Monday, 31 December 2012

Bee Blessed January Block

We are almost there! 

As 2012 draws to a close our thoughts turn to 2013 - the hopes, dreams, resolutions and plans.

I'm not one for making New Years Resolutions, or planning too far ahead.  At the moment this Saturday is far enough ahead for me, and it is the first Bee Blessed meeting of 2013!

We are still gathering in Patchwork wheel (Hug) blocks for December, but if you are ready for a new block, then here it is:

The Ladder Strip Block
Ladder Strip Block Bee Blessed Jan13

This is another block designed by Sarah, and when put with more blocks in a rail fence formation, gives a wonderful Ladder Strip Quilt design.

We are planning on making these blocks into baby and children's quilts, which will be donated to a local Mums & babies HIV unit.

If you fancy having a go at this simple block, please follow the tutorial below, and keep to bright, child friendly colours for your strips, and plain white borders.

Ladder Strip Block Tutorial:

For 1 x 12.5" unfinished block you will need:

2.5" x 8.5" strips cut from 4 different fabrics (leftover Jelly Roll strips are great!)
2 x (2.5" x 12.5") white strips
2 x (2.5" x 8.5") white strips

Assume scant 1/4" seams throughout.

1. Sew the 4 coloured strips together.  Press seams open.

2. Add the shorter white strips to the both sides of the coloured strips. Press seams open.

3. Add longer white strips to top and bottom & press seams away from centre.
4. Square block to 12.5".

Thank you in advance of your support and donations to Bee Blessed.

Have a wonderful New Years' Eve, and I'll see you on the other side!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Last of the Presents!

Well I didn't get the weather to paint my ugly chest of drawers yesterday.

Instead, the Christmas decorations came down, were packed away for another year, and we moped around mourning the end of a truly festive and relaxing season.

I did get a bit of sewing done however.

The winner of my blogiversary giveaway (Lorraine) requested a blue and green travel sewing pouch.

Giveaway Winner Travel Sewing Pouch Dec12

This will be making its way to USA this week, together with 10 Tula Pink fqs.

And one last Christmas present make I forgot to show you.

Mum's Bag for Life Dec12

This is a bag for life I made mum.  Most of the materials are recycled: a tea towel from Portugal (top), waterproof Irish linen offcut (bottom), and leftover Ikea fabric as the lining. Even the elastic strap is out of one of my girls' skrits!

Mum opened this present in front of my big sis, who has now put in her order for one!

Christmas Day!

Saturday, 29 December 2012


Well thankfully we don't have anymore turkey left to eat up!

The leftovers I'm talking about here are jelly roll strips that a friend sent me a while back and a few charm squares from another friend (I have great friends!).  I think they are French General, and I've a feeling there might be some Park Avenue in there too.

French General & Linen Table Runner Dec12

This truly horrid chest of drawers keeps unsightly wii remotes, dvds and old videos under control in my front lounge.

Until the other day I had a piece of red Cambodian shot silk on the top of it, always with the intention of it being a temporary measure until I got around to making something for it (I won't tell you how long it's been on there!).

So with some leftover linen from my cushions for this room, I quickly rustled up this simple table topper.

French General & Linen Table Runner Dec12

The next step in my master plan is to give this unit a paint job and some new knobs!

And with the teeny bit of French General I have left, I might make some year round mini bunting for the Victorian mantel (it always looks so bare when the Christmas decorations come down!).

Fingers crossed for a dry day today so I can get painting and distressing!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of my Tula Pink Blogiversary Giveaway is ..................

Congratulations rainjerette!  I have emailed you requesting your postal address.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Blame the kids!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day, celebrating with loved ones!

Here in the Hollies' household, we had a wonderful birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve, and then enjoyed church, great food, and a hilarious game of Charades with family on Christmas day!

I managed to get my first ever Christmas quilt finished on Christmas Eve evening, frantically sewing on the binding while trying not to cry my way through 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe' (brilliant film!).

Since last Christmas, I've had a random selection of Christmas charm squares (56) after taking part in a Christmas Charm swap (hosted by Emily).

Because there was quite a broad range of patterns & prints, I didn't know what to do with them.

I got them out for the kids to look at and we laid them all out side by side.  The kids said they loved the random look of the squares altogether and encouraged me to just sew them together for our first Christmas quilt.

