Monday, 23 January 2012

Resolved to Sew 2012

Although the title name links in to a giveaway (details further down), considering that very soon I am due to return to work (no more Ms Lady of Leisure apparently - does the daily cleaning, washing, mopping etc - "we must kill all germs before they get to Isabella", count as leisure?!!!!) I would like to make 2012 the year where I use my sewing machine for more than (and more) quilting.. (stop for breath!).

I came to England when I was just over 17 to go to university because I would ONLY study psychology and back then psychology was not a scientific enough subject to study at the Greek University. So I packed my bags, said my goodbyes in tears to friends and family and travelled on a the Magic Bus across Europe to the UK (that is another story for another time). At the borders an official asked me how long I planned to stay in the UK and I answered "10 years"!!! Well I had it all planned you first degree, my MA, my PHD and then my return back home!!!! My god I was so young and so naive but also so full of beans and 'go get it'...
Once I stopped crying every night in my dinner and whilst waiting to be offered a place in a university I came across a Floodlight magazine where all the courses in all the subjects across all education venues are listed in there...I came up with 17 courses I wanted to do (besides my main degree!) ranging from jewelry making to tap dancing etc!!! That was 26 years ago and of course I did not do anything else because once my degree started I devoted myself to that exclusively.
Well, 26 years later, I am a lot clearer about what I want to learn and my choices have dwindled from 17 down to 3-4 max!  So, here is my resolve for 2012:

1. Learn to sew more things and especially little clothes for little people like this one:

2. Make a quilt worth exhibiting in the Festival of Quilts
3. Finish a few UFOs
I will stop here because it is important to keep my list realistic...

There are some wonderful giveaways on the blog...check them out if you get a mo!

This is what I made over the weekend as part of my Resolve number 1!!!:

Please note that they are my first ever cushions! I am well happy with them! :-)

At the rate of one every night, I have added two more stars to my Oh My Stars QA:

I fear it will all look like a complete mess with all the strong colours and busy fabrics...let's see:

I made this one and was very unsure about last night I made another one because i simply adore these stars..:

not so sure...might have to test it once again!

                                                                     Amelie x

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


In my last post I wrote how great it is to get almost 2.5 hours free time a day when the bella Isabella has her beauty sleeps! well, since then the poor baby has had her second proper cold come teething time and sleep has been all over the place...remind me never to boast about her sleep..or food...or her great good moods ever again!!!!! Just in case!
Just before this I managed to carry with with my commitments and here are a couple more blocks I made:

This one is for my Modern Minx Beginner Bee:

The block is called Envy so I thought it was appropriate to choose the 'greener' fabrics in this range. Connie from Basildon Kitchens did an excellent tutorial on it which can be found here:
She did her block in this range and as I happen to have a fair amount of this in my stash I followed suit!
I hope you like it Connie!

I then did my first Geese in a Ring swap block. I only managed to waste one quarter of this thank god because the work involved in this block (foundation piecing) is considerable to say the least!
This is the black-grey-white block. I hope it will meet the groups expectations.

  and finally! I managed to take a photo of this little quilt (you have one guess who will be the lucky recipient of this quilt!!!!) which waited in pins for 3 weeks and 2 more to be bound and 2 more to be photographed!!!!poor thing!
Anyway, I bought some of the fabrics and the panel from the Eternal Maker shop during a fair and I added some of my own linen fabrics to the mix to make it more interesting and less nautical (pack only included the panel and the stripey fabrics).
The stripey fabrics were a pain in the butt to work with...very stretchy and difficult to manage... anyway, this is the front:

and this is the back! I decided to use all my leftovers plus some kona solid I had left from another project happening at the same time and I made three scrappy stars...I like the whole finished article. I quilted it with another fancy stitch and with a black/grey/white thread. The final effect is very striking indeed!

and these are some hexies I worked on not for a grandmother's garden quilt (I have another stash of those somewhere else!) but for a border piece...more on this when I have got a grasp on what exactly I am trying to achieve with these!

