Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A Shopping Trip & Crafty Presents

In the run up to Christmas, the Fabric Guild did a series of open days. It's down in Leicester so almost 2 hours away. For that reason alone, I wouldn't go to buy the odd piece of backing fabric or a couple of fat quarters but as a place to stock up for the year ahead...well, that is where it's worth a visit. Lifetime membership is £5 and the shop itself is like a warehouse. There's a section with fabric on the bolt starting at just £2 a yard, a section full of boxes of fat quarters, a table or two full of books, a section for all the printed panels, a wall full of buttons and so on.

I went with a plan. A definite plan. A plan to buy some wadding and some backing fabric for the quilt I'm making and perhaps some more bargain backing fabric. The husband may have raised an eyebrow and said "Okay" in that tone that says "I know you are going to come home with a truck load of fabric". He may have been right!

But look, I was pretty good. I did buy some wadding and another new cutting mat.

And I did get some cheap lengths of fabric

I love those pumpkin faces!
But I got very distracted by Fat Quarters

And charm packs and remnants

And who could resist the £3 Christmas panels

This may be converted to cushions
Or this bargain £2 panel

And of course I never miss an opportunity to add to the button jar or ribbon tin

That big bag at the back is a £5 for 50 items grab bag!
It was definitely worth the trip but I did forget to buy black wadding. I ended up ordering that from Cotton Patch and also getting some black thread and bottomline from Barnyarns ready for my next project. Hopefully you'll be able to see that in progress mid-January.

If all that wasn't enough to fill my craft drawers to bursting, look at the lovely crafty presents I got for Christmas.

There's a set of 3 tins from Ikea so that I can reorganise my sewing bits. An owl quilting die for my big shot and 3 reels of ribbon on top of those. Next to it is a stack of fat quarters all chosen by the kids (actually I think one or two are long quarters), on top of that is a set of 4 fat quarters and 3 reels of thread from Alan and in front is a couple of fat quarters and a mini charm pack from my parents. The washi tape and sewing needles are stocking fillers I bought myself! Alan also bought me the embroidery threads at the front and the pot at the back, which os from M&S and is made to look like a  reel of thread for storing thread in (along with 4 reels). The buttons were chosen by the kids too. The odd looking contraption next to the buttons was from my in-laws. It's a bobbin storage tower that I've been coveting for a while as my bobbins are usually bouncing around in my sewing box making a big mess of tangled thread. I'm planning on putting them all neatly in the tower with one layer dedicated to Bottomline thread so it doesn't get muddled up.

Did you get lots of lovely crafty presents for Christmas?

Saturday, 28 December 2013

I'm really behind with my blogging!

I've just realised that with December being sooooo busy getting everything ready for Christmas, I hadn't done any blogging. First up I looked back at my previous posts and I don't think I shared the picture of Orla's finished quilt:

Both the children liked their quilts and they made me thank you cards when they played in the Ikea creche yesterday!

As I've mentioned (many times) I go to a sewing class on a Monday evening and we've had a bit of a regular fuddle sometime just before Christmas. Last year it was done as a big group fuddle with people from the other sewing classes and the same thing happened this year. There were soooo many people, as the number of classes has grown. For those of you reading who haven't heard of a fuddle, it's basically a little gathering where everyone brings some food or drink to share. We also do a version of Secret Santa where everyone brings a wrapped present worth about £5 and puts it in a sack. everyone then gets to choose a present from the sack. It's a nice way of doing things as it ensures everyone that attends gets a gift and, although you're not buying for someone specific, it's not too difficult to choose items as everyone likes crafty or homemade things. I was really pleased to open the following gift, which was pretty much perfect for me - a quilting magazine (with free pins) and pin cushion

At the December quilting class I knew I couldn't take my Christmas quilt top as I didn't have any wadding wide enough, so I took a pre-printed Christmas panel instead. I cut it into 5 wall hangings (1 large and 4 small) and basted them before the class. I spent the class quilting them. My plan had given me a full child free week to do the binding but Erin decided to share her bug with me and I didn't have the energy to do them. So I spent the last couple of days before Christmas frantically sewing to get these done, along with 2 mats that also needed binding.

 At the point above, one finished, the rest awaiting binding being hand sewn to the back I didn't think they'd ever be finished. I even roped Alan in to help!

Check out my advent calendars in the background :-)
They were eventually finished on Christmas Eve, the picture is terrible because it was hanging on the staircase and there's just no way to get a good picture.

I've quilted the outlines of the hills & road and around the houses, then done some free motion quilting in the sky.

I'll post again soon with news of quilt-y shopping and presents!