Wednesday 30 April 2014


All the fabric is sorted - except for those bits I keep stumbling upon in other places. But we won't talk about those bits. I dragged the stepped unit out the hallway from under the staircase and stacked it on top of the unit I 'acquired' from Emily's room.

Let me break it down for you.

On the left, from top to bottom, is my rainbow - purples, blues, aquas, greens, yellows, oranges, reds, pinks and greys/browns/fuglies.

In the middle and on the right at the bottom are two larger tubs with a smaller one above each. I have larger cuts and misc pieces of fabric, solids, offcuts of wadding (I am sure this drawer will be re-purposed for fabric very soon) and my fussy cut drawer, which includes bits of text fabric and precious things like my Farmdale.

Finally, I have a low volume drawer, one dedicated to Heather Ross, a deep bin of 'I have plans for these particular fabrics/must keep these together stuff, and then a Denyse Schmidt bin with linens and the like at the back.

I'm still rearranging the rest of the sewing space as I was out the house for the majority of the day but I sure can tell the difference already. Now, if there was only somewhere else to put the dining room table!


Tuesday 29 April 2014

Work In Progress

Fabric work of  a different nature is taking place in this house. I finally had to own up (to myself) that I didn't have a freaking clue what farbics I had half the time, and when I was looking for something in particular often couldn't find it. Then throw in four months of deadlines and frantic sewing and life had been reduced to this...

As much as I would like to claim that the tidying had begun in these photos so stuff was pulled out I must hang my head and admit that it didn't look much different beforehand.

So there has been a lot of this going on...

I have discovered I have a lot of fabric. Who knew?! And that I need more navy. I thought I needed more purple, orange and yellow too but my friends on IG claim I do not. Really?!

All the colours are done now. And the low volume. Working on the solids, fuglies, fussy cuts, and miscellaneous other fabrics.

I hope to be able to how you a sewing space that is navigable tomorrow. An evening of sorting and folding awaits.


Monday 28 April 2014

The Quilt & Stitch Village

*warning - photo heavy post.

So yesterday I met up with some of my friends to go to the Quilt & Stitch Village and see our quilts hung amongst many others. That's the reason we said we were going, but really it was one big excuse to hang out and talk each other's ears off. Always good to hang out with my quilting pals.

That would be Reene with her brilliant improv, and Kerry with her glorious (Canadian?) moose.

Then there was my hexies which those clever quilt organisers hung right next to Reene's second quilt. And Tracey's fabulous arrows.

I didn't really take photos of the other quilts much. Whilst it is very much a traditional quilters show that does not negate the incredible talent it takes to make some of the quilts that were on show. Some of these ladies have skills I can only dream about.

Needless to say there might have been a little bit of fabric purchasing while we were there too.

Let me break it down for you.

From Natalie and Tracey at Pin It and Stitch I topped up on my Wee Wander collection (including the very last bit of panel they had) and a small selection of FQs that just jumped out the display into my willing hand. If you are going to the Malvern Quilt Show then these two lovely ladies will be there and you really should stop by and say hello as they are great to chat with.

From the irrepressible Justine at Simply Solids some brights, plus one little sale LV that needed a home. Don't you just love Justine's 'just pay the freaking bill' face?!

I topped off my perle collection at another stall, and then there were the bargains of the show with Out to Sea purchases. £4 a metre! There was only one smaller piece of the blue ships left so needless to say I snaffled that before anyone else could. I am so happy to be able to hide these away in my stash waiting for just the right project.

There was also a special wee present from Yvonne, Reene's mum, who also can be found here. She shared some very precious fabric with me and I thank her very much indeed.

If that wasn't enough, the postman rang my doorbell this morning (numerous times of course), and my zip collection grew - a lot.

I've now got 25 22" zips for the cushions I make. I need a break from envelope enclosures. Since I was getting some sent over anyway I added in lots of rainbow 12" zips, including some with metal teeth instead of plastic, because I don't break enough sewing machine needles as it is. What was I thinking?!

I will leave you with the best photo of the day.

The beautifully well behaved (she slept almost the whole time) Alex, Ange's six week old daughter. She was happy as anything scrunched up in her sling, slowly absorbing quilting knowledge by osmosis though she doesn't know it yet. Ha!


Sunday 27 April 2014

Another Reveal

As the latest issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting is out I can reveal what I was doing with the beautiful Oakshott Colourshotts and the lovely array of Aurifil I was using not so long ago.

I made some cushions for the magazine that highlighted how different quilting options could change how a project looked. This issue looks at straight line quilting (on a curve) and matchstick quilting.

I really enjoyed this project. The Colourshotts were a pleasure to work with and the depth of their colours fabulous. And I had such an array of Aurifil to go with them. Really it was playtime dressed up as work. I especially loved doing the matchstick quilting with the 40w variegated thread. I loved how it totally changed how the simple plus design looked and I really, really want to try this quilting out on other projects. Yes, it takes a while but it is totally worth it. And it gives a really cool texture to the project!

