Sunday 30 October 2011

still no sewing...

I hope I'm not becoming a bit of a bore... I did say at the beginning of Blogtoberfest that there was every likelihood of this happening!  I've done a little pottering, but nothing even remotely photy worthy.  So, Dianne Quiltova suggested I do what she did and answer a few questions in a post instead.  I had actually asked if any of you had anything to ask me when Blogtoberfest started....  Nicky asked for a few pics of Shetland, so I'll try and combine the two!

First of all, for Nicky and anyone else that's interested I've put some of my photos of Shetland on flickr, click here to see them.  Please remember to take the following things into account - these were taken over a nine year period, I don't generally take my camera out if its dark, dank, windy and rainy, so obviously it looks lovely.  To be honest non of this is what I see on a daily basis, sun or no sun, as I live in town and cant drive!

Now for my answers to the questions Di recommended

From my window I really don't have all that interesting a view, despite living in a particularly scenic part of the world.  I'm in town, so my view is mostly other houses and roofs!  I have a window bird feeder which is kinda cool and keeps Ells amused too.

non rare bird that's actually rare for Shetlands, and no, that's not a tree you see, the window is at ground height out there, that's a shrub gone wild...

There is a window in the kitchen which is unit height on the inside and ground level outside.  I got totally confused one morning when I wandered into the kitchen to see what looked like my dead childhood cat on the worktop...  Okay so it was just a coincidence that this moggy was a dead ringer for an old one of mine, but the clever / greedy bugger had impressively recognised one of the many varieties of cat food sitting on the worktop and he was pawing at the glass desperately!

I am thinking bleh.  I find it best not to dwell on most of the crap that comes into my head to be honest.

Homer and the angel / devil on shoulder

The wee red one is usually far too noisy...

From my kitchen the ingredients for some cupcakes are singing to me Mermaid style...  Must not listen...

I am wearing...  oh dear lord I don't want to answer that.  Cant we pretend I'm wearing something like this?  

Doris Day in Capri pants and sweater

Pretty please?

I am creating mess...  I have so many things on the go that are no where near done!  So, if you ask my man, I'm pretty sure he'd say the only thing I'm making at the moment is MESS... everywhere... especially right now as I've been unpicking my Star Sign block from last post.

I am going to make a cup of hot chocolate cos this blogging is thirsty work and its too late for tea or coffee!

I am reading mostly blogs at the moment.  Reading fiction just makes me sleepy these days.  I do love to have an audio book on when I'm sewing, but the selection available at the local library is a little, well, elderly shall we say!  Currently on the go is an Agatha Raisin, private detective, story.  

I am hearing Ellicat snoring beside me, and Mylo xyloto on the stereo.  Its very "coldplay" but I like coldplay so that's good as far as I'm concerned!

Around the house the clock on the mantle is ticking loudly, elliecat is snoring softly, the fire has gone out, my man is in bed asleep, and I'm more awake right now than I have been all day.  Typical!  

One of my favourite things, aside from Ells, chocolate, fabric, tea...  Well, since Di gave her en suite as one of her favourite things, I have been reminded that after boring you for weeks (5 or 6 at least) about my bathroom being redone I never said any more about it once it was finished.  So, one of my favourite things is this:

my favourite bit of new bathroom - wall tiles, tap and mirror!

Freakin awesome.  My choice of tiles - who else do you know would put a rainbow over their sink and  toilet?  - waterfall style tap (pretty cool) and my mans choice, the radio / clock mirror, which is oh so cool and now one of my favourite things.  The tiles make me smile, every time I see them.  The mirror, believe it or not, is wonderfully practical.  Going to the bathroom has always been a bit of a time vacuum for me!  I fell asleep in the bath, I fall asleep in the shower, I fall asleep on the toilet...  yeah, possibly not what I intended to share but...  the radio on the mirror really helps keep me alert.  I still fall asleep, but no where near as much as I used to.  Plus, there is a sleep setting on the mirror (how ironic) which means that I can set the radio to go off after 10 or 20 minutes, and I'm now a whole lot more aware of whether or not I went into automatic behaviour etc.  Doesn't sound like much, but its great for me that now, most of the time, I leave the bathroom knowing roughly how long I've been in there and that I've been awake!  Ach its the little things... !

