Friday, 24 October 2008


I knew I couldn't resist making a few Morsbags. I'm a passionate anti-plasticbagger, and always take my own bags for the weekly shop, so this is a natural extension. There are three good reasons for making a Morsbag.
1. You're helping the environment and wildlife by ensuring that there are fewer plastic carrier bags to dispose of.
2. You can use up fabric which has been hanging around for a long while.
3. They make up so quickly, that it's an easy way to feel virtuous!
NB On the website, she says they take about 20 minutes, well she must have a very speedy sewing machine, is all I can say! I made these in about 30 minutes, which isn't bad at all.

This one is actually the wrong way round (it should be deeper, not wider) but was a way of using up this lovely Alaskan fabric which I haven't been able to cut into.

This one uses up most of some frog fabric which DD dyed pink, and then didn't like.

This one is from an old Clothkits skirt (anyone out there remember Clothkits?) which I cut up for the fabric.And this one is some fabric which was such a bargain, I couldn't resist buying lots of it, and still have most of it left!

I'm going to take them down to Brighton when we go next week to visit DD and give them to her housemates - I'm not quite up to the guerrilla bagging yet!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

One fnished and 1002 to go!

Well, I'm exaggerating slightly on the numbers of quilts I have yet to finish, but it certainly feels like a lot!

I have actually finished my jars quilt for Project Linus. Most of the jars were donated by Karol-Ann, but I made a few more myself to bulk the numbers up. I have been rooting round in my stash for other fabrics with designs which would be suitable to keep in jars, so I can make some kits up for Linus. It's not so easy to find suitable motifs.

My Turning 20 quilt is now a top, and I have the backing and wadding all ready to turn this top into a quilt - all I need is the time! (I decided to extend it at the sides slightly to make it a bit wider. I just put multicoloured strips together. I didn't want a border the whole way round, as I felt it was long enough already!)

Other UFOs are waiting in the wings - such as this Mile a Minute for a colleague's son. He's a football fan and supports Coventry, who are called the Sky Blues, so it had to be bordered with pale blue!

I still haven't got the Old Quilt finished. I think it's the size which is making me reluctant to tackle it, plus the boring quilting motifs. I prefer to do something a bit more exciting than hourglasses!

I'm also making another baby quilt for a little one due to appear in November! I must get this bordered and finished if I'm to be in time for its arrival.

And of course, there are always extra bits and pieces on hand. Some lovely ballerina fabric was donated to Linus, but there wasn't enough of it to do anything with. I fussy cut the ballerinas out, and have started to make them into Mile a Minute blocks. Seemed like a good idea at the time!

And to add to all this, I've just downloaded the pattern for morsbags, to start my life as a guerilla! So much fabric, so little time!

Friday, 10 October 2008

A present and a bargain

No time for sewing over the last couple of days as I've been working, then over to see my parents and taken them to see DS in Leeds. While I was at work I checked my pigeon hole and was intrigued to see a magazine in there. Imagine my surprise when I saw it was not only a quilting magazine, but one I had never heard of before!

It's 'Irish Quilt and Craft Magazine'. Apparently, one of my work colleagues's sister is a big friend of Gaye Grant, the editor of this publication. Gaye gave her friend a copy of the magazine, and strange as this may seem, the friend is not a quilter! Difficult to believe, I know! So the friend really had only moderate interest in the mag, at which the sister said she knew someone who would appreciate it, and that someone was me! You're absolutely right, Anne, I love it! One really interesting feature is a Shop Hop Map of Ireland, with quilt shops marked on it. Ideal for anyone planning a holiday in the Emerald Isle.

Near my parents' house, in the village of Tibshelf, is a fabric shop which has lots of bargains. They're mostly of the polycotton or synthetic variety, but while I was visiting the old folks, I had a rummage there. I ended up buying ribbon, just £1's worth. Here it is.

