25 November 2013

Come walk with me

Fancy a walk with the dogs?  We have such a choice here of where to go with the dogs, but on a muddy day, we have a favourite walk which avoids all the mud.

We start by go down off the estate where we live, along this little back lane
Liska knows the way look
Then on past one or two cellars

Shaun the sheep
And a derilict building that can't be pulled down because it is of "historical interest"
Then we move up into the new housing estate
The road and services have been in a year or so now, but only one house is being built
You can just see it on the hill
Then from there we turn along the side of the chateau, and walk down what we call the Yellow Brick Road (because it's yellow bricks!)

Then we head back through the bottom end of town, past where they are building a new block of flats

And past the local police station
And back home for a nice cup of tea! I hope you enjoyed our little walk.  Perhaps you can come with us on another one sometime!

22 November 2013

ATC Swap

Remember a couple of weeks ago, I sent off my Art Trading Card on the latest round of the Very Berry ATC swap.
Thankfully my partner liked it.  What we do tend to forget is that whilst we are busy making our card/bag/mug rug, someone is doing just the same thing for us.   I was so pleased to receive my little swap card the other day

It's beautifully sewn and the colours are so me.  Thanks so much Judith.
The next round will be during spring next year, so in the meantime, I think I'll perhaps make a couple more, just to get my creative juices going.

19 November 2013

My little houses

I've been busy making houses for Ange in this month's Stitch Tease Bee.   Oh and I've had great fun!
First is Elizabeth Hartmann's pattern Neighbourhood, from her book Modern Patchwork

Ange specifically requested a character in the windows/door.  I don't have much in my stash with cute characters on, but I found a little birdie!  I love this pink and grey combination, and will definitely use it again.
The second block is a bit busier yhan the first.  I used this pattern and got down to a little paper piecing

It was quite an easy pattern, but it did take quite a while to make.  I appliqued a matryoshka doll in the doorway, and yes I did give her eyes , nose and mouth, but after I took the picture.  I'll leave it up to you to work out the story of the little girl in the upstairs window!
This was a great idea for a bee block.  It was a pleasure to make, and will make a wonderful quilt I know.

15 November 2013

Super Tote

I can't believe a week has gone by since my last post.  I've had quite a busy week and managed to get some sewing done.  We also went out on Saturday to celebrate St Martins day, which is traditionally the day when St Martin arrives on his white horse (bringing snow - which didn't happen), the local restaurants cook special Svatomartinske husa (goose dinner) and in this area,you  can drink the first of the new  wines. We missed the wine because we went a day too early, and it hadn't been released, which is no great loss as it's not usually very nice! (but don't tell anyone I said that OK?)

Before I show you the sewing, I have drawn the winners from the Giant Chevron pattern giveaway.  I actually got the random number generator to work this time, but then having generated the numbers, I tried to re-poisition the little blocks, and they numbers dissappeared.   So I hope you will trust me that the number were

Number 12 - Sarah - Narcoleptic in a cupboard

and number 19 -  Barbara Woods

Congratulations both - I'll drop you a line just to confirm and forward your e-mail addresses to Jess. And thanks to everyone who visited and left a comment

I spent some time last week making a SuperTote from the Noodlehead pattern.  More time than anticipated, but I always under-estimate how long things will take to make!  It took an age to sort out all the pattern pieces, stick them together, then cut out all the pieces,
 but once that was done, it was plain sailing.  The pattern was really easy to follow, and there really no tricky bits at all.  I will admit though, I'm a little dissappointed with the finished article

The bag as a whole is a little limp, I think mainly because of the sides.  I added a double layer of interfacing as recommended, but I think I should have put in some of the stiffener in the gusset, like I did in this bag

It gives the bag some shape and substance.  Also the sides look a little like orange peel
which I think is the fault of the interfacing combined with linen - the interfacing was bought locally and maybe is not that good quality.
I also opted to make it without a magnetic fastener on the front pocket - I went for the photo in the pattern, with a magazine in the front pocket - but it flops open, and would be much better with some sort of fastener. 
Can you see what I mean about it being limp.  It needs some Skeli-grow!
 I also had to add a bit of top stitching to the handles as the top of the bag rolled inwards

However, I do love the internal elasticated pocket. which I lined (and the external pocket) although this wasn't in the pattern

I'm not saying it's a bad pattern or bag, but if I make it again, I know what I would change to make it a lot better.   And I'm sure the bag will do a perfect job of holding all my holiday "stuff" - kindle, ipad, sewing, sun tan lotion, sunglasses!

