Monday 29 July 2013

The joke's on me ...

... if you read Hazel's blog, here you will see that she has been commissioned to make a quilt and she has decided to go for Starstruck, from my book.  The only thing is, she wanted to make 10" blocks rather than  12" as in the original, so I offered to re-work the cutting instructions for her.  When I had done it, I decided to make a test block, just in case my brain had been fried in the heat, so I pulled out 3 ugly fabrics and had a go.  The good news is that my calculations were right, so I put the block on my design wall to take a photo of it to send Hazel, and then realised that I really like the block in these ugly fabrics. What do you think?

The reason the joke's on me?  Having decided I like the block, I don't have enough of the fabrics to make any more!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Winner ....

... actually, that title should really say "Winner, winner" shouldn't it, cos the wonderful people at Oakshott gave me two bundles of their fabrics to give away.

If any of you haven't already visited their website, then do go and have a look round.  Not only do they have gorgeous fabrics and bundles, but they also have kits and free patterns.  I have already put one or two things (yes, OK, it's rather more than one or two things) on my Christmas list.

Now I expect you'd like me to stop chuntering on and announce the names of the winners wouldn't you?

Well, the first number generated by was ....
who wrote
"I've signed up for the newsletter. Thank you so much for the chance to enter. This is gorgeous fabric."

and the second number was ....
Nancy D
who said
"I'm signed up for their newsletter. The fabric is so pretty!"

So, congratulations to both winners, and thanks again to Oakshott for their very generous giveaway.  

Saturday 27 July 2013

Thanks ...

... to everyone who replied to my call for help for my friend Nancie.  She thought it was a sign of real friendship that I did it, but really it was self defence that made me post that SOS.  Cos I was spending so much time on the computer looking for this quilt, the cobwebs were growing all round the house, the dust bunnies were doing what bunnies do, Mr Fixit was wasting away from starvation, and I need new glasses!

Anyway, all's well that ends well, cos thanks to Freda, who replied within minutes of me posting, Nancie had her quilt.  You can see it here, and also thanks to Marj who also told us that the pattern was shown in the latest McCalls magazine.

So, thanks to everyone who tried to help, Nancie has now got her brain back, and another quilt on her to-do list.
Yippee Woman Jumping for Joy Animated Animation Animations Gif photo aaaold20lady20yippee.gif
PS Don't forget my Oakshott fabric giveaway, here.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Can any one help ....

... my friend Nancie?

She's mislaid her mind and can't remember where she put it.  It seems that about a week or so back, she was whiling away some time on the computer, looking at quilts, like you do, and she saw a quilt that she fell in love with.  Apparently, it had granny square blocks in the centre, with a border of hexie flowers.  Unfortunately, she didn't take note of where she saw this masterpiece, and now can't find it.  Does anyone know where Nancie might find this quilt again, and hopefully find her mind at the same time?

PS Don't forget my fabulous fabrics giveaway, here.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Chatterbox ...

... has had a great couple of weeks.

(Warning:  this is a proud grandmother post.)

Today was his last day at junior school before joining his older brother (The Professor) at High School in September.

A couple of weeks back his year at school put on Bugsy Malone, and he played Fat Sam.  (Apparently he counted the lines one day, and he had more than Bugsy himself!).  The play lasted an hour and a half, and he was on stage for a lot of that time and he did not once forget his lines, or even drop the New York accent (pretty good for a Yorkshire lad I thought).  His parents (the Nomads) were told by several people that he stole the show, and I definitely thought so too.

A few days after that, he got his SATS exam results.  These are national exams, and he got brilliant results almost all subjects at grade 5, which is about as high as he could get.

Then, a few days after that, his football team were playing in some sort of gala, and they drew in the finals so it had to go to penalties.  Chatterbox volunteered to go in goal for that part, and saved 2 penalties, which meant his team won.

Just to top off a brilliant fortnight, he was awarded Student of the Year at school.

Didn't he do well?

PS Don't forget my fabric giveaway, here.

Saturday 20 July 2013

I i i t 's....(the same post but with an update)

... been a long time since I did a giveaway, so I'm about to put that right.

Update:  please see below for the small print I forgot!

Have you heard of Oakshott Fabrics?  No?  Well, you are missing a treat.  These are fabulous shot cottons handwoven in India specially for Oakshott Fabrics.  Go ahead and pop over there to have a look, I'll wait here for you.

