Monday 21 May 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2012 - Go Go Good Intentions!

Hello there if you’ve come over from the Bloggers Quilt Festival over at amyscreativeside

The LinkyPage is just an amazing encyclopaedia of quilty bloggy brilliance!  You should like, totes bookmark it.  I just keep staring at the thumbnails and drooling!

If you tuned in for my 2nd Quarter Finish-along post you’ll know that one of my WIPs harks back to New Year’s Eve 2010 - my Quilt of Good Intentions.  I was spurred on by the Siblings Together charity quilt drive that Lynne started, to get it out again and make it live up to its name!

Yup.  That first picture was taken a whole, shameful, year and a half ago! 

Once I rescued the blocks - I’d used a terrible polycotton mix for the grey sashing so I replaced it with Kona Charcoal – I joined and sashed them a little bit more!  But that still left me with a problem … Unless there are some teeny tiny fairy siblings in need of quilts, this needed a bit more work before it could be finished up to join the other Siblings Together quilts

So I improv pieced using some pale buttery smooth chartreuse cotton (from my local dressmaking fabric shop) and more of the Kona Charcoal.

Here’s the finished top …


3 new things I tried for this quilt:

IMG_3562 (Medium)1. BEDLINEN:

I’ve backed (and self-bound) it with a lovely print that I think works really well.  It’s half of a duvet cover in the softest cotton from BHS of all places.  I’m really impressed with the thread count on some of their bedding.  It’s an Ikaat type print and the green is a good match in tone.  I’ve used good quality old sheeting before, but never off the shelf new … It was a good experience.  You just have to get in there and give it a feel.  5* experience, but make sure you get to touch before you buy!


I used 505 – bought for me at the Bletchley Park Quilt show, by my lovely friend Barbara way back in February but available from cottonpatch !  Using this product was an absolutely fantastic experience.  I just sewed all round the outer edge to secure and then I could just roll it up and park it until I needed it - still perfectly ‘basted’.  You really don’t have to use very much of this stuff, so it’s easy to be neat and not get it all over the floor (unlike starch LOL!)  5* experience.  I can see a gazillion uses for this stuff …


As this quilt is for a kid/teenager I figured, quick to wash and dry was quite important.  Also, the quality of this Dream Puff is divine.  The name is perfect.  It is so so light but so so cosy.  This is not yer crunchy plastic batting of yesteryear.  Oh no.  Tis luxurious.  So, definite 5* fan here too.  I bought  a crib size, which is 48” x 60” – perfect for laps.

IMG_3551 (Medium)

I’ve hand quilted with bright perle cottons … yippee!  It wasn’t as easy to use a Sashiko needle (my usual weapon of choice) but a long Chenille needle did the job beautifully.  You need that extra sharpness to get through the fibres, soft and fluffy as they are.  Then it’s a dream under the needle. 

In fact I really enjoyed the quilting.  I did about 9 hours on the trot yesterday watching a box set of cheesy US cop show The Mentalist – it’s not quality TV, no.  But it is Quiltity – you can look down and miss loads without having to rewind, know what I mean!? Easy listening TV … bliss.

Anyway, I’ve been scrabbling to get to the finish line in time with this one, and although there are still a couple of patches of hand quilting left to do, it’s bound and 99% finished.  It will take me an hour to finish, but with the light not so great in my basement, I thought I’d take a pic of it 99% finished on the line, now rather than wait until dark and have a crappy pic.

IMG_3557 (Medium)

Of course it’s uber windy out there today!  I’ll try for better pics tomorrow and edit em in …
It has been so many different quilts, this quilt.  A serious 2 year slow burn project.  I thought about it constantly, but chickened out of doing anything for a long time … Siblings Together was the kick up the bum I needed. 

I am happy that it’s about to embark on the next part of its journey… and hope you don’t mind that it’s not quite festival finished !

Now get on back to the Quilt Festival - 521 quilts and counting!!!

Saturday 12 May 2012

Release Your Inner Llama


Have you seen all the fabness people have been making with Laurie Wisbrun’s wonderful Llama Llove prints?

I bought a FQ of this fabric as soon as it was released … not just because it’s cute, although it is undeniably delightful. (even for a hardened cuteophobic like me) nuh huh ...

LLAMAS, apart from being daft looking softies, ARE SECRET AGENTS - each one carrying a little parcel of profanity ..

Pay attention, there will be a test ...

"肏你妈 (pronounced "cào nǐ mā") is a common curse … Sometime preceding early 2009 a Chinese netizen, who has since been lost to the sands of internet-time, discovered that an "alpaca" can be loosely described as a "grass mud horse." In translating those words to Chinese you get 草泥马, pronounced "cǎo ní mǎ." Very similar to "f**k your mother," except the intonation differs. The Grass-Mud-Horse is part of Baidu 10 Mythical Creatures and is one of the Chinese internet universe's most enduring memes." via

I learned this from my GCSE students last year when we were talking about the difference between text/teenspeak language and 'normal' spoken/written language.  One brave student came up to the board and drew a llama (or alpaca, if you want to be entirely literal) and the corresponding characters … When the characters were read aloud the other Chinese students in my class blushed and giggled, hands covering the shocked Os of their mouths.  OK to write.  Soooooo not OK to speak.

I love the dual layer of punnery that a character+sound based language like Chinese brings to the rocking linguistic party.

What I love even more is that throughout the year, whenever the little darlings have been excruciatingly slow/annoying/naughty I have just silently drawn a llama on the board and waited for them to come back to me. Genius! I loves me a secret code.

The cherry on the cake is that each one of them is perfectly identifiable with one of Llaurie’s Llamas!

They’ll be moving on to A Level or pre-university courses with us or to new schools, in September and I will miss them (they were my first GCSE group) so I wanted to make them something to say goodbye.

But remember, these guys are teens;  cute is either perfect or horrendously wrong, depending on the mood of the moment … So I just made them each a really simple tag to slip onto their suitcases to make the airport conveyor belt a little more fun … I also suggested they slip them in their pockets during the exams to bring luck and to summon my voice in their heads when they falter  …


Nothing fancy here … just a bit of backing from my cotton spotton dotton charm stash + batting + llama print sandwiched, zigzagged and pinked.  I had some lovely dot bias binding left, so I folded it in half and topstitched to make the tag loops …  This project was as much about speed as sentiment.  Exam Season is Madness I tell you!


I gave them out just before their first English paper this week.  There may have been misty eyes in amongst the laughter.

You can find Llama Llove in Laurie Wisbrun’s etsy store.  Use with caution! LOL!

Have a lovely weekend … I’m off to frolic in the crisp but most welcome sunshine … tra la la ...

Monday 7 May 2012

Sew, Mama, Sew! Fat Quarter Idol - Round 4

Have you entered any of Sew Mama Sew's weekly Fat Quarter Idol rounds yet?  I haven’t had a chance until now (sadly the last week) but I've made up for lost time and put together a lovely little FQ bundle, which I would dearly love to get my quilty mitts on …

sew mama sew pinterest

If you fancy having a go, here are the rules:  (click pic to go to link) - you have till Friday!


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