Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas.....parental advisory, naughty word included, not THAT naughty!

I could say I'm all ready for Christmas, everything is wrapped and sorted, all the food is ready, and all of the drinks have been bought, but that would be a lie, and well, what's the point in lying about it???  What can I say, I work better under pressure, and seeing as we made the decision to move about a month or so ago, I have been furiously decluttering the house to try and get it on the market before Christmas (yay, it went on, on Wednesday!), so now I have that pressure I needed (lucky me).  So, I have a LOT to do tomorrow, including finishing off the Banoffe Pie and Lemon Drizzle Cake to take into my little ones nursery first thing.

So, on that note, Merry Christmas everyone, have a great time with your friends, family and loved ones, and enjoy a little relaxation.  I'll see you next year for a little book giveaway/competition- all you have to do is have a look through some of your unused sewing/quilting projects, and pick one.  Well, you've got a few days with your feet up, so get a mince pie and a little mulled wine and have a browse through your books, after all, it's nearly a new year, and everyone knows, New Year, new start!

Ange x

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts, A Book Review...and news of a New Year Giveaway!

So, up front confession time, I LOVE books, yep, and I especially love quilting/sewing books.  And quite frankly, this is no exception, in fact, it is a really great bit of quilting eye candy, and well worth the cover price.  Now, I was given this book for free, but with absolutely no strings attached either way, just asked to provide a fair review, so this is my opinion, plain and simple, it's what I think. : )

And now lets get to the bit where I tell you what's in the lovely book, and you can see if it's something you might be tempted to spend your Christmas money on...
Kelly Biscopink is one of the authors, and a blogger at Stitchyquiltstuff , and teams up with her Modern Quilt Guild friend, Andrea Johnson, to show (unsurprisingly) modern designs and quilts, using classic design blocks, so for example, a fresh looking log cabin quilt.
The book begins with a little definition of the difference between modern and traditional quilting, and then a basic techniques section, some for the various different quilts in the book- very handy.   And then it's into the 12 quilt designs, and I can honestly say, hand on heart, there is not one I don't like
 They are all fantastic, and range from flying geese, a low volume scrappy quilt, rainbow colours, strings, giant log cabins, hexagons, dresdens, to a PHE-NOM-EN-AL New York Beauty quilt.  And not just super-sized quilts, oh no my friend, they include a lovely selection of mini projects for when you want to try the block/style, to see if your patience and skills match your ambition (not always in my case, but I'm usually up for giving it a go!!).
So, can you guess which is my favourite, no prizes for guessing it's the New York Beauty, but even that is a difficult choice, in truth, I can barely pick just one, as there are things I love about all of them, and as for which one I will be making first Oh I don't know, don't try to pin me down, it's too hard- let's just say, once I get finished with the bee blocks that I am (quite literally) wrestling with, and I am going to be all over this book!  If you want to see what one of the quilts from the book looks like, go and check out Sarah at Duck Egg Threads blog, she has just made a version of the baby quilt from the book, which is gorgeous.
You can buy Modern Designs for Classic Quilts (it's a different cover, same book) at RUCraft ....
   For anyone who has made it to the end of the review, well done, and if you love books, make sure you are back at the start of January when I am starting my monthly book give-away with a competition, encouraging others to join me making projects from their sewing and quilting books every month.   

The first book I will be reviewing and giving away is Stitch and Sew Home by Eline Pellinkhof....
Ange x

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Craft It Forward....

A couple of months ago I was very fortunate to be quick off the mark, and get a place in Charlotte at Displacement Activity's Craft It Forward.  Craft it Forward is like a grown up chain letter with crafty goodies.  The first 5 people to sign up in comments who have a blog, will each receive a handmade gift, as a surprise, at some point in the following 12 months.

Well, yesterday was my C.I.F receipt day, and can I tell you it was a wonderful surprise, as with all of the usual rubbish bills I received the following lovely gift:

A beautiful box and inside are THE most delicious peppermint, chocolate candies!  They are just delicious, and after fighting my little one off of them, I really enjoyed most of them a couple of them whilst relaxing last night, a real treat after one of those rather bad, mummy meltdown kind of days!

