Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Farewell 2013!!

Well, can you believe that we have reached that time of year again, when we say goodbye to the old and welcome in the new?  This year has gone by very quickly for me and has had some quite significant changes. All three of my children are now at university abroad and, we have undertaken some major renovations at our house. I am very pleased to say that throughout it all, I have maintained a very steady creative pace and finished more projects than I thought I would. Here are a couple of collages of my favourite completed 2013 projects.

I finished a fair number of crochet projects and thought I couldn't leave 2013 without a round up of my finished owls!!

I hope you all have a lovely evening and, that 2014 brings you good health, peace and joy!! I already know that it has some new adventures in store for me!!

Monday, 30 December 2013


I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Christmas.  This year it was a bit of a different celebration for us as we were not at home for the first time in a VERY long time. We went to visit with my parents-in-law and stayed at this beautiful hotel.

The service and food were both excellent and it was nice to see family. However, my own family decided that Christmas dinner at a hotel was 'not the same' so yesterday I cooked Christmas dinner for us here at home!!  I have to admit that part of me was looking forward to being away for Christmas so that I didn't have to cook but, it seems that is not quite how it works!!

We got home on Friday evening and everyone was excited to open the presents we had left under the tree.  We all had some lovely gifts.  One of my particular favourites was this cute little 'Button Heart' kit which a friend sent me.  This box contains everything that I need to make the sweet little heart shown on the front and, I can't wait for a quiet afternoon to get started on it!!

Tomorrow my husband's niece and her boyfriend arrive to celebrate the New Year so there is lots still going on!!  I hope you all enjoy whatever you are doing to celebrate the New Year and wish you all the VERY best for 2014.

Friday, 20 December 2013

A couple of early Christmas presents!

I have a small confession to make... I'm afraid that I just couldn't resist ordering myself a couple of early Christmas presents! Two new books arrived at the Post Office this morning.  They are both beautiful and full of inspiration!

The first is 'Doodle Stitching' by Aimee Ray.  This book was published a little while ago and I have been having a real fight with myself whether I really needed to add it to my collection or not.  In the end I decided that I did need it and, I am really pleased that I did!!  The book is a lovely collection of simple embroidery stitches and ideas.  I haven't had the chance to look at it properly yet... may be later with a nice cup of tea?!! However, from the brief look through that I have had, I can already tell that I am going to enjoy it and, be inspired to make all sorts of new stitchery projects!

The second is the latest 'Tilda' book 'Tilda's Winter Delights'.  I just love Tone Finnanger's style and this book is full of the most beautiful photographs which are tremendous inspiration in themselves.  There are lots of cute projects too.  I definitely think that I may have to put a visit to Norway on my bucket list, I just love the Scandinavian colours and style!!

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you all have a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS and wish you all the very best for 2014!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Block Eight Completed!

I'm really pleased to have been able to complete this embroidery block for the Girls Own Stitching Club project 'Le Jardin Quilt' designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs.  It is the last block that Bronwyn is going to publish for this year and I wanted to finish up 2013 with all my blocks up-to-date.

It is such a pretty little scene called 'The Bird Bath'.  The new technique that Bronwyn introduced in this block was the bullion rose.  It took a little bit of practice getting the roses right but, I am very happy with the results. It is always fun to learn a new technique.  Should you want to make the quilt yourself, click on the tab at the top of the page marked 'GOSC: 2013' and all the links back to Bronwyn's posts for each of the blocks are there.

The fabrics I have been using to surround the embroidery and complete the blocks are all 'Tilda' fabrics.  It will be nice to see the quilt complete but, that will have to wait a little while.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Decorating for Christmas

One of my favourite parts of decorating for Christmas is finding Christmas quilts that I had forgotten all about.  I have made many little quilts and decorations over the years and each January when I pack them away I forget all about them. It is such fun to rediscover them in among the other decorations all carefully folded away.

A lot of these Christmas quilts were made when I first took up quilting and they are not the best examples I have ever made but, they remain among my favourites.

Snowmen, angels and Father Christmas.  Most of these quilts were made from Debbie Mumm patterns from some of her very earliest books.  A lot of the fabrics are her designs too.

I also have some cute little quilts that I have bought at Christmas markets.

I love the nostalgia of Christmas music playing in the background while I gently unpack the Christmas decorations remembering Christmases past. Dusting the shelves and carefully selecting just the right place for each ornament.  This year I put up the decorations on my own (not easy to get the tree straight in its container!) but, it is with anticipation of the delight that will be enjoyed when my (grown up!) children return home from their studies. Can't wait to see them all!! 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Last Handmade Christmas Gift

It is very rewarding to have finally finished the last handmade gift I am posting for Christmas this year.  I did think I might not get it finished as there was quite a lot of work involved. Luckily, I have just managed to complete it in time.

When I was in England earlier in the year, I stayed with my parents and we visited a quilt shop where I bought a charm pack of Lynette Anderson fabrics called 'Wildflower Wood'.  My mum really liked the fabrics and asked if I could make her something with them.  As previously posted, I eventually decided what to make and, I have sent her this table centre which I made with some of the fabrics.

I had always wanted to make a dresden plate block and I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Piecing the 'plate' went together quite quickly but, it then has to be hand appliquéd to the background fabric which takes a little more time. I also added some embroidery to pick out some of the fabric colours.  It has been posted now, so I hope it is well received.  I was pleased with how it turned out. 

Thank you for visiting! 

Monday, 9 December 2013

My finished 'Beach' scene

Happily this past week I have had time to finish off my little 'Beach' scene and, I am pleased to say it is hanging up in my shower room, complimenting the other decorations in there.  It is actually hanging on the back of the door, not standing on this shelf but, I couldn't get a good photograph of it in that position because it is a room with no natural light.  This means I have to have the light on and then I get reflections on the glass of the picture.

