Friday 31 August 2012

Inaugural linky party for Slow Bloggers

Are you a Slow Blogger?  Does life sometimes get in the way?  Do you ever feel apologetic about your lack of productivity?  Then this is the place for you.

Welcome to the Inaugural Linky Party for Slow Bloggers.  Here is where we can get together and celebrate our achievements for the previous month however small.

If you have been creative, write a post about it then come here and share your projects (link up for Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts too!).     Conversely, feel free to link up a post here telling us what else you've been up to or sharing something that inspires you. 

Temporary members are welcome.  One day the baby will sleep through the night, the children will start school, you may even win the lottery and give up the day job.  Maybe you'll get back on track after that holiday.  Your sewing mojo might just return from exile next week.  Until then, you're not alone! All you need to do is add the button below to your post or sidebar, link your post, visit and comment! The link will stay open for a week.

I'm hoping this might become a regular feature, held on the last day of the month, with hosting going to a different blog each time.  If you would like to host during one of the months to come, just let me know. 

Knotted Cotton

I'll just say my August has whizzed by in a blur of school holidays. I spent the first week back clearing the school allotment - ironic that the weeds have done spectacularly well during the wet weather, whereas the vegetables.....

Finished projects (feel free to skip):

here and here:


One top to quilt - all material bought and ready to go
One quilt based on paper-pieced dandelion seeds - no progress

WITTS (works in the theoretical stage:-)):

One cushion cover to make as a present
Three Pay-it-forward gifts

The most exciting part of my month has been this

What about you?


Speed of Light

Last night:

I collected a light stick:

and set off up an extinct volcano:

to watch this:

The dots of light are runners in special light suits. Here we are at the top:

and coming back down again:

It was an amazing night:

Tuesday 28 August 2012


Mr Random Number Generator has done his bit this very minute:

so this book will shortly be on its way to Sarah Lou!   I do hope you enjoy it - have fun! 

A quick note to mention the latest stops on the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop:

Aug 23

Ginny from Fish Creek Studio, who has a tutorial for a lovely Xmas pillow with embroidered embellishments, and May from Confessions of a Fabraholic, with a tutorial for a laptop skin protector, which is a good idea considering how toasty your laptop can get.

And up today are:

Lucy from Charm About You, with a tutorial for a sweet cube pincushion and baby block, and Ella from Throw a Wench in the Works - spare-time belly dancer - with a funny post and a tutorial for a polaroid snap snack mat.

Plum and June

Monday 27 August 2012

A finish and a beginning

Finished and framed.  Applique, machine- and hand-embroidery on Klona cotton, design by my daughter.  Thanks to Sandy for confirming that the puckering was because I hadn't stabilised the fabric.  I had to stretch and iron it out as best I could - it still shows a little but I photographed it in a favourable light;-)

On to the next project now (unless I can find another distraction) which is to back and quilt this...

...using the walking foot I have just bought for myself with birthday money.   Yep, I actually quilted all the quilts I have made so far without a walking foot  - ignorance mostly, and you might say it shows....  It can be done though!

I'm going to do a couple of test runs first to try out different threads.

Unfortunately I am an idiot and didn't buy enough of the linen I wanted to back it with, so I am going to have to resort to some ingenuity and a rethink.

Linking up to:

There and Back

Saturday 25 August 2012

Not really a giveaway:-)

I recently bought this lovely book.  It's great for someone just inspired to learn embroidery - full of nice inspiration for doodle stitching, and good if you wanted to do some sewing with children.

I've read and digested and would like to pass it on to someone who would make good use of it.  

If you would like it, just let me know in the comments section by 6pm GMT on Tuesday 28 August.  You only have to be a current follower please (because I'd like to show my gratitude), and promise to blog anything you make as a result (because I'm nosy and would like to see).

I would be happy to send it internationally though you may have to wait a little while for it to arrive:-).   If more than one person applies I will let Mr Random Number Generator pick someone.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Really Random Thursday

Reasons to be cheerful this week:

Fun:  The weather this summer has not been great but at the weekend we were able to make a rare and lovely trip to the seaside.

If you had the whole of this enormous beach to choose from, would you have sat just here, right in front of the only other people enjoying the view?  It made me laugh anyway.

Sometimes the adults in this family seem to have more fun building sandcastles than the children.

Finds: this flower (isn't it lovely? I haven't identified it yet)...

...and this spider, in the garden, which looks so amazing close up:

and finally: while we were shopping we surprised a couple, who I would guess were in their sixties, enjoying a really passionate clinch in the local multi-storey car park.  No pictures of that one obviously, but it made me feel so optimistic for the future!

Linking up to:

Live A Colorful Life

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Work in Progress - and some questions...

A work in progress: A little while ago my youngest daughter did this drawing. It makes me happy whenever I look at it!  I think it's pretty good for a six year old (before I had children I used to think parents were showing off their children's achievements - now I know that you are just sharing your amazement and not actually taking any credit for it...)

