variegated aqua thread. I hope to show you more of this later in the weekend (though that may be being a little optimistic given current productivity levels).


Monday, 1 September 2014

Bee Blessed - September 2014

I am sailing, I am sailing, home again, 'cross the sea ...

Just wanted to put that song in your head before you head off to stitch up our Bee Blessed block for September.  Yes, I know you will be cursing me will be when you are still singing it inwardly at midnight ;-)

So, yes here it is, September's Bee Blessed block - a little sailing boat:

The instructions for the block are here.  Please use a solid white background for the sky and a blue of some sort for the sea.  You can have fun with your boat and sails in any colours you like.  As Judith points out, you might find it easier to make the HSTs from 4" cut squares rather than the 3 7/8" squares suggested in the pattern.

I am sailing stormy waters, to be near you, to be free ...

Happy stitching!!  This block is a lot of fun to make.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Very Quiet Summer Holiday


I've missed popping into this wee space for the last two weeks but I have been on holidays with my family.  We headed off to the North East of England to explore somewhere different this year.

Our holiday cottage was above the very lovely Harley's tea rooms in Rothbury, Northumberland.   I heartily recommend the fruit scones and the Victoria Sponge.  My men could also recommend the cheese scones, Toffee Fudge cake and white chocolate cheese cake.  Proximity to such delicious home baked tea room goodness was definitely a dangerous thing!

We were welcomed by this fantastic fruit basket on arrival.  Wasn't that nice?

Northumberland was new to us and overall it was a holiday of big scenery, big houses and big castles but very quiet even by our standards.

 This gorgeous house is a National Trust property in Rothbury.  It is Cragside - first home in England to have electricity generated by a hydro electric source.  I loved this house.

It was heavily Arts and Crafts influenced inside with much innovative design and mod cons (the owner was an engineer and inventor).

By far my favourite room was the ladies' drawing room where "suitable Victorian pursuits such as sewing, reading and afternoon tea could be undertaken in comfort".  Yep, my kind of room!!

I've only added this photo because it's so pretty.  Hubby got all wildlife photographer in Cragside's gardens and chased this butterfly around until he got his pic.

We had a particularly bracing walk along the beach at Alnmouth where the wind was creating pretty streams of shifting sands.  (It was actually quite warm, just blowing a hoolie.)

My men folk found some adventures to embrace - starting with coasteering.  (I stayed at the cottage and tried not to think about them breaking limbs and being swept out to sea.) 

It was also the holiday of the ridiculous cool sunglasses. 

I did a bit of EPP on the apple cores - they are a much slower process than I expected but I am making progress.  4 more rows to add.

The men also found lots of mountain biking routes - see the big scenery I mentioned?  It felt like every hill we climbed we could see for miles and miles and miles.

It's big castle country too.  This is Alnwick Castle where we spent a lovely Saturday exploring and watching falconry displays.

On our last day we headed off to Wallington in Cambo, home of the socialist Trevelyan family.  Another National Trust property, we felt we made good use of our membership this holiday (we visited Lindisfarne Castle on our membership too).

Wallington was really beautiful and the Estate grounds were amazing, but in these houses I always enjoy spotting the stitching, and these three cross stitch samplers were among many in the Nursery.

I was delighted to discover this log cabin quilt in a guest room.

These weeny log cabin squares must have been about 4" each.  Not sure if the quilt is original to the house but I loved seeing it.  It was so hard not to reach across the ropes and stroke it!

All in all, we had a very relaxed fortnight in Northumberland.  We enjoyed it but found it to be very much quieter than our other holidays.  Aside from visiting the tourist attractions like the National Trust Houses and the Castles, the other towns and villages are very localised and not much geared to the tourist passing through - lots of places closed on odd days mid-week, pub restaurant doors locked until 6.30 - but if it is open the people will be very welcoming and friendly, and the scenery of the area is pretty stunning!

My favourite part of the holiday was popping down to York to meet up with Di.  We spent a lovely day together coffee shop hopping and we found a couple of fabric places too.  All I will say is that it's good that Hubby and DS were too tired to talk on the train journey back because I think I talked myself out all day and was too hoarse to have held a conversation!!  (Just a note - I hate selfies!)

So, that's been my last couple of weeks - family time out, a wee bit of exploring and a great day with a lovely friend.  Feels like that rounded off my summer quite nicely.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Modern Stitching Bee - August 2014

Trumpet fanfare please for the most regal of all Queen Bees, Queen of the Cumberland Gap, the majestic Rhonda!

Rhonda asked for Union Jack blocks in brights and white so here are the two I stitched up for her:

This first one is my favourite.  I love the red and yellow together!

The second one is orange and a beautiful shade of jade which hasn't pictured very true here.  Looks more turquoise here but it isn't.

Rhonda pointed us in the direction of this tutorial from Molli Sparkles.  It works beautifully but does require some attention when orientating the diagonal segments for cutting.  Mind you, paying attention was worth it, I reckon!

Great block choice to finish up a year in the Modern Stitching Bee.  I've made a ton of blocks this year, been introduced to many low volume backgrounds, learned some gentle curved piecing and just been made so welcome in the Bee by Rhonda and Leanne and the other Bees.  Thanks ladies for letting me join in with this year's fun!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Giveaway Winners!!!

Popping in quickly to announce the winners of my giveaways for the first issue of the Quilt Now magazine.

Winner of the blog draw (high tech as you can see and expertly done my my beautiful assistant aka hubby) is Leanne from She Can Quilt.  Yay!  So pleased to be able to send you this copy Leanne.  You will recognise lots of the faces in here.

And, the winner of the IG giveaway copy is Liz whose IG name is iz_bliss.  Congrats Liz!

Ladies, please get in touch asap to let me know where you would like me to address these to.  Got a Post Office run on Thursday so it could be headed your way very soon if you get back to me.

Thank you everybody for entering the giveaways!

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