Friday, 30 September 2011

How not to's and Thank You's...

Sorry to anyone who was confused by the last non post...  I had been trying to write a post, and it really wasn't happening and I kept falling asleep.  Eventually I woke up and saw that I'd published something!  So, cant un-publish so I had to delete... Which was annoying cos it deleted the post but not the fact that I'd posted something, and it deleted the draft version too cos I'd published.  Pants!

I got my final part of Cindy's Mug Rug and Goodie Swap completed.  I wanted to do a needle case / sewing kit and I'd seen the perfect tutorial here.  I really should learn to actually refer to the tutorials regularly though...  I read it so many times before I start that I sometimes forget to actually look at it whilst I'm beavering away.  Naturally, that doesn't work.  My needle case was pretty much a disaster from start to finish, every single stage went wrong and needed re-done.  Then, when I finally got it finished, I spotted the fact that it closes back to front!  D'oh!  Never mind.  It looks all right in the photos and it works, its practical enough!

There you have it.  One back to front needle case.  I wish I'd done a trial run first!  But, it has the requisite needle pages, two pockets and, AND I did another zipper!  And this time the zipper was about the only part of the whole thing that I didn't f#** up....  

I've received one of my swaps back, a lovely, very thoughtful package from Catherine @ Sew wonderful Life 

Those zigzags are just the teeniest little Half Square Triangles!  And her box pouch has a perfectly fitted zipper...  A package I should learn from!  Note the inclusion of Another Zipper....  Cheeky ;-)
I also had some lovely post (non swap related).  I got my Rainbow Charm Squares from Kati @ from the blue chair who after running round one of a brilliant charm swap is now about to host another Quilt Along that I really wish I could join in on!  I'll go back to it later I'm quite sure, it looks awesome.  Also, I got the kindest parcel from Elisa @ Postpartum Quilter who sent me a 9.5" Square Ruler, along with a fab wee origami crane, some adorable wee felt buttons, and some chocolate!  Score!  Thank you Catherine, Kati and Elisa!  Ain't bloggy life grand?!

Elisa's origami crane

Els getting in on the photy action...  
Meanwhile.. I've been doing my September Bee blocks for lovely Susan (whom I instruct you to visit cos she's brilliant) Awkward madam that she is she sent us parts for Drunkards Path blocks... which for the non quilters, well, drunkards path - cant go in a straight line...  Its curves...  lots and lots of sewing curves.

Took me at least 2 goes per curve....

Did that more than once too.  Not to mention my awful not-quite-quarter-inch seam ends, which all had to be unpicked and re-done too.  However, they are done - I just cant show you yet ;-)  As much as I mess up, I have to say I LOVE that my bee ladies make me try new things!  It is really challenging, but so pleasing to actually complete something you didn't think you'd have the nerve to try yourself.  Great fun!

Where I tell you what I want what I really really want

Today marked my fifth week as a non smoker.  5 WEEKS!  Yay!
Lets just have a brief review shall we?

Day one - Am I doing this?  Oh crap I am actually doing this...
Day two -  If I leave the house I'll buy baccy.  If I'm going to do this I cant leave the house.  Ever.
Day three - I cant do this without killing someone.

Week 1 - OH MY GOD I've done a week.  I could actually do this.  I only want one after meals and every time I take a break from anything....  The nicotine pills are hurting my mouth.  The nicotine gum looks, tastes and feels like plastic.  Why is my wee shadow Els going utterly mental and shoving her face in my face all the time?  Do cats need N.R.T too?!

Week 2 - Why does everything taste so awful?  Why can I smell so much - most of it is bloody awful, you call this an advantage?!  Oh Ellicat you didn't, you had to go take a dump now?  Must go out.  How quickly can I get back in the house before I walk up to that rather attractive Fag smelly bloke over there and lick his face?

Week 3 - oh wow, I've done it!  Oooh, I've done it, does that mean I can just have one, just one, just to remind me how terrible it was?  Ohhh go on, you've proved you can do it, just one wont hurt at all.  For F-sake just one...  please.... I cant even drink a cup of tea anymore, everything tastes horrible...

