Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Another fine mess!

I  needed a few yellow and purple hexagons and it's got out of hand with the rotary cutter again!  This is just the growing 1 1/2" strip bin, for the 'one day' lego quilt, it uses those odd bits up at the end of a FQ.  
...........and the other strips that I thought I would do-as I had the fabric out-for the quilt I will be making myself next year! I have been avoiding yellow and purple for years as difficult colours (I actually don't like yellow much): but a stash isn't a stash unless its rainbow coloured so I have been picking up yellow and purple FQs (fat quarters for the uninitiated) for a while in the sales.  I needed to cut some hexies for ongoing projects..........
A few more to do yet.
The random hexies had got rather too pinky-brown!
I am having a horrible time with the pile of 1/2" scraps, soooo many its almost a FQ, such a waste!  Some of them are 'saved' as I am keeping a few diamonds back for an unfinished baby blocks project that I will resurrect.  The 'ends' go into a bag to be cut down later into 1" diamonds.   Yes, I know, crazy, but I can't waste anything.  I have to draw the line at the cut off 1/2" ears but pretty much anything else I'll try to keep to re-use somewhere. That's why I have so many things on the go. 

The giant Ikea bag is now almost full of strings for the next spider web quilt, though that's a long way off as I have to FINNISH things before I start more!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Desperate Remedies

I have been riveted to Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy this week, so have not sewn much: just a bit of hand piecing 2" squares. Yes, I have ruled the 1/4" seam allowance in pencil on all of the cream squares, as if I don't nothing will ever go together properly! 

18 months ago I went a little crazy and cut hundreds of squares and triangles to make this quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter........................

.........but hand pieced using the method taught by Jinny Beyer.  If are interested in handwork, her book is amazing and even though it is expensive, you will never need another pattern book.  You can also see a demonstration of her method on the TQS website: this is a free show for non-members, number 313. 

There are enough triangles and squares cut for at least two quilts.  I will only make one by hand, the rest of the pieces will join the cut scraps

Comforting Light

This is the first paper pieced item I sewed: it's made from really old fabrics: scrounged items, old clothes and lightweight furnishing swatch samples in a mix of poly cottons and cottons.  I started it over 20 years ago before I had a cutter or cutting board without any idea what I was going to do with it as I couldn't afford wadding then! When I moved to my current house 17 years ago I lined it with an old sheet to turn it into a  door curtain.  It's really faded now.  I took it down when I re-decorated 3 years ago and discovered it again on Friday.  I love the way it looks with the light shining through it, so now its my bedroom curtain and faded or not, it's really comforting, and proof that I have always been a fabric hoarder!

Saturday, 19 November 2011


Bonnie Hunter is running a mystery quilt-I almost started cutting this morning, then I realised that I have patches cut for TWO quilts already.  I shelved this project out of sheer frustration (and inexperience) about a year ago.  A friend recommended using a corner cropping template when I cut the patches.  I really wish I hadn't done this!  My cutting is accurate, the stitching isn't bad, but I miss that perfect corner line up check and the flying geese units are not behaving!
I made all these about a year ago that need to be checked!  There are lots of pieces in this quilt.............
I am having an 'internet'  quilt retreat day along with the girls doing Bonnie's Orca Bay quilt. Me and Mozart and all day to sort out the piecing puzzle!

One star completed. Not very happy with the accuracy so proceeding slowly. I have 88 to do!  If all else fails and I just can't make the pieces fit, I have several large cushions that need covering, that should make the whole thing more manageable  and I won't have to throw the patches out in frustration!  Tip of the day: don't trim your dog ears until you are happy with the fit!

I just looked at this after uploading the picture-spot the mistake-I SHOULD HAVE SEWN BLUE SQUARES IN THE CORNERS!!  AGGGHHH! 

Time for lunch I think.

