Sunday, 30 September 2012

September Roundup

It's been a busy month, but I haven't managed to finish all of my WIPs, here's where we got to:

All done:
7.  Stockings all made- just some more embroidery to complete! 

3.  Complete Foxy Pouch for swap

4.  Complete Chevron Quilt Top

6.  Attach hangers to Dresden Plate Mini

12.Complete 2 Mo blocks for DJ Coolbear

2. Complete Tumbler Quilt

Off List:
Robin Embroidery Practised
Spinning Stars Cushion Completed

Lots of crochet practised

No progress:
1.  Octagon quilt (need to finish the quilting and then bind it)
9.  Christmas Advent Bunting
11. July and August BOM's and now September, oops!

Progress made:
8.   Advent Calendar- lots of pieces cut
10. Hexy Quilt- front completed, hand stitching backing next
5.   Coasters- 1 out of 4 so far!

Well, that's 6 of my 12 projects completed which is OK (althoug I had hoped to get more done), now I need to finish these others in October, AND leave some space for any other ideas I might want to work on.  

So, what have you been making this month, and what's on your list for October??

Ange x

Friday, 28 September 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.....

I had an early Christmas today.  A box arrived, and in it was one of these:

Sizzix Big Shot

For those that didn't go to the Festival Of Quilts and have a demonstration and practise session with the lovely Katy Jones from I'm A Ginger Monkey -it's a Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine, and it's brilliant!!  You buy different size and shape dies which then cut out lovely neat shapes for your quilting and other projects, and it saves you hours of cutting things out which are not even or square- so hopefully your blocks are squarer and life is easier, yay! I'm all for that.

I bought a square, triangle and rectangle Sizzix bundle with the machine, as I figured there are lots of quilt patterns that start out with these shapes, and it would be a good base for me.  I also bought a numbers die set so I can cut out the numbers for the fabric Advent Calendars I need to make without all that cutting out of individual numbers, which is really tedious!  

And so tonight I will be testing it out, and playing around with some fabric, oh what a glamorous life!!

If you have one of these, or a similar machine I would love to hear your thoughts on the machine, good advice on their use (it was pretty effective when i trialled it), and if you know of any good value websites and shops that sell the dies etc (any brand).

Oh yes, and don't mention it to my Mum, as its what she's getting me for Christmas, and I may have opened it a couple of days early, so shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Ange x


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Addicted To Text- A UK Charm Swap

I spotted a rather cool looking Charm Swap, by a lovely lady on the Brit Quilt Flickr forum earlier in the week, and as I've never done one, I thought I would join in.  For those that don't know, charm swaps involve buying a metre of fabric (according to the swap rules) and cutting it into 56 five inch charm squares, then posting them off to a nice lady who divides them up (usually 2 of each) and who then returns 56 squares back to you with 28 different designs.  It's a great way to get a really nice variety of interesting fabrics for a project.  This charm swap is all based around text fabrics- which seem to be particularly popular this season. 
After a bit of a false start with this fabric

Benartex- Make Do and Mend by Michelle D'amore
 I have bought this one, which i also really like.

Holly Holdermans Antique Calligraphy

Everyone puts their purchases or suggestions in the Flickr pool, so if you check them properly there should be no doubling up (don't go there!!).  There are so many beautiful fabrics already in the pool I can hardly wait to send them off, so I can get them back- I feel a texty project coming on, maybe a new bag???

Needs Some WIPping Into Shape List!
As progress has been a little slow this week (my lovely man has been at home having a holiday from work), I've not finished any new stuff.  I have made some progress on the Christmas Stocking front, but not finished anymore yet, but I have a new toy on the way which should make it easier to manage some of the items on my list with a bit more speed- more details to follow when it arrives!

I've also been crocheting Christmas decorations at my weekly class, although wether they make it onto the Christmas tree is subject to debate as:
A. My little monster loves playing with them, and
B. My other half used some pretty offensive language to describe them!  How rude, I don't think he's a fan of my crocheting skills, I probably haven't helped by "threatening" to make him a hat, scarf and mittens for Christmas, if he's not a bit nicer!  Ha, ha!!

Have a terrific rest of the week, and for those in the UK, I hope you manage to evade damage from the floods!

Ange x

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Book Review, Winnings, Hooking and Morsbagging

It's been a busy few days, not that my WIP list would realise!    

So, what have I been up to.  
Remember I told you about the book I was reviewing for Kerry at Penny Dog Patchwork ?  

My first book review!

Well it's finished, and it's been posted today, so hop on over (after you've finished reading of course) to her great Blog and have a look.  While you're there, make sure you have a good look around, she's got lots of lovely projects completed and interesting tutorials.

I was really nervous about writing it, as I wanted to make sure I didn't shame myself on Kerrys blog, she's got a great following, and I'm just a newbie after all!  I hope you like it, it's supposed to be a fair summation of the book, and to get people thinking about what they look for in a quilting book

In my second set of news, my winnings from Aneela Hoey have arrived (Tuesday morning, talk about speedy post), and although I haven't used it yet, I've opened the pack and I'm stroking it daily- I have a plan forming, watch this space!

