Monday 26 January 2015

Another Friend. Another Birthday. Another Pouch.

The orders keep coming in for pouches in this household. This time it was Helen for one of her friends. The colours requested were pink and grey. Not a light grey, mind you. Nor a dark grey. A medium grey, please and thank you. 

Of course I had to add a little extra, with some perle cotton. 

The green thread in the photo is an optional extra. There are always thread ends willing to join any available project around here. 

The pouch has received full fledged approval from the eldest child. Job well done then, thank goodness. 


Sunday 25 January 2015

It Took Me A Ridiculously Long Time...

... To cut out these Heather Ross, and linen fussy cuts.

And that's all I have to show for the weekend. Or that all I'm allowed to show I should say. 

Today was a sad day as we went to say good bye to my step(ish)sister and her family as they head off to a life in Washington DC in a few days time. I hate saying good bye to people. Especially people who are as sarcastic, irreverent and fun to be with as my step(ish)sister. I'm going to bury my head in a vat of Lindt chocolates now. The only solution when I feel like this. 


Thursday 22 January 2015

And the iPad Blogging Posts Continue

I'm trying not to let this computer free state get me down. Helen is getting a new computer for her birthday. Seeing as how I've put up with my computer being borrowed for just about forever, maybe it's time the tables were turned. Now there's a thought. 

Meanwhile, I sit and I sew. Obviously not all the time, as I also make pie, and eat pie, and do the school run. I'm sure there's more I do but that's all that comes immediately to mind. (It's been a long day.)

Oh Lordy I do miss editing my photos! But this is better than nothing. The epp progresses. I think there is one more round to come, but I've yet to plan it. I may feel the need to go the my lqs. Because I can. Just to find the perfect purple. If it exists.


Wednesday 21 January 2015

Feeling Rebellious...

... I decided to piece all HSTs, QSTs, and the resulting block without using one pin today.

Seriously, not all the points were this good but I can honestly say that they were no worse than if I had diligently pinned. Pure luck or years of wasted time pinning? That is the question. 


Tuesday 20 January 2015

I Am So Lucky!

The mini quilt from my partner in the #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap on IG arrived today. Let's just say I'm happy; very, very happy. Look at it. Wouldn't you be thrilled? 

It is gorgeous. Beautiful made and beautifully quilted. And the really lovely thing about this feathered star is that I would most likely never make one myself. But I really like having one just for me. All the joy. None of the effort. 

My secret partner is called Susan - obviously the name alone means she has to be lovely. She is on IG as @mothabearpaw but I don't see a link to a blog in her profile. It was her very first swap. Impressive! So glad I was lucky enough to be her rookie swap partner. A huge thank you goes out to her, and all the mamas for organising the groups, etc. It was a fun swap to participate it and I'm glad I signed up. 


Sunday 18 January 2015

New Beginnings

I made a bargain with a friend. She found Munki Munki pyjamas on sale for $20 (yes, I know!) and bought me a pair to deconstruct for my stash. I am going to make her a mini to help cover a mirror in her sewing room that she wishes wasn't there. Only the previous house owner saw fit to very effectively glue said mirror to the wall. How come it's only ever stuff you don't like that is so permanently hung?

Operation 'mirror cover-up' has begun. 

There is not a plan (as per usual) but I'm liking the start.


Saturday 17 January 2015


... Either you've never heard of it or you have a Mincraft obsessed child in your house. In the case of this house it is Emily. And she has some Minecraft obsessed friends, one about to have a birthday.

Emily requested a pouch for her friend. A Creeper pouch. A Creeper - if you didn't know, is a Minecraft creature. No worries, I had no idea what a Creeper was either. To give Emily her due, she not only designed the Creeper for me, she cut out all the little 1.25" squares aswell. That was the hard part done then.

I was just the assembly person. One Creeper pouch ready for giving. Emily will add some items to the pouch, do the wrapping and sending. Seems to me I got off this task pretty lightly. 


* Jenny Larking, I replied to your comment but can't tell on my iPad if you are a no-reply commenter or not. If you didn't get my reply, please email me directly - susanblogspot (at) gmail (dot) com

Friday 16 January 2015

One Wee Extra - Done

I'm feeling quite productive these days. I've a couple of things done, or started, but shall eke them out one by one on here as it looks like it will be a busy weekend so it will give me something to talk about. 

Sad but true. 

