Tuesday, 29 January 2013

I love baby clothes!

 One of the most fun things about folks having a baby, is, you can make a cosy something for that baby!

Lucy kept us guessing, until at last Lois made her debut, but I did not wish to wait quite that long to make a something. So, not knowing if Lois would be a she, or a he, a gender neutral something seemed best. Well, I think penguins are gender neutral, don't you?

This is a lovely soft fuzzy fleece, and this wee 'goonie' is a pattern I used for all my children, though not, I have to admit, in such a lovely design. My children got plain red and blue, as that was what I could get at the time!

Anyway, the little gown is very cosy, and mine wore it in their cots, so if their blankets were adrift they stayed cosy,
and they also wore these when in their prams. A friends daughter wore this first size fleecy outfit at night for her whole first year, I think it was like paint on her by the end!

So that was one project, and I have been working on another.

I have been using my 'Salt Air' charms.

These have gone together nicely and I have put all the blocks together, leaving one 'orphan' block.

On to put a border round the layout, and then to sort the backing out. Soon, soon!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

yes, we have some snow

 As I left the house on Monday morning, this scene greeted me. I love to see the pristine snow, waiting for feet to crunch and mark it. We seldom get any snow to speak of, so it was lovely to see this as I went out.

Already the mornings lighten rapidly so that after my short journey to work, the day had really come, and the snow had stopped falling, but the birches managed to be a little picturesque.

 Snow did fall at intervals during the day, and is falling now, on Wednesday, but it has almost gone, even whilst still falling.
 And, not too surprising that most of the afternoons appointments got cancelled.  Even though most of the snow vanished - like snow off a dyke!

So, this is what I have been working on in my spare time.  I had some Salt air Charms, and was wracking my brain to use them as economically as possible- that's right, I am stingy with my fabric- and finally decided to go with a sort of simplified Arkansas Crossroad, and yes there are more of these in my future, as I love the effect of using the patterned fabric for the 'road' . So I am now messing with layouts. It seems as you start to lay it out, it is fine. And then you think, but that bit there is going to bug me , so you change it a little. And another little buggy bit appears. So you change a little more. And again.  Hmmm.

So, what do you do. keep changing bits until, well, when? Or just put it together as it appears, more or less randomly?  I am still not quite convinced by my layout, but how to say STOP? I don't know.

And then, I think borders will be required. But we are getting there.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


 Have you received an unexpected parcel lately?

I have.
And I am just feeling so loved, and cared about, you would not believe!

Well, I have had a very satisfying, slightly jokey exchange of emails with a very dear friend. One of those folks, who you waited all your life to get to know, even though you never knew you were looking for them. Someone who gets your silly  Do you know what I mean?

And my children would assure you- I can be very silly. I told my daughter today, I still do not know what I want to do when I grow up. We were discussing what she wants to do for a career. After all, she is in the middle of her masters, and needs to think what to do next.  Anyway, I digress.

I arrived home from one of those frustrating afternoons, when four out of five appointments had been cancelled, OH was due to be away for the weekend, but his weekend had also been cancelled, due to weather, and there, in the dining room was a squishy parcel.
I promise you, it was a very squishy parcel. All soft. The postman thought it was a squishy parcel too. It was comfortably fat, but he squished it through my letter box anyway. my husband heard him, and arrived in time to see it plump through the door and land on the floor.

I carefully inspected my parcel, and found some very pretty floral stamps on it. I think my favourite flower is the iris. And there, on a stamp is a bearded iris.

So, I open my squishy parcel. Inside is another squishy parcel. Wrapped in really cute wols. And a card.

Someone knows I like butterflies too?

And in the card, some mini magnetic bookmarks, cat, mouse and fish.

 I had to investigate further.

Do you see a shawl? a beautiful lace shawl? hand knitted for me, by May, my very dear friend who is totally daft and super sweet!
 she knitted this gorgeous soft warm, heavenly super soft shawl just for me!!!

Now don't tell me you aren't suffering just the smallest bit of green-eye, I do not think I would believe you
 Look at the detail, that pretty edging!

I am finding it the most fun soft feeling drapery ever! it is getting thrown round my shoulders, and draped around my head and just generally made the most of!

Even my husband has been admiring it. The colour is a soft grey-blue, and it is lovely!

Thank you May!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Stash bee, January block

The stash block for this month is to be made up of four smaller blocks. Rebeckah wants to arrange them to suit herself, and has asked for the four six inch squares to be sent. 

 These are simpler to put together than I had first thought, and I really enjoyed them!

That is not to say that it was all straight forward, I did have to get the stitch ripper out the once!  Spot that little error of judgement....

But quickly amended, and then plain sailing.

They went together really quickly and will look great when the whole thing gets assembled, with everyone else's blocks. 

the four mini blocks

with a bit of luck these will go in the post soon.

And tonight, DD1 is making another skirt. I am allowed to help, a little bit. I think it will be a good one. Want to see the one she made a week or so ago?

