Sunday, 6 April 2014

FNWF..... I was there!

I'm not saying I did a whole lot but I did join in the fun and I did actually stitch..... on this


I love this design.    As you can see it's a Bustle & Sew pattern and I think it's gorgeous.  It's got a bit of everything.... piecing, hand embroidery and some applique with free machine stitching.   How about that for a real smorgasbord of pleasurable pursuits.

I subscribe to the digital magazine.  There are some really cute things to make and stitch in them.  Really great value too.

   
I'm using a bit of my little stash of Stef Francis hand dyed variegated silk to stitch the little saying.  It's lovely to stitch with.    Just seen some gorgeous,  must have hand dyed linen threads on her site too.  I think there'll be some button pressing going on here tomorrow.  


Now for something I made earlier.   Can you guess what it is?


I know.... why waste your time guessing when you know I'm going to show you anyway....


Here's Maisie sporting her custom made kitten harness!    Have to say it works much better than the shop bought ones which sport more straps and buckles than a bondage queen.  Getting a kitten into one of them is about as easy as nailing jelly to the wall.    I wonder if she likes it.... or if she feels like a complete prat!    

Now... I'm so chuffed with this book I wanted to share it with you .....


it's one for your Christmas list for sure.   Me... I couldn't wait for Santa and there is no sure fire guarantee that I can be good for a whole year.   A day perhaps.....



are you tempted?      

I'm off to bed now I need to get up early tomorrow.    I'm planning a lazy morning of blog reading and catching up with all your goings on.    Wanted to do that over the weekend but it was not to be... c'est la vie!

Wishing you all a fandabbydosie week
See ya soon...
Hugs 
Josie 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Catch up - Part 2

Are you sitting comfortably?   Then I'll begin.....

Early one Saturday morning something freakish happened..... I sprang into action!   One minute I was sitting in my recliner minding my own business the next I was in the sewing room tinkering with this..... 


and about time too!   

I'm not going to tell you how long this poor girl has been waiting for me to get my act together... it's way too embarrassing.    I treated her with TLC and prepped her for some FMQ'ing.

I'd barely stitched an inch when  the top thread broke.  I re-threaded and began again... same thing!   I tried cussing but that didn't help so I began checking.... everything!   Threading.  Spool.  Tension.  Needle size and sharpness.  Tried same thread in top and spool.   Quilt thread on top Bottom Line in spool.   Bottom line top and spool.   I tried every fix known to quilters and a few creative (!) ones of my own and I tried them again and again.    Day turned into night.   Talk about dogged determination!   Talk about desperation!!   Finally there was nothing left to do but stare at the machine and hope the fairies would fix it.

Funny... but the staring thing worked.  That's when it hit me that there was one thing I hadn't tried.  Now..this machine is different to the others I've owned in that the needle threads from side to side not from front to back.  Being right handed I'd automatically threaded it from right to left.  What if I threaded it from left to right?  That felt really cack handed but...  it worked!!     Can you believe that!!    It took me all day to discover the thread was going through the needle the wrong way!!   I mean.........  DUH!!  

Before some clever clogs says I should have read the manual.... I did.   It instructs to 'thread the needle' but doesn't say which way.    And yes... there is a photograph but that's about as much good as a chocolate teapot. There's a red dot on the end of the needle to show you where to thread it (like I couldn't figure that one out) but it doesn't show any thread or which direction it's going in... so there!!   It wasn't my fault. Right?

Better days were to come...... look!


I put fabric on the quilt frame and started to practise using it.    Now I really do feel like a complete idiot.   I've had the frame for over three years and for all that time I've been scared to use it.   There really is no rational reason for that but when have I ever been rational.     Now.... I love it!!    


This is my first practise session.   Up and down... up and down.  Not exactly rocket science but do'able.  Didn't take long to start meandering either..... so much easier on the frame.  I'm ready for a real quilt now.  Maybe next week.... hummmm.   

What else.....

Kitty came down for a weekend and she made this.......


isn't it gorgeous!    The dress... inner ears and bottom of the feet are Liberty fabrics and the bunny is wool felt.   That is one 'posh' bunny for sure.    Kitty bought a kit (!) to make the bunny when she visited the quilt show in Edinburgh earlier this year.  The rest of us didn't get to go... shame.   Have to say it was a fabulous kit.   Every last little thing you need to make and finish the project is in there.   Right down to the needle and tiny bit of embroidery thread to stitch the nose!   If you want to see more.... the kit and patterns are  here  just remember... resistance is futile!  