I really must ask Charlotte for the recipe, as they do make a lovely gift, and I know a few people who would love to receive them.

Thank you Charlotte, you made a grumpy persons day a lot brighter, and so now it is up to me to pass this good stuff on to 5 of you!

So, if you have your own blog, and are willing to receive 1 handmade gift and make the same offer for 5 other crafters (once you've received your C.I.F gift) then sign up below!

Ange x

Monday, 17 December 2012

Hand Quilting Query

After a concerted effort on hand quilting my hexy quilt, the first set of stitches are all done, and it means there is a chevron pattern running top to bottom on every other row of hexy's.  So, my question is, is that enough quilting to hold it?  I will quilt the flowers round the outside once the "binding" is done, but should I follow the same pattern on the in between hexy rows?

I had originally planned on doing the pattern on the right of the picture with the chevrons, and the stitch cross ways on the alternate block, but now I'm not so sure.
I think I'll give it a go and see what I think, but this is how it's looking so far, it's pretty hard to see as it's a variegated pink to red thread, but I kind of like that.

Don't stare at this too long, the spots will mesmerise you!
Ange x 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Lets Get Acquainted Again...

Today I'm linking up to Plum and Junes', Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up (it must be Monday in Australasia already, so that counts), some great blogs again, worth a little look!

Plum and June

Ange x

Saturday, 15 December 2012

A little hand stitching...

It's been slow going around here in the last few weeks, but i have a few things to finish so I can get onto some more fun stuff.  I have been hand quilting my daughters hand pieced Hexy quilt, and made some progress (I'll show that in the next few days), but it feels like a big job, and I'm not even half way through yet!  Oh well, if she gets it before the end of winter I'll be pleased, but hopefully she'll be getting many years of usage out of it anyway, so a few more weeks/months won't matter too much!

I did however finish a pouch (bleugh word) for my bloggy friend Sarah at Duck Egg Threads, and as she has now received it, so I can mention it here!  It was Sarah's Birthday last week, so I decided to make her a little pouch for some perles, as it seems us sewers/quilters rarely have time to make anything for ourselves, and she has been especially maxed out completing all of her Christmas list.

I used Linda Clements pattern for quilted coasters on the front of the pouch, from the book 101 Ways To Stitch, Craft, Create (here is my review from a few weeks back), and just made it a bit bigger.

And for the back I used my Sizzix, Drunkards Path Die Cutter, and made this circle, using some Moda Dotties fabric I got from Pin It and Stitch a while back. The bicycles got included from my stash too as Sarah is a big fan of cycling, and the colour, well it's a Duck Egg colour- which seemed kind of fitting (and luckily I had some in my stash).

My corners always feel a bit lumpy, no matter which technique I try, but it still looked lovely when i sent it off.  Has anyone got any tips on zips and lumpy corners??

For the inside (not photographed, whoops) I used some of the Make Do and Mend fabric by Benartex that I had ordered as an extra for my Low Volume Swap, in case my cutting went awry!  There was a stash of lovely perles included, as I knew Sarah had struggled to find any at the Harrogate show, and well, who doesn't love a few perles??

Ange x


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

How negative is too negative???

Well, some progress has definitely been made on the Christmas Tablecloth (sorry about the rubbish photo), but now i am left with the question of what to do with the negative space.  Initially I had thought to crack out the Perle's, and either do some kind of chevron pattern, or maybe some simple Christmas Tree shapes.  But then i wondered if Freehand Machine Embroidery might be a better bet with some of the Christmas fabrics I have- maybe a little forest of them?  I just don't know at the moment.

Hmmmm, I think I'll let my brain do some overnight thinking, and see what I come up with in the morning, unless you have some ideas you want to share with me??

Ange x

Monday, 10 December 2012

Plum and June- Let's Get Acquainted.....

