Friday 29 July 2011

Today ... and a while ago

When I started the texture blocks I was planning to use the Quilt As You Go method using Welsh Quilter's method (click here), so I made each one with the three layers (cotton, wadding, backing fabric) ready to sash them together.

Then after 8 blocks I changed my mind and made the rest without the backing fabric (I didn't really think it through did I?)

So now I have some which need backing, and others that will be really thick if I do back them (I am using curtain fabric to back them: it seemed like a good idea at the time!)

I have a cunning plan (which will be revealed if it works!)!

Today's achievement has attached the eight middle blocks (all the QAYG blocks) into two strips
The front sashing is stitched onto the front of one block as the same time as sashing is stitched onto the back.  This block is joined to the next block Go to Welsh Quilters post, she explains it much better than me!  Now I need to press the sashing, and then hand sew the backing sashings down on these blocks and then I can do the horizontal sashing.

Then I can see whether the cunning plan will work!!!

A while ago I made a baby quilt that I was sure I had posted about ... but I cant find the post, so I'll tell you about it now.

My little village (pop 800) and the neighbouring village (pop 3800) each have a church, but we share one vicar, and lots of church events are organised for both parishes.  There are a number of 'house groups' and I attend one in the other village on a Sunday night.  Our group is all mums, mostly of teenagers and students, but one mum, Phoebe, has two littlies (6 and 3 ish) and is expecting number 3.  She know she is having a girl, and she is going to be called Grace (beautiful name).   One session that Phoebe was unable to attend, I tentatively suggested a quilt from the rest of us.  It was tentative as I know some people don't respect hand made stuff, but luckily the others loved that idea (and two had been wondering how to ask me if I'd mind!!!)

Se here is Grace's quilt, with her name on the front and a label on the back.

and we are just waiting for Grace to arrive!

Thursday 28 July 2011

Texture Quilt

The texture quilt blocks have all been finished, ironed, trimmed and arranged

For anyone new to this quilt, I KNOW it looks bland, and that is the whole point!  It is being made for a friend of mum's who is blind.  She has really sensitive fingers and the hope is that she will be able to feel the details far better than her husband and kids can see them!  There will be some very thin sashing, in a rusty orangy fabric, and this will also be the backing and the binding.

From left to right, the blocks are...
TOP ROW: twisted pleats / machine embroidery / pin wheel with inset log cabin border / woven rik rak / ripped layers / folder prairie points
NEXT ROW: machine embroidered braille / folded log cabin / trapunto flower / quilted on point / machine embroidered rope coil / antique button heart
THIRD ROW: Log cabin / quilted postage stamp (1 inch blocks) / folded flying geese / hand pieced hexagon flower / honeycomb smocking / machine embroidered Labrador puppy
BOTTOM ROW: Bias binding Celtic knot / machine applique Labrador dog / beaded lace / mosaic blocks (raw edge applique) Suffolk punches ("yoyos") / folded pleats.

Mega thanks to Lisa who helped me, spending hours auditioning each and every block.  It may look random (and is supposed to look random) but every piece belongs in that precise location, and in that rotation

Now they just need to be stitched together!!!

Sad time for Norway

It is now nearly a week since the awful events in Norway, and still I don't think they have sunk in.

We have been very lucky that none of our friends or family were themselves killed or injured, although two  nieces lost three friends: two confirmed as dead, and one still missing - how can any parent cope with that situation?

My thoughts and prayers are with the whole nation, especially those who have lost someone close.

I want to share with you words I received from my aunt in Norway.  I have edited it slightly only because English is not her first language.  The sentiment and compassion is all hers, but seems to be all of Norway's too

Hi everyone.

