Monday, 22 July 2013

Monday . . . No

For everyone else it may be Monday but  as I worked the whole weekend, it's my Sunday.  That calls for bacon and egg brekkies with good cup o' coffee. Mmmmmm......

Thursday, 18 July 2013



Decisions decisions
Breakfast time with cereal or porridge
As a midmorning snack
At lunchtime on the side
As a treat with cream or ice cream
Or just as they are
Decisions decisions

Monday, 20 May 2013

Constructing a spiderweb

Back in early 2010 I belonged to a quilting bee called Sew2Speak.  It was a time when the spider web quilt block was all the rage and I wanted to try it.  As usual I didn't want it to be like everyone elses and decided to arrange the blocks in rainbow style.  First I drew a diagram of the layout, then cut the colour strips and the grey centres.

It took the better part of the day to lay out all the strips and then pin them onto template paper which was marked with it's row number. 

I almost slept on the floor that night.

My fellow quilt bee members were very indulgent and followed my layout request to a T.   

 After the quilt blocks had all arrived safely, it was time to join them together.

I made a backing from bits of flannel sheeting leftover from other quilt backings and some oddments of fabric. Vacuumed the carpet extra especially clean, laid out the backing, pinned it down, sprayed some 505 spray (it works quite well) and then laid the top down.

Before I could pin it I had to untangle the pins - a wiggle to the left and a wiggle to the right and they all fell down.

I've quilted it in light grey thread on top and a pale blue in the bobbin to match the backing.  Stitching was done 'in the ditch'.  It's three years later and the only step that remains is the binding.  I've not yet decided which colour to use for the binding, although I am leaning towards the red. What do you think? Done in grey.

Edit:  I've just found the Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2013 over on Amy's Creative Side and have entered this quilt into the categories for : Group/Bee group, Scrap quilt, Throw quilt, Colour wheel quilt.  Please go and have a look at the other entries.  Don't forget to vote (for me of course) as there are wonderful prizes to be won.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Testing my birthday present

So just the other day I celebrated another birthday and in a tradition l established in 2000 when l was widowed, l bought myself a present.

For sometime now I've wanted to be able to take and share photo's with family and friends, and chat to them on Skype, Tweet, have access to lnstagram and part of me just wanted to be one of the gang. After chatting to my colleagues I decided on the Samsung Galaxy Note11

After lots of hiccups I finally got it connected and downloaded and this is my first Android based post. If anyone has any tips for either blogging on the go or just blogging from a Smartphone or any other tip or shortcut then please do not be shy - leave a comment.

I am very curious to see where the photo will be placed and am reserving the right to edit on the pc if I think it needs fixing.

Hope you all have a really lovely weekend.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

It's soooo great to win

 Yippitee doo da yippitee day,
My oh my it was a wonderful day!


A little while ago there was this lady called Amy at Crafty Shenanigans who blogged about a blog hop and at the same time she had a giveaway.  Not just any kind of giveaway, but a framed purse ... and .... it had a whole lot of fabric scraps in it.

Even though I thought, she'll never draw my name ... so many people have entered to win, actually 356 people entered and that's a lot of potential winners, but then I also remembered these sayings:
You snooze you loose  .............. and ......    you got to be innit to winnit
so I left my comment and guess what, I won - yip - little old me won the best thing next to sliced bread. 

You see I've been wanting one of these metal frame purses ever since I saw them popping up in Flickr land.  And, if you know anything about me, it's that I love scraps.


I was just so chuffed when it arrived (a few weeks ago) and was looking forward to having a peek to see what scraps were in it.  Well, the size of the purse is so deceptive, the more fabric scraps I removed the more there was.  This really was the gift that kept on giving!! 

Thank you Amy, you have no idea at just how perfect this was for me.


Giveaway winner

Hiya everyone,

As there weren't that many people (7) that showed an interest in the magazine I didn't bother to get the random number generator involved.  Instead I wrote all the names on slips of paper, plopped them down on the dining table, and picked one.

...............the winner is .............. Nan
Congrats Nan.

I did take photo's of the process but at the moment I can't find the camera!

