Friday, 18 April 2014

Mummy I shrank the car! and issues!

scene outside a neighbours house this week!
but if you get a car for your third birthday, what on earth will you expect when you are 21?

I have an issue. The trouble is, I do not know with whom, I just know, I have an issue.

For a couple of years ( yes I do not know where they have gone) I have had this blog, and I collect some blogs to follow on my side bar, and off I go and take a look, and sometimes I comment and sometimes I do not.

All good thus far.

Now. As long as I have done this, I have NOT been a no-reply blogger. And delightful folk have received my comments, and I have had little cheery notes back from them.

This month, all of a sudden, instead of their cheery notes, I am receiving  'Delivery failure notification' . Not from everyone, but from quite a few.

It seems, my comment appears on their blog- but perhaps it is not following through and landing in their email inbox.

So, they then cannot reply...
I do not know what has changed. and I do not know if anyone else is getting the same issues...

If you are, anyone?? please comment and let me know! I hate to be the only person in the world with this issue!

And, if you are getting that issue commenting on my blog... Please let me know!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Bee blocking

At the moment I am taking part in two bees. These each run a little differently, and one asks for one block to be made, and the other, two blocks. This is very straightforward, but I seem to have trouble remembering that they do not both want two blocks!

So, first, the ' fat Stash Brit Bee' . For this one, you send a FQ's worth of gift fabric, and ask for what you wish, and the bee members create a block, 12.5", using fabrics from stash, with or without using the gifted fabric. Clearly, you want to send fabric which will help tie together all the blocks when they return, so, this month, Celtic Thistle sent fat quarters of cheerful plains, to be made to her pattern, adding in low volume neutrals, to really make the solids pop. I was lucky enough to get red through my letterbox, and quickly got a block made. However, my careful planning just missed...

 Do you see where I went wrong? I transposed two quarters.. Now I need to get that stitch ripper busy. Not having spotted that one, I happily got on with number two..

I had forgotten that only one block is needed...
and happily this one seems to have behaved itself. So, I shall have to sort that first one, but not just yet, as I have had to pack away the sewing machine for a short while. More on that later...

The other bee is the HipBee. With that one, we are sent a sufficient quantity of fabric to create a block, and return any extra with our TWO blocks. Jill waned beach huts, and sent a pretty selection of fabrics for us to do our worst, and create whatever our imaginations may come up with. There were also two pieces, one blue, and the other white, as backgrounds for the blocks.  So, a good bit of thinking, and a little bit of drawing, and these blocks came up.

  I had great fun working out how to introduce the 3 D effect on the parasol

There would be room for a little extra on this one, but, on balance, I am going to leave it now, quite apart from the fact that my machine is in hiding.

Why is the machine hiding away?

because of this! That is a hole in the ceiling

We are to have a plasterer coming in tomorrow, and she will be repairing this hole. So, my usual sewing haunt will be out of commission, and I think, once the ceiling is done, I will probably need to continue and redecorate the rest of the room.. It is a good job the Easter break is coming, and should give me time to do it.. With a bit of help I hope!

Wish me luck getting my sewing back up and running soon!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

stringy star!

Svea asked for a 12 1/2 " block, for our 'fat stash Brit bee', and I made an astronaut on the moon. But that only used one of the fabrics she supplied. And I had a little idea lurking for another block. About 18 months ago we made scrappy string star blocks for Jennie , and I just thought, that one would be ideal for Svea. as a small extra, as you do.. So, I got started. And wouldn't you know it, I made a 'rookie error'. I sewed the first piece onto the back as well as the front of my piece of paper.. 

 Looks fine, there, doesn't it?

 but turn over and....

 please can Mr Stitch Ripper come and play?

The next 'rookie error' I made was, I forgot that half these should be diagonal right to left, and the other half, left to right!

So, another couple of pieces had to be made...

But, eventually, it all came together, and the block has not only been made, but it is in the post, with it's little friend, on their way to a quilt for a space mad child!

