Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Halloween tote bags

Mike and I are off up to the Lake District this weekend to see some of the family. As it will be Halloween I decided to make special tote bags for some treats for Vivi and Hugo.

This was such a simple but fun pattern that I found at Skip to my Lou. The bag is reversible too.

I used a fun Halloween print that I found at the Malvern Quilt Show last weekend; Halloween Manor by Deb Strain for Moda. The lining is a plain black and the plain orange I bought at Busy Bees Patchwork in Newport. I had intended to appliqué a black cat on one and an owl on the other but I settled instead for their initials as I had been sewing all day and wanted a quick finish.

I have bought all sorts of goodies for the bags, colouring books, coloured pencils, stickers, nail transfers, spooky paper chain strips, spider biscuits and chocolate. I am making some spooky iced cupcakes and we'll be hollowing out our pumpkins with the children's help on Saturday.

Have a spectacular, spooky weekend,


Linking up to W.I.P. Wednesdays with Lee at Freshly Pieced

Also linking to Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation
Needle and Thread Thursday

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Time flies (when you're having fun)

Where does the time go? I had not found the time to write a post for just over 2 weeks and I had been feeling terribly guilty. Then I remembered why I was blogging (as a diary of my quilting/crafting) and not necessarily for anyone else. It is wonderful that I have friends both in the real and the internet world who take the time to read and occasionally comment on what I have written. Please bear with me if there is a gap in my posts in the future. Life just gets chock a block full with some good things and then again, with some bad. This month has been particularly trying with health issues in my close family which are hard to deal with. However, I have kept busy with projects and support from friends.

Where to start?

I went to a fun UFO day with a local group called Cutting Edge in Ystradowen Village Hall.  There are photos of the day on the link. I had several small projects to finish including a Christmas stocking which needs to be ready for early December for a sewing bee competition. I did a simple quilted front and a saw-tooth star appliqué on the back. The stockings will be donated to the local children's hospital. I plan to trim the top with some white "fur" or gold ribbon when I get the time.

I am trying to keep up to date with the English Flower Garden BOM but I am still avoiding September's block as the background consisted of a set in circle. I'll leave that one until the New Year. Instead I went full steam ahead with October's block- a rose. The pieces have been applied with bondaweb and I machined the raw edges at Ystradowen. I am going to unpick it though as I do not like the spiky stitch I used. Too much talking and not enough thinking going on!
 I will probably do a fine blanket stitch by hand but it is still to be finished.

 I decided that I would make a Christmas tree quilt for the sitting room as I have had a charm pack of Aspen Frost by Basic Grey for Moda hanging around since last year. The fabric designs appealed as they were traditional but in a more modern colour palette.

I am teaming the Aspen Frost fabrics with a Kona Bay basic white which has a subtle white on white fleck(not sure what it is as I lost the selvedge). I found the pattern, Oh, Christmas Tree,  on the Moda Bakeshop website. It is simple yet effective and should be good to snuggle up under on the sofa in front of the fire.
The 4.5" HST blocks were made yesterday and trimmed to size. I will be sewing them together this afternoon.

I think this will be a fun quilt for the sofa. I just need to get the backing fabric and wadding now.

It was my birthday yesterday so I had a day off from sewing. Breakfast in bed with my cards and presents, pre-lunch fizz and canapés then a delicious lunch at Pier 64 in Penarth with friends. I am so lucky to have my lovely girl friends. Mike says I am not to get too used to the breakfast in bed!

And finally, I had almost forgotten about the fab giveaway I won when a package arrived from Vicki of A Quilter's Mission. The giveaway was to celebrate her 200th blog post. A pre-birthday surprise full of quilting treats just for me. Vicki had even made me a cute strawberry pincushion. Thank you so much, Vicki. I have followed Vicki's blog for a few months now. She posts regularly (unlike me, lol) and has a ton of fun finished projects and always something on the go.


Until the next time,


Monday, 6 October 2014

Summer's end

The weather changed suddenly overnight and I woke to a blustery day and rain. A perfect day to get my sewing machine out if only for a short while. This afternoon we are back to summer but I am not sure it will last.

I settled down to finish the flower pot blocks which will be on the outside of the cutting mat bag that I am making in class. The flowers are saw-tooth stars with machine appliquéd stems and leaves. The green fabrics were scraps from my stash and I used a simple zigzag to outline the leaves.

The inside of the bag will be Kaffe Fassett Shirt stripes- I just love saturated colour!

We were asked to choose some highlight fabric to add a border to the group of 4 flower blocks but I decided that since I had so much bright colour I would use a dark colour to frame them. The following is an example of how not to take a photo- please excuse my shadow! The border will be squares of the gold background and squares of the dark green with black squiggles. It is  Pheasant Hill by Kanvas Troubles for Moda. The green matches the flower pots and the green in the Kaffe Fassett fabric perfectly.

I love autumn with a passion. Maybe it is because this is my birthday month or maybe it is the rich colours around in the garden. I picked a few dahlias for the table in the sitting room. We finished off the last of our ripe tomatoes on bruscetta for lunch and I labelled my green tomato chutney for the cupboard. There is something so satisfying about filling the cupboards with preserves for winter.

My friend Jane gave me 4kgs of green tomatoes last week. The recipe contains onions and sultanas with brown muscovado sugar. The house reeked of the spiced pickling vinegar for a few days but the results are worth it. Six huge jars to accompany cheese and meats. I'll leave it to mature for a few weeks before we sample it. I might give a couple of jars as presents at Christmas.

Lastly, I have made some progress with my Coastal ripple crochet blanket. It is becoming quite heavy to manoeuvre on my knee but is lovely and snuggly. 33 ripples done and only 51 to do.

I have been fairly busy this weekend visiting family and I am enjoying spending today pottering around the house and catching up.

Have a great week,


I'm linking this week to


Quilter in the Closet