Thursday 27 December 2012

Festive Round Up

Christmas chez nous has looked an awful lot like this ...

The large bottle at the back is the one I'm resorting to next!

The lurgy landed on Christmas Eve, took hold and pummelled one of us into Christmas Day defeat (DS) and another (me) into Boxing Day surrender, which is why this is still packed with food ...

This morning things started to look a little better.  We are still coughing and spluttering and blowing our noses for Britain, but pressies which had been largely ignored after Christmas morning unwrapping are starting to be enjoyed.

DS's pressie stash

Let me introduce you to my new sewing room girlies -

Jemma and Millie

They will be the guardians of my stash including these sweet new spotty rainbow fqs

All lovely gifts from DS.  I love these bright little Junior Kimmi Dolls because unlike a lot of the Kimmi Dolls these ones have their eyes open.  My boy knows me well!

And for my final shot of our Christmas - three pairs of feet snuggling.  We may be sick, but I thank God we have had our Christmas together!

Liberty Winner

Thank you all so much for entering my blogiversary giveway and sharing your favourite makes of 2012 with me.  Nice to feast on so much eye candy!

Much as I wish you could all win these lovelies, today we put all the comment numbers in a festive bowl and my lovely boy drew a winner.  Do you want to know who it is?

No 9 is the lovely Leanne from She Can Quilt!  Looks like these Liberties will be taking a little cross-atlantic flight shortly.  Hope you enjoy them Leanne!  I will email you for an address soon.

Sunday 23 December 2012

The Night Before The Night Before

What else would you be doing the night before the night before Christmas except making an emergency pressie?  I hadn't planned another pre-Christmas post because I hadn't planned any more pre-Christmas sewing, but since I've been stitching away this evening I'm going to share it with you.

This is a gift for my niece who likes to help in the kitchen, but Nanny was unable to find an apron suitable for her size so tonight it was Auntie Sarah to the rescue.  (You really have to love Google and online tutorials!)

Voila - one reversible apron for a 10 year old granddaughter from her Nanny.

If you are interested, this was the tutorial I used.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Friday 21 December 2012

Do you know?

Do you know of any Quilt-A-Longs or Block of the Months starting up on blogs in the new year?  It's always around the end of Dec/beginning of Jan that the good folks out there decide to encourage us with something fun and new to join along with.

I haven't quit decided if I will sign up to one myself but would be interested to know if you know of any starting up.  Please keep an eye out and give me a wee comment if you see anything.

Thank you Lovelies!

Edited to add QAL/BOM results (just in case anyone else would find a wee list handy, I'll try to update a list here from any suggestions made in the comments or any others I come across):

Don't Call Me Betsy - paper piecing BOM: stars (paid subscription, but not very expensive)
Quiet Play - paper piecing BOM on a sewing theme
The Littlest Thistle - paper piecing BOM, theme not yet decided
Old Red Barn Flickr Group/Amy's Creative Side - paper piecing QAL - dancing stars
Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt - Easy Street (started Nov 2012 - you may want to catch up though I hear that these only stay on this site for about 6 months before they are withdrawn)

Happy Quilting - Starburst Quilt-A-Long starting soon
Just Quiltin - a wee BOM of Bird Wallhanging blocks, the exact details are still being decided but worth keeping an eye if you like bird blocks
GenXQuilters - Sisters Ten Modern BOM - a 10 block free BOM (aims to make 2 of each block a month). This quilt has a great modern layout, go take a peek.  Starting very soon.
PileOFabric - Skill Builder BOM - 2 blocks a month to make a 20 block quilt, starts 17 Jan 

And, just so you can see that I have actually done a little sewing in the past few days, here's a wee blurry snap to keep you guessing.  I can't show you properly just yet for reasons that will become clear, but I finished this item tonight and it's so cute and bright and fun. I can't wait to be able to share it with you soon!

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Fake bake cake

I hadn't intended to post today on account of no sewing action, but I had to show you my too funny Christmas cake which got a spray tan tonight!

This made us all laugh.  Not one of my best Christmas cake decorating efforts (concept better than execution), but who cares? There's brandy-soaked fruit cake under there!!!

Giveaway post is here if you missed it yesterday.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Blogiversary Giveaway!

Woohoo! Two years of thrilling you with my stitchy exploits and I reckon that means you now deserve a chance to win some goodies that have nothing to do with the festive season and will set you up with some lovelies for a new year of sewing.  Want to see what I have for you?

Ta da!!

What do you think? Fancy a chance (or two) to get your mitts on 5 gorgeous fqs of Liberty cotton (if I can let it go, that is)?

Ok enough teasing.  Here's what you have to do if you'd like to enter the giveaway:

1.  Take a wee look at the My Quilts page and leave me a comment to let me know which of my 2012 quilts is your favourite (I'm just curious).  Quilts no 7 - 22 are all from 2012.  AND leave me a link to a blog post or flickr pic of YOUR own favourite make of 2012, quilts or otherwise.  This way I can have fun noseying at your lovelies over the hols.  (You need to do both parts of this one to make your comment a valid entry.)
2.  For a second chance, blog about the giveaway and share the link to your post here.

Giveaway is open to all, but I will have to redraw if you are a no-reply blogger.  Comments will close at 15.00 GMT on Thursday 27 December 2012, and I will draw a winner that afternoon.

So, what are you waiting for?

Sunday 16 December 2012

My Christmas Decorations

You will have gathered that I like to indulge in my Christmas makes.  I think that Christmas decorations allow for so much more play and creativity and fuss than my normal style and that's what I enjoy so much about making for the festive period.  It seems to unleash my inner child.  This year I added the ultimate Christmas make to my collection - my Comfort and Joy quilt.

