Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Heart mad

finished a heart garland with my daughter yesterday
took most of the day; but still preferable to her slouching in front of TV all day whilst I moan! She's 13 in January and she's read the book on how to be a teen.  I myself subscribe to 
 ' Over Anxious Mother ' magazine as read by Marge on the Simpsons

lots of arguing, but it was lovely to do something with her

she stuck to stuffing and me to sewing in the end

tonight just made an extra heart for my sister Katharine who we  are looking forwards to seeing tomorrow; something very nice about a stuffed decoration, just want to reach out and squidge it!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

christmas quilt done at last

This quilt was beginning to take over my flat
I have beaten it into submission and  bound it tonight

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

wholecloth flannel quilt

Just took delivery of some lovely flannels from that I had planned to make some small cuddly quilts for the winter.
This quilt is simply made from two 2 yard pieces of  flannel with warm and natural batting
The design is michael miller play dot sea, I'm into pale blues and browns at the moment.
Backing is a snowflake print  cream flannel.The flannel, although lovely and soft, is easily damaged ( as I found when removing my microtacks) so I bordered with a normal cotton overlaid with a silver print for a bit more strength.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas mats 1+2

Used all my kate spain flurry scraps now
quilted the left hand one with loose vermicelli pattern. On the right I used close quilting with some embroidery stitches on my machine I haven't used before (  most of them ! ) I love the feel of close quilting ; these little mats are a fun way of trying out new techniques and stitches , and having something useful at the end.
I think they will go to mum  to use for her flower vases.
Hope all your christmas projects are going well?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

guy fawkes competition

Just won 3 lovely quilting books for  the school of stitched textiles  guy fawkes  challenge

Also had a lovely meal at jamie oliver's new italian restaurant in bluewater; best ever olives, tapenade and music bread.......chicken liver tortellini in sage and butter........cherry, salted caramel and strawberry cream ice creams with honey comb topping........all a bargain as 50% off as it was a training evening, and they did well.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

christmas quilt number 2

This one is for me
getting the borders on now to make it large enough for  bed
found some volcanic looking red blender in my stash
reckon another 2 inch patterned border, then some more red blender should do it
better leave it alone now as its late and there's a baby sleeping next door....better not  let the Pfaff pound on into the night!

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Love sequins, but never sewn with them. 
Worried about how to machine sew them
In the end just used a new sharp needle and sewed straight down the middle of the strand
Hopefully they will be secure enough to cope with washing
Any other advice re sewing sequins on ? some mentioned zigzag stitch...would that make them more secure and less likely to catch?

finally finished nephews quilt, decided to bind it in grey, sash it in black to make it a little bit more boyish....

Saturday, 29 October 2011

christmas quilt time

Here we go...........
planning to sash this with scarlet, and back with hunter green flannel for daughters bed. Not decided on binding, maybe a turquoise blender with a pearlescent overprint for a frosty finish 
( as opposed to a frosty reception when I give it to her and she thinks its her only present )
she's very  excited about Christmas
have to order the flannel from USA, hope it arrives soon.

Maybe a few tasteful jingle bells at the corners..........or maybe not?

I just can't do a little bit of quilting, I have to go on and on until the top is done. Then I get a really sore neck from overdoing it. What I need is a sewing studio, fed up of pinning on top of my bed as the only space in the flat....well, if I win the lottery, a bijou residence with a sewing studio is on the cards.
Time now for a sit down with a glass of wine and leave the quilt alone.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Rag Quilt try out

Thought I'd have a go at a rag quilt as looked quick!
Took a lot longer than planned, and got RSI from snipping edges
And I still think I like the wrong side more than the raggy side
But I don't have a tumble drier to fluff the raggy bits up, so maybe  thats what it needs?
I know  accuquilt does a rag die, anyone tried it?

passed my first module of design and patchwork course ( whoo hoo )

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Tate Modern

finally dragged 12 yo daughter away from TV to visit Tate Modern, this Jenny Holzer caught her interest ( hurrah)

loved the Mitch Epstein +

Bridget Riley

daughter outside Tate Modern

now for something completely different as monty python used to say..................

first peg loom sample weave using liberty print fabric strips
( or a blanket for a gerbil as one of my work colleagues labelled it )

Sunday, 9 October 2011

knitting and stitching show

went for a second time  as daughter fancied a big wooden button  that her school friend had purchased there

R bought 3 merino tops
 and  plaited into a scarf

Oh,  and here's the button.........

I bought some smaller tops for weaving

got very excited about these African prints, 
whoo hoo!

