Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Pillow Fight

Well in my mind it's a cushion but over on ye old Flickr it's the Brit Quilt Swap Pillow fight.  My offering to my partner is away in the trusty hands of Royal Mail so hopefully they delivery it tomorrow (or maybe Thursday at the latest) and fingers crossed my partner likes it!!!!  I've, hopefully, followed my partners likes pretty closely - green, hexies, little patchwork, trees, birds, something festive, echino, linen.  I'm hoping it ticks a lot of boxes.

The snowflake quilting is all freehand and in metallic thread. (this photo is a bit dark for some reason, the fabric is cream!).

I've learned a lot doing this cushion - firstly that I can make a cushion cover (what with this being my first ever attempt), hexies aren't really hard but they do take a lot of time!!!!, if using metallic thread you must, must, MUST use the proper needle in your machine (I've spent too much wasted time cursing the wrong needle and the shredded thread!), that people that work in haberdashery shops don't always give the appropriate advice, that I'm always at the coo's tail no matter what the timescale/deadline is and that I am my own worst critic.

But overall I enjoyed making it and I really, really hope my partner likes it.  Now I get excited waiting for my cushion to arrive!!!!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It's been a while!

Jings, crivven, help ma boab!!! Has it really been 3 weeks since I last updated my blog!!  I swear it feels like someone is stealing my time these days.  To be fair life has been busy. 

Work is crazy busy, just now.  I'm in the process of doing my first ever attempt at putting a contract out to tender so it involves writing a specification for the service to be provided, getting it checked by our legal people, then making changes, getting in checked again, then making changes ... see a pattern developing.  It's not been as difficult as I expected but it has been quite intensive at times.  Fingers crossed the document will be completed tomorrow and then it's out to the public!!!

The last week has been birthday week in our house - mine last Tuesday (a whole week ago!) I am now the grand old age of 37 (!), yes I know it's not really that old but I feel like I should be a grown up by now!?!  I had a very good day, even though I had to work late.  I got lots of lovely gifts, which I haven't taken a picture of yet (bad me) but people were very generous including my lovely hubby who bought me these fantastic boots.  I so nearly bought the purple version but my sensible side took over and I got the black.  It's been a decade since I owned a pair of doc marten boots and I forgot how comfortable they are!  I love them.

It's was also my hubby's 40th at the weekend so I am now a PS3 widow but he's a very happy boy.  Although I did use it as an excuse to play with some paper and make my first cards in about 2 years!!!

I've also been very busy making the cushion for my swap partner in the BQS.  I definitely chose a time consuming design - mini hexagons which I then hand stitched onto the base cushion fabric.  I need to get some snowflakes quilted later on tonight hopefully but I'm really happy with how it's looking so far.  Just hope my partner likes it too.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


that's about the speed my laptop is going this week!  I'm not known for my patience (just ask my darling husband!) and it's running very low with the spectacular speed of my laptop, or otherwise. 

Work has been crazy busy this week, I was finishing a presentation at midnight last night, so I haven't had any time for fun stuff like starting my cushion cover for the Brit Quilt Pillow Fight Swap.  I have started my design, I'm going for a christmas theme
Hexagons along the bottom, appliqued trees and some kind of quilting (swirly?) in the sky is sort of the plan but I'm not quite there yet.  First off I need to decide between modern or traditional christmas, or possibly a combination of the two.

Decisions, decision!?!?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Says It All

The husband doesn't always agree but he knows better than to argue too much!!!!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Don't this at home ...

To explain, this is my right hand, placed on my right leg facing towards me.  Apparently not everyone can do this!  I've been able to this for as long as I can remember and never really thought anything of it.  On Monday I finally had my appointment with the Physiotherapist for a pain I've been getting in my right hand for just over 18 months and she explained that I have hypermobility.  This basically means that my ligaments aren't as strong as most people and they don't fully support my joints so I'm able to move them more than other people and, more to the point, they move past the normal range of motion, which isn't advisable.  I had to do various simple tests like see if I could place both hands, palm down, on the floor without bending my legs.  So after these tests I received a score of 9 out of 9, so I'm very hypermobile apparently.  Although I don't have hypermobility syndrome thankfully.  

