Wednesday, 19 March 2014

An Apple Quilt

The sun is shining which means I can finally take a photo of Mabel's quilt. Happily  hanging on the line gently swaying in the breeze it looks beautiful.


Made for Mabel by my talented mother, this quilt was a special Christmas gift. Created using a  Moda jelly roll  called 'little apples collection' by Aneela Hoey this quilt has been called 'Apple Quilt'. Jelly rolls are a rather fabulous circle of fabric pre cut into strips to sew into something special.

Grandma even sewed apples around the side decorating between Mabel's name.




Look at the sweet little binding around the side.


As we have sat snuggled into the quilt we have looked at the "pretty people" and talked about our favourite. 


Ruby loves the "hula hoop girl and the mummy one".


 I absolutely love the colours and the slightly vintage feel to the sweet little characters.

The different blocks look beautiful together.



The best thing about it, of course, is snuggling up into it when you feel a little bit tired. Remembering all the love that went into every stitch.

It probably feels even better if it is stolen from your sister!


A Christmas gift to treasure.



Have you got a treasured handmade gift?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Knitting a kyoto

So the baby is almost one and there has been a distinct lack of knitted loveliness in her life. A birthday approaching and a super sweet pattern found, I plan to rectify this. Here is the cute cardigan I am hoping she will be wearing on her first birthday.  I hope writing this will give me the motivation to blow the dust of my needles.


These sweet booties were  the last thing I knitted for her; escaping from the builders last year I made these before she was here. 


Whilst grocery shopping late last night I found some rather lovely craft books and wool amidst the lemonade and work boots, Aldi is a little random at times.  This purple wool with a hint of sparkle will be a huge hit with her older sister if not appreciated by the smallest one. Three balls of wool for a fiver makes me a happy knitter and feel slightly less guilty about buying another craft book. I think the Kyoto pattern will look super sweet in the turquoise wool.


The pressure is on to finish her cardigan in a fortnight, maybe I will just sew her a super fast birthday spring skirt instead!


Are you a deadline crafter or does that take away the relaxation side of making for you?




Sunday, 9 March 2014

A skirt for spring

The sun is shining, flowers are emerging from winter and the children are enjoying   running around the garden. We are all remembering how much happier life feels in Spring. Inspired by the BBC's Sewing Bee I decided to make something spring like for my girl. She loves dressing up and was quite insistent on her fabric choice, pink and pretty were the order of the day.


Hunting through my spare fabric collection she decided upon a sweet little cotton paisley piece, I have no idea where it came from but it was a perfect choice.

I didn't follow a pattern and just made it up as I went along but it was such a simple elastic skirt it made up very quickly. Exactly the sort of sewing I love.


I sewed the rectangle of fabric (about 40 cm by 80 cm but that is very approximate) together to form a tube, sewing right sides together.

I then found a piece of 3 cm wide elastic which amazingly was exactly the right size to fit round her skinny waist with a piece left over to sew together.

To form a simple waist band I zig zag stitched around the top of the skirt to stop it unravelling and then folded it over using the elastic as a guide.  I stitched around the skirt leaving a small gap to insert     the elastic, threaded the elastic through using a hair grip to make the job easier and then finished stitching the gap.  No prizes for my seamstress abilities but I was more motivated to finish in the short time I had.

I sewed it to the right side above the hem and then turned  it under.

To appeal to small girl's love of all things pretty I added some red ric rac to the bottom. Initially I was planning to sew it on as decoration but inspiration hit me and I managed to sew it onto the right side of the skirt a few centimetres above the unfinished bottom edge. This meant that when I turned the hem up (which I did by hand) the ric rac also turned which hid the sewing line and looked very pretty at the bottom of the sweet skirt.

Inside the skirt pinned and ready to hem



The ric rac from the outside  (neat) and inside (seam showing)

The entire skirt took about half an hour to make including pressing the seams. If I had known it would have been that quick I would have made more of an effort and hemmed the waist band by hand to give a far neater edge inside.

My model is at the park enjoying the sun so I can only leave you with the picture. I know she will love it and I am so inspired to make more.


Just in  time   she returned happy and dirty  from her play and enjoyed modelling her new skirt.




I really like how it hangs on her, a perfect play skirt.


Have you been inspired by the Sewing Bee? 
What have you made recently?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Four for Four

She is four, this small girl who so nearly wasn't, yet by some amazing grace was given back to us. This girl who has bought so much love and laughter into our lives has now been in our family for forty eight months.



