Saturday 30 October 2010

Trick or Treat Giveaway ....

If you said "Trick", jump straight to the bottom of this post.  If, however you said "Treat", then read on as I have a GREAT giveaway for you. Winter's coming, right?  It's getting colder, right?  OK, OK, if you live in the southern bit of the world your answers will be "No" and "No", but you can still enter this giveaway, I don't mind.  Anyway, as I was saying, before I so rudely interrupted myself, winter's coming so this is the book we all need in our lives.

This book has got 12 gorgeous warm and welcoming "country" style quilt projects in it. Just to give you an idea of the delights to be found inside this book, just take a look at this picture:

There are lovely projects which combine traditional piecing with folk-style applique.  The back cover says about this book "Quilters of all levels will enjoy the relaxed nature of these scrappy projects - imperfections only add to their personality and charm".  I like that, they're giving me permission to have unpointy points and uncircular circles!

The instructions for each quilt starts with a helpful little box with a hint or tip on things like choosing your fabrics, which is great, and the instructions are all very clear.

Thanks to those wonderful people at Martingale and Company, you could have up to three chances to win this book, but you might have to come and drag it out of my hand.  Just leave  a comment on this post for one chance to win; be a follower or become one and leave another comment telling me this for a second chance and if you post about the giveaway on your own blog and leave me another comment you have a third chance.

This giveaway is open to anyone, wherever you live but please make sure you leave me an email address if you are a "no-reply" blogger, so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will leave this open until next Sunday, and announce the winner on Monday, 8 November.

Now, for anyone who said "Trick" instead of "Treat" at the beginning, here is a little video for you.


Friday 29 October 2010

Introducing ....

.... It's A Mystery To Me Too

I called this quilt "It's a Mystery To Me Too" which is a play on words, since it is the second mystery quilt I have designed.  (Yes, I can hear you groaning, but that's about typical of my sense of humour, sorry.)  This one was published in a British quilt magazine in 4 installments, which was exciting for me, both to see my design in print and to see the quilts that readers made from the instructions.

I designed and made this quilt in 2007.  As I made it using a range of Christmas fabrics, I decided to quilt it with an all-over holly leaf and berry design.

I hope you're all enjoying seeing all the quilts in this Quilt Festival, and I would like to say thanks to Amy for organizing it.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Oooohhhh dear ....

.... it's happening again.
"What's happening?" I hear you ask. Amy's stopping me from doing the housework again, that's what's happening.

"How is she doing that?" you're wondering.  She's holding another virtual Quilt Show, that's how she's doing that.

"When is it?" you want to know. It starts tomorrow, and will be open for a week.  During this time there will be hundreds of quilts on show for us all to go and look at.

This is not a juried or judged show but there are random prizes which will be drawn and announced at the end.  I'm showing one of my quilts, why don't you all join me?  Just click on the button on my sidebar for more information.

Now, I'd better go and sew a virtual hanging sleeve on my quilt, so, I'll see you all at the quilt show then.

Friday 22 October 2010

Remember this? ...

Well, it really looks like this box on the right.

Due to the fact that I can be a real idiot at times, I used the wrong picture!

Luckily Dave, who makes them, noticed my mistake.

I'm very sorry Dave.  I think it's still a beautiful little box.

A friend who is blogless, and who I'll call Roberta (after all that's her name) has just finished her version of Chocolates for Christmas and has said I can show you all.  I call this one Oranges, Lemons and Limes.  Isn't it gorgeous?

Thursday 21 October 2010

Three ....

... done.
Chocolate for Christmas is now quilted, as you can see!  The next one will be Paulette's quilt, once I've worked out how I'm going to quilt it.
I also thought you might like to see a little video of Bertha at work - look mum, no hands!
I'm sorry about the quality of the video, but isn't Bertha clever?

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Christmas Quiltalong - look at this ....

Isn't it a gorgeous little box?  It's been made by a very clever man called Dave, who handcrafts several different sizes of wooden boxes with traditional quilt blocks on the top. Since they are hand made, no two are ever identical.  Go and have a look here  to see more of his boxes. They are not only lovely, but you can even put things in them, so they're useful too.