So since Monday I've been having lightbulb moments all week when different things happen, like going over on my ankle and realising that this is due to having rubbish ligaments and joints!  It's also linked to poor posture and clicking joints, both of which I have the pleasure of.  I can't get rid of rid of it but if I try and strengthen the muscles it will be an attempt to support my joints.  From what I've discovered it's also common for people with hypermobility to have weak muscles strength - believe me I'm rubbish, I have no strength whatsoever. So it's been an interesting week.

I have been missing in action for nearly a month from my blog.  I've been thinking about where or not to blog about why for a little while now.  But due to the very nature of the beast, not discussing it is part of the problem.  So at the risk of overexposing myself, nearly 2 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and put on medication for a short time.  That helped me get over that phase of life (I still remember the incident when I realised I wasn't coping and needed a bit of help).  But that was a while ago and I've been back to myself for a while, until a couple of months ago when things just started to become overwhelming again.  I'm reluctant to take medication again so I've been giving myself a little TLC, eating way too much (bang goes the diet)  and I'm back on more of an even keel (I was going to say normal but that never been a word associated with me!!).

So being a more enthusiastic about most things I'm starting to think about putting my sewing machine into action.  Having had a very busy August and a September that isn't really worth dwelling on I remembered I haven't blogged about my purchases from Festival of Quilts in August.  I bought the Farmer's Wife Sample Quilt book which I've wanted for a while, some red, black and while fat quarters, some halloween fabric, a little charm pack and some bargain fat quarter bundles of blues, greens and yellows.  Not sure what I'm doing to do with it all yet but I'm sure I'll find something!
Now I had a quick look over on flickr yesterday and I've realised there is another Brit Quilt Swap about to begin.  So since I had such a good time doing the last one and I'm in need of some enjoyable distraction I'm going to go see if I can sign up before it's too late.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Speedy Make

I had an idea in my head last week for a quick lap quilt for my Granda's birthday.  He is the fantastic age of 93 today.  I bought a lovely layer cake at FoQ last month which was just asking to be used to who was I to deny the cutting of fabric to be carried out.
I have no idea what the fabric is called or who designed it unfortunately but I do know that it from Robert Kaufman and it's lovely.  I changed by mind about the design mid way through last week so by Friday I needed to go and buy some sashing material and backing fabric.

Saturday naptime I managed to get the fabric cut out, Saturday evening I started to piece the blocks until my machine fell out with me and stopped working.  So I threw in the towel in trying to fix it and went to bed!  Got up Sunday morning with renewed energy determined to figure out what was wrong with my machine so I did this
and gave it a good old clean.  Hoovers out quite nicely actually, but no still no joy in getting it to do more than one stitch before it jammed up and refused to work.  *insert a very stressed person, lots of shouty, growly, thumping about and threatening to throw it out of the window*  But then for some reason I looked at the bobbin .............
I had been using the one on the left!  It should look like the one on the right.  No wonder it kept pushing he bobbin case out of the machine.  So once that was sorted it was like working with a different machine and it was full steam head.  So as daddy kept the dude occupied (ok they watched a dvd but it kept them out of my hair) I got all quilt top pieced.  Another short nap time and I got the layers basted.  We then went to visit my Granda at his nursing home.  He was in fine fettle if a little confused (apparently he was going to visit his auntie!).  We then got home and when daddy did bedtime I got on with the quilting, making and attaching the binding.  I finished about midnight last night!  But I'm really happy with it and what's more so is my Granda!
I did worry that it might be a bit too modern for a 93 yr old but he talked about it all afternoon apparently (after asking my dad if he needed to go to school today, bless him!).  We got it home because I forgot to attach a label with his name on it but I'll get that done tomorrow. 

Thursday, 8 September 2011

A Wee Test

I'm having a play with my new Android phone and being fairly useless with technology I not always convinced these things will work. So this is my first attempt.to blog straight from my phone!

I am even going to try adding in a photo of 'pirate Euan'!!

Saturday, 3 September 2011


be thy middle name!!  Oh dear, I don't know if it's post holiday blues or just laziness (I'm leaning more towards the latter) but I've struggled to get back to my normal level of organisation since I came back from Embo.  I get little bursts of energy/enthusiasm but they don't last very long ...........

