Thursday, 13 August 2015

Sidmouth again

It's that time of year again - we've just got home from a fabulous week in Sidmouth. This week holds so many memories for us: it was where Michael proposed, 11 year ago. It was our destination the day after our first scan when I was pregnant with Mia, and was where we shared our news 2 years ago. Last year, Mia's first Sidmouth was a bit different from those of the past and if I'm honest, it was hard work, as Mia suckled all night and wouldn't settle.

But this year, her second, was wonderful. It was still hard work, but now that she's 17 months old, it was absolutely wonderful to see her enjoying the whole experience! She's talking so much and repeating everything we say - occasionally she's even starting to put words together. She's walking and running everywhere and she learned to dance at the ceilidhs in the Anchor Inn.
She does like the quiet book I made her!

Early morning bacon butty stop - it was still far too early

With Granny on the sea-front

With Grandad the Morris Dancer (she wasn't scared of Morris Men this
year, which is just as well, really)

Looking up the good concerts with Dolly

Dancing on the table (thanks Uncle Robin)

She loved watching the waves crash, but wasn't quite as keen when the wind whipped up the waves so much that even on the opposite side of the road, we got splashed. She also loved the seagulls - some one has to. And coronation chicken sandwiches were a huge hit!

We also visited Wrest Park, a stately home near my parents, and she loved running and playing hide and seek

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Thimbleblossoms Mini Quilt Swap

This was a tough swap. The swap was all about using a pattern by Camille Roskelly. It wasn't a Bonnie and Camille swap. And that's why I signed up - I love Thimbleblossom patterns, but I don't love B and C fabric. Unfortunately I seemed to be in the minority, and my partner was an avid B and C fan. I didn't get much further guidance on fabric, so with no B and C fabric to hand I decided that everyone likes scrappy rainbows. Right?

The next problem was that the patterns I love and the patterns she loved didn't have much cross over. I picked out the one that was common (because whilst it's important to follow my partner's likes, if I can't stand what I'm making, it's not going to end well). I chose Starlight.  The finished quilt, in the pattern, was 12"x 15". The swap requirements were for a minimum size of 16" x 16". Starlight is an equilateral triangle pattern, and my equilateral triangle maths is pretty much non-existent. I knew I needed to make it bigger, and I thought I had worked out how many extra units I needed. Fail.

I did get my GCSE maths. Honest. I realised I had cut only half of what I needed. Luckily I had done this well enough in advance to shove it an box and sulk for a while. And when I pulled it out again it just looked like a total scrappy mess. And not in a good way.

By being an ostrich and sticking my head in the sand and ignoring it, it was too late at this point to start again... so I ploughed on, adding a very dark navy for the larger triangles. And boy, did I underestimate how long it would take to piece this together. The number of seams coming together was not fun. It's not perfect, but all of a sudden, I liked it again! The dark triangles gave the eye somewhere to rest away from the scrappy madness! And it was just big enough (16" x 18"). I quilted it up with simple straight lines (there's enough going on in this quilt already), trimmed it and bound it. Ta-dah!

I really liked it, but was still very unsure whether it would suit my partner or not. I was happier with the extra I had created: a little zippy pouch! There was a mandatory three extras for this swap, so I added a few shop-bought goodies too!

My partner, Sew Hoity Toity received the parcel today and, to my huge relief, she is thrilled with it - I was very lucky especially with the extras I sent and hit on some of her favourites!

And I got a fantastic quilt all the way from Australia too. This came from @quiltingwithkim and a certain small person thinks it's for her...may be I'll share.

With some lovely goodies! Mia has been eyeing up the kangaroo on the shopping bag already! And that pincushion is in Kate Spain's new line, Canyon. I'm really tempted with a fat quarter bundle which I would then use, keeping with the theme, to make a Swoon quilt for our bed. But it's so hard to buy fabric without having seen it in real life!

The mini quilt I sent was on my Q3 Finish Along list, so that's another tick

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

So was the zippy pouch, but I'll link that up separately.

Friday, 7 August 2015

ALYoF [August goal]

I failed to complete my July goal, due to a slight backing miscalculation...but it's close enough that I don't think I need the added impetus of listing it here... let's hope I'm right. So instead I'm going to list a different baby quilt - the inside addition quilt. It needs another 20 blocks, which are already cut which need to be pieced.

This is for a friend who we'll be seeing in September and it would great to have it ready to give to them then.

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes