Monday 27 January 2014


Almost forgot I was a blogger for a while there. No particular reason,although I have been on Instagram a bit more since upgrading my phone at the beginning of the month.

Classes are ticking along nicely and the first workshop of 2014 is now under my belt.

My beginners are all busy layering up and starting to quilt. One of the trickiest questions that comes up is how to mark a quilt if you want to - my favourite method if I need to make a mark is to use soap ends. I also quite like the Chaco chalk pens but only in yellow & white, an ordinary pencil is pretty good for hand quilters and the Hera marker is a safe but not always easy to see, option.
I have always avoided pens, both air and water erasable and I'll explain why.
Several yearss ago I heard a talk by a quilter who was also showing her collection of quilts. One was a few years old at the time of the talk and it was obvious for all to see, just where she had marked her quilt because all the colour had leached out along the lines she had drawn years before with one of those pens.
Recently I have noticed a lot of interest in a particular kind of pen that seems popular with quilters - they are NOT marketed as pens for those of us working with fabric (so I am not bad mouthing them) but I have a few of them and have used them e.g. in marking HSTs where it doesn't matter as you cut along the drawn line anyway. So they can be very useful in the right place. I even demonstrated them for such tasks, as the disappearing ink when ironed made for a fun interlude. But one of my beginners has learned the hard way, not to mark quilts with them..................and has kindly agreed to me showing what happened when she did.

I think perhaps this has happened as the colour is dark and so will have a high concentration of die. Pretty heartbreaking though.

And while in teacher mode, I have another wee tip - at last week's workshop one student was putting together her Contrary Wife blocks and wasn't getting the best view of her progress. I snapped quickly with my phone - it's always a good idea to photograph a layout (if you don't have a design wall) and then look at it straight on, on a computer screen. It can really make a difference to your decision process.

I have managed some sewing too - in my last post I was able to report all my Mystery blocks done - I now have them all joined up and the wadding purchased. But I have no backing so I can put off the quilting for a wee while yet.

I posted Lucy's Bee blocks off to her today - the butterflies, as shown in the last post but now sporting smart antennae!!

I also did Bee Blessed blocks for Judith, nice and easy this month but I think they will also come together well in a quilt.

Isn't it good to be almost at the end of January?

Monday 13 January 2014

Normal Service........... resumed.
A little later than most, but I think I can say we are pretty much back to normal now - thank you all who sent good wishes and kind words, very much appreciated.

Having missed a normal Christmas, my OH had last week off to convalesce and on Monday we visited Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow to take in the Jack Vettriano exhibition. We thoroughly enjoyed it and if you are within travelling distance then I heartily recommend a visit.

Due to an unexpected "plug" on Facebook by The Intrepid Thread, my Mega Pinnie got a flurry of interest. I hope everyone who was interested managed to download the instructions - it's available here.

Becky emailed me to ask for the pattern but unfortunately is a no-reply blogger and I was unable to contact her - hope you are reading this, Becky..............

My beginners' class resumed last week and resembled a quilting "bee" as they learned how to layer up, pin & baste. I always split the class into teams for this part with each group working on one quilt at a time. Reduces the tedium I think

On Thursday it was the first of my Overnighter Bag classes, a mad frenzy of cutting! For me it was really exciting to see the variety of fabric chosen for the project.

And I ventured into my sewing room - I started my 2014 sewing with two Stingy blocks for Lucy.
She has requested butterfly blocks to make a big girl quilt for her wee daughter Joan. I have made one of each that she suggested. The curvy one was a challenge and if I had more patience I might have had a stab at hand piecing it.

The second was easier to piece and is a little smaller in scale. Both butterflies have yet to have their antennae added.

I also managed to complete all the blocks I want to do for the Mystery Quilt I have been following here. The quilt a long finished at Christmas and I fell behind just a little. When I knew it was to be a medallion quilt I decided to cut short and miss the final round, due mainly to fabric restrictions. I have been making the Mystery Quilt from my stash and was beginning to struggle so decided to cut my losses. My quilt will finish at about 60" square. I might add a plain border, jury is out at the moment.

I hope to get these blocks put together tomorrow.
Finally, I made a start today on the project that I will offer in class in August! My deadline to finish is the end of March so that my current students can be seduced by its beauty and swarm to re-enrol!!
Those potential students may be amused to hear that the very first block I made today had to be re-cut and re-made due to can I put it..........stupidity!!


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