......... or I get interrupted. (I did start this post at 1.30pm today but a little person decided he'd had enough sleep so it's now 6pm and he's busy watching the Bedtime Hour on Cbeebies - I know dreadful parenting eh!)

Anyway, this week has been busy with getting back to work, catching up on everything that went on when I was off and getting back into our normal routine.  So all fun stuff has kind of taken a bit of back seat but I have been getting on with my hexagons.  This is 71 of them sewn together, I not sure what I'm going to do with it to be honest.  I did have a bit of an idea of making them into a cushion cover but I'm not sure about that now.  It's a funny shape of I need to cut out more and then see where I get too.
The husband is off working tonight so I'm planning to get some more hexies cut out and try to get some more of my mystery quilt done.

I've also been spending some time this week doing a little bit of family history research which has been really interesting.  It's something me and my dad have talked about doing for years but never really got round to doing anything about it.  But with my grandad's 93rd birthday coming up my dad wanted to find out if he will be the longest living of all his siblings, he was one of 7 and is the only one still living.  So that has meant a bit of digging about to find out birth dates and then that led to finding out marriage dates and similar information.  So in a short number of hours the other night I discovered that when my grandad's parents married  in 1906, his mum was 25, 3 years older than his dad and both her parents were deceased which my dad didn't know.  In fact there seems to be quite  few marriages in my family history where the bride was older than the groom which I think is quite unusual.

Saturday, 20 August 2011


Embo by day .......
and by night. 

These were the views from our caravan, unexpectedly we got a sea view!!  We had a very relaxing time; playing on the beach, eating lots, seal spotting, Loch Ness monster spotting (I'm pretty sure I saw her!) and even some celebrity spotting - Edwin Collins collecting his shopping from a wee farm shop. 

I even managed to squeeze in a little sewing, some hexagons are starting to take shape - slowly!!

For all I'm rested after my holiday I've had a marathon laudry day today.  A leaking boiler in a linen cupboard and being on holiday for 5 days does not make for a good combination so all contents of the cupboard needed to be washed, on top of our holiday washing.  Tomorrow the ironing looms - oh joy.  Thinking about it is giving me the post holiday blues, so for the rest of tonight I'm not thinking about it.  I'm thinking about the big bag of revels sitting in front of me instead :)

Oh yes I've got an apology to make to anyone who has ever left me a comment - I didn't realised until last week that I can/should respond to each comment individually and by doing that it sends an email to anyone who has been lovely enough to leave me a comment.  I feel really bad that I've only just realised this, sometimes I'm not very clued up on stuff!  I will rectify the situation and thank you all personally very soon. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Wow! Wow! Wow!

If anyone is joining along with Lynne of Lily's Quilts Hexalong then this stunner will make your eyes water and make you go weak at the knees. 

This is a close up so you can get an idea of the size of the hexagons - possibly 1 inch width at widest
And this is the full size quilt .........
Unfortunately I don't have the name of person who made it, the details were not in the Festival of Quilts catalogue, but whoever they are they are a HUGE Green Day fan, this is their lead singer and it is an incredible likeness.

I feel like I spent the whole of Friday catching flies!!!  The standard of work was absolutely amazing.  At one point I overhead a conversation between two women about how they were starting to glaze over they had seen some many stunning quilts.  I had to agree, it did kind of become an assault on the senses, but in a very positive way.  So much to see/admire/drool over and most definitely not enough time.  One day is just not enough, we had hardly any time to view the stands but I did manage to squeeze in a little shopping :-)

More on that later and some more pictures of stunning quilts.  I've never driven 350 miles in 1 day before, never mind doing it again 2 days later, I'm feeling fairly exhausted today and I still have to organise the packing for going up north tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to a restful holiday, with a little hexagon sewing coming along to join the fun.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Not long now!

Look what my postman delivered to me the other day.  I've been reading them (almost) obsessively since they arrived - I know, they're only the guides, it's a shame really how excited I'm getting about going.  The competition guide is really interesting as it gives you a little blurb bit about all the quilts which are being exhibited - really interesting.