What happened last night, (Monday), is just incredible. In every public place, big or small, people gathered in big masses in streets and plazas, walking together with torches and roses in remembrance of the victims and their families. 150000 or more in front of City Hall in Oslo - all the people had flowers, they held them up in the air and waved them. The Crown Prince opened the event, he said "today the streets are filled with  love".  The Crown  Princess was there - her stepbrother was the first victim, as a policeman in civil clothes, there to take care of the youths in the camp. He saved a five year old boy, but was brutally  killed. The Prime Minister's speech reminded us all to stay together, to hold and love each other and not let the hatred of this monster take over.  Tonight Oslo is covered with flowers in front of the City Hall and the Dome, where there have been several  services, and at 12 noon today, one minute silence. The whole of Scandinavia and many governments and organizations all over the world recognised this - in respect, sorrow and empathy, the world stopped for one minute.

The Mayor of Oslo suggested the best kind of revenge to the inhuman killer: we should show more generosity, more tolerance, more democracy, more friendliness, and be more open to other people,.
The young leader of the party's young members spoke to all the people, he said: "We, Norway, shall not hate, not seek revenge. We shall use our voting rights, not weapons. Our youths did not die to lead us to  hate. Consideration and  responsibility to build the community  we will take this with us into the future."

Today, Tuesday, we see that thousands and thousand of people could not manage to get to that place because of the crowds. They stopped and put down their flowers in the explosion place and around the streets, until Oslo was covered in roses ... in streets, fences, windows.....everywhere. Lorries with roses arrived in Oslo from all over the country.

Three days after the assault so many fantastic things happened. The crowds everywhere: an ordinary salesman's idea to go to facebook to ask people to join together to mark their grief and empathy. Before the night of Friday he had 10000 YES, before Monday evening hundreds of thousands of people had joined the movement, and this enormous happening took place, with oceans of roses all over Norway, candles, torches, flags, written messages and children's favourite toys. Never before has a whole population and friends all over the world marked such a horrid event in such a peaceful, quiet, loving way ... that this has been responded to with dignity and love, not with hatred and revenge shows that there´s still hope for Norway and humanity!!!!!!!! We stand together in the way we did when peace came to Norway May 8th, 1945! That time people hugged each other everywhere, even strangers, in happiness. This time they hug in the same way, but in joined grief. It helps....

The gunman was taken to court yesterday. He will be interned with serious restrictions for 8 weeks. He has admitted to the killings, but not to guilt..............He wanted to appear in his uniform  and read from his manifest where he explains himself as the world's saviour. He was not permitted either. The court was closed, outside there were journalists from all over the world. This man wants all the publicity he can get, and he was denied it. People turn against him everywhere, so lets hope there´s not many out there to follow him. They now say he may be sentenced for criminality towards humanity, a 30 years punishment without pardon.  This is more serious than life imprisonment, 21 years, which can even lead to pardon some years before.

This horrible event led to a people joined in sorrow and despair, and after a few days a people joined in a hope that this will lead to more fellowship, tolerance and love.The grief over the good, gifted and engaged youths and their massacre will never be forgotten.

Thanks to all for your warm thoughts and consideration and friendship.

Lots of love from Turid

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Whirly Gig Quilt

This post was in draft form and then got hidden when I had Blogger problems.  I have checked it and am publishing it now.  It looks really complicated for which I apologise - I love this method of making Whirly Gig tops, and suspect that it is my ability to write succinct instructions is to blame rather than the methods

There are at least two ways of making a Whirly Gig quilt: one involves cutting individual squared off triangles  to a template, the other involves joining square blocks, then cutting them apart using a different template. (pop back to this post for for details)

Re-reading the differences, it would seem that the second method is more complicated, but for me it's the way that works, and less opportunity to go wrong!

EDIT: *These* instructions assume you have a square ruler you want to use for the template - so the question is "what size blocks do I need to start with to use with my X inch template?"  Another set of instructions start with the question "what size template do I need if I start with x inch blocks?"  That tutorial is here

You need to read these instructions through before starting (not something I excel at) because at the beginning we don't know what size to cut the blocks, this is covered in A, B and C, which come after D, E and F (stick with me!).

