Archive for April, 2011

A Royal Good Day!

April 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Yes, we were there, squashed into the Mall with 500,000 other people – and look at the view we got of the balcony at Buckingham Palace¬†– we were so lucky! Had a great day – best of luck William and Kate ūüôā

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Leaflet bag …

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

… all finished – and just in time to come with us to London today to the Royal Wedding!

I wasn’t too sure about it to begin with – it’s a bit floppy, so I think next time I make this I’ll probably try it with some interfacing to see what difference it makes. It could probably do with heavyweight thread to sew it as well – it’s ok with the ordinary piecing thread I use – I think it’s a Gutermann 50 weight – but it doesn’t look as nice as a heavyweight thread probably would. It’s going to be good for the beach though – I got all my usual rubbish in the bag, along with a change of clothes for each of the kids, some magazines and a pencil case, a colouring book and¬†my raincoat!

Oh, and that handy double pocket at the front? (the one that doesn’t match the rest of the bag cos I forgot to check the pattern before I cut it out and which became a double pocket cos one pocket was too saggy?) – perfect for carrying a Union Jack flag for waving ūüôā

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Just checking …

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

.. that my new settings have saved and that this will link to facebook …. and yay, looks like it works (cos I’m so lazy, it saves me repeating myself over there – well, saves you lovely facebook / blog followers from seeing me repeat myself!)

Ooh, while I’m here, thought I’d just upload my pics of the embroidery I had a go at at the Sewing for Pleasure show – this was the result of a workshop with Lorna Bateman who is just fab! She has a facebook page too (Lorna Bateman Embroidery) and has some great pictures on her site. Lorna is a former quilter and I was explaining that I’d really like to incorporate some more embroidery into my quilts – so far it’s been limited to running stitch but Lorna showed us how¬†to do drizzle stitch and stem stitch – both of which are really effective ūüôā

¬†The picture above shows the embroidery in progress – Lorna had very kindly drawn the design out onto the cloth beforehand so it was really easy to pick up and sew. I came away with a Milliner’s needle and a Crewel needle¬†(never had either of those before) and a little kit with all the threads in that I needed, together with some instructions (always helps, I think – I like instructions and have been known to hoard bits of paper for years and – ooh, years!) .

I’ve finished the lavenders now

but I still need to add some little bees that were in Lorna’s original design. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and love the little drizzle stitches – they’re like little furry caterpillars that you can secure at the end to hold them flat to your work, or have them waving about like – well, furry caterpillars I guess! Not sure yet how I’ll use these skills in my quilts but it was a lot of fun learning – now looking at embroidery books amongst everything else ūüôā – so much to try, so little time!

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Gone quiet …

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been a bad blogger lately and haven’t been updating this page as much as I’d like – I have been busy though!! If you follow my facebook page at all, you’ll know that in the last few weeks I made a single bed quilt for a big girl’s 2nd birthday, some baby bunting (aaahhh!) and¬†a¬†cot bumper to match the christening quilt I finished in January and a shoebag for the same big girl starting nursery. Thank you Emma, hope Addison is settling in to nursery¬†ok :o)

This week I finished another shoebag

and got a lovely parcel in the post with some material for a bag for me – yay!! This is a heavier weight fabric – I think they call it ‘home dec’ which is meant for bags and cushions and the like, it’s got a canvas-type feel to it. The design is ‘leaflet’ by¬†Jessica Jones, an American graphic designer. I’ve been following Jessica’s blog for a while (how about orange)¬†and she posts some great ideas for things to make (origami paper bunnies anyone?) and links to free stuff – like wedding invites / fonts / patterns. I love her fabric designs but haven’t found any of her¬†fabric over here – and it doesn’t seem to be in too many shops over ‘there’ either! Anyway, I came across some on Etsy and snapped it up, so here it is in all its’ loveliness ….