Now wouldn't one of those make a wonderful present for someone? (My birthday's in January, in case you need to know).  Or what about a gift to yourself?

Well, guess what?  You could win this one in the Christmas Quiltalong next month.  I have decided to draw a winner from amongst everyone who has taken part in any of the Christmas Quiltalongs to receive this box.  I've also decided that since I've been hosting this, my name goes in too, once for every other name - that's fair isn't it?   

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Two down ...

... two to go.  I've just finished quilting Christmas Stars, which I started piecing on the first Christmas Quiltalong.

So the score is, 2 Quiltalongs = 2 quilts pieced and quilted.  Yippee.  They still need binding, but that's OK, I do that in the evenings or on a cold or wet day when I can put a lovely girly film on at the same time.

Who's a lucky person then? .....

... Yes, me!

I had a great time over the last couple of weeks blog-hopping all over the place in the Fall into Fall event organised by Debi.
There were about 150 blogs to visit, and they were all offering giveaways.  It was great fun, but very tiring, as you can imagine, hopping all over the world.  I entered some of the giveaways, and guess what?  I won this fantastic prize from Heather from Creative Confessions.  I haven't received them yet, so this picture is from Heather's blog (with her permission).  There are loads of FQs there including some Jo Morton fabrics which I love, and some yummy flannels.  This is an amazing prize, as you can see and I am so happy.  Thanks very much Heather, and also to Debi for organizing it.

Tracey at Tracey Perreira dot com has written a very interesting article about how many of us tend to underprice our work if we are selling anything.  Do go and read it - I certainly found it very thought-provoking.

Come back tomorrow for news of the next Christmas Quiltalong.

Saturday 16 October 2010

One down ...

... three to go.
Here is the nameless red and yellow quilt that I made on one of the Christmas Quiltalong days.  I have mixed feelings about this quilt.  I love the design, and I have always wanted a red and yellow Christmas quilt.  These fabrics were brighter (much, much brighter) than I wanted, but I had to use them as I didn't have time to get any more before the Quiltalong.  Anyway, being me, finished making the top, and decided I didn't like it at all, it was much too bright.  Being me though, I decided it was going to be quilted and finished, even if it then spent the rest of its life in a cupboard.  So yesterday, I set Bertha to work on it. 
Now I've finished quilting it and taken it off the frame, and guess what?  I love it now.  When I looked at the photo, I could see what looked like Christmas Crackers in it, so that's what this quilt is now called, and we'll have no wisecracks about Sue's Crackers, thank you.

Friday 15 October 2010

It's a funny world ....

.. when a 69 year-old man is asked at the supermarket to confirm that he is over 16 when he buys a packet of indigestion tablets isn't it?  That's what happened to Mr Fixit this morning.

On a different topic altogether, can a person get a divorce from her satnav?  You remember I had troubles with Tom last week when he MADE me drive into the big scary city?  Well, earlier this week he caused me even more trouble.  We decided to go to the Royal Horticultural Society place at Harlow Carr for lunch at Betty's.  (I went there with my friends Bilbo, Sewali and Mrs Flummery a couple of months ago.)  Anyway, it is about 25 miles north of here, and in the past I've always ignored Tom completely and gone my own way to get there, but this time, for some reason, I thought I'd do what I was told.  That was a BIG mistake.  The route he took us was about 40 miles!  That meant we got to Betty's late and there was a queue for tables.  We don't do queues.  We turned round, came back home and went to a nearby hotel restaurant.  Now, don't you think I have grounds for divorce on the basis of unreasonable behaviour?

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Latecomers ...

There were 2 more people taking part in the Christmas Quiltalong but they couldn't get to computers until after Saturday to tell us all about it, so I thought I'd pass the word around. 

Jaytee was travelling, but she still found time to do some stitching.  She has joined a nine-week block of the week, called Stitching for Christmas, and completed block two this weekend while on the road.  I just hope she wasn't driving at the same time. The blocks she has shown us look so cute, do go and have a look.

