Sunday, December 21, 2008


Woo ooh... The instructions for making my quilt 'Hawaiian Snowflake' have been published in Fabrications Magazine you can see a small pic of it on the front cover too - the blue and white one.
There is also a pic of Pink Parfait in the review of the Scottish Quilt championships back in September. So I am double excited!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter sun

The sun trying to break through the freezing fog.

Even the bin looks beautiful!

On a cold a frosty morning.....

This weather even makes the weeds look good! Oh and there's a tit on the fat ball feeder!
We have had 2 nights of very heavy frost it has barely got above freezing during the day, this is the atmospheric view that greeted me this morning.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Negatively Positive....

Finally finished the cushions (pillows) I mentioned a few posts back, they have been sitting in my projects box for quite some time!

They are the result of my messing around with positive and negative blocks, two different methods of applique and 'quilt as you go'. For the white on blue I used bondaweb the blue on white other was just pinned into place. The motifs were stitched into place and quilted at the same time using a machine buttonhole stitch.

I used the MicroStitch gun, for the first time, to hold the layers together instead of the usual pinning or tacking (basting). It was brilliant, apart from.... I used muslin as the backing fabric and the tacks slid back between it and the wadding when I was trying to remove them so I had some fishing to do before I could finish off the cushions.
And it would have been easier to get the tacks out if I had one of the tack removing tools, but so far I have been too tight to buy one, its now on my Christmas list:-) If you had a lot of tacks to take out, on a large quilt, it would be far easier, quicker and safer as you have to be really careful not to accidentally cut the fabric as you go, they are tiny and quite difficult to get hold of. Babs steered me to Lady Sew and Sew who has deal which works out well as you get the extra tacks, she also suggested I get the removing tool at the same time, should have listened.....

Monday, November 17, 2008

teabag folding

All are 3 1/2" from point to point

We did some teabag folding in the afternoon, something I never imagined myself doing but amazingly I loved it...

These are my first samples and no where near perfect please don't look to closely!!!

folded patchwork - log cabin

Log cabin 4" square

Folded Christmas Decoration/Coaster

Square in a square 3 1/2"

On Saturday I went to a Quilters' Guild members day where Janette Fairer taught us how to make folded Christmas decorations, though mine will be coasters, I'm not a big fan of decorations!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reversible quilts...

The Pot holder was originally a block for a Project Linus quilt, but as ever I cut that one too small (how does that happen?) and faced with either cutting all the other block to match or making another I made another, so this one became an orphan.

The block was made using the reversible quilting technique in Sharon Pederson's book - Reversible Quilts - Two at a Time.

Pot Holder

As ever I didn't finish all I wanted to but I did finish the pot holder.

which is reversible

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Real Sewing?

I got to do some sewing yesterday..... 6 buttons on my partner's shirts oh the excitement I could hardly contain myself. And what does he do to his shirts to require 6 buttons replacing all at once? OK I'll fess up the pile has been building on the table for a number of weeks.... well possibly months.....

Have done no other sewing for weeks, the machine has been put away whilst I do 'design work' which I love doing, just so long as I can jump in and make whatever when I am happy with it. But as this design work is for C&G I have to get approval from my tutor, it also has to be presentable, not my usual scribble, which I understand but the tutor wouldn't! It kinda takes the fun out of the whole process!

Got a couple of WIP's out after my success with the buttons and will finish them today and post pics later. Now when I say WIP's I do use the term very loosely they were experiments ie me trying techniques nothing very exciting, two of which I will make into cushions and one into a pot holder:-)

Feel obliged to leave you with a picture as I have written nothing of interest so here we have it:

Hydrangea's from the garden

Friday, October 31, 2008

More Halloween Frivolity...

Halloween II

Flushed with my success (it was finished) with 'Halloween' I had another rush of blood in October 2001 and began my Bat Quilt 'Halloween II', I think there were going to be more but this was as far as my 'series' got:-)
I found the most amazing pumpkin buttons in two sizes, probably on The Button Lady's stand at one of the quilt shows, they make perfect eyes, although they are a little uncomfortable when you lean back on the settee!

When I look at the back of these quilts I can see the fabric I used on Halloween must have been a border print, the back of both that and II are made from the same fabric. As you can see at the time I was playing with fancy quilt backs!

Detail of Halloween see previous post


Don't you just love Halloween it is such a great time, and one is able to make the odd frivolous quilt!
I bought some fabulous halloween fabric many years ago when I first started quilting, actually it was probably in 2000 which now seems like many years ago, that is when I bought the fabric, not began quilting if you see what I mean, I had by then been a veteran quilter for all of 18 months! Anyway you know the sort of fabric I mean - the kind you have absolutely no idea what you could do with it, but hey you just HAVE to have it! It was a scrumptious Debbie Mumm halloween fabric and it was in the sale need I say more?! It sat in my stash for several months I only had a small stash back then, this was during the time when I felt it was necessary to use or at least have a project in mind for all of my fabrics... yes I can hear you laughing and you're right it didn't last long, hence studio now being too small!
I'm rambling sorry....
Halloween (back of)

Back to halloween fabric... Back in the day you had to spend £25(I think) to get free shipping with Amazon I was buying a few books and hadn't quite made the £25, now we all know there is no point in wasting £5 in p&p when you can spend £15 on a good book is there? So I had to have a look for something for me and I came across one called Stack n Whack by Bethany Reynolds I had no idea what is was about but I loved the name and it did have a picture of a nice quilt on the front!!!
There is a point to this I promise!
So I had the fabric and then this book arrived, great choice of book by the way I loved it, still do. Obviously I had to make a quilt out of it, there was enough of the Halloween fabric to make one so off I set. Did I mention this was at the beginning of October and we were moving at the end of the month? Thought I could do a little packing interspersed with a little sewing... now come on you all know it makes sense! All it needed was the border when we moved out.
Once we had unpacked and I was able to get back to some quilting I decided to put some embroidery on it, having got a fancy sewing machine with an embroidery unit for my birthday that year. I finally finished the wall hanging in February 2001.

Delia's pumpkin soup....

Aha is this where I went wrong - I didn't follow Delia's recipe? It it looks better than mine, sounds better that mine and it no doubt tastes better than mine!!! Ah well there's always next year:-)

All Hallows Eve......

Ummm pumpkin soup - a delicacy requiring something of an acquired taste me thinks, at least the recipe I followed does! Note to self - next year give pumpkin pie a whirl!!

Fortunately we had this hideous beast to keep the wandering spirits at bay.......

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday already....

Oh no it's Friday again and I haven't posted all week, I made a mental note to myself after last Friday's epic posting session that I would try to post at least twice a week, so much for good intentions!

We have been entertaining Tony's niece this week, she is great fun, being a vampire (my son's description!) she does like to keep me up at night talking and sewing. Not that I did much sewing was too tired after the first evening, though I did finally manage to design the centre of a wall hanging for City and Guilds, something I have been putting off for weeks! All I have to decide on now are the corners and borders, but that will have to wait until next week.

We have a Regional Day at Braithwaite Hall on Saturday with Janet Cook, Janet is also doing a workshop on Sunday. I can't go to that now (boo hoo)as my niece is being Christened and duty calls! Will just have to indulge in a purchase or 2 tomorrow to make up for it..... well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Little Miss Domesticity!

Today I decided if I tidied my studio I would have more space to work?!
Also thought I would declutter it at the same time umm... Now when it comes to the rest of the house and everyone else's stuff I can declutter like a woman possessed, but in my studio? nooo its just too painful, come on I'm bound to find a use for anything I throw out 2 days/weeks after it has gone to the tip!

So I tidied a couple of shelves it looks better on those 2 shelves but I also took everything off my desk and dumped it on my sewing table, can no longer see the top of the sewing table, but the top of the desk looks great I even got the polish out and polished it! Now I AM going to declutter this stuff, hence the mad flurry of blogging!

Perhaps when I get up in the morning the decluttering fairy will have been and sorted it all out for me... speaking of fairies my partner seems to think we have a washing up fairy who comes in and does our at night whilst he is snoring in front of the telly. Being 'creative' (bah) I cannot possibly wash up after eating its just too soon after the time spent in the kitchen cooking, and apparently if I don't do it no one else can, ah what it is to be indispensable...NOT

Back to the studio, personally I think it is too small and I should have a larger space, do we really need a sitting room do you think?!

Pix from Edinburgh

Flying High by Sally Bramald

This little quilt won the wholecloth category (I think)the workmanship is superb, its the one I would have liked to have made or at least taken home:-)

Remember Me by Maggie Davies

Now I know I'm not a flowery quilts person but this little quilt really caught my eye, its painted beaded has fusible ribbon applique the detail was wonderful (note I for some bizarre reason didn't take a detail shot) oh yes and its much better in the flesh!

Harrogate Embroidery show

Last weekend I was back in Harrogate again at what used to be called the Madeira show think it might be ichf now, whatever..... it is a touring event Iwill look for a link to their website and post it later. It is ichf

It is a great show there is some quilting but it is mainly embroidery and lots of colleges and schools have displays of work from their textile students. I looove this show, the best bit (for me) is the fashion show were some the work (clothes and head wear) of the students is shown very professionally by them on a catwalk, it always has a vibrant and exciting a atmosphere and the work is superb. I always feel uplifted after a visit.

I was lucky enough to steward on the Contemporary Quilt group stand for a couple of hours in the afternoon. This enabled me to have a really good close up look at the journal quilts that had been loaned by the members for the event, they were stunning. They are part of an ongoing challenge to make one 12" square quilt a month for 12 months, each participant had submitted 4 quilts. It was great talking to folks and hearing all their complimentary comments, if you get the opportunity to steward at an event go for it, it is great fun. Since you are on the stand you see so much more than if you just visit, perhaps it is because you don't have so much else going on in your mind or to catch your eye and have time to just look.

Pix from the garden

Hydrangers and nasturtiums

I don't know what this bush/wannabe tree is, but it grows in front of our sitting room window and is always overloaded with berries. The birds provide us with plenty of entertainment as they fight over them during the late autumn and winter months!

I'm not much of a gardener these days I used to do lots, never seem to have the time or inclination these days, must be old age! I have chosen these pix carefully so you cannot see the abundance of weeds and nettles growing alongside and amongst our plants!

Edinburgh Quilt Show

I went up to the Edinburgh quilt show in September and was thrilled to see Pink Parfait had won second prize in the theme category 'A Touch of Tradition', so spent the first hour I was there in a bit of a daze wandering around with a silly grin on my face!!

After I had some lunch and calmed down I was able to have a good look round, although a small show it was well attended with lots of quilts and plenty of traders. Its not as overwhelming as some of the larger ones and doable in a day.

Orchard's harvest!

We are very fortunate to have a rather old orchard, with an abundance of both apples and wild life, and since we began putting out peanuts we regularly have a woodpecker come and visit. If only I were able to catch him on camera but he seems to be shy!

I have been making Mrs Beeton's apple chutney.
As ever with me nothing goes as straightforwardly as it should! After getting deep into making chutney I discovered we didn't have enough malt vinegar, I added the little cider vinegar we had but drew the line at using the balsamic, as I was still short I used the half a bottle of red wine that had been rattling about the cupboard for some time. It turned out great not so acidic as normal, we decided we preferred it made this way so the recipe has been altered, sorry Mrs B:-)

Also found a recipe for apple and cinnamon jam/jelly, but I got a bit carried away with the cinnamon will not be quite so heavy handed next time, still tastes great though.

Have also made Delia's Christmas mincemeat which smells delicious am almost tempted to use it now, though have been good it is bottled and stored under the stairs out of sight out of mind?!

overloaded apple trees


Have been little miss domesticity of late hence the lack of blogging.

We have a bumper crop of apples both cooking and eating, so have been busy baking with them all.

But will be as round as a barrel if I don't stop making apple crumble, I hate to see the apples go to waste and I looove apple crumble!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Now for some quilting!

More City & Guilds work.

Broderie Perse sample pinned ready for stitching

Shadow broderie perse sample all pieces are glued in place waiting for the net to go over and then get quilted.

I don't think you should be up there with those scissors Stripey Kat!

NO Trixie NO!

Don't Panic, all is well! Trixie was just giving Kitty Kat a wash, phew!

Cat n Dog

Kitty Kat

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Busy week

I've had a very busy week with no time for sewing or blogging!
Thrilled to report that Pink Parfait won a Judges Merit at the Great Northern Quilt Festival at Harrogate at the weekend, huge grin :-)
Now have to get back down off cloud 9 and go do some quilting!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

C & G mola sample finished

I've finished that is I've done as much as I am going to do until my tutor points out the extra bits I forgot to do/show!!

