Thursday, 19 January 2017

January Giveaway!



It has been a while since I had a giveaway and, since I have rather fallen out of synch with my blogiversary (it was 6 years in Dec), I have decided to have a little giveaway just to cheer up the very long, grey month of January.  This giveaway is going to be open to Instagram entries as well as entries here on the blog. It's only open today and tomorrow, so don't leave it too late to enter!




I want to share this lovely little Moda tin with one of you lovelies. When it reaches your home you might fill it with any number of lovely stitchy things but I can't send you an empty tin, can I?  So inside, I will include my very favourite brand of seam ripper (love this so much), a spool of Aurifil 2312, a little needle book and magnetic needle minder, and some little emergency chocolates (you can keep them until all the Christmas choccies have disappeared).  I will also send you a Bonnie & Camille Handmade charm pack to get your new year sewing off to a pretty start.  Interested?




To enter, you must be a follower. Leave a comment here telling me how you follow me (Bloglovin', IG etc).  That's all you have to do.

If you are following me both here on the blog and on IG you may have ONE entry on EACH, but any duplicate entries on either will not be considered.  Please include an email address or your IG name if you are a no-reply blogger so that I can contact you for mailing info.  If I cannot contact you, I will have to re-draw and that would be a shame.  When it comes to drawing the winner, I will number the blog entries from 1 onwards and then continue the numbering over on my IG post entries.  Hope that makes sense.

Entries will close at 22:00 GMT on Friday 20 January 2017.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

2017 FAL: Meet the Host #1


This year FAL is going to introduce you to each of the crew of international hosts.  Nicky is kicking us off for 2017 - so, read on!  I am in awe of all that she has done and still does, especially for Siblings Together.  She forgot to mention her fabulous sense of humour and how she's easy company to keep, but I'll let her tell you the rest ....


Hi !  My name is Nicky Eglinton and I'm one of the global 2017 Finish-A-Along hosts.  This is my second year as co-host so I should know what I'm doing.  


I live in the South of England but was born in bonnie Scotland and after a few years studying in Aberdeen and Glasgow, I came to London to get my first job!   I loved the theatres, cinema, restaurants, walking across Waterloo Bridge and looking one way at the Houses of Parliament and the other way at St Paul's.  Life was good!

Houses of Parliament to the left, 

the dome of St. Paul's to the right



Since then I have moved even further south and out of the hubbub of the City to the quiet more rural life of Sussex to raise a family with hubby.   It has suited us well and we have three lovely children and a cat and a dog!   Here are the pets in portrait and 'helping' me quilt!

Saffy and Maddie


In my childhood I learnt to stitch from my mother - first toys, and cross stitch, then clothes in my teens and twenties (back then it was actually cheaper to do that). 
 

Meet Dandelion - I still have him!




She also taught me knitting and crochet.  She loved passing on her skills though we struggled at times as she was right handed and I was left handed.  Every thing I did looked wrong to her as I was doing it in what seemed an awkward way....and there were very few lefthanded tools to help!  So I now prefer right handed scissors - in fact I cannot use lefthanded ones!!
Jumping forward a bit, to maintain my sanity after kid no 1, I went to an evening class about patchwork and quilting.  My chance to talk with grown ups!   I was completely in love with applique!   It was all I did!  And then I ended up on a course at  The Quilt Room to make this quilt in 2005!  

 

Friendship's Garden Quilt

by Alma Allen & Cherie Ralston



The applique was easy for me but would you believe I was terrified of the HST border round each block and the quilt remained in pieces, and on several FAL lists.
Carolyn Forster taught me piecing and introduced me to blogging!   Wow has she got a lot to answer for!   I started blogging as I wanted to record my stitching and gardening - hence my blog name Mrs Sew and Sow!

The sewing has taken over somewhat but this year I will be back in my garden and bringing lots of flowers into the house!  Wonder if a flower bed can count as a WIP or UFO??   What do you think?
Well back to that quilt I started in 2005 I kept moving it from one FAL list to the next!  I have joined up with the FAL since the beginning - though I may have missed a few quarters - and it has helped enormously - mainly from all the encouragement I received from commenters who have become friends.  
Suddenly it became the time to finish that quilt!  I even had to learn FMQ in order to do it !   



And here it is!  So all of you who have longterm WIPs/UFOs do not despair!




Finishing that longstanding UFO was like a release - it had been a block hanging over me!   I started actually finishing more stuff.   
Since 2012 I have been keen to meet up with people, and join in the quilting  community.  I went to the Fat Quarterly Retreats in London and learnt about the Siblings Together charity.  I have been making quilts for the charity since then - one or two to begin with, then I joined a bee to make more, helped others finish quilts and finally last year Maria and I were leading the campaign to make 100 quilts for the charity.  

The charity helps children in the UK social care system retain bonds with their siblings at holiday camps.  They are given a quilt to remind them of the fun times together.  

We will be aiming to make another 100 quilts in 2017 with help from a generous community of quilters !   Would you like to join us?  You can find more information here and here!



I love scraps and have been running a monthly link up, #Scraptastictuesday, on the second Tuesday of every month, with my co host Leanne (who also hosts FAL).  We like to celebrate the origins of patchwork, though Leanne uses scraps in more of an improv way than I do but you will find all sorts of inspiration there! 

I am a scrappy quilter for ecological and economical reasons!  I like to hang onto those pounds and pence and keep my scraps out of the landfill sites!    And I just love cramming as many different fabrics as possible into one quilt.  

We would love you to join us with your scrappy projects (they don't need to be finished), plans, and storage systems.

I try to make a scrappy sampler quilt each year with tutorials showing you how to make your own!  2015 is finished and 2016 is basted ready for a finish this quarter I hope!

Liberty Sampler 2015 & Karen Lewis Sampler 2016


And now I'm setting up a local group of stitchers in Sussex with my friends and co-founders Kelly and Jane and we are actually going to meet up and stitch together in a room!   And eat cake!   With no children !  It is starting this month !



I seem to have made lots of quilts.  I find the creative process both stimulating and therapeutic.  I do tend to make up my own patterns though on occasion if I love something I will try to make my own version of it.

Here are some of my favourite quilt finishes


Top Left : Nordik Quilt; Top Right & Clockwise:  Double Sided Welsh Blanket Quilt in Karen Lewis Textiles, pattern by Mary Emmens;  Hand stitched and quilted scrappy clamshell quilt;  Vintage Squares quilt; Stingy Bee Row Quilt  (both this and Nordik were made with help from members of Bee a Brit Stingy )



And here is one I hope to finish this coming quarter!  It is my take on the traditional Double Wedding Ring (my own variation) - a lot of it stitched by hand!  I used acryllic templates made by Marti Michell to help with the cutting and designing of these blocks.

Hoopla! Quilt


 My FAL list is always a long one (yes I am a member of Archie the Wonder Dog's #ridiculouslylongFAList ) as when I used to choose a few items for my list I always wanted to work on something else!  Much easier to keep everything out in the open I found!

I hope you will join us on our journey to complete those listed projects and I look forward to seeing your finishes!  Remember to cheer on the rest of the community - it really does make a difference!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

2017 FAL: Q1 List Link Closing


Don't miss your opportunity to link up your list of proposed finishes for 2017 FAL Quarter 1!  Link ups are closing Saturday 14 Jan 11pm EST  (for anyone on GMT that's 4am Sun 15 Jan).

If you still need to link up, click here for all the details and for the linky.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Pencil Case for Hubby



Hubby requested a small pencil case to pop into his Christmas present laptop rucksack.  I was only too happy to oblige.  Without being too boring he wanted to keep it professional looking.  I suggested using some old suiting fabric but apparently that was a bit too formal, so he opted for this Michael Miller (?) typewriter key fabric.  I love this fabric and have had it for ages waiting for a suitable project.


I teamed it with an Architextures contour fabric in orange for the lining, bought for hubby because of his orienteering hobby.  A cheeky orange zip and hey presto, one manly pencil case, not too boring, not too unprofessional (in my mind anyway). 

It finishes at approx 8" x 3"and although it's hard to judge the scale from my photographs, it's a really lovely little size.  Perfect for half a dozen pens/pencils, a pen drive and a few other small essentials.  Just enough to carry for work and when travelling.  I have to admit, such a simple quick project was fun.  Next time I make a pencil case for me, I will make it this size.

What's your favourite quick make?

