Sunday, 7 December 2008

Party time!

Yesterday was the annual Cardiff Quilters Christmas party. As the first one I've been responsible for since I took over as chair, I have to say I was quite anxious that it went well ( even had nightmares about it during the week!) Thankfully it went off very well and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We had a tasty buffet lunch, a couple of traders to spend our money at ( a quilt book stall and another from a quilt shop with lots of lush fabrics, jelly rolls and charm packs) and a really fascinating speaker in the afternoon. The speaker was Dian, who, as well as being the coordinator for Region 12 of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, is also a member of Sons of the Dragon, a medieval re-enactment group. Dian had lots to tell us about life in the 14th century, particularly life for women, and had brought along her fabulous costumes as well. I couldn't help feeling that my Mother would have signed up to join them on the spot if she had been there, she loves that period of history.

I decided to issue a challenge to my fellow quilters, and I have to say they rose to it extremely well. I gave everyone a piece of timtex and backing and challenged them to make a Christmas postcard.
These are what they came up with...

Apologies for the iffy photos, at least the light was reasonable yesterday

The members all voted for their favourite, and this one by Barbara was the winner. Isn't it gorgeous?

I did a little shopping at the traders stalls, bought a quilty calendar, a secret Santa present and this Christmas cats panel. I've machine quilter around the blocks today, and once I've bound it, I'm planning to quilt moggie paw prints in the centre of each block. It should make a nice little decoration for the sofa over Christmas. I would let the cat sit on it, but he's in disgrace just now - he keeps bringing mice in ( and they aren't always dead!)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Santa's Workshop

It is the school Christmas Fete on Friday, so I've been busy making some bits and pieces for them to sell on the craft stall.

Christmas tree decorations always go down well. These were demonstrated at Cardiff Quilters a couple of years ago and have been quite relaxing to sit and stitch. I have got some more, but these ones just need some ribbon loops attached.
They look quite nice on the design wall.

I'm pretty certain that I have seen large quilts made like this - another hand stitching project to keep in mind for the future once have finished with the applique melons.

Marianne at Busy Bees showed me how to make these lovely Jester bags. These contain little bags of chocolate coins. I have quite a stack all cut out and in progress. I should have quite a few ready by Friday. The lack of ribbon is all I need to sort out and then I can get them finished off tomorrow after school.

I hope that they are popular at the fete - I'd hate to se ethem all left over at the end of the sale.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Does this look comfortable to you?

I'm posting this just because I thought you might like it

He stayed sleeping like this for quite some time - makes my back sore just looking at him!

ALQS2 - A bit late, but on it's way at last!

I have at last finished my little quilt for the ALQS 2 swap. I was very remiss with this one, but it is on it's way to it's new home.

I like this little quilt, although I have to confess that I was a bit over-ambitious with this one. There are 128 pieces in that centre - and it's only 10 inches square! Sadly some of my points are not up to scratch. I covered the worst offenders with embellishments.

I really hope that my partner doesn't mind this little quilts failings and feels the same way about it that I do!

Someone had to get his paws into my photos - why I would be trying to take a picture when the camera isnt on him is anyone's guess!!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Autumn Quilt Show - Part 1

At the weekend DD and I went on a coach trip with the local Guild to the Autumn Quilt show at Malvern. We had a lovely day out, and Bronnie encouraged me at the traders as well!
Part of the exhibition was devoted to some really nice antique quilts.
I found this one a charming way to showcase a favourite fabric and use up some scraps at the same time.

Always difficult to photograph are the wholecloth quilts, but I had to try to capture some of the motifs used.

Scrap quilts are always nice.

This one was particularly inspiring. I have a few of these six-pointed stars that I have been hand-piecing when I'm waiting around for children. Now I know how I'm going o set them, although I think it will be a while before I have this many!

Finally, Bronnie and I took one of the mini workshops with Pat Archibald. We still have to finish our Poinsettias off, but she really enjoyed using the foils to add the sparkle.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Young Quilters

Before I forget.. we had a Region 12 Area Day on Saturday over in West Wales.

