Sunday 29 June 2008

Getting things done

I posted off four mini quilts and two PIFs on Friday so that has made quite a dent in my to-do-list and as three of the minis have safely arrived with their new recipients I can show you them here.

The first was for Kate

- the central stitchery was taken from the gorgeous Tilda book "Sew Pretty Homestyle" (can't wait for the new Christmas one that is out next month hopefully!)

The second was for Anne and was built up round the lovely fabric Lina sent me with her mini quilt

and the third was for my mad friend Trashy

I thought this Bronwyn Hayes design from her "Sunshine in your pocket" book was suitably silly!!!

The fourth quilt was for my official swap-partner, Leanne (yes, I'll admit it, I was very late!!!) But as she is all the way over in Australia I'm not expecting it to arrive just yet! Leanne was also one of my bloggy-versary "you don't have to pay-it-forward" PIF-fers so she will get a double dose of gifts in her parcel!

In other news, I have been trying to catch up a bit at the allotment and have finally managed to get my pumpkins planted and some other general work done - so here is a late June allotment photo for you (really it's here for me so I can chart how it is going over the year!)

And my final crafty bit of news is that I have learnt how to ripple! Lovely Lesley explained it to me and look - I can do it!

I now have a particularly annoying song going through my head to the tune of "I can boogie"

"Yes Sir, I can ripple,
I can ripple all night long,
I can ripple, ripple ripple,
all night looooooooooooong!"

and on that embarrasing note I shall leave you for today!

Wednesday 25 June 2008

The list is getting shorter!!!!

Good news! The list is getting shorter!

I have finished the mini quilts for Trashy, Kate and Anne and will be putting them in the post on Friday by which time I should have finished Leanne's as well. Rachel's is on hold because I am unhappy with it - I think I may have to start again with a different plan :o(

I have also finished the top priority for this week which was one of my Betty Bunnies for a first birthday this weekend. The little birthday girl has a very sensible mother who really appreciates my work! I made her this quilt when she was about 6 months old using all her first baby clothes and the spare curtain from her bedroom

then I made this doll for a Christening present from one of her relatives

this doll for Christmas using one of her special dresses

and this Christening bunny

and this Christening doll

for two of her little friends - again using their clothing

I really, really can't say how much I LOVE making toys for little people using the clothes they used to wear - it just makes me so happy! So I was delighted when her mum asked me to make her a bunny using this dress

and these dungarees for its clothes

The clothes are from NEXT and are really lovely quality needlecord - probably far too good to be cut up, but a wonderful momento of the little girl's early days. I was especially pleased to get the dress as I had been coveting the green version on another friend's 18 month old but had been told to keep my scissors to myself as it needed to be passed on to her little cousin!

And here is what I made

a happy Betty Bunny with her very own quilt (made out of the scraps of clothes I had left from the bunny and the baby quilt) to match her little owner's!

I'm particularly pleased with the dress as it has retained some of the original details including the hem, embroidery, back button plackets and the false pockets on either side.

When I showed my friend the bunny and the quilt (which is a birthday present for her little girl from me) she seemed really pleased.

Another person who took rather a shine to Miss Bunny was young Master Magnus

In fact, he liked her so much that he really didn't want to let her go................................

which is a shame really as he is heading off to Canada at the end of the week and Miss Bunny will be happily residing in North East England - maybe they can email each other?

Monday 23 June 2008

Busy, busy, busy

So I made my scary lists on Saturday afternoon and instead of making the task seem more manageable it just brought home how much I have to do!!!! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!

This is my "design wall" (tongue very firmly in cheek here!) complete with my very neatly categorised crafting commitments. The baby clothes pinned up are for a "Betty Bunny" that needs to be done by the weekend and in the fireplace you can see some of my very neatly folded and colour coded fabric!!!

My job list includes
Yesterday I practically glued myself to my work table and ended up with a very sore back but I managed to get some things done and I now have 2 dolls stitched ready for turning and stuffing, one Pocket and Floss Bunny stitched and turned ready for stuffing, one Betty Bunny stitched, turned, stuffed and ready for sewing together (although if I'm honest I had already done most of the sewing on these - I just hadn't considered how long it takes to turn things through!)

and a finished Magoo called Magnus

only this one is a midi-Magoo, reduced to 75% on my scanner because he needs to be posted to Canada.

To give you an idea of size here he is with his very much bigger sister Maggie

I'm really pleased with how he has turned out - he is such a cheeky monkey! And isn't it funny how much more "boy-like" he looks than Maggie - and I don't think it is just because of the colours.

On the quilt front, I am at the point of binding on Leanne's, Trashy's and Kate's, three-quarters of the way through finishing the top of Rachel's and I've just made the top of Anne's - and I'm really pleased with how it is going so here is a sneak peek for you........

I know it looks very plain but Anne kindly took me up on the offer of a cream and white quilt built around the lovely embroidered fabric that Lina sent me with my mini quilt - it actually looks really effective in a very simple way!!!

Saturday 21 June 2008

Return of the Little Locket and More Minis

So, yes, she came back - and Mr Locket and I were very very pleased to see her!

