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Monday, May 13, 2013

A Blog Hop and a Giveaway


I have decided that I really have good manners and always say please and thank you as I have been taught.  So, I'm going to start my blog hop post with HUGE thank you to our hostess, Mary, and to Madame Samm, the overall chief cook and bottle washer for all of these hops.  Thank you so very much I really appreciate all your hard work.

So it's my turn today.  Bet you thought I was going to show you something with a bird on a quilt block or mini quilt.  Well you would be so wrong!  In fact I am terrified of
real live birds and always have been, even as a small child.  I wanted a Parakeet in the worst way and for my 11th birthday my parents bought me one and I was so terrified of it that they gave it away to the little girl of the lady that cleaned for my late mother.  

But I LOVE sewing them with a vengeance.  So now I am going to show you a few of the things I have stitched and made with birds as the main theme and do hope you like them because I love them all.  Some have been made as gifts and some I made for me, so here goes

This was made as what is known as a
Sweet Bag and was actually
12" x 9" and was such a joy to make
and I put the recipients initials on it

Now we go from BIG to really little and it
is a scissor fob
This was a birthday present for
a Friend and her birth year is in
the middle of the birds and it is a pin cushion
This is my most favorite thing of all and
it was designed by Blackbird Designs
and instead of stitching it over 2 threads
I stitched it with one thread of
floss over one thread of 32count linen
It comes out a quarter of the size it should be
Now for the giveaway which has graciously been provided by Julie of Intrepid Thread 
1.  Go to Julies store which you can find the link to her store here <---link> and tell me in a comment on the post on my quilting blog <---link> what is your most favorite (or favourite) thing that she sells and;
2.  Like me on my quilting blog <---link> please because the more likes I get the more sponsors I get and the more sponsors I get the more giveaways you get so leave me another comment telling me that you follow me please.
This is what Julie is giving to ONE lucky winner.
It is the cool colorway of Bonjour by Amanda Murphy
in Fat Quarters YAY
This giveaway is ending on Saturday May 18, 2013 at NOON because to have it for one day really isn't good enough.

Now please give and visit the other blogs that are taking part in this and they are:

Tuesday, May 14



As Warner Bros would say
THAT'S ALL FOLKS 

but I do hope that you have enjoyed my turn on It's For The Birds

I Hope to See you soon 
Patti xxx 
American by birth and MOUTH 
but British in every other way

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sorry and all

I know I've had this blog for a long time and I did enjoy it for a really long time and hope you did too.  But the time has come for me to stop this blog as I haven't really hand stitched anything for a really long time.

So I just wanted to thank you all for reading this and following it but it's time for it to go.  My other blog will definitely still be live as I love quilting and if I do do any stitching I will put it on A Yankee In Queen Liz's Court.

Until Next Time
Lots of Love Patti xxx

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Threads, Threads and More Threads

This is a whole minefield of colour and textures and types.  Now you can go into places like Hobbycraft here in the U.K. and buy really inexpensive, okay cheap, threads.  They generally come in packets of 12 different colours but the problem is if you run out of the colour you are using and think you can get it again you probably won't be able to because they are so inexpensive they can't repeat the same dye lots again.  I'm not dissing them exactly because if you have a small project you are going to be doing they might be exacty what you want and can afford and better inexpensive and be able to do what you want than more expensive and you can't.

There are a whole myriad of different threads you can buy.  Now I used to always buy my fabrics and threads from the US but now with their huge hike in postage costs as well as having to pay Tax + the £8.00 handling fee when what you have bought arrive here from the US it really isn't worth it anymore.

Luckily enough we have a wonderful store here in England that has almost every thread made and known to man, woman and child and the shop is called Sew & So and their service is superb.  I don't work for them I'm just a very happy customer who has been buying from them on and off for years.  There are other companies that sell treads in this country that give you just as good service but I found Sew and So first and have just stayed and purchased from them only because if you get good service I find it pays to stay with that company.