A photo that brings happy memories would be this one:

the 25 Tram in Lisbon, Portugal

Jardim de Estrela.

Friday 28 October 2011

still zombified but plotting...

The one where Sarah tries more foundation paper piecing, to similar results, and goes back to the sofa to sleep again... 

So I've been trying to get Lauras bee blocks done, and after managing a couple of trees I was full of confidence - however misguided.  This is the block I designed for the first star, and I'm calling it Star Sign

Innit pretty?  Not too triangular.  This is what happened after 2 hours of sewing.

Dammit, one of the white bits isn't long enough, its missing its point!

Pants.  those two orangy strips should not be the same print...

So, facing a whole heap of unpicking I went back to the sofa to sleep more...  I did a bit of thinkin too.

This album is 20 years old.  I mean, 20 years.  When this came out I was 13...  
To be honest, although I did like it at the time (still do) I was much more excited about this one which will also be 20 in November.

Possibly one that people are less likely to be familiar with, but criminal as that is I'll let it slip.  Teenage fanclub are a Scottish band, and an awesome one.  This is an album I will never tire of.  I think I spent at least a year listening to it EVERY SINGLE DAY on loop on my walkman (walkman? whats a walkman? Its a portable personal cassette player.  Cassette? Whats a cassette?  OMG)  as I rode the bus to and from school.  

What's put me in this mood?  Apart from generally being knackered and feeling 30 years older than I actually am...?  
Well, I just got to thinking about how this wee blog is now 1 year old...

Yay!  Happy birthday to my blog, happy birthday to my blog, [insert monkey references here... ] Birthdays, and blogiversaries etc usually mean giveaways.  Putting aside the fact that I'm slightly miffed I don't get a pressie for this, I have planned a little something to say thank you to you.  Yeah, you!  (well, not all of you, as much as I'd like to).
I hereby propose the crappiest giveaway in blogland.  Oh yes.  Nobody sponsors me.  I don't really have the nerve to contact a shop and ask for free stuff or whatever you do to organise such things in a proper, professional manner....  So.  I'm not telling what the "prizes" will be.  No glossy photos of the latest drool-worthy goodies.  If you've been reading more than just this post, and especially if you've commented in the past, I'm guessing you'll trust me.  I'm hoping so!  Go on...  

If you leave a comment today, let me know if you're brave enough, if you trust me, and if you're up for a mystery parcel!  You have until Friday November 4th to enter...  One entry, no hoops to jump.  No-reply bloggers must leave an email.  If I cant contact you I pick another winner.  

Mr Random Generator (or elliecat, haven't made my mind up)  will pick 5 winners.  I will contact the winners to request an address.  They will soon after receive a wee pressie from me.  I'm not saying what you'll get, and the five wont get the same,  but I will do my best to ensure that the 5 winners will get a wee parcel in the post that I hope will really make them smile.  
Because that's what you guys do for me.  You all make me smile.  A lot.  And sometimes laugh.  And sometimes collapse in a heap...  
thanks for sticking around! xxx

Wednesday 26 October 2011

snooze and I've almost missed it

This is going to be a very poor post, I wish I could do better, but right now I cant.  A friend came to stay for the weekend; an occurance so rare that was the 3rd time it has happened since I moved here over 9 years ago...   seriously.  So, I'm hoping you'll forgive me for not having blogged cos the weekend was busy, and as always a bit of busy means that I am WIPED OUT.  Proper zombified.  Except vegetarian.  I dont like brains.. thats why I have so little...

However, two things to say.  First, look what I got!

A starter pack of Aurifil and colour card from Lynne!  Isnt she a superstar!  I've been so keen to try this stuff, and I'll admit right now that I'm not someone that's ever really considered the thread... well, so long as it didnt totally clash and show up bad...  But, I've read such an unbelievable amount of praise for this stuff I cant wait to give it a go.  People even say it makes stuff go thru your machine quicker and easier...  and you know how I feel about "easier"!  So, thank you very very much to lovely Lynne, and I'll let you all know what I think of it when I've tried it!

