Monday, 28 February 2011


I love how solids frame small patches of colour and pattern, I think thats why Im always drawn to the quilts with lots of white and lots of colour. Way back in the dark ages when I was at art school colour was pretty high on the learning agenda. Even as a potter colour plays a big part in creating. Colour hue and tone all just seem to zing that bit more when framed by a solid block of colour.

Just as the light in, say the south of France, influenced paintings done there the light in one part of the world seems to really have an affect of quilters choices of colour. Dreary old England seems to prod me in the direction of browns and creams, even though they are in no way my favourite colours. While many of the Aussie girls I have noticed use colours that seem so bright and sunny. I love the the pallet of Stina over at with her soft pinks and whites so typically Swedish.

There are of course plenty of exceptions to the rule but when you look around there is a definite trend that seems to affect quilters just as much as the painters who have gone before. Interesting huh?

As for me Im trying to get more colour in my life really I am!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Guest post from Em.

My daughter is incredibly talented, a fantastic mum in her own right, a budding children's author, and a teacher, but she is also a self confessed technophobe. She asked why blog? Well in addition to a few pragmatic reasons I think, for me its because sewing, cat-babysitting, they are all fairly solitary pastimes so to blog is a little bit like chatting to unknown friends, sewing alone leave you with a lot of thinking time, machine zipping along, blocks adding up there is "wool gathering time" in this tiny corner of the blog-a-verse I can share those wandering thoughts. So here she is guesting on my blog, something I hope she will do more of!

(image courtesy of

My mum bought me a sewing machine for Christmas in a shameless effort to get me involved in her quilting passion. It’s not that I’ve never used a sewing machine but following a sewing disaster during my time at secondary school I’ve avoided the electric variety in favour of my old hand crank Singer.

The disaster in question, I feel, was one that could have happened to anyone. After weeks of designing, measuring and cutting, my technology teacher finally allowed me to use one of the school machines. I sat down, heart fluttering, getting myself into position, when the instruction came, “Put the foot down.”

Now, as an adult, I now know that the ‘foot’ in question, is a metal bit attached to the machine. However, as a thirteen year old girl the only foot I knew about was the one attached to the end of my leg. And so I did put my foot down.

My teacher screaming at me to put ‘the foot down’ not ‘my foot down’ did nothing but confuse and panic me as I watched my work turn into a crumpled, over stitched mess.

What did I learn from those lessons? How to use an unpicker!


My sewing machine is a toyota.
Actually its probably one of the cheapest sewing machines ever bought new, I got it out of Woolworths before they vanished into the great recession in the sky. It sews its little heart out, though now every whirr and grindy noise has me nail biting incase its about to die.It gets a LOT of work for a cheap machine, £70 new. I really should start saving up now for a posher one. I do some machine quilting on it and it manages fine. The tension is always a bit of a mystery to me though but since Im still new to all this sewing with real electricity I put up with a lot and fiddle about more.

I have other toys Im also rather fond of. Got more than one odd look when I bought this baby from the local spring car boot sale. If my sewing machine is a girl this baby is a boy! he is all rarrrrrrrr and muscle and if he wasn't so weighty Id get him out more often. The other little guy is a maniac, he has got me into some tricky spots in his time. Literally. *grins* usually they involved floor boards and plumbing. But that's another story for another day.

boxes and pegs

Christmas 2009 I decided that I'd try making some gifts, frugal girl that I am and all that. Having seen fabric boxes/bread-baskets in some of the nicer gifty shops locally and pretty clothes pegs I made my own. I still have some of the fabric I used and I am hoping to use it soon.

I might get round to revisiting other episodes in my crafty recent past, maybe drop in the odd project that I was pretty proud of at the time. Does that seem a fair thing to do on a blog? why, yes, its your blog you do what you want! Thank you I think I shall. :D

Saturday, 26 February 2011

wax anyone?

Have you ever found your self wondering if you would use one of these? Presumably the ladies who did put so much store in the efficacy of the results that these exquisite little articles were made out of silver (as the one above) or ivory or beautiful wood. Not sure I'd fancy it.

I think I will just go buy some bees wax, and leave my ears alone.

once upon a time

As a child at school my sewing was the of the forced kind. The sort of school lessons that left you firmly believing that it took at least six weeks to sew anything and by time you had it would be so grubby and crumpled that it quickly became the next terms project as seams were ripped and what began life as a skirt was transformed into a P.E. kit bag. If only I'd learnt back then that you could actually make stuff that didnt have to take forever. Of course being the artsy type that didnt stop my head working on projects only a total lack of skill with a sewing machine stopped me making anything until the 1980's when a pack of Laura Ashley squares came into my possession. I made two things. The first a quilt of sorts, large squares simply sewn together on an old hand singer sewing machine and for my daughter the head of a hobby horse. Neither of which have survived to this day. I think both perished in the flood of 86'. A year or so later I tried patchwork proper managing to make a single very large cushion of 2" squares. That was it, my sewing history, until 2 years ago when I rashly decided I wanted a small memory quilt out of old shirts. From that point forward I was hooked. Adventures in appliqué and quilting followed and I now think of myself as a have a goer

Friday, 25 February 2011

Frugal with fabric

I have fabric envy. In fact my little heart beats faster at the very sight of other quilters piles of fabric. Bundles honeybuns jelly rolls and charm packs I want them all! That’s normal right?
As a frugal kinda girl, not out of choice I hasten to add, I stick in the main to hoarding precious fat quarters when and where I can get them. I flit from this fabric to that trying to decide which is the cannot live without pattern for my next project. Of course this means that I end up eking out this small supply by adding less designer fabrics and more old 100% cotton sheets and remnants where I can get them. So much as I’d love to fill these early posts with scrumptious piles of beautifully co-ordinated fabrics I’m gonna have to wait a while before I can sneak more than the smallest piece of loveliness into my small stash. Thankfully when a friend heard I was quilting she donated carrier bags full of vintage fabric scraps. One girls ugly is another girls just the right pattern and colour!

I’m happy to say a little sometimes goes a very long way!

May the thread be with you.

I have been toying around with the idea of making a crafty quilty blog for some time. Finally I'm taking the plunge. Probably no one will ever visit but hey least I will have a quilting diary if nothing else. I'm not an expert on anything much, I'm a "give it a goer" which will no doubt horrify the experts or at least give them a good laugh. I've been a potter, a sculptor and a few less creative things in my time, but now I'm an enchanted grandma, cat baby-sitter and occasional Westie breeder and when I'm not drooling over other peoples quilting blogs and fabric shops I get a bit of sewing done.
Meanwhile my first picture

So if you should just stumble across me here say hi, and may the thread be with you!