I have another Colourshotts project niggling away in my mind wanting to be transferred to reality, but I am trying to stick to all the WIPs for the moment. But soon, very soon, I feel the need to cut into more of these.


Saturday 26 April 2014

Star Light, Star Bright...

... First star I see tonight.

I've finished quilting my FQ Retreat epp, started with the fabulous Katy Jones to ribald talk and laughter. It was a great afternoon!

I love how fabric choices with this block make it so unique to each individual who makes it.

Mine sort of reminds me of the first star you see in the evening sky. I think I was talking rubbish too much at the Retreat to really pay attention to my fabric choices. I doubted them the whole time I was piecing until it was done and I could stand back and look at it as a whole; then it worked for me.

I considered making this a cushion but decided that it worked as a mini for me. I want to get one of those wires that I can peg things to on the wall above my sewing machine. Then I could put up minis and WIP blocks as I saw fit, changing them around according to mood. I'll put that on the list of things to buy.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy your weekend.


Thursday 24 April 2014

Add A Little Perle

Just me doing what I do with perle, because perle makes me smile.


Tuesday 22 April 2014

Getting On With It

So many of you lovely friends felt more than happy to take me up on my offer to shout at me if I didn't get my bee quilt done I thought I had best just get on with it.

The top is pieced. Unfortunately the rainy day wasn't great for photos but you get the idea.

Bee blocks are interesting things. Not always the size requested, and occasionally Snow gets used instead of White (second from bottom row - Snow looks like white until it is up against a true white). But you always get a great mix of fabrics, most of which you don't have in your own stash, and you do make the best of friends by being in a bee. That far outweighs any negative. A huge thank you to all my Modern Stitching bee pals who provided the blocks for this quilt in the making.


Monday 21 April 2014

About Time

Last year I was a member of The Modern Stitching Bee, which was a terrific group and the only reason I stepped out as a member was that I found three bees was too much for me. Certainly the group of ladies involved was brilliant. So I have no excuse for sitting and doing nothing with the blocks they made for me when my month occurred.

I asked for churn dash blocks in blues and purples. Today I made some more so that I now have 24 blocks and can piece the quilt top. I fully intend for this to be my quilt for Siblings Together this year. I have made one each year (and Helen made one last year too) so I would like the tradition of making for this charity to continue. If you want to learn more then go over and read all about it with Lynne; she says it so much better.

I am one step closer to making this quilt. I've even got wadding and backing in place already so I don't have to take one huge long pause again to actually get it done.

Quilts for Siblings Together

If this quilt disappears from my radar again could someone please shout at me and tell me to just get on with it, thanks.


Sunday 20 April 2014


In my continuing - but very rare - burst of getting things done, today I tackled the freezer paper piecing project. Sunrise/Sunset.

My sewing day started with the cutting up of the rest of the pattern and some serious fabric trawling.

Then I sewed, and sewed some more. The decision to not do a traditional full roast lamb dinner for Easter provided me with umpteen more hours than I would have had. Woohoo!

Before the alternative dinner of Chinese crispy duck, pickled cucumber salad and assorted bits and pieces needed to be prepared I had the mini top done.

And I am freaking happy with it. There are things I would change if I did it again, but overall, for an impromptu experiment I think it worked well and it was fun to make. Despite the look of it, there are only two 'Y' seams in its entirety too. Bonus! I am now contemplating how to quilt it.

In other news today, the Easter bunny did stop by our house though I have yet to convince it that mums should receive chocolate too. I am going to do some serious damage in Tesco during the week if they have a sale on Lindt Easter chocolate. Just saying.

I also finally broke into my Aurifil cone that I ordered from Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. I feel all grown up now, but the question of how actually to use it on my machine kept me thinking for a few moments until I decided to pop one of my regular Aurifil spools up the cones bum bottom and put it on the thread holder for the bobbin winder. Worked a treat. Thank goodness.

I hope everyone has been having a very happy Easter and that the torrential rain passed them by unless, like me, you wanted a good reason to stay in and sew.


Saturday 19 April 2014

Gilding the Lily?

I woke up in a hand stitching sort of mood. The hand stitching I had in mind involved yesterday's project.

It was a fairly simple idea but no one was here to push my stop button, so I just kept on stitching, and stitching.

But even I knew to stop at this point. I am sure this will not appeal to many. It's a bit of gilding the lily, I suppose. On the other hand, it makes it more whimsical (in my  mind) and turns the teardrop into a balloon of sorts. Surely that's more cheerful?!

Either way, it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.


Thursday 17 April 2014

Back To My Machine

I returned to the sewing machine today after my brief sabbatical. It was nice to have a break, and now good to be back. This is the first time in four months that I have no secret sewing, no deadlines, and I can just do what I want.

Today I decided to do more on my latest quilt-as-you-go cushion top. I finished the piecing, only covering part of the cushion as I had the intention of covering the other part of the cushion with linen. Needless to say I had to complicate things.

I must remember if I ever do this again to not do the porthole part of the qayg until I have attached the curve bit. Needless to say that needed some 'adjusting' as my tear drop porthole did not end up right where I wanted it to be. And the linen is more than a bit wonky.

On the other hand it is a fairly smooth curve and that makes me smile. There was a great deal of pinning involved, maybe some colourful language as well.

Now I am pushing my luck by doing matchstick(ish) quilting and working my way out around the tear drop. Tears are sure to fall if it all goes wrong as it approaches the middle of the cushion where the linen joins the qayg.

And I leave you with this photo I had on Instagram. I thought this fussy cut was so funny. Couldn't figure out what it meant for the love of me.

@craftycalm got Google to translate it for me though. She said it means 'hang up straight out of the washer to dry nicely, if still creased wear a cardi'. Now that I understand perfectly!


Wednesday 16 April 2014

One of Those Days

It was one of those days.

One of those days where you just had to be happy. The sun shone down. The birds were singing happily, but didn't wake me up at some stupid hour.

One of those days where I almost didn't mind cutting the grass and pruning the hedges because it was so beautiful out.

One of those days where the trees have all turned magically green as the new leaves spring forth. And I noticed that I have flowers in the front flower bed. And my stargazer lilies are pushing up through the fresh layer of soil I gave them a couple of weeks ago.

One of those days where I did tonnes of laundry and it all dried outside. And cleaned the loos without losing the will to live.

One of those days that I went grocery shopping and paid someone else to clean my car while I was in there. (Because it was filthy and I really didn't want to do it no matter how nice it was out.)

One of those days that it is so nice out that I came out from grocery shopping laden down with fruit and stuff for salads.

One of those days where I didn't need socks, for the first time this year. (Reminder to self - must paint toe nails.)

One of those days my eldest makes cupcakes. And I stopped for the kids at the end of the lane to the farm where they were holding up a hand painted sign saying they were selling eggs. So I bought some and they give me some daffodils because they were so happy I stopped. Then I got home and saw they had marked on each egg by hand the date each one was laid. (I love that!)

One of those days where I got loads done, felt good for it and still had time to go sit in the sun at the end of the day to do a little hand stitching while dinner cooked.

It was one of those days where you just had to be happy.


Tuesday 15 April 2014

Home Again, Home Again Jiggiity Jig

Our extended weekend away has come to an end, but what a good time. The sun shone (a lot), there was plenty of laughter, lots of good food, some wine and a huge amount of relaxing. Perfect.

There is a real joy to being on a ferry,
that makes a not so long journey seem that much more exciting
and the destination more of an escape.
The days were about being outside,
on the beach much of the time,
with friends.
And playing with the various animals,
the rabbit, Basil the dog and the degu.
There was a guinea pig too but I somehow failed to get a photo.
But really it was about the friends...
... and one extremely bouncy dog.

Thursday 10 April 2014

In For A Penny; In For A Pound?

Last quarter in the Finish-a-Along I played it safe. I know that, and it worked for me giving me an 80% success rate which is unheard of up to now. This quarter I decided to make a total fool of myself. Here goes.

1. Hexie quilt (my one sure fire finish so that I don't succumb to total humiliation). One hanging sleeve to attach and that silly paper label that the quilt shows want you to sew on the back.

2. DS epp. Been around for just about forever. Failed to make anything with these every time I put them on a FAL list.

3. More epp, started at the Retreat last summer. I just needs making into a cushion or something. Not exactly a big job, but one I keep putting off.

4. Finish hand quilting my Walk In The Woods baby quilt.

5. Turn these beautiful churn dash blocks my bee mates made for me into a quilt.

6. Turn these amazing star blocks my bee buddies made for me into a quilt.

7. Finish hand quilting this quilt, also from my wonderful world of bee friends.

8. Turn something I have never blogged about before into a beautiful quilt. More on this soon, but it involves my last birthday, my amazing eldest daughter and her conniving with my Brit bee pals. It was a total surprise so Helen is going to finish this block she started all on her own and I am going to contribute to the quilt and we will combine that with the blocks she collected and have a memory to share forever.

9. Let's not forget the Christmas quilt.

10. Then there is the newest bee quilt.

11. There is a little project I started using my DS fabrics. Only just started but a start is a start.

12. And I have also been playing with some flying geese.

13. Then there is Sunrise Sunset.

14. And the latest QAYG.

15. Almost forgot this.

I am sure I could find more, but I'm not going to try. Instead I am going to be the one in the corner rocking too and fro and whimpering. I shall link this up with Katy at the FAL Q2 linky party. It would make this whole process rather redundant otherwise.

Finish Along 2014

I'll be away for five days now. Larking about with the girls and friends on the Isle of Wight. Leaving poor himself to fend for himself. The food is all packed, as is the wine, and some clean socks and undies too of course! Hope everyone else who is indulging in school holidays is having a good time too. I shall be on IG if you are looking for me - @canadianabroad