Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year!

It's almost midnight here in Wales and the moon is looking beautiful

Here's wishing everyone a very Happy 2010!

Let's hope that we all get lots of quilting done in the New Year.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Look what I found in the new shopping centre

We have a new shopping centre in Cardiff, complete with John Lewis ( haberdashery! Woohoo!)
One of the shops in the new centre has this amazing window display - all antique sewing machines. My husband thought I was daft, I was so excited. I think he walked away when I got the phone out to take this picture!

I have No idea what the shop is called, but I think they sell men's wear.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

What an excuse!

I took a quilting class on Saturday with Deborah O'Hare.
Although I wasn't really looking forward to it on the day (no real reason, just was not in the mood!) it was one of the best classes I have evr taken. I had a great time!
We used sweetie wrappers to make the applique shapes and then covered the wholelot with organza before quilting. I havent finished quilting the background yet, and we're away this weekend, so I hope I will be able to get to it next week.

The photo doesnt really show how bright this piece is!

It does make me happy!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Lace progress

My lace shawl is coming on quite nicely, although I must admit that in this photo there was 1 stitch too many on the needles! I've managed to sort that problem out though.

This scarf is nearly finished. I'm on the final round of the pattern. It wont be a big one, but I'm very happy with the way it's turning out. I should be finished soon and then I can get back to stitching again.

Friday, 25 September 2009


This week I have had a really yucky head cold, and so I've been home from work for a few days. I didn't feel well enough to do anything initially, but have just found the energy to pick up my knitting needles again after a very long time.

I've fancied trying my hand at a lace scarf for a while now, so I have started this. The yarn and pattern were bought some time ago at a craft fair in Cardiff, and the yarn is a Greek cotton. It's coming along quite nicely now, but initially I had a real nigtmare with it. I think I ripped the firt 20 or so rows out at least 10 times. Each time I had the wrong number of stitches on the needles at the end of the row. Hopefully I have now got the design fixed in my head. The pattern isnt difficult, but obviously it took a while for my 'knitting' brain to kick in.

Not bad progress for now.

Monday, 21 September 2009

New Toy!

The summer holidays are now well and truly over now, and the nights are drawing in ready for winter. This means that I'm back to leaving work in time to meet the children after school ( I know that they're teenagers, but I like to be around for them). My quilting life can start again now properly now that I have more time.

I also have a new toy!
My husband gave me my very own net book for my birthday today. This will help with keeping my blog up to date. No more fighting with the family to use the PC coz this dinky little machine is all mine! And the main thing I'm going to do is keep my blog up to date! I promise!

I'll have to have a think about what happened over the summer.
I did get to the Festival of Quilts with my daughter. We had a lovely 3 days together, took some classes, caught up with other quilters and generally enjoyed the show. Bronwen was lucky enough to win one of the Little Gem quilts in the Guild tombola. It's very cute as you can see.

I have done the odd bit of stitching, applique melons and hexagons, but I did make this table mat. The idea came from the Moda Bake Shop website. To make a floor mat would use up quite a lot of scraps I think, so perhaps I'll carry on braiding.

Now I'm going to catch up with some blogs ....

Monday, 3 August 2009

Holidays over til next year

Italy was fabulous! I cant believe the summer holidays are over for another year - I already feel like I haven't been away. We all really enjoyed Lake Garda, and even managed a day in Venice which was just beautiful. Lots of inspiration there for quilts.
I took a bit of hand sewing on holiday with me, and managed to finish some more of the applique blocks. I have a couple more prepared, but I think I need some more to make this into a reasonable sized lap quilt

While we were travelling along some steep roads, complete with hairpin bends, up to the Ritten Plateau I was able to concentrate on basting hexagons. They took my mind off the precipitous drops outside the windows of the bus!
I have just started to put the hexagons together into little diamonds. I think I will border them with black to make a cushion. They should sparkle with the bright batiks.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Back from York, but only for a short while!

We have just come home from a short break in York with the family and my Mum.
I ad never been there before, and we had a lovely time ( the weather was even good to us!) There was so much to see and do, that we only managed to scratch the surface of this lovely city, so we'll have to go back again some time.

I did sneak in a quick visit to the Quilt Museum though! It's well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity. The building it is housed in is beautiful, although the single photo I managed i quite poor as you can see. And there was a lovely garden to sit in as well ( which I completely missed photographing at all!)

I took scores of photos of lovely old buildings, the Minster, city walls etc, but this one really took me down memory lane. When I was a child the Rag & Bone man was a common sight as he collected scrap metal and assorted junk on his horse and cart. I think it must be about 35 years since I've seen one, so we were thrilled to catch sight of this man as we were all walking around the city walls.

