Thursday, 8 October 2015

Gotta Lotta Bottle...

Jenn's request for her month in Stitch Tease is/was Bottled Rainbows blocks using Rachel's lovely method.

You may remember that I've made these blocks before.  Brit Bee made blocks for Ceri when her youngest was born, and then we went on to make two of the most precious quilts I have had, or will ever have the honour of being involved in…

This time we are following the tutorial to the tee, QAYG included, (which reminds me I will need to de-fluff my sewing machine when I pull it out next time!).

So on Wednesday I got cracking.  I chose to make a dark pink block, with Kona Pomegranate as my sashing and scraps to match…

Love the viewfinder…

So that's one Bee commitment satisfied for October, and I can't wait for next week, when we get cracking on the next round of Brit Bee proper; it's going to be awesome!

PS. Blogging silence last night due to Scout investiture…

Why get invested on the ground, if you can do it 5' in the air!?
… and the Bake Off final, sorry x

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Sometimes you can't say anything to make it better…

Please search the hashtag if you don't follow me or Lucy (@charmaboutyou) on Instagram.
This link should work for non insta-types xxx

Monday, 5 October 2015

Purse Palooza 2015

This month Sara is hosting the 4th Purse Palooza blog hop.  Not just your run of the mill blog hop, but one with two posts and a giveaway each weekday; reviews of some of the most awesome bag and pouch patterns around, and a bunch of wonderful bloggers!

OK, I am one of those bloggers, so you can be the judge of that one, but trust me, if you are 'umming and 'aarghing over a particular pattern, this may be the hop for you!

Oh, and there are prizes too if you link up a purse/pouch/bag you make between now and 14th November, link one, link ten, up to you!

I will be reviewing one of my most loved and made patterns, the Lola pouch by Svetlana, SOTAK.  I can make these with my eyes closed now, so you know my review will be suitably gushing!

Maybe this will give you some inspiration for your Christmas makes (yes, I said it!), or for a treat for yourself, I for one really need little excuse to make a new purse!

Happy Monday everyone x

Friday, 2 October 2015

Q3 FAL 2015 - no excuses!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Now don't expect too much!

Back here I laid my cards on the table.  5 WIPs.  So how did I do?

1.  Hexies…  I did pull them out a couple of times and promptly popped them away again...

2.  MATO…  I didn't even go there!

3.  My Small World…  Progressing but sadly not finished.

4… A lot of Lolas, probably 4 entries, but I'll count as one…  Success!! I blogged about them here...

5… iPad cover…  And a second finish, blogged here.

2 out of 5.  Not great, but not a total disaster.  My Q4 list is going to be a big one, but it'll be winter soon, all the better to be sewing in, well, I'm hoping!

Thank you Adrianne and all the generous sponsors for keeping up the good work xxx

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Well that was an unexpected, but necessary break from the blogging routine.  I am sorry!

September was a slog, I can't sugar-coat it, but everyone is fit and healthy, so I shouldn't really grumble.

The household routine is bedding in; we still don't have as many hours in the day, pairs of hands or ability to be in two places at once as we would like, but new things are becoming the norm.

I am sure there are loads of things I should report back on, but I must confess there has not been that much sewing.  I have been reading more than I have in years, and yes, the Kindle has been responsible for a big proportion of that, as has sitting outside school for extended periods when it just isn't worth the round trip home for 15 minutes.

The nice weather has also meant that I have preferred to sit in the garden rather than be inside.  There will be months of cold and rain to stay indoors, so my To Sew list is stacking up nicely.

Since I was last here I did make a couple of Svetlana's Little Pyramid pouches though…

I couldn't resist the matching beheaded teddy Hama bead keyring for my friend's birthday…

I have also made a good start on my #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap…

There has been some fabric shopping, (no surprise there); the Dougherty's Roadshow is great for wadding and blenders, you just have to run the gauntlet of batik, brown and very old ladies tussling over the Christmas prints!