Nan, please let me have your postal address and I'll get the magazine off to you.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Quilting Gallery Mug Rug Swap

 Some time ago I discovered Quilting Gallery.  It is somewhere you can find like minded folk from around the world, who quilt. You can search for blogs in your area (country or continent) and participate in events such as swaps.

One such swap was a rug mug swap using specific patterns from The Patchsmith I decided to join in because I felt that if we were all using the same pattern then it kinda puts all the participants on an equal footing.  The top two are the mug rugs that I sent off to my (secret) partner.  Along the way, as I was making them I thought how nice it would be to make a second copy of each one for myself. 

 Then I remembered that someone, somewhere, was making me one of each.

Hey ho, I didn't have to wait too long before these beauties arrived all the way from Connecticut, America.  The lady who made them is Margaret Gumble, who doesn't appear to have a blog.  They really are super and having had contact with Margaret it's a lovely thought to think that she went about making them with a secret on her lips and a smile in her heart.  Thank you Margaret.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Love Quilting & Patchwork magazine giveaway

This is one of the first issues of Love Quilting & Patchwork magazine 
which I understand has become 'a little' sought after.

It contains a number of great quilting patterns  ....................

especially the very popular Marcelle Medallion quilt pattern.

 You'll also find some interviews with popular and gifted quilters and designers

and competitions.
 If you're in the UK you could even receive it in time to enter the magazine's competition.

To win the magazine, all you have to do is be a follower of the blog.  Leave a comment letting me know how you follow eg Feedly, Bloglovin.  If you'd like to follow by email then let me know that too.   The giveaway will close on Friday 12th April whereafter I'll draw the winner's name.  Good luck

(The magazine is an unused copy and was only opened up to take photographs for the purpose of blogging the giveaway.)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Cyber hugs


A little while ago Carol, aka mamacjt on Flickr, hosted a giveaway on her blog.  If you haven't been to look at either her photo's or her blog then you really should.  You will find  lovely crisp, bright and original art pieces that she draws and sews.  Talk about artistic - well, suppose I'm just jealous because she really is brilliant.

 Carol has had giveaways before and she always offers the loveliest items.  She is very generous that way!  This last time was no different and when I saw this clutch I fell in lust!  The fabric is superb and I simply had to have it.  And then, would you believe how lucky I was to win it in the giveaway.  I can't tell you how chuffed I was (and still am).

Usually, you can fit everything including the kitchen sink in my handbag.  Lately, I've been making do with less and less - simply because I never need those extra items, and it means that I don't need a big bag anymore and that's why this clutch is going to be so special.  I have large hands and the wrist strap fits perfectly over my hand and sits comfortably on the wrist.   The colours are lovely gently pinks, ochre yellow and orange.  And have you seen that ever so cute number 5 that is the zipper pull.  The clutch is perfect for my informal jeans and jacket everyday wear but also cute enough to use for smarter.  I don't do bling - shiny sequins and such like.  Leather and natural fabric are more my style.

Thank you Carol, I really do love everything about the clutch.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

New: Texas Teardrop Quilt-along

Photo taken off the blog off of Vicki's blog :  Quilting Lodge

Every now and then I see something that catches my eye, and this colourful and vibrant quilt is the object of a new quilt along has definately got my attention.  The organisers are in the process of finalising the finer details.

From information available it appears that it will start in April 2013 which means we've all got enough time to tidy up our sewing rooms/areas, dust and oil sewing machines, sharpen scissors and rotary cutter blades, get some neutral thread in stock and wind your bobbins.

Vicki also has a button which you can pick up on her blog. There is also a Flickr Group started which you can go along and join and introduce yourself.

Let's make this as popular as some of the other fabulous quilts we've seen around over the last year. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Like some other quilters I'm cheesed off that we are losing Google Reader.  I'm having a look at Newsfox as I used Firefox, but for ease of use for all you others out there who would like to follow me, I'm going to add Bloglovin.  To do that one of the steps is that you have to claim your blog and that is what I'm going to do now with this post.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, 11 March 2013

Getting a facelift

For some time now I've wanted to make some changes to this blog's layout, the header picture and a few other tweeks.  All in all it has been a bit of a struggle as I really am not a computer or software boffin. 

