Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sunday swaps and stripey bindings

Well before I start to waffle on today I must impart to you the current musical accompaniment here in QD land. Rather surprisingly for a Sunday afternoon, I am presently blogging to the tones of the Sex Pistols and Anarchy. Now I am sure this is not what you would expect, but Sounds of the Seventies with Johnny Walker is my favourite part of the week and this week "Never mind the Dangly Bits " turns out to be his album of the week and even though I was not, this time rather unsurprisingly, a punk, it takes me back to my student days and to be honest I love the track a lot more now than I did then. If you get the chance though you need to listen to a band called The Bad Shepherds, featuring Adrian Edmondson as they cover Anarchy in a style you would never ever have expected. I will not ruin the surprise but just urge you to You Tube it or something. It is pure genius and me and the beloved JB had a wonderful night in chilly Morecombe last year watching the guys which was one of our favourite gigs for many a year- and that is saying something!

Anyway as ever I have digressed again - probably too early on in this blog to have kept your attention, but if I haven't lost you yet let me update you on events. As you may recall I signed up to Mouthy Stitches 2, a  bag swap with a heap of very talented ladies and now the moment has come for me to actually have to make something. Aagh was the cry. The rest of the gang have been busily uploading their beginning ideas to Flickr and I have happily been commenting, although I don't think I have spotted my secret partner that is making for me yet. However all this viewing has done is increase my fear.  The partner I am making for has a very varied mosaic for me to use as a guide to her taste and the more I read the more I can see that she is a bit like me ( so well chosen) in that she has a broad taste in styles. Whilst this is a great trait it has not helped me one little bit. I have poured over my stash, rifled through the stores and googled until the cows come home and still am not totally convinced if my idea is the right one. But go for it I must as we have a deadline to meet  and I have a weeks holiday in Ireland in the middle of the remaining time so need to pull my finger out. I have today uploaded my mix of fabrics and invited comments and now will sit back and see if she has any for me.  I had a sneaky and really cool idea for the lining but I will keep that to myself for the mo as a) its complicated and may fail and b) I may change my mind.... 
discarded idea 1- I thought the stripe would make a good lining for the swap bag, and the print is the lovely Amy Butler
Anyway on the way to deciding on the final group of fabrics to put into the group for comment I went through quite a few alternatives, so you might like to give me your comments on the rejected ones. Who knows, my secret partner might see one here they prefer and I might get to change my plans yet again.

discarded idea 2

discarded idea 3 - Appleville by Robert Kaufman , bought from Avery Homestore in Edinburgh

I also had to get a crack on and finish yet another baby quilt ( yes I know I said no more for a while but this was a request from elsewhere) so I got a chance to use the great zig zag I had been hanging on to for a binding  and I love it. The feature fabric was very bright and busy, featuring zoo animals and so the black and white I thought was a good contrast. Anyway hope it goes down well with its new owner. 

She has also asked if she can have the pink and green quilt featured in last months catch up blog which was homeless so it will be nice to see it put to use keeping someone's wee one cosy now the nights are drawing in.  On that note I also popped this little mat together this afternoon as I fell on the Halloween fabrics whilst rummaging and just couldn't resist a play. I know I am a bit early, but at least its ready for the end of the month and as you can see I made good use of the left over binding. 
That's me for now, I am off to try and decide what I need to pack for Ireland. Five days of rain is forecast so probably won't need the shorts this time eh!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Random purchasing

I have been very remiss with my blog recently. I am not sure why as I have been keen to sit down and write nearly every evening but same old excuse I am afraid. Time has just conspired against me. I had a flying visit down to see Emily at the weekend as she is suffering from a horrible chest infection so as well as a hug  to make her feel better I wanted to give her some moral support in her planning for the Country Living Fair, as I mentioned in my last post. We had a fruitful catch up and I feel a plan is coming together. The two of us and the wonderful Jonathan must have looked like a load of chumps though as we paced out the stand size in the back garden, laying out sticks and cushions to mark the spaces for tables and print holders. Improvisation can be such a hoot if you try hard enough! 

