Friday 29 June 2012

Marketing Win

Marmite and bad puns - the best.

PS, this is how I found it later:

I think you'll find that's my Marmite

Reasons to be Cheerful

I'm so grateful to have met some really nice bloggers.

After I posted yesterday about my sashing loss of confidence, Diane, who is always so positive, commented that if I liked it, that was the main thing. Fiona hit the nail on the head when she said that actually it didn't look too brown,  it didn't look much of anything! - so I made two more strips and joined them minus sashing, the way they had been hanging on the line the day before and I think they just look so much happier. 

Cynthia got in touch and told me about monofilament thread, which I had not heard of before and this information is going to be so useful.

Chrissie has very, very kindly awarded me my second Liebster which resulted in an exchange of emails that made me laugh - you can read her Liebster stories here and here.

Thank you everyone.  I really do appreciate it.


Thursday 28 June 2012

Sashing Trials!

Trialling Stack of Coins with sand linen:

What do you think? Too much brown?

I had a really clear vision of what I wanted and now I'm not so certain.   I think I'll persevere with it - it's amazing the effect that quilting has in making things look right after all.  Actually, that's going to be the big question - how to quilt it, and in which colour(s) thread?  I love straight line quilting but I'd really like to do quite tight meandering loops so that it was just overall crinkly without the quilting being a particular feature.  My practice attempts at meandering loops have suggested that I have my work cut out...

On the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop today - please do visit:

Julie of Jolie Maxtin
Lori of Adventures in Fabric

Julie has a tutorial for bright and cheerful placemats, and Lori has a tutorial for a pot holder and oven mitt.  Ooh, love the fabric they have both chosen for their projects!

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Stack of coins

Oh I do love it when the sun shines!  Is anyone else more productive in nice weather? Anyhow, I'm cracking on with the Stack of Coins, which now looks like this:

It needs only a few more coins and then I'm going to sash it in linen.  I don't seem to be able to work on many things at once - I struggle to be disciplined enough to finish things otherwise! Now I feel I really need to get this done so I can move on to the next thing - I'm especially panicking about my blog hop tutorial.  Do you prefer to work on one thing after another, or have several projects on the go?  And if it's several, how do you organise yourself (or not!)?

Today on the Blog Hop:

Plum and June  

Svetlana from Sotak Handmade - her post isn't up at time of writing, but I love her work and look forward to seeing it
and Beth from Plum and June who has a tutorial for a School Rules mini quilt, with stamped rules - it's really sweet.

It has, of course, been Beth who has done the massive work of organising this blog hop and it's such fun seeing what each blogger has come up with.  Please visit if you can.

Monday 25 June 2012

Weekend makes

I've had another more productive couple of days and have been auditioning fabric for the item I'm making for my Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop spot on 5 July,

and sewing blocks for a Stack of Coins type affair in brown, green, blue and grey that I'm making for the living-room sofa.

The colours aren't really as bright as these, but I had to boost the bad-weather photos using Picassa's "I Feel Lucky" function, which reminds me of the miraculous "Enhance" button on all computers on CSI.

Continuing the green theme, the great thing about having Grandmas to stay is that they make things like this with you:

Aren't they extraordinary?:-)  They look like something Fungus the Bogeyman would eat, and tasted delicious.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Impulse buying

Walkabout by Genine Zlatkis for Cloud 9, Flea Market Fancy Seedpod Stripe in turquoise, Klona cotton in Corn Yellow, from Backstitch.   Well, I just had to.

Friday 22 June 2012

Sewing Mojo

I've been trying to muster some sewing mojo and have at least managed to finish this little quilt made from one of Backstitch's Klona swatch cards, plus one square of gold fabric to make up the numbers.  When I'd finished stitching and quilting the swatches I thought it needed a frame so I sashed it in a plain linen and I've just hand bound it.  The linen is less sludgy in real life - it's a lovely Japanese slubby linen and not porridgey at all - but it doesn't seem like the sun is ever going to shine enough to capture it!  I imagined it as an oil painting with a plain wood and gesso frame, not being pretentious or anything:-)

I didn't make any attempt to line up the squares or to trim them to a particular size so the wonkiness of the squares is deliberate, as is the rather mad quilting, but it makes me happy.

Onwards and upwards to the next project in hand - I've an idea for the tutorial I've to do for my spot on the Let's Get Acquainted Blog hop (see my side bar for details).  On that subject, please do visit the two latest blogs on the hop:

Mina from  Kinda Quilty 
Suzanne from  Claas Creations

Mina shows the process of making a fantastically colourful mini quilt embellished with beads, and Suzanne painted and sewed some lovely educational beanbags.

