Tuesday, 3 December 2013

mad sewing, or sewing like mad

There have been a few makes and a little progress since my last blog post, I have had another weekend away, a ball at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, one of my favourite places. I was born in Belfast but lived for most of my school years in a town not far from Newcastle. We would have gone there after tea for a walk in the evenings or on a Sunday afternoon. Like most seaside towns, the town is struggling, despite all the brave efforts of the local council with the new promenade and some lovely sculptures, but still one of my favourite places. And the council has invested in some lovely sculptures, but...........the hotel has also invested in many many sculptures of naked or semi naked women all over the grounds. I am sure they are all very fine sculptures individually, but collectively it is rather haphazard and "too much in your face", a job lot of naked women. Should I have photographed them? No, don't want to encourage that sort of thing.

where the mountain's of mourne sweep down to the sea

Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, Co Down

On the sewing front I have finished lots of little mug rugs, I really like these. Some of them are for my sister's craft fair, but if they don't sell I really don't mind. I am more than happy to give them a home myself.

merry christmas santa

ho ho ho santa

I have also been beavering away at my Modern Irish Quilt Guild Christmas Table Runner Swap. This has produced more angst than I would have ever believed. I intended the trees to be straight and the houses to be crooked, for the little gnomes. Well, I have no idea if the trees are straight or crooked, and the houses are not straight enough to be straight and not crooked enough to be crooked. I hope my swap partner is kind to me. Funnily enough the runner my partner is making for her secret partner, is along the same lines as mine.
So, I hope that means this is acceptable and she will be kind to me!

christmas table runner swap

I have yet to show you my recent purchases and my win. I was lucky enough to win $20 of fabric from Lark Cottons http://www.larkcottons.com/
Heather who organised my prize was a delight, and it arrived within a few days of my choosing. They have a lovely selection and I look forward to using my Barcelona and Moda Comma charm packs. I also couldn't resist the gnomes, the same gnomes that appear in my table runner.

I also treated myself to some Liberty quarter yards from http://www.shaukat.co.uk/. We go to London quite often, a few times a year and I have often walked past this shop in the Brompton Road and never realised that it had Liberty fabric in the basement. I have also walked past the fabric in Liberty many many times, and thought, if only I still sewed, if only this wasn't so expensive. Now I am sewing again, but Liberty is still expensive so I was so delighted to find out about Shaukat. The shop looks like the a fabric shop for the dedicated dressmaker, in other words, the window is crammed full of dress fabrics. Interesting enough for me to stop and stare but not to have gone into. Next time will be different. Sarah at http://sewmeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/happy-dancing.html  had hand pieced a lovely hexie quilt and this is what is destined for my Liberty. I intend to make a start whilst watching Christmas tv but don't except to have anything to show for a long long time.
liberty lovlies

Oh yes, my other Christmas make is the rugby quilt for my nephew, unfortunately this has been a no starter, so far. May be started/finished, may be rushing to Tesco for a Christmas present. Too busy sewing other things, and finishing my book for tonight's book group - The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore. A ghost story written for the Hammer Horror recent revival. A good story, really enjoyed it, but a little confused about the time spans covered - the landlady was young in the war but old in the story yet the story is set post war. Think I may have missed something here, no doubt I will find out tonight. Love a good ghosty story in the run up to Christmas, not too scary mind. Just a gentle ghost story.

did anybody watch the show on Liberty last night (Monday) on Channel 4 at 9pm. Loved it. Looking forward to next week.


  1. You've lots going on. And I think your runner is going to be gorgeous. Straight stuff is highly over rated. Just saying. (Because so little of mine is straight!)

  2. watched the Liberty programme last night.....just glued to the screen. I like your table runner for the swap....I like the way the houses are running uphill....quirky!

  3. Your little table runner is lovely Helen ! :)
    Good to find a new source for Liberty fabric! The programme was great...I really enjoyed it!
    V x

  4. Watched the programme and loved it. Liberty always makes me feel as if I am intruding, cos yes I only ever buy the stationery..

  5. And I agree with Alison, your table runner is a quirky one. I am also in the mood for some hexagon hand piecing. Good in this cold weather with the tv on and a glass of wine nearby. I was going to try a scrappy one and make it last a decade maybe. Don't want to rush it. Xx

  6. I really like your runner, would be really happy to be your swap partner! The gnomes are great too.


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