04 February 2016


One blog that I follow is Fan My Flame, authored by Gina Ferrari.  In a recent post she had a go at a technique called Posh Pebbles by another textile artist Alexandra Waylett, in an issue of Stitch magazine.  I have a copy of that and decided to have a go too.  By the way, Gina also does a lot of cakes so you if you visit her blog there are some recipes there too.

For my first sample I dug into my stash of fancy fabrics, velvets, silks, satin, using a purple felt base with a layer of lace and tulle. Here's my attempt.
Circles of fancy fabrics were trapped under tulle and after stitching the tulle was cut away revealing the circles which are raised.  More stitching was added. This square was about 7" square.

I really enjoyed this so I thought this would be good as another journal quilt.  I'm really liking the size of these small quilts 8" X 10" are a great size for trying something different.  This time I used a multi coloured felt and used lace to cover the fabric shapes. I also stitched small circles and cut away the lace so some of the background felt showed through.  So this is the result.
I've trimmed this with strips of lace.  I think some shapes need more embellishment, but I'm quite pleased with the effect so far.

Both journal quilt and sample together. 

Want to see the backs? Why not..
It's firm iron on Vilene on the back of the felt. 

24 January 2016

Catching Up

Last Sunday I went with friends to Farnham Maltings with a coach party from Ringwood.  The day was a bit grim and we encountered a snow shower on the way but it didn't settle, thank goodness. There was a sale of fabric from several traders and exhibitions of quilts from groups in the local area.

This was my haul from the sale.

Some yardage of fabrics, bundles of fat quarters, a tote bag kit, a wadding remnant and rotary cutter blades.

This was a view of some of the quilts there

Today was an equally grim day, drizzly and grey, so perfect weather for staying in and sewing.  I belong to the Contemporary Quilt group in the Quilters' Guild and each January have a journal quilt challenge, but as I only joined middle of last year I wasn't eligible to join the challenge.  I have a few ideas in mind but this little quilt lent itself to a technique that I did last year with the rainbow quilt I made last September.
Here's the stitching on the back before covering up with a backing fabric
I always think the backs of quilts look really interesting!

This is what the back looks like covered up
I thought the label was straight but ended up being wonky, but as the label has been Bondawebbed on there's not a lot I can do.

So at 8" X 10" it was a quilt made in a day from start to finish. I've got a few ideas for other journal quilts for forthcoming months so I'm looking forward to this challenge.

Blunder of the day. I made a wonky block from a smaller one made last year. Trimmed to 12.5", and layered with slightly larger wadding and backing. All well and good, but after quilting on my machine the whole lot shifted. Oh dear. Slithers of trimmed off fabric where them added to bring the block back to size. You'd never notice

I hope not, anyway.

16 January 2016

Farmers Wife 1930's Sampler - Part 5

It's been a little while since I made these blocks, the last post on this was back in November.  I thought that I would make a few more and got the book and some fabric out and get going on some more blocks.  I made two this afternoon which I could rotary cut and machine piece. The first one was #20 Caroline

It was easy to work out that 3" quarter square triangles and 1.5" half square triangles (finished size). I enjoyed the combination of these squares put together for this block.

A little more complex one was #29 Doris.  I printed out the template sheet for this block and measured the templates.  The four corners of this nine patch block were half square triangles again to finish 2" square (finished) so that was easy. The templates were used for the peak blocks and the centre square within a square block. I used the Sewfine glue pen to put the templates on top of the fabric. So as not to move the fabric I have a small A4 cutting mat that I could turn around to help cut out the shapes.  This block didn't turn out as well as I hoped. I think I need a bit more practice in using templates. I'm so used to just using ruler and cutter and I know the more complex blocks will need more accuracy.

But it's a start in getting back into the swing of making these lovely little blocks. More to come soon.

10 January 2016

Frustrating Times

I can't seem to settle into anything at the moment, I seem to have a lot of UFO's at present that I ought to finish off.  So to try to focus and organise myself I've got out odd blocks and quilt tops to remind myself of what I should do to finish off and decide what should happen with the quilts.

I've made another Soy Amado block to add to the two I've already done (in my last post).  

Another block I've made from a couple of years ago into a pouch using up a long zip that's in my stash.

Here's another view
Ok, so I have made a finished item this afternoon and that feels a lot better. This will be a make towards a charity event in March.  I've got several blocks like these and if I can get a few zips I will make some more pouches, as this one only took an hour to do from quilting the block to finishing.

Here are the quilt tops that I've turned out that need quilting and finishing off.

Dolly Dress up blocks.  These are already quilted but need blocks to alternate. Not sure how to arrange these yet to make a decent sized quilt.  I may have to get some more fabric that will complement the border fabrics in these blocks for that.

