Saturday 31 October 2009


Look what my Mum made for me!!!

Aren't they fabulous?? I love them.The idea is from here... I suspect that my Mum made them to get out of teaching me to make them myself??... and I don't really blame her...

We went to the knitting group at the Museum in Hanley today, it took me 2 hours just to crochet this circle, which is going to be this bag... one day!!
This is some of the lovely knitting ladies, well they are really called "Ripping Yarns", given that we will do other things with wool, like crocheting, spinning, loom work... you get the picture eh..... Some of us are learning, obviously some ladies are kindly teaching, and others are working on....
... this tribute to Wedgwood Pottery. We were each given a block or more to knit, some have pottery designs on them, the background blocks are plain ( easy... I did 2 of those!) Now they are knitting the pretty border strip, crocheting those tiny white flowers and sewing them on, I think that makes it look very 'Wedgwoody'
The next Ripping Yarns meet will be Saturday 14th November 10:30am t0 12:30pm.

Mum and I went up to the wool shop directly after the meeting.... there were lots of the knitting ladies there... we all had the same idea! he he.

Friday 30 October 2009

Bits & Bobs

Since going to the presentation by Ineke Berlyn, I have wanted to cover notebooks and diaries with fabric. Maureen showed me how she does it, then, I had a go... the next one will be easier, I made a bit of a job with this one... half of the problem is that I don't want to use nice fabric to practice with, I waste lots of time deciding which fabrics I am 'prepared' to use... it's not like I don't have lots!
I also 're-found' (can I say that?? I came across something that I had already found once before ha ha ha) a tutorial on how to make fabric storage cubes, so I made one. I used a piece of carpet underlay to keep the bottom in shape... this cube is very easy to do.
Then I spent 4 hours, most of it choosing the fabric, making this birthday card.

Now I dare not post it because we have postal strikes....
I should go now to do what I should have been doing all morning... Hi Ho, Hi Ho....

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Old Treasures??

I can't remember whether I mentioned that 'we' decided to relocate my sewing room to a bigger bedroom... can't wait to get in there. I will have enough cupboard space for my fabric stash so I won't have to use plastic storage boxes (in theory!) AND my ironing board will fit inside the door... he he he... I know, I know... I should be grateful to have a room at all, and I am, but this other room isn't being used so.. hey ho... I put my name on it. This is the advantage of having adult kids I guess...

I've been doing a little sorting out, I'm surprised that I need to do this, given that I only sorted everything thoroughly in June when we left Portugal ... but I do need to do it...
I came across these blocks... how sweet... these are the first ones I made on my own, in 1998. The colours are not brilliant, I see that now.... I was living in Brazil at the time and there wasn't a lot of choice... plus I had no clue what I was doing....
If you look closely you can see that I even matched my thread to the fabric... I don't do that anymore, Look at all the thread I was wasting.... I don't do that anymore, I use Leaders & Enders or even a Pig, I hardly ever waste thread.
Not knowing how things work... I cut 4 triangles in the same fabric for the centre... now I would use a square in one piece, or at least vary the fabrics....

Oh dear this is my second block, same ugly fabrics... This is my first attempt at "Y" seams... not bad I guess, they are lying, more or less, flat... Looks like I tried a little fussy cutting for the centre too...

and the back... this shows a good bit of pivoting....
Anyway, by the time I did my third block I decided I didn't like the colours so I had a friend take me shopping for more.... That's why these never made it to my first quilt. We worked as a group, called Morumbi Quilters, doing a block-a-month quilt, it was called "Crossing Over Time" I'll try to find a picture of it to show you... I still use it a lot.

Monday 26 October 2009

Maureen's Homework

Maureen called in this morning to show me that she had done her homework in good time for class next week. She has made her table runner much longer and one block wider so as to fit her table better.... it looks almost 2 metres long actually....

Usually I suggest using any left over blocks on the back of the projects but Maureen had more than a few left over so she has made 4 matching place mats, great plan.... this size is perfect for practicing free motion quilting.

Saturday 24 October 2009


I had big stitching plans for this week... puh!! Where has the week gone?? I know I haven't sewn anything since last weekend....
My Ocean Waves progress is very slow now. I need 72 of these blocks... I have 24 of them done.... when I make half square triangle blocks, I almost always cut my squares to the even 1/4" (in this case 2 1/2" as opposed to 2 3/8")and trim them to size after stitching, which takes me a little longer but it makes everything more precise, in my opinion.
for the coners of the block I need 4 of these (over 200 of them to get to 72 blocks)...the trimming of which is proving to be a bit of a pain for me as I can't figure out how to put the ruler on it to get it trimmed to the correct size...
remember.... I have to trim because I had my original squares cut to 2 1/2" so when I cut said square in half, as I now need 2 triangles, they are also too big, only by a gnats whisker, but they will throw everything out if I leave them... it's taking me ages and I am sure there must be an easier way?? like.... maybe..... starting with the correct size square!!! duh

