Thursday, 20 December 2012

Buttons, Blocks and Bows

On my recent visit North I managed to have a rummage around in my mum's button box. There were buttons in there that had belonged to her mum. So with a bit of encouragement on my part I "acquired" some of them to add to my own button stash :)

Mum's buttons

They came in very handy when I had a go at making some Origami Fabric Flower brooches from Knotted Cotton. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a kit for three flower brooches from the lovely Catherine, but they were so quick to make that I whipped up another one in no time.

Origami fabric flowers

If you are looking for a really quick, last-minute make these definitely fit the bill. You can find Knotted Cotton's tutorial here.

This month sees the final blocks of the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee and this month's colour is pink. I discovered that pink is not a colour that features heavily in either my stash or scraps, so all I can say is thank goodness for fabric swaps!

SMQ  block Dec 2

SMQ Blocks Dec

This was the first Bee I ever joined and it seems like ages since I nervously put together my first blocks, although it was only 6 months. Round 2 kicks off next month when we are making blocks for specific quilts from the book. As my book is still somewhere in storage I will need to get a move on and find the box soon.

The first Bee request for Round 2 is for low-value fabrics, which I have discovered I do not possess, so some fabric shopping will be called for in the New Year sales!

In the meantime I am planning to get some last-minute sewing done before my son comes home and reclaims his room :)

Hope you are all having a relaxed run-up to the Big Day, or if not that you are at least enjoying some festive spirit!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Handmade gifts and Happy Post

I haven't been having much luck lately with swaps and Bees. I still haven't received anything from the HoopLaLa swap although the deadline was November 9th! My Sunday Morning Quilts Bee blocks for October and November haven't been seen either, so there has been a lot of anticipation when the postman rings but not much in the way of realisation. Until today!!

MSB swap rec'd

This lovely package of goodies arrived this morning from my partner, uberstitch, in the Modern Scrappy Bits swap. Apparently this is Pam's first attempt at a zipped pouch, I would never have guessed it is absolutely lovely.

MSB swap scraps

It was even lovelier when I unzipped the pouch to discover that it was packed with more scraps. On a miserable, wet and windy day this was a real ray of sunshine, thanks Pam!

We had a quick trip up to Scotland this week but only had a short glimpse of this

Largs Bay

and this

Largs Ferry

before delivering the doll quilt and heading South.

I have, though, managed to make another couple of Christmas presents and even roped in my OH on the handmade gifts front.

Last year I made Christmas snowman earrings for my DIL, son's girlfriend and myself using kits from Jillybeads but this year I decided to have a go at making my own. I discovered some seasonal charms at a local bead store and it took me all of 5 minutes to make this year's earrings.

Christmas Earrings 2012

So another two presents can be ticked off the list. My OH has even got in on the act by making these CD clocks, which again took him all of 5 minutes each.

Clock for ES

For eldest son

Clock for MS
For middle son
Clock for YS
For youngest son

The clock mechanisms were just over a pound each and we used their own Cd's so all in all it was not only quick but inexpensive too. The clock parts were sourced from here

Actually they don't know that we have used their Cd's, but as we are constantly telling them anything that has been left behind when they moved out is fair game!

That Christmas gift list is gradually being whittled down, next up is toiletries and jewellery rolls.

Hope you are having a productive, handmade time this year too.

Linking up to Do Something Crafty and Happy Hour Friday and

Monday, 10 December 2012

Handmade Christmas - Part 1

Now that our youngest son's birthday has passed (last week) we are officially allowed to mention Christmas in our house!

So I decided to get a start on some of the handmade presents I am hoping to give this year. I have had lots of ideas spinning around in my head, but it is now boiling down to what I can get the appropriate supplies for locally and what I actually have time to do.

First up some pineapple chutney for my foodie son and daughter-in-law,

Before the big day I will search out some Christmas fabric and my pinking shears to make covers for the jars I promise!

Next up a bracelet from memory wire for my eldest son's girlfriend

This was actually a kit that I bought a couple of weeks ago and was so easy that I will definitely be out buying more memory wire soon. It must have taken all of 10 minutes in front of the television to do - definitely my kind of project :)

Finally I got around to using up some of my blocks from Quiet Play's Say Cheese Polaroid Block swap to make a doll quilt. The doll and quilt are for my niece's daughter, I am not quite sure what that makes me to her or her to me!

I had great fun sorting through the blocks I received picking out the girliest ones!

Now that I am finally reunited with my stash I had the ideal backing fabric - bright pink and flowery, not something I would normally use but perfect for this.

I hope she enjoys playing with this quilt as much as I have enjoyed making it.

Just in case you are thinking that I am really on top of things I am admitting to this disaster, a stollen that didn't rise!

