Sunday, 10 June 2012


Just to prove I haven`t been a total lazy wotzit since I arrived in England, I made a block for Megan today - she`s the queen bee of We Bee Modern Too and May was her month.

In this bee, we make blocks from the book Modern Blocks - this is the Mondrian block using Megan`s colours pink, red, orange, yellow and a hint of green.  The sashing is Kona charcoal and the 5 inch block is Kona white.

Just before I left Morocco, I made 2 blocks for Kristin who was queen bee last month in the Care Circle for do.Good Stitches.  She wanted scrappy herringbone blocks for a quilt which will be donated to a women`s shelter.

I mentioned yesterday that I received lots of happy mail upon my return from a couple of days away!  I`m bowled over by the genorosity in this soft and squishy corner of blogland.  These were gifts to help me feel like I had been at the retreat. Look what I got?

This lovely cathedral window`s pin cushion from Catherine who hangs out in `Jamland` - Tiptree in Essex! I love the cool colours - they shall come in handy upm my return to the firey furnace.

this gorgeous mini needle case and +x brooch from Hadley, which are cute beyond words!

these lovely FQs from Kerry which I shall make in to something for Zaki along with other lovely Robert Kaufman FQs I received from Susan and Ceri...

and this amazing package from Ceri, which included a gorgeous bag, Oakshott and Robert Kaufman fabric, gorgeous scraps and a very exclusive tape measure bracelet (which only members of the Brit Bee have - shhhhh), Aurifil thread and other yummies. I made a very simple and totally unimpressive name tag for Ceri - my only excuse is that I was feeling very below par but this totally outweighs my effort.

So thank you Catherine, Hadley, Kerry and Ceri - you have made me feel like I was in London with you and all the other amazing retreaters and I really hope that will be the case next year!

Now I just have to do some mailing and packing before we leave at 6AM (hardly worth going to bed really) on Wednesday morning.  Our visit here started in the sun and ended in the rain but it`s all good.

Here are a couple of my favourite photos from our visit here,

Waiting for a pony ride

Paddling at Charmouth Beach

Lovely smiley Susan

A finish! The Siblings Together quilt

Face painting at the local fete
Our holiday is nearly over now - see you a bit nearer the equator!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

FQ Re(treats)

Well that was a bit of a blogging hiatus wasn`t it?

Firstly, thank you for all the kind comments and sympathy for my missing the FQ Retreat. It was bitter sweet reading everyone`s blog posts about it but I made the right decision - I felt truly awful until Monday/Tuesday but I`m fully recovered now. The lovely comments and emails made me feel a lot better and I`ve received some very happy mail but more of that tomorrow.

My gorgeous pouch from Susan stuffed full of goodies
I`m just back from a whirlwind tour of the Midlands where we relaxed and laughed with my uncle and aunt, had tea with an old family friend, dined with my bestie and her family and.....drumroll....met up with first blogging buddy and now real life friend Susan!

The tour started on Thursday. There was an inauspicious start to the day when I cut my head open on the car boot while loading the bags up.  Blood poured down my face and then stopped quickly. The hole to my head was tiny and despite feeling woozy from the sight of my own blood, the rest of the trip was fairly uneventful.

Susan and her lovely family live half an hour from my uncle and aunt`s in beautiful rural Northanptonshire.  It was absolutely bucketing down with rain but I found her and it was absolutely wonderful to spend an hour or so with her and her gorgeous girls, Helen and Emily - who were amazing at entertaining Zaki - thank you girls!

So what did we do during that hour or so you ask?

Well, while Helen and Emily played with Zaki, Susan and I sat in the engine room...where all that magic occurs and quite a lot of this happened...

there was a lot...I mean a lot of laughing

tea was drunk
chocolate chip cookies were eaten
a million questions were asked and answered (yes I did ask about the people!)
we laughed (again)

we chatted like old friends
we got on like a house on fire
we swapped pouches

Here`s the amazing one I received from Susan - I love the London fabric, the gorgeous embroidery and it was full of goodies!  Susan had split her FQR goodie bag, which was really beyond the call of duty and incredibly generous.  Thank you Susan!

