Monday, 17 November 2014

Gnashers and other gnews

Wow.  Thanks so much to everyone who commented on my last post, the fabric post...  I was so anxious writing it.  It was wonderful to see folks purchases popping up on IG and stuff too, really made me smile!  I took the plunge and spent my whole birthday fabric money in one go.  Typically as soon as I did I had palpitations.   But, thats a lot of fabric... and I'm not able to sew much right now... and its all gone, what if I make something and find I need an extra bit of something, I wont have my voucher to use!  My man and my mum promptly told me to go read my own blog again!
So, this is what I got!

Some Doe, and some Cotton and Steel Blenders. LOVE the Cotton and Steel blenders.  Would have bought more if they'd all been in stock!

Its been a busy old time for me lately, and it wont be news to most of you that business means massive amount of sleepiness too.   A house to sell, a house to find and buy.  All went well though, amazingly enough we managed to squeeze it all in.  Man is back to sea now (leaving me with the boring paperwork and utilities and what not to sort - pooooo) so it wont be until sometime next spring that we start any kind of move.  Cant believe we managed to get it all done though, so pleased with that.

I was immensely lucky and managed to get away for a very special weekend too.  I'm sure some of you will have read all about it ages ago, but I'm going to brag away anyway cos it was SO. FREAKIN. AWESOME...
We had the first (hopefully of many) Brit Bee Weekender retreat!  So much fun.  So much cake.  So much sewing.  So much laughing.  So much talking.  So much eating.  So much love too, they really are the most fabulous of ladies.  A few members were missing, and missed sorely, but stonkingly good fun was had by all there.  I even got a wee bitty sewing done.  Borrowing first Katys then Trudi's fabulous machines I got the free motion quilting done that I wanted to fill in the solid part of my spider web quilt.  I'm trying to hand quilt the webs now.  Averaging one or two a week, I might get there by Christmas...

My main creation however, Molly moo (well I had to slip that in, what with finishes being so sparse at the moment!) is, as always, taking most of my time.  She has 5 teeth now, feeds herself (and the floor), crawls (on one knee and one foot bizarrely) and stands up as much as possible.  So, we cant take our eyes off her for a second right now!  She's so funny though, and has such ridiculous faces.  (top right there admittedly not one of them)

I dont mind so much the lack of finishes.  Not when there's the off chance of getting a moo kiss or two.  They're something special.  She grabs my hair with each sticky hand, pulls me in, and plants a wide open mouth on me, gnashers and all.  Quite painful all round!  Meantime there are quite a few things I'm trying to work on, a few things close to completion.  And I have some special things for you hidden up my sleeve that I'm bursting to mention, but all in good time....  I'll spill the beans soon, you'll like, I'm quite sure!  There's no hidden gnashers or sticky paws.  Til next time (sooner than last time, promise) and watch this space!

Friday, 26 September 2014

A is for...

N.B.  This post is not to criticise anyone, we all do things our own way and if you're happy I'm happy.  This post is not making light of people with genuine problems.  This photo is not to brag!  If I offend anyone, I'm sorry, I'm really not trying to.  

I have read quite a few blog posts and articles recently regarding one thing.  Stash.  The one thing these posts all had in common was to tell you how to buy fabric, in order to not overbuy and to keep your stash basic and workable.  Lots of advice, lots of what not to do etc.  All seeming to concentrate on encouraging you NOT to buy fabric.  

I've also seen lots of "have you got a problem" and "key symptoms to look for" and "if you do half or more of these things then you have a problem".  And here is where my gripe lies...

To begin with, I read these posts and thought "oh.  That sounds familiar."  Then it was "yes, I do that too".  Then it became "Oh dear, that does sound like me."  Eventually it was "Oh wow.  You're right.  I do have a problem."  

Now this has been on my mind now for quite a while.  We've all done the "fabric diet".  We've all tried the "not buying for 6 months" etc.  And lots of us have come out and declared 
I am a Fabric Addict.

Now if this is you, and you're happy with all this, thats fine with me.  I have no problem with anyone else.  You do whats good for you.  I want to do whats good for me.  And thats what this post is about.  I have a declaration for you.  
I may or may not be a Fabric Addict.  But either way,

You know what?  No bills go unpaid, nobody goes hungry, no overdraft gets touched.  So, thank you, but no thank you, I dont have a problem.  

Its FUN to buy fabric.  