My flying visit was preceded by a quick trip to the "Scottish Quilt Championships" at Inglestone near Edinburgh and the title of this quilt fair always makes me chuckle. Not quite the FA or Ryder Cup but some hard work exhibited by some very clever and talented ladies ( and lads perhaps? who knows). I took along my lovely lofty friend Emma, who is a "quilt virgin" and I hope I didn't bore her too much droning on about fat quarters and the like. Emma is a great supportor of QD land and I love keeping her up to date with the latest news. Who knows she may at some point get the urge to join in, but I have had to warn her how very addictive all this stitching can be. 
one of the few linens I found at the show
As you can see I did indulge in some retail therapy and I was shocked at the randomness of my purchases when I surveyed them back at home. No real theme or style here at all, but I think that's a good thing as I like the idea that different styles grab me on different days. Having quilted for over 15 years I have made many traditional pieces but have loved watching all the new styles and colours come through and the change in fabrics available has been so refreshing. I have to say that I actually was a little disappointed at the lack of modern fabrics at the show, with the only real nod to modern quilting coming from the girls at the Avery Homestore in Edinburgh. I had fallen on their website a few weeks ago so it was lovely to meet them and I am itching to get through to see the shop itself soon. The girls were selling a lovely mix of contemporary fabrics, from my favourite Amy Butler, through the jolly Brrr Ice with its great polar bears ready for Christmas, to some great Suzy Ultman Critters. I felt quite rotten actually as I rather inappropriately said that I had just bought some of the fabrics that they were selling from Pink Castle Fabrics and how great they were, but did not mean to be so rude. The girls had the best choice of fabrics at the show by far and I will most definitely be a supporter from now on. I love Pink Castle and their service is great but sometimes you just have to shop locally and avoid the tax too.
One of my plans was to look for fabrics for my Mouthy Stitches swap , with our partners being announced that day  but technology failed me and I couldn't get my emails to work on my phone till that night by which time I was tucked up in my trundle bed in the B&B in Newcastle.  Actually as I say, the fabrics on sale at rhe show were mainly run of the mill, with the exception of the very large pile now laying in the middle of my dining table, so I will be looking online for my partner, or alternatively will be "google mapping" to see if I can leg it to Avery Homestore in my lunch break in the next day or so. ( This time I shall go alone rather than inflict agony on any more friends - see " A Challenging shopping trip" ha ha). As this is my first swap I am very nervous that I will not be able to match up to the amazing work of my fellow Swappers but I will keep you posted- without revealing too much. However I will say , I do have  plan .... wink wink nudge nudge

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


It seems an absolute age since I have written of the goings on in QD land and that's just been due to life in general going on around. The beloved JB has been home from offshore and the days have flown by. With the nights drawing in too I really can't start sewing after I have finished supper as my brain tells me its time to sit curled up under a quilt and indulge in a bit of autumn TV scheduling and of course a a bit of "Smurfing" the net to catch up on what's happening with my swappies out there in Flickr land. 
Cutting went well for the Japanese Charm Swap and my little squares where quickly winging their way to Narcoleptic in a cupboard in Lerwick and by some miracle I ended up with a fair size pieced left over for me to keep. Yipeeee! Cannot wait to get my bundle back come the end of the month. If you have popped by the group you will have seen that the gang have exceeded themselves in their shopping skills . I just have no clue at  all at the moment what I will want to make from the charms when they arrive.
my girl , herself
This weekend however, much hooting and a hollering could be heard in QD land as at last, the girl got to come home. Yes, that is correct. Emily managed to make it back north for a day and a bit and was welcomed by a very happy Mummy and Step Pa. Emily is a mad little whirlwind and I miss her like mad. I miss Number One Son constantly too, but I don't know if its him being a chap or because Emily actually did live in this house in Scotland for a while, but she has left a bit of a hole. This here was her home, where as for Tom, Cambridge will always be his home, although I am very proud that he constantly regales everyone of his home in Scotland and long may it continue. My tots grew up and life moves on...
Anyway, I digress. Emily managed to get home for a flying visit bringing her gentle and lovely man with her and we managed to catch up on events whilst he and the beloved JB bonded over a glass of red and stories of spanners and electrical supply theory. On Sunday it tipped it down with rain and so we decided we would have a bit of Mum and daughter time in my den. Em has been doing a lot of paper piecing recently but this is not really one of my favourite types of stitching so I had avoided it somewhat but we thought it was time for some role reversal with Emily tutoring me on the technique she uses. 

We chose a pattern of stacked teacups to practice on, from a pattern she found on Craftsy. We raided the stash and set too and to be honest, I am still not completely convinced that this kind of piecing is my bag, but I can see it has its place. 
Em's turned out a lot better than mine as she chose better contrasting fabrics . I went wrong with my top cup fabric as it is too pale and tried to remedy it with  a little embroidered trim, but hey ho. That's what practicing is all about. 