 Plum and June

Hello, today I am linking up to Plum and June's Lets Get Acquainted Monday Link Up, it's a great way to meet other bloggers, and well worth a little look.  While you're there, take a look around Beth's blog, she has made some fab items, and does some really good tutorials.

See if you can guess which is my answer to the question, "What's your favourite winter sport?"- here's a little clue, it might make you giggle.....

Ange x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

And the winner is.......

Number 3!!
I love the Tilda books! I haven't purchased one yet, but every time I go into my local fabric store I am so tempted.

Congratulations Cindy.  I did try to copy the random number thingy but i'm a div and whilst trying to copy it I caught the button, and re-generated!  I have just emailed Cindy, and will be posting her book out as soon as I have her address, so hopefully she will receive it before Christmas.

Ange xxx

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A Charmed Life Indeed.....

Despite my doom and gloom predictions that my Texty Charms had been lost in the post, they arrived through my letterbox earlier this week, and oh my, are they beautiful!   

There will be a bit of head scratching on what to do with these, as I haven't entirely decided yet, possibly splitting off the low volume charms and adding them to the Low Volume Charms from the other swap I've joined, or keeping them all together and making something showing them all off together, or a different idea altogether, i need to ponder this one, and stroke them a little longer......

I also managed to get my Low Volume fabric all chopped up into charms, and as the Lovely Laura who is the swap boss lives in Leicestershire too, she was kind enough to meet me for coffee (well, a humongous hot chocolate for me) in the city, so I could hand them over.  And I have to say, she is absolutely lovely, really sweet, and how nice was it to meet the lady behind one of my favourite blogs!

Now I just have to wait for my charms to come back, and as I was greedy and had 2 spaces, that is 112 gorgeous Low Volume Charms which will be winging their way to me over the festive period, more post to look forward to, hooray!

Ange x

Monday, 3 December 2012

Tilda's Spring Ideas- A Giveaway & A Mini Book Review

 I have been meaning to do a giveaway with this book for the last month (or so), and seeing all of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day posts today has finally spurred me into action.  As well as the book, I will also include a little scrap pack surprise for the lucky winner, can't say fairer than that!

So, onto the Mini Book Review:
The Tilda brand of Tone Finnanger is generally considered legendary in sewing "circles", as a go to series for cute and stylish Scandinavian style makes, and this one doesn't disappoint.  It has a lovely collection of items to make, including a Garden Party Angel, Sewing(!) Angel, the cutest garden bug I've ever seen, quick make fabric flowers, and a beautiful sewing kit.  

I would describe it as a Project Book (11 in total, by my counting), rather than one of the full sized Tilda Books (like Sew Pretty Homestyle which I already own), but that doesn't stop the pages being positively strokeable, and the photography absolutely sublime.  I mean, seriously, who doesn't want to go and live in Tone Finnangers perfect world once they've seen the photos in her books?!

This is a great little book, perfect for those new year projects, when you've finished stuffing yourself with turkey, and wine, and look forward to those fresh and bright spring days to blow away the cobwebs! In fact, why am I giving it away, now that's got to be a mistake, especially as that little Garden Bug is soooooo adorable.
So, if you love Tilda, get your name down below, and you never know, you just might win (someone has to!).

It's open internationally.  
Leave a comment below, and if you're a no reply blogger be sure to leave your email address in the comment so I can get in touch with you.  
It would be great if you were a follower, but it's not necessary for this giveaway, and if you get the chance, take a look around.
1 entry per person please, and I will have to delete second comments if there are any, as it could get very confusing if not!

I will pick a winner at random on Sunday the 9th of December, 8pm UK time.  

This book is also available to buy at RU Craft in the UK.

Ange x


Competition now closed!  

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Fabricating A Really Good Weekend

 I'm having a very good weekend!  

Reason Number 1:
Now I wouldn't say I'm a glory hound, but there is something really great about seeing your work on other peoples blogs!  

