Wednesday, 15 December 2010

An Unintended Break

You may have noticed I've had a blogging break, It was unintentional but nice. I had been having so many problems with blogger that I just gave up. But the break had to be broken. When I got home yesterday as usual the postman had left a delivery, but not the usual kind.

Amongst the expected bills, flyers and xmas cards there was a xmas card from Gina. But it was more than just a xmas card there was a little package and inside the little package was this.

Doesn't it look beautiful, infact so beautiful I didn't open it until this morning. Look what was inside. These are postcards of Gina's lace work, which I'm eager to see in real life.

After opening the parcel which I did very very carefully I managed to get it wrapped up again so it is going into an envelope to be kept nice and clean for posterity.

How are your xmas preparations going, am I the only one who is miles behind?

Friday, 26 November 2010

A New Arrival

These are the baby quilts I have made so far. They are so small but very cute.

On Wednesday a very nice delivery man brought me a parcel and I was just a little excited.

I was surprised as well because I only ordered it on Monday afternoon. It's a wonderful machine I love using it. The best thing I've discovered so far is the bobbin countdown, I think every machine should have one of those. It's great to have all that throat space for quilting.

I bet you can guess what Ill be doing this weekend.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A Rant

Life is busy and I've been wondering if there is something I should be giving up just to take the pressure off a little but I couldn't decide on anything I would like to give up. Today however I am seeing things in a different light and I've realised there is one thing that right now I would give up very easily and it's blogging. I had a hard time yesterday trying to post and in the end I was in such a rush to post before blogger went berserk again and ate my photos or did something else weird I forgot to thank you all for your kind wishes about the shop so THANK YOU.

Today I had just one picture to load onto blogger and guess what it's turned the picture round. I didn't ask it to, I didn't tell it to, but it has.

These are baby quilts that I will be finishing today. They are for the special care baby unit at the Rosie in Cambridge. Apparently they need 50 a month so we have been encouraging people to use their left over fabrics to make some.

While the going is good I'm going to catch up on some other blogs.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I Don't Like Gremlins

Congratulations to Sam H, she was the winner of the giveaway and this is what she won. Unfortunately it's a dreadful picture but the only one i've got.

This is the little quilt that I was piecing together last week. I'm very pleased with it, particularly the quilting. It's also very pretty and the photo doesn't do it justice.

Don't know if it's me or blogger but I've had real problems trying to do this post this morning - I hope it's not a sign of how the day is going to go. The stupid programme ate my pictures and kept randomly putting in links. I nearly gave up and wasn't going to post at all.

I'm going to start quilting the pheasant quilt today so my fingers are crossed for no more gremlins.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A Special Day

Today is Art and Stitch birthday. We are two years old and they have been a wonderful two years. We have met so many lovely people, babies have been born, illness has been suffered, marriages have taken place, houses bought and sold and so much more. We have become a little community in our own right.

We have also seen some fantastic work, it has been lovely to see all the things that customers have and are working on.

All the teachers have been great with many of them returning time and time again.

As a treat Neil commissioned a birthday cake, I'm not sure how he managed to do this without me knowing. The cake was a real treat because Oliver (who owns and runs Kings Cliffe Bakery along with his wife Karen) doesn't make many birthday cakes. Tea and cake was enjoyed by everybody, the cake was as good as it looks .

If you are ever in the vicinity of Kings Cliffe then you really must make a visit to the bakery.

Their sausage rolls are the best ever and the pumpkin bread is lovely.

Thank you to everyone who has walked through our door over the last two years.

As it's a birthday I'm going to have a giveaway, with a twist. It's going to be a secret giveaway. If you would like to enter just leave a message before Monday evening. Good luck.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

A Pretty Quilt

These pictures are my goldwork samples. I didn't use gold coloured thread because I don't really like the colour which may be part of the reason I don't like the technique.

This was couching threads.

This next sample I enjoyed more and could immediately see lots of uses for it. It's padded - the correct name is raised work.

You can't really tell from the photo but it would be great for flowers or faces and lots more.

This is what I've been working on this week. It's the quilt made from the pieces cut on the Go Cutter.It has gone together so easily that I'm very tempted to make another one but slightly different. I thought it would be nice to make a block that included the star and the first border of squares, make six blocks like that put them together and you would have a nice size quilt. Now I just need some more time.

