Friday, 31 December 2010
I realised on Christmas day that I did not buy myself any new shoes. Shock shock horror, I hear you shout. I have decided that it was due to the weather, I alternatively purchased a lovely pair of ankle boots, with a sensible heal may I add. I did however molester and drawl over several pairs of gorgeous high heals but none of them made their way to the checkout points. Sitting looking at my Christmas tree I realised I did buy new high heal shoes! I purchased the delightful white shoe from BHS in Chester on the 14 December. (Yes ok it was in the sale, even if it had not been I would still have purchased it because it is so meeeeee. In that same sale I also bought a beautiful silver shoe for the tree. I now have six different style shoe ornaments on my tree. Two of them where given to me by my daughter. This little silver sling back with diamantes is one of the two. It started life as a key ring and when the chain snapped I could not bring myself to throw it away, hence it got recycled. Tonight however, the high heals are coming out of storage and I intend to dance the new year in and continue to dance my way through some exciting times in 2011. I want to thank all my friends who follow my blog for their continuous support and wish you all a very happy new year. Love and hugs Susan xx
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Monday, 13 December 2010
On the first day of Christmas Susan put her tree up. It has been three years now since I started my memory tree. I am gathering quite a little collection of tree ornaments but I stil have a long way to go to fill all the branches. What you can not see is the back of the tree which is completely empty and the sides are quite sparce too. As always my gorgeous daughter has bought me several new pieces over the last few weeks. I also have a homemade cross stitch decoration all the way from Tasmania, from my pen friend Leanne. Several lovely ones through out the years from my friend Janet. Saddly when I opened the box of decorations, the beautiful glass bauble with my name etched on it, had cracked. This bauble was a special gift from Michaela last year and I thought I had wrapped it up very carfully, obviously not. :(
I feel a trip to the January sales is a must to add to my collection next year.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
I have been working on my black and gold applique flowers, talk about slowly slowly catch a monkey. I am finding it difficult sewing around the flowers in blanket stitch using black cotton and on black fabric. I can only do a little bit at a time then I have to take a break and go back to them a little later. During a break, I decided to use up one of the sample flowers and make a cover for a 2011 dairy. Black and gold together are such timeless colours and I thought Michaela would like this as a stocking filler. I used a different technique to cover this book, other than the one taught to me by Jackie Martin. I really enjoyed it but it took a little working out and like every protocol there are a few little things I will change when making another. With that said, I am very happy with the end result and i am sure Michaela will be thrilled with her new diary when she opens it up on Christmas day.
Friday, 10 December 2010
On Wednesday we had our Liverbird Christmas party. At this event a challenge is set for the next years party. The last two years it has been to keep and Christmas card and make something using the image on the chosen card. I chose two cards, I had decided to make a table runner from one and a quilt from the other. The quilt is all designed but not started and the table runner was a bit of a disaster. I tried to quilt it on Mrs Jones and she was having none of it. At this years party the challenge has been set to make a festive mug rug. Well, I had missed our last meeting when Janet had introduce the latest trend in the world of sewing. Therefore I did not have a clue what a mug rug was. Luckily for me Janet had made a lovely posh one from felt and produced it at show and tell. I was (as always) very impressed. Looking for something to do yesterday evening, I decided to google mug rugs. Low and behold there were lots of imagesand imformation on how to make mug rugs. A mug rug is a long coaster that not only accommodates your mug but a biscuit too. I had bemoaned to Janet that I was unable to do my challenge in time for our party cos Bernie was at her spa. Janet rightly pointed out (all in good fun) that we had had 12 months to do our challenge. So I took this on board and here is my 2011 Christmas challenge, a festive mug rug and funnily enough the Christmas card is from Janet. :)
Look who is back home, Bernie. I know you are all probably sick and tired of hearing me moan about how I have missed her (I'm sorry). She has had her retreat and is in tip top condition. Therefore she is ready for a hard work out over the next few days as the sewing has bee piling up during her absence.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
My neice Paige has put their Christmas tree up and this year her colour scheme is blue and white. I was flipping through my latest eddition of Homespun and came across these delightful little Elf shoes. It is made from felt and it took me about one hour to make from start to finish. I dont think the chocolates will last that long though :)
Meet Timmy, Henry's new friend. I finished knitting him this morning. Notice though he is sporting a lovely red cotton scarf. I found the red cotton wool at the bottom of the draw that I keep my knitting needles in and decided Timmy needed a scarf. I just hope Henry isn't jealous, I may have to knit him one too.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Oh boy oh boy oh boy! I am at a loss without Bernie. I have cut out all the pieces for my applique flowers but because Mrs Jones only does straight stitch, I can not fix them to the back ground fabric. So out came a sketch book and I started to make the templates for my second Christmas challenge. I completed these yesterday and once again need Bernie to start the quilt. I am an addict, I freely admit it, I am addicted to my sewing machine and can not function with out it. I have even done some little stitcheries but its no good I need Bernie. Me thinks the knitting needles will becoming out tonight and Henry (the sheep) will have a new friend by morning.
