Wednesday 4 September 2013

The Stitch Gathering

What a day, what a day!! We met, we chatted, we sewed, we saw some seriously fantastic quilts, we made new friends, met online pals, we were taught new skills....... we had an absolute ball!!

Honestly, I'm still gushing to anyone who'll listen about just how wonderful The Stitch Gathering was - of course my sewing blog might have been the best place for this but best not mention the blogging slump going on round here at the moment.

Sheila from The Mindful Quilter had very kindly offered to take me to Edinburgh and back so at 8am we set off on what turned out to be a warm and sunny day.

The Stitch Gathering Edinburgh 2013 

Here is everyone on arrival getting to know our fellow Stitch Gatherers with a cuppa before being introduced to the Stitch Gathering Team. This a borrowed photo as apart from a couple of Instagram photos I was very poor at taking any of my own, despite taking my camera with me. Johnathon, Jo's husband took this and many more photos of the day which you'll find over on the Flickr page and on Jo's blog and Facebook page.

First  up was much shrieking and oohing and aaahing at the totally amazing goody bag, I mean just look at it!!! We were all gobsmacked by the amount and quality of the contents of our bags, I mean we knew it'd be good but wow Jo and the sponsors really pulled out the stops here.

Goodies were from Liberty LifestyleCoatsRobert KaufmanSewing Machines Direct, 
Very Berry FabricsHighland Spring, Nairn's Oatcakes (both these two are missing from my photos as they consumed on the day),  The Button Company Web Fabrics, Pilot, and Groves & Banks.

Now if you'd like a goody bag for yourself then nip over to Jo's blog where she's running a giveaway for one of these very bags, go now as it closes tomorrow but do come back to read the rest of my ramblings :)
stitch gathering name tag collage

Next was the name tag swap, a great way to get everyone mixing. I had made a tag/needle case for Lesley and in the process of trying to find her I found Catherine who'd made my name tag who also happened to be Lesley's daughter-in-law.


Here's my name tag, isn't is lovely and made on Catherine's new sewing machine that she'd only brought home the day before the retreat.


It was now time for the classes to begin and my morning class was Modern Crazy Patchwork taught by Sheila. This was a hand sewing class and I really enjoyed it although my block is more of a wonky log cabin that crazy patchwork I really like it and shall be making more blocks. It's a nice relaxing way to sew and a great way to use up all of your scrap fabric. It was also a great class for chatting and getting to know a bit more about other retreaters.

The time flew by and soon we had to stop for lunch followed by  a lucky dip and a show and tell session.

My afternoon class was paper piecing with Katy. Now I've done a bit of paper piecing before but for some reason my brain went into melt down and for about 15mins I thought I wasn't going to be doing much in the way of sewing. However with some extra help from a very patient Katy and a swift cup of tea I was back on track. I didn't finish my block, my teapot still needs it's spout, but considering my shaky start I was very pleased to get this far.


All too soon it was time to stop and pack away the sewing machine but it wasn't home time just yet. Many of us went on to Jo's shop Avery Homestores for a glass of bubbly and a chance to see the Scottish Modern Quilt Exhibition oh and the opportunity for a wee bit of stash enhancement too. Please follow the link to see the quilts, bags and cushions included in the exhibition they really were fantastic and coming from someone who's still only made three very simple quilts it was very inspiring indeed.

To round the day off some of us headed off to Pizza Express for a bite to eat and a chance to chat some more. 

By 10 o'clock I was dropped off at home again and it was all over..... for now at least. I'll be signing up for next time for sure, it was such a warm and friendly atmosphere with beginner and experienced stitchers all working together, enjoying the rare chance to chat to like minded folks who totally get the need to sew and stash.

So thank you to Jo and Johnathan and the Stitch Gathering Team for all the time and effort they put into making the day so special, to the teachers for their patience and knowledge to my fellow stitchers for being so friendly, to Catherine for my name tag and to Sheila for her great company and for getting me there and back. 

It such a great experience... roll on Stitch Gathering 2014!!

Don't forget Jo's goody bag giveaway and also at the bottom of that post is a linky party where you can find links to other stitch gatherers thoughts of the day.

bye for now

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Monday 8 July 2013

A day never to be forgotten


Oh boy how incredible was yesterday.... what a glorious, amazing, inspiring, tear inducing day!

Huge congratulations to Andy Murray and his team on winning Wimbledon yesterday, you've made a lot of people very, very happy, none more so than here in Dunblane.

I went out and bought a few of the papers today just to prove to myself that I wasn't dreaming yesterday, oh and I had to get some throat sweets too, I'm totally hoarse from shouting and screaming, what a day!

Bye for now

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Wednesday 3 July 2013

WIP Wednesday

Hello remember me....... I have been around really I have but mostly on Instagram, oh boy it's so quick and easy and fun. Honestly if you've not signed up yet it really is worth a go, go on, go on, go on.

Anyway I have written loads of blog posts in my head but as you can tell they haven't made it any further than that. In fact this one was almost put off until tomorrow but there in lies the problem so it'll be short and sweet so I don't procrastinate further.

I have finally (this might actually require a drum roll even though it's not a finished top yet, never mind a finished quilt) finished the blocks for my Swoon. Yay, after a year or more, woo hoo!


I made the last 3 blocks at once which was a bit of a drag but it got it done. Now the only thing is one of the blocks is bugging me, it seems a bit weak compared to the others, can you tell which one it is yet?


