Monday, 22 December 2014

Progress and a Christmas Tree Decoration

A few weeks back, you may remember I had a list of 5 things I needed to get done before Christmas, and I have made some definite progress on these.  
I've already shown you the quilt for A which was finished last week, 

one of the secret sewing projects is done and written up, 

and the other is close to a finish. 

And then I finished this fab cross stitch tree decoration (pattern by Satsuma Street on Etsy), and it has been on the tree for a few days.

Funnily enough, cross stitch was my first crafty love, many many years ago, and I rather enjoyed this one, despite metallic thread being an absolute bugger to work with (it all came flooding back). 

 I can see some other cross stitch projects in my future, including the rest of the Christmas patterns as part of this purchase, just not right now, as I need to get those other key items made up.

If I'm not back before th big day, Merry Christmas to you and yours :o)

Ange x

Sunday, 21 December 2014

More Than A Quilt...

Without getting overly sentimental and emotional, sometimes it is possible to do something more than just sew a quilt.  That is, a quilt becomes more than the sum of it's parts, more than a few pieces of fabric, and in this instance, the aim is that it becomes a message from a grandmother to her grandson, that he was and is loved, despite being gifted to a new family to love and raise him.

On a personal note, I've rather enjoyed making this quilt, it's a simple 6 patch design, and the soft, muted colours make for a calming effect.  On the back I have used the soft, solid blue you also see on the front (and for the binding), and I've cut out the recipients name and appliqued it on, then stitched round in a cream perle, and added his date of birth above it, and even if I do say myself, it looks beautiful (this picture is awful- forgive my late in the day photo).  The whole thing is all wrinkly as it had the washing and tumble dryer treatment, just like a kids quilt should have!  I hope it acts as a comfort for little A in his future, a reassuring constant in his life.

Anyway, enough of the sentimentality, I am making good progress on my "must do" list, and a little on my "like to do" list.  But Christmas is fast approaching, and time is running short, I'm not entirely sure how much will get finished...

Ange x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Great Demotivator!

My head is full.  Full of lots of things I need, want or have to get done by the end of the year, and it's affecting my creativity.  So, you'll have to bear with me while I get my head around it all, and work out my priorities for the next 6 weeks, before my head explodes!!

Lets start with what I have been up to.  Firstly, Hexy 2 has had a lot of attention, it's been the perfect sofa project when I couldn't get to my machine.  It's fully squared off, but I want to add about 4 rows to the width now, just so it covers a single bed a bit better, oh well back to it then.  

I have also decided to hand quilt it, so I can't see it being finished before the end of the year, but will hopefully be finished early next year, it's a good winter project.

Secondly, I have started to construct this, as I wanted to see how it looked, and if it was going to live up to my hopes/expectations. 

It most definitely does.  I need to make quite a lot of blocks for it though, so it may well go on the back burner until the new year, unfortunately.

So, here goes with the lists, to help clear my head a bit.  First up, the Must Do list:
1. Quilt for Archie.  This is for a friend of mine, whose Grandson is being adopted into a new family in the very near future, so I need to get this completed asap.

2. Secret squirrel project.  No specific deadline but I need to get my bum in gear, as it should have been finished already

3. another secret squirrel project, like above, and now it's bothering me!

4. Bags or something similar made out of the other sparkly Frozen fabric I have, 1 for eldest daughter, and 1 for each of my nieces, deadline, Christmas.

5. Ornament for the tree for 2014, I have these fab cross stitch patterns from Satsuma Street on Etsy, and would love to get them made up.

 Like to do:

1. Christmas Quilt- I really want to get one made, but with the big list of must do's might not be feasible :o(

2. Hand Hoop framed and put up, need to add 2013 to it too, as baby hand is obviously missing :o)
 Hand Hoop WIP

3. The second House Quilt from Stitch Tease, all it needs is a little quilting and binding and it will be done, it's an easy finish :o)

4. At least one other from my FAL list, it's currently at 10, so if I can knock a couple off the list i'll be firmly in single figures, which would be major progress since the start of the year :o)

I'm going to get firmly focused on the must do list, so I can get to the "like to do's", and hopefully start 2015 with a clearer WIP pile, as it's planned on being another very busy year!

So, what's on your must do list before the end of the year?
Ange x

Friday, 31 October 2014

FAL Q4 Finish 2 Frozen Blanket

Well I hadn't actually intended to finish this next as I was very close to finishing the second Stitch Tease blanket, but after a lot of hand sewing on Hexy 2, I thought I would have a look at the Frozen panel, and see what it needed, and before I knew it I was sewing on a white border, quilting it and adding the binding, job done!

This is planned as a Christmas present for my eldest daughter who adores Frozen, so I figured it would be fun to give her something she will adore, even if it makes me ever so slightly sick into my mouth!!! 