Best get on and finish preparing the princess's lunch!

                                                                      Amelie x

Friday, 13 January 2012


Well, round about Christmas I started to Bee Europa 2011 is coming to an end in April and I already started to feel bereft and without virtual quilting friends!
So I joined one more Bee - Modern Minx Beginner Bee and a block swap group - Happy Scrap Quilt Block Swap AND a Geese in Ring Swap!!!! Overkill I know especially with a small baby BUT: we have now worked out a proper sleep pattern and I get almost 2.5 hours free for quilting during the day!!!! Hurrahhhh

So, this week so far I have finished my Bee Europa blocks for Ulrike who asked for a Bento box block:

The block in itself is not difficult at all but when I say there is a challenge in everything patchwork I mean it!!! Precut fabrics do not always measure perfectly what they claim to measure...which makes matters very complicated. ..especially with the little pinking teeth..arghhhhh where are your measurement meant to start and stop? let's say that for a perfectionist like me I had to stitch and unstitch and re-stitch the blocks and even then they are not a perfect 6.5". I have stressed and stressed about this but even with a scant 1/4" seam there is no chance on this earth that I can get to 6.5".
I hope you like them Ulrike and that they will not put your quilt measurements out...:-(

I have also finished the blocs for my swap group..arrows...I found some reds in my scap box and here we are:

i love these four so much! i was tempted to keep them and make a cushion but my commitments come first!

and 2 more blocks for the group administrator who will do all the hard work of sending the blocks round the group:


I am working on 2 small quilts and hopefully I will have some pictures to show in my blog soon.

                                                                        Amelie x

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A Tribute & I Believe..

In Father Christmas!!! Yes, I was converted on New Years Eve and I will explain why!:

My mum (the only truly supportive fellow crafter!) told me that on the night of the year change, if you are doing what you love or you have close by what you love, you will spend the year with/doing these things. Well, considering we have had a truly traumatic month with my daddy in hospital, I put 3 things under my pillow on New Years Eve:  a letter from my dad, one of Isabella's socks and I piece of patchwork!!! Am I a saddo? possibly!!!! (PS I was spooning Mr Whirlygiggles so no need for something of his under my pillow!!!-in case he reads this!!!)

So, the next day my dad started to slowly come around from his triple bypass operation, Isabella was in high spirits, Mr Whirlygiggles gave me 2 hours gratis to do patchwork and I got this beauty!!!!

Meet Aspassia! she is beautiful and she sews like a dream....well, she did sew like a dream for my mother who used her ALL day long since we took her out of her case!!!
My grandmother used to have one of these machines and my mum reminisced no end about my grandmother who was an extremely amazing woman. She run a household full of kids, she run a farm, cooked the most delicious food, made her own cheese, grew vegetables and dressed the whole family with a machine like this one.
Her most extraordinary feat was that 70 odd years ago on an Greek island, she defied the doctor and her husband and she brought her 6 month premie baby home in a shoe box covered in cotton wool. She stayed with him in her nightie day and night until he became 9 months. He still lives on the island.
My grandmother Aspassia was very special but she also suffered a lot of loss in her life (husband, a teenage son and two babies) and by the time I knew her she was at heart, a very somber and depressed woman. I think her Singer machine was one of the things that kept her sane and I understand that...
Here's to you my YaYa (Greek for Grandmother). I will think of you every time I sit at my machine.

On a different note, am making slow progress on my star quilt and am making a quilt for someone else that has to be delivered this week!!! ouch!
Here are my stars:

Please excuse all the threads and uneveness..I have not finished them yet... I think I will make all the stars in this size by using shot cottons that I have left over from other projects...I hope that by doing that I will tone down the wilderness of colour in other stars!!!

And here is a sneaky preview of another Isabella special I am working on!:

Isn't she a beauty?!!!!!!


                                                       Amelie x

Visitors to my blog!