Friday 11 June 2010

Thank You.

My Mum taught me that you should always say " thank you" for a gift. Well a few months ago I was very lucky to win (another) wonderful give-away and although I said thank you to the gift giver at the time I very naughtily haven't thanked her here yet.
So here goes............................ many, many, many thanks to the lovely Julia who runs the on-line fabric shop Gone to Earth for a very beautiful give-away prize. I won these fat quaters from the beautiful Nicey Jane range by Heather Bailey. I even got to choose which fabrics from the range I wanted.


I have a plan of what I want to make with the fabrics which involves another give-away gift I recently won. I'll leave it as a mystery for now and show you if it turns out ok.

We recently had a wonderful week long holiday staying in the lovely little town of Bakewell in the  Derbyshire Peak District. My husband took this early morning picture of the river Wye which runs through the town.

We visited Chatsworth House which was used in the 2005 big screen version of Jane Austen's book Pride and Prejudice as the setting for Pemberley, the fictional home of Mr Darcy. Many people believe that Chatsworth was Austen's influence for Pemberley. Austen's description does sound like this is likely, and even if it is incorrect it's fun to imagine that you are at Pemberley when visiting Chatsworth.

 "It was a large, handsome, stone building standing well on
rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front,
a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but
without any artificial appearance." (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

 Here's a better view
of the river.

And finally, I hope this year my garden provides an abundent supply of cut flowers for the house, this may be a little optimistic but this little bouquet is a good start.

Bye for now, Maria.

Monday 7 June 2010

In an English country garden.

I'm still here! I can't believe how long it is since I last posted. I seem to have fallen off the blogging and sewing wagon. My google reader sits at 466 posts to be read and my poor sewing machine must feel as though I've fallen out of love with it. There's been a bit of sewing going on, a few summer tops which have been waiting to be finished for a few weeks and this bag for my Mum which I'm pleased to say has had an outing with the the pink and green outfit which it was made to accompany. The photo of the bag is up there as couldn't get it down here where I want it to be.

I've been busy in the garden and am delighted with the little sitting area we started last year. I can't believe the change in just over a year.
It's gone from this:

To this:

 To this:

I'm looking forward to seeing how it will change again in the next few weeks as the lavenders burst into a haze of purple and the cosmos and zinnias which I've grown from seed hopefully flower.

Bye for now and if there's still anyone out there who reads this please say 'Hi'.
Maria x

Friday 26 March 2010

Spring sewing.

As spring has officially started and easter is very near I thought I'd better get on with my easter/spring makes. A few weeks ago I showed you Lucie the Goosie and Harriet Hare and I've now made them a friend each, some fabric eggs and I've nearly finished a table runner. I haven't taken any photos of the other items but here is the table runner in progress.

Despite the fact that I have other items to finish I got an idea for another project into my head, and me being me I couldn't wait to start. Any ideas what it's going to be?

I was reading Karol-Ann's blog the other day and saw the gorgeous little coin purses she's been making and couldn't resist buying one from her etsy shop. Go and take a look, I'm sure she'd love to sell some more, they even smell lovely too. Here's my new purse.

That's it for now, I've got some sewing ironing to do before school pick-up.
Bye for now, Maria.

Sunday 21 March 2010


I'm pleased to say that at long last I've finished my wonky log cabin quilt. It was originally inspired by the Old Red Barn Co. Quilt along on flickr. The tutorial was by John from the Quilt Dad blog.


I had loads of scaps left which I didn't want to waste so I pieced the back too.

It's constructed in rows. I started with the row of patterned squares and white rectangles in the middle and then I just worked my way outwards either side of this row until it reached the right size. The pattern but not the fabrics is a mirror image. I made the design up as I went along, working with what fabrics were left as the pile of scraps got smaller and smaller.
I'm so pleased to have finished it. I dread to think how many hours went into piecing both sides and doing all the quilting.
Now onto finishing some more projects...............


Tuesday 16 March 2010

At long last.

I thought this time would never come. My wonky log cabin quilt is only lap size but the quilting seemed to go on forever. Today I sewed the binding on and yes I know it's not basted or pinned on first but this method works for me. Now to hand sew the binding to the back.

Bye for now, Maria.

Monday 1 March 2010

Birds in the sunshine.

Yesterday I finished my birdies wall hanging.
I thought the birdies would like to bask in the sunlight so I quilted them some sunshine.

Last year at the Knitting and Stitching show in London I noticed that many of the pieces had been mounted on board and decided to try this rather than binding the quilt. This required the purchase of a staple gun and the help of a husband but it was fairly easy and I'm pleased with the result.

I've been the lucky winner of another give-away, this one was on Trends and Traditions which is the inspirational blog of the fabric and pattern designer Heather Mulder-Peterson. I won her new book "Shams with Style" which she has written with her mother Deb Mulder. Heather very kindly included a copy of her new bag pattern "The Bella Bag". I was amazed to win as there were four books to be one and 334 entries! I'm looking forward to making some pillow covers from the book and a new bag for the summer.

At last it's a beautiful day here, it feels like spring is begining to arrive. We have perfect blue sky and as I was hanging the washing outside for the first time this year I was almost deafened by the sound of birds singing. I think they were enjoying the sunshine like the birds on my quilt.