John Lewis sale time was also unavoidable, some Cath Kidston duck cloth, Tula Pink and Dashwood Studio all came home with me, but I have forgotten to get a group shot, sorry.

Dear hubby and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last weekend…

... and whilst I write, new iPhones (only 5s, not the 6/6plus monsters), are being set up, having spent hours yesterday getting a super deal.  So more time-zapping fun to get those up to speed this weekend.

I tried and failed in my attempt to move out of my current department at work, but I am still keeping my feelers out on that one.

The kids are all doing well, the girls went up to London yesterday to do the Tower Bridge experience and take a boat up the Thames, dear son gets invested at Scouts next week, is loving the new school and has been let of the reins, walking home on his own and having a mobile phone too.

And then there's the Rugby!  See everything has been conspiring against me having any time left in the day for blogging!

So life is hectic but good.

Tomorrow I will hang my head in shame as I declare my Q3 FAL results!

Tumbleweeds be gone xxx

Monday, 14 September 2015

Hashtag #cushion...

If you were wondering where I am, I'm hob-nobbing over at the Simply Solids blog today with a fun cushion with Y-seams - yes that is possible!!

Happy Monday peeps xxx

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

All Change...

I am full of apologies for my absence of late - it has been very hard to drag my brain out of holiday-mode, and now we are all back at school and work, time is just flying past at a rate of knots and I am finding it really hard to keep up.

New routines mean earlier starts and later finishes, eating later, bedtimes creeping nearer to mine, and the window of opportunity for sewing, blogging and relaxing being squeezed into almost nothingness.

It will all settle soon, I hope, but with the prospect of Scouts starting this evening with a 9pm finish, I am not putting any money on me getting some extended sofa-time this side of Christmas!

I realise in the scale of things I really have little to moan about; hubby's back is finally on the mend, I am toying with the idea of applying for a sideways move at work (which would be great) and dear son seems to be settling into his new school really well.  The girls are just the girls!

There has been a little stitching, to keep a teeny sliver of sanity, although my To Do/Want To Do list is getting ever longer.

So on the weekend, I got my head down and made my #easyswapuk pouch and extras.  Given quite a broad spectrum of likes, I opted for my pouch of choice, la Lola, and went for ombre geese of sorts…

I am really pleased with the outcome, and hope my partner will be happy with it too.  I made key fobs from the geese trimming, well it would have been a waste not to, right?  And gathered a few co-ordinating extras to complete the package.  I am so ahead of the game on this one, because I needed that feeling of control that ticking one thing off my list brings.

So having my September Stitch Tease Bee blocks for Nicky under by belt, next on the list was a starter block for a new Brit Bee project.  We are all set for another awesome round, which will be revealed in true Brit Bee style over the next 12 months or so…

My #mysmallworld has stalled, myAmitié BOM is looking neglected again and I have had no time to start doodling for the #schnitzelandbooswap. Don't even talk to me about finishing up my Brit Bee medallion.  Thank goodness for lists!

So dear hearts, I will be trying to blog as much as possible, there may be snippets on Instagram and I may even get round to my Inbox one day soon, but for now it's all competence examples, new timetables and lunch-boxes.  Hoping, maybe, this bit of tech will stop me resorting to biscuits to get me through the day…

See you again soon xxx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Day Off...

I am still off work, but today was my 'official day off' and tomorrow will be a days annual leave rather than unpaid leave or bank holidays.  It didn't feel much different!

However it did mean frantic uniform and bag sorting, the girls are back to school tomorrow and dear son starts his new school on Friday and I go back to work.  I now have a pile of new uniform to label tonight, but I can cope with that.

I did, in the midst of this, get my September bee blocks made for new girl in the Stitch Tease Bee, Nicky.

Set the fun task of making a couple of blocks inspired by the Alhambra Palace for a predominately orange sampler-style quilt; I searched out a couple of images of tiles that took my fancy. The results are, even if I do say so myself, rather pleasing!

