28 September 2014

My Mug

This post will feature my Cath Kidston mug that's travelled to various places of work, several sewing workshops and get togethers.  My previous work mug was broken and David bought me this mug from a china shop in York's Designer Outlet probably about 5 years ago.

It's been to work in Doncaster, Wakefield, then down south to Dorchester, Poole, lastly Ferndown and will be at Poole again, so it's been well travelled. 

As well as drinking lots of tea and coffee from it, it's also been a model, as it's appeared in a few photos on this blog.  I've also used it for an outline for drafting a mug shape for a birthday postcard

and on a couple of mug rugs.

So to my mug, I hope you like your new workplace tomorrow.

22 September 2014


I don't spend anything for ages, then all of a sudden I get the urge to shop.  It was all the fault of The Quilt Show, as on their blog they shared a You Tube video of Angela Walters' free machine technique. Of course when on the internet one thing leads to another and I watched a few more You Tube videos, then I went in search of her new book called "Shape by Shape" Free Motion Quilting on Amazon.  It looked interesting, so a purchase was made together with a book I'd been pondering whether to get or not.  That one is "The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting" by Linda Seward, also a new book released just a few months ago.  The books came today and both are going to be interesting reads, by the look of things.

And the third book?  Yesterday morning I went out to a local event, the Canford Needlecraft Fair, which had a selection of traders in various needlecrafts, books, artisans and demonstrations.  Amongst the people demonstrating there yesterday was Maggie Grey who lives locally and has written several embroidery books as well as editing Workshop on the Web.  She was demonstrating the use of die cutter machines (such as Sizzix Big Shot) to use in emrboidery projects.  So taken with the variety of uses for die cut shapes that I went and bought the book.  It will inspire me to dust off my Sizzix machine to have a play (now all I need is the time!).  Anyway in the meantime I have plenty of reading matter.

13 September 2014

Working Small

Photos of what I've been working on this afternoon.  Not a postcard, but an ATC (artist trading card), which is smaller at 2.5" x 3.5", except mine is 3.75" tall.  This is part of a swap on the Popular Patchwork forum called Beach.

Not until you see it in my hand you can get the scale
This will be send to the recipient, Maria, this week.

Bonus Sewing Time

Now that I've been working full time for the past few weeks, my sewing time is a bit limited now. I'm having to make time for it and the way forward would be to decide on an evening at least once a week to sew.  It's just too easy with the autumn evenings to settle in front of the telly after dinner and surf on my iPad, then I get a bit annoyed that I've wasted the evening.

Anyway, this week I had a second interview with a local company that runs a payroll bureau and... I got the job!  I will be finishing my temp job in 2 weeks and starting my new one the Monday after.  It will be a new challenge as I've not done bureau work before, but should be interesting.

Having taken the day off so as not to be panicking about time, as I also had to go to Bournemouth to see the agency that put me forward for the post. I had an afternoon to sew.  Remember the quilt I demolished last month?  Well here's one quilt out of that.  I kept the middle section and rejigged the border fabric.  I've taken a photo and it looks quite good.

Well the iPad photo isn't too brill but so here's another one from a different angle

That's better.

It's a bit wider that a width of fabric so something will have to be inserted to make it wider.  Another design opportunity, and will have to thing about that one this weekend.

Suggestions for the other 2 strips from the original quilt top was to add Flying Geese.  I am thinking of deconstructing further and taking the blocks apart, swapping over and adding more to make a nine block quilt with narrow first border, flying geese border and maybe a third border.  Now, unstitching is something I can do in front of the telly without wasting time!

I also took the opportunity this week to make a block for Judith of Just Jude's Bee Blessed blocks.  For September it's a boat block, so here's my bateau

A lovely quick bit of sewing.

Have a good weekend.

06 September 2014

Saturday Morning in Poole

Nothing unusual about that, I live in Poole (well on the outskirts), but this morning I took in a bit of culture and visited the Museum, not having been there for years.  To my surprise its FREE! I'll be visited there a bit more often now.

On the 3rd floor there is a display of Poole Pottery, from when Carters Tiles (which later became Pilkingtons) started in the mid 1800s up to when the pottery items took over from tiles and to almost modern day. I checked the museum leaflet which said that photography was allowed, so I've a few photos to share.

I'm not sure when the top tiled picture was made, but the bottom one was made about 1930 by Edward Bawden and was in the tearoom at the Pottery.

I also took some photos of vases made around 1930s and designed by Truda Carter, one of the pottery designers of the time.

And I loved these typically 1950's designed plates (they're about as old as me!)

And theres a lovely roof top view from the museum's coffee shop up the High Street

And to the Quay
More info about the Museum here.

01 September 2014

Fresh Sewing Day

Another month down and August has been a busy one as I've been working full time for most of the month!  It was strange that as I wrote about my August aims that an agency contacted me about work, very spooky.  What else did I want to get done in August?

1    While at Festival of Quilts I will get some backing fabric for my Tubix Quilt top, see my post about it here.  I have the wadding for this already and hope to see if I can bag a bargain at the Festival which will go nicely with it and think about the quilting. See if I can make progress on this. - I did buy the fabric at Lady Sew and Sew, but haven't managed to get on with the quilt yet.

