Thursday, 31 December 2015

Colonial knotting

A cheeky wee finish for 2015.

Combining my two loves, quilting and colonial knots. These were supposed to be cushion covers but they would be the most impractical cushion covers, there are knots and beads wouldn't last five minutes as a cushion.

So I made them into a quilt. I had to HAND quilt this .... I don't really do hand quilting but hey it was fun. I'm really pleased with the finished product but what to do with the blooming thing! It's so impractical. Hey ho I did love making it and I'm sure it will find a purpose.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

William and Kate wedding fabric ...

No it's ok you did read that correctly! However many years ago it was when they got married I saw that many folks made bunting out of some rather gorgeous fabric which had been made to commemorate the wedding.

Now I am not going to make any comments on my views on the monarchy ... That kind of thing is like religion and politics, best not mention eh?

But I loooooooved the fabric! So bought a couple of meters.

It surfaced when I was doing my manic pre new year clear out of the sewing room. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. It was total madness.


Ok you have to agree it is sooooooo pretty right? Now look at the pattern on the left, now look at the top of that trio of patterns, yep the one that has eight points on the binding bit, yep that one.

So plan was to make this table topper in the William and Kate fabric, in one night, it was to be a Christmas gift for a wonderful lady who is just the most massive fan of the royals.

Cheered on by the lovely folks on Instagram I started fussy cutting and chopping ..... First four blocks were cut the wrong size, bugger, but then they got sacrificed for smaller blocks later on.

Ok back to the start again, the fussy cutting took a long time but it was worth it to get the motifs from the fabrics.

Even if I say so myself this is rather magnificent! I was loving it, but also remembering how many bias edges it has ...

First center block came together very quickly. Next border was the same.


It was difficult to try and balance the blue and white so that one didn't overwhelm the other.


Some pretty fancy dancy fussy cutting later and we have a top! Those corner edges did take a wee bit longer than I had hoped but they were worth it to get the fussiness correct. I think the red which dances round the edge just balances it all out.

So easy least nust got to wuilt and bind .... Ok remember those eight pointy bits I mentioned at the beginning? I had forgotten what a brute they are.

But I did it, finished almost on the stroke of midnight.

The person who it was a gift for loves it, which really is the main thing isn't it?

I have a little bit of this utterly amazing fabric left so I can make some little things for myself with it.


Saturday, 19 December 2015


I had had some of the schnibbles books for years and was always drawn to the cover pattern of this book the Reveille pattern.

It wasn't until I got some pretty charm packs in America that I decided enough was enough and I HAD to do the pattern.


I wanted to also use up some lovely Karen Lewis neutrals as the contrast, I thought they would play nicely with the mixologie charm pack.

So one Friday night when husband was off walking I sat in the sewing room and happily chopped and pieced.


Ain't they purty? It soon became apprent I had underestimated the amount of fabric needed ... Happily Ihad another charm pack which seemed to play nicely.



I had most of the blocks cut and pieced so happily went to bed. Next morning I woke up and with horror read of the massacre in Paris.

I went back to the sewing room and the whole quilt took on a whole new context. What was a happy jolly quilt, now reminded me of the people who wouldn't awaken to the reveille call.

I still love this top and it will be a jolly quilt to go to Linus, but it reminds me that life can change in the blink of an eye.



Sunday, 13 December 2015


Utterly speechless! It's a bit daunting when you enter an international swap and find your partner is none other than the uber talented Ms Midge.

So it was with great relief that I saw she really liked the mini I made for her.

We had to wait until the December meeting of the Edinburgh Modern quilt guild until I could see what Melissa made for me.

I mean I knew it would be stunning, but wow, this was even more amazing than I could have imagined!


The patterns are all traditional indigenous aboriginal prints. Just look at the fussy cutting in the center!

That is just all kinds of incredible.

It was so lovely swapping with you Melissa, your mini is on the wall in my sewing room directly in my line of sight from the chair where I sit and hand sew. It has brought some lovely Melbourne sunshine into my room.


Saturday, 5 December 2015

San Marco

Did I mention that we went to Florence? Well we did! To celebrate five years of marriage. We have been together for 12 years but decided to make it a bit more formal five years ago.

I was so excited to go to San Marco, over 20 years ago I did an open university module on the Florentine Renaissance. The frescos of Fra Angelico stuck most in my mind, I remember seeing them as little postage stamp sized pictures, a lot of them in black and white, this was in the days before the internet so all stay materials were printed. Colour pictures were few and far between.

We totally picked the right time to go to Florence, the queues were minimal which was a good thing as numbers were limited to go to the upper floor in San Marco where the most stunning Frescos were.


I always remembered the annunciation, Fra Angelicos version was always my favourite. As you go up the stairs in San Marco this is waiting for you at the top. I wish I could replicate the Angels wings, they glittered.

Each monks cell had its own fresco. To stand and see these in the flesh was such an amazing experience. They look as if they could have been painted yesterday not 500 years ago.





I was pretty rubbish at the open university module, not my finest hour, but it was worth it to be introduced to these wonderful works of art. Little did I think I would see them in the flesh one day.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

International swapping!