Secondly...  Most of you will know already from ms Flying Blind and her fantastic build up...  the time has come for the JAPANESE SCRAP CHALLENGE VOTING!

Photo of all challenge entries by Sarah, taken from Sarah @ Pings and Needles, (really hope she doesnt mind!)

Click Here if you need to refresh your memory a wee bit...  

Click Here  to go and vote!  (I dont mind that you dont vote for me, I just want you to vote!)

Thank you, and if you dont mind I'm going back to bed now...  

Sunday 23 October 2011

F****ing triangles

The one where Sarah attempts more foundation paper piecing, and finds that her brain is so averse to triangles she even struggles FLIPPING them.  Here's what happened.

See number 9?  The stage where you flip over what you've sewn and press your perfect little bit that perfectly follows the proper line and covers all of its paper pattern chunk?

Number 9 has a mosaic of its very own.

And that's not every time I screwed up, that's just the flipping mistakes I made after I broke down, cried, then decided to laugh about it...

I should point out that all of the above took place in spite of all the wonderful tutorials I read, videos I watched, and advice I was kindly given by generous bloggy friends.  There really is a triangular shaped fault in my brain.  Oooh actually, I wonder.....  I do have a neurological brain disorder, a chemical deficiency in the brain - maybe its not just in charge of all things sleep related, and some things weight related, maybe its in charge of all things triangle related too!

Guess my "Forest" might take a wee while...

Friday 21 October 2011

in case it wasnt big enough the last time

Well, if you've read my blog before you might remember the list...  It was scary.  However, I missed out on the big summer sewing list review thingy from lovely Sarah Fairy Face (for some reason I keep spelling her name wrong!  It's not like it might have been one of the first words I ever learned to spell or anything...I think its the Fairy thing, I keep wanting to call her Sairy!  sorry)  A-N-Y-W-A-Y.   You can probably guess whats coming here...

FairyFace Designs

With a little tweaking first, I'm adding my whopper to the group!  Woohoo!  Now, obviously I'm a tad concerned about failing abysmally, hence the tweaking, but after the awe inspiring summer finishes from flash and ubermom I am inspired to give it a go, and I wont be at all disappointed if I can match HALF their awesomeness...  

Little Sarah's Whopping Winter Stitching List
part one - the commitments

1.  MUST keep up to date with bee activities!  This period should involve 5 or so bee months, cos I've still got Octobers Star blocks to do...  and don't forget the Bee Blessed blocks!
1a  Do my own blocks from August, and after Christmas start putting my Bee Quilt together!

2.  Make another Reversible Bucket Bag (deadline 30th October)

The Reversable Bucket Bag by Sarah

3.  Make Table Runner OR 6 place mats (deadline 30th October)

4.  Make the 3 Mini Quilts I've been asked to.  (deadline sometime early November)

5.  Brit Quilt Swap PILLOW FIGHT!  pillow cover and wee extra  (deadline 20th November)

6.  Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap   table runner and ornaments (deadline 20th November)

7.  Christmas making!  Boxy pouches, cushion covers, needle cases, pin cushions...

8.  Make a quilt for bestie in Germany and her wee bump 

       part two - I've started so I'll finish

9.   Must do another 50 or so hexies for the Hexalong

10.  Must do a pattern for hand quilting the Not-so-hidden-stars quilt to finish it.

11.  Must decide how to go about quilting my Stained pink Quilt.

12.  Must get on with my 5" charms quilt top

         part three - where I wimp out and say that one of the following will do for me ;-)

  • Dresden needs unpicking and re sewn to fix crappy seam allowance
  • Decide on a palette for Dead Simple QAL
  • City Quilt that I started cutting a month ago, finish cutting it at the very least!
  • Complete cutting instructions for City Weekend I & II
  • Make City Weekend I  taking photos for tutorial
  • Make City Weekend II  taking photos for tutorial
  • Complete pattern and instructions for Soul Tracks Quilt, then make, photograph and do tutorial.
  • Attempt a free form "stack and slash" quilt top.

I think that's possibly enough for the next few months, wouldn't you say?  I'm a little worried about 2, 3 and 4 as its now the 21st...

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Motivation boost

I cant seem to think properly any more.  

My motivation is pants.  

I cant decide what to do for the Modern Christmas Table Runner, as I'm getting too many little sparks of ideas and none of them would seem to make a whole table runner, so I just haven't managed to finalize one.
I cant decide what to do for the Brit Quilt Swap Pillow Fight - I've got about 4 pillow designs I'm playing with, I just cant get the colours right.

I cant decide which Star to do for Brit Bee October - I've been playing around with a few designs, and I did a trial of one, but I cant make my mind up at all which one to actually commit to and cut the fabric!

I've got one quilt (the not-so-hidden-stars quilt) which still isn't finished as I cant decide how to continue with the hand quilting I was doing.

I've got one quilt awaiting basting, (the Stained Pink Quilt) but havent taken it any further as I have 3 ideas of how to quilt it and I cant seem to decide which to go with.

I've got one more block to do for my own Brit Bee Quilt - and I cant make my mind up what I want that block to be.  

Really, I only need to make a decision on ONE of the above and at least then I'll have something to get stuck into. 
But I cant decide which one to go with....

Meanwhile, look what I got in the post today!

New York Beauty mini quilt by Siobhan Toner

A pay it forward gift arrived for me :-)  Siobhan of Shevvy, quilting in London made this absolutely gorgeous mini quilt for me, and I feel terrible that I couldnt get a photo that did it enough justice as it is beautiful.

attempt at close up of the quilting!

It really is fantastic, I'm in awe.  All those pointy bits....  All those curves and circles!  And the quilting is brilliant too.  Boy oh boy I have so much still to learn!  Thank you Shev, you're a star (and a very clever quilter!!).  Thank you x

Monday 17 October 2011

no sewing but there is stuff...

I have no sewing news from the last couple of days.  My man came back from the course he was on, which meant a day cleaning and tidying the house for me first, then I've either been in the kitchen or asleep on the sofa.  Quite literally.  
I made two bricks loaves of bread...

brown bread bricks...
It tasted really nice, but jeez you needed strong jaws...  upside - no forgetting to chew properly with this stuff!
What else?  I made vegetarian sausage rolls for dinner.   Roasted Butternut Squash soup for lunch.  One of my better Banana Cakes

And saving the best for last....  introducing...  "STUFF"

"Stuff"  probably has a proper, boring name, and I'm sure someone out there will know what it is...  In my house though it has always been and will always be, quite simply, stuff.   Trust me, it is AWESOME.

To make Stuff:  (and you should, at least once - it freezes well if you think it makes too much, it is pretty sweet)

Crush 20 good digestives to a nice fine crumb.  Food processor is easiest, but you cant beat putting them in plastic bags (double bag it) and walloping the crap out of them with a rolling pin.  Set aside for later.

200-300g 70% dark chocolate, chopped finely.  (200g should do it, but if you want a thick snap of chocolate on top you might want more.)  Set this aside for later too.

Line the bottom of a baking tray with greaseproof paper.  

In a large pan (thick based if you have one) put 8oz (pretty much a whole block) of butter (margarine works too)  12 oz sugar, one can of condensed milk, and 3 table spoons of golden syrup.

Put on a medium heat and stir slowly.  First the butter will all melt away, then you're looking for all the grains of sugar to disappear.  Now you've got a thick gloop the colour of far too milky tea.  Keep stirring...  you'll start to get a few tiny flecks of a dark colour - its cooking, very important to keep stirring now.  Keep it moving (stir and make sure you're not forgetting any patch of the bottom of the pan basically) and let it get a bit darker.  I always get a bit panicked at this point cos it is so easy to burn it and if I spilled it I'd end up in casualty with 3rd degree burns....  Anyway.  You do want it a nice golden colour, and from my experience there's nothing to worry about if you get a few big flecks of dark bits...  Just not too many!  

