Thursday, 28 February 2013

As If By Magic...

Those 9 patches disappeared.
I managed to just sneak in there with another finish, Carol at The Running Hare's Disappearing 9 Patch Blocks, 3 in total, for the Simply Solids Bee, March (which makes me ahead of schedule, yay!).

 Don't forget this months Book Challenge, I'll pick a winner tomorrow am, around 8am (ish) UK time, at the earliest, so anyone who gets in before then is in the draw.

Ange x

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Slabs Are Laid... it's time for the sandwich, quilt sandwich that is, after the dreaded C word this afternoon, number 3 of 4, grrrrrr!

Ange x

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I Don't Do....

I finally managed to finish up my Sarcasm Hoop after another 5 hours in the car yesterday, and a little telly time today.  As I had been so kind as to offer my services on the sarcasm front, I thought a little clarification might be needed to the tasks I'm not so keen on!

So, as the hoop says in rather subtle tones, I don't do cleaning, I don't do cooking, I don't do housework, I don't do curtains.  Not enough room to mention the ironing, but it's on the banned list too! 

I even tried my hand at a little lacing as per the lovely Susan's "Backside Stretching" tutorial on Quilter In The Gap a few weeks back, idiot proof!  Next time I will use wadding, as it will hide any stray threads on the back, but we live and learn.
Ange x


Not Really An Advert

I'll be heading along to the show, anyone else fancy coming along?  Uttoxeter is just off the A50 which links across from the M1 (at Derby) to the M6 (Stoke).  On either the Saturday or the Sunday I'm thinking, fingers crossed it could be fun.

Ange x

Friday, 22 February 2013

Blacking Out & The Body Under The Patio.

Despite spending most of yesterday in full on sewing mode, I won't be showing the mainstay of what I did as it involves those dratted curtains, grrrrrrrrrrrrr!  I am now half way through, and 2 of the 4 are now re-lined with blackout lining, and hanging in their new home (my friends house). She's rather pleased with them, apparently they look exactly the same but with blackout lining, I had to point out that that was the idea!  

So, enough of that snoresome talk, and onto the other things I've been up to, also not that exciting, but it does mean I am making some progress towards turning this lovely quilt top

into an actual real, live, quilt, hoorayI now have a rather large pile of "slabs" that need "laying" into a patio style backing for it (no bodies buried under this one I promise)

With only 6 days left in the month, I need to make some of those "in progress" items into completed, wish me luck!
 Ange x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Stitch Savvy- Deborah Moebes.

Don't Forget this months Book Challenge, win a free copy of this fantastic book for making something from one of your craft books! Here is the Flickr group link .

So, onto the review, Stitch Savvy by Deborah Moebes is one of those ring bound, beautifully photographed sewing project books we all need in our book arsenal.
There are 25 fabulous projects ranging through various levels, from basic cushions (pillows for our American cousins), quilts and shoulder bags, all of the way to Sashiko Curtains (love!), clutch bags, and clothes.  The book is divided into 5 sections, Home decor, Patchwork & Quilting, Bags, Sewing For Children, and Clothing, and I for one, am smitten with the projects, I barely know where to start.  

There are some fantastic advice sections in the book, with sewing basics, and some projects to warm up your skills, and although it is suitable right from beginner level as they are all graded for difficulty from 1 to 5, there is still lots to be found of interest for the more experienced sewer.  All of the patterns come on CD, so can be printed out with ease, very handy.

My personal favourites, well there's a long list. I am about to start by using the pattern for the Paving Stones Quilt, which will be my pieced backing for my Chevron Quilt.
 And then of course, there is the Whole Cloth Quilt, which is phenomenal in it's simplicity and beauty.
 The Sashiko Window Treatment (curtain to us lesser mortals), which I will definitely be using, whether for a curtain or another project.
This gorgeous little girls dress, which I am sure my daughter would love, as she HAS to wear a dress every day, no matter what the temperature, and as she is tall and skinny, it can be a little bit of a pain to get them to fit properly.  I've not ventured into clothes making yet, and it terrifies me, but I'm guessing a basic dress for a little one can't be that hard (eeek, that statement might come back and bite me on the bum!).
 And finally, this satchel bag, gorgeous!
 All in all, 224 pages plus CD of fabulous patterns and projects, well worth a buy, some fantastic inspiration. I can definitely see me making a lot of the items in the book, now where is that rotary cutter?