I made a little pin cushion for my swap partner as an extra. The parcel is headed for the other side of the world and I wanted to keep the weight down, so other than a little bit of chocolate, this was going to be it. So I cut into my precious Heather Ross to try and make it good. 

I made it by doing English paper piecing. I contemplated foundation paper piecing but the more I stared at it once I had drawn it out the more I didn't know where to start, and let's face it, as a epp job it was quick and easy. I backed it with linen, stuffed it with wadding scraps and wrapped it up, and tied it with string. It is officially on its way to its new owner, along with the mini. 

Time to move on to new projects. Two commissions down and two to go as well. It's been a little hive of activity here. Maybe the defunct computer is having a positive effect after all! 


Thursday 15 January 2015

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Swap

Well it looks like I will be limited to blogging on the iPad for a little while, so posts will be short and to the point. Apologies in advance. (Yes, the current state of my almost new - but past its warranty - laptop is not good.) 

I did want to show you how my swap mini looked finished though. 

I added a line of grey stem stitch all around the piecing and then framed it with charcoal binding. I didn't want to take away from the rainbow by making a colourful binding. 

I'm really happy with this finish, except for the fact that I failed to notice that I had used a piece of Snow instead of White on the red edge. I had proceeded too far to remove it when I realised. So annoyed with myself. I hope that my partner can look beyond this flaw. 


Wednesday 14 January 2015

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Bloody laptop is comatose. Waiting for the resident IT man to see if he can fix it. Thought I would see if the iPad could do a half decent post. Or a mediocre post. Any post! 


Tuesday 13 January 2015

The Deadline Is Looming...

... for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Swap. Therefore I added a bit of sashing, chose a backing fabric and got the mini basted. Then I contemplated quilting options.

And I decided to break out the perle. Yesterday, while the girls did their dance lessons, I stitched like a mad woman. I finished the swirls up last night, so do forgive the artificial lighting in the next photo.

It's not perfect and I am not sure there should be so much texture on a mini, but it is what it is. I like the centre and have neither the will nor the time to rip out the end bits and think of a new way to do them. The whole time I stitched I thought about how I would line the shattered rainbow colours up differently 'next time' so that I could do a more even spiral of quilting. who else has a backlog of ideas that they want to do again to change all the little things they think they could have done better?

Meanwhile, I received the most delightful toadstool gnome from Nicky. I have been drooling over the ones she was making before Christmas and she was so kind to gift one to me, even though I owe her some fabric and completely lost the plot about getting it and posting it. Apologies Nicky, but thank you so, so much for this. It will be treasured in its new home.

A toadstool gnome isn't just for Christmas, he's for all year round!


Saturday 10 January 2015


Helen had requested that I make a pouch for one of her friend's who was celebrating her birthday today. I dug around in the stash looking for inspiration, and I came up with the most delightful piece of hedgehog linen. Perfect.

Once I had the key fabric everything else fell into place pretty quickly. A little plain linen. A bright red zip. Some Little Apples red fabric for the interior. And some perle cotton.

It was nice to add a few details to take a simple pouch and make it individual. I made sure I had a hedgehog on the zip tab. I stitched a line of brown perle stem stitch on both sides. And then a quickly embroidered ladybug to mirror the ladybugs in the hedgehog fabric. Well, it was easier to embroider a ladybug than a hedgehog!

A dig in a different cupboard produced a Terry's Chocolate Orange to pop inside. Bob's your uncle, the job is done.


Friday 9 January 2015

Super Size Me?

I had a few titles I debated using for today's blog post. The above obviously won out - but I would like to stress that no matter how much that title can be applied to me personally (all those Christmas chocolates, damn!), I am not referring to the less than stellar reality of my post holiday body.

Long time followers of my blog may remember this quilt. It's hard to believe that it is almost two years since I finished it. Well, Jenny - the editor of Love Patchwork & Quilting - saw a photo of it and liked it, especially the 'invisible' binding. She asked if I could make one for the magazine, only bigger. So I did.

That's the original on the right, and the super sized quilt on the left. (They featured both quilts and I wrote up the pattern for both sizes.) Other than size, the main differences were the background fabric went from white to the wonderful Doe fabric I fell in love with. It works so well with this pattern, adding texture to the background and hiding seams so well.

I tried to make the larger quilt more masculine, starting my fabric pull with a purchase from Pin It & Stitch which worked so well together - though I did replace the hot pink with another fabric as I thought that might be a bit much in this version.

