Saturday, 31 December 2011

A wonderful Christmas present

I haven't posted for a while because we have been rather busy. Santa came - with lots of presents -  and went and we had a lovely day at home, with loads to do!

I was unwell for most of the day so spent it in bed but we went out in the evening because Baby had decided it was time to make an entrance in the world. So on Christmas evening, our beautiful darling daughter was born for the joy of the all family.
We were lucky to be able to come home the same night so she met her brother in the middle of the night when she got home and her sister the following morning. We have all been adjusting to life with a new baby since
and of course, I gave the Boxing Day Sew In Challenge a miss - there was so much better for me to do this year!
I guess I might be less present on blogland in the near future but I wish you all the very best for 2012!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

I hope you are all in the mood by now. I doubt we'll have a white Christmas this year but we'll be together with close family only - because of my own travel restriction - to celebrate the day. The little eyes will be mesmerised tomorrow morning when they discover the tree and the wrapping paper will be ripped off and flying away quickly. The magical Christmas mood will be with us through the kiddies eyes for sure, and will help to compensate for those we can't be with at this very special time of year.
I wish you all a very magical Christmas and a happy day!
Until next time,

Friday, 23 December 2011

Boxing Day Sew-In

Have you seen this Boxing Day Sew-In organised by Sandy on her blog. You can play along from midnight until midnight (US time), it starts at 5 am for me in the UK. There will be giveaways and challenges on the blog as well. So you can choose either to go shopping or to go sewing. I am sure I won't be able to go shopping so maybe I'll squeeze some sewing, that should be fun! Who knows?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Macintosh Rose wall-hanging is finished and another 2 kits for free

I finished sewing the binding on my Macintosh Rose wall-hanging yesterday evening so it is now finished and ready to be given to my Mum for Christmas. It won't be a surprise to her because it has taken me so long doing it that she has seen it in progress. Never mind, I know she likes it! I started piecing the top in February 2010 (!)
and left it until last January when I added the black bias binding
and then it waited until earlier this month to be picked up again and finally finished. And it is the 24th at midnight yet, what a performance for me to finish things "almost early".
It will go on her stairs wall to compliment the first one I made her about 5 years ago after her trip to Scotland.

Both wall-hanging have been made using the same focus fabric that I hand-dyed in the summer in 2006. I have all the colour wheel and have only use a few pieces for these 2 wall-hanging to date as I was too scared to cut through them! Maybe I'll use some for the Colour Challenge 2012, that could be a great opportunity.
Anyway, another UFO finished for me and another OPAM, it feels so good that I have digged out yet another one to see if I can finish one more by the end of the month!

On the decluttering front, I have unearthed another 2 embroidery kits that were given to me a while ago and that I will never use and would very much love to send away to a good home, you just cover the postage if you are willing too!
The first kit is from Rowandean Embroidery and is called Waterlilies. It is about 40 cm x 32.5 cm (about 16 x 13 ''). I found at least one kit available on ebay for £40!
It has been started but all the supplies are still available in the pack. So far the trees have been embroidered and the blue organza has been sewn onto the background.
The fabric and ribbon to frame the embroidery are in the pack as well as a very stiff cardboard to mount it when finished.

The second kit seems to have been ordered from a magazine or somewhere in 1996, for this one I only have the explanations and the printed fabric with the design on it. It is called Floral Fancy and the kit is supposed to make a cushion.
Again the kit has been started, the middle embroidery is done as you can see below.
I don't have the threads for this one but there are all listed on the explanations (Anchor references but you can use DMC threads if you use one of the Anchor/DMC conversion chart available on line.)
Leave me a comment or contact me if you are interested by any or both kits. I would be happy to send them on to someone who will use them.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Life is beautiful, giveaway winner and mug rugs

Thank you for all of you who have taken the time to leave a comment and entered the giveaway from the Quilting Gallery blog hop and thanks as well to those who have decided that they would follow me and my next ventures. I hope I'll keep you entertained! Now let's share with you the news you have been waiting for I am sure! the giveaway winner is #53 as you can see below
When I checked back the comments, #53 was Peggy who said:
I have emailed Peggy asking her for her snail mail address to send her her prize.

This week-end I managed to finish stitching my block #5 of the Life is Beautiful quilt. I am keeping my "one a month" target at the moment, which is great even it is a slow progress as it means it is moving along. I have now stitched all the blocks I had prepared in the summer though so I'd better prepare a couple more that I'll have ready when Baby has arrived, in case I had some free time :-D
I also need to pick up the Birdie Stitches BOM again as I haven't finished October yet and haven't even started November and December so I am more than 2 months behind now.

And today I finished my 4 mug rugs (2 sets) that I started on Friday night. Another 2 homemade Christmas presents ready to be given away. I don't think I have ever made as many presents myself.
The first set is more country like and is for my Uncle - who is a farmer and my Auntie - who has decorated her kitchen with lots of roasters so I think they should like their set.
I had a tea-towel with chicken that I bought a while back to do something with it, one day so I used it for the backing of this set - very fitting:

The second set is more "Arsenic and old lace" for my Auntie who likes delicate floral china. Again I think she should like her set too.
I used a similar fabric as the cup for the backing of this set:
This gives me more to add to my OPAM list too, this is by far my most productive month ever! But it shall soon slow down once Baby is there, I am sure. Hope you are getting things wrapped up too before the week-end.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Friday Night Sew-In - no thread!

Yesterday was (this time) the last Friday night Sew in of the year and although I fully intended to participate and get things down, it wasn't until nearly 10pm that I actually sat down and got my fabric and stuff out. But I was determined to at least make a start on the project I had decided to work on last night. So it was a Sew-In with no thread or needle for me (didn't manage to get that far) but I managed to make a start on the Mug Rug I wanted to make. These will be Christmas gifts for my Aunties and Uncle. I bought them a lovely jar of Hot Chocolate and thought it would be a nice idea to wrap the jar with mug rugs. I designed the pattern yesterday, selected the fabrics I wanted to use out of my scrap baskets and bounded the fabric to the background before going to bed. And this were I got to (sorry the pictures are pretty poor quality with the lack of light)

I haven't had a chance to continue yet today as we have been out for a great part of the day getting last-minute baby stuff that I hadn't bought yet and I now feel exhausted. If I find a bit of energy after I have put the kids to bed, I might start sewing on them, otherwise it'll have to wait until tomorrow. I have a slightly extended deadlines for those anyway as I will give them to my Mum to take home with her when she comes (I can't travel at the moment) and she will be with us until 28 December. Hopefully I'll be able to list a 4th OPAM this month, that would be a record for me!

Friday, 16 December 2011

It is becoming to look a lot like Christmas!

We had our first dust of snow this morning, last day of school. Sadly, it was all melted by lunch time but at least it was pretty this morning.
Last week-end, our tree went up ... before the skirt was ready
but I am proud to say that the skirt is now done, I did the last stitch on the binding last night. I made my skirt using blocks I made and received from the Christmas Scrappy Block Swap I took part in in August 2009! I know that was a looooong time ago... You can read more about the swap here and here and there.
My blocks have been patiently waiting to be used since then. I only got them out about a week or two ago and decided that this was the year I was going to get them into a quilt, they were not going to wait yet another year until next Christmas
 so I pieced my tree skirt,
 quilted it
and finished it with the binding - one stitch at a time - over the last week or so,
to finally be able to show you a finished tree skirt that we have now put around the Christmas tree.
My third OPAM this month, I am on a roll! Plus this one is a real UFO when you think the blocks were pieced about 30 months ago...
I am also very proud to report that I have taken a few "Dear Jane" stitches in the last 2 days. I have started sewing L12 that I cut out a long time ago.
Hopefully I'll finish the block soon.
And don't forget tonight is Friday Night Sew-In if you want to catch up with some last-minute sewing before Christmas....
Linking to Val's Quilting Archive.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Christmas gift for cat lovers

Yesterday I worked on a Christmas gift that I still needed to post abroad.

I had seen a lovely cushion in a craft magazine in the summer when I was going through all the magazines I had and thought that would be a great present for a cat lover. My niece is now a teenager and had a new bedroom recently so I thought I could make her a great pillow to decorate her new room. She loves cat and I made her this bag last year so I knew what to make this time. Because I haven't seen her room I decided to stick to neutral colours.

I got the magazine out a few days ago and realised that although there were instructions explaining how to make the cushion but there was no pattern for the cat etc, so I decided to use the picture as inspiration and to go my own way.

I have written my instructions for this cushion cover as I was making it so I will try to write a tutorial with pictures and a pattern for the cat if anyone is interested? Let me know your thoughts.
Anyway, the cushion cover is finished and ready to go. I hope it gets there in time to go under the tree.
This makes my second OPAM this month, hopefully I can still squeeze a few before the year finishes!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Have a Homemade-Merry Christmas with Mencap - 12/18 December is Make Week

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to deck the halls and get crafty with Make With Me – the making & baking initiative in aid of learning disability charity Mencap.

Make With Me has teamed up with actor and comedian Mathew Horne and TV presenter/actress Lynda Bellingham and a host of other makers who have created some spectacular homemade gift ideas. From 12 - 18 December it’s Make Week, visit and find an exciting, new Christmas craft project every day – all FREE to download. Join us and get Making now!!

Whether it’s a stocking or tummy filler why not get together and create something special and unique for a loved one this festive season and help raise £25,000 for Mencap. With homemade gifts, not only will you beat the Christmas shopping rush, you’ll have something truly personal to put under your tree, so download free ideas and make a donation at today!

Mathew Horne and Lynda Bellingham have all designed their own stylish hat patterns, which have been brought to life courtesy of The Knitter Magazine. ‘Head’ to the website now to download and make these exclusive Christmas gift designs to keep your noggin toasty this winter!

Lynda Bellingham said "Although for Calendar Girls I dared to bear all, for Mencap I am more than happy to cover-up with this gorgeous knitted-beret. Downloading my hat pattern is a fantastic way for knitting fans to not only get their hands on a great new knitting pattern but to also raise money and help support the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK."

For those who want to add a personal touch to their Christmas presents this year; why not have a go at making one of these simple yet fun gift tags, thanks to Crafty Makes – all you need to get started is on the website

More great pressie ideas for you to have a go at such as cards, festive fabric wreaths and a patchwork gift sack have been donated by Sew Ray Me, Bustle & Sew and Lucy Farfort all available from

Make With Me in aid of Mencap is a fun filled, homemade initiative that encourages people to get creative and raise much needed funds for Mencap to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers. Visitors to the website can hold their own Make or Bake Parties and donate money by downloading a free fund raising pack to get started!

To stay up to date with all the Make With Me news, stop by and say hello on Twitter (@makewithme) and Facebook ( Got a crafty idea? Anyone can donate ideas to make with me via the website’s your projects section, just head to
VISIT Makewithme ONLINE:,,
I hope you find some good ideas to work with. I'll be back tomorrow to show you one Christmas gift I made today.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Baking for Christmas

I made some dough for some Lebkuchen on Sunday and realised half way through that I was supposed to leave it in the fridge overnight so that was all for Sunday.
So yesterday afternoon, Miss Strawberry Shortcake and I started cutting out some biscuits with our Christmas cutters, just before school finishes while waiting for Mr Cars to come home, as he wanted to do some too. But unfortunately he had a scooter accident on his way home with Daddy, the handle of his scooter broke and he went flying before landing on his side on the alleyway, scratching the side of his face as well as hurting his side. So he came home sobbing and needed some comfort and cuddles. I think the pain and the scare he had while falling were enough to upset him really badly. So he decided after all that he wasn't going to cut some biscuits. Mummy had to finish cutting the dough on her own, the two little helpers had flown to the TV - even though that didn't stop Mr Cars tasting the raw dough raw as well as a freshly baked Lebkuchen. Someone has to be the taster I guess!
The recipe suggested adding a glazing of icing sugar and lemon juice when the biscuits were still warm but with the unfortunate events, I didn't prepare it in time for the first batch and was too tired to do it for the next batches. Anyway, all the biscuits were baked last night and today, I prepared those cute boxes that I had bought for home-made treats, ready to take to school and to our lovely childminder by week end. And next week we will start again to make 2 more boxes for my grand-parents.
Today, I finally finished hand sewing the binding around my tree skirt. I just need to cut the middle off and sew the binding around the middle "hole" before it can go around the tree, slowly I am progressing but it feels good to sew a second binding on a quilt in about 2 weeks. It hadn't happen for such a long while that I had almost forgotten the sweet pleasure of putting those last stitches to a quilt. I am hoping to post a picture of the finished quilt very very soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, 12 December 2011

New Friday Night Sew-In for December

If you missed last week, there is an extra Friday Night Sew-In organised by Heidi this Friday. Do you want to play along? I signed up because I still have some projects I'd like to focus on and finish before Christmas and I got quite a bit done last Friday despite nearly forgetting about the event!

