Sunday, 29 November 2009

More Christmas!

Another busy week and weekend. Yesterday I went to see DD in London, and caught up with a few of the cuddles I've been missing recently and lots of the news! We went to see a musical called 'Parade' which was at the Bridewell Theatre, which I can thoroughly recommend. The music, acting and costumes were all excellent, and the story was based on a true one about a young factory girl who was found murdered in 1913, and how the Jewish factory owner (the last person to be known to have spoken to her) was framed and then lynched for the crime. Not a bundle of laughs, but very thought-provoking.
I have been busy trying to get ready for Christmas too. My 'Christmas Lights' quilt is now a top.
The red border fabric looked perfect in the shop, it even has touches of gold in it, but now it's on, it looks quite orange. I'll quilt it with a dark red thread and see if I can make it look better.
I had an idea that I would make some Christmas wall-hangings as Christmas cards for parents and mum-in-law. This pattern is from an Art to Heart book called 'I Believe'.

Looks good, but it took me rather a long while, cutting out all the letters, arranging them, and sewing round them. I'm not sure I have the strength to make another, but we'll see.

Today we had a Santa Fun Run in Lutterworth. There were 700 people in Father Christmas costumes running round the town! Everyone who entered got a costume included in the entry fee, and they ranged from tots in pushchairs, families, teenagers, parents, grandparents, people in wheelchairs and even a couple of dogs!

My photos don't give much of an impression of how many people there were, as inevitably they were very strung out as time went on, although you can just see some runners (or walkers!) coming back up the other side of the road.

Some people had gone the whole hog and included special adaptations to their costumes.

Here are the last few on what looks like a whole family outing! What a great way to spend a wintry Sunday morning, keeping fit, having fun and raising money for charity. Almost makes me wish I'd taken part! Well, almost!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Lovely weekend

This weekend was very busy, but good. It was Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters' meeting on Saturday, with an inspirational talk by Gail Lawther - featuring her quilts from a recent New Zealand trip - and then on Sunday Gail did a workshop.
Gail is particularly known for her stained glass patchwork. Since I'd never done it, and the subject was half-timbered houses, I was quick to sign up.

Here is my effort all ready to be applied to its backing. The technique is using fusible bias tape for the timbers, and then sewing them down with a twin needle. Despite the fact that a twin needle came with my machine, I'd never used it, so this was new to me. I intend to make it into a 'Welcome' banner, for when I have quilty meetings at my house, and people are peering at numbers in the dark. This'll soon bring them to the right house!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

More Christmas stuff

I have completed two more items for my Mum's Christmas fair. First I bordered the small panel and finished that. Having thought that yellow or navy were good border choices, I eventually settled for green! DH suggested a gold binding, which was ideal - not only because it looks good, but because it's used up some gold fabric I've had for years and years and never used!

One small panel to go. This had a price of 35p on it, so I must have bought it from a sales table. No border for this, I just layered it with the backing and wadding (front and backing right sides together and wadding on the back), added a ribon loop to hang down inside and sewed all the way round the edge with a quarter inch seam.

I joined the wadding by butting two pieces together and zigzagging them.

That's when I realised my mistake! Trust me to get it wrong! I needed to have the backing on the outside, not the panel, as I wanted to cut a hole in the backing and turn the whole thing through, and now the backing was in the middle! Never mind, it's only a wall hanging which will spend most of its time in a box, so I cut through the wadding and backing, to turn it through.

A quick Bondawebbed heart to cover the slit (and hopefully seal the hole in the wadding a bit!) and it's all done.

I think that'll fetch more than 35p now!

Friday, 13 November 2009


Since I had to face the reality of the size of my stash (very large), I have decided to try and use the fabric which I already have, rather than buy more. (I can hear the raucous laughter already!) Still, I've made a start, as when I was looking through my Christmas fabrics to complete my 'Christmas Lights' quilt, I came across several printed panels. Why on earth did I buy them, and what on earth was I going to do with them? Then I remembered that my Mum is having a charity Christmas Fair next week, and decided to make them up for her to sell!

This is the first one - wall-hanging size. It was quite fun to make up, and I embellished it with sequins and buttons.

Here is another which will be a table centre or something. I think it needs a small inner border of navy or yellow. I'm just off to see what I have which will fill the bill!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Design wall

I have wanted a design wall for ages, to save the crawling round on the floor and consequent threads and mess on the carpet situation. However, despite having bought a lovely piece of white flannelette from John Lewis last year, I didn't get any further. Now I have been moved into the study, there is a lovely blank wall behind the door, which prompted me to nip down to the DIY shop and buy a piece of scrap moulding (50p - bargain!) to hang the fabric from and get DH to knock a couple of nails in the wall to hang the whole thing on.

My design wall may not be fancy, but it certainly does the job. Here is my Christmas Lights mystery quilt revealed in all its glory hanging vertically. (Can you spot the block on the right which I'll have to unpick? There's always one which wriggles about as you're sewing it!)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Ship Ahoy finished!

Last week was my half term, and while I was had a great time (DH took the week off too) we were so busy I was glad to go back to work for a rest! DS's room is now all decorated and has laminate on the floor, and we have moved wardrobes, shelving and cupboards to make it more like a bedroom and less like a fabric jumble sale! My workroom is now in the study, and so far, so good. All this (along with a few days in Devon) meant that I didn't pick up any sewing at all, so last night I was glad to have the chance to layer, quilt and bind my Linus ship quilt.

I used some donated 2 ounce wadding (not my preferrred wadding of choice) which was a bit puffy, so didn't want to quilt it too much.

I just quilted in the ditch along the sashing and then around every boat - it took a bit of working out to make sure I only had to back-track for the minimum length! Since I was using cream thread, I didn't want it to show under the boat, so quilted a wavy line to look like waves. Looks quite effective, doesn't it!