Sunday 30 December 2012

Christmas 2012 and a blog hop ...

... I hope everyone had a good Christmas?  I'm sorry I have been a bit quiet, but read on, and you might understand why.

My Christmas went like this:

Sunday 23 December: my sister arrives for the holiday and is ill overnight
Monday 24 December: Mr Fixit not feeling brilliant all day.  Chatterbox (DGS2) has also been quite poorly with a chest infection.  Cos of all the unwell-ness, we cancelled our traditional family takeaway dinner that evening.
Tuesday 25 December: Mr Fixit, my sister and Chatterbox all felt well enough that we could go out for Christmas lunch.  Chatterbox didn't eat anything and gradually felt worse as the day went on. My father started to feel unwell.
Wednesday 26 December: Father felt better and we went out for lunch.  My sister started to feel ill again (different illness to Christmas Eve). Father had a funny turn in the night.
Thursday 27 December: Sister feeling better and ready to go home.  Her youngest son came up to collect her as arranged.  They got everything in the car, which promptly broke!  Steering gone.  Call the AA.  Car needs to go to a garage to have the broken widget and thingy fixed.  Call sister's oldest son, who left work early, drove for nearly 3 hours to collect his mother and brother.  He arrived, we loaded his car, and off they went.  Poor K, the driver, had another 3 hour drive to get them home, so they arrived about 11pm and he had to be at work at 6am the next day.
Friday 28th December: Father feeling better so came in for lunch. Garage arrived to take away the broken car.
Saturday 29 December:  Mr Fixit and I wandered round in a bit of a daze, trying to get ready for son and family to arrive tomorrow.
Sunday 30 December: son is on his way, and we're doing nothing!

On a completely different note, Mrs Pickles is hosting a Quilting Secrets blog hop which starts today. She has invited six of us to share some quilting secrets with everyone.  The secrets might be some tips on technique, organisation, anything really that we think might help others, specially those who are fairly new to quilting.
mrs pickles garden
The hostesses are as follows:
31 December: Christine from Quilt Monster Closet
01 January: Linda from Buzzing and Bumbling
02 January: Barbara from Cat Patches
03 January: Melissa from Sew BitterSweet Designs
04 January: Sharon from Vrooman's Quilts
05 January: Me
06 January: our hostess herself, Mrs Pickles from Mrs Pickles Garden

I know that there will be a great giveaway at each stop during the week.  Be warned though, these giveaways will each only last for 24 hours. Also, if you post about the hop, with the button (you can go here to get the code) and let Mrs Pickles know, you might win a special little something from her.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Now we are three ...

These feet belong to Sewali, Mrs Flum and me and the picture was taken by Bilbo on a super day out we had about 18 months ago. 
Very sadly, Sewali passed away last week.  
Rest in Peace Ali.

Sunday 16 December 2012

I'm back ...

... from having a great time down south with my son and family, so I'm just writing a quick post to announce the winners from last Saturday's Christmas QAL.

The winner of the Christmas Parade is no 24, Snowmen Galore from Vicki's Crafts.
Vicki has won a jelly roll of Seasonal Little Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings very generously donated by CrazyQuiltGirl Fabric Shop.

The winners of the Hostess Trivia quiz were Lesley and Sharon, who both scored 18 out of 19 so they will both receive a charm pack of Seasonal Little Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings from me.
The winners of the Mysterious Festive Mysteries quiz were Sharon and Joanna who both correctly identified all the quilts.

Thanks everyone who played along and congratulations to all the winners.

If you come back in a couple of days, there will be one final post about the Christmas Quiltalong and there just might be another giveaway too.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Oops and winners ...

... I'm going to be away from the computer for a few days, so I've decided to leave open the Christmas QAL competitions until Saturday.  That means you've still got time to enter your Christmas quilts (finished or not) in the Christmas Parade, and to vote for your favourites, here and also to enter the Hostess Trivia quiz here and the Mysterious Festive Mysteries competition here.

Also, I am late in announcing the winner of the MyMemories giveaway, due to Christmas Quiltalongs, Lone Star Quiltalongs, Christmas, etc.  I am so sorry.  Still, better late than never, I hereby announce the winner of the fabulous MyMemories software is.................

and no. 6 is Ann Marie at 16 Muddy Feet, here.  I will send an email to you about how to claim your free copy but to anyone else who did not win, don't forget, you can always buy it yourself and receive $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value just by using the promotional code.

I', off down south to see DGS3's Christmas concert.  See you on Saturday.

Monday 10 December 2012

I've discovered ...

... how to become invisible!  Shall I share the secret?  All you have to do is stand in the foyer of your local supermarket with a charity collection tin.  Most people can't see you!  I spent 2 hours on Friday and 2 hours yesterday doing just that and was amazed at how many people couldn't see me.

