Monday, 24 August 2009

It doesn't get much better than this!

It's taken me so long to post about this as my brain has been so jam packed full of gorgeousness i didn't know where to start!

Last Saturday i tripped off with Katy to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.
We met up with Trash and Maria – which was a joy – and we shopped, chatted, laughed and admired quilts. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I was on a mission for jelly rolls and charm packs, and a ruler and i didn’t veer too much of course.

I didn’t take that many pics of the quilts as generally i was too busy drooling to remember to get my camera out but i did get a few of my absolute favourites - the first being at the top of the post. Mmmmm....hexagons.

And this beauty.

The ones i like best though were the ones by Ingrid Press. I absolutely loved the simplicity of them and these are reason I haven't been able to sleep very well since then. Serious over stimulation. I now understand why they recommend that children don't watch TV before bed!

These little houses make my heart go all a flutter!

I did go with a budget and one of those (although they were selling at an absolute bargain price) would have blown the budget out of the water so it probably wasn’t a bad thing that my favourites were sold, and i suspect it could have got pretty messy. Katy loved the same ones as me so we’d have had to scrap for them, and she’s taller than me so probably would have won.

Look at these teeny quilts - how gorgeous are they?

The other reason why my brain is so full is that we tried a couple of quilting frames out. I love free motion quilting and would love to do more of it as I’ve no doubt that the possibilities are endless, but I loath and detest battling to get it all under sewing machine. The frame is one where you attach your sewing machine onto it and then move the machine around with handles I think this would just be perfect for what i want.
The man on the stand was very pleasant and there was no high pressure sales pitch.
He just let us just get on with having a go and just answered our question in-between eating a Muller Rice yogurt with a chopstick (he told us he’d forgotten his spoon). He’ll do for me!

So i have been busy reorganising my sewing room so i can try and squeeze a 7ft one in - and i can YAY!!!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Good stuff.

Thanks for all your good wishes after my fall. I thankfully didn’t break or dislodge anything. I didn’t even bang my head although if i had it may have knocked some sense into me ;-)

I do have a dark purple bruise the size of a small African country on my leg/backside though so I have felt as if i could continue to justify my obsession with my new quilt. I cannot leave it alone. I have been working on it every day both before work and after work (and have even dreamt about it) and now I have 20 blocks done out of the 25 I need.

You’ll have to excuse my bad photo. The dull British weather is partly to blame but it also doesn’t help that i don’t have anywhere decent to photograph anything larger than half a dozen blocks.

There are a tons of fabulous photos of this kind of quilt on Flickr. Some have been sashed so that the blocks don’t line up and have kind of wonky sashing (I suspect there’s a proper word for it but have no idea what it so you’ll have to bear with me!).

I don’t have a design wall and as the cats roll around on the blocks if they’re laid on the floor, the only way i could figure out how to do it was to add another row of unbleached cotton around every block and the trim them unevenly – so that’s what I’m going to do. It will probably finish up at about 78” (195 x 195cms) square.

I’m probably not going to get any time to work on it at the weekend and it’s a really good job I have an exciting week coming up or I suspect i would probably start to feel some separation anxiety!

First up on Saturday is the Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC. Katy is riding shotgun with me – which will be lovely - so I will be picking her up at the crack of dawn to head 2 hours south and hopefully be there when the doors open!!

This will be more fabric and quilts than I’ll have been surrounded by at any one time and I AM SO EXCITED!!!

I am in the mood for jelly rolls and charm packs but as my stash seems to be going down at a great rate of knots (it is, honestly...) I might quite fancy some fat quarter packs and bigger pieces too. I have set myself a budget but as i am notoriously bad at sticking to anything, it could (and probably will) go to pot when I get there!!

Then on Sunday morning a friend and I are going to have a session with a photographer. We have known each other coming up 19 years and don’t have any good pictures of the two of us. We will be taking party frocks, masks, fans, feather boas, jewellery the size of houses (and probably my silly new gold T-bar dancing shoes!) and all the silliness we can muster. It should be an absolute hoot and i can’t wait!!

Monday, 17 August 2009


We had quite a busy weekend so i decided to take today off work to catch up.

I shouldn't have been putting 3 baskets of laundry away. No.
I shouldn't have been cleaning my windows so i could see out of them. No, shouldn't have been doing that.
I shouldn't have been sewing backing so i could take 2 quilts to the long arm quilter.
I shouldn't have vacuuming to dust bunnies that are threatening to eat the cats. No, definitely not that, and I absolutely should not have been doing a whole host of jobs that i keep conveniently forgetting needs doing.

Obviously what i really should have been doing was starting another quilt!!

This is my first attempt at an improv quilt. I figured it was time to get with the program' and have a go and am quite pleased with my first few blocks!!