We had a great afternoon whilst the boys snoozed/watched the football and topped it off with a full tummy of Roast Pork and rhubarb Crumble. Yum Yum.
Em has now headed back to County Durham but I will be heading that way on Saturday as we have much work to do sorting out her stand for the Country Living Fair in Glasgow in November.  This is a HUGE thing for Emily and her fledgling business and I am so proud that I could burst. You will be hearing much much more of this event so I won't bore you now but if you want to pop by to see some of her work that will be on sale there just click here. There will be some new work in time for Christmas too, especially as it's a Christmas Fair so don't forget to bookmark the page, wink wink.....
See you soon when I am back and hopefully I will have news of not only the Japanese Charms that have arrived but also progress in the Mouthy Stitches 2 Swap. Can't Wait.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Swappy doings

mosaic10b6d8f788aa3b47cbba1807fb3d25b539a1a50f by Quilty doings
mosaic10b6d8f788aa3b47cbba1807fb3d25b539a1a50f, a photo by Quilty doings on Flickr.

Not much sewing gone on in the last week or so in QD land as I had the flight to London from hell on business, which wore me out, but more importantly the beloved JB is back home from work.  However much excitement has ensued as not only is the Japanese Charm Swap well under way, but I have also signed up for my first "make " swap.
The lovely Canadianabroad Susan has organised the second round of these mad women ( my goodness you should read the cat , its a hoot) and I am delighted that I made the cut too. As a new "Swapper" I am a  bit daunted not only because of the worry of letting my secret swap partner down by making  something she really doesn't like, but also because there seems to be a lot of techy type malarkey which flies straight over my head. However Susan has been a sweetheart and seems to have the patience of a saint so hopefully I won't go too wrong.
The first job of making my mosaic was scary enough as there is so much choice out there, but I hope it gives a wee feel of things which me ( and Emily) like. I am surprised its not just one big montage of moose and chickens to be honest, but then that would be just plain daft. Hold on a minute- oh yes, that would be me then.
Anyway I will keep you posted, if you pardon the pun, without letting the cat ( or chicken?) out of the bag to my secret swappy. You must pop by Flickr to see all the other amazing mosaics. These really are not only talented gals, but also have a great deal of taste and there are so many brillinat blogs linked in there. Too many to name but really great fun to read and very inspiartional in their stitching... And whilst your there have a catch up on the Japanese Charm Swap fabrics. We are all madly cutting and posting but the tension is rising as we await the big Shetland post off by Sarah. Boy that post office won't know what has hit them- perhaps we should be sending the postie a parcel of his own as a bribe to care for our precious cargo.
See you again soon, by which time I will hopefully have an update on "happy campers"

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Fresh Sewing Day

Today I am linking up with Lily's Quilts with a Blog Hop with a  Fresh Sewing Day round up. I can't believe September is here already, as August went by in a blink of an eye ( and a splosh of a puddle).
Here at QD land things have been busy, with lots of little projects going on and a bit of planning of future creations. Feel free to visit Flickr to get a better look of the little pile of finished goodies. I was particularly pleased to complete of a small bright quilt, which I made for no particular purpose except that I fell in love with the fabrics, ( called "123 Play with me", by Victorian Textiles). I also had fun using up the orphans afterwards which I turned into some more pot holders for a train buddy. She saw the ones I had made for Number One Son and asked for some to give as a gift, which was very flattering.

I was pleased with how jolly they looked, so I can add them to the list of completed things for this  month.
As with any "Fresh Sewing Day" post I must let you know of plans for the  month to come and one of these makes me very very excited, but I will save that till last.
But..... plans are
  • finish piecing "Happy Campers" for Pepper Ann
  • Quilt " Autumn Shadows", a piece I worked on this month, in grey tones with a lovely bright orange contrast . The quilt is based on the long low shadows the sun produces in our part of the world at this time of the year. You will have to come back to see pictures of this one as I want to keep you in suspense... 
  • try my hand at the Jack Attack Quilt-A-Long at Lily's Quilts. I just couldn't resist even though I have loads to do
  • and dah dahhhhh, I will receive my little bundle of treasures from Narcoleptic in the cupboard, who has organised a Japanese Charm swap. This is my first swap and I am very excited. The fabrics chosen are all up on Flickr if you want to pop by, and my word, they are brilliant.  Archie the wonderdog tipped me the wink via her blog and as I haven't used Japanese fabrics before I couldn't resist that either ( you can see I have no will power when it comes to fabric can't you).
I have chosen this terrific "Robots and Cars " fabric from Kokka, but shopping for it was so tempting so I had to buy these brilliant owls and the hilarious "chemistry lab".
Have no idea what I will do with that one, except sit and smile at it. It is such a fun find.
So pop by again next month when I check off the list and confess what did or didn't get done