Threads

I am not going to show you every thread because there are just too many companies popping up that I don't even know about but I'm going to show you first:


Cotton Threads: There are plain threads provided by DMC and Anchor.  Both companies make a huge range of threads and when you buy a colur from one of their ranges you know that every single time you purchase the same number thread you are going to get the same colour.  So if you run out of a colour near the end of a project you know 100% that you will get the same colour if our order the same numer from the same company.
DMC - this is my favourite thread
and it costs £0.71 per skein
This is Anchor Threads and they are £0.77 per skein

Then there are cotton threads that have been hand-dyed to be variegated in either colour going from very light to very dark or from one colour to another.  These are some of the companies that make them:

Drangon Floss which is £1.25 a skein
Dinky dyes make variegaged threads
in both cotton and silk.
Cotton is £1.88 a skein
Silk is £2.81 a skein
My favourite which is made by
Threadworx and is £3.24 a skein
but is 4 times longer than any other thread
There are more variegated threads but I wanted you to see these cottons.  There are also hand-dyed silk threads which are wonderful to work with as well as solid silks which are also amazing to work with but very expensive.  I have two projects that I have kitted up with silk threads and haven't even been started.  Boy what a wastrel I am.

The easiest thing is to go to all the companies websites and see what they do.  Just don't compare the prices between what they charge in the US and what they charge here.  Don't forget that the prices you are seeing in the States are prices before Taxes.  That's right taxes in the plural.  In almost every city you will have to pay City Tax, State Tax and Federal Tax and all prices quoted in the States are pre-tax prices.  I used to get really cross about the fact that they paid so much less than we do but in actual fact they generally don't.  Please also don't forgot that the stores that bring in have to pay the postage costs plus 20% VAT and the dreaded £8.00 handling fee which is what I, personally, hate.  The VAT I would pay here anyway as it is calculated in with the price you pay here but not the £8.00 handling charge.

Well the last post will be on fabrics and I shall try and do this by Wednesday of next week.

I hope this helps you and if you want to see what the various different manufacturers have to order just Google their names and have a look.

Until Next Time
Lots of Love
Patti xxx

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sorry this is late


Where to Start Your Stitching
Most places you look online will tell you to start your stitching in the middle. You don't have to do this - I NEVER ever start in the middle.  So long as the piece of evenweave or linen you are using is large enough you can start in the top left hand corner which is exactly where I start every time.  If you need to find out how large a piece of fabric you need I suggest you go here and it will figure it out for you in an instant!!  I always leave 3" on each side extra if the piece is going to be framed.  Otherwise I leave 2" and then start the amount I have added.  So if I've left 3" all round I start stitching 3" down and 3" in on the left hand side.  I personally HATE stitching from the middle.
How Much Floss Do I Need
I don't mean how much floss you need to to finish a project but how much floss to use when stitching.  Like do you use one strand or two?  Now this is really up to you.  But this website gives some good advice.  See I can agree with a website sometimes.  But then again everything is what YOU want to do and how YOU want to do it.

I personally don't like it to look bulky or heavy (sorry I can't think of the word - it's this getting old thing again)!  I like it to you - I'm sure the word starts with a p and if I remember I will change it on here!!!  I only use 28count linen/evenweave if I'm stitching one over one so I really only ever use one strand of floss.  But again it's how YOU like the stitching to look and what YOU want not what I or anybody else wants - not even the designers.  It is always about what YOU want and how you WANT.  Whatever I am telling you is how I want it and I start and how I finish - but the choice is always yours and what YOU want.  Still haven't remembered that darn word sorry I'm giving up now!
Hoop or no Hoop
This I covered the other day pretty much to be honest.  But this site has other ideas to me.  And YOU might want to follow what they have to say.  Or have followed what this person thinks are good ideas.  Me?  I don't agree with most of what this person has to say and I have been stitching for 15 or 20 years and I am kinda old.  I'm only admitting this here you understand - the fact that I'm kinda old(ish) but if you look at my friend Lana's picture (she had her hair cut yesterday and she looks amazing - she looks REALLY young).  I'm told I look young but she makes me look like a great-grandma!!!  Okay enough off topic.  As I said before my stitches are even I practically NEVER use a hoop or frame but that is MY choice.
Floss & What to Do and What not to Do with your Floss
Never ever cut your floss double the size and then fold it in half and start like that because half of your floss will have the knap going the correct way and the other half will be going the wrong way and you will get into the most awful mess and it will knot and stuff and you don't want this because it makes your life harder and I hate making my life harder.  I am so all for easy.
How to Start your Work
How to start your stitching without having to leave a tail.  I have been using this way for years and it works to both start and stop your stitching.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  You can also do this with using one or two strands of floss.
  • Diagram of thread paths for pinhead stitch to start a thread on linen or evenweave