So adding in a few more 5" squares from my Christmas fabrics, the most random Christmas quilt was born!

Christmas Quilt Dec12

There are 85 squares in total (the equivalent of 2 charm packs + 1) so it isn't a big quilt, but it looks great drapped over my sofa next to the Christmas tree. 

Suffice to say the kids love it!  It could almost be an 'Eye Spy' quilt there's so much going on in it!

Christmas Quilt Dec12

And given that it will only be on display for 2 weeks every year, I can cope with the busyness of it!

And before I go, two pre-Christmas makes my mum wanted as presents for friends. But as one of her friends reads my blog, I couldn't show you before!

Mugrug & Hostess Box set Dec12

Mugrug & Hostess Box set Dec12

Don't forget to call back tomorrow to find out the winner of my giveaway!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Going Green!

Details of my Tula Pink Prince Charming Giveaway are here.

Youngest daughter requested a handmade pencil case for Christmas, in her favourite colours - Green!

Pencil Cases Dec12

She likes the flat style, but I thought I'd give her a choice!

Eldest daughter got a pencil case with her messenger bag in October for her birthday, but she won't use the pencil case for school cos she says it's too nice, and doesn't want it getting ruined! Bless!

So I rustled her up a 'not so pretty' more practical one she can happily ruin with pencil leads and pens!

Shannon's Pencil Case Dec12

I'm also working on a wee Christmas quilt, which the girls are encouraging me to do. I hope to get it done by Christmas day!!!!  Wish me luck!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Vintage Technology!

Details of my Tula Pink Prince Charming Giveaway are here.

It is now a tradition in Brit Bee to do Secret Santa!

I LOVE SECRET SANTA!  So much so, we are even doing it in our family!  Tee hee! Such excitment!

I already know that the Brit Bee buddy I was making for has received her parcel, but I'm not revealing anything just yet!

Earlier in the week I received my Brit Bee Secret Santa pressie!  Squeeeeeee!

Brit Bee Secret Santa Received Dec12

Now these pics don't do justice at all to these wonderful treasures from Santa!

The cryptic card said that everything, bar the linen and chocolate oranges (my favourite kind of fruit!), was bonafide vintage!   Mmmmm, someone who knows me well!

Brit Bee Secret Santa Received Dec12

Isn't the linen basket so beautifully made?  It has since been ironed and is now a desk tidy in my sewing room for my notelets, cards and post-it notes!

And check out the vintage buttons, fabrics & trims, not to mention the cutest wee elephant pinnie ever!

Brit Bee Secret Santa Received Dec12 Brit Bee Secret Santa Received Dec12
Brit Bee Secret Santa Received Dec12

I've worked out who my uber talented Brit Bee Mrs Santa is!  Thank you chick!  I love all my goodies!

And this is what I made with the beautiful vintage floral Mrs Santa sent me:

Ipad cover Dec12

This is an Ipad cover for my big sis. She has just as bright and colourful a personality to go with her new Ipad cover!

I hope your present making plans are on schedule! Only 3 big sleeps left!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Dennis the Menace for a Minnie the Minx!

Details of my Tula Pink Prince Charming Giveaway are here.

My very own 'Minnie the Minx' (aka middle daughter!) is getting a quilt for Christmas (shhhh, don't tell her!).

You may remember her Beano themed decoupage table makeover in the summer, and the curtain we found in a charity shop on holiday!

Her birthday is 7 weeks after Christmas, and in my head I thought that if I didn't get time to make her a quilt out of it for Christmas, I would do it for her birthday.

Well, I started it on Tuesday and got it finished yesterday!

Beano Quilt for Lucy Dec12
I managed to mitre the border corners so that the stripes all lined up! Phew!
After some serious deliberations on how to get the most out of the curtain, I went for 12" blocks of the main pics, and fussy cut out some of the smaller graphics. 

Some Kona Tomato framed the mini blocks perfectly, and I just about had enough left for the binding too. 

Beano Quilt for Lucy Dec12

Sadly I could only find the black and red stripe in polycotton, but as it is also the colours of the footie team my daughter plays for, as well as the English League team she supports, I don't think she'll mind at all! 

