Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pants Bag and a new ... DRAGON?!

Dear niece's fiancé had his birthday on Sunday so the obligatory family barbecue was organised! He's going to learn to drive so we gave him an IOU for a couple of driving lessons but a birthday boy has to have something unexpected to open, right? So I decided to make him a Pants Bag. 

Chris's football (soccer) team is Newcastle United (so, he's not perfect!) - here is their kit for this season:

Which gave me all the inspiration I needed. I used this fabric for the lining:

And here is the finished Pants Bag:

And the back, kindly photo-bombed by Nell:

He loved it! Poor Chris had to do his ice-bucket challenge on his birthday. I bet he'd 'scream like a girl' (I did when I did mine!) but he took it like a man - bless him:

And DH and SIL went shopping last week for chimney pots and bought a dragon roof finial! Have you ever seen such a thing?

Quite fitting really now we're living in Wales - the dragon is the most important symbol for the Welsh. It appears on our national flag (also called Ddraig Goch = red dragon), supposedly dating back as far as King Arthur (5th/6th century) and the oldest recorded use as a symbol for Wales dates back to 829AD! 

The minute he starts talking about 'the old Welsh Dragon', and looking in my direction, it's going straight back to the reclamation yard!

Linking up with Lorna and Heather and looking forward to more sewing when I get home tomorrow :)

Sew Fresh Quilts       Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, 1 September 2014

Around the World Blog Tour ...

Even though I'm really not comfortable talking about me (would much rather talk about the quilting), when the lovely Maja over at Majas Paradis asked me to join in the Around the World Blog Tour, I couldn't say no :) 

Here's her post from last week - she is a very clever lady who makes beautiful scarves and quilts and bags - and I love the fact we are blogging friends. Will we ever meet for real? Who knows - she's in Sweden, I'm in the UK ... it could happen!

So here goes with the four questions, starting with - what am I working on?

Not much at the moment! It's been a crazy summer with a house move and seeing lots of family and friends - hasn't left me much time  to sew - I have a few quilts waiting to be basted but I need space, time and DH to help me - I would love to finish these soon:

My 'soldier's quilt':

My Strip Bee quilt:

My 'broken shoulder' quilt:

I started making another quilt yesterday - my first in months (because of the broken shoulder and house move!) This is going to be a simple quilt for my friend designed to go with the picture she sent me of her floor mat:

2) How does my work differ from others?

I'm not sure it does. When I started quilting 4 years ago, I looked at loads of blogs, Google images and read many magazines for ideas and inspiration. I do think my work has evolved - I'm willing to try most things (except curves and Y seams!) and when I look back at creating this quilt for my SIL, based on our holiday in Amsterdam, I'm amazed at how much I've learned:

But I also like the simplicity of this quilt (made for my Swedish friend's Mum):

I guess most of my work is tailor-made for the recipient, whether it's the colours or the design, so is very individual to them but not necessarily different from the work of other quilters.

3) Why do I write / create what I do?

Because I'd go mad if I didn't! And I have so many fabrics just dying to be turned into something, I know I shall never tire of this delightful hobby. I get so much enjoyment from being part of a special group of crafters. It gives me the most amazing rush when I can turn this:

into this:

I just know I would be totally bereft if I had to stop. The writing I wish I was better at but I keep trying so let's (all) hope I continue to improve!

4) How does my writing / creative process work?

It varies. I'll start with a person, a piece of fabric or an image and just wait a while and let it flow. It's never let me down. I love drawing my designs in a graph book and working out how much fabric I'll need, what fabrics to put together, adding as the idea evolves. I'm a very tactile person ... I could touch fabric all day long!

My writing is like me - honest and does what it says on the tin! Perhaps I'll take lessons ...