I had myself a very productive night last night and I've more or less caught up with the Mystery Quilt-along - hurrah!!!  How fantastic are these plaits?  I loved doing them and I'm really pleased by how effective they are.  Trying to think of ways to make an entire quilt out of plaits.  My first thought was that they could be used in a similar way to a chinese coin style, like this one I made, but now I'm thinking of different blocks and things.  My mind is running away with it's self on the possibilities!
 All I need to do now it sew together these 4 blocks and I'll be up to date!  I should even be able to get that done before the end of (dare I say it!) nap time if I get my skates on.

I've got a busy week ahead of me, what with a mountain of work to be done at work before I finish up on Wednesday, getting organised for heading to Birmingham on Thursday (not really looking forward to the drive but hey, it'll be worth it), back home on Saturday, then packing to be done for heading away again next Monday.  But I still want to work on getting some hexagons cut out to take with me so I have some sewing to keep my hands occupied and stop them shovelling food into my mouth.  It's a subconscious action, I swear I don't even realise I'm doing it half the time.  Well that's my excuse anyway!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Merry Christmas!?!

No that isn't wrong!  My dad finally got his christmas present last night.  A hot air balloon flight.  It's all very weather dependent so it was all a bit last minute - phone calls in the middle of yesterday afternoon saying it was all go.  He wanted all of us to go along with the grandkids to see him off and what a glorious night it turned out to be.

So while we waited for all the setting up hoo-haa to be done these two had a blast running about in the field, chasing each other, 'accidentally' falling over and through grass about.

It did take a while but eventually this began to happen (that's my dad in the grey jumper - taking more photos!)
Nearly upright ......
 Almost .....
 Nearly .....
 Up, up and away ......
 Far away, floating over the Ochil Hills

Sunday, 31 July 2011

2 weeks?

Seriously it's been 2 weeks since I last posted!  I thought it had only been 1 week so I've managed to lose a week somewhere, that's a bit weird but there you go!

I've been stoopidly busy at work the last few weeks, basically been doing full-time hours when I work part-time and then bringing work home too.  And I'm sure the next week and a half are going to be just as busy as there are at least half our team off on holiday for the next two weeks.  But I'm on holiday from 11 August and it can't come quick enough. 

It's not just work that has been keeping me busy though.  I've nearly got myself up to date with my Mystery Quilt.  These are blocks from week 1 to week 5.  I've finished the block from week 6 today but not had the opportunity to take a photo.  And I've just checked Sheila's blog to see what the next is and I've another wee block and some plaits to make.
Pedro is off out tonight so once the little man is in bed I'm planning to get tome more done.

Yesterday we took benefit of the lovely weather and had a very nice day out to Blair Drummond Safari Park (and so did most of central Scotland I think).  This was the queue to get into the park.

We drove past a very tired lion, he lifted his head up slightly at one point but seemed too hot to be bothered by anyone.
We saw a camel,
 hugged some baby lions,
 watched the elephants wander about,
 spotted some mongooses,
 took a photograph of a very posing llama
 and then Euan stuck his head through here for a photo but decided to instruct "stand back everybody" to people standing at the side waiting their turn!!!

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Hexies are something that I have been thinking about for a while.  When we were on holiday the other month I had planned to make some to have a little portable project with me but ran out of time to get it organised.

So when I was having a little read over at Lily's Quilts and I noticed Lynne was planning a Hex-a-long so bearing in mind that my resolution this year (which I usually never set and definitely never stick to) was to try new things and challenge myself.  So being very optimistic I've signed.  Now when I'm going to find the time to do it is another story.  Who needs a tidy house?!

P.S. Get me - 3 blog posts in 3 days!!!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Making a List

 (picture has nothing to do with what I'm talking about, it's just a pretty picture of a white peacock)

So ....... I'm going to Festival of Quilts next month (yay!).  I've been once before (2006 I think, or it might have been 2007, my memory is rubbish!).  Anyway it was in the days before I really did any significant amount of sewing or quilting, it was really as a fact finding mission when my sister ran a quilt shop.  So I did a small amount of shopping, a couple of fat quarters, some Kaffe Fassett material and nothing else.

