Monday, 1 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Last week I was tagged by Leanne in the Around the World Blog Hop, which is a global game of tag ricocheting around quilty blogland. If you haven't met Leanne before, she blogs at Devoted Quilter and is the brains behind the Spin Placemats pattern I tested recently.

Spin Placemat

Like me, Leanne has three boys and claims to suffer from Quilters ADD, is it any wonder we connected :)

The purpose of the Blog Hop is to get to know quilty bloggers a little better by having them answer some questions about their stitching and blogging, so here goes.

1. What am I working on?

Well you know me, I am never working on just one thing, but at the moment the priority is bags! Our eldest son is getting married later this month and I volunteered to make bags for all five of the bridesmaids, and the bride and my daughter-in-law.

Clamshell with chain

Fortunately for me there is very little sewing involved as they have all requested these clamshell clutches from u-handbag. The same cannot be said for my lovely blogging friend Benta, who has been tangling with medieval fonts to embroider the bridesmaids initials on the bag fabric! You can see her tale of the disappearing font here In case you are wondering the clutch above is one I made earlier, the bags for the bridesmaids will be ivory satin with embroidered initials!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Well, I don't think that it does as I don't really have a genre to differ from. I like working with traditional fabrics like linen and Liberty in new ways, seen here in my Jewellery Roll project for Fat Quarterly.

Then again I like working with modern solids too, like the Binocular Bag for Sew Mama Sew

And more traditional patterns and techniques too!

Luckenbooth Cushion front
So you can see my problem :)

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

Well the answer to the writing part is easy. Living in a male-dominated household there are very few opportunities to extol the virtues of one fabric designer over another or share the joy of tracking down that last piece of a favourite fabric. Blogging is my way of connecting with like-minded individuals who recognise that Ty Pennington is a fabric designer not a striker in the Premier League!!

As to why I create, well that is easy to answer too. I love it, I always have. From stitching handmade gifts for teachers and Santa outfits for school plays, to now fulfilling requests for bags for daughters-in-law and cushions to brighten up a son's new flat, being able to make something that is personal and unique and to have the recipient like it just brightens up my day :)

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Well given my butterfly attitude to projects I am sure you will not be surprised to read that my writing process is much the same. I am most definitely not a one project at a time girl, in fact I get a bit twitchy if I only have a couple of things on the go at any given moment. In my dreams I have blog posts neatly scheduled weeks in advance, but as I never know quite what I fancy doing from one day to the next, then you will not be surprised to hear that blog posts are usually very much down to sitting at the computer and typing.

The only exceptions to that are the monthly link parties, New to Me and Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew, where I do have to be a bit more disciplined as I live in terror of not having the party available on the right day of the month :)

Since our time in Latvia I have been inspired by all of the fascinating places that we have visited, and even now that we are back in the UK I am having fun finding new places to inspire me locally. So I am rarely out and about without a camera around my neck and I do find myself frequently thinking this or that would be an interesting item for a blog post. I am also constantly taking photos of potential quilt block or applique patterns and one of these years I will actually get around to doing something with them :)

So, that's enough about me now it is my turn to tag another lovely blogger for you to meet. 

Dittany, who blogs as Blue Moth has the most amazing EPP project going on as you can see!


She certainly has more patience than I will ever have, those pieces are tiny! Check out her post in the Around the World Blog Hop next Monday, September 8th.

Friday, 29 August 2014

More Japanese gifts

A Japanese bag kit somehow found its way into my basket when I was browsing the gorgeous fabrics on offer from Katie at Japan Crafts at the Japanese textiles workshop recently.  I wonder how that happened??

So, when I was looking for a gift bag recently for a birthday present for my niece I thought that it might be the answer to my search.

And it was!

The kit is the Hana Japanese Bag Kit and it couldn't have been more straightforward to put together. Hana apparently means flower in Japanese and the bag is named for the petal like appearance of the top flaps when the drawstring is closed. It was so quick to make and took only two FQ's of fabric plus the cord and two beads that I am sure that I will be making this again. So much more useful than a paper wrapping too :)

With the completed Sashiko cushion for my son, I am surprised to find that I have used everything that I bought or tried at the workshop. I usually have an unfinished piece of something hanging about for ages after classes or workshops, so it definitely makes a pleasant change to actually have some finished objects to show for my time.

Sadly the same cannot be said yet for the recent class on couching, where this is all I have to show for my time so far!

Not even any couching in sight either, however, my order of fancy new threads has now arrived so, hopefully, that will change soon :)

Well, once I work out what to do with them that is!

Linking up to  Crazy Mom Quilts

Thursday, 28 August 2014

An early birthday feast

When our boys were younger and we still had to pay attention to things like school holidays, having a birthday in August usually meant that it was spent on holiday (good) or, sometimes, on a ferry travelling back from holiday (not so good!). Now that we no longer have to worry about sorting out and buying new sports kit before the start of September, or more recently furnishing a student flat with enough food to keep an army on the move, it is a joy to be at home in August. A particular joy is getting to visit one of my favourite cities when it is in Festival mode.

Edinburgh Castle

Although it can seem that the world and his wife have also descended upon Edinburgh in August! Still there is plenty of room for everyone.

Our visit to Edinburgh this time though, wasn't to soak up the sights but instead to indulge ourselves in a 7 and a half hour theatre marathon, an early birthday treat from my husband, who it seems does sometimes listen :)

James Plays programme

The James Plays are a trilogy about the first three King James' of Scotland, and for four days in August all three would be performed on the same day. The plays by Rona Munro, were being premiered in Edinburgh during the Festival, so it was too good an opportunity to miss. Sadly my knowledge of 15th Century Scotland is sketchy to say the least, despite being born and bred in Scotland and being an avid reader of historical novels for many years, so I was definitely looking forward to filling in some gaps in my knowledge.

I certainly didn't know that James I met a particularly unsavoury end being killed in the sewers of a monastery whilst trying to escape from his attackers. His son, also James, was the recipient of this large piece of artillery, known as Mons Meg, which graces the walls of Edinburgh Castle.

Mons Meg, Edinburgh Castle

Sadly another cannon was to be the cause of his untimely demise when it exploded during a siege at Roxburgh Castle.

One of the events during James II's reign known as the "Black Dinner" when nobles invited to dine with the young King were accused of treason and executed was apparently the inspiration for the Red Wedding in George Martin's Game of Thrones series.

Just goes to show that life definitely is stranger than fiction!

The plays were all wonderful, if you ever get a chance to see them I can definitely recommend them, although you might prefer to do it over several nights as 7 and a half hours on a theatre seat can be a bit numbing :)

Linking up to

Really Random
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