Saturday 31 December 2011

*Guest post*

Right Mr Fold up picture box thing, I've had it up to here with you stealing my spot on the warm soft lap, bugger off.  I'm warning you, the human is tiring of me on her bony shins, and when she starts shoving me off your days are numbered.
She's asleep now, I must have tired her out playing on the stairs.  It was about time though, seriously, I was starting to think her arse was glued to the sofa.  She was pretending to steal my sock so naturally I had to go after it and get it back.  Cheek.  Imagine taking my sock.

the capture of my sock on a string, please stop looking at the 70's carpet and walls, I'm much prettier.

Okay so if my walnut sized (but infinitely superior) brain understands this right, this is where I get to say stuff and humans listen, no?    Well here goes.

I've had some great fun this year, lots of cuddles, many warm spots including a new warm entire floor which I love.  Dont get me wrong, I kinda miss that extra super large waterbowl, it was so much fun to go fish in and jump in.  This new shallow large water dish is okay for a bit of a splash but I cant say I like this superfreaky "inside rain".  I've got some great toys, and occaisionally that male human turns up and he seems up for a game of chase the sock quite a lot.  I'm not quite so impressed with him stealing my half of the bed, but at least this year I've figured out that if I smell that whiffy smell on him when he comes home late at night and he's walking and talking a bit funny that means he'll sleep through anything so I get my spot back.

Female human has developed a new habit of pointing a flashing wee box at me all the time, and frankly I could do without that, but it seems to make her happy...Oh and whats the deal with all my blankies disappearing?  She keeps making me really soft cosy blankies and next thing I know they've gone.  There should be piles of them.  God knows she spends enough time on them, its like she's got cat blankies on the brain.  So why do I always have to sneak my way onto them?  They should be spread out in all my favourite places, not just that cupboard and the sofa.

What else?  Oh yeah.  Catnip.  Catnip is for life and not just for Chirstmas.  And will someone please tell my female human that kittie dental biscuits and anti hairball biscuits may taste reasonably acceptable, but  they are NOT TREATS.  And I dont know what this word "obese" means but nothing and I mean NOTHING is a good enough reason to deprive me from the super tasty jelly pouches.  And please if you expect me to eat the actual "fish" and "meat" bits you've got to be having a laugh, you know they're just eyelids, arseholes and ash, its only the jelly I want... I lick those bits dry for a reason you know.

I think she was doing something on this with lots of pretty little pictures of all my missing blankies, but I was trying to get a closer look and find out what they're doing in this stupid boxy thing, and now they've gone. Not that I care really, when she wakes up she can do something more interesting instead.  Like give me a brush.  Or feed me.  Or give me more catnip and put that heater on. 
Judging by that snorty noise I think she's coming round and she'll no doubt be wanting a cuddle.  I've got a busy life you know.     Oh and before I go, I think she wanted to say "happy new year" or something like that.  I hope she has a happier year too cos you know what us cats say - happy human easy ride....  Anyway, roll on baby bird season!  Bye for now!
Elwood (or Elliecat as my humans call me)

Thursday 29 December 2011

Post Christmas Sofa Excess...

Even Ellie Cat has had enough....

I realised yesterday when I woke from a doze that I didn't know what time it was.  As in, I really didn't know if it was afternoon or evening... And I couldn't think what day it was either...  And it was my fourth day on the sofa...  
Of course I couldn't be arsed doing anything about that yesterday!  But I did today.  Got up early, spent the morning cleaning, went out for milk and went the long way to get a walk.  Its now 2pm and I'm knackered!  I've not been sleeping well for well over a week now, so my routine was bound to disappear, I'm not going to get annoyed with myself.  I will try and keep busy this afternoon though, see if I can stay awake for the rest of the day.  It was so great to get "Stained Pink" quilt finished I'll go and see if there's anything else I could finish this year too.  

Meantime, this is one of the many, many combinations I spent the day messing about with yesterday - it was so much fun!

Fabrics are

Curio Asparagus Muslin Yardage SKU# 30271-15

What an absolutely genius idea after Christmas, to get us fabric addicts to spend hours on the Fat Quarter Shop...    If you're not familiar with Bloggers Choice, it really is as simple as it sounds - the Fat Quarter Shop picks a blogger and asks them to compile a fat quarter bundle, which will then be listed in the shop.  Now wouldn't we all like to pretend that blogger was us?  Laura, at Quokka Quilts, had the wonderful idea of making this a competition - not only do we get to sit for hours looking at fabric, it could also, for one lucky person, result in WINNING fabric!  
Now, I found this so much fun that it was hard to pick one bundle... I was going to spend a few days on it (it runs til 15th January) but having seen the wonderful bundles that have been entered so far I thought I'd better get one in fast.  So, I'm linking this to Quokka Quilts, and if you haven't had a go yet yourself, try it!  (Just maybe make sure you have nothing else needing doing for a few hours...)