I blew the dust off my sewing needles and made this.....


Vintage Strawberry Pincushion  for Chris's birthday.    I won't tell you how old she is.... but she's now the same age as me!! ;o)      I did make a tiny alteration to the pattern.  Decided to make some little felt flowers for the top instead of the ribbon bow on the pattern.    I really like how they look.....


filled the baby strawberry with crushed walnut shells so she can sharpen her pins.   To stick in an effigy of me I bet.   Ouch!!  What was that?

Now..... I'd like to say a heartfelt  ~  THANK YOU  ~  to everyone who left a message on my last post.   I wish I could have thanked you all personally for your kind words but every time I tried.... I cried.   It's been tough loosing both of my little buddies in such a short time.    Heck..... here come the tears again.   Please know I appreciate you all.... I'll be back in a minute.......

OK..... I reckon there's been enough sadness here recently so how about I show you some happy.....



Meet Maisie 

She's almost 6 months old and has her own little story to tell.     She was one of two kittens born outdoors to a feral mother.   She and her brother were rescued by the local (Stewartry) branch of Cats Protection.   Sadly her brother died of a condition that could have affected Maisie too.  Good news... she's fine.

As you've probably gathered.... she's got a new permanent home here with us.   Something tells me she's going to be a great little helper in the sewing room.    Heck .... her paws were hardly over the threshold before she was figuring out how the sewing machine worked......  



Believe me.... she is every bit as adorable as she looks.    I suspect you are going to be seeing a whole lot more of her soon.

I had a visit last week from M'Liss..... the foster mum who was caring for Maisie before we adopted her.  I should point out that M'Liss is not a cat!   When I collected Maisie from her she mentioned she was interested in patchwork and quilting....well doesn't  fate work in strange ways.   

M'Liss told me she hadn't seen a sewing machine since school and didn't get on particularly well with one then (she opted out and took metalwork).  She hadn't done much in the way of hand stitching since then either.

I asked if she'd like to make something while she was here and as she was quite taken with the lovely pincushion  Leanne made for me last year she opted to have a go at making one..    Well.... what can I say. She's such a quick study!




Her piecing is perfect and the little cat stitchery (of course it's Maisie) is so cute.    She stitched Maisie and the date to remind her of how and when she made her  first project.   I'm not saying she's keen but.... she's already taking orders from family.....   way to go M'Liss!!  

OK.... that's it.   I think I'm all caught up now.

Hang on a minute.... I almost forgot to tell you I've signed up for.....


will you be there?     Hope so.   Why don't you pop over to Cheryll's place now and add your name to the list.   The more the merrier I say.

Must go and decide what I'm going to do tomorrow night..... must remember to buy wine and nibbles for the occasion too.... 

Hope you are all happy and having a good time..
See you very soon
Hugs
Josie

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Catching Up - Part 1

Time to say goodbye........


Early Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago Licky Lou woke me up in obvious distress.  I rushed her to the vet who diagnosed a blood clot blocking the circulation to her rear legs.   Fortunately we got there in time for the vet to begin treating her with clot busting drugs and pain killers for her sudden paralysis but sadly..... despite all his best efforts and hers too..... she wasn't able to recover.

The sewing room is so empty without her.  


Licky was 'one of the girls'.    She never missed a sewing day and never missed her share of the boiled ham Chris and Sally brought for lunch either.   She contributed a little something to all our projects in the form of her 'signature' black fluff.  

I miss our daily love fests........


Lou loved to cuddle and kiss and I count myself so lucky to have been the recipient of her affections for the last 16 years.

Love you Lou Lou......


Hugs
Josie

I'll be back very soon with part 2  - the sewing update.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

One Fine Day.....

Let me tell you....one fine day is nothing short of a miracle around here so that makes it a good enough reason to take a photo.    An even better reason is...... being on retreat with the gang when the beautiful day dawned.


The girls and I were down on the Mull of Galloway for a few days of R & R (and a lot of quilting fun and frolics) when the Gods decided to treat us to one sunny day.   What a change from the horizontal rain and gale force winds we've become accustomed to over the last three months.   What a tonic!

When we arrived at the cottage Chris and Kitty didn't waste a second in getting down to business in the best sewing room in the world.


Sally was deep in thought for ages.... cogitating on the orientation of her Pin Wheels.


Here's the quilt that both Sally and I were working on.   I prepped my half square triangles before I left home in the hope that it'd give me a fighting chance of keeping up with Speedy Sal (when she stops thinking that gal is fast).

