Monday, 28 July 2014

Giveaway winner and another giveaway

Thanks for joining in my giveaway.  I used to choose the winner, but I have no idea how you get a picture of the result.  I can't save it or copy it or even select it...  anyway, the winner is number 51 who is...



Chrissie!  Well done Chrissie, I'll email you for your address.

Now, I have another sort of giveaway for you today.  I won the giveaway over at Jane's blog.  The prize was a box of goodies, including this little bunny pattern.

This is a travelling pattern, so the idea was that I stitch up the bunny, take some items from the box, replace them with goodies from my own stash, then send the bunny on to his next home.

Here he is!  I stitched him with threads from my stash rather than those listed on the chart.  He's a weeny bunny, so he's my entry for the Smalls SAL this month too.  I'm going to find a tiny little frame for him.

So, who wants him next?  


Sunday, 27 July 2014

scrap bucket in yellow

Dont forget to enter my giveaway!  Click the link to find it, or scroll down.

June's colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was yellow.  I showed you the blocks at the time, but now I've sewn them up into a scrap bucket.


I quilted it in wavy lines following the seams.  I think I did it with my walking foot, but if I'm honest, I quilted it a few weeks ago and I just can't remember!

I didn't have any yellow old clothes or bedding for the lining, so went with this striped sheet as it does have some yellow in it.

July's colour is red, I really must get started on that, but I've got next week off work, nowhere to be, no obligations, so I hope to get it done.

Related Posts

Purple and Green

Friday, 25 July 2014

chenille stitch bracelet

First of all - have you entered my giveaway?  If not, click on the link or scroll down to the next post.

Last weekend saw another new class at The Bead Shop Nottingham.  It was a bead weaving class and was, as always, very enjoyable.  This is Chenille stitch.

It's a stitch I'd heard of, but had no idea how to do.  Well now I know!  We used Swarovski 4mm pearls and size 8 seed beads.  The first decision was colour, this time, I was stumped!

I'd gone to the class not knowing what the finished bracelet would look like, so I'd had in my head to make something red as I lack red bracelets.  I saw immediately that red wouldn't work.  There weren't any red pearls so I'd have had to use white, cream or silver and I wanted something more toning.

In the end I chose a very dark purple pearl and hematite seed beads.  I like the combination and I love this stitch, I want to do more of it.  It took a while to get my tension right.  At first my bracelet would squidge if I pressed it, after about 4 inches my tension firmed up and the bracelet is actually like a rigid tube as the thread is so tight.  Steph advised me to carry on, and then just undo the loose end when I'd finished.  After stitching enough that the bracelet minus the squidgy bit was about the right size, I squeezed the tube to try and find where I needed to undo to, and the whole thing snapped off in my hand!  It was like a lizard losing it's tale (I imagine... I've never pulled a lizard's tail off).  I had to undo a bit more so I could make a neat end to the bracelet.    

This was my first time using a magnetic clasp and I love it.  Not only is it very easy to put on and take off, I sit and play with it.  Must get some.  

Now, is there any improvement in my jewellery photos here?  The reason I ask is that this arrived...

This is my new pop up lightbox.  I tried with the clear back ground, but you could see through it (duh!) and took the photos on the white background.  There is also a black included.  I took some from the front, like this above.

And some through that hole in the top.  It's still not great with my tablet as it doesn't have a macro lens, I really need to sort my camera out and find out what's wrong with it!

As chenille stitch was new to me, I'm linking up to Something New for 2014

Celtic Thistle Stitches

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Save the Stitches - blackwork sampler Block 3

Looking for the giveaway?  Click here.

I've been working some more on Elizabeth Almond of Blackwork Journey's Save The Stitches blackwork sampler.  I have now completed Block 3... wow, watch me go, I'm only about 10 blocks behind!

Block 3 is the two empty squares and the 4 to the right of it.  The top right square was really confusing!  As you can see, I didn't crop this photo very well and you can see the print out for my Cuzco quilt to the right.

Here it is all finished, complete with gold, silver and copper threads that are so hard to get to show up on a photo.  I got my lightbox after I took these photos, so I'll try to take a better photo next time.  It might also be a good idea to take it out of the Qsnap for the photos, but it's so awkward to frame up due to all the excess fabric at the bottom that I have to roll up and secure.

Block 4 is underway.

Related Posts

Block 2
block 1 finished

Block 1
The tiny version

Monday, 21 July 2014


Last week I reviewed the book Mini Quilts by Jodie Davis & Jayne Davis.  Have a look here if you missed it.  

The publisher GMC has very kindly given me an extra copy to give away to one of you!

No jumping through hoops at this blog, anyone, anywhere can enter, you don't have to follow me, like me, link to me or anything.

I'll leave the giveaway open for a week, so I'll draw a winner using Mr Random next Monday - the 28th.  All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment.  You can either recommend a craft book to me, or tell me if you're a craft book fan or not.

