Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Late Summer Makes

Morning!  *blows dust from keyboard and peers into screen through thin film of cobwebs*  

Anybody there?  

It's been a while, hasn't it.  Almost three months to be exact.  I don't quite know why I've left it so long to update my blog.  I love writing here.  It keeps me chipper and gives me an excuse to waffle on about everything I've been up to.  I also love the chance to catch up on my favourite blogs and read what my cyber buddies have been up to. 

So.  What have you been up to?  With a glorious summer under our belts, we Brits are now revelling in the onset of autumn.  It occurred to me this morning that it is just two days until actual Halloween and I don't have any pumpkins.  No real ones, I mean.  I made a few fabric ones the other week and I do have a pair of tin lanterns that I bought last year, but I *need* real ones that I can carve and put in the garden.  Bet the only ones left at the supermarket will be misshapen and slightly manky.  Grr.  Must change the subject; am starting to feel slightly panicky about lack of pumpkins.

I used vintage fabric for the pumpkins, bought from Get Smitten
After a super-lovely holiday in February with Suzie's knit club girls, I was dead chuffed to be able to go to Meadowgate again in September.  

My little Mini loaded up with a week's worth of clothes and craft for two girlie girls.
We had such a lovely time.  

Afternoon tea at Gayna's on the way to Meadowgate.  So lovely to see her and tea was a real treat.
The weather was gorgeous for late September and (when we weren't eating) we spent quite a bit of time knitting in the garden.  On the Sunday, a few of us took a bottle of prosecco and some boogie boards to the beach.  It was lush.  Suzie and Deb hit the waves; Helen, Lisa and I gave moral support.  The week passed far too quickly and I now fondly refer to the week as 'patchwork boot camp' as I decided on the Tuesday to make a Christmas quilt and - with the help of patchwork expert Helen - it was basted ready for quilting by Thursday evening.  I am hugely pleased with it and love spending the evenings hand quilting.  

I used a bundle of Lynette Anderson christmas fabric that I found at Cowslip.  It is last year's design (called, I think, Christmas Fun).  I love the murky colours that Lynette uses - I think my quilt looks festive without looking over-the-top or twee.  

I've fallen for patchwork in a big way.  Upon arriving home from Meadowgate I immediately started working on a pattern for a patchwork bag.  I wanted to get stuck into more whilst I still felt confident of the technique.  By the end of the weekend (aided by a lot of swearing, unpicking and tutor texts/phone calls with my lovely friend Lisa) I'd finished the bag and I love it.  It is far from perfect (in fact, it's a bit rubbish really) but I am beyond chuffed to have made it all by myself.

Tilda fabric for this one:  the Sweet Christmas collection.
I've also started some English paper piecing and have embarked on the slightly ambitious project of a hexy lap-quilt:

I'm using Tilda Fabric for my hexies, too. The collection here is called The Corner Shop and is very pretty.
I have been inspired by Ali (as usual) and it was she who encouraged me to 'dream big' and start with a quilt rather than something more manageable like, say, a cushion! Ali sent me LOADS of helpful emails but I can't help but think she has more faith in me than she should.  I will be writing to her when I finish the last stitch in my retirement home, to let her know I finally finished it! 

I have actually finished a couple of things too, would you believe (Erin, I'm looking at you!).  

Tufty Scarf by Suzie Johnson.  Modelled by my 4-year-old niece, Izzie.
I started the neon Tufty scarf (link!) at Meadowgate but it was abandoned for Patchwork Boot Camp.  I managed to finish the scarf at the weekend - it was SO quick and easy to make.  I'm going to make another one.  Well I'm going to have to, because Izzie snatched this one up for herself the second I finished it.  It's really too long for her but she loves it.  I am pretending to be cross with her for stealing it but I'm secretly chuffed that she wants it.

Since coming back from Meadowgate, a few of us have formed a 'Secret Sewing Bee' and we meet on Monday nights.  The 'founder' - Deb from Rushden's Manfield Crafts - hosts it and has so many lovely things at her house that she has completely inspired me to make a whole heap of Tilda characters.  I started by making these little gingerbread men, which I turned into a garland with the addition of some stuffed hearts and thin piece of hessian.

I plan to make the teddy in this month's Mollie Makes next.  Have you seen it? It's gorgeous.  

Right, I'm off.  It's a work day today and I've got loads to do.

Have a great week!