Monday, 31 October 2011

Getting closer to target

Sorry if this is getting boring, but I need to celebrate every achievement towards my target (UFO list in the right column): In 30 days I go to Australia, and there are still a lot of quilts and bags that need to be done before I go.  Today I was frantically sewing so that I could move the Green and Pink Pinwheels, and the Cream Orphan 9 Patch Blocks into the next piles, just so I can blog about it (how sad is that?)

So Green and Pink Pinwheels has joined Swirls and Flower (to the) Power (of) 9 as just needing the binding hand stitching, but these are not needed yet, so they have gone on a top shelf in the sewing room ready for after Christmas

A job that never even made it ONTO the list has also been finished.  The Bling Inn  at the Army camp near where I teach is due to be officially opened tomorrow, and they asked me last week if I could make the opening plaque - it got finished late last night and collected today.

This is the Red and Stone Woven rail fence (nicknamed Cricket Stumps) for the living room - yes - a quilt I am actually going to keep! These blocks are each 10 inches, so it's huge, and I wasn't able to work out the placements of the blocks at my house as I have too much stuff and not enough floor, so mum helped me sort them at hers yesterday.  All pinned, but put away with the other after-Christmas quilts
There are about 20 different dark and very dark reds used, and generally each line is of the same fabric.  There is one deliberate substitute as otherwise it would have to be shorter, but if you see any mistakes please dont tell me!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Weaving Fun

Yesterday was the class with Jan Hassard.  This is a really quick post as I'm off out for the day, so stand by for lots of photos

(Katy - yet another new project, just 4.5 weeks until I go, hellllllp!)

 I started with 1m of assorted creams, the same of assorted dark reds and .5m of black - all cut into 1 inch and 1.5 inch strips.

We then made (or at least started to make) 18 lopsided (cant remember the right word, sorry) log cabins going clockwise, and another 18 going anti-clockwise

These are mine

and this is one of Plums (she was sewing with a scant 1/4 inch seam, while my machine didn't have an adjustable needle position, so mine was a huge seam, so a big difference in block sizes)

But do look at Plum's awesome 'featherweight' sewing machine

The display board doesn't quite show the end plan as we were all doing (at this stage) anti-clockwise blocks, but you can see here the great variety of colours (and block sizes, LOL)

(Mine is the skinny one, 8th from the left, Plum's is 5th from the left)

This is the aim: mine will be red and cream on black.  I love the design and once I'd got the hang of it the blocks were quite easy.  I will finish it, and I might make more blocks to make it bigger, but not until after Christmas

It was a great day, 6 hours just sewing - bliss!!!!!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival

I first started blogging as a result of Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival, and am delighted that that time of year is here again.  Twice a year, at, Amy hosts a quilt festival.  No judging no categories, no postage costs or will-my-quilt-get-back-to-me worries, juts pages and pages of inspirational quilts and new blogs to look at.

Some of my Blogging Buddies (Victoria and Teje to name two) were met over at Amy's, do go and have a look.

To anyone who has come here FROM Amy's


My entry for this year's show is a quilt I made for a friend of my mum's.  Hilary is blind, and has been since her late teens.  She has felt a couple of quilts and cushions I made for mum, and has commented on features that sighted people have overlooked, so I decided to make her a quilt that was fairly bland to look at, but exciting to feel

The post about the finished quilt is here and shows all the individual blocks.  My favourite block is this one
I stitched out just the word Texture in Braille, (three different versions: just filled, just outline and both) and got mum to check with Hilary which version was easiest to read.  She had no idea that it was eventually coming back to her!

Well thanks for visiting, I hope you'll stay a while, but don't forget to pop back to Amy's and check out all the other lovliness that she is showcasing

Friday, 28 October 2011

Today and tomorrow

Today I managed to progress Swirls to the 'hand stitch the binding' pile, and Heather's black and White and pink to the 'needs binding' pile, so things are getting better.

Tomorrow I am off to a workshop with the Richmond and Kew Quilters. We are going to learn how to make Jan Hassard's woven log cabins ( I am really looking forward to it.

Full report tomorrow soon :-)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A finish, and a fair attempt!

 I have finally finished the Brown and Brights D9P

And I have repaired a suit for the organist at church, and done some work on Heather's Black and White and Pink, and have quilted and started binding the Green and Pink Pin Wheels

So some things are changing from to be done to 'Finished' on the UFO sidebar!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My Baby is back

My nest has been very empty for the last few days - Niki and 3 friends have been to Benidorm for a long weekend, but they have finally returned and the house is again full of dirty washing in strange places, and the tea mugs have started to migrate back to her bedroom.  My life feels a bit more normal!

Today I got interviewed by the Borough's Adult Education team - interviewed for the post of teaching Fun With Fabric at the children's centre in Windsor.  Yes, the teaching that I started 4 weeks ago!  Hopefully once the red tape has been sorted they will start paying me for what I'm doing :-)

I also went off and taught the Fun With Fabric session.  Only two came, but probably because it's half term.  Hopefully we'll be back to normal numbers next week.  The two that did come are doing well.  One has started three Christmas stockings, and another has started a table runner in Christmassy fabrics.  I'll try and get photos next week.

I also got approached by Sam, one of the Army Welfare women.  They are opening a cafe and need an opening plaque.  As I did the one for the Children's Centre would I mind making one for the Cafe too?  Oh, and the mayor is coming to cut the ribbon on Tuesday!

She sent me their logo, and was happy that I change the diamond into more of a cartoon diamond as there is no way I can get the sparkle duplicated in stitches.
So I have spent the evening designing the plaque.  Until they approve it I shant stitch it out, but I can show you the screen print.

I'm quite pleased with it - I hope Sam is too!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Sunshine, Starbucks, Shopping and Sunday Sewing

Wasn't today a lovely day!  (Well it was here, and in London, hope it was where you live too!)  I have a week off as it's half term here, so Lisa and I met up at Camden Market.  Golly, it's bigger than I remember it when I was her age!

Anyway we walked miles and miles, and did some shopping - got a few Christmas pressies - and sat in the sunshine having a Starbucks watching the boats go through the lock, bliss!

Yesterday, Sunday, I managed to get quite a lot of sewing done, but didn't get around to posting anything here.

This Disappearing 9 patch got basted, quilted, and the binding got attached to the front, and partially hand stitched to the back

This one, Flower (to the) Power (of 9), also got basted, and quilted and had the binding attached to the front, and is in the hand sewing pile waiting for something decent on TV.  Admittedly neither are on the to-be-done-soon list, but if I can get them finished by the craft fair in 3 weeks I might earn some money, so that makes them quite important!

Think I'm done with alliteration for now, except I'm feeling sleepy, so I shall slink off and snooze between the sheets!!!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Two finishes, and My Perfect House

 I have finished the binding on the Pure Blues baby quilt,

 and with some left over fabric and some ribbon I made a taggie too (with spiral quilting inspired by Hadley)

I also just wanted to share with you some photos of my perfectly clean house.  My niece came over and moved all the furniture, cleaned all the floors, and organised everything back in it's place

Not bad for an 11 year old eh?


Thanks Emms, love you!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A bit of a shock

It has just occurred to me that in 6 weeks time I will be boarding a British Airways jumbo jet, bound for Sydney.  And not only do some Christmas presents need to be made and finished by then, by the time I come back, there will not be enough time to finish and post any others.

So I thought I ought to marshal my plans and see what needs to be done:

Before I go
Draft Excluder for office at work (shouldn't take too long)
Heather's black and white and pink quilt (cut and partially pieced)
Log Cabin Christmas tree (mostly assembled)
Girly I Spy for Jane's great niece (got the fabric)
2 x Cream orphan disappearing 9 patch for Debbie (one pieced, one started)

To take when I go
Sister In Law - make a bag (got the fabric)
Mother - make a bag (got the fabric)
BQL Secret Santa Swap - make a bag (started)
Brother - Nah only joking, nothing for him!
Niece - finish felt dolls house (started, maybe take as hand sewing?)
Nephew - quilt and bind play mat / blankie (got the fabric. maybe take as hand sewing, it's a long way!)

Hummm, that's two finishes a week - ooops!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Only start what you can finish

Victoria at Boutique Uniquely and I had a recent email discussion about the amount of projects we have on the go - in summary I have far too many and she only has a few.  I notice that Hadley at Flying Blind also has very few outstanding projects.  Victoria explained that she tries not to start anything that she won't finish in the next day or two.

Some of my unfinished objects (UFOs) can be blamed excused on not having had the space to baste them, but others I confess I started and then put to one side, Victoria's idea is a very sound one.  (I do hope I'm not the only person out there to have 20 + UFOs . . . actually, I've seen Jackie's sewing room and so I know that there is at least one person out there with FAR more than me LOL!)

Anyways, the ideal follow on to this revelation would be for me to tell you that I have now finished half a dozen projects, but sadly (but not surprisingly, I'm sure) this is not the case.


I did start AND FINISH a new project today, so that must be worth a sprinkling of applause!

We have a box at school with children's inhalers (for asthma etc) but there are too many inhalers to fit in the box and there are loads to rummage through to find the right one.  My colleague was looking to buy 5 boxes, one for each class, but I thought a draw string bag would be more space efficient, so I made ...

a bag for each class :-)

Not much time for any other sewing though.  I have 4 classes this week to prepare for, and I'm still recovering from 'the lurgy' so I'm off to have an early night.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

What says "oom"?

(It's one of my favourite jokes)

Flushed with success of the FMQ on Richard's taggie, I decided to have another go.  I read a suggestion that a tree was a good thing to try, so I 'drew' a tree!:

It was such fun, and looks so cute with two of the owl buttons on it.  (I think this will become a postcard mug rug and will fly to Greenwich soon)

So I had another go, and added some hedgehog buttons
(This just might find it's way to Niki's room!)