So were the other little Lockets
(don't worry, I'm not going to go all "perfect family" on you - it wasn't long before they were all arguing!)

and her bedroom looked fantastic by the time I had finished with it - such a shame about the rest of the house though!

Dorothy has the smallest room in the house and it really is tiny but it is my favourite of all our rooms and I keep telling her that I am having it for a sewing room when she goes to University! I mean, who wouldn't love a room that has built in bookshelves like this..............

Dorothy is an incredible reader and has probably read more of the classic childrens' literature - Little Women, Heidi, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, What Katy Did Next etc by the age of 10 than I have ever read - and the modern literature she reads is really impressive too. I just love lying on her bed looking up at her books and reading all the titles.

In mini-quilt swap news I can now show you the 9 of mine that have safely arrived at their new homes

Top Row: Annie, Lesley, Michaela
2nd Row: Katy, Lina, Est
3rd Row: Lissa, Jodie, Val

I now have 4 more in progress including this one for Kate

and this one for Trashy

which only leaves another 10 to start from scratch!

I spent a while this afternoon writing scarily complicated tables of all the things I need to make - commisions, mini-quilts, PIF gifts, presents and my Russian Doll Swap - I am now feeling rather panicked! I'm not quite sure how I am going to get it all done! And then there's the chaos and mess masquerading as our house and our jungle-like front and back gardens - not to mention the allotment - and at some point I really need to get a job - anyone got any good ideas?????

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Not liking this at all

Seriously, I'm not liking this lending-out-of-little-lockets one bit! It is just so strange and quiet and I feel like I am just marking time until she gets back! Totally weird because I know she will be having an absolutely fabulous time. She was practically fizzing on Monday morning because she was so excited and I just have to think of this photo to remind myself.

But needless to say I am really looking forward to Friday afternoon and I have decided to spring clean her bedroom as "therapy" which is even more weird because I really don't do cleaning and tidying at all!

I'll leave you with some little sneaky peeks of the two mini quilts I am working on at the moment.

The first is for Leanne (and no matter how many times I photograph it it always ends up out of focus!)

and the second is for Rachel - although I'm not sure whether these colours are too dark to be
truly Rachel-ish - what do you think Rachel?

I'm off now to babysit a friend's 18 month old for a couple of hours and I am completely terrified!!!

Sunday 15 June 2008

Lending out a Little Locket

I'm feeling a bit strange today as my biggest Little Locket is off on her first school holiday tomorrow morning and won't get back until Friday afternoon. She is so excited and I know she will have an absolutely fantastic time but I am still feeling a bit raw about lending her out to the teachers!

To help myself to cope with it all (I am sooooooooo soft!) I have made her a new cuddly to take away with her so that she had something "special" but not so "old and special" that it would be a total disaster if it was lost.

So may I please introduce Miss Maggie Moo

From the ever brilliant duo Melly and Me and their pattern Magoo (as Maggie is a girl we had to adapt the name obviously!)

I gave her to Dorothy on Friday evening and she loves her but what she doesn't know is that I have made her a "matchbox letter" in similar fabrics (inspired by this tutorial), wishing her a happy holiday from all of us and enclosing a tiny weeny torch so she can read her book if she wakes up very early (as she tends to do). The matchbox is in a little bag that Maggie is wearing while she patiently waits in the suitcase ready to be unpacked tomorrow evening so Dot should hopefully have a lovely surprise.

So it will be a strangely quiet week chez Locket but I am sure Dot will have an absolute blast!

Friday 13 June 2008

Lovely Linaloo, lovely Lesley and Lucky Locket

As you have all been saying I am a very lucky Locket!

On Saturday, just as Fred was opening his presents, the Postie appeared with a parcel for ME from Lesley full of the most fantastic goodies!

She sent me a share of some gorgeous fabric that she had recently bought

and when I saw the bird one I was sooooooooooooooooo excited because I have been coveting this in various Etsy shops for ages - and amazingly (considering I speak to the poor girl so often) Lesley didn't even know I wanted it! I have plans to make it into a new messenger style bag with denim and pockets and things so I can use it and see it every day.

and then there were these gorgeous buttons

so pretty!

and then - if you can find it amongst my seriously mahoosive bunch of keys - there was this lovely key ring (which matches the pretty purse Lesley sent me a while ago that I use to carry my sewing around)

and finally, possibly even more excitingly, look at all these keyring blanks ready for me to customise to my heart's content!

Lesley also included a card thanking me for arranging the mini-quilt swap and for being her "very lovely and very silly friend" - thank you so much Lesley - the feeling is entirely reciprocated!

On Monday another exciting parcel arrived, this time all the way from Linaloo in Canada.

When I first mentioned doing a mini-quilt swap Lina said she would probably not be able to play but would be interested in doing a mini-mini-quilt swap directly with me. So in effect Lina is probably responsible for the whole extended Lucy Locket mini-Mini Quilt Swap - thanks Lina, it was a fantastic idea!!!

So I was obviously very excited to see what she had made - and it is gorgeous!