Firstly, the lovely Lynne at Lily's Quilts has today put up my Reversible Poncho Tutorial on her fantastic blog, which I made for the Abakhan Budget Buster Challenge.  

The lighting wasn't great on Tuesday when I completed this, so the photos weren't as bright as I'd like, but hopefully the instructions and photos will be good enough to enable people to make one should they so wish!  

It was my first tutorial, and they're quite difficult to do justice to (I'm not sure if I have done it well yet, I guess we'll see in the coming weeks if anyone decides to make it!), but I think I will do some more tutorials in 2013, as it's quite a good process to get you thinking about the whole creative process, and I really want to give something back to the online community whose tutorials I have found so helpful.

Reason Number 2:
So, the second thing "making" my weekend is this...

 The lovely Kerry at PennyDog Patchwork, has launched her Indiegogo Fundraiser for a new UK monthly quilting magazine.  If you are the kind of quilter who has found that the UK market just doesn't have a good, reliable monthly modern quilting magazine (I know Modern Quilting has left a lot of UK quilters angry and disappointed), then this will be the publication for you!  But, it can only happen with your help and support. Kerry needs to raise £5000 to start the magazine and pay for shelf space at the retailers, and is willing to exchange it for subscriptions or ad space for businesses.

I got to meet the Kerry last weekend, she's pretty local to me, only about 20 minutes away, and she is absolutely lovely.  We have been chatting over email/blog a bit in the last few months, and when she said she wanted to start a new magazine, I was really enthusiastic about the idea. So when Kerry asked me if I would let her use one of MY QUILTS for the mock up of the magazine cover, I was happy to oblige!  So, as you can see if you look a little closer at the front cover, that grey quilt, is MINE, yay!  

So, now for the key bit of this post, please head over to Kerrys Indiegogo Fundraiser, and support her if you can.  I for one will be signing up for a subscription, and I clearly wont be the only one. I came across the lovely Susan at Canadian Abroads blog post this morning about the very same thing, and got a little buzz seeing my quilt on her terrific blog too.  If you haven't seen Susans blog, head over and have a look, she's quite prolific in her quilting/sewing, and she blogs most days, all good stuff.

Ange x

p.s. I'm not being paid to promote Fabricate, I have no financial links to it, although I did suggest the name!


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Fresh Sewing- November Roundup

Before I review the month of Novembers progress, I have to say it feels like one of those slightly frustrating months where I didn't get much fun stuff finished, but made some progress on the must do jobs of the month, so that's good I suppose!  I'm determined December will be a month of fun stuff, and when the mood takes me to make something, I'll be giving it a go.

Actual finishes, well that's as follows:
Sneak peek, Secret Squirrel Tutorial reversible poncho, check out Lily's Quilts blogpost tomorrow for the full details!!

 2 x Advent Calendars
The final one!
A new snuggly cowl for me.

Mr Camohog, my fun crocheted finger puppet...

Finally finished this baby, Walk in the Woods quit

Some screen printed goodies that I made and now i need to make some Christmas and other things with them, made at Sarah Waterhouses terrific one day class.

Photo care of Sarah Waterhouse

 A princess crown, getting it's first proper outing at a party this very afternoon
 A couple of pencil cases (the bags i completed in October).

And a book review, it's not sewing, but it was another thing off the list of things i needed to do, and I've even started a new project inspired by the book, it's secret squirrel at the moment......

Tomorrow I will be having a book giveaway, so check back and enter to win, this will be open internationally, so no-one is left out!

Ange : )

Friday, 30 November 2012

List, What list?

Well the list is kind of being done, slowly, it always seems to be harder going when I have things I have to get done!  I did however have a complete day off from things on the list, and just did what I wanted to do little diversion at crochet class this week when I started (and finished) on Wednesday, a new black cowl for me, and I can report it is lovely and warm, fits perfectly.  : )

I also managed to finish my final Advent Calendar yesterday, just one day before it absolutely had to get done, and have hand delivered it to it's recipient this afternoon, i think it was the best one so far.

