Monday, 31 October 2011

Here's one I made earlier.......

Well.... the wheel came off my wagon this weekend!  I'd intended to sew up a storm but that was before I fell foul of my old nemesis..... procrastination!!! 

So... without further ado here's a photo of the quilt I made for my friend and neighbour last Christmas....

This quilt was the first handmade gift I've ever given and I fussed and worried through the whole making process.    Don't get me wrong.... I really did enjoy working on it and my friends reaction to her pressie made every stitch worthwhile.  

It was my first ever attempt at needleturn applique (before I'd even heard of starch & freezer paper) and the first time making yoyo's too... talk about a learning curve.....

This applique has a story to tell too.   Just after I prepared the block for stitching Mac had a workshop accident with a chop saw and severed part of a finger.    He was admitted to hospital and had to undergo two surgeries in three days.   First one to try to stitch his digit back on.  Second one to cut it off again when it was decided the first op hadn't been a success. 

Now... because of Mac's offical status of 'Hermit' and the shock to his system of being removed from his comfort zone I was allowed to stay with him at the hospital the whole time.   Well... from 8am till 10pm each day.    I got to sit and stitch lots of leaves and flowers during that time.

I wouldn't say it's a fantastic memory because Mac was really poorly the whole time.  It was a huge ordeal for him and a big relief  for both of us when he was finally allowed home after 4 days.   

There was another 'first' on this quilt too.  The first time I tried stitch in the ditch anywhere other than a straight seam.    With a bit of help from Tilly.... cheering on the other end of the phone.... I ditch quilted around the applique and yoyo's (which I stitched down... still not sure if that's what you're supposed to do with them). 

So.... there you have it.  A blast from my past!

While I was procrastinating over the weekend my mum took over one of the tables in here.....

She likes to come over when she has knitted blanket squares to stitch together.  She reckons at 83 she's getting too old to creep about on the carpet laying them out. 

Mum is a obsessive compulsive charity knitter!!    Honestly... she'll sit up till the wee small hours of the morning to meet her self imposed deadlines.   Last week we delivered 21 sets of cardigans and hats she knitted for the premature baby unit.  She'd no sooner got home than she produced 6 scarves for her sheltered accomodation charity coffee morning.    Now she's working on half a dozen more blankets for the local canine rescue centre.   Red and green... for Christmas!  

My mum dosen't know the meaning of the word  PROCRASTINATE.  I have a sneaky feeling I'm adopted!!

I'm sworn to secrecy about the cause of my swithering.  It's my SSCS gift... shhhh  say no more!   I'm not the worlds best decision maker at the best of times and when it comes to deciding what someone else might like.... I could dither for Scotland!!    Still... I'm making good progress.  So don't worry swap partner you will have your gift.  If all else fails I'll ask my mum to knit you something!!

Better get back to decision making....

Hope you're all having fun!


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I won a prize!!   No I didn't really win a chicken dinner I won something much nicer than that.  The 1st prize in last weeks FNSI!   Can you believe it.   I still can't. 

If you'd like a sneak peek at my prize pop on over to Crafty Vegas Mum and check it out.    If you haven't signed up for Friday Night Sew In before.... you are missing out on a good time.  It's a lovely bonus that there are goodies to be won every month too.

Still on a giddy high from winning I joined this new group....

Sorry there are no prizes for guessing it's a support group for anyone daft enough (that means me) to think they can actually make a Dear Jane quilt!!     Of course there are folks there who have already made a DJ (or two)... that's impressive.    You only have to make one block per month and post about it to be allowed to stay in the group.   If you don't.... you get the order of the boot!!    That sounds like the sort of dicipline I need to get started.

So.... here's my DJ stash

Not a lot but enough to get me going I think.    I did make a false start last Christmas Day.  I'd decided to begin my DJ on that day coz I thought it would be a date I wouldn't forget.   I didn't forget the date.... just forgot to work on the quilt! 

I did start one block......

This is as far as it got!    I handpieced the seams because my tiny brain didn't have a clue that it might be easier to applique the white bits onto the red.   I don't think I can stand the strain of hand stitching more curved seams so I figure I'll start the block again... this time with applique. 

