Thursday, 31 May 2012

And so... Pencilmania begins

Remember this from the other day...

I love this pencil quilt - cant wait for the pattern which is going to be in an American quilting mag in May
Photo by Suppose Quilt blog

I have been itching to get started on my Pencilmania mini quilt ever since I saw it.

The Quilt Sampler magazine arrived a few weeks ago but I was halted in my tracks after I read the instructions and realised that all those gorgeous pencil leads are actually ickle paper pieced blocks *runs away and hides*

But tonight I plucked up courage to actually sit and read how to do it.  

Hey presto...

My first ever attempt at anything paper pieced.  

Can I get a *whoop whoop*? 

It wasn't anywhere near as scary as I imagined it would be.  I can't wait to get the iron to it {now that is a sentence I never thought I would type!!!}  I have a strange relationship with my iron.  I detest ironing clothes ever since I was a teenager and a friend of my mum hired me to iron her son's professional golfing attire.

Hope y'all have had a great day.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Such kindness

It seems that I am the luckiest Dandelion Daydreamer ever.

Not one but two pressies have arrived here this week!

I feel so completely blessed.

Yesterday my lovely work colleague gave me this darling little cross stitch that she had sewn.  Its far more gorgeous in real life than the pictures show.

It was made using a little DMC kit that I bought a while ago hoping to stitch it up in a few days, but it turns out that I don't have the right temperament for dainty cross stitch!  who'd have thunk it - an obsessive stitcher like me!  I might have told you before, but I really like to Just Wing It most of the time!

She has made a perfect job of it and in record time too.  What a star!

And then today the postman delivered me this special package.

The lovely Moira from Kettleboiler blog  made it for me out of the kindness of her heart.  Its so perfect - my name tag for the Retreat with three very special Dandelions on it.  Thank you so much Moira.

There was even a beautifully hand made card that brought a tear to my eye.

And just look at those extra pieces of Dandelion fabric she sent me too!!!!!!!! #goodvibesgalore

And here it is firmly attached to my Retreat bag.

I will definitely be paying this kindness forward very soon.
Watch this space.
Cheerio for today

Monday, 28 May 2012

Quilted Zippered Pouch

Yesterday I made this quilted zippered pouch ready for all my supplies that I need to take to the Retreat at the weekend.

As I'm only going for the day on Saturday and all of my classes involve hand sewing, I'm not taking my sewing machine.  Hopefully most of my basic supplies will fit in this pouch.

I really struggled with the bit of fabric at either end of the zipper because I the quilted block was the wrong size for my zip.  The zip was about two/three inches too short  I totally messed it up but its passable and completely usable, so I will try ask someone at the Retreat what I should have done... or maybe you know and will leave me a comment telling me how/when I should have sewn that bit.

I cut up my fabrics for the classes I'm doing.  I still need to get some more colours of the embroidery floss for Aneela Hoey's class but I am super happy with how everything else went.

The little pieces of fabric are for the English Paper Piecing class with Tacha Bruecher.  I decided to try the Snowball design.

And my little girlie Dandelion had left this sweet daisy chain on my sewing machine just to make me smile.

Linking up with Manic Mondays over on Sew Happy Geek

Sew Happy Geek

Cheerio for today

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sample Swaps

The weather is so beautiful here now.  After our prolonged rainy period, its blissful to be able to wander out of the house without coats.

This morning we couldn't resist dipping our toes in the sea.

I managed to get my Sample Swaps finished last night.  I made five little fabric houses from this great tutorial on Retro Mama blog.

They are cute as ornaments but they could double up as pin cushions.  I hope that they are okay.  I feel really out of my depth going to the Retreat with all the experienced sewistas that will be there.

Hope you have a happy sunny day too.
Cheerio for now.

Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my first giveaway.  I am bowled over by your response.

I employed the skills of the Random Number Generator early this morning.  I had to take a picture of the result because my techie skills don't stretch so far as know how to post the result here any other way.

and I am pleased to announce that the winner is...

*drumroll please*

*red carpet and champagne at the ready*

its number...


Congratulations to:-

who left this comment:

Great line from moda. Thanks!

I have emailed you to let you know.  Please get in touch with me to let me know your postal address and/or Finished Object request.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and well done Shannon.


