Saturday, 25 August 2012

Low volume charm swap

The gorgeous and talented Rebecca@MakingRebeccaLynne has just announced that she'll be running an international low volume swap which will be starting on Monday 27th August.  For details please click on the button below

and if you're interested please leave a comment on her announcement post - find it here.

If you're thinking 'what on earth is low volume?' then fear not for Rebecca has pulled together some fine examples on her announcement post and I've borrowed a few photos from a couple of bloggy friends (I asked first!)

These are bright blocks surrounded by a low volume background

Honey Bee Block
Borrowed (with permission!) from Fiona@PoppyMakes

1" Postage Stamp block
Also from Fiona@PoppyMakes

Low Volume #3 The Field Trip Block
Borrowed (with permission!) from Jan@Isisjem

 Second Block For Fi
Also from Jan@Isisjem 

And a stack of low volume fabrics from Jan's stash

Low Volume Stack 
Also from Jan@Isisjem 

And a couple of low volume dog photos, just to round off the post!



P.S.  Yes, I know I said that my next post would have a giveaway in it...turns out I lied *wink*

Edited to add: for some reason some of the photos aren't always showing and I've tried to fix it but have run out of patience...please just click on the link and it'll take you to Flickr!!  I'll come back and try again after a cup of tea!  Fixed...just don't ask me how 'cos I don't know!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

(Japanese) Prints Charming and a win!

Thank you so much to everyone who voted for Archie in the Pets on Quilts - he won!!!  I think he's a little bit disappointed that he doesn't get a trophy and/or a sash and tiara but he did get extra biscuits and a treat or two, spread out over the week, of course, wouldn't want him getting fat!  (Chance would be a fine thing...I'd give it a good go...) so he seems quite happy.  I also won a voucher for a quilt shop in the random draw so I'm going to have fun spending that!

Anyone for a thank you kiss?

In fact he's so please he thought he's show you how well his tummy hair is growing back...(Owners of boy dogs will testify that's it's not easy to get a tummy shot that doesn't upset the delicate!)

Not so much of the baldy nicknames from now on!

I seem to be going through a lucky streak at the moment (I pinched it from Hadley!) as I also won a lovely charm pack in Mary's giveaway - Mary has a wonderful blog Spoolhardy Girl, please pop over and say hello!

Archie composed a limerick as his winning entry - it's not marvellous but I didn't give him much notice!

I think it'll go nicely with my other Christmas fabric...when I eventually get round to making a Christmas quilt!

I haven't been up to doing much sewing (or anything else, to be perfectly honest) for a few weeks now - this tummy bug has knocked the stuffing out of me so I'm spending a lot of time lying on the settee half watching telly.   I've managed to do a bit of hand sewing that I've had prepared for months (adding the turquoise stripe borders to the Drunkard's Path blocks) but that's almost run out now.  Fortunately Sarah decided to run a Japanese Charm Swap and very kindly sent me a parcel with the instruction 'make something, anything, as long as it shows off the fabric and is cute' (or something to that effect...and she did say please - she was well brought up!).

This is what she sent

As soon as I opened the envelope I knew I was going to have fun!

I'd already decided that whatever I made would be made using EPP (English paper piecing).  It's not something I usually do (I prefer hand piecing - no papers) but I'm not up to sitting at the ironing board and preparing pieces in my usual way so decided this would be a perfect was!  As you may know I do love a bit of fussy cutting so I set to with a paper window (a square with a square cut out of the middle - to make sure I got the image centred) and my scissors and after about three days I had made this...

1/2" squares full of cuteness!

...which turned into this...

I had fun choosing which sections to use on the sides!  Can you guess what it is yet?!  Thanks, Rolf!

...and after a bit of stuffing it turned into this...

A pin cushion!  The top is 2" square and it stands 1 1/8" high - a perfect size for a hand piecing kit!

I promise it's more evenly stuffed than these photos would suggest!

I hope that qualifies as cute!  If you'd like your own charm pack of Japanese fabrics (they're perfect for fussy cutting and I can only begin to imagine how much fun you could have with 56 squares of glorious cuteness) please head over to Sarah's blog and leave a comment telling her you'd like to join in!   There are a few places left but you'll have to be quick as sign-ups close on Saturday evening (the 25th).  She's even made a cute button for us and arranged a discount of 10% for all participants at Celtic Fusion Fabrics.  Our Dear Leader is a marvel, isn't she?!

As if that wasn't enough she's also running a giveaway of ELEVEN fat quarters of gorgeous fabric so head over to her blog (same post as the swap) and leave a comment asking to be entered.

Speaking of giveaways...this week (Tuesday) was my first bloggy birthday (hurrah!) and my next post will have details of a (small) giveaway to say thank you to all of you who put up with my wittering.  I'm not making anything in advance (good job or you'd be waiting weeks!) as I want to give you the chance to choose from a (small) selection - I may be making a rod for my own back but I'm determined stubborn so it will happen!   **watch this space for details**

That's it from me, just one last photo of Archie (and Alfie, in the background, who stayed over this week so he didn't end up with paint on him...or hair on the woodwork!)

Any chance of a walk?  Or a consolation biscuit if a walk's out of the question...
Edited to add for Sarah:

A photo of little old me...about time too!


Thursday, 9 August 2012

It's time!

What's that?  It's time to vote in the pets on quilt competition?

You are going to vote for me, aren't you? (Ignore the mess left by BC in the background and concentrate on me!)

Go here to view the entries and then leave a comment here saying which entries you are voting for (you have one vote per category - dogs, cats, other, EQ and art - and if you leave a 'vote' comment you also get entered into the random draw). 

Of course, if you don't want to go to the trouble of looking at all the entries then you could just vote for yours truly, 112!

I'll wait here...

I think crossing my legs gives me an air of dignity and you agree?

Or here...

I love my bed, it's like a fluffy cloud...

Or here...

Peace at last...

Or here... (if the sun shows up)

In half an hour I'm going to be in full sun - bliss!

...for my extra 'it's the taking part and not the winning' biscuits while BC answers any comments.  I know she hasn't replied to all the comments from the last post yet - she needs to pull her finger out!  I tried to introduce a reward-based system (one biscuit for each of us for every comment answered) but she muttered something about 'broad in the beam' and ignored my suggestion.  Does my backside look big to you?!!  Thought not...

BC has also been muttering something about making a couple of Union flags for a bloggy birthday giveaway but she hasn't made a move towards stitching any yet.  I'll start chivvying and will let you know when there's progress.

I also stole a few hexies so I could take a photo.  She won't be best pleased 'cos they haven't been pressed yet but I thought it was about time she shared some sewing...

She really needs to get cracking with the final twenty hexies - maybe you could give her a kick up the backside and tell her to vanquish the tummy bug once and for all?!

I think it's coming up to biscuit o'clock so I'd best be moving into position...

Nice chatting with you - don't forget to vote for me and/or my friends, there's lots of us to choose from!


Edited to addvoting has now closed in the pets on quilts competition (results due in a couple of days, I think) - thank you if you voted for Archie!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Biscuit related emergency!

Ah, I thought that would get your attention!  It's Archie here - I've snuck onto the computer while She Who Controls The Biscuits watches some horses jumping over some funny looking fences.

A few days ago She Who Controls The Biscuits (I think I'll call her Biscuit Controller, or BC, for short as typing is hard when you're a dog) made me participate in something like a photo shoot (only a lot less professional and with far fewer biscuits) for a competition - something to do with Pets on Quilts.  She kept muttering could I just please, pretty please ignore the lifelong rule of no dogs Archie on quilt and lie on a quilt.  And look handsome.  Handsome?  On a pink quilt?  Would it have killed her to use a quilt that gave me more gravitas?  Maybe that navy one she's got on the settee...

Anywho, BC finally persuaded me that I was going to be allowed on the quilts (albeit for a ridiculously short time) if I would consent to have my photo taken and entered into the competition.  Now, BC doesn't usually ask my permission before getting the camera out so I know she must really want me to enter.  Question is...what's in it for me?  Maybe a nice treat like a jumbone or chew stick?  (By the way, have you seen my doggy double on the Dentastix advert? about ten seconds in, or so I'm told!)  Or an extra biscuit a day for the next week?  Yes, I think the latter will be perfectly acceptable - I'll let you tell her!

So, do you want to see the photos?  The poses are all my own work (it's not as though BC knows what she's doing so someone's got to take control) I think you'll agree they're impressive.  A masterpiece almost.  And, unlike those rowers, mine has been twelve years in the making *wink*

Here you go then...

And it's definitely OK to be on this quilt?  You're sure?!
I'm sure there's a catch somewhere - I'm going to remain dignified in the face of any silliness

You're not cross because I rucked it up looking for suspicious items biscuits?
All this looking handsome is tiring you know...time for a wee rest.

I may as well make myself comfortable...still not convinced by the pink though.

I was hoping for handsome and dignified but I'll settle for cute.

Do you know, I think this may be my best side.

Apparently not...

Now I look plain daft - I have no idea how I got myself in this position, time for evasive action.

Right, that's your lot...I'm having a nap!

Right, it's time to go - BC needs reminding that it's almost time for my teatime walk and I don't care if it's tipping down, we're going O-U-T.

