Sunday, 26 February 2012


Today we had to say goodbye to our hairy baby Ava. She was only 4.

She came to us the day before New Years Eve 2010 when her previous owners could no longer take care of her. She was a scared, timid quiet little hairy baby, who had already had a number of litters of puppies. We aren't sure how many.

She had less than her fair share of intelligence, but had an incredible amount of love in her that she was more than happy to share with us. She loved nothing more than a cuddle, a tummy tickle and a tasty biscuit. She was my little furry shadow, and followed me from room to room. She would wait by the door for me to come home from work.

Yesterday she started being sick. We thought she must have munched on something she shouldn't.

Today she was worse and my oldest son and I took her to the emergency vet, while my husband took the other 2 kids to the shops. We thought she would probably have to have either some anitbiotics, or some random object removed from her tummy. But it turned out she had very severe pancreatitis. Her poor little body had started to digest itself.

Pet insurance was on our to-do list. We even had the quote we were going to go with, but life had got in the way and it stayed on the to-do list and didn't get done.

The lovely, kind, frank and honest vet explained that we were facing a minimum of £1800 costs for treatment that would possibly not save her. A drip and pain-killers were not going to be enough. She wasn't well enough to even come home and she was in shock and agony.

There was only one decision we could make. We do not have £xxxx amount of money for treatment.

My husband rushed to the vet to pick up my son, and I stayed with Ava while she peacefully drifted away. It was less than 2 hours between us arriving at the vet and me leaving alone.


There's been a lot of tears in our home today. My oldest boy has taken it very badly. It's less than a year since we had to have our beloved Poppy put to sleep. That's too much for a 7 year old boy.

I'm not looking forward to getting home from the school run tomorrow. It's been over 10 years since I came home to an empty house :(

I think I'm going to take a wee bloggy break, but I'll be back soon. There's a lot of comments that I haven't replied to. I'm sorry, but I'm sure you understand

Fiona x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fabric Fiona and other Bee blocks

Fabric Fiona

So this is my attempt at a self portrait for my Brit Bee block for Miss February. you can read about what the lovely Jennie asked us to do here, and you can see another couple of Brit Bee portraits here and here. It's not quite what I had in mind when I set out but I *think* I like it.

When I first started planning this block I wanted to be peacefully sitting under a tree, in the sunshine reading a book. It's how I would love to spend an hour, if I had a spare hour, a tree to sit under, and some sunshine. I was a bit worried that if I put a tree trunk in, it would be really hard for Jennie to get my block to fit in with all the others, so I've left it out.

I chose turquiosey blues because they are colours I think of as calm and peaceful. I really hope Jennie likes it, and it fits in okay with the other portraits she'll be making into a quilt.

Bee Free Bees - Ems quilt

I've also finished adding to Em's block in the Be Free Bees. This Bee is great fun, if a little scarey. Each member of the bee made a starter block, which is then mailed round each member of the bee and each person adds whatever they like to the block. The rules are there are pretty much no rules. When Em's lovely block of birds arrived I just had to put them in a tree. After 7 attempts to get the cat sitting on a branch I almost gave up and appliqued a tree, but I got there in the end :)

do.Good Stitches February blocks - Joy

I've also finished my do.Good Stitches blocks. Jolene from Blue Elephant Stiches asked for rainbow stripes. I can't wait to see the quilt she makes.

Block for Rachel's quilt

Oh and ages ago I made a little block to go in a surprise quilt for Rachel, the founder of do.Good Stitches. All the members of the Bee contributed a block. She has now received the beautiful quilt and from the sound of things she loves it :) You can read about it here.

