Sunday, 31 March 2013

FAL First Quarter Finish

Back in January, I joined Leanne's Finish A Long - I only pledged two projects and as expected, failed on the Mod Pop front.
I did achieve a finish however, with my Summer Hexie Project, and am happy to show her off once more -

This big cushion goes with nothing in my house but does feel very Spring-like so maybe it will end up as a garden cushion.
Mod Pop has seen a little progress only this week, so it will live again as a future project, I am sure.
Linking to Leanne's Q1 FAL post.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Show Time

The madness is over, I can relax again, happy that another Open Day has been and gone!
Sunday dawned bright and sunny but bitterly cold and although we had not a flake of snow in Ayr, we are surrounded by areas not so well off. Indeed, people on the Isle of Arran, easily visible from Ayr, are still without power after 4 days.......brrrr.
So for a while, things seemed quieter than last year.
However, towards the end of the show, things busied up and on reflection seems to have gone well.
We always run a Bring and Buy stall selling unwanted "craft" related things, books, magazines, fabric etc.
On the day, we took in £290 on this stall. Teas & yummy cakes brought in another £110 and added to term time sales, I now have £670 which will be sent to Rachel House, our designated charity. Rachel House is a children;s hospice, located in Kinross.
For the first time, we also tried a craft stall and I think it was reasonably successful given that our audience was mainly made up of crafters!
I had so much help making the day successful and thank every one of you, couldn't do it without you.
Thank you to everyone who provided "stuff" to sell, including cakes..........
And to all the ladies in my classes, I do realise as the weeks go on, that you are all beavering away, but somehow seeing it all on display is quite overwhelming, and incredibly satisfying.
I have the final classes of this session, this week, and then a wee rest before starting a series of workshops in April.
My regular classes will resume in August - all are fully subscribed. I have a few workshop spaces left.

So, enough blethering, make yourself a cuppa and enjoy the show!! (And for those of you not so techie minded, you can view full screen by hitting the symbol bottom right on the slideshow screen)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Get Your Tickets NOW!!

Tickets are now ON SALE for the Stitch Gathering, in Edinburgh, this August.
Initial response has been brilliant so if you want to go, don't be slow!!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Things Can Only Get better...

Subtitled - where would we be without Ikea blue bags?

I did think about running a linky to see if anyone could beat my mess but didn't want to show you all up....

Yes, this is my sewing room, with only a few days to go until this year's Open Day - I still have to collect quilts from 3 more classes.............BUT, in the midst of what looks like chaos, I managed to sort, catalogue & number all exhibits today. I also got my info notices all printed. I am up to date with bookings for next session so the obvious thing to do was fire up the sewing machine and make my  March blocks for Judith's Bee Blessed.
These are  clever twists on a well known block  (Monkey Wrench) and Monica of the Happy Zombie, has produced really clear instructions and a great table of cutting sizes for 5 different sized blocks. And each set produces two Funky Wrench blocks, one Nut & one Bolt.

I also managed to finish cutting for Jan's blocks in this month's Bee A Brit Stingy. Jan has chosen Road to Tennessee blocks, I made these last month for Bee Blessed and was thrilled to be cutting another 64 x 2" squares........they will make a fabulous quilt though and an obvious Bee choice as I think trying to make a whole quilt of these would drive you to despair. I got the said wee squares chain pieced onto the bigger squares before a small person took over my day.
All in all, much to be happy about.

Monday, 11 March 2013

A Weekend of Friends & Family

It was a busy weekend - on Saturday my friend Janet & I set off for a day at Creative Stitches, at the SECC, Glasgow.
It's several years since we went to this particular show and we both noticed a few changes. I would say it's still not the show to go to if you are looking for fabric. Last time we recalled loads of embroidery & cross stitch stands, this time it was heaps of wool & knitting that stood out for us.
I mentioned that my intention was to scope the sewing machine stands but with only two makes on offer, I was disappointed.But it didn't spoil our day and surprisingly , I came home with wool, and a dressmaking pattern for a wee girl's dress - well you have to buy something don't you?
The real highlight of the day was getting to meet Jo, who was on her own stand - Avery Homestores. As you will know by now, Jo is organising a one day Stitch Gathering in August on Sunday 25th August, in Edinburgh. What I can now tell you is that I am going to be teaching one of the classes. I am totally chuffed and excited to be doing this in my home City!! Can't tell you what I am teaching yet, it's a bit of a secret........but the other teachers are no secret..

On Sunday, as well as it being Mother's Day, it was our little Grand daughter's first birthday party, her actual birthday is today. She was a bit overwhelmed to start with but was soon running about and enjoying the attention.

Not long after Ava was born I read somewhere (think Carol at Mamacjt) of an idea to make a memory book and decided there and then to do something along those lines. A few years ago, in class, I ran a Journal Quilt project. Journal quilting was quite popular for a while and is basically about making small, usually about A4 sized quilts, maybe taking the time to try out new techniques, or maybe trying to reflect a time or event or emotion, important to you. The results in class were so interesting. So I set about making a selection of journal quilts for Ava, I intended putting them together into a book. I had great plans to comple one of these wee quilts each month, but in reality I managed two or three, managed to make notes and probably completed the rest since New Year!! As my deadline got nearer, I took advantage of my embroidery machine. This was a secret project that I kept from my daughter, so much shuffling and door closing was done when I saw her car arrive at the door!
The pages within are meaningful to me and my family and might bore you, so feel free to click away now or maybe go get a cuppa..............
This is the inside front cover, an orphan DP9 block.

