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Random Thursday

It's that nutty time of the week again, and let's see what I have in store...

1. So how was your Easter weekend?  Do anything nice?  Take the family out on an adventure?  Maybe a safari?  Maybe it turned into a real adventure and your car caught fire in the lion enclosure?  No?  Huh, what a boring life you lead!  Still, one family embraced that particular challenge at Longleat Safari Park on Good Friday and survived to tell the tale.  The car was not so fortunate...

2. It's a shame that there aren't any recyclable decorations at Easter like there are at Christmas, because then they could have distracted the lions with a tree or two during the crisis above, apparently it's one of their favourite snacks at Linton Zoo:

3. From rescuing people from animals to rescuing animals from people, did you know that Bill Bailey once bought a live owl in a Chinese restaurant to take it off the menu?  It was sitting there in a cage waiting to be ordered when Bill and family walked in.  After a bit of haggling, $400 later they bought the owl, then took a taxi up to woods near where the restaurant was in China and set it free.

4. The Bailey family would be pleased to know that monkeys would be very happy to be around them too.  Apparently studies have shown that capuchin monkeys stay away from mean people, to the extent that they'll turn down treats offered to them by selfish people.  It seems that the human ability to spot traits in someone is not unique to the species.  I wonder if capuchin monkeys have mean girl cliques too though...

5. And finally, for a little ornithological whimsy, did you know that it would have taken 2.5 million seagulls to lift James and his Giant Peach rather than the 501 Roald Dahl wrote about.  Some physics students in Leicestershire wrote up an entire paper on it using theoretical calculations.  I'd be happy to donate the screeching airborne rodents that hang around outside my flat in the early hours to an experiment to prove it though, perhaps in the middle of the Sahara or something...

Linking up to my fellow Randomeers:

Work In Progress Wednesday

There might be a slight irony in that most sewing I got done over the long weekend was completed in the first day, but after that I was taking some photos, enjoying the nice weather and doing some long thinking and designing.  I got fabrics cut and fused for a new bag, but that's as far as I got up until Monday night, and then last night I went climbing after work and my arms hurt so much I wasn't sewing after that!  Tonight I'm shredding, so I should be okay ;o)  Hope you all had a lovely easter weekend and got to play as much as you would like.

Finishes This Week:

I think my favourite finish of the week was my Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition bag:

Closely followed by my photo prop quilt:

And then I got a couple of bee blocks done for Rebecca Lynne, and got so excited at getting to the PO, that I forgot to take photos, sorry!

In Progress This Week:

I've turned some of this into the aforementioned bits of bag, I hope to show you more soon, although I'm away down to mum and dad's for the weekend so we can go to Uttoxeter on Saturday to the British Quilt And Stitch Village (where the long lost rainbow is currently hiding out), so it might not be done by next week...

To Be Worked On This Week:

The bag above
Sorting out the other 2 patterns I was working on

Hope you all have a great week!   Linking up, as ever, to:

Finish Along Sponsor Highlight - Tikki London

This week we're in London and taking a (virtual) tour of Tikki Patchwork as part of the Finish Along Sponsor Highlight series.

Recently I've become more than a little obsessed with 30's prints while setting up my little photo area, so I really enjoyed looking around the dedicated 30's Repro Section.

I think I may need some of these wee cowboys.  I have absolutely no idea why, and it's not like there are any rodeos in the neighbourhood, but aren't they cute?

Okay, so they might be an acquired taste, but how about these more basic prints:


Not feeling the 30s vibe?  Maybe you're feeling the bird vibe that's been flocking into ranges recently, like this Moda Hearty Good Wishes?

Maybe you're feeling a little dotty?

Hmm, apparently with the last few picks I've been feeling a little blue, so maybe you'd like a few more colours, like this Lush Paint Palette:

Huh, that last one might work quite well with those cowboys...

Anyway, there's plenty to see at Tikki, and if you're ever in Kew Gardens, pop into the shop itself, so that you can drool over the fabric in person!  But maybe take wipes, they probably don't want your drool all over the fabric, that just not nice.
2014 Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition Entry

I love hand printed fabrics, the bright colours, the quirky designs, and the fact that they're unusual, so if I make a bag from them then I know it will be unique.  A couple of months ago I grabbed some Umbrella Prints Trimmings packs, along with some packs from Blueberry Park and from Summersville, and started plotting (while forgetting to take pics of the Blueberry Park and Summersville packs, sorry ladies!)

After a bit of sifting, I chose a colour palette:

A bag spotted on a train into town sparked an idea, and off I went making up some (kind of) QAYG panels

Then I got a bit stuck trying to work out how best to sew the bits together without having all the bulk from the batting in the seams.  Thanks to a tute I saw on assembling QAYG quilts, I had a bit of a brainwave, and eventually, after a few weeks of procrastinating (because it wasn't a particularly simple solution), I finally got it together and made the bag (it is straight, but perhaps I should have pressed it!):

And I took it out for a wee trip the other night too:

Can you guess what my inspiration was?  It was very 80's :o)
Market Mayhem Mamas

I couple of years ago, before I went to Sewing Summit, a couple of partners in crime and I ran a series called the ASS (Alternative Sewing Summit) Gurus.  The series was entirely irreverent and full of the kind of advice that needed several handfuls of salt, however with Market coming up there has been a very special request for a resurrection, and this being the season for all that, I bring you the Market Mayhem Mamas (MMM)

** If you are easily offended this series will run for the next 4 Sundays, you may wish to skip on over!

Dear MMM, 

This is my first trip to Market and I'm really worried about fitting in, what should I do blend in with the crowds?


