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!

Zippy Pouches

This week I got together with my friends for (what is becoming) our regular sewing day.

This time we decided to have a go at zips. With my zip knowledge still in its infancy and Steph and Julia having never done them, we decided to go for something simple. I found this great little tutorial for Ear Bud Pouches.


As you can see from my photo below, the main challenge was not attaching the zips but sewing in a circle! (If anyone has any tips for this I’d be grateful). My second attempt on the right was marginally neater than the first. I drew around a cup so I had a line to follow but I still have a way to go before it even looks passable!


We were also a bit baffled as to why our first attempts at the pouches had turned out so small. Then after further investigation of some photos online we realised we’d sewn our fabric too close to the zip teeth. Such a small thing but it made such a difference to the size and shape!

I will keep trying at these and hope my children can find some use for the funny shaped ones in the meantime!

Tackling Zips!

A while ago I attempted to sew some zipped pencil cases. They worked out ok but I was rather baffled by the whole process and rather scared of getting back on the zip wagon (!)
So my friend Mary, (who pretty much gets a mention every time I post on here) offered to give me a wee tutorial.

We had a nice morning sewing and chatting, I paid her in wine and left feeling much happier about my zip skills.

As time has crept by I’ve been aware of the need to have another go to reinforce what she showed me. So yesterday I did.

As predicted I had forgotten quite a few things. Luckily I found a good tutorial which was petty similar to what Mary showed me. I would have found it really hard with just photos and text, so the combination of the two worked well.

These are such lovely (and useful) things to make, so I really need to keep perfecting those tricky zip ends!