Friday, 30 December 2011

New Year round up

I've been whinging so much lately about my lack of productivity, so I thought I would do a wrap up of what I did achieve this year sewing wise.

I surprised myself going back over things and there are quilts I forgot.

I managed to do a dresden plate and feel I got a good handle on curved seams with the mini drunkards path. My FMQ came along in leaps and bounds and I am much more confident with it.

My biggest delight was quilting smaller blocks and learning how to join them into a bigger quilt. It makes the whole quilting progress so much easier.

I still have a load of unfinished tops but not quite as many as this time last year. I'll do another post of my outstanding craft projects.

As for New Years Eve, I am going to spend it tucked up indoors with my Mum and champers and a nice roast dinner (yes I can cook if I have to). There is a family party that we've been to a few times just behind the London Eye which gives a great view of the fireworks but it means driving and then the roads out again are closed until after 3am. As Mum is now 76 she feels getting home around 4am is too much and I'm happy as I don't have to stay up late and sober!

Enjoy whatever revels you have planned, see you next year with news of my giveaway.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Falling apart...

Seriously, something is wrong with me the last few weeks. I know I turned 42 last month but I didn't expect old age to hit my body quite so soon.

The week before Christmas I pulled a calf muscle just strolling along to the station which was agony. The same day I ended up with food poisoning and all that entails follow a day later by a monthly migraine!

All cleared up for Christmas day which was as grim as I expected but over for another year and then two days ago I woke up with a crick in my neck that had got so bad I can't move my head, not left or right, not up nor down! Try sleeping with that, it isn't fun I tell you. I ended up propped up sitting in a nest of pillows and cushions to get some rest last night!

Its all a bit ridiculous...

As for next Christmas, I'm determined to do something different and stuff what family may say. I want to take my Mum to a nice hotel for the few days so at least we can relax and get spoiled. I imagine it to me like something out of Miss Marple full of the grey rinse brigade with bingo and tiffin.

Has anyone done this? We are thinking somewhere like Eastbourne so we get the sea air. Any recommendations gratefully received!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Still mojo-less

I haven't got my quilting mojo back yet for some reason. Its been weeks and the only thing I've done on the sewing machine is two string blocks, then I ran out of steam again.

I have been doing some needlepoint though, I've discovered I don't need to feel so creative for that as I can just sit on my backside in front of the telly and stitch. I've been working on this kit and just have the borders to do so at least I can feel I've achieved something!

As well as the missing sewingin mojo, I'm also missing the Christmas spirit this year! Bah humbug. But, I'm off soon to meet a mate for lunch and see the new Sherlock Holmes film so a good gossip and mindless action will keep me occupied today!

I've also realised as a blogger not only am up coming up to my two year anniversary but I'm also getting close to 200 posts! So, in the new year I will be doing a giveaway, my first one! I'm not quite sure what it will be for yet, but have an idea.

And as for all the sew mama sew giveaways I looked at last week, did I win big? No, not a flaming one! Serves me right for being greedy. Ha ha.

Monday, 12 December 2011


Oh my Giddy Aunt! Have you seen how many giveaways are over at already.

I was all set to get back on the sewing horse today after a few stalled weeks and then I saw what was going on. I forsee a lot of wasted hours this week browsing through all the amazing bloggers giving stuff away.

People are so generous, I feel like such a greedy guts entering loads of them when I'm not giving away anything, but will it stop me? Hell no....

Friday, 9 December 2011

Favourites thing friday

Its Friday's linky party again and for more fav head over to our hostess Mrs P at

My fav this week is live theatre. I've been going fairly regularly since my Mum took me for my 16th Birthday to see Me and My Girl with Emma Thompson and Robert Lindsay. He was a much bigger star than her in those days (can we still remember Power to the People?)

I like pretty much all genres, Shakespeare, musicals, comedies, tragedies, old and modern. Good theatre, can make you happy, sad, laugh til your belly hurts and weep buckets, sometimes all in one play. The best actors can somehow create an electric charge in the place that is mesmerising and you can feel down your spine.