When its a pretty colour (darker than solid honey, lighter than runny honey - does that make sense? Mum, is this right?!) Take it off the heat, and stir in the digestives, and pour it into your lined tray.  Tip the tray about a bit to help it level out.  DO NOT LICK THE SPOON!  Leave the pan and spoon alone for the moment.  Sprinkle your chopped chocolate evenly across as much of the top of your stuff as possible.  In about 5 to 10 mins or so the choccy will be melted, so you can give it a little bit of a spread around if you feel it needs it (like if you've missed a corner).  The pan and spoon will be cool enough to scrape a bit off to taste it now.  You should you know, you'll be waiting a couple of hours for the stuff to cool properly enough to cut....

And that is stuff.  It's gooooood.  It is very sweet, cut it small.  It is very addictive, if you're the only one eating it freeze half the batch for later!  

Thursday 13 October 2011

the stars of Brit Bee

This months Queen Bee is our own bee Mama, Laura of Needles Pins and Baking Tins and she's gone starry eyed...
After working through the palpitations I went thru at the thought of tackling triangles again, I started playing about with my computer quilty program to get some star block ideas.

9 different star blocks

Left to right, top - 1 I like but I haven't a clue how to do it,
                            2 not sure...
                            3 bit boring for me...
              middle  - 1 Ooh, can I do this English Paper Piecing?
                            2 Now I've done a variation of this one before with EEP so I know it works..
                            3 you've got to be joking...  lol  Sorry Laura!
              bottom - 1 meh..
                            2 ooooohhh
                            3 how the....  nope.

Well, I think the common problem (aside from the triangular aspect..) is that I don't have the foggiest idea how to do most of these.  But when has that ever really bothered me?!

We've been given some lovely Hope Valley by Denise Schmidt to play with, with a white solid.  This month however definitely requires some test blocks first!  I have to admit, its a line I never really paid much attention to before.  Now that I have some in my hands... well, lets just say its been in the virtual basket more times than I'd care to admit.  Might even make it to check out if I'm not careful!

Hope Valley by Denise Schmidt that I probably should have ironed before I photographed.. sorry mum!

Since I've yet to do my own blocks from my month as Queen Bee in August (I know, believe it or not I was so excited about getting everyone else's in the post it completely slipped my mind that I'm meant to do some too...) I thought I'd have a go at a star or two in my bee fabrics.  They might not necessarily make the cut for my quilt, but if they work... well, two birds one stone if you get my drift!

That's the progress so far.  I think its going to work.  Laura, let me know if you want one in your fabrics and I'll do it before I finish this one otherwise I might lose the will to live English Paper Piece.

Now.  If anyone knows how to make (properly that is) any of the stars in my top picture, please feel free to point me in the direction of a tutorial or two!

Tuesday 11 October 2011


Thank you so much for all the lovely comments I got on my Japanese Scrap Challenge entry, the game thingy - if anyone can give it a better name that'd be great too!  Sarah @ Pings & Needles has been feeling a bit under the weather, so the voting hasnt started yet.  Look out for that on Wednesday!

I'm in rather a good mood - I got my (late) bee blocks off to Susan, I am working on a trial run for October (more on that later), I got Japanese Scrap Challenge finished, and getting a bit of a reminder yesterday from Hadley and Susan, I got some charity blocks done last night and today.  Finally!  I kept meaning to last month but just never managed to get them done.  However, man is away on a course for a week so I am really enjoying not needing to be in the kitchen and getting a nice bit of sewing done.  Also helps that the outside temperature has really dropped and he's not here to put the fire on ;-)
So, here we have two Disappearing Nine Patch blocks for Judith who's running Bee Blessed which you can read more about here

And secondly, I did 4 wee blocks for Karen at Listen to the birds sing  for her Kind Stitches Bee.

Click on the links for both or either if you think you could make a block too!  

