Thursday, 2 July 2015

And So The Adventure Begins..... the door officially opened on the Sew Kirstie patchwork and quilting studio.....

Out of necessity, as I no longer work part time hours, but still have The Dog to exercise, my day starts like this (well....after the obligatory breakfast and school run...)....

Then, because today was my first day, in the New Job, there was some of this....

.....and there was time for some of this......

It's amazing just how much you can achieve, when you're working in a designated sewing space. Having never had a Sewing Room, and always having to work on my dining table, progress has been, at times, disjointed!! Oh the simple pleasure of having everything to hand, and not having to tidy away at Feeding Time. YAY!!

I also have some "taster session" style workshops organised, to introduce a gentler, quieter way of life, in the form of hand stitching. First up is the time honoured method of English Paper Piecing. How I love this newly fashionable, highly addictive, highly portable form of fabric therapy. Let's hope that the good people of Christchurch agree with me.....

I wonder where this new path is going to lead me.....wherever it may be, I'm sure it will be fine - I have fabric...

Lucky,LUCKY me.

Thanks for popping by. See you soon. xx

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

In Just 8 More Sleeps.....

........Sew Kirstie Patchwork and Quilting Studio will be open!! This dream has been a long time coming, but with a lot of patience (and a Supportive Husband) it's happening!!
I left my old Pre School Manager role behind me just over a week ago, daftly believing that I would have a couple of weeks to myself, to sit and sew and finalise workshop dates and times. HA! How little I knew. Cash tills had to be bought, shelving had to be bought, bags had to be bought, labels had to be get the picture...and all the while groceries still had to be bought, Offspring and Husband still had to be fed, Dog still had to be walked and shelving had to be constructed.
Speaking of which, I have now achieved the IKEA Level Of Excellence In The Putting Together Of Flatpacks. They will probably award me a Phd in Billy Bookshelf Making. Believe you me, I qualify!! Ta daaaa!!

However, I fully understand that my Photography Doctorate will be confiscated for having allowed sunshine to creep glaringly into this photo. I do apologise. But at least you have visual proof that my IKEA Degree is well earned!!
A better photo is of the view from the Studio.......

How lucky am I? I've always loved the Priory, and there it is, in the distance, quietly keeping me company while I sew.
Thank you for popping by for this brief post.....hopefully the next one will have some actual needlework to show you! Until then, take care. xx

Friday, 29 May 2015

A Little Break.....

It's half term here in England, and we decided to take Vera The Van for a little trip away. The Husband, The Son and The Dog were loaded, along with a few provisions, fresh clothes and some soap.....indispensable when travelling with males!! Off we toddled and a lovely time was had, exploring small villages along the South Wolds.

I didn't take any needlework with me, which is unusual, but sometimes a little break is needed to fire up my imagination and drive again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Am I alone in this??

When we take The Dog, she behaves herself, and on the whole behaves as she would at home. When at home, she is NOT allowed on the furniture. EVER. So I think she looked particularly guilty, when I returned to Vera The Van and discovered this.....

She remained absolutely stock still, as if she imagined that if she didn't move, I would perhaps not notice!! Hmmm.

On our last evening at the campsite, entertainment was provided. This is unusual at Caravan Club sites, but before long, we'd been overrun by energetic men in white.......

......and very good they were, too. They are looking to recruit, so if you fancy something a bit different in your free time, I'm sure they'd be delighted to hear from you! Apparently, no previous experience is needed. Oh good.

I shall finish with my latest acquisition.....

Bud vases from the fabulous Susie Watson Designs . I've been looking for the right bud vases for ages....and as we all know, good things come to those who wait!!

See you soon. xx

Monday, 25 May 2015

Hooplessly Hooked.......

...on quilting without a hoop!! I LOVE IT!! The freedom of it! And my stitches are smaller and easier to control...what's not to love??
For years I've wanted to try, but each time I did, I had trouble with the quilt sandwich shifting under my stitches, resulting in a rucked up backing...not a pretty look, and VERY frustrating. But now, thanks to my Wonder Frame Basting, I'm stitching away happily on a shiftless sandwich. Yay!

Because hand quilting obviously takes much longer to do than machine quilting, I've not got anything else on the sewing front to show you, so I thought I'd leave you with a pretty walk I took today, with The Husband and The Dog, whilst The Son blasted 6 bells from his friends during a paint ball party.

