It’s almost February!

And February is the month of Lettermo and InCoWriMo. There doesn’t seem to be a huge difference in them, except that Lettermo gives you Sunday’s off, so I usually end up doing a mash-up of both. And this year the Lettermo website seems to be more up to date.

January has felt like a long month and now it’s suddenly over, so I’m not very prepared… So unprepared I just finished writing all the replies I owe and will start the month with not much to catch up on! Which might be a good thing really, with an imminent but so far undated house move I imagine this month I’ll be writing a lot about packing boxes or be too busy packing boxes…

Note to self: don’t pack the stationery too early 🙂

I’m also hoping it will inspire me to update the blog more often. The last year had felt like hard work but I’m hoping 2018 will be better in lots of ways.

So, anyone want a letter?


(Postcards) travelling home the long way round

I’ve been participating in the Swapbot ‘Adventures of the travelling postcard’ for a while now. I suspect that my original card is long lost but I love seeing where the postcards have been. The last cards I received came with a philosophical travelling note too. The note is now on its 4th journey! If I’m not going far for a little while, at least I can send other things on journeys 🙂

These two cards are following the same path but will end up so far apart

One card will eventually go home to Germany, the other card should soon fill up with names and head home to USA!

And all part of the adventure, the cards were rather damp when I received them so they look well travelled!

The first day of advent (calendars)

I did a couple of advent calendar swaps again this year. Everyday becomes a bit more fun with little gifts to open in the morning 🙂 Obviously I haven’t seen much of the calendars I received yet – I’m resisting the temptation to open everything at once! but I’m pleased with what I sent out so I hope my swap partners are enjoying their advent too.

Full advent calendar, sent to Australia:

I rearranged some of the order after I’d taken the pictures, but the calendar includes note pads, note cards, stickers, craft items, coasters, and a bit of chocolate. I also included a little note for each day, the first advent calendar swap I did a few years ago included notes and it made the calendar extra special, so I try to do the same now.

And of course it all got wrapped up nicely 🙂

The second advent calendar I swapped was slightly different. It’s made up of 4 swaps of 6 items, with a theme for each set. I can’t quite remember now which swap went to who, but I think it ended up mainly within Europe.

Random flat items:

Possibly not all technically flat, but I sent 2 swaps to the same person so it was never going to be a slim package! Includes fabric, beads, stickers, decorative paper, and a clear stamp.

It’s only just December but I’ve already used up several rolls of wrapping paper so far!

I also sent the 6 pairs of socks swap to this swap partner, but I forgot to take a picture before I wrapped them!

Kitchen items:

Cake decorations, cupcake kit, a tea towel, cookie cutters and felt coasters. All very festive and hopefully useful.

Cards with gifts:

I raider my Christmas card stash for an extra festive feel 🙂 Surely everyone has some cards left over from previous years?! Gifts included bath salts, craft items, a face mask, and a bit of tea. I tried to brighten up the plain envelopes too 🙂

I hope the recipients are enjoying starting to open their gifts. I definitely had fun this morning – I got penguin gift tags and an owl key cover 🙂 I can’t wait to see what I get tomorrow!

The turning of the year

It’s been a while since I was on here… It feels like I’m behind on everything at the moment and the essentials have to come first, followed by any projects with deadlines. At least I’ve been out doing things so I have some excuse… I’d love to be further on with my sewing, and up to date with my scrapbooks, and have a nice tidy flat, but currently I’m not succeeding with any of them… I’m sure I’ll get there, my weekends have been busy recently so there’s been no time then either! At least now the antidepressants have kicked in I’m more able to do things with my evenings. I’m considering taking a day off sometime to just be creative and make things for birthdays and Christmas. I’ll see what else ends up happening 🙂

It’s definitely autumn here now and the days are drawing in, so here’s the first commute sunrise of the season.

Altitude Quilt

I finally finished the big project that’s been taking up all my sewing time! It’s a quilt for my Dad’s big birthday, and only the second quilt I’ve ever completed so I hope he doesn’t look too closely 🙂 It’s made using Altitude fabric by Pippa Shaw and Twist both from Dashwood Studio, and the Wonton quilt pattern from Jaybird Quilts. I hoped the triangles and points of the pattern would suggest mountains to reflect the fabric. I used a big bundle of fat quarters which was enough fabric in total but not enough to have all my trapeziums in the same fabrics so they alternate similar coloured fabrics.


The most complicated part was lining up all the shapes, especially getting the parallelograms together in straight lines. And then having to cut it down to a neat rectangle. It’s quilted straight along the horizontal and diagonal lines – I had grand ideas about the detailed quilting I could do but I was running out of time and I’m just not used to handling that much fabric yet so the quilting stopped at following the seam lines.

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For the back I used a metre of the main mountain fabric, some leftovers of the Twist fabric, and a half metre of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ fabric. I tried very hard to line it up straight but didn’t quite succeed…

The binding is a mixture of the Altitude Trees fabric in blue and a bit of white, and a small section of indigo Twist. I really need to practice my binding, I aimed for proper machine binding (to finish it more quickly than hand finishing) but it just wasn’t straight and the stitching showing on top was all over the place, so I ended up sewing a neat top stitch along the edge on the front of the binding which holds down the back. Not perfect but it’s possible to be too close to a project and end up only seeing the flaws so I’m saying good enough.

The label is stitched directly onto the backing fabric using freehand machine embroidery.

Overall, a big success! Now to decide on the next big project…

Moreton Corbet Castle

Moreton Corbet is the ruin of a half-castle half-stately home in Shropshire, a beautiful and peaceful place on the edge of a tiny village, surrounded by fields. The castle was built over a period of 500 years and abandoned in the 18th century when the family moved to another property. It’s a fascinating place to explore, a mix of building materials and styles, and lots of little details to admire.

Moreton Corbet – 9th July 2017

Origami wallet letter

I can’t be the only person who looks at things and thinks “that would make some great interesting snail mail”, like the instructions for this origami wallet I saw recently whilst scrolling through some blogs.

The original pattern uses A4 paper, I was trying to make the wallet deeper to hold a letter by using scrapbooking paper, but I just made it wider… needs a bit more experimenting! The paper can’t be too stiff or it starts to tear instead fold and tuck under, but patterned scrapbook paper makes a really bright wallet. 

There’s a main pocket to hold notes/letters, and a front cut out that’s perfect for stashing extra little goodies likes stickers, tags and die-cuts. I used a paper clip to stop anything from getting lost in the pocket 🙂

And it all folds up to be tucked in an envelope!

This fun letter is on its way to Canada to a new creative penfriend, but I think I’ll be making a few more!

Recently posted postcards

It’s been while since I sent more than one or two cards together, but I had an urge to send a few postcards recently…

The ice-cream card is going to a food lover in Russia, a tram to a transport lover in Germany, a view of Iceland to a postcard pal in Russia, Nottingham castle is heading to China, a pretty cottage in Derby is going to USA, and the Icelandic waterfall is off to a postcard pal in South Africa. A nice variety of countries 🙂

Now to tackle the backlog of letters!

Quilt-as-you-go block swap 2

Most of my creative time recently has been taken up by one big project but I didn’t want to miss the second round of the striped quilt block swap on Swap-bot. All my colours recently seem to be blues and greens with a bit of yellow and brown so this block definitely has a colour theme!

The block on the left is off to the USA as part of the swap. The block on the right I’m keeping to add to my eventual quilt, to help it grow faster. They’re nearly the same, but I used a wider strip of a nice Japanese print on mine to get more of the design, and of course I didn’t cut enough strips so the additional corner fabrics are different.

I need to start labelling them now, it will be nice to see where everything has come from once I have enough for a quilt.