Seriously, does the Doe not work amazingly well as the background?!
The original quilt measured 42" x 51". The new one is 63" x 76". I used a navy blue sheet as the backing fabric. To keep it from being too boring I appliqu├ęd on a bright orange plus (beats piecing the whole back to get that bit of interest there), and quilted it using a contrasting thread.

I can't wait to have this quilt back home again. The subtle changes from the original colour scheme and the big increase in size just made me happy. Though it may be destined as a wedding gift. I have to decide if I am willing to give it up.


Wednesday 7 January 2015

On My Agenda

As routine kicks back in I have a list of things to accomplish, not least of which is four commissions for Love Patchwork & Quilting, so I apologise in advance for 'secret sewing'. Additionally, Emily has requested a Minecraft inspired pouch for a friend's birthday, and Helen has requested a pouch without any theme yet mentioned for one of her friend's birthdays.

The other item on a set deadline is my Schnitzel & Boo IG Swap mini. This is the only thing I worked on over the holidays. And I paper pieced. Yes, I know, me - paper piecing!

It's just an idea I drew out on freezer paper (because it is the biggest piece of paper I had available) on a whim one day. My partner seems to like rainbows, and geometric type mini quilts. Well, this ticks the rainbow theme, but is a bit random for geometry maybe.

I need to add a narrow white border and quilt it, but the hardest bit is done. Except ripping the paper out. I hate ripping out the paper. (*sigh*)


Tuesday 6 January 2015


... I never intended to disappear for that long! A very belated Happy New Year to you all. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday time. Here in our household it was declared 'the best Christmas ever' so I would call that a resounding success.

I was fully capable of blogging a number of days ago but my laptop had been kidnapped by a Minecraft obsessed younger child and being the good mother I was I felt that she was very quiet whilst occupied with said computer game and like a total wuss I rolled over and let her have the computer. The girls went back to school today and I skulked into her room and released my laptop from captivity.

So, Christmas - it seems so long ago. We had family over, friends around, ate too much, laughed a lot and caught up on sleep. Watch Dr Who; slept some more. It was bliss.

And I can finally let the cat out the bag about what we surprised the girls with for Christmas. They had two small boxes, one item in each box.

The little bottle of maple syrup was their clue that I am taking them to Canada during the Easter holidays (for non-Brits the Easter school holidays are two weeks long here). The mouse ears, as I am sure you can guess, represent a trip to Disney which will also take place over Easter. We will fly to Canada and stay a few days before flying down to Florida with my best friend. There will be a week of fun in the sun before we return to Canada for another five days to spend with my family there. I can not wait! The girls got the clues right away, were over the moon and are very, very excited. And it was so very, very nice to be able to plan a surprise like this for them. That is where all my commission money has gone for the past year, and all commission money for the foreseeable future too, if I think about it.

We had them open the surprise boxes very last so they wouldn't detract from their other presents. The lovely part of the day was that every one of us cried happy tears at some point whilst opening gifts due to the thought that went into them. Even himself had a leaky moment. Here's what made me cry. Not the fact that the girls (ably assisted by himself obviously) gave me an iPad Air but by the sentiment engraved on the back.

That totally got me. Sorry for the blur. Put that down to the fact that I go all mushy when I read it.

A couple of fun gifts that were received was an old fashioned stove top waffle iron for me from him, and Emily got a taiyaki pan from my brother in Scotland. They seem to be basically the same thing in most matters, except shape.

The waffle pan works a treat. The recipe I found online and use makes about fourteen waffles and I have taken to freezing the leftovers which then can be popped into the toaster as and when required. I had never expressed an interest owning a waffle iron but am loving having one. The taiyaki pan is Japanese and you use a batter similar to a pancake batter but once a little batter sets on one side you take out the excess batter and add a filling - traditionally a sweet red bean filling, but we used Nutella. You then top the filling off with more batter and proceed to cook both sides, enclosing the filling (theoretically, we didn't always get it right). I would love to experiment with non-sweet batters and savoury fillings.

Over the holidays I also received my Secret Santa gift from Brit Bee. I happen to know that Fiona was my Secret Santa as I was the one who assigned partners but everyone kept their makes secret so that we would be surprised by whatever we received. You can imagine the happy dance I did when I got this -

Fiona knows me inside and out. Absolutely perfect present. Teeny, tiny hexies. Heather Ross. Wooden spools she has filled with goodness from her own stash. Needles with my name on them! Seriously going to treasure all this stuff forever. Except the chocolates and candy canes. Obviously they were gone soon after arrival.