Sunday, 29 July 2012

The a way......

Every single crumb in the bin is now sewn to another crumb.  I truly have a real leaders and enders project to dip into now.  I had to give it a good start kick start!

This is about 2/3 of the bin, I got up early and finished the other 1/3 this morning, as the mess was overwhelming me-my fault as I had thrown all the bits that really couldn't be used in the corner but there were beginning to creep all over the floor.

There is a huge bagful ready for the compost bin, cotton scraps are supposed to be good for the garden.

Now to clip them all apart. Those are LARGE scissors lost in  the pile.  I'll save that for a different rainy day.

I owed someone muffins for a favour done, I went a bit nuts and made

chocolate orange
banana choc chip walnut
lemon and poppy seed
plum, cardamom and almond
vanilla and raspberry jam

He isn't getting them all, the favour wasn't that big! Lots for the freezer for unexpected visitors.  The chocolate ones have an orange After Eight stuffed into them immediately they come out of the oven.  Numnum.  Quite tired now.........  Rather sad I have only sample two, don't dare have more today!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I am so easily lead......where will it all end?

It's hot. Our first few days of SUMMER and it's a shock to the system!  Too hot to concentrate for long.

So I snatch a handful from the crumbs bin every now and then for Number 33.

Oh dear...............I made another mess!

Saturday, 21 July 2012


These will finish at 12 1/2 "


I have been sewing away on my made fabric blocks, the pile is getting bigger as they fill out.  I have half a dozen large enough to be ready for slashing and adding orange to now. I didn't make them large enough before, there was to much 'waste': I used it to start new blocks-see the middle one here. 

I get better results if  I press after every two strips
added, so its taking a while as there are so may blocks on the go, about 25 now.  More than enough to make a border of some sort for the finished quilt.

I am so easily DISTRACTED!  I found that the 'too big for 1'' diamonds but I can't bear to throw away bin' wasn't useful for the orange and blue project.  It has just sat on the table next to me. Hmm, leaders and enders, I thought.  As most of the pieces in the box are different depth variations of three or four sizes, I rummaged and made these in a few minutes........

I pressed all the seams in one direction so when I trim and join the strips to make blocks I will reverse the seam direction to ease bulk.  I'll do a bit more of this when  start block making again.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Back to work blues

Oh yeah!  Much rather be at home with Bernina! 

Time after work this week has been spent 'making' more blue fabric.  A little bit of tune-out to de-stress.  

See the blue and green string bin in the background? Because I've been rummaging, it looks as if there are more strings in there than when I started, it's overflowing now!

I used all the scraps left from piecing  the blocks to begin new string blocks, as well as working on the ones that are half done.  I think I have too many!  A little bit more to do to make some larger blocks.

I'm is using the fabric more economically, and making piecing quicker: when I pick up a string I keep using that string by adding on more string blocks and choosing one the right size for the end so there's no waste/silly offcuts left.  That's the benefit of having string blocks of different sizes on the go.

I have been looking up more blocks to make for this weekend too.

Without making the whole thing look too 'shirty' I am using up the small pieces from the charity shop shirts I bought  a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

7/36, 8/36, 9/36, 10/36

It's difficult to find enough blocks to show off the made fabric element  without being too few and boring. This one is OK.

This one has too much white, but I like it.

Not too keen on this one, bland.

Small black patches would have worked better with the white instad of the small blue.....

...........and bulky seams! Alleviated a little by clipping and swirling the four patches.
I am being too critical!  Once they are laid out I can balance the look of the whole thing with the sashings and cornerstones. Meanwhile, practice makes perfect.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Home Retreat: 5/36 and 6/36

It looks like I have the day to myself. 

I'm listening to radio 4 and sewing, practising my piecing skills on wibbly 'made' blue fabric.
Large blocks are giving me a feeling of speedy progress. 

I have seen rainbow potential in this block: flushing diagonally over the quilt, large blocks from orange, green and purple, small ones in blue, red and yellow to link the rainbow. 

Oh no!! Another idea!  It will use up all the pre-cut squares I have.  I guess I should add it to the list.

So, with THIS one, that's.....


Friday, 13 July 2012

3/36 and 4/36

This one looks better in the photo with the white highlighted by the flash, it's a bit 'busy".

1/36 and 2/36

The first two 12" blocks: large pieces so I can gauge how well the made fabric handles, before I make up too many pieced blue blanks.

This one was a 'deliberate mistake', I cut it for a 10" block so it has cornerstones added.

The white fabric is quite firm and seems to be a wise choice.  So far it seems to be coming out at the correct size.

Some of the seams are very thick on the finished blocks and have had to be clipped.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


I played some more, there are about a dozen of these done now.  I have had to order more oranges to play with the other blue blocks and explore curves. 
I decided against black and white to go with this as I found this busy blue fabric for the smaller block pieces in the stash. Perfect. 

At the weekend I hope to be able to piece a couple of 12" blocks in blue and white, with the larger components cut from the blocks above and the smaller components cut from the blue fabric opposite, all on the white background.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


I kept sewing and sewing and slashing and sewing: I have made about 20 pieces of 'fabric'  of various sizes by pulling blue out of the bin and stitching whatever came out next.  There weren't as many border traffic lights as I though there were.

Last night I chose my accent fabric. Tonight I will be slashing and stitching some more with the orange, experimenting with thickness and lines.

