Sunday, 26 June 2016

The times they are a changin'

In two weeks since my last post so much has happened - we lost a young and vibrant mum, gunned down in broad daylight whilst just doing the job she obviously loved and believed in.

After a dishonest political campaign (by both sides IMO) we are now a country in turmoil, divided and facing an uncertain future.....

Day to day however, life goes on but routine here at Bluepatch central has been a little disrupted - following on from Nursery Sports Day, we have been taking precautions to avoid - NITS - we have all been under the weather with what might be hay fever, all the while waiting for the inevitable eruption of chickenpox!
Finally this weekend it is well on the wane and the little 'un might make it for her last day at nursery year 1, on Tuesday,

The event that I mentioned in my last post, in aid of Memories are Better than Dreams went ahead last Saturday and was very well attended, with over £2000 being raised.

For those of you who were involved in my Open Day fundraiser back in April for "Team Beth" and The Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity, you might be interested in watching this video - it lasts quite a few minutes and shows off Scotland at its best. I am proud to say my son in law is one of the cyclists taking part - they did so well.

Tip - Watch it fullscreen.




So on a sewing theme I have been plodding on with my Today's Quilter BOM by Jen Kingwell, still working on Month 9 (Month 11 has just been published) but I am happy to say I have just finished all eight blocks for month 9.



I might have to take a little break from the BOM as I have decided to take up an Ayrshire Quilters' challenge and make a small quilt for an upcoming local exhibition, hope to have more info for my next post.

I managed to make a quick block for Leeds Modern Quilters' Guild in response to their "Quilts for Jo" - they are hoping to have enough blocks to provide Jo Cox's children (and family members) with comfort quilts. (see opening para)

And I almost forgot - I made a start on my Luna Lapin kit by Cool Crafting. I treated myself to this back in April when I was at the Knitting and Stitching Show. I have thoroughly enjoyed making her, and have the kit to make another dress, plus coat & shoes - she will be one smart bunny.

And finally, I took delivery of a lovely selection of threads from Aurifil for my shop.
I have a super selection of 40wt & 50wt large spools, a fabulous boxed collection by Karen Lewis Textiles, and some Aurifil storage boxes. One of the things that frustrates me greatly about my shop is the fact that just one spool of Aurifil thread constitutes a small parcel in Royal Mail eyes - I could also fill a shoebox with spools for the same postage rate - crazy!! So, I have played with my calculator and am now offering free shipping on UK / EU orders of £25 and over. I hope you agree that coupled with my competitive prices, this offers great value.

Enjoy the video!





Thursday, 9 June 2016

Repeat...........

Yes, I feel like I am siting down to repeat my last post.

Amazingly, Ayrshire is still basking in summer sun. On our local news last night, the newsreader asked the weather man "is it just a Scottish thing where we keep saying, (in a doom laden voice)"......."oh it cannae last forever"..........!!

Well in these parts it feels like forever already and we are loving it.

As my OH had last week off we felt particularly blessed smug, and even took ourselves out into the lovely Ayrshire countryside for a good walk - pity I hadn't checked that it wasn't all particularly flat, heh heh, now in hindsight I can say the effort was well worth it - so was the pub lunch that followed.
I think I have now finished making wee things for the upcoming event in aid of Memories are Better than Dreams. Just a reminder to all my local readers that the fundraiser will take place in the Jennie Campbell School of Dance, (New Road, Ayr), Saturday 18th June from 2.30 - 4.30. 
This week it's been all about my Tiny Totes for Tiny Tots - easily made from charms or scraps - if you would like to have a go there is a tutorial in my Tutorials Page.



Still lagging a bit on my BOM blocks but finished another two from month nine. I think a whole quilt of these would look fantastic but I am NOT going there.

Lost a bit of definition in this next one, should have used a darker value for the star points, but didn't have a dark purple, hey ho.


In shop news I am awaiting delivery of quite a big Aurifil order so stay tuned to see all the lovely colours I will be adding, including quite a few at 40wt.

As I begin to clear my feet in my sewing room my thoughts are turning to a new quilt that I have been planning for some time. Maybe by the time I write next, I will have started to cut, exciting times.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a few shots from nursery sports day.

Mummys' race (wouldn't have missed this for anything)


Daddys' race


and my little winner (1 of 28 little winners, of course)


Hope the sun is shining where you are. x








Tuesday, 31 May 2016

May's Last post

Another month bites the dust and as we progress into June we have been basking in glorious sunshine here in Ayrshire.
Now I realise not everyone in the UK is sharing this gorgeous weather - sorry!

Despite the good weather I have managed a bit of work sewing.

I continue to make little things for a Charity table that will be part of an upcoming event in Ayr - it's a fundraiser to be held in the Jennie Campbell School of Dancing on Saturday 18th June from 2.30 - 4.30. The funds raised will be going to Memories are Better than Dreams - this is a new charitable organisation who support the end of life wishes of children and their families and who are currently supporting Beth and her family, who inspired Bluepatchquilters' own fundraiser back in April.
I made a few coin trays - my daughter suggested the wording that happily coincides with upcoming Father's Day here in the UK.


Once I started recycling denim, I went on to make a couple of fabric baskets....

I found some orphans lying about that just needed finishing............


I recently started and quickly gave up making blocks for the Splendid Sampler, a great project but beyond my time availability..........so the blocks made have been turned into mug mats.

And all that this next mat (?) need was a bit of quilting. Can't recall just how old this is but it was made using shot cottons, so lovely to quilt.


I have also managed a bit of my own stitching - I am trying to catch up on my Block of the Month project from Today's Quilter. I am working on last month's block - we have to make 8 of these 12" blocks and I started by making all the centre nine patches. The quilt is designed by Jen Kingwell and up until now I have been throwing all sorts of scraps together in the hope that it will all come together in the end - it worked for My Small World. However, although still using scraps, I decided to be a bit more planned and coordinated and so far I have completed three from eight. here are the eight centres.

And my blocks so far,



I started these eight blocks thinking it was a bit of a chore but now I am really enjoying the process - I am reminded of an article in last month's Today's Quilter by Lynn Edwards. There is so much rushing about trying to make quilts in a weekend that sometimes we forget to slow down and just enjoy the process. I have no deadline for this BOM, if I am a month or two behind, nobody will scold me or condemn me. Worth thinking about sometimes.

And finally, as the Father's Day coin trays seemed very well timed, I thought I'd try a couple out in my shop -

Papa's pennies has already sold but the other is in my shop 

And for all of you who love to use Aurifil thread, I will be adding to my stock very soon.

Have a great week.x














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.






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