One other thing...  Would anyone like to make this quilt (more or less!) as a QAL with me, in February?  I cant promise it will be 100% identical as I am shockingly bad at doing the same thing twice, but the fabrics will be different for a start so it wouldn't look exactly the same anyway.  If I can get a few people agreeing to it, I'll post fabric requirements for a crib size the last week of January, and start a week later. (if not I'll just quietly pretend I never suggested it...)  It would of course be an awfully relaxed affair, nice and slow, and possibly with a wee prize for a completed one afterwards too.  Anyone game?

Wednesday 28 December 2011

The Christmas Makes

I did get one or two things made this Christmas, even if I did not quite manage the handmade Christmas of last year.  Now the gifts have been received I can show you, and I can breath out...

Wash Bag

Wash bag - has waterproof PVC pocket on the inside for toothbrush!

Flannel Scarf (super soft!) and wee square pin cushion stuffed with crushed walnut shells for sharpening pins
 Infuriatingly enough there were a few other makes, but I completely forgot to take photys.  Never mind.  Things went down well and that is all that matters!

I did have a rather lovely Christmas, despite missing my family.  There was no snow, so Auntie was able to come stay.  Christmas morning I got up and listened to Junior Choice on Radio 2  which is guaranteed to make me smile.  Ellie and I had great fun with her toys, and a box...and some Catnip...

Elliecat high on 'nip...

There were some lovely pressies, lots of lovely grub, some musicals on telly, and new pyjamas with fleecy lined socks.  Not to mention the champoo and a trip to Downton Abbey...  Didn't have to go anywhere, do anything.  I must say we rather enjoyed it!!

There was one other Christmas make, which was really more of a WIP finally finished.   My most favourite quilt yet, with some of my most favourite fabrics.  I fully intended to keep this one for myself.  However, Auntie had seen it a few months ago and had dropped hints the size of boulders expressed a bit of a liking for it...  I had pretended not to pick up on the hints, but eventually she even offered to buy it!  So, I made a valiant effort to finish it in time for Christmas.  Didn't work, I had to wrap it with the binding machined on front but not attached on the back....  Well, I was on schedule but then my attempts at quilting it had gone terribly and had needed to be unpicked twice.  Twice. I spent a whole day unpicking the second quilting attempt.  Anyway.  Here it is...  (the feet are Aunties)
I call it Stained Pink.

The pattern was mine.  I cant really tell you what size it is because I forgot to measure the finished quilt...  It certainly came out a whole lot bigger than ever intended!  Previous posts about it are here and here.

After a few abysmal attempts at straight line and patterned quilting, I decided it really had to be hidden.  I settled on a black top thread and grey bobbin thread.  I did a maze like meander through the black sashing, until every block had enough stitching in the sashing to ensure that there were no large areas unquilted.   I have to admit I did not find the constant corner turning easy, but eventually it came good.
Until I turned it over and realised that I had very bright, ugly pale grey stitch lines over my lovely black side borders....  Sharpie black permanent marker to the rescue!  Worked  a treat :-)

Now, where can I find more of that back print, preferably on sale, for me to keep this time?!

Saturday 24 December 2011

The Christmas Pot Plant

I got up one morning last week and a Christmas Tree bauble had miraculously reappeared from last year.  I swear I'd searched the living room top to bottom last year looking for it, but it was not to be found.  Now, a week before Christmas, here it was in the middle of the carpet.  Do you think Miss Elliecat might be trying to tell me something?  

I didn't want to bother with a huge big tree this year, its a lot of work for one!  However auntie wasn't too impressed with the no tree plan, and clearly neither was Ells, so I had to improvise a bit.  

Whaddya think of the Christmas Pot Plant?

We've got lights, black baubles, white stars, white reindeer, white angels, silver teeny stars, and candy canes.  Of course my beautiful Modern Christmas Table Runner received from Kat is star of the show!

Its beginning to look a bit like Christmas...  Well, just a little bit. 

Now, I am still ploughing away at my Christmas sewing so I'm afraid the photo based tute for the Christmas tree block will have to wait a bit.   In the mean time, I can give you the info for it.

I used 5 shades of green solid, a yellow, a brown, and 3 lights/decoration colours.  These are the size guides for a block that measures 14.25" square finished, which I thought was a nice big size for a hot pad on the Christmas table.  The pixel squares measure 0.75" finished, so cut size is 1.25" square.  You'll need 18 of each green, 10 of each of the 3 colours, 1 yellow and 4 brown.  
I cut all the colour squares, and kept arranging them in a random layout until I liked it.  I assembled the coloured squares in horizontal rows, then joining rows that were exactly the same size too.  (I couldn't be arsed doing the white in tiny wee squares!  It was easier to get the colours into strips then attach white to either end.)
The white sizes are as follows, listed top to bottom
  • 1 x   14.75" x 1.25"
  • 2 x    7.25" x 1.25"
  • 2 x    6.5" x 2"
  • 2 x    5.75" x 2"
  • 2 x    5" x 2"
  • 2 x    4.25" x 2"
  • 2 x    3.5" x 2"
  • 2 x    2.75" x 2.75"
  • 2 x    3.5" x 1.25"
  • 2 x    6.5" x 1.25"
  • 2 x    7.25" x 1.25"
  • 1 x   14.75" x 1.25"
If you wanted to do the whole thing in squares, its a 19 x 19 grid.  I think it'd look pretty cool as a large cushion, 1" squares.   Of course if you're a glutton for punishment clever you could do half inch squares for a 9.5" square mug rug or smaller hot pad.

I will be making it again, and when I do, I promise, honest, I will post it with photos as a tute of sorts!

Right, I'm off to mull some wine and put some tunes on.

Merry Christmas!

Secret Santa

The fabulous ladies of Brit Bee could not resist a wee Secret Santa this Christmas.  This is what came to me.

Now, I dont know for sure which lovely bee sent me a pressie, but I have a fair idea!  

We're an organised bunch you know.  We all posted by the deadline, we all received with in a few days, and we all agreed to blog what we received today, so we can guess who made what.  If you'd like to join in with the guessing games, the other places to check are here

                                Miss January              Judith         Rags to Bags
                                Miss February            Jennie         Just a little stitch
                                                                 Terri           Mish Mash Mama
                                Miss March               Ceri            Inspired by Felix
                                Miss April                  Jo              A life in lists
                                Miss May                  Trudi          Quilting Prolifically
                                Miss June                  Fiona          Poppy Makes ...
                                Miss July                   Judith         Needles and Lemons
                                Miss August              (me!)
                                Miss September         Susan         Canadian Abroad
                                Miss October             Laura         Needles, Pins and Baking Tins
                                Miss November         Hadley        Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle

So, wanna see what I got? Want to see what actually made me a wee bitty teary eyed it's just so very, very thoughtful and spot on perfect?

I got such a fantastic bundle of lovelies that I could hardly believe it.  Really, truly, absolutely Sofa King Cool...  Look....

Fabulous fabrics, including stripes, skulls, kitschy cartoony print (which I adore!), and some really fab stripy webbing for bags.
Then the even more wonderful bits...  

I love it.  I love it. I love it.

I love Lichtenstein, and this wee zippy pouch has seven, SEVEN of his prints featured.  I'm guessing they've been printed from computer onto fabric, so that makes this even more special to me.  Never mind the pouch, the fabric has been made for me!  
And lets not forget the MONKEY...  (impossible, its freakin awesome)

So to the inspired, talented, kind and bloody lovely bee that made me these, 

(If you want to know what I made and for who, go looking and guess cos I'm not telling... lol)

Saturday 17 December 2011

Still playing catch up

First of all, sorry, still no Christmas tree block tutorial.  Must do it this weekend or no one will make it cos it'll be too late...  
I've been trying to catch up with all the things I'm really behind on all week.  I got a couple of presents made, but unfortunately nothing I can show you.  What I can show you is the monster block I got done (eventually..) for Madam November (yeah, just a little late...)...  Although I am obviously a little ashamed of how incredibly late it is, I must say I am also rather chuffed with myself about the number of missing points on this HST block.   To clarify, I'm referring to the unusually SMALL number of missed points on this HST block!

Look at my HST's!  Mmmmm Pointy....  

Yay!  Whaddya reckon, finally improving a bit?  Hope so.  

In other news...  Mum is coming to visit in January!  She came to visit back at the beginning of the year, and we had such a fantastic time in the sewing cupboard - this time she's coming for twice as long!   It'll be so good to have some company, and even better to have someone I can talk fabric with!  

And talking of sharing fabric obsessions, I've got something else to look forward to next year...
Well, a lot of you will probably have seen it on every other quilty blog going, but I'm going to post it too cos its exciting and I want to.... 

I got my Golden Ticket...

I'm going!  I still cant quite believe it...  Its happening in London, which is a fair old trek for me.  It'll involve 2 nights away, and thats just to attend for one day, so its a huge deal for me.  Just in case anyone has forgotten, I mean, its not like I go on about it all the time or anything, but... I cant really do things on my own.  I dont trust myself to go to the supermarket on my own never mind travel.
So, when this came up, I looked on the Brit Bee flickr group and sure enough, there was already a thread about maybe going.  I told my Brit Bee Ladies quite simply, "I really want to go, but there's no way I can do it unless someone actually met me at the airport and took me to the hotel, shared a room with me, went with me, then took me back to the airport."  Not much to ask at all really....    

Well, as it happens, not too much at all for my bee!  Not only is someone teaming up with me, the entire bee is going and half of us are booked in the same hotel!  

I really cant wait, not only will I get to meet all my lovely bee friends in person, we're all going to The Fat Quarterly Retreat!  (click on it if you want to find out more)  So many more people to meet!  Its going to be so much fun.  

In the meantime, I'd better get back to trying to catch up with my sewing, only three more days to sew stuff that has to be posted...  (oops, and the christmas tree block... I'll try not to forget again).

Wednesday 7 December 2011

I love it when a plan comes together...

I can show you what I made for the Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap now, it has been received!

I got to make for Swap Mama, Susan @ a broad Canadian and it was tougher than I expected.  Not that she's  a particularly tricky customer or anything.  Not at all!  No, but as a good Swap Mama she was leaving lovely comments all over the shop.  Not hard to imagine, the swap really did have a massive amount of talent in it.  However, normally you stalk your recipient, see what they seem to like from the comments they leave...  so in my case I got a bit well, confused...

That, and well, if you read regularly you'll know I've been a bit crappy for the last couple of months so I was just ultra critical of everything I tried and so I think I ended up with about 5 different plans...  Every time I got started I just kept thinking, nah, not good enough, try harder.  So.  She did end up getting a two sided runner and a hot pad.  I could go upstairs tomorrow and get a few table mats and coasters out of all the other discarded plan bits...  but I wont!

Oooh, she's Canadian, do a bear!  ...  aren't bears in caves hibernating over Christmas?

Christmas.  Ultra Modern.  oh but doesn't she like stars and hand stitching?

The hot pad matches the modern side...
Now, here's a rarity... I actually LOVE my Christmas tree block.  So much so that I'm going to make another next week.  Does anyone want another "this is what happened when I made" ( tutorial of sorts ) ?

Now you know what I was up to last week!  Susan received it all today, and wrote the loveliest of blog posts that had me laughing and weeping and blushing all at once...  she likes....  YAY!  So, that's my happy pill sorted for the next week or so!  (I'm still grinning like a loon)

Now to cross it off my list, and start panicking about something else... like Novembers bee block?  (Sorry Hads x)

p.s.  Laura, Helen and Tanya, you have not been forgotten, each giveaway prize will be quite different, so I'm just posting as I get done :-)

Sunday 4 December 2011

from one sort of Holiday to another...

I'd announce my return, but I've not actually been anywhere...  I've managed a week off from the laptop, more or less.  I've really really missed everybody!  I've been blog reading all day today, sorry for the lack of comments but there's been so many posts to catch up on.
I did get a bit of sewing done, but nothing I can show off in a "yay! I got something finished!" happy dance.... not yet anyway.   A little sneak peak will have to do for now.

I did, however, get some really lovely post through the week that I can brag about though!  I received my runner in the Modern Christmas Table Runner Swap, from the very talented Kat @ mummas time to create.  Sincere apologies to Kat that my photos are very poor and do it such little justice.  It really is fabulous.

Beautiful MODERN Christmas!  All the trees a girl could want, and no Santas or Poinsettias anywhere ;-)
Lovely tree decoration, and the glorious DS fabric...

Kat did a great job, I must have been a right pain in the backside to make for...  I was pretty rigid in my "requests" for trees, and my scrooge-y insistence on no Christmas fabric... Sorry Kat!  But wow, it sure is absolutely perfect and I love it.  And, AND she sent me a Fat Quarter of some Denyse Schmidt Picnic and first, and I am smitten...

And talking of being smitten, I also received a really wonderful pressie from another lovely lady, Agniezska @ a quilt maybe.   She's a great quilter, but she is also a very talented illustrator too.   I'd spotted this on her blog and just fell for it right away - and now I have one!  Please do visit her, I promise you'll fall for the kitties and corduroy mice...

An adorable Sleepy Kitty!
So, a massive thank you to two talented, generous, thoughtful and kind ladies who really cheered me up this week!

The horrible weather has remained all week.  The barometer, usually stuck at "change" (like I really need a barometer to be told that our weather is constantly changeable...) has been stuck like this for days...

Stormy weather....since my man and I aint together...

So we've been stuck like this a lot...

my other sleepy kitty...
Sorry for the blurry pic but she kept making me laugh so it was hard enough not to collapse never mind hold a camera steady!

p.s.  Proof (as requested) that my brother can safely wield a needle!

brother kindly hiding the thread ends I forgot about...