‘Do you want to build a snowman?’

After some months of persuading Jake agreed to watch Frozen with Ellie and after going out and buying a new DVD player on Boxing Day as the old one inconveniently broke on Christmas Eve we watched it that afternoon.

Elsa obviously came and worked her frosty magic as a couple of hours later the kids were delighted to see that it had started snowing so yesterday we went out to watch people sledging down the slope of the big reservoir and to build a snowman of course!

Snowman

Marsden is such a beautiful place to live and never more so in the snow when it turns into a little bit of Switzerland.

Snow at Butterley 2

Snow at Butterley 3

Snow at Butterley 4

Snow at Butterley

We spotted this very cute robin on the way home looking like he was posing for a Christmas card photo shoot.

Snow at Christmas

My ornaments on the back door looked very fitting as well.

Snow -wreath

Off to Spain tomorrow for some sun so will see you in a couple of weeks, thanks for visiting.

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Lovely presents!

Hope you all had a lovely day yesterday – just popped in to post a few pictures for you. Firstly of the sewing case I have made for my sister-in-law as a present, thankfully got this completed on Christmas Eve.

Xmas 2014 sewing case

Xmas 2014 sewing case 2

I have taken the pattern from a case that I got in a raffle at a quilt show a few years ago. It is a really useful little travelling case and was very simple to make. The fabric is from Simply Solids – both patterned and plain.

The case is 11 inches in length and 7 inches wide so I cut 2 pieces of fabric and made a quilted sandwich using some very thin wadding. I used my marking tool again to quilt large crosses three times along the length of the case to hold it together.

The pockets are the width of the case and about 3 inches tall. I have lined them as well with wadding and stitched them to the case backing to hide the seam (stitched wrong way then folded back and side seams stitched). I also did some top stitching with zig zag to stabilise the wadding and make it look pretty!

Xmas 2014 sewing case 4

Binding was then attached – machined to inside then folded and hand stitched to outside, I also made a little pin cushion out of the matching labels fabric I had. I have used a big plastic press stud to fasten it as they are nice and invisible when sewn with matching thread.

Xmas 2014 sewing case 3

My lovely children and friends got me some very nice crafty gifts for Christmas, first this quilt history book that I have had on my wish list for a while, ‘Pieced from Ellen’s Quilt’. I love reading about the women who made quilts and this uses Ellen’s letters to tell her story of life in Wisconsin in the 1850s.

Xmas 2014 presents

Then there was more fabric – Ellie seemed to think I already have enough fabric so was not expecting this (though I had hinted!) but she and Kerry bought me all this lovely stuff from Very Berry Fabrics.

Xmas 2014 buttons

Xmas 2014 fabric 1

Xmas 2014 fabric 2

Xmas 2014 fabric 3

How exciting and means that I have lots of lovely hexi making things to take away with me.I am off to Spain for 2 whole weeks in a couple of days so lots of time sitting on the terrace sewing, lucky me!

Have a lovely New Year and see you when I return.

A Harry Potter Christmas

Our Christmas treat this year was a visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tours which involved a lot of driving around Watford for Ellie (which she managed very well – at one point it took us 20 minutes to go 800 feet!).

We had a very lovely time visiting the exhibition of props and sets from the films. We are now embarking on a Harry Potterthon and are watching all 8 films over Christmas.

The scale of the props needed was really brought home to us, from the volume of costumes for 8 films with a large cast and the amount of things that had been built, including sets of the rooms from the castle.

Dumbledore’s office was particularly spectacular, the many items that could not be bought so were made from scratch and the amazing detail of everything. Even the things that were only in the background of a shot were all beautiful.

Here are some of my favourite things.

