Tuesday, 26 February 2013

When I was approached by Fons and Porter to review one of their ebooks, I was jumping up and down. It was really nice to be asked to review anything, but Log Cabin...! They must have known it was one of my favourite patterns
What an ebook!! It is one of the best I have ever seen. It is chock full of pictures, tips and charts, and contributors include Ricky Tims, Shon McMain and Marti Mitchell.
The three main types of Log Cabin are covered - Traditional, Courthouse Steps and Chevron, and there are examples to make of each of these patterns by the above named quilters. There is something here for everyone - big quilts, small quilts, traditional quilts and modern ones too. I love the pictures of the antique quilts in the collection of Sara Miller. There are some absolute beauties!
 In my opinion, the cutting charts included in the ebook are worth downloading alone, but when you consider you have a mini tutorial on bobbin work with trapunto AND a step-by step picture tutorial on binding with piping, it does not get much better. This ebook has loads of tips and eye candy, and the nice people at Fons and Porter are giving you the opportunity to download it for FREE!!!!!!!! How good is that?
So click HERE to get your very own copy. You will not be disappointed! I will leave you with one more picture. Drool!
Till next time.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Hexie Play and Goodbye Tex

I thought I had talked before about making a small hexagon quilt out of some of the scraps left over from my Dear Jane blocks. I had seen one started here done, I think, in Joe Morton materials, but I wanted to use the materials which had been sent to me from all over the world, when I started my Dear Jane. I would be able to think of all those kind ladies, when I looked at my quilt. I will do a tutorial at some point, showing how I sew my hexagons, but I have a few pictures showing a little progress. I use Inklingo or Incompetech for the graph paper. The photo below shows a piece of hexagonal graph paper and on it I have drawn some arrows. This helps me keep my grain line true, when I am sewing the hexagons together.

You will not believe there are approximately 134 hexagons in the picture above, and I have only done two rows!! I am working on other projects in between, so this project is ongoing slowly!

If you read this blog regularly. you will know we live on an island off the north coast of Scotland, and we have a smallholding with a number of animals, including sheep. We started off with caddie lambs, i.e. lambs who have been rejected by their mothers and who are therefore orphaned. My husband bottle fed these lambs, until they were able to fend for themselves. One of these lambs was Tex. He was supposed to be castrated, but somehow it did not work, so he became a prolific Daddy and also a BIG ram. Sadly this year we decided we had to change rams, so we got our neighbour to help us get Tex into the trailer to go to market.

Our neighbour, trying to entice the ram with feed.

 Using a gate to get to Tex.

 Nearly there!

 Husband grabs him.

Get in!!


Doesn't he look sad?



The end of another era. Tex is now in a good home over in Orkney Mainland.
Till next time.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What a Mug (Rug)!

 I am a member of a small group of seven ladies (including me) on the Net. We live all over the world, but usually someone emails something each day. We swap patterns, jokes, stories and encourage each other when our sewing is in the doldrums. These ladies are wonderful. This Christmas it was decided we would make a mug rug for each other, and we could use a pattern of our own choice. Now we had plenty time, as this was decided way, way back in 2012, but as usual, life got in the way, and I was rushing to get the mug rugs done towards the end of the year. As you know, my sewing machine is the love of my life, so I decided to make an embroidered mug rug using my machine and quilt on it as well. I bought fancy initial designs for each person and got started. I was going great guns until I received my first mug rug from abroad. My mug rugs were way too small, so I had to start again!

Here are the five mug rugs I received -

Aren't they gorgeous? Each one is so individual and also meticulously done. I love each and every one of them. I decided I was going to use them, when my friends on the island came in for a cuppie. What a reaction they have got! Everybody picks them up to have a closer look at them and they have had so many compliments!

I have learned so much from this project! 

  • Find out the proper dimensions of the project - you can see below one of the mug rugs I made initially, that was too small. I will be able to use it, as the initial is appropriate, but you will notice that I have not bound it yet. After sewing on six bindings in a very short time span, I decided it could be a UFO for a while. By the way, I used the tutorial from this blog to help me bind the rugs.

  • And when I do a project, I usually have a major learning experience. This was mine below!! My iron broke down, but fortunately I had another one. I ironed this rug and thought the stitching looked a bit funny. The second iron must have been a hotter one, as it cooked the thread (Isacord)! The design turned into a shiny, hard bob, which you can't really see from the picture. It was back to the sewing machine, yet again.

Despite all the moans and groans, I did enjoy making the rugs, but I enjoyed receiving the ones back even more so! Thanks, dear friends for all your hard work!
Till next time.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

Here it is February and I still have not caught up with 2012. I have not been wasting time, but trying to catch up with some WIPs and some UFOs. On top of that Blogger decided it did not want to upload the pictures from my computer, so I decided to wait till it was mended.

The photograph above shows part of my table at the Christmas Fayre. I make a variety of crafts, and this part of the table has earrings, dyed and carded wool, embroidered bags (folded) and two woven scarves. The reddish woven scarf has a story attached. My husband was fascinated by my weaving loom. He watched me weaving some scarves and wanted to have a go, but thought it would take too long to make a big scarf. I had bought some special material for weaving fancy fibres, so I cut the fibres for him, showed him what to do and away he went. It was gorgeous!! The scarf was so successful that his sold even before the sale was officially open. I made some more in different colours.

Below is the next part of the table with dyed silk scarves, embroidered lace coasters, wine glass coasters, scissor keepers, flower hair clips, bangles and notebooks.

The end of the table has more silk scarves, jewelry kits, aromatherapy crackers, beads and findings. The willow branches behind are from the next stall.

These are some of the embroidered bags and backpacks I make. 

My husband always helps me with the sales and eggs me on to do greater things. We had great fun at the sale, and it was nice catching up with islanders we had not seen for a while. Hopefully this ends 2012,and I can now post about 2013!!
Till next time