 The backing is a cuddly soft fleece I got from Plush Addict  and it is really lovely to touch, so I decided to bind it in the same fabric, I'll definitely be backing more quilts in this kind of fabric, especially for winter quilts.

All in all it was a good, quick project, and great to have another off the list, I'm down to 10 now, which is fab, can't wait to get to single figures on my WIP's!

Happy Hallowe'en and enjoy the weekend, I can't believe tomorrow is November already, now that's scary!!! 
 Ange x

Monday, 20 October 2014

FAL Q4- Finish 1- Georgias Christening Cushion

Well I'm on track so far, and have finished the first item off the FAL/WIP list from hell!  

This Christening Cushion for my friends daughter was "due" about 4 weeks ago, but I was away that weekend in the Cotswolds so I missed the main event, and was a little slow getting it finished.

Not as lumpy as it looks here, honest!
I finally decided to get a move on as some other deadlines were looming, and had some free evenings as my man was working away at the start of the week- which is generally my most productive time in any month.

This was finished Friday morning, and by lunchtime had been gifted.  My friend opened it when she got home, and was absolutely delighted with it, in fact she cried, and called to tell me how much she adores it, what a sweetie, I love making for people who appreciate the time and care that goes into handmade gifts :o)

This week I also made a little drawstring bag to hold some baby shower gifts, unfortunately I was double booked and couldn't make this one either, it's hard work being a social butterfly, I was busy eating these, which I made for a friends, husbands 50th birthday party. I love cake, and any excuse to make and eat it :o)
View IMG_20141017_204129.jpg in slide show
Lemon Cupcakes, Banana Cake, Chocolate Flapjacks, and Cinnamon Roll Cake
Right, onto the next one on the list, but as it's half term this week, progress might be a little slow.

Ange x

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Two Weeks...

Photo shamelessly , sorry (ish) :o)

It's 2 weeks since I returned from the Brit Bee Weekender (I was a temporary honorary member).  There has been plenty more cake and sewing since, but it's just not the same.  Always an interruption, no chance to just sew without having to clock watch for the next meal/school pick up/end of nap time etc. I loved it. I managed to get a few finishes, including a Sew Together Bag:

A little drawstring bag using the pattern by the clever Svetlana at Sotak Handmade:

And my October Bee Blocks for Jen (Stitch Tease Bee)

Got my t-shirt printed, and a panel I need to make into something when I get a plan.

I could have made more in the time, but life is all about balancing the quality with the quantity, and this was the perfect balance, fantastic company, great food and cake (especial credit to the fab Susan and Trudi) and fun sewing, what's not to love.

Now I just need to see if I can wangle an invitation to their next Weekender....
Ange x

Sunday, 12 October 2014


I should only have 9 finishes on this list, but as usual I have other things half started or need to get them done this quarter, so I'm adding them on, and hoping to get 2 finishes per month this final quarter, so fingers crossed we'll be down to 6 before the end of the year :o).

Those in green are the priority list, the ones I hope/expect to get done this quarter, we will see! 

1. Hexy 2
Started: December 2013
Current Status:  From about 33% of the way through at the start of the quarter to about 80% done now
Plan: Aiming for end of year finish

 Up a little early so a little epp to ease me into the day....

  2. The Weekender
Started: Spring 2013
Current Status: No progress. Taken back apart.  Reduce size of the base, re-sew together and then fix the lining
Plan: Get it done so I can face making another bag (one day)
My wrestling partner for the morning! Just the lining to do tonight. #weekenderbagiwillbevictorious
3. Plus Quilt
Started: Summer 2013
Current Status: Handful of blocks, plus I have added the New York Beauty to this plan, as the centre piece.  Now have an additional 100(ish) plus blocks from Stitch Tease ladies, just need to calculate how many additional blocks are needed
Plan:  Unlikely to finish this year, but would like to put together what I have so far.
Some selfish sewing for my own bed quilt.

 4 Stitch Tease House Blanket 2
Started: Nov 2013
Current Status: Top together, just need to add backing, quilt and bind.
Plan: Complete asap

5. Simply Solids Quilt
Started: August 2013
Current Status: Just blocks
Plan: Make into a quilt/picnic throw for summer in the garden. Unlikely to get done this year.
Simply Solids August Block, finished.

6. Star/Bright Sampler Blocks
Started: January 2013
Current Status:  Just blocks
Plan: Piece into a quilt, unlikely to get done this year.
12 blocks from grp 11 & 13 of 3x6 Bee

7. Hand Hoop
Started: Early 2013
Current Status: Needs hoop finishing off
Plan: Finish and hang!
Hand Hoop WIP

8.Crochet Blanket
Started: End of 2012
Current Status: All blocks finished, need joining and lining
Plan:Sew them together and get them made into a little blanket

9. Jumper Blanket
Started: June 2014
Current Status: A big pile of squares cut from some of my old, favourite, felted jumpers
Plan: Sew them together for a winter blanket, fabric backed

10. Georgias Christening Cushion
Started: October 2014
Plan: Get it finished asap as it's already about 3 weeks late!

11. Frozen Blanket
Started: September 2014 fabrics purchased
Plan: Finished before Christmas
And before anyone asks, I am sick of Frozen, but I'm working on my Mum of the year award, currently failing miserably ;o)

12. Christmas Quilt
Started: September 2014 fabrics pulled
Plan: Finish before Christmas Day :o)

 And yes, these are all Christmas fabrics, I didn't realise I had quite so many, maybe 2 or 3 quilts might be in order!

