Monday, February 26, 2007

I knew this would happen

Remember those brights? The ones that were meant to be leader/enders whilst I sewed the blocks for the lilac top? They kind of seduced me and I couldn't stop sewing them. Chain piecing was just bliss after piecing block by block. In the book I took the pattern from, Quilts from the Heart, by Karin Renaud, calls this setting Road to Arkansas but I looked on the net and it came up as a completely different pattern. I think I've seen the same pattern, or something similar on Finn's blog a while ago. Whatever it's called (and I hope someone will tell me) it was a joy to whip up. The picture quality isn't great but I didn't finish it until after dark last night and DS kept moaning about the cold when I asked him to hold it down outside this morning (kids these days - they're so soft, I blame it on central heating). Maybe I'll get a better picture when I put the borders on.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Just been pottering really, I was off work from Wednesday to Friday because it's half term and the kids are off school. It was my birthday on Friday which I never seem to have to work because it always coincides with the school holidays. I don't know what the postman thought of the card from my friend 'S', as it was addressed to 'Dollface' which is what she calls me. Anyone with a face less like a doll than me would be hard to imagine, but I always laugh because it makes me feel like a gangster's moll from the 1930's.

Once again, I have not been able to quilt, because DS has renewed his enthusiasm for the art. He finished off his second quilt and then started on his biggest quilt top to date with 6 1/2 inch squares. The gorgeous novelty fabrics are all courtesy of the amazing generosity of Amy, the Calico Cat. When I posted about DS and his quilting last year, she sent a huge parcel of novelty prints for him. He just loves them and the ones you see in the picture are just the tip of the iceberg, there must be enough for another 3 or 4 quilts besides.

I made a couple of purchases from the Charity Shop on Saturday - this lovely flowered tape measure and a great big tray which I shall paint as it is currently a vile shade of orange. I find trays really useful for putting blocks and patches in whilst I'm working on a top.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Spring Flowers

Just changing my profile picture - I bought these primulas a couple of weeks ago. Spring flowers are the best and these are nice and cheerful. I'll do a 'proper' post later but I had to post these to get the URL for the profile. I was going to delete the post but then I thought they were so pretty they deserved a post all to themselves.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


I strayed off the quilt road this week. In the town where I now work there is a charity second-hand bookshop so I like to pop in and see what's come in now and then to add to my extensive collection of craft books - yup, I buy books about crafts I don't even do, I just like the pictures.

Anyway, whilst I was there I picked up these books on making stuffed toys. And herein lies another tale (but it is part of the story of this post). When I was a small girl I had a friend who went on holiday every year to Budleigh Salterton in Devon, a very traditional, very posh, very English seaside resort. Every year she would buy from a little shop there, a delightful miniature mouse made of felt, with covered pipecleaner arms and a dress made of gathered silk ribbon. Let me tell you, I craved those mice, they were so tiny and so pretty, but they were obviously handmade, probably by someone local in Devon so I had no chance of having one myself. I also suspect that they might have been quite expensive and that I wouldn't have been able to afford one anyway.

I've never forgotten those little mice, and I've never seen a pattern for them, I've tried to make my own over the years but failed miserably. So when I bought these books I had a little look for any mice patterns and lo and behold - there were mice patterns in the Beatrix Potter book, but to be honest they looked a bit rat-like and evil, not what I was after at all. But ... in the Jean Greenhowe book, Favourite Toys, was just the thing I was looking for - a little mouse made of felt. I made a few alterations to the dress to make it more gathered and to add a shawl or a collar but the basic pattern was fine. At almost 3 inches tall they are probably a bit bigger than the ones I remember from my childhood, but I think it's the closest I'm going to get (and anyway, I couldn't be bothered with pipecleaner arms). What I like most about the pattern is that they have such nice smiley faces. And for someone who doesn't do much handsewing, making them is getting quite addictive.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Star Blocks and Bright Squares

Not much to report - a couple more star blocks for the lilac quilt top. I don't have a huge stash compared to some of you, so when I cut the fabrics for this top I cut up all the greens I had, including the bright yellowy toned one in the bottom row, second from the right. Well, it doesn't work, it's toned down a bit in the picture but in real life it zings out like a neon sign - that block will have to go. I cut a few other green fabrics in that colour tone too, incuding the green in the centre square in the block second from left in the bottom row. I'll keep that block but I won't be using that green in any of the others. I probably cut for too many blocks anyway, so I've got plenty left to play with.

Now, I wouldn't like you to think that I don't like brights, I just don't like them in this particular top.Sewing these blocks you really need a leader ender project to maximise time and fabric usage, right? So I cut out some 2.5 inch squares and I'm going to make a Road to Arkansas with them at the same time as a leader/ender project. Perfect use for the green squares I can't use in the lilac and green quilt.

Can't believe it's February, where does the time go?