Happy Thursday!
Fiona x

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Simple stitching

Dead Simple Quilting

I've been stitching away on my Dead Simple Quilt this last week and have finished the quilting. This quilt is a bit of an experiment for me. Instead of wadding, I've used a flannel sheet. I've been wanting to try a flannel sheet for a while, but was worried it would all go horribly wrong. My Dead Simple quilt top was made on a whim, and I decided to give it a go :)

Sorry for the rubbish photo, my hands were not very steady, and my poor iphone just can't cope with the gorgeous rich colours. You get the idea though, I kept the quilting simple and went for circles thanks to the suggestion from a lovely Bee member :)

I've not got the binding on yet, but I'm LOVING it so far. I'm trying to figure out if I've got time to get the binding on before I pick my older 2 kids up from school. It's not looking likely because I'm looking after my 3 year old nephew today, and there are lots of dinosaur hunts/battles/parties/investigations going on with him and Dino-boy. I'll give it a go though :)

Swoon Block 3

I managed to get my 3rd Swoon block pieced this morning (while nephew was napping). I already loved Joel Dewberry's Heirloom line but I'm really swooning while I'm making these blocks!

Oh, and if anyone reading this is planning to come to the West of Scotland Modern Quilt Guild meeting tommorrow night, the venue has changed. It's now 7.30pm in All Bar One in Glasgow city centre - Excellent! I might enjoy a cheeky glass of wine while we natter :)

Happy Wednesday!
Fiona x

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Dead Simple

It started months ago, when the fabulous Lynne at Lily's Quilts posted her Dead Simple Quilt Along. I loved the whole idea of it, but I just never found the time to pick my pallette from the brilliant Design Seeds website.

Some really beautiful quilts popped up in flickr and on blogs, and I desperately wanted to make one, but still there was no time.

Photo from Oakshott website

The other day Lynne blogged a giveaway featuring Oakshott cotton fabrics. I've used Oakshott cotton before, when I made Judith's blocks for her Brit Bee Quilt and knew how gorgeous they are, so when I saw this gorgeous bundle on sale at Oakshott I couldn't help but buy it. It was delivered yesterday and I thought about it all day.

Last night after work I stayed up until 3am, pulling fabric from my stash to add to that gorgeous bundle, and cut them into 9" squares.

This morning I made this

Dead Simple Quilt top

I. Love. It!

The colours are far mare saturated and gorgeous than the iphone pictures show. It reminds me of exciting holidays to far-flung countries, when my boyfriend (now husband) and I used to save our pennies and disappear off with backpacks, a guidebook and only a vague plan of where we were actually going.

I want to quilt it right now. It's half-term and the kids are at my Mum's for a sleepover (which is why I could stay up until 3am!) so I think I make make a start on it, but first I'm going to get a coffee and stare at it some more, and dream about another exciting holiday......

Fiona x

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Fugly winners

Just a quickie to let you all know the winners for Lucy's fantastic fugly party!

Charm About You

I'm a bit late drawing the winners, but it's half term and I had a very busy day with my children before going to work this evening, so sorry for my tardiness for those who have been anxiously emailing me to find out the winners.....

Now I was having a quiet evening at work when I drew the winners, so there is no photographic evidence. You are just going to have to trust me. Mr Randon Number Generator was involved, and there may have been some slightly distrated technical support reluctantly given to customers during the draw......

The winners are as follows:

The Home Dec bundle: Emily at Strawberry Patch
My Aunt's Embroidery: Jo at Bearpaw
The Tapestry Wool: Jessie at Messy Jesse
The Love panel: Gill
The 2 Sandy Gervaise Spring panels: Pippa Parsons and Leanne at Daisy and Jack
The purple and coral quilt blocks: Kathy
The blue and gold quilt blocks: Kathy again :)
The dogs from the novelty bundle: Ceri at Inspired by Felix
The duck and Pooh fabric from the novelty bundle: Jodi
The last photo of floral fabrics: Susan at Canadian Abroad

Now, I'm pretty sure I've already emailed all you lucky winners ;) I've already heard back from a lot of you (thankyou!) but if you name is on the list, and you haven't heard back from me, please get in touch...... like I said, busy day and all :)

Fiona x

Monday, 13 February 2012

Modern Mini Day - RAAAAAH!

