Friday 30 December 2011

December Birdie Stitches

I managed to finish up the final Birdie Stitches block on Christmas Eve -

I changed this one a little bit from Little Miss Shabby's design because with the parcels in the original it was quite similar to my redesign of the November block (which I redesigned because Thanksgiving is not a holiday I celebrate).  In part, that's been the beauty of this BOM - Corey's designs have been gorgeous but there has been plenty of scope to rework those that didn't quite work for me.

So, to add to my 2012 stitching plans I now have 12 Birdie blocks to make up into a quilt.  One of these days ....

Hope you are all putting together your 2012 stitching plans too - look forward to seeing what 2012 will bring from your creative hands!

Thursday 29 December 2011

Attention MAC quilters

If you're a MAC user and have wistfully read and re-read the system requirements for EQ7 and mourned its incompatibility with MAC then you need Jackie's great tutorials for MAC Numbers.

Check out her blog and you tube posts here:

I am so delighted to find these tutorials and Jackie's videos are nicely paced and very well explained, so if you fancy a go click the links above.

See what you will be able to do after just the first couple of lessons -

Can't wait to play around a bit more!

I also think those of you working with Microsoft Excel could probably do something very similar if you were able to work out the Excel equivalent functions that Jackie points to in Numbers.  Might be worth a peek!

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Christmas Gift Make Revealed

I wasn't able to reveal this little Christmas gift before the big day in case my mum should take a peek at the blog as she does from time to time.  But now that it has been safely delivered and opened I can tell all.

I stitched her up a little mug rug after my son volunteered me to make her one when we visited one afternoon.  I casually pretended not to take the suggestion under my notice, but then secretly began planing this one for her.

I made fabric choices from the remains of the fabrics used to make her this quillow last year - 

And, I chose a paper pieced angel design because she's a bit partial to cutesy angels.  Some of those pieces were really teeny but it was lots of fun to see her take shape in the fabric.

I did add a wee bit of Christmassy folksy angel fabric (mum's style) on the back but deliberately left the front non-Christmassy so she can use it for her cuppa for longer than just a few days now before she packs away the Christmas decorations!

Hope you like it mum!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Secret Quilt Revealed

For those of you who didn't spot my accidental publish of this wee post back when the quilt was just finished here's the "official" Secret Quilt reveal. 

So remember I started with this

and a sketch of what I was aiming for (I only made a few changes to the plan in the end).

Then I spent a lot of time with one of these

nervously wringing my hands and hoping it would all fit together.

And it did!

Here it is in all it's Roman glory!

I know the border block is Greek key but the Romans used it lots too.

This applique block is the Eagle - symbol carried by the Roman Legions (or something like that)

When Constantine became Emperor and introduced Christianity across the Roman Empire, he had the Roman legions carry this Chi-Rho symbol before them.  Chi and Rho are the first two Greek symbols of the name of Christ.

Close-up of the border blocks and the foundation pieced lettering

Washed and dried and ready for wrapping.

The wrinkly crinkliness after tumble drying hides my not-quiet-so-straight-line quilting!

My 2011 Secret Quilt project was for my lovely hubby who seriously enjoys Roman history.  I'm sure he'll be able to tell me that some of the "Roman" elements are historically inaccurate - but I did try Hubs!   Can't imagine there'll ever be another quilt like this one is the world ever!  Unless, of course, anyone would like me to do a BOM quilt-a-long?.....


Hope you and yours all had a fabulous Christmas Holiday!

PS - I think he liked it - a bottle of whiskey and a quilt to snuggle in, what more could a man want from Santa?

Monday 26 December 2011

Drumroll please ...

DS obliged this afternoon by drawing the winner of my little Blogiversary giveaway. So without further ado, the winner is ......

no 7 who was...

Congratulations Catherine!  I'll be in touch to get your address to send these lovelies to.

Thank you all for entering the giveaway, but mostly thanks for all your kind words and comments over the year.  I hope you all had a good Christmas and that the things you were most looking forward to lived up to your expectations.

Happy Boxing Day!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Last Pressies Finished!


You need to be quiet please because my sewing machine is sleeping.  She is having a well deserved rest after her pressie making fest.  The last of my presents is stitched, pressed and wrapped and here they are  in a quick sneek peek for you -

made from Artsy Craftsy Babe's Pleated Tote Bag tutorial
triple pocket inside the bag - I love this lining!
Someone has dropped lots of hints about the shape and size of a bag I made for myself earlier this year being just perfect so this one is now taped up inside festive paper with their name on the tag.  Bit nervous about my fabric choice on this one. I love it and would happily keep it for myself, just not so sure what the recipient will make of it.

I had a little play with quilting the lining on this one and really like the wavy line gridwork that I ended up with.  I would like to try this out on a quilt sometime soon (is it just me who thinks it's scary to try something different when quilting?), just have to pluck up the courage to give it a go.

And (drumroll please) as my final handmade pressies I finished up this bouquet of crocheted brooches.

A couple of these are specifically destined for some stockings but the rest are little pot luck pressies for those who would like one at our family Boxing Day gathering.  I know you don't see blue roses too many places but I think the blue/teal ones are my favourites in this bunch.

Phew!  It's been quite a month or two of making, but I do hope it'll be worth it when folks open their gifts this weekend.

Hope your gift making is going well too!

Monday 19 December 2011

Getting there ...

Thanks to all the lovely bloggers out there who keep reminding me how many more sewing days are left until Christmas!  I could do without the pressure of knowing this, but at least it's keeping me at it and I am getting there.  The stitching list is getting smaller and my pile of wrapped pressies is getting taller - HOORAY!!!!