    pinhead stitch path diagram

    Starting a Thread
    This diagram is for a pinhead stitch used to anchor a cross stitch. The pinhead stitch will hide under the cross.
    This diagram assumes the cross will be stitched with the thread coming up at 1, going down at 2, coming up at 3, going down at 4. This matters! Bringing the thread up at 1 cinches the pinhead stitch to the ground fiber. If you want to start your thread in another corner, rotate this diagram so the number 1 is where you want to start. If spatial puzzles aren’t your thing, scribble this diagram on scrap paper and physically rotate it. 
    The path is as follows: Thread comes up at a (hold the tail on the back side with your finger), goes down at b, comes up at c, goes down at b again, comes up at 1 for the cross and is pulled snug.
  • Diagram of pinhead stitch with thread pictured

    pinhead stitch thread diagram

    Here’s a thread diagram. Again, it came up at a, down at b, up at c, down at b again, up at 1. You can see how the starting thread is pulled snug against the ground fiber on the b-1 stitch.
  • Diagram of the pinhead stitch under the cross stitch

    pinhead under a cross stitch

    The cross stitch on top of the pinhead is another layer of snugging and cinching as well as a visual cover. Thread, unlike the lines in my diagram, will fluff out and fill much of the square. Plus, your pinhead will be the same color as your cross, right?
    You can trim the thread tail very close to the stitching on the back.
  • Numbered diagram showing the path of a pinhead stitch that ends a thread

    pinhead stitch path diagram

    Ending a Thread
    Same, same here. This diagram assumes your cross ends going down at 4. Rotate as needed.
    Now, most tutorials on ending a thread with a pinhead stitch recommend the following:
    After the cross, the thread comes up at a, goes down at b under the cross stitch, comes up at c, and goes back down at b to the right of the a-b stitch. The whole pinhead is stitched under the cross.
    I disagree! Here’s why:
    Visualize the starting pinhead stitch. The a-b thread tail is caught in a loop made by the c-b-1 stitch. That loop cinches the a-b tail to the ground fiber around which the loop passes.
    If we bring the thread down to the right of the a-b thread when ending the fiber, where is the loop that cinches the tail in place to the ground fabric? There is none. That tail is hanging out.
    Therefore, I recommend this path:
    After the cross, come up at b, go down at c, come up at a, go down at b and bring the tail through the loop made by the 4-b-c stitch. Again, all this is done under the cross. Now the tail is cinched to the ground with a loop.
    You could also go up at b, down at c, up at b again, down at a and through the 4-b-c loop. Whatever. Just make a loop and take the tail through it, snug it up, and trim.
  • Thread diagram of pinhead stitch under cross stitch

    pinhead stitch thread diagram

    This diagram is the same as the tutes that describe the method I’m opposing. They’ve merely interpreted the drawing differently—incorrectly, in my opinion.
  • Thread diagram of pinhead stitch on aida fabric

    pinhead stitch on aida

    The pinhead stitch on aida fabric is the same, except we have to pierce the fabric between the holes. Some people claim that the stitch is harder to hide under the cross, and I would guess it’s because evenweave fibers have more give and can be snugged under the cross. To compensate for the lack of give with aida, try not piercing the fabric precisely in the middle between the holes but, rather, make the stitch as small as possible. A sharp needle will help.