See, aren't they gorgeous?  They are wonderfully soft to touch, in lovely colours and they all shimmer with a silky lustre. (Did you like that last phrase?  I stole it straight from their website cos I thought it described the effect so much better than I could!) It's hard to describe the appearance of the fabrics, and even harder to photograph them - and believe me, I tried - but thanks to the generosity of Michael (Mr Oakshott Fabrics himself) I can offer two of you the chance to see for yourselves.  I have two packs to giveaway today, each one consisting of 12 Fat 8ths.

The pack on the left is called Italy, and the one on the right is Lakes. These are so new, they are not even on their website yet.  Now it's confession time.  I wanted to see them close up, so I undid each pack.  I justified it by taking photos of the fabrics spread out so you could see them better, so here are the fabrics from the Italy pack

and here are the Lakes
They are all gorgeous, but my photos are not doing them justice.  I tried taking these pictures outside, but it is so bright that they looked totally washed out.  In reality, the colours are much deeper than they look here.

Anyway, enough of my wittering on, I should think you want to know how you can get your hands on one of these packs don't you? It's very simple.  All you have to do is visit Oakshott's website, have a good look round, and then click on the "contact us" tab to send an email to Michael asking to be registered for their newsletter.  (Don't worry, they do not share your details with anyone else) Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me you've done that.

Here's the small print:
  • this giveaway is open to anyone, wherever you live
  • I will need an email address to contact you if you are a winner, so, if you are a no-reply blogger, please leave an email address in your comment
  • the giveaway is open for one week, and will close at midnight on Saturday 27 July.  I will use to draw the winners, and notify them by email and announce them here on Sunday 28 July.   
  • Update:  the first name drawn will have the 1st choice of the packs and the second winner will receive the other pack.
 If you're not lucky enough to win this time, just go visit your LQS and ask for them.  (If they don't stock them yet, I am sure Michael would love to hear from them, so he can put that right!)

Oh yes, and one more thing.  If you are planning to go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham (UK) and would like some vouchers from Oakshott to help your pocket money go a bit further, then all you have to do is email Michael and ask for some.  You have until the end of this month to do that.

Right, I  think you're probably all fed up with the sound of my voice by now, so I'll just say good luck to you all, and thank you very much to Oakshott Fabrics.

Thursday 18 July 2013

It's a challenge ...

... Who's bright idea was this?  A quilt on the theme of Christmas without using red or green fabric?  Ridiculous.  Still it wouldn't be a challenge if it wasn't challenging would it?  This is mine so far.
That's the easy bit done.  Now I've got to do scary free-motion quilting without the aid of a robot.  Eeek.  Actually, I don't think Big Brother is all that keen either.  Yesterday it had a total meltdown in the heat and started making a horrid noise, running on after I took my foot off the pedal and refusing to reverse. I took it apart, cleaned it, oiled it and left it overnight.  It didn't need cleaning or oiling, so I was a bit worried that I might have drowned it, but it ran OK-ish this morning.  So, as I said, next thing is that we're going to play at FMQ.  Wish us luck.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

It's Christmas ...

... now I know it's only July, but it must be Christmas cos look what arrived all the way from Australia one day last week
 and inside were these absolutely GORGEOUS fabrics from OzSue.   Aren't they just so "my" colours?
I can't wait to do something with them, but first I've got to decide what to make that will do them justice.  Meanwhile, I can stroke them!

Thank you so, sew much Susan, I absolutely love them.

Monday 15 July 2013

Christmas QAL (Monday) ...

... is over again for another month, but I wanted to thank Happy Hazel for being such a wonderful hostess, and Grumpy George for doing his bit too.  By the way, I think I know why he looked so grumpy.  I reckon that Hazel really did make some eggnog, and then made George drink it!

Next month our hostess will be Joanna, so don't forget to visit her on the second weekend of August.  I know I've already marked it on my calender.

Also, I have a message for Elaine S, who left a lovely message on this post on my blog and also left me a message on Lynn's blog yesterday.  Elaine, I can't reply to you as you are a no-reply commenter and I don't have an email address for you, but thank you so very much for your welcoming comments, they are very much appreciated.

Now I'm off to work on my Christmas challenge (you know, the one that someone said could not include red or green fabric?) for an hour.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Christmas QAL

This weekend is the Christmas Quiltalong, hosted this time by Happy Hazel from Hazel's Quilts.

As some of you know, I have been staying with my friend Bilbo at Bag End for a few days.  We had a wonderful time with lots of chatting, teasing each other, putting the world to rights, etc - all the usual things friends do when they get together.

