Friday, 26 August 2011

No favourites this friday

I had to get a new laptop so have spent all day sorting out files etc. and getting them copied over.

It will take hours yet - why oh why can't there be an easy way to configure a new one and get everything you want on it!

So no sewing either....

Monday, 22 August 2011


This quilt has been a work in progress for a long time as it was a way to use up my scrap triangles. I even save the little bits from joining binding together. (side note: why am I so frugal with fabric when I'm not with anything else?)

Anyway, slowly but surely my triangles built up into blocks like this.

Then I added more scrap strips around each block. Quilted each block separately, then used more white to sash them together and it turned into this...

I'm so pleased with it. I had no idea when I started the little blocks what it would turn out like but I love working without a plan.

The white sashing joins aren't perfect, in some places they are fairly wonky, but I don't care. The quilting was my first attempt at feathers and then in the edges I did a wonky waving echo pattern. Even when it went a bit out of line, who is going to notice?

The backing was also bits and pieces left over, but these were bigger pieces and I love the way it looks here as well.

Even the binding was scrappy, I save my left over binding, and just put it all together.

The only thing that wasn't scrap was the white kona cotton which I think it needed. Scrappy background blocks I don't think would have worked.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Fun with Henry VIII

I ended up at Hever Castle in Kent today. All planned late last night with one of my cousins. So I took my Mum and we had a picnic with him, his wife and two kids.

The weather on the whole was glorious, just a few minutes where it clouded over and we thought it was going to rain.

I hadn't been in years and thoroughly enjoyed it. Its a beautiful place.

And later we were joined by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (after all this is where she grew up).

And a few of his knights did some jousting. This was on their way into the tilt yard - past the car park....

Then after that we went to the lake - you wouldn't think this was England would you?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Favourite Things Friday

Head over to Mrs P at for more favs.

Todays favourite is nice and simple. Last week I decided to finally treat myself to a box set of DVDs I've been wanting for ages. I only ever got to see the first 2 series when it was shown on telly, so this week, I have mostly been in the Pegausus galaxy....

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Last Festival of Quilts post

Well like I said before, there was so much to see I hardly did any of the stalls but this was my bit of shopping.

Wonderful Aurifil thread - look at those colours.

I also have a play on a long arm quilter. Obvious I had no intention of buying it, but I wanted to see what it was like and I have to say it was a lot easier than I expected. Very easy to move. 
HQ 18 Avante

I also tried this one, look at the space for you quilt!
HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen

I think though if I do buy any, and only after I get some work done on the house it will be this one in the 4 foot size. It will fit on my dining table where I sew anyway and can be dismantled. The greatest attraction with it, no basting....

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Festival of Quilts

Finally I'm getting around to posting some of my pics.

I have to say, looking back I wish I had taken even more as there were so many quilts to see that a lot of them began to blur in my head and I can't remember them.

Even though most of my pics aren't very good they will help me remember.

There was so much to see I have to admit I did very little shopping, there just wasn't enough time. It needs at least 2 days there. In the end I only bought some thread - a box set of Aurifil. Instead of £76 it was £60 so bargain or what.

As for the quilts, well what can I say. Some were amazing and inspiring. A few I thought were blah! Some I thought, I could do better than that.

One of the big themes was figures and faces and photos printed onto fabric. I have to admit, these didn't appeal to me at all. I admired the work and techniques that went into them, but wouldn't want them on my wall or want to recreate them. I did take photos of the quilts numbers to be able to look in the brochure who the quilters are but haven't got around to organising that yet.

The work that children did was amazing. Some on their own, others with school groups. This one won the primary school award  (upto 11) - my Aunt pointed out that the Puck Fair is a big thing in Kerry so flying the Irish flag.

This one won the Amateur award. Amateur!!!

The theme that clearly appealled to me was circles and spirals based on the photos I took.

But my favourite was this display from the European Quilters Association. Even my cousin who isn't a quilter wanted to make some of these. Aren't they great? All about a dinner plate size.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Ouch - sore sore feet

I'm just back from the Festival of Quilts. I changed my plans and went today and met an Aunt and Cousin who were going.

My feet are killing me, I need a long soak in the bath and it was a 6 hour round trip today, but I had a marvellous time. Loads of inspiration.

More tomorrow

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The day after the night before

I don't know what to say.. I know the inner cities are tough places to live. I know there are serious gang and drug issues that young people have to deal with. I know jobs are scarce for them and benefits are being cut and housing isn't always great... but that doesn't justify this shit.

Anything I am seeing on the news and youtube videos (yes they are dumb enough to record themselves looting) is showing a bunch of thugs with no concern for anyone but themselves. With no values or morals or any concept of right and wrong.

They also seem to have no fear of the consequences of their actions.

I grew up in the same inner city. I used to live a few hundred yards from where the bus was burning in Peckham and my first job was on Rye Lane near where one of the buildings was on fire. I had a lot less on a daily basis then these thugs, we didn't even have a landline in the house or a colour telly until I was a teenager. My Mum was a single parent of me and four stepchildren from my Dads first marriage. She lived hand to mouth for years and struggled desparately with my brothers behaviour.

I know that not all parents can control their kids so I don't think we can just blame the parents. Even good parents have difficult kids.

