Friday, 30 September 2011

Blogtoberfest 2011! Yay!

Tinniegirl Blogtoberfest 2011

Last year I joined in with Blogtoberfest - 31 days of blogging on the trot -  
with Tinniegirl  and I just about managed it!

This year I'm doing the same again even though I know it's going to be much more difficult to keep it going.

But it's such fun I can't resist.  I discovered some wonderful people, blog hopping. 
You should go sign up here  and you could too!

(read more about Blogtoberfest here)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Blog of The Month? Moi? Bwahaha!

In other, non cat- or sky-related news I just got picked as blog of the month by the sewing directory!  

How cool is that??!!

ahem ... shame I haven't posted or sewn much in 2 weeks LOL!

I'm sorely tempted to do another Blogtoberfest ... I did it last year and it was fab ... 

I'm just really aware that in my real world I really don't have the time ... harrumph .. I can make time, right?

Are you finding that you're spreading your time thinly at the mo?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

sundown & a pencil case - a perfect day

After work today I dumped several kilos of marking and text books on my bed and then turned straight round and headed for the sea.

I just needed an hour of fresh air and contemplation. 

Today was beautiful; the sky was cloudless, the hot sun tempered by a cool autumnal breeze.  As I walked to the beach it was ‘starling’ time.


It was a really low tide, one of the few times of the year when we can see sand and walk far out …


usually this is a good swim out …


I needed a sunset, not that depressingly sudden change from light to dark that so engulfs us in winter.

I wasn’t disappointed.


Coming home and doing chores feels like a small price to pay … especially if you just happen to have rustled up a new mega skool pencil case to match your upside-downside journal !


See! There has been a teensie bit of sewing going on!

Tomorrow my bloggy friends, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take some time out and watch some sky.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

enter snort-worthy double entendre here

For any of you who remember the whole Brit Quilt Swap Regina Phalange saga … look what I came home to the other day … 


pussy and lady parts in perfect harmony


I think we can be confident that he’s finally made the transition from previous owners to pings household.  

That’s m’boy.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ch-ch-ch-challenging ….

Hello blogland … I’m not really back, but I just wanted to touch base and wave at you a bit. 

Life and Work are both ‘challenging’ at the mo. Work is interesting but I don’t have the time to be interested - 14 hour days filled with confusion.   Meh stuff in life is bad news enough to almost be intriguing, if I were a novelist, or a better blogger perhaps.

I went out for a walk yesterday.  It felt good to be out in the fresh air not thinking about anything.

There’s something about a man in a kilt.  For me it’s the suspenders and pleats.


I like the worn down heel  …  How many hours a day does he stand in that position, strangling Amazing Grace? 

Apologies, for the randomness of this post …

… and the biggest apologies of all to my lovely Japanese Scrap Bag Challenge participants. You lovely people are my top priority this week.  I will be in touch … I love what you’re all doing, I just haven’t had time to pay attention to online life at all.  I’ll be on it.  If you’re not doing the challenge do click the link and see what people are making.

But first I need to write three tests and plan a whole shedload of lessons.

See you all on the other side of the week … Let’s be careful out there  

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Ruby Star Spring Quilt - Finish!

A final reveal of my first ever real quilt for me. This baby is hand quilted, randomly tied with 1mm satin ribbon and self bound with the orange linen backing.

Quilt Top: Ruby Star Spring by Melody Miller for Kokka, Kona & Klona cotton solids; Orange, lilac, beige & acid limey lemon linen in varying weights. I dyed the acid limey lemon linen myself as I was desperate for a colour I just couldn't find elsewhere. Result!

The Ruby Star Spring is an absolute joy to work with, it is soft and forgiving and a lighter weight cotton linen blend compared to Melody's last line, Ruby Star Rising. I love both, and there's a teeny bit of Rising in this quilt to pay homage to my favourite line of 2010! This, of course, is my favourite line of 2011!

Batting/Wadding: bamboo (it's scrummy!)

Backing: orange linen.

I'll tell you something ... All that linen means one heavy quilt! It needed 10 clothes pegs, and I snapped four in the process when they pinged off ... so I've decided that as duvets have tog ratings, my quilts will have peg ratings!

Ruby Star Spring Quilt - Finish! by Sarah @ pingsandneedles
Ruby Star Spring Quilt - Finish!, a photo by Sarah @ pingsandneedles on Flickr.

Most importantly of all, it's on my bed!

I absolutely adore it and it makes me smile when I give it a final smooth down before lights out! I have to confess that I finished this on Sunday night, but we needed some time together before I introduced you all ...