pinhead stitch variations and ideas

The pinhead strategy uses a snug loop to secure a thread. It also employs the strategy of having the tail reverse direction. Think about it: a tail that extends straight out behind the working thread is easier to pull out than one that is going the opposite direction. That turn offers resistance. Add another turn, and you’ve got more resistance still.
Yet another strategy to secure a thread tail is to split another fiber with it; it could be a ground fiber, a fiber from another stitch, or even the working fiber itself. Running one fiber through another adds resistance: it’s harder to pull out, especially if it’s running through a tightly twisted fiber. Run that thread tail through several fibers and you’ve got even more resistance. This is super-handy in blackwork if you want a reversible piece. Thread tails can be run back through the working fibers and ground fibers in the same line they originally traveled. Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky!
How to make sure the KNAP is going the correct way
If the knap is going the wrong way once again you are going to get into an awful mess and find your floss knots up like BIGTIME!!
When you cut your floss just light tap on the top of the 6 strands you have cut and if they open up and like kinda like a flower then you know the knapp is going from the top to the bottom and this is correct.  If it doesn't then just turn the whole piece upside down and try again and this time it will work.  Now you can just take out one or two strands and start your stitching as above and everything will be fine and no knots.
Okay I think this is enough for today.  I will be back soon with the final part of this tutorial and that one will be all about the kinds of floss you can buy and how to use them.  So ...

Until Next Time
Lots of Love Patti xxx

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's Hoops, Q-Snaps, Frames & Stitching In Hand

I know I said I would start with how to start and finish but this was just too good not to share.  First I'm going to be discussing whether to use a hoop, q-snaps, frames or stitch in hand.

Please remember that whatever is in here is MY opinion which may, and probably, will be very different from your opinion.  You might be sewing with a hoop and be happy, or a q-snapp or anything else I didn't like.  But remember I DIDN'T LIKE it - not you.  So if you like it great.  I just didn't like most of these things for the reasons I stated.

Wooden Hoops
Well if you want to leave marks on your work from the hoop then use one.  If you look at anybody who uses a hoop you will see hoop marks.  Hoop makers advise that you remove the hoop each time you finish your stitching.  But let's be honest most of us either stitch for so long in a day that by the time the hoop is removed it's too late and the marks are already there.  Although if you wrap white cotton bias binding around it, it might just help but I really don't know as I gave up on this hoop years and years ago.  I couldn't get the hoop marks out of what I had stitched.  Wish I'd kept some of these though because they make amazing frames for wall art.  I never thought of that though - wish I had because then I wouldn't have chucked them away but kept them for something else.

Plastic Hoops
Not much better than wooden hoops but they do have spring loaded ones and also Clover makes one that I bought a couple of years ago thinking it might just be better but alas it wasn't so I wasted yet more money.  So what else is new I hear you ask yourself.  Nothing absolutely nothing!!!

Plastic frame
Clover's Frame




Q-Snaps
Well I didn't like hoops so on to the next thing.  What is the next thing?  Well it was the British version of Q-Snaps.
And here it is in all it's glory.  It was a lap stand though I did buy some Q-Snaps from the US and they were all the same.  They work but if your fabric isn't large enough to be clamped by all sides it just goes slack really fast.  Even if it is big enough the cloth soon works itself loose unless you buy fabric that is way too big for the frame and you can put more underneath the clamps in which case it doesn't move that much but your fabric - guess what???  Yep you have it ---- your fabric is marked again!  I just thought that maybe if you add spare fabric under the clamps it might just work.  But I wasn't that smart way back when I tried these.  So again dumped they got!!  I'm happy to say that no way could I have used these for anything else.  Except for maybe plumbing but guess what??  I'm not a plumber so phew!!  That was close.

Frames
Now we are talking.  I joined The Sampler Guild and the women here were using this frame:
This is made by Needle Needs and you can buy it here
I know it's made here in England but I'm 100% sure that you can buy it and get it shipped to other countries.  When I first bought it I bought the floor stand too - I mean now would I do anything by halves .... I DON'T THINK SO!