The new one will be the same pattern, but a different colour.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Space and marmalade

 Leila has asked what our sewing spaces are. Mine is the dining room- and we eat in the kitchen. Except on special occasions, when I clear away!

The big table, at which my husband ate as a child, with the rest of the tribe, has an oilcloth on top, and then the cutting board. Unfortunately the table got very wet at some stage, and is less than flat, which can lead to some odd cuts, as the blade of the rotary cutter fails to cut cleanly through, but I have got used to that little foible. The sewing machine at one end, the sewing basket given to me aged about 5, and a shoe box of scraps, too big to throw away, and too small to do anything major with, at the back.

A project of DD1's is draped over the back of a chair, We have been starching, pressing and trimming neatly to size, ready to finish sewing blocks together, an ongoing project which has been running for about two years.

 The iron, and spray starch lurk in front of a bookcase, mainly occupied by sewing books, magazines and pattern folders. I have developed a lot of costume patterns over the years, and this is where they live. Except the ones lent out, never to reappear. No, I never give a pattern away, as such, but they do get lent.

The chest of drawers is full of notions, all bar the bottom drawer( wrapping paper). I have ribbon and elastic, buttons and press studs, and all sorts.

 These are mainly tidied into a selection of shoe boxes, until something is required, then chaos ensues until one of us has a pink fit and tidies it all up again,
 and various precious pouches also form part of my organised chaos.

And then I have some big plastic tubs with fabric loosely organised into appropriate sections.

Other fabric lurks in a larger chest of drawers upstairs, being dress making and costume making pieces. Sure as you throw something away, you will need it next week!

So, that is my sewing space!

It is the time of year for Seville oranges. My lovely parents bought these for me, while they were out, and I had a lovely couple of days getting marmalade made. It is delightfully bitter, and only fairly lightly set, as I had overfilled the pan, so couldn't really go in for a rolling boil. Ten pots resulted, most of which we will happily munch through for the next year. Yum!

DD1 and I hopped across Manchester yesterday, to visit Lucy. I had gone on and on to my daughters, how lovely she is, having met IRL (twice! ) and so I was delighted to get an opportunity to dive across, and let DD meet her too. As we drove away, DD1 whispered to me, 'isn't she lovely?'

Oh yes, she is!
And soon we will hope to meet another little member of that family!

Come on Lucy, time to go pop!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

January hipbee

Collette from our Hipbee asked for a lovely simple disappearing 9 patch for her block. This could not have been made more simple. She had cut the squares already, and all that was left was to arrange, sew, and split and sew. It was all over really quickly.
I must confess, I actually did get this one done before Christmas, but with everything else, it has had to wait for its airing.

So, now it needs to be packed up, and posted.
On its way shortly, Collette. 

 A whole year ago, my son requested a book bag for the tube. The book he chose to have it designed around was specific, a chunky paperback, and he went with me and chose this green denim. After that it was left to me. No pockets were wanted, and no extra fancy doodads. Just a bag, to go on shoulder. So, that is what he has got- as a Christmas present a year later! Oh, how my children suffer!

Next question- will it be used?

There has been some fancy cooking happening at my house over the break, Chocolate truffles, and a gingerbread house. Not my baking, but a DD2 production.  She has even provided a cat flap for a gingerbread cat to use!
And, yes, 'mad as a hatter' describes her for this sort of thing!
 She's a clever lass.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Rounding up

A selection of blocks made for bees!
 It has been a more productive year than I had thought. All the time, I feel I am not getting as much done as I would like, and I see so many blogs where folk are doing sooo much, and I am full of excuses. I am too tired, I am too busy, I ran out of imagination. And that which I do produce is not as good as someone else's, it falls short and is left wanting, and the dissatisfaction fairy has come to stay. And then, following what others are doing, and having a look at a round up of the year, actually, yes, I have done a fair amount. and I have had a lot of fun doing it. I have learnt some new techniques, and tried very hard to do good work for the other folk in various bees.
This past year, I have joined swaps for the first time, and joined bees for the first time. I have made some lovely bloggy/online friends, and met up IRL with the lovely Lucy. She is so ready to pop, I do not know how she is still standing!

The number of bags made this year is astonishing!
I have been introduced to frame purse making, and still have a frame lurking, awaiting the perfect project . I have tried free embroidery on soluble film, and made brooches with the technique. I have made key fobs with 'key fob furniture'
I have been introduced to box bottoms, and varieties of zippy finishes.
My pocket making skills have also been honed. And my under pressure sewing ordeals have been tried and tested!

So what is new?

I have been ultra extravagant, and bought a ticket to the FQ retreat next summer!

I am not usually good at gatherings, and I am very nervous about it- But May will be there, and Hadley- my most recent swap mama,- and Jan and Nicky and all sorts of other folks I would love to meet- I am sure I will love them all- but will a weekend be long enough to get to know them? All of them! I cannot list them all- too many!

But I will be brave, and go and I trust all will be well.

So here is looking forward to a new year, and lots more fun sewing!

May your new year be fun, and filled with love and laughter- may you be well and be happy.

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