Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Up with the birds!

It's early here, crack of dawn should still be in bed early. I had a little visit earlier from a small person and glanced at the alarm clock....... I thought it said 6:30.  Well, I thought my alarm is set for 6:45 so I'll just get up a little early.  Only it wasn't 6:30, it was 5:30!

But by the time I'd realised that I was out of bed! So I just decided to stay up. I've got 'work' work to do anyway. That's dedication (or stupidity) for you!!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Lots of loveliness (& learning)

Today has been a busy day, a very good day, but a very busy one!

My first lesson of today was that if you need to get up early (for a Sunday) don't sit up to nearly 1am watching programs about tornados - no matter how interesting they are!  (I'm a bit of weird weather nut)  I'm not really very good on 6hrs sleep.

I tried to get a slightly better picture of my star quilt top this morning outside, it's still not great but that's phones & rain for you!!
Then me and the little man headed off to pick up my sister and nephew and we headed off the the Spring Quilt Show at Edinburgh.  There were lots of gorgeous quilts on show, majority of which have wondering how they made them or just giving up now!  Even the little person seemed to enjoy looking at the quilts (it was hard to take a picture without him trying get into every one going "cheeeeese" - he's definitely not camera shy!)
 This quilt was one of my favourites today, I love the 3-d effect!
This one is called 'Swatch Potch', it's a scrap quilt with 4,616 different pieces!!!!  (Apparently the maker's grandchildren liked to help count the pieces!?!?)  I love the little squares, I imagine it's something you could work on very slowly and methodically and gradually build up to a huge quilt.
This one was my fave though (it's taken from an odd angle - I had to stand at the side to take a quick photo!), part of the quilts on display were called 'Colour & Illusion' and I just love this combination.  There were a few quilts of similar colour combos but this one really stood out for me.

Among many things I learned at the show was that some people must have short memories - I had to really, really bite my tongue about the tuts & looks the kids (and us) got when having our lunch.  Yes 2 yr old boys don't always sit still and sometimes they have tantrums when they're tired (they weren't even behaving very badly at all, just being toddlers who were tired and hungry).  Did they're children never have a tantrum!! (ok rant over!)

After the quilt show we then decided to give the boys an opportunity to do something more suited to them..... soft play!!!!!  They had a ball (boom, boom) but taking a decent picture on the otherhand was nearly impossible.  Running, climbing, sliding for 90mins in soft play when you're 2 is the best thing in the world :)
Then when we got home, after a small sleep on the way home (for the small person - not me obviously I was driving), he asked for a bath (he's not a normal boy!) and we had a very short and peaceful bedtime.  Which is always lovely :)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Starry, starry night

My star quilt top is done!!!  yay!!!!

After all the unpicking I did the other night, I finally got round to sewing it all together tonight after bedtime.  I probably didn't put it together with as much care as I should have but it's done and I'm really chuffed with it.  It's approximately 60x60 so it's a perfect, snuggling up on the couch watching tv size.  Needs a good press and a better picture (can't do much with the light at 10.30pm and a camera phone!) but I'm very, very happy with it.

Now I just need to get myself some wadding - I've only got a teeny weeny bit left from the huge bundle I bought about 2 years ago :(

Friday, 24 February 2012


I had great plans this week for my star quilt top. Got the star all cut out and the strips sewn together last week. All I needed was some suitable background fabric and I was set to go.

So after a wee think about the right background colour (I went red after all) and a short shopping trip last Thursday, I had the perfect fabric and was all raring to go.  Well kind of.

I managed to convince my sister to do a mini service to my machine, it has been badly neglected by me *bad me* so she had a little poke around and it all seemed much better for it. Running much quieter, which when you have a toddler & do most of your sewing across the landing from his bedroom once he's asleep is a god-send.

Then the weekend went past in a flash and I got nothing sewn. So on Wednesday I finished work early as the small person is at his gran's til his daddy collects him at 7pm so I knew I had a good 2 hrs to myself. Out came the new fabric and the rotary cutter, 4 squares and 4 triangles later, I started sewing, getting on great guns till I was on my last block and I actually looked at my seams - they were HUGE!!!! How I didn't notice it until the last one is beyond me but I didn't so all my good work on Wednesday was last night unpicked:(

(I managed to have my needle set too far left btw, so my seams were 3/8th not 1/4th - really annoying)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

String Mug

I finished my string block mug rug! This is in it's new home, sitting on my desk keeping my star mug company.

Now I need to finish off my star quilt top!!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Baking and Making

I've had a busy few days ......
lemon curd butterfly cakes

peppermint creams

 lemon cheesecake
string block mug rug (started)

......baking and making things and it's been very relaxing :)  Tried my hand at peppermint creams for the first time since primary school, these ones were made with condensed milk - not mashed potato as a friend suggested.  Not sure how what I think about making them with mashed potato - seems a bit to weird even for me!  But I might give it a go just to see.