Monday, 9 January 2017

FAL 2017 - My Quarter 1 List

Now that the first quarter linky for Finish A Long is open, it's time to make my own list of proposed finishes for the next three months.



'Happy Days' BOM
This is the Sarah Fielke's BOM which I played games of "keep up", then "catch up" with throughout 2016.  Such a lot still to do, so this one might be too tall an order for one quarter but it's on the list!



Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilt
This quilt needed a bit of a fix before I send it off for quilting elsewhere.  I did a little wiggling and I think its ok now, so just a matter of packing up and shipping off for Trudification.  Oh yes, and I will bind it when it comes back for a finish, of course.




Quilt Now BOM
I started hand quilting this already, but didn't get very far yet. Lots of stitches required for a finish.



Frame Box Quilt for Siblings Together
I'll need wadding, a backing and a binding for this one.



Cosy Christmas Quilt
Not sure I'll find working on this very seasonal once we're a little further away from the New Year, but I would like to keep it progressing rather than languishing untouched for the rest of the year.



Miss Winkle Scarf
Started at the beginning of the autumn in 2016 but I didn't really get very far before it was parked.  Might be nice to be able to wear it while the weather is still cool - good here until May, even if this one slips to next Quarter ;-).



Wonky Stars Baby Quilt
Just started this one last weekend.  Trying to keep it simple so that my cousin will actually receive a finish quilt when her little one arrives.  I really enjoy how quickly wonky stars come together and they never disappoint.  The horizontal section of the starter pieced together and the rest has been layed out and the rows gathered in ready for piecing.  Hoping it won't take too long to finish when I get back to it.




Ironing Board Cover
Shamed by the grotty state of my current table top ironing board cover, I have supplies all cut and ready to go for a fresh replacement.  Just need to get at it.


I think eight is more than hopeful for 13 weeks, but, you never know...


Linking up to 2017 FAL Q1 proposals.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

2017 Finish-A-long - Quarter 1 Proposed Finishes Linky Now Open!

Hello Lovelies!

Remember on my plans for 2017 I said I hoped to be able to stay connected with this wonderful blogging, stitching community?



Well, one of the ways I'm planning to do that is by being a co-host for this year's Finish-A-Long.  Thanks Rhonda and Leanne for asking!  I get to share with you all the important dates in the FAL calendar, dropping you reminders on my blog so you don't miss the linky parties when they open and close, and I get to officially help cheerlead for all the fabulous Finishes that 2017 is going to bring to all of us, right?

So, here goes -


2017...are you ready for a new year? A new year a new list!

As you are probably aware, the 2017 FAL is remaining global - a community of bloggers across the world, jointly hosting the FAL. Our hosts are:
  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland
Social Media Director:




For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, Flickr or Instagram of each successful finish from your original list.

Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list long or short, as you wish. The 2017 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent FAL page, let me know if you have any questions. Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q1 of the FAL - you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo (think about visiting them and saying thank you):




As you may recall from last year, there was a return of tutorial week at the end of each quarter, between the opening of the link for finishes and the day that link closes. Are you enjoying this? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! This will take place each quarter. Each host works hard to put these together so I hope you are visiting their blogs to encourage them.
If you have a tutorial that you would like to share, please let me or another host know.

It's time to round up those projects you want to finish over the next three months, take a photo of each one and make your list. In order for your projects to be eligible, they must at least be a tangible project at the start of the quarter.  That means at the very least, a fabric pull matched to a pattern, a quilt top needing to be quilted, or a half knit jumper.  While we love to see your bee blocks, they won't count unless you happen to be turning them all into a fully completed quilt!

It is very helpful if you tag your list as #2017FALQ1yourname when posting on social media: Flickr, Facebook & Instagram. Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing progress or finishes before the link, helps the hosts find your original list quickly - especially when this is done over a 3 month period. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link your finishes up when the quarter closes.


The 2017 Q1 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on one blog - and that link will show up on all of the blogs. If you are using Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, link a mosaic and put your list in the description. Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link-up if you need it.

We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too. When creating your list there is one thing to remember....No deductions for not completing something so ..... Aim High! Nothing to lose!!!

Well Now..... Get those lists together and get linked up. The Q1 linky party will stay open until 11 pm EST, January 14, 2017- as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. Remember: you only need to link up on ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.




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