If I did it again, I would ensure that the strings closest to the star were more of a  contrast, but, really, I was not ready to start again by the time I realised! It will have to do! And the recipient likes strings! so all is well!

Saturday, 15 March 2014


Our bee mamma this month has asked for space inspired blocks. She sent the blue spotty fabric out to me, and we were then to use our own stash and come up with a block to fit the brief. 
Now space is such a broad subject that it took a lot of whittling down to end up with this block. I trawled the images of moon, earth, astronauts and all sorts of variations on that theme, and ended up with this. I actually found an image very like this, with the half full earth, seen from the lunar landscape, and an astronaut also big in the picture. Could I locate that image a second time? 

well, no, I could find it nowhere. So, I either dreamt it, or it is just elusive...

She also sent a rather interesting 'constellation' fabric, and I am considering a second block, making use of this... Not quite got there yet... but hold that thought!

Sunday, 9 March 2014


You remember that fabric?

This was found at the Cloth shop, in Culcheth, if you are anywhere near it is well worth a poke around- she does all sorts of haberdashery and trims, as well as other craft supplies..

 well, it progressed, to this,

 and then to this...

and my daughter was kind enough to take a few photos.

Yes, the head is cut off deliberately...  it is the DRESS you are looking at, not me!

Oh, all right then- I will admit to being me!

and just for good measure, the next couple of shots are what goes on after midnight, when your self timer on the camera is maximum 10 seconds!

The invisible woman struck again!

For the record, I cut most of the fabric out, all bar the black sections, on Friday night, and worked on Saturday 'morning', so after I had had lunch, I started sewing. There is an invisible zip in there, but I do not have an invisible zip foot, so I checked out the Burda tutorial for fitting one with the wrong foot- hey, it worked!!! and that took some time, I took a break for supper of about two hours-ish, and I finished sewing about ten past midnight. I reckon I took 6 1/2 hours to complete it, down to hems and everything.

I used my walking foot for a lot of the seams, and also my overlocker,  ( serger for the American element) so most seams are sewn twice.

On that showing, I reckon GBSB is safe from me, don't you? 

but the walking foot was a dream for sewing the jersey fabric. and I would definitely use it again!
Burda pattern 124 from magazine 9-2012

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Well, I didn't really say I wouldn't buy more fabric... and when I saw this, well, would you have left it behind? OK, yes, you probably would have left it behind, but I didn't. It came home with me.

I had a dress in mind. No pattern, but a dress. So I trawled through all my patterns, and have come up with one. Designed ( wouldn't you know) for woven fabric. And this is a knit. It is a soft, lightweight jersey. and, of course, I want a contrast band. Black, I thought, though a plummy maroon would work. What have I not got? A soft jersey in black or plummy maroon. I have lycra, but it is shiny, and for this, I think, shiny will not be right. I have tape to stabilise shoulder seams, I have stretch interfacing. I do not have soft black jersey. And I do not fancy doing contrast bands in this same fabric. I think it would be too busy and confusing...

So, just now my sewing space looks like this...

Magazines laid out on the ironing board while I looked for the right pattern..

Pattern diagram laid on the floor so I could crawl all over it to get my pieces..

 and everything else turned upside down to hunt for all the missing necessary items I couldn't find... I will find even less now...

But you can't be creative without making a mess, can you.... Perhaps I shouldn't ask.....

And, I couldn't resist, look at these crocus, singing their little hearts out!

They make me smile!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

First ladybird of the year

I spotted my first ladybird... sadly, I also spotted my first lily beetle..
 lurking amongst the dried stems of the garden geranium,

and lots of little scraps of colour, too
 double primula,

and picotee primula,

 pretty purple crocus,

dainty little dutch iris,

and the first of my scillas is also out, with promises from friends to come, too..

and also some very strange fungi,  these black hard looking blobby things on an old field maple stump.

Edited to add, I think this is called 'King Alfreds cakes', or , more prosaically, Cramp Balls!

so, yes a good bit of today was spent in the garden, digging over one of my weed beds.. and now I am thinking what to put in to replace all those weeds I removed...

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