Monday, 27 August 2012

Bank Holiday Antidote

As I have no intention of joining the Bank Holiday crowds, out there, the choices being caught in an inevitable downpour or worshipping at The Trafford Centre, I will be cutting up large pieces of fabric into small pieces.

The project I'm planning needs 100 squares plus binding, etc. 52 cut so far, 48 to go. Lets see how far I get today.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


I didn't know what a baby taggie was until recently, but having stumbled across a picture of one on t'internet, I thought I'd have a go at making one for my nephew.
Early Learning Centre make one, in the form of a book, so I planned on expanding on the idea.
It was a great way to use up scraps and some random bits of fabric, not suitable for quilting.
I've tried to make it as tactile as possible - using a couple of pieces of velvet, some satin, fluffy fabrics, textured gingham as well as cotton.
The ribbons are all from a bag of scraps of ribbon I got ages ago from a CS.
Again I used some different textures and fabrics.
I cut twenty five 2 1/2" squares and 25 pieces of ribbon, 5" long. The ribbon is folded and pressed to make the tabs.
I backed it with some cream fleece, taken from my bargain Abakhan fabric. So, the cost was hardly anything.
I'm quite pleased with it and it's kept me quiet all Sunday afternoon! Now, just need to find out if  seven month old Henry is impressed.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Money For Nothing

After the excesses of yesterday - a visit to Festival of Quilts, which meant train fare, ticket cost, cups of coffee and fabric, etc, it's time to reign in the spending. It's 13 days to pays to payday. Can I stay away from the cashpoint until then?
I've got a full tank of petrol, bought after checking for the best price, of course.

I've more than enough food and cat food in. Can't have the mogs going hungry.

That's not my cat, but it looks a bit like Tim.

I've menu planned my lunches for work.

This is the money I have left in my purse

How long can I make it last? The only expenses I can envision are milk, a bit more fresh veg and fruit and putting air in the tyres (remembering, of course that Asda has a min. amount of 20p, whilst others have a 50p min.).
So, barring ant disasters, I don't need any more cash and can give the cards a rest. Let's see how I do!

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Quilty Pleasure

At some point in the 1980's, I went to a gig to see My Bloody Valentine, the punk/rock band, at the Ritz in Manchester. On arrival, we took up the best vantage point, ie. in front of the stage. This particular gig is very memorable because, for once I didn't manage to hold onto spot at the front. The Punks also waiting were extremely aggressive that night and before the band even got on the stage, I was somewhere near the back. Much safer, but not as much fun.
Little did I know that, all these years later, the outcome of that night would stand me in good stead. Why? Well, today I've been to The Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham. Thousands of middle aged and older ladies, in trainers, flocking around fabric stalls. It was difficult to get a look in - no chance of getting near the front, I'll take my chances with the Punks, any day!

This quilt was very large and very impressive.

I liked this Clarice Cliff inspired quilt.

I've got a thing about House Blocks at the moment, so this really appealed.

A lot of work has gone into this one.

This mini quilt depicting tiny quilts on a washing line was cute.

I even managed to spot this Stash Swap quilt from Diane at The Cheshire Quilter !

I liked the hand made signs telling you not to touch the quilts. They were all different and not necessarily in English.

At the entrance there was a place to vote for your favourite quilt. That was a tough call - traditional, contemporary, art - what to pick? I went for one that hadn't got any accolades from the judges, but I liked it.
A long day, but really interesting. Came back with lots of ideas, some money and a slight feeling of inadequacy.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

A Dilemma

I would post more...............

but I'd have to remove a sleeping cat from the keyboard.


Welcome to my newest followers Hard up Hester and Pauline.
I've just been looking at my stats and seem to have gathered some extra traffic from unlikely sources. At first I couldn't understand why a couple of porn sites would lead people to my little blog. Then it dawned - titling a post Secrets Lies and Videotape might not have been a good move.
So apologies to those poor unfulfilled souls who arrived at my blog to learn about bargain fabric and not what they expected!
Tomorrow I'll be going to Festival Of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham. Really looking forward to this. It's my first visit. If you're going today (opening day), don't tell me anything!

I expect to come back with a few purchases and lots of inspiration.
I've decided to go on the train. When I worked out the cost of fuel, parking and use of the M6 toll (£11 return!), I couldn't justify spending that on a day out.
I have, of course, used the MSE method of ticket splitting. This has reduced the price of my ticket from £80 down to £31. So, if anyone asks, I'm getting off at Stoke, right?

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Secrets, Lies and Videotape

If you find yourself  'Up North' at any point (that's UK, of course), make a visit to an  Abakhan Fabric shop.
There's eight stores in this part of the world, plus some in Estonia and Latvia, but that might be too far to travel for bargain fabric.
Obviously they sell online as well, but here's the secret, in the stores they sell these funny rolls of scrap fabric for...................60p each. I know, what a bargain!

Looks odd, doesn't it, but here's what 3 of these rolls turned into. Picked up on my last visit to the Manchester store.

- Pink fluffy fabric, maybe a cushion cover or yet another cat bed
- large piece of oilcloth
- white cotton velvet
- 2 pieces of animal print cotton, 1 large enough to back a cot quilt
- large piece of cream fleece
-  plain white heavy cotton
- some odd pink and blue man-made fabric, don't think I'll find a use for this
- several pieces of usable craft weight cotton

Well worth a visit. The only downside - they put your purchase in a large clear polythene bag, so you look a bit like a homeless person, or someone just out of prison as you walk back to the car!

p.s. I don't have any lies or videotape.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Food Glorious Food

I've just come back from a few days in sunny Scotland. I didn't come home empty handed!
In addition to a carrier bag of freshly dug up spuds, I went and picked this lot myself, from the garden
Well, I didn't exactly pick the eggs - I've got 2 dozen of them, so quiches and cakes next week. However, they were freshly laid by the variety of chickens roaming the garden and you do have to look very carefully in the shed to see where they are.
My free 'organic veg box' included lettuce, beetroot, peas, green beans, onions, courgette and spinach. The spinach didn't travel too well and has been used first.
Looks like I'll be eating well this week and all for free.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Tesco Fail

Whilst shopping for those essential supplies for a good night in - wine and crisps,  spotted this.......

Posh crisps at a very reasonable 87p a packet or the a bargain multi-buy - 2 for £3.50.
Really Tesco, do you not have staff who can read - someone has to have placed these POS strips (there was more than one) on the shelf edge?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Quick Present

I wanted to add a little something to the birthday present I'd bought for SIL. I made these scented hanging sachets, to go in her wardrobe.
Fabric from stash  (used to be a duvet cover), ribbon from bag of ribbon offcuts, bought ages ago, wadding - just used scraps from supply and dried scented stuff for inside - already had that, unused.
So, total cost - bit of time and lots of care.
Different fabric pattern on other side. I think they look OK and I'm sure I'll make some again.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Busy Bee

It was my turn to provide the pattern and fabric for the Quilting Bee I belong to.  I've only joined one, so far - I know my limitations!
There are only 9 people in this Bee, so that meant I needed to make up 8 little parcels.

All neatly folded......
And tied up with 'bee' ribbon, with a little bee charm in there for good measure!
Wonder what will come back

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Bees and Blocks

 For my very first quilting bee project, I was sent these lovely fabrics. The instruction was to make a 'Wonky Block'. Also, new to me. I spend so much time trying hard to get my seam allowance consistent and  straight, that to be told to make it wonky was counter -intuitive.

 The parcel also contained a fabulous surprise - a chocolate Bee. It's not a trick photo, it really is quite large. I promised myself I wouldn't eat it until the block was done and in the post!
This was my plan for the fabric I received. I'm fairly confident that I have followed the brief properly.

And this is the finished result. What do you think? Too simplistic? Perhaps a bit amateur looking. The learning curve continues. It is, however, square (honest) and the requisite 12" x 12".

Can't wait to see what the finished quilt looks like - there's only 9 people in the group, so far and we are  all making one 12" square block each, per month, for the next nine months. At the end of that, we should all have a quilt each.

The second block involved using some really lovely fabrics and although the instructions were clear and concise, I didn't find it easy to do.
This is my block cut and ready to sew. Triangles are not my strong 'point'.

And the final result - well I'm going to post the picture so that it acts as as reminder of how much progress I've made, in the future. I'm not pleased with it at all. I just can't seem to master triangles and points. I'm hoping practice is the answer.