Friday, 6 September 2013

Giveaway and Relaxation

Giveaway - just a quick note on the Giveaway I posted about last time. My friend, Cyn, emailed me to tell me that she was having trouble posting, so I have extended the time limit for you to have a go at winning a free video class on quilting from Daily Craft TV. The extension date is 14th September 12 midnight GMT. Read how to enter here.
Thanks to all my bloggie friends who helped me out with this, by testing my blog and blogging about the Giveaway. You know who you are. An enormous thanks!!

Orkney weather can be really unpredictable. When we moved here, I laughed when someone said you can have four different types of weather in the same day - hot sun, rain, high winds and cold - but it is true! As a result we have learned to take advantage of the weather, when it is good. My husband will down tools, without any warning, and take me a walk along a deserted beach, or we will have a picnic and then go paddling. These times are what lasting memories are made of. He is a sweetie!

After our last visitor went home, we decided to explore Cata Sands, the next bay to us. The sea fills and empties the bay twice a day, just like ours, but it is much larger, and, again like ours, the North Sea is on the other side of the dunes. There is a very expensive house way out on the dunes, and although we passed it, I felt I should respect their privacy and did not take any pictures. 

Why not come with me and enjoy the journey? Get yourself comfy in the back of the Trouper. We will do a little walking, but mainly just enjoy the scenery. Are you ready? Let's go.

The picture at the top of the page shows the bay and the dunes on the left hand side. A few years ago one of the biggest dunes disappeared during one of our famous gales. When it blows here, it really does damage!!

 Where the Trouper entered the bay.

To give you some idea of the size of the bay.

 Where we are heading.

 The way we came.
 Wildflowers everywhere...
 ...especially the thistle.
 The dunes on the left hand side.

 The dunes and gaps were covered in sea rocket. It smelled glorious.

 Over the dunes was the North Sea in all its glory.

Hope you had an enjoyable journey. It was nice having you along.

What a wonderful day.
What a wonderful memory!!
Till next time.

Saturday, 31 August 2013


I was tickled pink when the Online Media Coordinator from Fons & Porter got in touch, to offer me a free video tutorial from their new video class site at Daily Craft TV. There is so much to see there, and I was to get a free quilting class video. I spent ages looking at all the classes and all the well known quilting teachers. I could not believe how reasonable the classes were - from $4.99 to $9.99, and there was so much choice! I kept on changing my mind, but eventually I decided on the above class. I think it was the description below that made up my mind -

This quilting class will give you creative ideas for new projects. These tips and fun quilting techniques will enhance your quilting experience. Here is a complete list of the instruction included in this class:
  • Wool Appliqué by Paula Stoddard
  • Mitered Borders with Sherri Driver
  • Creative Piecing with Strips by Carolyn Beam
  • Fun, Fabulous Lutrador with Heather Thomas
  • Every Quilt Has Two Sides: Different Ways to Approach Quilting
  • Making Charm Square Totes with Sue Marsh
  • Using Dynamic Direct Compliments with Heather Thomas
Prerequisites: No Prerequisites Required.
Class Runtime: 1 hr. 28 min.
Length : 1:28:00

Boy was I going to have fun. It was really easy to access the
video, and it was so nice being able to stop it and start it, go back to segments I wanted to see again and knowing I have a lifetime access. I am going to give you a rundown on this video, but please keep reading to the end of the post, or you will miss out on a fabulous Giveaway!!

I loved the segment on wool applique. Paula Stoddard has the most fabulous patterns, which I drool over. This segment was no exception. She shows a lot of quilt examples, with woolly applique. She gives lots of tips to do wool applique on wool, cotton and flannel. She also tells you loads of info about wool and how to deal with it. I really like the demo on how to press the wool and how to use paper-backed fusible web to make a pretty quilt block.

The fool-proof demo on mitred borders by Sherri Driver is inspirational. Sherri's instructions are so precise and easy to understand, and she talks you through the whole process. She shows you exactly how and where to mark the quilt, how to pin it and where to sew it. She also talks about the 'Magic X', where the seams cross and how to sew this, so that you get exact points. Great demonstration. 

The demo, 'Creative Piecing with Strips', shows you how to use up that overflowing box of scraps that everyone accrues, if they are quilters.Carolyn Beam cuts her scraps into strips and then skews her strips, to make a nine inch block and then adds patches to make a bigger block. She then goes on to make a different looking block, with the strips being horizontal instead of vertical. She demonstrates the construction of the blocks in detail and also shows ways to use strips in traditional blocks. Definitely a good way to use up your scraps.

I bought some Lutrador the last time I was over on the Scottish Mainland, but I was not too sure how to use it, so I was really pleased that Heather Thomas went into great detail of different techniques to use on this material. She painted it, sewed it, printed photos on it and thread painted it,made lace from it, using a heat gun to melt it and generally showed how flexible this material is.

'Every Quilt has Two Sides' has Laura Roberts and Joli Sayasane, Assistant editors from McCall's and Quilters Newsletter respectively,talking about how they approach different situations related to quilting e.g.what about shop hops, giving away material, favourite prints etc. This was like having a coffee with two friends, who discussed their different views.

