Monday, 31 December 2007
Once DS had gone back to London, I was able to get my sewing room back. I celebrated by making a feathered star. It's a Martha McClosky pattern I picked up from the Home and Garden Television site. I know it's really only pictures of the demonstration, but the instructions were a bit tricky to follow, especially when it came to assembling the block. 'Stitch each row together and complete' wasn't really enough for me - maybe I should have bought the book! Anyway, I'm pleased with the result, although I still have to work out whether I want to make more to start another quilt, or whether the journey was sufficient.
Hope everyone has a good time today, and has a happy, healthy and productive 2008!
Saturday, 22 December 2007
It's a felt mince pie! Isn't it gorgeous? Unfortunately, she tells me you can't eat it, but that means it'll be available to enhance our Christmas table for years to come!
Merry Christmas to all, and a happy, healthy new year.
Thursday, 20 December 2007
However, my friend Chris has recently alerted me to a wonderful place to buy fabrics, where the range of fabrics and service is excellent, and the postage costs minimal. It's www.webfabrics.net They have an extensive selction of fabrics for about $8 a yard, and with the weak dollar that means about £4 a yard! I am particulary interested in Victorian reproduction fabrics (another group of designs which don't seem to make over here) so bought 5 yards of fabric, which with postage, cost me only £25.64 and arrived after only 11 days from my order! I could have bought another yard of fabric for the same postage cost of $11, but didn't want to strain the credit card bill too much at this time of year!
Here are my goodies, all reproduction fabrics to add to my stash. Carly at Webfabrics sent me a little extra, a piece of sunflower fabric with a lovely little gift tag saying 'Happy Sewing'. The tag was made from fabric Heat and Bonded on to card - now there's an idea!
Of course, I couldn't resist something to add to my novelty fabrics collection. Here is 'Daily Grind'.If you look at Webfabrics' site, be aware that fabric is by the yard (not metre) and priced in half yards or sometimes fat quarters. If you're a cheapskate like me, scroll down to the weekly specials, where fabric is even cheaper! Happy surfing!
Friday, 14 December 2007
I made sure I was on the second row, behind Tracey, so that I could follow her if my mind went blank or I fell over my own feet, but didn't realise that I was standing in a black spot, which has made the photos difficult to see. Never mind. At least you can't really see the look of blind panic on my face! I tried to smile, but when you're doing your best to co-ordinate hands, arms, chest, hips and feet, and keep in time with the music, your facial muscles are the least of your concerns.
People always think that you have to show lots of flesh if you're doing belly dancing. I suppose if you want to make a career of it, it attracts the crowds, but at hobby level, anything goes. You can see here that people are wearing a variety of different costumes, with various amounts of flesh on show. The one thing they have in common is the wearing of a coin belt - shaking your hips is so satisfying when they jingle!
We were all supposed to be doing the same choreography, but this photo looks as if it's a bit of an improv session. I think we've just turned right round, and some people are quicker into position than others.Belly dancing is great fun, and I would recommend it to anyone, whatever shape, size or age. It's done to music, is great exercise, like quilting it's effectively a ladies-only hobby, with all the benefits that being in a sisterhood brings, and gives you an opportunity to dress sparkly and jingly and reveal your inner goddess! It's also a fantastic conversational gambit which you can use to great effect at parties - it ensures people always remember you!
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
When I was a girl, everyone had a cloth shopping bag for carrying purchases home in. Nowadays, plastic carrier bags are most often used, although there is a movement to go back to reusing bags, and many supermarkets give incentives to people who bring, and use, their own bags. Hopefully my friend will be able to use this when she does her weekly shop. Not only will she have her green credentials on display, but the sophisticated Michael Miller fabric will count for extra Brownie Points, surely!
Sunday, 9 December 2007
I seem to have gone a bit house-crazy (what would Freud have to say about that?) and houses are my theme for the Winter Class I took with Tonya. We had to start by thinking what Christmas meant to us, and to me, the feeling of togetherness and bonhomie when friends (old and new) and family get together is the best part of the celebrations. So I decided to make houses, with all kinds of people (and creatures!) peeping out of the windows, and a space underneath for all the people who visit us over Christmas to sign their names. That way, it will be a real record of the best part of Christmas for me. I made the letters using Tonya's clever improvisational method, and changed the saying to 'people' rather than 'men' as we have a feminist in the house, (my DD). I really have more hand quilting to do, but need to hang this up on the dining room wall ready for people to sign.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Saturday, 1 December 2007
So when I saw on Tonya's blog that she made reusable fabric gift bags, I was motivated to have a go. First I tipped out all the off-cuts of wadding I had saved 'just in case' and found some which could be sewn together.
I chose the fabric for outer and lining, cut it to shape, zigzagged a couple of pieces of wadding to the required size and then made the bag. Tonya gives detailed instructions, but basically I layered the fabrics right sides together with the wadding on top, sewed all round the edge, leaving a gap to turn through, turned right sides out, folded the bag into shape and sewed up the sides of the bag and along the flap to top stitch.
Here are the first two I made. They're about 10 inches square. Tonya suggested using Velcro to close them, but I just put on ribbon ties - my children are in their twenties and not likely to get try to peep before the day.
Then I made two more using pieces of Christmas fabric which have been lurking in my Christmas box for years, one a Debbie Mumm and the other a horrible cheap piece I picked up somewhere or other. Another plus on the recycling front! I put little ribbon loops on these and sewed buttons on for closing. Seems to work well enough.
I have no idea what I will be putting in these bags, but as long as it fits in, the gift doesn't have to be the exact same shape. At least it will slightly reduce the mountain of wrapping paper which is cleared up every Christmas morning, and has had the welcome effect of reducing my stash too! Let me just go and see what other pieces of Christmas fabric are still lurking....