Then I bought the lap frame which I love.  I sold the floor stand to a former friend because I just wasn't using it and it was just sitting around here doing nothing.  I prefer the lap stand because I can put it on the table and stitch two handed.  Which isn't hard to do once you get used to it.  Your non-dominant hand is on top and your dominant hand lives underneath what you are stitching.  So you bring the needle up with your non-dominant hand because you don't need to see what you are doing and bring it down into the hole with your dominant hand because you do need to see what you are doing.  
This is the Aristo stand which can also be used on a table top Stand
This is what I'm sorry I never bought:
This is the Light and Magnifier in one and is £93.86
but not to worry I have until August to save up for it because
that is when I'm going to the Quilting Exhibition in Birmingham
Now for the finale of my love of Needle Needs Millenium Embroidery Frame and all the other things you can purchase from them here they are in action for your delight:


I have to admit that I only use this for large projects of which I have many.  And They Sinned to mention my biggest sitting there doing nothing project.

If you want to see this in
all it's glory please go here
Stitching in Hand

To be honest this is my favorite way of stitching.  I love feeling the fabric and sitting on the couch with my stitching stuff all around me (DH hates it but never mind he has NEVER been a good compromiser it's his way or no way).  I LOVE stitching and have missed it a lot over the last couple of years but I've only just realised it.  You should only stitch in hand if your stitches don't look any different than if you stitch using an aid.  It is a much faster way of stitching because if you are using a single color floss you can stitch one row going ////// and go back doing this \\\\\\.  If you are stitching using a variagated thread like Caron Waterlillies or Cotton Sampler Threads by Gentle Arts (otherwise known as GAST) then you have to complete each stitch as you go along, but that's still easier in hand, for me anyway, than using a frame and that includes my lovely frame above of which I have two sets of side stretchers and numerous sizes of bars.

To finish this section I've realised a lot of things since my sister passed away and stitching was a huge part of my life for a long time and then I got angry over something and never stitched again.  What a fool.  You really only do live once so please don't muck it up.  Life is way too short.  Yesterday I was a newly married woman today I'm a grandma of four!  I hope this has helped at least one person see the options and from my experience realised what they want to do and/or use or not as the case may be.

Until Next Time
Lots of Love
Patti xxx

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Friday, January 18, 2013

It's been ages I know

Yes I sure do know it's been ages and ages since I wrote on this blog but now I am.  Well this is about stitching you'll all be pleased to hear but not about what I've been stitching because I haven't.  Since my sister passed away I just can't get my head together but I will soon so in the meantime I thought I would pass on some tips because it's been ages since I've done that.  I will start from the beginning since there are loads of people who either haven't stitched for a long time or have never stitced.  And now I've started looking into all this I think I will have to do a series of posts on this as it is HUGE!!!  I will start with generalities and then go into each subject in much more depth.

Linen, Evenweave or Aida.

Well personally I dislike Aida intensely.  I didn't know anything when I started cross stitching.  So I bought a kit and it had Aida in it with cut threads and I found out real fast that I didn't like the feel of the Aida and there wasn't enough  of a couple of colors so I went out and bought what I thought was the same color.   Not only wasn't it the same color it probably wasn't even the same make but I didn't know then that there were different makes of floss (I didn't even know it was called that).  So I quit stitching it and threw it away and got ready to start again.

Next I went into a cross stitch shop that is no longer there and I told the lady in the store that also sold knitting that I wanted to stitch something special for my next sister down's 50th birthday and she showed me a Just Nan chart.  At the same time she told me that there was a really great shop in a place called Woburn which is around half an hour away from me so off we went - that's my DH and me.

Well I got there and the shop, sorry it's not there either anymore and we can't remember it's name, showed me so many Just Nan charts it was untrue.  So I chose one to stitch and then chose some Evenweave which was 28count Lugana by Zweigart and it was called Rue Green, but they don't even make that color anymore.  So, I just went gung ho forward with not just cross stitches but really different stitches as well which were beautifully shown by incredible step-by-step instructions from Just Nan.  So if any of you are New to Cross Stitch or haven't done any in a very long time do yourself a favor and start with 28count evenweave.  Linen has thick and thin strands and makes it a bit harder than evenweave. Which evenweave?  Well it's really down to choice.  Me?  I still prefer Zweigart Lugana if I am going to use Evenweave which now I mainly only use for over one - that is one stitch over one thread and is much easier to do on Evenweave than it is on Linen which can be a nightmare.  But that is just my opinion.
Dream Garden
by
Just Nan
No. 25
And that was the color of the Lugana but now Just Nan tells you to stitch it on 32count Linen but 15 years ago she did say Lugana.  Boy how times have changed.  It had beads and everything.  Nobody said I shouldn't - so I did!!!