It was a great day, Gail Lawther was the inspiring speaker with lots of gorgeous quilts and her stained glass bowls too.

I had 2 new girls came along for the Young Quilters workshop which was nice. It's always nice to pass on the obsession to new quilters. I managed to get this photo of a couple of the projects the girls made, quilted button pictures.

I think they did brilliantly with them!

Back Again!

We have finally got our Broadband problems sorted out. We kept losing the connection for days on end, and although the engineer came out twice, he couldn't find the cause. Never mind - it's all OK now, so I can get back to posting again.

I have just spent a lovely few days with the children and my Mum in Leicester visiting my brother.
I didn't manage to get to any quilt shops, but we had a fab day out at Bosworth battle field, although the company was terrifying at times! LOL!

This is DS incognito.

During my time out, I have managed to finish another quilt! Yay!
I finished the pink surprising 4-patch, but stupidly, forgot to photograph it before I gave it to my niece up in Leicester.

I'm now going to head off to my little room to work on my ALQS quilt and get started on binding another that is almost done.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Quilty stuff and a cake too!

I had a birthday at the weekend, and it seems that I have finally got my family trained! Among other things, DH bought me The Painted Quilt by the Kemshalls and Sandra Meech's Contemporary Quilts book, and my Mum gave me a mini rotary cutter and a selection of button ( including some cool music ones which will go well with the guitars!) So now that the kids are all home from school and busy, I'm going to head upstairs with my books and a cup of tea for a little bit of 'me' time.

As well as the lovely presents, DH and Bronnie made this for me...

The characters are, left to right, DH, Bronnie and DS, Niall ( the bearded one!) DJ the cat is in the middle of the cake.
We'll overlook the fact that initially the candles said 47!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

How to use a Jelly roll

Like many of us, I have bought a couple of jelly rolls, and had no idea of what to do with them. After much humming and haaing, I've finally started on a pattern that I like.
This pattern appears in the current McCalls Quilting special America Makes Fast Quilts which has lots of designs for charm packs, jelly rolls, fat quarters and fat eighths. There are quite a few nice designs in there, but I particularly liked this one. The quilt is supposed to be 72"x88" and uses 4 jelly rolls, but I'm sure that I can get something reasonable out of a single roll.

I still haven't decided on what to do with the guitar fabric yet, but this should keep me out of trouble while I make up my mind.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Any ideas?

DS ( aged 16 ) has something of a guitar obsession. He's currently got 3 and is considering getting a new acoustic guitar. So when I saw this in Celtic Quilting on Saturday, I couldn't leave without it.
Not knowing what I would do with it, I took what was left on the bolt ( just over 1 m ).
Niall loves it, and is looking forward to whatever I make for him.
I have no idea what I should make though.
Any ideas? I'd really love some inspiration if you have any ideas.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Dead PC

Sadly, my home PC has currently died! I'm hoping that it's just a problem with the power unit and can be fixed quickly by the techie guys. We have a laptop, but being without my files etc is a pain, so I really hope that I can get them back.

In the meantime, I had some nice quilty mail.
This packet is from Kate , part of her ATC challenge.

It's along time since I've made any ATCs, but I'm looking forward to playing with this lot! There were some lovely beads, as well as the card bases in the packet. I have a couple of ideas on how to use them percolating already

This is the only sewing I have done in this last week. The riding school that we go to were having a fund-raising weekend for Breast Cancer research, with pyjama rides and the ponies made up with pink ribbons in their manes/tails. Unfortunately due to a back problem just now, I had to forgo the pyjama ride, but I did make a cushion for them to raffle. I hope that some pony-mad child wins it!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Don't you just hate it when work interferes with quilting!
I have loads on at work just now ( double what I can really cope with) so I'm not getting home until after 7pm each night ( fortunately DD is staying with her Gran just now) This means that I'm just too tired to get anything done in the sewing room. All I've managed in the last 2 weeks is preparing more melons for my applique blocks. I have about 50 all tacked and ready for the tidy stitching.
Never mind, all this work has meant that I am building up plenty of flexi time, so I'm taking Friday off and DH and I are going to the Festival of Quilts. It will be our 21st wedding anniversary, can you think of any nicer way to celebrate?

