Tuesday 31 May 2011

Monday 30 May 2011

Bank Holiday Mystery

The 3rd block in my Mystery QAL is available HERE - still plenty of time to join in the fun, just follow the link in my header, above.

Sunday 29 May 2011

New Shop

My blogpal Rachel, over at PixieRoseDresses  has launched her new business - lovely dresses for wee girls, all made here in Ayrshire.
Why don't you hop over and have a look HERE.

Good luck Rachel.

Friday 27 May 2011

Quillow Workshop

Yesterday saw another of my Thursday workshops - this time it was Quillows and 12 ladies worked really hard in rather cramped conditions to produce their quillows. It's always a bit magical when a quillow suddenly comes together and usually everyone goes off determined to make more. All were so different yesterday, ladies, you did a brilliant job.
I was also really pleased that Isobel brought along her finished Accidental Landscape from a recent workshop - this was inspired by Isobel's local views, how good is this?

Last week, at the Tote Bag workshop, Frances also brought along a finished project from a previous workshop, this time her quilted book cover, all beautifully embellished. Isn't it great to complete UFOs?

Next Thursday, it's Zippy Pouches, watch this space..............

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Ahoy Mystery Quilters

The Mystery Quilt a long is well underway now and the second block pics are popping up on flickR. You can join in any time HERE

I do have the feeling however that quite a few of you who have joined are taking mysterious to a new level and I am so interested to see what you have been doing. Now I know not everyone has a flickR account and maybe you are happy to just download the instructions and get on with it - absolutely fine, but, if you would like to share your work with me I am happy for you to email your pics to me and I will upload to the flickR group using only first name ID, keeps it nice and private. You will get my email address if you click the small pic of me on the left - when the Outlook Express box open just copy & paste my email address to your own browser.
If for any reason you are struggling with the Mystery, drop me a mail and I'll see what I can do to help.

Monday 23 May 2011

Brit Quilt Swap

After all the hustle and bustle of recent weeks, I set aside today to get stuck into my block for the Brit Quilt Swap -I am making this for a secret partner......am I on the right track?

It's quite a while since I did such intricate paper piecing - you should see the state of my workspace (and my fleece, a magnet for threads)

Friday 20 May 2011

More Very Useful Totes

Another group of very industrious ladies got together yesterday and all left with a completed tote bag. It's a great basic bag, customised by the insertion of panels of different styles. Some are patchwork blocks, one was a lovely arty piece of work and some used a contrasting piece of lovely fabric. This is a bag that can be adapted for many purposes - well done girls, you did great!

Talking of useful totes, Anna from Noodlehead is guest posting HERE with a great tote tutorial.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Just heard about this festival and just have time to slip an entry in......phew! So, what should I enter? I decided to show my very latest piece of work which I made as a wedding gift for our friend's daughter Lorna, who married Matthew last Saturday - from the minute she and Matt got engaged last Spring, I knew I would make them some landscapey type of wallhanging. I have known Lorna since she was a young girl and she so loves Scotland, the countryside, the hills and the sea..............how amazing that she should be marrying, yes, you'll never guess - an Englishman!!! Shock, horror.......the lovely Matt puts up with a lot of teasing but he and his family gamely wore kilts on the day of the wedding and very fine they all looked too, could hardly tell that they weren't Scots..lol.

 So, my inspiration for this quilt came from all the things I have already said that Lorna loves - in the sky section I paper pieced a Saltire (Scottish flag)....then moving down into the hills, I appliqued them in some tweedy fabrics and hand quilted them (very unusual for me)..........the next section inspired the title of this wee quilt - The Thistle & The Rose - appliqued thistles and white rose (of Yorkshire) sort of raw edge appliqued...then came the tartan hearts, for love, using fine wool mix fabrics......the bottom section is the sea crashing on to the beach with a bit of hessian "fencing"..........a little extra embellishment with some tiny shells.
I enjoyed making this, I planned, researched and sketched which I don't often do - I hope to expand on the idea for future classes...(yes, I do!!) I added the binding in the normal way, double fold, but turned the whole of the binding to the back which gives a totally frameless look. Saw this technique earlier this year in an exhibition of Effie Gelletly's work.
Lorna and Matt were married in a very magical place on the West coast of Scotland, overlooking the island of Jura - Lorna, to my surprise and delight, took the wallhanging to hang behind the top table - what an honour.

