Sunday, 24 July 2011


I have been doing more sewing for our production of 'A Midsummer's Night Dream'. The first scene is set in the town hall, and DH (the director) wanted a banner to set the scene. The only banner we had in our store was very medieval/panto, so I set about making another. Thank goodness for Google images, I say, as it was easy to do some research and come up with a design!

Here is the finished banner. Once the stage manager has given it a good press, it'll be just the job. I chose the designs of a tree (for the wood), the castle (for the town), an owl (for wisdom) and the crossed keys (because I needed something else for the fourth space!). I made a big blue and yellow four-patch and cut the shield shape out of that. I appliqued it onto the background, and then Heat and Bonded the shapes, with a bit of zigzag round them to keep them in place. There's only one problem with it.

While the yellow fabric was quilting fabric, the blue was a piece of poly which just happened to be the right colour. The yellow has appliqued pretty well, but the blue has stretched and puckered. For this purpose, it really doesn't matter, but it's a lesson in these days of belt-tightening, that you get what you pay for, and while it's good to get a bargain, you might not be so pleased with the final result!

What's that? Somnium comoedorum? That's Latin, for 'dream on you comedy actors' - or so DH tells me!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Signature swap

At Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters on Saturday, I signed up for a Signature Swap. You have to make a small log cabin block in reds, and then put your name on it, to be swapped with other quilters. Twenty one people wanted to do this so I had to make 21 blocks.

I could have written on the blocks using a permanent pen but I decided to use the letters programme which came with my machine. I've only had my machine for eleven years but have never tried out the memory function! Strangely enough, when I looked it up in the manual, it was easy, which made adding the lettering quite straightforward. I could get used to sitting at my machine while it sews itself - I wonder if it can be pre-programmed to make half square triangles?!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Another finish!

I've been on a roll recently, and have finished my log cabin quilt. It's a scrappy light/dark quilt, and I'm really pleased at how well it's turned out.

It's in quite an unusual arrangement, called 'Streak of Lightning (variation)' taken from an 1850 quilt pictured in Laura Fisher's book 'Quilts of Illusion'. I think it's a good one.

I quilted the darks with a meander in variegated thread,

and the lights with a feathered wreath motif. This was done freehand. I drew three concentric circles and used them as guidelines. I quilted a circle over the middle ring, and then did feathers above and below, using the pencilled lines as edge guides. Looks good to me.

And I finally decided to give away my 'Roll, roll, cotton boll'. I was sad to see it go, but the look on Stephanie's face made me certain that I'd made the right decision!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

No start, but a finish!

It's a perennial dilemma - what do you do with the UFOs lurking in the back of your cupboard?
Gaynor had this problem with a teaching sample which had been waiting to be quilted since 1996! She brought it along to our Tuesday group to see if anyone wanted to take pity on it. As you can guess, I ended up bringing it home with me, and here it is quilted and finished. I would normally have bagged it for Linus, but the quilt was done so long ago, that the applique designs (the Four Seasons) have been effected with no-sew Heat and Bond, and although that claims to be permanent, I wouldn't like to risk little bits coming off (or being picked off!) and choking a toddler or small child. As luck would have it, we have a fund-raising auction for our drama group on Saturday, so it will be perfect as a lot for that. I was delighted to take the quilt for this cause, and Gaynor was delighted to see it on its way to a good home!

Sunday, 3 July 2011


I have been busy sewing costumes for our group's production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. I'd rather be piecing, but since I foolishly agreed to make them (you'd have thought I'd learned my lesson last time!) I've been getting on with them. Various costumes have been hired, but the costumes for the fairies have all been made or adapted from charity shop finds. The idea is that the fairies are natural spirits, and I have at last got to the stage when I could dye them all 'pebble beige'.

Since they are all different fabrics, and some started off white, some cream and some other light colours, they have all taken the dye in different ways, an effect I was hoping for. Here are some of the basic fairy costumes. This is mine, with a charity shop flouncy skirt and a top made from calico.

Anne Marie has a linen charity shop skirt with added broderie anglaise frill and a charity shop top with added calico leaves.

Mary M has a muslin skirt with another charity shop top with added frill.Amanda has a charity shop linen skirt and a charity shop nightie which has been pulled up in rouches here and there.
Kate has two skirts - a poly one which has hardly taken the dye at all, with a muslin rouched over-skirt which I forgot to photograph - and then a charity shop top. The last fairy, Mary G., took her costume home at the end of May to shorten the skirt, and I haven't seen it since! (No pressure, Mary, but get a wriggle on as we need it for August!) Oberon and Titania's costumes are made but not dyed, and Puck's is in assembly. Hooray! The end is in sight!