Gina has started work on a gorgeous table runner with reindeer on it.  This is going to look wonderful when it's finished.  She also spent time unsewing (oh noooo) the borders on a quilt she's been working on and found time to hand piece four star blocks!  By the way, her blog comes with a health warning. You will put on weight if you visit regularly!  She keeps showing pictures of wonderful things like lemon cupcakes she's baked and gives us the recipes to really tempt us.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

This month's winner is .....

... This month, instead of just putting all the names of people with the correct answers to the puzzle in the draw, I put all the entries in.  I did this to make it fair to the people who entered this time even though English is not their first language. So there were 12 entries, I pressed the button on the random number generator thingamebob, and this is what it said:
So, congratulations to Number 2,  SIV please could you email me your address so that I can send your little prize out.  Thank you everyone else who played.  Now I'd better get my thinking cap on and come up with a puzzle for the next Christmas Quiltalong day. 

Monday 11 October 2010

It's off ...

... on it's travels.

I've completed all my proof-reading and revising of the manuscript, diagrams, etc and today it's going back to my editor.  (Hey doesn't that sound good?  Almost like I'm a real writer!)  See it sitting on the doormat waiting for someone to come and collect it?  Bye-bye manuscript.  Have a safe journey.

The next time I see it apparently will be in mid January when it will be sent back all laid out complete with photos etc, looking very much like a real book.

Sunday 10 October 2010

Good morning ....

... everyone.  I hope those who joined in the Christmas Quiltalong yesterday enjoyed themselves?  I've just spent an enjoyable time catching up on everyone and thought I'd give a little summary of what I've seen.  This is quite a long post, with no pictures, but if you follow the links I've put, you can see everything I've been chattering on about.

Edited to add Ali, who wasn't able to play yesterday, but who has been quilting the Christmas quilt she made last time. QuiltHaze is also here now and she has been quilting a really cute panel today. Now Tracey's here too - she nearly sneaked in without me noticing!  She's been making chickens and they're great.
Another edit, this time I wanted to tell you that I've changed the name Diane a bit further down in this post to Elizabeth since that's what she's really called!  I'm very sorry Elizabeth!

Trudi has made some beautiful blocks and I can't wait to see what she is making with them.  She also uses the "leaders and enders" method to make another quilt at the same time.  She's promising to give us a lovely recipe for mincemeat today too.

I know that Paulette was busy yesterday, and I think she was working on her snowman quilt.  Hopefully she'll post some pictures of it today.  I've seen the pattern and it is gorgeous.

Have you ever thought of spending 2 hours fussy cutting?  No, me neither, but Caren did, and has made a gorgeous CD cover.

Pat wasn't sure if she wanted to work on some blocks, or the binding for a lovely looking quilt for her grandaughter.  I wonder which she chose in the end?

Reenie has been working on a christmas tree skirt in the last couple of Christmas Quiltalongs.  This time she finished the quilting on it and it looks wonderful.  Have a look at the holly she quilted on part of it.

Suely has been making some beautiful looking blocks, in just my colours.  Although her blog is in Portugese, I found that if I go to Google Translator here, I can just copy Suely's post, including photos, into the box, choose translate from Portugese into English, press go, and hey presto, I know what she's been saying.

Elizabeth  finished off a lovely Christmas tree wall hanging in the morning and spent the afternoon knitting christmas presents.

There is a lovely wallhanging on Joanna's blog, and she has almost finished two tops during the Quiltalong days so far.
Sue is making some great tablemats, (which need to come and live in my house) her flying geese are awesome.

Rosa shows some awesome blocks on her blog, I really loved the reindeer.  Her blog is in Spanish, but Google translate can come to the rescue again.

The Zany Quilter is making loads of star blocks, in plaids, and I am really looking forward to seeing them all set into a quilt.

Shellie is making a really cute Snowman runner, and the surrounding fabrics are just my colours.

Siv has been hand sewing a wonderful eight-pointed star tablecloth which she is planning to hand quilt too.  Her points are just amazing on the star.

