Monday 31 March 2014

Beeing Queen for a month

Earlier this year I signed up for the Fat Stash Brit Bee and volunteered to be Queen Bee in April, which seems to have arrived rather quicker than I expected.

This is the first time that I have been in a Bee where I send fabric out to my fellow Bee mates and ask them to make a block (or two) and send them back. This meant that I had to be more organised than usual, and have not only bought the fabric for the blocks well in advance but also decided which block I would like, and sent the fabric out all in time for the first of the month!

Fat Stash Brit Bee FQ sent

Well, naturally, the buying bit was easy!

I bought these primary coloured solids when I went to the Scottish Quilt Show in Edinburgh in February with the intention of asking my Bee mates to make blocks for a quilt for my niece.

Deciding on the block to ask for was much harder! I leafed through all of my quilt books (about a dozen), flicked through all of the quilt patterns torn from magazines over the years (about a hundred!) and browsed blocks and quilts on Pinterest (you can just imagine the numbers!). Up to the day before I needed to send these fabrics out I still hadn't decided upon a final block.

Completed HST BOM quilt

Snuggling under this quilt whilst catching up on the third series of Game of Thrones in time for the fourth series to start next week it came to me. I had a brainwave, or rush of blood to the head or flash of inspiration and not just because the actor playing Jaime Lannister had just stepped into the bath on screen :)

I would ask for HST blocks and make a quilt for my youngest son, who is regularly tucked up under this quilt when watching the hours of sport that he calls research. You would think that having to watch sport for work would mean that you wouldn't want to watch it when you are home but apparently not!

Fat Stash Brit Bee request

So I dug out some low-volume prints from my stash and stitched up these blocks as examples for my Bee mates.

With that decision made the envelopes were stuffed and in the post before the price of stamps went up today too. Now that was organised :)

Linking up to

Tuesday 25 March 2014

New to Me in March

It's the 25th of the month again so time to check out what you have all been doing that is New to You in March.

My list of New to Me activities this month is very brief, only one!

My first attempt at Sashiko, with Perle thread on dotty linen. I really enjoyed making this pouch and have been looking at my dotty fabric stash in a whole new light ever since :)

The pouch was also another project for the Ho,Ho,Ho and on We Sew link party.

This month the party is being hosted by Karen, with a great giveaway from Fluffy Sheep Quilting for linkers and to misquote Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games if you link up a project this month "the odds are very much in your favour!".

Now it is your turn to link up your New to You activities.

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Grab button for Celtic Thistle Stitches

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Check out the other links and leave a comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on March 31st, so if you have plenty of time to try something new and link up and join the party :)

Friday 21 March 2014

A host of golden daffodils

Aren't daffodils just the most cheerful of flowers? Even more so on a windy day when their heads are frantically bobbing up and down in mass agreement :)

Linking up to

Weekend Doings

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Decisions, decisions!

In an attempt to clear the decks to give me some time to at least get one more finish from my FAL list for this quarter before it ends, I have been working on a couple of small projects this week.

I need your help though to get today's project done and dusted.

Which fabric should I go with for the binding on this small mat? I really can't decide which one I like best.

I didn't realise either until I looked at the photo quite how many puckers there were, but the good news is that I have some applique to add to this which will, hopefully, hide most of them :) If it doesn't I have enough fabric (and hopefully time!) to re-do :)

Linking up to

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced   

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew March Link Party and Giveaway

Welcome to the third of our monthly Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Parties.

Last month's winner of the Bustle and Sew Handstitched Christmas eBook was Mara who has already highlighted a few projects to try for her Christmas crafting :)

Paula and I have a great giveway lined up for you this month too, and with St Patrick's Day a highlight of this month, it is very apt that this month's giveaway sponsor is the lovely Cindy from

Cindy, who lives in the beautiful city of Galway in the West of Ireland, has donated these very Christmassy Perle threads for one lucky linker.

The threads are perfect for hand quilting, but if that is not your thing how about a spot of Sashiko?
I had never tried Sashiko but I recently found this new embroidery magazine when I was browsing the craft magazines at my local newsagent.

I really want to have a go at that hoop, but it is all hand-embroidered and I think I might need to work up to it :) Inside though there was a project that I thought I could handle.

Sashiko pouch

The Sashiko pouch uses Perle thread to join up the dots and seemed like the perfect introduction to this type of embroidery. Fortunately I had some Perle thread lurking in my stash so set to work. It came together really quickly and the Sashiko embroidery itself was straightforward to do once I got the hang of stitching through the linen and the fusible fleece backing.