This is February 2012, the month before Ava arrived. I tried a bit of stamping which is hard to read here - I was setting the scene for 2012 being the Queen's Jubilee year etc, and  it was a Leap Year.

And backed with some leftovers from one of her quilts.

Unlike March 2013, March 2012 was warm & sunny and I managed a wee bit of FMQ.

And more leftover Peeps on the back.

In April Ava attended her first quilt show, my Open Day - so I made a patchwork background and hung some tiny quilts from some cord.

Plain back but it shows up my tiny Sheila's Star.

In May, Ava found her thumb and found it totally fascinating. I found the baby clipart on Google and converted it to applique. The daft thing is, it kinda looks like her!!

You guessed - more leftovers on the back.

In June, Grandma & Grandad flew off to Australia for a month!!

See, I knew this fabric would come in handy.

July 5th has become a common anniversary date in our family.

I had quite a bit left over.

We all remember August - the numbers, stitched in metallic gold, silver & bronze are of course, the UK medal tally.
Nothing wrong with a bit of patriotism.

We all love this pic of Ava with her Great Grandad, I tried to make it look like a polaroid. The Septemebr dates are all family birthdays for her to put in her diary - lol.

Same fabric on back, a bit of shot cotton.

Needs no explanation

More solid on back, anyone still with me?

Now this is a funny one - the central band with the buttons on came from my Per Una cardi - Ava just loves buttons and has especially loved these ones.

What better than an actual chunk of the cardi, for the back of this page!(Don't worry, it was way past its best)

First Christmas

This time, the leftovers are from Ava's Christmas stocking.

No prizes for guessing this one.

Some tooth fairies for the back.

More milestones - and those wee roller skates were saved by me, from one of Ava's mummy's cardis, knitted by my mum.

Made this with tumblers cut using Gordon the Go!!

This is the back of the book, another orphan DP9 and is also the back of the last page, March 2013.

I loved this project, it ended up a little unpredictable and might have benefitted from more detailed planning. I didn't add the months to the individual designs as I went along so am indebted to Christelle for generously providing me with her cool calendar fabrics. Each month's quilt was made by "bagging" (no binding) and the left edges left raw. I then made "sleeves" without any wadding in, with a view to joining into a book.
There were 15 pages so I stitched the together in threes, trapping ribbons in as I stitched. Then I sewed the groups together using buttons, and lastly I tied the ribbons together, one group to another. I do have a book on fabric journals but hadn't constructed my pages in a way that could make use of proper binding techniques.

Happy Birthday Little'un - I look forward to explaining all these pages to you one day.x

Friday, 8 March 2013

Multi Tasking

I heard myself tell someone this week, "I used to be able to multi task,  now I just get harassed".

So I have a lot on, this week has seen a lot of admin as I launched my schedule for next year's classes. It's always a bit nail biting for me wondering if I have chosen the right projects but so far I am getting some really good comments & feedback.
When I took part last summer in the Zakka sew a long, I knew then that something similar would be fun for my classes, make a change from a big quilt.
So we are having a sew a long from August to Christmas.
After Christmas we are going to tackle a bag - there will be a bit of flexibility but I am planning on a big bag!

My current classes finish at the end of March and my Open Day is on Sunday 24th March - anyone in the vicinity of Alloway Village Hall in Ayr, would be made very welcome.
Within walking distance of the village hall, is Rozelle House and the Maclauren Gallery. On 24th March an exhibition of quilts by Ayrshire quilters goes on display so it sounds like a pretty good day out.

In the midst of all this organisation, my friend's daughter gave birth on Tuesday to a healthy, bouncing boy. I hope to see him and have a wee cuddle very soon. Although I made this a few weeks ago, I have kept it until now to show as I wanted it to be a surprise.

So, tomorrow, I am off up to Glasgow to Creative Stitches, at the SECC. My intentions are purely research of course, as I have plans for a new sewing machine this year and I am hoping to fine tune my choices.
On Sunday, a certain baby, a little closer to home , will be celebrating her 1st birthday, one day early.
It's almost impossible to believe a year has already passed. Grand-parenthood is amazing, quite amazing.
I have been working on something for her, I will share it with you all on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.x

Friday, 1 March 2013

Spreading the Word

For those of you who may have missed the news, Jo, from Bearpaw, is planning a super event in Edinburgh this August - it's a one day Modern Quilt Retreat.
You can read more about it HERE.

This is just brilliant news for those of us who are unable for one reason, or another, to attend the FQ Retreat in London this July.
Jo has organised this event bang in the middle of the Edinburgh Festival which is an exciting time to be in the Capital City.
If you think you might be at all interested in going, do pop over and register your interest.
If anyone in my classes thinks they might like to attend why don't you drop me an email and we could plan some shared transport?

Anyhow, I am definitely up for a day back in my home City - anyone join me?


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