Now, I think I'm off to wrap up in a quilt and see if I can have some ideas - I need a Modern Christmas Table Runner, and a kick ass "pillow" (cushion to you and me) cover...  Hmm all that brainwork... must go find some chocolate.  I cant for the life of me remember how non smokers "think"...

Sunday 9 October 2011

Japanese Scrap Challenge!

So its only taken me about 5 hours to get blogger to play nice and upload far too many pictures, keep said pictures where I want them, not lose things etc etc...  Lets just say writing my first tutorial has been ...  fun ...

Way back a month or two ago lovely Sarah @ Pings and Needles had a bit of a competition...  What would you make with a bag of Japanese Scraps?  I said I'd make a game.  Rather surprisingly I got through to the second round, which involved receiving a free Japanese Scrap Pack from Eternal Maker, and being challenged to make whatever we'd claimed we'd make when we entered...

If you'd care to look up to the tabs bit, you might spot a new page...  One tutorial as requested!  Sorry if it's a bit pants, it is my first, be kind!  click here for tutorial if you've missed it in the tabs bit...

I love that you all wanted a tutorial with lots of pics, when I realise now that I never actually said what I was making!  Thank you!!

This is what I received, to which I added 1 Fat Quarter of solid, some batting, and some ribbon.

approx. 1 fat quarter in scraps

Here's the finished competition entry...  my noughts and crosses or tic tac toe game...

9.5" quilted and bound 9 square grid with 0.75" sashing between and around squares.

Ribbon attached at the back is used to thread up the player pieces

Board with Player Pieces, 5 noughts and 5 crosses, which are 2" padded squares with ribbon loops for tidying

Noughts and crosses / tic tac toe in action

The back of the player pieces are also a jigsaw!
Keep a look out for Sarah's blog post tomorrow, announcing the official start of the competition voting!  I realise that I am up against some wonderful, imaginative, desirable entries - so I'm not asking you to vote for me.  But please do look out for Sarah's post, have a look at all the wonderful entries, and vote for which ever you like!

A quick question

My last post was one I had on stand by, fortunately!  Boy I've had a few sleepy days all right.  I hardly think I was awake much at all on Thursday and Friday, except to keep my man and my cat fed that is.  I kept waking up with a half started email to someone in front of me... I was going to say "if anyone got any nonsense from me.. I apologise" but I'm wondering now if anyone would have noticed a difference?!
However, before the crappy crash of the last few days, I was working on my Japanese Scrap Challenge, and I've managed to finish it thanks to a Walton's marathon on telly, the televisual equivalent of a coma...

Its way too dark and the camera batteries have died.  I will post some (hopefully) decent pics either tonight or tomorrow morning.  Quick question - would you like a simple before and after, or would you like a tutorial  photos of what I did, with instructions on what you should do instead?  ;-)  I took lots of photos just in case...

Now that I'm feeling suitably tranquil(ized) and wholesome, I'm going to have a nap now, on purpose for a change!  G'night John Boy!

Friday 7 October 2011

One swap closes and another one opens...

Yesterday lovely Susan, swap mama of the Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap assigned to us our secret partners.  I know I've got lots to do, you've all seen the horrors of my list, but having received my partner I know this swap is going to be such fun!   I'm going to leave myself a week or so to get my plans in order - this is going to have to be good ;-)

Meanwhile, Cindy's Mug rug and Goodies Swap has come to a close, for me at least, as my parcels have arrived at their destinations, and I have received my second parcel!

Mug rug, zipper pouch and fabric lovelies!

Ah I'm so bad at doing the artful appreciative "isn't it a gorgeous package" photos - I tear them open the second they're in my hands...  Trust me, it was lovely, but the contents are even lovelier.   This bunch of goodies was made especially for me by the absolutely awesome Toni.   And wow, didn't she get it right?!  