That's better.  The size should be 6" finished, they are a little small.  I'm not sure how persuasive I can be with the iron. The piecing could be sharper.  This will be a very busy quilt with a strong pattern so the imperfections will be lost in the overall effect I hope. Am I being overly critical? I want perfection!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


I couldn't resist these in the sale, broccoli, beans and BLAH. The broccoli has a planned use, beans and BLAH I just like.  I haven't done much sewing this month, I've been reading a lot. 
This was my first ever try at random applique with bits from the scrap bin sewn on to a muslin backing.  I liked doing the curves and random shaped bits best. I'd like to make an  old fashioned quilt with the embroidery round the edges one day but there are other things I want to do first.  I haven't done embroidery since I was at school! 
I would rather make a cathedral window quilt, I enjoyed this more and I can see possibility with it too, rainbow colours flushing from one side to the other across the whole width of the quilt.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Poochie Progress

The huge full box of random hexies is almost used up: four sets of 91 each to complete.   The selection left is looking rather-pink-cream-brown so I may stop here for now.

 The hexagons are 1  5/8" across.  I wish I had done them smaller really, too late now with thousands cut!

Nine sets fully complete, total 819.   I will need at least 64 sets plus fillers for the edges for a double quilt, around 6,600 hexagons. Sounds a lot-next post 2017ish..........when I have taken all the papers out!! 
All of the solid colours were sorted form the box for the Rainbow hexie and there are a few more strips done, with a small bag left to add-I'm not going to add these now, or the centre will look too uniform, they can wait for the next batch. 

This little angel called Jake came to visit on Thursday and stole my sewing!  He is 5 months and it was his first visit to someones house.  He acts like hes 8 weeks old still, full of mischief.  He is a well know toilet roll and shoe thief on Facebook so we had to watch him, just as well as the sewing had a needle in!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

A little bit more

I like it. It seems to grow quicker than the random hexies.  I'm going to do the rest in sections so the centre doesn't get dragged about and frayed over a period of several years and the patches will mix and match better as the scraps get cut up and mixed over time

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Another UFO

I found this rainbow hexie patch that I had completely forgotten.
I LOVE that fabric in the middle with the green and red humbugs, but its pretty useless to go with anything else.

Even better than the patchwork, a tin full of papers-I was running out and its not my favourite job, printing and cutting, yay!

I had to make it grow a little to see how it looked......... Moomoo would not move OR look at the camera!  She isn't very photogenic at the best of times as she's shiny and black, she looks like a dark blob.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

And I thought they would be a disaster....

Well, the dough fell to bits as I was trying to wrap it round the truffle filling, oozed out all over.........but they look fine, the texture is a bit soft and cake like, yum!  I think they are better all leaky.  Only one at a time though. Syrup, sugar, butter, flour, peanut butter, cream, chocolate!  Special occasions only I think.  Next time I will try using crushed salted peanuts as a topping.   I can't wait to see what they are like after being kept a bit....    ~(;@? 

I made oaty ginger cookies as well, they look healthier, but they're not!


OK, so these are the hexie papers I 'should' have been sewing in: they are for the grandmothers flower garden project of which there is one more round to do, with the corners to square after that (profile photo).  I'm not going to join these hexies up into flowers as I have a lot done already.  I will keep them in papered sets and include them in the project if I need them-if I don't need them for the flower garden, they can be thrown in with the random hexie bunch.  This will be the 'few moments' sewing until Christmas, when I'm going to have a major blitz on the flower garden.  The sections must be laid out on the floor and don't get much time during the working weeks to sew, they stay there for ages and the cat can't resist the papery rustling as she dives into the carefully laid out flowers!

It is in the mid 20's here today, crazy for October-I'm afraid I am one of those heat whingers!  Autumn is my favourite season, windy days, blowing leaves, crunchy woodland walks-it will all come soon enough though.

There will be a sewing interlude this afternoon: I have found a recipe for salted peanut butter and chocolate to the supermarket to buy butter now. Very naughty. I'll post a picture if they last long enough.  Did I mention I'm on my own this weekend?!

I have 70 or so pages left to read of Resplendent that's calling me today too.  It's an amazing series.  I love science fiction, it suspends reality and takes me away from it all. 

