Thursday, 26 March 2015


We're currently on holiday and have been taking quite a few flights.  On the latest one we were lucky enough to get extra leg room, as we were in exit seats.  The only downside here is that you have to stow all your bags for take off, just in case there's a problem.  So, I took out my book, and something else to keep me occupied, and settled back to enjoy the flight. 
"I'm sorry madam, you can keep your book, but you'll have to put your knitting away."
Knitting?  Well here it is.

I know that people get a bit confused between different sewing categories, but I ask you - knitting!

And here is the fruits of my labour.  Not very knitted! 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Mile a minute and cheddar

I continue to be fascinated by Mile a Minute - I think it's both for the colours and the fact that it makes something from (nearly) nothing!  Because I accept scraps from anyone, it's doubly interesting, as fabrics from other people's stashes are always a lot more interesting than from your own!  I am teaching a class on MAM later this year, so wanted to make up a few samples. 

I have made this design before, but still love it.  The star is from Victoria Finlay Wolfe's book '15 Minutes of Play' although the setting etc is mine.  The yellow is nice and gutsy and provides a good foil for the scrappiness.  Next I tried a different idea from Victoria's book.

This is a work in progress.  I love making these blocks too, and have been looking through my solids for possible X fabrics.  Not sure how this will go, but maybe a cascade of colours from top left - pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue purple - and then a MAM border.  We'll see.
And I have been keeping up with my Stars in a Time Warp blocks.  The latest fabric was cheddar.  I've never been exactly sure what colour cheddar fabric is, and now I find it's exactly the colour of the cheddar cheese in my fridge - yellow orange!  I couldn't believe that I had the correct colour in my stash, and was able to make the stars straightaway. 

The left hand one is my reproduction (looking more orange than in reality) and the right my modern one.  I love that purple and cheddar spot : why didn't I buy the bolt?! 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Tula Pink

This morning there was some talk about Tula Pink and her book '100 Modern Quilt Blocks' and I remembered that I had a set of blocks waiting in my challenge group bag, waiting to be put together.  When I looked them out, I found these gorgeous blocks which Debbie made and generously donated to Project Linus.  Aren't they pretty?

(One of the reasons she donated them is that she had hand pieced them, and discovered they were all slightly different sizes!  Machine pieced blocks can be trimmed, but not hand pieced ones!  No problems.  I'll frame them all and trim the frames to the same size!)

And here are mine.  I had intended them to be for Linus in the first place, so used some child-friendly fabrics.  I have 36 blocks, which when sashed will make a great quilt.  Off to look for some pale blue fabric!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Lots of things

I have had quite a bit of chance for sewing this week (DH has been to 2 football matches, so I've had extra 'me' time!). As usual, I have been doing various different things. 
I've got the main part of my Grand Illusion together. 

I have some of the border components sewn together, but am thinking I might have a plain border instead.  I'll probably go with the yellow inner border, then turquoise?  We'll see.
Next are my challenge group blocks for this year.  The theme is 'one block quilts'.  Not a good one for me, as I get bored so easily.  So when I saw that Barnara Brackman was doing a challenge called 'Stars in a time warp' using the same sawtoothed star block, but making it a masterclass in the history of fabric, I decided to do that!  There is a different fabric theme each week. 

First there was Turkey red.  The star at the bottom is my historical one, with the one at the top a modern one.  I've decided to make two quilts, using the same themes each week.  

Next was Prussian blue.  I'm not sure I nailed this one, as I find it difficult to see the difference between Prussian and indigo blues.  Ah well, it's a journey. 

Next is shirtings, and the one on the left is made from one of DS's old shirts!  The one on the right is the historical one.  I'm really enjoying these challenges. 
I've also been busy layering and quilting Linus quilts.  We had a very successful sewing session at Lutterworth Piecemakers, which has brought lots of tops out to be bordered and finished. 

Here is a scrappy rail fence with binding cut ready. 

And here is another quilt all ready for binding.  After delivering a massive 80 quilts for fostered children, we need to replenish the stock slightly!  Happy sewing. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Finally, some sewing for me!

The sewing machine has been going full pelt and my sewing room looks like a bombsite, but there's been little quilting going on.  It's panto season here in the UK and I have been busy sorting out the costumes for Ali Baba and the forty thieves.  Luckily there weren't forty thieves to dress, but there were four pantomime dames - the proper dame plus three of her friends!  Anyway, it was the first night last night, so apart from a few repairs, I've been able to do something for me.

Here is my Grand Illusion, so far.  I've made all the blocks - I'm going for 16 - and just have to join them together.  That's the easy bit! 
I'd just like to share a block made by a member of 'Quilting Together' in Shepshed (Paula and I went there to collect Linus quilts, but that's another story). 

She felt the block was too busy for her, so calmed it down with a pink centre.  Good idea. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

It's a girl!

DD's friends baby has arrived, and it's a girl, Ruby Jayne.  I haven't seen her yet, as I want to get the quilt finished before I visit.  Here is the completed top.

I wanted it to be gender-neutral, and bright, as strong colours stimulate babies' visual cortex (plus, I get so bored when I use pale colours!)  now I'm quilting it, and hope to have it done by the weekend.
This doesn't mean I've abandoned my Grand Illusion.  

Iit looks very dark here, but it's the light levels rather than my fabric choices which have done that!  I made half the block components, so should be able to make 12.5 blocks.  I think I'll go for 16 as that'll make a fairly decent size.  The blocks are going together very quickly.  If you missed out on this mystery, it's not too late to look on and catch up!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Leopards and spots

It's said a leopard never changes its spots, and (both as a quilter and in other ways) neither will I!  I never let a current project get in the way of something new, so despite the fact that DD's friend's baby's due in a few days, I've packed my 9 patches away.  

I've done the right number of blocks, arranged them pleasingly, and even joined up the first two rows.  So, what is it, you ask, which has demanded your attention?  Bonnie Hunter, of course!  She has revealed her Grand Illusion mystery quilt, and I couldn't resist making up a block.

Here is the block.  It goes together really well, with few match points.  Shal I do more, or go back to the baby quilt?  Hmmm.