Don't forget there's still time to enter the competition.  Email me the answers.  If you don't have my email address, go to "about me", just below the Christmas tree button on the right, click to "view my complete profile, and just below my mugshot is a button which says "email".  Click that, and you're off ....

Now I'm off to turn the slow cooker on, then I'm going to carry on with the blocks I was making yesterday.

Saturday 9 October 2010

My blocks so far ....

... I've had a brilliantly productive day, and this is what I've done.

It's now getting close to 10pm, so I'm going to sign off for tonight.  Don't forget to go and visit everyone else to see what they've been doing today. Also, do enter the competition and add your christmas memories if you would like to.

Goodnight everyone, and thanks for joining in.  I hope you've had as good a day as I have.

What? No baking? ...

... nope, no baking today.  Why?  Because I found my favourite christmas biscuits in the supermarket yesterday.  So, at coffee time this afternoon, this is what I enjoyed.  'Scuse me, I didn't hear someone mutter "greedy"  did I?  No, I thought not.  I didn't really eat all those, don't worry.

Now, while Strictly Come Dancing is on, I'm off to visit everyone else.  Don't forget to all do the social rounds will you?  Mr Linky-Thingy is here so you can go visiting easily.

Time for a puzzle ....

Mr Linky-Thingy  is here , please do add your name so we can all visit each other.

A message for Sunbonnet Sue:  I can't reply to your email, but you are very welcome and I'm looking forward to seeing what you are working on.

OK, I reckon it's time to exercise our little grey cells now.  So, see if you can unjumble these words.  They are all on the theme of Christmas.  Just email your answers to me by the time you go to bed on Sunday, and I will draw a winner on Monday.  
If you don't have my email address, go to "about me", just below the Christmas tree button on the right, click to "view my complete profile, and just below my mugshot is a button which says "email".  Click that, and you're off ....
1.   hmsscirta                     
2.   aqtuliognl                
3.   lyhlo                 
4.   viy                              
5.   stinle                        
6.   eeedirrrn                 
7.   astna                          
8.   scraol                     
9.   stperens                      
10.  besalt                        
11.  cifknnnserae           
12.  sletmoeti
13.  eoaindcrtos          
14.  etre                  
15.   vatytini      
16.  lenga                         
17.  abbleu                    
18.  ingsckot                 
19.  rifay                          
20.  wnos

Amie Soto Blossom

Mr Linky-Thingy  is here , please do add your name so we can all visit each other. There is also a message for Sunbonnet Sue underneath the link.

Amie Soto Blossom
Presents this recipe
For us to make
A yummy cake
To eat for Christmas tea.

Amie Soto Blossom
Can’t type too well with paw.
So she asks Midge,
(Her 2-legg’d pet)
 To help her with this chore.

Amie Soto Blossom
Hopes you like her recipe.
But if you don’t,
You’ve time to make
Something else for tea.

Since Midge, her 2-legg'd pet can,t be with us today, Amie thought she'd like to join in the Christmas Quiltalong fun.  Her recipe is on Midge’s blog, here.

Progress so far ....

Mr Linky-thingy is here by the way.

... this ....

... and this ....

... plus this ....

...equals this.

I thought you might enjoy this .....

... with your morning coffee/afternoon tea.

Do you have ....

... any special Christmas memories you'd like to share with the rest of us?  

I have two specially great ones, so I thought I'd share this one with you.  When I was a kid, I was very ill one year and had to spend Christmas in hospital.  I can remember oh so well, that at midnight (well, it was probably about 9pm, but I was just a kid) everything was very quiet in the ward, and it was dark too.  My bed was positioned so I could see down the corridor, and gradually I started to hear the sound of Silent Night being sung.  I could see candlelight too.  It was the nurses, who were going from ward to ward singing Christmas carols.  They always had navy capes as part of their uniform with red linings, and they had turned the capes round too.  It was absolutely magical.  

Oh, and don't feel too sorry for me - it was a great Christmas.  All the parents were told to bring in a pillowcase beforehand, and every nurse on the ward put a little present in each child's "stocking", the doctors came and did things like conjuring and magic, the nurses all dressed up, and we even had a visit from Father Christmas with more presents.  My parents and my sister were there too and Father Christmas had a present for her too.  It really was a great Christmas, and a lovely memory to have of what could have been a miserable time.

