Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Had to use the heritage quilts as inspiration. This one was inspired
by a piece made from woollen flannels used for miners shirts and
the one below was inspired by the hexagon quilts.

Friday, 27 May 2011


I took the plunge and signed up to take part in the
Journal Quilt Project with Contemporary Quilt of the
Quilters Guild.
My JQ's are based on the elements or the 'Elementals'
- earth, air fire and water and the Sketchbook Project.
I decided to try and figure out what the textile elementals
would be.
January - Textile Elemental: Idea or 'It's raining cats and
dogs and I'm thinking.......'
According to the classical Greek Elements
there is a fifth element 'aetha' which is idea or
divine thing. I thought It was quite fitting for this series.
February - Textile Elemental: Materials or 'A shop full of
Without the basics of fabric and thread I wouldn't be
able to do what I enjoy. Of course there's always the
embellishments and the fantastic stuff for adding colour
and pattern to fabric. And so much more!!!
March - Textile Elemental: Design.....
A design wall is used by some to display their work in
progress. This piece is a play on that idea using the
elements and principles of design. I have noticed that
I tend to aways keep returning to certain ones.
April - Textile Elemental: Learning or 'Sowing the seeds'...
This started life as skills and techniques but I soon realised
it was much more than that. We are very much influenced
by 'who, where and how' as well as 'what' and also by the end
May - Textile Elemental: Equipment.....
Absolutely no question, my sewing machine is
almost surgically attached to me along with a few
other basics. I'm not a huge gadget person but
sometimes they do make life easier.
BTW, fairies are also elementals.....

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

New neighbours

Went for a walk this morning and saw we had new
neighbours. Alpacas - they're quiet and unassuming.
Also this miniature shetland pony was proud and
protective of it's very new baby.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Isn't technology wonderful!
I've been stitching on a heavy weight cold water
soluble today making moss. The first cold water
soluble I used (30 years ago) was thin and tore
very easily when trying to put it in a hoop for stitching.
Just the usual polyester thread and 2 layers of soluble.
I think I could have managed with one layer.
After lots of stitching this was the result.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Flash Quilt

There's always something to celebrate. Last Saturday was the
third Saturday in March therefore it must be International
Quilting Day. I first learned of it here and it set me thinking.
Last weekend was also free entry at some National Trust
properties = lots of people. I got permission to sit and stitch
at Calke Abbey with a friend to raise the profile of quilting.
We sat outside Sqiurts Stable, in the sunshine, for 3 hours.
We stitched, listened and chatted.I kept wanting to call us a
'flash mob' but as there were only two of us it was a bit daft
so I called it a 'flash quilt'.
People were interested. We were asked questions by
people who were stitchers already. We hopefully encouraged
those who had ufo's hidden away to finish them; some started
by mums or themselves. Some were interested in work that
was hand stitched only and some were interested in machining
This has set me thinking for Quip Day in June.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

More Journal Quilts

After finishing last years JQ's that I'd started I decided
to fish out the 2009 JQ's. Yet again not much needed
doing some quilting and edge finishing. I've been taking
photos of foot prints, tyre tracks and animal and bird tracks
for some years with the intention of putting them into
textiles. The JQ's were the perfect opportunity to get started.

Contemporary Quilt

I belong to a group called 'Contemporary Quilt' and
each year a challenge is issued to the members to
produce a journal quilt every month for a year. I
I always begin the year with good intentions and make
a start but something always happens to stop the
creative flow. After making, and finishing, the raggy
quilt I decided to finish some old journal quilts. Not
much needed doing really - little bit of hand stitching
and some edge finishing.
I like taking something ordinary and using it in a different
way. These four were a series based on buttonholes.

The fabric was an old, hardly used linen tea towel
from an army surplus store, a finer cotton fabric
for the binding and the backing was my OH old work
shirts. The wadding was the thinnest I had. I used two
types of thread - an ordinary polyester sewing thread for
hand and machine stitching; a thicker silk thread for hand
stitching. The silk thread is a pale duck egg blue and this
dictated the colour of the lino print. Polyester organza
was used to suggest buttons.

