Monday, 27 May 2013

They say it comes in threes ...

... and that was true in our house last week. First, the tumble drier finally gave up the ghost (it was repaired in January but the guy wasn't optimistic!) Luckily, the shop delivered a new one on Saturday and it's drying our towels as I write.

Next, because of the major house upheaval (fingers crossed the builders will finish by Wednesday), I set the ironing board up in a different place with a different plug. I wasn't looking where I was going and tripped over the lead and the iron crashed to the floor and the front smashed open. I tried to fix it but no joy :( Oh well, I just plugged in my quilting iron (longer lead too!) and carried on :)

Yesterday, I plugged the iron in, had just finished ironing some binding, turned it off at the plug and there was a flash and a bang ... after resetting the fuses, I tried it again in a different plug but it smelled real bad! Goodbye quilting iron :(

So shopping today for two new irons! Beauty and the Beast describes them well, I think:

But life is surely about balance? And good things come in threes too? Here are the best three of the good things that happened in my life last week.

1) Lucky me got a day off work to attend a great bag workshop on Tuesday :)

2) Finished quilting my Snooker Table Quilt yesterday :)

3) Went to my dear friend's (Swedish Wedding) UK party last night and there was an ABBA Tribute band!! Had the best time in the company of some really lovely people. Also got to meet up with some friends I haven't seen for ages :)

No disastrous lows in the grand scheme of things but some wonderful highs ... 

Friday, 24 May 2013

Loving the new bags!!

I blogged about making this linen bag at a wonderful workshop on Tuesday:

I won't lie ... parts of it were tricky to make and without the patience and expertise of our lovely tutor, Kate Higgens, there's no way I would have completed it from just a pattern. And I don't know about you ... I need to repeat things - soon - if I'm to learn to do them on my own.

So, after work today, I set about doing just that. I took lots of photos so that I can refer back to this post as a mini-tute in the future because I will be making loads of these gorgeousnesses!!

Step 1 - choose your fabric. No linen in my stash so this bag will be made from 100% cotton - I've chosen three different fabrics for the main bag area, the handles and the lining:

Step 2 - cut up the fabrics: this takes a bit of time but it's good to do it all at the beginning:

Step 3 - make the handles, parts of this are more fun than others!

Make the bag and add interfacing (Vilene or Pellon) and start putting it all together. Note to self - do not fix handles to the bag this way:

But, if you do, please notice it before you've finished the bag! That way, you don't have to do all that unpicking ... DOH :(

Attach handles (properly) this way:

Then do the lining:

Add a flower and a tie and - ta daaaaaaaah! Here it is - a birthday gift for dear niece:

Learnt a lot today ... it's good when that still happens, hey?

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

WIP Sewing Room ...

You will know from this post all the tidying and clearing we had to do to empty the loft / sewing room for the arrival of the builders on Monday. Our house is in upheaval but we have brilliant builders and they are really cracking on with it.

This was the room all tidied on Sunday evening:

And yesterday - see the lack of insulation in some areas ...

and no vertical supports ... 

those bolts are new ...

In brief, between the two sets of builders over 15 years who created the original loft room and the extension, they didn't build it properly and worst case scenario - the roof coud have collapsed. Thankfully, this wonderful builder crossed our path at exactly the right time and we've been able to get it fixed. They've worked hard again today:

I cant wait to get to the fun part when we  I get to choose paint colours, furniture placement and rebuilding my sewing space ... can you see a potential design wall here ... I am a lucky girl :)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Bestest Bag Workshop :)

I bunked off work today (took a day's leave) to attend a bag workshop at my LQS - Yarnia ... hosted by the fabby Nicci and taught by the very talented Kate Higgens who was so patient and made it such a fun learning day for me and the 4 other lovely students.

From 10am - 4pm, we happily sewed away (it was such a relaxed day) and all made the same bag in different colours and sizes and everyone finished their bag by home time :) this was the first time I had sewn with linen and it was really nice.

I learnt how to make a flower:

And a bra all in one handles:

Doesn't this look painful? It pulled through ... eventually!!

Here's everyone's finished bags:

Me and Kate (I'm such a teacher's pet!):

And my bag: 

I love it ... I'm so chuffed - put it on Facebook - big mistake ... HUGE ... as the orders have already started to come in!!

Linking up with Heather and Megan @ Quilt Story - Fabric Tuesday

Fresh Poppy Design

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Absolutely shattered!!

Me and DH have worked our bums off this weekend clearing out the loft / sewing room so that the builders can get in there tomorrow ... it's nearly 6pm on Sunday evening and we are officially shattered!

You know I have too much a lot of sewing stuff up there but we also had to empty the eaves (great place for hiding Christmas decorations, suitcases, old boxes of photos, etc!) Here's the before photos, in all it's glory:

The 'workout ladder' - have lost count how many times we were up and down this yesterday and today:

And everything has to go somewhere until we decide what's getting kept (only what we love or use!), what's going to the charity shops and what's getting binned. The spare bedroom:

Thank goodness we have two bathrooms:

The 'ready for the builders' photos:

And DH has set me up in the dining room. Well, it might take them more than a week!!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Sooooo suggestible :)

Sharing the top of my Snooker Table Quilt which I finished piecing late this afternoon ... Yay!

Hmmm ... is it missing something? 

Walked away, as you do, checked my blog comments and read this from Julie @ Joe Tulips Quilts:

'She is going to LOVE this. It is coming along fabulously. Will you be adding the sticks too?'

Sticks?! That would be the cues, Julie LOL :D And even as I was replying, 'no' - somewhere in my brain,  the suggestion was planting itself ... hmmmmmmm.

So, back to the sewing room and I've now made a 'stick' ... thanks Julie! DH says it needs to be a bit 'thinner' so I'll do some modifications later. Appliqueing it will be fun :) 

Is it too much?

Tomorrow the sewing room gets emptied as we get ready for the builders on Monday ... will try and persuade DH to help me baste this first. 

And at some point over the weekend, this little lot needs ironing - any volunteers?? Thought not!!

Linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Give me a break!!

My Snooker Table quilt for Jackie's retirement present (blogged about lots but please see here for one at the beginning) is coming along nicely so why the title to this post (other than it's snooker related?!)

DH has arranged for the builders to come in on MONDAY ... yes that's next Monday ... 5 days from today. And they will be working in my quilting room (loft) for 7 days (yeah, right!) to fix the 'unstable roof' so everything, yes EVERYTHING has to come out of the loft by Sunday night. So much for all the sewing on this quilt I was planning to do over the weekend *sigh*

Well, I'm just going to have get on with it, snatching an hour here and there where I can. And DH has promised to set me up in the dining room until I can get back in the loft! I'll share all the before and after photos with you from Monday :)

Here's my 'pattern' for this quilt, courtesy of Google images:

Here's where I'm up to after two non-stop hours tonight. First the corner pockets:

Not sure yet whether I'm going to round off the corners or not when I do the binding:

And all the frames and pockets are done. Once I'd worked out the pattern for one pocket, it really was easy to crack on and piece the others. I still have to applique the pockets but at least all my balls are fixed! Amazing what you can achieve when you have to. Jackie's leaving party is on June 13th ... yikes!!:

What do you think of it so far??

Hoping to get all the front pieced by Saturday morning ... then the major upheaval begins!

Linking up with Lee @ Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday