Sunday, 15 May 2016

Mid May Madness

I am feeling very happy today as Andy Murray beat Djokovic in Rome. So in a moment of madness I decided to offer a discount coupon across all items in my Shop

Spend £20 or more and receive a 20% discount - just use the coupon code MidMayMadness, one time only, and your discount will be applied. Valid now, until Friday 20th May at Midnight, UK time.

As far as sewing is concerned, I have managed a few tasks this week despite the weather being too good to stay indoors. Hard to believe we are now experiencing the second weekend of sunshine in a row.

I made a second spoon dolly for Ava - I was surprised how much she took to it considering the amount of "proper" Disney dolls she has.............I got the idea to make Merida HERE. And for the Merida purists out there, she has been to the hairdresser as she fancied a colour change - ok!!

Later in the week I set about giving some old director's chairs a facelift. I "inherited" these from my daughter a couple of years ago and have wanted to make them a bit cheerier for a while. I got the fabric from Croft Mill. I used to shop with them years ago when they operated by mail order with a paper catalogue. (Imagine!!) The style of writing always made me chuckle and I recognise it still in the fabric descriptions.



And finally, my daughter asked me last night if I had any little items suitable for a table sale - part of another event that will be held in Ayr soon to raise funds in Beth's name for Glasgow Childeren's Hospital Charity.

I made some of my stand-by coasters - (Tutorial here if you are interested)


I have some other ideas up my sleeve for quick makes.

I treated myself to these this week, from Aldi. Couldn't resist their patchwork look.


And yesterday we had a wee stroll around our local Burns Centre...........MidMayMadness indeed.


Hope you all have a good week - don't forget that coupon code!!








Monday, 9 May 2016

Summer?

Temperatures are soaring here in Ayrshire, not least mine as I battle with the technicalities of Facebook and setting up my wee online store - but I won't be defeated and will get where I want to be even if it takes ridiculous amounts of time.

So, thank you to all my well wishers on the Blog and on FB - I will continue to peddle my wares and when I do have command of all the rules I will offer special deals now and again.......

This morning was our Ayrshire Quilters' Coffee Morning and we continue to see high numbers of like minded ladies turning up to chat and show their beautiful work.

I am ashamed to say I rarely Show and Tell but today was different and I was able to show and hand over the Twiddle Muff that I knitted.


When my friends and I meet weekly for our Sewing Bee I don't often have hand sewing on the go. My knitting skills don't extend to chatting and following a pattern so this is the perfect project for me - straight knitting. These muffs are destined for patients suffering from dementia - they help keep restless hands busy and  the patients calm. If you want to read more have a look HERE.

I am often asked these days how I am enjoying retirement, what am I doing with my time, etc....well, it is amazing how the days pass in a flurry of normal life.

I did add a new skill to my repertoire last week when I was asked by my son to step in and do a bit of dog sitting as their dog walker was unavailable. Stu & Hawlie have recently moved from a City Centre apartment to a house in the 'burbs and their wee dog, Angus, is loving it. I coped admirably, playing ball with him in the garden - until my daft daughter kicked it over the 6' fence..........poor Angus. Here he is, in the same frame as Ava, on her scooter. Angus has never been happy with small wheeled objects such as suitcases or skateboards but he handled this intrusion very well.

And of course, I also fill in some of my time sewing although I am sure lots of you know that you don't always feel like it just because you have the time. However, one day last week I just wanted to sew! Nothing big, not even to continue on a current project, no, I just needed a wee sewing fix. So I made these Mugmats from some leftovers from another currrent piece of work. I finished them off today, mainly because my sewing room faces North and is the coolest room in the house at the moment - I am NOT complaining about the heat though.


And now, popping on my shopkeeper's hat, I can tell you that these mats are now available to purchase in my shop.
I hope the sun is shining for you too.







Monday, 2 May 2016

Techie Wizard

I have exciting news to share.

For about three years now, I have been retailing AURIFIL thread to my classes and other occasional venues.

Having "hooked" all my lovely ladies on this wonderful thread I have been searching and deliberating over the different, mind blowing ways to sell online now that I will no longer be teaching. And I need something to keep me from Homes Under the Hammer.

So I finally fell upon Ecwid, a platform that allows me to have a shopping cart on my blog and on Facebook too.

So, if you are having AURIFIL withdrawal symptoms just go to the SHOP page at the top of this page and you will be led into my wonderful sweetie thread shop.

Or why don't you follow me on Facebook.


I don't have all my stock listed just yet, so if you don't see what you are after just email me or private message me on FB.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

April

April was a quick month - although I would normally have finished classes for the summer at this time of year, I am very conscious of the fact that I don't have projects to plan for the Autumn, unless they are personal......it's a bit weird, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

I have spent a lot of time clearing out "stuff" in my sewing room although I must say the novelty of that has worn off a bit and there is much that could still be done, ............later.

I have been doing the BOM in Today's Quilter, by Jen Kingwell - I very much enjoyed making "My Small World", also one of her patterns, and developed quite a love for working with little scraps and pretty much throwing anything together - I know this is not for everybody but I rather like the scrappy, eclectic look.
So I caught up and completed all 8 (!) of April's blocks.




I have made all 8 but don't seem to have photos of them all. The blocks will finish at 6" x 7". I finished just as the May edition of Today's Quilter dropped on my doormat - and I see that there are another 8 blocks for this month.........sigh.

I like April, possibly because it's my birthday month. There was a time when I'd have hated a household item as a gift, but I have changed over the years and my family got together and got me this -

Cakes are possibly the last thing I should have in my life but hey, I don't have to eat them all do I?
I made these first......

and then I might have made myself a birthday cake - oh the time it took me to mould those carrots...(wink). My lovely daughter declared it "coffee shop quality" - I'll take that.

As a lovely finale to April, on Friday, I went with friends to the Knitting and Stitching Show, in Edinburgh, loads and loads of traders offering the usual temptations, not as many exhibits as I expected and lots of mini workshops which we did not realise would be there - next time we'll prepare ahead. I did go with the intentions of buying this kit, from Cool Crafting -


and I look forward to having a go at creating this sweet bunny.

And finally, this week, a friend lent me this book -


I have not read through in detail but I reckon it's a super book full of colour theory with practical projects to explain said theory. Sometimes I find the dedicated books on colour theory a little too much to absorb, but I think this is one you would return to again and again - my friend found it in The Works and told me they have a website - who knew? I always thought of them as the cheap bookshop on the High Street. This book is currently on sale at £4. They have several other quilting books available too. Worth a look.






Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Tying Up Loose Ends

Since the phenomenally successful Open Day I have been "tidying my room" and sorting out leftovers from our Bring & Buy Stall.

Some lovely IG contacts purchased some extra Lucky Dips and have collectively pushed our total over the £1700 - brilliant!!

One more "MysteryPackage" will go out today and then I am off out on a charity shop run with leftover books etc.

Whilst at the Post Office I will finally be posting off this bundle of quilts to Siblings Together.





Thank you again to all the bluepatch quilters who contributed, time, blocks and fabric to make these four quilts - each one measures approximately 60" square. I am linking them to the Siblings Together blog.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Bluepatchquilters' Open Day

So, it's all over - our final Open Day was yesterday and my plan was to reflect the different projects we have tackled over the last 12 years. There weren't as many quilts on show as in previous years but that allowed for a bit more room to move and to view those that were on display.

As most of you know, there was a huge focus on our fundraising this year with extra impetus from my online friends.
We had a huge amount of "stuff" on the Bring Buy Stall and brisk business at the Lucky Dip which sold out in record time

Demand for teas & coffee was high as always, possibly due to the lure of luscious home baking. I felt it my duty to conduct some quality control in that department.......

I was main photographer this year and feel on reviewing my pics, that I might have included a few more but must have been distracted (probably by those cakes again!)

Anyway, just to give you a flavour of the event, here is a wee slideshow - when you hover over the play button, the big P for Pinterest appears, click just outside the P to be taken to the slideshow
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As I said before, there was a lot of focus on the fundraising and this year we chose to give our funds raised to Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity (see this post).

I knew before going yesterday that is was going to be a good one - I had received way in excess of 200 fat 1/4 s following  my Instagram appeal, not only fat 1/4 s, but lovely crafted items and it seemed not a day went by last week that I didn't get an envelope in the post with a tenner inside.
I received donations from friends and family, and from students current and former.

We achieved a total of £1675.36, a sum beyond my wildest dreams and proves how much kindness there is in the world.

So thank you - to everyone who responded to my Blog and IG appeal.
To friends and family. (including OH  Allan who has manhandled chairs and tables and sewing machines in his janitorial role, for 12 years)
To my lovely Sewing Bee mates for running the kitchen and serving the teas etc.
To my squad of volunteers who manned the busy Bring & Buy Stall.
To my Crafty Duo for manning the Craft Stall.
To Amanda who has agreed to run classes now that I have retired. Good luck for the future.
To each and every one of my lovely ladies who has attended my classes and workshops over the last 12 years.
Couldn't have done it without you all.

To finish, please indulge me - my wee grand daughter, Ava, made her first appearance at an Open Day when she was just 3 weeks old. She has now turned 4 and has just been to her 5th. Try as I might I can't find my photos from last year so have substituted one from the same month.


Friday, 25 March 2016

Well!!

I have had a hugely busy time since  my last post! Little did I realise the impact my simple request on the blog & IG would have.

Almost immediately the postman was delivering packages on a daily basis and fat quarters just poured in, (I stopped counting at 150) plus notions, plus yardage, plus pre cuts, plus zippy bags, pouches, dollies'sleeping bags - oh the kindness has been overwhelming.


Having previously worked in our local fabric shop, I have spent many a pleasant hour, sorting and matching and have lovely co-ordinated bundles to offer at the Open Day.

In advance of the big day, I have sold a couple of my old quilts, a donated sewing machine, tickets for the Edinburgh Knitting & Stitching Show, (kindly donated by one of my students), received donations, sold some fabric already, and all in all, have in excess of £500 already - all to go to Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity (Yorkhill)
I also have in excess of 60 packages ready for a Lucky Dip, and loads of "stuff" for our sales table.

The Open Day is on Sunday 3rd April in Alloway Village Hall (opposite Burns Cottage) from 11 -3 and as well as all the sales, there will be teas & coffees and home baking and of course, quilts, reflecting the 12years of my classes. Do come if you can.

So, of course, I will post after the event to report on the final sum realised, as well as showing off the quilts etc., BUT, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you out there who responded to my appeal - together, we are going to make a difference.

As well as coping with my extra post, the last two weeks has seen me wrapping up 12 years of teaching my classes so emotions (mine) have been running a little high. I have been thoroughly spoiled by my ladies. It's been a quick 12 years and many friends have been made along the way. I know our paths will continue to cross in the future and look forward to meeting up often.

Since Christmas all classes have been working on "Return to the Valley" - this was an abridged version of a project we did back in 2007. There was scope for a fair bit of individuality and here is a glimpse of some of the work completed. Well done ladies, you have all been brilliant!!









Stay tuned.













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