Thursday, 4 November 2010

time flies

Eep! Where did the last month go? I have spent it mainly working and swapping...I signed up with a few supply (teaching) agencies in September and didn't get anywhere but I have had a fair bit of work during October and then I've had 2 interviews this week for long term supply. It's kind of fun being back in school and I think it is definitely good to keep my teaching up to date and rust free but I also still feel sad that my luxurious year off to get POD up and running is over. I think my time management skills will be well honed once I have a couple of terms of teaching alongside running the business under my belt!

On to cheerier topics............I am doing two year long block swaps on flickr at the moment -Bee (A Little Bit) Japanese and Tag Square Bee. This is the first time I have participated in this type of virtual Bee (or any type of Bee for that matter!) as apposed to monthly quilt swaps of the miniature or doll persuasion. These two work differently from each other - for the Japanese one we have each been assigned a month - when it is your month you send out fabric and block requirements to each of the other members and they all make for you then for the rest of the year you are making one or two blocks for someone different each month. As the name of the group implies we are all including Japanese fabrics for our blocks but that is the only theme. I am finding this really fun as you get to try out different styles + I love Japanese fabric! So far we have done scrappy spiderwebs, square in squares, wonky houses (mine all mine mwahahaha) and improvised forests. We just found out that for November we will be doing wonky log cabins and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of this month's fabrics. It is serious fun this swap and it is full of fab people with fun ideas.

My month was September so I have now got all of my blocks from everyone, my next task is to chose some fabric for sashing. I am after something ugly, multicoloured and floral. I really should stop describing it that way because when I find it I am going to be scared of showing people for fear of insulting anyone who either designed it or finds it pretty! I don't technically mean it needs to be ugly I just um..well..don't know how else to express what I mean. I suppose it needs to be kind of 'grandma'ish but I am probably just digging myself a deeper hole so I'll shut up now!

I will leave you with a rather rubbish picture of some but not all of the gorgeous and inspirational blocks that the group made for me.

I am going off to start pressing and trimming them all in preparation for a little photo shoot that does them justice and includes all of them................that is if I don't get called to do supply this afternoon (sigh)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

I simply remember

One of my favourite things to play with at the moment. Sorry, if this is a bit blurry! I am in the midst of experimenting with making a scark from my new Tattoo range. I recently bought a quilted scarf that was made from old worn saris and it got me thinking! I will get back to you!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

London calling

For those of you who haven't seen them yet here is my new London range - It was launched at the Festival of Quilts and I am delighted to say that it sold out! Not to worry though, it is now reprinted and back in stock.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

A bit of fun

My Gran moved to France last weekend so today I made this little quilty to hang by her door welcoming visitors, it was fun to make, a little piecing, a little quilting, a little embroidery and a little whimsy. Nice and neat and small, ready to pop in the post tomorrow!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Lovely things!

I was lucky enough that two lovely ladies came up to me at the FoQ to show me what they had made with my fabric. Quite honestly I think this is one of the best things that happens to me, I love seeing how people have used the fabric they bought.
At the top we have a quilt top that has really inspired me to do something similar with solids. I wish I could tell you this ladies name but to my shame I didn't ask....if you happen to read my blog please do let me know in the comments! I believe you were a Shirley Quilter?
Underneath we have a cushion that Maureen Flower of the Icknield Quilters made for a friend's daughter who was having a peacock theme for her wedding (how fab?!). Isn't it gorgeous?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Festival of Quilts

Better late than never! Here's the might even be able to spot two quiltys that I have been waiting to show you!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

I have had lots of fun over the last couple of weeks getting out there and meeting lots of lovely quilters as I make my way around doing talks at the different groups. It never fails to be a great evening and even thouh I feel like I am just babbling on people do manage to stay awake!

I have a small wild goose quilt.....I decided not to do the outer two borders (yes, that means I left out an entire border of flying geese!). I just did one white border then called it done. I would feel guilty but I am too busy feeling happy about having finished it! I wish I could show you a picture but it is currently at The Wandering Line being long armed by the fab Debbie. In fact - to fully explain how fab she is - it is finished and waiting for me to collect and I only dropped it off on Tuesday afternoon, the woman is a quilting machine! While I am on the topic of The Wandering Line I should let you know that they have an amazing sale on at the moment so if you are able to get there over the next week you should!