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Great progress was made today. Both Lizzie and Maureen finished the centre of their Rail Fence table runners. Here they are cutting fabrics for their borders. They left with homework, to finish sewing on the borders and to prepare the backing. Next class we will make the sandwiches and get cracking on the quilting.
Jenni joined us today, just to see whether she wants to try machine piecing projects as she is already a hand quilter. She got in some good practice cutting with the rotary blade, ruler and mat.... a hamster would have been very happy in this little pile.... he he he. She watched everything very carefully and says she will catch up with the other ladies for the next class... Which is Tuesday 3rd November 10am to 3pm

Saturday 17 October 2009

Alton's 1st Quilt Exhibition

What a fantastic success today was!! lots and lots of "ooooo's" and "aaaaah's"
The Alton ladies, my new best friends for today, were convinced that this show was a "one off".... but after all the great comments made by the people who came, I think there will be another... but hey, I am the new girl, what do I know!

A short tranquilt (oooops, ha ha ha!) moment before the doors opened and time for a quick cuppa..... in the left corner there you can see the sales department, ladies made lovely things to sell. The lady in blue was selling raffle tickets (they sold like hot cakes)...
A shot to the left of the room.....
... and a shot to the right and sort of straight on, there were lovely quilts and quilted cushions behind this shot too...
... we even had our very own quilt angels! posh white gloves and all, Sheila and Claire... loving it!

Alton Quilt Exhibition

It's today!

I was there, with the other ladies, all day yesterday getting everything in place. I only remembered my camera once! I snapped this quick photo just so you got a sneak preview... I know it's not much of a photo, but ... just look at that quilt!! I think it's worth popping in to see the rest, isn't it? There will be tea and cakes supplies by the WI too.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

A Day Out

Maureen took me out to do necessary exploring... 2 quilt shops. This was the first one, lovely bright shop with lots of happy ladies shopping, they had travelled from Leeds! Next we went to Patchwork Direct, I forgot to take a picture though... too excited looking at the goodies. This one was in a converted church, it was lovely too. I met two fun ladies having a patchwork lesson, I wanted to stay and chat more but they had work to do.... he he he
The scenery around Derbyshire was stunning, colours of Autumn everywhere, the company was fun too, thank you Maureen, you are a very useful friend, ha ha ha.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Ocean Waves...

Since joining the Whiston and Alton quilt groups I have needed to have something portable to work on. This isn't easy for me because I machine piece everything on my Bernina, there isn't room for me to take my machine so...

... I have been taking my Ocean Waves project... ironing and trimming up all those tiny, leader and ender, half square triangles. Finally, with a box full of them, I decided to join a few to see how many blocks I could get... 240 x 2" half square triangles later... I only made 15 more blocks! I had a few left over and I need to make another 40 or 50 of the centre blocks. I cut 20 of the cream 4 3/4" squares and started to piece them, alas, I am back to the leader and ender thing now... slowly does it eh!

I went to a wool shop to get some practice yarn for my crochet lessons. They gave me this instruction sheet too. Clear as mud!...

My Mum started by teaching me the granny thing, which is the square piece here. I see now why she was trying to persuade me to buy a plain yarn, but I wanted a pretty one! ha ha ha
The rectangle is what I have made since then, I went to YouTube and found a few video clips to help me.... baby steps.....

Friday 9 October 2009

Good & Bad News

I exaggerate, really I do.... The good news?....... My books arrived this afternoon!!!!
There are wonderful blocks in this one, I have chosen a few... a lot... probably 120 actually... he he he, it says that each block should measure 5" if I use 4 ply and 6" with double knitting.... I sound like I know the difference don't I??? But I can knit, though.... I admit I am a little rusty....
.... and this book of crochet has just left me itching to learn. It has the most beautiful blocks in it.... I know how to make a chain... after that, puh!!! I have no clue...
And that is the bad news... sort of. The knitting thing that I joined starts properly next Saturday, 17th October.... but I will be playing with my favourite thing on that day... Quilts!!! Remember it is the Alton Quilters Exhibition on the same day... what a dilemma... never fear, my Mum knows how to crochet....
Mum... put the kettle on in the morning... I am coming over with a crochet hook/needle (?) and a ball of 2ply that might be 4 ply.... he he he
I love this block but it has a symbol with two crochet hooks which means "some experience required" so I doubt it will be my first.....
look, look, look,..

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

I was expecting 9 ladies today but, fortunately, only 5 actually tuned up. It was a great day with much laughter... a lovely group of ladies. The room has enough space for 7 ladies to have a full table each.
It's great having beginners slowly get more confident cutting with the rotary blades, first strip only cuts one inch then a few strips later... it's all quite easy....
This is Gill's strip set being cut into the squares... yes!... it is a Rail Fence Table Runner...

... my favourite beginner project. Students learn so much with it... so why would I change? This picture shows Maureen's strip set... but forget that... look how posh her nails are!

These are Nora's strip sets, she has been a quilter in the past but left it for a few years... something like 24 I think she said, so she is "refreshing" her patchwork skills, not to mention the ironing... he he he

This is Lizzy's work. She is a complete beginner and chose 3 red fabrics for her table runner. I think I can quite safely say that she will go ahead and buy the equipment because she loved what she did today.... apprentice quilting addict? 

After measuring the width of the strips and cutting a few blocks, we laid out these few to show Nora how to sew them together, she can pop here to my blog to get started, if she mixes them up on the way home.

Gill can do the same with this picture if she forgets the order, it's good to know the blog is useful eh... Gill used Christmas fabrics.... well it is fast approaching isn't it!

Maureen got on a little faster today as she is not a real beginner, she was picking up tips and "refreshing" today, sometimes it does us good to go back to basics, don't you think?

The fifth lady had already left us before I remembered to take photo's, she is also a Maureen and she was using recycled fabrics today.
We won't have a class next week but I am hoping to get the room again on Tuesday 20th, PLEASE watch the sidebar for more information and any change of location.

Monday 5 October 2009

Alton Quilt Group

At quilt group today there was a lot to talk about. Everything seems to be running to plan so far. We all have our jobs to do.... let's hope we thought of everything because next time we meet will be at the church for final preparations!

Sunday 4 October 2009

On No!! Knitting????

Oh dear, I think I've joined a knitting group now! A group of ladies have decided to put knitting back on the map, especially to encourage young people to get knitting and crocheting (now how funny is that word?)... for many, many months now I have wanted to make a knitted/crocheted patchwork quilt/blanket, it was after seeing this blog that I got the urge..... here I go again... head in a whirl....

Here are a few of the ladies (you can just about see a wool shop in the top left corner, good job I had no money with me!) there were lots of people there.... possible friends?? Actually I have a friend there already, her name is Angela too and she is quite lovely, we've been friends for ooooh ....4 days now, I met her in Stone on Thursday!, ha ha ha

This book was on a table, calling to me, "read me, I am just what you have been looking for"..... this is an older version of the cover though... how do I know this you ask? Because I ordered it this morning, silly!!!.... alas, it was stuck to another book and didn't want to be separated, so I ordered the one for crochet too! tee hee
This isn't really a new knitting group, it is a wool group. They will be organising workshops for anything from knitting and crochet to wool dying. They are also organising, and will have us all making, a large wall hanging dedicated to Wedgwood. We will all knit a square for it, I volunteered to knit a plain background square... not the most difficult eh! These events and the meetings will all be held in Hanley museum... can't wait for the books to come now.....
**The organsiers are looking for someone local to teach "Tatting"**

Saturday 3 October 2009

Staffordshire Patchworker & Quilters

Oh my goodness.... it was sooooo wonderful on Thursday evening, even though I came home with my head spinning so fast.... and to top it off..... I couldn't flippin sleep!!
I arrived good and early because I wanted to sit right at the front.... I got the best seat in the house (church hall actually). The meeting started with a few announcements and 'show and tell' This quilt was a group effort and it's fate has not been decided yet... I offered to take it but... hey ho, they didn't give it to me! tee hee
This quilt was made from 'jelly rolls', not that we need to buy jelly rolls to make it, any 2 1/2" strips would be good too....

this is the back, so you can see the quilting, at least I hope you can (click on it maybe you will see better bigger) because this is what the ladies of Staffordshire Patchwork & Quilters call "Credit Card Quilting"!!! ha ha ha funny...... do you get it?
This is Ineke Berlyn, the lady responsible for my spinning head and sleepless night! she looks quite harmless doesn't she? oh no.... I am a ruined gal now! I may never sleep undisturbed ever again..... ha ha ha, oh... the plate of biscuits? that's Maureen being a helpful (?) hostess, we should have sent her to the naughty corner eh!
This quilt was one of my favourites, it's nothing like the others and is a very long term project that Ineke mislaid a long time ago, it is still needing some hand quilting... now she found it, it might get finished.
I'm left a bit speechless from here, and that doesn't happen to me very often!, Ineke told us how she made this project, she sewed some pieces together, slashed them through... this way and that, sewed again, stuck the shiny bits in... easy eh!!!
The picture doesn't show you how brilliant it is, and my photo is good....
She had made the most fantastic journal covers for her brilliant and very inspiring journals..... this in only one of them, I have to make one, I want one!!!!
and... I want one of these too.... a Landscape Quilt.... there are workshops for these, so I can make one for me!!!!! and I am going, I booked it!!!
oh...and ...oh I love them, love the colours, love the quilting, love the size... love them, love them.... do you see my head,,, starting again... oh spinning, spinning...... it's only 54 days 'till I can make my own, he he he, better not make my sandwiches just yet!

Friday 2 October 2009

Whiston Quilt Group

I went to the Whiston Quilt Group in the afternoon. I sat in a corner whilst I ironed and trimmed up 100's of 2" half square triangles ... ready for my Ocean Waves quilt. Now I need to get stitching to see how many more blocks I can get out of them, it's never as many as expect.... but this is my "leader and ender" project I cannot give it 'real' time, I want to only do it at the same time as the other stuff..... oh gosh how I have to be so strict with it... I find myself wanting to crack on... I don't like to have unfinished projects... it's proving to be quite a challenge for me!!
I was going to post the pictures from Stone last night... but they will have to wait, I'm out of time.....