So that's me and I'm now nominating Jennie over at Porch Swing Quilts who is a Quiting Mom of 5 SuperWoman! Jennie designs delicious quilts and bags and is a great blogger too. Please check out her post next week (September 8th) I know I will :)

(I would have nominated more blogging friends but all my favourite people had already been asked! Check them out: Carla @ Creatin in the Sticks, Fran @ Patchy Rose, Amy @ A Quilting Sheep - such talented and generous ladies - I'm so thankful to have met you x )

Linking up with another fabby quilting friend - Lorna:

Sew Fresh Quilts

Friday, 22 August 2014

Made a bag, got a bag :)

Like many quilters and bloggers, I am enjoying a very busy Summer and I'm not getting much sewing or blogging done ... but that's okay, hey? 

Last week I made a tote bag for Angie (a friend of the family) to say thank you for gifting us these fabby brass jugs for our new house:

I love making these tote bags. Angie said she liked rose pinks so I raided my stash / scraps and here are some of my 'along the way' photos:

And it doesn't matter how many times I get to this part, it always makes me smile because I think, 'no way this is going to work' ... but it does:

So that was the gift I made and this was the gift I got from my dear blogging friend Jennie over at Porch Swing Quilts - she makes amazing bags (you must check out her 'Weekender' bags) and she sent me the bestest little Sew Together Bag - look at those 3 delightful zipped pouches:

And see what she added on the front - a Glinda wand! She makes all these beautiful things AND has 5 little ones to look after - SuperWoman indeed! Thank you sooooooo very much, Jennie, I adore it! You're incredibly thoughtful and I'm sending you a big hug all the way to North West USA from here in the UK (North Wales) x

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

Enjoy the rest of the Summer - I will :) 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A little bit of what you fancy ...

... does you good! So in just a few hours sewing today, I made pencil cases for my niece and nephew (at their request, my little quilty converts!) They came to stay with us this weekend and we did have fun ... shopping, pétanque, barbecue, a walk in the woods, a boat ride on the river, visiting Chester - we managed to cram a lot in in a couple of days :)

They both love my new sewing room - especially all the fabric! It really was like watching kids in a sweet shop but they actually know what they like and chose quite quickly - Oliver (aged 11) gravitated towards the ginghams and Libby (who's a very girly 12 so I had to add this pink love heart ribbon) picked from my vintage USA fabrics and a modern batik:

I used this fusible Pellon to add some strength -  I bought it years ago in the USA and found it when unpacking - what clever stuff - simply cut, iron, quilt - voila:

I did a very simple design of 3" squares and strips which finished at around 12.5" x 5" so the case will easily take a ruler and plenty of pens. 

Here they are ready to be posted and finished in plenty of time before they go back to school:

And Mr Postie delivered my first batch of Christmas Fabrics yesterday. Bought online from Patchwork Dreamer, they're a truly festive Makower bundle:

Think I'll make a Christmas Quilt out of it for the Snug. Had to light the wood-burner in there today, it was a little bit wet and windy in North Wales - thanks to Bertha apparently, we had a month's rainfall today:

Night night from me and Nell - guess I won't be tidying up just now:

Stay safe and warm :) 

Linking up: 
Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, 4 August 2014

Am still here :)

I have not been sewing ... I have not been blogging ... I have not been following blogs - for 3 weeks! 

A combination of life's distractions and poor wi-fi service in the new house have come between me and my favourite things. But I have been enjoying my new early morning walk to work:

And my walk back to the hotel at night via Parliament Square:

London is beautiful in the Summer. I'm working long days and living there in the week so that I get to come home to our lovely new home in Wales on a Thursday afternoon:

But it does mean I'm not spending much time in here:

It's certainly a change in the pace of life and we're spending lots more time with family ... it's been a while since she was lit up:

This weekend, I have continued making some table mats from Cath Kidston fabric, which I will finish off on the train this week or in my hotel room:

Quilted with wiggly lines:

And I have made a start on the million yards of bunting (maybe not quite that much!) for dear niece's wedding which is next September ... so plenty of time, hey?!

I still can't baste and quilt anything sizeable but I resumed physiotherapy today after a 4-week break so that's good.

I'll pop around and see what you've all been up to - lots I bet :)