23 January 2014

Economy Blocks

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my previous post, I do so love my little space and know how lucky I am to have it.  As I mentioned I want to add some pretty touches to the room.  My first task, whilst it's still nice and tidy was to make a sewing machine mat.......

I decided to have a go at the Economy Block which is whizzing around all my favourite quilting blogs and flickr at the moment.  I used an AMAZING tutorial written by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts, now if you haven't seen this blog you MUST go, this lady is inspiring!!  As I write, I was just thinking how generous the crafty blogging community is as a whole, to share their knowledge.....I hope in a small way I do my bit here.

I thought I would share what I learnt from this project.  Firstly, as lovely as they are, Cath Kidston Haberdashery fabrics are too stiff to work in tiny projects.   Luckily as this is a mat, that isn't a problem, but I would definitely use larger patches and pre-wash (I am not a pre-washer ordinarily).  I also came to the conclusion that I did not get excited by sewing the Economy Block, do you know what I mean...has that ever happened to you?.....I really wanted to do so and I love the finished result, but the thought of making a larger project using this design is not for me.

On the other hand, remember my hexie's, well that little 'work in progress' is nearly finished and I've made a start on my sampler quilt, but more of that next time.

I've also joined my first Quilt-A-Long, I'm currently picking my fabrics and we get started with the cutting out next week.  So there's still plenty of time to join in if you fancy!!

I hope that you're having a lovely crafty week.  I am very behind visiting my favourite blogs, I have been having the most awful migraines (boo hiss!!)  but I will be there very soon!

19 January 2014

A little tour.....

Come in, come in........... welcome!!

My little happy place became my space a couple of years ago.  Up until then I had a corner of our spare bedroom and regularly overflowed in to the kitchen, conservatory, living room etc.  The busier I got, it  become apparent that we needed to find me a more permanent space for me to work in, so we had a reshuffle.  We decided that for how often we had overnight guests, it made much more sense for our larger guest bedroom to become Poppy's room and for me to take our smallest bedroom, which up until that point, we had used for both Jamie and Poppy when they were babies.  It holds lots of happy memories of little ones and of course the odd sleepless night!

It's not a huge room, we could just squeeze a single bed down the wall where I now I store my fabric stash and on the opposite wall there was enough space for a single wardrobe and chest of drawers, it was therfore extremely important to plan and make use of every cm of space.   I sat for many hours with a pad of graph paper and an Ikea catalgue.  Would you like to see some more? .........

The first thing you see as you walk in to the room in the large Expedit Unit that house my precious fabric. Starting from the top left and moving across I have my Lecien and Japanese imports, then Tilda, then Cath Kidston, followed by more 1930's and children's novelty prints.  At the end of the row, are fabrics that I'm currently using for several wips.

Below this are all my other quilting weight cottons, stored by colour, my felt stash, heavier curtain weight fabrics and lots of boxes full of smaller misc bits and pieces. Out of shot, but on top of the unit is more felt and kits, ready to be posted out.

I sort my scraps of fabric mainly by type/maker in separate bags and keep these in the plastic vegetable baskets, to the left of my sewing table.  I have donated tons of these to both the childrens school and rainbows group and what's left, I'm determined to use as much as possible this years patchwork projects.

To the right of my fabric, I have my sewing and cutting tables.  It's from here that I lose myself watching the world go by!  Both tables are a combination of Ikea tops and adjustable legs.  Top priority when planning the room was to have a cutting table and I squeezed the largest possible into the limited space.

Below my sewing desk, in the drawers to the left I keep stationery, art supplies and other small bits.  In the little wooden chests (snapped up in the local charity shop) are some of my ribbons and felt balls.

Underneath my cutting table and to the right of the door, I have a couple of Alex Chest of drawers.  In my Little Kitten Homemade days, these stored all my buntings, plus all my uncut triangles.  The busier things got, fabric used to be cut in to triangles as soon as it arrived.  As you can see I still have a fair view of these left, again, I have plans for a triangular based quilt design.

They also store my embroidery threads........

....Fat Quarters and my beloved Liberty of London stash.

Above the cutting table, I have two shelves.  These are where I keep my supplies of washi and decorative tape, my rotary cutters (out of harms way), rubber stamps and much loved keepsakes.  Bob (the robin) bought originally as Christmas decoration from Kirsty Elson Designs, he makes me smile everytime I look at him (the bunting was my little addition)  The two little mice were made by me 30 plus years ago....

Introducing Mr Mouse ( a tad dusty!) complete with briefcase, handkerchief, belt and tie

and little Miss Mouse..... I quite fancy making some more when I have a moment!