Actually, yesterday was one of those days when I shouldn't even have got out of bed.  It started when I got up and realised I had given Mrs Nomad my last capsule of hot chocolate so there wasn't one for me to have for my breakfast. Then Mr Fixit couldn't get any more when he went to our local supermarket, so not more hot chocolate for me for a few days.

Then I went off to do my charity bit.  When I got there, no-one had notified the front desk I was coming, so there was a delay while they checked that the hospice had been given permission for someone to be there. When they decided I was official, I went off to the foyer.  I knew where I wanted to stand, but when I got there, there was a woman already there with a stand set up and she was giving out leaflets for double glazing, new kitchens, conservatories, etc., so I parked myself opposite her.  This woman (who I called Snotty Lady) promptly told me I couldn't stand there as "they" didn't allow someone to stand opposite someone else like that.  (Wonder why I didn't ask who "they" were?).  So I moved - a bit.  Now in the UK if you have a collecting tin you are not allowed to rattle it to try and attract people's attention, but Snotty Lady was accosting everyone as they came in and out and asking them if they wanted a leaflet.  Of course, because she was talking directly to them, they answered her, and then scurried on without making any eye contact or anything.  I would be surprised if I collected more than £5 in 2 hours.  I was cold, and fed up when I got home.

In the afternoon I had some cards and packages to send overseas, so I was doing the postage online, but the site was running so slowly that it all took so long I actually said to Mr Fixit that I thought it might even have been quicker to go and stand in a queue at the post-office, although queues can take 20 minutes there at the best of times, and at Christmas it's just downright silly.

Then I went to see my father.  We were busy chatting, and it got to about 7.15pm so it was time for me to leave cos the results show from Saturday's Strictly Come dancing, would be starting at 7.20.  That's when my father checked for me and told me it had started at 7 pm!  Whaaat?  It always starts at 7.20.  I got home in time to see the final dance-off.

See what I mean?  I should have just stayed in bed all day.

Anyway, don't forget there is still time to vote in the Christmas Parade, here, by clicking on the *Like* underneath the photo.  Then you can enter the Hostess Trivia quiz here and the Mysterious Festive Mysteries  quiz here.  There are prizes too for the quiz entries, and the Christmas Parade entry with the most votes.

Sunday 9 December 2012

It's time to vote ....

.... for your favourite entry in the Christmas Parade.

I hope you've enjoyed the Parade, and maybe found some inspiration for next year.  To vote for an entry, all you have to do is to go to the Christmas Parade post, here and click on "Like".  The entry with the most "likes" will win a jelly roll very generously supplied by CrazyQuiltGirl.

You can still add to the Christmas Parade, until Wednesday midnight, at which time the voting will close too.

Saturday 8 December 2012

Mysterious Festive Mysteries Christmas QAL post 3 ....

Well, here it is, the last game of the party.  Don't forget ANYONE is very welcome to our party, and to enter anything Christmassy they've made this year into the Christmas Parade, here.

It's been a very quiet party so far, but this close to Christmas I expect everyone's been busy, but I hope they will all join us at some point today.

Now for the game,

I want you to look at these pictures of different Festive Mystery quilts, and tell me who made each one.  All the makers are shown below with a link to their blogs.  Again, email your answers to me, as before, and who knows, there might even be another small prize for the winner.






1) Sue
2) Lesley
3) Hazel
4) Sharon
5) OzSue (no blog)
6) Donna
7) Joanna
8) Elizabeth

Christmas QAL post 2

Don't forget to go here to enter your creations in our Christmas Parade, where you might win a prize.

Now, I thought we'd have some fun, so here's a little quiz for you, which I've called hostess Trivia.  The answers can all be found on the following blogs:
Hazel at Hazel's Quilts,  Joanna at Needle, Thread, Happiness, Lesley at The Cuddle Quilter, Sharon at Vroomans Quilts, Paulette at Sweet P Quilting, Lynn at Sew'n Wild Oaks, Cathi at Shakerwood Quilts, Elizabeth at Sand and Sunshine and finally, me, here.
All you have to do is email the answers to me at sue(dot)abrey(at)gmail(dot)comobviously replacing the words in brackets with the appropriate symbols, and I will draw a winner using on Wednesday.  The prize for this will be a charm pack.
  1.             Who decorated her house in a Halloween theme in October?
    2.       Who is going to be a first-time grandmother in about a week?
    3.       Who lives in a road called Quilt Lane?
    4.       Who was our hostess in March, who lives in Massachusets?
    5.       Who started making a Christening dress during the October Quiltalong?
    6.       Who wore red and white dotty pjs in April?
    7.       What is the name of Sue’s favourite quilt shop?
    8.       Who designed the Festive Mystery quilt?
    9.       Who  dyes her own wool and sells it  at quilt shows?
    10.   Who went for a walk on the beach in June?
    11.   Who wrote “Pick Four: Easy Fabric Choices for Great Quilts”?
    12.   Who made mittens in July?
    13.   Who taught us to make angels in May?
    14.   Who used her dog, Zinnie, to draw a giveaway winner in July?
    15.   Who held a fancy dress party in September?
    16.   Who made a double-sided quilt with her Festive Mystery quilt, and showed it to us in August?
    17.   Who loves Santa almost as much as Mrs Santa?
    18.   Who was starry – eyed in June?
    19.   Who gave us the recipe for tiffin in February?