Bye for now, Maria.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Meet Lucie the Goosie and Harriet the Hare...

Two new members of the family have moved in with us. I'm pleased to introduce Lucie the Goosie and Harriet the hare.

Apart from Christmas I don't usually decorate according to the seasons, but this year I decided I would like an easter/springtime display. I found a beautiful book called Crafting Springtime Gifts by Tonne Finnanger and couldn't resist the cute bunnies, hares, geese and chickens inside.

Harriet and Lucie weren't very happy about sharing the limelight so here they are on their own.

The book shows a flock of geese stuck all together in a basket so I think I'll make some friends for Lucie and do the same. There are also some other beautiful ideas in the book which I'm planning to make for an easter display.

Now an apology. Before Christmas I was lucky to win one of the prizes in a give-away by the very generous Simone and it's taken me until now to thank her for it on my blog. I did thank her personally though.
I won this pattern for a beautiful Melly and Me bag and some fabric. One I've finished a couple of works in progress and get going with the bag.

Many thanks Simone.
Bye for now, Maria.

Thursday 11 February 2010

Twirly wirly quilting.

Hi. Today I thought I'd show what I've been working on over the last few days.
Firstly I've been going round and round with what I call twirly quilting on my wonky log cabin quilt. If you look closely you may spot some little flowers too. I'm desperate to finish it and it seems to be going on forever but I'm over half way there now.

I received the book Material Obsession for christmas and loved a really cute quilt in it which has appliqued birds, leaves and flowers. I didn't think I could face all the applique required to do the whole quilt so decided to do a smaller version just using one section of it. I'm now hand quilting it which I'm enjoying. I'm thinking of mounting it on a board rather than binding it for a change.

I would normally have rejected this picture due to the lighting but I rather like it. I think the birdies would rather like the sunshine and shade.
Must dash, I'm off to a body combat class at the gym!!
Bye for now, Maria.

Saturday 6 February 2010


Hi. I've been doing bits and pieces of various projects lately and have only managed to finish one item so far this year. I really want to finish my wonky log cabin quilt which I'm in the process of quilting but it seems to be taking ages. I've decided to try and do at least an hour a day until it's done (starting from tomorrow).

The piece of work that I finished is part of a project which my sewing group have started. There are 7 of us, we have chosen 7 colours, we have each dyed 7 pieces of cotton which are all 7" square, we will then all produce a piece of work using the same technique and subject. They will then all be displayed together as one piece of work. Not sure if that is clear but it should all make sense eventually.
I dyed my fabric purple and started with this colour first. The first subject we chose were pebbles and the technique was machine embroidery. This is what I came up with.

It was very interesting to see what different interpretations we came up with.
We have now swapped colours and the next subject is water using sheers and metallics. My colour is yellow.
That should be fun!
Bye for now, Maria

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Quilt blocks two by two.

Hi. Yet again it's been ages since I posted here. I had intended on posting before Christmas and I did get as far as starting to write a draft which I didn't finish. So instead of wasting it, here it is in all its unfinished glory.

  I wanted to fit in a final post (remember it's now January 12th) before Christmas, and thanks to a falling of the cold white stuff I've been able to include some seasonal looking photos. We don't see this much snow here very often. I've not been able to get the song "Walking in a winter wonderland" out of my head!
There's a heath and golf course in walking distance from our house but there's not been much golfing going on over the last few days, it's been replaced with lots of sledging. Luckily my attempts weren't caught on camera as the first two ended up with me falling off the sledge and ending up amongst the bushes . My son very sweetly said "she is just a beginner". I soon got the hang of it though.

This tree is in our front garden and it looks beautiful with it's red berries covered with snow.

So there you go, that's what it looked like around here before Christmas and we haven't got rid of the snow yet, in fact we've had even more. As the old ryhme says "Rain, Rain go away, come again another day", that's the way I feel about the white stuff but it can wait until next year before visiting again.

Onto my main reason for writing a blog, SEWING.
I was recently invited to join a quilting bee called Bee Europa. We are divided into two groups of 12 quilters, the Honey Bees and the Bumble Bees, I'm in the later. I rather like the idea of being a buzzy bumble bee!
 Tacha is organising the bee and volunteered to go first. She is planning to make her two little daughters quilts from the blocks. She gave suggestions for the type of blocks she would like and these are the two blocks I came up with from her fabrics...

I enjoyed working with someone elses choice of colour palette and fabrics. I use a lot of blue, green and pink but it made a change to team the blues with oranges and browns. There are some really cute fabrics  amongst Tacha's selection.
My month for sending out fabrics is May and I'm thinking of going for a Christmas theme, I hope the others won't mind sewing with christmas fabrics in the spring!

I've also made two quilt blocks for Simone who is making charity quilts. She sent fabrics and block instructions to a group of volunteers from across the globe, we then add our own choice of fabrics, complete the blocks and send them back to her in Holland where she will make two quilts for a boy and a girl. Here are my blocks.


(oops, out of focus photo).

I'm planning to start a new quilt tomorrow even though I have three others to finish but you know how it is sometimes you can't resist.

By for now, Maria.