Saturday, 24 May 2014


I just thought I'd have a little rant about how success can go to the heads of the best of us - and by the best of us, I mean quilters!  And in particular, those quilters who see themselves as important and knowledgeable enough to do talks and teach workshops.  Recently I heard about a quilter who came to speak to a group and just brought photos of her quilts, as 'they were all being exhibited at the moment'!  Not good enough.  Then there was the speaker who showed slides of her work (wait - it gets worse!) and said partway through the show that she'd lost her notes so couldn't remember exactly what some of the images were 'but it's OK!'  It is certainly not OK, not when she was charging nearly £200 for her talk!  Add to this the speaker who wouldn't use a head mike because 'my hair is so soft, it'll fall off'' and the one who declined the mike because 'everyone will be able to hear me', or those who have to be asked to face their audience, not the screen, who read from pages of notes, who won't get on the stage because they are nervous, or have obviously done the talk so many times, even they are bored with it!  Then there are the teachers who are obviously very talented and creative people, but couldn't teach their grandmothers to suck eggs, those who are rude about people's sewing machines, choice of fabrics or work, have only one way of explaining something, and if you don't understand it's your fault, not theirs.  We don't expect to pay to do a workshop and be insulted, which is what it amounts to. 
Of course, the majority of speakers and teachers I have encountered turn up on time, properly prepared, are knowledgeable, generous and personable,  They carry out whatever has been arranged and leave us delighted and inspired.  They must get plenty of praise, but I feel we shouldn't be bullied into being polite about those speakers and teachers who aren't up to the job. 
What do you think?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


I'm soon to be starting making theatrical costumes (for a performance of 'Oh What a Lovely War!') and this time want to be well ahead of the game.  All the cast will be having a civilian costume from about 1914 for the opening of the play, and we'll need some more full petticoats for the ladies.  There's nothing worse than a period costume without the correct underpinnings - it looks all wrong!  While browsing on the web last week, I found this site sewing machine sales which showed a ruffle foot for my machine.  That would make the construction of the petticoats much easier, so I sent for one.  here it is.  Doesn't look like it'll do much at all.  I was expecting something much more complicated than this!

But here is the result on a piece of scrap fabric.  Evenly spaced ruffles all ready to attach to a skirt!

I've bought a couple of cream valances from the charity shop, so am all set!  All I need now is the time!

Monday, 12 May 2014


I'm always happy to receive donations of fabric for Project Linus, so was delighted when Muriel gave me this little bag full of strings and strips.  It's about 11" by 7", so not large, but it was absolutely full!  I tipped it out when I got home, and there was such a variety of top quality fabric that I decided to try and use just the fabric in the bag to make a quilt.  Good idea, but what to do?  I'd just bought a copy of Sunday Morning Quilts, which promised to help me to use 'every bit' of my treasured fabrics.  Surely there was an idea there!
There certainly was!  How about this pretty strippy using lots of different sized strips and lots of white.  It will finish at about 48" square, and with a strong binding will look great.  There were still strips in the bag, darker ones, lots of greens and blues, with some reds and purples.

I was on a roll, so took all the blues, greens and purples and added light blue from my stash, and here is the second quilt in progress.  I think this will work well.

And here is another project (I'd get bored if I only had one project on the go at any one time!).  It's a Bonnie Hunter design, called Little Monkey, and is great for using up 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" strips. 

I need a few more blocks, but they're such fun to make, that shouldn't take me long!