 I am aiming for 2 finishes this week (that's pretty hopeful but reasonably realistic), but as this is my man free week I have 4 nights free to get my sewjo on.  

Ange xxx

Monday, 6 October 2014

FAL Q3 Roundup

So, I started the last quarter with 12 items on my list, aiming to do 2 per month to get them all completed by the end of the year.  Well let us all have a big laugh at that then shall we, before I tell you what I really managed.  

Finished laughing? Ok, well the Summer holidays totally killed all hope of any serious crafting, and those 6 weeks were sewing drought territory, and that means just 3 finishes this time around, although there is some good progress on a few others which i'll include on my next quarter list.
1. My Sampler Quilt
Started: 2012
Current Status: DONE

2. Stitch Tease House Quilt
Started: Nov 2013
Current Status: One DONE, second one, top together, just need to add backing, quilt and bind

2 more beautiful blocks arrived for my Stitch Tease quilt, thx so much @lifesrichpattern!


3. Portholes blocks
Started: Retreat 2013
Current Status: DONE

I have got some other finishes to share from my fantastic weekend as hanger on to the Brit Bee ladies, and their sewing Weekender.  I can't find the words just yet, but I will.
Ange xxx

Friday, 26 September 2014

Final Finish For The Quarter FAL 3, Q3

Well nearly another month has passed, and I'm only just back here, whoops!  Life has been a little busy, there has been a bit of sewing, mostly hand sewing on Hexy 2, but I did manage a finish, and it wasn't even the smallest item on the list, so 9 to complete for the final quarter, can't see that happening but I'm going to give it a whirl :o)

Last year for my favourite bee (it's also my only one now, as I decided to reduce my commitments for when the baby was coming), Stitch Tease, I requested house blocks for a quilt for the girls (eek, still feels weird saying that).  After giving a few suggested patterns, I got some fantastic blocks back, and decided to make 2 picnic blankets with them, and this is the first one.

I backed it with a bargain blanket from Primark that I bought a while back, something light weight for dragging around next Summer, as I'm a little late for this year :o)

A big thank you to my fantatic Bee buddies for their blocks, I love them all. The second blanket will hopefully follow shortly, but I seem to be juggling about 20 different things at the moment....

Ange x

Sunday, 31 August 2014

August All Gone.... FAL Finish 2, Q3

Well almost, and I am just sneaking in on the final day with a blog post after a near 6 week break.  No surprise this pretty much exactly coincided with the kids summer holidays, which ended on Thursday when C went back to school *hooray*, although Mr HOC has been off since then so normal service hasn't entirely resumed.  

I have managed to sneak in a bit of sewing during those few weeks, but haven't exactly conquered my FAL at two per month as hoped, oh well, the top of Hexy 2 is now about 75% finished :

Both House quilts have been planned in terms of layout (and some of the sewing is completed), and I've received lots more of my plus blocks for the NYBCFG quilt from my fabulous Stitch Tease Bee sisters :o).  

Which means all of the quilts are moving forward at the same time, all good stuff.

I have (started and) finished one of the items from my FAL today, a nice simple upscale version of a peg bag to make it into a laundry bag for the nursery, using up my orphan block from FQR 2013 made during Lu's Portholes Class.  I cannot for the life of me find the other block, v annoying, but when/if I do, it will probably end up as another one for eldest daughter :o)
It's not wonky despite this dodgy photo :o)

A couple of other starts and finishes this month, firstly, I did a little pattern testing for Sara of Sew Sweetness, as she has a series of embroidery patterns awaiting release, and as it was unicorns, I couldn't resist.

I originally intended to make this up into a gift for my niece who is unicorn mad, but my eldest daughter dropped so many unsubtle hints that she wanted it, so I made it into a nameplate for her bedroom.  I added the phrase "Live Yours Dreams" underneath, which seemed appropriate given the embroidery subject.

And the other finish for the month, was a bag for eldest daughter to go back to school with.  Despite me considering the fabric incredibly ugly, she absolutely adores it, and very proudly sported it on her first day back on Thursday.  
Using this tutorial as a guideline

For those not "up" with little girl trends, the fabric features the 2 sisters from the film Frozen, so I have been told I am "the best mummy in the world", which lasted all of five minutes ;o).

Hopefully I will be blogging more regularly now school is back, and making some more progress on the FAL mountain I have to climb, we'll see!

Ange x