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Fat Quarterly London Linky Party 2012

So, today is the day when all of the attendees to the Fat Quarterly Retreat are linking up or blog hopping to get to know one another.

Fat Quarterly

Lynne over at Lily's Quilts is co-ordinating it and she started us off yesterday with this blog post.

So, this is me...

I am a thirty-something, married to my childhood sweetheart, blessed with two amazing ickle children (my Dandelions) who are 7 years and 2 years old.   By day, I am a full-on mama and a part-time probate lawyer, by night (or should I say early evening, but it doesn't sound half as mysterious) a fabric obsessed quilt dreamer.

We just got back from a gorgeous stroll by the sea, and here is a pic of me (doing my best pose! cringe!!) from today.  This is one of my favourite places on earth - Pett Level, East Sussex.  But shhhhh it's a local's secret.

What better way to introduce myself to you than to tell you something utterly embarrassing about myself.  Like, see me in that picture up there ^^ Did you notice my sequin jacket?  Maybe not but my work colleagues sure as heck did.  That picture was taken at our Christmas do, where they ribbed me senseless about my choice of attire!

I have lots of embarrassing stories to tell - a whole back catalogue in fact.  Most of them involve the fact that  birds seem to feel drawn to me.  Well, not birds exactly but more their poop!!! bleurghhhhh.  I was out shopping once years ago with my hubby and my mum.  They thought I was just lagging behind and both started whinging at me to catch up.  Meantime, I was trying to gesticulate to them and make them understand that I needed help.  A bird had just made a deposit right on me... worse than that... on my face... worse still... in my mouth :goes green at the thought: Yuk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Don't fret, it was ages ago and I have washed a LOT since and brushed my teeth even more ;0p

Even when we went to Disneyworld Florida, one of their exotic birds dooped on me in one of their Animal Kingdom trails.

Sewing skills

I only started sewing a couple of years ago after my little boy was born and I wanted to make him a bandana bib.  Since then, I just haven't been able to stop sewing.  Finally I have a creative outlet and now I love to make fantastical, colourful stitched items of every shape and size, but mostly quilts.  It was the lovely Kelly from Jeliquilts who got my interested in making quilted items.

Here is a collage of a few of those makes.

At the moment, I am quietly obsessing about Tula Pink fabric.  One of the first layer cakes I ever bought was her Neptune line from Moda.  After seeing this amazing picture (the top left one in this collage) on Skip to My Lou of her stand at the Quilt Festival.

Picture by Skip to my Lou

I'm not so keen on the gothic pirate ladies but the rest of her fabric is just a dream.  If anyone knows how I can get my hands on some in the UK, please let me know.

What's next

After the Retreat is over, I am planning to try and acquire the skills to make one of these fantastic Pencilmania Quilts from the Suppose Quilt shop/blog.

I love this pencil quilt - cant wait for the pattern which is going to be in an American quilting mag in May
Picture by Suppose

My supplies and the magazine featuring the pattern have arrived, along with a whole host of my favourite Pezzy Print fabric.  Now I just need to learn how to paper piece those pencil tips and I will be good to go!

I can't wait to meet everyone for real at the Retreat, but for today, I will be mostly hopping around the other blogs.

Before you go, let me tell you that my giveaway is still running today.  I am bowled over by the number of comments and my feet have been in a permanent :happy dance: because of all the new Followers.

Cheerio for today, but I hope you will pop back here again soon.
Happy sewing!

Friday, 25 May 2012

In a giddy spin

I was planning not to blog this week whilst the giveaway is running, but I'm just missing y'all too much.

There isn't much to show you.  Or I should say that there isn't much of my normal sewing style to show.

I have a little trouble saying "no" to people.  I really need to learn how to soon because I have been in a giddy spin, but with a huge smile on my face.

Being that sewing is a fairly newly acquired skill for me, (only a couple of years ago, sewing on a button was beyond me!) it still fills me with bubbly pleasure when people admire my makes.  I am also completely honoured to be able to use my skill to help out at my little Dandelion's school.