(D) Chose a number of fabrics that you want to use: two is fine, no other minimum, no maximum.  I used 8 fabrics, plus black for the border.
(E) Cut blocks to agreed size.  I cut 30 blocks
(F) Join the blocks together in a pleasing arrangement

What I love about this method is it's flexibility:  At this stage you have a lovely flimsy, and if the fabrics haven't worked for you, or if you have too much other stuff to do, no problem, you can call it done.

OR, if you  were making a simple quilt, and have reached this stage, but it's looking too bland and boring, we can go and change it to a Whirly Gig!

So ... now to think about sizes ... do you have any of those thick plastic square templates, any size you are comfortable working with? And do you have any thin coloured tape, or a sharpie/permanent marker?

(A) Draw around your template accurately on a sheet of paper.  We are initially going to measure and mark on the paper, then transfer a mark onto the template.  For a 7.5" square measure and mark 1 inch clockwise from each corner (8.5" template, use 1.5", 10.5, use 2", 12.5" use 2.5 inches) Markings do not have to be the same as mine, but all 4 sides need to have the same measurement.

(B) Measure from mark to mark, diagonally.  This is the size of square you need to cut your fabric to.  I add quarter of an inch to allow for inaccuracies: my attention to detail is, um, scant! So here (below) - if the red line measures 7.25 inches, the fabric will need to be cut into 7.5 inch squares

(C) If you join these marks with two diagonal lines you will have 4 almost right angle triangles (with the points cut off)  Transfer these markings to your plastic template using the sharpie or coloured tape.

(Complicated bit now over, and you can make more Whirly Gigs using the same measurements and never have to go back to A, B and C!!!)

OK, now you have your block size, you can go back to D, E and F
(H) Next you will need to add a border, and with our template we can calculate the size needed. Using the template, position one line on a seam, and the other on the edge of the fabric (sorry, this photo was taken after the border, but I hope it helps), and measure from the edge of the fabric to the point of the template.  Add half an inch (or double your preferred seam allowance) and this is the width to cut the border.

Stitch it on. Press all seams

I cant get a decent photo of the next stage, so here are two photos where I've used paper to represent the blocks

Taking the template, position it over a seam joint, and draw around it.  |I tried with a Frixion pen, but it scratch the batik, so in the end I used a pencil.  The line is a cutting line and doesn't get seen, so whatever you prefer.
 Carry on, over every seam joint, even the three way joints at the border.
These 4 part blocks need to be cut out carefully.  I don't use a rotary cutter for this part as I don't want to accidentally cut into the next block. Keep the bonus single colour blocks, we can use them in another border, another project or as detail on the back 

You may be tempted to cut out all the blocks and then arrange them ... from my experience I'd say DON'T!!!  you may be more organised than me (you couldn't be less organised) but this is my whole problem with the cutting out squared off triangles method - What? Goes? Where?

I prefer to start along one side, cut the top two blocks, twist each slightly anticlockwise (counterclock) and pin them together, then cut the next one down, pin that to number two, etc, numbering each strip as it's finished.

These blocks can be stitched into rows, and the rows stitched together as a flimsy.  Keep checking you are building whirly gigs!

I used 8" squares of fabric, plus a 5" border.  This gave me a flimsy measuring 47" x 54.5

Next I will be piecing all the bonus squares, to make a colourful border, and then I will add another border of black before finishing.  I do like my quit tops to mature before I move onto the next stage LOL

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Bloggy Influences

I'm not usually one for joining in projects and schemes run by other bloggers, but this week I have taken on board two ideas.

Trudy, at Quilting Prolifically has set herself a target of 12 finishes in 12 days.  I certainly have at least that number of UFOs, and thought it was a really good plan, but didn't want to aim too high - so I went for 1 finish in 1 day!

We had family over for a meal yesterday so I actually got the dining table cleared, so I was able to start Lisa's curtains ...
and almost finish Lisa's curtains!!!

They do need pressing and hemming, but next week she is back to Uni so I can set up the ironing board in her room and get them finished..  We actually rather like the strip of pink at the bottom (from the lining) so the current plan is to keep the lining longer than the curtains.

The lovely fabric is from IKEA.  Although you can only see the white walls in the photo, the wall to the left is shocking pink, and the wall opposite the window is blue, so the fabric is quite suitable

The other influence I had from blogland was to share a photo of my work space Nova from A Cuppa and a Catch up has posted a pic of her workspace, with links to other people's: they mostly seem to have a bit more space than me, but (yes, Hadley, I know) at least I do have my own 4 square metres!

This is the dining room - the  largest space in the house, and is ideal for cutting large lengths of fabric and for basting quilts etc, so it is sort of part of my work space.

(This is  before I started the curtains.  Admittedly this is a rare photo, but it proves I can do tidy.)


I think anyone of a nervous disposition should look away from the next photo as this is my 'real' workspace

Bookshelves to the left and the far right, and the computer is in a little cupboard front right.  Two machines are set up in here: one for sewing and one for embroidery, another is at the bottom of the stairs hoping for a service, and one is on loan to a neighbour leaving (embarrassed cough) three in the shed

Saturday 23 July 2011


Sorry to be shouting

but my lovely blog is now working again

and I am so happy


Friday 22 July 2011

Foundation Pieced Flying Geese

I came home tonight to an email from Sally, the Assistant Curator at Chertsey Museum.  She wrote "I forgot to ask… What is the topic for next time?"

I was so tempted to reply telling her that the next topic would be Foundation Pieced Flying Geese, and see what she made of that, but she is too lovely for me to be that mean! (and if she started using archaeological terms to me, I would lose very quickly!)

So I have started a sample and can send her a photo. 

Not too bad for an hour's work :-) I will finish it before the August class.  Oh, and the Museum have just confirmed dates through to the end of 2012! 


And... off topic - I had an interview at a lovely little school today.  They really want someone all day every day, but i cant do that, so I'm starting temping for them in September and they'll see how that goes until October half term, so at least I have work for 7 weeks - yippee

Cut. Stitch. Press. Repeat

A lovely day yesterday :-)

I came back to working on the Aunt Grace's Flowers jelly roll, and made up strips for 9 patch blocks, and a random alternating-with-white quilt.

I tried to explain my time saving method last time, and certainly confused Hadley, so here it is again with pictures!

Pick up a strip of white, and a strip from the jelly roll.  Cut 8 inches off the end of both.

Stitch together the long lengths that are left.  Then at one end add the short piece of white (so create a section which is white-coloured-white) and at the other end add the short piece from the jelly roll (coloured-white-coloured)

and then trim off the two ends where the triple section is. Press everything. The middle section can be trimmed into 2.5" pairs, and put to one side until there are about a zillion of them

Trim the two triple pieces each into three triple strips each at 2.5".  Now you have enough to make two nine patch blocks, one with white corners, one with coloured corners

Clear as mud?

Anyway, new topic - shopping!!!

I want to start a hand sewing project in grey and red for the sofa, and decided to do log cabin using foundation by the yard.  Good plan, but f-b-t-y log cabin doesn't exist, and I really didn't fancy drawing out each foundation block by hand, so I have switched to court house steps.  The foundation fabric arrived today, along with (well if I was paying P&P I might as well add some more stuff???) some f-b-t-y flying geese for the Fun With Fabric course, and a cutting board that I have been lusting after - one that turns, so it's much easier to always cut away from me.

Now off to a job interviw and then an afternoon shopping with Mum and Lisa :-)

Thursday 21 July 2011

School's Out For Summer ... and Nine Patch blocks

School finished (for me) at 6pm yesterday, so I now have six weeks with almost nothing to do apart from sewing, yippee!

I managed to get to the fabric shop yesterday morning, and got 3m of white cotton for the Nine Patch project.  About 3am I woke up thinking that I didn't much like the planned layout.

 I am planning to make two quilts with the fabric, one will be alternating random 2.5" squares of Aunt Grace fabrics with white and I'm happy with that one.  The other is so far equal number of  4 white/5 coloured, and 5 white/4 coloured 9 patches which I was going to arrange randomly
But it doesn't read (to me) as nine patches, but as not-quite-random 2.5 inch block and white

So I thought I might go for a colour wash Irish Chain with the 4xwhite blocks (do these have a proper name?)

and perhaps a diagonal arrangement of the 5xwhite blocks
I have plenty of time to make up my mind, and I have another 17 strips of  white to cut, 17 pairs of white & coloured strips to sew together, 17 hours of ironing and trimming ... good job I don't have to go to work!

Benta's Blog and some sewing

I have renamed the blog "Benta's Blog" as I am beginning to lose hope that I will ever get SLIKstitches back, and SLIKtemporary was chosen in a fit of pique!  I think the address will have to stay though, as I'm not taking the risk of messing with that again!

I have stitched the (hopefully) last block for the texture quilt, but no photo yet.  It is a mosaic type, raw edge applique, so needs to go through the wash and tumble drier before it looks right.

I have done some repairs on some silk and velvet pillow cases from Laura Ashley.    They had been marked down as waste as the silk had frayed at the seams, and the caretaker at school's daughter had been able to get them for her mum for free.

I had some pleated fabric in the right sort of colour, so added a strip to each pillowcase.

Very satisfying to do!

Sunday 17 July 2011

Texture Quilt and Pay It Forward ideas

I have finished the woven block for the texture quilt, and have made a log cabin.  I think there is just one needed now, and that will be raw edge applique: a sort of ticker tape block.  Then I might iron and square them all off before arranging them

I also started playing with ideas for the PIF gifts

 ... I was thinking of using one of these fabrics

or maybe one of these

or this one

Hmmm, time will tell.

I did make a prototype of my PIF possible project - but Lisa said it was exactly what she wanted, and she loved the fabric - that was such a compliment, I had to give it to her!  I didn't even get a photo, but as both my PIF's read the blog I wouldn't have posted the photo anyway!!!

Friday 15 July 2011

Chertsey Museum - Fun With Fabric

A lovely afternoon with 7 ladies at Chertsey Museum, making stained glass patchwork.

Most of them used the cut away method (thank you so much to Doris for teaching me :-), while two used the fusible bias method, and one tried the needle turn method.  They all took home notes and materials for the other methods.


We seem to have evolved a bit of show and tell at the sessions too, and some brought back their smocking from last month.

 Jenny is a very accomplished needlewoman anyway, and always brings something with a WOW factor to show.  She has decided that everything she starts is to be finished, and with than in mind made her smocking into a hat pin pin cushion:

Prepare to be wowed!

Thursday 14 July 2011

When one door closes ...

No photos, and just a brief post today.  I've had car problems (thank goodness for extended warranties) and work, and planning for stained glass owl lessons , but have also had an interesting week workwise.

I was told that the school have decided not to extend my 5.5 hour a week contact as an extended school's co-ordinator.  It's a shame, as that has seen me raise two grants (totalling £12500) for a refurb to the swimming pool area, arrange extra curricular activities for 19 free-school meal children (which I have evidence that their interest in learning, self confidence and behaviour has all improved as a result), and produce a newsletter with about 20 free or low cost activities nearby over the summer hols.  This does leave me with a 3 hour a week contract to files papers for the SENco (special educational needs co-ordinator) but this isn't as rewarding either by money or by stimulation.


less than a week later I have been approached by the adult education department at the borough to ask








once a week

next year 


What do you think I answered?????????

less time per week, better hourly rate, 
and P.A.T.C.H.W.O.R.K.
I came over all unnecessary, 
and I may have offered to have the co-ordinator's babies

Can you see me doing a happy dance?

Saturday 9 July 2011

9 patches and Block Lotto

I have done ten blocks for the July Block Lotto.  I loved doing the blocks (each pair is done together, and one is the opposite of the other) but the ironing was a pain.


Having not done enough squares for the day (!) I then made up a whole load of nine patches.  Lots more summery fabrics waiting to be used as soon as I get a chance to go the the shops