The Banqueting Hall dressed for Christmas

Harry Potter

An Ice Sculpture from the Yule Ball

Harry Potter 2

The Clock and Pendulum

Harry Potter 3

A case full of curios in Dumbledore’s office

Harry Potter 4

The memories store in Dumbledore’s office – modelled on a chalice with so many beautiful tiny bottles

Harry Potter 5

Clocks and curios in the Prop store

Harry Potter 6

Lots of wands – all individually designed

Harry Potter 7

The Potions classroom – beautiful bottles with magic ingredients!

Harry Potter 8

Jake playing the role of Hagrid (well he is nearly tall enough!) rescuing Ellie from Privet Drive

Harry Potter 9

The wonderful model of the castle, all covered in snow.

Harry Potter 10

Harry Potter 11

It was well worth a visit and a lovely couple of days away – Ellie is now a lot better at parking in multi-storeys than she was šŸ™‚

Meeting a designer

There was great excitement in the valley lastĀ week (well Sharon, Helen and I were very excited anyway) as we went to Simply Solids to meet designer (and Editor of Quilt Now) Katy Jones, who was launching her line of fabric Priory Square.

It was very interesting to hear Katy talk about the inspiration and the design process.

And of course we bought some of the fabric – Helen and Sharon bought some of each design in the range. Here is Lisa , one of Simply Solid’s owners, who matches beautifully with the fabric she is cutting in her top made from one of the prints.

Solids Launch

Soilids Launch 2

Soilids Launch 3

I bought this half yard of that one which is my favourite – look at those lovely flowers!

Soilids Launch fabric 2

Helen won the raffle as well so got a lovely goodie bag full of fabric and thread.

There was also the great excitement of a big scraps binĀ – all at Ā£1 for 50g, so I got all of this for Ā£8 šŸ™‚ Look at the cute prints, I think these are going to be some hexi centres for gifts for little people. I do love those little robots!

Soilids Launch fabric 5

Soilids Launch fabric 6

Soilids Launch fabric 7

Soilids Launch fabric 8

Soilids Launch fabric 4

These areĀ also beautiful fabrics for patchwork, do not have a project in mind for this yet!

Soilids Launch fabric 1

Soilids Launch fabric 3

There is a post on the Simply Solids blog about the event. You can also sign up for their monthly stash club for 2015 which this year has a choice of bundles, this is a really good way to build up your fabric stash and I am using loads from my last subscription.

Soilids Launch 5

Soilids Launch 4

Happy Christmas to one and all, I have finished a sewing gift late last night which I will post about soon and am still working on some things – better late than never!

Thanks for visiting and have a lovely couple of days.

Look what I made!

The productivity yesterday paid off and I have now have  completed bag to go with the books I have bought for my cousin’s daughter Alice.

Alice's bag

This is one of the fabrics that I bought from the scraps bin at a stall from the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show for Ā£1, solids and buttons from stash so a very bargainsome gift!

I also used my new marking tool – the one that looks like a little pastry wheel with metal teeth to mark the lines for the quilted interior. I found it very easy to use and am proud of how symmetrical the quilting looks.

Alice's bag lining

I attached the strap with a large button and then used some others to decorate.

Alice's bag close up

Am very pleased and hope she will like it!

Now an afternoon of bee quilt and Netflix – and watching the rain, just another Sunday in Yorkshire šŸ™‚

Thanks for visiting.

 

Simple pleasures and a giveaway winner!

There is nothing more lovely than waking up on a Saturday morning (without the alarm going off) realising it is Saturday morning (yippeeĀ no work), knowing that Sunday follows Saturday (yippeeĀ still no work), remembering that you did all the housework in the previous two days (the joys of working from home meaning you can get the boring stuff done in between work) so realising that the next 48 hours are just yours for stitching šŸ™‚ Added to that the fact that next week is the end of term with a couple of Christmas dos to attend and thenĀ I am onĀ holiday!

And I have discovered (and made) a new Christmas ornament which is will share with you in a minute – I may just be the happiest bunny on the planet!!!

Plus my lovely son has returned from University for the holidays so not only is it very nice to spend time with him (and lovely daughter from next weekend) but he very kindly does the stuff like vacuuming, popping to the shops and jobs that need a tall person.

