Tag Archives: woolapplique

The mountain has been a big one this week

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The mountain has been a big one this week
Presents are Coming by Michaela Smith

So as I begin writing this post I know that I won’t finish it today so am just going to plod on with it in between working my way through my mahoosive to do list. I’m on t’ telly on Thursday and have two separate one hour shows. One hour doesn’t sound much but I estimate there are about 100 hours prep in each one hour show! Thats not a typo it really does take that long to do the prep. By the way, all the photos in this post are of the projects I’m taking on the telly tomorrow, so it’s a good chance for you to have a sneaky perusal.

Strawberry Fields Messenger bag

So as I am typing, knowing that I should be doing other things, I’m expecting the phone to ring and the lovely lady on the other end, Katie, will need more information from me about my shows. I know if I’m on the bad list as Sophie will ring instead (love you really Soph) Sophie tells me off sometimes, you know the way your parents still can, when your a grown up and they forgot your not 5 anymore…

Christmas is Here Tree Skirt

I’m quite excited about my shows this week, I’ve got a great blend of popular designs returning, plus brand new things too. It’s just writing the pattern books that is taking up so much time now. I keep thinking I’ll farm that job out but I would have to write the stuff anyway to pass on so its a tough call.

Bobbing Along, Sea Otter beach bag

Recently, I’ve been working with a super lady called Debbie from Vantage 360, she is kicking my butt big time at the moment and making me crack on with all the techy stuff that I always put off. We are having our meetings on Zoom. I was a bit nervous about Zoom to begin with, but its actually really easy to use. So if you need a boost with your online stuff, just contact Debs, I promise you will NOT be sorry, she knows stuff…

Anyhow for now, I”m going to save the draft and spend a few minutes doing what I’m actually supposed to be doing, I’ll pick up this thread in a bit, or maybe even tomorrow. xx

Flutterby Bunting

Part two, phew all the leg work is done and it’s almost time to slonk back in a chair, do a really big exhale and relax. Alas, there are still the demos to plan and prep and I’ll be honest I am absolutely rubbish at doing it. I have been known to be hammering away with the sewing machine in hotel rooms at midnight!

Low Tide
The Seekers

Talking of hotels. there was a bit of a scare with the hotel today. It’s my first time away from home since the pandemic began, so obvs I’m quite nervous. I rang the hotel this morning to ask a couple of questions about the social distancing issues and all I got was an answer machine saying the hotel was still closed…PANIC STATIONS!!! I rang all numbers and tried all options at the Premier Inn and without exception at 10am this morning, all the answer machines told me, was that I’d rung out of hours. In the end, modern technology won through; I went on Google Earth and had a look at the pub next door, once I had it’s name, I googled the pub, there I spoke to a member of staff who assured me that the hotel was open and even better gave me the direct local phone number. It was a very tense hour I don’t mind admitting but we got there in the end.

Close up of the butterflies

So now I have faffed about and wasted yet more time, I really ought to make a list of what I need to take with me and organise my demos as you will all now know when my demos are rubbish that it was because I was sat here sharing my diary with you 🥰

Christmas is Coming

Once again we are rolling this little beauty out, the Christmas is Coming Advent Calendar. I cannot count the number we have sold over the years and I am staggered at just how popular it remains. Hubby is still on Furlough and so this year for the first time he will be giving a hand chopping and lopping all the kits up. Keep it under your hat for now as he doesn’t know yet what the week has in store for him #ignoranceisbliss 😂

Sugar Mice

Another of our favourites which will make a return this week is our Sugar Mice, which is our take on the Nutcracker story. These little mice are such fun, you can put them singly around a Childs bedroom for interest and hide and seek games. You can also make them double sided, trapping ribbon between the layers, turning them into tree decorations or light pulls. they even look fabulous as bunting. Can you tell they are one of my faves?

Dinky Little Houses

These little sweeties are a smaller version of the Presents are coming gift boxes and I think they are set off to perfection hanging on our garden rake 😂 I think I’m going to make 24 and use them as an alternative advent calendar. I could hang them individually, if I can find a wide enough rake, 😬 but my preferred option is to hang them on the tree; that way on Christmas Eve I can fill them back up with treats ready for the grandchildren to find when they visit #howmemoriesaremade

Sleigh Bells ring

No Christmas offering can be complete without the big man himself. These reindeer and the slay are free standing motifs ready to go directly on the wall, they have gold ribbon between them but it doesn’t show up on the photo.

Elfie Boe
Jolly St Nick

Finally, these two likely lads will be making a come back too. Like the rest of the universe during lockdown we have been having a bit of a spring clean. I didn’t know that I had squirrelled some kits away after last Christmas. It was a bit of a surprise when hubster found them but a good do’ for you as they are going up for grabs. We know how popular the elf on the shelf has been, well, Elfie Boe makes a cracking elf on the shelf. Starting now he would easily be finished for the 1st of December. Our Jolly St nick has a lovely Christmas red coat nowadays as the original is now discontinued but he looks tremendous in his new threads.