There has also been some tutorial writing going on, and a big make, but more about that later as it's my secret squirrel project, and should be ready to go live in the next couple of days, watch this space.....  I have to say, tutorial writing is bloody hard, and it does make you appreciate some of the amazing hard work people put into making them usable and clear, hopefully mine will be ok, we'll see.

Did I mention, I've also started another little secret squirrel project too, wow, there really is an excess of secret squirrels round here at the moment, might even be called an  infestation, and I'm only making 1 actual hand made Christmas present this year for a 3 year old who doesn't read, so that isn't secret squirrel.

I'll be back tomorrow with a Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day round up of November, and I think for December I'm going to slim down my must do project list and wing it a bit, so i can go with the flow and make nice things when "the mood" takes me.

Ange x

Sunday, 25 November 2012


At the bottom of the garden, hiding in the leaves I spotted a rather rare Camohog! Originally designed to be a common or garden Hedgehog, when I started him at crochet class last week I only had this multi coloured yarn, so I thought why not, and I've ended up with this cute little guy.  He's a finger puppet too, and putting a smile on my face, when I'm feeling really rather grumpy!  

Mr Camohog, snuffling around
I haven't been able to find him for the last week as he has been hiding and I couldn't spot him (on an alien base station of all places!).

Ange x

Pattern from Crocheted Finger Puppets.

Friday, 23 November 2012

101 Ways To Stitch, Craft, Create- Quick and Easy Projects.......

101 Ways To Stitch, Craft, Create- 
Quick and Easy Projects to Stitch, Sew, Knit, Bead and Fold.  
A Book Review
Here comes a book review, and it's another good one! I LOVE craft books, they're a terrific source of inspiration, and this one is no different in that respect.  It's not a one author wonder, more a compilation book of many crafting minds, including the terrific Tacha Bruecher (of Fat Quarterly fame, and author of Hexa go-go), and Linda Clements (The Quilters Bible) amongst a host of other crafters.  I haven't actually counted the projects, so I can't tell if there actually are 101, but the rest of the title is pretty accurate in that it has chapters divided by crafting method, including Quilting, Crochet, Cross Stitch and Cake Decorating.  

As such it does assume some basic knowledge of those crafts, so, for example, even though there are some basic crochet instructions in the back, I wouldn't attempt the projects without some competence in this area, but as the projects are indeed quick and easy, it's a good source of inspiration for presents if you're in a bit of a hurry.  

I will indeed use this book when I need a quick making fix, or I'm lacking ideas and inspiration, and I can definitely see me making Tacha Bruechers fantastic Flickering Star Pillow or using the design in another project, a quilt, a mug rug or maybe a set of table mats, it's my favourite project in the book.  

Or I could be tempted with one of Linda Clements beautiful Hand Stitched Coasters or a Patchwork Table Mat, also beautifully hand stitched, they would make fabulous gifts.

I also think some of the designs could be used in different projects, so the camera knitting pattern would be fun as a quilting or cross stitch pattern, or some of the applique patterns could be used in different quilts or on cushions instead of MP3 cases, for example.

I even think there are some good little projects, perfect for younger people. I can see little ones enjoying making their own cross stitch cupcake card, a beaded bracelet, or maybe one of the felt embroidered hearts for a hair clip.

 So, all in all, this book does what it says on the cover, the projects are quick and easy (with a few specific supplies), and cover quite a few different crafts. I think this would make a good gift for a crafty friend who likes to dabble in different areas, or if you had a young daughter (they're very girly projects) who was inclined towards the crafty, there are some fun projects they would enjoy.  Alternatively, for someone who enjoys big craft projects, quilts etc, (like me) it's a nice change of pace, for those days when you want to start and finish a project within the same day/afternoon.

I will be making something from this shortly, I just need to wade my way through some of my current projects, and that last Advent Calendar wont wait, the end of the month is fast approaching!

This book is available from RUCraft, for £10.66, and just for your information, I am not paid for this review. : )

Ange : )