Hope you've had a fabulous Bank Holiday weekend. Thanks for popping by. xx

Sunday, 17 May 2015

It Never Ceases...... amaze me, how, as a relatively well educated individual, I can remain such a NUMPTY at times!! Just no common sense!!

How long have I moaned about the fact that I hate basting a quilt sandwich? Since FOREVER!! All that crawling around on my hands and knees, pinning my way from the centre to the edges, with my back close to breaking. I LOATHE IT.

Since having the frame, I've not had to baste, as you feed your sandwich onto the rollers. This has been wonderful for the quilts I've machine quilted, but hasn't solved my problem, when I've wanted to hand quilt.

Now. I've often read various articles, where people have said that they sent their quilt tops off to a Long Arm Quilter to be basted, and thought how lovely to be able to afford that particular luxury. I've thought that thought recently. With my Quilt Frame sitting quietly upstairs. Late last night, you'll be pleased to hear, the penny finally dropped.

Et voila!!

One machine basted quilt sandwich!! Hooray!! So now I can spend the BEST evening watching back to back episodes of Outlander, (I'm only mildly addicted!) whilst hand quilting this Foxy Loxy beauty. Heaven.

Enjoy your Sunday evening. See you soon. xx

Sunday, 10 May 2015

A Little Behind.....

.....or in my case, possibly a big one. Both metaphorically and physically. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm not much cop with this blogging business. It's the whole multi-tasking bit ( that we women are supposed to be so good at).....if I'm sewing (and therefore creating fodder for my blog) then I'm not blogging, if I blog then I'm not sewing. You see the problem. How do all my Bloggy Friends do it? Bearing in mind that I'm not Wonder Woman (in spite of the Little Voices in my head) and DO actually need to sleep occasionally!

In an effort to catch up.....and stop wittering....I thought I'd just show what I've been up to.....

The fox pattern is "Fancy Fox" by Elizabeth Hartman ( ) and is truly a delight to work. I'm looking forward to some hand-quilting on this one. Did you know that the collective noun for foxes is "skulk"? Fabulous word!

I've also got another finished quilt, currently to be found in the washing machine, on it's first cycle, with obligatory colour catcher sheets, so you'll need to wait till next time to see that one. Bet you can't wait.

Thanks for popping by. See you before Christmas. 2027. xx

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Newest Member.......

......of the family has arrived! You may remember that a while ago, I bought a quilting frame which adapts a domestic machine into a long arm quilter. This meant that my All Dancing All Singing machine has moved upstairs to set up permanent residence in my bedroom, with said frame.
You may also remember from previous posts that I am Madame Laziness Personified, and although All Singing All Dancing could be easily carried back downstairs, it would require some effort on my part (ha!) and some faffing around, re-setting All Singing All Dancing when she returned to her perch on the frame (ha!ha!ha!). Not only am I lazy, I'm not so good in the Faffing Department either.
So, since the arrival of the frame, I have been piecing on my back up machine, Little Brother. Now Little Brother is a perfectly fine machine, and will always have a home here with me, but his one major flaw is that he refuses to wear the beautiful Janome feet that I have.....funny that! I've tried not to let that affect our relationship, and for the most part, almost succeeded....but struggling to put the binding on a quilt, without a walking foot, finally sent me to Relate For Sewing Machines. Otherwise known as Ebay.
After a little searching, I found the lovely Julia, who was looking for a good home for her Janome New Home. We discussed and agreed terms, and a few days later I welcomed New Home to her new home. And she is perfect. A gentle, middle aged lady, who happily wears all the feet I ask her to.......

We settled into a happy understanding instantly, and now this little pile of Riley Blake (which had been quietly waiting in the wings)..... now transforming into these.....

My first time at piecing Economy Blocks, and I've fallen in love (it happens a lot!) With any luck, today should see a baby quilt well on it's way to completion, while I put Newbie through her paces.
Thanks for popping by. Happy Sunny Sunday to you. xx

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Little Bit Of This.....

