Sunday, 30 October 2011

Tea Anyone?

Firstly let me say 'thank you' to all of you who gave me helpful tips, suggestions and links for my Civil War Quilt dilemma.  I am thoroughly armed now with great information & resources to take this project to the next stage.

I was recently given a gorgeous wee gift by my bloggy friend Karen (Listen to the Birds Sing).

It's a Tea Bag pouch/case to keep in your handbag for those occasions when you're in someone else's house, and offered bog-standard tea!  

With one of these handy pouches, you can be all snobby and whip out your favourite Rooibos or Earl Grey!  (Just for the record I love bog standard tea - the stronger the better!)

I thought one of these would be perfect for my mum.  

It's her birthday next week and she only drinks Earl Grey.  When she visits me, I stick the kettle on - cue mum rifling around the bottom of her handbag looking for a wayward E.G. Teabag!

I thought mum might like a wee Liberty one to match her Boxy Bag:

But because they were so quick to make, I got a bit carried away and made a few more!

Well I guess I have a few extra Christmas pressies sorted!

Keep your eye on Karen's blog for a tutorial on how to make these!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

What a Cutie!

Earlier this year I was commissioned to make a cot quilt, and yesterday I received some wonderful pics via email:

Isn't he a cutie?  Joshua was born earlier this year, but the quilt was made before he was born.

His mum has told me that he loves looking at the Farmyard pictures and playing on his quilt.  It was such a treat to receive these lovely photos, and to see my quilt being loved and enjoyed.  

Also this week I received some items I'd ordered to help me hatch a plan!

My Dad will be 70 in February, he is a creative person (it was his mum who started me on her old Singer Treadle machine) and has always appreciated my quilts.

But aren't men so hard to make for?

The old grey matter has been working over time, and I've come up with an idea!  Because my dad has always been interested in military history, particularly the American Civil war, I thought for the front of the quilt I'd make some blocks from this book:

This book is similar to the Farmer's Wife Book, where actual diary extracts are included alongside blocks, by women who experienced first hand both sides of the civil war in the 1860's.

And for the back of the quilt, I'm going to ask all my siblings, their partners and children to write messages with fabric pens, which I will sew together & make into the quilt back.

Need to post some of these to the English  relatives!
My only problem is sourcing some civil war type fabric - which of course is readily available in the States, but not so much here.  

I'm after some muted reds, blues, tans and creams but don't want to get slammed extra for customs, so any advice anyone can give me here would be gratefully appreciated.

Hope you've all had a relaxing weekend so far!

Judith xo

Friday, 28 October 2011

Wonky Cushions!

My Wonky Cushion class finished today.  This design was a 'positive/negative' front and back, with a hidden zipper in the bottom.

Just take a look at these beauties!

Ooooh the concentration!

A couple of cushions didn't quite get finished, but you can tell they are going to be stunning!

Well done ladies - you did great!

And before I leave you, a pic of the most scrumptious chocolate cake we've been enjoying with the birthday girl!

Tonight a clatter of teenage girls have arrived to eat pizza, ice cream and lots more junk food, and then sleepover (eventually).

Me?  A night in with my 4 favourite men - hubby, Ben, Jerry & Tom (Hanks)!

Have a great weekend!

Judith xo

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Sweet 16!

My baby is 16 today!

Shannon is my first born, and she is growing into a beautiful, mature, talented young woman.

I'm in awe of her strength of character, hard work ethic and creativity.

Have a wonderful birthday my precious girl!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Toastie Toes!

I've been so tired recently in the evenings that I've been forcing myself away from the sewing room (& the computer - failed there!) to sit downstairs, watch telly, eat chocolate (not much forcing needed!) and crochet.

I recently crocheted a hat (my first ever hat!) for a bloggy friend, but forgot to take pics of it.  I was pleased with how it turned out & my kids didn't hold back in their feedback on how ridiculous it looked on me (I don't suit hats at all!).

Some time ago I started a pattern for bed socks (I know, I'm a Granny at 40!) just because I'd never made socks before.

After the buoyancy of my hat finish, I regrouped and got the tricky socks out again.  

And voila!