I finally finished my yellow/green quilt and will take a picture tomorrow because it is currently in my car. hmm.

I can show you a picture of a cute little (actually BIG) pouch that I made using Lynne's union jack tutorial, how sweet! I made it as a gift and am having a hard time convinsing myself to give it away!
Ok, I apologise, for whatever reason, I don't seem to be able to move the pictures.......I'm going to bed now!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Quilts 1700-2010

I finally made it to the V&A today - it was getting to the point where I knew if I didn't just get myself there today then before I knew it the exhibition would close and I would be left feeling incredibly stupid that there had been an exhibition about what I do just 30 minutes away in my favourite museum and I HADN'T GONE! Eeep!

I really enjoyed it, I would highly recommend the audio guide if you haven't been yet. They give it to you on an ipod touch so it's very easy to navigate back and forth and it has video clips and close ups as well as commentary. It really made me pay attention to things that I might otherwise have overlooked. It also made me cry at one point....don't worry, it was a 'hold back the tears with a gulp' rather than 'huge blubbery sobs'.

I enjoyed a little retail therapy afterwards although I have to say I was rather disappointed with the liberty designs. I came through to the shop with plans to buy a selection and make a hanging to remind me of the exhibition but I could only find one fabric that I liked and, well, one fabric does not a quilt make (I know, I know, apart from whole cloth!).

So, that was my day :) I am ashamed to say that my little yellow quilty is still in progress, although it has progressed a little. I need to push on with it tomorrow because I am off for a girly weekend in Bath starting early Friday morning and I REALLY don't want it to go into another week!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

A week on

Here we are a week after I posted my half square triangles top and it still isn't finished! Yesterday I got around to extending it - I added 4 more rows in the end, and I pieced a back for it - mainly all the yellow but with a stripe of blocks of the three fabrics about 2/3s of the way down, sorry, I'll take a picture once it's off the machine. For now this is how it looks, 3 hours into quilting.
I decided to do pebbling (I'm kind of winging it!) instead of stippling and I have been amazed at how much longer it is taking, also, how much thread it is eating! I decided I wanted a variegated thread and I found one at the evil hobby store chain down the road. As an absolute precaution I decided to buy 2 reels and I am really (reel - y, snigger) glad I did because I have filled my bobbin 3 times already. I am hoping that it will soften a lot when I wash it though because the dense stitching is making it feel quite cardboardy at present.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Quilter

You may recall me telling you that Anne Williams had been over to interview me for The Quilter back in February?

The issue arrived in my post box last Friday and I am delighted; it astounds me that she made all my babbling into a coherent article!

For those of you who are not members The Quilter is the quarterly membership publication of The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles. You can find out all about them at

Thursday, 10 June 2010

I took another day off from the big quilt today as I am still suffering mightily from the sniffles. Most of the day was spent dozing but then by 4pm I needed to sew. I decided to play around with half square triangles. I've had this idea to experiment with using the reverse of the fabric for a while. I limited myself to three fabrics and used them in all combinations.

It measures 20x30" at the moment so tomorrow I will add two more columns and two more rows to bring it to a usable baby quilt size. I think I'll quilt it using a yellow thread, probably stippling.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

I woke up this morning feeling really grotty, yesterday I wasn't sure if I had hay fever or the start of a cold, today I know it is a cold! I decided to take a day off from the quilt because I am missing finishing things! I have only done one other large size quilt before and I do find it challenges my need for immediate gratification. I decided to look though my UFOs and pulled out a top I had pieced and appliqued for a table runner. I managed to get it all quilted this afternoon then got the binding finished this evening. Wow, it feels good to have a finished product!

This evening was my local quilt group (connecting threads) meet up and we had Wendy Lowes as our guest speaker. She does amazing things with fabric origami and brought loads of work in for us to see as well as physically demonstrating some of the folding. It was very interesting and I would highly recommend going to one of her talks.

Here is one of her pieces - called rose garden that was done from a brief given by the quilters guild

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

I have finished the sashing and put all the blocks together - now it is coming time for the moment of truth as I find out whether I need to make anymore geese for the border. I think I will sew the three borders together then sew each side to the blocks so that I am only scrunching the whole top up once rather than three times as I stitch around it.