The Mola fish was good fun to do and I was looking forward to doing the Hmong one, but I used a floppy cotton for the top which frayed before I cut it, wouldn't stay in place even when I tacked it. Thankfully it was only a small piece and I only had to complete a quarter of it:-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

City & Guilds Mola

I've also been busy with C&G work have finally started doing my Mola sample which as quite taken me by surprise; I'm enjoying doing it! I don't as a rule like hand work am never quite dexterous enough to get the bits under for applique and usually have stray bits of thread sticking out or even worse bits that are not meant to fray fraying, which get worse the more I try to fix them. I bend and break needles and generally have my fingers in the wrong place, which are abused by the needles getting revenge they stab me and invariably I end up bleeding. This does not mean that all of the above have not happened with the mola sample, they have, maybe I'm becoming a masochist?!

It's not finished yet and in fact I have since done more to it will post again when its finished. Oh the bit in the corner is showing the stages.

Green Dresden Plate

After making the sample Dresden plate I decided the spokes were too thin and so have redesigned it, it now has 12 spokes instead of 16. I made it up but don't like the colours I used think it needs a bit more umph, it looks dull and I don't do dull :-) Will maybe make another with the gold coloured fabric instead of the green in the curved spokes or maybe not.
I once again figured how to draw using EQ4 which I have had for sometime but rarely use its just so complicated after using Quilt Pro, but am too lazy to find out how to draw a successful Dresden plate using QP and I had instructions for EQ4 :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Specks

Today I picked up my new glasses varifocals, arrg what have I done? I can no longer see a thing:) well ok that's a slight exaggeration, I can still see but everything keeps going all blurry, how on earth does one cope with these things? I know I know I have to give them about a week then apparently I will wonder how I managed without, I keep giving in and putting my old ones back on at least I can still see with them!

I have done no sewing for days, have been procrastinating and have spent sooo much time on the computer, will have to ration myself if I am ever going to get any more done.

Got out my City and Guilds course work thought I ought to maybe do a bit more I might eventually get it finished then, but that sent me hot foot back to the computer to do some essential(?) research. Its taking me rather longer than most folks as I do a bit then get distracted and do other more interesting things then go back and do a bit more. Problem is the gaps between doing bits are getting rather long and I'm embarrassed to say I've been doing C&G part I for the best part of this century:-) Its a correspondence course so I don't have to have anything finished to take to class each week, beginning to think maybe I'm not cut out for a correspondence course, suspect I might just lack the bit of discipline needed to get on and do it.

So now I'm off to bed will start it all again tomorrow...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dresden Plate

Woo wooo go me - the templates worked!
I figured I'd best make it up in calico to check that it worked - no point in wasting good fabric is there?:-)

Great, now on to the real thing, well tomorrow morning getting too tired now and will just make a mess!

Drafting patterns

Why oh why can I not to just sew a pattern why do I always have to alter and redesign everything? I have been trying to draft a pattern for a Dresden plate most of the week, hopefully I have finally succeeded .
I do have a pattern from the first sampler quilt I made but this time I have to do different sized blocks so the DP will not fit. I have instructions on how to design one but am pants at drawing, cannot draw accurately and am too annal to accept good enough oh no for me it has to be perfect! That's why I love quilting software but only use it, as with all my software, for stuff I need/want and I hate having to take time out to have learn new things on it! So have had to drag out the instruction manual but that is less use than a chocolate poker - at least you can eat a choc poker:-) Why can it not just answer the question how do you draft a Dresden plate block? - I guess because it is too difficult for a sometime user like myself, I know should use it more often, but time I need more time.....

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pink Parfait cushions

I made samples with the leftover bits from Pink Parfait, I used these to try out machine and hand quilting, I've now turned them into these cushions.

They are both the same colour, but I could only find one insert the right size so had to photo them separately. The one on the right is actually a truer colour.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Menagerie Expands

Number two son has been to my brother's for a few days great I thought I would get loads of time to sew, only to discover the puppies required a lot more of my time and attention, hadn't realised quite how much time he spends with them. I digress, he came home with two kittens, I'm not really a cat person but have to admit they are rather cute!

They are the very devil to photograph they will not stay still!

The pups are somewhat unimpressed the kittens spit at them and poor Trixie got her nose scratched for getting too close, Tigger is keeping them at a more respectable distance!