2    Have a sort out of my fabric and a good old tidy up.  I've got a lot of children's novelty prints so see if I can utilise them in any way.  There will be a table top sale towards the end of September (seems a long way away, but I'm sure that will come around soon enough). The table top sale has been cancelled. Some bits of my fabric stash has gone to the local Project Linus. 

3    I've joined Diane's (The Cheshire Quilter) daughter's Mixed Media Challenge on Facebook, which starts today.  See what the challenge is and have a go at that.  Oh yes, I've done that, the little elephant postcard

4    (This is a difficult one) Get a job!!!  I am signed up to local agencies and keep looking around, someone out there will want my amazing talents!!! I'm sure that will come right eventually.  Haha, although last on the list it was the first to get done!

So above is my assortment of bits and bobs from the top left, clockwise, is the stained glass bag, the landscape card made at Festival of Quilts, Silk painted card, block printed elephant postcard and sample piece, free machine quilted feather samples and lastly the end bolt of fabric for the back of the Tubix Quilt.

For September, then, these are my targets this month.
1     I will be making a start on a City and Guilds course module as part of a trial. I've quickly realised that I will have to keep looking at new Google mail account everyday to keep up with this.  I hope this will all work out.

2    An ATC.  Made postcards before, but now a smaller scale.  I've joined the Popular Patchwork forum's swap with the theme of Beach.

3   Sally's (Diane, Cheshire Quilter's daughter) Mixed Media challenge this month is Circus.  Nothing comes to mind immediately, but am sure that there will be a little glimmer of inspiration sometime soon.

4   See what progress can be made on my deconstructed (as it is at present) quilt.  Read about that here

5  Continue with my Dress Up Dolly blocks, 3 completed, 3 to do and think of some "filler" blocks to go with them.

Linking up with Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day

Fresh Sewing Day

Thank you for dropping by!

31 August 2014

Demolition Job

Back in 2000 I took part in a Official Birthday Block swap organised by a lady who was then a member of BQL (British Quilt List) Yahoo Group. She was at the time about to celebrate a significant birthday, she was going to be 40 that year, and 16 of us joined up and as we had our birthdays in different months so the block swap actually took place once a month over 16 months, hence the Official Birthday, like the Queen.  My actual birthday is in November but my Official Birthday month was March 2001, when I received the blocks I requested which I posted about a little while ago, but here's a reminder of the quilt I made from the blocks, a photo of which I took a few months ago.

A few people in the group decided to make duplicate blocks of the the blocks they were sending to the Birthday Girls to keep for themselves and so did I. These blocks made a single be size quilt top.  I must have made the quilt top at least 10 years ago, if not longer, and get it out have a look and fold up again, not knowing that to do with it. As you can see there was a larger block in the middle, Bears Paw, which was a larger size than the others, which were 12" blocks, so there are some 3" wide filler strips dotted around to make the others fit in.

Not having a single bed now and the spare bed that it's lying on already has its own quilt (the cream bedspread is a cover when the spare room is not in use), there isn't really a use for it.  Yesterday evening while watching the television I unpicked it.

As you can see I've taken the two ends off. I will also take off the border fabric and will utilised those pieces to go on the ends of the larger quilt to make a lap size quilt for charity.  As the whether the two strips of blocks remain together or I take those apart and I think I may keep them together I might try to find some block designs which work with what's there to make another row and add a new border.  Does anyone have any suggestions to make it a similar size quilt to the larger one above?

So that's my demolition job awaiting rebuilding!

23 August 2014

Playing Around

As I had most of today to myself I decided to have a go at the Sally McClure's Facebook challenge "12 Months Mixed Media", which started this month.  The theme is Animal, in any type of media, drawing, paining, photos, etc.  Having bought a set of Indian block stamps from Colouricious at the Festival of Quilts it contained an elephant so decision was made.
I photographed the set after I'd finished with the paint but they have been washed and they're not so pristine now.  I used some fabric with script and backed with some freezer paper to keep the fabric stabilised while I used some fabric paint to sponge onto the stamps.  Here's how the printing looked this morning
And some more
Later this afternoon I made the top sample into a postcard and then afterwards I thought of using some fabric pens to colour in bits of the elephants.
And this as well, which might be made into bookmarks.
I had some paint left this morning so used a scrap of calico to mop up, which was dampened first to spread the paint around. As I went into the utility room I found the spray paints that I'd bought from FoQ as well.
I got out a stencil and sprayed the gold and red colours onto another piece of scrap calico
That looks interesting, not sure what I'll do with it yet.

And another session of playing around that I did last weekend was free machining with a quilt sandwich of fabric I didn't like very much and some thread in a colour that I don't use.  This was brought about by reading Jan's postcard blog and seeing her lovely feather postcards.  I divided this large piece into postcard sizes and had a go

Bit wibbly wobbly, but you get the idea.

Then one evening during the week I did a bit more machining. But the samples were getting smaller and I got fed up with feathers!

And there's space for a bit more!