Week 4 - my man returned and quit too...  A few little squabbles.... I want a fag.  Well so do I.  Yeah well its your fault I cant have one.  Well have one then.  No.  Well shut up.  You shut up. No you shut up.  Shuddup!!  etc etc.

Week 5 - My gums bleed overnight.  My mouth tastes vile.  I want chocolate.  Why am I crying?  I have absolutely no f'@*ing clue it just keeps happening!  Feed me...

Someone tell me things are only going to get better, please!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Rotten Mug Rug

Is it, well, a bit mental to laugh at your own jokes?   Cos this has been making me chuckle out loud all week now, and well, not many would argue with me when it comes to my being a bit, well, mental...

Mug Rug for Partner 1, Mug rug & goodie swap 2011
If anyone needs help getting the joke, looking here and here might maybe help.  Maybe.

So, that's one partners mug rug done.  Mug rug for partner two is done too, but I'm really not sure about it at all.

One side is my having fun with her colours, the other side is my first ever attempt at foundation piecing.  I'm not sure about either side!  Actually, thats not true.  I really like the solids side.  Its way more my thing. Not sure its my partners thing though.  And, well, when my man (yes, he's home!  yay!) saw both mug rugs, he looked at this one and said  "is this one for someone you dont like as much as the other one?"
Oh Crap.  Not the case at all!  Tell me honestly, is that what it looks like?!
I also got the "goodie" done for partner two.  Again, something that one minute I look at and think "awesome", the next minute I look at it and think "awful."  I'm a bit confused I think!

I'm fairly positive partner 2 likes that particular print.  And its a note / sketch pad carrier / roll / thingy.  I've tried really hard to think of something specific to her.  So, its either going to be a big hit or a complete dud!

Talking of big hits though...  Check out what I received in the "For the Love of Solids" swap, from Adventures in Fabric.

Isnt it fantastic?  Beautiful cushion, a lovely mug rug, and some lush fabric too!  I'm really delighted with it all, so a big thank you to Lori for being such a great swap partner.

I've still got a "goodie" to make for partner 1.  I'm getting too close to the deadline for comfort!  I'm really going to have to make an effort to restrain from joining swaps and Quilt-alongs and what not for a wee while, I've got so many sewing projects on the go at the moment I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  Not in a bad way, just in a "why cant I stay awake more?" way!  Still, now that my man is home I don't need to worry about housework for the time being - and you can imagine how happy that makes me!  I just need to convince him that the hoover jumped and wasn't pushed...

I'm linking up with Sew Modern Monday again, remember to have a wee nosey there and check out the cool stuff others are doing - there's a feature on Jill from Made on Main Street, whom you may remember was my  For the Love of Solids swap partner.  Her work is pretty amazing!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Death to housework...

Hmmm, I'm starting to think that as much as I'm thoroughly enjoying my hand sewing, a task that takes place with me sat on my arse with my feet up on a comfy sofa with a daft cat on my shins (I know, shins... its her new thing, she wont sit anywhere else) is probably not a suitable thing for me to do.  Not if I actually want to get things done to blog about and show you...  Oh its sooo nice - sew a bit, fall asleep, sew a bit, fall asleep...  no face glued to sewing machine scenarios, no waking up with a safety pin imprinted on my forehead (fell asleep basting...), no head dropping and thumping off tables...  But no nice pretty finishes to show in over a week either!  And its not that I feel under pressure to show you things, its more that I'm really missing the high of actually finishing things!

Little miss distraction...

So, with very little to show and tell, this'll just be a few brief highlights of the last 11 days...

I got some proper sewing done the first weekend.  I made some borders to add to the not-so-hidden stars quilt top from last post, to up the size a bit and make up for the blocks all being too short.  Took a little longer than it should have, I somehow managed to stretch one of the borders as I was attaching it the first time and it was twisting the top.  Still, seam ripper and I got it sorted eventually.
Basting also took 2 attempts.  I don't understand it, I basted 4 or 5 quilts on the bed, no problems at all, but the last 3 have all been disasters!  I took it over to the ironing board and did it very slowly top to bottom, I think it worked...  I also got some free motion quilting done!  I'm doing a free motion squiggle all around the outside of the stars, and I'm hand quilting inside the stars.  I must say I'm liking how its going so far.