I fell down the stairs last night. From the top, to the bottom! Today I feel rather like I've gone 5 rounds with Mike Tyson, but as my ear is still intact i can't have done.

Anyway, i figured that was perfect justification for being a slacker today!!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Busy Bee!!

I've been busy, busy, busy.

The whole of last weekend was taken up with dolls and have had a ton of stuff that I HAD to get done! I cleared them all out of the way so that i could get on with the latest blocks for the Bee. I had so much fun doing them that i have had to resist the call of the Bee until i got finished with everything else.

The first one is a wonky star.

I am hooked on wonky stars and am now desperate to make a whole quilt of them as I seem to be spending a lot of time drooling over them on Flickr. This one is drool worthy, as is this, and this, and this and these. In fact i could go on forever linking to them.

The second block was going to be a Goose in the Pond block but I shuffled the blocks around a bit and liked it better. Well, i would have liked it better had i have sewn it together properly!!
Notice the half square triangles at the bottom? Doh! Actually it's double Doh! as i didn't realise until i uploaded the pic from my camera.

When i've sorted it out it will probably be called something like.....Duck in the lake or Swan in the river or Sparrow in the bird bath, but as it stands it's called Dodo in the water butt!

At least it's reassuring to know how i'll be spending this evening!


Not here though.....i'm way too tight to give away fabric, but Randi is very generously giving away end of bolt fabric scraps from her shop.

I'd drop in there if i were you!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Dolly laiking

I’ve had a lovely weekend of dolly laiking.

I don’t know whether ‘dolly laiking’ is an old saying confined to Yorkshire and although I am able to use it in context I wasn’t 100% sure what it meant.
I googled it and couldn’t find ‘dolly laiking’ but could find ‘laiking’ which means playing or messing about.
‘Dolly’ might comes from the pole with that the washing was done with (in a dolly tub) but I can’t for the life of me imagine how ‘washing’ and ‘playing’ could ever have been used in the same sentence!
It could mean as simple as meaning ‘playing with a dollies’ and if so, that definitely sums up my weekend.

A friend - who gets married next weekend - asked me to make some dolls for her bridesmaids and page boy. I have made the occasional softie but I have never made dolls before and was more than happy to have a go, if a bit nervous.

The best word to sum up my experience of making them is: FIDDLY. Fiddly with big fat capital letters! The jury is still out as to whether I’ll make more but they’ve now gone to my friend - who was really thrilled with them - and will be going to their new homes on Saturday!

Oh and thank you everyone for your lovely comments on the doll quilt. I’m hoping to find some time in the next week or so to tackle the quilting!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Strips.....and strips...and strips.

I adore small pieces of fabric. The smaller the better in my book!

This is my collection of 1” strips sorted into Ziploc bags, by colour.

Does that give you the impression that I am a really organised person?

Well, I guess it would be rude to shatter your illusions then.

While we’re are on the subject of 1” strips, I have been plugging away with my second doll quilt for DQS7. I know I’m daft as a brush for making 2 but I wanted to try this to see how it looked and I actually think that this is going to suit my partner way more than the first.

Even though this quilt it little, it’s sucked up hours and hours of time. I did also try a couple of options out before settling on this and that took some extra time but I guess that’s also the downside of being mad enough to opt for chopping fabric into 1” strips and then sewing them back together!

Saying that though, I absolutely love the end results and it was absolutely worth the time it has taken. I could do a lil jig I like it that much!!!

Saturday, 1 August 2009


P.S. Can everyone please go and update their blogs cos i have now run out of reading and am trying to put off doing the things i'm supposed to be doing. Thanks!

Funny week.

What a funny week (funny peculiar….not funny haha!)

It has felt rather like and out of body experience. Like the lights are on but nobody’s home.
I guess that’s typical when recovering from flu but work has sucked up so much of my energy this week that I haven’t had much left by the time I’ve been getting home.

I did improve quite significantly at the start of the week but unfortunately I'm not so sure anymore.

Luckily my creative juices were flowing at the start of the week long enough to get some fabric cut and some ideas ready to try for my second attempt at a doll quilt for the DQS7.
I know I’ve already done one but I wanted to try a few things out and then decide which one I thought suited my partner the best.

I think this colour combo looked lovely, but a bit too Christmassy

Maybe I’ll play around with them further as I fancy making some Christmas place mats.

And the combination of light and dark on these just wasn’t cutting it for what i want to do.…

So I am gradually arriving at the option that I like the best.

I just LOVE fiddling around with little strips of fabric. Maybe it’s because I’m tight with my fabric and want to use it sparingly or maybe I just love being able to pack in as many fabrics as possible. Or, maybe as Katy suggested some time ago, I am maybe into self flagellation!

But, what ever the reason, I’m having a lovely time - and isn’t that what it’s all about?