24 Oct 2011

Sew Many WIPs

I have quite a few little projects on the go at present and I would like to share them with you.

I am SO enjoying stitchery stuff at present - it is my new drug!!

So I finshed a couple of pairs of 'granny slippers' so that I could put my woolly yarn and needles away to concentrate on other crafts

They are really warm and cozy and you can use up lots of  your scraps to make something quite useful or as a nice gift - you need 6 squares per slipper, just google 'granny slippers' and you will find loads of links to make these.

I am so in love with hardanger embroidery I could scream about it.  I have got my hands on a beautiful book and want to do all the projects inside!!

This is my little tilda bunny I am working on.  I have wanted to do one of these for so long and now I have the linens to make a proper job of one I couldn't wait to get started.

I worked up these little houses from a kit supplied free with Crossstitcher magazine,  They have got to be stitched up and stuffed

I am also working on my Flickr swap project for Emma, but that has to remain secret until she has received it in the next few weeks.

11 Oct 2011

Hello Again

Hello to all my readers. I have re-emerged from my Summer break, full of enthusiasm, ideas and excitement for my Winter crafting. Summer, for some reason leaves me feeling 'bleurgh' about any form of crafting and try as I might I just cannot lift a needle or stitch a stitch, my brain just says NO! Oh well.

Anyways, I am feeling very 'stitchy' at present and embroidery is calling out to me. My crochet hooks and yarn have been stashed (I have some granny slippers to photo and show you soon that I have completed) all WIPs have been abandoned for now and threads and fabrics fill my craft space.

This is what I am working on now - I am enjoying the precise nature of the stitches and the teeny tiny crosses - I am stitching on 18ct Aida!

I have also succumbed to the very addictive hardanger embroidery - I love the challenging nature of this work and the way stitches and fabric can transform into a glorious, lacy work of art.

I am also taking part in another Flickr Mini QT Swap - I am creating a mini quilt for my partner using another embroidery technique that I have dabbled with recently but I can't show or tell as it would spoil the surprise for my swap partner.

Right I am away now my little needle calls - gawd help my poor eyes!!!

Be back soon I promise ;)

2 Apr 2011

My Singer 201 love affair begins

This is the little beauty that has come to live with me this week.  I acquired her from the ubiquitous Ebay and I am thrilled and excited to have her in my possession.

The serial number confirms she is a 201 model and was built in 1953 in Kilbowie, Scotland

Needless to say she also came complete with a not so nice coating of grime and detritus.

After a little bit of dismantling, scrubbing, buffing and TLC she is now looking beautiful and clean and shiny again.

The cabinet is in need of some serious attention and I shall tackle that too.

A really big surprise (that I didn't notice when picking her up, nor was it mentioned in the sale details) is that she is operated by KNEE CONTROL!.  I did notice that the wire seemed too short to reach the floor on the foot pedal and put it down to it being doctored for some reason, THEN I noticed this metal lever underneath and realised that it was indeed a knee control lever and the foot pedal was supposed to sit in a cradle at the side of the cabinet (cradle is there).  So with the pedal in position I tried the knee control and what a revelation it is!!  I can't believe how easy and effortless it is to use, so much more comfortable than a foot control!  The lever is always at the side of your knee/thigh and the slightest touch operates the machine.  I'm hooked and there is no way I am going to convert her to foot control!

I did the coke can test to confirm the claim about the throat size and it does indeed swallow two cans compared to my other machine which can't quite fit two!  Happy quilting.

What can I say about the sewing operation that hasn't been said before?  Apart from that she sews like nothing before, so smooth, quiet and glides like a hot knife through butter.  Also being set into the table top is lovely as the sewing height is perfect and so comfortable.  For a 58 year old work horse she works perfectly and will see me through the rest of my sewing days.

(Ps.  It took all day to load these photos to Blogger so my love affair with this site dwindles with every post I make)

23 Mar 2011

Eureka moments

The other day I had some time and was catching up on some bloggy reads.  I popped in to have a see what Kellie of Don't Look Now had been up to  (always very interesting and usually quite beautiful and inspiring work!) and Lo! she was talking about darning/free motion feet and what makes a good one.  She talked about a foot from another make of machine being perfect for my make - a Janome/New Home.  I have this foot

which to be fair I have not got on well with as the closed front does interfere with the view of the work and when you are working at speed, as you do for FMQ, it can be off putting.  So I looked at it and thought 'I can chop the front out to open it up'.  So when I next sighted Mr Neet I asked him to do the job for me and this is what he came up with

Eureka!!  It works absolutely, bloomin' fantastic!  and it cost me nowt!  I did think before hand that if it didn't work as I had hoped then it would be nothing lost as I would have had to have gone and purchased one of the other feet mentioned by Kellie anyways, but as it is I now have the perfect foot for free motion work - all I have to do is brush up my skills to match!

On a different note......

