Another year, and a cake designed specifically with your icing-hating nature in mind. It is your day, after all.You started a new school this year and have taken to it like a duck to water. You love the sport, the friends, the teachers, the challenge. Your spelling and maths abilities never cease to amaze.You are funny beyond your years and mature in so many ways. You help make dinner every night and love it when it's your turn to load the dishwasher. You're chasing your sisters in more than just the physical round-the-house sense - you really seem to believe that you are the same age. I'll admit it, it drives me crazy at times, but then you look at me with those blue eyes and I'm [Read more...]

I’ve hit on the magic formula for getting stuff done

There are several requirements:1. A cottage in the middle of nowhere.2. Like-minded sewing friends.3. No internet connection.4. Pretty much no telephone connection.5. No kids/dogs/husbands.6. A ridiculous amount of giggling.This magic combination enabled me to finally finish the Denyse Schmidt scappytripalong (initial shame quotient 5/10). That, and a skill swap where Kelly quilted the bugger for me and I helped to piece her triangle quilt. It's been through the wash now and I have to say that it is growing on me a little. The husband really likes it, so that's nice. In fact, he just this minute said "I love this quilt - it's kind of old school". So there you go - I speak only the [Read more...]

Live and learn

I had a feeling before starting to make this dress that it would be a bad idea but for some reason I just didn't listen to my inner voice. I convinced myself that it would be fine.There is, however, a very good reason for the lack of photographic evidence of the intact dress. It really REALLY wasn't fine. All it needed was an opening at the back and they would be sliding me into the MRI machine or wheeling me off to surgery. I suspect that my decision to use the fabric back to front may have had something to do with it - the stripes are just not defined enough in reverse. That and the usual issues with having giant baps and being somewhat vertically challenged.beware the crazy staring [Read more...]

Split personality sewing

The enjoyment I get from making clothes is entirely different from quilting. It's really odd, but I am much more process driven when dressmaking. I think it might be because I sew clothes universally from patterns, and I quilt mostly improvisationally (or from my own designs).Sleepover pyjamas - Oliver & SI want quilts to be finished already so that I can see whether they look like they did in my head. Dressmaking, on the other hand, is for savouring.Pocket detail, Ice Cream Dress - Oliver & SObsessively tidy edge stitching, hyper neat seam finishing, french seams when I can - that's what I love. But give me a quilt where the points have to match and I will be swearing and sighing [Read more...]

There’s something lurking in the woodshed

Having alluded to the WIPs of shame in an earlier post, I thought I should have a good old rummage and get everything out in the open for all to see. I am slightly scared at the prospect, so let's take it slowly.1. Meadow quilt. No progress since the last report. This one hasn't been lurking for very long at all. Shame quotient 2/10.2. Migration quilt. My lovely bee mates have sent me beautiful blocks and I really need to get off my arse and do something with them. Shamequotient 1/10 (they've only just all arrived).3. Kids pjs. I bought the flannel in October. They keep asking when they will be ready. Endlessly. Shame quotient 9/10.4. Yarn for some hats. These were meant to be Christmas [Read more...]

Done and done

There is a cushion-hogging teenager in this house, with a firm preference for the nice big, fluffy, super comfy cushions that are MINE, dammit. I bought some 22 inch feather-filled cushion pads a while back (I won't admit how long, but I think you might empathise) to make a couple of cushions reserved entirely for adult use, and then totally failed to do anything about making covers for them.I wanted something scrappy in the hope that it would hide the paw prints/dog hair/general grime that accumulate at a frightening rate for some unknown reason (*cough* bloody dog *cough*), and I really love the x and + blocks that took over quilt-land this time last year. Because I like my cushions to be [Read more...]

That was the year that was

And it was a good one, in the main. Everyone was healthy (apart from the bloody dog, but thank goodness for pet insurance), I have a job, the kids are happy, and there is more love in this house than I ever thought possible.I started the year belonging to three bees, and ended with only one. Note to self: three is definitely too many.The biggest highlight of the year had to be attending QuiltCon (and winning a ribbon). Teaching sewing to kids comes a close second. And then there are my two very-old-but-new-to-me sewing machines. And meeting Lizzy House. Ok, so there were a lot of highlights.I made some quilts and started some others. Juicy won the two colour category in the Blogger's Quilt [Read more...]

It’s a mutant!!!!

A mutant By Hand London dress, that is. A hybrid made using the Anna dress bodice and the Charlotte skirt. An Annalotte, if you like. I wore it this weekend for our family Christmukkah gift exchange. My sisters always look impossibly and effortlessly gorgeous and I generally feel like a slightly overchunky frump in their presence so I went all out with this one. Having clothes that actually fit makes an enormous difference, although in retrospect I should probably have included extra space around the middle for food-associated expansion.Apart from the obvious alteration of chopping about three feet off the skirt length the patterns were used pretty much as is. I cut the back bodice [Read more...]