Monday, 29 November 2010
Me and Mrs Jones are getting along very slowly but at least we are getting along. I have managed to complete the 16 log cabin blocks required for my new strippy log cabin applique quilt. Today I made a start on the court house steps blocks. The thing is I now have to complete the whole top of this quilt using Mrs Jones because the presser foot is only 1/8 wide. I did not realise this till I had completed several blocks. I still have a week left till Bernie will be home and hopefully this quilt top will be complete by then.
Friday, 26 November 2010
My beloved Bernie (Bernina) has gone off to be serviced and unfortunately, there is a two week turn around. However will I manage with out her for two weeks? Well sometime ago I was given a old Jones sewing machine. It belonged to my brother in-laws aunt who sadly passed away. The family wanted it to go to a good home because it was much used by its owner Elsie, who apparently, continued to darn her husbands socks on the machine. Bless her. I think it is from the late fifthies or early sixties, luckily enough it came with the original instruction book (which was a blessing today). Bernie has only been gone for two days and I miss her dreadfully. I decided to get the Jones machine out and sew my Christmas challenge together. The machine does work but all I can say is "please God let the next 12 days fly by". It is fascinating to think that at the time Elsie purchased her machine it was the height of monderninity, with a special darning feature and various stitch size. The machine only sews straight stitch but does have a reverse stitch ability. I have managed to sew my challenge top together but will have to sit and hand quilt it. Oh well it will help the time go by till Bernie comnes home.
Sunday, 21 November 2010
I was recently asked to make a cot quilt by my friend Barbara and here is the finished quilt. Barbara had seen the two girl quilts I made for our Natalie and wanted to have the tilda bunnies on her quilt. However, Barbara's quilt is for a little boy and the pattern I have for the tilda bunnies are little girls. So a little re-jiggling with the bunnies dress and we now have little boy bunnies in their cool dungarees.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
Now ladies I do not mean to frighten you with a picture of me instead of a beautiful quilt or wall hanging but I thought I would share my new hair style. Last week after waking up for the umpteenth time with my long hair wrapped around my neck after a very bad night flush,I decided it was time for a change. As some of you may know I have my very own stylist, my lovely daughter Micheala. I did not have any particular style in mind just as long as it was no shorter than my shoulders. Here is the finished result, I love it and it is very easy to manage. Best of all it no longer strangles me in my sleep.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Oh I am so excited at last I have sufficient fabric in a new colour scheme (black, gold and cream)for another log cabin strippy. I have been on a mission over a number of weeks gathering the fabric. As well as visiting several craft shops my friend Hilary kindly gave me some pieces from her fabric stash yesterday that completed my bundle. (Thank you Hilary for your generosity) Whilst I am itching to get stuck in to this new quilt, it will have to wait a little longer, as I am currently in the middle of a commissioned baby quilt. In the meantime I will just continue to admire the fabric.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Hurray I can blog again. I have been having some technical problems with my Internet connection and have been unable to blog for a little while now. I have almost finished my strippy log cabin quilt just a little bit more quiting to do. I have to admit I did get fed up with it and there where times when I fell out of love with it. However, I do adore the pattern, I certainly plan on making another one and have already started collecting the fabrics.
Saturday the 7th November was our area day and the speaker was the lovely Sue Warburton. In the morning Sue showed us her fantastic quilts and spoke about the work she does with people in Romania. In the afternoon Sue held a workshop titled Safari Silhouettes. I took part of the pattern and made a long wall hanging. I hand dyed the backing fabric using fabric paints. It was a fantastic day was had by all and I thoroughly enjoyed making my wall hanging.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Oh dear,I kind of got carried away making Janet's danglies. Me thinks its time to get back to quilting my stripy log cabin quilt. Sometimes I need a little distraction when making a big quilt as I can often loose interest and become restless to start another project. Taking time out to do little things gives me a sense of achievement and motivates me to continue with the bigger project at hand. I may be all danglied out now? phew!