 It wasn't entirely my fault as I went to what was billed as an "Edible Christmas Gifts" cookery class and we ran out of time to prove our stollens for the second time, which meant taking it home and having to leave it overnight to prove. I think the freezing cold journey home didn't do my poor stollen any favours and it could have doubled as a brick the next day!

Unfortunately the stollen wasn't the only disaster in the kitchen this weekend. I dropped my Christmas pudding when taking it out of the steamer (I know it should have been made weeks ago!) and the pudding basin cracked in two! Cue a hasty switch to another bowl, but I will only know on Christmas Day whether it survived the fall or not. I am hoping everyone will be so full of the festive spirit they won't actually notice that the pudding is a rather strange shape :)

Hopefully the next bout of handmade activity will be less disaster prone!

I hope your weekend was productive too.

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Winning Number is

And the winner of the Sew Mama Sew giveaway as drawn by the Random Number Generator is

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-12-07 21:00:50 UTC

Comment 126 was from one half of the duo behind the Sew Seasonal Blog Hop

I'm hoping for some a new cutting mat!

Alyce I have emailed you for your address. 

A huge thank you to everyone who entered and an even bigger thank you to all of my followers it has been a real pleasure to discover so many new friends.

It seems that we are an easy to please bunch as gift cards for local fabric stores and chocolate will keep most of us happy! Family take note :)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Swaps, Boots and WIP's

Last weekend my daughter-in-law, son's girlfriend and I nipped off to Dusseldorf to sample our first German Christmas market. Last year we all went to Copenhagen for some Christmas market retail therapy and spent the weekend dodging howling gales and rain, so we were hoping for a better experience this time. Well, whilst there was heavy rain on Saturday night it didn't put a dampener on our fun as there were places like this to shelter in!

My lovely blogging friend, Fiona, had explained the deposit system for the Gluhwein glasses before we went so we didn't waste precious shopping/drinking time working out what to pay :)

As you can see we were so taken by a couple of the wine mugs that they managed to sneak into our bags for home! The Gluhwein was pretty good too.

We would have loved to have fitted one of these fun bird boxes in to our bags, but just couldn't make the space :(

And whilst space wasn't a problem with the biscuit cutters from this stall, narrowing down the choice was!

Aside from indulging myself with the odd Gluhwein there has been some sewing in progress too this week. Today is the deadline for sending off my package for the Modern Scrappy Bits Swap. As well as scraps participants are asked to send a handmade item, so I have been having a go at a pouch pattern I found in an old issue (12) of Making magazine.

The Christmas one will be ideal for the OPI nail polishes I have as stocking fillers for my fellow market shoppers. My partner in the Modern Scrappy Bits Swap has said that she likes linen and text fabrics, so I am hoping that the second pouch will be to her liking.

This is what is going in the package today.

The pouches used a construction method that was new to me. You attached the zip by making two tubes, one with the lining and one with the exterior then turned it lining side out to stitch the ends before turning the pouch back right side out. It makes more sense probably when you see this photo!

It was a neat way to do it and quick, although it does mean that you have a raw seam at each end on the inside.

More stocking fillers are on the agenda with my Origami Liberty flower brooch kit that arrived in the post yesterday from the very talented Catherine at Knotted Cotton.

I am really looking forward to having a go at these and they may not all make their way into stockings! If you haven't already check out Catherine's tutorial for the Origami flower brooches here they are lovely.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

There is still time to enter my entry in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway, you will find all the details here or vote for my entry in the Ring Your Neck scarf challenge.

Vote: Ring Your Neck Scarf Challenge

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Giveaway and Challenge Vote

This week will be a blur of blog hopping and commenting as the huge blog event that is Giveaway Day by Sew Mama Sew has arrived, and I am delighted to be taking part again.

Last year I made these Christmas stockings for my daughter-in-law and son's girlfriend with Christmas linen/cotton mix fabric from my favourite linen shop in Tallinn, Estonia.

This year my giveaway will give you the chance to do the same.

Today's giveaway is 0.5m of the Santa and Reindeer linen/cotton mix fabric. Each fabric length is 150cm wide, which will be enough to make one similar size stocking to these from each length and have enough left over for some small ones too.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is tell me what you would like to find in your stocking on Christmas Day. If you are a follower leave an extra comment telling me for an extra chance to win.

The winner will drawn at random on December 7th at 20.00 UK time. International entries are, of course, welcome!

Giveaway now closed, thanks all for entering!

The entries for Ricochet and Away's Ring your Neck scarf challenge are now complete and you can vote for your favourite here

Vote: Ring Your Neck Scarf Challenge

Here is a quick reminder of my entry ;)

There are lots of wonderful and inventive creations on show in what has been a really great challenge. I can't wait to see what Rikka comes up with for the next challenge.

Linking up to Christmas Stocking Hang Out

Good luck with the giveaway, I shall be hoping for some of that myself too :) Check out all of the giveaways here
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