There's nothing wrong with the fact that IT MAKES ME HAPPY.  I do believe from reading the blogs I follow that I'm not alone here.  Life can be lonely, life can be stressful, or even just repetitive!
There is nothing wrong with looking forward to the post arriving and anticipating your purchase.  There's nothing wrong with a little cheer me up shopping.  People do it all the time.  Cake.  Wine.  Shoes!  

The popular online retailers who offer enticing discounts all the time are AWESOME because the regularity of their discounts dont force me to spend more all the time, they allow me to relax in the knowledge that I dont need to shop every time as there will be another one. 

There's nothing wrong with being able to recognise a print and know what its called and who designed it.  I like to think of it as a compliment to the designer that I know their name and even more so if I can spot their style.  Admittedly now I have Molly Moo my skills in this area have dissipated, but I still see nothing wrong with designer appreciation.  Regularly checking out what's new is fun.  How many read fashion mags to see what the latest trends will be?  Do these same people feel they have to have a brand new wardrobe every season?!  (seriously, do they?  I wouldnt know, I sit in pjs as much as decently possible.)  

When people blog and Instagram what they've bought, its fun to see what others are getting, and the pictures are pretty....  And so what if every now and again you get a bit of stash envy.  We're grown ups, arent we?  We know that we dont HAVE to have the same things.  Who amongst us wasn't taught that as a child?  "Just because they've got it doesnt mean you have to."  
I remember crying my eyes out to mum and dad because everyone one in my class had something and I didnt.  For the first and only time they caved and got me one too.  If only I'd listened to them I could have proudly stood up today and said "you know when you all looked like twats in shell suits?  I never wore one!"  But I cant...... D'oh!

So.  I'm sick and tired of hiding fabric.  I'm sick and tired of feeling like I should be ashamed of what I've got.  Good god, its fabric  -  its stuff that will be admired as it is, then used and loved and admired even more as warmth, as gifts, as homewares.  Its not drugs!  Jeez.  Anyone would think I bought hardcore porn the way I've been sneaking about and hiding it and fibbing about what's in the mail.  ITS JUST FABRIC.  

This is my stash.  And in the interest of honesty and my whole "no more shame" ethos, there are another 2 boxes in storage, along with a shoebox of japanese kawaii, and a shoebox of "my precious" Melody Miller, and a small box of equally precious Denyse Schmidt.  There are also some 1930s reproduction prints, and a bundle of solids on the table with my sewing machine, and 4 prints from Far, Far Away in a drawer.  Oh and my scraps.  I put my scraps in ziplock bags and we used them as packing material around breakables!  

Jeez, even as I sit with the photo uploaded I'm itching to tell you that barely 10% of all that was bought at full retail price.  I shop sales and special offers.  I'm canny.  And that's 5 years of quilting worth.  But there I go again, apologising for having it, feeling guilty I've got it, wanting to try and justify it, worrying you'll think less of me.  Why?!  Because it is more than I could feasably use in a year?  So what!  No more!  Publish and be damned....

Do, please do come out and join me.  Blog your stash, all of it, and be chuffed you have it!  Blog the last thing you bought, and dont feel you need to justify why you deserve or need it!!!  If I manage to get a space to do so, its going out on shelves where it can be seen until its used.

Lets make the A stand for Aficionado not Addict!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Narcoleptic has left the cupboard....

*warning:  excessive wee hoose photys

Its been a stressful time of late in this wee narcoleptic's life.  Specifically leaving Molly Moo with Ganny and Gampa for a week (so painful!  I couldn't stop crying I missed her so much) and going back up to the hoose on the island to pack up and move out.  Two weeks work to squeeze into 7 days and naturally the island put its best weather face on to make us feel worse....

I've always said its my man's house.  He bought it.  He had it before we met.  But you know what?  By the time it came to packing up I realised just how much it was MY home.  He may have wielded the chequebook and final say, but almost every room was filled by me.  With his work being at sea I spent more time there!  I got the workies in, I oversaw the jobs.  I made changes, I picked the fixtures.  And yes, I filled it full of crap accessorized it.  However much I moaned about the isolation I felt living there, I did love his house, my home.

The bedrooms (incredibly the cupboard was classed as a bedroom when he bought the house!)

I'm gutted we never got it finished (hall stairs to do, and some pointing on the front) and I really am gutted to leave my amazing bathroom and bloomin' perfect "laundry room".

Absolutely love these amazing rooms.  (Man neglected to photograph the entire wall of custom built wardrobe in the laundry room before he filled it with boxes.  Doh!)

I'm sad to leave my cosy living room, sadder still that I have no decent photos of it!  There really was no time to spare by the end of the week and that was the last room packed.  Also sad to leave my wee kitchen & the dining cupboard.