Good luck and feel free to spread the word!

update: I have had several no-reply bloggers enter already!  If you are on Wordpress, fine I can click your name and get to your blog, so no worries.  If you are on Google+ I can't contact you!!  If you are on Google+ you MUST leave your email address in your comment or you can't win.  I'm sorry, but blame Google+, they keep making you no-reply commenters and I have no way to find you as I WILL NOT join Google+.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

The cutest fabric in the world...

Wow, I disappeared there for a bit... what, you didn't notice?  Ah well!

Just a quick one today to show off this cute little bunny fabric.  It's so cute I could actually eat it (if I wasn't anti-eating rabbits and anti-eating fabric).  

The lovely Quirky Hannah discovered it and asked me if I wanted some... did I!  Thank you Hannah, it was so nice of you to think of me.

I am adding it to my bunny fabric collection... it hasn't grown much in the last few months, but it's about too.  I might have accidentally done some online shopping... ooops!

Linking up to 

Molli Sparkles

Monday, 14 July 2014

craft book review - Mini Quilts

I'm still working my way through the craft books that the lovely folk at GMC sent me to review.  I've been working on a project from Mini Quilts.

Before we go any further, the disclaimers.  I was sent the book for free to review but I was not told what to say and all opinions are 100% my own.  I didn't receive any monetary compensation.  Links in this post, as with all my book posts, are affiliated.  If you click over and buy something, I get a few pence towards an Amazon voucher.  

I was quite excited to get this book as I love mini quilts.  I've never made one, though I had started one before receiving this book.  I also knew that my project would be my entry into Le Challenge as this month's theme is "small".

The book opens with the basics - materials and tools required, how to sew the perfect 1/4" seam, basting, quilting and binding.  You then move on to the projects, 19 of them each one teaching different skills. 

This project focuses on thread painting, but also teaches the additional skills of creating an applique pattern and fusible applique.  Each project has a large photo, step-by-step instructions and photos.

The above crayon-painted quilt is one which I'm itching to try.  Other skills taught include precision piecing, stencilling, foundation paper piecing, trapunto, tying a quilt, applique and much more.

This project uses tucks to create a really textural piece.

Traditional techniques such as needle turn applique are also included.  I think you need to be able to look beyond the fabric choices in this book, the projects tend to be made from more traditional materials, but if you can envision them in modern fabrics, there is so much to gain from this book.  Looking through the projects, I could see a way in which you could update each one, still benefiting from the lessons in the project, but to make a less old-fashioned mini.

This raw-edge applique silhouette mini caught my eye.  Of course, I was seeing rabbits!

The project uses a photo of your pet or child to create a silhouette, though of course, you could use any picture you like.  I chose Harry.  He's a black bunny and he's little so I thought he'd work well, also the best photo for this technique that I had was of Harry.  Sometimes my buns are in positions that would look odd in silhouette.  

The project teaches raw edge applique (which of course I have done before), but also inset borders, mitred borders and twin needle quilting.  I wanted to follow the project instructions exactly to really get a feel for the book.  I printed Harry out smaller than required though (by accident!) so my Mini does end up smaller at 13.5" square rather than 17" square.

Overall, the instructions were pretty good.  I found following them easy, though i struggled with the inset border as I found the instructions for this particular part too vague - "baste your inset border" - huh?  Where?  Pointing which way? Where do I stitch?  I wung it and hope that I've got it right.  I like the effect anyway.  Oh, for those of you who don't know what an inset border is (I didn't), it's the purple dotty border.  It's only attached to the green stripe, it's floating above the background.

Despite the evidence above, the instructions for the mitred corners were better.  The biggest issue I had was that it told you to stop stitching 1/4" from the edge of the background fabric.  I couldn't get that.  I'm sure it's quite simple, but I resewed some of these corners 3 times.  And they're still crap.  That's my fault though, I got impatient and just thought "sod it"!

The book has instructions for putting a false back on the quilt as the twin-needle quilting isn't very attractive from behind.  I wasn't worried about that as I plan to hang this mini, so just used some fugly fabric from my stash and left the quilting.  I added corners so I can hang it, I've seen this done on other quilts, but now it's finished, I still don't know how to hang it using the corners!

You can see the reverse of the twin needle quilting above.  You can also see that I tied off all my quilting threads rather than back stitching as I usually do!

Overall, I like this book.  I can see beyond the fabrics used and think that all the different techniques and skilled taught means this is a great book for an advanced beginner or intermediate quilter, though even advanced quilters would find something they hadn't tried.  The instructions are a little lacking in places, but there are several pages dedicated to each project so mostly the projects are easy to follow.  It's a book that I want to use again to try a few more techniques.

If you fancy having this book for your own library, keep an eye out as I'll be giving a copy away soon!  (not my copy, I'm keeping that!)

The details:
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton (7 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621137961
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621137962
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1 x 25.4 cm

Linking up to:
Le ChallengeCraft Book Sew Along at Live. Love. Create.

This month's theme is "small" - small for a mini and small for little Harry

Seriously, come and join in, there are prizes!

Celtic Thistle Stitches

New for me - my first Mini quilt, inset borders, twin needle quilting


I was given a review copy of the book by GMC however this review and all opinions are 100% my own, I was not told what to say.  Amazon links are affiliate links.