Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Re-usable Sandwich Bag Tutorial

I've been making some sandwich bags for the girls to use when they have packed lunches at school, I wanted something I could wash and re-use rather than using/buying plastic bags.
I thought it might be useful for you too, so I've also tried to make a tutorial on how I did it, apologies in advance it's a bit basic and I hope the file link works ok, it's my first try so let me know if you have any problems viewing or if you can advise on the best way to make PDF's available!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Cotswold Vintage Fair

Had a lovely 'girls' day yesterday at the Cotswold Vintage Fair in Toddington, me, my Mum and sister took a little road trip over the border into Gloucestershire to see what goodies we could pick up.  I was able to leave the kidlets at home too for some uninterruptable 'me' time, which after this week I really needed!

So this is a new fair with only a few sellers I had heard of before so it was nice to see different people's take on vintage and handmade.  The venue was Toddington village hall, which was easy to get to and a lovely airy space, the rural smell was a bit pungent though!  Everyone's stalls were beautifully laid out I really enjoyed just looking, as always there was so much to see and take in, but I think the sellers had their layouts right, just the right amount of wares visible, with a small amount of rummaging needed for fabric etc.

There was a lovely spread of tea & cakes, the cappuccino cake was delectable!
There were lots of china and country style pieces, lots of pinkness, which I have to confess I'm not in to, I really liked the vintage kitchen utensils though, this was something a bit diferent.  There wasn't enough fabric/vintage sewing supplies that I'm looking for at the moment for my liking but I did pick up some bits for the girls, two French dresses and a felt bunny to be used for the tooth fairy, which actually came in handy, for when I returned home, the eldest had lost another tooth!  I was pleased to see that the pouch on the rabbit is quite modest, just right for a £1 coin, not like some children that I have heard of that are getting £2 or £5 per tooth!!  Try and explain how that happens to your 6 year old!  I tried saying that we must get a different fairy in our street!

My favourite stalls were by Lucy Bloom and Textile Treasure seeker, beautifully laid out and with fabrics, notions and vintage pieces to my taste.

So not wanting to go home just yet, we continued our road trip by going into nearby Winchcombe, which turned out to be a lovely village with lovely village shops, not like Stow-on-the-Wold or Bourton-on-the-Water which are just over-run with tourists with no real shops.

So if you're in a Cotswold village, what do you do for lunch?  A tea-room that's right!
We chose 'Lady Jane Grey's' which was very nice, good service, I had a wonderful old-fashioned warm scone and tea.

Then as we meandered back up the street we spied a local Sue Ryder charity shop!  I love visiting other towns charity shops, the type of items always differs slightly.  Think I got more here than in Toddington!  Nothing vintage just things for the girls and yet another picture frame for my new 'picture display'on our stairs.

Then around the corner on North Street we stumbled upon  '50-0-50', which was like a junk shop and I fell in love with lots of vintage dresses on racks at the back!  The colours, the styles, I wish I could pull off wearing things like this!

We had a walk to see if we could see Sudeley Castle, but it's a long walk from the town and you couldn't even get a glimpse of the building without paying to get in, which we didn't want to do as see didn't have long left on the free parking in town.  Looks like a good place for a future visit though, the kids would enjoy the adventure fort.

So last stop on the way home, Broadway and up to Broadway tower and it was worth it, wow the view!  The sun was shining over the horizon and the sky seemed to be all over, it was like standing on the top of the world.

Going somewhere new was a real tonic and I shall have to try and do it again!  Where next in the Cotswolds?!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Festival of Quilts round-up

After a visual feast last week at the NEC, here is a round up of my favourite works

This is my favourite of the whole show and something that I would like to aspire to soon.

A Year in Flowers, Edna Marie Nylen, Norway. Hexagon paper pieces sewn & quilted by hand

This is the back and the labels

LEFT: Changing Seasons, Judith Day, Australia. Hand appliqued and quilted

RIGHT: Audaciously Embedded (In spite of my better judgement), Alison Davies, Nottingham. Machine pieced, hand quilted, recycled fabrics, including boxer shorts!

LEFT: Blue Mood, Patricia Boult, Filongley. Hand pieced over papers, hand quilted
RIGHT: Chris & Genna's Wedding Quilt, Pam Stanier, Malvern Wells. Machine pieced and lightly quilted

LEFT: Just William, Teresa Hills, Bexhill on Sea. English paper pieced, hand pieced and tied, William Morris fabrics
RIGHT: Grandmother's Flower Garden, Mary Reader, Wisbech. Handmade

Prancing Horse, Dilys Fronks, Mold. Bonded fabrics
Front & Back

TOP: Untitled, John Marcham, Reading. Log cabin sampler, machine pieced & quilted
BOTTOM: close up of Postage Stamp Quilt, Janice Monteith & Karen Florey. Hand cut & pieced, long arm quilted

TOP: Blackberry Jam, Jelly &Juice, Sheena Hughes, Bicester. 2nd place Art Quilt
BOTTOM: Portholes, Lucie Summers & Jenny Spencer. Group Quilt Winner


Labelled for Life, Jackie Smith, Hertford. Clothing & textile labels pieced, inserted & appliqued

LEFT: Costa Rican Carnival, Emese Hall, Exeter
RIGHT: Day after Day, Irene Sharman, Hebden Bridge. Journal templates

LEFT: As Time and Fashion Go By, Denise Feireisen-Schmit, Luxembourg. Clothing labels
RIGHT: Happy Anniversary, Marc Whitehead, Southampton. Patchwork hand pieced


Stacked, Arnout Cosman, Netherlands. Templates created using software

Painted Lady, Eileen Postlethwaite, Kirkby in Furness. Minature Quilt: Hand printed blocks, machine pieced, hand quilted

The quality of the ideas and techniques are truly remarkable and are only really visible when viewed up close, I would definitely recommend this show, even if you're not sure you're 'into quilting', if you like textiles or colour you will find it really interesting and a good day out.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Cotswold Vintage Fair

Quick post to spread the word about a new Vintage fair tomorrow, it's in Toddington, Gloucestershire, 10am-4pm.
I shall be visiting and will try to remember my camera to report back!

