What can you give the man who has everything?

(especially when your husband vetoes your previous idea as being "too womanly")My dad is, like many dads, totally impossible to buy for. With the obvious (and boring) exceptions of chocolate and shower gel, anything he wants he already has or is too expensive for me to afford. My sisters and I totally shot ourselves in the foot by buying him a Kindle for his 75th birthday - we can't even get him books anymore. On the other hand, it was literally the best thing we have ever bought him, so that's nice.However, the man who has everything needs a present, and I need to give him a gift that means something to me. He's done a lot for me, as you might imagine, and it makes me a little sad that I [Read more...]

Miss Maggie and her acoutrements

Tonight is Chanukah. It is really early this year, falling in November for the first time since 2002 (god bless you and your useless-information finding skills, Google), so I had a slight panic at the end of last week trying to get everything done in time. And by everything, I mostly mean buying a couple of presents (Chanukah tends not to be the giant gift- and food-fest that is Christmas). There was one present that took a little longer, however. I was totally seduced by the adorableness of Miss Maggie Rabbit as soon as I saw her, and absolutely *needed* to make one for Lucy. And then I *needed* to make her several outfits. Please bear with me for the Maggie fashion show:Maggie comes [Read more...]


Do you have weeks where you are doing so much sewing that there is no time to blog about it? That's what happened to me last week, and I blame Lizzy House. Seriously. She is a terrible influence.and this is my hair *after* it's been brushedFor my birthday, I treated myself to her Meadow quilt workshop at the Village Haberdashery. When the builders are finished (HAHAHAHAHAAAAA!) we will be moving into a new bedroom with a totally new colour scheme, and our old quilt won't look right (and I wanted an excuse to make a new one). The Meadow as designed has 20 blocks and finishes at 72 x 84", clearly not big enough for our massive-enough-to-hold-a-giant-American king-size bed. There was [Read more...]

Some tiny things

First off, it's my birthday today and I was lucky enough to be gifted this spectacular earworm by my friend Sally. It seemed only fair to share it with you all, so make sure to click through to see the marvellousness of the 1980s video. You're welcome.In other news, I've made a couple of tiny things lately, including an ATC (artist trading card) for the second round of the Very Berry Handmade ATC swap. The theme was autumn, which to me means stomping about in giant piles of fallen leaves. That being a little difficult to represent on a 2.5 x 3.5" canvas, I went with the process of leaf falling instead. The tree was machine stitched freehand and fused the leaves on afterwards with super [Read more...]

Migration – a bee block

November is my month in the Stingy Bee, and I seem to have gone a little bit goose crazy.This 16” square block is made of three sizes of flying geese (1 x 2”, 2 x 4”, and 4 x 8” finished). Use the stitch-and-flip method to make four of the tiny geese, 19 medium geese and three large geese (and an extra reverse goose as a siggy block). And look, I’m getting all scientific and technical with my cutting instructions:I’d love the background fabrics to be as scrappy as possible (but each goose to have only one background, please), with shades of grey and white (solids, prints or subtle batiks), but no cream/ivory. The geese can be solids or prints (and batiks in moderation) in shades of lime, [Read more...]

Tickled (see what I did there?)*

*clue: feathers, d'oh!When I first set eyes on the feathers print from Field Study I *knew* that I had to wrap it around myself in a clothing-related manner. Of course, then I faffed about and forgot to buy any before it pretty much disappeared from the web. Luckily, one of the vendors at Quiltcon (I can't remember who, sorry) had a whole bolt of the stuff on sale, so I snapped up three yards with nothing particular in mind.And then it sat in a drawer for six months (please tell me I'm not alone in this need to buy all of the fabric right now and not use it). It stared at me, petulantly, until I finally got the courage up to make a Schoolhouse Tunic, which I have been wearing pretty much [Read more...]

Ooh la la – une robe magnifique!

My current dressmaking kick continues with the Aubépine dress by Deer and Doe in a gorgeous purple/blue pinstripe shot cotton with black silk lining. I really wanted this dress to be as well-made as possible, so I actually made a muslin of the bodice. Unbelievable, I know, but (as I may have mentioned before) the ladies are a little on the large side and occasionally need more space than is routinely provided. Luckily in this case the darts were sufficient. I wasn't looking forward to doing my first ever full bust adjustment on a bodice with three horizontal pleats. I would have been more than a little out of my depth.The pattern is marked as intermediate, which I think is fair [Read more...]

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival

Hello and welcome! Glad to see you! I'll put the kettle on. Chocolate cake ok?It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival again, and I am entering Juicy Fruit into the two-colour quilt category. Sorry if you've seen it before, but I think it's really pretty so I hope you will forgive me.This quilt was a real labour of love. The central panel is made entirely from 3" and 1.5" half square triangles. I slapped them up on the design wall without thinking about how they would have to be stitched together, with the result that there were approximately eleventy billion partial seams to negotiate. I made a gif of it being sewn together. What this doesn't show is how much swearing was involved.Then I [Read more...]

It’s an illness

Another day, another sewing machine.Rachel very unkindly pointed out that this brings the total number of sewing machines in the house to six (although one doesn't work and one belongs to Lucy). They are all different, however, and one of them was given to me by the builders (to assuage their guilt), so I think this new addition actually only makes three. And it was bought with my birthday money (although it's not technically my birthday until next month, so I may have got a little ahead of myself).I challenge any among you to resist the adorableness of the Singer Featherweight, however. Especially one that has all its original attachments and is being sold by a brilliant charity. Made in [Read more...]

Bag Lady, or How to Jump on the Bandwagon

I like to blame other people. It's a thing I do.I *needed* a new bag. An autumnal bag. So a bit of this, some of this, a pair of these (no longer available in yellow), and a slightly shrunken version of this pattern (with the addition of a magnetic snap and internal pocket)...and I ended up with this:I can't tell you how much I love the yellow. It makes me very happy. Little things.