Vive Le Tour 2013

Yeah! It’s the first day of the Tour de France. To me that means school is over and three weeks of sports viewing will begin. It’s also the 100th anniversary of this event, AMAZING! I absolutely love watching the tour. I love the commentary and seeing the French countryside. It also inspires me to get out on my bike more too, many will know I fancy myself a tour rider!

It might actually force me to get some knitting done amidst my latest sewing frenzy…

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I’ve been working on these countess mitts as a present. See here for a post I have previously done on the pattern and the pair mom knit for me.

Last year John and I were on holiday in France in the summer and were able to see the Tour go through the town of Auch. This year it works out that we will be there again at the time of the final stage. I’m very excited to think that we are going to be on the Champs-Élysées for the final stage on the 100th year. An iconic sporting finish, I can’t wait!

Table Runners

I’ve been wanting to whip up some table runners for awhile as I’d bought some Michael Miller panels that I thought would make an interesting and colourful Christmas centre piece…

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I did this first one as a quilt as you go method. I used fabric adhesive to sandwich the backing, batting and large bird panel. Then I sewed the strips on one at a time in a row, essentially quilting the strips as I went. If you google “quilt as you go tutorials” you can find many tutorials on this type of method. It was a fun way to do it but I don’t think it was necessarily faster…

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I was happy to use this pinky coloured Christmas fabric up too for the back, very pretty. I like the bright non-traditional colours. I think I might keep one for myself!…

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The panel strip also had some lovely smaller designs that I cut up and centred as the front of a second runner. I pieced the front first for this one and then sandwiched in the traditional fashion…

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I love the backing fabric too. I’ve also had it for awhile and it’s been waiting for the right project…

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I have more panels so I’m definitely going to make a few more. I’m in love with this mix of colours!

Cardiff Weekend

This last weekend John was like a kid in a candy store because we went to Cardiff for the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup. Many will know that John grew up paddling and coaching slalom. Most recently he has been writing for Sportscene which is a dedicated news website for all things paddle sport. We had media passes for the weekend so I was his little helper.

On the way there we stopped at a National Trust of course. Tredegar house was a stunning home and had an interesting history as being a girls school for many years…

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The best was the downstairs kitchens of course. My room…

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John’s room lol…

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Oddly, there were some stores in the stables area and one was a quilting shop! John, I mean I was very excited that they had new Aneela Hoey fabric at half price. These two were end of bolts and I was shocked to see them on sale…

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After this crafty moment it was mainly a weekend of paddling at the first class Cardiff White Water Centre…

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Me with Olympic paddlers…

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The paddlers make it look so easy…

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The weather was cold and fairly horrible all weekend except for Friday, as evidence by my crafty break…

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Ahhhhh iced coffee and comfy chair sewing hexagons! (I’m finished all of my Liberty print hexies and will post them soon)

After a great World Cup we headed home via Cheddar Gorge. Yes where cheddar comes from!…

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It was funny to be here because it felt a bit Canadian mountain town…

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It’s too bad that we couldn’t have spent more time going through the caves.

On a funny note…I love road trips in the UK because the “Services” are much better than Canadian ones and often good for a little laugh. Really, huh?…

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Why?

Ray Stitch

I’ve been meaning to post this all week but I guess better late than never. Before we went to see the K Fassett exhibit last Saturday we checked out a sewing store called Ray Stitich that I’ve been meaning to check out. It’s north London in the Islington area. I’m a bit annoyed because its very close to the knitting store Loop that I had taken mom to but I didn’t realise it was so close, oh well…

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It’s quite a funky feeling store. You can get a nice coffee and pastry. John was able to get a nice stool by the window to read and sip a cafe whilst I looked around. They were having a great looking pattern cutting class downstairs as well which I’ve now signed up for at the end of September. Also, in October I’ve signed up for an embroidering class with the wonderful designer Aneela Hoey. I’m very excited. I think I’ll get her to sign one of my quilts made from her fabric. Her blog has some lovely ideas. Check it out here. Lots of things to look forward to in the fall now! I’ll need that after another amazing summer cottaging at Georgian Bay!

At Ray Stitch I couldn’t resist a few things. This adorable Seashore dress from Oliver & S. I think Lady Fia needs one for collecting pebbles on the Jersey Beach this summer…

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I also got this lovely cotton/linen blend for some new tunics…

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Purchases came in a chic black bag with green tissue paper and Ray Stitch sticker. I’m a sucker for nice packaging…

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I saw this apple fabric and couldn’t resist. I couldn’t decide between these colour ways so of course got both…

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Some lovely sale fabric as well. I think the red will go nicely with the apples for a little girl’s dress…

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I also love these pinks for the back of an Oliver & S quilt I’ve done the top for, I’ll share later. I have some of the Paris Map fabric in browns and turquoise but I love this pale pink option. The pink Flea Market Fancy fabric was also on sale…

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John and I are in Cardiff this weekend for the Slalom World Cup race. It’s actually sunny so not too bad to be here. He’s doing some media work for them and I’m “helping”.