But I also know that you don't have to turn out like that. I didn't and nor have the majority of people living there then and the majority of them living there now.

There are a whole generation now of teenagers who are having their futures stolen as surely as the thugs are looting playstations. It will mean that when those who want them apply for jobs the employers will be looking at them wondering - were you one of them? The chances are they will employ someone else.

I worked in a major supermarket in Peckham and then at 19 got a job at headoffice. For the first six months every time I was introduced to someone new and they asked what store I came from, Peckham created a reaction. It was always in jest, but they never did it to anyone else. This was back in the late 80s, would that opportunity be available to me if I was 19 today? I doubt it.

I don't know what the solution is, or even if there really is one but I know something has to change and I don't think it is all about the money being spent or about being touchy feeling.

At the end of the day, no matter how badly off these people are, they have homes, heating, fresh water, indoor toilets, access to schooling free to the age of 18, free healthcare to the age of 18 and enough benefits to feed themselves. How small a percentage of humans throughout history have had all that? How few alive today have that? Why isn't it enough?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Fuckwits galore

The fuckwits are destroying london.

I feel so sorry for everyone who has lots homes and businesses these last few days.

There are still a few cars driving up and down the road which I think is brave or stupid as we aren't that far from Lewisham centre, I wouldn't want to risk driving into a crowd of them.

So scary.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Openness in blogland?

Sorry in advance, but this is going to be a bit of a wordy post.

I've read a lot in recent weeks on various blogs about who you are in blogland and I've been thinking about how I represent myself. Is it really me?

Well the answer is yes, but it is only a part of me. I started blogging as I wanted to connect with like minded quiltaholics and was really looking for someone to say, "Yes, your work is lovely, keep it up". I wanted encouragement and praise and I have to say I got that. Thank you all so very much.

What I wasn't sure about was what sort of relationships I would be able to build. How much of myself I would give, or even if I wanted to do that. Slowly but surely though I "met" some great people who I really enjoy interacting with. I've been inspired to try new techniques that take me out of my comfort zone and seen so many wonderful pieces that I want to try and emulate (i.e. copy).

However, I think the honesty of some bloggers is what makes me go back to them again and again, even if I'm pretty crap at commenting. Some people seem able to express themselves so well, warts and all but be constantly enjoyable to read. I'm not going to name names, I'm sure you have your own ideas but I am really glad I discovered them. The truth be told though is they sometimes make me so jealous! Yes, jealous! I have a problem with being that open, I wish I was but it doesn't come easily.

This is something I want to work on, and so to start, I'll let you into one of my secrets. I sometimes feel really inadequate reading the type of blogs I go to as most craft blogs are also very family orientated. I am single and childless and at 41 there isn't much chance of that changing. I know it just means that my experiences have been different from a lot of you, but it isn't always a rational feeling.

The truth is I would have loved to have kids, but I have massive trust issues. I might bore you all with some of the story one day, but my immediate family is disfunctional in the extreme. I know that when alls said and done I've got loads to be thankful for, but the single life can be extremely isolated and lonely. I'm not looking for sympathy by saying that, just wanted to explain myself.

Another thing to share is that I've hardly told anyone who knows me in the real world about this blog, even though it has been going 18 months now. I can't see that changing anytime soon either.

So, there you go. I've decided to try and be more open so this is my first attempt. It may well be my last but I will see how I get on.

But to finish on a positive note, I did a bit of on-line shopping and had this big pile of fabric delivered yesterday as I really needed some more! There is a lot more yardage in that pile than I want to admit, even to myself...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Making up for lost time

Two posts in one days! As well as catching up on the mystery QAL this week I've been working on my scraps again. No matter how much or how little sewing I get done, my scrap pile seems to grow far quicker.

I decided to get on with the triangles and made some more blocks with those. I use the method in Gwen Marstons Liberation Quilt II where the triangle is sewn in the corner. I really like the effect but I decided months ago that I wouldn't make the whole top using them.

In an attempt to use up more longer scraps I framed each block. Now that I have tackled quilt as you go I decided to quilt the framed blocks separately. And look what I did!  My first ever FMQ Feathers! They actually look clearer in the photo that in real life, I guess it is the angle but I am so pleased with them. Of course there are loads of flaws, but you have to look closely to see them and sod anyone who does!

Finally a Favourite Things Friday

Its been so long since I join in on FTF, but I'm back to it finally. For more, head over to Mrs P at

This week is a nice simply one, my ticket and brochure for next weekends Festival of Quilts! The first proper quilt show I've ever been too. I know it might be very bad for my feet and bank balance, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Mystery QAL catch up

Hooray, I've finally caught up with Sheilas Mystery QAL (see button on the side if you want to join in). I did have a bit of a pratt attack, the simplest part should have been the plain panels used to join these blocks together. Really, really simple. Just cutting.

Firstly I chose a fabric that I didn't like so had to do it again but for my second go I cut the pieces too narrow and when I say narrow I mean half the size they should have been! Being very annoyed with myself by this point, I took the lazy route and just added on another strip rather than removing them and recutting properly!

Will I come to regret my laziness? Who knows.

I am now finished work and don't haven't anything else planned until October. I've been looking at the projects I have outstanding and need to make a list and prioritise them, there are that many! Watch this space..