But now that I'm actually making things, looking at lots of inspiration on different things to create in the future, I'm starting to think about what I want to buy when I get down to Birmingham next month, I'm making that list and I'll be checking it more than twice.

Now what should I put on that list?  I don't have a great deal of stash or accessories.  I'm kinda like a blank sheet.  What would be on your "must have" list?

I'm a bit of a magazine addict.  In the last week I've come across two really good ones - mollie makes which is full of wonderful handmade goodies - how to make them and where to get them.  The other is called Craftseller, it's tag line is 'Make and sell your handmade crafts', I only bought it today so I've not had the opportunity to read it through properly but when faffing about online earlier to find out more about it I came across this article on the Folksy blog about handmade goods and people's attitude towards handmade.  It's really interesting.  I find it so sad that some people seem to see handmade as 'cheap' instead of recognising the time, effort and work that has gone into unique items being produced.  I've made things for people in the past, more papercraft items, but the general response was disappointing and people seemed to think that I'd taken the cheap option and not spent enough money on their gift.  So I've not really made anything for a lot of non-crafting people until last christmas when me and a couple of friends decided we'd only give each other something we'd made ourselves.  I always try to buy gifts that take a person's personality, likes and dislikes into consideration but it felt good to put all of that thought and effort into something I've actually made.  Well that's my tuppence on the subject.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Crafty wee space

I'm in the process of getting the spare room back just for me, after Pedro has downsized all his work stuff and decided he's suffered enough cabin fever.  It's had a variety of uses over the last few years, a home office, a craft room, back to an office, a baby's room, back to an office and now back to a wee crafty space just for little old me!  It really is the smallest room in the house but it's big enough for what I need to use it for.  This was it on Tuesday once the painting was finished
And this was it earlier today, we've got the furniture in but I need to now get it organised and I sort out more shelving.  I particularly love my new rug from Ikea (and so does my son, he keeps walking on it saying 'all fluffy!')
Pedro is working tomorrow night so I'm intending to have it sorted out by then so I can actually start catching up on my sewing.  I've been in limbo while the room was being cleared out, painted and all my stuff put back in.

My other exciting news is that I'm going to the Festival of Quilts.  I'll be there on the Friday with my sister and my nephew.  It was supposed to be the start of our holiday but after a bit of hiccup, we've had to change our plans so I'm now driving down on the Thursday, will be at the FoQ on the Friday and then driving home on Saturday morning.  So it'll be a looooong drive down and a looooong drive home again but I'm still looking forward to it.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

What a beautiful day!

It has been glorious in my neck of the woods the last couple of days.  Definitely a welcome change from the rainy, cold days we had about a week ago.

This week has been a bit more chaotic than usual, Pedro has been on holiday, so our normal routine has been out of the window.  Which is good but it also means that I'm behind on tons of stuff.  Housework has been way down the list of things to do this week and getting up to date with my sewing has been high.  So a day later than I planned to post it, my mini quilt for the Brit Quilt Swap was posted off this morning.  I'm not saying who to yet, as it's a secret swap and they won't get it until Monday but this is what the finished article looks like 

The last one includes the extras I've sent away.  My first ever attempt at a pin cushion, it's really sweet.  Now I need to make one for myself and I loved it so much.

Now yesterday a parcel arrived for me but, because I hadn't posted my quilt away I wouldn't let myself open it!!  I know, the will power I have at times it's outstanding.  So it sat in my kitchen all yesterday and all last night unopened - willing me to open it but I wouldn't.  So as we planned a day at the seaside today, I took my parcel with me to open in the car, after I'd been to the post office.  And WOW!!  I'm so glad I did.  My partner Suzan or (Quiltitis as she is known on Flickr) as made me a gorgeous, amazing quilt.  It's called the Sunshine Tree, which is very apt for the weather.  I absolutely love it.  Love it, love it, love it.  It's already hanging in my kitchen.  

And being a wonderful person, Suzan included an amazing fat quarter (not sure who/what it is yet!) and a fantastic Mr Men book for my little boy.  There he is "reading" it in the car on our way to the beach.  Thank you Suzan I truly adore it :)

We then spent a good part of the day at Burntisland beach building sandcastles.  It's definitely been a beautiful day!