Friday 29 June 2012

Hello Lily

Lily is my precious Husqvarna sewing machine, she came with that name and I think it suits her fine. She is an old lady of 10 now and yesterday we were re-acquainted after my holiday.
I got going on the Zakka project - week 13!
It's been a super series and a great chance to really get to know a book and do stuff from it.
This week's task is a couple of potholders designed bt Retro Mama and if you haven't started yours yet, it's worth popping over to Kim's blog where she has outlined some corrections and amendments to the binding.
I love that I have been quilting for ages but keep on learning by following others' techniques and by studying Kim's binding method I was chuffed to produce a seamless, circular binding for these potholders.
I was merrily sewing away when I recalled this project was meant to be monochromatic - oops, too late. I get a bit excitable when about to start something new and I was trawling through my stash and found the novelty, kitchenish Debbie Mumm. As it has been in my stash for at least 10yrs, I like to call it vintage DM, I might start a craze, what do you think?

Other modifications? I bound in cotton, not linen. I layered one linen, two 80/20, and one calico.
These babies are destined for Oz for my big sis - hope you like them!!

Wednesday 27 June 2012


Whilst I was away on holiday, I managed to read a few of my usual blogs - one in particular sticks, it was by our favourite girl, Lynne - I think she might have been guesting somewhere else, she was talking about being a good blogger, and how to build a good blog. One of her tips was to be yourself, you know, not to give the impression that life is always perfect.
I follow a couple of blogs that adhere to this principle and I think this makes the bloggers come across as very genuine and more like the rest of us.
In this spirit, I continue with a few holiday memories - but tonight, I am not emphasising the "holiday of a lifetime" slant.
As I said a couple of days ago, my OH wanted a couple of stopovers to punctuate what we knew to be a long, long flight. So, we came up with Singapore on the outward journey, and decided to return home via San Francisco, all sounds a bit rock and roll doesn't it?
Going out was fine, we were full of anticipation and excitement. Even going through Heathrow was ok, we had a cracking meal in an airport Italian restaurant. The flight itself, courtesy of Qantas, was excellent with super onboard personal entertainment.
We were due to fly from Singapore to Cairns with Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas and we were a little apprehensive - never heard of them.........The flights with them were ok, apart from not understanding a single word that any of the cabin crew uttered, not just us either, several other passengers shared this concern.
........somewhere between booking and flying, our schedule was re-arranged to include a drop down and change of plane at Darwin - no biggie???
There now follows a quick picture break to alleviate the boredom.

Before leaving Singapore, I bought a nice bottle of whisky for my big sister, who lives in Cairns.
Dropping down in Darwin, we did not clear customs, and to cut a very long story short, my duty free was confiscated, all to do with being more than 100mls of liquid etc, etc. To say I was livid is putting it mildly- welcome to Australia!!
(Later on in the trip I was to witness an Aussie having 2 jars of Vegemite confiscated - shocker)
Sadly, air travel these days is a huge chore. We had shoes off, jackets off, Kindles out, laptops out, belts off, fingerprints taken, faces photographed, hands waved in our faces, and all done with an amazing lack of personality or even basic courtesy.
My prize for the nicest official goes unreservedly to the young man in Cairns airport who singled me out for an "explosives check" - all he found was some loose cheese that had escaped from a roll in my bag!! Big cheery grin, top man.
We spent 2 relaxing weeks in Cairns and from there we travelled to Sydney - all very uneventful.
After just 4 days we were on the move again, we were on the home straits now but still had a whole continent to conquer. We were due to leave Sydney about 1pm, eventually arriving at San Francisco at about 1pm - the SAME DAY. Yes, that fact was blowing our minds ('Frisco talk) and we knew we were going to be pretty wiped out.
Unfortunately as we checked in at Sydney we discovered they were issuing meal vouchers, never a good sign.........flight delayed about 4 -5 hrs. Oh well, it was the first real hiccup, and Sydney airport was very comfortable, free wifi etc. But we knew that this delay meant we would miss our connecting flight as we were flying to SF via LA.Our flight to LA lasted about 13hrs)
Qantas were excellent, they had made alternative flight arrangements for us and on arrival at LA we picked up our luggage and started a whole new check in. Our new flight was with a different airline and we had to walk a good half a mile to the correct terminal ( husband/wife relations now straining a bit). Finally we got to our gate and awaited our new connecting flight, due out at 4.30pm (still the same day) As we waited, the departure time kept sliding by a few minutes at a time - we were awaiting an inbound flight. Obviously the guy with his finger on the clock button got bored cos he just whacked it in one fell swoop to 8pm! We left at 9pm and got to SF about an hour later, we could probably have walked quicker.We had been awake for approximately 30hrs.
(On the bright side, I had watched 6 straight episodes of "Revenge" and glad to see I can pick it up here, at home.)
We had only 3 short nights in San Francisco - what a bonkers place, worthy of its own post. I really enjoyed being there, something to being an old Flower Child I suppose.
Although this post is mainly about air travel, I have to show you this pic of us leaving for the airport to wend our way home.