Christmas Parade - Christmas QAL post 1

Good morning all.

It's time for the Christmas party to start, so here's what I'm hoping you'll all do.

Please would you use the Linky thingy above, to show everyone the quilty items you've been making for Christmas this year?  Use one link for each picture and link back to a post where you have written about the item you are showing.  This post may be one you wrote months ago, or one you have just written, but please make sure you link up to the post and not just to your blog.  (You can do that by hovering your mouse over the post title, right click it, select "copy link address" and then paste that into the appropriate part of the linky).  If you haven't got a blog and want to enter, just email me a picture and some words about it, and I'll post it from my blog.

After 24 hours, everyone will be able to vote for their favourite, as long as I remember to open the voting!  The vote will be by clicking on the "like" button underneath each picture which means it will be completely anonymous.  The winner will be the one with the most votes by the end of Wednesday, 12 December, and they will win a jelly roll, very kindly offered by my most favouritest quilt shop, CrazyQuiltGirl.

I hope that all makes sense to you.  It does to me, but then I know what I'm talking about.

By the way, I must thank Brent at Linky Tools.  I had a question about the voting part of this so I sent him an email.  As it was at about 2 am for me, I was hoping I might get a reply fairly quickly so I didn't have to stay up all night, but his reply came through in about 2 minutes.  Now that's what I call quick service.  Thanks Brent.

More finishes for the Christmas parade, part 3

Then I've made 3 of these table runners as gifts.  I will finish them off this afternoon so they can go in the post, after they've had a good press.  I saw the original pattern on Barb's blog, and she saw it on the Missouri Star quilt site as a tutorial.  My version is a sort of combination of the two.

More finishes for the Christmas Parade, part 2

 Next is my Christmas Wreaths quilt.  I actually pieced this last year, but ran out of time to quilt it.  I quilted it with feather wreaths in white thread in the white areas, and arching feather sprays in red thread on the other areas. I think it's turned out very well, and I've included a close up to try and show the quilting.  I am determined to sew the binding down on this one before Christmas.  Hmm, am seeing a pattern developing here?

More finishes for the Christmas Parade.

I have (almost) finished several other things during this year.

First of course, is my version of the Festive Mystery.  The colours aren't very festive, I know, but I already have one in red and gold, which I made some years ago when I first designed this quilt.  In a great departure from my usual choices, I decided to quilt this in an all-over stipple, which I have never done before.  I used a turquoise colour thread to match the fabric, and think it came out quite well.  I have to admit though that it's not finished, as I still have to sew down the binding!

Friday 7 December 2012

It's Christmaaaaasss .....

Well, almost.  Tomorrow is the last Christmas Quiltalong,

I've chosen my dress,

I've been busy in the kitchen,

the tree's up,

the games, and the prizes, are planned,

So I'm ready.  I hope to see you all here tomorrow for the Christmas Quiltalong party..

Crazy Christmas Trees ....

.... is now finished.  Here it is, decorating my sofa

and here is a close up of the quilting

and this is to show the back, which I love almost as much as the front!
This quilt is everything I thought I didn't like, ie quite scrappy (I used more than 30 different fabrics!) and with a pieced backing.  Well, you know what?  I was wrong, I don't just like this quilt, I LOVE it!

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Giveaway reminder

Calling all quilters, cardmakers, scrapbookers, proud parents/grandparents, any one else who likes creating wonderful keepsakes, etc.  Don't forget my giveaway of some great software called MyMemories , which you can use for all sorts of great projects.  Just go to this post, to see what I managed to create with this software, and to enter the giveaway.  Don't delay for too long though, the giveaway closes on Friday evening.

Saturday 1 December 2012

Lone Star day - post 3

From this
To this
To this
Which became this
Which then became this
Then I added these
So it became this
So the top is finished, which was my aim for today and for 2012.  Thanks so much Jayne for keeping me on track with this.  I have cursed it, I have sweated over it, at times I have been close to giving up on it, but now, I am so glad I kept going on our Lone Star days cos I love it. It's going to be put away now until next year when I will quilt it.