Ange x

If you want to buy the book it's available at Stitch Craft Create, and other good book retailers.
Please note that whilst I was not paid for this review, I have been given the book by the publisher, but there are no restrictions on the review, I am free to give me opinion- which this is.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Handy Hoop Kind Of Weekend.

I managed to get the text of my Sarcasm hoop all done, but as I didn't have a hoop of just the right size, either too big or too small, I will have to wait a couple of days to finish it all off.  I'm thinking it needs some kind of stitchy frame to it, but will make that decision once I have a better sized hoop.

I also managed to make some major progress on another stitchy, hoopy project on my world tour of the South of England (we worked out it was at least 11 counties visited/driven through). I pinned this image a long while ago, and thought I might make my own little version for our new home.

Embroidered hands

This is our version, now I just need to stitch our names down the side of the hands and add the year, and it will be done- maybe hoop, or maybe a frame, I'll check out my options once it's finished.
So that's what I've been up to, it made the hours spent (not driving!) in the car a little more palatable.

Ange x

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hand printing...

I knew since I went to the fabulous Sarah Waterhouse's one day screen-printing class last November, that I wanted to have another go at hand printing some fabrics. But as the months have ticked by I haven't managed to get round to it, and then just a couple of days ago I read this post by the lovely Amy at Amy's Crafty Shenanigans and knew I wanted to join in.  
Handprinted: a fabric swap III
Amy has signed up for a (4) fat quarter swap run by a Canadian Aussie lady (who knew such a person existed!) called Leslie Keating, where in groups of 5 we would send out hand printed fabrics to the other 4 members.  There are no limits on the printing method used, whether it be screen printed, stamped etc, just as long as it is done by hand. I had initially resisted joining in, as the date for shipping is the 25th of March, and as that is the expected date of our house move, I was nervous about commiting to it. And then this morning whilst reading my latest copy of Mollie Makes I saw a little article on Leslie, her beautiful work, and figured it was fate stepping in to tell me to sign up! 

So, obviously I've signed up, and from the end of the month will have 3 weeks to get them designed and printed up, well that should keep me busy, it's not like I've got much to do before the move now is it?!?!

If you like the idea, and fancy joining in too, you have until the 28th of February to sign up.

Ange x 

Friday, 15 February 2013


Due to spending an excessive amount of hours in the car this weekend, I will be working on this little project.
Totally stolen from Heavily inspired by, Susan, and her amazing hoops, including this one she gifted to me:

 and this one she very selfishly kept for herself (correction, she is actually giving it away, I forgot, sorry S, but not to me):
What are you up to/working on this weekend?

Ange x

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Wrestling, Zipping It, And Curtain Twitching

Although i have been a little quiet in the last few days (well online anyway), I've been busy sewing up a few bits and pieces. 

My main job was wrestling with my version of the Giant (Vintage) Star Quilt for Siblings Together.  You may remember I started out with these beautiful FQ's that Amanda kindly donated to the cause a couple of weeks back.
And after a little discussion with this lovely lady (Susan) last week, I decided to go with a solid brown background, BROWN, I hear you say, BROWN, well yes, I know I'm not big into brown (except chocolate that is!), but it seemed like the right choice-and there is a little bit of brown in some of the prints.
 And although it's possibly a little darker than I would have liked, limited options at The Fabric Guild on Sunday, that same lady has suggested a variegated pink thread on the brown might "lighten" it up a bit, she's ever so clever isn't she!

