A new home for my embroidery thread

I’ve been looking for something to store my embroidery threads in for a while now and this week I found a tin on sale in my local supermarket.

Unfortunately it was full of shortbread, so I had to eat that first. But I persevered and now I’ve got a pretty home for my thread…


2010 Round-up

Back at the start of 2010, I set myself some goals for the year ahead. Well 0.5 out of 3 ain’t bad, I suppose. I managed to try lots some new things like crochet, paper piecing, applique and inserting a zipper. But I pretty much failed at everything else!

I’m ok about the lack of FMQ. I’m happy with straight line quilting at the moment and am going to work on improving that before I try FMQ. I’m also ok about not making something from every craft book or not making a bigger quilt. These things will happen in time.

So instead of focussing on my failures, here’s my highlights:

  • I bought a new awesome sewing machine and made some cute pincushions
  • I did more embroidery and joined embroider-bee
  • I started learning crochet and inflicted a lovely wonky heart thingy on my hubby for Valentine’s day
  • I made some baby quilts and have made the Pointy Quilt of Torture my longest WIP
  • I started a Baby Jane quilt. A very, very pink one 🙂
  • I joined Bee Europa and got to make loads of different blocks that I’d never have tried otherwise

All in all, 2010 was a pretty good year. I could have done more over the second half, but that’s not something I can change and I had my reasons. Looking forward, there’s lots I want to do in 2011, so I’m going to get off the PC and go start doing it…

embroider-bee blocks

As most of my embroider-bee blocks have arrived at their destinations, I thought I’d share some pics. These were a lot of fun to put together, although I learnt (and this is really something I should know by now) that I’m truly terrible with long deadlines. I left these waaaay to late and ended up missing the deadline by a week.

Anyway, here they are. First up, a flowery block in red and aqua for Colette. Pattern from A Rainbow of Stitches.

Close up:

A woodland themed block in red and aqua for Briana. Pattern also from A Rainbow of Stitches.

Close up:

A district map of Paris for Susan complete with a little Eiffel Tower and numbered districts. Pattern from, wait for it… A Rainbow of Stitches!

Close up:

And finally a Christmas themed block for Jessica. Pattern from… here!

Close up:

The way embroider-bee works is that everyone gets the fabric colour choices and embroidery themes from the other people in the bee. You then make one block for each person, in fabric of their colour choice, including embroidery according to their theme.

I hadn’t thought that fabric would be tricky, but it was. There’s one LQS nearby and they tend to specialise in moda florals, which didn’t really fit the bill. There’s also another store but they have the entire range of Amy Butler’s Love and very little else. As a result, the fabric choices were basically done by picking the only fabric in the specified colour, with some of the blocks using the same fabric. This was kinda stressful as I really felt like I wasn’t picking fabrics for the person, just picking anything that would work.

But they’re done, and everyone who’s had theirs seems to like them, which is a big relief!!

I would totally recommend A Rainbow of Stitches for anyone looking for embroidery inspiration. It’s got loads of super cute embroidery patterns and is fun just to flick through!


I’ve joined another bee! Well I am all caught up with Bee Europa, so how badly wrong can things go if I join another one?!

embroider-bee is a 3×4 bee so 5 to a group, with 3 months to make 1 block for each of the other people in the group and the blocks must contain embroidery, which I can’t wait to try more of. I’m a little nervous given that I haven’t done huge amounts of embroidery, but there are other newbies in the group, so I think it’s going to be fun!

A couple of the others in the group did an inspiration mosaic, so I thought I’d do one too…

1. susans flowers, 2. whipped spiderweb, 3. Bloomin’ Marvellous 8, 4. Cherry Blossom, 5. “Violets” Dish Towel, 6. daises, 7. Chartreuse Cherries pattern, 8. Heart Doodle – closeup (embroidery), 9. zinnia tea towel – finished!, 10. flowers!, 11. Cute Cupcake, 12. simple red


Passport? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Ooodles of excitement about having a week off work? Double-check! Hmmm, I’m sure I’m missing something… ah yes, a load of crafty stuff to play with!

I’m off to Italy for a week with hubby, my parents, my brother and his partner to celebrate my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary! And I’m not the only one going on holiday – my Brother Innov-is 10a is going to be visiting Anna for the week so she can work on (finish?!) this!

Get Excited and Make Things!

I saw this poster a while back and just loved it. Check out the spanner crown – how cool is that!

Original image by moleitau

It’s inspired by the good old British “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster from WW2 and I just loved the twist and how it’s the perfect crafty motto. It completely sums up how I’m feeling, especially now I’ve got my new machine!

And how could I not mention my Janome 7700? I found/made some time on Sunday (by skipping chores!) and did an unboxing photo shoot and, more importantly, a test drive – fun fun fun 🙂 Photos and first impressions to come!