 
Actually there is a bit of a story behind these half squares.   Ages ago I pieced a lot of 8" pinwheel blocks... joined them all together then decided I didn't like them.  So.... I cut the whole project apart and downsized the pinwheels to 6" blocks.  Guess what... I didn't like those either (now can you see why I drive the girls crazy) so I sliced and diced until they were half square triangles again.  Albeit smaller still.... at this point they measured 2 3/4".    But... I was happy so what's the problem!  

Actually it's quite a stealthy way of getting rid of fabric....trimming it away... cool eh!   Maybe not quite what I had in mind when I decided to reduce my stash but hey... if it works don't knock it.

Here's my workstation and my pile of now 'scrappy' pinwheels taking shape.


No prizes for guessing what Chris is making.   Same blocks... different quilt.


Proof if ever there was that we all share one brain cell.....  except for Kitty who just had to be the odd one out.....


she'd decided to bring her Tailfeathers quilt to work on.     Oh my.... I desperately want to get mine started now.  It's so gorgeous.

We sewed.... we laughed. We ate... we laughed.  We drank wine... we laughed even more.   Good times.

The sunny day came and went.  Then it snowed.....


but only on them thar hills!

The mail got through to the farm.....


and all was well with the world.  

We sewed on until... finally..... Chris produced this gorgeous baby quilt.....


the Prairie Points are just so cute.....


Kitty got all her blocks finished and joined together.....


She did make most of the log cabin border too.  Just ran out of time to attach it.    Did I mention I love this quilt.

Sally made all of her pinwheels and almost completed the sashing too....


she was catching up on me way too quickly but I did manage to stay one step ahead of her.....


Nice to see the same quilt in two different colour ways.  The pinwheel blocks finished at 4 1/2" by the way!

The End...... (of the retreat)

You might have noticed that I've been missing for a good while.   2014 started out pretty crappy here.  After loosing Beau I came down with a nasty chest infection.  Dr. thought I might have caught it from Baggy and gave me some even nastier antibiotics and (after telling me my lungs sounded like a set of Bagpipes) an inhaler!  It really knocked me off my game I can tell you.   My recliner and I were inseparable for weeks.  Still... there is good news.   I don't have M.E.   Yippee!!

Turns out my Thyroid gland is on the fritz.... I'm now officially 100% Hypothyroid!  Well done me!    I've got the right meds now and I can feel my inner engine revving up again.  Oh joy!   I actually vacuumed all the cobwebs off the ceilings today...  lot of spiders homeless tonight... shame.   I never thought I'd say it's great to be doing housework again.

Even better to be interested in sewing again..... I hadn't picked up a needle since I finished my Christmas swap gifts... hence I didn't have anything much to write about till going on retreat got me playing with fabric again.

OK..... I  really have to go.   It's after midnight but I just can't go to bed without watching the next episode of The Walking Dead.........   never expected to be addicted to Zombie TV.

Hope you are having a great time doing what makes you happy....

See ya soon
Hugs
Josie

  

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Christmas past.....

It was not such a happy Christmas here.     

My gorgeous boy Bagpuss (aka... Beau) bravely fought a nasty bacterial infection that attacked him out of nowhere and for no good reason......


He endured two weeks of daily visits to the Dr for antibiotic jags without complaint till....on Monday...
Beau passed away peacefully in his sleep at the time of his choosing.

Tuesday I made a space for him under his favourite tree..... where he used to hang out with the pheasants. I'm sure those daft birds thought he was one of them.  In fact I think Beau thought he was one of them too... he had some funny ideas!

Wednesday we took a little walk around the garden together just checking things out before I tucked him into his special place.    His final patrol as Head Of Security.    A month short of 16 years on the job deserves a mention.... don't you think.

The house is so quiet now.  Baggy was a 'talker' and boy did he like to talk... about anything and everything (a bit like me) but mostly his conversations revolved around him getting what he wanted..... Dreamies   He'd do anything for Dreamies......


This is is patented gimme the Dreamies look...... just ask Chris.... he suckered her in every week for years!

He didn't spend all of his time mooching snacks.  He doubled as quality controller in the sewing room when Licky Lou was unavailable.....


 and let me tell you.... he missed nothing!   He could be bribed to turn a blind eye though... no prizes for guessing what with.

He was an expert at pimping for tummy rubs too.....


I mean... could you resist.

Now Licky Lou is very sad and lost without her brother and I miss him so much it's hard to breathe.   If a million tears would bring him back he'd be here with us now...... Love you Beau.