Paranoid In Philly

Dear Paranoid,

In the run up to Market people are busy sewing up a storm, and I suggest you join them ad start working on your wardrobe right now.

Firstly you need to see if you can get hold of some overalls and a bunch of fabric, and start frilling them on up.  You can use a ruffler foot for this, or maybe just pleat the fabrics, but do make sure you get a good few frilly layers.  Do not underestimate the benefit of wearing overalls now, for instance they are absolutely loaded with pockets, perfect for sample spree where you can stuff them as full as you possibly can.  Don't forget to add a few yo yo trims, and make some matching bows for your hair and shoes.:

Once you've got your overalls sorted, it's time to move onto the t-shirts.  Now you really want people to know what it is you do, so break out your fabric scraps and knock up some mini blocks to applique on to the front of a few plain tees, then you can use iron on letters to put a few pithy sayings around them:

Finally it's on to the comfortable shoes.  Do not underestimate just how long you'll be on your feet marching around that convention centre, not to mention going to and from your hotel.  The advantage of using these crocs is that look, they have holes in them, so you can thread through bows, yo yos and all sorts to co-ordinate with your outfit for the day:

Now you should fit right in, have a lovely time!

Finish Along Q1 Redraw And A Finish For Me

Okay, so the first order of business for today is a redraw of 2 prizes that weren't claimed in the Q1 FAL last week, so here goes:

1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/allierae/  wins:

2. http://bumblebzs.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

Please contact me to claim your prizes ladies.

Moving on, on Wednesday I had a couple of 'nearly finisheds' which I got done yesterday and took out for a photo shoot.  Today we'll look at the quilt, and on Monday I'll show off the bag :o)

We're lucky in Glasgow that quite a number of wealthy people in the past died and left everything to the city, so we have these random pockets of massive houses and country parks in the middle of the city.  One of them, Pollok Park, I'm rather fond of, so I decided it would be the perfect back drop for a little photo shoot yesterday evening.  We've had some glorious weather so far for the Easter weekend, so it seemed perfect.

Ideally I'd like to have got all the chimneys in this, but I think you can see the quilt was about to take off!  It probably wasn't helped by the curved railings.

One of the many random little follies and things around the house, just to the right of where the previous photo was:

3. Look at that blue sky!  It's been so long...

4. A little close up on the quilting - I wanted to keep it simple and in keeping with the pattern of the quilt.  (Oops, apparently I hung the quilt sideways in this!)

5. A fun wee rollup shot in the flowers:

6. You can't see the quilt that well in this, but I do love this row of trees.  It will be even prettier when all the flowers at the base of them come out.

I had a few firsts with this quilt - I've never done a border on one of my own patterns before, never worked with all retro prints before, and never used invisible thread for the machine binding before (absolute god send BTW, it's going to be the only way forward from now on!)

Final Stats:

Fabric:  American Jane - mostly School Days, with Punctuation and Multi Pezzy in the border, plus Klona cream backing
Thread:  Aurifil 2021 50 wt for both piecing and quilting
Batting:  EQS Sew Simple Supersoft 100% Cotton
Size:  90" square approx.
Piecing:  All done by me in one crazy night
Quilting:  Straight line on the diagonal through the squares
Quilted by:  Again by me, in one other crazy night
Pattern:  Out of my head, loosely based on the traditional Irish Chain pattern

Random Thursday

Okay peeps, before we kick off the randomness, there are still 2 unclaimed Q1 FAL prizes, you have until tomorrow to get in touch with me or I redraw!

And moving on to the usual madness...

1. So have you heard the pitter patter of tiny feet lately?  No?  Well think about the poor family in Sweden who found their pitter patter was caused by this (yep, that is a giant rat, just in case you were wondering):

2. Shifting a little across the species, did you know that flamingos can only eat when their heads are upside down?  It gives me a lump in my throat just thinking about it!

3. And from one bird to another, did you know that the governor of Wisconsin just had to set into law that rubber duck racing was legal?  Previously it fell under lottery laws, meaning that the village of Mishicot's annual rubber duck race was illegal.  Personally, I want this one at the next local race:

4. From one toy to another, workers in Scotland's sewer systems have cleared over 40,000 blockages in the last year, with the causes ranging from cooking oil, nappies, a bike, a fax machine and a giant Pooh...

5. Bringing us back full circle to Sweden, have you ever forgot you owned something?  I mean sure, the odd item of clothing that gets buried at the back of the wardrobe, but have you ever forgotten anything really big?  You know, like a luxury yacht?  Huh, yeah, me neither, but apparently a wealthy Swedish man forgot his in a harbour for 2 years!  That's some oversight...

Linking up with my fellow Randomeers: