Friday, 27 December 2013

A Perfect Gift

Getting the perfect gift can be a tough challenge at the best of times,  but when the recipient is one of those people who buy what they want themselves, then it can be even tougher than usual.  Such a person is my brother!  He is a guy with a number of interests (some of which I don't have a clue about!) but if he wants a computer game, a movie or a graphic novel he will buy it himself.  There's no point in giving him tech because he already has it, and items for his yet to be decorated house just don't cut it.
Usually the place to visit is his amazon wish list, but this year I had a clue. I happened to mention recently that everyone in my family who wants a quilt already has one when he pulled me up short with "not everyone! ". So the challenge was set! 
My fabulous friend Pam gave me a wonderful bundle of fabric samples from a posh Italian shirt manufacturer a couple of years ago, and they have been waiting patiently in my stash for the perfect project. Now they seemed to fit the bill. My brother works in the city, so what could be better than a pin striped quilt! This fabric is very light and quite slippery so sewing it was sometimes like trying to staple cheese to a wall, but with some patience and a now empty can of spray starch I got there in the end!
Here's a picture taken in my kitchen because it was raining outside, so the light is a bit wonky - but you get the gist!
I spent ages trying to line up the pieced backing but it just wouldn't play ball... so eventually, in frustration, I just thought "sod it" and got on with the quilting. Imagine my surprise when I turned the finished quilt over and found that it lined up perfectly! I bet I couldn't do that again!!!! 
So here it is - 2 years in the making and now it is all wrapped up and ready to go! So next time I say that everyone in the family who wants a quilt already has one I expect to be greeted with appreciative silence! 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A festive bake... sort of!

I am not known for my baking, so you shouldn't be surprised that I didn't bake this little number.  But I am responsible for the decoration! I signed up for a 5 week class at a local shop in Yaxley called Cambridgeshire Sugar Supplies to decorate a Christmas cake. It was great fun, and I learnt a lot. As a complete newbie to this craft I was delighted that I was able to hire all the tools I needed and I could even buy the cake (which members of my family are eternally grateful for!). It was a definite selling point when I signed up as this was intended to be a one-off and so I didn't want to end up with lots of tools I might never use again.
And so after invest 2 hours every Monday evening for 5 weeks - ta-da!
I have to say that I am delighted with the result, and my Dad is really looking forward to tucking into it all on Boxing Day when the whole family gets together!