So, on a quiet Sunday it was a blessing to come across the many How To posts on Karen's blog named Sew Many Ways.  Her blog is a great read, make sure you've got brew (that's what we call a cup of tea).  She has a large number of tutorials as well and they're really well set out - you can't go wrong when you follow her instructions.

I quite like this layout of pictures for the header but then couldn't figure out how to put the blog name up so that you could see it as a cell across the bottom of the pictures.  In the end I settled on what you see at the top today.  When I do get it figured out I'll probably change it.  If there is anyone out there that can help, please contact me - I'd be very grateful.

A while back I signed up to participate in Quilting Gallery's mug rug swap and so I've also been busy making the two mug rugs to send off.  We're fast approaching the deadline for posting.  Fortunately, they actually have their binding on and just need eyes which I'll use some beads for.  Will post pics of the completed mug rugs when they're done, posted and safely in their new home.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Spinning Star* assembly tutorial

Anna Maria Horner has this great block that she has named Spinning Star*, and she has assembled a quilt using her fabrics and 9 of these blocks.   Not only is this block easy to sew together but it measures 18 inches square when finished which means you don't need too many of them to make a nice size quilt.

When I sewed the test block I ended up with a very fabric-congested and raised centre.  Having discussed this issue previously with a very competent quilter I knew it was time for the seam ripper.   After unpicking the centre and trimming and tidying up and then restitching the seams, it lay beautifully flat.

In an attempt to help prevent other sewers ending up with the same problem, I've put together this assembly tutorial and hope it helps you.

If you had to unpick the entire block you would this is how it would go:
First you'd have two halves, then four quarters, eight segments which in turn are made up of three pieces.

To make the block you will need to print out the pattern and templates.  Using the templates cut 8 of each of the three pattern pieces for the block = a total of 24 pieces.   (In the pattern these pieces are referred to as A, B and C.) Then lay out the pieces so that you are happy with the placement of your fabrics.  

Start assembling your block by taking the pieces that make up a segment and sewing them together. 

 When you place the pieces together you will see that when they are correctly placed rights sides together, there are little rabbit ears that stick out on both the start and the end of the seam.

 Next you'll sew two of these segments together.  Before you do that there is the matter of whether you iron seams open or iron them side ways.  I'm not willing to enter into a debate about the rights or wrongs of either.  For the purpose of this tutorial we will use my personal preference which is to press the seams so that they lie sideways.  This means that one segments seams should be ironed upwards and the other segments seams lie down toward the centre.  When you lay the two segments rights sides together the seams will nestle cosily against each other and you can push your pin through both top and bottom seamlines quite comfortably.

 Starting from the outside edge, sew toward the centre and stop sewing 1/4 inch from the edge.  Press your seams to set them and lay the seam to once side.  For this example you will see that all these seams lie in an anti-clockwise direction.

When you turn this corner quarter  piece over you'll see some rabbit ears sticking out on the edges. 

When all four corners / quarters are sewn together and you lay them face up then these little rabbit ears in the centre are very easy to spot. 

Now, it is time to get rid of them and any other ears sticking out at seam intersections. 

Now it is time to sew each 'corner / quarter section' to it's neighbour.  Again you will be able to nestle the seams against each other and pin them through the stitching line.

When you've done this you will have two halves.

Two things are important:
Firstly, when sewing the segments together, stop when you get to 1/4 inch from the edge;
Secondly, It is very important to trim off rabbit ears as it will lessen the bulk of fabric when you finally lay the completed block out and press it.

In the pictures above and below you will see how the seams are pressed to lie anti-clockwise and how the seams on each segment alternately lie up and down.

Next, pin the two halves together and sew the seams, again from the outside toward the centre, stopping 1/4 inch from the centre.

When it's finished, this is what your view of the back of the block should look like. 

The centre of the block where the seams all meet lies nice and flat and when you turn it over it is not raised.


Time now to stand back and admire your work.  It's a lovely block for a cushion cover or if you want, make a few more and you have a quilt.

If there are any questions or you'd like clarity on a point, please don't hesitate to ask.

*At first this tutorial post was named Spinning Wheel assembly tutorial.  It has since been amended to the correct block name - Spinning Star. 


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