Edited to add: Team GB has just won a gold medal in the horse jumping over things event - I wonder if that means extra biscuits for all four-legged friends?  I mean the people seem to be getting gold postboxes and special stamps, what do the horses (and their furry supporters) get?!  Diddly squat, I'm guessing.*  Maybe I could start a campaign - what do you think?! **

Oh, I nearly forgot!  I'm going to get BC to reply to your comments - it's nice to keep her involved and give her something to do 'cos she sure as hell isn't sewing.  It's been just over a fortnight now, I think she's forgotten how!

Bye again!

* The lovely Clare Balding has just said that the horses get to participate in the medal ceremony and get 'decorated' and written into the history books - is that as good as extra biscuits?

** As I typed that the power went off after a bit of lightning...seems like I've got one signature for my campaign *wink*

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Fresh Sewing Day - the July edition

July has been a quiet month here as I've been really tired and then got a tummy bug which has left me wiped out...I did finish some presents though so it wasn't a complete wash-out!

Union flag thread catchers and a pin cushion...

I also got the results of Archie's bile acid/ultrasound tests - they came back 'within normal range' so although he does have a problem with his liver he's not as far down the road (of liver failure) as the vet thought.  In terms of how he is in himself he's...completely normal!  Sleeping a lot, lying in the sun (when it's out!) and looking forward to meals and walks.  He still jumps round like a young 'un when I get his lead out and he's as keen on his walks as ever - he still grabs his lead in his mouth and pulls me towards the corner of the road (where he gets let off his lead and, in his mind, the walk starts) - just like he's done for eleven years.  So, it's better news than I expected, I've just got to keep an eye on him but treat him as normal.  So no, Archie, no extra biscuits...not every day, anyway! 

I thought it was about time I shared the blocks I've made for the back of the Stained QAL quilt.  I took these photos way back in June (you can tell because Archie has a full complement of hair!) and had two 'helpers' on hand to 'assist' with the technicalities...

(I've decided to do QAYG for this quilt, mainly because I didn't have enough fabric to piece a back (Nicky kept suggesting ideas and I kept saying 'I haven't got enough fabric to do that' - she was very patient!!) but also because I'm using a double layer of wadding in the quilt and I think QAYG will be easier to handle on the sewing machine.)

So, the 'photo shoot'...

I'll stand here to watch the line - if it falls I'll let you know.

And I'll, er, stay here and watch you...if you fall I'll let you know.
You need a different angle - that stuff behind me is distracting...and ugly!
See, that's much better.  You're glad I came out to help, aren't you?!
Yes, you were very helpful when, whilst limboing under the line, I dropped the blocks in the mud and then stood on audience was just the thing I needed at that point.  Ironic that I'd put the line there rather than at the bottom of the garden as I was worried about dropping the blocks in the bird bath...
 No need to get snippy...I didn't ask to be out here...

You realise this would be much easier if the line was more than three feet off the floor, don't you?
Yes, but the background wouldn't be as nice...have you got a better suggestion?

She's got a point but I'm not going to tell her so!

I don't know about you, Alfie, but I think she needs to find a better place to take photos...I'll let you tell her...

Well, it's passable...I've seen better...and I've seen worse.  Not much worse, mind you!

I don't know what she thinks this adds to the mix but we'll humour her, for now.

I'm bored now...(But doesn't the red of that poppy go nicely with my white hair?!)

So am I...are we allowed back inside yet?  It's all right for you, at least you're not tied up like a prisoner...
This is the last photo?  You promise?

This must be the last one - see, we look really handsome in this one.  I think the phrase you're looking for is 'It's a wrap!'.  Then we can go inside and have a celebratory biscuit and contemplate a job well done...

Sod this for a game of soldiers, I'm off...

Well, that escape could have gone better..thanks for the help, Alfie, you couldn't have done less if you'd tried...

Second time lucky?

Or not...

I think I'm losing the will to live...someone, anyone...I'm a celebrity - get me out of here!

If anyone has any suggestions for quilting (bearing in mind I'm going through two layers of wadding!) then I'd be grateful if you'd let me know!  At the moment I'm thinking about just going down each diagonal and leaving it at that.  Here's what the front is going to look like (with grey sashing between the blocks)

Not this thing again...
 And this is the back...a bit odd but I think hope it'll be ok...

I'm sure I was in this photo too...where have I gone?

I'm linking up to the marvellous Lynne and her Fresh Sewing Day

and now I'm off to watch some more of the Olympics - I was hoping to be able to watch and sew but I haven't picked up a needle and thread in over a week...and I'm not even up to feeling frustrated at not being able to sew - I hope I bounce back soon, I've got hexies to prep and sew!  The current count is 182 with 20 left to go - I'll be back to share them soon (ish)!!

P.S.  My blog overhaul seems to have ground to a halt at the moment - I'm going to follow Sarah's fabulous nerdy tutorials on mastering your GIMP when I finally get round to sorting out a new header...all suggestions welcome!

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