Sunday, 29 September 2013

New house presents :)

A flying visit to family in Chester this weekend and dinner with dear niece and her fiancé in their new (and first mortgaged!) house on Friday. They only moved in just over a week ago but it already looks and feels like a warm and welcoming home and whilst they already have quite a few 'Glinda Quilty Gifts', you can never have enough, can you Hannah?!!

Chester has a couple of fabric shops but this was my first visit to Liberty Bell and it was delightful. They were running a workshop at the back of the shop, I could hear all the chatting and laughter ... I so wanted to join in! We spent ages looking through all the deliciousness and finally Hannah picked out some fabrics for a table runner and placemats:

And for some cushions for their bedroom:

And a few fat quarters for me to add to my stash. I treated myself to a baby quilts book too:

Lovely lovely new fabric - now all I need is to find some more time in the day to make everything :)

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Not a lot of sewing ...

... in Glinda's Oz this week but plenty of laughter! Mutter is visiting until Friday and I'm in work all day so I can't really neglect her by spending all my evenings sewing in the loft! She had a lovely trip to Germany and the 7 Pants Bags were very gratefully received by our relatives. I wish I could have travelled with her - maybe next time.  Did I tell you she was from Hameln? What can I say - she just can't help herself:

Two hours in the hot tub after work with a couple of G&Ts wiped me out tonight ... no surprise there! I have retrieved my crocheting from the Isle of Man trip and have just about enough energy to add a few more rounds tonight: 

Crocheting is such a relaxing and sociable craft; I am so thankful Mutter taught me - and it is making for a very enjoyable evening - I am sat here crocheting, whilst Mutter knits and DH reads - there really is no place like home :)

Friday, 20 September 2013

Au revoir, ma petite quilt :)

Just to recap (full story on this post), I have made this lapquilt for my French 'pen pal' Lydia whom I met in a French hospital in 2011 when I broke my ankle skiing (ouch!) and she had broken her femur (double ouch!!) We hit it off immediately, even though she didn't speak a word of English and I had only learnt French up until I left school in 1986! It helped that through the pain and with little sleep, we both loved to chat :)

Lydia is a much better letter writer than I - I owe her like 3 letters ... so this is my penance / her reward. With tomorrow's letter, I will be sending her a little 'material hug from Jennifer' lap quilt. She is a very religious lady so I know she will forgive me.

In time honoured tradition, here's how it all started just over 2 weeks ago:

DH held the finished quilt up for photographs for me in the garden this evening:

Oh, do you see what I see? Look to the left:

A close up:

Look at me, let Mummy take your picture, Nell:

Nell, Nell, here my darling ... Harumph!

Oh well, she'll love me one day - returning to the quilt! The back:

And the label (it translates - 'our wonderful friendship, for Lydia, my spiritual Mother, with love and kisses:

Bon voyage! 

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

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I scare myself sometimes ...

... with my unfailing blind faith that I can look at a pile of fabric, think of an idea, draw a rough pattern (and I mean rough!) and start cutting and sewing with an absolute certainty it will all work out in the end. I really am the eternal optimist * sigh *

Laura (from yesterday's post) is holding a Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising event in January and I am going to make a quilt for the raffle. This paragraph describes their work: 

"The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way. We are the nurses and therapists helping you through treatment. The experts on the end of the phone. The advisers telling you which benefits you’re entitled to. The supporters who make it all possible."

They don't have one logo as such but I did see did this image on Google:

There are many references on the Internet to the symbolism of butterflies ... too many for me to condense in any worthy way here but did you know the ancient Greeks considered butterflies as the souls of those who had passed away? And in ancient mythology, the butterfly stands for wisdom and everlasting knowledge? Fascinating reading and quite fitting a theme for this quilt, I think.

So here is my rough pattern:

My first strip:

A close up and some more blocks I made tonight:

Not sure yet how it's all going to come together, where to position the blocks, what size it'll end up at, if I'll have enough fabric. But that's okay - a few butterflies in my stomach along the way is absolutely fine by me :)

A new WIP, thankful to those who work at Macmillan and to Lee (who's not feeling too good - get well soon!) for the chance to link up: 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Hurry up, Mr Postie!

I have been really lucky at work the last few months, I had a colleague join our team on a short term attachment before she went on maternity leave and she's been lovely to work with. For the record, I've never seen anyone sooooooo pregnant and she still has a month to go!

Friday was Laura's last day with us and she brought in all of this fabric from her Mum (who doesn't sew any more - that's sad) for little old me!

There's some fabulous gems in there, including a few Christmas FQs ... can't wait to sort through it all properly and see how it combines with my stash and I will use it to make more quilts (or Pants Bags!)

Laura knows she's having a little baby boy so I'm going to make her a baby quilt as a thank you gift - my first baby boy quilt. I've ordered some blue hearts fleecy fabric from eBay for the back and as soon as it arrives, I'll decide on a pattern and choose fabrics from my stash:

I did see this loveliness over at Quilts del fin del Mundo which is from this cute Moda pattern:

So I might just give that a go. Do you have a favourite baby quilt pattern? 