Today I have been sewing a whole class's bunting flags onto tape.  They have each made a flag and I am impressed with every single one of them.  The children are only 7 years old but their creativity is impressive.  They had all chose to use different fabrics; pieces which were probably once their granny's dress, a tablecloth  or I couple I suspect were once heavy curtains.  They were a bit tricky to sew onto the tape and I pulled my hair out when I ran out before all the flags were sewn! but they look fantastic now.  I'm sure they will all be very happy with the results.

I have to dash now to take them in to school but I will be back with more updates later, including (I hope) pics of my finished swap samples for the Fat Quarterly Retreat.

Cheerio for now

Sunday, 20 May 2012

My First Giveaway! Aurifil thread and a Moda Charm pack

I am so excited and I just have to tell you why...

I finally bought my ticket to the Fat Quarterly Retreat.

There are only a few days left to buy tickets.  I was feeling a bit shy but the online sewing community is such a kind, welcoming place and they k-i-c-k-e-d me up the derrière and twisted my arm until I did ;0)

I also finished my Siblings Together quilt (pics of that will be here soon, I promise).

And my little local sewing shop got in some Aurifil thread.  I am so stoked because there has been such a lot of hype about this thread in the online quilting community and I can't wait to give it a go.

And with all this good news, it must be time to celebrate!

What better way to party than to host my first giveaway!!

Here's what's up for grabs...

A gorgeous Fairy Tale Friends Charm Pack by Moda.  This is forty different 5" squares of fabric from a whole line of fabric. It makes it so easy to whip up a gorgeous patchwork object.

And also a whole reel of Aurifil 50/2 thread colour may vary.


A Finished Object - e.g. tote bag; zippered pouch; table runner etc.

I know that lots of you who read my blog haven't yet caught the sewing bug (or are just not that way inclined) and I don't want you guys to miss out.  You're important to me, and I am so glad/honoured/bewildered that you endure my sewing waffle.  So, if you win and don't sew, I am happy to make these raw materials into a fabulous finished object of your choosing.  Finished object will be completed by end of July 2012


1.  You must be a Follower of this blog; AND

2.  Leave me a comment below.

3.  For an extra entry pop over to see my new Facebook page and spread the word about this giveaway, then leave a comment telling me you did here too.

Only two entries per person please.
Please make sure that I can get in touch with you to let you know if you win by either leaving your email address in your entry or being a Reply Blogger.

Giveaway open until midnight (GMT) on Saturday 26th May 2012.
The winner will be selected at random.


P.S. I am linking this giveaway up to the fab giveaway day event over on Sew Mama Sew.  There are loads of other giveaways listed over there at the moment, so its well worth hopping over to enter them all.  Good Luck!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

I am so excited to tell you about the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I'm a total newbie to the quilt blogging scene but from what I have seen in my limited experience, it is a friendly, caring community where inspiration is aplenty at every click.

There are some totally amazing quilts being shown over at the Festival.

As it's my first time of entering, I'm going to enter my most favourite quilt of all time... of course, it has to be My Owl Quilt, including all the gory details.  I had a little play with Instagram too, so some fresher looking pics.

Pattern: Hootenany from Dare to be Square by Boo Davis

Material: Klona Grey solid; Cartwheel, Pinwheel and Pixie Stick Posies by Erin Morris; Kaffe Fassett Green Spots, Roundabout Dots Green by Oliver & S and a selection of Klona solids in greens and blues.

Wadding: Quilters Dream Orient Wadding

Making this quilt was such an adventure for me.  I only started sewing two years ago after I wanted to make my son a bandana bib and got smitten with the sewing bug.  Mostly everything I made until recently was made by following an online tutorial.  The Owl Quilt was my first adventure into following an actual pattern.

The first block was a disaster and had to be scrapped, as I missed out a bit of Mr Owl's ear!

But I love the whole process of making this quilt.  From falling in love with the design in the book, to browsing online for fabrics, following the pattern (!ye,s me, the Queen of winging it, really just said that... I enjoyed following the patterm!!), placing the fabrics using Boo Davis' scraptastic guide placement and just about all the usual quilting steps as well.


Finished Object Friday

I am so sorry that I've neglected you this week, little blog.  I hope you will forgive me.  There's a lot to tell you and I'm hoping that a Finished Object will be the perfect thing.

I managed to get the baby quilt finished, including an embroidered label.  I am so completely happy with how it turned out, which for a moderate perfectionist is no small miracle.