As a brief diversion from Christmas present production I adapted the tissue pouch pattern Judith taught us at class to re-size it as a pouch for DS's 3DS.  Worked a treat and DS is delighted with his starry choice of fabric from my Joann's FQs.

Since I made a teacher's gift and two girl gifts at the Christmas gifts class I allowed myself a little personal indulgence and stitched up the potholder project just for me.  I love that this one was whipped up with the scraps from last years projects (and it didn't even take that many)!  Not sure I'm going to have the heart to set a pan of boiled spuds on it this year but it will look pretty in the kitchen in any case.  (Note to self: learn not to be so precious about things - sure isn't it always an excuse to make another one if it did get a little worn/stained.)

for DH

for DS

Then, as a final whirl at my stitchy gifts for DH and DS I made a mug rug each to match their Secret Quilt & Cushion and Surprise Quilt & Cushion.  I love how the block from the Surprise Quilt looks in this mini version (still haven't found a name for it).  Very satisfying to finish these sets of gifts for the men in my life!  Can't wait to see how they like them on Christmas morning.

Just one more stitched gift and a few crocheted ones to go and that'll be me - hope to show you soon.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Blogiversary Giveaway!

Well, today's the day folks.  It's one year ago today since I started on this blogging road.  Want to see the incriminating evidence?

Yes, this is a pic of me the morning of the second day of my blogging life - impatient to get back at the wee blog page I'd created the night before, I didn't even get out of bed before I switched on the MAC!!!  The pic was sneakily taken by my hubby at some unearthly hour of the morning before the rush out to work, pre-school routine and anything else of actual relevance to my day.  In this instance I am glad that the picture quality is rubbish!

Anyway, something much lovelier to look at is this charm pack of squares from Bonnie and Camille's Ruby line -

And, if you were a follower of my blog at midnight last night this could be yours in my Blogiversary Giveaway!

I really wanted this giveaway to be for folks who are genuinely peeking in and commenting on the blog from time to time.  Sew Me is only a little blog with a few followers which is more than I had ever hoped for, and it just feels wrong to me that a totally open giveaway could result in someone who hasn't been part of my first year in any way winning when others have been so kind and encouraging and actually participated in my little online community.  So sorry to those of you who maybe do pop over here occasionally but aren't signed up followers, but if I don't know you're there I can't know to include you.

So, here's the deal - if you were a follower at midnight GMT last night you can enter my Blogiversary giveaway by leaving a comment to tell me what you are most looking forward to over the Christmas hols.

Comments will be closed on Boxing Day (26 Dec) at noon GMT and just for a little more occasion than using Mr Random Number Generator, I'll get my son to pull a comment from a Santa hat to decide the winner.  I do hope this will give those of you who have been kind enough to support my first year's blogging activities a chance to post a wee comment amid the busyness of the season.

Thanks to you all!

PS -  What I'm most looking forward to this Christmas is the Chinese meal we have with my parents, my brother and SIL and their 3 girls on Christmas Eve.  It's our tradition to meet up every year and for me it's the signal to relax into Christmas.  The shopping is finished, pressies are wrapped and mostly distributed and Christmas dinner preparations are made.  So we don our gladrags and meet for dinner where the kids are all so excited to be together and beginning to really anticipate the arrival of Santa!  Good food, family and magical memories!

Thursday 15 December 2011

I couldn't wait ....

I'm afraid I gave in.  Remember last week I showed you my lovely new book

and said how I couldn't wait to get finished with Christmas makes so I could break into it?  Well, I'm afraid I have less patience than a child on Christmas morning and I caved, compromised and made a Christmas make from the book!  How's that for sneaky and impatient?

My favourite block in the book is Envy by Angela of Cut to Pieces and I knew that I wanted to make this one some time soon (as well as loads of the others).  However, last night DS was hanging about the sewing room as I was deliberating what design to use to make a companion cushion to the Secret Quilt and as he flicked through the Modern Blocks book (avoiding going to bed rather than out of genuine interest, I think - initially at least) he said he thought the Envy block would look good in the Secret Quilt fabrics.  Totally unprompted! Now that can only have been a sign, don't you think?  So snip, stitch, a few mumbles as I tried to eek out remaining fabrics to be the right sizes, and voila!  One more Christmas pressie cushion -

Envelope Back

(probably shouldn't show it but I'll take a chance)

I know it doesn't quite fit the theme of the Secret Quilt but frankly my quilting ability and inspiration in that area have been exhausted, so it'll be grand!

I love the block so much and it worked out okay in these smaller scale fabrics even though the larger prints of the original are stunning!

One more satisfying tick off the list!  And fun doing it!

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Birdie Stitches November Block

A little bit later than I'd hoped my Birdie Stitches November block is finished.

I have so enjoyed these little Birdie blocks throughout the year and it's exciting that there's just one left.  I'd really love to have the December block stitched before Christmas (not a big fan of stitching Christmassy things after the season), but we'll see ...  maybe, when all of my gift sewing is completed I'll find a few minutes in front of a festive movie to work on it.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Tick tick tick

Yep three more Christmas makes checked off the list over the past few days.

As I hoped, I managed to get the little tissue pouches made at class on Thursday night.  These will be presents for two sisters who are friends of my son and are matches for the little purses I made last week.  He was very complimentary when he inspected the final makes and thinks the girls will be happy to receive these on Christmas Eve.  (He chose the fabrics himself from my stash - not bad at all!)

And for DS himself I made a cushion from the remaining Cosmo Cricket Snorkel fabrics to match his Surprise Quilt.

LOVE it!

Surprise Quilt and Cushion together

I wish I had thought to quilt the quilt itself with these wavy lines, they really appeal to me especially with the theme of these fabrics.  Hindsight would be better if it could be foresight!

So, as I say Tick Tick Tick.  The list is getting smaller (thankfully).

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