I just love those birds and the tree and the circles and how the birds ARE circles (with a little bit added) - it's just so deceptively simple and so very clever. And the colours are so happy and spring like - it's perfect!

Lina also included this wonderful embroidered fabric and a really pretty bookmark.

I immediately started planning a mini quilt in my mind using one of the embroidered flowers in the middle and then building it up log-cabin style with different cream and white fabrics with pearl buttons and cream embroidery etc - so if any of my swapees fancy a quilt like that then just let me know!!!

Thank you so much for my wonderful parcel Lina, and once again, thank you for sparking the initial idea of my mini-Mini-Quilt swap!

On Sunday I was idly wandering around Lesley's etsy shop and I wondered why on earth no one had bought her beautiful pink and grey felt purse. Then I looked at it more closely and saw the gorgeous lining fabric and was even more confused.

Finally it dawned on me - the reason no one had bought it yet was because they were kindly leaving it in the shop for ME to buy - obvious when you think about it!!!!

So I did.

(image borrowed from Lesley because my photo was rubbish!)

But, instead of fitting neatly through my letter box, the parcel from Lesley was sent back to the depot.

Why was that? It was only a little purse - my letter box isn't that small.

So I duly trotted off to the sorting office yesterday once I had regained the car from Mr Locket (fancy needing it for work!)

And look what was (very unsuccesfully) hiding behind the purse in my parcel

all of these gorgeous balls of crochet yarn! Lesley knows that even though I am only a newbie-crochet-er, I have discovered that I only really like crocheting toys in smooth or mercerised yarn rather than fluffy wool.

I think it is a control-freak thing - I like the knotty shapes that crochet makes (and no, that doesn't mean I've done it all wrong!) and mercerised cottons and smooth yarns show that off whereas soft and potentially fluff-able wool ends up getting, well, fluffy so you can't see the "pattern".

Anyway, I digress. Lesley found the yarn at a very good bargain price and knew how much I would like it so snapped it up! What a fabulous friend she is!

And finally, because I do listen to you all, I will leave you with some photos of the Should-Be-Famous-Lucy-Locket-Quilt-Wall

the only problem is that the display is getting so big it's really hard to photograph as it is in the hall and I can't get far enough away to fit all the quilts in - so I will leave you with a few photos and will go and have a re-think about where I am going to display these wonderful creations!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Lucy x

Tuesday 10 June 2008

They came from a land down under

Well sorry for making you all wait so long to see my wonderful goodies but unfortunately Mr Locket had the car yesterday and the camera was in the glove compartment and then when I was ready to take pics today the battery was flat!!! I wasn't trying to be particularly mean, honest!

So finally here are my goodies from the land down under

First up is my quilt from Annie

I just love Aunty Cookie's cookie people and that music fabric is beautiful - and what I just noticed today when I was photographing it is that Annie has made the music staves join up so they run smoothly across the quilt - she's a clever thing!

Annie sent me all these gorgeous fabrics including some ladybird gingham which will be great to make things for the Little Lockets and some more Aunty Cookie peeps!

and she also included this gorgeous rose and a beautiful embroidered and beaded heart

Thank you so much Annie - I love every bit of my parcel from you and especially my quilt - it is FABULOUS!!!!!

Next up in this amazing parcel was my quilt from Jodie - when we had talked about what I might make for her and vice versa I said I would just like something that her "Ric-Rac humour" - and I think I got it don't you???

This quilt just makes me laugh so much - I love it - and it is so Jodie!

And then Jodie also sent me some wonderful Aunty Cookie fabric - I hadn't realised I had sent those "I ADORE Aunty Cookie fabric" vibes so loudly - I was squealing with excitement as I opened each parcel from these wonderful girls (because guess what Rachel sent me too!)

look I even got the knitting one I longed for! But I'm not sure if the skipping child is AC or not?

and then there were these beautiful charm squares too!

and two of Jodie's cards - I am even more amused than ever about the tape measure one after Jodie's tape measure purse tutorial where she tells us to get some tape measures from our "tape measure collection"!

Thank you so much Jodie - I love everything!

Finally there was my parcel from Rachel with the most beautifully embroidered stitchery!

You have to look at it closely because Rachel's stitches are tiny weeny and so very very neat - I am in awe of how well she does it and those colours are gorgeous!

Look at the label on the back too

it's good enough to be on the front! How do I get to see both sides at once????

And as I mentioned before, Rachel also sent me some Aunty Cookie peeps - and this one has my absolute favourite that just makes me laugh every time I think about it

"Who you callin' a fat quarter?"

And she included these lovely blocks that I can't wait to use - especially the little tiny ones which are the same size as the squares around my stitchery from her.

Thank you so much Rachel - you are a complete star!

So my Ballarat pals have sent me the most incredible parcel don't you think? And I will leave you with Jodie's quilt label

because I agree with it - as far as I am concerned this has been the most "incredible Lucy Locket mini quilt swap"!!!!

And come back next time to see my goodies from Lesley and the wonderful quilt that arrived yesterday from Lina! I love the post!