Sunday, 29 September 2013

Time & Tide Wait for No Man...

...well except in Morocco that is.

There have been Alice Through the Looking Glass moments round here lately, like when last night we found out that the government had earlier in the day decided not to put the clocks back this morning but extend summertime to October 27 giving everyone less than 24 hours notice. I can only begin to imagine the chaos this must have caused airlines and passengers, people with meetings, appointments etc., Only in Morocco!

I don't know if I shared my news that I am shortly to return to gainful employment as a p/t English language teacher at the American language center here. It's only a few hours a week but it will get me out the house and stop me turning in to a desperate housewife. The last few days have consisted of meetings, observations and orientation and well a little bit of sewing too.

Anyway, I started something new...fashionably late to the Tula Pink City Sampler!

On Friday I made my first Tula Pink City Sampler block using my charms from the recent swap...this is my favourite block. I love it so much.

These blocks are the perfect size and can be made easily from charms as the blocks only come out at 6.5" unfinished.  They have proved addictive as today I made another 8 of the cross blocks. I used the charms as well as some old Parisville scraps and some solids (Kona and Oakshott). I deliberately tried to use different colours from those in the book as I want this to be my quilt and there was poetic licence with fabric placement as occasionally I didn't always have enough of one fabric.

Here's Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

Block 5 *edited to add* Oops, just noticed a problem with this one. I thought it didn't look very crosslike!

Block 6

Block 7

Block 8

and Block 9

Here's a clearer group shot.

I've no idea how long my charms and scraps will last out so I may have to see what I can find online but I can't wait to make more progress with this one!

Hope you have had a great Sunday!


Friday, 20 September 2013

Show & Tell Summer Edition

Well thank you for the lovely welcome back and for patiently sitting through the somewhat long slide show of holiday photos.

So while we were in England, it wasn't all beaches, playgrounds and museums.  There were some stitchy related things too.

August was my turn as queen bee in the Sew Euro Bee An bee. Despite the fact I had had over a year to decide on my block I prevaricated and then some.  In the end I went old school and asked for churn dash blocks; I sent my bee mates some of Jenean Morrison's Beechwood Park and bits of my low volume layer cake from Rebecca's amazing swap. 

This is where I'm at at the moment. The colours remind me of Opal Fruits or Starbursts if you like, and while I'm sure I will love it in the end - the colours are just a bit different for me. Here are my blocks together with those received from Pippa, Celine and Di - thank you!

Beechwood Park Churn Dash blocks
On the hand sewing front, I finally finished the main panel of my Hexy MF EPP top, almost exactly a year after starting it.  Here it is lazing on my mum's garden bench. Now I just need to build up the courage to applique it to the background fabric.

I also finished a very overdue EPP block for Marguerite. While it was ridiculously fiddly it was actually quite enjoyable in the end.

What about fabric? There were some modest(ish) additions to the stash.

I picked up some forgotten half yards I had ordered from Cindy when she was having a sale many moons ago.  I did of course pay for them but as it was in another season it doesn't count right?

I also collected these gorgeous Oakshott FQs which I bought from Fiona when she was having an IG de-stash (again a while back so they don't count *ahem*) 

and these beautiful charms...

which I'm thinking could work very nicely with my amazing Tula Pink charms below from a recent swap.  I have to give a very belated and huge shout out to lovely Jennifer who took up another place on the swap so that I could join in. It was a U.S based only swap - Jenn cut my fabric for me and then posted the charms on to me in England. Thank you my friend!

The bargain find of our visit was this beautiful Liberty fabric, which I picked up in Greenwich market. I paid a tenner for 6 yards which was just silly really. The colours will work so well here...once I decide what to do with it.

If you are based in the UK and are not a member of Annie's CAB then you should be. In return for giving your view on beautiful upcoming fabric ranges, Annie enters you in to a monthly draw. My name was drawn in July and I spent my winnings on the texty fabrics I used in these paper pieced bee blocks for Katy.

At the end of July I received a token from Annie for my August birthday and I bought some of AMH's amazing Hand Drawn Garden as well as a couple of other bits and pieces.

Lastly, there was the obligatory purchase of some new quilting books. I was eventually seduced in to buying the 100 Modern Quilt Blocks after seeing all these amazing blocks popping up everywhere, and the book at the back has been on my amazon wishlist forever...I bought it secondhand from Amazon for about a fiver including shipping from the States - for that I can forgive a few bent corners. It's a great book on improv. and very inspiring!

Lastly, separated from my stash and a bad case of itchy fingers, I decided to knit! Now knitting and I do not get on. In fact the brand of knitting needles I'm using would best describe my knitting efforts to date. Still, undeterred I bought some gorgeous Rowan Lima yarn and have nearly finished knitting a cowl. This photo doesn't do the colour justice but it's really pretty. it measures from the floor to my chest and so it's quite long.

...and there endeth this long and really quite colourful post.  Now to just shake off a horrible head cold and make a start on my ever-growing to-do list!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

...and we're back!

Oh my goodness, that was a long break.  When I last blogged regularly it was early summer and now it's autumn.

I've hardly sewed, hardly blogged and haven't commented for nearly 3 months.  We spent August at my mum's in England and had an amazing time - the weather was kind for once (the warmest summer for 7 years). While I normally try not to do too much on the computer when we visit, my laptop died anyway and I only got a new one today.  Hopefully, normal service can now resume.

So what did we get up to while we were away? Well here's a whistlestop tour.

There were days at the beach - sunny and rainy.

We had a couple of days in Cornwall visiting Port Isaac, Polzeath, Padstow and Boscastle

We spent the bank holiday weekend in London during which time we queued...and queued and...well queued!

There were visits to the natural history museum, the maritime museum where Zaki indulged his inner pirate and the rare breeds country park.

...and well England was just really pretty...and green.

We're now back...and it's signifcantly cooler than when we left so here's hoping I can get some sewing done soon. I admit to feeling a little overwhelmed and not knowing really where to begin, let alone where everything is!

Still it feels good to be back...let's hope it's for keeps this time!