I had my appointment at the hairdressers.  Got up early enough, and sat down with a cuppa since I had half an hour to kill.  Bad move.  Since quitting smoking my sleep attacks have been an awful lot more sudden and unexpected.  I woke up 25 minutes later, with a whole cup of tea emptied all over me and the sofa...  And I use a big mug...
I got a good haircut this time tho ;-)  I've been trying purple this year, and its not been particularly successful.  However, I know that red always works, so this time I went for purple and red!  It worked quite well :-)

I've killed the hoover.  I didn't mean to.  I know I say I hate it, well I do hate it, but not enough to wish it dead, I do need it after all.  I didn't mean to snap its head off, it was self defence I swear.  I mean, really, it was me or the hoover.  It started it...  I was just bending down hoovering the stairs when it decided to launch itself at me when I wasn't looking.  It tried to kill me!  I managed to dodge out of the way, but I needed  both hands, one to grip the walls or I'd have been down the stairs backwards, and the other to grab its chubby little butt so it didn't end up smashing into the front door.  Only having two hands,  I had to drop the extending neck bit that the heads attached to, I wasn't throwing it away for no reason...

I finally came up with an idea or two for my mug rug swaps...  One is totally cracking me up, so I'm not showing anyone until I get it finished, just in case it doesn't work as planned!  The other I can show, its a work in progress.

My For the love of Solids reached my partner in a record 6 days from Shetland to America, and phew, she likes.  You can be nosey here if you want...  when you see what she's sent out to her secret partner you'll get why I was worried mine was a bit boring!  Also, Project 51 got to its destination and has been the cause of many a teary eye. (not that its awful or anything!  Its pretty cool...)  you can see pics on these posts if you haven't already ;-) Rags to bagsFlying Blind on a Rocket Cycle, and Quilting Prolifically to name a few!

So that's me pretty much up to date...  I'd like to finish up by wishing mum a Very Happy Birthday!  As you might know by now, mum is my number one fan, and she is the very reason I am blogging and sewing and meeting all you lovely people in the first place.  Mum "lent" me her sewing machine a year ago, and she did a whole lot of work creating the sewing cupboard for me.  And she taught me to sew!  She encourages me, eggs me on, and actually listens when I ramble on for hours about new fabric lines, bee blocks, quilt designs.....  She's had a week in the sewing cupboard with me this year, and hopefully will again someday.  Meantime she is catching the quilting bug herself (one or two of you may have come across her already ;-)  So, with a whole lotta love, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!  XXX

Thursday, 1 September 2011


I'm going to try to link up to Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day, I've been trying to do that for a few months now and I always forget and miss it!  I've done my August mosaic, might be cheatin just a little putting the Innocent Quilt in, but the hand quilting was all done in August and it wasn't finished until the hand quilting was done...  so it counts for me!

You know, I'm really glad I've done this, I was so sure I'd spent most of August asleep!

I also had a whole lot of lovely post in August - my bee blocks (which I will share later on), my Japanese Scrap Bag for the Eternal Maker / Pings and Needles Competition,  and some lovely birthday treats including this selection of wonderful handmade pressies too.

L-R  Pins from mum, Pincushion, Needle case and birds from Mimi, Blue Lady pincushion from Judith, Whack of red pincushion from Susan, Hexie monkey mugrug from Judith H, card by my mate Alison (who did the blog header narcoleptic in a cupboard picture for me)
I'm so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family :-)

Also in August I completed my ridiculous self imposed challenge from this post and have concluded that in actual fact it is much cheaper for me to buy a little bit of fabric when ever I want to than it is for me to force myself not to buy at all and then "treat" myself after 5 weeks of abstinence...
I would like to say that I completed my "learn and practice sewing zippers" challenge, but I think there's a ton more practice to do on that one before I can cross it off the list...
And finally, I've embarked on another self imposed challenge, perhaps less ridiculous than my usual challenges, and certainly tougher than most.  One week ago today I became an ex smoker...  If you want me I'll be climbing the walls!