This is the beautiful fabric (click photo to see the detailed prints) I received from Kimberley of Fat Quarter Shop - fab, fab service all the way from the US (Sorry UK sellers you just didn't have this fabric for me).  My beautiful black and white stash that is going to become my scrappy strings bedspread/throw for my Superking (read 'huge') bed.  I am calling it a throw because I am not going to sandwich it with batting, but piece it with cotton muslin (Ikea) as I go and then back it with a lovely piece of black and white fabric taken from a Hobbs quilt cover.  So I figure that the 3 layers will make a nice drapable throw - now I just have to find the time to get it done but I AM clearing the decks of other projects at present so hopefully I will be chopping into this stash very soon.

17 Mar 2011

Busy Swapper Catch-up

I have been so busy swapping over on Flickr that there doesn't seem to have been time for little else.  Now that all current swaps are drawing to a conclusion, until the next round, I can take time out and tidy up, catch up and update my little corner of blogland.

1. Scrappy Pincushion Swap

This is the package I made for Susan aka Chickenfoot.  She liked 'srooms.

This is the gorgeous little pinnie I received from Steph (PaisleysPlaceQuilts)    This was a secret partner swap and I guess she took on the whole 'englishness' of my profile for this little make for me. 

2. Scrappy Mug Rug Swap

This is the Mug Rug I made for Jessie (TinyHouse)  it is the first ever Mug Rug I made and was very happy with how it worked out.

This is the package I received from Linda ( ) again this is a secret partner swap but it so happened that Linda WAS ALSO in my group for the 3x6 Sampler Quilt Bee!

3. Doll Quilt Swap 10 - DQS10

This is the quilt I have made for my partner (again a secret so until she receives it I will hold back her name).  I used a DoeCDoe tutorial stitchery for the centre panel and the quilt evolved from there. 

I am still awaiting my quilt from my secret partner.

4. Mini QT Swap

This swap is lovely to participate in.  You know who your partner is and can communicate with them.  My partner was Di (Di2Quilt) and lives in Taiwan!!  She was quite thrilled that she had her first UK-based swap partner - I decided to go with a British feel by using some Cath Kidston on my quilt.  The theme was '3D' and we both agreed to do a floral design.  It was my first attempt at machine applique - and I like it very much.  Mini QT quilts can measure a maximum 12" square - this met that requirement.
I also enclosed some Cath fabric and a local church magazine as an insight into pastoral life in Britain.

This is the pretty little quilt that Di made for me.  Japanese linen - how gorgeous.  It measures 8.5"x 6"  and Di also enclosed a piece of double sided linen for me.  Thank you Di.

I am also participating in the 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee but awaiting the 6 blocks in the post so I will post a photo of those when they are all with me

I am working on these projects for myself in between the swap stuff

scrappy string quilt blocks = 120 x 6.5" blocks!  (I have also ordered some Michael Miller rouge et noir fabric from the Fat Quarter shop for a black and white superking version for my bed! = huge ammount of blocks!)

That Girl-That Quilt QAL

Moda Bakeshop Baby Pinwheel quilt also in red and white version for my living room

Cushions for my sofa

a blue version of the button quilt (as I love the design so much!!)

and I have just started designing for the next round of the the Mini QT swap as we know the theme already - circles and curves - just need the name of partner.  Sign ups are open until April 1st - come over and join in why don't you?

Anyway I think I have covered all projects, hope you haven't been subjected to photo overload in this post!! and I am away now as there are things for me to do.


4 Mar 2011

Blogger's Pillow Party

What do you do with a leftover block from a swap?  Make a cushion cover!  I had a spare block leftover from the 3x6 Sampler Quilt Mini Bee over on Flickr as the person I had made it for dropped out quite early on.  So with time on hands I added to it with some extra width, made an envelope back, added some extra quilting and ended up with a lovely cushion cover that I am rather proud of.

I am adding it to the entries for March on the Bloggers Pillow Party site  to join in with all the other beautiful creations made by bloggers worldwide, and if I was very lucky, be selected to win a prize or at least figure in a final list to be chosen from!!

28 Feb 2011

Scrappy String Loveliness

I came home from the fabric shop with a little bit of Kaffe and a couple of rolls of scraps like this.  They only cost a couple of quid each and are truly scrappy strips.  I haven't amassed enough scraps of my own yet to do this sort of project so I thought I'd help it along on it's way. 

The strips measure from 1" to 1.5" max and are all fabrics that I would never go out and buy but they they are all beautifully ditsy, small prints.

I have unrolled them and jumbled them up, added the odd two or three of my own fabrics into the mix (ones I am not too keen on)

I am making 6.5" squares (to make 12" blocks) with the paper piecing method.  There are loads of tutorials and how-to's out there on the web so I won't link to any particular site.  I am using skinny strips of 1.5" wide max for a really scappy look and all have got a white central string of 2" wide to create a sashing when sewn together.  I have to warn you that this little creative outlet has a VERY addictive habit. 

I don't think it will take me long to get to quilt top size - the trouble will be knowing when to stop!

I will update with news on all my Swaps later in the week.