Monday, 7 June 2010


I have finished the blocks! I will trim them all later (I am a bit scared at how much I will lose of some of them, fingers crossed!) then I need to work out the sashing and discover whether I have enough left over geese for the border...I do hope so!
Block Seven
Block Eight
Block Nine

Sunday, 6 June 2010


You may have noticed a certain (ahem) button on my sidebar? Yes, dear reader, you are correct, I am one of the lucky ones to make it into Doll Quilt Swap 9. As a relative Flickr swap newbie I was very pleased to be accepted and I am really looking forward to finding out who my partner is and stalking away!

I've had a lovely day today, my best chum and I were planning on taking her son to the seaside but when we woke up the weather looked a little iffy so we decided to go to Camden instead. I've had a little snooze and a looong catch up chat with my sister on the phone (must've been, ooh, at least 24 hours since we last spoke) and now I'm going to watch the end of One Fine Day (George Clooney...rrrrowr) while working on those last few blocks - I will try not to drool on them.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

six down, three to go

Here's block number 6 - I am about half way through cutting the pieces for the last three blocks. I haven't been cutting in bulk all the way through, I have been cutting then piecing but now that the end is in sight it is much easier to think through the fabric options and much more bearable to cut it all at once - having said that, all that is left is to cut all the small white blocks and that is when I suddenly though 'well, I really must update my blog'. Mmmm, cutting those 2 7/8" squares is not my favourite part.

Friday, 4 June 2010

fun finds

I was out for lunch with my Gran today (a weekly occurrence; I take her to the supermarket, she takes me to lunch or a variation on the theme, e.g. I take her to the doctors, she takes me to breakfast, I insist on paying, she then buys me a gift. You get the idea!) anyway, we had gone somewhere different than usual and I remembered that last time we had popped into Oxfam in search of hidden treasures and I had hit the jackpot in several packets of bias binding. Ok, I admit, this might not be EVERYONE'S idea of a jackpot but I imagine that if you are reading my blog then either you share my fondness of things of the haberdashery persuasion or you know me personally and my excitement will not surprise you. So, back to today, of course, I suggested we return to this source of textile goodies and here is what I gleefully took off with.

the black roll is satin binding....not what I would normally use but impossible to resist and how much room can it take up? There is 20m on that baby! Then there are 3 30cm zips and 1 20cm, 3.6m of white bias binding (drool) and 10m of a flat tape - somewhat like a shoelace, I think it will be perfect for drawstring cord. I was very happy to part with just under £10 for this little stash :D

Thursday, 3 June 2010

spot the mistake!

I just had to post this before correcting it because I didn't notice what I had done until I looked at the picture on my pc! How on earth I didn't notice while I was pressing it I will never is block 5...kinda!

Fourth Block

Thursday, 27 May 2010

One yard update

One yard wonders decided against using my fabric for the bag I designed and sent me some instead. I do love it though and I spent yesterday morning putting a bag together in it to send to them.
Cute? You can only just tell in the picture below but I used a silver bell instead of a bead to keep the toggle on this time. I keep imagining it jingling all the way to the states!
I also just finished my third block for the quiltalong - I have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly these are going together - the bulk of the time is taken cutting but I cut all the pieces for this block while watching Junior Apprentice last night so when I woke up this morning I could get stuck straight into sewing. As I make each block I am also making up 12-20 extra geese depending on how many I can squeeze out of the piece of fabric - these will be the border + I will have extras to add to the back and other projects. It works for me to do lots at the same time so I can string piece them.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

geese with beaks!

I have just finished my second block and am pleased to report that my flying geese making skills have improved to the degree that they all have sharp beaks!

The same; but different

As frequently happens, I have been inspired by Katy over at I'm a ginger monkey who is participating in this quiltalong, set up by the fabulous Anita.

I am quite late in starting so I have a bit of catching up to do and, well, I've changed it about a wee bit
I have taken out the geese in the sashing - a) because I am skeeered of how many geese I would need to make and b) because I wanted a 'whiter' quilt.