I’ve also finally finished piecing the sugar pop quilt and this is basted and ready to quilt. I tried pinning it to start with but it was a bit of a disaster – I know lots of people tape the layers¬†to a¬†wooden floor¬†to keep them straight and taut (and I have tried that too, with some success) but the only space¬†I have big enough to do that is by the front door, which means a) clearing the kids clutter (scooters, bikes, footballs, discarded items of clothing, bags, coats etc etc) then b)¬†hoovering or sweeping up all the mud, dust and assorted rubbish and c) washing the floor to get rid of anything nasty! By the time I’ve done all that, I’m too exhausted to tape and pin – plus it means a lot of yelling at the kids to¬†‘watch out’ when they come in and out the door 40 times an hour – relaxing? I think not!!!!¬†¬†I have tried pinning smaller quilts to the dining table so I tried it with this one, but that was a blob as well – plus I ran out of pins ūüė¶¬†You know what it’s like when you just want to get something finished? I’ve kind of reached the aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrgh! stage with this – I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I want it done, done, done!¬†

So, I was reading Katy’s blog (I’m a ginger monkey)¬†about a week ago and she¬†posted about this adhesive spray – I’ve thought about this before, but heard it can gum up your machine needles and stuff, so never really felt like trying it, but the quilt must be finished and Katy was very complimentary, so before I knew it I was on ebay and paypal and ta-da – the spray arrived a couple of days later – hurrah! Now the quilt is basted and ready to go – and hey, it really does work!

 I love it, I really do Рnow, all I need is to finish that ironing, get the kids back to school and hopefully the time to quilt it will magically present itself and it will be done :o)

Next project – what to do with my little pile of charm squares from Amy Butler’s¬†Soul Blossoms range – I’m thinking Islamic Tiles, like in the Alhambra in Seville¬†–

I quite like all those squares on point ………… what’s that? a bit like the sugar pop quilt? Hmmmmm……….

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Sewing for Pleasure :)

April 9, 2011 Leave a comment

I¬†had a great time a couple of¬†weekends ago¬†– not only was I able to catch up with some of the Northern contingent of my family, I also had¬†the luxury of a¬†full day at the NEC’s Sewing for Pleasure show, whilst Mr P&P took the kiddywinks to Warwick Castle. I have to thank my mum for suggesting it, as a bit of a birthday treat (yes, 21 again!) – this isn’t a show I’ve been to before, but it was fab! So much to see and admire – and buy!

I spent most of my time in the Fashion, Embroidery and¬†Stitch¬†section – here there were textile artists such as Wendy Dolan¬†¬†and Sue Munday, both of whom live quite close to me down here in Sussex. In fact, I¬†have been¬†hoping to do a workshop¬†with Sue¬†for some time, but there¬†haven’t been enough people both times to get it organised, which is a shame – maybe one day it will allwork out! I attended a short talk that Wendy gave on her work, where she explained that she builds up a base piece of fabric in simple, natural tones, applying torn material, hessian, agricultural fleece, nappy liners,¬†fabrics that can be¬†heat¬†treated – and so on and so on – to create texture and suggest shapes. When she is happy with this, she applies paint and then finishes off by using free machine embroidery to add detail. I really enjoyed listening to the creative process she described, and was interested to see the latest pieces of work she is doing, incorporating a¬†map of Hove, Brighton and the South Downs. Her work is a million miles away from mine at the moment – I wonder if I can ever dare to be that experimental!

¬†There was also a display from the Contemporary Quilt guild (part of the quilter’s guild of the british isles) – another stand I had listed as one to visit and I had an interesting chat with¬†one of the ladies there.¬†All of the work on display was lovely, and so creative – and it struck me that, actually there isn’t¬†an awful¬†lot of difference between the work that these quilters do, and the work of the textile artists mentioned above.

At the CQ stand there were rows and rows¬†of little quilts¬†on the stand, with each quilter¬†showing a trio of¬†hangings on a particular theme,¬†of interest to the quilter – think they called them ‘journal’ quilts. One lady for example was interested in peas (yes, peas, those little green things!) and so her work¬†showed peas and pea pods in various shapes, colours and forms!¬†I’m still getting to grips with many of the traditional patchwork designs and¬†although I have designed quilts of my own (such as the bunnies quilt) they all tend to be based¬†on a ‘block’ which is repeated. It’s interesting to see quilts which break away from that¬†block pattern and are much¬†more freefrom – the possibilities¬†really are endless!!

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