I have a rather long list of things I must do, and would like to do this month; I am hoping to get the balance right, as I am all too aware that all work and no play is going to make me one very dull (and grumpy) girl.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Bank Holiday Slump!

I am back and hoping you didn't miss me too much, or maybe didn't even suspect I was away, what with the scheduled posts n'all.

We have just got back from 10 lovely days away in the sun, and this weekend has gone by in a chilly, rainy, washing machine blur.  The list of things I have to do before the kids go back to school and I go back to work at the end of the week is giving me the jitters!

For now, happier times…

Normal service will resume soon xxx

Monday, 24 August 2015

No Sleep 'til Bedtime!

I saw a couple of sleeping bag pouches pop up on Instagram recently, so I had to have a go too!

Nilya's pattern is a free download from Craftsy.  Being me, I changed it up a little, making use of what I had, being just a little bit of an instant thrill-seeking cheapskate!

I used 18" zippers instead of really long ones stated in the pattern; I simply unzipped, and then stitched the two open ends together.  Definitely not as neat as the original, but cost me nothing, (sort of!); and the kids know no different.

I trialled the first cheating zip version and it was immediately commandeered, so I had to make the others one each, and one for myself, you know, for luck!

These took no time to make and have been declared the best sunglasses cases ever.  Another couple of Mummy Points in the bag for me, thanks Nilya x

Friday, 21 August 2015

Leftover tote bag...

One of my go-to instant gratification sewing fixes is tote bags.  Useful, quick, and not too fabric-hungry or head scratching to make!

For this one I used of the last of the home dec fabric that I used for my Mum's birthday tote, and some silver faux leather from projects last summer…

No zips, bells or whistles, just some off-cuts of IKEA Nummer print for lining, and I know I will get loads of use out of this…

The fact that this was made purely from the leftovers of other things makes me happy.

Happy weekend everyone xxx

Thursday, 20 August 2015


The kids think I have a problem…

Where's their sense of fun!?

NB. All the Hama bead patterns have been copied from Google Images, I am not that clever!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

I have (another) plan!

I know, I am all about the plans, and if my attempt at the first Farmer's Wife QAL is anything to go by, it's not a great plan, but we shall see…
I am aiming for the 32 block lap quilt, because I don't want to be too over-optimistic, although I've already started putting post-its on the blocks I like.  I am hoping Kerry will keep me in check, someone has to!

Monday, 17 August 2015


I have stalked, plotted, pulled and cut the beginnings of my secret make for the #easyswapUK…

Decisions, decisions, then let the fun begin!

And I also fell for this…

No pressure then!?

Friday, 14 August 2015

Trail Tote...

I downloaded the free Noodlehead pattern a long time ago, and have thought about making one, many, many times but always moved on to other things when faced with the inset zipper, piping and strap arrangement. My hopes for a quick and easy sewing fix always turned into a bit of a more complex task, well in my head.

But I was wrong.  I made this yesterday, using some lovely Mixology linen from Simply Solids as a starter.  I didn't have everything I needed in the house, but a quick trip into the village was a bit of a success despite the thunderstorm going on.

I got a 7" navy metal zip in the bit-of-everything/load-of-noting store, some brilliant cotton webbing and cream cotton bias binding in the sewing shop and a nasty plastic satchel in the charity shop which, for £4, had the buckle and other hardware I needed.

I LOVE how it turned out!

The piping was no real drama, I have made and sewn it before, but not on a curve; I used my walking foot and it worked fine.  The inset zip was pretty straight forward too - I cut a window in the interfacing before applying, so there wasn't too much bulk when turning through, and rather than going with my initial slack-Alice thoughts of simply sewing on the webbing, I went all fancy!