....a little bit of that...This is how I am spending my convalescence. After yet more hernia repair surgery (I think we should bring back corsets!!) I'm having to find things to do, that don't involve lifting anything or bending over tables, so quilting is out for the moment.
What to do? Well, I've always been very talented in the Dabbling Department. Dabbling is where I'm happiest. That and in it's sister department, Pottering. I only manage to finish quilts because I rule myself with an iron fist, and MAKE myself finish one project before kindly allowing myself to start another. If I relaxed my grip for even a moment, quilt tops would abound in various states of un-finish, with little to no hope of ever becoming a fully fledged quilt.
However, due to my inability to lift anything heavier than a needle, whilst seated comfortably, I've managed to find a little bit of this and a little bit of that to keep me happy.
Firstly, a little light quilting magazine reading lead me to this....

Hopefully, if you get your magnifying glass out, you'll be able to read it. For those of you out there that quilt, I'm sure this will raise a wry smile.
Then I turned my hand to embroidery, which I enjoy every now and again. I found a delightful pattern by Charlotte Lyons (actually I found 2 but haven't had enough time yet to complete them both)........

These little ladies were a lot of fun to make, and are just the right size for little hands to hold.
And today found me another little Dabbling Project, thanks to the lovely Kati and her Fabulous Family. Kati has a couple of vintage crochet throws. She also has a couple of little boys. (Well Kati also has another son and a daughter, but they're Sensible And Not To Be Blamed!) I'm not sure which of the toddlers stand accused of Pulling The Thread, but suffice to say that thread was pulled, and unravelling occured. Yippee....another little job I can do.....

The repairs should be finished this evening, so I shall once again be strolling through the Dabbling and Pottering Departments. How exciting! I'm never entirely sure what will pop this space!!
Thanks for dropping by to see me. See you soon. xx

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Here I Go AGAIN........

....just when I thought my insides might stay inside (come on....sing along....we all enjoy a bit of Dolly Parton every now and then....)
Don't worry....I've not taken leave of my senses. But I HAVE had yet ANOTHER hernia repair operation. My third in as many years. Hence my views on insides trying to get outside. Via my abdominal wall. Or where I once HAD an abdominal wall. But THIS repair is going to be different. For THIS repair my consultant, has decided to fix extra strong mesh to my stomach wall......using SCREWS!! I have been reliably informed that these are surgical screws, and CANNOT be found in any B & Q stores. Mr Consultant told me I would be very sore because of them. Mr Consultant was right. I may never be capable of coughing, laughing or running a marathon ever again. (For those of you unfamiliar with my lazy self, it should be pointed out here, in respect of all that is honest and good, that I have NEVER run a marathon, nor indeed ever had any intention of doing so. However, I now have a valid reason as to why not.)
In other news (as it has been forever since I last posted) The Husband, The Son and I went to New York during the February half term. We had a BRILLIANT time, inspite of temperatures keeping to the -10 degrees mark. I chapped in places that were too large to be dealt with my Nivea Chapstick.
A beautiful city.....

There has also been a fair bit of no particular order.....

And now that I'm having to convalesce for the next 4 weeks, unable to even lift a kettle, you can watch this space for some hand sewing. It's a hard life...but someone has to live it!!
Thanks for popping by. xx

Friday, 23 January 2015

Wonky Geese..... officially finished. Washed, dried, labelled finished. I've not named my quilts before, but now that I'm trying to be a little more professional.....and let me tell you, the effort is nearly killing me....I thought it would be nice, if my little creations could go and greet the world, with a little bit of history behind them. And you can't know your story if you don't know your name. (Deep and meaningful moment, just there!)
So, due to an error (I'm a natural at this "nothing this side of Heaven is perfect" tradition, that the early American settlers practised) my Flying Geese blocks welcomed a wonky block to the gaggle, and the name was born. Easy peasy this naming milarkey.
Anyway, I quite like it. And it's the first quilt that I quilted on my new toy, so Wonky will always be a little bit special.

The backing is one of my go-to favourites from Ikea. I just like the bright (bright) bright  sunshiny day feel to it....and it goes with EVERYTHING.....

Now to see if I can sell it, which will be the BIGGEST challenge to the whole "I'm being more professional" idea. I'm COMPLETELY pants when it comes to asking for money.....I'm much more a "'s nothing....have it" type of business mogul. HELP!!
 Thanks for popping by. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. xx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Day on the Blocks.....

.....I've had a lovely needle-worky day, thank you very much!
I managed to get two of these done.....

....for Judith at who is part of the "Bee Blessed" group, which put various blocks, made by various people, together for those in need in hospital. For a little while the pink one looked like this..... the deliberate (???) mistake!! Fortunately, my best friend, The Un-Picker, was at hand to help sort things out.
Then, after a lovely dog-in-the-forest walk (Thank you, Sarah!) and between dealing with The Sunday Roast, I had enough time to put an example block together, which I tweaked from an original from Amy Ellis (I think!), for a commissioned quilt.......

