Friday, 31 October 2014

This Moment

Here's a link to Soulemama's moment, and here's mine...

{this moment}

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{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Just a quick post - have you visited the Bloggers Quilt Festival yet? Lots of beautiful quilts in different categories to browse. I've decided to enter my 'Sogni d'Oro' quilt. 

I never know which category to fit quilts into, but in the end I've gone with 'Applique'. Partly because of the many elephants appliqued throughout the front of the quilt.

And partly because of my appliqued elephant in a teacup - hot air balloon on the back!

So if you have a moment pop over and take a look at all the other gorgeous quilts. It's the final day to enter today, and also for nominating favourite quilts for the 'Viewers Choice', then tomorrow voting starts. I'm typically last minute!


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Robin Mini Quilt

We're all about Christmas robins round here at the moment. We have a very friendly robin out in the garden and he's set us off drawing and creating robins.

I began making this as a Mini Quilt, but Venetia has now also started a couple of robin fabric pictures which will become mini quilts, so, since we don't want too many robin mini quilts, and since I think I could happily make lots more robin applique blocks, I think this might now become part of a larger robin quilt. Quite possibly it won't get finished till next Christmas, mind you!

I originally thought this large doily would make good snow flakes, but I couldn't bring myself to chop it up, and in it's original state I think it looks much more like a full moon, but I quite like it that way.

And I had the perfect, vintage, mother of pearl button for my mistletoe berry too.

I'm hoping you like robins, because there may be a few more around here over the next week or so!


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

All year round wreath

I made a couple of these as presents a few years ago, and liked them so much I wanted one for us. But for some reason, it seems to have taken me over 2 years to get it finished! But finished it finally is.

It's a simple driftwood wreath, just like the one I made for Christmas, with a holly leaf wrapped around it:

But now with accessories which work for every month of the year, not just for Christmas.

So for this month, we have a spooky bat:

For November, a poppy:

For December, I've added a robin as well as a holly leaf:

A snowflake for January:

For February, a heart:

A daffodil for March:

A little baby chick for April:

Hopefully the blue tits will all be busy nesting come May:

Some daisies for June:

An extremely large, juicy strawberry in July:

In August, a sunflower:

And some Autumn oak leaves for September:

Each of the other two I made had slightly different accessories, there are endless possibilities according to the recipient. And there are several more bits and pieces I have in mind to make for ours. Already the children are asking why we don't have something firework/bonfire related for November, and they think an apple would be good for this time of year too. The lack of a butterfly has also been lamented. I'm hoping they might make their own accessories for it for me, and possibly personalise it somehow for family birthdays too. I'm quite happy for all sorts of dangles to be added, they could be paper based and temporary in nature just as much as the hand sewn wool varieties. We'll see how it develops.


Friday, 24 October 2014

This Moment

Here's a link to Soulemama's moment, and I'm cheating again, words and multiple photos!

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . .  
I was determined to get one last wild swim in for the year. Especially since September's balmy weather transformed, literally overnight, into a cold, wet, windy October and it really didn't feel like we'd got to say a proper goodbye to swimming. So we headed up to the beach at the weekend for (probably!) our final swim of the year. To be honest, cold, wet and windy was still a reasonable description of the weather, but since we weren't expecting it to improve, it felt like now or never.
Maria wasn't tempted to come along, partly because of the weather, and partly because of some very cute, new arrivals in our household...
There are actually 3 babies, 2 brown ones are cuddled up together!
She wouldn't be torn away from them and was very happy, cuddling each in turn on the sofa!

Anyway, the hard core beach enthusiasts got to the beach, and it was beautiful. Late afternoon sunshine one side of the horizon, and dramatic, stormy grey skyline the other. The beach was almost deserted except for a couple of dog walkers, wrapped up in hats and scarves, and looking at us as if we were completely bonkers.
The boys wasted no time in getting in the water, which was actually very sensible given the biting wind that was blowing! 

Venetia, however, had to be coaxed from the car, was seriously regretting not bringing a wooly hat herself, and muttered words to the effect of 'there's no way I'm going for a swim, it's freezing, you're all crazy!'. She gave me a very dirty look at the suggestion she might want to put on her wet suit. Big mistake, of course! After a few minutes of watching us swim, her coat and shoes came off and she dipped a toe in. A few minutes later, the leggings got rolled up and she started jumping waves.