First the important task of telling you who won the giveaway for my 7th blogaversary. Thanks to the random number generator the winner is ‘Like number 3’ who is Pam in the UK.

Please could you e-mail me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk with your address so I can send your ornaments out. Thanks as well to everyone else who liked and for all the lovely comments.

We had another little ornament making session recently (or Crafternoon as Sharon discovered they are now called from my new Simply Crochet magazine). Helen, Sharon and Sammy from knitting group came for an afternoon of festive making and a little bit of fizz!

Apologies for the bad light, it was actually sleeting most of that day, but here are Sharon and Helen discussing the all important issue of which buttons would look best on Helen’s heart and stocking.

Crafternoon 2 - choosing buttons

She used some Scandi fabric in my stash to make these.

Crafternoon 3 - stocking and heart

Here is my work in progress picture.

Crafternoon pictures

27 Suffolk Puffs with little buttons attached turns into ……

Crafternoon 4 - puff bauble

A Suffolk Puff bauble!

I was actually looking for instructions on how to make a Suffolk Puff Christmas tree when I found this very cute idea.

I cut out all of my puff circles to 2 and a half inches originally, sewed them up and attached buttons to cover the hole and then pinned them on to a polystyrene bauble (2 small pins underneath each button) whereas the original tutorial says to sew them togetherĀ round an ordinary bauble but that looked a bit tricky.

The original Ā tutorial for the Suffolk Puff (Yo-Yo) bauble can be found here at Cut Out and Keep

I may well have to make a whole load more of these (probably not before Christmas) Ā but this could well be next year’s gift bauble to friends and family as it is so cute!

In my searching for Suffolk Puff Inspiration I found this lovely blog, Potter, Wright and Webb Ā that looks at all sorts of traditional crafts from the UK which I thought may be of interest.

So I do hope you are going to have an equally lovely weekend, I have now got to go and put the pedal to the metal (sewing machine not car) to finish up presents that need to go in the post on Monday.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Festive finishes

I am having a very festive weekend, the last bits of decorating have been done and last night was the Marsden lights switch on so the village now looks very pretty.

Our local Morris dancers and fire jugglers were out too so that was very nice. Along with a glass of mulled wine and a mice pie it was a lovely couple of hours.

It is attempting to snow today as well but it is mainly slushy hail at the moment, hope things don’t get too bad, my Mum and Aunt are flying in from Spain today as sadly we have a family funeral to go to tomorrow so the last thing we need is bad weather!

My tree is up and it is not only a Christmas tree but a memory tree, as few years ago I got rid of all the mass-produced baubles.

Xmas tree

Now I only have ones that I have made (which remind me of many happy hours of stitching) and special ones bought mainly on holidays or hand-made from other craft fairs.

This year’s hand-made by me have been added ,one flower and one hexagon so far, maybe more to come if I have time.

Xmas tree ornie 2

Xmas tree ornie 3

And here are the special ones both from Bavaria, our visit to RothenburgĀ ob der Tauber Ā where we found that amazing Christmas shop.

Xmas tree and ornies

Xmas tree ornie 4

I have also made a few more Christmas flowers for friends.

Xmas tree ornies- flowers

I am getting on well with the bee quilt, here is my inspiration. Details of the source in this post.

Vintage fabric bee quilt

And here is the progress so far, really enjoying doing this, am limiting myself to seven hexagons for this one due to lack of timeĀ and it will be appliqued to a cushion cover.

bee quilt progress

bee quilt progress 2

bee quilt progress 3

bee quilt progress 4

bee quilt progress 5

All of this is from my stock of vintage linen, embroidery, lace and crochet with added beads and maybe some embroidered flowers if I have time.

Hope you have had a good week, don’t forget to like my giveaway post from last week as I will picking a winner on Friday 12th Dec.

Thanks for visiting.