Monday 31 December 2012

To Whom it may concern...........

Remember when that used to be on letters.................anyone remember letters?

So, here we are at the end of another year - is it me or does anyone think that was a really fast year? 13yrs since all the Millennium frenzy, who'd have thought.

Before I get down to the mushy stuff, I have just a couple of pics to show from this last week.
A friend, Wendy, made this for me - hexies and linen, I love it so much and just hope that Santa fills it next year.

And these two wee guys joined my Christmas family.

Another friend from one of my classes, tipped me the wink on this site - can't keep this to myself.

What did I buy? 
An advent panel for next year, some flannel to add to my collection ( I have a quilt brewing in my head) and then 3 yds of the houndstooth cotton - it was practically nothing.
                                                            Thanks for the tip off, Morag.

At some point before Christmas, Lucy was hosting a giveaway with the prize coming from Christa Quilts. This is a store that was one of the earliest I shopped from way back in the Dark Ages - I think it was just an eBay store at the time. Well, I only went and won didn't I and spent some pleasurable time "shopping".
I will share my haul with you when it comes - suffice to say that as an accomplished cheapskate, I got an awful lot for my $$$. Thanks Lucy, and I hope that "turkey" didn't give you too much trouble over Christmas.
And thank you also to Christa.
I always think that New Year can be a little depressing, an opportunity to become a little maudelin, perhaps fuelled by alcohol?
Rest assured that so far this Hogmonay, only tea and coffee have passed my lips although I believe I am soon to partake in a capful of Night Nurse!!
Anyway I just wanted to say a few words of anyone that takes the trouble to read this blog that I so enjoy writing. It started off as a way of keeping my classes informed and I know that many of the ladies who attend my classes do read it. To those and indeed all my students, I say a huge thank you for your continued support. At times, the prep for my classes has me a bit frazzled but I love running them. I have met so many wonderful ladies, made friends, watched friendships blossom and of course, I have witnessed so many people take up quilting, grow to love it and gasped at the fruits of their labours. So much talent, it takes your breath away sometimes.
I have a lovely family who probably don't quite "get it" but their loyalty and support is appreciated, especially that of Big Al, my OH, who as a Virgo does have a hard time coping with the loose threads.............
And this year brought me a beautiful grand daughter whose smile widens when I take her into my sewing room, I have great hopes.
I have good friends too, my real life ones have also been so supportive of my classes and of course, they definitely "get it" - most of them quilt too!!
Through blogging, I have made online friends too and every one of you is special to me. Blogging has made the world a little smaller - so I guess that just leaves World peace.............

Friday 28 December 2012

Every Day a Schoolday

Subtitled - "Itchin' to Be Stitchin'!"

So how was it for you? I considered running a Linky Party to see which particular lurgy befell your household over the Christmas season - here, Chez Donnachie, it was the Morbid Sore Throat (a Poldark reference for those old enough to remember).
The cover went on my sewing machine about a week ago, I have one more family gathering, tomorrow, and then it's coming off. Isn't it funny how we all knock ourselves silly in December, making presents etc and almost think we never want to sew again, but then only a few short days later.......

So, in the last few days before Christmas I came up with a couple of makes.
My December blocks for Judith's Bee Blessed.

And my most favourite make for a long time was this cushion.
The pattern for this Deer can be found here. Now I have been foundation piecing for some considerable time and I love the technique, but I decided I might give freezer paper piecing a whirl. There were many, many small pieces in this pattern and on reflection I might have been better sticking with what I know - but I am glad I tried it, and it does enable great control over the fabric, allowing a bit of fussy placement if necessary.
The eagle eyed amongst you, and let's face it, the extremely short - sighted too, will have spotted that my reindeer is facing the opposite way from the pattern. Of course, it doesn't matter a bit, I blame it on my brain, let's leave it at that. This cushion was a Christmas gift for a good friend and the fabric I used other than for the deer itself, is all from Mod Century by Jenn Ski for Moda.
I have started to quilt my cushion backs of late, a bit of extra work, but the finished look makes it so - substantial. I might have to make another sometime for myself.
Now I have just one question to ask - as we approach the final days of 2012........anyone still eating turkey??

Tuesday 25 December 2012

My Best Christmas - Ever!

'Twas the night before Christmas
The year - '82
You thought it was time to make your debut
By the time you arrived though
It was Christmas morn
And our own little flue-brush
Our Jenny, was born.

Happy 30th Birthday, Jenny!
And Merry Christmas everyone.xx

Friday 14 December 2012

Tick, tick, tick tick..................................