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Wow! What a fabulous day I had yesterday at North Lancs Area Day. I just had to go because the speaker was none other than my good friend Janet. I have been privileged to have seen Janet's work on many occasions but there where pieces I had not seen. We have been friends now for quite some time and Janet still inspires and gives me hope, that one day I to will be able to produce such beautiful quilts. It was a great day which I thoroughly enjoyed. I met up with some friends and made a few new ones. I had a scrummy yummy piece of home-made Victoria sponge and was made very welcome by Margaret and Christine the area reps. The atmosphere was fun and relaxing, in the afternoon Janet did a work shop a Christmas tree ornament or dangley (as I like to call them). I did not do the work shop so I took the pattern home and here are my Christmas Danglies so far. The beauty about them is they are quick and easy to make and you can embellish them however you want. Thank you Janet for another great project and for being a true friend.
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Last week I was given several quilted blocks and was asked if I could make them into a quilt. Unfortunately, the blocks where????? errrr! mmmm let me think? arh yes all different and a quilt was not the answer. I had to think on my feet and the only useful thing I could make were cushion covers. I picked out the best of the blocks which amounted to two and here they are. I was going to return the other ones to the lady who gave me them but mysteriously they disappeared. I can only assume they where accidently thrown out with the rubbish whoops!!!!!
Friday, 29 October 2010
A couple of weeks a go another dear friend of mine had a bag bonanza and costume jewellery was on sale to. At the end of the day we still had a lots of necklaces, bracelets and earrings left. As I was helping to put them away it suddenly dawned on me! Many of the pieces of costume jewellery could be taken apart and would make fantastic embellishments. I donated a couple of pounds and filtered through the remaining items and here is the result. A lovely glass jar that holds the most wonderful treasure of beads of all shapes, colours, textures and sizes. I have already delved into my new treasure trove and embellished Judith's journal covers. The blue beads came form a bracelet and the read embellishments began life as a necklace. There is also the element of satisfaction that I have recycled and saved my self a few bob all at the same time. In this current financial climate that can only be all good.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
A couple of weeks ago a dear friend (Judith) commissioned me to make two journal covers one blue and the other red. I was excited and very flattered that she asked me. Other than the colour requirement the covers were left to my own imagination. I knew straight away the soldering iron had to come and off I went fusing and cutting voiles and felt. This project was great fun, just being able to go with the flow was so relaxing and very inspiring. I was so pleased with the end result and I hoped Judith would be to. Last night I gave Judith the books and held my breath. Phew!!!! she was delighted with them and even showed them to the Liverbirds at show and tell. I was so glad they got such a positive response, it has boosted my confidence no end.
Monday, 25 October 2010
Remember those plans I made several days ago, where I was going to finish the two little girls quilts? Well I managed to almost complete one before an awful stomach bug got a grip of me. I am still feeling a bit wobbly but glad to say on the mend and I am hoping to do a bit of sewing today. Just before the bug got me, I had the delightful company of my button (Michaela) and my beautiful little man, who is rapidly finding his feet.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
A few weeks ago my sister Natalie asked me to make her two baby quilts as gifts for her friends daughters.I could chose any design I wanted but both quilts had to have the girls names on and pink and white was the colour scheme. I was itching to make a start. As you can see I opted to use the delightful Sun Bonnet Sue block for Lorna's quilt and the delight bunny from Tone Finnagan's book Spring Gifts. As usual I ran out of fabric for the sashings and borders but a quick trip to Dots (Quilters Needs)solved that little Hick up. tonight I managed to finish both quilt tops and I am hoping to layer and quilt them tomorrow but you know what they say about the best laid plans and all that? so we shall see what happens. Natalie is delighted with both quilts and is looking forward to giving them to the little girls.
