Tuesday, September 27, 2016

More not very unusual news.

A better than expected Quilters Guild workshop on Saturday to learn about miniature quilting - useful to know how some quilters use glue and net to hold those tiny pieces. I can see from the photo of my 'cottage' how crooked my finished piece is ... accuracy is key for pieces this small; obviously I went astray.

I've played with stitching my pasted and painted muslin ... not happy about the stitch holes. Perhaps there be some help with looking at work by professional textile artists so I'm off to a local Gallery soon to learn more.

So good to have daily autumn sunshine and unusually warm days as it starts to darken later and earlier each day. For me this means difficult to decisions about what clothes to wear. I noticed a whinge in my voice talking about these dilemmas -socks or no socks, how many layers- and then realised my good fortune that such things bother me.

I've been seeing a friend on chemotherapy for myeloma quite a lot these past few days. We spent time yesterday repacking her case for the next hospital visit -pyjamas and comfy clothes to wear waiting for the drugs to drip slowly into her body. We chatted about winter coats even though she's not able to go out and about. Not yet, I said, soon though, we'll go for a walk to the new cafe in the park.

I passed this wall on my way home on Sunday as I have many times before ... and was stopped by the light on the bricks.

On local walks there are quite a few benches, all sorts of hopes and sizes - places to stop, to pay attention, from where I can find something to inspire my daily mark making. I'm taking a leaf out of Helen Terry's blog see http://www.helenterryart.co.uk/blog/ to prepare for the Inspiration to Stitch course.

So far there are pencil marks and words and now I need to find other tools. It's not very me, it feels strange but I'm using a very small notebook so filling a page is not hard, or shouldn't be. Watch this space as I venture further with this novel daily practice.


A friend once told me that the way to see a city was to look up. Looking down in a small village is also rewarding! More possibilities for stitch patterns on the pavement under my feet.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I've been away a while: back again now

Well, the title of this post says it all really so I won't dwell on reasons for my absence - those of you who know me will know why. If I have any readers left out there, hello again, and if you're new to my blog welcome, I look forward to your comments.

Onto reasons for this restart (yes, there have been many others): top of the list is enrolment on one of the Poetry School's wonderful online courses, called enticingly Secrets and Lies. So there's a real need for me to get writing again ... the blog is one way, resuming morning pages as I did today is another.

I'm also trying to collect some ideas for stitching - colour, shape, dimensions etc. I spent this morning in the garden so didn't have to go far for a reminder to look close -these are presently brightening the view from my kitchen window. 

- my garden is full of great memories, the first time I grew 'Chinese Lanterns' was from a cutting from Peggy's Maidstone garden. So good to have a tub of them with me now.

- I love the randomness of these splashes of pale, just like the random shapes when I free motion quilt.

I  may be back later with a catch up on the Splendid Sampler blocks from my summer sewing. And maybe I'll say something about my summer reading. On the other hand if the sun keeps on shining I'll be out walking of a while.

Remember you can comment as well as lurk in the shadows as a reader! Now to see if I can get this posted and shared around social media after all this time.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Three together

I'm somewhat behind with posting about the Splendid Sampler blocks, having only just caught up with sewing the twice weekly ones and with list of possible bonus blocks to make.

The bonus blocks might become very important in the future as potential replacements for the not so very good ones.  Here's the latest three

I'm very happy with the birds in the sky, so good to be in my comfort zone with raw edged appliqué but, big but here, have spent most of today making the one with the yellow cross using a technique known as foundation paper piecing.

The result is accuracy, but oh thank goodness there only one block to cut and sew. And its not 6.5' square, no idea where the edges went but I'm certainly not making another one.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Hot cross buns and a checkerboard block

My first attempt today at baking some gluten free hot cross buns, so I've followed the recipe exactly - variations with the second batch maybe. While  the dough spent time in the warming drawer I sewed    the next Splendid Sampler block -  domestic to-ing and fro-ing as it were.

 Good to find some fabrics in my french stash that blend with the overall colours I'm using ... less chance of finding I don't have enough when I get to block 95!!

I'll have to make a few more with these two but probably not another one with one inch squares.

And here are the 14 made so far ... suggestions for the colour of the between the blocks sashing are very welcome.

James has just arrived so our family is all here for a few days. We're celebrating Paul's birthday with Sunday lunch at a new to us restaurant ... apparently its always very busy so fingers crossed.

Off now to inspect the buns and make the paste for the crosses.

Happy Easter all.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bonus blocks

Getting back into the routine of my other sewing space and the other machines with the SS bonus blocks.

Next task is to load a quilt top on the frame and remember how to swing the Juki to get even stitches.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Finished in warm sunshine

Another block! Pieced before I left England and embroidered sitting in the warm Le Gers sunshine.

I used more of the flax embroidery thread bought to blend in with the key fabrics. Its a nightmare to sew with - becomes very flossy after a few pulls through the fabric and is a pain to thread into anything like a decent needle. Probably won't buy it again!

I've just seen an extra block posted on the project website ... that's two extra blocks I've not made so far.   Rainy day sewing, I think.

PS In case you're wondering, and I'm not surprised if you are, the block is a homage to crochet and its a crochet hook on the right!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fussy cutting ...

...   is an exacting task! I decided to add something to the simplicity of block 10 of the Splendid Sampler project and, at times, regretted my decision.

Of course, using stitch and flip made it more difficult but here's the block, finished and dated. I'm hoping all the very small off cuts of the fussily cut fabric will come in handy in one or two of the next 90 blocks!!

I've also noticed that the different weight fabrics are not blending well in places .. looks like the yellow strips in this block might had shrunk slightly. Once the top is quilted those minor creases will disappear into the quilting pattern ... thank goodness for that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This time its a quilt shop block

Speedy block to make and good to use the bird fabric I've bought for another project!! The suggestion from the designer was to embroider the shop signs but I'm busy with other embroidery at the moment so I used some words from a selvedge (always worth saving those edgy pieces) and added gold foil to bring a touch of reality to the door and window.

I was rather impatient with the pressure sensitive glue so the foiling is a tad messy ... gives it an old building sort of look ... maybe? It really is better leaving it to dry overnight.

I've spent the rest of my morning sending some poems out into the world. Such a tiresome task but was motivated by two very recent acceptances. More new on these later.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Big and small news

Happy Friday everyone, especially so as I'm un-bandaged, un-booted and have enjoyed a walk in the March sunshine. Not stretching the scar too much on its first outing but oh, it was great to be out in the fresh air, on my feet once again.

The small news is that Block 8 is finished, new fabrics alongside some I've used in the other seven and now I'm wondering if there will be enough fabric for the next 92.

As with each block so far there I learnt something making this one: always read the instructions carefully because in this instance cutting the inner square to a certain size was key to achieving a 6.5 by 6.5 block!  Also discovered that, with great care, it's possible to unpick and redo even when you've trimmed the edges. 

Back here soon, maybe with pics of new fabric -a quilting exhibition and fabric shopping awaits tomorrow.