Normal service should resume shortly, and I'll have lots to show you

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Back from our holidays

We got back from Holland last night. We had a lovely 2 weeks, and the children really enjoyed themselves. We did get to Amsterdam, and I persuaded my family that I really needed a trip to Den Haan & Wagenmakers for a quilt fix. I got some lovely fabrics there. There is a lovely border print and a selection of reproduction fabrics tied up with a ribbon.

There is another quilt shop, Bird Blocks, right next door Bronnie and I managed to sneak in there too before the menfolk came to pick us up. They had a beautiful quilt on the wall depicting the canal houses of Amsterdam, so I had to get a copy of the pattern as a souvenir.

Unfortunately I completely forgot about the camera in my bag, and so didn't get any photos of the shops to share with you.

I havent been able to get any photos of my purchases yet, but I shall do that asap.

I took some sewing away with me, and managed to get all of the applique blocks I had prepared completed. I don't know how many more of these I'm going to do before I put them together, but I think I'll carry on for a while yet.

Friday, 11 July 2008

A Finished quilt!

My local quilt shop are having an exhibition next week, so I have just been to drop off a couple of quilts for them. I finished binding the Indian Hatchet this week, so that one has gone. Unfortunately photos of the finished quilt will need to wait until I get it back, as the light isn't great in the evenings just now and I couldn't get a picture yesterday during the day thanks to after school commitments. The other quilt I took to Busy Bees was the Surprising 4-patch that I did in a class there. It came back from the long arm quilter a week ago, but I just could not get the binding finished in time. So this one has gone as a work in progress.

Just so you have something to look at in this post, here is someone enjoying the sunshine a couple of weeks ago!

We are heading off to Holland for 2 weeks on Sunday, so poor DJ will be going into the cattery tomorrow morning. Let's hope that the lady who runs it wont mind giving out lots of cuddles!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Look what I got....

This beautiful quilt arrived this weekend. Made by Amy, I certainly feel very lucky to have been given this one!

Here's a detailed shot of the tiny piecing and intricate machine quilting. As one who can only manage straight-ish lines of machine quilting. I would love to be able to quilt like this.

Amy also included some very pretty fabrics and notepad in her parcel.

All in all a lovely surprise to get in the post - thank you very much Amy!

Back on Line Again

Well a fried cable modem has meant that we have had no Internet for a little while.
But I'm back again now ( for a little while at least!)

In the meantime, I have finished and sent off my little quilt for the ALQS swap. Stupidly though, I was so intent on getting it in the post in time, I completely forgot to take a picture of it!
All I have is this picture of the finished blocks. I did a mixture of machine and hand quilting in the end, and was quite pleased with the finished quilt.
I hope that **** likes it!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Carrying on with the children's quilts

My washing line looked very attractive with all of those colourful quilts drying in the sunshine yesterday. I have 2 more quilts to finish, 1 to bind and 1 to complete the quilting and bind, and then I can wash those and deliver them all by the weekend.
This evening I have concentrated on the quilting. I just have a few more lines to do and then I'll be done.
I'm not much of a machine quilter, I can just do straight ( ish! ) lines with a walking foot. I really want to remedy this though, so I have bought a machine quilting dvd - Fast and Fun - and signed up for a class on Quilt University. I know the theory, and also that practise is the key, so I have the idea that I will make table mats - nice and small to try out the techniques.
Oh well, it's almost bed time, just a little bit of blog reading before I head up - night night!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Famous - but not too famous we hope!

On an aside, DD Bronwen has her photo, and a photo of her Guild Challenge project in this month's Popular Patchwork, along with the other Young Quilters who were at the AGM earlier this year.
Bronwen is the small one on the right in the photo, if you happen to see it.