I'm so relieved to be coming out of the creative doldrums - you probably know what it's like when you don't have the time or even the inclination, and how nice it is when you get it back!  For what it's worth, I'm adding this little quilt to the week's linky at Plum and June.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Circular Scrap-busting Patchwork Cushion

A make!  Sprog 2 and I were sitting on the sofa watching Shaun the Sheep and I was idly considering how to make a sunhat when I had a lightbulb moment for an easy method of making circular scrappy patchwork.  I've been ill the last few days and not feeling up to much, but yesterday I couldn't wait to pack the children off to school so I could sit in the warm and do some sewing!

I spent the day making a cushion, and finished the binding this morning so cushion and I went outside and amused ourselves and the neighbours by posing about in the garden:

The cushion is made of scraps, and sand-coloured linen, self-bound and quilted in white circles.  My scrappy method involves using Bonda-web to foundation-piece concentric circles, which are then fused to the wadding (no basting), and then QAYG and I'm so delighted (surprised, mostly) by the way the cushion turned out that I'm linking it up to Ellison Lane's Summer Sewing Contest in the Home Decor category.  There are some real beauties there though.  I'm also linking up to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story - see button in my sidebar.

Also in the garden was this, so pretty!:

Please do visit the two blogs taking part in the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop today (see the button on my side bar for info):

Yzo at Chez Roo
Kelly at Jeliquilts

Yzo has a tutorial for a lovely and quirky tea cosy, and Kelly has one for a flying geese pincushion with awe-inspiring tiny flying geese.  Their blogs are lovely and really worth a look.

Ellison Lane Quilts

Sunday 10 June 2012

Prototype Mark II

Remember this?

Prototype I

I have been persevering with it and have made another test piece in the colours I'm thinking of for the quilt I want to make.

Prototype II

I have to admit that though it's satisfyingly good for producing tiny shapes, I find this kind of piecing a bit tedious:-)   It's useful experience though and maybe practice will make perfect eventually!  Who knows, maybe a full size New York Beauty is in my future....

My plan (at this stage more of an aspiration, really) is a quilt with a dandelion clock at one bottom corner, with seeds drifting off across the quilt. I thought that I can square up the seed blocks in such a way that they drift at different angles.

But I have a question for experienced paper piecers.  Ignoring the obvious mistakes, it looks two seam-y to me and I think it did in my first prototype too.  Do you think this would impact on a quilt?  Or do you think that your eye isn't distracted by seams once the whole thing is quilted?  Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

NOT the Diamond Jubilee

We were celebrating here today.  Woke up to find the children had made this special jigsaw card:

Spent the day in one of our favourite places:

Building sandcastles, and beachcombing...

Took the kids out for a special curry, and came home and vegged in front of the laptop....

There's another stop today for the runaway train that is the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop! Please do visit Cinzia at Deux Petites Souris and Kristy at Quiet Play.   Cinzia makes beautiful, colourful, modern quilts - like this one.  I really like her advice that practice makes better - because perfection "doesn't exist and the pursuit of it is paralysing"!  I have been admiring Kristy's Red Herring quilt and lucky for me she has just posted a tutorial for the paper-pieced blocks, which is now added to my increasingly impossibly long "want to try this" list.

Friday 1 June 2012


Today I'm linking up to the Small Blog Meet at Lily's Quilts. If you are visiting from there


Welcome to my blog! I'm not usually a very prolific maker, but here's what I got up to during May - it includes my first two full-size quilts.

Clockwise from top left: quilt for the charity Siblings Together (for an older boy): doll's quilt: Backstitch Klona swatch card quilt: quilt made for Siblings Together (for a girl)

And here's what I'm up to at the moment:

This is a prototype for a quilt that I would like to make.  It's my first attempt at paper piecing (except for an abandoned EPP crab) and it's supposed to be a dandelion seed although I think it looks rather like a parsnip!  That's partly because I'm practicing on spare scraps of fabric rather than the ones I might actually use, and partly because, well, it just looks like a parsnip.

It's also my first serious attempt at free motion quilting - I've realised that I don't need a special foot (though I'm sure it would help) or to drop the feed dogs.  I've just raised my usual foot, and set the stitch size to 0.  The quilting is very ropey, but I still love that effect.

Lily's Quilts


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