Friday 27 April 2012

Stained glass star

Another totally gratuitous shot of the quilt top, this time with sashing, and shadows on a sunny day:-)

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Siblings Together Quilt Top

The great thing about awful weather is that you can't really do much useful gardening and can skive off and do sewing instead! It was a productive, if not lucrative day. I actually managed to finish piecing my quilt top (bar sashing round the edge). It's not perfect:

(actually that's not the worst one, there's a real horror), and there's still a long way to go but this is what it looks like now:

I haven't decided yet how to quilt it - by hand, or machine.  I've only machine quilted a doll's quilt on my Brother and I don't know how it (he?) or I will stand up to it.  Either way I'd like to do shadow quilting round the outside, and then take it from there.  Meanwhile I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday 23 April 2012

Final layout (probably...)

Here's the final layout (I think) of the ST quilt.  I like the concentric star effect and I think it makes the best use of the material I got from Patchwork Queen.  I had to unpick some squares, and still have to unpick some more (hidden under some folded triangles).  I hate unpicking!

That was last night and this morning I laid it out again on my design wall (aka the living room floor) and tried it out with the pink solid I thought I might use. It just looked too peely-wally as they say in these parts, so I tried it out against a tatty old white sheet and I like this effect better (the white, not the tatty sheet!). I'd have loved to have gone for something really bold and positive, like orange, but neither the oranges in my local fabric shop nor the klona orange on my Backstitch swatch card were quite right.

I was so absorbed in my task I didn't even notice the playpeople.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Weekend Chaos

Only a night had passed since we last tidied up!

Yes, that is a child in the trunk.  When I first discovered the room, the two of them were in there together with the lid shut and there was much giggling.  Luckily the trunk doesn't have a lock but my husband asked them what they would do to keep calm if they got stuck - apparently junior would eat her sister.

Friday 20 April 2012

Thank you...

First, very grateful thanks to the kind people who indulged my dithering yesterday and pointed me encouragingly in the direction of mega swoony thing.  You know sometimes you just need to be told what to do!   So, it's off to the fabric shop this weekend to see if I can get a suitable solid to go round the edge of it.  Mmmmmm, fabric shops....

Today started rainy but this afternoon was lovely and everything in the (tiny) garden seems to be burgeoning (that's not a word you use every day).  I've been playing with Super Macro - it's fab!  It makes you look so closely.  Who knew there was a greenfly in this agyranthemum? and you can see the pollen on its legs!

These remind me of dangly squids!

And here's one bursting into song:

Before bursting into flower:

I am really glad that Kay and  Fiona have signed up to Pay It Forward and I will be stalking their blogs in the hope that I learn enough not to send them something horribly not to their taste.   Is anyone else brave enough? 

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday 19 April 2012


Two posts in one day! Sorry for clogging up your Reader with my earlier rant about clothes moths - I'd just seen one sitting on my pile of sewn HSTs and I was a bit annoyed:-)

I need some advice.  I have been playing around with the layout of the the ST quilt again - as I mentioned the fabric came in different amounts, but it has, fortuitously or not, arranged itself into two patterns.

The first is this:

I am thinking that I would take the green all the way round, and follow it with another border of the pink (effectively turning it into a star with a warm/cold or value quilt edging.

The second option is this, mega swoony thing:

I just don't know/can't decide which to do.  Bearing in mind that neither might be your cup of tea and that both look weird against my cheap rug, if you think I should go one way or the other, please let me know - I'd value the opinion of someone with a good eye.  Either way I plan to frame it with a plain surround, and a patterned binding which picks up the colours - possibly with some sort of small motif in the corners.   If I was making it for me I might try white, but I have probably discounted that as being less practical for a small child.

[edited to link up belatedly with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced]

Clothes moths

Aargh, clothes moths! If you have them, you will know what I mean.

When we moved into our house it was full of ancient carpets (including one in the bathroom which had been liberally pee stained by three small boys).  We lost no time in ripping these up but the legacy of moth remains.

What amazes me is their ability to de- and re-materialise.   As they flutter past I like to practice my lightning reflexes on them Miyagi style (without the chopsticks), but every time I think I've caught one in my fist it either reappears on my knuckes, or in another part of the room.  Also they appear to be composed entirely of dust.

Since the children were small I've tried to get them to love and be interested in insects, spiders and beetles,  but I have resorted to taking out a contract on clothes moths and am currently paying 10p per hit.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

More progress on the Siblings Together quilt front and I have been messing around with layouts. The bundle I was so kindly donated contained lovely fabrics, all in different amounts, and it just so happened that I could lay them out like this with some spares for round the edge (awful photo but you get the idea). I'm really not sure about it yet - perhaps it's a bit much! I think I'll keep going in this direction for a bit and see what happens.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

HSTs - how hard could it be?

