Tuesday, 28 October 2014

I couldn't let it go...

It's a family tradition. They set the task and I have to rise to the challenge. Problem is, that bar keeps rising though and at some point I will tumble flat on my face and have to resort to a trip to the nearest supermarket , but until then I will carry on with the annual panic followed by the biggest annual sigh of relief you can ever imagine.

Yes, its Halloween- just in case your not sure what I am talking about. To be more specific its time to create for our little granddaughter something special and hopefully in some way unique that she can have the time of her life in for a few days. And no spooky ghosties for her yet. Time for that in the future. In the 6 little years since her arrival in our lives we have kitted her out as a mouse, a bee, a bat, Jesse the cow girl and then the glowing haired Scottish heroin Merida from "Brave" and this year we are back with the Disney team with a request for Anna  of "Frozen " fame.

I have to say I cheated somewhat this year as I found a Simplicity pattern for the dress, but that was only after I had bought yards upon yards of felt and fabric whilst my little grey cells tried to work out how the heck I was going to manage to get the right look of her little dirndl outfit.   Felt is such a great cheat fabric though, so with a large roll of Bondaweb and the pattern guide I think I got the look. That and a little help from Emily and her little hole punch for the added hearts which finished off the applique a treat. 
Not sure Mum was so pleased when I told her that the outfit won't be washable
though with all that felt on it! The skirt is cotton and the bodice mock suede and I used lining fabric for the "blouse" effect, but all that applique is felt.

Anyway by the look of things wee one couldn't care a jot 

so its next stop the School disco, but not before we make sure we get a quick selfie in the new outfit...

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Life moves on

I was shocked to see my last post was on the 7th July. That's quite shocking really. Anyway, I hope you all have had a great summer and life is treating you well. It's been a time of great happiness here in QD land, as well as much sadness but life moves on, so lets have a quick round up of the makes this summer. (Apologies if you are a FB follower for the repetition.)
First up was a cushion for Pepper Ann's new home.

I loved making this cushion and think I might try some more.

Next up was a back to school plimsoll bag for Zoe. Now if you are not old enough to know what plimsolls are, or your on the other side of the pond, then these are those little black elastic fronted gym shoes we all wore for school PE lessons . Remember how they always used to come from Woolworths? Making this made me feel very old as I can still see my Mum sitting stitching mine for me when I was wee and headed of for my first day at school.

Then I had a little experiment. I am trying to liven up our sitting room and so tried out something new with some colours here in a mini quilt and yet another cushion. Photos are not working for me here though.

Finally today I worked on a commission. A little tractor baby quilt was requested and at first I was unsure but now I am quite pleased with what turned out. I am a big HST fan so a bit of thought and this is where I got too. Hope its little owner will like it too.

Anyway that's me all caught up. I'm off to watch Downton! Thanks for sticking with me in my absence and of course, for the messages from those who have been in touch. I has meant a great deal.  See you soon

Monday, 7 July 2014

Pouchy sunday

When I should have been packing for holiday, I got the bug to make some pouches for each of our girls to keep their nick knacks in on our trip. 
A varied mix of fabrics for a very varied group of girlies. 
Hope they like them and that they come in handy. Some are currently in the post so I wonder if they will work out in advance whose is whose?

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Weekender done

Some weeks back I told you all about the great bag making course I had done at My Bearpaw in Edinburgh, with Naomi Crowley. Well it needed at bit of a finish off and so I settled myself down this afternoon for a catch up on Glastonbury care off good 'ol Auntie Beeb and caught up on all my hand sewing and hey presto, here we are. The finished object. 

I won't lie, it was tough with all those layers, but I am very pleased and reckon the bag will be really useful for nights away or as hand luggage on a flight. So thank you Naomi - I would never have got here without your brilliant class.
I do hope your screen shows off the yellow here properly as its a real sunshine colour which seems to be a real favourite combo for me at the moment, along with monochromes. Lots of nice pockets too, with a  bit of top stitching. I did regret that a bit because with of the thickness but it did work well with the linen used for the corners and the carry strap.  Now it's time to start packing and heading for sun.
Oh forgot to say- loved my Glasto catch up. Dolly made me laugh and smile but Metallica? Well they really were class!   
( I bought the handles first and just fell in love with that yellow )

 Gunmetal zip- finished it off  

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


Not many words today....just a few pics of a trial run at a camera strap.
Its really not very sophisticated looking is it but the fishes made me smile ( even though they are swimming upside down in this photo?). Definitely too much going on with all those colours.
I found the red vinyl from a hideous old belt at the back of the wardrobe but I really need to find a good source of the narrow nylon webbing as the range of colours in pet collars really is pretty grim!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Happy campers

Saturday was "quilt " day according to my diary, which really meant a day booked in at
Beechwood Quilting to use their long arm machine again. I can't handle a big quilt under my machine, however hard I try so I do all my free motion quilting along there whilst having a good old chat and a cuppa or two. Two quilts finished in the day this time,but only sharing one today as the other one needs binding and this one here is by far the most important of the two. Its a house warming gift for our darling Pepper-Ann and I think she liked it. (We had tears!).
The fabrics were a layer cake called "Happy Campers" which is very appropriate as I reckon that just about sums her and her man up these days, as we count down to the wedding next spring.
The pattern is from the Moda Bake shop called" You Zig , I'll Zag"  ( with a finished size of 72 inches square) and I have quilted it in a dark yellow to match the border.
Forgot to photograph the back due to a  nosey cow ( literally if you look in the background of the picture), but it was pieced too, mainly from red but with an added bit of  personalisation as we used one of Pepper-Ann's late grandpa's lovely paisley scarves added into a strip. A sweet idea which she came up with and one that has made it even more special to her. As a surprise I also added in her and her man's names on the bottom in the free motion quilting which I think may have been the deal maker for a  quick attack of the soggy eyes.