Every year I give my sons' wife and girlfriends bottles of nail polish in their Christmas stockings, and this year I have already bought the polish thanks to an online deal that was too good to resist, so now I have at least one pouch made to put them in too!

Sashiko pouch with polish

If you are getting ahead of yourself too this month and have completed a Christmas gift or holiday project in March, link up to this month's Link Party, which is hosted by Karen at Easy Patchwork.
I can't wait to see what project she has lined up for us this month.

The link-up will remain open until March 31st, but if you don't manage to complete your project in time to be in with a chance of winning the giveaway, fear not! We have loads of great giveaway prizes lined up for the coming months, thanks to the support from our very generous sponsors.

My PhotoQuilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop
Ray Stitch HaberdasheryPosie: Rosy Little Things

Backstitch   Plush Addict Logo

So head on over to Karen at Easy Patchwork and start linking up those projects!

ChrisW Designs
Fresh Poppy Design
Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party, Natasha in Oz

Saturday 15 March 2014

Nearly 40 Shades of Green

Last time you looked this was what my green hearts looked like.

Well, with a bit of this

and a bit of that

it now looks like this

Ready just in time to make my husband comfortable as he settles in front of the TV this afternoon to cheer Ireland on in their attempt to beat France and win the Six Nations Rugby Championship!

The pattern for this Shamrock Heart Cushion is also the newest addition to my fledgling Craftsy Pattern Store so the Luckenbooth Pillow Pattern does not look quite so lonely any more :)

Time to get back to that WIP list (well maybe after the rugby!).

Linking up to

Knotted Cotton

and just sneaking in for this!

Thursday 13 March 2014

Books, Clocks and Dancing Buildings

On our recent visit to Prague, whilst searching for a Post Office we wandered into a rather large building expecting to find Post Office counters and mail boxes. Instead we found this!

Book Tower
As soon as we were close enough to see that this was made of books we realised that we had wandered into the library by mistake!

This book tower was amazing, it ran the full height of the building, which was at least three storeys high. This photo was taken on the first floor so peeping through the gap in the front you could see right down to the basement or right up to the top floor.

We eventually found the Post Office around the corner :)

Around another corner we found another amazing feat of engineering.

Astronomical Clock Prague
This is the Town Hall clock in the Old Town Square in Prague, isn't it glorious?

The mechanism for this clock dates from between 1552 and 1572, which is pretty mind-blowing too.

The bottom dial, which was replaced in 1866, represents a calendar with peasant scenes to illustrate the months of the year.

Clock close up

The top dial, seen here in close-up, has a wealth of information on it. The hand with the sun on it records three different times, the outer ring for Old Bohemian time (of use only to Old Bohemians!), the Roman Numerals inside that ring records current time, the blue part inside the Roman Numerals represents daylight hours, which vary from summer to winter. The inner ring shows the movement of the sun and moon through the 12 signs of the zodiac. It makes digital clocks look exceedingly boring!

As well as all of the above to take in, there is a floorshow to be seen on the hour :) The two figures on the right hand side of the clock are Death (the skeleton) and the Turk. At each hour Death pulls on the rope in his hand and inverts the hourglass in his hand, the Turk shakes his head from side to side. Vanity, on the left hand side, meanwhile is gazing at himself in the mirror next to his friend Greed.

But that is not all!

Clock on the hour

Above the dials the windows open and a procession of the Twelve Apostles pass by peering out of the open windows in turn.

Needless to say it is not difficult to tell when an hour approaches if you are anywhere near the vicinity of the clock. The whole show is over in a flash, but is definitely worth the wait.

Charles Bridge and Prague Castle

Although buildings such as the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle above are how most people think of the city, there is a modern side to this beautiful city too.

Nowhere is this better epitomised than in the aptly named Dancing House. 

Fred and Ginger House Prague

The building was completed in 1996, and was not universally popular at the time of its' construction, but now is as much of a landmark as its' Baroque and Art Nouveau neighbours. It is even more fun when lit up at night, but we didn't get a chance to see that. Maybe next time :)

Linking up as ever to

Really Random

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Shades of Green

I have a WIP list as long as my arm, so what do you think I have been working on this week? Well, if you guessed any of my WIP's you would be very wrong. Naturally, I decided to start a new project!

I pulled out my bag of green scraps and my Sizzix die-cutter and cut out 40 different fabric hearts.

Then put them together on a piece of natural linen from the rather large box I brought back from Latvia. Can you see where I am going with this??

Hopefully, I will have finished this (cushion, table runner, wallhanging??) in time for the celebrations this weekend. Then it is back to the WIP list I promise :)

Linking up to

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