Moving round again, behind the door, I squeezed in more Expedit units filled to brimming and on top of these there are boxes containing more ribbons, beads, sequins, zips, velcro etc

Now that I sew more for pleasure, I definitely want to pretty up the space.  My chair and the two pine chests are crying out for a lick of paint and some pretty upholstery.  The wooden boxes could also do with a makeover. I would like to make a sewing machine cover and mat for my machine to sit on.  Hopefully this will dampen the sound in the kitchen below, when I'm sewing at full speed.  An ironing board cover would also be good, although I'm a huge fab of ironing on a bath towel, particularly embroidered pieces and I have plans for a patchwork design wall.  

Oh and just so you know, these were the after photo's.....this is what it looked liked on Wednesday before I spent several hours tidying it up!

I hope that you enjoyed looking around!


12 January 2014


We woke up both mornings this weekend to the prettiest of frosts on the back field, it looked as if the fairies had been and sprinkled fairy dust.  One of things I love most about writing this blog is keeping a photographic record of the view from my sewing room window, it's a visual reminder of the changing seasons.

Back inside in the warm, in between sleepover and Birthday party pick ups and drops offs, we spent lots of time in our PJ's chilling, drawing, watching Barbie films (mostly Poppy and I) and of course stitching hexie's...........

...just how bent is my needle!!!!  I have had so much fun stitching these.  I had originally thought I was going to make a pillow/cushion cover, after much though though I've decided it's going to be a mini quilt that I intend on hanging next to my bed.  I get so much pleasure from these gorgeous fabrics and to lay in bed and look them will bring me much pleasure.  Fabric and sewing does indeed bring me so much joy!!

On a weekend, I do try to do some cooking or baking with Jamie and Poppy.  Having ventured in to the kitchen cupboard, I discovered a glut of chocolate, dark, milk and white, so we threw it altogether and made rice crispy cakes.  When I was little, my mum made them using cocoa powder and I remember them being delicious, although it has to be said, using actual chocolate as we do now, does makes them scrumptious!! 

Generally, we loosely follow this recipe,  we never measure out the syrup, it's more of a glug than a tablespoon, and it depends on what cereal we have in the cupboard as to whether they're rice crispy or cornflake cakes.  We also sometimes add dried fruit, sultana's, cranberries etc ...

what ever the ingredients though I can assure you there is never a shortage of willing volunteers to lick the bowl!

I had to giggle whilst reading Gillian's blog post over the weekend, she talked about having a huge collection of cupcake cases and not being able to resist buying them.....it would seem she is not alone......

Tonight we're having cheats Roast Pork for supper.  When I roast a joint of Pork (slow cooked Lamb and Chicken work well too)  I freeze down sliced portions of meat in tasty gravy, believe me it works a treat and with a gentle warming through and fresh veg, you can sit down to a delicious roast dinner in no time at all.

I hope that you've had a lovely weekend.

7 January 2014

Scrap Busting

For the last few days, in between packing orders, I've been stitching hexie's using scraps of my favourite Japanese fabrics.  Well I say in between orders, to be honest, Mum (Penny) has definitely been doing the lions share as I hurt my back picking up Poppy the back end of the last week (no pun intended)!

I have lots (and I mean lots) of scraps leftover from my bunting days.  Most are sorted by size and by designer/collections.  This is my most precious bag, it has fabrics in the main by Lecien and Atsuko Matsuyama.  I also have quite a lot of uncut pieces, fat quarters and larger........these I am saving to make a quilt just for me....I'm thinking a sampler quilt, maybe one of these if I can get organised.

I'm storing them in this gorgeous tin given to me in the summer by my MIL, lovely isn't it.  

They are 1" Hexagons and for speed I'm using pre-cut papers, which are totally fab and can of course be reused.

I've stitched quite a few now and it's amazing just how much fun you can have arranging them.... yes I know..I think I need to get out more....

As to what I am going to make with them...well I haven't quite decided....so maybe I'll just carry on arranging them........

Before I go...have you made any resolutions??.....I've not made any as I never manage to stick them, however I have good intentions (does that count?):

First off, I would like to eat a little healthier (less chocolate and crisps) and lose a few pounds, my brother gets married in the summer so there is an incentive.

Next, I would like to do some more dress making, I really enjoyed what I did in 2013 and make lots of twirly dresses for Poppy and maybe the odd one or two for me, you're never too old to twirl!

On a practical note, I have lots of WIP's that need finishing and a stash of fabric that needs using..

and finally, I want to spend time with those that mean the world to me making lots and lots of happy memories, this one I will make happen!

6 January 2014

A Belated Goodbye 2013....Hello 2014

2013 was a happy year...lots of changes made for the better, thank you for being part of it!

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