Thursday, 18 June 2015

Sew on and sew on and sew on.

McCalls Quilting magazine April 2000 issue.

Made June 2015.
As you can see I am still busy sewing and I am still enjoying every minute of this very indulgent pass time. Today I thought I'd share my latest quilt. The magazine was the very first quilting magazine I bought in 2005 from my first regional day in Frodgham. It was three magazines for £1, I haven't got a clue what the other two where but I fell head over heals in love with the quilt on the front cover. I was very new at this point to patchwork and quilting and had only recently joined Liverbirds, however over a period of a few weeks I painstakingly made the quilt. I then got into trouble when it came to layering it and quilting it because I did not have enough knowledge of either. I decided I'd try to unpick what I had done and in doing so I managed to cut right through the quilt top. I was sad as I threw it in the bin, it was beyond salvaging.  Sunday morning I was flipping through my book shelf and came across the magazine with a post it note book marking the page of the quilt. Seven hours later I had almost finished the top then life got in the way. This morning I managed to finish the top and I have just a few more rows of basting to do then I will need to seriously think about how I am going to quilt it.  So far so good, I think it is a lovely little quilt. In the magazine it is called Baby nine patch but my quilt is called "Gwen" because the colours, especially the green, remind me of my fab friend Gwen. Speaking of green, the green fabric is actually left over from the original one I made in 2005 and cost me £22 a meter ! Well enough said back to the basting. X:)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Something old with something new.

Old book I bought from a book shop in Southport 50p

Added my name to said book.

Ooooo a nice portrait of the Author.

My favourite funky bird is the owl.

Excited and Gone Fishing.

This is how they start their life.
Last year I bought this little old book with every intention of booking myself on to a Laura Kelmshall altered book work shop. Sadly when the time came to book the workshop I was not in a position to do so. The book has been on my book shelf ever since, until yesterday. I am a big you tube addict I plug my ear phones in whilst eating breakfast and get my daily fix of anything crafty that catches my eye. yesterday I was watching a video about keeping a journal sketch book. I really want to keep one when I go to Greece and I like Suzanne Mc Neils style of art journaling. Whilst watching her video the next one was by a lady called Cindy Shepard and she did these Zentagle birds on old printed book pages. I knew straight away what I had to do! Yep, get the little blue book off the shelf and out came my funky birds which I renamed "Classy Birds". The beauty about these little doodles is I did the foundation work for three birds at home, then coloured and zentangle doodled them whilst traveling on the train to Southport. My travel kit involved a couple of fineliner pens, some gliter/metalic gel pens and small tin of derwent intensive ink pencils and a water paint brush. I was so involved with my doodling that the 40 minute journey only seemed like five. I have to say I am hooked. I have lots of ideas wizzing around in my head. I now have my very own completely different altered book. I can feel another visit to the old book shop coming on. :)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Out came the paints.

My first page in my finish me art journal.

Second page finish me art journal.
Mini water colour doodle from yesterday.
 Another water colour doodle from yesterdays beautiful poppy's.
I was up rather early this morning and decided to print out some of the photos I took of yesterdays little trip. I couldn't resist starting with the gorgeous poppy images. My finish me art journal was on my desk and when I turned the page the existing black lines just shouted out to be filled with beautiful red poppy flowers. The following page already seemed to have the beginnings of a poppy so that to was easy. I have lost count as to how many times I have looked through my finish me art journal and haven't got a clue what to put on the pages. Also how ironic that my first art piece are poppy's seeing as Laura Kemshall is known for her amazing poppy quilts. I have to admit that the second page I did borrow her idea of extending the stems across to the opposite page, I am sure she won't mind.  The other two images are from a tiny A6 oink (pink pig) mini sketch book I took with me yesterday.

Friday, 12 June 2015

A fab little find.

St Lukes Church Formby

A beautiful ornate cross headstone in the graveyard.

Walk to the beach.

Mr Bay Watch?

