Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I've finally finished the Depression Block Quilt - we went up to Carlisle for the Bank Holiday weekend so I took it with me to handsew the binding. I do like the peacock feathers but I think it might be a while before I use them on another quilt because they did take a long time.
And I made a bargain purchase, this book, Quilted Planet by Celia Eddy, normally retailing at £25 but on sale at £10 (and I have seen it for sale at £25 in my local branch of Borders). It has examples of many types of quilts from all over the world - just goes to show, there's nothing new under the sun.
Now I'm going to sit down with a cup of tea and catch up with all the posts I've missed over the weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I've been tagged by Clare to reveal 7 things you didn't know about me:

  1. I have a phobia about tinned baked beans. I just cannot bear them, I hate their smell, their appearance and I couldn't possibly eat one. I can just about bring myself to cook them in the microwave for my kids, but I have to do this without touching them or getting any of them on my fingers. I couldn't possibly wash up plates by hand that had the remains of beans on them - ugh. It would make me retch just to touch them.
  2. I have the widest feet ever (and very short toes) they are a UK size 3 1/2 in length but I would have to buy shoes in a size 6 to get anywhere near the width I need. Hence a lifetime of squeezing my feet into shoes that are too narrow and buying shoes just because they fit, never mind if I like them or not. And don't talk to me about sandals - it's only in the last few years when manufacturers are making wider models that I've been able to find a few that fit and still look reasonably fashionable.
  3. Can't bear the hairdressers - I would rather go to the dentist! I have to do it because I like fuchsia streaks in my hair and I would rather have them than not, but it's an ordeal.
  4. I can't tell left from right instinctively. If you said to me 'look up' or 'look down' I would instinctively look in the right direction. Can't do it with left and right, I have to stop and think about it and work it out. I dread being asked for directions because I get my lefts and rights all mixed up and learning to drive was a nightmare because I had to concentrate twice as hard on working out where the instructor wanted me to go. If I need to write out directions for myself I have to put arrows going in the right direction instead of writing left and right. My kids think this is hysterical.
  5. I have a B.A Honours degree in Art History achieved when I was 21 and young and foolish and a Masters Degree in Training and Performance Management achieved whilst working part time in my late thirties when I was older and a bit wiser.
  6. I never ever wear yellow, orange or green clothes on account of the fact that I have very sallow, yellowy skin (just think Marge Simpson without the blue hair) and these colours provide the most appalling contrast. Don't I make myself sound wonderful - it's not that bad but I do look seriously awful in those colours - hence the fuchsia streaks in my hair - much better.
  7. I wish I could dance, my favourite music of all time is big band swing from the 30's and 40's - it would be terrific to be able to dance to it properly but my left/right dysfunction kind of puts the kibosh on this. I did go to 'Latin in Line' a couple of years ago but as you can imagine I had to concentrate pretty hard and the instructor was sarcastic to me for going in the wrong direction.

I must surely be the last one to do this meme so I'm not going to tag anyone else. I have finished quilting the peacock feathers but I won't put up a picture of the finished quilt until I've put the binding on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Guess what this is going to be?

Crazy patchwork of course.
I have never before had a go at those stack and shuffle crazy patchwork blocks - mainly because I love love love chain piecing, sooooo quick to cut and to sew. I've learned from this that I'm not really a block by block kind of person. But I also love the random effect of the stack and shuffle crazy quilts and the thought that it might be quicker than piecing a crumb block. So ... my cunning plan was that if I made some red and white ones for Clare's Quilts for Leukaemia I could just make a few blocks without having to commit to making a whole quilt and find out if I liked the technique or not. Then ... I thought if I was doing a crazy block for Qs4L it would look pretty if I embellished it with a bit of ribbon and rick-rack and, shock, horror, use the embroidery stitches on my machine, which go unused from one year to the next.

