Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What Do you Call a Fast Cake?

I had to go to London for work yesterday and in my brief foray to get  a sandwich at lunch time, I spotted a TKMaxx and swooped in to get some Comic Relief Goodies.

I have to take these shopping opportunities when I can - the heady heights of shopping in my rural town are Millets, Peacocks and Stead & Simpson. It was actually a sad blow when Woolies closed. No, really it was. You have no idea how grateful I am for Internet shopping (not sure my bank balance is quite so grateful though).

And I leave you with a gratuitous tube train photo - just because I love them (Except in rush hour. Never in rush hour). I would have left you with a photo of the prize idiot who pulled the emergency stop cord on the way up to town on the train, but sadly I don't have one.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Butterfly syndrome

I obviously need to focus more!

Remember my last post where I had carefully spent all that time preparing bias binding to finish my tree skirt? Yup I was all set up and ready, so I proceeded to do this:

Yes that's right - I pressed and cut the quilt backing, pressed the top (it doesn't look like it as I rolled it up last night when I finished) and basted the whole quilt together. It's finally ready for quilting. Unfortunately I need to do some major tidying up of my sewing table before that can happen!

Thing is, it keeps trying to snow and it's much warmer and cosier by the fire in the living room ........ Maybe I might finish my bit of hand sewing of binding first instead. I've definitely got butterfly syndrome. Sigh.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

This week I have been mostly...

At work, but am now off for the rest of Half Term.

I have however managed to create this:

Which I then turned into this:

And which has now become this:

Approximately 230" of bias binding for my tree skirt. (At least, I hope it is 230"..........)

I used the tutorial from the Dread Pirate Rogers which was nice and simple.

The drawing of lines, pinning at intersections, sewing and then cutting took a surprising length of time. I can't say I enjoyed sewing the twisted fabric tube I created, but the cutting was actually quite enjoyable.

So all bets are off now as to how long it will take me to actually sew it on to the tree skirt..

Sunday, 17 February 2013

I've got competition

For the sewing machine as well as the computer!

I've not sewn anything much since the dubious block of the last post - I have been trying to tidy up my sewing space a little. meanwhile, with some hand holding, my daughter has managed to make her first sewn item - a patchwork cushion.

She's really proud of it, and did a great job.

What I really want to do right now is make some bias binding for my tree skirt to finally finish it. What I am in fact going to do is some tidying and cleaning. I'm not going to show any pictures as it is bad. Not TV programme bad, but bad enough!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Postman always rings twice

Or in our case, manages to ring the door bell and knock very loudly at the same time. I was quite happy though, because he brought me these lovely items from Ali at Very Berry Handmade

Ali was having a sale of items so I snapped up these two - the potholder is going to live in our caravan (yes, we have a (not so) little home on wheels), and the pin cushion is now by my sewing machine with a few slim glass headed pins in (I did debate not actually putting any in as it is so pretty)

What my photo doesn't show is how beautifully made they are - really lovely, and the hand stitching on the pincushion is so small and neat. Thank you Ali - I love them!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The not Infinity Scarf

I finished my Velveteen and Voile scarf.

In the end I cut down the velveteen to the length of the voile and sewed them together - without pinning. Next time I will most definitely pin - because, blow me, by the time I had sewn both side seams (using a walking foot) - the velveteen was nearly an inch longer than the voile - AGAIN!  Another trim with the rotary cutter was needed.

Fortunately I had the perfect colour thread in my box that matched the voile exactly for the hand sewing part at the end.

The size is fine - perfect if you wanted to wear it unwrapped (though in which case I think I should maybe have added the moebius twist) and a short neck warmer when twisted into two loops. The neck warmer is what I need. I sit by a radiator at work - but I also sit by a window, and so far the window is winning.

It's really hard to get a flattering shot when a) you're not home in daylight and b) you can't force persuade somebody to model it for you.

Monday, 11 February 2013

When Life gives you lemons...

Make Lemonade!

Or in my case - when you manage to order 1kg of fresh ginger in your grocery shop:

make fresh ginger cake.

Smells good, but it is still too hot to taste and it's bedtime.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Weekend musings

It's another wet Sunday in Sussex - very wet! I'd show you a photo, but it's just depressing, and I'm not sure that nearly everybody else in the UK hasn't got a similar view of unrelenting rain outside their window too.

We did manage a nice -  though chilly and muddy - walk up on the Ashdown Forest yesterday.

 Large flakes of snow started to fall as we headed back to the car. Thankfully it didn't last long and none settled. We headed back into the warmth and then the delights of heading out to buy new scout trousers. The just-turned-13-and is-taller-than-me boy has apparently outgrown all the child sizes. Unfortunately the smallest adult size is a 30in waist! That's quite a difference from the largest child size .  I foresee a bit of taking up and taking in in my future - not one of my favourite sewing tasks.

I got as far as cutting out the velveteen and voile for the first infinity scarf, only to discover that the plum coloured voile from Free Spirit that is supposed to be 54" wide, the same as the Anna Maria Horner Velveteens (and Voiles), is in fact about 2 - 3" narrower. Grrrr.

So - do I make the scarf 3" shorter or do I cut a section from the other 1/4 yard  scarf length to make it up? If I take the first option and it is too short to comfortably used, then I've wasted the velveteen by cutting it short. If I take the second option then I can only get one scarf out of the voile, not two.

So has anyone else made an infinity scarf with  9" wide, 50" long pieces of fabric? Did it work out OK?

On the plus side, I tried out Pippa's pancake recipe for pudding at Sunday lunch and they turned out brilliantly!

Thanks Pippa.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


I finally completed two more Swoon blocks

Beautifully modelled by my able assistant!

My Friend and I also had a Sunday morning sewing session belatedly starting January's blocks for the Block of the Month we're following  - thought the advantage of following last year's course means that we might be able to get ahead of ourselves!

They need another press, and squaring up, but on the whole I'm pleased. We've set ourselves February's blocks as "homework" and are hoping to get together in March to do the next two blocks. It's fun and has re motivated my friend who hasn't really sewn anything for months. Actually, neither have I really.......

Friday, 8 February 2013

How to give your OH a severe shock

I was going to title this post "How to give your husband a heartattack" but then thought it sounded a bit too flippant about a very serious medical issue so thought better of it!

I've started the 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month with a friend (we decided we liked it better than the 2013!) and needed background fabric. So I ordered it from The Remnant House and told my husband.

So when this arrived :

You can imagine how much fabric he thought I had ordered - and how much it had cost!

I put him out of his misery and opened it up to reveal:

Two cushions, 1 metre of clear vinyl (I'm going to try using it like a supreme slider (only bigger, and cheaper)when I next try quilting) and 4 meters of Klona grey cotton. His colour came back and he headed off to work before he had any more unpleasant surprises.

I decided to order some fabric from the states before the postage went up - so it took a little of the sting out of the VAT charge on the order when it arrived

I'd ordered some of the Anna Maria Horner velveteen and voiles that were on sale at Hawthorn threads to make some infinity scarves following the tutorial at Fancy Tiger Crafts.
The voile feels amazing - I think the combination of the two is going to be really lovely - and should mean that I can stop wearing my great big knitted scarf in the office (it's really not an indoors type scarf at all). Er, yes a couple of other fabrics kind of snuck in too...

I haven't told him that I also ordered fabric from the Intrepid Thread too - so there may be more customs fees to pay.