Friday, 29 April 2011

Pieced ... and a party

Here, at last, is last week's pieced top.  The fabric is Moda's Girl's Best Friend - yummy batiks.  

I did the pinwheels blocks, and joined them in strips.  Then I joined the strips to the fleece in my Quilt As You Go method - the one that probably has traditional quilters shaking their head sadly, but works great for me [click here for instructions].  It took about 45 minutes to go from 4 strips to a pieced top!  I did then decided to echo quilt each pinwheel block - except I then did one quilt line down the middle of the block instead of at the side.  With normal fabric I might have unpicked, but batik isn't too forgiving, so I did the echo quilting on each horizontal and each vertical - that might teach me to concentrate!

I have ordered some more of one of the pinks for a border then this will be ready!
Although we had a no-work day today for the Royal Wedding, I didn't get any sewing done.  The family didn't show much interest in watching the wedding, so I thought we'd have it on in the background - in the end I had a husband, two daughters, two boyfriends, and nephew and his daughter all watching the wedding, and drinking my tea!!!

After lunch we then moved out into the lane for a great Street Party.  Appx 120 people in our little road, eating, drinking, chatting - having a great time!
Hope you had a good Friday :-)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

A new follower

I had a giddy moment when I saw I had a new follower and I went to her blog. Such a compliment to be followed by a really accomplished sewer [awful word!!] patchworker! I've never been to Amy's blog before, but she really is worth a vist ...

I'm typing this laying in bed, so no photos yet. I did start backing the batik pinwheels yesterday, but kept getting interrupted by people remembering I am 'mummy', particularly the 20 year old, LOL. Still we did get cupboards tidied, about 20 handbags thrown out, the lizard moved into a new tank, and the hedgehog moved into the vacated tank, and Brian got the bathroom floor almost finished, and the original embroidery machine running again, plus plenty of stops and chats in the sunshine

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A block, a flimsy and a postcard

Folded Prairie Points   No idea why they are called this, but I found an easy-to-follow guide on how to make them here, and thought they'd be great for Hilary's textured quilt.
I have today finished the flimsy for the warm and cool log cabin.  I do like it better now that it is all joined together.  I added more blocks of white in the hope they would look more intentional


And finally, a postcard under construction for Hadley

I use pelmet/craft stabiliser from the local fabric shop. and I cut it to 6" x 4".   I cut my backing fabric slightly bigger and glued the fabric to the stabiliser

Then I cut a piece of fabric for the mug, and sketched on the mug using a frixon pen (it vanishes when ironed)

I drop the feed dogs on the machine (although some people don't bother) and use a darning / free motion quilting foot.  These are the ones I can use, my preference is for the middle one

I then kind of draw round the mug with the needle on a slow speed.  I went round a couple of times, and I don't try to follow the previous stitches.

When I'm happy with the mug I trim back the excess mug fabric.  I like these applique scissors, but any will do: take care not to cut the base fabric.

I also have some cookie fabric which I love, co I cut out a cookie and added that in the same way

Finally I cut a sheet of paper to the same 6X4" size, and glue that to the back of the card, and the stitch through the base fabric, the stabiliser and the paper.  As I used paper I just did a running stitch.  I could have used a piece of cotton fabric, and then I could have used a blanket stitch or another decorative one

Enjoy your cuppa and calorie free cookie!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

A quick post...

***Not sure what happened here: this should have posted a week ago - instead showing 22nd April! ... better late than never!***

Chertsey Museum's Fun with fabric went really well.. Six ladies again, three from last month, and three new.

Jenny had finished her felt applique, so we framed that, but Barbara and Jackie didn't bring theirs back.

The denim bags went well, and only I got burnt by the glue gun!!!

I didn't get photos of Jackie's and Avril's bags.  They didn't get them finished, but are happy to carry on at home

Barbara went off at a complete tangent, and made this great bag from the left overs that we'd torn strips from.  She lined it with one of the bags I'd made as skeletons.  She cut slits in the back and front and threaded narrow strips through and tied then!

Nicola stuck to the darker denim and got loads done on her bag

And Anne tried lots of different arrangements, but decided she wanted to just use the stripes, not the weaving.
Jenny also made good progress, but no photo!  For a number of the ladies this was their first time with a glue gun - I think they'll be off to get one now, and Avril has one, but has never used it she says she will now!

They want to try English Piecing next - hexagons for a pin cushion, or pentagons for a baby's ball, and then they fancy smocking (gulp) so I'm going to have a practice to see how easy that is by hand!!!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Teaching weekend

My busy weekend has come around again - how quick was that?

This afternoon I'm at Chertsey Museum, teaching this No Sew Denim Bag that I taught at the library a few months ago

Then at the library tomorrow we are working on the two colour Rail Fence designs the ladies started last month on the month before, and then a quick dash to Kelli's Baby Shower, the back to Crafts, Cuppa, and Chat in Church, then I'm done!

The last few days have been spent occasionally being mum ... Niki and I went to a fish spa, and had dead skin removed from our feet by fish (!!!)

A very bizarre experience, Niki reckoned pins and needles, I reckoned a very mild electric current, like a tens machine on low, either way, not unpleasant, and our feet felt really soft afterwards, although my fish all sunk the the bottom - over fed? (No, my calves aren't THIS big, it's a dodgy perspective!!!)

I then made some postcards, some as Thank You cards, and others just because!

And I have to share what my postman shoved through my letter box - The lovely lovely lovely Jo from Bearpaw and Bearpaw showed a fab make up / stuff purse a few weeks ago that they are selling in their shop, (if you have a minute or two, go visit and see the awesome Computer Geek quilt she is making. Inspired by this - I LOVE the colours and the clean crisp lines)

I did suggest that she could send me the flimsy, but I am VERY happy with the compromise of the bag, and she also sent the sweetest magnetic cupcakes.  It was great to talk to a fellow blogger, especially one who has such good taste, I just wish I was nearer Edinburgh so I could visit the shop!

The timing was perfect as we are doing the denim weaving this afternoon, so I can take my new bag to inspire the ladies (NOT to show off and gloat!!!)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Lisa has been practising her crochetting - and look what she's done!

Go Lisa!!!

Log Cabin

This is what I've been working on,
... but I have a few issues with it.  I don't think the centre square should have been white, and I made all the blocks the same and then turned some of them, I think I should have made them 'turned' if that makes sense.  I have always loved log cabin quilts, but have yet to make one that I really like.  Maybe (as a very last resort), I may have to follow instructions on making one - shock, horror!

Anyway, this one has got as far as it's going to get for now, as I've run out of orange fabrics.  (and after Tuesday's shopping spree I probably ought NOT go back to any shops just yet!

When it's done it will be a square, 4 blocks by 4 blocks., and then a few borders: maybe white followed by scraps of the left over fabrics, but for now, it's time for bed

Good night

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


I just popped along to the Bishops Centre while Niki was at work for 2 hours.  The Bishop Centre is a retail park with a number of outlet shops

I popped into Lands End, and got this scrummy HUGE canvas bag (saved £15) and a black warm coat (reduced from £99 to £20:50!!!), then next door to Josef Seibel shoe shop and I got some patchwork leather boots (saved £27:50), and next door again was Cargo where I got two fleece blankets (saved £2).
 Then at Creative World, three Inktense pencils jumped into the shopping basket, along with some felt, some alphabet stamps, some fabric pens, some silk flowers, some candle wicks and some fabric dye, and finally at the junk/antiques shop there was a lovely square glass vase/candle holder calling my name, and of course I could afford them out of all the money I had saved :-)

Lovely Evening

Last night I joined Plum and Lesley at the Richmond and Kew Quilters monthly meeting.  I cant usually make it as it would mean leaving home at 6, and I work until just gone six, but this is school holidays!!!

Avril had arranged the speaker but wasn't able to attend - shame Avril, you missed a great talk.  The lady was one of two designers at Fabric Freedom, and she talked about how they put together the recent Red Rose collection - no computer graphics here, roses painted onto paper and sent off to the printers in Korea, and thousands of metres of fabric being printed.  She then showed us the quilts that have been made over the years to showcase each collection, and finished with very generously giving out fabric.

I was amazed how many of the Fabric Freedom fabrics I recognised as having used over the years ... and this morning I was finally tempted to open my rainbow jelly roll of FF rainbow fabrics
 I sorted the fabrics into cool and warm colours (with a few outcasts that didn't feel right)

and I am now making a log cabin ... pictures to follow when I get far enough

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A finish, and a floor

I managed to turn a flimsy into a finish this weekend.  I have seen bloggers write about their favourite quilt being the one they are working on now.  My favourite is usually about 4 quilts ago, and the one I am planning to start next.

