Monday, 30 January 2012

New fabric in this week...

Just in, fabric for chicken fans. Also, some rather lovely linen blends that I think will be incredibly useful for all sorts of craft projects. It's a lovely weight, softness, drape, I think it would be great for dressmaking too.

Sooooo much new fabric in the pipeline, here's a little glimpse of some of it. Some of it is in the new 'coming soon' section in the shop incase you'd like an email when it arrives.

Beside the seaside...

I realise that I often run the risk of this being a 'Visit Brighton' blog (I don't need to bother as that already exists). But it a great place to take photos and soak up the sun even on a cold day.

At this time of year, I find the winter suddenly gets to me (usually at the point when I think I have just beaten it). A trip to the beach certainly helped, it was really beautiful, sunny, bright, cold at the weekend, my favourite kind of weather.

Brighton has a big high, constantly shifting shingle beach to cope with the waves. Sometimes it is pushed right to the top of the beach or against the groynes making it impossibly steep to climb up (and great for hiding behind). You can't take 2 steps without having to empty your shoes.

It's very uncomfortable to sit on, but I like it's undulating and ever changing shape. Quite often after a storm you find starfish washed up on the strandline. What's your view; leave them or return them to the sea? I always try and put them back especially if they are way up on the high water line. I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do, but I find them hard to walk past.

The seagulls in Brighton are massive, if you visit with small (or medium-sized) kids, make sure to keep an eye on them or they may be plucked from you and flown out to sea. 

When we first drove to Brighton to find somewhere to live, we got completely lost (as we would many times more - it is a maze of one-way systems designed to confuse and terrify visitors). We drove in through Hove and I was dazzled by the amazing architecture there. This photo doesn't do it justice, but Adelaide Crescent was I think built to rival the Royal Crescent in Bath. There is a chance that I might have made that up.

The beach huts on the seafront have to be a particular colour on the roof and sides. According to the council, 'the shade of green blends with the seascape' how nice. There will of course always be someone who doesn't comply with the rules. That beach hut ended up on ebay for £24

That's my Brighton infomercial over for the day. If you need anymore dubious facts about Brighton that may or may not be made up, you know where to come.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The amazing technicoloured dream quilt

So finally the amazing technicoloured dream quilt is finished. I can hardly believe I have managed to finish a project of this size. This achievement has left me with an enormous sense of pride/relief/surprise.

Binding it took a few days, due to the size, there was a lot of slip-stitching to be done. But I really enjoyed this, picking it up where I could, slowly progressing along the sides. I think it's the first time since giving up my day job that I feel like I have been spending my time how I hoped I would be. Once my various jobs of the day were finished I managed to squeeze in a hour of sewing before picking the kids up.

Inevitably, the combination of me sat down with a quilt attracted some wildlife...

... which is turn attracted further wildlife...

I bound the quilt using some hugs and kisses, and hand quilted a few flowers.

hand quilted flowers

And finally we get to use it without dodging pins, and it is oh, so cozy. Every night I see the kids snuggle underneath it in that final wind-down at the end of the day. Despite whatever child-based shenanigans will have inevitably preceded that moment, it feels like all is good in the world.

I feel a little sorry for the kids that in my house, no moment seems to escape being captured on camera. But when just me and my girl were up on Friday night, I had to reach for my phone and capture this one incase I forgot it.

So, what to sew next? finishing this quilt has left me keen to get sewing on something else but equally lacking in motivation as to what. I would like it to involve this, but what to make?

Sunday, 22 January 2012


This Sunday it was free to get into the Brighton Royal Pavillion. Whenever we walk past, the kids always ask to go in, but it's pretty expensive. So this was the perfect chance to explore for free.

Unfortunately, the rest of Brighton has the same idea, so we went to the pier instead.

You can just see the remains of the old West Pier in the distance in the photo below. I used to love that pier, it was so beautiful, eclipsing it's brash neighbour, the Palace Pier. When we first moved to Brighton we lived quite near to it and I used to love walking along the beach in the evening and seeing the swallows move around the pier as a huge flock, I think 'murmuration' is the word. Sadly, this was the end of the West Pier.