Sue Marsh's demo on 'Making Charm Square Totes' made me want to dig out some charm squares, sit in front of the sewing machine and get going. She made it look so easy, and she explained each stage so well, so well in fact that I am going to put this on the list of 'To Do. I loved her tip on assembly line sewing. I always get my blocks mixed up and have to rip them out. This will stop if I use this tip.

The final, short segment was by Heather Thomas again on 'Using Dynamic Direct Compliments'. She showed how to use a colour wheel to choose complimentary colours to make the your designs more interesting. A lot of quilters have problems choosing colours, but using this method gives you dynamic, vibrant quilts.

I had a fabulous afternoon, watching this video. It was like being at a quilting class with loads of top-notch teachers, only I could stop the video if someone came to visit (which happened) or if the phone went. I thoroughly recommend you go and have a look, and to make it even sweeter.......
Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway, Giveaway

Fons and Porter have enabled me  to let one of my blog readers have free access to a quilting video of their choice on the Daily Craft TV site. All you have to do to enter this giveaway is -
1. Become a follower of this blog and leave me a comment telling me you are a follower.
2. Go to the Daily Craft TV site and decide which quilting video you would like to see, if you win. Leave me another comment, telling me which one you have chosen.
If you do this, you will have TWO chances of winning. I will let Fons & Porter know who has won, they will send me the access code to pass on to you. Easy!! The closing date for this giveaway is Saturday 14th September at 12 midnight GMT. I will be in touch thereafter.
Good luck!!
Till next time

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

For The Love of Hand Embroidery

I have to grovel (yet again!) to Jane of Jane's Fabric and Quilts, as this post was supposed to be up as of last Monday!! Life, as usual got in the way! We had a friend visiting, whom we hadn't seen for nearly twenty years. It was really great to see him again. And then I had to go back to see the Specialist about my jaw. I had just finished a course of 168 antibiotics and was feeling free. Unfortunately I have to take another course, so that was a bummer!

But to get onto the above exciting news!Jane has gathered together a group of ladies who enjoy embroidery, and every week you will be able to see what the ladies have embroidered with Presencia Finca Perle Cotton Thread, which Jane sells in her shop, here. You can see the programme of events, by clicking here, or on the link below the picture above.

Jane has already posted a beautiful embroidered door hanger for a child's room here, and Kris embroidered a beautiful pincushion! I can't wait to see all the creations. Hop over and have a look.
Till next time

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Super Summer Sale Headsup!!

No, I haven't changed my name or my header, I just wanted you to know about a great sale over at Raspberry Rabbits. Let me say right away that I have no affiliation with Michelle May, the owner of this wonderful site. I have been working on the free BOM 'Harrington and Hannah' for a loooong time, but I am getting there. The free blocks are here for the BOM, but make sure you copy them soon, as they are due to disappear! There are also more, really nice, free designs, so have a look. I thought I was in some small way giving payback for these wonderful designs, by advertising the sale to all my friends and readers. All you have to do is spend $25, and you will get a 20% discount. My Scottish blood is singing. I couldn't miss such an opportunity!!

Look at this wonderful design - you can buy either the pattern or the kit -

-and this one is the same!
There is a wonderful selection of bargain materials -

-and the colours of the hand-dyed Valdani threads are to die for!!

There is a good selection on supplies, but I must admit my favourites are the wools. They just look scrummy!! I can see a few wooly crafts appearing on the horizon! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Hope you will hop over to Raspberry Rabbits (no pun intended) and have a browse. Michelle is a lovely lady and she also has a great blog.
Till next time.
tich xx

Friday, 12 July 2013

I Spy Finished (photo heavy)

You might remember last month that I was teasing you about something I was making (here). It was, of course, and I Spy quilt, and I was making it for my granddaughter's birthday. I was making it with some of the wonderful material I received from quilters all over the world, when my sister died. I thought I had better start early, as I was still not feeling very well, and I wanted to take my time.

I cut out lots of lovely squares, ...

...and sewed them into nine patches. No, these squares are sewn correctly, because ...

...I was making a disappearing nine patch,... 

... to make quick blocks!  

I layed out all the blocks, once I had them made,... 

 and then I numbered the rows. I was trying to get the different materials spaced out, but was not concerned about the self-coloured material.

I had some really quirky material for the backing. I sandwiched it and quilted it on the machine. I quilted it with straight lines, but with random spacing in between. Some of the lines were a bit wobbly, but I don't think my granddaughter will notice. 

The binding was made from the self-coloured material, in random lengths. 

I bought a packet of hair clips, and used these to hold the binding, whilst I was sewing it down. They were great, and only cost me £1.20 for 30 clips!!

Below are some pictures of the quilt. 

One of the ladies included some labels, so I used one as well.

I hope my granddaughter likes it.

I  am sorry I cannot name the ladies who gave me the material. I made up an Excel file with all the details, but both my computer and my backup external hard drive crashed in the same week, and I lost most of my files.
But THANK YOU again!!

Till next time.
tich xx

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New Life

The rule in our house is that if an animal has a name it does not get eaten! When this new lot of ducklings came out of their shells, I could not stop laughing. One of them had a pompadour haircut, so he just had to get the name 'Pompei'. He is just adorable!!
Till next time.