Anyhow its time to get organised and set off to Peterborough now. so I’ll see you all down the lens tomorrow morning. Love you all lots. Anthea x

My crazy lockdown life

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My crazy lockdown life
Bulldog spirit cushion designed to reflect the British way of handling lockdown

How’s lockdown going for you? So…initially back in March, did we know what was about to happen? Did we think lockdown would last a few days? A couple of weeks? Did anyone actually envisage that this is how the world would be spinning right now? I can’t help wondering if the psychologists are having a bumper time at the moment. What a unique chance for a global experiment they must be cockahoop with all the opportunities.

Chill Out Sloth bag, we had no choice so this seemed like a good attitude to have

How are you coping? Let me know. At first I really enjoyed the peace, it made me realise how some people drain my mental energy on a daily basis, it was wonderful to step off the bus for a while. The first two weeks were akin to being on holiday; I noticed on week three that people seemed to be a bit lost, similar to when you’ve been on a really great holiday and in the last day or so when you are ready to come home, you’re just waiting. Week three was like that same limbo feeling but of course we weren’t going back to work, were we? So onwards we all went and slowly as the weeks turned into months we were beginning to come to terms with our new normal.

Sylvias Bag named after my beautiful mum, a long tailed tit being one of her favourite birds

What lockdown stages have you passed through? Did you do the Mary Berry phase? The baking aisle in our local supermarket was empty for weeks! They couldn’t keep up with us all and neither could my waistline; I perfected my Grandma’s recipe for ginger biscuits yum yum. I had lost 4 stone entering lockdown however, after the initial euphoria of yomping out for my daily exercise wore off and the baking phase got underway the scales started to creep up, I am gutted at how much I’ve gained it’s up at the 2 stone mark, boo hoo! Then the alcohol phase arrived and as we had nowhere to drive our cars to, it seemed a great opportunity to enjoy a little tipple in the hot spring sunshine. That phase Peters out occasionally and then is reignited oops. So now four months in where are we all? It would be really good to hear your news.

Meal for One panda cushion reminds us there was no going out to party in our isolation

Back in March when we were all wondering if we should go into lockdown or not, in the days before Boris took the decision for us, the manager at Watershed Mill (our base) rang me up one Sunday night and said “I’m just ringing to let you know we are closed.” “Oh” said I, as the manager owns the burglar alarm, “what about me?” He told me he would give me two hours the following day to get what I needed out of the shop. My oh my, where do we begin on that task? Well, begin we did. With the help of my lovely Hazel we took out a random selection of everything, not knowing whether we were choosing rightly wrongly. I found somewhere to stash most of the stuff, not an ideal solution but one I am eternally grateful for and we set about trying to ensure that Quilting Antics would survive whatever was to come.

Home Comforts by Michaela Smith reminding us that there’s no place like home

The Furlough scheme has been a Godsend as it allowed me to pay the girls and keep them safe in the short term. We did think we would work from our homes but the restrictions and the geological distances between us was too great, so with a heavy heart I had no choice but to use the furlough scheme. Sue was the only one who didn’t get Furloughed as we live fairly close to each other, we were able to carry on. We did this by having socially distanced meetings in Sue’s back garden. When I look back to the early days of lockdown it is unbelievable that we achieved what we did. Ironically I think we have done some of our best work during lockdown.

Socially distanced seagulls made us all titter

The business plan said, if we can continue on t’ telly we will get through this. Our first lockdown TV offering was called Bulldog Spirit a nod to the courage needed to get through this peculiar time. We designed six projects all on the theme of battling through the isolation and tried to give it our fun twist. This offering inspired so many people and was so successful that we decided to continue with the theme; this time looking at how our mindset had moved on and though we felt desperate, we had hope.

Always dream bag, inspired by the work of none other than Banksy!

The always dream bag is probably one of the nicest bags we have ever made I love it and I am very proud of this piece of work. We also did the Don’t stick your neck out giraffe as a reminder that although we were finding confidence in the new normal, it was not yet time to take risks.

Don’t stick your neck out, giraffe applique

As the government messages began to allow us to creep carefully out of isolation we came up with a new theme called reunited. sue and I had loads of fun thinking about how this might look for different people and whilst for some it would be a wondrous reunion, as we sat in the garden discussing this two swallows came and landed on the washing line; one turned to the other and began giving it a huge telling off! the on being told off simply turned its back on the first, this made us laugh out loud and so we came up with both versions of reunited

You’re Peckin’ me’ ‘ed!
Little Owl applique on cher Hazel Bag
Bunny Bonkers applique pack used on this lovely pillow

So now as we move into the next phase, we wonder what will it bring and where will it lead. As I look though some of our lockdown projects above, I feel really proud of the work we have done and the inspiration we have given to other people. Do get in touch and let me know what you think of our projects.

Love to you all. Anthea x http://www.quiltingantics.co.uk

Bunny Love 58″ square quilt available as a full kit or block of the month.