When I was little, I just couldn't learn to knit (I'm left handed and just a bit awkward with those kinds of things), so when I found out a local lady was running crochet classes, I jumped at the chance to learn.  I kind of figure that I might one day be able to knit, but that as crochet seems to be simpler, and a lot more accessible, I wanted to try it.  So, I started going to Creative Crochet Cafe on a Wednesday at the lovely Greenacres Centre in Birstall (Leicestershire).  This group is run by the wonderful Lisa, who runs Little Bird School of Stitchcraft in Leicestershire. She is a fabulous teacher, and made it feel really easy to learn the basics, so despite the fact its only a couple of hours a week, by week two I had made a Granny Square (and carried on hooking it at home, until I ran out of white, so I started a new pink one)
Crochet practice.

and by the end of week 3, I had made a flower!  
They might not be the most beautiful pieces of crochet, but I'm having fun learning.  
Week 3, and a pretty flower completed.

 And finally after the crochet yesterday, we had a visit from the Morsbags group- responsible for guerilla bagging!  This is a society that make re-usable fabric bags and then give them away for FREE to encourage people to cut out/down their reliance on plastic bags.  They take spare fabric (often old curtain fabric, not clothes), and make super strong fabric bags that are designed to hold 5 bottles of wine, that seems like recommendation enough for me!!  I made my first one yesterday, it's already had its first outing to the supermarket, and my word can't it carry a lot!

I am now a member of the Charnwood Pod, see the link for more details, they are active all over the UK, and beyond, and so far over 112000 have been made.  It's a terrific cause and if you have time to help out, get in touch with them in your area via the website.

Enough, I'm exhausted with all this writing, and creative stuff, have a good Thursday.

Ange x

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Stars Stop Spinning....

Giant Spinning Star Cushion-finished!

So despite the fact it wasn't even on the list, I HAD to get involved with the Quiltalong.  Seeing as we needed a massive cushion for the lounge (for my man, who says its draughty on his sofa) I thought I'd combine the 2, so what do you think???

A bit of hand stitching...

Moda Dotties on the back.
Ange x

Monday, 17 September 2012


++= FUN!!!!!!

If I was a believer in these things, I would say the stars have aligned in my favour these last couple of weeks.  

Now let me explain.  Just over a week ago I received my copy of the terrific Little Stitches by Aneela Hoey.  It is a beautiful book with some really cute embroidery patterns in it, and I am a HUGE fan of her fabric lines, especially A Walk In the Woods, which was the first one I "discovered" about 6 months ago.  Now, when it comes to embroidery, I don't think I'm especially capable, but this book has it so beautifully explained, I almost believe it wont be toooooooo hard to get great results. 

And then the lovely Kerry at Penny Dog Patchwork offered up a free book for anyone who wanted to do a book review for her. The book was Pre-Cut Combo Quilts from Debra Fehr Greenway.  So I offered to do this for her, and she kindly sent it to me last week (more about this later in the week). 

As if that wasn't a good enough few days, I got an email at the weekend telling me that I'm one of the WINNERS of the Moda Blog Hop at Aneela Hoeys Comfort Stitching blog. I never win anything, and I am currently on a self imposed fabric buying ban, so this was particularly welcome news.  And now I have a Sew Stitchy Jelly Roll coming my way, hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!  I don't think you can even buy this line in the UK at the moment, its still on its way from over the pond, although I know The Village Haberdashery have it on the way.

Can you see where I'm going with this?? I'm thinking, Jelly Roll in a quilt using the Pre-Cut Combo book for help (I've never used a Jelly Roll before), and some embroidery from the Little Stitches incorporated, like I said, serendipity.

Now,  I just need to finish some more of the projects I've already started....................

Ange x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Head Spinning Star

Spinning Star Block 1

So, today I started my "proper" Spinning Stars block for the quiltalong, looks good doesn't it?!??  Looks can be deceiving, this is a very, very naughty block, it MADE me swear A LOT!  

It seems I may have ironed rather than pressed, and so when it came to sewing it all together, all of the little points and edges seemed to line up, but this left the middle all, well, poouffy and distorted.  Now I know that's not a real word, but its kind of descriptive of the way it just wouldn't lie flat.  So, with a little bit lot of unpicking, re-sewing, re-unpicking and re-re-sewing, and some gentle PRESSING, it is now kind of flat, phew.

Originally I had planned to make a crib sized quilt, but as I need a large sofa cushion for the lovely Mr H.O.C, to keep out winter draughts and support his sofa surfing, I thought I might make a couple of them into a big cushion for him, to keep him happy. 

Lets hope the air isn't turned quite so blue making the other blocks, fingers crossed! 

And don't even mention the WIP list, I had planned on getting some more coasters finished this afternoon, but I was too busy wrestling this beast.  : (


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Happy Scrappy & Slowly, Slowly.....