Gorgeous mug rug in vibrant solids
Toni has seen how hooked I've become on solids since taking part in the For the love of solids swap!  One thing I admired most about peoples contributions in the FTLOS group was how confident they were with choosing colours to go together, and Toni has done a brilliant job with this one too.  Someone else I could learn a lot from!

close up of fussy cut fabric in the zipper pouch, Michael Millers 1950's Kitchen
And check this out in all its retro yumminess...  four things I love  -  Kitsch, 50's, Tea, and Michael Miller!  Thank you Toni!  I love it all :-)

Wednesday 5 October 2011


I know I go on from time to time about being "a bit swamped" with things I plan, and things I start, and things I swear I haven't given up on, and things I need to do.  It is entirely 100% my own doing, I'm not looking for sympathy!  Its just that I have the attention span of a gnat.  And I have as many ideas as a normal person (wot has ideas) but don't have a fraction of the energy to get ideas done.

Anyway.  I figured it was about time I actually shared with you some of the "never ending list", rather than just referring to it and whimpering in a corner.

Lets start with Bee related stuff.

  • mail Susan's September Bee Blocks (make signature block first) - I am now last and soooo gutted.
  • choose some star block ideas for October Bee
  • do trial run of star blocks for October Bee
  • pick what worked best and actually do Octobers Bee Blocks
  • do my own 2 August Bee Blocks!
  • sash all received August bee blocks in order to piece my bee quilt top and back

Next, the things I've signed up to.

  • Japanese Scrap Pack Challenge  -  I have 5 days left to complete my entry, get good photys of it, and blog it.
  • Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap - Partners will be assigned any day now..  I will have a Modern, Christmas Table Runner to make, along with a Christmas tree ornament and a wee extra.  
  • Brit Quilt Swap PILLOW FIGHT! - Partners will be assigned next week I think.  More stalking, then a pillow cover and wee extra to make.

Then we've got the things that are essentially for Christmas, but all Christmas thoughts need to be planned NOW and the Christmas Pressie Factory opened this month...

  • decide on quilting plan for Stained Pink Quilt
  • cut a template for hand stitching guide for Not-so-hidden-stars Quilt
  • do 3 mini quilts as requested for friends
  • design quilt pattern to use Cape Ann Layer Cake
  • start piecing my 5" solids charms quilt top
  • make commissioned bucket bag
  • make 241 tote
  • make two table runner and place mats set
  • make two large applique & machine embroidered cushion covers
  • make some pin cushions and needle cases
  • make some boxy pouches

Then we have a few things I started that need a whole lot more done to them...

  • Hex along needs dozens more pieced hexies
  • Dresden needs unpicking and re sewn to fix crappy seam allowance
  • decide on a palette for Dead Simple QAL
  • City Quilt that I started cutting a month ago

And this is just some of the list.  Seriously!  Its always a work in progress ;-)

And just cos I dont want this to be a post without a pic, here's a sneaky peak at todays sewing...  more on that in a few days!

Oh, and cos I should have in previous post and forgot - check out Blogtoberfest Who's Playing? List and why not visit a site you've not seen before and say hello?   Like Nicke who admittedly isnt an unknown blog to me, but she's jut made the awesome-est kick ass miniquilt that I really really want....  WARNING - Not safe for work or kids!

Monday 3 October 2011

Bossiness? Moi?

Apparently Men Quilt Too!

My bloggy friend Giles is a bloke, and he is a quilter.  Giles blogs at Touch and Sew, so titled because Giles is legally blind.

He's not just an inspiring guy - he's also a down to earth, bargain hunting, cat loving, joke cracking good blogger and really nice guy.  He's just joined a massive quilty group with 150 odd old ladies!  He's soon to be interviewed by our lovely bloggy friend Rhonda for her Quilter in the Gap Podcast!  He's also taking part in  Pigtales and Quilts "Men Quilt Too" Quilt Show.  You can find out more about Giles here.

Now, I'm not telling you that you HAVE to go and vote for him.... but...  pop on over, have a nosey, and Vote Giles!  Its his first ever quilt, which he pieced by hand.  It's number 14, entitled Owls all Around.  You can read about every step from start to finish on his blog.  And I think its a worthy winner!

Owls all around by Giles @ touch and sew

I had a very sleepy day on Sunday, but I managed to stay awake to watch Downton Abbey, and make cookies in the ad breaks!  No' bad eh?  Today, if I'm getting sewing time, I have plans...  