I done an international swap :-) ok I've done them before but this was an extra extra speshul one. I am honoured to belong to the Edinburgh Modern Quilt guild this year we connected with the Melbourne Modern quilt guild and arranged a mini quilt swap.

I was partnered with the gorgeous Melissa - msmidge Hugely prolific, talented and utterly fantastic quilter, so no pressure there then!! And she's lovely to boot, so I really wanted to hit this one straight out of the park.

Melissa requested a small mini less than 15 inches if possible. No problem there, we were loosely trying to use our own countries fabric so I hemmed and hawed about what to choose.

But hey you can't beat some good old Liberty can you?


What pattern though?? Oh I say how my all time favourite paper piecing dancing ribbons by Cindy Rounds Richards??

I adore this pattern!!


Right, first off, organisation is crucial in this, good job I'm a librarian, right?


Do you like the hot pink Liberty?? Pretty fab huh?

All you need to do now is sew.


Bit more sewing ...



Half way there


Whoooomph! All inset, just need a middle bit!



We have a middle bit!!!

The lovely msmidge recieved this yesterday and she loves it, yea!! And yea for quilt swaps.

This is me, showing it off at the EMQ meeting before sending off. I was still sewing on binding, hence the wonder clips!


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Farmers wifing

Well I love a good sew along .... And they are like buses you wait ages then not one but two come along a t the same time.

The first farmers wife too me forever to do. I started off using templates and dear lord I hated it. Fiddly little beggars. It took me about three years to do 40 blocks.

Then I discovered the paper piecing yahoo group and it all exploded. I did about 50 blocks in three months and they were fab!

You remember this right?

I'm sleeping under it right now it's blooming freezing here.

So when both Verykerryberry and Gnome Angel started quilt alongs for the latest Farmers wife 1930s book I didn't know which one to join so I am sort of doing them both ....

It's been a grim and grey weekend and I needed some chill out time so I spent my time getting up to speed with what I could, so my tally at the moment is 21 blocks. I am of course foundation paper piecing. Me and templates are never destined to get on.

I like photographing them with my little owl, they were wise women those farmers wives!

Oh yes I am of course using mainly 30s repros with a little bit of Leicen minny muu thrown in.

Looooooook Scottie doggies!


Owl is disapproving of my photography skills ....

More Scottie doggies! This is my favourite so far.

I should maybe mention that most of the thirties repros are left over from my Tula Pink butterfly quilt, more on that in another post ...

Right, that's enough of the farmers wife for the noo, tatty bye.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


Now come on, who doesn't love a good window display?? I am always in awe of the people who can create little works of art in a window.

When we were on holiday in Florence last week there were numerous gorgeous window displays. I managed to get a few pics of some.







Monday, 2 November 2015



I often think (overthink mostly!) about what this blog is for. Is it just for me? Is it a simple record of what I quilt? A bland anodyne list of "this is my latest quilt ...." I fear saying more, why? Are people reading it? Well people are sometimes nice enough to make comments *waves* thank you! It's nice to get comments.
I was chatting to a young friend who has struggled with mental health issues. Lovely young man. He has just started blogging and we spoke about it as a reflective practice. I like that. Not just a list of quilts but more of a reflection.
Sometimes it's just nice to get things out ... Just set it down. I could use paper and pen but this seems more appropriate.
Ruminating can be a good thing but when you are simply chewing over the same old *stuff* then it's not so good. Or if you are letting the outside craziness take over then that's not good too.
So here is to ruminating but about the good stuff.
When we were on holiday last week a young lass came up to me in a museum shop and shyly asked to read my tee shirt, I had forgotten what it said so I bent down to give her a better look. English wasn't her first language so I asked her if she understood what it meant, yes she said, "to enjoy happiness we need to know what sadness is"


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A doggy tastic day

I can find it really difficult to spend time with miserable people. Their negativity and sometimes down right nastiness drags me down and leaves me feeling bleuuuuuurrrrrgggggghhhhh.

I decided today to try and feel sorry for them, I've been called manic, 'overly excitable' and made to feel that being happy is a "bad thing"

Well sod you all, I can only feel the utmost pity for anyone who thinks being over excited is a bad thing. Even if you can't join in why would you want to rain on someone else's parade?

I know we all have things going on, I have *things* going on, that's why I desperately try to find the joy and happiness in life. If all you can do is snark then please go and snark elsewhere.

So today I have been sooper sooper excited because I got to spend some quality time with some lovely doggies.

So please don't snark at that, either join me in happiness or walk away.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Iron caddy tote thingy

I went to a patchwork class, it was great don't get me wrong but there were 6 of us sharing an ironing board. We were using lots of fusible bondaweb, things were getting tense!

So it had been in the back of my mind for a while to make a portable ironing caddy cum pressing mat thingy. I duly purchased some cheap ironing board covers, a cheap travel iron, googled iron caddy tote thingy and off I went :-)

I didn't print out the pattern from the above link I just drew out the measurements onto the ironing board cover, it doesn't need to be exact.

This is what it looks like folded up.


Folded out we have a nifty pressing mat

You don't have to wait for the iron to completely cool down before carrying it away, this is the heat resistant inside.

All in all it took just under two hours and I think it is ACE :-) I can leave this in the back of the car and it's always there for me.