Hello! Today is my day on the Modern Mini Challenge Blog Hop. I've never participated in a blog hop before but when the lovely Jennifer asked me, I took a deep breath and jumped in! I'm really excited (and a bit nervous) but here goes!


While I was thinking of designs to make for a modern mini, I stumbled upon this happy scene in my son's bedroom and it just made me smile. My youngest son has a severe case of dinosaur-itis. We call him 'Dino-boy'


A large part of my day is spent marveling at the amazingness of dinosaurs with him and it seemed best to just embrace the dinosaur-itis for now and make him a mini quilt :) RAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!

This quilt is really easy to make, and there's a wee tutorial below if your interested in making something similar. Obviously you don't have to make a dinosaur!


To make it you will need a few supplies:
  • A shape. I googled 'Triceratops shape' and found this great silhouette which I printed out, but you could use any shape you fancy, you could just draw your own picture if you want.
  • Some bondaweb / wunder-under / vliesofix or similar
  • A pencil
  • short length of ric rac
  • some little scraps of fabric (I used some of the little scraps I saved from making my son's quilt)
  • Some pins, scissors, an iron, some backing fabric, border fabric (I used 2.5" strips), wadding, backing and binding


Start by drawing around your chosen shape on the paper-side of your Bondaweb (remember this will be the mirror image of the finished shape). I decided to keep the head and body 2 separate pieces, so I could use some ric rac to emphasise the triceratops' frilly-hood-thing.


Turn it over and start covering the whole of the sticky side of the shape in your little scraps. I chopped mine up quite small, but you could just use one piece of fabric to cover the whole thing if you'd prefer.


I wanted the head to be quite distinct from the body so I chose contrasting colours for where the head and body meet.


I found it useful to slip a white sheet of paper underneath so it was easy to see any areas I'd missed.

I gently touched each scrap with the tip of my iron as I went to stop them moving around.


Once all the shape was covered, I used larger scraps to make sure ALL the sticky side of the Bondaweb was covered to protect my iron, and I left the paper underneath to protect my ironing board.


Then press to fuse all the fabric to the Bondaweb, following the fusing instructions of whatever product you are using.


Cut out your shape


And carefully peel off the paper backing and fuse it to your background fabric, again following the product instructions. Be gentle with your scrappy shape, mine was quite fragile before I fused it to the background.


Now for the fun part!

I love ric rac but have never been able to use it in a project for my boys before. This was the perfect opportunity to squeeze a little bit in :)


Cut a length of Ric rac a bit longer than your triceratops' frilly-hood-thing


Turn each end under and pin in place.


Now you can fuse the head to the background fabric.


Sew around the whole shape, just inside the edge. I used dark grey thread and outlined it twice, to try to define the details of the head, horns and legs.

Then I added a matching border, before layering and basting.


I quilted the triceratops first with a really tiny stipple. This secured any flappy bits of the scraps and gave him a bit of a pre-historic scaly armour texture :)

Then I did a larger stipple all over the background. (Please excuse my dodgy quilting, I'm getting better than I was, but I'm still learning!)


Before attaching the binding, I made hanging pockets by folding 2 squares of fabric in half diagonally (I used 5" squares but the size doesn't really matter)


I pinned them to the top 2 corners of the quilt, and then carefully attached the binding.


Then I cut a length of wooden doweling roughly the same size as my quilt and popped it into the triangular pockets.


Then you hang it on the wall and enjoy the smile on dino-boy's face when he sees it :)

My oldest boy is doing a project at school about dinosaurs, and has pronounced this Triceratops anatomically correct.... Phew!

If you've made it this far, thankyou so much for reading! I hope this has shown you how easy it can be to make what looks like a complicated shape.

If you have any questions, please ask. I kind of made a lot of it up as I went along, but I'll try to help.

