Friday, 3 July 2015

Holly, Poppies and Friday Smile

I am still feeling a little uneasy admitting that after my years of never acknowledging Christmas until December arrives I have made several items in the last couple of weeks.
Here's Holly a very festive little ted>
Doesn't Holly look sad before I stuffed her?

Joining in with Annie's Smiles, although I'm a bit late, I know she doesn't mind.
This certainly made me smile.....(although if you've read my last post I'm still on cloud nine because of that lovely treat)
Nature throws some treasures and this is one that is growing in my garden right in the middle of a lavender bush. It was so lovely last night after a shower of rain ....
and this morning it had dried off and opened to reveal it's gorgeous centre. Very Georgia O'Keefe!
There's another one to follow sprouting from a crack near the front door to look forward to. 
All from  free seeds on the wind!

 Here's my Block of the Month swap for Diane of the cheshire quilter blog.. it's a Monkey Wrench and I do hope she likes it.
 I join in the challenge each month for Diane's group and this month it was Christmas again!! Diane had set another fun project which will help stock the craft stall in September with the funds going to Hope House Hospice. 

Pop over to Annie's for more smiles... it's never too late and you could add your own too.



Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A Treat from Black Sheep Wools (& Fabrics)

I am so thrilled that I won the Sewing Bee at Black Sheep Wools (& Fabrics) especially as everyone else's project was good enough to win, but this time (I who never usually wins anything) was amazingly fortunate to be the lucky one and here is the generous prize I received. 

Thanks so much to Black Sheep for such a lovely parcel of goodies which will be so well used, and thanks to to all the kind people who voted for the bag I made at the Bee. The pattern will soon be available on Black Sheep's website if anyone fancies making one and there's a wide range of fabulous quality fabrics in store in all the bright colours I used in my bag. 

Here is the wonderful Coats bag of treasure I was given...
The purple fabric is a bolt of almost 7 metres (by FreeSpirit) and Lesley didn't  even know that it's my favourite colour! 
Wow! plenty there to make sashes, binding and back a quilt.
That's an Amy Butler jellyroll on the left too....
Lesley hands me the super bagful of goodies in the fabric department....
There were lots of sewing notions, .... 
  also a £15 gift card and I didn't take long to spend it on the turquoise fabrics which were perfect for a project I intend to make.
I'll come down to earth now and make plans to use it all. 






Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Sewing Bee Time to Vote

Last week I shared a fantastic day at Black Sheep Wools
with a group of super people for a Patchwork Sewing Bee. We all had a wonderful day of stitching fun and here are photos of all we made between eating and gabbing and laughing. 
What's more it's a competition so it's time to vote, 
if you would be so kind to pop over to Black Sheep's Blog http://www.blacksheepwools.com/blog/ ........ 
take a peek and vote for your favourite via pinterest, facebook or instagram and have a look at their fabulous shop. 
It's an Aladdin's cave of yarns and fabrics.
If you do manage to choose mine then many thanks but they are all exceptionally gorgeous so it could be a really hard job choosing. 
Here's my Japanese twisted (or Windmill) bag in bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics by Rowan. 
Ali's super shopper
ali veryberryhandmade tote
Diane's Handy Pots
diane cheshire quilter containers
Lucy's cushion
lucy charm about you
and Rachel's Pinwheel shopper
rachel mamma fairy sews


www.blacksheepwools.com.... no longer just wools but fabric too. Stitchers Heaven!





Friday, 12 June 2015

Crossed Swords Table Mat & Friday Smile


Last night I finished hand stitching the binding on this CHRISTMAS table mat. Yes! It's for Christmas... me who doesn't do anything connected with the event until November and then I don't do much!! 
After enjoying making the Celtic Braid a few weeks ago I wanted to try something in a similar technique.  
So we have Christmas in June and aren't those peonies stunning?
I recently visited the Waterloo Quilt Exhibition where someone had made a lovely quilt with hand stitched panels of traditional Sashiko Japanese designs and this reminded me of the crossed swords formed at the end of the traditional English Morris dance.
It's amazing where inspiration strikes, from this 5ins hand stitched panel and these crossed swords,

I played around and drew the layout for this panel. 
It is 12ins each side and 24ins across the widest point.
The result is this table centre.
 I really enjoyed making it but I think I will now modify it to have voids between the swords to make it easier to apply the braid at cross points.
Leave me a comment if you would like the pattern layout, I'm willing to share.
It gave me pleasure to make this piece and when I browsed my photos for the images of the crossed swords I spotted this old pic I just had to share...
It was taken whilst on holiday in Ireland outside a Cobblers in Dingle. Love those boots!
It's my Friday Smile and I am joining in with Annie this week....
Pop over to see more and have a smiley weekend!
A reminder that the fabulous Gresford Festival of Crafts will be held next week. don't miss it as it is such a good show. Lots of quilts and other crafts in the church, fabric sales in the Millennium Hall and good food and drinks in the Old School House of this lovely little village just over the border in North Wales.
I'll be there on Thursday with lots of Quilt Cornerstone members.
Full details....

