Saturday 3 October 2015


In recent weeks I have been fullfilling  a long obligation for my daughter.

When she was little she announced that when she was grown up she would buy a house next door to me and I could make the curtains. How kind!

Well. She did not buy a house next door but lives a good 30 minute drive away. She did however expect me to honour the curtain making request. Thankfully all her windows are small ones and I hope they are now all covered.

In the last few months they have had a new kitchen installed and these are curtains in the Dining Room end of the kitchen. Sarah made the window seat cushion herself. The cushions are bought ones. Think it looks lovely. The blue in the cushions reflects the colour of the Rayburn oven.

These are the kitchen window curtains. The house is old and we are yet to find out its age and history but feel it must have a story to tell. Love the mismatched tie back hooks. 

This is the kitchen during its transformation and my son in law standing against the Rayburn which is around 50 years old. 

This time last year we were preparing for their wedding. How time flies.

Happy Stitching.


Wednesday 30 September 2015

Jelly Roll Leftovers

My friend Wendy issued a challenge for our Wednesday sewing group. I am sure we all have jelly roll bundles that we stash and wonder what to do with them.

Wendy's challenge was to take a jelly roll and actually make something. Did not have to be a big item. The idea was then to pass on the remnants to someone else to use and make use of. Have you got the idea? It is a double challenge I think. Not only to make something using the scraps but to use fabrics that are not your choice. You would not believe these fabrics came from the same bundle that Wendy chose. 

I cannot yet show you what I made with my jelly roll because at this stage I still have not made it but the idea is there. I started off with Wendy's leftovers. It looked like a very pretty bundle of 1930's style fabrics but what to do with them. One thing I wanted to try was a Plus Sign quilt. This was the perfect opportunity to get it out of the system with something small.

To see how it would work I drew it out on graph paper then cut my strips into 2.5" squares.

Here it is all laid out on the floor ready for sewing. Even I occasionally feel the need to machine piece and this whipped up quickly. Love these colours and fabrics.

All stitched and a border added. Well, it had to be pink. I think it adds to the 1930's feel of it. I cannot remember the details of the fabric line but will ask Wendy.

Measures 32" square.

It is now all sandwiched and quilting has started. Progress may be a bit slower on this.

So far, so good. Five bundles to go.

Happy Stitching.


Thursday 17 September 2015

Bubbles II Finished

Yay! A finish. At last.

It has now gone to live with a new owner. A dear friend who became a granny twice in 11 days. I had great fun making it and I know my friend will enjoy using it too.

Short and sweet post.

Happy Stitching.


Thursday 30 July 2015

I Spy.....

I Spy with my little eye......

A chicken, a cow, a goldfish. Cakes. Mmmmm.

A dog, a bone, paw prints.

A cat, a penguin, a bird house. A boy.

Almost there with the quilting. Just the borders to do now. All these things came from my stash. Surprising what is in there when you dig deep. I have had great fun finding fabrics to use and Maisie has tested it out by finding her own things. She spotted a owl and a bike and a baa. She identifies animals mostly by the noise they make although a cow is a dow. It amuses me listening to her testing words out. Holding her hand up and say "a hand " and then holding the other one up and repeating it as though she is surprised to find another one.

Anyone interested in a kitchen update? Yes?

Oh yes! It has been worth all the mess and upheaval and it is fabulous. A very glamorous kitchen

No, it is not a tv but a rather good extractor fan.

For those who like details. Walls painted in Slaked Lime, units painted in Slaked Lime Mid and the dresser is in Slaked Lime Deep all by Little Greene paint. The worktop is Ivory Fantasy granite. Just waiting for the window blind now. Order is being restored throughout the house. Phew!

I love it.

Back to the stitching.

Happy Stitching.


Sunday 21 June 2015

Parallel Lines

The Album Parallel Lines by Blondie was one our favourite when my husband and I first met and we played it over and over. I am mentioning it for several reasons. One, because it reminds me of Summer and today is glorious. Two, because it sprang to mind as I am quilting parallel lines on my Trip Around The World quilt. Plus, it is still a great album.

So many tracks to choose from and I hope the link works.

 Sunday Girl by Blondie.

I am using no. 16 Finca Perle. The little label inside says Tint 1065. It is a lovely cerise colour and works very well with the mix of pinks and lavenders. I would like to say it will get finished quicker making big stitches but it is hard going on already sore hands. I lke the effect though so on we go.

This week my kitchen has gone from this..........

To this........

It is going to be out of action for another 4 weeks and my dining room has been made into a temporary kitchen. I keep telling myself it is like Glamping. Have no idea really as I have never camped and have no intentions of camping but we can survive it. We have a kettle, a microwave and a crockpot. Oh! and a mini fridge It is not a huge kitchen but I am having painted units and the decorator requested I don't put anything in the cupboards. I would much rather wait an extra two weeks  than spoil the finish.

