Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Shopping time.........nearly!

It's the week of the Knitting and Stitching Show and I'm ridiculously excited to get going.  I've never been and before taking up quilting, I always seemed to pick hobbies with no proper suppliers nearby and always had to purchase online which pushed up the cost because of postage and sometimes customs charges.  Now, I'm spoiled rotten with local shops, friends with similar interests and a super shopping day like the Knitting and Stitching show to look forward too.  The hotel is booked, the car is fuelled (and I'm not going for another 2 days), my bag is not quite packed but I've thought about it, that's progress for me!  I'm thinking I should probably pack a nice bottle of wine for afterwards too, I'm sure it's the least we'll deserve after a days hard shopping work!

This weeks project was to get on with the little boy blanket that I started last week.  It was a joy to make because it was such a simple little design.  I absolutely loved the colours on this quilt.  Primary colours just scream "Little Boy", don't they?  They're fun, they're inspiring and they just cheer you up!  This quilt was started with Mia's new sibling in mind (see my older posts).

 I just had a feeling that she would have a little brother and sure enough, just as I was finishing up, I got the news that Dara had been born!  I added his name using perle cotton that I got in the post from Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  I'm totally converted to perle cotton thread - it's so lovely to work with!  Now I just need to build up a supply of different colours....... :)
So this is Dara's blanket........... what do you think?
The sun has been shining all morning so it was great to be able to pop outside for a few pics to really show off the bright colours!  I did an all-over free motion stipple on the quilting to give it a lovely squishy feel!






Now I've got to finish off Mia's own quilt.  Just a small bit more quilting and binding to do and I can hand them both over and I can head off to the Knitting and Stitching Show guilt free!!!

Monday, 21 October 2013

lastminute.com

I'm battered and sore this morning.  It's the day after our Youth Club Variety Show in the town hall and we had a blast!  The kids shone like stars, they smiled and danced and sang their hearts out.  The excitement at side of stage was electric and the cheering from the crowd spurred them on even more!  Us leaders got our 30 seconds on stage for the last dance (for our shame) with all the kids and were nearly taken down with the hugs from 53 kids as the curtains closed.  It was a wild day but so worth it! 

In the few days coming up to the show, I was working on a few things.  I started to quilt my heart quilt for little Mia.  I'm very slow at doing the hearts and man, there are a lot of them!  I used my walking foot because I need an awful lot of practice at free motion quilting yet!  I really hope Mia loves this quilt, it's perfect for a girly-girl.  I still don't know if Mia is having a baby brother or sister so I started making a little boy quilt so I could be somewhat prepared if a little man makes an appearance!  I had a plan in mind but when I went to cut the fabric, I just couldn't cut up one of my fat quarters in the bunch, it was too cute.  It's a lovely little map fabric from Kokka.  I bought this in Pippa Blue in Galway about 2.5 years ago after my doing my first afternoon class on how to use my machine.  It's adorable and I just decided to build my quilt around it.  I was far too impatient to sit down and work out a plan so I made a few mistakes as I went and I'm still working it out.  Somebody make me write it down........ "it's far less time consuming to make a plan first"!!!  I might write it on the bathroom mirror!!  I have started making it bigger with some borders.  It's not going to be huge but just big enough to snuggle in, I think!  



Remember my little Mermaid tail that I made a few weeks ago?  Well, I tried making a rock for her to sit on.  It involved a large kitchen chair, a roll of chicken wire, some padding and fabric!  Sounded easy, was in fact, actually relatively easy but when I dyed the fabric, it came out green instead of grey first of all.  Then, it was just far too big and cumbersome to carry on stage so I needed another plan.  I got a clam shell half done as I mentioned last week and then at the final hour, the night before the show, a few cans of spray and a few flowers and a bit of ivy (thank you Gail, great idea) ........and it only took 20mins.  Why do I always put these things off, silently stressing and worrying about what to do and then, when I get down to it, it's done so fast.........finally it was complete and it looked gorgeous on stage from a distance with all the lights on it.  This is our gorgeous little mermaid before the show, trying out her clam for size!

Another busy week ahead, now that the show is out of the way, I've promised my son some sleepovers, my friends some time and I'm in desperate need of some retail therapy........ that used to mean clothes shopping, which I desperately need, but now, it means new FABRIC!!!  I'm heading to the Knitting and Stitching show in the RDS at the end of the month and I can't wait. 

If any of you are interested in going, don't forget you can get a chance at some free tickets by entering the competition with The Quilt Shop right here............ Knitting & Stitching Ticket Comp!





Sunday, 13 October 2013

Finally, a finish!




October is proving to be a very busy month here and I'm counting the days until November hits.  With two weekends away, a youth club show going on stage, my mum having surgery and graduating (because she doesn't do things by halves) as well as numerous other things that I've committed to and the things I had to decline because I don't do well with stress....... let's just say all my days are full! 

Finally, finally, finally I finished my mums lap quilt.  You'll remember that I had started this months ago, promptly lost it once the top was done in a frenzied, pre-guest tidy up (some day, I'll be one of those organised people who doesn't need to hide the mess before visitors come........some day), it showed up months later - between the wooden latts and the mattress in the guest room!!  I know.........how?  Well, even after re-starting it, I always seemed to have more important things to be doing so I only added the last few stitches this afternoon so I could give it to my very patient mother before her surgery!