Since I was travelling home again yesterday, we decided to start our Quiltalonging on Friday instead, so we would have the whole day to play together.  We both decided to work on our Christmas Challenge quilts - you know the one: no red or green fabrics to be used and a maximum size of 96".  (Wonder who on earth came up with such a stupid idea?)

 So anyway, we started with this: French Toast  (would you believe I had never had French Toast before?) with yummy strawberries picked from Bilbo's garden about 5 minutes earlier and creme fraiche.

Then we set to work.  This is what the sewing room looked like before we started:

and after much planning, drawing and re-drawing

we were ready to start sewing,

I think!

I had planned to carry on with mine today at home, but really it's too darn hot (as someone once sang) to sit in the conservatory where I sew today.  What I am going to do though, is visit everyone else who's linked up with Hazel (go here to see who's taking part) and see what is happening around the world.  Don't forget to check out Hazel's blog too, she has already had some fun things happening yesterday, and I know there'll be more fun today.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Have you remembered ...

... what's happening this weekend?

Here's a clue
This month the party is at Hazel's, so don't forget to pop in and see what we're all up to here.

I'm off to spend a few days with Bilbo tomorrow, but I'm sure I/we will pop in from time to time.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Google + update ...

... following on from my whingeing yesterday about the fact that anyone who uses a Google+ identity to leave comments is showing up as a no-reply blogger, I think I have a fix for you.

In fact, Sharon left a comment with this link, but when I thanked her and said I was going to post about it, she told me that it was originally Tonya who found the solution.  Well I want to thank both of you very much for helping.  If you go here, you will be taken, step by step through what to do so that you can become someone that I can reply to again.

Of course, maybe you don't want me to reply, but I always feel that I am being very impolite if I don't, so humour me, please?

Monday 8 July 2013


I have noticed that if anyone leaves a comment on my blog using a Google+ identity, they seem to be coming through as no-reply bloggers.  Does this happen to other people, or is it something I've done in the settings on my blog?
Big tears 
So, if you have left comments for me and don't get a reply, this is why.  Please don't think I'm being rude or ignoring you, it is just that I have no way of contacting you.

Friday 5 July 2013

Oooh, look ...

... I've gone international!

Yes, I'm going to be teaching a class at the Quilts in the Garden quilt show while I'm in the USA.

I'm staying with Lynn from Sew'n Wild Oaks and we're both going to be teaching at the show.  Lynn is taking a class that sounds really great, called Patchwork Math on Wednesday 25 September, (you can read a bit about it on her blog, here) and I'm teaching my 3D Noughts and Crosses quilt, which is this one,

on Thursday 26 September.  We're also planning to go to each other's classes and sit at the back and heckle.

There's not much information about the show yet on the site, but you can go here to see the classes on offer so far. It should be fun, but I'm a bit scared too.

 If you're going to be in the area, do come to the show - both Lynn and I would love to see you.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Happy Fourth of July ...

This is specially for my American friends who might like to do something special to celebrate today:

Tuesday 2 July 2013

I'm doing an impression ...

... of being the White Rabbit - in other words, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date" as Lewis Caroll put it.  Yesterday was the day for linking up for the Country Charmer quiltalong, and here I am, a day late!  I really don't have a good reason, except that yesterday I was needed to support both Laura Robson and Andy Murray in their Wimbledon matches.  Anyway, shall I stop wittering on and show you how I'm getting on?

Well first thing this morning I had this

By lunch time it looked like this

Now it's time to stop for today and watch some more tennis, but this is where I am now.

I absolutely love this quilt, which was designed by Lynn from Sew'n Wild Oaks, and I am enjoying the easy-going quiltalong, which is being hosted by Lesley, The Cuddle Quilter.  Thank you both for all your efforts.  If you would like to see more Country Charmer charmingness - and who wouldn't? - then pop over to Lesley's place, here, and at the bottom of the post she has all the Linky's for you to visit.

By the way, did you notice, I have a design wall!  Well actually, I have a piece of wadding hanging over a cupboard.  Mr Fixit had all sorts of bright ideas about making one but that's as far as it got, so then, after reading about Donna's idea, here, I also sent off for a tablecloth.  Obviously tablecloths here in the UK aren't as good as those in the US, cos my blocks kept falling off.  That's when I suddenly thought of just hanging up a piece of wadding, and it worked, and I'm thrilled about that too.

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