If you fancy having a go at your own DJ why don't you pop over to Janiac's Unite and request to join.  Better get your skates on though.  There are only 100 places up for grabs and almost 40 have already been taken.  

I'm having a really good week.   The Postman brought me.... PARLAN!

I've tried to take a close up photo so if you've never seen Parlan but have wondered about it you can hopefully see the texture.   It's lovely!    It has a texture similar to a soft felt.  It's not bulky and it fuses beautifully.  

I used it on the back of a small stitchery I started last night and can tell you that the needle goes though it like a hot knife through butter.  One thing I will say is... if you are a compulsive unpicker (ha) there are times when the odd fibre will pull through to the right side when unpicking a stitch.  It's no big deal..  it snips off easilly and leaves no trace.   Just thought you should know.    I'll show you what I'm stitching next time...

There might not be a next time if I don't tackle the heap of ironing that's blocking the light in here.  I'll start right after I finish these.....

 A nice cup of Earl Grey and a couple of Jammie Dodgers.... yummy!     I'd offer you one but I reckon by the time you could get here I'll have finished the box... sorry.

A little friend has been helping me write this post.... Licky Lou.... my black cat!

Honestly...  she looks black as coal until the sun shines on her then you get to see that she's part red head!  She's still here next to me... sound asleep now.  Typical cat!  

Hope you are enjoying your day.

See ya soon

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The FNSI that almost wasn't.....

Ever had one of those days when your brain just shuts down and there's nothing you can do to coax it back to life?    Well I had one yesterday.

Did the regular Friday morning grocery run as usual.  The weather was horrible. If we hadn't needed to eat I'd have stayed home.   I got soaked... windswept and frozen to the bone.  I was not a happy pixie!  To add to the misery the shoulder I dislocated a while back decided to ache like toothache and I got a sore throat.

I was a real wimp.  Just flopped into my chair with a cup of tea and stayed there for the rest of the day.  Mac played Dr and slathered enough pain cream on my shoulder to numb it for a week.

Fortunately I had this at my left hand.....

these at my right.....

and this in front of me

Oh how I love that stove and Mac for lighting it for me.

So.... I didn't have a bad FNSI after all did I.    I finished a Boys Story stitchery and started another and had a lovely time reading magazines I'd only had time for a quick glance at before.   Oh... and I did have some delicious vino.

I'm writing this Saturday evening after another day spent in my chair.  This time tucked up in a quilt with a big ginger kitty (Bagpuss) on my lap.   Who said having a cold was all bad!

Hope you all had a great FNSI...... I'm coming to check out what you've all been doing

See ya

Josie X

Thursday, 20 October 2011

It's Friday Night Sew In again!

I just remembered I forgot to mention it.   Honestly I have a memory like a sieve! 

OK... I'm all signed up for another Fun Friday night.  How about you?   There's still time to sign up.  All you need to do is click here then follow the instructions for sign up.  

Haven't decided what I'm going to do yet but I'm determined to have a nice relaxing night.... with a bottle of vino perhaps.  Care to join me?  Go on... the more the merrier.

In the meantime..... happy stitching/sewing whatever you are working on

Josie X

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

When the going gets tough......

the tough get sewing!!

Actually I didn't get that much actual sewing done.... some stitching but no actual sewing.   Mostly I dived into this....

Honestly..... how much fabric do you really need to prepare a little bit of applique?   Obviously I needed this much to prepare these.....

I've prepped not one but FOUR more blocks of Boys Story.   And that's not all..... I've completed FOUR more of the stitcheries too.   Sorry for shouting but I'm just so cock-a-hoop nothing short of a slap in the face with a wet kipper will bring me back down to earth! 

This stitchery is Mac too a tee.....

It even looks like him too.... the tin guy with the sword that is.  The Dragon will remind him of..... well let's not go there...

Speaking of Mac.... he's holed up in here

trying is best to be invisible!     Somehow I have to persuade him into the car to go to a Doctors appointment this afternoon.  It's not going to be easy.  I could try putting a bag on his head and leading him into the car backwards I suppose.