In that brash pier though, it is brilliant fun to waste someone else's 2p's in a machine that will give you one back for every 10 you put in. And so addictive, all around you, you can hear the sound of machines throwing out money (although I think this is mostly the ones that give you change to feed into them). The kids love it, see the look of addiction/joy on my son's face in the bottom left below, we pretty much had to drag him out.

Brighton now has it's own big wheel on the seafront. I haven't been on it myself, it went up really quickly before Christmas, one day there was a quarter wheel, then a half, then a full circle.

I used instagram on my husband's iPhone to take these photos, it makes me yearn to join the rest of the population and buy one, just so I can use this app. It was a bit hard today as it was really bright at times (hence the first photo looking like it was taken at night) but the filters are so clever and make an average photo look wonderful. Anyone else use it?

I hope you have had a lovely Sunday,


Friday, 20 January 2012

New fabric in this week...

So much new fabric in this week, I've been waiting for some of this fabric for nearly a year now, so it's really exciting to finally see it all. I'm really pleased to see the return of the Echino car print, one of my favourite prints ever. Also these beautiful Kokka linens which are light and drapey and perfect for making clothes, I am definitely going to make something in this or this.

Also back in a new colourway are the popular Echino patchwork prints, and some very cute animal prints.

Some more great prints for kids, some apples, owls and sewing notions. The comic print is really cool and deserves a close up...

These beautiful Echino 'Wish' border prints are always popular too, I think they would make a beautiful skirt.

And finally, I have been waiting so long for these, some new Nani Iro fabrics, they are so beautiful, I am desperate to get sewing for spring and summer now...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Resolved to sew give-away

Do you have sewing resolutions for 2012? Then head over to the Very Berry Handmade blog for the chance to win a bundle of Peacock Lane fabric along with many other prizes - good luck!

Monday, 16 January 2012

In the middle of something...

  • This weekend I found myself in the middle of something I didn't really understand
  • That thing was quilting
  • Thankfully there are tutorials for everything on the internet
  • Sandwiching the 3 layers of quilt together, smooth and lined up is extremely tricky
  • Finding an urchin doing a snow angel on that smooth quilt makes the process more complicated
  • Smooth quilts are also irresistible to puppies
    • The puppy found herself visiting the emergency vet this weekend, leaving me shedding tears over that floppy eared destroyer of cardboard and gardens
    • Ibuprofen is magical for poorly dogs and kids. I love it's mystical powers
    • This is definitely the biggest sewing project I have undertaken
    • Why on earth did I make it so big?
    • 'Stitch in the ditch' makes me snigger, I know, it's childish
    • I probably should have bought a special foot for my machine for this
    • Seeing my resident urchins snuggled under this unfinished quilt before school this morning made me very happy
    • Today I am going to have a go at binding it using this excellent tutorial by Katy, wish me luck!

    Monday, 9 January 2012

    Meg and the amazing technicoloured dream quilt

    I've been making steady progress with the flannel quilt that I mentioned before Christmas, having changed the design into something that is actually make-able thanks to advice from you clever followers. I am determined to make it in time to use this winter. Thankfully, it is quick to put together and so when I find the time, progress is pretty good. The colours are turning out a little more lurid brighter together than I was anticipating, perhaps I should have scattered in some more neutral tones, but I couldn't get it to work.

    At least this way, when I inevitably spill red wine on it. It won't show.

    Meg is drawn to the quilt whenever I put it on the floor, but I know where those paws have been and they are not allowed on it until she has at least had a bath. Puppy progress continues along side quilt progress and I can report that she will not just be a puppy for Christmas (I completely understand that ad campaign now). Having taught her to sit and shake hands, I have made an investment in the pooch and she will stay. Also the kids would not speak to me if I packed her off.

    Thank you for your lovely comments on my 2011 post,  I hope 2012 is treating you well, I have ordered lots of new fabric in the last few days and hope to share it with you soon, in the meantime, happy sewing.

    Monday, 2 January 2012

    New lines added to the sale...

    Loulouthi quilting cottons by Anna Maria Horner.

    Pick a Bunch by Nancy Mims

    And in anticipation of Flea Market Fancy coming out again in the spring (which I am very excited about) all Denyse Schmidt fabric.

    Don't forget that until 9pm tomorrow, all items in the sale section have an extra 20% off.