Busy busy busy

So you know those weekends where you just do. not. stop.?! Well I’m totally having one of those! After the small matter of purchasing a new, awesome sewing machine yesterday, did I sit down and so for the rest of the day? Nope. Am I planning to sit down and sew today? Nope.

So what is keeping me from locking myself in a room with my new machine and sewing for 24 hours solid?! Well, yesterday was crafty club and it wasn’t just normal crafty club (which is an evening of crafty goodness), it was an afternoon and evening! Four extra hours of craftyness and chat – bliss 🙂

I was thinking about finishing off the Quilt of Torture but now I have the Horizon, I’m going to finish it on that instead. (The fact that I’d been planning to finish the QoT on my other machine kinda shows how quickly I made the decision to get the Horizon. But more on that in another post!).

So yesterday I hand-sewed. Yes, I appreciate the irony of getting a new sewing machine and spending the day hand-sewing, but it was fun and I got my latest embroidery project finished. Here’s a sneak peak until I get around to deciding what to do with it…

Today I’m off catching up with friends, there’s assorted household chores that need* to be done and then hubby and I are having dinner with my folks, so that’s basically today all used up. Really, I don’t think I could have picked a worse weekend to get the Horizon if I’d tried!

I guess I could be playing now instead of blogging but the time it’s taken to write this would not have been long enough to unpack the box, so I think I just have to wait. Hmmmm, I wonder how much warning I need to give work if I want to take a day off?!!

* yes, I did evaluate to see if “need” could be reduced to “should” but I don’t think it’s possible!

Step away from the rotary cutter

I’m having problems with my wrists again. The left one’s been slightly dodgy for ages and I hurt my right one at Christmas drying pots and it’s not been right since. I’ve been trying to convince hubby that it means I shouldn’t do any more drying up ever, but he’s not buying it! The right one’s been getting worse of late and now I’m starting to notice it at work which is not good given that my job is 100% computers.

In hindsight, making all those Baby Jane blocks last weekend was a bad idea. Rotary cutting (both using the cutter and holding down the ruler) puts my wrists in positions they’re not happy in. I kind of knew this but was ignoring it, however I’m coming to the conclusion that I need to stop doing so much crafty stuff, including a ban on rotary cutting for a few weeks 😦 I’m also going to stop doing so much on the PC in the evenings so that I’m using the mouse less.

So that I don’t go completely insane with boredom, I’m going to try some embroidery. I really enjoyed making my colour wheel** and I have the beginnings of an idea for something else. I’m also going to work on problem one from this post, and get the flat more organised.

All in all, I think May is going to be quite quiet over here. I have google reader on my phone so I can keep up with everyone’s blogs without using the PC, but I probably won’t be commenting much.

** I’m currently reading The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde. It’s got a great “explanation” of why some places use “colour” and others use “color”. Definitely worth checking out if you like inventive literary fiction…

Joy in the New Year challenge update

Well, I had a whopping 2 UFOs for Jacquie’s Joy in the New Year challenge. With that few it should have been pretty easy to get them done, right? Well, 1 out of 2 ain’t bad, I suppose!

I finished the colour wheel embroidery, but I’m afraid the wild flower pincushion made from mini hexagons has bit the dust. I tried making some 1/2″ hexagons over Christmas but the fiddlyness drove me crazy so I only got as far as this (it’s less than 1.5″ across):

Hexagon flower made from 1/2" hexagons

I’m undecided as to whether I’m going to continue with this. Maybe I’ll make the odd hexagon here and there. For now though, this is going to remain a UFO. I wonder if that’s a sign of the way 2010 is going to go?!

2009 Round-up

Well, here’s to 2009 – the year I decided to get crafty!

I’ve learned to quilt, tried embroidery and done some sewing. I’ve started blogging, bought a sewing machine, been to a couple of quilt shows, discovered the joy of fabric shopping, freed up shelf space for my crafty bits and pieces, filled up said shelf space and started overflowing into another cupboard! All in all, it’s been a good year and I’ve had a lot of fun 🙂

On the blogging front, thank you so much to everyone who’s stopped by. I really appreciate the comments, hints and tips, especially when I’m stuck and don’t know what to do next!

So here’s a round-up of what I’ve done this year:


Row 1: Baby Quilt 1, Baby Quilt 2 (very imaginatively titled!)

Row 2: Baby Quilt 3, Roses for Rosa (getting more imaginative here)

Row 3: Rainbow Stacked Coins, Cars and Ponies (not a “Baby Quilt” in sight!)

Sewing and Embroidery:

Row 1: Cathedral Window pincushion, Heart cot decorations

Row 2: Colour wheel embroidery, Merry Christmas embroidery

Tonight I’m going to have a think about what I’d like to aim for, craft-wise, in 2010. There’s so much I want to do, but I think I’m going to have to narrow things down a bit because right now, it’s a VERY long list!

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