28 October 2014

Not Much to Blog About

But I will be away for a few days to the lovely South Wales coast visiting relatives.  Hope to share a few pics when I come back.

See you soon

21 October 2014

Round the World Blog Hop

I've seen this going around other blogs that have been nominated, to answer some questions, the latest being Diane, The Cheshire Quilter, who invited others to join in.  So here are my answers to the questions wandering the blogosphere.....

What am I working on?

At present I have a few things in progress,  this is the latest quilt top

The jelly roll quilt which from my last post now has border fabric and the remaining 4 squares in the corners.  I took the photo while on the spare bed which isn't ideal so could only get the top corners in.

There is another quilt in progress too. I've got the backing, the wadding and binding is already to go, just to clear the dining table for clamping the pieces down and pinning together before I quilt.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have a bash at anything and everything.  I am a very curious person and have always had an interest in how things work.  I don't fit myself into a particular category and can go from traditional to modern or contemporary.  I will put in other things that can enhance a quilt like adding embroidery, buttons, sequins.  I also enjoy colouring cloth, I don't use dyes but like to use fabric paints and the latest thing I like has been block printing. I went to a workshop where I block printed this calico apron. It's good to play!

How do I work/create what I do?

My friend Penny a while ago recalled that when I had a part time job and my children were younger I would use a half hour slot of time to do a bit of stitching so my sewing usually fits in around work.  I am lucky enough to have a sewing room so the sewing machine, an area for cutting and ironing is set up and ready.  Nowadays I like to have a weekend afternoon to turn on the radio and sew.

How does my writing/creative process work?

Thats a difficult one to answer.  I usually like something that I see and think I will have a go at that.  The past few years I've taken part in postcard swaps and this year I've participated in a couple of mug rug swaps and an ATC swap so its been the themes that have influenced my thoughts on what I want to make.  I have done some drawings to get the feel of what I want to do
Above is a selection of drawings and a cut out for a frame.

Thanks Diane, the questions have given me food for thought. Anyone else want to have a go?

12 October 2014

Instant Gratification

I don't know what happened this week but suffered a headache that went on for days and I was feeling very tired and down.  Whether things are catching up with me or there's been some underlying stress I'm not sure (as I started new job straight from my temp one just a couple of weeks ago). I felt the need to unwind and relax.  I had to go out on Saturday morning so I went to Fabricland and saw some of their 'Swiss Rolls' like jelly rolls but with 20 strips instead of 40. Their patchwork fabric isn't pure cotton and it wouldn't normally use their fabric for patchwork and quilting, but I was drawn to this one with hearts and for £6.29 was a quick fabric fix.By chance my copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting came in the post with its little kit. (Oh no, it has Christmas makes in it).

Unwrapping the roll of fabric I used instructions from the Jelly Roll Quilts book and happily sewed strips together.  I then used my 45 degree ruler to make squares
This afternoon I joined them up. I've found some black fabric to border the quilt top.
But last night I did some English Paper Piecing triangles for the iPhone case that came with the magazine.  The pieces were tiny, my hand is next to the patchwork to give you the scale, just a bit bigger than my finger nail.  It didn't do my eyes much good, but I got there.  Now having to think about putting the front to the back, should be right sides together and turn out but the felt is so stiff, so I may sew right sides out with blanket stitch instead.

A bit more relaxed now and hoping for a better week next week.

05 October 2014

Quilty Weekend

This weekend while being home alone (David away in Yorkshire, working this weekend) I'd already arranged to go to the Quilters' Guild Area Day on Saturday which took care of yesterday and today I took a trip over to Salisbury, Wiltshire to a workshop.

Yesterday's speakers were Jenny Barlow, who as well as being a hand quilter is also a collector of old quilts too, with some interesting facts about them.  The afternoon's speaker was Jo Colwill, from Cowslip Workshops in Cornwall about her history in quilting. Both had been keen on sewing from a very early age and it had always been an essential part of their lives.  Here are some of Jo's quilts that she had on display 

And of course, with traders there, there were some purchases too.
Some fabric quarters, little Indian charms and sequins and hand dyed thread.

So today's workshop had a Christmas theme (82 days to go, I think, scary!) decorating a calico apron.

Photo above taken in the bedroom mirror, but as you can see using mainly shades of green and yellow to stamp on the Christmas trees, stockings,angels and other bits and bobs.

Later in the afternoon we used spaced dyed fabrics as a base to stamp various effects, which was quite enjoyable

And using up the fabric paints left on the palettes to decorate card stock
More stamps to add to my growing collection (got a few already

A busy weekend so a quiet evening watching the box and getting myself together for work tomorrow.

01 October 2014

Fresh Sewing Day - October

It's the last day of September as I'm typing this, which has been a busy month.  Finishing the temp job last week and starting a new job this week.  The evenings are drawing in so it makes the day seem to disappear quite rapidly.  I managed to do some bits and pieces in September though

From top right a Beach ATC for a Popular Patchwork ATC swap.  This little piece of applique is just 3.5" x 2.5".  I remade the borders for a sampler quilt (see Demolition Job) so its looking quite good, just have to sort out the backing fabric.  Bottom row is a boat block made for Bee Blessed and a drawing exercise, not knowing what else to draw at the time I used my workroom iron (its a small travel iron) as my muse.  And there's more
Digging out my Sizzix machine I took a large scrap of fabric, Bondawebbed it and after using the die I then ironed as positive/negative images onto a white background fabric.  The middle picture shows some aluminium shapes cut out on the Sizzix, I used a cleaned foil dish from a ready meal, not sure what I will do with those yet.  The pic on the right is a maple leaf block that I made from the September block instructions from Sew At Home Mummy's blog.

The Dress Up Dolly blocks are slowly progressing, taking it to Bourne Quilters to stitch.  All in all considering the work I seem to be getting something done. The only thing I didn't do was the circus theme challenge, I just wasn't inspired, but that's not bad.

For October? Hmm, having to think about that one.  I am going to the Dorset Area Day near Wimborne on Saturday and that will be followed on Sunday by a block printing workshop in Wilton, Salisbury by Jamie Malden of Colouricious.  I heard her speak in Exeter a few months back and so took the opportunity to book to go to the workshop, I hope it'll be fun.  There are a lot of Quilters' Guild events happening in the region this month but most will be in Devon.

I will try to get the backing sorted out for the quilt top.  I'd like to progress that more.

At the moment I'm not going to put pressure on myself as I settle into new job and will take my sewing opportunities as they come!

I'm linking with Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day and if you've popped over to my blog from there - Welcome, I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog.

Small Blog Meet


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.