Monday, 12 September 2011

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough ... Maybe

Maybe it's because today was my first day back at work ... a new term is always depressing (grief for the end of summer and loss of freedom ) yet simultaneously inspiring (love of autumn & winter and new challenges) ...

Maybe it's because I find myself deeply affected by the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (which of course for me is 11/9, therefore totally disconnected from any 'date' concept) ...

Maybe it's just some sad sad news of a many lives ago big time friend ...

I do have a mega (for me) sewing finish to report ... but today I just wanted us all to have a little boogie round our sewing bags ...

... be they full of stitches for hexies, bees, charity, babies, old slightly urine whiffy relatives, bread and butter commissions, scarves, socks, trees ... ourselves ... heck ... let's all just put the needles down for a minute ...

and shake our bits, bytes and butts to this ...

Even if you are ambivalent to the man, you've gotta love the groove and the whole rolled up jacket sleeve thing ...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Picky Palette

Are you joining in with Lynne @Lily’sQuilts Dead Simple Quiltalong?

I am … I love the idea of letting the colour do the talking for a change, instead of fancy schmancy painstaking piecing … I’ve had a bit of an HST glut, so it will be lovely just to sew squares together!

Also, I'll be needing a quilt back for my 4x5 bee, so I chose my Berlin flea market fabric as a jump off point for my palette, as these are the colours I've requested for my blocks …

berlin fabric

So I dived in and did a little online palette browsing:

I started with De Graeve because I liked the fact that they give you a choice of ‘dull’ and ‘vibrant’ palettes …

berlin palette

hmmm …. no turquoise?

Let’s try Big Huge Labs:

big huge

Meh ... nope.

Howzabout css drive ?

css drive

nuh huh …

OK, so let’s try jrm ?


Not a peep of blue?  Ack! Gah! Damn! Blast!  By now I was kind of losing the will to live a bit …

… one more online try: pictaculous


... well, getting there … but not really right either … now no lemon yellow and definitely a lack of vibrancy!

So, in the end I used the most reliable palette picker for me that I know …

Yup … ME! ... my eyes, my brain, my interpretation!

Here are my solid choices from backstitch’s website …

klona colours dead simple

The background of my fabric is actually white, but I like the way the grey mixes so well with the other colours, so I’m keeping it in there.  So, the palette picker trial did actually turn up something I wouldn’t have though of after all …

… And here they are in the flesh! I would add that the jade, lime and turquoise are more saturated and closer to the backstitch website pics in real life … this little lot will serve me well.

P1060582_800x595 berlin fabric

Now I’m happy :) I can’t wait to start!

To see other people’s palettes and ideas pop over to Lily’s Quilts flickr group.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

August! What a month …

Today I’m linking up to Lily's Quilts and Fresh Sewing Day.

I’ve had quite a busy month … I’ve been sporadically on holiday (yay!) and trying to fit in a load of sewing (double yay!) … as well as celebrating my first blogiversary last week!  (triple yay!)

I put in some long, long, hours of mad improv piecing for my ruby star spring quilt … which is now ready to quilt, despite the interference of the cat!  I’ve tried machine quilting it but my machine just can’t handle all that linen (it has a completely linen back too) it’s too heavy and too slippy and it looks ghastly, so on with the perle cottons it is!  I like a sofa project ;) 


There’s no deadline on this quilt as it’s for ME! (this will be my first full size quilt for me).

I also finished my Pingwheels of My Mind quilt for my goddaughter. using the wonderful Happy Mochi Yum Yum I won over at Lily’sQuilts :

Then I went a bit bonkers barmy for my For The Love of Solids Swap .. I started with fibonacci sequences and then mixed it all up. 

The quilting was even more bonkers … I used 3 bobbins for all that cosmic chaos quilting!  I’m going to sit and bind this tonight …


I’ve also been working on some hexies for the 4x5{modern}bee on flickr:

... and a little bit of test knitting (shhh don’t tell anyone)
with this wonderful linen & some variegated yarn I’ve had for yonks:


What a month! 

And now it’s time to get on with my Bletchley Park Quilt:

Blogiversary Giveaway - Winner!

Thank you all so much for your brilliant ‘best’ and ‘worst’ presents comments … some of them were truly hilarious …

Anyway, the winner of 16 FQs of Jovial by Moda …. is ….


WENDY!! from TheCraftersApprentice

168 comment

Congratulations Wendy!  Email me your deets and I’ll get this little bundle in the post to you!

Commiserations to the rest of you, but I really do urge you to go read some of the comments … they are funny and such perfect little snapshots of life …


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