I've made one!

I've made a quilt..................
I decided a few years ago that I wanted to make a
quilt though it was no good me piecing a top then
hand or machine quilting it. It would never be completed.
I began keeping my eyes open for a technique that would
suit my needs. I found it at the Malvern spring quilt show
2 or 3 years ago. I probably had seen it before but never
cottoned onto it. The 'Raggy' quilt was the technique for me.
I sorted my stash and filled a bag with fat quarter and
dressmaking leftovers. There were also some Liberty prints
I bought from someone who used to work in a factory making
boxer shorts (the money she made went into her embroiderers
guild kitty) - included were offcuts of my favourite Liberty
print, Ianthe.
The technique:
Wadding - I used supermarket fleece blanket! cut into 6''
Fabrics - cut into 7'' squares.
Threads - I used lots of ends of reels of ordinary polyester
The blocks - a sandwich of a wadding piece in between
2 fabric pieces then free motion stitched with 1/2'' seams.
I used a daisy design though I did start playing with
different ideas.
After all the free motion quilting was completed and all the
blocks were stitched together this is what I ended up with.
The binding was made up of some of the leftovers as I
didn't want anything left at all. In this photo (below) the seams
still need snipping. I sat down one afternoon and snipped all
the seams whilst watching Love Actually! All that snipping makes
your fingers ache but it's worth it.
So, I've done it, I've made a bed quilt. Am I a real quilter now?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

New bag, new toy

I had a new toy this week it's for taking pics,
hopefully better ones!
I also made these to give away for a fund raising event.
I hope they'll be okay. I've just re-read the email about it
and the theme is supposed to be the area where the
event is being hosted. There's plenty of time so maybe
I'll so some research before I send them off.
I found this bag here before Christmas and I've just
got round to making it up. I never completely follow
patterns exactly. I wanted to try the 'raggy' technique
and I also wanted to try using polyester fleece for
quilting the blocks. Both worked well.
However, I did make the house rather smelly inorder
to be able to finish the bag. I tea dyed some webbing
to make a more serviceable colour.
And of course I always make one unplanned detour
from the plan or a mistake (the brain stopped
functioning). I meant to stitch the handles on before
I stitched in the lining. No worries, at least the lining is
secure. I don't like shoulder bags that are open so I put
a zip in.
This small project ticked a few boxes:
- new technique, polyester fleece wadding, secure bag,
- used supplies from the stash, satisfaction on completion.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sketchbook Project

Last autumn after much thought I decided to take the
plunge and send off for a sketchbook from here: http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject
I read and thought alot about it. I kept thinking three things:
1. I do fabric and thread, particularly free machine work;
2. I think it's good to touch textiles when it's appropriate;
3. I'm rubbish at doing sketchbooks. I tend to work straight
into fabric and do loads of samples.
So, why do it?
It's a great opportunity to allow people to touch textiles and to
show how I work.
I did loads of samples to find out the best fabric combo to
stitch into. It had to be a cotton fabric with a stabiliser.
The fabric was pfd cotton that I had snow dyed at the
beginning of December. As for the stabiliserLutradur won
- firm without the thickness of vylene. I was able to machine
embroider with this combination without the fuss of a hoop!
This is a page from the book, the colours aren't great -
apologies for that.
I seem to draw better with a needle but you might
disagree with that!
Doing this project has made me think how I want to take
my work this year. It's also made me realise that
working straight into fabric is okay. What I need to do
is to formalise all my bits of samples - somehow -
instead of shoving them in a folder never to see the light
of day again.
I like the thought of never having my sketchbook in my
hands again.
Well, it's gone now and it's onto other things.
Journal quilts, postcards, put 'em in's and my own stuff.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Snow Dyeing

As promised, the results of my snow dyeing

I want to do some more!
I know the snow and the low temperatures have been a pain
....but.....it would be good to have another go!!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year.......................
It was cold but pretty and the snow had frost!