I did spend quite a bit of time cursing whilst making this block, not because it isn't great, but all that bias sewing, AND squaring up of rather large blocks, means there are a few pointy points not quite as, well, pointy, as i would have liked.  I'll tackle the basting and quilting next week I think, so this will end up being my first quilt of the year.

I also, finally, got around to making up my first (tester) triple zippy After a couple of days with these hanging round
 I started to put it together at half 9 last night.  It was all done before half 11 (and I spent quite a bit of time, emailing, and reading blogs inbetween).
It's not perfect, but I learned quite a few bits in the making including:

1. Cut off the spare fabric on the end tabs (like it says in the tutorial!) before attaching them, that way you can ensure all 3 zip ends will line up with one another, and not be wonky (oops)

2. Make sure the end bits of zips are cut back far enough, they weren't on one and it's made it a little lumpier than it should be.

3.  When Marci (in her alternate ending) says not to go over the zip, don't go over the zip, it makes it lumpier!

I suppose I can be forgiven for those points as it was late, and I was distracted/half asleep, but lessons learned for next time.  On that note, I'm thinking of QAYG for the next one, has anyone else got any advice on that front? I've not done QAYG before.

And so what have I got planned for this afternoon, after spending the morning in my rubber gloves (cleaning, nothing pervy) and dancing around the house to Kylie (don't ask)?  Well, some time with these:

 Yes, my friends, curtains and blackout linings, snore!  What are you up to on this day for lovers??

Ange x

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Disappearing 9 Patch

The March block for my Simply Solids Bee is a Disappearing 9 Patch, chosen by Carol at The Running Hare. It's not one I've made before, but looks like it can be used in lots of different ways to add interest to a quilt block. I figured before I got Carol's fabric, I would give it a trial run, and also as I'm planning on making extra blocks every month, I could make one for myself.
Carol has decided she wants a range of blues in her block, with the above block construction.  I've decided to use some of my solids, and started out with this.
But after a bit of rotary action
and changing round of the blocks
 this way
and that
I found this set up, which I rather liked, so I decided to stick with it.

I decided to make another one today and try it the opposite way 
 They're a bit contrasting, but if one of them can't be used when I put all of the different blocks together I can always make a project pouch out of it, or a bag for my head (thanks Hadley I got the hint!).
Ange x

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Livre Love And This Months Challenge

In the true spirit of craftiness I have decided to combine my Book Challenge project this month with one of my UFO projects.  It's one I need to get finished, and this will help me get it closer to that point

Fortuitously, this book dropped through my letterbox yesterday for me to review, and whilst flicking through I found this rather cute looking quilt.  
 I have a whole stack of solids and I don't want to piece anything massively complex, but I think it deserves something more than a wholecloth backing.  I have decided to enter it into the Quilt and Stitch Village show in Uttoxeter in April (barring any disasters with the quilting), as my other project isn't even close to getting started, and I need to make some swift progress.  

I will be reviewing Stitch Savvy next week if I get the time, on first look through there are some interesting projects, but now I need to spend a little time with it, and a glass of wine!

Happy Saturday Night
Ange x

Friday, 8 February 2013

Inappropriately Named

Today I received my pouch zippy bag from the Pretty Little Pouch Swap, and I can quite honestly say, a swap has never been more inappropriately named, and not in a bad way.  But then I guess Bloody Amazing Little Zippy Bag Swap isn't quite as catchy!!  So which phenomenal lady (lets be honest, they are all women, I haven't seen one man in the group) did I have making for me I hear you ask?  The fantastic Helen at Indianna Dreams, and this is the amazing zippy bag she made for me, with the cutest, most perfect needle book.
Mr Zippy bag doesn't have a front side and a back side, he has an awesome side (sorry, I know that sounds so cheesy, but I just don't care), with a Rainbow Wonky Star, and a set of GOLDFISH.  And the phenomenal side (it had to be something effusive as I love it too) has a Rainbow EPP Star- enough said!
Sorry this pic makes it look lumpy, I couldn't wait to get my stuff in it!
So, as well as all those "perfect for me" rainbow colours, have you seen the Low Volume background?? Gorgeous prints, including texty fabrics, every single one of them beautiful, with a grey linen top, hot pink zip, AND its a wide-mouth zippy bag (bit like me I guess!)
 And the inside.... more Low Volume loveliness, gorgeous.  As you see, I have rammed it full of my Perle stash, a hoop, scissors, my new needle book, and some other bits and bobs, and there is still room for more stuff when I'm travelling around and about, Helen got the "make it big" memo I left on the Flickr group. : )

