Wednesday 28 September 2016

WOW: Goodbye Loki

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I'm so sad and missing this gorgeous doggy face today. You see, my daughter's much loved English Mastiff died yesterday whilst she is still away on her honeymoon. Without warning she suddenly grew weak and became breathless. Despite getting her to a vet and then two animal hospitals, there was nothing they could do to save her. She died whilst they were taking x-rays of her chest. It's come as a shock to learn that she had a heart murmur which wasn't detected despite a lot of care and attention from vets for her other issue which was arthritis in her knee joint. As she was only 4 years old, her death is completely unexpected and of course, the timing couldn't have been worse. So for us, it's been a sad way to end a beautiful month for our family.

I love all animals, but Loki was extra special. Until recently we always had large dogs - Mastiffs, Newfoundland's and Rottweilers. We've loved them all. When our last Mastiff died 18 years ago, we decided that we had passed those prime years of caring for such high maintenance dogs ourselves, but of course we still has a soft sport for them as a breed. When my DD decided on an English Mastiff as her pet, I was looking forward to enjoying that special company again...but with much less work on my end!  Loki was unusual for two reasons - she was often mistaken for a male because of her extra large size and dark muzzle and she also had an unusually gentle nature. Mastiff's are known as being gentle anyway, but she was without a doubt the most sweetly natured and gentle dog I have ever met. She was a real treasure and we already miss her. 

With so much going on, my DD is coming home tomorrow from her honeymoon and it's my other DD's birthday on Sunday, I simply haven't been online at all. If you have emailed me or tried to contact me via Facebook - I apologize, I simply haven't even been online to check. I will be catching up on emails for the rest of the week and hope to get back on track before Monday.

Who's Your Most Missed Pet?

Wednesday 21 September 2016

WOW: Dressed to Impress..Just!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
What a week it's been! Thank you everyone for all those good thoughts you sent my way last week - it was an eleventh hour dash and I got over the finish line ....just. I know your positivity made all the difference. I got a second gust of energy just when I needed it and stitched my last stitch (the inside hanging ribbons) at the stroke of midnight and then my DD beaded until 2.30am. At 3.30 am we were driving to the airport.

This photo was taken at 11.30pm, it was the final fitting and you can see from our faces that we are tired, elated and relieved - all at once. All I kept thinking was, oh dear, it's close!

I can't wait to share more dress details and return to blogging once my feet return to the ground.

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday 14 September 2016

WOW: Burning the Midnight Oil

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
I now have 48 hours left to finish my DDs wedding dress. Luckily for me, I don't just believe in miracles, I rely on them. So far, I'm still working on the most complicated bodice of my entire sewing life. Please send plenty of positive thoughts my way, I need all the help I can get.

You'll find me behind my sewing machine...

What's Your WOW?

Wednesday 7 September 2016

WOW: Behind the Seams

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
The wedding is in 10 days and the dress isn't done. Am I busy today? Yes!

Here I am stitching up English coutil for a fitting whilst my DD tries out her new advanced foil snow jacket (she's getting married in the snow on a mountain top) and needs to stay warm in between dress shots! But first, she'll need a dress to stand in! It's been one thing after another with this dress and we only just purchased the last of the actual dress material on the weekend. So today, it's more work on the bodice which I'm boning. The lace has been been a big hassle with issues regarding the sleeves. I haven't had a moment to blog about it. My DD has been waiting around and kindly launching patterns for me by drawing them up on the computer while she waits, so it hasn't been unproductive but now we've entered the zone, She will be getting on a plane on the 15th of this month, so let's just say - I'm busy! Can't wait to share all the details with you soon...

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Stash Busting Stars - How I Make The Blocks

Once you know how, you'll be putting your stars together in no time at all. I sometimes hand sew them together in front of the TV, I love how easy they are.And of course, they're perfect for EPP too. 

Here's how I make mine
 Create TEMPLATE A and sew in TEMPLATE B
 Like so
 open the Y seam nicely
 now insert TEMPLATE C
so you end up with a diamond 'unit'
here are three 'units' waiting to be sewn together
 Next, create 'unit 2' which consists of TEMPLATE C & D
and then, sew the 'units' together, creating your block
As you can see, I like to use fusible for my shapes, it make assembling easier, especially as I usually put my stars together away from my sewing studio - I like to do it outside in the garden or bring it with me when we get away for weekends. It's also perfect for EPP. 
 and it's ideal for fussy cutting and showing off beautiful details

I'm completely in love with this quilt, it's so versatile. From fussy cutting an exquisite top to using up fabrics in a stash busting mission - it just works. And if you ever get bored, you can turn your diamonds inside out for a hexagon centre - I bet you weren't expecting that?!

Monday 5 September 2016

'Stash Busting Stars' Quilt Pattern is Launched!

WOW! It's finally here and I'm head over heels in love with it. Okay, yes I have been making my own Stash Busting Star Blocks since October last year - but I hadn't definitely decided on how I would arrange the quilt top. I wasn't worried because I knew it would be gorgeous- the fabrics are all stunning and the star just lets those beauties shimmer without overpowering each other. What's not to love?!

Each block is a perfect mini project for those times when you've got some new fabrics you want to play with or some old fabrics you want to use up to show off. So far, I have 9 created and have no plans on stopping. I might even keep going until my stash is eaten up! I like the idea of making 3 or 4 of these in different tones and why not? Patchwork star quilts never date and look so incredible!

What do I love more? The fact that each star needs only 4 fabrics? Or the fact that this is a pattern I can play with on and off throughout the year? I've made several in front of the TV in the evenings by hand stitching prepared pieces together and other times I've just taken out a hour or two in the afternoon when I wanted to make something - without starting something new. I really love this pattern! So, will you decide on a complete patchwork quilt of various background scraps, or opt for a red background like I'm thinking of? Or perhaps a light background takes your fancy? 

However you decide to make it, one thing's for sure - it's going to be a stunner!

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