Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Scrap that was June!

It seems like I have done nothing but Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks for weeks and when I look at my mosaic of June makes, it turns out that is what I have been doing all month :)

 There's a lot of Scrappy in that mosaic!

Sneaked in at the end is the great bundle of Halloween fabrics that I won in Cindy's recent giveaway. There was also a packet of Jolly Rancher sweets in the parcel, but I am afraid that they didn't hang around long enough to be photographed. The watermelon flavour sweets were especially delicious :)

Maybe I should plan a Scrappy Halloween Trip quilt next! Although given that I had aimed for 4 finishes for Q2 of the FAL and only managed one, maybe not!

she can quilt

My one finish was the Scrappy Chevron Quilt

Scrappy Chevron folded
which was actually the least advanced of all 4 projects at the beginning of the Quarter. So,

In Color Order BOM basted
The HST BOM quilt still needs to be quilted and bound

SMQ1 blocks

The blocks from the first round of the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee still need to be turned into a quilt top! If I don't get this one finished soon it will be joined by the blocks from the second round which have been arriving over the last few weeks!

Paris cafe embroidery 2

The Paris cafe embroidery has yet to be turned into the cushion I promised myself too! No prizes for guessing what I will be working on next quarter :)

I have discovered that I am much more likely to get a project finished if it is not for me, so with that in mind I have joined another Bee with the express aim of completing some projects for me. The aptly-named Me Me Me Bee . Check out Kettleboiler's post if you could do with some Me Me Me sewing motivation too.

All of this month's Scrappiness has meant that I was in danger of falling even more behind with my Bee blocks, so the last couple of days in June saw a burst of Bee block activity. 


Block for Jacqueline

Both of this month's Bees in the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee asked for the same "High Five" block, but in different colourways. Jacqueline asked for a bright block

Block for Martha

Whilst Martha wanted low-volume, neutral blocks with pops of colour. It will be fun to see how the two different quilts turn out.

With these two blocks in the post I am up-to-date (just) for the Sunday Morning Quilts Bee but still way behind with the Star of Africa Bee, maybe I will finally catch up with them in July!

Linking up to

Lily's Quilts

Friday, 28 June 2013

All Tripped Out!

Well our eldest son has been and gone and guess what he took back to London with him?

Scrappy Chevron finished
A finished Scrappy Chevron Quilt!

It was a bit of a rush job at the end but I managed to get this quilt finished in the nick of time. I am thrilled to bits with it, I have never managed to complete a quilt this size (60" x 60") this quickly before. Fortunately, he is pleased with it too. I was a bit worried that there was too much lilac in it for him, but he didn't mention it so I didn't ask :)

There was no time for fancy quilting so I echo-quilted the chevron pattern as you can see above, and better below.

The backing fabric I had was just a bit too narrow so I added some leftover strips to give me the extra width I needed.

I discovered the perfect purple fabric for the binding, and again as time was an issue I machine bound the double-fold binding using a zig-zag stitch. I will call that a design element to echo the chevron quilting :)

Scrappy Chevron folded

I really enjoyed putting this quilt together and I am encouraged to find that it doesn't need to take months (or even years!) to make a quilt, definitely something New to Me!

Speaking of which, if you have tried something new this month there is still time to link up here to

The Link up will stay open until midnight (GMT) June 30th.

This Scrappy Chevron quilt is also my first (and possibly only!) finish for Q2 in

she can quilt

Linking up this finish to

Crazy Mom Quilts

 My Quilt Infatuation


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

New to Me in June 2013

It's the 25th of the Month again and time to have a look at what's been New to You this month.

This month has been a mixed bag on the New to Me front.

I have spent a little bit of time making cocktails

and a lot of time stitching strips

Quilt Top

Some for myself

Scrappy Trip Block 4

Scrappy Trip Block 5

Scrappy Trip Block 2

And some for my Scrappy Trip Around the World Bee mates

All of the Scrappy Strips have been made with the help of my newest toy and my New to Me project for June.

I orginally treated myself to a SizzixBig Shot die-cutter in December last year, but within a couple of weeks it became obvious that there was  a fault with the machine. As I had purchased the Big Shot on a trip back from Scotland, returning it for a replacement meant a trip over to the other side of the country so it was a few weeks before I got around to replacing the original, faulty machine. Then it sort of stayed in the box for a while until I made up my mind which of the several quilting dies available might be useful.

When the Scrappy Trip Around the World Bee started up I had my answer - the 2.5" strip die, which meant buying extended cutting mats too.