The ribbon is in big bins, sorted by colour, and you get a carrier bag and a pair of scissors, pull a piece of ribbon out of a bin, and cut it off when you have enough! I couldn't resist getting all this, and was delighted at the price. What am I going to do with it? Not sure yet, but to start with, I'm going to stroke it and sort it into piles - that's enough to be going on with, isn't it?!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Three hours of Turning 20

DD's room has now got white paintwork, instead of the dingy cream doors and skirting boards which had discoloured over the years! They'll look even better when I've managed to put a white gloss coaton top. That's a job for another day, though.
This evening, I spent another hour on my Turning 20 quilt. Here are the completed blocks,

and the components waiting to be joined.
I'm quite pleased with it, although I hadn't realised there was quite so much turquoise in it. I will quilt it with a darkish blue, which will tone it down a bit.

Two hours of 'Turning 20'

Because I was at my belly dancing class last night I only managed 45 minutes sewing (and the last 5 minutes of that was a whole pile of blocks with an empty shuttle - not much good!)
So here is about 2 hours sewing and about an hour's cutting.

As you can see, the whole thing goes very quickly, chiefly because the elements can be joined randomly so long as the shapes are maintained. After I've undercoated the woodwork in DD's room today, I'm hoping to do some more - this time with a full shuttle!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Quick quilt

While I was at the area day last week, Ferret showed a quilt which had taken her 6 hours to make, including the cutting! It was a double bed quilt and absolutely gorgeous. It was from the book 'Turning 20' and really caught a few people's eyes, as she sold a lot of copies of the pattern. DS had recently requested a quilt for his new pad in Leeds - he's got a few quilts, but no doubles, and nothing suitable for a young man about town! He decided that blue would be good, but didn't want any cream in it, as he has eczema, and often gets blood on his bedding. I have been collecting blue batiks for this quilt, and decided to use this pattern to make it.

I decided to time myself with this one and here is the one hour fifteen minutes progress. (Unfortunately I forgot to time myself cutting, but I don't think it was an hour.) I'm hoping to have a bit of sewing time tonight as DH is away on business, so watch the progress!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Regional Day

Things here have been pretty busy. DD has gone off to Brighton to start her MA course (means : washing, ironing, packing, cajoling, jollying, driving to and from Brighton, unloading, unpacking, feeding etc ) and nearer to home I have been front of house manager for the local production of 'Whose Life Is It Anyway?' (means : rushing home from work to be at the venue for 6.30, staying all evening to look after the audience and then on the final night host the after-show party and drink till 3 am.) Tough week! Luckily, both events went off very successfully, so now I can relax and maybe do a little sewing!

I did find time to sneak off to the Quilters Guild of the British Isles Regional Day for Northamptonshire with Ruth. It's the first time I've been to a Region 7 day, and it was very friendly and enjoyable. Apart from the delights of the delicious array of home-made cakes, they had two speakers! In the morning was Ferret and after lunch was Katherine Guerrier.

I had seen Ferret's fantastic quilt 'Herd Mentality' at the NEC, but apart from a rumour that she made quilts featuring nudes, knew no more. She was delightful. Modest, young, down to earth and very inspirational, she showed a wide variety of different techniques and ideas. Her journey as a quilter (from using polycotton and bedsheets and binding her quilts with satin ribbon) was much like many of ours, but the range of her work and colour sense was uniquely her own.

Here you can see her with several of her quilts in the background. Apparently her nudes cannot be exhibited in some shows (she named Paducah) but I didn't think they were disturbing myself.

After lunch, I don't think I was the only one who struggled to keep awake during Katherine Guerrier's talk. It wasn't that her talk or quilts weren't good, but more the fact of lunch (and home-made cake) weighing me down. Katherine is the archetypal scrap quilter, and to see how her quilts developed into the wonderful kaleidoscopes of colours that they are today, was fabulous. I tried to get a photo of her, but the numbers of people wanting to look at her quilts,

and buy her books was too great.

You can just see her at the back in a white blouse and blue scarf.

I took the opportunity to seek advice about the old hexagon quilt. Margaret Armstrong, from the Quilter's Guild was kind enough to look at 3 hexagon quilts that people had brought along. The other two were silk and one in particular (which had been bought in a junk shop for £20) was a poor shape. Margaret felt that none of the quilts were museum quality, and said that it would be fine to replace the missing and damaged parts of mine with reproduction fabrics and thereby realise its original maker's intentions. I have emailed the Quilter's Guild twice to see if they would like it, but have so far not had a response. I'll hang fire for a while and see if I can get another opinion, but I think Margaret is probably right.