Kaffe Fassett

A few weeks ago I saw an ad in Molly Makes for a Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum. We looked at our calendar and yesterday was free so off we went on the train to London. We grabbed the Northern Line from St. Pancras to London Bridge and after a short walk around the station we arrived…

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I’m sure you just want to take a peek at this lovely exhibit so I’ll just saw it was a feast for the eyes! It was amazing to see his work over so many different areas of handy work. I bet many will recognise quilts from his books and sweaters from old Rowan magazines. Julie a the Needle Emporium probably has many of these in the basement of her store! Take note of the lovely tumbling block knit blanket wall hanging, Julie has this one in her house, gorgeous!

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In a separate room you could buy fabric and there was a colour workshop going on that was lead by Kaffe. You can see him on the bottom right bending down to sign someone’s book…

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The exhibit runs for a bit longer so if you can get there, do!

Half Square Triangles

I promised lots of projects this week. Awhile ago I shared the half square triangle baby Christmas quilt that I was working on, check out that post here. The top had been sitting around for awhile, wanting to be finished…

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I didn’t think about the quilting too much but it ended up really pretty. It was a tricky one to quilt because the half square triangles create a lot of bulk at the seams. I’ll need to rethink the pressing direction if I do it again. I started with two lines on either side of a seam like I usually do and then decided to do some zigzags down each row. After I’d done a few it worked out that the zigzags were forming pretty diamonds. I kept going with that for the rest of the quilt…

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I chose some pretty blue Riley Blake dots for the binding. Doesn’t it look so cute all rolled up…

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Of course it had to get sewn on though…

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I’m just finishing off sewing the binding down but here it is. Looks a bit wrinkled but looks better in person…

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Clean Up Little Red

To store most of my fabric I was using cute boxes from Ikea that had some red of course…

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Unfortunately, as a stash grows I found that the problem with these was that you couldn’t easily see what you’d hid away. Even though I tried to label them it wasn’t as fun as being able to walk in the room and gaze upon my lovely fabric. The only benefit I can see of these boxes is that they completely keep out the sunlight. As a replacement I found excellent clear plastic tubs that fit ideally in my large Ikea Billy bookcase.

First I had to clean up though…John had a laugh at this…

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It did get worse before it got better…

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At this point I’d made room for three more bins!…

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Oh so tidy and nice, mom would be proud. I struggled to figure out how to organise it all but I settled on this system: boxes for my unreasonable collection of Christmas fabric, boxes for collections of material that I wanted to keep together from the same designer, a box for solids, dots and stripes and the rest is split into darks and lights. That’s how it will stay for now!

June Sugar Block

I’m excited because I have a lot of projects to share this week. First, I want to give special attention to the June block from the Sugar Block of the Month Club from Stichery Dickory Dock

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Mom beat me to the punch this month and I was pleased to see her email a few days ago with this attachment…

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Gorgeous as per usual. I love the dash of yellow.

I felt the pressure to keep up and worked on mine yesterday…

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I love the square all cosy with the triangles around.

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I love the fussy cut centre but realised I’d done the same for last month’s as well but in the turquoise colour way. See if you can spot them in this photo of the half-way point. How did it get to be June already!…

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Grandparents Week

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing this last week but I can’t share the big project I was working on because it’s a pressie for Lady Fia and her ladies in waiting. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before I can share.

I don’t know where the time goes but I was looking forward to my grandparents visiting again and they have come and gone. At least John came home from Chicago so I had a phone to take pictures with. He even got one of my still dead iPhone drying on rice…

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On the way up to Harwich to bring my grandparents to their cruise boat we stopped at a few National Trust sites. Lavenham is a gorgeous town that has many original buildings from Medieval times. It was once one of the wealthiest towns in England because of the rich blue cloth they produced. We saw the Guildhall redone…

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I know it’s not Halloween but look at this mummified cat that they found in the chimney stack. It was meant to keep away evil spirits…

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Next, this house is still lived in, relatives were related to Beatrix Potter…

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On Sunday before we left them in Ipswich to catch the train to the boat we drove to see the North Sea. It was a rare sunny day…

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We also hit up a new John Lewis Home store. Grammie was very taken with this department store as I have been. John and I broke down and ordered some new white sheets and Grammie and Pa bought us a lovely thank you parting gift to replace our old nasty bath mat. I’ve been looking for a new one and couldn’t have found something better…

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I’m so lucky to have such adventurous grandparents to come and visit.