Without wanting to sound like a Sizzix salesperson, to say that they have transformed my quilting is not that much of an overstatement. I was able to cut out all of the strips for each of the STAW Bee blocks in a matter of minutes and these strips for the Scrappy Chevron quilt for my son were powered through in a similarly quick time.

Scrappy Trip Strips

Once the strips were sewn together the Dies were back in action cutting the strips for the Scrappy blocks


Being able to cut through 8 layers of fabric at once really speeded up the making of the blocks.

Now that I can cut my own jelly rolls with ease I am searching through my patterns to see what I can try out next! Amy has a great Lone Star project on the Sizzix blog that is definitely being added to my "would love to try" list, when the dies are available here.

So that is what I have tried out for the first time this month, now it is your turn to share your New to Me in 2013 projects.

Link them up below and share your triumphs and/or disasters.

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links and leave a comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until June 30th so if you haven't already tried something new you still have time :)

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday

Monday, 24 June 2013

Kitchen Cocktails

I recently came across an article about making flavoured vodka in the dishwasher and thought I might give it a go sometime. It is my son's fiancee's birthday this week and as she is a girl who loves her cocktails, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out.

If cocktails are your thing too, here is what you need - one bottle of vodka, mine was a 70cl bottle, and one 4 oz/100g bag of hard-boiled sweets. I bought my Saltire sweets on a recent trip to the Scottish Borders with this project in mind, I thought they were an appropriate reminder for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, of the Scottish side of the family :)

I have seen recipes for the flavoured vodka using jelly babies or Gummi bears, but the recommendations are that hard-boiled sweets/candies are the most successful. Anyhow, it seems a bit gruesome to be cutting up babies and teddy bears and then dousing them in vodka, but that might just be me :)

First up, you need to grind up the sweets/candies. I used a coffee grinder to do this until I had a powder like granulated sugar, as you can see above. Then decant about a glass of vodka from the bottle.

Tip the powdered sweets into the bottle, replace the cap and wrap the bottle in a double layer of cling film.

Place the wrapped bottle on the shelf of your dishwasher. ( Linda isn't your potholder a great match for my vodka?)

Put your dishwasher on at a Hot Wash Setting, 70 degrees, and then let the dishwasher do all the work.

When the programme is finished remove the bottle from the dishwasher, remove the cling film and leave the bottle to cool down. If you have used jelly-like sweets to flavour your vodka you may need to strain the vodka at this point, but I didn't need to with the powdered, hard-boiled sweets.

Keep the flavoured vodka in the freezer until you are ready to serve up some cocktails. It might be best to invite some friends round as I gather that once opened the flavoured vodka should be drunk within 1 week. I haven't tested this yet though, so might need to make another bottle to try out the theory!

As it happens I have another bag of bright orange Irn Bru flavoured sweets set aside for exactly this purpose :) Irn Bru for the non-Scot is known as "Scotland's other national drink" the first, naturally, being whisky, which incidentally it partners with very well apparently. Not being a whisky drinker I will have to take that on trust.

I hope this has brightened up your Monday morning and do let me know if you find a great combination that I should try.

If nothing else this might encourage adult offspring to empty the dishwasher more often, which will be a result in itself :)

Don't forget to link up tomorrow if you have tried something New to You this month too.

Linking up to 

 plum and june

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Prettying up the city

You would think that a city that is full of buildings like this

Oxford 1

and this

Not to mention bridges like this

Oxford Bridge

wouldn't need any extra embellishment, but that is where you would be wrong.

Wandering around Oxford last weekend I came across this!

Yarn bombing 2 Oxford

It is safe to say that this square in Oxford had been well and truly yarnstormed.

Yarn bombing Oxford

And very pretty it looked too!

Linking up to

Live A Colorful Life

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

More tripping

We were in London last weekend to celebrate our eldest son's engagement, so there wasn't much in the way of sewing going on. Instead we mingled with the tourists at Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge, London
and enjoyed the view of London, Old and New, on our way across the bridge to brunch on the Sunday morning.

Old and New Towers London
So, there has been some frantic sewing going on since the weekend in an attempt to get the Scrappy Chevron quilt top finished in time for our son's visit home next weekend.

Quilt Top

Ta da! A finished quilt top. Fortunately after my previous post I found my rhythm with these blocks and there was much less unintentional seam ripping action with the last two rows than there was with the first three :)

Now all I need to do is back, baste, quilt and bind it before Sunday! There won't be much housework done around here in the next few days that is for sure :)

So that's my progress looking forward to seeing yours.

Linking up to WOW

WIPWednesday Quilter in the Closet

Fresh Poppy Design

My Quilt Infatuation

My Quilt Infatuation
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