Across the Pond

I am just back from a wonderful week in Canada visiting two fabulous friends.  Naturally I took a few handmade gifts with me…

Firstly for Rachael and her daughter Amelie these Noodle head zip pouches – which I’ve made a few of in the past. They got filled with goodies from England (they moved to Canada 6 years ago). I couldn’t quite fit in the giant jar of Marmite I took for them.


Next I went to stay with my Canadian friend Ellen. We’ve known each other for nearly 20 years. As its been 10 years since my last visit, I decided her 40th birthday was enough of an excuse for another trip.

For her birthday I made a paper pieced table runner. The inspiration for which came from a blog called Wombat Quilts. I love Cath’s quilts and she has tons of free patterns. I was quite glad I didn’t attempt a whole quilt – paper piecing is hard work.

Here are some photos I took before I left and one of it in situ on Ellen’s coffee table. Her husband Marc was very helpful and sent me photos of the living room and measurement of the coffee table. As you can see it fits and it looks great.




Lastly I made some more zip pouches for  Ellen’s children Cohen and Ingrid, filled with some classic British sweets.



It was a fabulous trip and I had so much fun with my lovely friends, I was spoilt rotten with lovely food, wine, coffee and trips out to do things and visit people – and it snowed!!!

It wouldn’t have been possible with out my husband at home holding the fort during half term, (whilst juggling work!) and my mum for helping out as well.

It’s good to get away and remember who you are and who you were before you became a wife and mother. Going away always gives me a fresh perspective on life and a new appreciation of home and family. I have remembered how boring it is to travel a long way on your own – give me some squabbling children any day!

Rachael and I. Ellen and I.

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Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!


I’m very excited to be taking part in my first Sew Mama Sew giveaway. Hello!!! if you’ve come to visit for the first time. I won’t take up your time with lots of info as I know you have lots of blogs to visit.

The Sew Mama Sew giveaway happens twice a year and it’s a great way for people who sew, sell or make handmade things to link up and have a bit of a party. Everyone visits lots of blogs comments, follows and hopefully wins a few things in the process. I’ve taken part a few times but never hosted my own giveaway….

So here’s what I’m giving away….


  • Feed the Animals coin purse pattern by the Straight Stitch Society
  • 3 fat quarters of solid cotton to make your coin purses.
  • a mini scrap pack to add some fun details to your animals.
  • 3 zips
  • and a selection of buttons

This is how you enter:

  1. Leave a comment – tell me where you keep your loose change…your pocket?  your purse? do you have something special that you’ve made or has been given to you?
  2. If you want a 2nd entry please follow my blog (via bloglovin, wordpress, email etc) and come back and comment and tell me which.
  3. Please make sure I have a way of contacting you if you win.

This giveaway is open internationally. The winner will be drawn at random on Saturday and the last entry must be received by 1am GMT on December 14th (5pm December 13th PST). Good luck and thanks for visiting, I hope you stick around !


I’m very excited to be drawing a winner for my Feed the Animals zip pouches. Thank you all so much for taking part, I really enjoyed taking my very first Sew Mama Sew giveaway and lots of your comments made me laugh…so without further ado the winner is…


Deb – Who said: in my purse, in pockets in my purse, and dropped down in my pocketbook. :( there’s no rhyme or reason.

Congratulations Deb I’ll be in touch via email to sort out your winnings.

Have a great Christmas everyone!

A Champion Dribbler

This week I got to meet my step-nephew (I think that is the correct term). He’s the little boy who I made the baby quilt for this spring. He’s now a lovely chunky 9 month old. When I knew we were going to be meeting up this week, I decided to do some spur of the moment sewing and make him a gift.
I’d heard via my mum that’s he’s a champion dribbler at the moment, so it had to be a bib (or two)!

I headed for some of the fabrics I’d used in his quilt, including some lovely soft Riley Blake flannel for the backing. I put some batting inside to hopefully make them a bit more absorbent. I toyed with the idea of waterproofing them inside but didn’t have anything suitable to hand.
20131129-074927.jpgI used a tutorial I found on Pinterest but decided to scale up the pattern a bit as the original looked a little small.
Here’s the sweet little chap modeling them.



Sewing up my Christmas List

The Christmas countdown seems to be in full swing in the shops. Which always makes me panic and want to get organised (unless you are my husband who will waits until 20th December). I feel pleased with myself this year for getting started early for once.

Last weekend I made the Christmas pudding and cake and had enough fruit left to make mincemeat too. Can’t wait to have my first mince pie made with it (but definitely not in October!).

So I’m feeling a bit less panicked. I’ve written some lists, we’ve negotiated with the family where we are spending Christmas Day AND I’ve done some sewing.

In my quest to conquer the ever-tricky zip pouch I decided that’s what everyone in my family is getting this year. I’ve made 3 and I have 4 more to go. I may do more if I don’t get too bored with them.

Each one I make I refine the process a bit more. Understand what to do to avoid those scrunched-up zip ends or ones where the lining is showing.

One of them required a whole half hour of unpicking (it was just about finished) when I realised the lining kept getting stuck in the zip. So lesson learnt!

My lovely friend Mary showed me how to make them a while back but as I’d forgotten, I also grabbed the chance to buy Elizabeth Hartman’s perfect zip bags pattern when it was on sale recently.

Elizabeth has lots of clever tips but also does some things which I haven’t bothered with again. So I do feel I am finding my own way.

I’m not sure why I’ve been so intent on mastering these, probably because they look so good when you do get them right and make such great presents.

Here’s what I’ve made so far for my kids. I’ve kept to basic shapes and single fabrics for ease and speed but there are lots of nice variations for scraps and pleats in the pattern.