Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Giveaway Time!

Well I have finally reached my 50th post! I know some of you are celebrating amazing milestones like 4 years of blogging (like Stephie at Narrative Self who is having her own giveaway to celebrate with an amazing prize!), and a mere 50 posts doesn't seem that many but it seems like quite a big deal to me.
When my sons helped me set up this blog last June they really didn't expect me to do very much with it, being pretty incompetent with IT and also very busy with the rest of my life. But it has turned out to be the best thing I have done in years, opening up a whole on-line community to me, inspiring me to greater heights of creativity, and enabling me to make such lovely new friends.

So to celebrate I am giving away everything in the photo above!
The 1st prize is 4 greengate fat quarters, regular readers will recognise these from recent posts. Read more about them here and here.
2nd prize is the original leaf needlecase I made from the lovely Japanese book I got for Xmas, plus a box of 18 mini notecards with envelopes, all photos from the gorgeous 'Super-cute crochet' book.3rd Prize is one of my mini quilt keyrings, 2 reels of pretty ribbon and this lovely wall plaque for your sewing room!4th prize is a book called 'simple cushions' - lots of great ideas and techniques here - one of my wee patchwork fishes for you to hang up and these absolutely beautiful fabric (they are like little yo-yo patches) paperclips to brighten up your office!5th prize is a Blueberry Park 'take-away kit' to 'design a shopper', the kit contains a canvas tote bag, embroidery hoop, silks and beads plus lots of ideas about what to do. Plus a Blueberry Park pincushion, handmade by Karen herself. Karen has a great website where you can buy her kits along with a host of other goodies and also one of my favourite blogs. All the prizes not made by me have been kindly donated by my shop, Jonathan Avery (it's great being your own boss!!).

So how do you win one of these great prizes?!

To make things easier for me to explain (for me not you, I am sure you are all used to these givaways!), I am going to treat the giveaway like a 'raffle' where you 'buy' tickets. So you can 'buy' 1 ticket for commenting on this post. You can buy 3 tickets for being my follower (or becoming one!). And you can buy 5 whole tickets for mentioning this giveaway on your own blog!
To make it a bit more interesting and fun, you can buy an extra 2 tickets by telling me your best 'crafting tip' in your comment. That way even if you don't win anything you might gain some wisdom from reading the comments!

To start you off here is my best tip:
When machine quilting, wear surgical gloves. They give superb handling as you move the quilt around. Ask your dentist for a pair next time you go for a check up!

The giveaway will close at midnight on Sunday the 18th of April 2010 and I will post about the winners on Monday the 19th. If you do mention the giveaway on your blog please email me (through my profile above) to let me know. International friends welcome, I am happy to post the prizes anywhere in the world!

Good luck everyone!!


  1. Hi! Love the kits... so, I became a follower... and I will post something on my blog. http://hello-my-little-world.blogspot.com/
    I don't have any good tips, I am just starting on crafts... sorry.
    ok, so my email is escuishi (at) hotmail (dot) com

  2. Lovely giveaway! fantastic prizes! I managed to get the best possible chance by earning each and everyone of your 'tickets'!

    Comment here - check
    I am following you allready - check
    Giveaway blogged - check

    Ok, rests the crafty tip. For me it is the amazing discovery I only recently made of.... freezer paper... I know a lot of you allready know this but I was just SO amazed at how wonderful it is (and I did not know!!) that I wanted to share it.

    When you are doing applique, draw the shape on the non-shiny side of the freezer paper. Cut roughly around it and iron onto the right side of the fabric. (unless you want a mirror image of course). Then cut out about a 1/4" from the lines. You now have your shape. Take the freezer paper off and put it on the wrong side of the fabric. shiny side up (you can use it more than once) and fold the seam allowance around the template and carefully iron it on. Turn the whole thing and iron on the seam allowance on the right side so there is a nice crisp crease. Now you can take out the freezer paper entirely (and use the same one a couple of times more untill it doesn't stick anymore) and your applique shape is ready to be sewn on.

    That is all isn't it? Any more tickets to be earned.. let me know! The loot is worth all the work!

    Thanks for the chance to win in this generous giveaway.

  3. Ooh, you're just up the road from me (I'm near Stirling!) and I didn't know! Followed the link from Raf's Mum up there -thanks for the heads up Marguerite, what a great wee blog! I'll be sure to visit next time I'm up in Auld Reekie!

    Here's a tip I learned just last night. Do not sew in the sewing room in your bear feet. Those recalcitrant pins (you know the ones that leap out of your hand and you can never EVER find them?) love jamming themselves into the soles of those poor wee tootsies. And do not dance with an unsheathed rotary cutter in your hand. Oooyah!

    So, I've commented, am about to become your follower and explore your pretty things further. Excellent!

  4. Welcome Lynz! We are practically neighbours, how nice to have someone so local! And thanks for the wee freezer paper tutorial Marg, I bought some a while back but have been too confused to use it. I will dig it out and follow your very clear instructions.
    And a good point about health and safety re. pins and rotary cutters, though I would just add that wearing crocheted slippers doesn't help too much with avoiding pins in your feet!

  5. Hey Lynz! Glad you found your way here. I'd been plotting about introducing you two...heh..heh..heh.... Hope the tootsies are holding up. One torn lip in the household is enough! (Jo, her daughter bashed her teeth thru her lip... poor wee thing...)

    Hope the mini-tute was clear enough, if you need more info just ask! It's really magic!

  6. Congratulations on your 50th post and here's too many more to come! Thanks for having such a super giveaway! Sharonj

  7. I've also become a follower, thanks once again! Sharonj.

  8. now i'm following you!
    and my crafting tip is.. be careful with your fingers and crazy glue haha!

  9. Congratulations on your 50th post! I first found your blog through Marguerite when she was doing her giveaway and we all did a post about where we lived. I had you in my google reader but will now become an official follower! I would love to visit your shop in Edinburgh, looks like it has some beautiful things in it. I'm a bit far away though.
    Now my sewing tip is one I read about not so long ago: To keep your machine in tip top running order, fold a pipe cleaner in half and poke the ends down a straw. Dip the folded end ( poking out from the straw) into some sewing machine oil and use to clean out around your bobbin area. The oil helps to grab any lint as well as gently lubricating all the parts.

  10. What an awesome prize!! I'd love to win. I just love that wall hanging and the clips, and the book... Gosh it's all so lovely and I've gladly become a follower of yours. Thank you.

  11. Jo
    What a fantastic idea...I just had to comment! Have always liked a raffle. I`m not working at the moment so am about to get inspired. Lisi is doing so well.... I have no tips yet but want you to take a look at a website I found.www.themakelounge.com It looks fab and I thought of you and an idea for evenings in the shop maybe?? Lisi and I are going to take a little visit....we shall let you know the outcome. Jane x

  12. Hi Jo, just thought I'd say thanks for my own giveaway mention in your post and of course I'll be reciprocating! I decided to become one of your followers the other day, but to be honest I still don't know what it's all about! Is it like RSS, but you get to know who the subscribers are??? I'm confused as per!

    I've been trying to think about a top crafting tip relating to sewing and I realised that the thing that most irritates me is trying to get the flippin' bits of threads out of the carpet! So my tip would be to get rid of the carpet before you hobby becomes an obsession!

    Many congratulations on your 50th post, I think it's fantastic that you feel confident enough to offer such a fab giveaway at this stage, it's only taken me 4 years, ha, ha! :)

  13. just found your lovely blog...congrats on 50 posts. Your giveaway looks like a lot of fun.
    I now follow, and look forward to seeing your stitching!

  14. Dont forget i am your bestest friend - and you know that you have inspired me through all the bad times - love ya!!!!!!! no pressure

  15. Thanks for all the great comments and tips! I will have to try that pipe cleaner/oil one Catherine - I am shockingly negligent of my sewing machine needs.
    Stephie's comment about threads in the carpet reminded me of another great tip:
    Dampen a scouring pad and wipe this all over your carpet as a really quick way to pick up all the threads!

  16. What a great giveaway!!! I am looking so long for dotty fabrics, I am in love with toadstools:)
    Ha, now I know why I saw girls in gloves quilting:)
    I can only say mhhhhhh...
    Grettings from Ireland XOXOXO:)))
    I am following You too:)

  17. What a wonderful giveaway, and congrats on your 50th blog. My tip to you all is if you are using embriodery floss (like DMC etc), if you iron it smooth your embriodery stitches look so much nicer.

  18. What great giveaways! I have been a long established follower and now with a bit more time on my hands I look forward to reading more!

  19. 50 is milestone enough! I'm glad your boys were in on the ground floor sort to speak. It's still pretty easy to impress them huh? Isn't the internet wonderful! These are great items for your giveaway...you'll get lots of response I'm sure.

  20. Just discovered your blog via Time Out Stitching's announcement of your give-away. Kudos for a beautiful site and 50th blog milestone! Quite impressive. Love all the helpful hints from your followers, what a great idea. Here are a few of my favorites. Keep a glue stick handy, works great for holding things in place (zippers, pockets, applique, patches) while you get ready to stitch. Keep fusible web handy (e.g., Stitch Witchery). I've been using it to make piping (holds cord in place while you iron bias strip in half - amazing results). Keep double sided 1/4 inch tape handy. Great for easy/even seams. Keep a roll of scotch tape handy. Great for sewing perfectly straight lines (small quilting projects, zipper top stitching, etc.) Instead of batting, use one layer of flannel inside your quilt sandwich. When making a tote bag or purse, use artist's canvas instead of interfacing to give structure and sturdiness (~$4/yd, comes in a very wide roll, found in art supplies). Okay, that's all for now! Thanks for offering a delicious assortment of goodies in your fab give-away.

  21. Hi Jo Congratulations on your 50th Thanks for a super givaway. Cant top any of those handy hints today have to think about !!!

  22. Well done on reaching 50 posts. I've just found you via Flickr and become a follower. I'm learning to make a quilt at the moment and I can see an obsession coming on!