Ran out of time for a "dressed" photo of the dining room, huge pity.  

Me and the man met because I designed his kitchen.  Poor soul only went to the shop to keep his mate company but he ended up with a brand new kitchen and narcoleptic girlfriend!

I actually cried, and dammit I'm at it again just typing, to leave my sewing cupboard.  For such a tiny room it was a massive part of my life.

Before and after the packing....

The boxing up and de-cluttering (a couple o' dozen big black bags of all sorts to various charity shops and recycling centres, and god only knows how many van loads to the dump) was a nightmare.  My achey body is still in bits.  But we made it, just in time to get the ferry home to Moo.  The house will be on the market soon, and fingers and toes crossed it sells.  Meantime the house contents are in a lock up and we're with the ever wonderful Ganny and Gampa.  On the house hunting side, we haven't had much time as Man is on yet more work courses, but there is one we're considering.  A fair bit smaller than I'd have hoped for (no sewing cupboard!) but perfect in so many other more important (Molly) ways.  No time to act on it yet, but you never know, things might work out.  It'd be awffy nice if they did...

I'll sign off for now with the last quilt to go Island bound, the last commission for my  (ex) builder!  It was my challenge-yourself-and-use-brown quilt.  I think, after Emilys awesome quilting, it came out no' bad!

Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner and Moda Grunge Cocoa.  Cant remember where the pattern idea came from.  

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Why "cheating"?  
It kinda feels like it...showing all these pretty pictures of quilts that were made months ago and were beautifully quilted by Emily.  Really all I've done lately is sew on binding!

Hardly done any sewing at all in the last 6 weeks.  Molly has started insisting on rising between 5am and 7am and I just cant handle days started that bloody early!  I'm mostly falling into bed the second her eyes shut for the night (between 7 - 8 pm).  Its not her fault, the teething is worse although still no sign of gnashers, and - big news - she grew too big for her crib and we had to get the cotbed.  She is a BIG girl.  Not sumo big (as we never call her...honest) but just BIG!  And heavy, oh my word she's heavy.  Our imminent house hunting is taking a bit of a brutal reality check for me as we're thinking we'll now have to try and look mostly at bungalows, which I've never liked, since I cant really carry Moo up stairs very well now, and she'll only get bigger and my hip will only get crapper.  Phooey.  

Anyway.  My man is home now, for a while anyway, and I hope that in between house viewing and selling and stressing I might get some decent sewing time.  Fingers crossed!

Meantime, back to the pretty pictures!

I consider this giant triangles quilt made with Koi and purple solids to be a lesson in less is more pattern wise.  The plan was for giant triangles floating on the purple background.  Then I had the brainfart of hiding two stars amoungst the triangles in solid.  I like the quilt fine, but I dont think my pattern really worked.  I think the two ideas together almost cancel each other out.  Something else too.... I absolutely love every print in Koi, but.... well.... to be honest I'm not that keen on them all as a collective whole.  I'm wishing I'd broken my bundle up and added it to stash to use seperately.  I mean, there's not one print there that I dont wish I had more of, but however much I look at it all together here, something doesnt feel right.  

I consider this beauty to be a lesson in "fast and simple piecing isnt always actually fast and simple"....  Its a great pattern (not mine) and the instructions were simple enough, but wowza.  It took aeons of cutting.  Got a bit monotonous to be honest!  It was done in a chain piecing method, which you'd think right away would make it easier than hunners of 2.5" squares, but after each stage of chaining there just seemed to be soooooo much trimming.  

And finally, this one here is almost done.  It was my challenge myself quilt.  I love Anna Maria Horners "Innocent Crush".  Love it.  I've stashed it away for so long.  However my bundle seemed to be taunting me as it languished unappreciated in a drawer for years.  I just couldnt for the life of me settle of a pattern to use it in.  Or a background to use with it...  In the end, I went with a Moda Grunge brown.  Yep, BROWN... As I said.  Challenging myself, by going with a massive bit of my least favourite colour.  That said, the grunge is probably the nicest brown I've seen, it has touches of red and slate in it, so has a wonderful texture.  

So.  Its almost done.  Quilted, as usual these days, by the lovely Emily.  Just waiting for me to bind it, then I'll do a full reveal.  If we ever get a dry day again this year...  Tomorrow we're off for the day to check out some places to live, and would you believe it, today they were hit by massive flash flooding from the tail end of Hurricane Bertha.  I actually saw a house we had been considering on the news with a river running past the front door...  Wont be checking that one out then.....