Needles & Do I Use A Needle Threader?

Needles?  Boy is this ever a can of worms.  I think I have tried every needle and needle threader known to man.  I think it's a really good idea to try some differnt needle - I did and that way I found out what I really liked.  I tried loads of them every size, well between 24-28 because that is the size they make embroidery needles in.  Just about every make.  Every length.  Big ones small ones middle ones.  I decided in the end that I like John James Petite Needles in any size from 24-28.  They are my favorite but really any Petite needle would be fine.  Would you believe it? John James needles are made here in the U.K. but you can't buy them here because most Cross Stitch shops have closed and even when they were open you couldn't buy them here!  But you try them out and find what you like the best.  If you live in the States you have a huge choice of needles.

Hoop, QSnaps, Frame, or In Hand

I stitch in hand and don't use a hoop or frame unless what I'm stitching is very big and then I use a frame.  I don't use hoops because I just don't like them.  They leave marks in your work and I stitch very evenly so don't need one but if you don't stitch evenly then you definitely need one.  The frame I use is made here in England and is made by Needle Needs but I shall show you this one and other types of hoops and frames you can use, if you want to and I shall describe them all when it's their turn.

Kits or Not?

For me - no a definite no except when it comes to buying Shepherd's Bush kits - then I will.  I LOVE Shepherd's Bush.  I love the fragility of how it looks when it's stitched becuase their kits are stitched over 2 with 1 thread.  I found out from my first kit that I didn't like Aida and that I didn't like somebody else cutting my threads for me.  So I don't do kits generally but again this is my choice.

Threads

There are loads of different threads.  The two main cotton ones are DMC and Anchor. Stitchers are in one camp or the other generally.  I love DMC and don't like Anchor because I find the feel of Anchor too stiff.  They both offer the same things that if you buy No. 501 today or 15 years ago it will be exactly the same.  There are loads of different thread makers out there now and I will give this subject a whole post of it's own.  It's another HUGE topic.

How to Start and Finish

There are a few different ways of doing this.  I only ever use one way and that is called The Pinhead Stitch.  The main thing I can tell you here is that never ever ever double your floss and use a loop at the back of what you are stitching.  I used to do this and my floss used to be impossible to use.  It used to knot up like nothing on earth.  Why?  Well it's because believe it or not the floss has a knap to it.  And if you double it up then you are stitching with the knap going the right way on one thread and the wrong way on the other.  The other thing is to make sure that you always stitch with the knap going the right way because if you don't your floss will knot up just like it does when you have one thread going the right way and one thread going the wrong way.

How can you be sure your floss's knap is going the right way.  Well if you take it from the skein of floss itself and measure it and make sure it is no longer than 18" it will be the right way and you will be able to easily remove one or two pieces of floss without anything happening to the other 4 or 5 strands that are left.  If you have rewound your floss onto cards or cut some and put it on sorting cards then when you go to take the floss off of the card all you have to do is gently tap the top of the cut floss and if it looks sort of like a flower then it's the right way.  If it doesn't all you have to do is upend it and try again and I'm sure it will look like a flower.  Then take one strand out and then the second strand.  And that's where how to start comes into it's own.  So look out over the weekend when I think this topic is so important I will start with this and have pictures too.


Until Next Time
Lots of Love Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH
but British in every other way

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

A very crappy Christmas


This was the worst Christmas of my whole entire life but it was far worse for my sister Jacquie.  I was still ill but my poor elder sister, who was just 70 and healthy, died so unexpectedly of a stroke, it just wasn't true.   She passed away last Thursday evening and and as we are Jewish the funeral was held on Sunday last.  We, that's my two other sisters and me, just couldn't believe this had happened.  In fact I still can't believe it.   The only thing I hope and pray is that she is in the hereafter with her adored son Jonathon.

