Sunday, 29 April 2012

Good Etiquette Revisited

One of the unfortunate side-effects of being a tad busy (and cutting down on my online time so that I can catch up with sewing) is that I have so much to catch up on in my blog reader … !

My self-imposed blog diet means I also completely failed to support Kat and all the great post-ers for her Good Etiquette For the Modern Blogger Revisited Week.  My etiquette mark is way down … sorry Kat!  I even missed my own post!

Anyway, I remedied that today by spending a leisurely morning catching up with all the good advice and, frankly great writing, in the posts below … I’m sharing all the links to the series here, just as much for me as for anyone else … 

If you haven’t already read them I really do urge you to … there’s good common sense and advice here …

Day One - intro
Day Two - Laura
Day Three - Lynne
Day Four – my post from last year!
Day Five - Hadley
Day Six – Jennie
Day Seven - Kat

What a great set of posts!  Thank you Kat and clever people.

In other news I finished up two quilt tops whiling away the rain and the storms this weekend, on top of a busy morning invigilating yesterday… more on them another day … no chance to take pictures as dark and soggy all day ....

As I can’t have a post without a picture, Manny spent much of the day doing this  ….


... and this is pretty much all that BBC* does every day …  try to catch his pathetically teeny tiny tail …

*Big Bastard Cat

I know how he feels!  Have a great week peeps ...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Can you stalk a quilt?

I dunno.  Can you? 

Wanna try?

I would most deffo buy this if it were a pattern. 

Can you hear me Lynne?

And I've never ever bought a quilt pattern. 

Go hassle her here ...

photos via Lily’s Quilts

Saturday, 21 April 2012

2nd Quarter Finish-Along – the list

So, I’m just sneaking in under the tape here to play along over at Rhonda’s for the Finish-Along – but work is just full on - I’ve been invigilating this weekend – first practical ICT paper – it was ok and my students didn’t look too stressed, so I feel a lot less nauseous than I did this morning!

Anyway, back to the sewing - Last quarter I didn’t do too badly – but I think one of my ‘finishes’ didn’t count because it’s not quilted or bound – just a flimsy – so I’m dragging it back into detention for this quarter!

The guilty party? 

My ginormous Swoon-Along quilt – I only have a border to go and then it’s ready to baste.  I’m waiting on pay day for the quilt backing though … it’s been so wet this month that Linen Man hasn’t been out at the market … come on April, get the showers out of your system!

Next up is a quilt top that is so nearly ready it’s pathetic! Having cut into my beloved Echino stash and sewn the blocks for Jeni@InColorOrder’s giant vintage star quilt I just lost interest. It was supposed to be a wedding present, but I just didn’t think it suited the couple at all, so I shelved it … I have another idea for them now, which will have to wait until I have some real time in the summer. It’s going to be difficult! natch.


Anyway, I’m sure I can make this one look lovely, somehow … I may have to chop it up a lot … or not … gah!  It’s the appalling waste of my fave fabric that makes me want to weep! This is my first real big time FAIL in terms of matching fabric to a quilt pattern! What was I thinking?  Don’t get me wrong, I think the pattern is wonderful.  I just think I chose the wrong fabrics!

P010111_10.270003-1_thumb[2]My final choice for the hall of WIP shame is my Quilt of Good Intentions, which I started on New Year’s Eve 2010. I know.  I’d entirely forgotten about it, and only found the blocks when I was clearing and spring cleaning in the Easter hols -  So much for good intentions LOL!

It’s been through many many hours of slicing and stitching and seam ripping and so on … but now I have some good blocks to set forth from …

Long story short the dark grey strips you can see now, were originally a really slippery polycotton that I thought I’d be able to get away with, but really really couldn’t – so I’ve spent some time this week repairing it with Kona Coal.  Much better.  But a right royal bloody pain!


I think it will look great and that really matters, because I’m going to make this one up for Lynne’s Siblings Together quilt drive.  It seems entirely fitting that what started out as a Good Intention two years ago should actually provide some pleasure for someone else, dontcha think? 

So, better go get sewing!  And, if you have any suggestions about what to do with the Echino mess, I’d be most grateful … Hadley, I know there’s pale poo brown linen in it, but it is really yummy in real life … promise!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sorted …

I’ve been pretty much offline most of the holidays because I really wanted to get on with some serious Spring Cleaning so that I can feel less guilty about stealing time to sew in the evenings once this very busy exam term gets underway. 

I started with my clothes and books and managed to charity shop a ton of stuff and cleaned and re-organised the rest.  Major good feeling.  I had got to that point where the clothes I wear most frequently were just on hangers round the flat (!) while a writhing tangled mess slumbered on in the chest of drawers.  Not anymore.  Oh no. Everything in its place. I’ll spare you the pics …

Then I moved on to the sitting room (which is where I sew too).

I cleaned and polished and then decided to sort my fabric scraps (woefully long work for such a small amount of scraps!) but good movie or three and some Ikea bags to the rescue and all is now bagged by colour group and solid/print … *sigh*


Originally the scraps filled four of these bins! Now only the blue one!  Yay!  (the grey one has my neutrals and the green one bits and bobs like offcuts of fusible batting etc.


 I also sorted some of my fabrics into projects – either WIPs (not many) or Great Ideas (tons!). 

They now rest in my pic-a-nic basket … ready for action …

IMG_3392 IMG_3390

Then I had to vacuum and dust all over again … my goodness those scraps generated a ton of lint/dust!
Finally, I reorganised my space to give me a little cutting and pressing area that was easy to access and use, while at the same time disappearing when not in use … not easy in my limited space … but … looky here!

This space (which is the top of a ghastly cupboard that I inherited with the flat and ONLY fits in this alcove!) gives me a pressing area, a cutting area and a mini design table! It works a treat.  btw this pic really makes me giggle because I wanted to make a big arrow out of blue paper and stick it on the wall, but didn’t have the time for such silliness. 

Today, while I was busy making an assault on my jam jar mountain, it was being used as a slumber area too …


I’ve finally made a start on my siblings together quilt … you can see some of the blocks in the collage above,  it's a WIP that started about a year ago!  ... but more of that another day, for it’s time to have a bath and get sorted for tomorrow … yes, it’s back to skool … actually I’m rather relieved, these hols have been utterly exhausting! (but very satisfying)

Have a good week peeps and see you soon …

Monday, 9 April 2012

Rise & Shine Android Tablet Cover

So, a quick little Easter Bank Holiday project - a portable case for my 8" Android tablet using Ruby Star Rising on the back & Ruby Star Shining on the front and inside - hence the title!

Since I put the Kindle app on my Android I've really needed some kind of case that lets me just pull it out of my bag - flip it open and start reading (for train journeys and such like).

My dream case also needed to be comfortable to hold, for drowsy reading in bed, so the front cover is padded with fusible fleece ... which is good for the screen too.

I created a half handle with webbing, sewing the other half proud to the spine. I just need to be able to grab it. but I didn't need a carrying handle as such ...

The inside has a smaller typewriter scrap, along with some newspring linen that I bought a couple of years ago and have never found a use for! Yay! I particularly like the newsprint on the tablet holding section ...

Not the most technically perfect thing I've ever made, but I know it will be dearly loved and much used ... By ME!

Ruby Star Rising, Ruby Star Shining, linen newsprint

Friday, 6 April 2012

Fashion & Textile Museum + Giveaway Winner!

If you want to skip all this and just go to the winner of my charm pack giveaway then feel free to just scroll on down … like I could stop you!

Anyway, I decided to try to balance the grimness of being prodded let's just say I've had more socially and physically comfortable days with a little loveliness, so I went up to London early to the Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey, 10 mins walk from London Bridge station … to catch the Designing Women exhibition.

I was born, lived and worked in London for over 30 years but the London I visit now is hardly recognisable from the one I left just 15 years ago. 

There are so many huge buildings going up all over the place … this one was just as dizzying as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona  (you get vertigo looking UP at this big boy)



The museum itself is in

and jolly lovely looking it is, too.


Here's the blurb from their website …

16 March 2012 - 16 June 2012
Britain was at the forefront of international textile design in the 1950s and 1960s. The art of textile design radically changed after the Second World War and three women artists working in England in the 1950s were pivotal in this artistic revolution. The drab days of the War were transformed by the fresh, progressive designs of Lucienne Day (1917–2010), Jacqueline Groag (1903–86) and Marian Mahler (1911– 83). Designing Women: Post-war British textiles showcases their work beginning with Lucienne Day’s ‘Calyx’ pattern of 1951, featured at the Festival of Britain, and moving through textile commissions of the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition features more than 100 works.
Original artist designs with bold abstract pattern, as well as the use of saturated colour, marked a dramatic departure from conventional furnishing fabrics. This new wave of bold textile designs, helped to bring the influences of the art world, in its most recent, refreshing, and largely abstract forms, into the contemporary home.

Exhibition Dates: 16 March - 16 June 2012
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am - 6pm
Last Admissions 5.15pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
Ticket Price: £7 / £5 for eligible concessions
Includes entry to FTM displays

I'm so pleased I did … although be warned that it's not a huge place - I had a very leisurely hour there, but could have whizzed it in 30 mins really.  I think it was just wonderful to see such a lovely body of work all together. 

There is much inspiration to be had … shapes, colour palettes, symmetrical asymmetry … you name it … you can feast your eyes on it …


I am sooooo going to try foundation piecing the sunburst triangles on the left!  … That is one quilt singing at me to be made! 

So, ahem  ... thanks for staying with me, so far … or if you just scrolled down to get to the nitty gritty …



Without further whatnot … mr random generator (mmmm …is that new aftershave?) has picked …

…. parpapaparpapapaaarrr …


Lucky Number 7!  Gill Watson!  


Yay Gill.  I've emailed you :) … commiserations others … hope the Textile Museum pics were consolation!

Gelati Veronelli !

I love the colour of real Italian ice-creams and sorbets, so I thought I'd try to re-capture that first taste of real pistachio or vanilla ice cream or raspberry sorbet ... drool ... for my entry into Lynne@LilysQuilts' fab Aurifil Designer Collection competition.

Lynne has been super helpful and uploaded all the colours here so all you have to do is favourite them in flickr and mosaic away! There are some wonderful wonderful entries here.

I think these muted gelati colours would be wonderful in the 40wt for quilting on neutral linen (coincidentally the background colour!)- a heavier weight like 12 or 28 would be wonderful for embroidery or hand quilting too.

But mostly I just want to lick them.

1. 4659, 2. 5009, 3. 2214, 4. 2115, 5. 4660, 6. 1100, 7. 2415, 8. 6001, 9. 4658, 10. 1285, 11. 3320, 12. 5015

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

digital hiatus

yes, well I had a few lovely days in Gloucestershire with my cousin … at the most amazingly huge old rectory … replete with the usual dead flies on windowsills, hibernating ladybirds in the bed and total lack of mobile phone/internet/DAB/fm radio signal.


I did have my camera … and I witnessed Spring in all its loveliness …

(I thought I'd get this post in quick before the snows come …)

… as well as going and perusing churches … something I haven't done for an age.  We went to a wonderful church in Highnam  - very camp and painted by the composer Hubert Parry's father … (I loved it!).  Then on to Tewkesbury Abbey, which although undoubtedly impressive, left me cold to the point of chilled as far as vibe was concerned …


Now I have a day at home before various icky day(s) being prodded by doctors …

IMG_2718So I'll be doing a bit more of this ….

... don't forget you have until Thursday to enter my giveaway here

Finish-Along - First Quarter

Have you been to Rhonda's space over at Quilter in the Gap to check on people's progress in The Finish-A-Long?

So … my (admittedly sparse) list of WIPs to finish (and in the final case even start!) was spot on!  whodathunkit!?

First off was my 'Through a Glass Darkly' Bletchley Quilt … process documented here and here and finally displayed here!


Next was my twister mat tutorial - done, but you'll have to wait and see Winking smile


Finally was this wondrous stack ...

... which I had no idea what to do with … it mutated into my giant Swoon block and thus far to a near-finished quilt top:

So, amazingly as I've had bugger all sewing time this quarter, I managed three finishes - I count the Swoon top as a finish because I hadn't even planned to do it when I wrote my post!

Huzzah!  See how everyone else has done here … and thank you Rhonda for inspiring me to get off my puter and onto the machine! 

How did you fare, if you were playing along too?


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