Happy Christmas everyone ....

Ho, Ho, Ho.  It's time - at least it will be after I've had my shower.

Just as before, I've added this Linky-Thingy.  If you're taking part in the festivities put your name and blog address in there, then  clever Mr Linky-Thingy produces a list of the names for us that we can click on to go visit each other.  How clever is that?
By the way, you don't have to leave a comment if you don't want to, even though Mr Bossy Boots Linky-Thingy tells you too. 

Oh yes, and here's a message for Sunbonnet Sue.  You're set to no-reply on your comment, but we'd love you to join in.  I hope you see this, or the comment I left on your blog.
A message also to Lynn Wilder, you're also a no-reply blogger, but I'm glad you're going to join us this month.
If there's anyone else out there in blogland who would like to join in, just grab your Christmas project, and sewalong with us whilst singing Christmas carols out loud.

La la lala, la la lala,
la lala la

Friday 8 October 2010

I'm ready .....

... for tomorrow's Quilt-along.  Are you?

Decision made ....

... thanks to everyone who came up with suggestions.  I allocated a number to each one and got Mr Fixit to choose a number.  That didn't work.  He chose the wrong number!  Then I decided to go with my friend Bilbo's suggestion of deciding to think about whether I'd feel happier next week if I got some tops quilted or if I made something else.  That was easy.  I'd definitely feel better if I got a couple of those tops done, so .... tomorrow I'm going to make another quilt top!  There, that was amazingly logical wasn't it?  What are you all going to be working on?

Thursday 7 October 2010

Oh dear .....

... what shall I work on on Christmas Quiltalong day?  I have 4 quilt tops, two of which are Christmas quilts, and several other things all waiting to be quilted.  I have a bag pattern I want to try.  I have a table runner I want to make.  I have a layer cake of Christmas fabrics and a Schnibbles pattern I want to use.  Oh dear, oh dear, how do I decide what to do?

Tuesday 5 October 2010

4 days until ...

... the next Christmas Quilt-along.  Who's going to come and play this time?
 Bilbo and Sewali worked it out yesterday and Reenie got it tonight so I thought I'd own up now.  Had you all wondering though didn't I?


..yes, four



Or should I say quatre, čtyři, quattuor, quatro ..........

Have you worked it out yet?

Monday 4 October 2010

5 ....




or to put it another way, cinq, cinco, cinque .....

Edited specially for Siv, to include "fem", which is Norwegian

Saturday 2 October 2010

Is it only me .....

.... who can use a satnav and still get lost?  Yesterday I needed to go somewhere the other side of the big scary city where I live.  I have been to this place before, but not often, so I took the satnav with me.  Near to my destination there have been roadworks and alterations going on for years, but that was OK.  Except, yesterday I found "they" have finished the roadworks, and closed off the road I wanted to go down.  "They" made me turn left. I could see where I wanted to be, but couldn't get there.  I turned left onto a new dual carriageway.  Tom, the little guy who sits in my satnav and reads the maps for me, was not happy.  His map didn't have this new bit of road on.  He told me to do a u-turn immediately.  Not possible Tom, it's a dual carriageway with a barrier between me and the other side of the road.  Then he told me to turn right.  Not possible Tom, there were no openings in the barrier.  Then he told me to take the next left.  Not possible Tom, due to the idiot sitting on my rear bumper on the left hand side.  So I just drove for a while without a clue as to where I was.  Tom sulked.  I drove.  Eventually, after a couple of miles Tom stopped sulking and decided to help.  Pheww, he finally got me there, but what should have been an 8 mile journey ended up being over 15 miles.

Whoops ...

... I am very sorry, but I have just noticed an error in my Chocolate for Christmas pattern.  Step 3 should tell you to cut 46 segments, each measuring 2 ½” x 4 ½” and not 2 ½” x 3½".  I have corrected it on the pattern page, and I do hope this hasn't caused any problems?  If it has, let me know and I will come up with a workaround solution for you.

09 10