I shall be scheming and plotting with this.

Japanese Fabic Sraps from Eternal Maker.

And hopefully a wee bit of playing with this!

5 " Squares from every last scrap of solid I could find!

Saturday 1 October 2011

Blogtoberfest 1 and the end of September!

*** edited!
Typical, I completely forgot that I had a September Mosaic to add to Lynnes Fresh Sewing Day!

Not the most interesting of Mosaics I'm afrad, but this small amout of makes is all I came up with for September!  Rotten Mug Rug (third down middle) was by far the best thing I've made.  I really love it, and I wish I still had it! 

As a participant in Tinniegirl's Blogtoberfest my aims for this month are as follows -

  • I'd like to prove to myself that I can post a bit more regularly!
  • I'd like to use the need to post as encouragement to take more photos of whatever I get done each day, NO MATTER HOW LITTLE. 
  • I'd like to occasionally do posts that arent just sleep and sewing.
  • I'd like to finish my first year of blogging in a new and different way to the year of lengthy once a week / 10 days or so posts.
  • I'd like to celebrate the fact that I've gone from thinking that no one could possibly want to read my rambling nonsense, to thinking that I now have 100 people signed up to read what I write - how abso-blooomin-lutely incredible is that?!  

I'd like to start as I mean to go on.  But I've f***ed that up already and its only day one!  Oh well...  I did some sewing today and I have no photos.    So here's what we were up to this evening.  Tell me, have you ever seen such lazy-assed attempts at playing?!

Button down the hatches and start sewing...

It could be the nicotine withdrawal craziness.  Or the "I haven't had a nights sleep where I actually slept more than 20% of the night for over a week now" craziness.  But then I'm quite sure there's many who'd question my sanity without either of the above so I'll get to the point.

I'm challenging myself with a few things.  Possibly a few too many things!  However, I've thought this through, and I have a cunning plan...

 Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap 2011

First off, I've signed up to take part in my lovely bee friend Susan's swap, the Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap.  I haven't done a table runner before, I LOVE the Modern take on Christmas idea, the group is already full of a very interesting bunch and should be a laugh, and finally, well, its Susan - and she's bound to pair me up with someone (almost) as nuts as me....

Brit Quilt Swap

Its back!  Brit Quilt Swap is back for round two, and this time its a fight... a pillow fight!  We're going to be swapping pillow (that's cushion for the British...) covers.  Well, I managed to make one for the last swap I was in so I'm not too scared ;-)  And again, its a great group of folk.  

Add to that the fact that I now have 9 days to get my Japanese Scrap Challenge completed...  And I have 3 mini quilts to do for a friend.  And a whole load of other things still waiting...  

So in an effort to push myself, and (I hope) give me an extra bit of a nudge this month, I'm also signing up for Blogtoberfest...

Tinniegirl Blogtoberfest 2011

I can tell you right now, with my condition a post every single day is so unlikely its laughable, but, I hereby promise to make every effort to do a post every other day.  I hope fellow Bloggers taking part don't mind my apparent half assed attempt!  I'm afraid "every other day" is more than enough of a challenge for me!

The end of October will be my one year blogging anniversary, so I'm hoping this will make my 12th month a little different.  I will no doubt have days where I struggle, I know that before I start!  With that said, I put it to you, dear readers, to feel free to leave a comment with a question or post subject for me to blether about if and whenever you think of something.  It can be absolutely anything.  Whether or not I take your challenge is however up to me :-P  

So.  If this is a disaster I apologise.  If you get some utter nonsense posts, I apologise.  If you get some substandard boring "this is how bad my narcolepsy has been today" posts, I apologise.  If we get half way through October and my blog has become the most mind numbingly awful drivel in Quiltyblogland I shall bow out.  Just please don't desert me!  It'll all be back to normal soon enough ;-)

Secondly, if you find this month that I'm not commenting on YOUR blog quite as much as normal, please please take no offence.  Rest assured I'll be reading!