Wherein I express disappointment that this is not the 1790s

My mum very sweetly gave me some money for Chanukah this year (as she usually does) and I treated myself to a Kindle. I love reading and as a kid would spend days doing nothing else. The school holidays were filled with alternately going to the library and holing up in my bedroom with the resulting massive stacks of books.Between the kids and the being an editor, reading has taken a back seat in the last few years. I didn't realise how much reading stuff all day for work would make me not feel like reading at night. It's a real shame, but I pretty much stopped entirely. The effort of holding an actual book, of turning pages, of keeping the bedside light on – these are inconsequential things [Read more...]

I am a little ashamed

So I spent about six hours cutting into the precious and have enough strips to make 25 scrappy tripalong blocks. That means I have 150 different DS fabrics. Ahem. Here is a fairly dreadful and cobbled together photo of all of them on my design wall.droooooooooooooolAnd now I need your help because I am not sure what approach to take with the piecing. My inner obsessive says "keep it rainbowy, stupid" but I am truly, DEEPLY concerned that this will just not work and I should go for a much more random approach. Bear in mind that I don't have more of quite a few of these fabrics, so definitely do not want to stuff this up. Although on the plus side, they do look quite nice just up on the wall [Read more...]

Plotting…

Diving into the oh-so-tiny Denyse Schmidt hoard. Can you guess what I am up to if I tell you I am cutting 2.5 inch strips of every fabric?And I know this may seem a little unlikely, but I'm not sure I have enough.

First sewing

I lost my 2013 sewing virginity this afternoon by sneaking away from my desk to make a little pincushion for a swap at the LMQG meeting this weekend. It was a nice quick make, using this cathedral window tutorial and some scraps of Frippery by Thomas Knauer. The most time consuming part (after the fabric origami) was choosing the button from my ridiculously enormous stash, none of which is ever what I am looking for. It's the universe telling me to buy more buttons. Yes, that must be it.Anyhoo, I eventually settled on a simple button with holes in it, rather than a hidden shank. Mainly because I tried sewing on the other kind and it went a bit pear shaped.I think it's quite cute - I [Read more...]

A year well spent

Until I made these mosaics I genuinely felt as though I hadn't done that much sewing this year. It always seems like something else takes precedent, like the kids or work or the dog or eating or sleeping - you know how it is. And then I had a look at my photos and nearly fell over.There were a few bagsSome bee blocks and charity blocksDipping a toe back into dressmakingOne or two things for the houseA couple of mini quiltsAnd some bigger quilts (including the mahoosive bloom)But the highlight of the bloggy year for me was the Pervalong - look at all these amazing quilts! I love them all.Thank you all for your comments and support this year - I've made some great friends (in real life and [Read more...]

Puppy = toddler

As you can see, someone had a lot of fun with the wrapping paper this Christmas. We had a lovely day, just the two of us (four if you count the pets), eating way too much food and getting inexplicably tipsy on really not that much champagne. I can drink pretty much anyone under the table with tequila, but when it comes to wine I am off my face after half a glass. Odd, and also convenient when on a budget.I did manage to sneak some sewing time yesterday though, and whipped up a selvedge spider web block for Liz in the other half of the Kinky Bee. I have so many selvedges it seemed ridiculous not to share, and I have been wanting to give this block a go for a while. It's pretty huge (17 inches [Read more...]

*belch*

I love peppermint bark. I make it every Christmas, to give as a gift and also just to have lying around for those unscheduled chocolate-requiring moments. You know the ones. In fact, I sent a few tins off the other day as my Craft-it-forward gifts (and they seem to have been well received). Normally I make a very straightforward type of bark - one layer of dark chocolate and one of white, with crushed candy canes sprinkled on top. This is very postage friendly, especially in the lovely cold English weather.But then I saw this recipe and knew that I had to give it a try. Peppermint flavoured dark chocolate ganache sandwiched between two layers of white chocolate, both sprinkled with candy [Read more...]

Their worth is far above rubies

I'm feeling so incredibly unmotivated at the moment. I'm not sure what it is, although the practically subzero temperatures in the sewing shed/office may have a great deal to do with it. I would much rather stay in the house with the puppy and watch crap telly while snuggling under several quilts. However, there are gifty things that need to be made, and as my family's annual gift exchange is happening this weekend (aaaaaaaaaargh) I thought I had better get my finger out.When I saw this weekender jewellery pouch by The Plaid Scottie I knew that I wanted to make one for my mum. It's a really great pattern with clear instructions, which is always welcome. Kaelin suggests using a half [Read more...]

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas

Christmas for this Jewish girl is essentially an excuse to bring an extremely oversized bit of forest into the living room. As my son says, "who wouldn't want a Christmas tree? Christmas trees are FAB!" The  crazy puppy who lives in this house has scuppered our usual plans, however. I have no doubt that she would eat/knock over/otherwise destroy every single decoration she could reach, and probably the tree itself.With that in mind we decided to go for a very small (i.e. tabletop), very fake tree this year. And taking my inspiration from (ok, shamelessly ripping off) Melody Miller's booth at Market I decided on a white tree. Embrace the fake. I would have gone for pink, but I couldn't [Read more...]

Call this a holiday?

I know I have been a little bit on the quiet side lately, but it's for a good reason (honest). I've spent the last few days' worth of sewing time working on the Holiday in London Duffle Bag, a new pattern by Bari J that I picked up at Market (you can get your own copy here). As a bit of backstory, I had seen all the fantastic Weekenders popping up all over the place but was scared pantsless by the accompanying warnings. Needless to say, this seemed like a (relatively) simple alternative.(Warning: this post contains a LOT of photos. I spent a long time making this bag, and I am going to make the most of it!)I took a few shortcuts, mainly using home dec weight fabric instead of quilting weight [Read more...]