Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Late Summer Makes

Morning!  *blows dust from keyboard and peers into screen through thin film of cobwebs*  

Anybody there?  

It's been a while, hasn't it.  Almost three months to be exact.  I don't quite know why I've left it so long to update my blog.  I love writing here.  It keeps me chipper and gives me an excuse to waffle on about everything I've been up to.  I also love the chance to catch up on my favourite blogs and read what my cyber buddies have been up to. 

So.  What have you been up to?  With a glorious summer under our belts, we Brits are now revelling in the onset of autumn.  It occurred to me this morning that it is just two days until actual Halloween and I don't have any pumpkins.  No real ones, I mean.  I made a few fabric ones the other week and I do have a pair of tin lanterns that I bought last year, but I *need* real ones that I can carve and put in the garden.  Bet the only ones left at the supermarket will be misshapen and slightly manky.  Grr.  Must change the subject; am starting to feel slightly panicky about lack of pumpkins.

I used vintage fabric for the pumpkins, bought from Get Smitten
After a super-lovely holiday in February with Suzie's knit club girls, I was dead chuffed to be able to go to Meadowgate again in September.  

My little Mini loaded up with a week's worth of clothes and craft for two girlie girls.
We had such a lovely time.  

Afternoon tea at Gayna's on the way to Meadowgate.  So lovely to see her and tea was a real treat.
The weather was gorgeous for late September and (when we weren't eating) we spent quite a bit of time knitting in the garden.  On the Sunday, a few of us took a bottle of prosecco and some boogie boards to the beach.  It was lush.  Suzie and Deb hit the waves; Helen, Lisa and I gave moral support.  The week passed far too quickly and I now fondly refer to the week as 'patchwork boot camp' as I decided on the Tuesday to make a Christmas quilt and - with the help of patchwork expert Helen - it was basted ready for quilting by Thursday evening.  I am hugely pleased with it and love spending the evenings hand quilting.  

I used a bundle of Lynette Anderson christmas fabric that I found at Cowslip.  It is last year's design (called, I think, Christmas Fun).  I love the murky colours that Lynette uses - I think my quilt looks festive without looking over-the-top or twee.  

I've fallen for patchwork in a big way.  Upon arriving home from Meadowgate I immediately started working on a pattern for a patchwork bag.  I wanted to get stuck into more whilst I still felt confident of the technique.  By the end of the weekend (aided by a lot of swearing, unpicking and tutor texts/phone calls with my lovely friend Lisa) I'd finished the bag and I love it.  It is far from perfect (in fact, it's a bit rubbish really) but I am beyond chuffed to have made it all by myself.

Tilda fabric for this one:  the Sweet Christmas collection.
I've also started some English paper piecing and have embarked on the slightly ambitious project of a hexy lap-quilt:

I'm using Tilda Fabric for my hexies, too. The collection here is called The Corner Shop and is very pretty.
I have been inspired by Ali (as usual) and it was she who encouraged me to 'dream big' and start with a quilt rather than something more manageable like, say, a cushion! Ali sent me LOADS of helpful emails but I can't help but think she has more faith in me than she should.  I will be writing to her when I finish the last stitch in my retirement home, to let her know I finally finished it! 

I have actually finished a couple of things too, would you believe (Erin, I'm looking at you!).  

Tufty Scarf by Suzie Johnson.  Modelled by my 4-year-old niece, Izzie.
I started the neon Tufty scarf (link!) at Meadowgate but it was abandoned for Patchwork Boot Camp.  I managed to finish the scarf at the weekend - it was SO quick and easy to make.  I'm going to make another one.  Well I'm going to have to, because Izzie snatched this one up for herself the second I finished it.  It's really too long for her but she loves it.  I am pretending to be cross with her for stealing it but I'm secretly chuffed that she wants it.

Since coming back from Meadowgate, a few of us have formed a 'Secret Sewing Bee' and we meet on Monday nights.  The 'founder' - Deb from Rushden's Manfield Crafts - hosts it and has so many lovely things at her house that she has completely inspired me to make a whole heap of Tilda characters.  I started by making these little gingerbread men, which I turned into a garland with the addition of some stuffed hearts and thin piece of hessian.

I plan to make the teddy in this month's Mollie Makes next.  Have you seen it? It's gorgeous.  

Right, I'm off.  It's a work day today and I've got loads to do.

Have a great week! 




  1. Hello, your back!!!! its been a while, same for me too, its difficult to fit blogging in on a regular basis, especially when theres so much crafting to be done. I absolutely adore the gingerbread man garland and think I may have to just copy it! (if I get time in between the many other things thats going on at the mo)

    I do hope you get your pumpkins in time for Halloween - happy carving my friend

    Laura xxxx

  2. ah lovely to read what you are up to, yes you should blog more often mrs as it's a lovely one to read! Glad you had a fab time at Meadowgate, how lucky you are to have been twice now! Love the little gingerbread men and the pumpkins are fab too, I need to get a real one for the kids but saw in Sainsburys there are still loads left to buy so I'm not worried!

  3. You have been so busy! Love all your makes, especially your Christmas patchwork blanket. Very impressed you're quilting by hand (I'm just too lazy/impatient, machine all the way!) Also love the pink teapot in your afternoon tea pic, what a great shape!

  4. So glad to see you back. You have been very busy with all that you are making/made. Don't keep it so far inbetween posts xx

  5. I have no pumpkins either. My kids will NEVER forgive me if I can't get any tomorrow, will be soooo awkward.
    Loving those fabric ones.
    Don't forget I don't go on IG or FB so its good to read your blog posts......seems ages since I was in touch with you about some sort of gubbins.
    Loving your neice's scarf, she's such a pretty little dot.
    Well, I am nearly 34 weeks pregnant now, not long to go. Bit freaked at the thought of pushing out another babber through me wot not but I have to say I absolutely LOVE being pregnant this time round. If I was younger and this baby turns out to be calm and well behaved like me (ahem), I might consider a fourth.
    But hey, not relived those sleepless nights yet!!!!
    Can't think of boys or girls names that we both love either, and time is running out!!!
    That afternoon tea Gayna did looks epic. She is such a hostess with plenty of hostess. Could eat it all now!!
    Hope you are well,
    Gem x x

  6. So glad to see a post from you, I do love how you write and of course your pictures are always gorgeous too. You're so lucky to be blessed with crochet, knitting, patchwork AND sewing skills! I wish I could say the same, I'm pretty darn awful at most crafts save for crochet - and that took some practice. The gingerbread man garland is so sweet and your niece looks so chuffed to be wearing your scarf! xx

  7. So wonderful to see you back, since your last post I've finally taken up crochet (as well as the knitting) so I look forward to reading about what you get up to having some know-how myself now! The quilt and the bag are both B-E-A-utiful and now have me wanting to start quilting. Best stop buying bloody wool and save up for a sewing machine! xx

  8. Lovely to read a bloggy post from You Nicki, You,ve been missed,although I love to follow You on IG too, love all of Your latest crafty makes,especially the pumpkins. Take care ,love Julie XxX