Let's hope the fame doesn't go to her head! LOL!

Charity Quilt Day

I belong to a local quilt group ( well, I say belong, I have just become chair!)
with around 60 members. Some time ago we started a project to make children's quilts for charity, then kind of fizzled out a bit. Well, we have had an entire day today of finishing some off for delivery to Project Linus later in the summer at the Festival of Quilts.
These are the ones that will be delivered to the lady who will be taking them in the next week. Some of them were already finished, and I have 2 more to finish the machine quilting on and bind, but I think it's a good start.

There are some more in the pipeline, and when they're done we're going to sit down, work out who we want to quilt for and find a new design to try.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Visitors, work and mud!

Recently my mother in law has been visiting us from London, so I haven't had any time for quilting ( and hence no blogging either!). I get on well with her, so we all had a lovely time over the last week. One of the places we went was to the literature festival at Hay on Wye - thanks to the rain, it was extremely muddy

This was the state of the car park when we were leaving - I really did not think we were going to get out of there!
We haven't been to the festival before, but we enjoyed it so much that we'll definitely be going back next year. I took the children to see a comedy show ( Marcus Brigstock and Dave Gorman) while DH and his Mum went to see A A Gill, and then we all went to see the Liverpool Poets in the evening. I've seen Brian Patten and Roger McGough before a long long time ago, so we knew that we'd enjoy it. DS, 16, was not sure though. Picture the scene, the whole family waiting in the queue outside the venue, Niall - "So what are we going to now Mum?", me - "The Liverpool Poets", Niall - "What will they be doing?", me - "Reading their poetry". A look of complete horror, Niall - "What! You're taking me to a poetry reading?"
He did finally confess to enjoying about half of the performance, I think the poetry about love and death was a bit too much though!
Still I'm sure that these experiences will all stand him in good stead at some time in the future! He he!

I have an appointment with the local long arm quilter tomorrow to take 2 quilts to her, so I have been finishing off a pieced backing for the Crayon Box quilt. For some reason, whenever I buy fabric that might be good for backings, I never buy enough, so the backing is as wild and funky as the front of this quilt. Let's hope Bronnie will like it when it's all finished.
It was too wet outside when I'd finished it, so I'll have to post pictures when the whole thing is finished.

Mum, DD and I have also done the Race for Life today. A quilting friend of mine, Jennie, died a month ago, so it was a particularly emotional day. But we're glad that we did it again - this was race number 4 for us all together!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Dear Jane

I have recently added this Dear Jane blog to my list of blogs that I like to follow. Anina has some great mini tutorials on each of the blocks that they are making. I haven't yet followed her reverse applique instructions yet (I'm not great at the 'A' stuff) but I will.

I started making blocks from the Dear Jane book years ago, and then got sidetracked and put them away - as we all do. However, thanks to the Dear Baby Jane group and a lady from Swansea Quilters, I have been inspired to look them out and try again. So just for Judith, here are the Liberty blocks I made back then. I thought I had more of them, but this seems to be the lot, and I don't have lots of the white background fabric, but I think I'll make a few more and then put them together into a completed project. Some of them look a bit big as I haven't trimmed them down yet, and one or two are a bit wonky, but here they are...

I'm pretty certain that I have some swap blocks kicking around too, so I'll find those next. Otherwise, I will be getting to grips with the software and making scrappy blocks to continue with my stash-using-up.

Quilts UK

I had a lovely day off work on Friday, and drove up to Malvern to the Quilts UK show. I went up on my own, but as is always the thing with quilt shows, I met lots of quilters that I knew. I did look out for Tonya, but I didn't see her.
There were some stunning quilts there, I especially liked the scrappy double wedding ring with beautiful hand quilting. I don't see one of those in my future though - much as I would like it!
I don't know if it's the case, but there seemed to be less quilts this year, which is a shame. Maybe the Festival of Quilts is having an effect. Perhaps i will put a quilt in again next year. I've only done this once before, and if people don't enter their quilts there will be nothing for us all to go and look at.

