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...

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