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
So what do I do with the left over 1 1/2 inch strips from my log cabin strippy quilt? Of course make a journal cover! Its been some time since I last made a journal cover and what with Christmas creeping round the corner I have been thinking about gifts. The front of the big journal was a left over block from the appliqué flowers, the front of the little journal was a stitchery design I doodled in my sketch book whilst in France. These journal covers are relatively quick to make, but best of all the make ideal gifts.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Boy oh boy where does time go? Last week I was determined to get stuck in and finish my Strippy log cabin quilt but life keeps getting in the way and reluctantly I have to put it aside. With that said it is coming along (all be it slowly) a real treat and I am so pleased with it. Janet this quilt you have designed is truly lovely and such a delight to make (once I decided on what way I was going to do my appliqué flowers lol).
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Well I am finally back on track with my log cabin quilt and have completed almost half of my appliqué flowers. I have attempted these flowers several times but was just not happy with them. I purchased a new shade of green, fat quarter and varied the types of flowers. At last I am happy with the results hurray. I have set myself a target today to complete 12 of the flower blocks so far I have managed about 6. I have just took a break with a well earned cuppa and a home made cup cake. Yummy even though I do say so myself.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
A lot of the time in France was spent chilling and relaxing, which gave me the perfect opportunity to finish my sewing angel. She was given to me by my friend Janet several years ago. Now she is finished I will frame her and hang her in my sewing room. On Tuesday I took my little man to Liverpool town centre. Whilst in John Lewis haberdashery I spotted the most delightful knitted sheep. Of course I had to have the pattern but the lady behind the counter said she didn't know where it was. I was just about to leave minus the pattern when the knitting demonstrator came in to purchase wool. She told me the patterns were free downloads from the ROWAN web site and recommended what type of wool to use. I bought a ball of the wool (not cheap at £5.70 for a 50g ball)thankfully it only takes one ball and there is quite a bit left over so I might be able to squeeze another one out of it? I started knitting him that night and finished him this morning. His name is Henry because I watched a film called the Sword and the Rose whilst knitting him and one of the characters was Henry VIII so that is how he got his name. Simplesssssssss
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
This was my first visit to France and I thought it was a lovely country. We stayed in a place called E'tables Mer. Being so close to that coast we where never short of a port or two to visit. However, a short drive inland took us deep into rural country side. The scenery was breath taking, with little villages and farms. The middle photo is of the Abbay Maritime de Beauport a 14th century Abbey in a place called Paimpol. The abbey is being restored to its former glory and has under gone a lot of work since being purchased by the French equivalent of the National trust. It here the make cider and all the apples used come from the abbey orchards. I would like to go back to France and visit St Malo as we did not manage to visit this beautiful place. The picture is of the walled city and I took it whilst leaving the port heading back to old Blighty. I was very glad to be home as I missed my family dreadfully but I am thankful that I was given such a wonderful generous gift.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
I was experiencing quite a low day yesterday so decided to take a trip into Liverpool city centre. I remembered a friend telling me there was a sneak preview of the Liverpool 08 tapestry Project at the Walker Art Gallery. I apologise the picture is not that good, you were not allowed to take photos so it was a bit of a sneaky shot. The work in these little pieces of art are amazing. My friend Judith has a piece of work in the tapestry in remembrance of her aunt who was a prolific member of the Embroiders Guild. The other two Pictures are from another exhibition in the Walker "Dare to wear" Glass dresses by Diana Dias-Leao. It is a fabulous exhibition, her work is stunning, I only managed to get two sneaky photos. There are about 10 dresses on show and there are photographs of models actually wearing one or two of the displayed dresses. As they are made of glass and wire I could imagine there not comfortable to wear but oh my they are so beautiful. On my way out i picked up a leaflet exhibitions and events guide and discovered another exhibition that is on in Sudley House in Aighburth. this exhibition is titled "Hitched" and is showing wedding garments from Victorian times to present day. It runs till spring 2011 so I go and see this one when I get back from my jollys.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
You know the saying time flys, well I think it is concording for me at the moment because there is never enough hours in the day. A couple of weeks ago Michaela informed me she did not have a christening shawl. I was not able to buy her one, I tried lots of baby shops but to no avail. The christening was only a couple of weeks away so it was short notice to find someone to make me one for her. There was only one thing left to do. Ye,s you guessed it, make one myself. I can only do basic crochet and the shawl as you can see is very simple but it has taken up my nights and taken me away from the sewing machine. It is a surprise as Michaela does not know I have made it. The christening is this Sunday so I plan to give it to her this afternoon, fingers crossed she likes it.