Cuddle your furry friends close today
Hugs
Josie

p.s   Thanks to everyone who commented on my 'Pressie' post.   I will be replying to you all in the next couple of days....  Hugs.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Past & Presents......

I know it's a bit late in the day to be talking about Santa but...... he rocks!   


Before I show you the swap gifts he brought me I really must apologise to Sandy my Secret Santa from Chookyblue's SSCS  for not posting sooner to show you all the gorgeous Christmas gift she sent me.   To Chookyblue too..... believe me I don't break rules... as a rule!

I was so happy on Christmas morning when I opened my main parcel from Sandy and found this gorgeous stitchery....
 

I totally love it!!    I've had my beady eye on this design for ages but never got around to actually buying it.  It seems that as well as being a talented needlewoman Sandra is a mind reader too.    It is not going into storage till next Christmas it's going to be a year round resident on my craft room wall.  Actually the cute reindeer ornament isn't being put away either it will have it's own special place where I can enjoy it every day. 

I did remember to get the little pincushion inside the pouch into the photo too..... I forgot that when I showed you the ornament earlier.   Brain dead eh!

Thanks again Sandy for all the beautiful gifts you made for me..... you are a star!!  

Now I can show you what I made for Jenny in the SSCS swap.......


Jenny likes to crochet so I sent a project tote and a crochet hook organiser along with her ornament.  I'm thrilled to bits that she likes her gifts too.

I swapped Christmas presents with my friend Leanne too.    Here's what she made for me....


A string of really pretty bunting in colours that I love.   A super cute little Santa wall hanging too.  Love him! Bet you can guess that he's not being put away till next year either.


Leanne made me a gorgeous sewing roll too.... love the stitched flowers... and the inside......


packed with more gorgeous goodies.  Super new applique needles to try out.  Pretty ric rac and buttons too. 

Thanks Leanne...... you are a real star too!    

Here's what I sent Leanne......


A hexie tote....


and a storage roll for needle packets.... or any stuff of choice that will fit inside....


Love this little pattern.

I'll pop back soon to update you on the goings on in Stormy Scotland as soon as I can get my act together.

Hope you are all having fun and that 2014 brings you all the very best that life has to offer....

Hugs
Josie




Saturday, 7 December 2013

Fiddly Friday Night With Friends

I had a really great time last night (and a bit of the afternoon too) preparing applique pieces for my  In My Garden   block of the month......


Working on Block 2 here.  Its got pear trees..... dragonflies.... butterflies and a bunch of really cute snails. Unlike the real snails I find in the garden I won't be flexing my throwing arm and hurling them half way across the neighbouring field.   Before you say it.... I know they'll just come back coz their home is here with us but I live in hope they'll find some greener grass and decide to relocate.

I had loads of lovely fiddly bit's to cut out and play with (and occasionally cuss at).  I'm using Ricky Tims Stable Stuff and a fabric glue pen.   The stable stuff is designed to be left inside the quilt... seemingly it softens to fine poly fibres when the quilt is washed.  I'm more than a bit nervous I can tell you.   There are so many tiny applique pieces in this project I'm going to be terrified to wash it for fear they'll all fray and fall off!   Oh me of little faith.    Maybe I can learn to live with a 'stiff' quilt..... hummmm.


Just look... I've numbered every little pear to indicate the tree they belong on and their place on it.   A bit too anal... even for me....  d'ya think?  

Completed prep on these two mini blocks from Block 1 too.   That block is set aside all ready for stitching now.


Can you believe it's almost a year since I made a resolution to get to grips with this and every other BOM I have secreted here.   Well... this is as far as I've got!   I know it's embarrassing isn't it.    Reckon  I'll be carrying that resolution forward for another year.

Now... Mum wanted to say 'Hi'......


she joined in the Friday Night fun with her knitting.  Another completed cardigan for the Preemie Unit and another in the works.....



That's my 6" ruler on the cardigan and the little hat would fit a tennis ball.... so cute.  Hard to imagine a baby so tiny.  

I'd say we both had a successful FNWF.  

All that and a batch of Marmalade Buns too....


I'd say 1 to be taken 3 times a day sounds about right.....

OK... that's all for now.     Maybe the 'prep' bug will bite me again tonight.... makes a change from the darned midge that is biting me to bits right now.   I'm sitting here armed with a spray can of fly killer ready to commit insecticide at a moments notice.

Hope you all had as good a time at FNWF as we did......

See ya soon.... I mean that.
Have a brilliant what's left of your weekend...

Hugs
Josie