Thankyou so much to Jennifer for running this fantastic blog hoppping challenge. If you haven't already had a look at some of the inspiring Modern Minis to get you in the mood, you really should. There are fantastic prizes to be won!

Modern Mini Challenge

A BIG THANKS goes out to Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop for generously sponsoring all five of our fabulous prizes. 

The five winners will be chosen as follows: 

James’ choice (Jennifer's Husband chooses his favorite) 
Viewer’s choice Mug Rugs
Viewer’s choice Mini Quilts 
(mug rugs and mini quilts- the viewers choose from a selection chosen by myself and three other bloggers) 
Luck of the Draw (Random Number Generator chooses 2 winners)

So what are those fabulous five prizes? Hold on to your hats! 

Both Viewer’s Choice Winners will receive a fat quarter bundle of the FULL LINE of Flea Market Fancy reprint by Denyse Schmidt. 

James’ Choice Winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop

Both Luck of the Draw Winners will receive a $75 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop

Below is the line-up for the blog-hop: 

Contest Requirements:
1. Create a modern mini quilt or mug rug - only one entry per person
2. Enter your mini quilt or mug rug in the linky party at Ellison Lane Quilts on Monday, March 5.
You do NOT have to have a blog to enter. You may link a picture from your Flickr account.
3. Your entry (blog post or Flickr description) should include the size of the item

Now do I have to decide, do I make another mini to enter the competition, or do I enter this one?!

Thankyou from Fiona and RAH! from dino-boy x

Friday, 10 February 2012

I Spy Snowballs

Yesterday a lovely lady from Project Linus came round to collect the quilt I made with the help of the lovely ladies from the Joy circle of do.Good Stitches. While she was here I asked her some questions about the best size of quilt to be making, and I mentioned I had another quilt in the works.

When I showed her the blocks that have been arriving from the Joy ladies for the last month she got very excited, because apparently they don't get many quilts donated that are boyish. She told me 16 blocks (about 4 foot square) is the perfect size for a wheelchair quilt. 16 was the magic number because there are 8 of us in the circle and we each made 2 blocks :)

After that there was no stopping me, the kids helped me arrange the blocks when they got in from school and I managed to get the top pieced before dinner was ready.

I Spy a Snowball quilt

I can hardly wait to get this basted and quilted, because I think this will be the perfect accessory for a little boy's wheelchair!

Thanks again to the lovely ladies in the Joy circle who sent me the most fantastic I spy snowball blocks. I asked therm to follow this great tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew  using boyish fabric, and I love each and every block they made!

Hopefully I can do them justice with my quilting....

Hope you have a great weekend, and if you pop back here on Monday you will find my Modern Mini quilt for the Modern Mini Challenge Blog Hop

Modern Mini Challenge

Eeek! There have been some fantastic minis so far, I'm a bit nervous!

Fiona x

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Ahoy There!

Firstly Thankyou for all your comments on the Fuglies that I offered up for re-homing :) All the swap ones are now spoken for and I'll be drawing for the others on the 14th Feb.


I've finished the boat quilt for my oldest son. He seems quite pleased with it :)


I asked him to take it outside so I could get a picture of it and when I followed him out he was all rolled up in it, lying along the garden bench!

I'm not overly delighted with the quilting on this one. I decided to try out washable wool wadding and I don't think I used enough basting pins. I found it really hard to quilt and there are a fair few puckers and wrinkly bits that shouldn't be there, but my big boy is happy with it, and hopefully the wool will be lovely and warm in winter and cool in summer.

The backing is just random strips of blue and red that I had in my stash, but I forgot to take a photo of the back.

Happy Thursday
Fiona x

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Fugly Party Round 2 - Fabric to swap!

Okay I should have waited to blog earlier because I found more...

I'm linking agin to Lucy at Charm About You who is having a Fugly Fabric Party!

Charm About You

This time I have some stuff I would like to swap. All my stuff to swap has now been swapped! Thankyou!