I wanted it to have a slightly scrappy feel, like traditional patchwork, which is why I added "Mum" and another little scrap with three x's.  I wasn't sure if it looked the way I wanted but she was delighted to see it personalised so I guess it's ok!! 

The back turned out pretty okay too - actually makes my stitching look straight!!

I can't for the life of me make this picture turn the right way up - how very frustrating!!! It's the correct way on my laptop.......but comes through sideways!


I also have a cute little quilt on the go for a soon-to-be big sister.  I'm really enjoying this one.  I saw the idea on Pinterest and I kept going back to look at it, it was obviously just too cute not to make a version of it!







I love when something lends itself to loads of different fabrics - it's very hard not to find one that you just love in it.  For me, I particularly love the little boy and girl heart right there in the centre!

I used the stem stitch that I learned from a tutorial by Fairyface Designs a few weeks ago to do the embroidery on this little lady with her hot cup of ....... hot chocolate (she's far to young to be drinking coffee yet)!

Can't wait to finish this one.........watch this space!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A Busy Bee but forgot the honey!

It's been a busy, busy week here.  We've had the dress rehearsal for the Q Club show and at the last minute, my mermaids rock was scrapped.  I just wasn't happy with it so I roped my poor, tool-handy husband in and grabbed my twins shell shaped paddling pool, a few bits of wood and some castors, a massive king-size duvet for padding, a dye sheet and hey, presto! We had a clam for the mermaid to sit in instead of a rock to sit on - and we could roll her on stage instead of carrying her (it's difficult to walk with a fish-tail)!  I still have a bit of work to do on it to make it a bit sparkly for our gorgeous little mermaid and I'll share a picture then!

I've started lots of sewing projects this week but have little or nothing to share........

I started a real cutesy little girl quilt that I'm very excited by but forgot to buy some more steam-a-seam to move on!
I started learning to Quilt-As-You-Go but forgot to buy brown thread to continue on!
I wanted to finish my seaside quilt but forgot to buy the fabric for the binding! 
I've started making hexies, at long last, but don't really have a plan for them yet!

So yes, loads going on and nothing to show for it! 

I did however start a Facebook page at last.  Very unique name of Naptime Stitching - didn't see that one coming, did you?  I didn't realise it would be quite as exciting as it is to watch those "likes" creep up.  Granted I've a long, long way to go and have a lot of work ahead but it's great fun.  Check it out if you get a minute.  I appreciate the support! 

I wouldn't leave you without something pretty to look at though...... have a gander at these gorgeous aprons that Thistlepatch has to offer.  I'm pretty sure that they're only available to those with a degree in home-making and those whose souffl├ęs are super light and fluffy.......... although, I have it on good authority that she doesn't check references, so if you just want to look like someone with those qualifications, you NEED one of these.   Have a sneaky peek at her album, there are other beautiful colours to choose from and they're all so pretty!








One lady, who I'm sure has a pretty apron because she's just that type of girl, is another Naomi (she must be special to share my name, right?).  She has an amazing blog over at Ramekins and Pretty Things.  I reckon her brain works on a completely different level (in a good way) because the combinations she comes up with to bring us the most flavorsome and truly awesome recipes are just out of this world!  I can't wait each week to get my notification of her new blog posts, each one is more interesting than the last! 

Don't be afraid to say Hello to myself, Thistlepatch or Naomi of Ramekins and Pretty Things........ we all love to hear from you!





Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Happy Post Day...!

Postman Gerry arrives at my house at 8 o'clock every morning and our alarm goes off about 5 minutes before.  You know those minutes where the bed has never been so inviting, it's so hard to get up, it's so warm under the covers...... but then the doorbell goes and you fly out of the bed, rubbing sleep from your eyes and making sure you're not flashing too much skin before you reach the front door in 2 seconds flat because there is no better reason to get up than to answer the door to a lovely package. 

I think Postman Gerry often feels sorry for my husband (well, my husbands wallet, to be more precise) and has hinted on more than one occasion that I might have an online shopping addiction.  I might have had a little bit of a fondness for it in the past but I am getting much better, especially since The Quilt Shop opened less than 10 minutes away... I just don't need to shop online as much when I can do it in person!!! (but for all the other fabric lovers who don't live on the doorstep, she is working on getting an online shop up and running - even I can't wait, I'll be able to do some late night browsing online but then save on postage by collecting instore....... oh yessssss!).

Anyway......... I knew what was coming on this particular day but it wasn't something I bought.  It was my package from the Pincushion Swap from the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland.  I had been watching all the gorgeous creations appearing on Flickr but didn't know which one would be for me!  Look at this for a bundle of prettiness......
 
The pincushion has the daintiest floral fabric and is a super size.  I don't know if you can tell from the picture but it's about 6inches in diameter.  Perfect for me because I do seem to constantly loose small things when I'm sewing - my thread, my pins, my seam ripper, but this won't be as easy to mislay!  The card is a wonderful handmade creation with the most adorable quilled ants!  They're super cute!  My wonderful swap partner also included a gorgeous selection of scraps - all a decent size too so I'll be able to put them to good use!   I really enjoyed this swap, despite my own procrastination and long-winded deliberations over what to make....... can't wait for the next swap now!