Monday 29 July 2013


I seem to have had a blogging holiday, didn't mean to, maybe it was the heat!!

I have a few things to report, mostly Bee Blocks gratefully received - here are the latest lovely selection, I can't wait to see all of these together.

These are from Janet who cut into precious NEW fabric for me - that is true friendship.

These next ones are from Catherine. My theme is beachy and Catherine has included some footprints in the sand fabric.

And next up are these lovelies, from Di. Check out those seagulls!!

and then from Collette...

and today, Lucy's arrived.

 Isn't it amazing how these blocks, all made by different folks all over the UK, are going to go so well together, I am well chuffed.

I have been doing a little sewing myself..............I have a friend Joanne who has been living in Ayr now for 9yrs. She came along to my classes for a good few years, despite being an experienced quilter, and supported many of my workshops. This week, she and her husband are returning to the US to live. I wish them well, and as a wee parting gift, made her this.

I haven't been very diligent in this year's Zakka inspired sew a long but am dipping in when I can.

I thought I would have a go at this week's Scrappy Box. I started it at the end of last week and laid it to one side in a bit of frustration at the instructions. My head was beginning to spin - and then today, Krista published her version on her blog and reported her findings regarding the instructions and then I didn't feel so bad. I didn't make my panels from little scrap rectangles - instead I had a pile of tiny orphan HSTs and made use of them, and my pockets, sides and base were from Essex linen. My main panels didn't come out at exactly the desired size so I thought my difficulties were due to my befuddled adjustments. Suffice to say my main panel linings did not have the required overlap for the inner base to sit on. So when I returned to the project today my finish was a wee bit fudged. Having said all that, I am quite happy with my Scrappy Box, I think it will find a home in my beachy bedroom and the cheery elephant fabric I used for the lining will remind me of a kind bloggy friend.

I have also slipped back into teaching mode with the first of my new season workshops taking place yesterday. It was part one of the ABC series where everyone has embarked upon making a Strippy Quilt and will learn how to use QAYG techniques to construct it. Oooh you should have seen the lovely fabrics - in fact you could have had I remembered to take a camera!!
On that note, I will take my leave for a day or two - it'll be the month end again soon..........

Wednesday 17 July 2013

A Stingy Tip

Nicky posted her August block a little early to give some of the worker bees a chance of getting ahead of the game in August.
She has asked for these rectangular blocks...........
Image pilfered from Nicky's blog.

It is a quick and easy block to make with just one tiny challenge, making the top and bottom row align well.
So I thought you might like to see how I manage to do this.

Here you see the three rows waiting to be assembled.

In this one I have joined rows 1 & 2 and pressed away from the white.

Next, align a ruler against the left seam of the top row. Try and have the ruler square with either long seam too, or maybe the top or bottom edge depending on how your fabric is behaving! Make a little pencil mark on the right side as shown in the pic.

Repeat, aligning ruler with right hand seam. Make mark.

As always, my photography lets me down, but it's tricky balancing the camera in one hand!

Now, with right sides together, match the pencil marks to the seams of the bottom row & stitch.

And press.

And my finished blocks...weird angle!

This wee trick is also useful for aligning sashing. Top tip from a Stingy Brit!!

Sunday 14 July 2013

Finish A Long - 3rd Quarter

Sneaking in under the wire.
I was pleased to have a major finish last quarter and I did feel that signing up for the FAL spurred me on a bit to finish so I am throwing my hat in the ring again.
My classes all start up again in August so I am going to make it a realistic (small) list for the 3rd quarter.

1. Failure form FAL 2 and a very old UFO. Hidden Wells - my 2004 class sample, all layered up & basted but never quilted. I think I will unpick the basting and insert newer, flat wadding. I still quite like the colours and the tricky pattern so I plan to finish this as a small runner for my kitchen table.

2. A Christmas cushion - this was another failure from last quarter and an EPP project that is destined to be a cushion. Just needs finishing off.

3. And for my last hopeful task, I am choosing this poor chap - a make - a - long from my last year's Christmas workshop (in July!!) He definitely needs his hat and jacket, and maybe even a face before this Christmas.

I am tagging on some non-FAL stuff today too. I am so excited to report that I met a blog friend today, Marg from SunshineParadise? Marg has relatives here in Ayr and has been travelling a fair bit from her native Queensland. We met this morning and managed a couple of hours chat over coffee. I just can't believe her luck with the weather as I had been telling her to bring jumpers and warm clothes for our rotten summer. How wrong was I? Anyway, I took along my camera today but totally forgot to do anything with it so our meeting will have to be in our memory banks. I totally understand all you girls out there getting so excited about the Retreat next weekend in London - you'll meet Marg too as she is on her way down tomorrow.........
And to end on, a couple of little finishes - these two wee quilts are for my Princess & the Pea project. I am so loving this idea and have one or two UFOs that might be adapted to a little quilt. The recipient, Ava, is only 16months so will not be getting her hands on the bed+quilts until she is old enough to understand the story so I have a while yet - I think the tally is at 4, or is it 5? A way to go yet.