I am not looking for the same amount of fabric in return, and am not too fussy with what I would like. I am trying to have a clear out and this feels like too much to just give away....

If you are interested try me, let me know what you would like to swap, and I'm sure we can work something out :) The rules of the fabric party are that it's open until 13th Feb, but if you need/want something desperately please let me know

For Swap - Layer Cake
First up is a layer cake Panache by Sanae for Moda. You can see the swatch page here  The Panache Layer Cake is Gone now too!

The Nostalgia Layer Cake is Gone!
For swap - Layer Cake
And another Layer Cake Nostalgia by April Connel for Moda. You can see the swatch page here
Sorry the Nostalgia Layer Cake is Gone!

The next one is GONE already - sorry!

Domestic Diva by Riley Blake - For Swap
And lastly a bundle. This is Domestic Diva by Riley Blake. 4 half yards and a panel in cream.
Sorry the Domestic Diva is Gone!

As I said, I'm NOT looking for the same amount of fabric in return, and I'm open to other stuff too. I always seem to need wadding, and fabric for binding, and I love charm squares :)

Edited I also always need background fabric if you have some of that you'd like to swap, and yardage for quilt backs

Just make sure that you are not a no-reply-blogger or leave me an e-mail adress so that I can get in touch with you.

Fugly fabric, yarn and quilt blocks free to a good home!

Disclaimer! Some of the following photos may not be suitable for fabric lovers of a sensitive disposition!

I just found out the Lucy at Charm About You is having a Fugly Fabric Party!

Charm About You

This is just what I need to clear my house/head/conscience! Now before I show you the goods, I have to tell you that not all the fabric/stuff below is mine, some of it is, but not all.

And I'm not calling all of it Fugly, it just is not loved enough by me, and will not get used. With that in mind, all the stuff in the photos below is free to a good home :)

Home dec scraps
These are scraps and off-cuts of home dec fabric, the bundle weighs about 1kg ish and some are quite large scraps. I got these from someone who was moving house and had a grand plan to make something, but I can't remember what it was I was planning to make!

Part finished embroidery
I think these came from my Aunt, and I think they are cover-things to go over the back of a chair.
The fabric has a sticker that proudly boasts 100% viscose. There seems to be a needle and thread attached!

Tapestry Yarn
This is my Mum's tapestry yarn. I don't know anything about tapestry yarn, but if you need more info I'll try to find out :)

All you need is Love, panel by Deb Strain for Moda

Anticipation Panel by Sandy Gervais for Moda.
I have 2 of these

Purple and coral quilt blocks
There are 8 purple and coral quilt blocks. Some of the fabric looks hand-printed/dyed
I got these from a lady who was going to throw them away. I had planned to make them into a charity quilt, but that was 2 years ago.
They are nice blocks and someone has spent a lot time on them. The fish in the middle is hand-pieced!

Blue and Gold quilt blocks
There are 11 of these blue and gold quilt blocks.
I got these from the same lady who was going to throw them away. I had planned to make them into a charity quilt. That was 2 years ago.
They are nice blocks and someone has spent a lot time on them.

Novelty fabrics
The ducks print is a large scrap
The Winnie the Pooh on the right is about 1/2 yard
The dogs is heavier weight cotton and is about a yard I think

The strip on the right is a FQ. The brown and purple flowers is about a yard, The other 3 are scraps

If anybody can offer any of these items a good home just leave a comment below before 14th February. Let me know what you would like. If more than one person wants a particular item, I'll draw it on 14th Feb. I'm happy to send these internationally, but if it's heavy (eg the Home dec scraps at approx 1kg) I would rather send within the UK, or have a wee contribution towards the postage. Just make sure that you are not a no-reply-blogger or leave me an e-mail adress so that I can get in touch with you.

Okay the horror photo show is over! You can relax again!

Thanks for reading :)
Fiona x