Wednesday, 24 September 2008

This is a peek at the bag I am making for Helen's Stitching Angels bag swap. It is from a gorgeous pattern by May Britt. There are more photos of the beautiful items the stitching angels have been making for the swap at this flickr group.

I really must finish it soon as we have to make a minimum of three items and I'm still on my first.

I was pleased to learn that the bag I made for Linda's bag swap has safely reached it's new owner Cheryl. I am sure she won't mind me saying that she has been unwell recently so has not posted for a while but she sent me a lovely e-mail thanking me for the bag. I must say it brought a tear to my eye to hear that she was so thrilled with the bag. I am so pleased that she has gained so much pleasure from receiving it.

My son had a friend over for tea after school a few days ago. While they were playing in his room I stole a few minutes in my sewing room. His friend came in, pointed at my sewing machine and said "Whats that thing?" For a moment I was rather shocked by his question but then I thought about it and realised there was probably no reason why he should have seen one before as his Mum does not sew and I presume no grandmothers or aunties in his family do either. I was brought up with a Mum who used to make me little dresses when I was small so I've always been around sewing machines. I showed him how it worked and explained that a similar machine (I couldn't face explaining overlockers/sergers) had been used to make his t-shirt. I think he went away very pleased with his new knowledge.
Bye for now, Maria.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Bags aren't just for the girls!

This is what I made with the fabric I showed you in my last post.
We borrowed my Dad's sat.nav. on our recent holiday in France. As he didn't have a bag or case for it I thought I'd make him one.
It has a little pocket on the inside to keep the sat.nav. unit in and the wires go in the main part of the bag.

I spent some of yesterday at a sewing friend's house. We sometimes have a sewing session while the children are at school. When I got home I went to my bag to get my rotary cutter out and IT WASN'T THERE! I'd left it on her sewing table. I'm sure you sewers out there must understand what a trauma it was to discover this. I'm not seeing her until Monday and I can't last that long without it so I've got to drive over to her work today to collect it. She lives about 35 mins away from here so luckily her work is closer.

Bye for now, Maria.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Bye, bye bag!

This is the finished bag I made for ********* in Linda's bag swap.
I hope she likes it.

I felt really sad to see it go. I just hope it arrives safely and that the mail services in both countries look after it well.

Here is the back. I didn't have time to do the same stitching as on the front so did this design. It is from a quilting stencil I have.

I bought these fabrics to make a birthday pressie for my Dad. It felt strange buying this colour pallette as I'm a girlie colour type of girl. I didn't think he would appreciate pink though! I'll show you what I made in my next post as I can't get the camera to load onto the computer. Hubby is off playing football and I need him to sort it out - as he does with most things!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

A duchess, a stately home and cornish pasties!

I'm hoping to go to the cinema soon to see the new Kiera Knightly film "The Duchess".

One of my reasons for wanting to see the film is some scenes were filmed at Holkham Hall in Norfolk.

We visited Holkham this summer. It is a beautiful stately home on the North Norfolk coast set in gorgeous grounds with a lake and wild deer roaming freely. The interior is beautiful and is lovingly kept by the owners, the Earls of Leicester. The Viscount Coke and his young family live in the hall in private quarters but they use some of the rooms in the main hall at times. We were told that guests had stayed in one of the very grand bedrooms the weekend before. The room has a fabulous four poster bed and an amazing en-suite bathroom with a huge bath in the middle of the room.

My son took the picture below. Not bad for a six year old. When I first saw the picture above I thought it was the same conifer but now I look closer I don't think it is.

They also have a museum at the hall with lots of old exhibits including carriages, fire engines, farm machinery, kitchen equipment, etc.
I particularly loved these old sewing machines. Not a Bernina in sight.

Here is another peak at the bag I'm making for the bag swap. It's not finished yet and is supposed to be posted by Friday - I think I know what I'll be up to this week!

I'm being spoilt this rainy Sunday afternoon, hubby is in the Kitchen making Cornish pasties for tea. He saw them being made on the "Hairy Bikers" programme and wanted to have a go. He's never made pastry before - he's in the kitchen with Delia learning how. Should be interesting!!!

Bye for now, Maria.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Just Playing

What am I doing? It's now 01.20, yes 01.20 and I'm playing on the computer.
I decided that my photos on the blog look pretty c**p and as we have photo shop I've had a play with a couple of the photos I've posted before to try and make them look better. So this is me just experimenting.
I don't actually know what I'm doing with photo shop but I've managed to brighten the colours a bit.
I really, really must go to bed now.
Maria x

Monday, 1 September 2008


Bonjour! We are back from a wonderful holiday in the Vendee region of south west France.

I knew we wouldn't be out living it up in the evenings so I took some stitching with me.

This is a piccy of my endeavours, it is part of the bag for my bag swap partner. It looks, on the picture, that it is sewn onto the pink fabric but I just put it on that for the photo. I will be using some of this fabric in the bag.

I have only recently started hand embroidery and wanted a book of stitches. We went to the local supermarket on our arrival at our holiday home and I wandered over to the magazine department as I like to look at the French home, gardening and craft magazines, I don't speak/read French but they have gorgeous pictures. Well, there on one of those twirly racks, staring straight at me was this book.

I think it was waiting for me. Even though I don't know what the instructions say the pictures are very clear so I should be able to work out what to do. As luck would have it one of my friends in our sewing group is french so I can ask her to translate any bits I need to read. You may be able to get an English version but I wasn't going to wait to find out! I had to have the book immediately.

Other people's holiday photos can be very boring so here are just a couple of ours. This is one my hubby took of our holiday home, it looks like it comes from the brochure but he managed take it before anyone went in the pool and withought anyone in the background. Our liitle house was the one with the green shutters. It had a little garden with a patio and the rest was sand, it was like having your own beach outside the door, great for a little one to make sand castles.

We took our car with our bikes on the back. There are some fabulous cycle paths around this part of France, we were very impressed with them. This picture is of William and me by a beautiful lake during a lovely cycle ride. He's not really the tall, he's standing on a rock!

We visited a beautiful chateau in the pretty village of Apremont, here's me and William again.

I should have some more previews of my bag swap bag soon.

I've had a message from the organiser of the swap, Linda, to say that she has heard from the lady making my bag to say that due to a natural disaster in her area she will not be able to get my bag sent on time. If she is able to read this I just wanted to send my best wishes and hope all returns to normal soon. I'm sure you all send your best wishes too.
I better go now as loads of washing and ironing etc. to do post holiday.
Bye for now, Maria x