Friday, 28 August 2015

Favourite places

Life can be challenging at times. On a scale of one to ten life is currently a seven on the challenge o meter :-). Nothing bad, not in the scale of you've got stage four cancer and its moved to you liver. Not on that scale, more on the work till you drop scale.

Soooooo as a coping mechanism I thought I would post about all my favourite places, then I can come back to this page anytime and remind myself of the good things :-)

First up is Fraserburgh beach, how much do I love this place, every time I go up to my mams I come down here for an early morning walk. This is me beside Tiger Hill on the beach, the scene of a lot of my *cough* mis spent youth ;-)

Next up is the kelpies, I love the canal paths where I live in Bonnybridge. I can cycle along them to the kelpies and back, how gorgeous are these chaps?
Bud and I used to come down to the canal paths for a jog every weekend and sometimes during the week. This is just outside Bonnybridge, it's a wee memorial to one of the residents who kept the path filled with beautiful plants, it always made me smile, so Bonny.
Can you have enough kelpies?? I think not!
Canal path by falkirk wheel Another favourite spot.
Although work is hectic and challenging at times I know I am lucky to love my job, I work with some great people. And when I need to de stress I get to walk this lovely chap around the campus at lunchtime. Rocco, our campus therapet and my floofy pal.
The rural, oh my god how I love the rural - the Scottish woman's rural institute, although officially they have dropped the rural from the name, much controversy!!
The ladies here are awesome, I mean totally brilliant, most in their 70s and 80s they have taught me so much, about team work about companionship about life the universe and everything. I don't know if institutions like this will die out or continue but I feel honoured to be a part of it. We meet in the Masonic hall once a month and have speakers and coffee evenings, this is from our annual coffee evening where we had a silent auction, and there was cake, always cake. The rural does awesome soup too. Love these ladies!


The North East Coast of scotland. My home and my heart. I was born and brought up here, it can look a bit rugged and bleak but I love it so much. This is looking toward Broadsea a small part of Fraserburgh.

Look! We even have library police!


Last but definately not least my patchwork room, my wee cave where I can hide away and play with beautiful Liberty fabrics in beautiful Liberty boxes.

And put fussycut economy blocks into colour order, living the dream folks, living the dream.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

My small world

It all started so innocently, there I was gratuitously scrolling through Instagram, as you do and BAM, there it was. My small world, by Jen Kingwell in QuiltMania. There was even a sew along to go with it, I love a sew along ...
So I purchased my copy of the special edition thanks to WH Smiths in Aberdeen, and off I went.
For about 2 months my cutting and prep table looked like THIS:
If you know me in real life you will know how much this freaks me out, clutter is my worst enemy, I have friends who are afraid to take books off my shelves for fear they won't put them back properly. Now I wouldn't say anything just quietly sneak in behind them and line it up 'Just so' ;-)
Oh man the mess, how can you see what you want?? This amount of clutter was necessary due to the VAST amount of teensy ickle bitty pieces in the quilt top.

It was also necessary to keep out all these *insert sweary word of choice* templates ... See me and templates?? Never going to get on, never.


But we came to a truce me and the templates did and soon part one was under way, forgive the shockingly bad picture.
I loved piecing the sky
I was so excited I even forgot to take the price off one piece ....
Did I mention l like the sky??
3.5 inch churn dash ..... but loooook my favourite IKEA pink polka dot is in there, I think this was my very last piece of that fabric.
Motoring along nicely here, I kind of stopped taking pictures because I was a bit embarrassed about my shonky fudging of the last sections, I couldn't do (be bothered ...) the little hexy half circle or the lovely triangle rainbow thingy, I did do the half circle rainbow whatsit thingy but it was very very squint .... I simply found some fabric panels with bunting on them and substituted those :-)
Soon it came time to quilt, using my awesome ninja FMQing skilz (non existent ...) I did an all over loopy meander, stipply thing.
And there we go, one 'my small world
Do you see the fab arrow fabric? That's your actual Japanese fabric straight from Japan that is :-) some of the lovely lecturers at work were in Japan for a conference and brought me back a pack of fabric, I used up the last of it in this quilt. They are occupational therapists and since this quilt is full of references to home and activities of daily living I am going to donate it to the department. I am the subject librarian for Occupational Therapy and while making this I couldn't stop thinking about the staff and the students, the literature searches I do with them and all the great work they do. I love being their librarian sooooo much. I hope they like it!