Happy days!
Have a good week all.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

log cabin samples day

have to hand piece as well as machine piece for my design course
oh dear, hand piecing very hard going
have shredded my right middle finger with needle ends

metal thimble just kept falling off
need to find a better one...any recommendations?
also made a complete hash of josephine knot as could not find a pattern and tried to copy from picture...disaster
ah well, if it was all easy there would be no point in studying would there?

artists impression of josephine knot

machined onto sheeting foundation

 hand pieced with the aid of my favourite .....paper foundation, yeah!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

peg loom

visited the knitting  and stitching show today at Alexandra Palace
ordered a peg loom which seems to be the perfect way to use up scrap strips of fabric as well as lovely wools etc
Oh, and purchased a  few other items , ahem............................

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

old maid's ramble etc

now making designs and  blocks for module 1 of my  textile course
not used to traditional blocks at all, but quite enjoyed the hand piecing I had to do as I found that the block is much more malleable when hand pieced.

these sketches had to be  based on my  photos
the second is my daughters hair which has a life of its own

at least  I have an excuse to go and buy lovely art materials !

this is my first hand pieced block
'fifty-four forty or fight'

this took me a very long time as all I had was a picture and no idiot instructions of how to piece the blocks, needless to say a lot of unpicking time I need to PLAN and work it out first.As they say in the army....PERFECT PREPARATION PREVENTS P***  POOR PERFORMANCE  or words to that effect. 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Origin Craft show inspirations

I visited the Origin Craft show at London Spitalfields market recently
Highly recommend this annual show as an opportunity to buy pieces by makers at the start of their careers
Bit of a to do on arrival as all of us who had prebooked tickets had to wait in a HUGE queue whilst those wandering in on the day just paid and went straight in......lots of British tut tutting and huffing  as a result.

Above are tiny salt/caviar dishes made from recycled steel by Finnish duo LATIMERIA

This by Bristol enameller Janine Partington who works with copper

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

black fabric challenge

well, have signed up to do city and guilds level 3 certificate in design , patchwork and quilting with school of stitched textiles
they have  a  competition on their facebook page for a piece made with predominantly black fabrics
REALLY tough
with my poor eyes, and my bedroom ( ahem  studio ) poor lighting, black on black a real problem
quite like the ( unintentional) effect on my backing of the free motion, bit cobwebby.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

central block

finished the central block with  girl and montauk lighthouse
now just contemplating borders
think I will consult for inspiration to make my own fabric for border  blocks

also thinking of applying to do city and guilds  course in patchwork and quilting level 3
looks such fun and can be studied on online ; which is just as well as the  school of stitched textiles is in

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Oliso fancy iron

I just HAD to order the great quilting iron from Oliso
Evidently it had reached Customs in UK where it has descended into Hades whilst they attach a huge import fee on it.
 Feeling that I really must control my gadget urges
I will need  to buy a step down voltage converter for more than the iron cost, in order to use it in the UK
But I am NOT going to give up yet
I WILL have my iron !

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

NY holiday memory quilt

Inspiration came over me today ( just like that )
have made individual blocks to remind me of the lovely house we stayed in ( recognise it V?)
and an acorn  from all the oaks around
planning the Montauk lighthouse next.......need an injection of courage before I start that one

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Kona cotton 'slate' play

Trying to work out what to do with all my little pieced blocks I made in the USA
LOVED the Kona cotton slate when I saw it at Victoria's studio, so immediately ordered yards and yards.
Arrived yesterday, best postage ever ( $13.50) I have had from a USA site fabric shack.
Some of the blocks wanted to be friends, some wanted some waiting for inspiration for the rest of the quilt. Also thinking today very much of you all 10 years ago, and sending best wishes to you from England to you in the USA.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

paper pieced silk star

Victoria gave me a lovely set of silk fat quarters....autumn colours
I tried them out with this star today, which is paper pieced from a free carol doak template
The silk was quite fragile to deal with, maybe I should have interfaced it before cutting?

any advice?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

long island inspirations

our 5 day stay in the Hamptons turned into a 12 day stay due to being caught up in hurricane Irene
my uncles wife Victoria taught me how to paper piece and let me have fun in her studio, thanks V!
These are from Carol Doak's book on paper piecing quilt blocks
looking forwards to using them as accents in a quilt as I am too lazy to make 100s of them!
My daughter was choosing her favourite block here

we had a great holiday, first the calm before the storm....note the TV van getting ready to report at sag harbour

then getting ready for Irene, 5 beds, flashlights, candles ( vanilla scented of course), candy and QUILTS

the town was getting ready too

guess who was at the cafe?

then we hunkered down until it was safe to go out, this is the beach the evening after Irene hit

so glad I did my hair nice that day

then the calm returned

here are the girls modeling my first oilcloth creation ( the grey bag with polka dots , has a sky blue silk lining)

and the perfect doggie bag ( mine is on the right, I cant take credit for the spotty one! )