I have been looking at blocks to make with the made fabric that don't need too many small pieces.  I can't make up my mind if I should use black and white for the smaller pieces, or just white. More thinking needed, whist I squeeze in the oranges.

Sunday, 8 July 2012


Of course, I always intended to put a sundae border on the backing................

I didn't get to do my mindless string piecing on Friday, as I began to machine quilt this one.  I was trying to do 'in the ditch' with gold thread, but it kept breaking!  I need to unpick, then try another brand.
I looked at the rain this morning, then went for the green and blue string bin...............
and the too big to cut for 1/2 inch diamond bin.......................
 and started making 'fabric' as I had read this brilliant blog.

No more feeling of time wasting if I just need to machine without thinking too much.
I'm doing my best to include all the fabric borders.  I may call the project   "Timeless Treasure".  At the moment its just a relaxation tool.

Back to it!
And back to work tomorrow (:~[

Friday, 6 July 2012

Dealing with two dead boring things at once

If I'm going to make myself suffer psychologically because I really have to do the ironing, I may as well go all the way and cause physical discomfort as well!

Mozart is a comfort.  Of course it is actually making me more intelligent the more I listen.
My reward, later: to watch a film and finish the mini stacks of strips for the rainbow hexie that are lined up on the overflow bookshelf, before they get too dusty!


Stitches are getting more even, I can risk them showing now.
I'm sure I could do better on a floor frame rather than wrestling a hoop and a double quilt on my lap!
I have to see if I really enjoy this before I splash out.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Lazy day

Going to hand quilt this evening.

Even though I am off work, I haven't felt that relaxed and can't sleep well.  I have stayed up until 1am most nights and still had trouble sleeping.  I caught up this morning, I didn't wake up until 10.30 am!  I have a desk job and don't get enough exercise, so after four days out and about I think my body was protesting!   I've had a lazy day today reviewing Alex Anderson's hand quilting lessons on TQS and watching some free shows (register for free and you get more free shows).  I was a member for a while and learnt a lot.

The neighbours came to visit earlier (to be truthful they visit ALL the time).  Blackie was asleep in my herb basket (I've had to forget the herbs!) and Belly-up comes for a play/purr/belly scratch whenever hes called. He is going to make someone the most darling cat, most kittens aren't interested is fusses but he loves it.  Someone in the house is allergic so they have to get rid of all six cats, they will be missed. (:@[

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

I must be a 'real' quilter now

No shirt shopping today, my son came over with Archie and we went for a rainy, muddy walk in the woods.  Archie loved it and so did we.  This is him after he went out in the garden a few weeks ago and rolled in foxy mess, straight in the bath before he gets anywhere near anything.  Now he looks like a proper dog not a puppy, you can't tell what his ancestry is.  The ears and short legs are his daschound father, everything else is from his Labrador x Staffordshire terrier mum.  He has the Staffy madness and is happy with EVERYTHING and everybody. 

I cut up all the shirts this evening, saving every bit including the collars for the strip bins. All that's left are the seams and bits with iron on interfacing, but look at the waste.  I really can't use any of this, except maybe for a rag rug-agh!!-stop it!! It's going in the compost bin!  I'm going to iron before bed so it will be all tidy in the morning.

After around 15 hours of hand quilting in the last 10 days, not much really, I have developed my first quilters callus!  I am SO proud!

More Deliberate Wonkiness

More dubious photos!

Finding the new glasses difficult, my first time with varifocals.  One focal length for reading, another for the computer. More practice all round.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Two Towns Tuesday



It's about 10 years since I charity shopped for shirts for quilting-the last time was for the blue borders on the recycled hexagon quilt.  They were about 50p each then. You can see them top left here.......
Even in a recession, some shops were offering 'designer' second hand shirts for fifteen pounds!   I set my limit at five pounds but that had to be for a pattern I really wanted and it had to be an extra large shirt!  I looked at dresses as well: many of them were gored, making the usable solid pieces rather narrow.

I'm not sure if this will be a sampler quilt with each block different, or something more regular. More collecting to do yet,  this is one of next years projects. A potter round some boot sales is in order, if it ever stops raining this summer long enough for one to go ahead!

I'm hoping to have a self styled 'retreat' at home on Friday to do some string piecing.  I have the urge.

Monday, 2 July 2012

I've been bad. Again. Project Number 30...........

It was only a bit of charity shop browsing in Tunbrige Wells. Honest. I got an idea from looking at the mens shirts. So, I guess this will be project number 30!  I will ask the guys at work to donate too, but they seemed reluctant last time.   Only one of them brings me the shirt off his back when they are worn out, but he doesn't tell his wife!

When I'm eyeing up a man, it's only because I want to cut up his shirt!

Joy of joys, I found a gluten free sandwich shop for lunch!  I had a smoked salmon sandwich and a berry/ice smoothie.  Unexpected bliss.  Even the double shot late I had  in the morning to keep me going was good, no bitterness and plenty of froth.
And some bargain books too. I am not a hoarder, I am a collector-when I have read a book it gets Bookcrossed (;~?

Week off

I am on holiday this week, rain is forecast all week!  Ho Hum. I'm off to Tunbridge Wells today after I pick up my new glasses. Hopefully that will make hand quilting a little less awkward! There is a big quilting store there ~(;@} 

My reading for the week.......I picked this one off the shelf as it's lighweight and I'll be out and about.

I will also finish a Phillip K Dick anthology.