You see.... I'm married to a hermit!    If this was Victorian times I'd be considered lucky indeed.  Hermits were very 'de rigueur' back then.  Victorians used to pay them to live in their gardens.  Heck we were born in the wrong times.... I could have made a fortune back then hiring him out as a garden feature.

Transportation would still have been a problem though....he's not one for straying more than a few metres from his workshop door.   If ever I needed a cunning plan it's right now...... wish me luck! 

While we're on the subject of luck...... I came across these

and you wouldn't believe how happy these little Mylar circles have made me.   With them I prepped the applique trees on this.......

and this.....
and the wheels on this....

and I did it all in no time at all.  Compared to last time that's nothing short of a miracle!   Check out the video tutorial here .   Bet you buy some once you've watched! 

Now..... all I have to do is stitch the whole lot down!   Perhaps later when I get back from taking Mac to the Dr.   Which reminds me......   better go look for some rope!

See you soon.... if I haven't been jailed for cruelty to hermits that is.

Josie X

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Footloose and Free Motioning.....

If you'd told me a week ago that taking off one shoe would cure my fear of FMQ'ing I'd have said you were nuts.    Now I have to tell you that getting naked (from the ankle down) is the most liberating thing I've done... ever!

My chubby little tootsies might not be the prettiest you ever saw but they are the most sensitive little help mates I could wish for.    They helped me do this....

and this.....

I can't believe I can stipple!!    It's not perfect but done is better than perfect... right!

And what about this......

It may be wonky but I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to finally be FREE MOTIONING!!!

Now.... I must give credit where credit is really due.....

I'd never have known that unfettering a foot could make such a difference if Philippa had kept that useful snippet of information to herself.  Her classes are fabulous.  She's a real font of information and inspiration and a really fun person to boot.   I know I've said it before but I'm going to say it again.... if she's teaching in your area (she pops up all over the world) sign up if you can.  You'll love her to bits.... we do!!

I've already signed up for a 5 day machine applique class next June..... guess I'm putting my money where my mouth is.    Heck... I'd better start putting some pennies in the kitty then...

Don't know why I painted such a big money box.... I'd have to rob a bank to fill it!! 

Thought you might like to see a photo of Loch Lomond....  it's near to where the FMQ class was held...

Sorry it's not a very good photo.  I was attempting to eat a large ice cream cone with one hand and take a picture with the other.... very messy and definitely not a recommended camera technique! 

Here's another.....

The paddle steamer is the Maid of the Loch..... you can take a trip on her if you ever visit the bonny... bonny banks of Loch Lomond.   I can feel a song coming on......

That's my cue to leave... before you do!!


Thursday, 6 October 2011

My bags are packed.....

I'm ready to go......  

I know this is news to you because I forgot to mention earlier that I'm booked into yet another Philippa Naylor  workshop.  I know... I'm a groupie!    This time it's a two day class covering the dreaded FMQ (I'm shaking just at the mere mention of it)  and trappunto in quilts.   Whichever way you look at it... I'm well and truly stuffed!!

Chris is coming with me and the pair of us are meeting up with Kitty there.    The class is on Kittys home turf at The Studio.   She's there every Monday evening for class... lucky eh!  Hummm.... maybe that's how she's faster than the rest of us.... more practise and regular expert help. 

OK.... this is how my room looked last night.....

I made sandwiches for the trip..... quilt ones!

All done and dusted.    I hope my eyes can take looking alll all those bright colours for hours on end.  I've packed headache meds just in case!     I've also remembered to pack my camera and I plan to take plenty of up close photo's of all of my FMQ disasters.  

You'll notice my little Kitty tote for transporting a small sewing project is packed too.    I'm working on stitcheries for the Christmas Quit......

Some of the applique is ready to stitch but I'm leaving that to enjoy when I get back home.  It's a Grand Prix weekend and I love to handstitch while I watch.    There are lots of tiny circles to applique on this one.... remember last time I stitched circles!!   Well this time I hope to do better........ hah!

So.... there's nothing more to say but 'Bye Bye'... see ya when I get home!

Josie X