It will be shown to She-Who-Will-Decide tomorrow, so watch this space as to whether it stays as a lonesome block, or makes it to a fully fledged quilt.
I'm off to do some hand sewing now, on some binding on some blocks that DID make it to a fully fledged quilt. More on that at a later date.
Happy Sunday to you all. xx

Thursday, 15 January 2015

New Toys

I've been playing with my Christmas present! Hip, hip, hip, hooray! I tried to tell you about it before, if you remember, but I was having relationship problems with The Laptop. Now that we're best buddies again, I can show you in better detail.
The Husband bought it.......technically anyway, as he footed the bill!....from and it is their NEQ2, And it is fabulous!! Up until now, I've just been doing test runs on old sheets and random bits of wadding, but today was the day that I was rolling out the big guns. Well, a quilt top, at any rate.
Normally, I try to avoid machine quilting as it brings me out in hives. And short temper. And aching shoulders. However, I'd tried the NEQ2 at The Festival of Quilts, and felt that with it's help, I could possibly manage to make quilts on a more commercial basis. Basically, it allows you to use your domestic sewing machine as a long arm quilting machine. It even negates the need to crawl around on hands and knees, for AGES, basting a quilt (my least favourite part!). What's not to love??
There had been a very slight hiccup with the Nifty Grip handles, but the Brilliant Martha and Wonderful Paul, who are at the business end of The New Love of My Life, had it sorted in no spite of the fact that it was between Christmas and New Year, and Paul had been poorly. I cannot praise this small company enough. The craftmanship of the actual frame is second to none, and the customer services are astoundingly good. I truly recommend that you take a closer look.
So. Back to the quilt top. I was so nervous! It's one thing practising loops and swirls on a bit of old sheet.....quite another to loop and swirl on something that took you time and effort to create. But I did it! Yay!
Would you like to see? Of course you would.

The top is a generous lap quilt, or perhaps a cot quilt-either way, it only took me a couple of hours to quilt. With no loss of temper. Or aching shoulders. Hip, Hip, Hip, Hooray!! Now, all I've got to do is find a binding to set it all off.
Thanks for popping by. See you soon. xx

Saturday, 10 January 2015

S(l)ew Progress

As many of you know, I spend half my life racing around like a headless chicken (as most working mums do!) and the other half standing around on football pitch sidelines. To maintain a little sanity (and to prevent me from becoming a Permanent Screaming Banshee) I try and fit in a little hand stitching every day....usually too late at night to manage a lot.
My real love is EPP, but progress can be really slow.....however little by little I inch forward, and one day these will be a quilt....

Watch this space....but please don't hold your breath whilst doing so!
Thanks for popping by. Football beckons.....xx

Friday, 2 January 2015


Well, I've just spoken to Absent Daughter. Shall we see if she's right? Understanding that if she is, I may never hear the end of it....I almost don't want to try!!
Here goes.....

Well....there you go. Apparently I needed Google Chrome. Who knew??
Off to eat some Humble Pie now....hope she's got some custard!! xx

Thursday, 1 January 2015

A Warm Welcome to 2015.....

Happy New Year to One and All! May you all stay safe, happy and healthy.....and if a few hopes and dreams come true along the way, then so much the better.
I've had a lovely day, thank you. There was some of this.......

Please imagine a photo of  patchwork blocks here, as The Laptop is still misbehaving. Although, I have to say, it seems to have NNNNOOOO problem putting the EXACT same photos on my Facebook page, of the same name!!! Any Computer Wizards out there that can shed any light? (My own Resident Computer Wizard, is sadly no longer Resident, as outrageously, she has decided to continue residing in London, now that Uni has been completed!!)
To be honest, I only popped on here quickly, to try and sneak a photo on, and see if The Laptop Gremlin had nodded off. He hasn't.
So....there isn't really much point continuing, as I'm sure you're not TOO interested in reading about the lovely dog walk we had on The Forest. In The Drizzle.
I shall love you and leave you, and try phoning my Non-Resident-Daughter-No-2, to see if she can shout down the phone at The Laptop. (In the meantime, if you need to see some photos, there is always Facebook!!) xx