Thursday, 1 October 2015


Of random crap that is.  Sorry!

The last couple of months have seemed so full, and have gone pretty quickly.

Here is the finished top for the retro flowers quilt.  I got the bottom row purples back to front but I'm not changing it, I kinda like it!

I had a wonderful visit from Canadian Abroad and her girls - that was priceless.  Moo just adored the girls, and it has to be said who wouldnt, they are such a credit to their ma.  And I got precious time to sit and blether about non-moo stuff!  Yay!

Moo has a wee friend now, and there have been some chaotic but immensely fun play dates, mostly involving swings and cake.  And fabric chat!  Bonus!

Moo is very interested in the body parts right now.  Where is your chin?  Yes, clever girl, there it is!  That's Moo's belly, where is mummy's belly?  Yes, that's it! (could hardly miss it really) And the best yet.  I stupidly said "and where's mummys boobies?"  Little sod lifted my elbow up and pointed under my armpit....

Posts I will try to write soon will cover Stitch Gathering, probably when you are totally sick of hearing about it... My Low Volume  / Scrap Vomit / Charm quilt...  What's happening in Brit Bee this year... and Moo.  Lots more Moo.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

New pet

I made my choice....

Set and ready to sew!

I had a good read of all your helpful comments and looked into the various machines recommended.   It was always a question of "do it all" household machine or "one trick wonder" specialist.  I was a bit scared of the latter to be honest!

However.  I went to visit a machine, had a wee play, and had to take it home with me....

I'm still biting my lip about it, but, I got a Juki!

It had to linger in the box over the weekend as I was just too tired to contemplate sewing - or rather I could have sewn but these days I have to always be thinking "but you need to be rested for Moo" so I slept instead.  Totally boring.  But there you go.  Anyway.  Tonight was the night...

HOLY CRAP it's fast.  I've lost count of how many times in the last hour I've damn near screamed as I accidentally put the tiniest bit extra pressure on the foot pedal and it just about took my fingers off...  But goodness me it sews so good...  I mean, like, wow.  I still cant believe I've got it!
I havent got the knee lift attached yet, and it will no doubt take me a few weeks to get used to the speed, and god knows when the threading will make sense to me and eugh the bobbin is a pain, but wow.  I really do have my dream machine!!!

Its too early to ask me for a review yet, I just dont have the words, I'm too busy freaking out every time I see it sat there...  It needs a name though.  My first machine was "tank", the last one "beast"... I think this one probably merits those monikers better but I want it to like me so I need to come up with something a bit nicer this time.  Suggestions welcome.

Meantime, Moo updates, still no talking yet, although granny managed to teach her how to say "up" and thats a fair bit nicer to hear when she wants her stories than the "ugh, eeeeuuuuugh" noises (accompanied with arms flailing and facial straining) we were getting previously.  We had a lovely morning of sunshine the other day so quick as a flash granny got her in her wee shorts & vest onesie thingy and into the garden.  Just need another 3 or 4 sunshine days to ensure that her summer wardrobe gets at least one outing each...  She also tried to gouge my eyeball out a few nights ago.  That was nice.  Still amazed that I didnt end up with a black eye, but all I got for my agony (and believe me, it hurt like f@*$) was the teeeeeniest wee cut in the big dark bags below my eye and the distinct impression that I sound like a big ol' baby.

WIP updates, I got my #britbeeforever medallion finished (we were to do our own final border) and I got the back prepped and, yay, its off to Trudi for some quilting.  Bit of a travesty there as I've sent it to the most talented quilter I know and asked her just to ditch quilt the rounds so that I can detail the borders at my leisure later!  Well, I wanted it done to an extent that I can bind it right away and hand quilt it over the next few months.
Also, I got my retro flowers top done.  It certainly does not bear close inspection but I knew when I started it that I wanted to just do it and get back into the habit of sewing rather than painstakingly sit and "rip til you get it right".... I didn't trim the DP's.  I didn't even press them - apart from finger pressing.    Lets be honest, it's for me, it's my indulgence; it's not being made to be judged it's being made to be snuggled.  And we all know that a fair bit can be hid in the quilting and post wash shrinking anyway!  Here's hoping anyway.

I'll leave you with this picture, which I've found cheers me right up.

When I cut the bricks for my #britbeeforever medallion I started cutting 5" charms at the same time.  Then I hunted out some LV charm swap packs.  Then I raided my stash for all my favourite LV and LV colour prints.  Now I have 250+ charms, and a further 77 prints, all different, no doubles.  I see a massive big super simple light and pretty charm quilt in Juki's future!  Cant wait!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Snips and snippets

Thank you all for the wonderful response to my last post!  I have a lot to consider, but I also found somewhere I can go see a few machines, so hopefully I'll have chosen soon!