I made Susan a linen and Liberty fabric pouch but completely failed to take a photo of it!

What else?

we took photos
we looked at quilts - Susan`s stained quilt is just a-mazing!
Emily showed her Houdinilike disappearing trick
Susan demonstrated Lu Summers` portholes` technique
and freezer paper techniques
and framed purses
sample swap items were delivered...thank you to everyone in my group!

and then there was the big surprise that Susan had been keeping from me....along with another Susan, who lives all the way away in Melbourne, Australia.  Let`s call her Susan No.2

Susan No.2 was my partner in the Modern Christmas Tablerunner Swap run by Susan No.1.  I made for my partner in Canada, and all was well. However, I never received my tablerunner from Susan arrived in Morocco and then went back to Melbourne.  In cahoots, the two Susan`s agreed that the tablerunner, by now a very tired runner, should be sent to Susan in England and she would hand deliver it to me at the retreat and meanwhile Susan would tell me that she was making me a substitute runner.  Only I scuppered their well meaning plans by not going. So when Susan handed me a package with a postcard from Melbourne, I was completely confused and I confess, had no idea what was going on.  It could have been the bang on the head...or it could just be service as normal...

I calculate that this stunner of a runner has travelled 32,183 miles and it is absolutely beautiful - thank you thank you Susan No.2, and Susan No.1 for your help in getting it safely to me.This runner isn`t just for Christmas!  If I can find a clear space I shall take a proper photo of it.  You can see some lovely photos of it with me looking ever so slightly confused (it was the bump) here.

So an hour and a half just wasn`t long enough and it was all over too quickly. Susan is as lovely as you would imagine - warm and fun and I feel like we`ve been friends for much longer than we have.

You didn`t know Susan had a little boy did you? Oops, he`s mine, and I did remember to take him him home with me although my arms were laden with goodies!

Thank you Susan, Helen and Emily!

Friday, 1 June 2012

The End, and a Finish...Que Sera Sera

I had to make a really difficult decision yesterday.

By now I should be in London in SW7 with my roomies Susan and Laura Jane , laughing and joking, soaking up the Jubilee weekend stmosphere and getting excited for our weekend of sewing at the FQ Retreat. It was the reason Zaki and I came over. While we of course came to see my mum, we probably wouldn`t have been over so soon.

Anyway I`m not.  I`m still at my mum`s. I`ve been feeling rotten all week and with zero energy I couldn`t face going to London and not feeling one hundred per cent and potantially ruining other`s fun. It was really hard to say no. After 5 months of counting down to this weekend, I`m totally gutted that I won`t be part of it.

A huge thank you to Susan and Laura Jane for being so sweet and for Laura Jane`s incredible negotiations with the hotel.  You`re the best!

So now I`m a spectator and can`t wait to see what everyone gets up to...perhaps next year I`ll get to meet my bloggy friends.

A couple of days ago, I finished up the orange and pink Siblings Together quilt, which I was hoping to hand deliver at the retreat. Instead, it will be mailed as soon as I have it labeled.

The lovely pink and orange fabrics were kindly donated by Jennifer  (Bessiemae on flikr).  I used Jennie`s curved ruler to create the vase shapes and sashed it with white kona.

I backed it with some orange, purple and pomegranite Klona...sorry for the cheeky monkey blocking the view but my mum`s arms were aching and so I couldn`t get another shot.

I kept the quilting very simple so that it was a squishy smushy quilt just right for a cuddle...

and bound it using some Kaffe Fasset dots.

It is a little matchy matchy but I think young girls probably like matchy a huge thank you to Bessiemae, and I shall get this in the post to Siblings Together very soon!

If you would like to see the name tag I made for Katy, she tweeted it here. It`s based on her tattoo, which you can see here.  I know Katy loves Liberty fabrics so I used them for the binding and the backing.

Having just read that Liberty`s will be at the retreat with their new amazing range of Lifestyle fabrics, I`m off to sulk.

To everyone who hasn`t yet left for the retreat, or is reading this on their laptop, just have the most amazing time.