 So our last big flight was SF to Heathrow, but unfortunately in a BA aircraft with decidedly less leg/body room than our other flights, with onboard entertainment from the ark, and in flight breakfast that included a giant polo mint!!
Our final flight, Heathrow to Glasgow was delayed by an hour or so - past caring by then!!
We arrived back in Glasgow to rain, no surprise there then.
We did actually have a brilliant holiday but 9 flights in 4 weeks, (that is 9 take-offs and 9 landings) - too much.
We have now been home for 5 days and still feeling a bit jet lagged, never had that before.
So my friends, it wasn't all cocktails by the pool.

Luck of the draw!

Just before I left for holiday, I heard that I had won the weekly Zakka draw - I won $30 worth of goods from Zipit which pleased me no end because I have used Zipit a couple of times before.
When I got home I found this lovely parcel - Jenny from Zipit even covered my shipping costs over and above the $30, wasn't that generous of her?
At first I thought I would just be ordering bog standard zips but I included some of the funky zip pulls too. I also opted for some zips with the extra chunky pull, for bag making, you can see the difference in the next picture - the zip is a little heavier in weight from the normal dress weight zip and I reckon it'll be spot on for bags.
As if that wasn't enough, whilst I was away, I got an email to tell me I had come up trumps in Amy's Spring Quilt Festival draw - just the random draw, nothing to do with my quilt winning. So this time, it was $25 to spend at Sew Mama Sew. I made my selection and found it waiting for me too, when I got home.........
Starting top right, I got a yard of Essex Linen to try, everyone is raving about it. Next up are three prints from Lizzie House's Hello Pilgrim collection. Then there is a cheeky charm pack of Lucy's Crab Shack, yum...and finally a kitchenalia panel by Robert Kaufmann that I thought might cut up nicely.
I was pretty chuffed.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Colour Fun

Cindy over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting is hosting a mosaic competition. Later on this summer she will be offering fat 1/8 bundles of Kona cottons in her shop. Clever girl that she is, she is asking us to help make up these bundle selections by making a colour mosaic. Next week, there will be voting on the mosaics and a prize of some Kona. I thought I'd join in, so here is my effort:-

Cool Berries
The Kona colours used were - coal, bone, bright pink, ash, eggplant, magenta, black & teal blue.

Sunday 24 June 2012

There's No Place Like Home

Even if it is pouring with rain, although today has turned out sunny enough for my first batch of holiday washing to be hung out - hurrah!
Many of you know that I have been on a longish holiday and my recent blog posts were pretty much "pre-recorded", apart from the pool shots, of course.
Our holiday was a long time coming. We first visited Oz in 1996 with out two young teenagers ("what are we stopping for? another view??")
We have always wanted to go back but real life tends to get in the way on so many fronts doesn't it?
Not this time. Plans were made and we had the additional bonus of being joined by a good friend this time (and fellow quilter!!)
I may  delight/bore you over the next few posts with some of the highlights of the trip before it is all lost in the memory banks of time.
So - first up, Singapore. My OH is very easy going but kinda insisted on us having a couple of stopovers to avoid the dreaded long journey to Oz. Last time we did this trip we stopped off in Hong Kong. Allan fancied Singapore this time.
We had 2 nights there and it was as everyone had said - incredibly clean, busy, interesting, hot & humid. With limited time, we opted for a hop on, hop off bus trip and one of the stops was handy for Arab Street - cut to the pictorial tour.........
Sheila, looking mesmerised............

 Have you ever seen so much habby in one place?

 Who could resist a sign like that?

But what did she buy I hear you cry? Not much, most of the fabrics were silks and dress weights but I found this-

So, Arab Street can be found by jumping off the tour bus - there is an info leaflet accompanying the tour so it's all very easy to find, if you happen to be visiting.........
I have more fabric holiday fun, but I will save for another post.

Friday 15 June 2012

Sheila's Star

Another of my favourite go to quilting patterns. You can use this in any square or rectangular area / block - I have made great use of this over the years.
Just click here to download your own copy


Wednesday 13 June 2012

Patchwork by the Pool

Hard finding just the right spot..........

Sunday 10 June 2012


In case you think I am spending all my time looking at these -

or eating these -

do not fret, for I have also been doing this -

What can I say? - It's an obsession.

Friday 8 June 2012

Wibble Wobble

I thought some of you might like to try my log cabin quilting pattern. It's a continuous line pattern that saves a lot of stop start sewing.
If you click HERE you will  be able to download your own copy.

Friday 1 June 2012


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