I have replaced the two centre geese with a solid 4 1/2 inch square because I knew I would obsess about which direction the geese should be facing and this way I can have them all pointing in centrally instead.

I have added extra white sashing either side of the geese border, again for that extra bit of white.

Finally, I have reduced it to 3 blocks by 3 blocks from Anita's 4x4 - this is just so that I get it finished! Depending on how quickly I progress I may reconsider that change.

I have just finished my first block

Oh yes and another change I have made is that each block will use 3 different fabrics + white. I
haven't planned out which fabrics I will use where yet, I just grabbed the first 3 that came to hand last night but 3 blocks by 3 blocks x 3 colours in each block = 27 so there is scope for using each of my current designs once if I leave out the ones that are very white like the large maneki and the peacock range.

My goal is to get it finished in time to use as a wall display at the Festival of Quilts - I will send it away for long arm quilting so I need to decide where it is going and find out what their deadline would be in order for me to get it back in time!

Monday, 24 May 2010

I have just spent an exhausting weekend at Wimbledon International Quilt Show - only really so tiring because of the 'toing and froing' though! I had a lovely time meeting and chatting with like minded people. I mainly spent my time figuring out a simple method to drop a zip in a small coin purse (Hi Rose!).......this took the majority of Saturday and Sunday, hand sewing is not my friend! I am going to play around now I am joyfully reunited with my bernina and then I might do a little tute cos it's quite cute! The quilt show itself was gorgeous, they are a very talented bunch, stupidly I didn't take any pictures, hmm.

Last weekend was my first camping weekend of the year because, yippee!, it is kite festival season once more! It was bitter sweet as we took time to mark the passing of our dear friend/father/husband/ex partner (that's where I come in)/team mate/flying buddy Steve who sadly passed away in January.

Since my last post I have also managed to squeeze in a little trip to France to gaze lovingly at this nose......

....well, wouldn't you? given the opportunity?

Thursday, 29 April 2010


I just got an e-mail from the lovely ladies at One Yard Wonders to say that my project submission has been accepted and will be in their next book! I am so excited! I only found out that they were looking for submissions two days before the deadline and just tried it as a long shot but I got in! Here's a pic of the 'Drawstring tidy caddy' that I designed for them.

They want me to make it in a different fabric so I am crossing my fingers that they might consider one of my other designs but that might just be asking too much!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

swapping fun

Dena, my spring fling swap partner who sent me the lovely pink bouquet of flowers last month finally received my mini quilt last week (I am so not impressed at it taking 4 weeks to arrive!). I posted a sneak peek earlier but here is the whole thing.

I am participating in 3 swaps this month - a mini coin, an anything goes mini and a placemat swap. I heard from Karen this morning that the wonky mini coin I sent her has arrived so here it is! I had lots of fun making it, I can't remember where I saw a wonky coin quilt but it was at least a year ago and I have been hankering after making one ever since.

Monday, 19 April 2010

non fabric crafting!

I have been practising icing biscuits today and all I can say is it is harder than it looks!

Cerys is moving this summer and she is planning a party for her daughters to say their farewells, the party is going to have a garden theme and Cerys and I have been having a lovely time of late dreaming up the food and decorations.

One thing that we have decided to do is biscuits in the shapes of snails, caterpillars, butterflies, bees and flowers iced in lovely bright and glossy royal icing.

I have searched the blogosphere for hints and tips and inspiration and today purchased a packet of rich tea biscuits on which to practise (waaaaay easier than making biscuits to practise on!)

Here are the results, I certainly hope I improve and I am SO glad I did a practise run!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Goodies from Shanghai

I have just been out for yummy Thai food with my parents who are over from France, even more exciting though - they came laden down with goodies passed on from Michelle who has just arrived in France from Shanghai!

Samples of beach huts so I can check the colours and scale - I have been longing to get my hands on these!

And presents! Lovely linens and pretty prints from Laurie - thank you so much Laurie (and Mark and Stella!) I love them all! So, so, pretty!

And even more gorgeousness from Michelle! Thank you sis! I can't believe you gave them all to me in the end!

I have just spent the last hour drooling over them all and planning how I will use them (who am I kidding? I will just stroke them, far too precious to cut into! although who could resist making a handbag with turnips or pigs?!)