The cheesecake was a first for me and it is lovely, very impressed with my attempts even if I do say so myself!

And my first attempt at string blocks, for some reason these scared me!!  So I decided to bite the bullet after reading Sukie's blog as I mentioned in my last post, and they are really simple to do and very effective!  Why did it take me so long to figure that out!?!?  To be honest for a first attempt they are ok - not ideal but passable for a mug rug that I'm going to take into work.  Things I'll do different the next time I try these - iron, iron, iron as finger pressing the seams isn't effective enough and possibly use some starch spray to stiff the fabric.  It was VERY stretchy when sewing the blocks together, this might have been due to the small size (each quarter is only 3.5" square) but I think it will help to starch the fabric for a little bit of stabilisation.

I've also sewn together a quarter of my star quilt main block and I'm really happy with how it is looking.  I've got a few hours to myself this afternoon so I'm planning on finishing the star today and then the next decision will be what backing fabric to go for - the more I think about it, I'm leaning towards red.  So maybe Pedro is right after all!!


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Stripes & Stars??

I've been doing a little blog hopping to keep up to date with the Mini Modern challenge and today over on Sukie's blog she has a fab tutuorial for a strip pieced mug rug.  For some reason, strip blocks scare me!  But this tutuorial seems so straightforward that I really, really must give it a go.

So I'm going to busy with stripes and stars!?!?!?

Star, that's what they call you

Or rather what I'm calling this.  It's actually a quilt along on the Pins&Bobbins blog and I love the design.  So to keep myself occupied this week, on Tuesday I started cutting out the necessary 180 31/2" squares and the 20 37/8" squares for the 40 triangles.  My form of recuperation was to cut up lots of fabric on Thursday while Euan watched Toy Story and Toy Story 2.  By Thursday evening I was able to lay it all out.  I'm happy with it.  Now I need to make a decision on the background - white, black or red.  I'm leaning towards white but Pedro thinks I should go for red.  Maybe he's got a point!?

I've got another week off work on sick leave, which is odd.  I'm very, very rarely off work, especially for 2 weeks!  So I'm planning on keeping myself busy, or should I say spending time on things other than looking after Euan and doing housework.  I'm looking forward to a week of baking and making stuff!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Mini Madness

 Modern Mini Challenge

I spotted this little button on a couple of blog when I surfing the web and lo and behold, it starts this week.  This is very unusual for me to see something and actually find out what is going on at the beginning of it.

It's a 5 week series about doing a fantastic Modern Mini - so why not I was thinking.  I'm in need of some distractions and also something to give me a kick up the a$$.  This seems just the thing I need.  Here is the first post about it on Stitchery Dickory Dock blog, there is a wee calendar at the bottom of the post detailing all necessaries.

And ooohhh get me - 2 posts in 2 days!!!!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Flippin' eck!!!!

It's been over 2 months since I wrote anything on my blog.  Eeeek!!  I thought I'd only been slacking since Christmas, but no, it's longer.  Deary me, how did I not figure that out :o  So belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and lets just say Happy Easter in case I forget later on this year :)

Actually at the end of November I received a fantastic little bundle of fabric and after a little thinking time, a little playing time I turned it into this little number.
 To make it just little bit different I fmq'd the borders .......
 and some straight line quilting in the body of the quilt.  MIL's christmas present - DONE!
Then christmas rolled around and after a hectic month at work and everything else in the run up to the festivities I decided to take a break from everything til the start of January.  I got some fantastic fabric as a present so had plans to indulge myself and get creative with this little lot.  The second picture is a small collection of red/white/black fabrics I'm gathering as I've had plans to do a quilt in those colours.  Just waiting for the right pattern to jump out at me.

So the festive season was lovely and peaceful for a few days, we took the monster ten-pin bowling for the first time and had a really good time, watched lots of films, played with all his new toys but then some family stuff happened which put a dampner on things for a little while.

Then it was back to work and talking about hitting the ground running, I feel like I've spent January constantly chasing myself and getting nowhere.  Then some more family stuff happened, one of my uncles' died after a relatively short illness so that kind of shook me a bit.  We hadn't seen each other for about 18 months but everytime we did it was always like old times, he was always a happy man so it's really sad that he's no longer with us.  So to round off January I've got a bit of a health thing that means I need a little op this week.  While it has been a bit unexpected, it has resulted in having to take some time off work.  All of this stuff going on has meant that January has been very quiet on the making things front.  Had lots of ideas but no time/energy.  So never one to waste an opportunity I was trailing through some blogs the other day and came across this fantastic one on this fab blog.  So last night I got together this little lot and started cutting.  Boy had I forgotten how stress relieving it is.