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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Grow Your Own Blog

Hi Everyone,
Thank you for stopping by. I'm not quite sure what to put in this but here goes :)

I live in Kent in the UK and have one grown up son and a partner both of whom live with me. We also have two cats, Millie aka Psycho Kitty and John aka Emo Kitty. :)
I like to sew, embroider, knit, tat and make dolls. I also love reading and watching films.
I really enjoy visiting other people's blogs, not only to see what they're making ( so inspirational) but because it allows me to contact people all around the world and gives me a chance to learn about their lives and the places they live.

Anyway feel free to browse, I hope you see something you like :)

Lesley xxx

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

CQJP 2014

Being new to Crazy Quilting I've been having a few problems getting started with this. My natural inclination is to have everything in an orderly balanced manner. Now of course this is the opposite of what crazy quilting is meant to be!

I originally started with the idea that the finished item would be a wall hanging based around a central silkie. This is the one I chose
Waterhouse Soul of Rose Quilt Block Multi Sizes
from Keepsake Fabrics. I wanted it to look like a framed picture with the quilting forming the frame.
This is the first block I started to go with this

On the whole I'm actually quite pleased with this block ... but ... it's not crazy quilting :(
I will finish it and the wall hanging ... but not for CQJP 2014!

So .. back to the drawing board :(

I joined Crazy Quilting International looking for inspiration ... and they have an open letter there that basically says ... give yourself permission to be free! Simple but brilliant advice :)

Back to the stash to see what I had .... and lo and behold what do I find ... the two blocks below! I must have made these about 14 years ago ... before I'd ever heard of Crazy Quilting ! I've always loved the colours and could never part with them 'in case they might come in handy' one day ;) Never let anyone persuade you to part with your stash!

I also have the spare material to make more blocks :)

Phew ... much happier now I have things settled in my mind :)

As you can see from the top picture I have decided not to go with the square but to use hexagons. Those with the actual crazy quilting will concentrate mainly on highlighting the fabric and colours with just one type of stitch outlining the seams on each block. There will also be plain blocks which will concentrate on embellishment. Wll that's the plan anyway .... but we all know about plans don't we? :)

This is a more detailed picture of the first block as a WIP.

Friday, 10 January 2014

On the subject of books ....

I was watching TV the other day and they had an episode of the Sally Lockheart Mysteries on. These are based on the Philip Pullman books (and they're not a bad adaptation). It reminded me of how much I enjoyed these, and yes I know they're aimed at teenagers but as my son says 'Mum you get older ... but you don't grow up!'. Anyway, off I trotted to my bookshelves and I'm now re-reading the series :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Other Passions

Apart from making things my other passion is books. I love crime/thrillers and sci/fantasy. I love Robin Hobbs Liveship and Rainwild novels and can't wait for the next in the series to come out. One of the best things to come out in the last few years is Audible, I subscribe to this and get one book a month. This is totally great because they read the full book not just an abridged version. I can therefore indulge two of my passions at once... 'reading' and making things. :)

Ofcourse as I can listen to them on my kindle or my phone, they're also good for the less fun stuff like erm ... housework :(

I often find it very difficult to choose which book to take, I also love Val McDermid's Tony Hill novels, James Patterson's Women's Club series, Ian Rankin's Rebus and soooo many more.

There are books which I find I can't listen to but must read like GRR Martin's Game of Thrones and Robert Ludlum's Bourne series ( a bit dated but so much better than the films).

I love films too, probably action/adventure and thrillers best, but if it captures my imagination it doesn't matter what genre it falls into.

I'll probably add details of any books or films I've particularly enjoyed as I go along. :)

Back to 'auld claes 'nd porridge'

The Christmas decorations are down and the festive season is over for another year. We're back to normal and the house feels so much bigger but not quite as cosy lol.

I'm getting on with my block for CQJP 2014, having crosstitched from charts for years I find it quite difficult to decide what colours to use and what design to follow. Hey ho .. I'll just go with it and see :)

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year ... New Start

Well it's January 1st 2014 and my main resolution is to try and keep up this blog this year.

As you may have noticed I've been absent for a few months (*coughs at the understatement*). Last year was one of those years, nothing specifically wrong, just a lot of minor inconveniences and a few minor health problems. Just enough to make blogging difficult.

Anyway, that's behind me now and this year I'm going to make the effort not to let stuff get in the way :)

I haven't been idle during my absence though!

I knitted this for my other half for Christmas

It was a bit of a challenge as it is years since I've knitted any fairisle. It's knitted in alafoss lopi which is an icelandic wool and is fabulous. I got it from and I can't say enough about how good their service was.

I also knitted fingerless gloves as presents ... sorry no pictures of these.

I've also been tatting and here are some pictures of the things I made:

 It's not a wonderful photo but the snowflakes have swarovski crystal beads and dangles which really catch the light. I'm afraid I can't remember where I got the patterns but I know at least one is by Jon Yussof of who is an amazing tatter and generously shares her patterns with the world. :)

The earings and pendant below are from Marilee Rockley's (also known as yarnplayer) book Tatted Jewellery. Her's is another site well worth a visit... such a talented lady :)

Oh and I forgot I made this bracelet which is formed from a basic tatting edging.

CQJP 2014

I decided to give myself some focus this year so I have signed up for CQJP 2014, now I love crazy quilts and the embellishing but I'm a novice at this so I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to do credit to the others who have joined. Looking at previous years I am in awe of the talent that is out there.

My son gave me Embellishing Crazy Quilts by Kathy Seaman Shaw (shawkl who actually runs CQJP for Christmas, this is a wonderful book for beginners (and the more experienced I guess) as it contains sooo many templates for seams and motifs.

I'm really looking forward to practicing all these over the year :)