Progress is being made though. The wiring is all in place. The old floor tiles and wall tiles are gone and there is now a new floor surface. Tomorrow work starts on installing the new one. Cannot wait to see what this week brings. Hope it goes more smoothly than the last week.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Happy Stitching.


Monday 11 May 2015

Pendle Hill Centre

I cannot believe that it is already a week ago since the last day of the workshops with Di Ford Hall.  This quilt has me gripped and I have stitched on it virtually every day. The centre of the urn is now completed and stitched to a square in readiness for the next stage which is to apply flowers to the edge of the circle.

My new passion is pentagons. These beautiful little flowers are stitched using 5/8" papers. Each one I make I declare it my favourite. Warning! Highly addictive. I already have a few ideas for making lots more of these. For this quilt I need 56.

These little beauties belong to my friend Marie. We had great fun playing with ideas for these. Marie has some great idas too for a whole new adventure.

Posing with Di in front of Phebe and Rotherfield Grey. Those quilts are amazing. 

This week I bought this little tray in a shop in Wellington. I love the colours and the green  suits my home very well. It is Mason's and the backstamp says Paynsley Pattern. I have no idea of its age. I just really like it. Think I mght look out for a bit more now. It goes well with my chair!!

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and it is warm and it is wafting the scent of these bluebells. As a child we used to play a game in the school playground called In and Out the Bluebell Windows. I did a bit of research into this game. Only in my area of Staffordshire is this game called Bluebell Windows, it is mostly known as Dusty Bluebells. What we used to do was form a circle holding hands high and one person would weave in and out of the bluebell windows and then that person would stop at a random person in the circle and we would sing "pat a little girl upon her shoulders" . She would then join in the weaving in and out until there were no people left and the game would start again until the whistle blew. As you can imagine, the patting upon the shoulders used to get a little vigorous at times especially as the chain got bigger. These games usually have their origins somewhere in history and this one I believe derives from the May Fairings. Anyone looking for a servant or anyone wishing to be hired as a serving girl would go to the May Fairs. The bluebells just so happen to coincide with appearing at the same time. The Hirer would parade up and down the line of hopefuls and when he got to one that he liked the look of she would be patted on the shoulder and they were hired. I am sure it would have extended to boys too.

Hope you are enjoying some sunshine and some stitching where you are.


Sunday 3 May 2015

Pendle Hill and Pentagons

On Tuesday my friend Marie and I had a fabulous day at Sue Watter's house on a Di Ford Hall workshop. As you know I am a big fan of Di and it was great to see her back and with a new quilt to start.

This is Pendle Hill. My start of it. Never has a day gone by so fast. Great company and a lovely atmosphere.

Once the urn was stitched, time to do a bit of flower arranging. This quilt has a lot of broderie perse and there will be a lot of cutting out in my future.

Part of the quilt has a border of 5/8 inch pentagons fussy cut. Oh my goodness! If you like hexagons then you will love this. I can see this being highly addictive. These three are ready to assemble. I have five completed and another four cut ready.

Today I have been to Cowslip for a weekend of stitching with Di. I have had my head down and worked hard on my applique. Hopefully I shall be able to show you the next stage soon.

This is a small section of Di's quilt. Yet to be finished and will not be revealed until publication of her next book which I am sorry to say will not be out until 2017.  Plenty to keep me going until then.

Just look at those pentagons and that applique. 

I sat opposite a lovely lady today named Jackie who said she followed my blog. I had no idea and had not met her before so, this post is for you Jackie.

Happy Stitching.


Wednesday 22 April 2015

Trip Around The World

At last I have got my Trip Around The World quilt top to a finished state. As the rounds got bigger and took more time the enthusiasm waned somewhat. I took the decision to end at row 28. It is a decent throw size at roughly 62 inches. Amazingly, the triangles for the outside edge were stitched at record speed once the decision had been made. 

Started as a on line challenge via Facebook, hosted and designed by Brigitte Giblin in 2014. Based on a quilt in Brigitte's collection.

Red spot fabric was compulsory for the challenge and to be used at  certain stages. One row we signed up for a swap. My swap came from Australia. My swap partner turned out to be a friend of another blogging friend and I had the perfect fabric. My swap fabric went to America. 

It is hand pieced, seam allowances eyeballed and not marked. Not pressed either except with a bit of finger pressing.

It has been a fun project to work on and every time a new fabric was added it changed the whole appearance. The online support and encouragement was and still is amazing and the quilts simply stunning. Each and every one.

So, here it is. 

Today I had a little visit to Dotty Dolly Quilt Shop and found the perfect backing fabric. I introduced Maisie to the delights of a quilt shop and I think she quite liked it especially the lovely nursery prints. Anything with dogs and lions are a winner. Mind you, I think she was more interested in playing with the toy counting frame. 

I think the quilting will be simple cross hatching. Undecided on thread but have a varied selection to choose from. It may be a while now before you see it again.

Thank you Brigitte for an amazing experience.

Happy Stitching.


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.