In the end, I didn't only add some ric-rac to embellish the embroidery and change the shape to create a picture that would fit into a rectangular frame, I also added some blue stripey (Tilda) fabric to the bottom edge and some prairie points (the little triangles of fabric).  I like how the yellow ric-rac emphasises the sun and the blue the sea.  I also like how the prairie points repeat the shape of the beach huts.  

All in all, I am very happy with how it has turned out and, it adds some extra colour to my tiny shower room!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Block Eight of 'Le Jardin' Quilt

I am pleased to report that Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs has now posted Block Eight of the Girls Own Stitching Club project 'Le Jardin Quilt'. Bronwyn has once again excelled herself as it is another lovely block called 'The Bird Bath'.  It is a really cute scene.

I have printed off my block instructions and have everything ready to start. The new stitch this time is a bullion rose.  We learned the bullion stitch earlier in the quilt when Block Five:The Beehive was stitched but, this time the stitch is being used to create a rose. The detailed explanations of how to do this are all in Bronwyn's blog post about the new block.

Can't wait to get my needle and embroidery threads out, especially as this will be the last block published for this year.  The final block and the finishing details of the quilt are going to be published by Bronwyn in next year. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend of stitching!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Three little pouches!

Just in time for posting off so they arrive before Christmas, I have managed to finish sewing three little pouches. One is going to be included in a Christmas parcel but the other two are birthday gifts for a friend and a family member who celebrate birthdays in December.

I made them using 'Tilda' fabrics and the pattern I used was this tutorial by 'A Spoonful of Sugar' who describe the little pouch as a pencil case.  They would be great for keeping a pen and pencil in your handbag.  The pens and pencils in my handbag all get lost at the bottom and I can never find them!! However, they would also be great for keeping a packet of tissues and a few items of make up in or your phone. I just hope that the recipients will like them and find a good use for them!!

I'm off to wrap them all up and pop them in the post!!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Summer in Winter Stitching

You may recall that my second 'forgotten embroidery' was a little beach scene that I had hooped up ready for stitching.  Well, the stitching is complete and my little beach embroidery is all ready to be pressed and framed.

When out shopping (for Christmas!!) the other day, as well as suitable presents, I was also on the look out for a frame for my embroidery.  I want to hang it in my shower room which has a collection of other 'beach'-type related decorations.  Such as these quirky sea birds and some cute little wooden beach huts which were the original inspiration for my embroidery.

However, I was unable to find a square frame and ended up buying this rectangular one instead.  

I have a plan to change the shape of my finished embroidery by embellishing it.  This is what I am thinking of using and there may be one or two buttons added too.

I'll let you know how I get on!!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Decision made!

After several very pleasant afternoons sipping tea and leafing through magazines and quilt books (one of my favourite pastimes!) I have made a decision about one of the gifts that I want to make for Christmas.  This is just as well, as I need to make it this weekend and get it posted off next week if it stands any chance of arriving at its destination on time!!

I am going to use this very pretty charm pack of fabric which is from the 'Wildflower Wood' collection by 'Lynette Anderson'.

My idea is to make a table centrepiece using a dresden plate block.  I have found my dresden ruler and, now the decision is made, I am very keen to get started.  There will be some embroidery and appliqué on the table centre too but, although I have an idea in my head what I hope it will look like, I am not absolutely sure how it will turn out.  I'll keep you posted!!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Knitting Update

I thought it might be nice to keep you updated on my progress so far with these beautiful wools that I showed you last week.

Well, this is how my very simple scarf is shaping up.

As I mentioned, I am using these very simple instructions from Sandra of Cherry Heart. However, instead of just knitting to the end of each ball to give large blocks of one colour I decided to make my scarf more stripey by knitting 10 rows of each of the five colours and then repeat.  I am pleased with my progress so far as it has been a long time since I picked up some knitting needles!!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Forgotten Embroidery

At the weekend, when I was busy tidying up my sewing bits and pieces to make space to sit and plan my new projects, I uncovered two little embroideries that I had traced onto background fabric from sketches I had drawn and then had completely forgotten about!

So, I set to work and embroidered one of them.  It is a little garden scene.

I had sketched it at the same time as I drew my 'frog' embroidery which I finished earlier on in the year. 

I also used the yarn wrapping technique which I used for my 'autumn' embroidery (an idea from the book Hoop-La by Kirsty Neale) to finish off the wooden hoop it is framed in.  This time, instead of using knitting yarn, I used a variegated green cotton pearl embroidery thread.  It has given a very pretty finish to the hoop and I am really pleased with the overall look.

The second embroidery is a beach scene which I now have all hooped up ready to stitch.  It seems a bit strange to think about stitching 'the beach' when there is snow on the ground outside but, it I am keen to finish it off before it gets lost again with my notes and plans for my next projects!!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Let it snow!

Well, winter has definitely arrived this week, with plenty of snow!!  I woke up yesterday to see this view from my window.  Sitting in a snow cloud (notice you can't see a hint of the mountains opposite!!)

Of course when it is cold and snowing outside, there is nothing else to do but to stay warm and cosy inside and, start planning your next sewing project!!  I want to make a couple of Christmas gifts as well as a new quilt to hang on the wall in my bedroom here.

So, I sorted out some books and magazines to look through, made a nice hot cup of coffee and spent some time planning what to make next!

It snowed on and off for most of the day, so not much point risking life and limb driving around (well that's my excuse!)

This morning I woke to a different scene.... lots of snow but, clear skies and sunshine!!  It looks stunning but, because the skies have cleared,

it is VERY cold.  It is going to be a beautiful day!!  It is a wrap up warm, put on your boots and scrunch through the snow day!!

Hope you are nice and warm somewhere!