It really wasn't long before she was pretty damp, and then it was in for a penny, in for a pound!

But happily, the water wasn't actually that cold, and she had a great time too! Although the heating was on high in the car all the way home! We haven't altogether given up hope of another dip, but if it doesn't happen then this was a perfect goodbye to the waves for 2014. 

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Hexies misbehaving

I've been having a frustrating time with my hexies today. I have 7 'flowers' hand sewn, and my plan was to turn them into a small baby blanket. But after spending an inordinate amount of time arranging and rearranging them off and on today, I just can't come up with any positioning that I like.

You'll have to excuse the complete lack of ironing in these pictures!

I just don't think I've got the right balance of colours, particularly centre colours to make it work.

I tried with just 6 of them...

And with a new one in the middle...

And in completely different patterns...

But nothing was working for me today. So I abandoned it for the day, I think I may try a completely different idea tomorrow. And I switched to Maria's Kite picture instead for today.

It's all sewn, and I have a plan for the border/binding. The consensus of opinion seemed to be to go for something different to Venetia's picture. And, thinking about it, I'm sure that's right. Finishing their pictures in the same way would almost feel like dressing them in the same outfits, and that's something we've always decided to avoid. Besides which, Maria's picture is a very different shape and size, and I think calls for a different idea.

So, since it's Maria, I went with the obvious plan of rainbows!

A start made on it, but needs a couple of corner pieces to get it to fit. At least it all feels like it's going to work, unlike those hexies.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Christmas Stitching

I don't seem to be getting a whole lot of time for sewing right now, so in those few moments I do snatch I've been working on a couple of small, easy to stop/start makes. Happily, they are also Christmas makes.

First up is some very boring sewing - fabric bags for wrapping. We have quite a lot I've made over the past couple of years, but I'm hoping to make enough this year so we have no paper wrapping to do. They're very easy to make. Any kind of 'bag' shape - mixtures of large, small, long, thin, short, fat - with a good length of ribbon sewn on. I'm using lots of repurposed fabric which is in itself creating a variety of shapes - sleeves or trouser legs, for instance, lend themselves perfectly to fairly narrow bags. Here's an example of how I sew on the ribbon... 

Just in one continuous length on one side of the opening. It can then wrap around the opening, closing it up, then go around the present again in the opposite way before tying.

At the moment I'm sticking to quite Christmassy colours and they're looking lovely all together.

But it is, as I said, very boring sewing! So my other make is a little more interesting. I'm planning on making a set of 'Christmas' napkins as a present for someone. I say 'Christmas' napkins, but I wanted something that could be used for a little longer than just Christmas. I decided on 'snowflakes' as a theme for them. I have a big soft spot for snowflakes! I thought I'd machine embroider a snowflake, each one different of course, in the corner of each napkin.

I drew a design on first and then just stitched over it in a variegated, grey thread.

You can't really see that it's 'variegated' in the photos, it's very subtle.

But I need some help with them. We are extremely uncouth here and do not use napkins, and so I'm not sure how 'thick' I should make them. The fabric is from a very old and very lovely white, cotton sheet. It's a really good weight cotton, the kind that got starched and was all crisp and beautiful. So, for those of you who aren't as uncouth as we are, is that sort of 'weight' good enough for elegant napkins? Could I just double hem around the edges and leave it as a single layer? Or should I perhaps be adding a 'back', right sides together with a little opening, and then turning it out and sewing closed? All advice gratefully received!

I'm linking up with 'Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew' again today, can't believe it's a whole month since I last linked up!


Friday, 17 October 2014

This Moment

Here's a link to Soulemama's moment, and here's mine...

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Lets Go Fly A Kite Mini Quilt

I finished up the mini quilt from Venetia's drawing. Here it is freshly drawn by Venetia...

It was quite straightforward to machine embroider it...

I added a piece of wool backing and drew in some quilting lines to follow - they're supposed to be clouds!

And here they are sewn...

And then I decided to finish it with a blue, patchwork border-come-binding, with just one yellow, sunshine square up in the corner. I had been planning to quilt the patchwork, but now it's done I think I want to leave it plain.

Maria has also now done her drawing, which will again be quite quick to embroider, but I can't decide whether to go down the same route with the quilting and the blue patchwork, or whether to try something completely different instead. What do you think?