As, I managed some shopping at the traders - Dear Jane software, some reproduction fat quarters, hand painted sock wool( I know that's not quilty, but it is lovely!), magazines and bits and pieces. All in all, a good day.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Bad Blogger!

I don't know what it is, but I just cant seem to settle to much at the moment.
I was at a quilt exhibition last week, demonstrating making quilt label using rubber stamps, but that has been about it. Sadly, I had a bit of a day that day, couldn't find the box with my supplies in and forgot the camera, so didn't get any pictures of the fabulous antique quilts there.
Thanks to my futile search for the stamping box, my little sewing space is in a right state now! I've tried going in there a few times over the last week to impose some sort of order, but I just don't know where to start! My poor mojo is trapped in there under all the piles of stuff!
Thanks to Gina I have managed to find a bit of inspiration today. Gina had made some very nice scrappy square in a square blocks. For some reason they have stuck in my mind over the last few days, they really seem to sparkle. So I've decide to make some. I don't know if I will make a whole quilt yet, but I have done these, and got another 8 in various stages of completion. Perhaps I'll try an orphan quilt, I do have a pile of scrappy stars and flying geese that I could also use.
For now I'm happy just to stitch.

Onto non-quilty things now. Icicle never did come home, she's microchipped, so I worry that something happened to her, it has been over 7 weeks now.
However, this little chap was in desperate need of a loving home. He's quite young, and has been out on his own for some time, so all he wants is somewhere secure to live,and lots of petting.
We have called him DJ. Icicle may still be found, and we'll have to deal with that if it happens, but DJ is a friendly little soul and has made friends with the other cats around here.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Spring Quilt

Here is the Spring quilt I have made for the latest round of the Four Seasons quilt swap. It is making it's merry way to....

I hope the recipient likes it

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Completed Item

I don't know why I'm such a 'Last-minute Lil', but I find it very difficult to commit to a project until the deadline is looming. Well, once more I have just made it, and finished my Spring quilt for the 4 Seasons swap.
I'm really pleased with this one, in fact I might make another. I got the design from a new book called Bits And Pieces by Karen Costello Soltys .
I cant post a photo tonight, but when I get onto the desktop tomorrow I will be sure too.
I hope the recipient will like it.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Some photos from the AGM

Now that Blogger has decided to let me upload photos again, here are some from last weekend.

Bronwen with her Young Quilters challenge project. The theme was 'Fabulous Food', so she decided on a 'Foodoko' floor cushion, using a sudoku puzzle she had solved as the pattern.

These are the other YQ entries - aren't they fabulous? We particularly liked the bowl of spaghetti which won the 11 and under prize!

We did manage a bit of shopping at the traders stands. As well as a book each, and some cat fabrics for Bron we came home with lovely hand dyed threads...

.. space dyed velvet and scrim...

.. and a couple of scrap bags.

All in all, I think we had a pretty good weekend! Cant wait for next year now.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

AGM Report

Well Bronnie and I had a fabulous time at the Quilter's Guild AGM in Cambridge, I cant believe we haven't been before. We'll certainly be there in the future!
We went to several lectures by Ineke Berlyn, Charlotte Yde ( Lovely Art quilts ), Shirley Bloomfield ( Baltimore applique ) and Helen Deighan ( dyeing and coiled pots ) and enjoyed some lovely exhibits as well.
Bronnie took the Young Quilters classes, making a funky mask, quilted bag and pussy cat doorstops. She really enjoyed herself. She was also very impressed with the college, and decided that she would like to attend there when she leaves school.
I have got photos of Bronnie's YQ challenge project, along with the other YQ entries, but sadly blogger isn't playing at the moment and wont let me upload. I shall try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Getting ready to go away for a few days

DD, Bronnie, and I are preparing to go to the Quilters Guild AGM in a nice college in Cambridge. We booked this weekend away together months and months ago, and I cant quite believe that it's almost here.
There are classes etc to book on, but as I haven't been before I didn't bother for myself ( I think there will be more than enough going on to keep me out of trouble!). Bronnie will be doing the all of the Young Quilters activities that are available.
As a result of our impending trip, and supervising Bronnie with her challenge project, I haven't achieved much in the stitching way.So I thought I'd show some of the quilts I have done before.
This was one of the early quilts I made from a class with Sonia Fox. I went through a phase of collecting Japanese fabrics and this wall hanging is one of my favourite pieces, it lives in my sitting room.