The jungle quilt - it looks finished as the blocks in this are quilted in the ditch and that binding has been  stitched down (using the backing turned to the front).  But I feel that the animals need emphasising so I may hand stitch those to finish off.  This may be a Linus Quilt.

The Birthday block quilt. I started to machine quilt around the blocks and need to carry on with this. The destination for this quilt will be the local charity that provides holidays for teenage cancer patients.

I've got backing fabric for this quilt top, the turquoise fabric, so there really should be no excuse for not finishing this quilt. Because the previous two are more progressed than this one I think this one can wait a little longer to finish off.

So I think in all, along with the Farmer's Wife and Baltimore Album block still in progress, I've got plenty to keep me busy without starting anything new.

Addendum to this post - I've now joined the 2016 Finish-A-Long (link in my sidebar) hosted by Archie the Wonder Dog.  I hope it will encourage me to use my spare time to get stuff done!

03 January 2016

It's a New Year

Getting back into the swing of things, post Christmas and New Year.  My Mum left hospital on New Year's Day and is recovering at home with my sister looking after her and Dad, which is good news.

The decorations came down yesterday and all packed away in the loft until next Christmas so that was one job done. Today was spent in my room doing some sewing, though in the respite from the rain this afternoon David and I ventured to Kingston Lacy for a walk followed by a cup of tea.

This is what I managed on New Years Day.  A bit late for Christmas maybe but never got around before.
I got these as a birthday present back in November. They do look sweet but the last bit of making up was made with glue gun and the glue goes everywhere except where you want it! So the face on one was too high and the other too low.

Another thing I left too late to present at Christmas, so finished for next are notebook covers 

These are for a couple of A5 spiral bound notebooks.
The pockets are on the inside covers.

Remember the Grand Illusion Mystery by Bonnie Hunter in December 2014?  I made some of the units and seeing what I could make with them.  I've taken one unit and quilted into a 12.5" block

And I also had a false patchwork panel from which I'd cut a square to make a cushion cover quite a while ago and had this L shape piece left. I joined together and to make another with a border to make another 12.5" panel
I will eventually send these to Alison at Little Island Quilting who collects blocks to make into quilts for children's home abroad. 

Here are the backs of the blocks

The funny thing is that the pink looking fabric is actually another shade of blue. The left is the back of the Grand Illusion block and right is the back of the patchwork panel block.

I also found a pink patchwork panel in my scrap box so made that into another 12.5" block but not layered up yet. I've added some pink floral fabric which I had in a pack of fabric but couldn't think how I would use it.

Good to get back to normal.

30 December 2015

What Day Is It Today?

It's Wednesday, but with the Christmas holidays it's easy to lose track of the days.  I hope that wherever you are you had a good Christmas.

Our Christmas Day was going to be spent at David's brother's in Surrey, Boxing Day at home with children and grandchildren, then a couple of days in Cornwall to see Christmas lights at Mousehole harbour, all planned out, except apart from Boxing Day it didn't happen. And the visit to David's brother happened on Sunday instead. My Mum had been ill for a while with what was a cold, possibly flu and she put us off visiting in case we got it the Sunday before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.  But by Christmas Day morning I heard the answering machine bleep with a message from my sister that Mum had been taken to A&E at Bournemouth Hospital with breathing difficulties.

Since then Mum Is still in hospital having had a set back with her recovery, but is still a bit weak and it may take a while to regain her strength.  My sister, Wen, is staying with my Dad (who is in his 90's) who has some difficulties of his own as he is getting more frail.  I have to admit she is more capable than me in looking after them, she will just get on with it, whereas I would wonder if I am doing the right thing and just feel helpless. 

So not much sewing to show today as there's not been much time for it and my room has been taken up with Christmas stuff, presents before and boxes and containers for decorations and wrapping paper after.  I decided I would make some notebook covers but just made the one, right before the holidays so may save (in not too safe a place) for next Christmas or maybe birthdays during the year.

And pocket inside the flap. The notebook is a spiral bound A5 size from Wilkinsons.

Remember the postcard I made last month?

This was for a swap and was sent beginning of December to Joe.  I received this lovely red work postcard from Bobbie.

Lovely, isn't it.

Last but not least.....

Wishing you all the best for 2016

23 December 2015

Happy Christmas 2015

This is my last post before Christmas. Things have been busy this month with work, Christmas shopping and other bits and bobs there's not much sewing to show.

I thought that I would you some Christmas trees

Our tree at home, decorated by David and granddaughter Isobel.

(didn't edit this pic) Christmas tree at St James Church in Poole.

One (of 3) Christmas tree at work

Second Christmas tree at work

And finally a Christmas wish

I hope you have a lovely time! With best wishes from