Looks ok in that picture but in the one below the blue and yellow block, left handside of the middle row, is it me or does it look a bit wishy washy? Ack now that I see this photos again now I want to rearrange them again.....gggrrr!


Now am I just being a big old fuss pot do you think or since it's taken me this long to make the blinking blocks should I make just one more to replace that one, thoughts anyone?


bye for now

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PS Yes I know I'm a hopeless case and incurable perfectionist :)

PPS Sarah at FairyFace Designs has started up Swoonalong part 2 so if you thought you'd left it too lkate to join in with Swooning you've no excuse now. I wonder if I could sneak in and actually feel like I've kept up with an 'along' or would that be cheating......

Monday 13 May 2013

claiming my blog on Bloglovin

Sorry nothing to see here just a random picture of cake as I'm claiming my blog on Bloglovin. This has been on my to do for so long now, thought I'd do it before I forget again!!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  See you soon with a real post.
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Saturday 11 May 2013

bargain bag patterns

Michelle Patterns is retiring some of her bag patterns so right now you can get 8 patterns for just $5!!! 

The patterns included are:
  • Bracelet Bag
  • Cross-Body Bag
  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Pocket Clutch
  • Messenger Bag
  • Fold-Over Clutch
  • Zip Clutches
  • Inset Zip Clutch and Pouch

cross-body bag

keyka lou messenger bag

That's a load of cracking patterns for a bargain price. I especially love the Cross-Body Bag and The Messenger Bag. I've made the Messenger Bag twice now and I'm just about to make another one. I borrowed the Melody Miller version I made for my daughter for a trip into Edinburgh last weekend but she wants it back so now I need to make my own.

Melody Miller/Michelle Patterns Messenger Bag

I hope you're having a nice weekend, it's a bit dreich here today so some sewing is in order I think.

Bye for now

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Wednesday 1 May 2013

Caught up at last

april-sisters-ten-BOM-2 april-sisters-ten-BOM-1

I'm on a roll this week :) I've finally caught up on the Sisters' ten BOM and it feels goood! April's block is called Lady of the Lake. I had planned to use my long lost thangles to make the small HST's for these blocks but when I looked at them properly I noticed that they were for 2" units not 2.5" needed, duh!! 


Anyway not to worry, here are all the blocks so far. Now I need to make some headway on the Lucky Stars BOM, especially since May's block just popped up in my email this morning.

Bye for now

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Tuesday 30 April 2013

birthday time again

This weekend it was Jamie's 6th Birthday and he had several requests and included amongst the Skylander and Minecraft  pleas came one for a Ninja t-shirt and the now expected birthday t-shirt. I started making these t-shirts when he was 3 (wish I'd thought of the idea before then) and he's no idea how pleased I was to hear him request I make him one again this year. I wonder how long this will last?


I thought I'd try a new pattern this year so I gave the Dolman Top pattern by Amanda at Kitschy Coo a try and I'm thrilled that I did. I'm hoping to try out some of her kids knit fabrics soon as they're really funky and organic too. The grey and navy fabric I used for this one came from Tissu Fabrics.

The top comes together really quickly and I even tried using my overlocker/serger to apply the neck band. I've always used my sewing machine for this bit before as that's what was recommended in my usual pattern and also because I was a bit scared to use the overlocker.

Each year I have to remember how I deal with knit fabric after mostly only working with wovens the rest of the year. I'd not used a twin needle before but it's really rather good although I'm planning on getting a stretch rather than ball point version next time as I did get a few skipped stitches. In theory if you've turned up an even hem when you use the twin needle as it forms the stitch on the inside of the hem it should cover the raw edge of the fabric. It mostly did but obviously my hem wasn't totally even on the inside as I managed to miss a section. Unpicking on knit fabric is not as easy as on woven so rather than unpick I stitched and extra row.


Since I already had everything set up I thought I'd make another one and use up the last of the Ninja fabric I bought as part of a fabric co-op a few years ago. This time I used a single needle but a stretch rather than a ballpoint one and no skipped stitches at all - Yay!! 


In this version I added the neck band in the same way as the cuff bands which worked fine. It's definitely easier to apply the neck band as written in the pattern but as I only have white thread on the overlocker it does show a little at the band join at the top but that me just being a fuss pot.

6th-birthday-t ninja-dolman-t-5a

I made size 5/6 and there's room to grow even with Jamie being six but not so much as too make it too big. I used my overlocker to sew the seams and my sewing machine for all the top stitching. On the sewing machine in both cases I used woolly nylon in the bobbin, poly in the needle, lengthened the straight stitch to 3.5, reduced the top tension slightly to 4 and also the presser foot tension to 3. I wound the woolly nylon on the machine rather than by hand as is often recommended and it worked just fine.

I'm now thinking I might actually tackle a knit top for myself soon as I've had the Renfrew pattern stashed for a while now - we'll see.

Anyhow enough about t-shirts and back to the birthday boy. This year was his first (and last for quite some time) big party and he had an absolute ball. A very noisy and energetic time was had by all and nobody clashed heads or received any injuries in the soft play area so it's all good.

Of course you know there's a cake picture to finish this post so here it is. For those who don't know it's a creeper cake based on the Minecraft game that my eldest plays, of course Jamie wants to be the same as big bro so I endulged him. It's not a  pretty cake but then I guess a creeper shouldn't be pretty.

As an aside Minecraft images are all pixel based so ideal for conversion into quilts...


Bye for now

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