I do hope you have enjoyed this tale - if you have just found me via the Festival, today, welcome. To see lots more from the comfort of your armchairs go HERE. and enjoy.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Brit Quilt Swap

A few weeks ago, Lynne from Lily's Quilts whose day is longer than 24hrs, started a group for British Quilters over on flickr. We exchange pics, discuss stuff and generally get to know each other a bit...............being involved in this led me to start my Mystery Quilt which is keeping me on my toes whilst I have no "real" classes...............then Lynne came up with the Brit Quilt Swap! We have been spending time making mosaics to sort of show our dislikes and our preferences....and then last weekend we were allocated our secret swap partner. We have to keep it a secret and try to find out what they might like from their flickR photostream and their blogs...........I haven't got a huge amount of info from my stalking but think my partner likes stars.........so I couldn't stop thinking about Mariner's Compass - not a star as such but some years ago I did a workshop and made a wallhanging with a compass and flying geese which I quite like and I rather fancied pushing myself a wee bit and drafting my own. My first thought was to make it asymmetrical but then I literally had a mini eureka moment and sketched out this -

 I like the idea of the compass within the compass, so then went to my EQ6 programme and made these -

I haven't decided on colour or fabrics yet, just playing around with different brights - I love the way using two extreme values on each segment gives such a 3-D feel.
So, partner - am I anywhere close?

Monday 16 May 2011

Week 2 - Mystery QAL

Not long back after a great weekend away - more of that later but for now - it's time for the second block HERE


Tuesday 10 May 2011

Cafetiere Cover

If anyone would like to make this cover (see last post) you will find a pattern HERE

Before printing, be sure to size your document to 100% and choose no scaling..

Red Letter Day

Now some of you who know me might think I am referring to Lorna's wedding on Saturday - nope, today is my red letter day..
........doesn't your heart skip a beat when you find one of these on the mat?

and inside?

the charm pack needs no explanation - the fat quarters are Red Letter Day by Lizzy House for Andover Fabrics. I took advantage of low shipping last week from Sew Fresh Fabrics  - thanks Lynne, from
Lily's Quilts for the heads up on this offer.
There is also another fat quarter which I am keeping to myself for a week or two - will reveal secret project as soon as I can... (it's all mysteries and secrets with me isn't it?)

I have a UFO Workshop this Thursday, one of my short programme of Summer workshops - usually at a UFO day, folks bring along any project needing completion, attention, requiring help, etc. I always like to offer a wee project also and this cafetiere cover is Thursday's little extra. I couldn't find my original cover made two house moves ago so knocked this one up from some leftover charm squares from my Authentic pack - I love it, you'd think I had actually bought it to go with my kitchen.....

Still have to finish my table runner...........................

Monday 9 May 2011


Sunday 8 May 2011

Still Time to Join In

The first blocks are coming in for the Mystery Quilt - have a look at them HERE ...........just like in class, it's always exciting for me to see the fabric choices everyone makes and the way the blocks turn out with all the different selections...it always amazes me how the same thing can look so different.

If you haven't joined in yet, why don't you click on  Mystery Quilt a Long up on the header and follow the links...........

Saturday 7 May 2011

Sew Materialistic

I work a couple of days a week in our local fabric store - I know, it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it...........anyway, the shop has resurrected its blog HERE and has also set up a facebook page.

Why don't you pop over and leave a welcome message.


There is a super giveaway HERE at Needles and Lemons, I would really love to win this one!!

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Lucky Bed

 Now that class has finished for the summer break it is heartening to see that some of you are still sewing..lol.....Margaret has made this dramatic bedrunner for her grand-daughter Claire - her request was for it to be all red!! Hasn't Margaret done well to achieve this and still have the block (Contrary Wife) show up quite clearly, I think it looks very moody..........

Monday 2 May 2011

And we're off..............

I have now posted the first block HERE and nervously await your reactions!!

You might have noticed I have a Mystery Quilt page on this blog's header - I plan to store all the links here so it's easy for you to refer back or join in at any time.

Good luck!!

Sunday 1 May 2011

More Mystery Prep

I am getting ready to post the first block in my Mystery Quilt - it features half square triangles and I thought I'd discuss the best way to make these.
For years I followed the accepted formula of cutting the original squares 7/8 " bigger than desired finished patch.
Creative Grids even produced a really useful ruler that had its first section measuring 7/8" and then 1" intervals thereafter, it was a really useful tool, no longer available.
Then a couple of years ago I discovered Eleanor Burns TV on a Sky Channel - what a novelty getting quilting shows here in the UK. Now this lady has so many years behind her in the quilting world, it was difficult not to pick up useful tips whilst watching.................many of her methods tie in with her company's products but I found I could produce HSTs her way and square them up using my Creative Grids 6 1/2 " square ruler.
Basically, say you were making a finished patch measuring 4", you would cut your squares to 5" rather than 4 7/8", so much easier on the eyes. After drawing a diagonal line and sewing 1/4" on either side of this, the resulting patch is usually just a tad bigger than 4 1/2", and can be easily trimmed to size. I always found with the old formula that my patches were often undersized and so not perfect for matching with other patches.
I have had a search on Eleanor Burns' website and found her instructions HERE and a table of sizes to be used in conjunction with her rulers. This was found under her free patterns page and of course if you can find a local stockist  it might be an idea to purchase her rulers.
I am possibly preaching to the converted - is everyone already doing this?


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