Grabbing a rare glimpse of sunshine on her special day whilst  watching her play with the flowers she insisted she needed for her birthday table, I managed to capture some of the emotions she was feeling.

These are my four favourite faces of her day:






and one to shatter any illusions of perfection about our lives.



Always knowing how blessed we  really are, even during diva  moments!




What is making you feel thankful today?

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Eleven Month Mabel

Time has just flown by and all my intentions of keeping a monthly baby record of my last baby seem to have been absorbed in the busy reality of life.  Hundreds of images safely stored on my  hard drive until such a day when I will finally  have  time to sort through precious reminders  of her first  year.


This blog has also fallen to the back seat of busy life: I was considering closing it when I looked back at my early posts and realised my series of 'Ruby months' began at the age her small sister is now. It seemed like a great opportunity to compare them as they grow.

Capturing eleven month Mabel was not easy, she is at that put everything into your mouth stage, in the end I decided to remember that.  Her sweet little chubby hands will grow so fast.



Still using this old pram, a perfectly safe place for her to safely survey the family mayhem.

A month of new adventures for this little lady; leaving Mummy as she returned to work, the cries as I leave her are finally subsiding which makes for a much happier me. Adventures on the back of a bicycle and swimming for the first time have all contributed to a busy month.




This sweet and happy soul seems to take it all in her stride.


She reminds me so much of her older sister at the same age in this picture.


How do you store precious images? 
Do yours get lost on a hard drive too?


Monday, 24 February 2014

Day at the Palace


Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will remember the exciting news we received last January;  my Grandma was nominated for a new years award for services to old and vulnerable people. Sadly she did not live to collect the award in person but her memory lived on last week as various members of the family made the trip to see the Queen and receive the honour posthumously.



As it turned out it was Prince Charles and not the Queen  who was the royal at the investiture ceremony,  although this  did not detract from the beauty of the occasion. The nominated family members received an official purple invite to Buckingham Palace along with a huge list of important procedures to follow. Day dress and a fascinator were the order of the day, which left us feeling very over dressed as we battled  the busy commuter  train.


A ride in an iconic  London taxi felt rather special as we entered the palace,  where after showing official identification we were admitted behind the iron gates. 


Missed the changing of the guards, but were amazed to see them inside the palace standing so still we thought they were statues.


Depositing bags, coats and cameras in the cloakroom we freshened up in the toilets. Not as grand as I would have expected but it was very reassuring to be surrounded by other beautiful ladies with gorgeous outfits and hair arrangements.

Walking into the beautiful ballroom, surrounded with magnificent  paintings and  listening to exquisite music  whilst sitting on a velvet bench felt incredibly grand: The perfect background for such a  special occasion.


The ceremony lasted for around an hour and a half, the musicians played from the balcony throughout as the enthralled audience watched their loved ones being called and then receiving their award. We saw someone being knighted and read of the many amazing reasons everyday people had been chosen to receive either an MBE, OBE or other prestigious awards. It was really moving to hear of the awards given in the face of death or see a sweet elderly couple enter hand in hand to  receive an award for services to fostering.


It was incredibly special to hear my Grandma's name and know all her hard work had been recognised.




It was also lots of fun to hold the award in the courtyard as we battled the freezing wind and posed for photographs.  

My beautiful mum and daughter.






The beefeaters were very obliging, even to middle girl who unbeknownst to me had  taken her plastic pig and cow to the palace, don't think they were on the official list!







Hearing the national anthem, joining in the ancient ceremonies of the investiture and  being caught up in the amazing emotion of the day,  left me feeling very proud to be British and part of something so glorious and long lasting.



Have you ever had a "proud to be British" moment?

Friday, 31 January 2014

So that was January







Actually meeting May Martin, of Great  British Sewing Bee fame, a new series is starting soon and I am already looking forward to it.


Finding bargain craft books on this website and enjoying spending christmas pennies.


Saving water because we have just been put on a meter, not looking forward to that bill!


Making sweet baby shoes just as my small girl starts standing.


Covering chairs in fabulous fabric.


Hosting a super fun party for a beautiful fifteen year old.


Walking the dog amidst this dismal wet weather.


Covering a broken mirror frame in sticky blackboard paper and having fun doodling special messages on it.


Taking a few moments away from the mayhem of life to enjoy a candlelit catch up with the man.


Starting work again.


Valuing precious time with my gorgeous little lady who at just ten months is causing delightful disruption.



Totally late but happy new year, 
may it be full of beautiful memories!


What has been special about your wettest January on record?