Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Bag for a boy ...

... and one for me too!

Any sewing is good, hey? Yes. So I'm not going to get any quilt-envy about what I'm not achieving. I made myself another Pants Bag at the weekend. All from scraps - oh my, do I have a lot of scraps?!

Even the lining and casing:


My friend Carla @ Creatin in the sticks wrote a lovely post last week about the Pants Bags she made for the special ladies in her life. And the lovely Jasmine really loves the one I made for her last year but is worried her hubby will pinch it so we agreed he needed one of his own!

Dark greens are his favourite colours, so I went stash-busting:

Meh! Wasn't doing it for me so I just HAD to go shopping on Saturday and bought these FQs instead (well, it is his birthday soon!):

Far more suitable, methinks, and a little WIP photo:

Linking up with Lorna and Lee

Sew Fresh Quilts

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Battle of pragmatism v perfectionism :)

This quilt - 144 HSTs in a variety of colours - was inspired by my friend's rug / mat for her new conservatory:

and I said I'd make her a quilt to match it ... as you do! After painstakingly selecting the right fabrics, matching the squares, making the 144 HSTs and trimming them all down to a precise 5.5 inches, I figured it would be a doddle to sew them all together into a finished top:

First mistake - I don't do random ... so I spent ages deciding which blocks sat best next to each other. Next step - an easy one, just sewing the pairs together. Second mistake - I am such a fussy perfectionist ... there you go, I've said it out loud. So, after a little bit of unpicking when my points didn't quite match, I had 72 pairs to start placing together in rows of 4 x 12 ... I remind you of my first mistake; this - again - took me ages. 

Having decided (finally) on the order, I decided to throw my usual caution to the wind and not pin! The first few blocks were displeasing on my eyes :( So, that was my third mistake - do not stop doing what you know you have to do when you are a perfectionist - so I pinned, pinned and pinned:

And last night, I finished the top ... yay! Do you know what? After all of the hours cutting, arranging, pinning, sewing, unpicking, pressing ... it is NOT PERFECT! Some of my points are not exactly 100% and some of my colours repeat too close together. But does it matter? The overall effect (I think) is delightful and I know that Mandy will love it when it's all complete:

I need to chill out a bit - less than perfect is okay, hey? I'm probably the only one who notices 'the mistakes' and it can stop me from enjoying the overall result. This hobby gives me an enormous amount of pleasure so from now on, I will be less perfect and more pragmatic - and you can (please!) hold me to that.

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Hope you have a good enough weekend :)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Nothing broken ... Yay!

Oh yes, we had the best skiing holiday in France last week and I didn't even bruise myself! I didn't fall over once (on the piste or during après ski!) and not even a near miss - perhaps my 'tripping' days are finally behind me! Dear SIL and I had our best year's skiing - even trying out some new runs. Here's a few piccies:

And on the day it was too snowy to ski, we just went shopping and drank wine!

Whilst we were on our jollies, Mutter, Mum and Mutter's friend house-sat and looked after Nell for us ... they also had a lovely holiday. Mutter's friend, Christine, was admiring their Pants Bags so, before she went home on Sunday, I quickly made her her own Pants Bag:

Now the next time she comes to stay, she won't have to 'put her drawers in my drawers!'

Have a happy week :)

Friday, 16 January 2015

A quickie before I say, 'Au revoir!'

My little niece is 13 tomorrow so I've made her a handbag and purse (and put a little shopping money for her in the purse!) I have used this tutorial before from Missouri Star Quilters, each time I love the way the bags turn out. This time I used a different stitch on my Juki to quilt it:

And my new thing this week? I made Bread and Butter pudding for the first time - it was yum-meeeeeeeeeee!

And tomorrow we go on our annual ski holiday to France with DH's sis and hubby. In 2011, I broke my ankle skiing. In 2014, I broke my shoulder shopping  - my colleagues and all who love me have made me promise to be careful! 
I will x

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Back to work, here's to routine!

I had a really good first week back at work ... don't get me wrong, I missed home, the Christmas decorations, the time off - but in many ways, I like it when things 'return to normal' and doesn't it make you appreciate the weekends even more? 

Last night, I finished the binding on the cushion for the lady at work who's retiring this month. I enjoyed making this Dresden Plate cushion very much and, as Jane enjoys gardening, I'm hoping the flower and outdoor theme will hit the spot:

Also, just as a little extra ... one of my Pants Bags for her netball games:

My little big sister visited before Christmas and asked for a 'scrappy iPad case' - your wish is granted, dear sis:

And the back:

There's a lot of quilting activity going on out there this week and I'm doing my best to keep up but, in the meantime, I'll just keep tinkering away in my little oasis here (my delightful sewing room) on a very blustery day in Wales. Happy weekend :)

Linking up to Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year ... new challenges :)

After reading my friend Carla's post @ creatin in the sticks, I was drawn to respond with this quote by Albert Einstein:

A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new

I'm not really one for making resolutions (years of disappointment after no success!) but this year, I'm making two :)

My personal one is simply - GET FITTER! After breaking my shoulder last March, I have let my fitness go and I will have to do a running test at work soon so that'll be my motivation. 

My quilting one is - TRY NEW STUFF! I'm in a rut and my sewing time is limited compared to last year which puts me in a rush and tends to have me repeating myself, whilst not trying anything new.

In the spirit of it all, here are my 3 little finishes - zipped make-up/toiletries bags for my best friend's 3 daughters who came to stay with us for the New Year. We wrapped up well (yes that's me in the silly red hat) and went for a 2 hour country walk:

And here is my something new - for me - the start of a Dresden Plate cushion for a friend at work who retires this month. I can't remember when I bought the ruler but it was still in its packaging!

I'm pressing the seams open and joining in quarters:

And taking my time quilting it:

Hope to finish this tomorrow! I'd love to hear about your resolutions :)

Linking up to Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict. So thankful these ladies still host these linky parties so that little blogs like mine get read! And that I can find inspiration by reading others' blogs. 

Happy New Year to you all x

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Quick and easy gift that's always loved :)

I've made a few zipped bags now (iPad cases, pencil cases, make-up bags) when I've needed a gift that's quick and easy to make but still loved by the recipient and Boxing Day was no exception. We were off to a family party and I had underestimated my Christmas gift purchases so quickly made this little bag for my brother in law's niece (and she loved it):

I used this tutorial from Thimble Lane as I find her instructions for adding the zip really easy to follow. Our friends from London arrive tomorrow for a few days holidays so this afternoon I'm making their 3 daughters each a bag to go with a store voucher and sweets we already have for them:

I've appliquéd their initials to personalise them and chosen colours which I know the girls favour.

Oh, and please indulge me, but we had a tiny bit of snow yesterday in Wales which I think makes our new home look even lovelier:

Linking up with TGIFF, hosted this week by the delightful Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts: