Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Thread Catcher in da House!

Firstly I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Helen and Archie for the stunning thread catcher!

You may have seen a few of these 'thank you's' from Helen popping up over blogland!  Aren't they spectacular!  It was such a lovely surprise to open this wee beauty, all beautifully wrapped, and the stitching is amazing. 

I've been meaning to blog about this for a few days now, but there's a hole in my head that leaks important stuff, on an alarmingly regular basis!

Thank you Helen for my thank you!!

And on to Bee news:

August is the first month of the Hipbees bee and Reene is our Queenie for the month!  She has asked for house blocks, using her gorgeous Summerville and klona grey.  Here's what I came up with:

Didn't quite get doggy in the centre of the window, but then she shouldn't be upstairs in the house anyway!!  Naughty doggy!

This was paper pieced using a 7 section pattern from a book!  It was a relief that it all worked out ok with no major catastrophies!

I have other blocks to make for 3 other bees I'm in, so I'd better get right on it!

Hope you are having a great week so far!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Vintage Sheets!

I've always had a soft spot for vintage sheets, pillowcases or clothing, and over the years have casually picked up the odd charity shop find here and there.

And then my lovely friend bought me some vintage sheet fqs for my birthday, which spurred me on to start making an actual quilt.

Well you know what happens when you get spurred on!!

More fabric buying!

Thanks to the lovely Mary, I've been able to  feed my addiction  add to my collection of vintage finds, and have made a start on a charm square quilt.

I've a particular person in mind for this quilt, she's a young woman who's had a tough year so far.

But I'm so in love with it I want to make another one and keep it for myself! 

So it was back to Mary (who btw has Midas hands when it comes to finding amazing vintage sheets in charity shops - just check out here what she got last week alone!!) to add in a few more charm squares.

I've left the design of this first quilt simple & I'm not feeling inclined to do too much with the design of the 2nd quilt either!  The thought of over working these lovelies doesn't appeal to me.  Endless trimming of hsts puts me right off (even though they would look amazing) but there's something in me that just wants to respect the age and character of these fabrics and let them be the main focus of attention rather than a particular quilt pattern.

I'll keep you posted with how I get on with my 2 Vintage lovelies!

If you are looking for a great selection of vintage sheets from a UK based shop, then check out Mary's Etsy shop.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Miss Eddy Debut

Today was the 'Miss Eddy' handbag workshop.

This was a challenging workshop for the ladies, who managed to get most of the bag made in one day!

I love the variety of fabrics the ladies chose, and how it changes the look of the bag.  Some of these will be wash bags when the handles and zips have been attached.  Aren't they so stylish!

Well done ladies, for hanging in there!  I hope you get your bags finished and put to good use.

The pattern for Miss Eddy is now available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, 27 July 2012

70 mph Paper Piecing!

I promised you some sewing, and here it is!

I packed some English Paper Piecing, for piecing while in .... England! 

These 5 stars were almost completely sewn while travelling at speed along various motorways and dual carriageways through England and Wales!  I didn't even know I could sew in a speeding car until I tried it, and was relieved to find that I could, & had something to distract me from the monotony!

(No I wasn't driving at the same time - I can multi-task but I'm not that good!)

I'm thinking of teaching EPP in class next year, so thought I would use this time as an opportunity to make a start on class samples.

I also managed to get a few more 'granny flowers' sewn, which I started an embarrassingly long time ago as part of the Hexalong QAL Lynne was hosting last year.  I will get it finished, sometime!

I went right off these vintagey flowers last year, but they are growing on me again, perhaps because I'm working with some lucious vintage sheets at the mo! (More on that another day!)

BTW, Lynne has just posted some great tips on how to 'go faster' with your EPP. Check it out!


My no.1 daughter has been busy this summer improving the look of her wee Etsy shop and adding in some new items. 

She has blogged about them here, and she'd love it if you took a wee peek in her shop! There are some adorable pin toppers in there!  Just saying!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Holiday Buys!

At last the sun came out today here in Belfast! 

I celebrated by cutting some flowers from the garden and filling vases around the house!  So cheery!

I also managed a good bit of sewing & prep. sewing today, but as I'm still trying to rattle through my holiday news, I'll save today's progress for another day.

So what fabrics did I buy while on holiday?

The first wee shop I stumbled across was in Llandudno, called Fabulous Fabrics (they are soon going online).

With over 1200 bolts of quilters cotton, it was a super wee shop run by a lovely 70 year old lady with tatoos!  I picked up some bargain fqs and navy polka dot (see pic below).

We then travelled through N.Wales & made a scheduled stop here:

I was a little hesitant about coming here, after viewing their online site.  But boy oh boy! I wasn't disappointed!  In fact I was overwhelmed!  There is sooooooo much fabric here I didn't actually end up buying any!  Their selection of quilters cotton is small, and that is what I was trying to keep my small spending budget for, but oh the linens, and wools, and tweeds, and fleece, and buttons, and trims, and ..., and ...., and ....!  I came away completely glazed, and not entirely sure that I'd made the right decision not to spend!

