Friday, 23 April 2010

Out of the mouths ....

We have lived in our house for nearly 25 years, and things are starting to need replacing. We need new soffits and gutters, a new drive, a new boiler and a new kitchen. I am supposed to be getting quotes for all these items, but haven't got very far yet. Yesterday, DH tackled me while I was emailing, and said that on my day off, I should be getting quotes rather than spending my time quilting. 'I'm not quilting now!' I replied indignantly. 'No, but you're thinking about it!' was his wise rejoinder. He knows me so well!
So what have I been thinking about recently? I'm still obsessed with the scrappy hearts, so I've been thinking about them.

And blue ones,

and red ones,

and pastel ones!
I need to go and think about hanging out washing, so I'll just wish the main man, Will, many happy returns of the day,
and a happy St George's Day to all!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Oh dear.

I knew I had the willpower of a gnat, but I have again failed miserably in my efforts to keep to a fabric diet. DD is making a quilt (more of which later) and needed some more red fabric. She needed to go to the Bramble Patch yesterday (note the two uses of the word 'needed'), and I foolishly went with her. I came home with 2.5 metres of fabric, only one metre of which I needed. (On the plus side, one fat quarter was free, but that hardly signifies!)

Here are my purchases. The pretty fabric with the birds on it is a 'gender-neutral' centre for a baby quilt for a colleague's new grandbaby - due in June. DD has a Master's in Sexual Dissidence, so wouldn't allow me to buy anything which smacked of sexism! The fabric with the multicoloured words on will go into my collection of fabrics with writing on - I nearly needed it!

The other fabric was a want, rather than a need. This fabric from In the Beginning fabrics is covered with 1930s drawings of domesticity, with 21st century quilting-appropriate captions. 'Happiness is relaxing after the shop hop.' 'I told him it was unwise to make me choose between him and my fabrics. I will miss hm though.' And the personally appropriate 'I sent my son to college so I could keep my fabric in his room .. expensive storage!' You can see my all-time favourite in the centre of the picture!

And the free fabric? Every year the Bramble Patch have a competition for the Margaret Every Cup, which starts with them giving out free fabric and ends with an exhibition of quilts and wall-hangings made using this fabric and in aid of cancer charities. This year there was a choice of fabric which was traditional or novelty. Of course, I was instantly drawn to the novelty! What will I do with it? I have no idea!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Meet Cynthia

The recent good weather has made me start a little spring cleaning, which ended in a trip to the charity shop. Usually I drop off my contributions and leave, but this time I was delayed by the sight of an old hand Singer sewing machine. It was in working order, and at only £20, I just had to have her.

Here she is, in all her glory, now named Cynthia. I looked her up on the Singer website, and apparently she is a 66K model, made at Kilbowie, Clydebank, Scotland on November 15th 1930, and somewhere, she has 999,999 brothers and sisters!

She's not flashy, but for an old lady, she's a little gem. I was lucky enough to download a free manual for a 99K (similar model) from the Singer site, whcih has given me a few clues on how she works. I'm off to get some machine oil and give her a little beauty treatment!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Double whammy!

Not only have I finished another quilt, but it was out of my UFO box too! The blocks I had made after a workshop with Jennie Rayment and had kept since 2008 are now happily together in a quilt!
The blocks are her folded star, which I have made in mainly striped black and white fabrics. This emphasises the folds and the star in each block. Because it's folded, I have sewn down most of the folds to stabilise the quilt for little fingers, but I think that has improved the final effect.
Here is a close up of my favourite block.

And here is another block, and a peek at the backing which (along with the borders) was donated by Elaine to project Linus. Thanks, Elaine! I think a boy will love this quilt, and I'm delighted to cross a UFO off my list!

Friday, 2 April 2010

A quilt and a UFO

The weather has been so awful here, that it's been no good thinking about going in the garden, so I've spent quite a lot of time happily quilting. This means that my scrappy hearts top is now a completed quilt!

I used pieces from Andrea's scrap bag for the binding too. I'm really happy with how it's turned out, and plan to make a scrappy red one, a scrappy pastel one, another multi-scrappy one... well, that's the plan!

I then felt motivated to rummage in my UFO box and find some twisted star blocks I made after being inspired by Jennie Rayment. She uses a lot of calico for manipulating, tucking and twisting, but I thought some striped fabric would look really good using her methods. Since I intend to send this to Linus, I have used invisible thread to secure the stars, just in case. It actually emphasises them beautifully. I'll bind it in red, and it'll look quite manly, I think.