PS Don't forget to go here for my giveaway.

Lone Star day - post 2

Phewwww.  I've added the first border now, pressed it and measured the top, and guess what?  It all measures EXACTLY what it was supposed to.  I just hope now that I got the measurements right for the star border.  Fingers crossed for me please everyone.

It's Lone Star day

I can hardly believe that this is the last of our Lone Star days.  It was about this time last year that Jayne and I got chatting, and somehow encouraged each other into making a Lone Star quilt by having one day a month when we worked on ours and encouraged other people to join us.  Elizabeth has been with us all the way through, and her quilt is looking wonderful although I'm not sure she'll be joining us today as I know she has a time-crunch quilt to get done at the moment.

Anyway, it's now lunch time here, and I have done all my chores, so I'm free for the rest of the day.  My intention is to turn this
and these

into something looking like this

by the end of the day.

Wish me luck, and I'll be back later to show you my progress.  Meanwhile, if you're joining us today, hop on over to Jayne's place, as she is the hostess today and has the Linky up on her blog.

See you all later.

PS don't forget my giveaway, here.

Friday 30 November 2012


Have you noticed how quiet I’ve been for the past week? (Please don’t ruin my ego by saying no here.)  Well I’ve been busy having fun.

Christmas cardChristmas is coming, so I’ve made some of these

and because Christmas is a time for parties, I've done some of these63737331bthen, because every home should have one, I’ve designed some of these

and, because it’s my birthday in January, I made myself one of these48317037b

I did all of these using some great software, called MyMemories Suite. This is called Digital Scrapbooking software, but, as I have found, it is so much more than that.  Apart from what I have shown here, you can also use it to make all sorts of great things like photo books (think what a fun way that would be to keep pictures of all your quilts) and you can print all these things as well as having them on your computer, so you could make loads of wonderful personalised gifts for people. I made all of the above with just what came in the original software, although there are loads of other kits you can buy on their website. I have spent a lot of time playing with this software, and have found it really is very easy to use.  I can see a lot more playing in my future!

I showed a banner at the top of this post that might have given you a clue about a giveaway,  so I expect you want to know what you have to do to win a copy of this great software don’t you? Well, the lovely people at MyMemories are offering my readers the chance to win a copy for yourself, and here’s how.  You can have up to four entries by doing the following:

1. visit MyMemories website and have a look round.  Then come back and tell me which kit you would use to make your Christmas cards this year;
2. become a follower on MyMemories’ blog and come back and tell me that you are;
3. follow MyMemories of Facebook and come back and tell me that you are;
4. follow MyMemories on Twitter and come back and tell me you’re doing that.

Now for the small print:
a. the giveaway will be open until Friday 7 December, when I will use Mr Random Generator to choose a winner.
b. it is open to anyone, wherever you live.
c. I must have a means of contacting you should you be the winner, so I’m sorry, but “no-reply” entries can not be accepted unless you include an email address.

 Because they're such great people, MyMemories want to make a special offer to any of you who don't win.  They are offering you a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value!)  Just click here to start shopping, then enter the code STMMMS69824 when you get to the checkout.                  

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Calling Holly ...

... Holly you emailed me with a question about the Christmas QAL.  I have not been able to reply as you are a No-reply blogger, but the answer is that you could still join us next month, for the final QAL day, but please email me with any questions.

Everyone needs to watch my blog for a post in a week or so about the final Saturday as it will be a little different to the usual format.

Monday 12 November 2012

Look what I've done ...

... remember I said on Saturday that I was going to have to make a pieced backing for my Crazy Christmas Trees quilt?  Well, here it is (sorry it needs ironing and I didn't smooth it out on the floor cos my knees didn't want to co-operate).
Since the backing wasn't large enough after I decided to add borders to the top, I had to stretch my backing fabric somehow.  I remembered seeing somewhere that there was a way of doing this by cutting the fabric on the diagonal (John Flynn has a formula for this), but I decided to be clever and insert a strip made up of left overs from the front.  I saw something similar done here, but I couldn't make the instructions work for me.  After an SOS phone call to Bilbo, I knew how to do it.  Thanks Bilbo for giving me the confidence to do something so far out of my usual comfort area. Next stage is to get Mr Fixit to set up Big Bertha, then I can get quilting on this and on my Festive Mystery quilt.

Saturday 10 November 2012

Christmas QAL - post 6

I thought I'd just let you know what I have in mind for next month's Christmas QAL day.  As it's the last one of 2012 I thought it would be fun to do something different.  I haven't thought it all through yet, but you will need photos of anything you have been working on during our Christmas parties, finished or not.  That's all I'm saying for now.

Thank you everyone for joining me this month, I hope you've enjoyed yourselves, and I'll look forward to seeing you all here again next month.
09 10