Saturday, 24 December 2011

Secret (ish) Santa

This year the ladies in the Brit Bee decided to do a Secret Santa. If you're not familiar with the term it means buying (or in this case making) an anonymous gift for your allotted secret partner.  You then receive a gift in the post and have lots of fun a) marvelling at other people's talent, and b) trying to guess who sent you it.

It's all the more fun because although most of the Brit Bees have never met, we certainly know each others taste and style. 

So what did I get....?

Oh my, the most fabulous little package arrived last week, and I'm afraid to say I opened it straight away...and tucked inside was the most marvellous of goodies!

Firstly, this fabulous fabulous embroidery hoop, made all the more wonderfully relevant because rabbits are James' favourite animal, and we both ski (me rather more slowly!)

Look, how fab is this?!  Based on a vintage embroidery pattern, I just think it's super lovely, and I'm afraid that despite sneaking outside to take these photos, I did not do it justice.
And if that weren't enough, in the package I also found this gorgeous little house decoration (I've been meaning to try one of these for a while, and then I get my very own!)

Plus, some yummy fabric scraps, both vintage and new (because my partner clearly knows I'm a scrap lover)

and some chocolates which I'm afraid I can't show you because James and I wolfed them when the kids were in bed :)

I'm overwhelmed with the generosity and all-round cleverness of my partner....whose identity I should now make a guess at...

Well the little houses I've seen before somewhere.... and the embroidery hoop has a vintage style I recognise too..

is it...

Could it be....

actually, I'm not going to say just yet, I don't want to spoil the guessing game for the others!

But Santa, huge thanks, I'm SO SO chuffed with my goodies

Merry Chrimble everyone ! x

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


I admit it... I totally over-committed myself this Christmas.  What with a few commissions, plus a whole heap of Christmas gifts I decided I was going to make, I find myself in full on panic mode with a ginormous list of sewing left to do, no Christmas cards sent and no present wrapping done!

And this kind of panic leads to sewing disasters....

but first the good stuff :)

One doorstop completed for a commission due on Christmas Eve.  A remake of the hungry caterpillar to match is on it's way too.

Another commission, two kids book bags (for twin girls) and a large cushion cover.  The cushion was fun because I was handed the old one (on the left) and asked to replace it "in the same colour scheme but a bit more interesting"....I really hope this will fit the bill!

And a large washbag destined as a Christmas pressie for someone who I think doesn't read my blog!

There's more, but I can't show it just yet.

Did I mention a sewing disaster?  Sigh. 
It all started pretty well. The request is for four dining room chair cushions destined for brother number 2 and his girlfriend (also hopefully not blog readers).  I've never made these before so I'm in "make it up as you go along" mode.  I started by purchasing four cheap cushions and unpicking the covers on them (Tip: this worked out at half the price of having foam cut to order!)

Using the old covers as templates, I cut my fabric for the first one, added a zip (ha ha, so easy to type, but not so easy in real life) and stitched the top and bottom together, with piping and cotton tape for the ties.

It's a bit messy at the zip ends, but it's passable.

Encouraged by this, and with the learnings of zip number 1 under my belt, I embark on cover number 2.  It goes like a dream, the zip, the piping, the corners...I even finish the insides with a zigzag stitch.

Number 2 is on the left...can anyone spot why I am officially a Doofus?

Yes, the fabric is upside down. I think I want to cry :(

James says it won't be noticeable when people are sitting on them....had to smile at giving up for this evening and am going blog surfing...goodnight all!



Monday, 19 December 2011

Wowzers! a winner!

First off, can I just say "WOWZERS!!!!" Huge thanks for all the lovely comments I've had regarding the giveway.  and if you are a new follower, thanks too for adding me to your probably long reading list.  I'm just sorry I didn't get a chance to answer everyone personally.

The sewing machine has been running really hot this week but unfortunately I can't share much as most of it is destined for under the tree.  Instead, I'll announce the winner for this weeks giveaway.  My bloggy friend Helen (aka Archie the Wonderdog) used her dog Archie to choose her winner, so I followed in her entertaining footsteps and used my blog muse, Felix, to do the honours. We devised a convoluted random number selection plan, involving these jigsaw pieces and this classy bag.