Another favourite joke is a cartoon - Mummy Kangaroo is standing near her joey.  Joey is talking to a hedgehog.  Joey says "I'm sorry Spike, but mum says you cant stay for a sleepover"

And the answer to "what says "oom" - it's an owl flying backwards, up side down!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Shouldn't use machinery under the influence of Day Nurse

I've been fighting with 'The Lurgy' since Wednesday, and finally gave in and got some of the magic potions that are sold under the name of Night Nurse and Day Nurse.  They really do sort out the snuffles and the sore throat, but not the muddled brain!

I had an embroidery order for a customer/friend.  I knew the brain was a bit fuzzy, so to be on the safe side, I did a test stitch.  This worked well, so I embroidered the baby blanket.  The blanket went well.

I didn't want to waste the test stitch, so I though I'd make a little taggie thingy for the baby too.

I used some of the new ribbons I got at the Knitting & Stitching show, and although it needed a press and some quilting I was quite pleased with it . . . 

Until I turned it over

So now I have wasted not only the test stitch, but also loads of bits of ribbon, and some precious scraps of Sweetwater Pure fabric, not to mention time I could have been sewing something pretty, not something destined for the bin.

Sigh :-(


I decided to have another go, so I cut off the seams and made it smaller

And got the chance to use the Aurifil quilting threads, with some FMQ. 

FMQing is SO much easier with the right threads!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Finally I feel at home again

Having not even switched on my PC for a week, it is lovely to be back in front of it, and able to blog properly. The iPad is all very well, but nothing blogs like a pc!!!

I managed to clear a path to the computer and the workbench by moving huge amounts of stuff into Lisa's room [Hi sweetie, I will clear it before you next come home, love you x x x], and I've taken photos of various shopping treats as I unearthed them.

I have about a zillion unread emails, so while I look at them, you can feat you eyes on some seriously yummy fabrics!

I have been asked to make another cream baby quilt ...

And these next two collections are both heading for girly I-Spy quilts.  These six were from my local quilting shop

and these five were from Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace

Also at Ally Pally I fell in love with a few (!) buttons

and a few ribbons

And I also bought the one item actually on my list ... a 12 pack of Aurifil threads (be still my beating heart).  The lovely people on the stall were happy for me to find the best-fit pack, and then change the ones I didn't think I would use much for another 4 colours!

Now I need to embroider a baby's blanket for a customer, but after that, I can cut and sew and cut and sew :-)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

I am the luckiest swapee, EVER!

I want to start here by saying that I love both of my mug rugs from the recent swap. I loved both of them when I first saw their pictures, but I didnt think either was for me. I did however think (hope) another one WAS for me, and it was only when my two lovely mug rugs arrived that i knew the other one obviously wasnt.

So imagine my surprise when I opened a squishy tonight to find this . . . The mug rug I lusted after

It seems that Susan's original partner didnt respond to the invitation, and the mugrug couldnt go to the replacement, so she sent it to me - Susan, I love you!!!!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A bit of a problem

I really want to do some sewing - I started a bag while Jackie was here, and would love to finish it, and even more significantly I received a great squishy from Gwen at Celtic Fusion Fabric, but there is a slight problem with accessing the sewing room!!!!!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Only words

Just a very brief post: I've had a fab weekend with Jackie - being tourists in Windsor and Eton, and fabric shopping on Saturday, followed by a great day at Alexandra Palace today with Jackie and Lisa. Jackie goes home early tomorrow, but already my cousin and her daughter have arrived from .Norway, so no idea when I'll get time to blog, or read blogs, comment on blogs or even read emails! Normal life should resume by next weekend!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I love my postie

Look what he brought me all the way from Croatia. The lovely Stanislava is now revealed as my other swap partner.

(I am blogging this from my iPad, so I hope this post does justice to the yummy goodies she sent me)

A beautiful postage stamp mug rug with two hearts,

and a notebook cover from the same scrummy fabrics.

Such a sweetie, she also added sachets of coffee, and tea bags, and a FQ of beautiful pink and red fabric.

Thank you so much Stanislava. (and she has a great blog at, - lots of hexi love and inspiration happening over there, really worth a visit)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Some sewing . . . and a few personal tropical holidays

Really, sewing woolen squares together, and quilting warm blankets isn't the best thing for menopausal women to be doing during an Indian Summer, but there you go, these things happen!

At least I managed more sewing today that I did all weekend, so I shouldn't complain!!!

A few photos before I crawl off to bed

A better photo of the cream blocks (Debbie now has asked for a second one, but I used nearly all the cream fabric here, so I'll just have to go to the fabric shop again - sigh!)

This is one blue top from the sweetwater Pure fabrics

And this is the other

And finally, did I ever mention that mum was knitting squares in exchange for the Texture quilt?  Well I have a box of about 100 nine inch squares in assorted shades of grey, and half a dozen different knitting patterns.  I have started sewing them together tonight - initially just into groups of 4, then I'll get the girls to help me with the patchwork equivalent of speed dating, as we arrange the units to their best advantage and I try and remember what we decided on!

The plan is to get these done before the cold weather kicks in - didn't someone say snow in October???  As much as I'm loving the sunshine over the last few days, with my hot flushes personal tropical holidays, I'll be quite happy to have cooler weather for a bit!