    It's late and I can't think of any good tips, but I've enjoyed reading everyone else's.

  23. Well done 50 blogs, and I would love to win some fantastic fabric and I will mention your wonderful blog on my blog too - so I am ticking all the right boxes so far - okay my tip is a wonderful website where you can get small packets of beads and other findings, like brooch backs and small packs of rocaille beads, because they do a really good retail section as well as excellent wholesale goods too. Look up
    www.beadsunlimited.co.uk they have a great website and I am sure it will inspire you to use more bead work in your sewing.

  24. hey, how can anyone pass a good chance to win -- even more with a cool blog!!
    congrats on the big 50!!
    dang - can't think of a good crafting tip.... hmm..

  25. What a fabulous giveaway! Congrats on the 50th post.

  26. What a lovely giveaway! And thanks to Adventures in Quilting and Sailing for letting me know about it :) I am following you, and my crafty tip is - when youre cutting fabric for a project, make sure you slice any left over fabrics up into 1 1/2" strips. Keep them in a shoebox or similar until you have a whole pile - then you've got ready made "strings" for a little string quilt full of fabrics you've loved over the past few projects!

  27. Congrats on your 50 posts! Very inspirational - if someone with as hectic a life as you can keep at it, then maybe there's hope for the rest of us too :) Some gorgeous stuff on here, and if I'm not lucky in the giveaway then Ill be popping into the shop to get some wee fish soon - I bet wee Tom would love them!

  28. This is a lovely idea and beautiful things, reminds me a lot of Japan. Can I have extra tickets for twittering? www.twitter.com/katenevens

  29. Hi Jo!
    Congratulations on your 50th Blog!! Yay! Can't believe it's 50 already - seems only yesterday that you were telling me about this in Glasgow! Awh how time flies!
    I must say what a great wee prize you are giving away! When I first saw the photo I thought everything would be given away as one prize and so was delighted to read that you are splitting the items up into smaller giveaways. Means for more excitement for your followers and of course many more chances to win! :D
    As you know I have been a follower from birth! ha ha!
    Here is my crafting tip (actually my Gran's):
    Next time you are using some sort of measuring device, whether to sew/craft etc, measure your handspan from thumb to pinky (comfortably stretched). Mine measures 8inches. Next time you are sewing/crafting and you do not have a measuring device at hand (or cannot be bothered to get out your comfy seat to look for one) use your hand as your measuring device!! Genius!
    Also to get my fifth lucky ticket I am going to add the details of your blog on my facebook page which may help attract you more followers! As they say "you gotta be in it to win it" and so I'll have to be "in it" as much as I can, especially with all these new followers you have, which of course means much more competition!!
    Have fun picking the winners!
    Love, Sarah Vaughan.
    x :)

  30. Would love to win any of your prizes. They all look wonderful. My most useful tip for crafting/sewing seems to be the zippy bags. I put everything I need for a project in a bag. They come in all sizes and keep things together. I hate having to look for stuff when I want to sew. Bonnie in Iowa

  31. Congrat's on your 50th post!You have a lovely blog and i've now joined your group of followers.
    My most useful sewing tip is when you are sewing with a machine and want a straight line. measure the distance from the needle say 5cm for instance and use a piece of electrical tape to mark the distance parallel to the needle. This way when your sewing something like curtains or quilting even you have a clear marker of where your fabric should be you can put your foot down on the pedal and get the job done quicker.
    Hoping that made sence!

  32. Hi Jo,

    Your blog is fab! Michelle told me about it on Thursday, I was sorry to miss you as I had the beginnings of my quilt with me! I'm so excited about making it LOL I'm getting some good tips on here though.


  33. 1 ticket - *Congratulations* on your milestone -- your work is beautiful :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  34. 3 tickets - Following Bearpaw with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}]

  35. This is all so cute!

    Just came across your blog! It is lovely!


  36. michelle norris18 April 2010 at 14:39

    I just found your blog, I love it and will follow it. Love all the lovely gifts, would love any of them. Don't know if this is a tip but, enjoy sewing as a part of your heart and soul and sewing will truly become part of you!!!! When I let go and let sewing really become a part of me and not just something to conquer, I found that I could accomplish so much more and feel so good about it! Does this make sense?


  37. Hi Jo,

    Realise I'm too late for the giveaway (though am already a follower so there's that 'ticket') but just wanted to add my congratulations on the 50th post. Time flies!
    I'm long overdue writing you a proper email as there's plenty news and chat. I'll try and get round to it soon but in the meantime please keep up the great inspiring work.

  38. OOOps! That last one was from me!
    C x

  39. Hello :D You have a lovely blog, and this is a WONDERFUL giveaway! I just found your blog, but I will be following it from now on. My best crafty tip this week would have to be buying an extendable magnet (the ones that look like a pen when they're folded up; you can find them in the tool section of a dollar store) to pick up pins/thimbles/stitch rippers that you inevitably drop while sewing, and that always end up at the farthest possible point under the table :D Congrats on your fiftieth entry:D

  40. Wow, how exciting that I won - Thanks so much Jo!