We are now off to Italy for a week with the children. I have a pile of hand stitching all ready to take with me, as I hope to spend some time lounging by the pool. I should have plenty to show when I get home again.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Yesterday I took my Mum to a Quilter's day run by Region 12 of the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles. These are run every quarter or so and usually consist of a variety of activities followed by a speaker in the afternoon. The speaker this time was Ann Jermey - It doesn't Matter if it's Not Finished! This was a very liberating talk for those of us who have lots of UFOs as Ann brought out one after another of the 50 unquilted tops that she has! I know that I have lots of unfinished things that often make me feel quite paralysed, but now I'm going to organise them and finish them when I'm ready!

In the morning there were a variety of demonstrations - my favourite being the freezer paper stenciling by Debra O'Hare of Quilt Routes. Debra creates beautiful hand painted fabrics .
I made this little bird yesterday at the Regional Day

But the we carried on playing with freezer paper and paint today at home

These are DDs samples...

And this one is my Mum's.

My Mum is not a quilter, and would say that she is not artistic either, but this is great! And before she knows it, I'm going to get her putting borders on it and turn it into a small wall hanging!

These are some more birds I did today.

I think I'll add some leaves and flowers as well and then see where the pieces take me.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

It's been quite a while.....

I didn't realise just how long it has been since I've been on here, I was away on a course from work for a week, had my MIL staying for a week, and was just snowed under for a while too.
While my MIL was staying with us, we spent a couple of days up at the Hay Literature Festival doing a mixture of the intellectual ( Steve Jones) comic ( John O'Farrell) and downright entertaining ( Hot Leg - Justin Hawkins new band - I thought I might be too old for this one, but enjoyed it in the end). There was no quilty content to this time, although I did find this at the knitting stand on the festival site. They had turned them all into french knitting doodahs, but I just loved the spool!

This weekend I have made friends with my machine once more ( it was feeling most neglected) - this citrus jelly roll was one I got at a show some time ago. It's nice to be making something with it at last. I know I have lots of unfinished items hanging around, but I just want some nice easy stitching to get me back into the groove.

I think I'll sash the blocks with a wide black/white stripe. This fabric is DD's, she plans to make a vest top with it, but it's helped me to make up my mind about how to continue.

I just need to cut the remaining blocks out, and I can carry on with this quilt.

While I was playing at my machine, I tried out the Dresden Plate template that I've had for a couple of months. This was really quick to make using some fabric strips from a Moda scrap bag, although I'm not sure if I've done something wrong somewhere along the way. The instructions said to cut 20 wedges, which I duly did, but when I came to stitch the 2 halves together, they just would not go. I had to unpick a seam and remove a pair of wedges to get the thing to lie flat and circular. Ho hum!

I don't know how many of these blocks I'm going to make, perhaps I should be realistic and go for a cushion!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

An almost finished

I have spent this week getting the quilting finished on this little confetti quilt. I saw a quilt like this on back in May 2007. The blocks are nice and easy, so I was inspired to have a go myself. The fabrics are all ones Ive dyed myself and never got round to using and the quilting is done with hand dyed Perle.

I'm pretty please with how it's turned out.

Now if I can get the binding on this week, I can turn to the next item to be finished!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Teeny Tiny Quilt in the Post

This little quilt came in the post on Friday. We've had a visitor all weekend, so I haven't had time to put it on here until now.
Lori has made this little quilt for me, in lovely bright fabrics. The spoke of each pinwheel is 1 inch square!
It's a lovely quilt which I am very pleased to put onto the wall - thank you Lori!

Bloggers on-line quilt festival

Park City Girl has had a brilliant idea - an on-line quilt show. There are lots of links to many blogs that I haven't come across before, so I thought I'd join in the fun.

I haven't included this quilt before, as it is one of the first quilts I ever made. I did a workshop with Sandra at Busy Bees on naive country applique using fusible web and blanket stitch. The nice thing about the class was that everyone made a quilt that reflected their on personality - we didn't all come home with a clone of the class sample, so I really love this early effort of mine.

My husband made the hanger especially for his quilt and it lives in the dining room - although it does get moved about from time to time!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

UFO Update

I have been quite busy the last week or so, but have managed a little work on the Oriental Pinwheels blocks. I've put together more blocks, and started to quilt them. I was going to machine quilt each block, but in the end, it is so easy to hand quilt them that I've gone with big stitch quilting in Perle thread. They're looking pretty good!

My other little project at the weekend was this little quilt gift for my Mum. This is my Grandfather when he was a young man, probably taken in the late 1930s. She was thrilled with it, and spent much of Sunday with it in her hand.
It's nice to get something so right.

I've got a friend coming to stay for the weekend, but hopefully I should be able to post a bit more progress next week.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Looking out UFOs

In recent days I have been trying to tidy up and sort out my quilting stuff. I have put most of my quilting books on shelves in a single bookcase - still some more to go though, but I'm getting there.
As well as books, I have been unearthing some of the unfinished items that are lurking in my little room. This one, I'm ashamed to say, seems to date from January 2004! The pattern was from Fabrications magazine, which was very carefully placed with all teh blocks and fabrics in a box. It's a pinwheel, but each block is made as a small quiltlet and then the blocks are all zig-zagged together.
I don't have many nearly complete blocks. These need quilting so I think I'll practice machine quilting on them.

As well as the above blocks, I have about 20 of the basic blocks, which need the wadding attaching and the sides closed up before turning through, plus pieced strip pairs all ready to make more.

I think I'll leave this one out and see if I can get it finished some time this year.
The trouble is, I just know there are loads more half finished projects in boxes lurking under the surface. I really think I'm going to have to name and shame in order to get them out in the open and onto beds!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Young quilters rock!

We've just spent the weekend at the Quilters Guild AGM and conference in Swansea. We had a fabulous time doing the Young Quilters workshops and enjoying the traders.
My DD, Bronwen, was delighted to win the Bettina Longcroft trophy in the 12-16 category for her oriental dragon quilt.
As you can see, she was very pleased and thinks quilting rocks!

Teeny Tiny Squares swap

My teeny tiny squares quilt has arrived at it's new home, so I am able to post a picture of the completed quilt.
I was very pleased with this one. I mixed up hand and machine quilting. I love the look of hand quilting, but the machine quilting stabilises the quilt nicely and the hand quilting adds a nice accent.

I hope Tracy liked it.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Another finish!

I finished this one at the weekend, but have been incredibly busy and haven't had chance to post it.
This weekend is the AGM and conference of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles in Swansea. As we're the host region there has been a lot to do to get ready, including the challenge with the green fabric that I've posted about before. I have seen some of the submitted quilts and they are amazing. Mine is quite an ordinary quilt in comparison, but it's finished and I like it. It doesn't show up very well in the photo, but I've mixed up machine and hand quilting again. I'm really liking this. The machine quilting stabilises the quilt nicely and the hand quilting adds a bit of depth

I'm hoping taht normal service will resume after the weekend. Perhaps I can continue the roll and get another quilt finished very soon.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

"Can I help?"

I think someone else fancies a go at this quilting lark!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

I may have been quiet during March, but..

.. I certainly haven't been sitting on my laurels!
March is often a busy month in our house including DS's birthday - he was 17 last week which means he can now start learning to drive!

I have managed some stitching time though. The applique circles from last time are going well. I haven't started on the Charisma fabric yet - still practising, but I'm really pleased with how they're turning out.
I have also been making a swap quilt for the Teeny Tiny Squares swap. My partner is like me and loves all quilts it seems, so I decided on scrappy. This hasn't been an easy swap though. My first idea was a disaster, with a 9-patch of 1 inch squares inside a paper-pieced star. Usually I can do foundation piecing pretty well, but not this one! I had to unpick several times, and when I'd finished the block it was awful! Then I thought I'd try something simpler. No dice! This was unpicked and remade a few times too. However, it has turned out pretty well in the end. I've machine quilted it with some hand quilted focus areas and I think it's not bad.
Here's a couple of sneak peaks of the top before quilting, just in case my partner is looking

I've been busy in the kitchen too - made my very first ever batch of marmalade. It took hours and hours, but was well worth it as it's yummy!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Practice Makes Perfect ( I hope!)

I have a little collection of Moda Charisma fat quarters. I know I really don't need any more fabrics, but they really spoke to me! Marianne at Busy Bees made a lovely medallion quilt from the range based on Kaffe Fassett's Knot Garden design. It looks just gorgeous and consolidated my decision to buy the fabrics. I've been thinking long and hard about what I'm going to make. I do love Marianne's quilt, but really want to make whatever I make my own. I have finally decided on using this pattern, iDo. I want to make the rectangles a bit more staggered, but otherwise I do love this design. Only trouble is..... my applique skills! I don't really want to use fusible web, as the fabric is quite fine, along the lines of Liberty Lawn. So, once more Marianne came to the rescue. She talked me through, and demonstrated the template + starch method, and the following are my first 2 practice pieces!

I am pretty pleased with myself.

In case you are wondering, DJ is now fully recovered from his broken leg and is bouncing around like his usual self again ( although you wouldn't beleive it from this picture!)

Saturday, 28 February 2009

A Last Minute Finish

February hasn't been a complete washout as far as quilting goes. As well as the applique melons, I have done this little quilt. It's part of the BQL calendar challenge. The idea is that we attach a printed calendar page to the bottom, but I just like it as a Mini quilt.
I think I'll display them all on the wall together.

I really like this one and think I'll have another go. I'd like it to look a bit more 'random' and mis-matched.

I cant believe that I've kept up with this for 2 whole months!
Roll on March.