I can't believe it's almost two weeks since my last post. I have been off the blogging radar for a few weeks now, no dramatic reason, just feeling a bit harassed and had to let something go for a while - missed it though.
I have a few little crafty makes to share.
Two are related to the Bee that I am excited to be involved in. You might remember our name - Bee A Brit Stingy. We started off getting to know each other by swapping pincushions. This week our Secret Santa parcels have been sent and are trickling in, at the mercy of the Christmas Post!
We all decided to make mini fabric hampers following the lovely Ayumi's much followed tutorial.
I sent mine off on Monday, can't say who it has gone to yet, still in the post.
I got my parcel earlier in the week from Catherine at SewWonderful Life - rotten picture, I had to finally resort to a bit of flash - can you see the teeny sewing machine that I got inside my hamper? Thank you Catherine, love it.

I finished a cardi for little Ava - I am a useless knitter, takes me forever. Luckily, it fits her, but maybe not for long!!

I made a Christmas stocking for Ava too - 
just need to add some jingle bells and it is done. My OH commented as I was making it that I was creating a little heirloom for her - woohoo, he gets it!!
Next up is another poor quality pic; of my EPP Christmas Star - I started this at my recent Hexie workshop and intend to applique it onto a red background before transforming it into a cushion - perhaps for next Christmas?? I got the idea for fussy cutting the little cats from this quilt - isn't it glorious?

The Stingy Bees have not just been making little hampers - oh no - there are 13 of us in  Bee A Brit Stingy - 12 Bees and Helen, our invaluable admin support!! So to show our gratitude, the 12 Bees embarked upon Project 007 and we made her a mini Friendship Star quilt. It arrived this week and I think she liked it!!

Two more finishes this week. The first one was my Chinese Whispers wall hanging (you know the secret one that I can't talk about until 2014) - passed it on to number 3 in our group.
And my classes all finished up for Christmas break too. 
Tomorrow sees us making a trip up the lovely Ayrshire coast to deliver family pressies.
And then we are down to one week, and counting.................................................

Monday 3 December 2012

The Whole Nine Yards

Tonight's post is a wee bit self indulgent because I have a finish to show off, and show off I shall.
My Velocity Strippy is finished - whoop whoop!
This is a quilt I have been making and demonstrating at a series of workshops on how to make a Strippy quilt using Quilt As You Go techniques.
Boo hoo for rotten winter weather to take a photo - the above one shows the full quilt front. All the fabric is the wonderful Velocity by British designer Jessica Hogarth. Making a strippy is a great way of showcasing a fabulous fabric.
I made this in three sections each with two strips of fabric. The double strips were layered and quilted separately allowing me to concentrate on my quilting instead of heaving a huge pile of fabric and wadding through my machine - this is the first I have quilted in such a dense way.
I used a whole reel of Aurifil 50wt thread, in a soft grey.......that is 1300m!!
Then the pairs were joined together using two narrow strips per join In the above picture can you see the joining strips?
I knew when I saw this fabric that I wanted it for this project - the quilt is completely reversible and it took 9yds of fabric. I got it from the US, (Hawthorne Threads) because a., it was available there first, and b., even getting "caught" by HMRC, it worked out at £9 a yard.
And here is the back...........
and a join on the back..............
and although it hasn't been washed yet, I can present to you - a roly poly view...........
From my 9yds I got my two strips of each fabric and managed all the joining strips and binding along the length of grain. The quilt measures about 78" x 82".
"Velocity" will be a surprise Christmas present for my son who has recently moved into a big, old chilly flat in Glasgow, so hopefully this will help keep the chills away. I hope he likes it as much as I do.

PS. In other breaking news, I had my very first Etsy sale last week!!

Saturday 1 December 2012

Give & Take November

 I told you the days were shorter! Here we are, 1st December and I haven't even bought the sweets for my advent calendar, let alone unearthed it from the loft!!
Dropping off to sleep last night I suddenly remembered it was Fresh Sewing Day too, today! So, a quick mosaic made while munching my brekkie.
November was a month of giving and receiving, good practice for Christmas.
In November, ladies in my classes made blocks which were made into a quilt top for a Hurricane Sandy Appeal.
I got a couple of blocks made for Judith's Bee Blessed.
I sent off my journal cover to Tanya, my secret partner in a Scrappy Swap. And I received a lovely new mug rug with a matching mini quilt - yippee.
I made a pocket pillowcase as a birthday gift for a toddler.
And I made a mini hamper ready to send off to my Bee partner in the Secret Santa Swap!!
Linking to Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day.
Have a great December - keep calm and uncork a bottle..................


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