Monday, 17 August 2015

Retreating to my cave

I guess my patchwork room is my version of a man cave, or is a man cave a version of my patchwork room??

Dunno, but let say last week was "challenging" travel disruption every single day, unwelcome blasts from the pasts. Just a shed load of *stuff* which left me tired ratty and discombobulated.

Soooooo I did what I always do and retired to the patchwork room for a weekend of sewing and drinking tequila.

Friday night? Spent listening to Germaine Greer slam dunking Tories on any questions, I love that woman.

Right, moving with a purpose in Saturday. I need to make a beach bag for the Rural, has to be sunny themed. I have had this bee fabric from fair trade for a few years now. I couldn't bear to cut into it. Well I thought I was perfect for the happy camper pattern by MessyJessie from Love patchwork and quilting
Yep! I am pretty chuffed with this, I think it is only the second bag I have ever made. Fab pattern great instructions.
Next I thought I would make some progress with my ticket for the stitchgathering. We have to choose a word and put that onto fabric, 7x14 inches. Last year I went wild with my colonial knots bag, which I adored making, but it took its toll on my tendons so this year I wanted to keep it simple.
And I like the word, fun is something we should all have a bit more of and I know we will have lots of fun at the stitchgathering!
I guess I should also share my 'beta' version ... Whoops! Guess to forgot to mirror image when she was trading onto the fusible ... Too much tequila?? Surely not ;-)


Up bright with the larks on Sunday. I have had some bright cheery lacy zips lurking in patchwork room for years, this year I also bought some more with fabric and a pattern to make these cute little boxy pouches. It's from the eternal maker.
I am determined to use up ALL the bee fabric!


One is not enough so soon these two joined the brace.


Thinking of the stitchgathering I have signed up for the notions swap. I bought this great pattern for the flora supply case from clover and violet a while back and have been itching to see if I could make it, me and small fiddly things sometimes dEon't get on very well.
But ... Another fab pattern with clear instructions and lots of pictures, brill! So I am going to keep my test version but make another in my partners colours for the swap.
PHEW! Right, chilled out relaxed and ready to see what this week throws at me!
Cheery Bye!


Sunday, 16 August 2015

Arcadia Avenue

I knew when I saw this pattern from Sassafras Lane, that I had to make it. I've grown to have a comfortable relationship with foundation piecing after a fractious start. It took ages for me to get the hang of it, but now I do love it.

I chose to mostly follow the colour scheme they had in the book, I loved the inclusion of a swatch chart in the back of the book so you could keep track of what colours went where.

Once I got in my groove it all came together fairly quickly, there were some blocks which were more challenging than others.

This one had a load of teeny bits and pieces, the most challenging part was taking out the paper!


Once they were laid out I then had to decide what to use for the sashing triangles.

I did actually toy with the idea of not using any setting triangles and just putting them together like this.

My first thought after that was this rather vibrant orange.

I asked the collective hive on Instagram and there were mixed opinions, most seemed to think orange was good but not THIS orange.

Ok, the wonderful Nessa said wait for the festival of quilts and see if inspiration hits there.

So I did. The first thing I looked at was a bit of Kaffe. You can't beat a bit of Kaffe :-)

Hmmmm said Instagram, praps not?

Then i hit on this.


Softer orange with red polka dots, I love a polka dot I do :-)

So that became this:

Which then blossomed into this:

The original too vibrant orange will become backing.

So another one hits the "too be quilted pile"


Sunday, 9 August 2015


Annnnnd it's back to work today, so what better to do while having my porridge than remind myself of a fab holiday.
We have been going to the Pine Trees in Pitlochry for almost ten years now. It's been such a huge part of our life. We started going there because it allows dogs, so Bud always came with us.
Mark proposed to me here, we came on honeymoon here, it was the first place I wanted to go to when recovering from chemotherapy.
The staff are always fab, the food is amazing, it's quiet, tranquil, and just the prefect antidote for stress.
My two best boys!


This must have been five years ago, I think this was when we came on honeymoon.
Bud chilling in the lounge, he was always a star, everyone used to come over and chat to him, not to us, just to him! We knew our place.

This was definately on our honeymoon, we had just come back from a 12 mile walk and we're waiting for our cream tea.

Another honeymoon pic with my favourite red dress.

The Williams family.

Some gratuitous shots of the interior so I can come back to this page and remind myself of happy times.


Happy Dr Williams.

Cheery bye Pine Trees, will be back next year.