Monday, 29 September 2014

Still here!

I cannot believe it's been nearly 3 weeks since my last post but I haven't been sewing and I didn't know if non-quilting events would be of interest to anyone but, in the absence of anything creative to share, I'll bring you up to speed. 

I may not be sewing but I am still shopping! Look at how happy the arrival of  this bundle of gorgeousness from Craftsy made me: 

Although why do I need more fabric when I'm not using up the vast amounts I already have?? Hello, my name's Jennifer ... and I'm a Fabriholic!

DH is still overseeing the various workmen coming and going at the house and he even did some brick carrying last week up and down the ladder for the chimneys to be rebuilt. Here's him having a little break:

And I attended a school reunion the week before last - 28 years after leaving the sixth form, a crowd of about 40 of us got together at a hotel back on Anglesey - the place where I grew up: 

I loved school (most of the time) and made some very good friends over the years - here's me with two of my best friends (from then and now) just before we headed out for the evening:

New boots to go with a new dress - apparently it's  the footwear of choice these days ... who knew?!

What fun, catching up with old mates, reminiscing about teachers and big events - was a little apprehensive, I'll be honest, about whether I wanted to go and take that trip down Memory Lane but I'm so glad now I went as it really was an enjoyable evening. I think we'll be doing it again in a few years when we all hit 50!

Last week and this week, I'm away from home having physio on my shoulder (hence no sewing) and am staying in this glorious place:

Happy hydrotherapy classes, daily delightful physio, wonderful walking; I'm swimming, reading and relaxing - indeed, it's a little bit of heaven on earth!

I'm not fixed, it will surely be a little while longer before my shoulder is fully mended but this stay is getting me there and I will be basting very soon as I'm desperate to finish some quilts.

Thank you for staying close, normal service will be resumed soon :) 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pants Bag and a new ... DRAGON?!

Dear niece's fiancĂ© 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