Over the last few years my visits are a lot more erratic. Because I am a freelance contractor, I can't plan very far in advance when I'm not working as I might get a contract too far away and waste the tickets but then also when I am working, I'm nearly always too far away.

I haven't worked now since August and probably won't until the Spring when I know there is a job for me so I finally got myself a bit organised and booked some tickets.

Over the last few weeks I've seen:

Two Irish plays, "The playboy of the western world" and "Juno and the Paycock". Despite my Irish heritage, somehow these were the first Irish plays I've seen. Each of them had one of the Cusack sisters starring in them which was a bit spooky. They are both from the 1920 era but the language wasn't any different to what you would hear in Irish country pubs today. I enjoyed them both, but Playboy was less serious and more fun.

A farce, One Man Two Govnors. This stars James Corden and he was very very good. I laughed a lot but there was a lot of slapstick in it which isn't for me. I was very much in the minority, but I don't find it funny when an character who is supposed to be 87 gets slapped around and pushed down the stairs and doors slammed in their face. I know there is a great deal of skill to it but I could have done without those parts.

A contemporary play, Jerusalem. This stars Mark Rylance. Now you may not know who he is as he doesn't do much film work, but he was the first artist director of The Globe when it opened and was there until a few years ago. The pundits have him down as the best actor of the age; I agree. I saw him at the Globe doing Richard II and it was amazing. Not long after I saw Kevin Spacey also played Richard II at The Old Vic and was nothing in comparison.

In Jerusalem he plays a monstrous, alcoholic drug dealer. A character than doesn't appear to have any redeeming features, yet by the end I felt sorry for him, but only because of the performance. Its a difficult play with a lot of swearing and long, but one that will stay in my memory for a long time.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Retreat time

I don't know if you have notice yet, but the Fat Quarterly crowd are having a retreat in London next May.

Woo hoo, nice and easy for me, I've already booked my tickets. And an added temptation for those of you who don't know this fair city, the venue is just down the road from the fantastic fabulous Victoria and Albert Museum which I maintain is the best in the world.

For more info check out the Fat Quarterly website at

See you there...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Finally some sewing mojo back

I haven't had much, but I did make this bag for my niece this weekend. She surprised me no end by saying she like Cath Kidson stuff. She is a teenage girl who is usually on the grungy end of fashion so I was really taken aback by it.

I found a fat quarter set in John Lewis so just went for it. It turned out around 12 x 16 inches which I think is a good size. I cut old jeans into 2.5 inch squares to make the main body and then straight stiched to help reinforce the seams as denim frays very easily.

I put some velcro in the outer pockets and made some inner pockets for the first time. It all turned out better than I expected. It probably isn't big or robust enough for school as they had to carry so much around all the time, but should be good enough for taking her ipad around. Assuming she like it, by Christmas she may have gone of the Cath Kidson anyway!

Sorry for the rubbish pics, but its been so dark today nothing I could do improved them...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Still a bit blah!

I haven't really got my quilting mojo back yet.

What with family crap and having a birthday this week I've not been in a very creative mood. Birthdays are not good times for me as they bring up a lot of bad stuff so I sort of dread them as I don't seem able to ever truly shake myself out of it. As long as I make it past the day without feeling like I've had a total meltdown then it is a success.

I did get taken out by my Mum for a lovely lunch on the day, so it wasn't all bad!

I have started thinking about quilt designs in bed again, so I think my mojo is coming back.

I finished off two more cushions, both of these were made to use up spare thread. I really love bargello in stitching and it was one of the first designs I tackled when I started quilting as well. I didn't get great coverage of the canvas in the first one but I've always loved the second. I love how it makes your eyes go funny when you look at it too long!

I also framed an old cross stitch. This is the only one I've ever done on black canvas and it wasn't easy. On top of that there is a lot of metallic thread in there which is hard to use. But, I do love dragons, I always have so I'm glad he has finally got finished. I just need to decide where to hang him now, he is sitting in the fireplace at the moment while I decide. I couldn't get a pic without showing the flash reflected in the glass, but at least you can see what a cute face he has!