Trying to get good photo today has been a challenge as I set off to try and get lovely pictures out in the countryside. When I left home it was blazing sunshine but by the time I got to the end of the road the temperature had dropped  by 6 degrees and it was pouring hard.
So not the best but you get the essence of our beautiful little piece of Scotland anyway. Typically the sun came out when I got home  (and the cow was left to her own devices).

Monday, 2 June 2014

Calling all knitters

Today's post is a little different as I want to tell you all about sheep. Not any sheep, these are rare breed sheep and their beautiful fleeces. 

These beauties are called Ryland sheep and live near Coldstream in the Scottish Borders and belong to a friend of mine. These girls are his first venture into the world of sheep farming and a few weeks ago he sent some of their fleeces off to be spun and he has asked me to pass on the news to you all.  As you can imagine waiting to see your first batch of home grown wool arrive back from the mill has been a really exciting time, but poor chap, he has had to endure some real leg pulling recently, as his new favourite after dinner topic of conversation is somewhat of a specialist subject! Never mind what your thoughts on the Scottish Independence debate might be - just tell us how many kilos of wool you can get from a sheep then Simon? 
Whilst Ryland fleeces are often sought after by hand spinners because of quality and texture of their wool, Simon's fleeces were sent off to the Halifax Spinning Mill a few weeks ago to be washed, carded and spun for him. No one was really sure quite what would return as the flock is a mixture of whites and coloureds (I am told that is a technical term?) but look how beautiful this grey tone is that has come back. 

The finished product looks fantastic and just oozes everything pure and natural.

Whilst Simon is really enjoying his new hobby, taking up knitting is probably a step too far for him so he is offering this first batch of pure Ryeland Rare Breed wool for sale.

The wool has been spun into double knitting wool and is in skeins of 120 grammes each . I think this is an absolute find for anyone who is a real wool addict, as I know you guys are just as bad as us fabricaholics, so if you are interested in purchasing some of this special wool please leave a comment below and I will get back to you immediately. As you can imagine, because this is the first few fleeces from this herd quantities are limited so if you are interested I think you will need to get in pretty quickly. The price per skein is £16 plus P+P and payment will be required by Paypal please, but I can supply all those details to you direct in due course.
The good news is the second round of shearing will take place very soon and this time the plan is to spin the white and "coloured" wools separately so the next batch will give us a natural white as well as a really deep dark tone which should be fantastic. A couple of the sheep are a really gorgeous chocolate colour, so I think this wool will be well worth investing in.
And as if that was not enough Simon has a small herd of Alpacas, so its watch this space as far as their soft and cosy fleeces are concerned.
I do hope to hear from you for this limited edition and if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to ask. And of course feel free to share a link to this post if you think it suits your more specialised blog. As you can see I am not that up on Marketing but I know a beautiful product when I see one.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Life in the fast lane....

 Last night I had the pleasure to share a room with four of my heros.

Glenn, Don, Joe and Timothy
( sorry Timothy couldnt find a picture of you of the right era).
Not that they knew I was there mind you.
There were another 12,000 gate crashers on my night of time travel.
In case your not a fan  I was through watching that "popular beat combo" the fabulous Eagles and this really was a VERY BIG deal to me. I should have seen these boys ( ?) at the Glasgow Apollo back in 1977 (maybe giving away a bit too much away here?) for the bargain price of £2.50. I passed on this opportunity for fear of upsetting my parents at not going home from uni for  the holidays - and sorry mum, boy have I regretted it ever since. 
Somehow I have missed their couple of subsequent tours to the UK. Have  no idea how, but thanks to a bit of fate and a kindly young mate, last night I travelled back in time to the days of tasselled jackets, men in very tight jeans and being able to wear double denim without a visit from the fashion police.  The Eagles iconic anthems helped me through my A levels and teenage angst and led me to a new world of independence many many miles from home and have stayed in my heart forever. To this day I cannot hear "Best of my love" without a lump coming to my throat. Stupid eh?
Very pleased to report the band didn't let me down . The set was long and varied and they all played their part perfectly. Joe Walsh , the Master of the Stratocaster entertained in only the way he can and proved that despite trying to kill himself by copious amounts of recreational chemicals over the years he still has what it takes.
Thank you chaps, you made am 'old rocker very happy.

 I am all ready for dress down Friday this week too...... Tee hee

Monday, 26 May 2014

Hexies on the run

Any of you that follow me on Facebook or IG will have seen that I have been very busy in the last couple of weeks stitching up a whole pile of hexagons ready for a swap. This round of the Modern She Made Swap has hexagons as the theme and whilst I did try something different with my hexagon fabric box, I eventually settled on a  simple piece of EPP for my make for my partner.
 A table runner was one of her suggestions so fingers crossed this will suit somewhere in her home. It is certainly bright and bold so lets hope it will fit the bill.The whole runner is modelled by the Beloved by the way .

The fuschia coloured linen was a  real find in John Lewis ( sorry if this means  nothing to non UK readers). They seem to be getting a lot better these days so if you haven't been to your local store for a bit, do pop along and have a nosey around. You may get some very pleasant surprises. 
The back is  a mish mash of the fabrics used in the front and actually I think is quite fun and makes it pretty reversible.
so its off to the post office tomorrow for me and bye bye to the hexies. I really like this piece and will be sad to see it leave.