OK, so when I cut up the satchel it might have been wiser to have had a good look at how the buckle arrangement had been,  but I sussed it.  Although I know I will never adjust the length, I added 3 eyelet holes just in case!

I lined it with some Cotton & Steel with a little C&S pocket.  I used a sew-in magnet fastening, the others I have are so strong, they tend to just unbend the prongs rather than separate on other bags I have made!

I frankensteined the outer pocket lining, you cannot see the cream (Bone?) Kona on the zip side, just the Aloe, but it does the job and made me feel virtuous for using some scraps!

I have learnt my lesson and top-stitched about 1/2" from the top edge to avoid the seam allowance and bulk which make my stitches go wonky; it looks way neater being that little bit lower down, using my new favourite Aurifil 40wt 2310.

All in all it turned out so well, the pattern was of the usually brilliant and clear Anna-Noodlehead standard and I am glad that I didn't go for the easy option; I really want to make the large version now!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Happy Feet...

Happiness is…

Silver Havaianas!  If you need me, I'll be doing a happy dance (in my head!).

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

In circles...

I finished the last of my Amitié BOM circles; and the silicone sheet arrived, so I will be testing my theory of pressing circles for appliqué very soon!

It may have catastrophe written all over it, but if it works, I will be thrilled to bits!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Simple Patchwork...

I made a quilt.  Yes a whole one, in two days. I needed to do something constructive, something heartfelt, something for a dear family friend, so I did.

100 unique six inch finished squares, an IKEA and solids backing, simple diagonal quilting and solid binding…

I love the simplicity of patchwork, no fuss, no pretence just beautiful fabrics.  I hope the recipient loves it too.

It finished at 60" square, pieced with 50wt 2021 Aurifil, and quilted with 40wt 2310; all fabrics came from stash.  I only had to buy the wadding, which was from the bolt at a sewing shop in town; I am not sure what make it is, but it was a quality 80/20 cotton blend and washed up really nicely.

I actually started with the backing fabric as my colour palette inspiration for this quilt, which I think worked out to be a beautiful combination.


Thursday, 6 August 2015


Sadly yesterday turned out greyer than expected, (not in a Christian way), but there was a little silver-grey lining, my Kindle arrived, so I made a case.

I started off with a simple slip pouch, but I really didn't love the baggy elastic/button closure combo I ended up with, so I lopped off the top, cut off the seams and went for a mini version of Ayumi's iPad case.

I added some Vilene S520 to the insides to give it a firm outer, with thick fleece instead of lining and batting, it turned out rather great looking considering it went though a full 360'...

I have only had a little play with the actual Kindle thus far, but having spent more time stuck 'in a book' than anything else, (random tapping and swearing does not work), I am not able to report back just yet, but it looks cool.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Boot fair bargain on Sunday, fun for all today…

If you need us, we'll be pixelating!

Monday, 3 August 2015


After a beautiful weekend, full of sunshine, family, trips out and getting stuff done, today was not so great.

Poor hubby was bed-ridden having over-done it in the garden yesterday, his back just wasn't up to the job, poor bugger; so there were unscheduled doctors and chemist visits in the mix.

The weather was grim anyway, raining most of the day, the kids took timeout in their stride, and I got to do a little more work on #mysmallworld whilst waiting for the doc's home visit…

I've since pieced and trimmed all my 1"x 2" finished flying geese, for this and a later section, and I am feeling happy about getting those under my belt.

What I am also feeling happy about, is succumbing to Amazon's deal of £10 off when you spend £50.

All weekend I was considering going the way of the Kindle.  I do love a real paper book; I collect certain authors and having been cracking on with the pile of unread books I collected over the winter; the lure of being able to get access to loads of books that I would probably otherwise not try or buy, seemed like a good idea.

My pondering paid off!

So for less than £45 I went for it; I will give my verdict in due course.  What I would be interested to know is if anyone has bought e-quilting books, I am wondering about how templates etc would work?

For now though, I guess that means I need to make a case!