Well, as it turns out, harder than I thought!  Apart from the fact that a straight seam seems to elude me, it's probably not a good idea to dash home from a morning's work and try and get three hours of cutting and sewing in before school collection time because that's when you cut all your new squares half an inch smaller than your existing ones.  It's also why you sew some of your squares together both right side up and have to unpick all the results.

It's also a mistake to try and get any sewing done after school collection time, if you end up trying to arbitrate between 2 siblings having an argument about who didn't wipe their bottom and flush the toilet, and end up sewing in a strop.

Aside from all that, woohoo!  progress is being made on the Siblings Together quilt!

Monday 16 April 2012

Back to reality, and a Pay-it-Forward

We have been on holiday, and oh how much I love my country!

We awoke to this view:

saw lots of these:

and these, both close up:

and further away:

and went on a hair-raising (for the anxious mother) walk up a gorge with a vertical drop at the side of the path.

This was just one of a few short but decent walks with the Sprogs, which bodes well for the future - the hillwalking gap while they were too small seemed very long!

It feels a bit flat to be back home again but it cheered me up to find a parcel waiting:

It's my pay-it-forward pincushion from Laura at Needles Pins and Baking Tins, and I really love it, and the little pin that came with it.  I don't think that I will ever be neat or focussed enough to make a cathedral window and so it is especially nice to have such a lovely thing made for me by someone else.

Of course it means that I now have to step up to the mark and offer to pay-it-forward to three other people, which fills me with dread but also gratitude for the motivation.   If you would like to have something (hopefully not too shabby) handmade by me, and are willing to PIF to three other people, just comment below.    You are probably already familiar with PIF "rules" which are simply that I will undertake to send the first three commenters something within the next year, and then you have a year from receipt to PIF in turn.  I don't mind if you've participated in a PIF already!

Thursday 5 April 2012


Possibly this happens to most families during the holidays but I had a day of total parental fail yesterday - everyone was best described as very tired and emotional.  Today was much more successful.  Firstly, I made some progress on the Siblings Together quilt, and have begun turning my amazing collection of fabrics donated by Patchwork Queen into this:

There were some 6.5 inch squares in the bundle, along with some 3 inch ones, and other pieces of fabric of different sizes.  All are beautifully co-ordinating (lucky that I had the benefit of PQ's skill) and I love the effect you get from throwing the various fabrics together in different ways, so my current plan is to make lots of 5 inch blocks in different combinations.  The left over fabric is being sent off to be made into granny squares for another quilt.

None of the fabric I had already went happily with this lovely bundle, so I'm not adding it in to the mix here but wonder instead whether I may be able to make a second quilt, probably for a teenage boy, as I thought they might be under-represented.

We also had a lovely time with a friend who is studying textiles, learning to do screenprinting

and to work with disperse dyes which you paint on paper and then iron on to your fabric:

The gekko is by Sprog 1.  Pretty good,  I thought!  I'm looking forward to playing with this more.

Wednesday 4 April 2012


This 1950s (?) treasure is what I just bought from Ebay.

Look at these lovely motifs!

I shouldn't have bought it, and I did manage to hold off for days but in the end the call was too strong.  It has been hidden straight away in my treasures cupboard.   I'm a bit worried that I will never be able to do any more than take it out once in a while and admire it, but that would be a bit sad, and it would make a lovely tea cosy/ironing board cover/bag/cushion cover.  What would you make?

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Looks like there's a storm a-comin...

 Meanwhile, I'm tucked up in the warm, putting together Aurifil Thread Collections for this comp. Such fun.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks

Timed nicely to coincide with the start of the holidays, there's been a fairly dramatic turnabout in the weather:

and that's when it isn't snowing horizontally.

It's been a productive day though.  We managed to take the cat to the vet for his annual injections (never a laugh, though he has given up going rigid when I try and get him in the catbox), I've headed off at least four sibling spats at the pass, we've successfully made biscuits, played Rat-a-tat Cat, and today we has been mostly listening to the Buzzcocks.  I had to scramble madly for the remote when Orgasm Addict came on - as Sprog 1 said, that's a funny song, and I could see where we were headed.

It's probably not a good thing to make fabric choices and think about quilt patterns while listening to the Buzzcocks as it makes me feel wildly over-optimistic.  Never mind.

Monday 2 April 2012

Fabric Heaven

I just wanted to share the incredible generosity of Patchwork Queen at Patchwork Palace who has just sent me these lovely fabrics to help make my quilt for

Quilts for Siblings Together

Aren't they amazing? My children have been drooling over them somewhat enviously, so I know they are going to be a hit if I can do a good enough job with the quilt.

I'd better crack on with it then:-)


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