I love you Jacquie.


Until Next Time
Lots of Love Patricia xxx

P.S.  I did NOT put this up for sympathy.  I put this on here because I needed to for ME ...
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Go here to get to
the Party

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to THE QUILTING GALLERY

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY PLEASE GO HERE and put in your comment.

I am just one of over 150 bloggers that is participating in this wonderful Blog Party celebrating The Quilting Gallery's 5th Birthday so come and join in and win something special for yourself.

I am giving away, courtesy of The Fat Quarter Shop, who has become my newest Sponsor!!! YAY!!  Because I truly LOVE buying from them.  No hoops tojump through because all you have to do to win this lovely fat quarter bundle is become one of my followers and leave me a comment telling me you have done so on this post.
It's a full FAT QUARTER bundle of
Merlot Kona Modern Quilts
by
Cynthia Frenette


My prize is available for anywhere in the world.

Please also visit The Fat Quarter Shop because they have just THE best selection of fabrics and their service is second to none.  

I have been shopping there since I started collecting fabric.  Yes I know I'm supposed to use it but, so far, I've just been collecting it.  I stroke it and look at it a lot and I have found the service I get from The Fat Quarter Shop to be so efficient and I love calling up because they still know I'm American, though why I ever think my accent is in any way British is beyond me.  Anyway they are always so nice and helpful and get my stuff out super quick.  My favorite thing they have is the Block of the Month and so far I have signed up for two um three :-)

The first one finished 6 months ago I'm intending on using that gorgeous fabric for The Farmers Wife Quilt but I have to cut some of it first.  I've now got almost 6 months worth of their current BOM and still haven't cut into any of it.  

So, if you are wondering why you hardly ever see any of my quilting or piecing on here, it's because I haven't really done any yet but I'm going to.  Tomorrow I am going to cut into some of my stash and actually make something but I can't show you what until after December 15, 2012 but don't worry it's coming - that's what I keep on telling him upstairs, otherwise known as my DH who puts up with my stash buying like he puts up with my toy buying for our grandchildren.   Please trust me when I say that The Fat Quarter Shop is worth visiting because it really is but take your credit card out first and get ready to use it!

Please make sure when leaving your comment that I can email you when you win so if your email isn't visable please leave it on your comment here on this blog.  

This giveaway ends on December 15, 2012.   The winner will be chosen by Mr. Randomizer himself (okay it might be a she but I like to think of him as big and handsome and sexy) and I will announce the winner soon afterwards because then I will be having another giveaway for my Blogaversary so keep watching afterwards for more stuff.

Well good luck and be sure and visit The Party because there is loads more to win from over 150 different bloggers from all over the world and you could win something great.  Heck I'm going to go and enter some too.

Finally thank you Michele for all you have done in the last 5 years and good luck to you in the next 5 years and here is the link that takes the viewers back to her site!

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY PLEASE GO HERE and put in your comment.

See you soon

Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH but British in every other way

P.S.  I keep on forgetting to put stuff on here.  So this is my very last addition to this post.  This giveaway WILL be mailed internationally.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I know that strictly speaking this isn't about stitching but it kinda is.  It's about quilting and cutting things out and thanking all of you for sticking with me over the past couple of years whilst I haven't been posting very much or stitching either.  Apart from my legs not working awfully well my arms gave up the ghost as well.  But that was only for one year for the other year I was put on various meds for my MS that had the most dire affects on me.  It was like I had flu for 6 days out of every 7 but I'm on a new drug now that doesn't have any bad side effects I'm very thankful to say.

Let's talk about the first thing in my heading.  I have had the Go! Baby for around a year but because of my MS my arms quit working just about the same time I got it.  But, I have to tell you that the Accuquilt  Go! Baby is totally amazing and what's more 
Are having a SALE
that is lasting 8 whole days.  I have only just started quilting after looking at You Tube and Craftsy for a while.  Okay it's been more than a while - it's been 2 years but my arms are now working again so I can piece now thanks in whole to the Go! Baby and I have four cutters (they used to be called dies) and I have cut some hexagons and I'm currently hand sewing them.