Happy Scrappy!

Received today from Amy's Crafty Shenanigans

Today was a good post day, as I received my Scrappy Pouch, Scraps and gift tags from the lovely Amy In UK (Amy's) Crafty Shenanigans.  My Scrappy Pouch is made up of some lovely fabrics, including a really cute safety pin fabric, some of which I also have in my scrap bundle, which is packed with all manner of delicious fabrics. I will be using my pouch for carrying around my sewing essentials day to day, it will be well used.

I've really enjoyed this swap, there are some terrific items being made for it, and I love being able to push myself to try new techniques and items, I'm looking forward to joining my next one, so watch this space.....

I am getting quite a collection of lovely scraps now, so much that I think I feel a Scrappy Quilt coming on, something from the Sunday Morning Quilts book I love so much!  I purchased it from the Book Depository, who I have to say, have been cheaper (often significantly) that my usual favourite online bookseller (Amazon), on quite a few books I've seen in the last few months.  Their delivery isn't quite so quick/slick, but if you can wait an extra few days, its worth the saving, around £4.70 on this book alone.

Slowly, Slowly.......

I have managed to make a little progress on my jobs list, as the Tumbler is now all but completed, I just need to add the label and the baby name when she arrives, and then I can finish the last little bit of binding.  

Also, I have made my first coaster, I plan to make 4 in total, so I'll add some photos when they're all done- I did try some more paper piecing, and it looks pretty cute. 

So that makes 5 of my 12 completed, 2 in progress, and 5 projects to start and finish in the next 19 days, better get my butt in gear!!!!

Ange x

Friday, 7 September 2012

Spinning Stars Practice

I had a practice run of the Spinning Stars block, to see how the templates worked out, I think its turned out ok!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Spinning Stars & Works In Progress, Progress.

I've chosen the fabrics for Katys' Spinning Stars Quiltalong, what do you think??  Mostly Tula Pinks fabrics, plus a few others from my stash, and since this photo I have another couple of solids to throw in the mix, including a lemony yellow, a grey, and a few more spots (I love polka dots!).

And I have managed to get a bit further with a few of those pesky jobs, so I'm creeping slowly closer to being able to start both of those quiltalongs I've signed up for in the last week, so here goes on the list so far:

3. Complete the foxy pouch for the Modern Scrappy Swap- sent today
4. Complete the quilt top for the big Chevron quilt

6. Attach hangers and put up the Dresden Plate Mini
12. 2 Mo (moustache) blocks for the quilt- sent today

2. Complete the quilting and binding on the tumbler blocks quilt- I've done all of the quilting and machine sewed most of the binding on, can't finish the binding until the baby arrives as I want to add a personalised label with baby name.
10. Get all of the backing hexagons for my daughters Scrappy Hexy quilt attached

Not tackled
1. Complete the quilting and binding on this cute grey Octagonal number
5. Make some coasters, maybe paper pieced for neatness
7. Complete the stockings for my nursery Christmas promo
8. Complete an advent calendar for nursery promo
9. Complete Christmas bunting for nursery promo

11. Complete July AND August BOM for my craftsy project, ooooops, a little behind again.

I thought I was doing quite well on this list, but now I see it again it doesn't feel like I've made that much of a dent in it all, but I suppose I've completed 4 out of 12, so that's about 33%.

Ange : )

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Off listing- is that allowed??

So, despite the fact I still have 10 "jobs" left on my big list, I'm in the full on mental planning involved in starting new quilts, I'm not actually starting until at least next Wednesday (12th), but I'm doing all of that mental "cheating" on my current jobs, and working out the fabric choices and colours!  

So, what are these exciting new projects?  Well, i've been led astray by the devilish Katy from I'm A Ginger Monkey who is running a Spinning Stars Quiltalong, from the design by Anna Maria Horner, and the lovely Lynne from Lily's Quilts who is doing a Jackattack Quiltalong.  Now, so far I have done a sum total of zero quiltalongs, so why on earth have I signed up for 2 of them within a few days.  Er, well the answer to this is that I am clearly bonkers, no, not really, its just that they are 2 brilliant designs, and I just thought, "Why not?".  I was about to start some new projects once the quilts were completed and some of this list was down, so I'm just getting ready a bit earlier.

So far, I am thinking to use some of the following fabrics in my stash for the Jackattack, so what do you think? 
Some Amy Butler fabric and some other lovely prints to choose from.

The Union Jacks are pretty large in this quilt, so it's great for the big prints in my stash I don't have a home for! I'll keep you updated with my final choices and progress on this.

As for the Spinning Stars, well I haven't made my mind up about fabrics yet, I have a vague buzzing in the back of my head about using the Summersville fabrics I've been saving and stroking for the last few months, but maybe not.  I'll be printing off the template and seeing the real sizes of the template pieces against the fabrics in my stash, which should help me get an idea of scale, and what will work, and what wont.