This first one is another Crazy sample that I was playing about with for the Stitch Gathering in Edinburgh - the panels are hand pieced and then joined to the white by machine. I then used lots of fancy machine stitches to emulate a bit of hand stitching.

And next, we have an AMH feather block. It's one I made as an extra in January when our Bee a Brit Stingy Bee started and we made these for Lucy. I had some spare bits left and decided to use it for the binding but to be honest there were so many joins it was a mini nightmare. Good to learn these things on small projects though.

I am linking this up to Leanne's FAL. Good luck everybody, with your projects.

Friday 12 July 2013

Sweating the Small Stuff

Good title huh? Sometimes I just astound myself - lol.
So here we are, still basking sweating in temperatures in the high 20s, several consecutive days, almost unheard of here. As always, we Brits complain about the weather and people are muttering about the heat - I imagine all the mums are well chuffed though as our school broke up for summer a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway, despite the heat I have managed a little sewing, and it's all small stuff - see what I did there?

First up, I did the July/August blocks for Judith's Bee Blessed. These were so quick to make and are meant to be for a man quilt - I am not sure my colour choices are right, so Judith, just say and I'll do another couple, I enjoyed making them.

Next is another trivet from Ayumi's book - this is to go with the tea pouch that I made recently and are both destined for a traditional loving quilter friend. I really enjoyed making this again and this time I took the trouble to bind it rather than "bag" it.

I have another couple of projects almost ready to share, both small but they are not quite finished yet.
Meanwhile, I am Queen Bee for July in the Bee a Brit Stingy Bee - I asked for the Woven Ribbons block to finish at 8" and in beachy colours that might sit well with my Mod Pop quilt. This is my first Bee and first time as Queen and it's pretty exciting receiving blocks that others have gone to the trouble of making for you. So far I have had Karen's and they have some of her great fabrics in them.

and these next ones are from Emily.

and here they are, playing nicely together.

I plan to make my blocks into a large runner that will cover a double width chest of drawers. Keep 'em coming girls!!

My last photo shows a little something that arrived in the post last week..........

I know lots of you are getting a bit excited about another certain quilt venue, BUT...........anyone bound for Birmingham??

Sunday 7 July 2013

Great Scot!!

                                                          The boy done good....hic


Friday 5 July 2013

Fabric Fest

I promised I wouldn't go on about my holiday but I have had a couple of requests to see what fabric I might have picked up along the way, how could I refuse?
As well as our forays into JP Knit & Stitch and Sew Fresh Fabrics, Janet and I also stumbled upon (!!) Tumbleweed Quilts in Cape Cod. It was a traditional style of quilt shop but packed to the rafters with traditional and modern fabric - we had to sample a little.
We also made a couple of trips to Jo-Anns. In the past I would have agreed with comments that Jo-Ann fabric is not so top notch and I have seen "No JoAnn" in swap listings. However, I think they are upping their game because we found a pretty good stock of Kona Solids, and exclusive lines by Denise Schmidt and Susan Winget. I see from their website that they also stock Cloud 9 organic fabric and are listing all of these as their "premium ranges". By the time we visited, our suitcases were beginning to bulge so we settled for notions and just a wee bit of fabric. I also scored a new Accuquilt die at a special 25% off their normal price - it's a cute applique one that I think might have the seeds of a new workshop in the making.
Meanwhile...fabric.......I got a 1yd pack of the DS line which was marked into four fat 1/4s.

from JP Knit & Stitch, I got these next three pics' worth. They stocked a lot of organics.

and from Sew Fresh, some textured solids,

some Essex linens,

Echino - had to have it,

and a mix, lots of Cosmo Cricket, I have a plan,

and a wee bit of Heather Ross.

The next two lots are from Tumbleweed.

Before I left for hols I took advantage of an end of bale sale at Pink Castle and came home to find these waiting.......

and a few days later my Stash Club fabrics arrived, also from Pink Castle. Janet and I are sharing a half stack every month which eliminates the risk of having the VAT & PO charges added but is still good value.

I boldly cut into my pristine new fabric and made this embroidery folder from Ayumi's book for a  blog friend who has a big birthday today. I seem to have discovered orange, love working with it these days.

In other fabric news, I was fabric shopping in Glasgow yesterday with a friend and we found a huge haul of half priced designer cottons in John Lewis. most of it was £6.98 down from £14 per yard. Lots of Amy Butler and I spotted Flea Market Fancy. I just couldn't buy any, I don't think I'd have been allowed in the house.
But, I did sneak in a wee pack of Liberty patches, from Mandors. They have two pack sizes and my wee one was £4 for I think, 20 patches, it's very sweet.
Now then, I must concentrate on the tennis. 33 years ago today Allan and I married on Wimbledon Final day - it was the famous five setter Borg (swoon) / McEnroe match and won by Borg. We watched it before setting off in our old blue Beetle for three days in Devon. Things were simpler then...........
I got this today and I am not going to jinx anyone by saying when I would like to crack it open........

Have a great weekend everyone.


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