Hurry, Mr Postie, bring me my fabric ... pretty please :)

Linking up:

Fresh Poppy Design

Friday, 13 September 2013

Pants Bags galore :)

Over at Crazy Mom Quilts, Amanda Jean's Friday Finishes are made from scraps so I feel like I'm in very good company this week with my little finishes!

This afternoon, DH met Mutter (my mum) at the train station to hand over the 7 ... yes, the 7!! Pants Bags she is taking to Germany on Sunday: they're for my German Aunts and cousins. Here are the last two, which I finished last night:

And all seven:

I love making these - all different designs and fabrics, created in the moment, mainly from scraps with the occasional Fat Quarter (from my stash) used for the borders. They're so lovely to make and even lovelier to give away (though I was seriously tempted to keep the green one!) and now there'll be Pants Bags in Germany too ... I'm taking over the World ... LOL!

Also linking up with Sarah:

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Strip Bee ... Round 3 ... Ding-a-ling :)

Exciting times! Round 3 of our Strip Bees Quilting Bee is upon us (please see this post for its origins). In short, we all make a strip - 40.5" long in any style, width, number of blocks and colour of our choosing, then forward it to the next quilter, who adds their strip, passes it on until it returns home with all 6 strips completed.

I have now received Maria's strip with Fran's added to it. We're only allowed to show sneak previews along the way so I can't show you what delightful objects Fran has added but here's Maria's 'crazy houses' - aren't they fabby? I love them:

So, what am I going to add to it? Hmmmmmm ... I'm getting some inspiration from these Google images:

Seriously??? I don't know! I really don't but I might use some of my new fabric:

Linking up:

Better Off Thread
Fresh Poppy Design

Happy days :)

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Flowers, fabric and friends ...

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary and I got these:

Believe me when I tell you they smell as delicious as they look :) 

Yesterday, we had a wonderful day in Rochester and I found all this loveliness:

DH was very happy - he got these in the book shop:

And today we celebrated the day with our dearest friends and their gorgeous and funny three daughters. It's been a superfabbylightful weekend ... I am very thankful :)

Friday, 6 September 2013

And it's only Friday!!

I do love Fridays - the end of the working week, the start of a new weekend: love, love, LOVE them! And I have a few finishes to share with you :)

Mutter (my dear Mum) has asked me for 7 Pants Bags to give to our relatives when she visits them in Germany ... I made another two this week (2 to go!):

And in next to no time, this little cushion for my fugly chair out of scraps:

I have just finished the top of the lap quilt I started last weekend for my 'maman spirituelle' ... thanks to my quilty friends for all their advice, I didn't add a full green strip around each square but have 'window-framed' the four blocks and it has finished at a nice 46" x 46" size - perfect for Lydia who is petite:

Now to decide on the back. It's great timing, DH and I are going to Rochester tomorrow and whilst he rummages in Baggins (England's largest second hand and rare bookshop), I shall be exploring the fabric in Hometown ... so if I can't find any backing fabric here: 

I am certain to find some tomorrow ... yay! Have a great weekend - linking up with Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict - Can I get a Whoop Whoop? 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A new WIP for my 'maman spirituelle'

I have started a new lap quilt! This one I am making for one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. We shared a hospital room in France for 5 days in 2011 after I broke my ankle skiing ... ouch:

My 'roomie' was Lydia; a very elegant, petite, loving, spiritual lady who had slipped on an icy pavement and had broken her femur. She didn't speak any English and I only knew a little conversational French from school but during those 5 days, we became friends. We laughed, we cried, we told stories we prayed, we sang ... she made those 5 days a truly memorable experience. 

She had no children (like me) and told me that she felt I was the daughter she never had (gulp!) and called herself my 'maman spirituelle' which means spiritual mother. Since then, we have written lots - Lydia is much better than I at keeping in touch and I owe her a letter or two. So, I decided I'm going to send her a special gift with the next letter.

I chose this fabric from my stash as I thought the colours were 'elegant' enough for Lydia but I couldn't think of a pattern:

By chance on Saturday morning, I opened an email from Craftsy (offering up to 80% off my first course) and went to their website. Having looked around the different classes (you can have a sneak preview at both the tutors and their classes, which is really good), I liked the style and energy of Nancy Smith and joined her class:

Over the last few days, listening to Nancy on my iPad whilst sewing, it was almost like having a friend in the room. I must try and get an actual group of quilters together one day *sigh * for some quilting - anyway, here was my first block:

Happy with that, I cut all my strips (just about had enough by cutting 2" strips and using the smaller fat quarters of fabric first) then I kept checking against the first block to make sure I sewed in order:

I wasn't sure whether to add another row of the green so waited until I had finished all 4 blocks: 

And I'm still not sure! I can add the 2" strips now or add a wider border ... hmmmm, I'll decide on Saturday. Linking up