Beano Quilt for Lucy Dec12

And after being inspired by the circular quilting on Judith's quilt, I went for an off-centre continuous circle pattern  (well ..... more 'curly whirlies' than concentric circles!).

Beano Quilt for Lucy Dec12

And one more finish before I go!

Bee Blessed Quilt Dec12 - 'Very Square Like Me'

This is a Bee Blessed quilt called Very Square Like Me, which is now making its way to a widowed mummy with 6 kiddies!

Thank you everyone for contributing to this quilt, and making it a special gift of comfort!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Blogiversary Giveaway!

Happy birthday to me!  I'm 2 today!!

It's just staggering where the time goes! 

In the 2 years I've been blogging I have learnt so much and have made so many wonderful bloggy friends.  I love being a part of this online community.

I'm also touched beyond words to those of you who regularly read my blog, and also to those of you who are able to leave comments.  I love getting comments, and they have often been the catalyst to some lovely friendships.

To celebrate my anniversary, and say thank you to my readers and followers, I'm giving away 10 fqs of Price Charming by Tula Pink....

...... and I'll also make you your very own travel sewing pouch in the colours of your choosing.

Travel Sewing Pouch Dec12

Travel Sewing Pouches

Just leave me a comment telling me what colourway you'd like your travel pouch made in. I'll let Mr Random Number Generator do the dirty on Friday 28th December! (If you already have a travel sewing pouch, I'll make you a different pouch!).

If you are a 'no reply comment blogger' (i.e. if you have left a comment here before and never got a reply from me!) then you will need to give me your email address in your comment so I can contact you.

And just in case you don't happen to win this time around, the travel sewing pouch pattern is available here in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Senior Modern Maud

A senior relative in my family has been using one of my bags for several years now.  It goes absolutely everywhere with her and it has seen better days!  The best kind of compliment a bag maker can have!

So I thought it was time to make her a new one!

My oh so reliable Modern Maud to the rescue!

Modern Maud for Glenda Dec12
This pattern was named after another senior member of my family, my Nanny, sadly not with us anymore. 

I think these colours are to my relative's tastes and style.  She has also been one of my main 'suppliers' of vintage lace, buttons and remnants, so I'm 'giving' back some of her donated buttons!

Modern Maud for Glenda Dec12

There are 2 spacious pockets inside, one zippered with an easy to grab zipper pull.

Modern Maud for Glenda Dec12

And hopefully the feet & reinforced base will keep this bag sturdy as it gets dragged around used plenty!

Modern Maud for Glenda Dec12

So that's another Christmas pressie ticked off the list!

And if you wnat some Liberty lush in your stocking this year, check out this lovely giveaway!

(I may have more giveaway news here tomorrow - just saying!)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Music and Pandas!

That was the brief I was given for a secret santa present my daughter needed for her friend!

I decided to go with a musical themed journal cover, but I couldn't get hold of musical fabric in time.

So I replicated the 'sketched' musical score idea I used on my other daughter's flute case.

Secret Santa Journal Cover Dec12

The inside of the cover has more of the aqua blue (a favourite colour of this young lady) and my eldest daughter just happened to have a fimo panda cookie charm in her stash, which I sewed onto the front.

Secret Santa Journal Cover Dec12

My duaghter has given this her seal of approval and reckons her friend will love it! Phew!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Bee Blessed Quilt Finishes

On Saturday we had our last BB gathering of 2012.

Our 12 strong turnout meant we had a really productive afternoon, and we enjoyed some festive treats at tea break (or should I say 'mulled wine break') too!

Here are some finishes and progress shots!  You might be able to find one or two of your blocks!

Converging Corners Bee Blessed Quilt Dec12
Converging Corners Quilt

Bee Blessed Antique Tile Quilt 1 Dec12
One of two Antique Tile Quilts.

Bee Blessed Quilt Dec12
Wonky Crosses Baby Quilt
Bee Blessed Baby Quilts Dec12
2 Pram Blankets
Bee Blessed Rail Fence Quilt Dec12
Traditional Rail Fence Quilt
Bee Blessed Quilt (Crazy Squares 1) Dec12
One of two Crazy Squares Quilts
Thank you once again to everyone for your continued support and contributions to these quilts. 

We are looking forward to another year of making 'international' quilts and passing on their blessing and comfort to those in need.