I have started the quilting, I'm trying to do something a little bit different and I'm enjoying it. Hopefully I'll get it finished next week. I'm not going to get much done this weekend.

Enjoy your weekend, today especially as the weather is being kind to us.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Time Please!

Where does all the time go? I can't believe it's over a week since I last posted, I really could do with an extra day in my week. Home life has been busy and the shop has been hectic - but that's good! We have seen lots of lovely people, old friends and new. Some have been kind enough to bring in WIPs and finished projects. It's so nice to see what other people are doing and discuss ideas.

Last Wednesday was the second meeting of the stitching group I belong to and at last we have a name - 'Tension'. We had some homework which I have done but forgotten to photograph so I can't show you just now. We are still working on Goldwork, not my favourite subject but Gina is teaching us some useful techniques.

I did manage to get the attic window quilt top put together. I wasn't very happy with it but now I have seen it on here it looks much better than I thought it did. I obviously just needed to take a step back and look at it.

Yesterday this arrived at the shop. I have to say I was doubtful about this gadget but I've been having fun. I am about halfway through putting together a quilt top, all the pieces were cut on the cutter. I got the rep to cut them last week as a demo and I have noticed how much more accurately they have been cut. The pieces have gone together so easily and I haven't used anywhere near as many pins as I usually do trying to make the seams meet accurately. I have had to eat my words and admit I am impressed.

It also makes cutting so much quicker. Last night I spent an hour cutting 2 1/2" squares - it was so quick. I don't know how many I cut because there was too many to count . There are lots of different quilt blocks I would like to make but wouldn't have attempted to in the past just because of cutting, now I will.

Please please can I have some more time?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Back In The Swing Of Things

It's been a long time since I last posted, time goes by so quickly these days.

Our holiday was a disaster, we arrived on the Saturday afternoon and left on the Monday morning. We are now in dialogue with Hoseasons (I think that's the polite way to put it) I don't hold out much hope but I could be proved wrong.

We have been very busy in the shop and I haven't had time to get much sewing done. I have finished my ATC's and cut some fabric to make another quilt.

These three fabrics are going to be Attic Windows. I really didn't want to start something else but this has got to be done because it is a christmas present and it's only 64 days to christmas!

Here are my ATCs - I'm so pleased they are finished. I enjoyed making them it was fun to work without any rules or instructions. It was a real free for all and I used things I've never used before in stitching and I would do it again.

Friday, 1 October 2010

2nd Post

I won't make a habit of this but I just had to show you my first ever A T C. It's soo cute. I'm really pleased with it. This one is going to a special person so I've got more to make because teacher needs to see at least one.

I forgot to say earlier but I'm off on holiday tomorrow. Neil and I are taking a week off work and we are going to the Norfolk Broads. We are staying on a houseboat.

Nearly There

Thanks to Barbara and Pam my quilt is now layered and basted just waiting to be quilted. I'm looking forward to doing the quilting. I have decided to do diagonal lines because it means that the little square in the middle of the blocks will become four little triangles and I think they will look very cute.

It doesn't show up very but using the rust dyed and painted fabrics I made another fabric ready to make the Artists Trading Cards.

The brown paper is from the bag the stamps came in, I have also used an old road atlas. The two small plain beige squares you can see are tea bags. I used some of my grandmothers cotton lace so they will be very special A T C s. There is even a label from a Layer Cake kindly donated by Pam.

Today I'm hoping to make at least one A T C.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Taking Things Further

Remember the rust dyed fabrics? I got them out last night and decided they looked a bit plain and I needed to add some colour to them.

A little while ago I bought some lovely wooden stamps that I hadn't yet used so I got them out along with the fabric paint and this is what happened.

I'm not exactly pleased with the results but I haven't finished so I'm trying not to be too critical of the mess I have made. I am hoping to get some stitching done on the fabrics today. Our homework for the new group is to make an Artist Trading Card and I'm going to use this fabric for it.

This is my favourite stamp so I thought I would share a close up of it with you. So pretty.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Surprises In The Post

Last week I received a little parcel from Gina . It was a welcome surprise in a very hectic week. Sometimes something small can make a big difference and this was one of those occasions. It may be only a coaster but we have been so busy that when it arrived it made both Pam and I stop what we were doing (obviously not important) and share a few jokes - mainly about my cooking!