Gratuitous pic just to show it off again!
But I thought I'd show you some of my oldies - makes from years long past that predate my quilting days.  I'm going to say very little (are you relieved?) and just let you see the Christmas items I have created for our home.

Cross-stitch advent calendar - have lost the wee doodah that's supposed to hang on the date.

Cross-stitch banner

Knitted snowman

Noel Cross-stitch banner

Gift Sacks and Christmas Stocking - made from guess work before I knew
what I ought to have been doing.  Don't think I'd heard of applique
stitching at that time - these are all just bondawebbed in place - eek!

Santa and his Mrs

Normally I hate clowns, but this one just appealed to me in my knitting phase.
The postbox is my favourite though!

She is an angel, NOT a fairy OK?!

Would I make all of these again today?  No, probably not, but would I part with them?  No way.  These makes have history, reasons and sentiment attached no matter how lovely, tacky, twee they may be.

Bet you all have some of those too - you can't all just have cool Christmas decorations! (Please tell me I'm not alone.)

My favourite Christmas decoration is not something I have made myself though, and it's not colourful or "festive", but is what it's all about after all -

And, just so you can see my very latest Christmas creation ...

Customised slings anyone?

PS - Watch out for something special in this space on Tuesday!

Saturday 15 December 2012

Thank yous all round

I owe some thank yous in this post.

First up, thanks a million to all of you who made suggestions for the internal box corner dilemma on my  last post.  Tempted as I was to just trim and zigzag the corners over, I decided that you were all right and that binding them would be the best option.  Judith's reminder that the shower curtain fabric would likely fray like billy-o persuaded me to abandon my lazy approach.    So while I didn't have any bias tape, I did just make some little binding strips myself and get on with it.

In all honesty, these bindings are seriously lacking in finesse and I am not about to show you the finish close up - you really DON"T want to see that.  I really need to learn how to do this much better.  However, although that blind man on his galloping horse would probably be able to spot these awfulnesses, a pre-teen boy who is likely to open and close this pouch in a flash (if at all) will most likely never notice the problem.  So they are staying as they are, and this baby is going to find itself very shortly wrapped in festive paper and placed under the tree.  Job done!

The next thank yous are for very thoughtful friends.

My very special friend Judith, who knows I am collecting red and white fabrics, found these beauties for me -

and this adorable button trinket box too.  I absolutely love this kind of pressie 'cos it's fabric and goodies that nobody else in my house is likely to nick!!!  Thank you from my heart Judith.  I love, love, love the fabrics and know how hard it is to find true red and whites - thank you for searching for me.  I'm quite sure I will fill that wee trinket dish with knick-knacks in no time!

And then, as if that loveliness wasn't enough, this arrived for me courtesy of the fabulous and fun Di.

This is a vintage curtain Di spotted in a charity shop and she sent it over for me.  Di, it just warmed my heart to receive this because it's lovely to have such a thoughtful surprise arrive.  Thank you so much.

And, what Di didn't know was that the morning after I received her curtain, an order I had placed with Pink Castle Fabrics arrived containing some fabrics that will be perfect with the colours in the curtain.

Didn't I tell you, perfect?  And, I know I have some others in my stash that would work well too, so now my wee brain is whizzing with possibilities for another quilt (naughty brain)!  I MUST be good though and I think I'm just going to enjoy playing with designs and ideas and leave this one for later next year.  But, oh how much fun to have it shaping and shifting around in my head!

So, thank you, thank you and thank you!!  I feel smug and spoiled today!

Wednesday 12 December 2012

I could use your advice ...

Before I get to the advice request, a wee apology if you have left me a comment and not had a reply since the beginning of December.  I have read all the comments on the hop but have not always had the time to respond.  December seems to have plans for my family that we weren't quite expecting and it has interrupted my ability to keep on top of blog reading and responding. So thank you if you've commented, as usual you've all been lovely, and please forgive me for not replying this time around.

In my plans for December there was a little gift making scheduled.  Thank goodness I hadn't planned too much as I've just been watching the days of December pass me by at an alarming rate.  Last night, I pulled out this bundle to get my gifts moving -

 Denim, wadding, shower curtain, tardis fq and a couple of zips.

My son had requested a large pencil case with "no fancy bits" (spoil sport!) and I wanted to use this brilliant tardis fabric which I got free from Spoonflower a few months back.

So I obeyed the brief and kept it simple.  There is a tiny wee bit of quilting on there, but not really much to see beyond the row of tardises (tardii?).

The tardis lining is pretty cool in my opinion, and I am super proud of those lovely covered zip ends.  They worked a treat this time.

As you may have heard me bemoan the lack of washbags available to purchase for boys in a previous post, I thought that I'd use the rest of the tardis fq to make him a surprise toiletry bag for a school trip he has in the late spring.  Sticking to the "no fancy bits" parameters I repeated the tardis strip and made up a super large boxy pencil case.

Tardis tabs on the sides.

Shower curtain lining for some waterproof protection.

And here's where I need your advice folks.  See those boxed corner triangles?  (Yes, I know I should have changed thread to pale blue - doh!)

What would you do with these corners now?  Silly me didn't look ahead in the pattern I used and I forgot from making these in smaller versions previously that the pattern just leaves the triangles in place inside the pouch.  But to me these look untidy and cumbersome, especially in this larger version and now I'm not sure how best to finish them off before I fill it with smellies and wrap it for under the tree.

Should I trim them back and leave them?  Trim them and try to overstitch them somehow? Or just leave them be?  Any other clever suggestions?

Ideally, of course the boxed corner seams would be hidden completely, but the construction of this pencil case didn't allow that as an option and I couldn't get my head around how else to do it.  So, what would you do?

I think once I finish the inside of the washbag that these two pouches will make respectable "no fancy bits" pressies to put under the tree.  Fingers crossed.

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