Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Book review - Scrap Quilt Projects

A few weeks ago the lovely people at vive books gave some of us crafty bloggers the chance to review one of their books. Vive books is the downloady bit of rainbow books who produce quality books from top authers, in digital format.

I chose this one 
I've been wanting to try some quilting for ages but a whole quilt always seems daunting. I thought this would help introduce me to it alittle.
The purchase process was very easy and had wonderful communication with Vivienne Wells who runs the site.
the book itself has a handy 'how to use this book' guide at the front for those of use who have never really used e-books before.
It contains a varity of projects, suitable for people who normally quilt but want something quick and easy to use up scraps/use as presents and for beginners like me. 
The projects included are a needlecase, bags, mini quilts, cushions, tablemats, a door stop and a pencil case.
For each there is a full but easy to follow set of instructions and if templates are needed they are provided. For any of the projects that have slightly more complex techinques in (flying ducks, Amish stars etc) there is a guide at the back of the book which gives more in depth detail on how to achieve this. Its easy to print out if thats your prefered way to work, it tells you what pages to print for each project so you don't have to flip though working it out for yourself.

The only thing i'm missing as a beginner is a section on how to quilt, although the instructions are great i felt i could have done with a section in the techniques pages about 'how to quilt', basic hints and tips.

I did try a project from the book and i really enjoyed it. I didn't make it quite to instructions as i had to work with what i had in my smaller bits of fabric pile. I went for the pencil case which is suposed to look like this

I did in the red, with blue and yellow triangles and quilted in green. I also went for a spot of upcycling, using cut up bits of an old fleece jacket as the wadding (totally staying in the using up my stash theme). The instuctions were easy to follow, my main problem was that my printer is currently playing up  and missed half the instructions out!

This is my end result. Quite proud of it really. My lad has claimed it for school and Tiny now wants one but in pink!
I would happily recommend this book, it has some lovely scrap stash busting ideas but think its not a book for total sewing beginners.

Monday, 25 February 2013


Tomorrow i shall 'book review' but for today - here are some more eggs from mine and Tiny's big egg hunt.

If your in liverpool, manchester, glasgow or london (or visiting those places) then you too can join in with the big egg hunt and find all 101 of them!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Press studs and eggs

I have been as unproductive as an unproductive thing that's having a day off to do nothing!

This week i have managed to play far too many games of monopoly (the doctor who version! its half term) and put some poppers/press studs on the skate dresses!

It the first time I've tried the 'smack with a hammer' sort and I'm quite chuffed with them. They can't be too hard to do if i managed it but I'm still chuffed none the less.

In theory this means that should Tiny decide to wear her dress she can get out of it by herself - thus she can go for a wee without having to find someone to undo her dress!

Other than discovering that the lad has magical hotel buying skills in monopoly (i hope he's that good when he's older - he can keep me in a style to which i am NOT accustomed) I've noticed eggs popping up around Birmingham

I've seen these 2

they are part of an Easter egg hunt organised by Lindt and action for children. there is 101 eggs and they are in brum until Monday, then they visit Liverpool, Manchester,Glasgow and return to London (they have been there already). May have to see which others we can find!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

the gallery - Boys

see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil

This week at the gallery its boys (last week it was girls), so here are 3 of 'my' boys - the 3 wise monkeys, also know as uncle graham, sid (brother) and Grandpuff (Daddy).

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The gallery - girls

What ho,
 this week the gallery's topic is girls. It fits in fantastically with what i planned to blog today!

So here is my girl - All dressed up in her evacuee outfit - 1930's/40's girl
She had a great time a school yesterday, they had jelly and plain biscuits and plain cakes (she made sure i knew they were plain with no icing cos they didn't have that then!) and sandwiches, ham, cheese and jam (very excited about the jam she was! Then again she was also very excited about the real fabric hanky i put in her pocket!)

Her new dress and hair in a ribbon
with the hand knitted cardy (by grams) and label.
Ready to go out, complete with woolly leggings, hand knitted hat and scarf (couldn't find the matching mittens!), coat (a handy down) and her 'gas mask' (aka box in brown paper with string!)

She loves her dress so much she says she is wearing it to the school disco tomorrow!

Monday, 11 February 2013

skate dresses

What ho,
i did sewing. My sewing machine had though i had abandoned it and didn't love it any more but no!
I've made 2 frocks (well, not totally finished them but got a good way with them)
A pink one 
Its a crushed velvet 4 way stretch, (please, once again excuse the filth on my carpet)

and a white and purple one
again in the velvets (the purple isn't as dark as it looks in this picture). I wanted to try something that wasn't just one colour so have just gone with a 'swoosh'!
Next time i may try some thing more adventurous!

Thursday, 7 February 2013


OK, to distract you all from the total lack of sewing i have some pictures of something i found in birmingham when i popped out to get my glasses tightened (they kept slipping down my nose every time i looked down, most irritating!)

An empty shop which has some art in it. I've since found out there is more of it around the city and its part of unique in Birmingham

Please excuse the reflections of me in the shots, as you all know I'm not good at the photography thing, and it was very chilly so i just took pictures quickly!
Think i'll have to go visit some more of it!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The gallery - noses

What ho,
 This week on the gallery is noses......
Yes, i give you a lovely picture of the nasal cavity! (from a colour atlas of head and neck anatomy by McMinn, Hutchings and Logan)

What else did you expect from an anatomist!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Kitten Frock

After last weeks pitiful attempt to make things i can now finally show you tinys new frock that I've made for 'evacuee day' at her school

3 pockets, rounded neck with button front and Ric rac decoration, all in a 1930's type print (with kittens, she loves kittens!)

It should have had a peter pan collar but as she cried about having it i removed it.
would have been cute though!
I'll post pics of her in it when she dresses up to be evacuated!