Meantime I pulled some grey, white and sandy low volume prints for the final border on my #britbeeforever Medallion Quilt.  It took couple of nights, some cake and some help from mum but they are all chopped and ready to go now.

My retro flowers blocks are all done, although trimming them and squaring them looks like it will be a bit of a 'mare....  (I was in such a rush to sew I didnt stop to press or trim as I went.)  I have a small quantity of the text print ("how to sew a pillowcase" from Timeless Treasures) for sashing, but unfortunately I couldn't find any yardage anywhere to get some more to do borders.  Looks like this will be a small throw.  Or a Moo Quilt....

Granny has been cutting for me, and we have almost got all the cutting done for a Kaleidoscope quilt.  Oh and I did some rummaging through the stash and found a few packs of Low Volume charm squares.  That has given me something nice to think about when I'm awake all night.  Lying awake for hours each night in pain and alone kinda sucks chunks, and on bad nights I start imagining all sorts of nasties.  I love having fabric to obsess over, quilts to plan.  Such a fun alternative.

I had an awesome flying visit from bestie, with her hubby, her lass and new baby in tow.  Any time spent with them is wonderful, however long or short.  And, BONUS, I got a fantastic haircut!  Hubby is a top hairdresser and salon owner....  What a top bloke to bring his tools and work on his holiday!

Moo is, well, she's wonderful of course.  But my god she can be stroppy.  And what a temper!  She still isnt talking and I think it must really be starting to bother her.  She's scarily smart though.  Really gotta watch what you say in front of her.  She understands everything.  Of course she steadfastly ignores most of the things you want her to understand... Naturally.
I am exceptionally lucky with Moo loving her bed and her story cds.  (That's my girl!!)  However my nightly check on her is becoming a military operation.  She is determined to catch me and get up and damn it did she not inherit her mothers sixth sense for detecting parental presence.  I can actually remember doing much the same to my mum.
Each night I get the light right, not the hall light - too bright - but the bathroom light with the door half shut so there only just enough light to see.  I open her door in absolute silence, and sneak (as stealthily as a fatty who can barely walk without staggering or tripping, joints clicking or swearing with pain can sneak) and get to the crib.  Often I'm caught before I get there and have to back away fast and try again later.  Eventually I get in.  Lift the blankie from the end of the crib.  Slowly, one hand, don't let it swing over the inside of the crib.  Locate the child.  Easier said than done.  Where is the child?  Cant see.  Is that the child?  No, its a monkey.  Screw eyes up and panic.  Locate the head!  Locate the head!  Got it, blankie on!  S#*t she's stirring, Retreat! Retreat! Retreat!  Kid can go from sound asleep on her knees with her butt in the air to wide awake standing, crying and grabbing, in a Millisecond...
But check on her I must.  Tell me, oh wise mothers, tell me, when do I stop needing to go in and check on her every night?  By "needing to" I of course am referring to my need not hers.  I cant 'not' check on her.  I need to hear that she's still breathing at least twice (bare minimum) every night.  When does this stop?!!!  Its mental.

So these are some of the joys of my days.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Last week the people of Instagram were a wonderful help advising mum on her choice of new sewing machine.  Now its my turn please!

My machine is a Janome 8077.  It has about 30 stitches, of which I use straight and zigzag...  It has a speed control, which I love but admittedly mostly keep on fast.  It has a needle threader which I could not do without now.  It has a needle up / down button, which I most definitely dont want to do without!  Its a top loader, and has a start button for sewing without the foot pedal. 
I love it, but I find it a nightmare for quilting.  The throat space is larger than average but still too weeny for comfort.  It has an extra lift on the presser foot, which has lead to the presser foot being too heavy and not adjustable.  This makes curves tough!  

For the last few years I've been saying I want a no nonsense straight stitch only tough machine thats designed for quilting.  No fancy stitches, just an even feed and the ability for FMQ.
I also fancy a machine with a knee lift for the presser foot.  And I dont want to be without the few features of my current machine that I love.

I was looking at the Janome 1600PQC.  Seems like what I was looking for....
But I'm now being tempted by the Pfaff Expression 4.2.  It does so much more than I wanted but it has a wider throat and frankly seems less scary!

Janome 1600PQC

Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2

I dont really live anywhere near somewhere with enough machines to go try some.  I'd end up getting one 'sold' to me and I dont want that.  So peeps, any advice?  I dont want to get the straight stitch only and find that the 9" throat is still tiny and the machine too utilitarian.  Its not like I will ever get a frame to use it on.   However, I dont want to get a very expensive machine that does hunners of stuff (200+ stitches!) and still say "I just need a good straight stitch machine..."!
If I'm honest, all that I've read about the Pfaff has me more or less sold...  especially the even feed and the 11" throat.

So, if you have a machine that you do all your piecing on, that also does your quilting, and you'd recommend it, what is it?!

I'll try to make the next post less boring, honest.