Giant Poppy's absolutely stunning.
 All week I have been so looking forward to going to Gresford craft show only to discover that I had the wrong Friday it's next Friday we go. I was quite deflated when I discovered this, especially as we are having a mini heat wave, I decided the day called for a picnic lunch. Its not very often that Colin and I get out and about together during the day as he works permanent nights and does not get up till late afternoon and the day is almost gone. However, we drove to Formby beach not far from where we live and took a picnic lunch. We parked outside St Luke's Church as we saw a sign saying Lifeboat tea rooms now open. It was a little building tucked away at the back to the side of the graveyard with outdoor seating that gently blended into Formby woods. We had a lovely cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake but I gave most of mine to a tiny female chaffinch that kept flying down from a near by tree to forage. We then took a very pleasant stroll through the woods and onto the beach. On route I was shocked to discover several big clusters of these gorgeous giant poppies growing wild on one of the sand dunes. I live about 20 minutes away from where we visited today and yet this is the very first time I have ever been there. It was a great discovery and one I think we will be returning to in the very near future.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Oh if only.....

Applique Scarecrow tote bag.

Nice little tin lunch box to store my basted hexies.

Hexie quilt so far.
I could freeze time! I realised that I have already had one month of Uni, scary. I really need to crack with the summer projects but before I do I just had get my Scarecrow applique tote bag out of my head .  Sadly I am not 100% happy with him. You know when you have a vision or image in your minds eye but the real thing doesn't live up to that vision? Well this is how I feel about this little guy. Don't get me wrong I think he is cute but not quite how I wanted. Oh well I am sure whoever wins this little tote bag at the FOQ will give him a good home. 

Last week I decided to dig out my hexies that I started two years ago whilst travelling to and from uni on the train. Sadly, they got put to one side last summer and I never went back to them. I kept the basted hexies in two plastic take away tubs, until a couple of weeks ago when I bought this little vintage style tin lunch box, £1.99 Home Bargain.  It is adorably cute and a great size to take some hand sewing out and about. Everyday over the last week I have either sewn several hexagons together or basted some new hexagons to add to the tin whilst watching TV. My lovely friend Lin in France said it is EPP week so how on trend am I and I didn't even know it!:P

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Little and Large.

I loved making the Tilda scarecrow from the book Sew Sunny Homestyle so much so that I decided to try and make a smaller version. Today I took the book to a printers and photocopied the pattern, one at a 40% reduction and the other at 50% reduction. I had no idea if it would work or if it would be to fiddly to make. The only other adjustment I had to make was to cut the skewer stick for his arms. I decided not to cut the sticks for his legs, I just shoved them right up into his body making the legs a lot more sturdier.  Isn't he just fab. Here he is next to Sammy just so you can see the size comparison. This little guy is reduced by 40% and I already have another two cut out and ready to sew up. However, it doesn't stop there, I have also drawn a version in my sketch book which I think would look fab appliqued to a tote bag.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Meet Joan she arrived today in the post and she was a complete surprise. A couple of days ago my lovely friend Kath of Hillside House blog posted about finding a Tone Finnager book in a charity shop. (hop over to her blog f you would like to read the post Kath mentions that her doll was in the postal system and making her way to a sweet friend. I never in my wildest dreams thought that sweet friend was me. I received a parcel this morning and there was Joan. Kath did not name her, Joan just popped into my head when I removed her from the packaging. Isn't she adorable and she is extra special because she was made by a beautiful friend just for me. How spooky is this though, here is one of the blocks on my seaside quilt!
These bathing beauties represent me and my sister and inspiration for them came from the the very book Kath found in the charity shop. Thanks Kath for my wonderful surprise I will treasure her always. X:)

Monday, 1 June 2015

Finish Me Art Journal.

I am still enjoying the summer break but my sewing frenzy came to stop and I spent a week with family and then I procrastinated watching back to back episodes of the Good Wife on Netflix. However, today I decided it was time to get back into the sewing room and be creative. A couple of Weeks ago I received a lovely surprise in the post, a Laura Kemshall "Finish Me Art Journal". Ever since its arrival I have stroked it, hugged it and flipped through the pages, whilst thinking what I will do to it. Laura offers tips and advice on her blog and I popped over for some inspirational ideas. First things first put my name on it.  I used several alphabet stamp sets to create a collective of various fonts and styles for my name. I used water colour pencils to add some colour and randomly chosen stamps to add some imagery. Nothing was planned it was a go with the flow thing and I am pleased with how it has turned out.