And you know that needle book, terrific, all those little squares are beautifully rainbowed (it's not even a word, and I don't care), Helen linked up to the tutorial she used, but while you're there, hang around and see what she makes, all killer!
And the inside of the needle book, look at them, LOOK AT THEM,   LOOOOOK AT THEM!

 I don't need to say how I feel about them do I?  No, I'm coming across as slightly bonkers now I know.  Even the pins were rainbow co-ordinated, the thought, the detail, brilliant.
Could it all be any more perfect, doubt it, no scrap that, it couldn't be any more perfect for me, fact. 

Ange x

Thursday, 7 February 2013

I Never Realised... exhausting having fun is. Today I have been mostly with this lovely lady (picture stolen from her blog)

Stolen from Susan's blog, hehe, I'm sure she wont mind
and isn't she absolutely wonderful!  For those that don't know her, her name is Susan and she blogs at Canadian Abroad, most days, and is an incredibly thoughtful and kind hostess, as well as a fantastic quilter, sewer and embroiderer.  I saw her latest quilt finish, Singing The Blues in real life, and Susan had to beat me off of it, as I was so tempted to run away home with it! 

Not content with greeting me with a homemade, just out of the oven Lemon Drizzle!!!! (one of my absolute favourites, and it was as light as air, and truly delicious) Susan also gave me a massive bowl of the most delicious Potato and Leek soup for lunch- she knows how to take care of her guests.  We drank tea, chatted, Susan helped me choose a background colour for my Siblings Together quilt, and had a thoroughly grand old time. Nearly 5 hours have never passed so quickly.  
Also stolen from Susan's blog
And did I mention the brilliant present the lovely lady gifted me. Well it's definitely one to brag about, it's a fantastic hoop for my new (when we move) sewing room! You might have seen it on her blog yesterday, where we had a high old time guessing the ending.

Now you're jealous of my new sewing buddy aren't you?  Yep, I don't blame you, she's fab!

Ange x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Orphans, Siblings, and the Volume Down Low.

A busy couple of days here in Charnwood, as I need to get February moving and some projects under way.  So, I started off by working on my UFO list, do you remember these from a couple of weeks ago?
Poor little Orphan blocks needed a purpose (don't we all), so I decided to use these up as per the lovely Katy Jones' recent tutorial on her Sizzix blog. Some super sized pouches, just bigger versions of the little extra pouch I made for the Pretty Little Pouch Swap (below)
I figured they would make really good project bags for my fabrics (to keep them together), as at the moment, this is the kind of thing I'm using to keep specific projects together.
Not very inspiring now is it?  And this is how those blocks look now, once I had added on some borders, and made them up (just a couple of hours work for all 3).
These are fab, and a great way to remember a fun project, or in the future I might be tempted to make an extra block and make them into quilt bags to keep them in, now there's an idea!

Rammed to the rafters with my Skill Builder BOM fabrics
I have also decided to start Siblings Together quilts this week. On Monday I received this beautiful package of 12 fq's from Amanda at Scissors and Thread. 

She generously offered the Tanya Whelan fabrics for someone to make into a quilt- and I was super quick and got in there first!  I hope I can do them justice, I've already started chopping, so watch this space.

And finally, (breathe Angela), I received this gorgeous selection of Low Volume fabrics from the Charm Swap Laura held over on Flickr, aren't they just perfect!

Ange x