Oh and I'm still working on the FoQ piccies, bulk image uploads to Blogger are so tedious but it should be this weekend!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 2010 NEC, Birmingham

Sorry it's taken longer than I wanted to talk about my NEC trip, it's been a manic couple of days.
To summarise: I had a fabulous day, there was so much to see and do, I was thoroughly tired out after it though!

Here's a quick round up of the fantastic display of quilts I saw on Friday.

The amount of time and love that must have gone into each of these from all over the world is breathtaking.
Such a wide variety of techniques and fabrics to ponder over, my favourites were the traditional patchwork types, I would really like to tackle this soon.

I really enjoyed this year's exhibition, last year I went on my own but this year I was lucky to have my best friend as good company and even though he's not a stitcher he enjoyed the sights too, it was great to be able to talk to someone about the quilts while viewing!

We both had enrolled for the Morsbags, make a bag workshop, which was a lot of fun.  We learnt all the stages to make these simple eco friendly shopping bags and even though it was a bit manic and a rush for the limited number of sewing machines, it was a good laugh.  The instructors were very helpful and even my friend who hadn't used a sewing machine before managed really well, his lines were straighter than mine!

On the Cotton Patch stand were the celebrity guests!  I met Amy Butler and got her to sign one of her books, I'm embarrassed to say that when she asked for my name to write in the book, my mind went blank and it seemd like time stood still while she stared at me!  Eventually I remembered that my name wasn't 'Mummy' and was able to talk again!  Star Struck!
I also got Jane Brocket's new book 'The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making', which is a lovely inspiring read to help beginner quilters just get on with it without being intimidated!  Again I got Jane to sign the book and this time I was prepared for the name question!

The amount of retailer stands were mind-boggling, thankfully I had a list of items I wanted this time, else you could wander round and be seduced by all manner of things!  I also took a budget of cash only and stuck to it!  I'll add piccies of the fabric etc I got real soon, I'm ashamed to say most of the stuff from the day is still in the shopping bags awaiting a quiet time to lust over it!

The only down points of the day was the lighting in the hall, it looked like tungsten because the colour cast was really orange, it really spoiled some of the quilts especially the lighter/white ones.  I struggled to take any decent balanced shots on my camera too, even when changing the setting to tungsten or fluorescent, I've had to do some white balance correction on them to make them more accurate.  The other gripe was shopping trolleys!  Loads of people seemed to have those annoying pull-along trolleys, I'm sure they're a great idea for carting around your purchases but in a confined alley way of stands, they got in the way and ran over way too many toes, they should be restricted if rucksacks are too!
Anyway, I shall go through my shots next and match them up with the catalogue
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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Festival of Quilts

I'm counting down the days now, I'm off to the NEC on Friday to see the Festival of Quilts!I can't wait, I had a great time last year and I'm looking forward to some retail therapy and maybe even seeing Amy Butler or Jane Brocket at the book signings.  I will take my camera and hope to get some piccies to share with you.  I've also signed up for a quick & easy class to make a Morsbag, which should be great fun!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Girls Summer Dress

Finally I have photocopied the pattern, guessed the size to use for my four year old (2-3 as she is quite ickle!), found some cheap material to practice on (old thrifted duvet) and actually sat down and GOT ON WITH IT!
I'm always the same, it's the getting going that holds me back on creativity!
So I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out, the instructions were a bit lacking, it forget about telling me what to do with the back of the bodice/skirt, but I guessed it!  I also made the skirt seams french seams to enclose the raw edges and I had my first attempt at using the button-hole foot on my machine (which was quite hit and miss, I recommend practicing A LOT!)
So all I have to do now is see if she will actually wear it! 
If it gets the thumbs up I could make some more...?

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Ladybird Loveliness

Look at all these classics I picked up at the local boot fair on Sunday!  Amazingly only 20p each too, so I bought the box full!
These are now on my shelves out of reach of sticky fingers! 
Although as we now have two copies of Cinderella (which is my youngest's favourite story) she can have my old copy, complete with my scribbles on!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Granny Square learning...

I've been finding new blogs lately, mostly from links on blogs I like and I was very taken with the lovely blog 'Yarn Round Hook' when I found pictures of a gorgeous granny square blanket!
It is so yummy, big congrats to Victoria for finishing this!

So after many failed attempts at crochet I was spurred onto trying to master the Granny!!

So lots of re-reading books, magazines, blog posts and then I found a link to this...
Sarah London's Flickr set
'How to Make a Granny Square Step by Step' on Flickr...follow the link it's truly fab and that was when it all slowly started to make sense!

Cue lots of furrowed brows and fingers in a twist...but eventually I ended up with this...

It's not perfect I know but I did get the rhythm of the pattern eventually and I'm keen to practice some more.