Thursday, 19 February 2009


My little quilt for the ALQS2 swap has arrived safely all the way from Chile (I've never had a parcel from Chile before!)
Thank you very much Vero, it's beautiful!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Little quilts and applique

As today was the first Saturday of the month, Cardiff Quilters was on.
We have been making tiny quilts to be given to the local Maternity unit for use when babies are lost at birth. Each year we go to a memorial service on Palm Sunday to remember our own little boy and it will be here that I hand the quilts over to the local SANDS ( Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society ) rep ready to be given to grieving parents.

There are more quilts to come in yet, but these are the first batch made by the members at a quilt-in and at home.
They are so beautiful. I'm really thrilled with the efforts made by my friends.

At home, the only quilting progress this week has been more applique blocks. I still haven't decided how many I'm going to make, nor what I'm going to do with them, but for now I'm just enjoying the journey.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Young Quilters and a finish

Today the Quilter's Guild had the first Area Day of 2009 near Newport. The speaker was Jenni Dobson, with an interesting talk on quilt judging, and there were several traders for us to peruse ( I came away with a couple of scrap bags and a couple of FQs). As usual, I took a Young Quilter's class, although this time I only had 2 of them.
In honour of Valentine's Day soon, we made these little heart hangings. The hearts on the left are my samples and those on the right DD made. I think she made a pretty good job.

I have managed a small finish myself this week ( as well as all that cutting out!). BQL are having a monthly calendar quilt challenge. I usually fall down at the first hurdle on these monthly challenges, but I really a going to try to keep up with this one.
I've managed January!

Monday, 26 January 2009

The start of a new week.

No photos today I'm afraid, but I have made progress on the challenge quilt this evening. I have pieced all of the coins into 3 strips of 20 inches length. I should be able to add the sashing strips tomorrow after work. I'd like to have the top pieced by the Area Day on Saturday.

As I have quite a few things to do this week, I think a list may be in order.
My priorities are:
1. Make the sample for the Young Quilters workshop I am doing on Saturday
2. Complete Challenge top
3. BQL calendar challenge - I'd really like to participate in this one, last year I fell by the wayside in month 1!
4. Make items to be sold at the Guild AGM in March from the Daffodil fabric we were given - this one may prove difficult as I have no idea of what to make from my piece.

Hopefully my good start will provide the impetus I need to get these tasks finished. I have a big day at work tomorrow, but then the rest of the week should be a little quieter.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Quilter's Guild Challenge

Life is still kind of busy just now, work has been crazy building up to a demo next week, and DS has taken on the looking after of his horse which has meant a lot of running about. Hopefully this will settle once we get into a routine.

I haven't had my machine out this week, but I have been doing lots and lots of cutting.

I treated myself to a new book, Quilts From the Selvage Edge, after finding this inspiring blog. There are some interesting ideas both in the book and on the blog, and I have been inspired to try to use up some strips that would otherwise have gone in the bin. I haven't started stitching yet, nor gone through my scraps bin, but in no time I had quite a box full of selvages ready to use.

My other cutting out has been for a challenge quilt. We were given the following fabric and the remit to make a quilt no longer than 30 inches on any one side.

As usual, it has taken me ages to decide what to do. The fabric didn't really inspire me, and so I mooched about on the Internet looking for inspiration. The Chinese Coins style quilt here gave me the idea to go for a very scrappy design.
I haven't started sewing yet, but the coins are all cut out and ready to go. I should get them all done this week

I know that I have neglected this blog lately, but hopefully now I've started stitching again, I should have something to show here very soon.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Lovely mail day

Look at what the postman delivered this morning!
I havent received my ALQS2 quilt yet, I think my partner has been having some issues and is running a bit behind, so Kate has made this little beauty for me as a stand-in. The photo doesnt show the machine quilting, which is great. I've tried a few times to free motion quilt, and I know that you need to practise, practise, practise, but mine still always looks like a dog's dinner!
Thank you very much Kate this looks very nice on my dining room wall.

I haven't made a good start to 2009, espite having soem conmmitemnts that I really need to get moving on, and ufos that only need binding. 'm not sure why this is the case, but I'm sure that my mojo will re-.appear soon

One of the distractions is a new man in my life. This is DS and Will. We are having him on a shared loan from next week, although we have been spending time getting to know him. He has a very sweet nature, and I'm certain that we will all get along fabulously.

Thank you to those who asked, DJ is getting along very well with his broken paw. He really wants to get out and chase mice and stuff, and is putting on weight at an alarming rate. It wont be long before his cast is off, we're halfway there now.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year for 2009!

As you can see, ours is having a slightly rocky start. We don't know what happened, but DJ has broken bones in his paw and a broken fang. It doesn't seem to be bothering him too much, and he stomps about the place quite quickly now, although he is desperate to get outside.
He'll be fine soon though, thank goodness.