The Go! Baby which if you live in the U.S. is now
$50.00 cheaper so do yourself a favor and buy it
because I promise you IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
I have to tell you that I so couldn't have done this if I didn't have the Go! Baby and and if I could afford it I would so buy the:

The Go! Baby 1 1/2" Strip Cutter
because Moda have stopped cutting  them :-(
AND
The Go! Baby Quarter Square 4" Finished Triangle
because it would just be AMAZING

Unfortunately in England the stores ALWAYS charge £s for $s - one of my pet peeves!!!  That and the fact that if you spend more than £16.00 on something you buy from the US they charge you the VAT - no problem with that at all because if I buy it here I have to pay it, but I have a huge problem with the flat fee of £8.00 they charge for charging the VAT (Value Added Tax otherwise known as just Tax).  That really P's me off.  So if anybody wants to buy me a Christmas or Chanukah present you know exactly what I want.  Not expecting much from this side of the pond because they are so expensive here in England and our darling son and daughter-in-law gave us a wonderful vacation as a present and I think that covered all things this year - birthdays, Chanukmas (that's Christmas and Chanukah combined) and our anniversary which was last week.  We have been married for an awful lot of years.

Anyway enough of my moaning and these are the 4 dies I have at the moment:-

Go! Value Die
which gives you a
4 1/2" Square
2 1/2" Triangles
2 1/2" Square
Go! Baby Drunkards Path 3 1/2" Finished

Go! Triangles in a Square
Finished Sizes are 3" of both
Go! Baby Hexagons
with finished sized of:
2", 3" and 5"
and this die I bought here in England
To end with Accuquilt for the time being I have to tell you that it is my most favorite thing that I own.  I LOVE IT!!!  And it has made my quilting so far very easy because I still can't stand and cut and using the Go! Accuquilt means that I can quilt.



Now about Craftsy and me.  I joined 1 class on Craftsy when Craftsy was called something else, Sympoziam I think.  I have been trying to quilt for around 2 years I think.  I went to a class at my not-so-local quilt store first and found it pretty useless to be honest.  First I couldn't see what the teacher was trying to teach because (a) I'm vertically challenged and (b) I have MS and can't stand for very long and whatever she demonstrated was on the small high table and let's just say I learned virtually nothing and was quite despondent about it and if I hadn't bought some much stuff I might have just given up.


I know I learn better if I either read about it or see it demonstrated and got my first class from a blot (sorry can't remember who's) for Craftsy half price - it was the Jenny Doan (Jenny is from Missouri Star Quilt Company) class which is called Quilting Quilty. I thought hey that's for me for sure.

So I joined that class and quickly thereafter joined Quilting Quickly II and I have become quite addicted to these classes to say the least and will be giving one away shortly so keep watching because it will be within the next week or so.

Right, let's get back to what I was saying.  Craftsy have one full free classe for quilters and it is called Block of the Month and has run since January of this year and is now finished but it will always be there and Amy Gibson who has a blog gives this first full free class that is suitable from a Beginner to anybody.  So if you are just starting quilting go and sign up for it - it costs you absolutely nothing and I have saved this class and Amy is, as are most of the tutors, totally amazing.  This class is called So please do go and have a look at what Craftsy has to offer I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

See you soon
Patti xxx
American by birth and MOUTH
but British in every other way
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Friday, November 16, 2012

I Wonder if anybody has this please

I received a plea from a really lovely friend this morning.  This is her plea:


Hello Patricia: I hope all is well with you.
I am writing to ask if you know of someone who has the Blackbird Designs Easter Parade it is the one with a standing bunny holding flowers, I want this pattern to give to a friend who has had a very tough year, she lost her Mother to Alzheimers Diease, her Father is very ill and her Husband is gone 23 days out of the month for the daury company he works for she is so lonely.
She wants to stitch this in honor of her Mother, she loved rabbits.

This is what it looks like:

So if any of you have it and would be willing to loan it to Catherine it would make one lady very happy.

Thank you so much for reading my plea.

Until Next Time Lots of Love Patti xxx


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