Monday, 29 April 2013

2nd Attempt

Last week we went on a little holiday to our home place of Cheddleton in the Staffordshire Moorlands. We stayed in a lovely little bungalow with this great view of the rolling hills of the Churnet Valley that were my husband's childhood stomping ground. The only downside was not having a wifi signal.

The weather was trying to be kind to us and we had a little walk down to the steam railway. No coat I might add. The railway was closed for the day as it had a private function and the lucky guests were having a trip with some fine dining, silver service no less and it looked rather nice. If you so wished you could even get married on said train.

Opposite the railway is The Boat pub. It once made an appearance in Coronation Street when several of the male variety went off on a little canal and fishing jaunt. Below it the canal is having some maintenance work and new footpaths are being laid.

The River Churnet.

On the Sunday we went for Sunday lunch and on a sample menu it said Sun Baked Cheddleton Pork. Perhaps this is what they meant. Basking in the sunshine at the farm opposite the railway.

As you know I never leave home without some sewing and I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to get the centre of the Hertfordshire quilt stitched. I really tried but the first attempt was such rubbish that I almost gave up and binned it. Common sense prevailed and once back home I unpicked the the outer circle and the middle. The actual points were ok. Spray starch became my best friend and it stopped it from stretching. I also re cut new outer borders and in a different direction to how I had it before. Careful pinning and stitching and I am now pleased that it lies flat. Now I have to think about what happens next and find suitable fabrics for the scalloped border.

On the way home I managed a quick whizz round the Uttoxeter Quilt Show and a spot of retail therapy. I literally did have one hour and a little bit so didn't take it all in properly but these came home with me. I didn't even have time to take any photo's.

I also came away with a book that is new on the market and I feel a little personal challenge coming on. More on that another time.

Happy Stitching.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013


A few people have shown concern that I have not been blogging and I have no excuse other than I just haven't. I have been doing lots of reading and following. Very early this morning I was wide awake, something like 5.00am and so decided that I will show you that I am not really missing and I have actually been doing something.

Firstly. Most of you know that I save scraps of ridiculous sizes and the box(es) are overflowing so, I decided that I would have a little play. I cut several strips of a plain cream fabric 3/4" wide. Then  I picked up the scraps and just sewed them to a cream strip  and just kept adding randomly until I had created a big enough piece. I like the crazy paved feel of this little piece.

All trimmed and bound, measuring 9" x 12". My intention now is to send it on a little adventure and donate it to the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative in the USA. (AAQI). Anyone who doesn't know what this is it is a wonderful thing where you can make and donate and buy online mini quilted treasures in memory of a loved one who has or is suffering from Alzheimers. All proceeds from the online auction go to the research for a cure of this terrible disease. I am simply calling this "Elsie" in memory of my mum.

I machine quilted it in the middle of each cream line. Just need to register it now before I can send it.

Having started the Scrappy Trip Around The World quilt I needed an action plan to get going with making more blocks so, my plan was to cut out all the remaining strips ready for some serious sewing. I needed 147 fabrics if I was to make the 72" square version. Hopefully my maths is correct and I have cut enough to finish what I started. This was no mean feat. It meant raiding the stash and digging deep to find 147 fabrics without repeating any. I think I have done it but not too sure that the odd one hasn't crept in. Anyway, mission accomplished and all strips ready for action.

A little progress has been made on Noughts and Crosses. Lizzie at broderie blog said that one of her sewing friends bought this pattern from her and then turned up 3 weeks later with all 42 blocks completed, all hand sewn. Phew! I am in awe. This is my humble offering but I am pleased with it so far. Maybe progress would be quicker on this one if I cut out the blocks en masse.

Had to have a little play at some fabric origami to try out this little hexagon. There was a very pretty bag on Pinterest made from these delightful fancies and it gave a link to a great tutorial so, i had to have a go. Cut from a 5" charm square you will get a hexagon with  2.5" sides, when sewn up it measures 1.25". The button hides the stitching that keeps the points in place.

It feels like it has taken me an eaternity to choose suitable fabrics for the centre of the Hertfordshire Quilt. Having found the bird fabric in my stash I then wondered how I was going to stop this from looking a dark and sombre quilt. I cut out the first row of points and that is where I got stuck. Hmm. I think at this point it was helpful to know what background the circle would sit in and I found the perfect fabric at a quilt show, a very soft peachy pink with a soft grey stripe. Now I think I am getting somewhere. The dotty fabrics were both from my stash and the white fabric has livened it up. Just have to stitch it all now. The mitred pieces are just glued down at the edge. I am sure I have given myself a big headache when it comes to deciding on what comes next but I will think about that when I get there. I really have no idea where this is going next.

Well, it is now 7.20am and time to get up, except that I have already been awake for over 2 hours and I need another cup of tea. I promise not to leave it so long next time.
Happy Stitching.
Love Shirley.
p.s. Please go and pay a visit to my lovely friend Stina and wish her a happy belated birthday as she shows her celebrations.