Friday, December 02, 2016

Yipee! A couple of Friday Finishes!


This week I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to finish some Christmas stitching ....  I know, who hasn't!

But yet again, I've been somewhat diverted by a couple of friends' blogs! However, from ideas on those blogs I now have two little finishes, which were quite fun and easy to make.

So, I am linking to Amanda's wonderful patchwork and quilting blog, for her:

do pop over and see the wonderful things Amanda, and everybody else are making.


Oh, and talking of visiting Amanda's link party, if you have visited before, then, a few weeks ago you may well have seen on Diann's blog - Little Penguin Quilts - that Diann wrote a tutorial for keeping computer wires under control!

Now here is my version!

Keeping those wires under control

Cord control

I changed the measurements slightly, as my wires are pretty heavy duty, and I felt Velcro wouldn't keep it together ..... and so I hand stitched a buttonhole (I can never control my sewing machine enough to make neat buttonholes .... I used to be able to, once upon a time) .... but I think I am just too impatient these days!

Hand stitched button hole
My first hand stitched buttonhole!


Those of you who join in with "Friday Night with Friends" over at Cheryl's blog will probably have seen the clever coasters she made, which you can either use for standing your coffee mug on, or, push the bottom of your wine glass inside the folds of the coaster to easily identify your own wine glass at drinks parties  ....  I couldn't resist trying them out! I've made one coaster!!!



Then I realised  ...  I have something more important I want finished for Monday .... which is what I am working on tonight .... while I am joining in with Cheryl and her "Friday Night with Friends", as I attempt to finish that urgent Christmas stitching which I want to use on Monday!

Christmas bag
Here's my sneaky peek for you! Do come back to see it finished!

Hope to be able to show this Christmas finish very very soon!

But for now .... I must get stitching!

Have a great weekend!

Barbara xx

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Wonderful Prize! And some WIPs

Hi there!

Last time I promised you photographs of the wonderful quilt I'd won - sorry to have taken so long!


But first, let me introduce you, to the Pilgrim Quilters (who meet in  Banstead, Surrey), every two years they hold an exhibition with trade tables, raffle, tombola, craft sales tables, and demonstrations ..... oh, and there is always plenty of coffee, tea and cakes available! It's all in aid of charity, and this year it was in aid of St Raphael's Hospice.

On PQ's website, under Gallery, you can view photographs of the quilts that were on display.

Well the first thing we did when we arrived at the show was to buy some raffle tickets! There were lots of prizes - I didn't really look to see what was there (you don't actually expect to win, do you? well I don't anyway!) but I remember there were 3 quilts and some smaller items. The first prize was a "Pineapple" quilt, then the quilt I won, and I seem to remember there was a smaller quilt ... probably a lap quilt. For anyone new to quilting, do Google "Pineapple quilts" there are lots of pictures of them, and also a tutorial by Amanda of Crazy Mum Quilts!

We wandered admiringly amongst the quilts on show.

Each year they have a few tables of goodies for sale that members have made, and this year was no different. If you've never been to one of these shows, there is always the opportunity to buy jars of cottons, old patterns, quilting magazines and bags of scraps material cheaply ....  all items their members no longer want or need!


There are generally a number members demonstrating different quilting techniques. At the time I visited the exhibition two of the ladies were stitching two different types of hexagon quilts, and a third was showing how to make a "new to me" block known "Puff Pastry"!

I took the opportunity of having a go!

We started with a plain 3" square of backing fabric, and a pattern square of 5" (Wrong Sides together). Using a chalk marker we indicated the centre of both squares, on the outside of each piece, and with some clever folds we proceeded to fold and stitch our squares, with an ingenious twist at the end! One block took about 10 minutes to make, at the most.

There was an old magazine on the table showing a picture of a cushion cover made using these blocks .... very pretty!

"Puff Pastry" Block
"Puff Pastry" Block

Puff Pastry Block


And now, with a big "Thank you" to the ladies, here is the Wonderful Prize I won from Pilgrim Quilters

My Wonderful Prize!


Viewing from all angles!

Lovely edging!

Best view of all the wonderful quilting!

Quilt label.

Last one, honest!

The quilt is of such a generous size it is more than adequate to cover our King Sized bed!


Work In Progress 

For the last couple of weeks I have been trying to finish at least one Splendid Sampler Block! 

I thought this would be an easy enough block - EPP flowers - and I have been stitching my flowers at every opportunity, and especially when DH and I have been travelling by train, then, when I get too annoyed with the fiddliness  ...  I have my cross stitch with me ...  to fall back on! 

But, even after another journey yesterday, I am still stitching flowers!!!!



Before we dashed out on our journey yesterday morning I was planning another zippy purse, with some hand quilting .... using the following scraps .... a bargain bag from yet another exhibition! I cut the pieces I wanted to use, sprayed them with starch and then ran out of time .... ironing the starched pieces would have to wait ..... we were off down the road to catch a train ....  heading for lunch at our favourite Vegetarian Organic Italian restaurant.

And oh well, I was back to stitching my EPP flowers again!

Scrappy Zippy purse


I am finishing with a picture I took when DH and I went for a stretch of the legs last weekend. It was just light enough to capture a picture of the last rays of the day, and I don't know about you, but I never tire of seeing silhouettes of trees, and floaty clouds, against a pretty sky!


Thank you for popping by.

I hope you are doing something great this weekend!
Have fun!!

Barbara xxx

Linking to Needle and Thread Thursday with Kelly of my Quilt Infatuation.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Finish it up Friday - Two Tiny Finishes!

Today I'm linking to Crazy Mum Quilts for "Finish it up Friday" with two small projects I stitched this week.

Firstly .....

Finish size: 4" x 3"

I'd been trying to think of a way of keeping my lipstick safe when I 'm not carrying a handbag, and then I found a great blog (via Pinterest) .... "Dog Under My Desk" by Erin Ericson, which had the ideal thing ... an easy zippy pouch tutorial.

I made my pouch in two evenings. First evening I quilted the fabric and the next I was ready to put it all together.

I'm really pleased how it turned out, it's light, and at 4" x 3" ... tiny ..... just right to hold a lipstick and maybe a few peppermints!


Then, secondly .....

Later in the week I needed a hostess gift for a neighbour, and made this tissue holder using a tutorial I've  previously used here from Whim Wham.

Whilst making the tissue holder I took a few pictures to remind myself how I made it .... in case I want to make another one in a hurry! Unfortunately, my photos are rather dark as I was stitching in the evening!

Position the handle, and ....

... stitch into place

To ensure the centre stayed central when I stitched across the seam, I stitched each half separately, and then again across the two sides together.

The pin marks the centre ... fold edge just past pin.

Remembering to put one bound edge over the other,
before stitching

Stitch to edge. With needle in the fabric, lift presser foot,
turn fabric 180 degrees,  continue stitching for approx 1"
 before finishing, and cutting off thread.

Make sure the handle is securely stitched!

Finish with a scant 1/4" seam

Stitch over the seam a couple of times.

Trim ends, before turning inside out.....

Push seams out, pin, and stitch 1/4" seams at either end
of holder - again a couple of rows of stitches to be secure.

Turn through to the right side, and its finished!


I'm so excited, before I go, I must tell you why!

Last Saturday I went to a wonderful quilt show, locally, and bought some raffle tickets .... like you do! .... and this Tuesday I had a phone call to say I'd won a quilt!!! This morning a very nice lady was actually good enough to deliver it to me ..... I have to say I was speechless - well almost! I'm amazed, I can't believe it wasn't the first prize, its so beautiful and very large. The work is really intricate and skillfully done ... and all hand quilted!

I didn't have time for photos today, but I will post pictures next time. Just wait till you see it!