And two bookcrossing science fiction rings to read and move on after that............

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Four orphans and a UFO

 I was having yet another sort out prior to getting down to some sewing today and I found four orphan blocks that were trials for the spiderweb curtain.  They were put aside as the blue diamonds didn't pop enough, I went for a lighter blue in the end.  They are about the right size for cushion covers but they don't stand alone very well.  I think they will be put back into storage and be incorporated as a block into a quilt back at some point. 
 For the non-quilters that may be visiting from Bookcrossing, a UFO is an 'un-finished object'. Most quilters have several!  I found half a dozen really long strips I had made by sewing random scraps onto paper, trimming the edge then tearing out the papers along the perforations that the needle has made.  I love this sort of random sewing: moving the mid line, reversing the rainbow for one side (I had to write it down as I just couldn't work it backwards!), making the colour blocks one strip or many, changing the width or the angle of the strips
 Its another one that's going to have to go away  for a winter project finish.  It will have to be heavily quilted on the machine as the strips were made with my old temperamental sewing machine with the tension issues-an awful mess if it all unravels!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Lazy week!

I seem to use the 'de-stressing' excuse for doing my stuff when I should be doing other stuff often.  Ho Hum!  My evening/lunch break sewing this week was more random hexie colouring in-I have to join some dots but I got carried away with seeing how the crazy look developed.  I have two more to do then its going away for a few weeks until I have done some other more pressing sewing projects and sewn in some more papers to cut hexies (big box of both waiting, see previous posts) to add variety. 

I had a message from a bookcrosser this evening that made me laugh out loud,that everything seem so organised and boxed-no you're not seeing a picture of why I laughed, it's a BAD messy thing! Of course I haven't bought more fabric-well, a bit.  I have my son and daughter in laws quilt do do........

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Lazy Sunday

OK, so, there are a dozen other things I should have been doing............but I found some orphan hexie flowers and had to start incorporating them whilst I was watching the athletics in Daegu.  There will be some more of these when my other project is finished that will be scattered through the 'Random Hexie' double.

Totally random, dude...........

I took a little box of hexagons out with me today on a family visit and got bored with sewing in the papers. I HAD VOWED NOT  TO START THIS!  I have too much else on the go.  I am saving odd hexagons cut from scraps and excess from other projects-the idea was to get all of the papers sewn in, put them all in a bag and pick them at random to make a double quilt that will create its own magic. But I started sewing..............
Then after my visit, I went to the beach, parked up and watched the high tide turn, intending to read and I did a bit more....

It makes the whole thing less boring to do a bit of joining rather than endless paper sewing.  As long as I keep the maximum 'flower' size to six per side, once the florets are joined, it will look completely random.   Hopefully. But I need to finish my other two paper pieced projects first!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cutting Remarks

I have workmen in. The whole house is a mess. Two quilts to layer and no space to do it!  I have the space for a boring job, so out come the scrap bins-the front is the scraps to be sorted, the second is the box of 1" diamonds for the far off paper-pieced doube quilt, the third are strips that are the wrong size/shape to cut diamonds but I can't bear to throw out yet.  Need a project for these soon......

Monday, 22 August 2011

I got the Chain Piece Blues

I've started another quilt that's for a gift so I can't post yet, same design as the other one I'm working on but very different look.  I pieced most of the top this weekend from stash-cut pieces, couldn't believe how quickly it went together.

Meanwhile tonight, I needed some churn it through relaxation sewing after a hyper-stressed day, so I spent a couple of hours putting together 2 inch squares for the nine patch I'm working on as a leader-ender project.  It meant I could mix and match them properly, not sewing more that two identical pairs together.  It did the trick, home made frozen curry defrosted for dinner and two hours sewing, I'm chilled ~(:@}

Sunday, 31 July 2011


I have urgent sewing to to do for the 'shhh' project today and I'm reading Hilary Mantels 'Wolf Hall', a 700 pager, that's holding my interest, I have only 100 pages to go. Also still chopping away at the stash uglies.

I think that sewing will win this morning as the top is almost pieced-I will have to clear away to layer the quilt after.  I have several quilt tops pieced and ready to go-I have never layered a quilt before, my patchwork has previously been for duvet covers and curtains or paper pieced that take years: I have two of those in progress.  One of them is my ID  picture-here are the 'flowers' sewn up for the last round.

Try something new every day, the layering will be it.

I found a blog this morning at that has links to two sister blogs for Kim McLeans applique patterns, haven't done much applique myself but these designs are inspirational

Two favourite quilt artists in Australia, beautiful work and from the US, she pieces animals with such character, I'm particularly fond of the cows.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

More Bookcrossing

I have received 13 books this week, every one a hit with me from the sweepstake as well as several parcels that also contained chocolate, tea and cards/postcards.

This is my favourite postcard, from Mafarrimond inspired by Emma Bridgewater, the ceramicist.  I had a look at he website and its lovely crockery, but horribly expensive for such a clumsy person as moi

Example: two and a half weeks ago the first thing I did when I came home was pick up a plate, which I promptly dropped and I have had a bandaged foot since-I will leave out the numerous gory details but its definitely not healed yet! We are good at comedy injuries in our house (:~?. 

As well as too much fabric, I have too much wool (a previous fetish) but its too hot to be knitting in the summer.  Thats why this card appealed to me, winter, hot tea, warm knitting in your lap, lazy Sundays.......I thought there may have been a mug like this to buy, but no

Monday, 18 July 2011


EEK!  I have won the NEVER WON A SWEEPSTAKE sweepstake, look what the postman brought to work today......(and some wild release stickers).

Friday, 15 July 2011

Log cabin inspiration

I always have my camera in my bag-I have carried it every day for years.  I take the kind of pictures that others think odd. Oh well! I saw this trolley full of engraving laminate waste at work,it screamed 'modern log cabin' design. It will join the archive of dozens of other design pictures I have and one day it may make it to the drawing board!  I like the line of yellow hazard tape on the floor and the simplicity of red, blue, gold and silver lines.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Leaders and enders

I  have been using up a box of 2" squares that have been sitting around for a couple of years on a leaders and enders project: the blocks will be finished at 4 1/2".  Not sure what I will make with them yet.  Saves lots of wispy thread ends when I'm working on something else.  60 blocks done already and I only started a week ago.......good practice for that elusive 1/4" seam allowance.........


Amazing how many ugly bits of fabric you acquire through Internet shopping. I'm sure some of the sites photo shop the colours on the fabrics, especially those 'bargan' sale must haves, to shift something dubious.  I bought something 'pale yellow' last week in a sale offer, 3 metres of it, as I am not into pale fabrics but you do 'NEED' them to create contrast (;<}.  It was pee green. Ew.  

So, I have started chopping fabric that just needs to get used, cut it small enough and it stops being ugly!  I have the idea from Bonnie K Hunters scrap users system at Quiltville-if you are a quilter look at her site: loads of free patterns and tips based on the sizes of strips, bricks and squares she advised you to cut.  I love the scrappy look so I'm happy: I find it quite relaxing with some classical music on in the background to iron and slice (funny how 'real' ironing gives me an allergic reaction!). The whole operation creates a BIG mess  and creates a lovely box of strings to use from the trimmings.

Ashamed to say I have barely touched the surface of the pile I need to chop, look at whats there already (hangs head)
I made the lounge curtains from scraps and strings last year, another relaxing project as there was no accuracy involved!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Finally got round to something practical, prarie point variations

A bit of folding practice-not sure many of these will be practical in fabric as there will be too much bulk in small versions.  Much larger versions would be OK but that won't really fit in with the overall design as I want lots of prarie points. More later in the week..........

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Spiderweb door curtain, finishing this weekend.  I loved piecing this onto papers (see Bonnie Hunters 'Quiltville' site for instructions, love her stuff!  Taking the papers out was even more relaxing, but very messy.   I want to do an asymetric one next.   I have two of these done, the curtain will have a random plaited border, completely over the top, but that's the way I like it