Friday 27 May 2016

Back to blocks

I haven't sewn any patchwork blocks for ages, or at least that is what it seems like to me. So, in an effort to remedy that and make some progress on a longstanding UFO, I dug out my scraps and set to work.

One of the first Bees that I signed up for was the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee, based on the book of the same name by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. For the first round of the Bee we made 12.5" slab blocks in various colours.

So, I duly sent off my blocks every month and received back blocks like these

and these.

In the end I had 14 blocks in 7 colourways, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple, Pink and Orange, which sat in my cupboard, whilst I thought about what to do with them.

Well, the time for thinking was over!

I decided that 14 blocks weren't enough to make a quilt top, I needed another two blocks to make a 4x4 arrangement. As I didn't have aqua blocks and had lots of aqua scraps it seemed like a good idea to put the two together :)

The final two blocks for the Sunday Morning Stash quilt!

Next up, to decide on the layout. After a few false starts this is what I ended up with

I wasn't sure how all of the blocks would look, and was a bit concerned that there might be too much going on in the quilt top but, actually, I think it has worked out fine in the end. There are enough "quiet spaces" in the top that it hasn't ended up a headache inducing mish mash, well not to me at least :)

Now all I need to do is decide how to quilt it!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and

Wednesday 25 May 2016


Welcome to this month's New to Me Link Party, where we celebrate the successes and failures of trying something new:)

This month I have been trying my hand at embroidering with beads, several times in fact.

There were beads as bunches of grapes climbing up the walls of the Stitcher's Cottage.

Beads for the splashy little duck in this mini kit from Ann's Orchard Needlework

and beads in my EG piece for the Capability Brown exhibition!

It could be said that I have had beads on the brain recently :)

The Stitcher's Cottage is also my first ever embroidery piece to be exhibited locally, so doubles up on the New to Me front. It was a bit nerve wracking watching people examine it and trying not to listen in to any comments, well at least not obviously!

I have also been trying my hand at silk painting for an embroidered picture. Several of the pieces on display at the exhibition had used this technique, so I was inspired to give it a go.

 This photo of Arran was the inspiration for the piece, so I hope that I can ultimately do it justice.

The fabric in the hoop has been dampened and painted with water colour paint, and (apparently) I will be dry painting the centre where the mountain ranges are in the next class. Should be interesting!

I have also tested this New to Me pattern for Sew Sweetness' Annex Double-Zip Box pouch.

So, that's my New to Me's now it is your turn. 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.

Celtic Thistle Stitches

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 
The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on May 31st, so you have some time yet to try something new and link up and join the party :)

If your New to Me involves some Christmas or Holiday crafting don't forget to link it up to this month's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party here

You could win this great Clock Making Kit to kickstart your gift crafting :)

Courtesy of the lovely people at

Friday 20 May 2016

Annex Double-Zip Box pouch revealed!

On Wednesday I teased you with this

and now I can reveal what this great fabric from Spoonflower was used for.

This lovely pouch is an Annex Double-Zip Box pouch from the new pattern, released today, by the very talented Sara of Sew Sweetness

I had been intending to make a Box pouch for my youngest son with this fabric when I ordered it, but never actually got around to doing anything about it. So, when a request for pattern testers for this pattern popped up in my inbox, I knew that the time to finally make one had arrived :)

The pattern includes instructions for three sizes, this is a medium sized pouch.

The pouch has two separate compartments, each with its' own zipper, so keeping things neat and tidy should, in theory, be a breeze for the youngest son. We shall see!

Using only one FQ of fabric for the exterior, these pouches are a great way to utilise some of those FQ's that you bought just because. Admit it, I am not the only one that buys FQ's that catch my eye with absolutely no plan in mind for their use :)

So, another gift added to the stockpile and a New to Me pattern tested to boot.

Head on over to Sew Sweetness to check out the lovely pouches that Sara's pattern testers have created. If you decide to make some of these very useful pouches for Christmas or Holiday gifts this month, don't forget to link them up to the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party, which is over at Threading My Way

You could be the lucky linker who will win this month's great giveaway prize!

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Just a peek - Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew

We have finally had some sunshine here in the NE of England, but not that much that it puts any thoughts of Christmas and Holiday sewing out of my head :) So, welcome to May's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party, where we aim to stockpile gifts and Home Decor items throughout the year to ensure a calm, stress-free festive season. Well, that's the plan anyway!!

This month I can only give you a sneak peek of my Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew project as it is from a pattern that I tested for Sara at Sew Sweetness. The pattern is not due for release for a few days so I will post photos of the finished project then, for now you will just have to trust that I have added another make to my stash of Christmas gifts.

When I saw this fabric on Spoonflower I knew that it would be perfect to use in a gift for my rugby mad son. Together with Sara's pattern they made the perfect match!

So, that's my contribution to the gift stockpile. If you are looking for inspiration for a Christmas/Holiday project head on over to this month's guest host Pam at Threading My Way for another great project. If you haven't come across Pam before, you are definitely in for a treat as not only is Pam an avid upcycler of redundant clothing, she hosts a whole galaxy of sewing related Link Parties that will keep you occupied for hours just checking them out.

As always, it wouldn't be a Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party without a giveaway and this month one lucky linker will be updating their Home Decor thanks to the lovely people at Dannells
who have donated one of their Needcraft Clock Making Kits as this month's giveaway prize.

The winner of last month's Tapestry Brooch Kit was Sally who will be guest hosting the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party herself soon! Congratulations Sally.

To be in with a chance of winning this month's giveaway head on over to Pam at Threading My Way and link up your Christmas or Holiday makes from May. As ever the link party closes at 23.59 GMT on May 31st, so you have lots of time to get those projects linked up. No blasts from the past though, we are all about stockpiling throughout the year here so restrict yourself to links to projects you have worked on this month:)

Thanks again to our lovely giveaway sponsors who have been so generous in their support of the link party.

Friday 13 May 2016

A home fit for a stitcher

Last September I joined an Embroidery Group, having been on the waiting list for over two years! With fellow stitchers who had been attending classes for, in some cases, 18 years the standard of the work being produced was intimidatingly high.

I decided to make a 3-D sewing box that would give me the chance to try out several New to Me techniques. The original plan was to make the box as a Christmas present for my daughter-in-law, but needless to say Christmas came and went without a finish in sight!

Each year the Group holds an exhibition of their work in the venue and this year's exhibition is taking place today (May 13th) and tomorrow in St Andrew's Cottage, Corbridge. So, the pressure was on to finish the box to have at least one thing to show in the exhibition, and here it is, my Stitchers House.

Each side of the cottage is a different technique, so you can see above lots of French Knots for the rambling roses and then ribbon embroidery for the apple tree.

You can see the apple tree better here. The grapes on the vine are all seed beads and the geraniums in the basket are more ribbon embroidery.

The fourth side has a removable pin cushion attached, which I filled with a metal scouring pad to help keep my pins sharp.

Of course, I made life more difficult for myself by following a French magazine for this project so when it came to putting the box together there was a fair amount of "winging it" involved :) The linen of the embroidered panels needed interfacing to stop it from fraying too much, but it was difficult to interface the beaded panel sufficiently so there was lots of finger crossing going on at that stage. If I was making another one I would tackle the construction slightly differently, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Inside the box contains a felt needle holder, gathered pocket (what a nightmare that was to do!), a ring to hold embroidery scissors and two rings for threads. The pincushion in the middle is the removable one from the fourth side.

Although I probably rushed the construction at the end to make it in time for the exhibition, it has been a very enjoyable project to do. You know me, I can never pass up the opportunity to try something new, so to have lots of new to me techniques in one project is most definitely up my street!

If you happen to be in the Corbridge area on May 13th or 14th, do pop in and have a look at the exhibition. Some of the pieces on display will blow you away.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

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