Hope you've had a stitchy week!

Barbara xxx

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Finish it off Friday - My Very Puffy Key Tray / Nancy's Halloween Giveaway

Eeek, I'm a little bit late, but ....

Yipee, I have a finish!


My Very Puffy Key Tray

I started making this Key Tray a couple of weeks ago, it took much longer than I thought to finish, but I did use double the wadding which made the quilting slow going! I used stab stitch, checking how the stitches looked on the back as I stitched each stitch .... I would have liked them to be neater!

Very Puffy Key Tray
This is the back .... and I don't think it looks too bad!

I used a tutorial a blogging friend recommended  which you can read about  

Basting My Very Puffy Key Tray
I used safety pins for basting ..... I'm sure they were curved when I bought
 them ..... but I think they've been used too much, as they aren't now!

Stitching round my template
I stitched around plastic templates I had made for
some other stitching project.

My Very Puffy Key Tray
Using DMC embroidery thread

and, yipee, it's in use!

Finished Very Puffy Key Tray

Hope you are having a great weekend, and that you have time to visit some of the other stitchers over at CRAZY MOM QUILTS -  "FINISH IT UP FRIDAY"*

* Please excuse me "shouting" but I am putting links in capitals so that my Mum knows where to "Click"!
(For those who haven't visited my blog before, my Mum is partially sighted.)



Have you seen that Nancy of  Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe has a great giveaway  .....  a collection of her wonderful threads .... just right for Halloween .... with names like Glowing Pumpkin, Sleepy Hollow Purple, Hallow's Eve Orange and Headless Horseman, to name but a few! There is still time to comment for a chance to win before Halloween ...... go on, what are you waiting for???

But don't forget to comment here first!

Barbara xxx

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Celebrating Kim's special birthday


In case you've never visited my wonderful blogging friend Kim's blog, let me "paint" a picture of her  for you......

I "met" Kim of Wisdom With Needle and Thread! via a blogging "stitching link party" a couple of years ago. She is a very talented crafter and in the couple of years I have known her she has made many beautiful things, by many different methods .... cross stitching, knitting, and painting porcelain to name but a few!

This year has been something of a humdinger for her!

In April the very generous Kim asked her blogging friends to help her celebrate her special birthday year! Click HERE to see how it all began!

Kim wanted to send out 60 RAKs* - One for each of her 60 years!

*Random Acts of Kindness - these are gifts, given for no other reason than one feels like making someone smile!

Now read on:


A few weeks ago Kim told me she had posted my gift on its way. Then, a couple of weeks later one of my close neighbour's was informed by a courier company that her package had been delivered, however, she never actually received it! This made me nervous that Kim's package might have disappeared in the same way! You can therefore imagine my delight when I heard the post drop through our front door a few days ago, I looked down the stairs and saw an unusual coloured envelope which I immediately guessed would be Kim's parcel!

 Beautiful hand stitched monogramme
Isn't this beautiful! It is tiny! Such teeny stitches!

But I've jumped ahead of myself!

Here are the contents of the envelope, and I certainly was smiling as I opened it!

Unwrapping my package
This was such an exciting mystery!

The package included a very pretty card, a beautifully hand stitched monogramme, a heart shaped pin minder, a bird themed cross stitch pattern, and a sparkly fat quarter with some lovely matching flosses.

Gifts received

Gifts received

Gifts received
Couldn't resist another picture, to try to show the sparkle in the fabric!
Luckily the sun shone and I think you can see the sparkle!

Do join me in visiting Kim as she continues to enjoy her 60th birthday celebrations.

Kim's latest adventure is learning how to sculpt dolls from polymer clay!

CLICK HERE to read more about Kim's adventurous year .....

Our little lady cat
Our little lady cat says Hi!

Pictures of our huge tom cat to follow next time, and stitching, of course!

Bye for now,

Barbara xxx