Detail of one of the kimono

I still have lots more Japanese fabrics, and still love them. I must find something to do with the rest!

Hopefully I will be able to show off Bronnie's project tommorow before we go away on Thursday!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Spring Quilt!

I had a lovely surprise in the post today. My Spring swap quilt arrived from Colene. I really love this quilt, it really says 'Spring' to me

I love these little Grandmother's Flower Garden flowers - they're so pretty.

Thank you very much Colene!

Monday, 31 March 2008

Still no sign of Icicle

Out cat Icicle is still missing. She has been gone for over a week now. I am still hoping that she may be trapped in the garage/shed of a neighbour who has gone away for the holidays. We have posted leaflets through all the neighbour's letterboxes, put up posters in the village, contacted local vets, cat's rescue and the microchip company and I don't think we can do anything else but wait and hope. Bronwen is home from her trip to her Grandmother's and is missing the cat dreadfully. It's very hard to watch your child hurting.

Thank you for all of your kind comments. We have heard lots of hopeful tales of cats who went missing and just turned up out of the blue after worrying their owners sick!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A Quilt!

I have finally finished sashing and putting together the blocks of this surprising 4-patch. And I have found the border fabric, so maybe I'll get those cut out and put on tomorrow.

I'm quite pleased with how this one has turned out, even though it is not my normal sort of thing. It is very pretty and delicate ( my quilts are normally bright!) I hope that my niece will like it.

Thank you for all of the kind comments about Icicle, she still isnt home and we are trying to keep positive.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Feeling out of sorts

I didn't realise that it's been 2 weeks since I last posted - wow!
I haven't really had anything to say, and that's my excuse. Work has been busy and life has been even busier with stuff not related to quilting which all seems to have taken up loads of my time.

I have managed a little bit of stitching, but not really enough to post photos of. I did finish the centre of the floral surprising 4-patch, but am not sure what Ive done with the border fabric I bought for it! Anyway there's not much hurry as the long arm quilter I was hoping to use to get it quilted has a broken machine just now. Story of my life at the moment - nothing seems to be going right.

On a sad note, our cat Icicle has gone missing. She's been gone for 48 hours now and DD is just breaking her heart. We thought she may just be trapped in some one's garage, but she still hasn't turned up. Fingers crossed that when people get their cars out to go back to work tomorrow after the holiday weekend, she will come home.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Something a bit different.

I've been a quilter for about 8 years now ( is it really that long? ) but I have never been into embroidery. I like the embroidered and embellished look on quilts, but I don't have any idea about how to achieve it.
Last summer in Ireland we visited the ancient monuments at Newgrange and Knowth. The whole time I was there a quilt formed in my head. This quilt will be wholecloth, using fancy fibres and stitches to form the intricate carvings found on the stones. I can picture the texture and effects so clearly in my head. Trouble is, I don't know how to start. So I booked a class with James Hunting at my local quilt shop. We didn't have a project to do, but James was very inspiring, and has taught the woman who could only do running stitch and blanket stitch how to do these ...

James supplied us with fabric sketchbooks containing a variety of fabric types to try out different threads and techniques. I have discovered that I really don't like sheer fabrics. It must be the quilter in me, but I prefer to stitch on a substantial fabric with a thicker thread, I just could not cope with those fine thin things!

I've done a lot of classes lately, very indulgent of me, but this is the last for a while. Now I have to go off and finish some of them off! Back to quilting tomorrow!