This afternoon I sat down on the spur of the moment and hand- and machine-embroidered this:

It's not finished yet, but I have a question which I'm throwing out here in case anyone can help... When I embroidered the hair, the face puckered - is this a thread tension thing, or because I didn't stabilise the fabric?  It's puckered in such a way that I could actually pad the face out, so that the picture is slightly raised, but I wondered if I could "block" it flat?  Any ideas?!  I am a total novice.

On the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop today

Marta from From Marta with Love
Marion from My Quilt Diet

Marta has a neat tip for efficiently marking up several half-square triangles and Marion has some of her own for getting an awe-inspiring amount of quilting done while running a household of six kids.

Also at Plum and June, there is a lovely giveaway - a half-yard bundle of Riley Blake's Apple of My Eye.

And at Life's Rich Pattern, Annabella is offering a beautiful bundle of Kona solids.

Check them out!

Saturday 18 August 2012

Embroidery finish

I'm still a bit unsure whether to add something at the bottom but I think I've decided to call this one finished!  I added a few reeds on the left for balance,

and have unpicked the botchy baby, and redone it marginally less botchily

and that's probably it.

I've had this image in the back of my head for a while - she keeps turning up in different ways. I've done her as a woodcarving, as an etching, as a mini-quilt and now as an embroidery.  I don't know why because I don't think of myself as a sentimental or particularly maternal mother even though I love my children dearly!

Things I learned with this project:
  • Stranded embroidery thread can be divided into strands for finer stitches (yes, duh!)
  • Straight stitch
  • Backstitch
  • Stem stitch
  • Laisy daisy stitch
  • Satin stitch
  • French knots 
  • The quality of my stitching definitely got better as I went on, so practicing on a sampler first might have helped - I just like to dive in too much.
  • Not to sew my embroidery to my lap

I'm linking up to:

There and Back

Thursday 16 August 2012

Really Random Thursday

Really, really random...

More fun I've been having with  Scribbler (have you discovered it yet?):

I'd like to turn this into an embroidery

Luscious Tradewinds fabric waiting to be turned into a hooded quilt wrap - this time with fleece lining, and designed for camping holidays:

Two spirals, one beautiful:

and one beloved:

Please visit the blogs taking part in the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop today:  
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Cathy from Blueberry Patch

Alison has a tutorial for coasters, and Cathy has one for a doll's pillow and pillowcase. Do check them out!

Live A Colorful Life

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Yay Slow Bloggers!

A big thank you to the people who have signed up as members of the Union of Slow Bloggers - there is nothing a Slow Blogger dreads quite as much as the sound of whistling tumbleweed after a post...

Martha suggested a monthly linky party which is a great idea and given the nature of the Movement I think we should rotate the hosting, so if you would like to be one of the hosts let me know - no obligation though!  You should check out Martha's blog by the way - she takes beautiful photographs and deserves a bigger following.

I have actually drafted a manifesto (see new page tab)!  Suggestions welcome.  Please note, none of this is to be taken (entirely) seriously. 

Please visit the two blogs on the Let's Get Acquainted bloghop today:

Sarah from Sarah Sews Quilting Blog
January from Sew Sew Go

Sarah has a tutorial for a sweet mug rug with hexies and hand quilting, and January has a tutorial for a really useful pouch to carry blocks around in.   Both are lovely blogs.

Monday 13 August 2012

Slow Blog

A while back I posted, half jokingly, about my need for a slow blog movement.

I blog for two reasons - to share and record the things that I make, and secondly for the contact that blogging gives me with some lovely fellow crafters. I'm in awe of some of my favourite bloggers who manage to get so much done but I suspect there are other people out there who, like me, find it more difficult. It's very easy to worry about your stuff being good enough, or whether you are producing it fast enough to share, and to forget who you are doing it for - ie you!  So!  I am starting the movement here - membership of one - and proudly declaring my slog blogger status.

Becca commented that the movement should have a button and suggested a snail or a turtle (this makes her officially a co-founder;-), so just before I went on holiday I drew this, using Scribbler (have you used it yet? It's such fun!  Also, it would make great drawings for embroiderers.).

Knotted Cotton
Now all it needs is a manifesto!

Sunday 12 August 2012


This week: pattern, spotted at the museum:

What about you?  What's inspired you this week, whether it's something you've seen while out and about, a craft book you've read, a piece of work by someone else, a fabric, or something else?  Please do link up if you have a post you'd like to share!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Sunshine at last!

Finally we got to do a proper test run for the hooded quilt/wrap/picnic blanket I made for my Let's Get Acquainted bloghop tutorial.  My daughter seems to love it, and although she knows what side her bread is buttered on I don't think that it's just that she wants to keep me sweet! She and her sibling spent all day running in and out of the sea, and in between times she would wrap up and get warm again for a while. The sea was freezing (well, this is Scotland...) but it was a beautiful day.


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