It feels amazing to have sold a quilt.  I'm beaming today, I can tell you.

I've had an idea.  I'm sure you've seen those darling plush memory rabbits and bears that are made out of baby clothes.  Well, I really like the idea of a way to keep those treasured memory pieces of fabric but another plush toy of any kind is just not joining this household.  We are crammed to the rafters with softies.

So, I am cooking up an idea of having a raw edge appliqué patches stitched onto some quilting cotton solid colour material.  The patches of material are because most baby/child's clothing is stretch jersey and I don't think it would work well as a patchwork without the cotton fabric as a stabiliser.  

I am picturing a gorgeous print for the backing and something fabulous for the binding.

What do you think?  Any advice or even just a little encouragement would be gratefully received.

Hoping that you've all had a great week.
Cheerio for today

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Runaround Bag fabric

Ever since I made my first bag from the fantastic Noodlehead pattern for the Runaround Bag, I have been meaning to make another.  I messed up the binding on the first one but I was so pleased with the inside pocket execution that I thought I would just use it for a few days.

That was months and months ago (like last Summer! ago).  And I am still using it.

I get so many positive comments about it and I really love the design - Noodlehead patterns ROCK!  But I still know that I messed up the binding and it bugs me.   And inspired by Kelly at Jeliquilts Mad Old Bag Project, I thought I really should get on with it.

I finally saw some fabrics that I thought would be perfect on the Backstitch site the other day.

And here they are...

Butterflies for the outside and green for the lining.

What do you think?

Hopefully, by next weekend, I will have a finished bag to show you.

Cheerio for today

Saturday, 12 May 2012

My Precious

There are several pieces of fabric in my small (but getting bigger) fabric stash that I love more than all the others.

There are a few pieces of my Just Wing It layer cake that I just keep saving.  I nearly use it ... and then at the last minute, I back out and swap it for something else.

But how silly is that!

So, I thought what better reason could there be than my first commission.

Now its cut and sewn into gorgeous pin-wheels and I just love how this baby quilt is taking form.

It was quite liberating to use up all my favourite squares.

So when it came to choosing the backing fabric, I just couldn't resist adding another of my "precious" fabrics too - some Aneela Hoey Sherbert Pips.

I used some Quilter's Dream Wadding that I had been saving for something special too.

Over on Kelby Sews there is a Quilt A-long called My Precious going on.  Inspiring lots of quilters to cut into their precious fabrics too.  Linking up.

Sorry for the pants photos today.
Even with daylight, the colours don't show up at all well.
Cheerio for today.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Busy Baking

This week has been completely hectic.

The Dandelions have been poorly, especially my little lady who had a really horrible bout of croup that saw us standing in the garden at 2am (apparently cold night air is good for blocked airways).

We had to venture out today because supplies in the house were at an all time low and I had some important baking to do too.

My little man is going to be 2! It feels like only yesterday that I was wishing and wishing for him to even be conceived, so its almost unthinkable that the terrible twos are here already.

The cake decoration is really basic but everyone had lots of fun pressing out the stars and scrunching up icing, so I guess that's what it should all be about really.

And it was good to practice for the Victoria Sponge challenge, which I am hoping to enter locally in July.

Cheerio for today

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

WIP Wednesday

Work In Progress Wednesday seems like the perfect time to update on the progress of the Siblings Together quilt.  The last time I wrote about it, I think I just had my middle blocks prepared.

I have been doing a little bit here and there.

Over the last few days, it has really come together.

It was so tricky to decide how to quilt it.  But as I'm scared of straight lines, it just had to be stippled.

I chose contrasting Gutterman thread and I am really happy with how it turned out overall.  I can definitely see an improvement in my free motion quilting.

The backing is pindots in dark blue on white.

Now, its nearly finished!

Just the binding to sew down on the back and the label to add.

Other WIPs this week
I am helping at my daughter's school to make an altar cloth with a talented group of students, so a lot of my time is being taken up with prep work for our next session.
And, rather excitingly, I have finally accepted my first proper quilt commission; a baby quilt for a lovely lady that my husband works with.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday

Grab a button:

Hope you all have a fabulously stitchy Wednesday.