2015 Festival of Crafts 

June 16th - 19th 2015

Tues - Thurs 10.30am - 8.00pm
Fri 10.30am - 6pm
Admission £2.50
entry to both exhibitions 
All Saints Church,
The Green, Gresford,
LL12 8RG
and
Wrexham Quilting Circle
Gresford Memorial Hall
LL12 8PS
Refreshments, tombola, fabrics for sale, plant sale.
Refreshments at Church House, Gresford 
For further information contact Jayne Mumford 01978 750250 
All proceeds to charity


           




Thursday, 11 June 2015

Black Sheep Patchwork Bee


Five Quilting Bloggers, Ali of very berry handmade, Lucy of charmaboutyou, Rachel of mammafairysews, Diane thecheshirequilter and I, arrived yesterday to this spacious well equipped workroom and a super day of fun and stitching, food and chat, cake and chat, courtesy of our generous host, Black Sheep Wools.

We were privileged to be invited to join a Mini Sewing Bee as guests of Black Sheep Wools (who are NOT just yarns but now have an excellent range of yummy quality fabrics). We were the Ace Bunch, the Dream Team, The  Lucky Five, The Super Stitchers, who were given the opportunity to each use their  fab fabric range on a project of our choice.

Pop over to the other blogs to see more pics and reports of our wonderful day of fabric fun. It will also be reported in full on Black Sheep website and blog and there will be a chance to vote for your favourite project there and on various social media sites. 
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, 
for your favourite project and, whilst I'd appreciate your vote for mine, I must admit it's hard to choose between them all, so good luck to everyone! 
Our selected stash of top quality fabrics was waiting, temptingly, for each of us.
We all didn't take long to cut into them and start our different projects.
By lunchtime, when we were served an excellent lunch, there was plenty of evidence to show we'd all been beavering away.......but what would all this turn into? We had the opportunity to swap ideas with the staff and each other over lunch and it was good to be in the company of such lovely people with a similar passion. Thanks to all!
I'm sure we'll all meet up again.
The day whizzed by and here Lucy shows her stylish contemporary appliquéd cushion, nearly finished.
Rachel shows her unusual Summery tote with cleverly inset pinwheels. There's the striped lining to the left, prepared and ready to insert. 
I could do with 6 for our living room!
Diane was so industrious and happily beavered away all day to make FIVE!!!! of these fabulous handy buckets in great fabric choices, with pockets all around the sides. Great idea.
Barbara of Black Sheep joined us in the Bee and made a stylish wrap  in borders of yet another beautiful range of fabrics. Loverly!
Ali produced perfect points for the design feature of her stylish bag, in a great fabric range, to showcase these super fabrics in a great colour combo.
I used Kaffe Fassett bold designs in bright colours to make this jazzy windmill bag. 


Towards the end of our day, lovely Lesley, (who professes not to know a thing about sewing), who had organised everything for us, breezed in with tote bags full of goodies, courtesy of Coats. Many thanks to Coats for sending us such generous, fabulous, gifts as a reward for using their wonderful fabrics and enjoying ourselves!! Their website is a great crafty site to check out...
It was like Christmas! Inside was a generous collection of lovely sewing treats (plus a mini Tim Holtz jelly roll missed from my pic).
I adore my pack of fabric in my favourite colour choice.
Looking forward now to seeing the other reports of the day and reliving it all over again!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Variable Star Block & Black Sheep Sewing Bee


My Block of the Month is all ready to take with me tomorrow to give to 
DianeThe Cheshire Quilter, when I attend the Patch Work Mini Sewing Bee at
I am pleased that I really am improving, month by month, by making these blocks to swap with Diane and last month seemed to be the turning point. This block went together so smoothly and quite accurately and I am really happy with it.
A reminder... it's tomorrow!!! Oh, eck! I'm excited but I can't wait. 
I'm so looking forward to meeting everyone involved, especially Diane and mammafairysews who I only know from blogland. We will, at last, meet for real.
The exciting news is that I have been invited, along with four other patchwork bloggers, to join in a Mini Patchwork Sewing Bee in Black Sheep's workshop. Come along for a fun day to see what each of us will make on the day....... I can't divulge too much yet but we'll all be doing something different but it's all under wraps until we get together for the Bee on......
 Wednesday June 10th
 So much to see and so much to tempt sewers, knitters and embroiderers in this Aladdin's cave of fabric and yarns and there is a lovely cafe too.

We'd love you to join us!         
                                   http://www.blacksheepwools.com
There'll be lots of blogging after the event so make sure you come back to check out all the action.