Well, dear readers, I have to tell you - I nearly put my eye out - twice. Completely my own fault - kept forgetting to set the stitch back to straight when I changed the foot from the normal one to the 1/4 inch one and of course the needle hit the foot and splintered, both times. My machine was screaming at me - really, it sends out a high pitched wail when something is not right. Luckily there is no damage to me or the machine. And the crazy patchwork technique? Well, I might try it on a bigger quilt someday, but probably without the embellishments (unless I take the necessary safety precautions, like wearing a pair of goggles). And I have to agree with the criticism that you often hear about this method - there does seem to be a lot of waste.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

And the winners are ....

I made two more bags which I think are slightly improved on the first one I made - in the same way as the first pancake is never quite as good as the rest of the batch. The names were drawn by my own in-house randomiser - DS and his friend R. We were very professional about it and typed out all the names, folded them up small, put them in a box, put the lid on, shook it up and picked two out - DH was the presiding officer.
All very exciting. It was lovely to receive all your comments and I wish everyone could be winners but the two names drawn out of the box were ... Rebecca and Tami.

Just chilling out at the moment, this has been the work week from hell - didn't get back home until 7 p.m. on Thursday and I was so terribly tired I went to bed at ten to nine! So much for work-life balance. Now I must get back to the peacock feather quilting as my thread has arrived, hope I haven't lost the rhythm.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A year ago today ...

... was my first ever blog entry, doesn't time fly? This is actually my 98th post - I was trying my absolute best for my 100th post to coincide with my bloggiversary but couldn't quite make it - anal or what? Still, though 100 posts a year is chicken feed to some, at an average of 2 per week I don't think I've done too badly considering I work full time and I've got 2 kids (make that 3 if you include DH).

There seems to be a bit of a tradition developing to have a giveaway as a celebration of blogging anniversaries so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. This was meant to be a doll quilt but somehow it turned into ... well, I'm not quite sure what, but it's bound to be useful. DS thinks it's a pencil case, DD thinks it's a make-up bag. I used a pattern from Lise Bergene's book, A Passion for Patchwork, very easy. All comments on today's post will go into a hat and I'll get my kids to draw a winner at the end of the week so please do leave a comment. It may not be this very bag though, it is my first attempt and so I might make another one.

I never thought that I would still be blogging today, I nearly gave up early on and probably would have, if it weren't for the encouragement of another blogger. It will probably come as no surprise to many of you that that person was none other than Finn, she took me under her wing, encouraged me to comment and told others to 'visit'. And her kindness, I think, typifies the community of bloggers that post about quilting and crafts. It is a community that shares ideas, inspiration and thoughts and is welcoming to all who join it. Now there can't be much wrong with that, can there? I am thrilled to be able to have connected with so many people from all over the world and I just wish that I had more time to sew and blog - darn that job!

I'm trying Leah and Belem's tips to make the pictures clickable - but I have to confess to a slight disaster on the hollyhock front so maybe I won't be too sorry if that particular picture doesn't click! I thought I'd practice a scalloped edge but I made the 'inward' curve of the scallop too sharp instead of gently curved - hence less than perfect bias binding at those points. Ah well, you live and learn and 'it is a practice piece' - I'll go ahead and finish it anyway. I can see that becoming my stock phrase from now on!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Quick Update

The hollyhocks are progressing - I like just making a small quilt, though my son, quilt aficionado that he is, did ask me if it was 'just one block' for a larger quilt. I was quite impressed with his encyclopaedic knowledge of (one) quilting term and it would be good to make a whole quilt of different flowers, but not right now.

I did a bit of free motion machine embroidery round the petals - I like the effect on the darker ones, not so sure about the one at the top on the left. However, I sure ain't going to rip it out and I'm viewing this as a practice piece anyway.

In my last post Connie commented that the photographs weren't clickable to make them open up in a larger size in another window to show more detail. I would like all my pictures to be clickable, but sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren't and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Does anyone know what you have to do to make them all clickable? (In words of one syllable avoiding the need for shedloads of html.) All hints gratefully received.