08 November 2013

Tah-dah and a giveaway

I have been beavering away in the background, testing a pattern for Jess at the Elven Garden.  I've shown a few sneaky shots, but here is the finished quilt
Jess has called this the Giant Chevron (for obvious reasons) and it is a perfect quilt for a beginner.  Even so, I think it makes a stunning quilt, and looking at the quilts made by the other testers, can be made to look very different with the choice of fabrics and quilting.

I made mine from my stash, but it can be made from a layer cake (or the baby version from a charm square pack).  I quilted the zig zags in straight lines roughly (very roughly) half an inch apart.  Then I went mad on the white bits and tried out a swirly FMQ pattern.
 I was worried that it was a bit rough, but when it's crinkled up after a wash, you can hardly see the pattern, let alone the mistakes!
I guess I've missed a thread then!
I backed it with some Washi Tape that I got at a very reasonable price, and bound it with Free Spirit designer solid in a very bright pink.  Both of these are absolutely perfect for the design.
I finished this just last night, right on cue for the pattern release.  This morning dawned bright and sunny, if a little windy, but just right for a photo shoot.

I usually have a shot with Ted on the garden rocker, but as Jess is an Aussie, I thought it fitting that Roo was in on this one instead
Roo doesn't come out very often, and George was a little suspicious of this bouncy creature
This also counts for a finish in the Q4 FAL.  It was known as the mystery quilt before I was able to reveal my secret!
The Giant Chevron  pattern includes three sizes: baby, lap and twin size and is available  here and here.
To celebrate the release of the pattern, Jess is offering a copy of the pattern  (pdf) to two of my readers.  You have two chance to win

1. The giveaway is open to followers of my blog, so let me know how you follow me.  If you're not a follower, why not join me, and let me know.
2. Share this giveaway - facebook, IG, pin, tweet, blog - and leave another comment
I'll leave the giveaway open until Thursday 14th by which time, I hope I can get the random generator thingie working.  And don't forget to give me an e-mail address if you are a no reply blogger
If you nip over to Jess's blog now, she has photos of all Chevron quilts the tester have made.  Oh and good luck!

04 November 2013

My brain hurts...

It's very windy today, and as a result (I'm guessing) we were without power for a couple of hours.  Fortunately I am married to a scout, so the camping stove came out at lunchtime to warm up the soup. Phew, no-one went hungry.
I was hoping for a little sewing time, but as that was off the agenda, I thought I'd make a start on a holiday bag.  I much appreciated your input regarding patterns, and tempted as I was by the others, I decided to have a go at the Noodlehead Super tote (Please don't be offended I didn't use yours Katy!).
My fabric isn't anywhere near as cool as this one
but I'm wanting to make a holiday bag, and I've had this fabric for a couple of years, waiting to be made into something summery.
The reason my brain hurts is that it took me a good hour or two to sort out all the pattern pieces, tape them together, and lay them out on the fabric.  That was before I started cutting!  The cutting tested my brain power a not insignificant amount too - let's blame my menopausal brain shall we!  Anyways, it's all done now

and the interfacing is all fused on, ready to get going in the morning.  I think I've done the hard bit now.  The pattern instructions and assembly look fairly straight forward, but you may like to ask me that again this time tomorrow, when I, fingers crossed, I  will have put the whole thing together.

Before I go, if you're interested in a low volume charm swap, head over to flickr , Rachel from the Floral Suitcase is organising a swap and is still looking for a few more peeps to fill the spaces in the second group.
I've picked out this fabric, for all the Dowton Abbey fans in the swap.

That's all for now folks.  I have some binding to sew down in from of a roaring fire!