This Moda Rural Jardin quilt got as far as a flimsy back in November, and has been hanging in the dining room ever since.  I have now fallen back in love with it, and really like the finished item. 
 I decided not to use wadding and backing fabric, but to attach it straight to a fleece blanket.  Luckily it went on really straight, so I didn't need to trim away any of the fleece, leaving a good size blanket.  I quilted it from the front echoing each side of the blocks
The borders are a one inch dark red, followed by a 2.5 inch lighter red (cut to 3.25, 1/4 lost in joining it to the flimsy, and .5 turned under to finish.).  The final seam is a machine blanket stitch - I finally read the instructions and worked out how to flip a stitch over into a mirror image!

We went to Ikea yesterday.  We had quite a few things on our list (Brian doesn't do inspiration shopping) but bathroom floor was not one of them.  However when we saw this flooring he was happy to get enough to do the bathroom floor ... AND come home and start laying it.  [Does anyone else see the rail fence block here? I love it!!!]

Monday, 4 April 2011

Mothering Sunday, and another finish

I had a lovely day on Mothering Sunday (its traditional name in the UK, before Hallmark etc Americanised it)  My mum had stayed over night on her way to Norway, so I saw her in the morning, then had a late breakfast with my girls and was spoilt, then we popped in to see Brian's mum in the afternoon!

My girls got me this lovely daisy bead for my troll bracelet
 And Lisa made me this notebook cover

I like being spoilt!
As I put my new troll bead onto the chain, the others all fell off (twice - doh!).  I like to have them in the right order (even though I usually have the silvers on one bracelet and the colours on another) and I keep a record in a note book of what and when.  I had problems finding the note book, so thought I would record it here instead!

2007 (09) bracelet from Bette, hydrangea from Lisa, heart from Niki, red and gold from Terri, water lily (SMandE). seals from girlfriends in Marrakesh.  (12) white glass from Lisa, Castle from Ems, and the blue beads from Brian. 
2008 (Anniv) hearts from Brian, (09) viking design from mum, pumpkin from Niki, B from SMandE.
2009 (spring) red, orange yellow from Sally, (07) forget-me-not from Katherine, and one-of-a-kind from Sophie (07) Faith Hope and charity from Sue, (09) tea rose from Niki, (12) pink and white from Brian.
2010 (06) turquoise from Jane and the Halsnoy teens, (09) church from Alice
2011 (08) love what you do, and do what you love, in memory of Uncle Geoff, (04) daisy bead from Niki and Lisa, (edit, Christmas, a viking from Niki? Spring 2012: Dala horse on leaving WPS birthday 2012, a blue boy from Niki, a Mum heart from Lisa and a troll from Brian. Birthday 2013: red poppies from L&N, buttons from Leeds girls, buttons from Alice, love birds from Brian Birthday 2014: angel from Terri Spring 2015: home is where the heart is (Niki) Anniversary 2015 twin birds May 2015: red gems (niki)

I've now finished our quilt for Vinny-James.  Not a technically complicated one, but use of a flimsy that has been sitting around for a while, and a lovely 'blankie' size.
I quilted it "free range"- just gentle curves as suggested by the bargello blocks, and then hand stitched the label and the binding while we were on the way to Mother in Law's for Mothering Sunday.  Another 'finish' :-)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

done some making ;-)

When Lisa transferred to senior school, age 11, she was the only one from her primary school to go to Herschel Grammer School, so she didn't know anyone.  She quickly made friends, and still sees a fair number of the girls.    Kelli was was of her first friends, and I've always had a soft spot for her, although we did years ago reckon she'd be the first of Lisa's friends to get pregnant....

Well the baby is due in June, and Lisa and I have both been invited to the baby shower in a few weeks time.  I'm really flattered to have been invited, and have dug out the Moda tea roses pinwheels and have made a little quilt for the baby (Kelli knows she's having a girl).  The pinwheels don't stand out from the paisley blocks much in the photo (which means you cant see how poor the seams are :-) but it's very soft and pretty, and I'm pleased with the echo quilting.
On the back I used a fat quarter of the larger roses, and added a strip of spare pinwheels to add some length to it, then a border of the pink gingham from the range to make it as big as the front, and finally the green gingham as a narrow binding.  I hope she likes it!
I just thought I'd also share .... we have become a family that drink tea from a teapot!  Get us!  Actually we'd run out of teabags and only had a packet of loose tea which had been bought by mistake ages ago.  Brian and Niki found this teapot in the back of a kitchen cupboard. 
This was a real blast from the past - my Great Aunt (Auntie Bet) had this as her every-day teapot before she moved into an old people's home, when she gave it to me.  By then there was only the teapot left from the set, but I have this painting that she painted for me in 1970 (!), that shows there must have been other items in the set.