My feet aren't as big as the Ship Yards they look like here!
I'm really pleased with them, even though the cream wools are different (I ran out half way through!), one of the heels is wonky, and one sock is longer than the other (ahhhh the incognito wonders of photography!).

I might keep these as a wee stocking filler for one of my daughters who LOVES bedsocks and slipper socks (they could be used for either they're so snuggly).
So 2 new crochet projects attempted and completed. 

Mmmmmm, what shall I do next?

Have a great Wednesday!

Judith xo

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Christmas Gifts Part 4

If you have a small gift you would like to give someone, but it looks a bit pathetic all on it's own, how about putting it in one of these cute gift bags?

Finished size: 10"x7"
These easy makes can be up or down sized depending on what you want to put in them.  I love to buy the old fashioned jars of sweets to put in these - another great teacher's pressie!

Or how about some novelty socks for that man in your life who is so difficult to buy for!!!

The drawstring channel can be made with ribbon, or you can make your own channel with co-ordinating fabric.

And they don't have to be made in Christmas fabric either!

Fill your gift bags with cosmetics, smellies, sweets and treats!

The possibilities are endless!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Christmas Gifts Part 3

I have 2 Christmas Gifts classes this year, each lasting 3 weeks.

So I wanted to give folks a variety of gifts to choose from, that were fun and easy to make.
Yes my kitchen is red!
Potholders make great gifts because lots of us love to accessorise our kitchens, and the infinite range of designs possible make these versatile too.

I use Insul Bright heat resistant wadding in my potholders & trivets, so they are functional and practical, as well as stylish.

My pot holders finish up approx. 10".  They are a great wee project for using up scraps of fabric.

You can also have lots of fun experimenting with different quilting techniques on these mini quilts.

I hope these will inspire the lovely ladies who come to class this year. 

Have a lovely start to the week (despite the awful weather!).

Judith xo

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A Bee-rilliant Afternoon!

Another gathering of Bee Blessed happened today!  

We had enough blocks donated in time to make up this beauty:

We also beavered away on more D9P blocks from our scraps box (there are lots more incomplete ones too!):

Sorry about the rubbish pics!
And we are making a special quilt for a friend's husband who is seriously ill at the moment.  Instead of using white in the D9P we are using trusty Kona Ash:

We were also quilting & finishing off some of the cot quilts from last month & I'll bring you pics of those when they're all done.

And no Bee Blessed day would be complete without tea, homemade scones, brownies and lots of chat!

Some of the workforce!
So a very productive and enjoyable afternoon was had by all!

We will continue to work on D9P blocks for the next few weeks, and I can't wait to see the promised blocks  I know are still to come from several different parts of the world!  

A huge thank you to everyone for being involved!

Judith xo

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thank you Bee Blessed Donators!

I'm overwhelmed (yet again!) by the generosity and thoughtfulness of my bloggy friends and followers.

This month's Bee Blessed blocks (D9P) are coming to me from all over the UK and beyond, lovely parcels for me to open.  And I can tell you that I feel blessed in receiving these and sharing them with the ladies who make up the Bee Blessed team.  

Just look at this little lot!

Thank you Terri (Tester) and Helen for the beautiful blocks & fabrics I received from you today.  I've put them with the others I've received so far, and I know there are more to come!  

Thank you all, and I hope I've remembered to thank you all personally (Terri can you email me again, I can't seem to find your email address).

Your support is so much appreciated and valued.  If you are new to my blog and would like more info on Bee Blessed or how to get involved, click here.

The physical Bee will be meeting on Saturday for lots more sewing (& chatting!) so I will have another update at the weekend.

Have a lovely day!

Judith xo

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Grey in Kona, not in roots!

Well I've just been down to my lovely sister's hair & beauty salon and done battle with the old grey roots (again!).  

Kona Ash might be a very 'in' look at the moment for us quilters, but not when it comes to the roots of a 40 year old (who still thinks she's 20!).

I was also bringing down the bags that I've made thus far, to sell in the salon.  

They don't look like much in these rubbish photos!
Thank you everyone for encouraging me through this, and the wonderful feedback about my bags.  I really don't like selling my wares, I'm way out of my comfort zone here, but the sales of these bags will help me financially, so I just have to get over myself!

I did manage to get another Modern Maud run up yesterday for the sale today, here she is:

I love the texture of the wool in this one!  V.touchy, feely!

Before I had left the salon, one of the wee cosmetics bags had sold, so that is encouraging!

I'll be down again in a month's time (to do battle with the grey roots again), and will hopefully have some stock to replace those that have sold!

Fingers crossed!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Giveaway Winner!

I am pleased to announce that Mr Random Number Generator has chosen ...................

Sheila said...
Well done Judith, have just been to register for the newsletter.

Congratulations Sheila on being my 100 followers giveaway winner!  These 2 lovely charm packs will be winging their way to you shortly!

Lastly, I forgot to show you yesterday the full picture of the mugrug I made for Karen (Listen to the Birds Sing) for hosting our lovely Kind Stitches day.

Hope you all have a great start to the new week!

Judith xo

Sunday, 16 October 2011

A day of Kind Stitches

Yesterday I spent a lovely day in the North Coast countryside with 2 lovely people.

My friend Sarah and I drove up to Karen's house to spend the day sewing blocks and quilt tops for Karen's Kind Stitches Charity.

The surroundings were stunning, the food & hospitality was amazing (thank you K) and of course the chat was constant!

But we also got some sewing done!

Remember the Wot Nots? L-R Sarah, Karen, Me
Many of you have been contributing 6.5" blocks to Karen over the past weeks, and we managed to get a girl's quilt top finished and a boy's quilt top almost finished (there are more incriminating pics on Karen's blog!).

These will eventually be non-wadded quilts for children who have been trafficked in Thailand, and Karen will take them out herself in November.

Thank you Karen for a wonderful day!

For more info on this wonderful charitable project, check out Karen's blog.

And I'll leave you with a pic of the fabric I'm contributing to Strawberry Patch's Christmas Fabric Charm Swap:
Wallpaper in Red, England Swings by Rebekah Merkl
This lovely fabric & the England Swings Collection is available from River Fabrics.

There are 28 of us each sending a metre's worth of 5" squares (56) to Emily, who will mix them all up and send us back 56 different charm squares!

Great idea and my first fabric swap.  

I haven't a notion what I'm going to make with these charm squares, maybe I'll be inspired when I have them all in my hand.  

You can check out the fabrics that others in the group are donating here.

Take it easy!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Brit Bee Blocks for Miss October

This week I finished my Brit Bee Blocks for Miss October (aka Laura Jane).  LJ had the inspired idea of theming her month with stars, any stars at all (because we are all stars in her eyes - bless!).

So after much researching my small collection of books, and online, I came up with these:

The 'Orbit' star

Spider's Web
I was nervous about jumping straight into LJs fabrics with new patterns, especially as I had to do some re-sizing (& Carol Voderman I am not!).  So I did practise blocks.

This one is foundation pieced Orbit star, and of course the practise block went like a dream, no hiccups whatsoever!

Until it came to the real thing!  

Foundation piecing is known for fabric waste, and I didn't want to waste any of LJs fabrics, especially as I had 2 x 12.5" blocks to get out of the gorgeous fabrics.  So some of the finished seams are smaller than 1/4 ", but they are all hidden behind the foundation fabric, and securely sewn.  So I'm hoping they'll pass.

The 2nd block is called Spider's Web, based on this tutorial.  Again I had some resizing issues, but my trial half block soon put me right.  

I love the scrappiness of this pattern, and while you need 4 of these blocks together to really appreciate the spider's web effect, I think it's a lovely star block in it's own right.  I can just see some perle cotton hand quilting going on inside the white star!

I got my siggy block* made too, all parcelled up and ready to twinkle their way to LJ.

(* A siggy block is a signature block, a small square with details of the person who made the block i.e. name, town, Bee, date.  Everyone in the Bee makes one each month for the person whose month it is.  They then have 11 siggys to piece into the back of their quilt as a record of all the contributors to the quilt. See here for an easy peasy tutorial.)

Have a fab Friday!

Judith xo