I have never understood why people spend thousands and thousands on a room where you go to make a mess somebody eats it and then leaves a mess to clear up, it's a bit like going back to playschool!

Then Saturday evening Neil gave me a little parcel containing two of Gina's brooches. The labels are as nice as the brooches.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Thomas Is Finished

I managed to get the Thomas bag finished. Neil put the grommets in for me. I'm very pleased with it.

And in keeping with tradition here is Barbara modelling the latest model.

Barbara really is a good sport.

I hope Neil's nephew likes it. He had no idea what sort of a bag I was going to make or the fabric I used.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Very Important

The very important news is that tomorrow we are taking part in the Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning. So if you are in Peterborough tomorrow morning pop into the shop and have a cuppa and a slice of cake with us. We are also having a raffle with lots of lovely prizes including fabric.

I did manage to make a start on the Thomas bag hopefully I will get a bit further with it today.

As yesterday evening was so lovely Neil and I went for a drive and ended up at the pub (don't know how that happened) we had a lovely meal. I also made a small purchase, just a few more vintage buttons. Well you can never have enough can you?

Don't forget to pop in and see us tomorrow.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Plans For Today

I didn't get any work done in my sketchbook at the weekend. We have been very busy in the shop and family life has been also been busy. The days just aren't long enough.

Some time ago I was asked to make a bag for Neil's great-nephew and so far I haven't got around to it. I'm hoping that's going to change today.

I'm planning to use these lovely Thomas fabrics. The photo doesn't do the fabrics justice; the red is such a lovely red it looks like velvet.

On Saturday we have a workshop making a Victorian Sewing Box. I think it would make a great gift box if you didn't do the middle bits and you stitched the sides up.

It is very pretty and we do have a couple of spaces left if you fancy making one.

Friday, 17 September 2010

More Progress

Well I managed to get the rows sewn together and the borders on and I think it's looking very nice. All I have to do now is layer it up and decide how to quilt it. Originally I was going to quilt in straight lines then I thought about wavy lines and now I'm thinking flowers would be nice,time consuming though.

Here are a few shots of the blocks.

Such pretty colours and patterns.

I'm hoping to do some more work in my sketchbook this weekend.

The weather is promising to be nice for tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Yesterday's Progress

Yesterday I managed to get all the blocks pieced and the blocks joined together in rows. Today's aim is to join all the rows and if I'm really lucky get the borders on.

I only managed to get this far because Barbara helped me for which I am very grateful. She passed me the blocks as I was sewing them into rows and she kept them all in order.

I'm of now to join the rows, here's hoping for a productive day.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Final

I have re-dyed the calico and printed cotton fabrics with the rusty bits and some copper. I'm very pleased with results.

I have got some very definitive marks.

And I've also got some lovely turqouise ones. Having three plumbers in the family means I'll never be short of copper and I'm definitely going to do this again.

Now I have these lovely dyed pieces of fabric I'm not sure what we are going to be doing with them. I vaguely remember Gina saying something about ATCs.

A couple of weeks ago Pam and I signed up for a 'quilt-along' with Fat Quarterly (see link on the right). Neither of us know why we signed up for it as we have both got so many things on the go already. I think it just sounded like fun. We should both know better really.

I'm using a jelly roll called Verna. I managed to get the cutting done last week as you can see. Monday we received the piecing instructions and yesterday I started to put them together.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Halftime Results

Don't panic there's no football results here just the halfway results of my rust dyeing.

From left to right, Calico, nasty cheap Polyester (which I didn't think would work), Silk Dupion.

Printed cotton fabric, Silk Scrim and Evenweave fabric.

Last but not least some Tapestry wool just because I had it.

Now you ask why halfway, well I'm re-dying the calico and printed cotton pieces. I re soaked them last night and I've wrapped Malcolm's rusty bits up in them and held them in place with elastic bands. I'm hoping to get some definitive marks. I've also wrapped in some copper piping , hoping that I'll get the nice green colour.
I will confess that I couldn't wait and I had a sneak peek this morning and there was some green colour on the fabric. So I quickly wrapped it up again and I'm going to leave until Thursday evening.