Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sutton Grange Progress

It is almost twelve months since I started this quilt in a class by Di Ford Hall at Sue Watter's home. Progress has been slow but held up by a long search for a suitable fabric to use as the narrow border which frames each round. I think I found the best one and I am pleased with the progress. It still needs a little something in the centre and in the corner squares but for that I am still waiting for inspiration. The next round consists of lots of little drunkard's path blocks so it may be a long while till you see this again.

I thought of making little stars for the corners and the colour is perfect but it does not fit the square so it is back to the drawing board. I still may or may not applique butterflies. There is no rush. At least I shall have something to show Di on her return visit. Oh yes! More trouble and a brand new quilt. I am so excited.

I have also started a new baby quilt. Following on from the bubble theme. Fussy cut bubbles.

A bit of sock knitting going on and I have learnt a new skill of adding beads to knitting by using a crochet hook. This yarn is amazing and has a bit of silk in it. Most luxurious.

This week in the UK we experienced a partial eclipse. At least it was in my part of the world. The further north you went the more it blocked out the sun.  It was very cloudy and dismal here but spectacular just the same. Scared the pigeon off the roof in the eeriness that followed. I held my ipad up and pressed but looked away as I did it so I am amazed to capture anything at all. 

Happy Stitching.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Bubbles #1

Woohoo! I have a finish. It may be small but it is action packed.

Bubbles #1 measures 18.5 x18.5 inches.

Amazing what you can do with a bag of scraps and a bit of imagination. It is hand appliqued and needleturned and hand quilted too.  One dolly quilt.

For the binding I decided to try something different. It gave me a few problems but I worked it out. I saw on YouTube a video called Susie's Magic Binding by Aunt Marti's 52 Quilts. If you google it it will come up and if you use Facebook it is also on there. It is a fabulous binding and one I shall definitely be trying again. It is stitched on from the back and turned to the front and machined in the ditch to give that tiny little flange. What the video does not say is that from the back the binding is a quarter inch but a half inch on the front plus the flange. I had not allowed for that because I did not know it. At least I don't recall it being said. Eventually I went to bed just gone midnight satisfied after unpicking, trimming and restitching that it looked good.  I wanted the edge of the flange to meet the edge of the quilting. The flange is sewn down by hand to match the quilting. Watch the video to see how it is done. For my first attempt I am pleased. I personally don't like flanges that cover stitching and points on blocks.

On deciding the quilting here was my first attempt. I printed off a photo of the quilt itself and then drew on it the idea in my head of how I thought it might look. It works well and a great way of seeing if you will like how it will turn out. At this point I was not sure whether to quilt bubbles or straight lines and asked my Instagram followers which they preferred. Most said straight lines but in my head the bubbles would not go away until a certain Barbara Chainey said compromise and do both. I simplified it by adding circles in two opposite corners and straight lines in the other two corners with a few bubbles escaping. I used a thin cotton wadding and Sulky 30wt cotton thread in shade 1558 just because it was what I had and it happened to work well.

In my head now are many more bubbles waiting to escape. I think the next one will be a bit bigger but I can see it as a border with lovely quilting in the centre, as a fussy cut I Spy and even in the borders one or two scrappy bubbles appearing. See how many ideas spark off. One thing is for sure, I am not short of scraps.

Happy Stitching


Friday, 13 February 2015

Filling the gaps

I have enjoyed this little play with fabric scraps and everything came from the scrap bin. It has sparked off a few ideas in my head which need to be jotted down for future reference. I will keep a wide border but as of yet still thinking about how to quilt it. 

Shows what you can do with those scraps. Who would have thought it?

Happy Stitching.


Monday, 9 February 2015

Circle play

On my list is this idea which is in my head and needs to come out for a play.


Take  1 fat quarter. Mark a 12 inch square.

Next, grab those scraps from the overflowing bin.

Packs of plastic circle templates.

Draw round circles and applique them within the 12 inch square. I am needleturning these circles. It won't take long to fill that square. That large circle is probaly 3 inches across. Thinking of the projects those scraps have come from makes for a lovely evening sewing. 

Happy Stitching.


Sunday, 1 February 2015

January's catch up

Just in case you are thinking my talk is as blustery as the January weather then I am here to say that I have been busy and I have been plodding on with the contents of my monthly list.

First up. Socks. Finished. They will be off to keep the tootsies warm of a certain someone who I love dearly. My plan is to get knitting and use up this sock yarn that I keep buying but this may be an unending task. Having been away for a weekend where there were a plethora of gorgeous shops that I might have over indulged in this is going to keep me busy for a very long time. I have a vast array of Nephews and Nieces and this year they are all going to get a pair. Two down. Not thinking how many more to go yet. Long, long list, huge stash.

Yarn used - Wendy, Happy. This is a delight to knit with.

Sutton Grange by the lovely Di Ford Hall made it out of the box and the applique in the centre is now almost complete. Needs a few more little butterflies. I think I have also found the perfect inner borders fabric. At the moment it seems to look right but I shall wait until I have made the next round to see if it really works. Right now, I like it.

I have sewn together a little section of a few blocks for Green Beans and Sweet Tea by Jen Kingwell. If you like colour then this is the one for you. It has a bit of everything. It has every colour in there but somehow it still looks more pink. This is a hand pieced project.

Plodding on with the Trip Around The World quilt which started as a bit of fun on Facebook with Brigitte Giblin. Now that the rounds are much bigger it feels like the steam is running out almost at the end of the journey. I am making myself keep going because the end is in sight and I am on row 27 with a few squares of the next row to break up the rounds. My plan is to get it done by the end of February. It has been great fun though watching how everyone else's quilts have grown and evolved.

Managed to fit in a few Liberty print hexagons. Secret sewing. Shhhh!

February's List is sorted. Looks like the same projects on there as they are ongoing. One or two new additions to keep me excited. I managed to tackle 9 things on January's List which makes it around 75%. Had I included curtains and a dolly blanket the success rate would have been much higher. All in all, I am counting this month as a success.

One thing is for certain after what feels like a very long time coming I feel like being creative and want to stitch non stop. Yay!

Happy Stitching.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Before Christmas my daughter Sarah asked me to make curtains for her bedroom windows. There are two windows. Thankfully small but, they proved to be a little tricky in the making. The fabric is a lovely Cath Kidston print. Because the windows are small and in a recess they have a bespoke iron rod with a curly end to them meaning that ordinary curtain headings would not work. They had to be bagged out and hidden tabs added and the tabs had to be deep enough to fit over those curly end brackets. I am not a curtain expert and did what I thought would work. They look lovely and I am glad they are done and out of the way. I am also waiting for the call of "Mum, can you make the next pair?" .  Ask me if they were on my list! No, they were not. Silly me. Could have had a few finishes here.

Also, not on the list was a little bit of crochet in the form of a dolly blanket for Maisie. This ball of yarn was winking at me on top of my knitting basket and I thought it was perfect for this quick project. It is actually sock yarn and a double knit and I made a mistake buying it thinking it was 4 ply. It made up very quickly. Good practice. It is stretched out and pinned to my carpet. Looks much better for it. Makes for a jolly expensive dolly cover but I was never going to make up a pair of socks with it.

My friend Janet knitted Maisie a beautiful sweater when she was born and she is just growing into it in time for the cold weather.

Time to think about what is on that list and tackle something. Desperate for a finish ( not counting the two items not on it) I chose to do the binding on this quilt. It has been staring at me for so long and I hate doing bindings. At least now it is done and crossed off. Just needs a label. Daisy may get her quilt very soon. It is so cosy with that flannel sheet backing.

On Saturday we had a little run out to Dunster for lunch. It felt too cold to be wandering around and we did not hang around for a walk in the Castle grounds.

These three handsome chaps were the recipients of a bit of Christmas stitching. Olly my Son in Law, his brother and his Dad. Surname Young. Scottish connection. Clan Young tartan. Ties and waistcoats. The ties nearly drove me mad but the waistcoat was sheer pleasure to make. One day they may have an occasion to wear them. They look pleased. 

For Sarah there was enough fabric left over to make a lined wrap and in my stash was the perfect Liberty fabric given to me many years ago by a friend. So you see, I may not be posting very often but I am being kept busy.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your patience and understanding during the recent email blip. I sincerely hope you were not affected or infected.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


Hello everyone. Just to alert you that if you have a dodgy looking email from me please DO NOT OPEN it. I have not sent it. I apologise for this. Trying to sort it out.