Since I had 275 entries, I needed three for step 1, I put the numbers 0,1 and 2 in a bag and asked Felix to pick...

It was tricky, but she got the hang of it in the end and picked 0.  I on the other hand was too busy laughing to get a picture to prove it!

We repeated the process for the second digit (this time with the numbers 0-9) and Felix picked 8, before emptying the other numbers everywhere.

(sorry about the blur, as you can imagine this was a rather frantic exercise!)
And finally for the third digit we gave up on the bag and let her pick from the face down pieces, and she picked 5 (please I actually managed to snap this moment!)

So, without further ado...the winning entry is 085

So Jessica from a Quilty Habit!!!! - You win a made to order zippy make-up bag, plus the Melody Miller, Lotta and IKEA fabrics...Congratulations! I have emailed you...

Back tomorrow with some of the christmas makes that I can show you :)


Monday, 12 December 2011

1 year / 18 month giveaway!

Cor blimey, how did that happen?   My little blog that I started after Felix was born, was actually one year old on the 8th of December!! Now, I can't even boast 100 posts cos this post is my 95th according to my Google dashboard, but still, I'm pretty proud that I made it this far...and since today is actually Felix's 18 month birthday, I thought I'd do what is customary and have a little giveaway.

The prize?  Hmmm..I've been thinking about this and because some of you like homemade and some of you like fabric (don't we all!) so I've decided to give away a two-pronged prize!

Part A) one of my make-up bags - like one of these..

I'll make this part of the prize to order so you can have some choice about what you get!

And part B - fabric!
- A generous fat quarter of  Melody Miller's Ladies, from the Ruby Star Rising Line

Two fat quarters of Lotta Jansdotter's line, cos I just ordered it from M is for Make and it's yummy!

Plus a half yard of this funky IKEA flower power fabric which is great for bags.

So, no hoops to enter, just leave a comment, and I'll pick the winner by some kind of random method after the 16th December. International entries welcome and followers get an extra entry if they like, just to say thanks for reading my waffle, but please don't feel obliged!

Oh, and as the timing is perfect, I'm also linking up with SewMamasew's giveaway day, so a big hello and welcome, if you're visiting from there!

Thanks for sticking with me/ visiting my blog!


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Extreme sewing!

And before you say it, no, I am not sitting naked at my sewing machine (!), it's not that sort of extreme. Nor am I sewing at high's more about the amount of sewing that's been going on round here.
This is evidenced by the following facts:
  • I'm on my third 500m of white thread this week
  • I haven't written a blog post for over a week
  • There is a serious washing backlog
  • My blog reader stands at 786 unread items (I'm so sorry everyone, I will try and catch up!)
  • I've broken two needles
  • I've done another two craft fairs and updated stock in both shops
  • I've learnt some new skills including piping, and inserting zips into cushions
  • Felix has spent time with her Dad, Granny and Grandad, and Nana and Gramps and our childminder (I know you've had fun little lady, but sorry to pass you around :(   )
  • My Mum arrived on Saturday and ordered 5 items for Christmas presents, some of which are to be taken with her when she leaves today (I'm not moaning at this, since she is a big fan of my work, she pays well, AND she and Dad are brilliant with Felix!)
and finally, the most compelling evidence of extreme sewing...

I broke a bobbin!  This has never happened to me before and was a bit of a shock when I was hit by a flying piece of plastic and then thread cascaded all over the harm done, except that I'm down to three bobbins, which is just not enough! (Christmas present hint, Mum!)

So sorry I've been AWOL and not reading everyone's blogs, I will remedy that this week...but in the meantime, here's some pictures of some of the latest makes:

Zippy overload:

Make-up bags:

Cushions made from single fabrics (trying a different tactic at the craft fairs), but snazzed up with piping and a covered zip on the back

Bucket bag with leather straps:

and finally, a little travel tissue holder for Mum's friend (and fabric benefactor) Mavis!

Whilst the craft fairs have been fun, I am looking forward to a little respite and some "me" sewing in the new year!