This week-end wasn't as productive as I anticipated because
  • we were busy decorating the house for Christmas with the kids and went out to buy a lovely tree
  • Mr Cars had karate grading on Sunday morning and did very well, getting his yellow and black belt and we went for lunch afterwards
  • I am really tired again and need a nap during the day most days
  • my back is playing up again so it's not fun
  • I spent some time baking for the teacher's gifts I need to send to school at the end of the week: Lebkuchen shaped with Christmas Cookie cutters by Miss Strawberry Shortcake.
I had set myself a goal of having my Christmas tree skirt finished before we put the tree up but I failed as the tree is up without its skirt. But I managed to finish quilting it yesterday evening and added the binding this afternoon so hopefully I should have it finished in a day or two. I have also written a tutorial for the skirt that I'll share with you when it is all done. Watch this space!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

FNSI - the pictures of my work

I was feeling rather lazy last night and thought I couldn't find enough energy to do much so I thought I would just browse a few blogs/websites before going to bed.... until I remember it was FNSI and I had signed for it. So I gathered some energy and decided I would at least try to finish the little wall-hanging I started last Sunday. I had finished putting the top together a few days ago and yesterday during the day, I finished the embroidery. So last night, I picked up my little top to finish it. I pieced a backing and sew the 3 layers together then turned it inside out. I sew the seam back in my pieced backing and then quilted my top. I am so delighted that it is now finished, ready to hang up, and in lots of time before Christmas
The pattern came for the lovely Cotton Life magazine from last Christmas and was designed by Laurraine at Patchwork Pottery. This is the actual design which got me interested in the magazine in the first place so I am very happy that I have done my version of this little snow-covered tree.
This is also my first OPAM for December but I hope it isn't my last!

Because it wasn't too late yet when I finished my wall-hanging and I was on a roll by then! I started quilting a Celtic quilt that I made a long time ago. However I stopped very quickly because I wasn't happy with my decision on the "filling" of the space which I will now have to un-stitch. But at least, the 3 layers are together and the echo quilting will stay, I just have to think about what else I want to add.
All in all it was a very good and productive night and I should join again next year if Heidi continues to run it! Hope you have been productive too!

Now if you have arrived here and are looking for the blog hop and giveaway post, please go here!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Blog hop and a giveaway

Welcome to my blog if you are new here and found me from the Quilting Gallery website and welcome back if you are a regular reader. I have written a blog for over 2 years now but started quilting about 10 years ago, mainly self-taught. I love fabric and my stash is probably too big for my needs, but can a girl really have TOO MUCH fabric? I don't think so!

Michele at the Quilting Gallery is organising a blog hop for the 4th anniversary of her site. If you don't know the quilting gallery yet, you need to hop over there and have a look around, there is plenty to browse at. Every week, there is a themed-contest. Everyone can enter their quilts and everyone can vote on the entries. Well worth having a look at, you can even enter your quilts if they fit the theme. I have entered a few times in the past, but never won!

From September until December, 36 designers shared a Christmas block for free in the "Celebrate Christmas Quilt-along", you can still collect the patterns if you want to make the blocks. There are lots of different styles to suit everyone taste. Have a look and I am sure you will find some inspiration.  You could even use a block or two to make some fast last-minute Christmas gift or decoration!

Thanks if you read that far, now to my giveaway for this blog hop is a book called "Quilting with Beads" for something slightly different. It has 6 easy projects to give you some inspiration. Just leave me a comment on this post to enter the draw. I will draw a winner after the blog hop is finished.

Comments are now closed, I'll draw a winner shortly and announce it in a new post.

Good luck and thanks for your visit! I hope you come back often.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

From the mailman

I was lucky in the autumn and won 2 giveaways during 2 different blog hop. I won a pack of Terrain mini-charms by Kate Spain, after I guess the weight of gigantic pumpkin and I received her lovely gift a while ago.

I also won a a grab bag "Striptease" by Robert Kaufman that I only received today, however it was well worth the wait as it had some lovely scraps of fabric and most of the strips are about 4' wide so very versatile.

I have continued to work on my Christmas projects today but nothing is finished as yet, although I am (slowly) progressing. Another peak at one of the project until I show you the finished object hopefully soon.

I have done a little bit more sorting out of my craft supplies today and have gone through the cross-stitch stuff, found 2 nearly finished wall-hanging but my back is still very painful so I am pacing myself.
I haven't had any request so far on my free offer from yesterday so please if you would like any of the kits, let me know!


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