A few days later we were in Witney, Oxford, perusing the shop in the rain, wearing sandals, looking like utter idiots tourists!  We stumbled across the most divine wee shop called The Old Pill Factory.  For all you vintage lovers out there, you will love this adorable shop. 

Here's what I found tucked away in the very back room of the shop:

The label read "3m Liberty Lawn - £18". What a bargain!  I will be adding this to the 'clothes for me one day' pile!

The staff in the shop were so friendly and welcoming.  I also saw a very old hand sewn hexie quilt, a true antique - beautiful!

A few shops down from The Old Pill Factory is a lovely wee fabric shop which sold beautiful, modern quilters cotton, but at £16.50+ per metre, they were all out of my budget sadly.

And opposite The Old Pill Factory, is the most charming Papier Mache shop and workshop.  So inspiring!

These friendly chaps were sitting outside the shop!

This reminded me of a similar technique I've done before of covering items (e.g. chairs) with fabric scraps and pva glue!  Great fun!

Next to Bournemouth, where the fabric shops cater mainly for dressmaking and soft furnishings.  But I did manage to get some ditsy cotton prints to add to my stash.

I didn't quite get all of what I was looking for by way of quilters cotton, but that just means I can do a wee bit of online shopping without feeling guilty!

We took a quick jaunt into the Cath Kidson shop (despite there being one in Belfast, I've never been in one before).

It is so well set out and displayed, but again out of my price range!

And one more find in a charity shop which no.2 daughter pleaded with me to buy!

I wonder why she likes him so much!!!!!

By the way, if anyone is ever in Bangor, Wales, there is the most amazing Vintage Clothes shop called The Vintage Shop (!!).  Oh, it was a walk down memory lane (yes I'm that old!). The dresses, scarves, coats etc. from the 50's - 80's where fabulous!  I didn't have time to try anything on or buy, but it was a lovely shopping experience (& it's not often you'll hear me say that!).

Well that's it for now.  Sorry for such a long post.  Tomorrow I promise to show you some sewing!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Meet Martha!

For a while now I've been desiring a tailor's dummy!  Trying to alter my clothes while they are still on me is tricky (and painful when I get stuck with pins!).

Also, I'm asked more and more for dressmaking classes (which I will be providing with a friend in the Autumn) so I thought it was time I started brushing up my skills.

Well, a dear family member in England just happened to have one in her loft and gifted it to me!

This is 'Martha'!
Now Martha has a wee problem in that she is slightly legless!  No not in the drinking sense!!  She has 2 of her required 3 legs, so I will need to make her an orthopeadic wooden leg to help her stand up!  Bless!

I'm not sure which sounds better, 'Legless Martha' or 'Peg Leg Martha'!

And this wasn't the only treasure my relative had squirreled away!  Just look at this little lot!

A tin of vintage lace & trims!

Hand dyed curtains and fabric (great for handbags!)

Retro print cotton - I would so love to make a skirt or dress out of this!

Grey corduroy and lemon linen - yum!

A sample of what I managed to bring home!

13 Patterns!!!  How cool is that!
I have been wonderfully blessed by this legacy of dressmaking and sewing, and I am delighted and privileged to be able to receive these and hopefully turn them into loveable items once more.

Thank you 'G' for your kindness and generosity!

Monday, 23 July 2012

I've finally started!

Well the rain hasn't stopped ALL DAY!

Not that it mattered as I was pattern writing for 5 hours of the day!  Not my favourite pastime, but oh so satisfying when I get another one finished!

I did manage to make a start on my Brit Quilt Swap R3 mini quilt though!

7" square

I was initially delayed on this one as I waited for a book to arrive.  Then I went on holiday!

But I got this wee block paper pieced today in about an hour.  My secret partner loves paper piecing, birds & log cabins among other things, so I thought I'd roll a few of her favs into one design.

I plan to do at least one more birdhouse and then see where I go from there (organic designing!).

I haven't managed to photograph all my holiday fabric purchases yet, but here are a couple of vintage sheets I found in charity shops.

I'm hoarding collecting vintage sheets until I have enough to make a quilt (or two!).  I love scouring charity shops for bargains!

I'm Back!

Hi everyone!

It's great to be back home again, after a brill 10 days travelling through Ireland, Wales, England and back again!

Much fun was had by all, and it was so lovely meeting up with family and friends.

The main reason for going to England, was for a family wedding.

And one of the highlights for me was meeting up with some of my bloggy friends, at Susan's house.

Photo courtesy of LJ, more of which you can find here.
Susan and her hubby were the perfect hosts, spoiling us all with a fantastic barbeque.  And they even managed to make the sun shine!

L-R: Laura Jane, Jennie, Terri, Me, Trudi, Nicky

The kids having lots of Fimo Fun!

All in a day's work!

LJ needing the patience of Job to teach left-handed Terri how to crochet!

Susan's AMAZING homemade Ben & Jerry's ice-cream!!

Thank you my special friend for such a wonderful day!

I managed to get around a few fabric shops on my travels, so there will be some fabric pics to show you another day!

Hope you are enjoying the summer, which I'm told has just arrived in England (they must have been waiting for us to leave!).