Friday 27 March 2009

Killer heels and partying

I thought I could get away with 5" heels because of the platform and the internal platform taking them down to about 3½". They are gorgeous, I love them but when the staff find you complementary slippers half way through the party you just know it was a mistake.
See the black head at the bar near the middle? That is Zac Efron and the blonde on his left is my DD. I would have got a photo of him giving her a hug but pressed the wrong button on the phone (will I ever be forgiven?).

Great party, fun film and it's sad that I'm really too old to fancy this wonderfully beautiful young man. I haven't heard young girls sreaming like that since the days of the Beatles in my youth. Deafening screams from the crowd outside!

Wednesday 25 March 2009

More quilting

I still haven't finished the binding nor quilting the swags. I did get some done this afternoon and started on quilting that twisted binding you liked. Those lines are not marked, but just using the outside lines of the shape for the first line. I like the way it increases the look of the 'twist'. The colour is a little strange but using the flash stopped the quilting from showing.

I don't know how to insert a video utube thing so click on

Monday 23 March 2009

Twenty years ago today

And after 47 hours in labour, my beautiful baby girl was in my arms,
Happy Birthday Flissy!
We're off to London and Harrods for a days shopping.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Mothering Sunday

In Britain today is Mothers Day (Or Mothering Sunday).
These fabulous roses are deep deep red but the camera is not playing.
My own mother was dreadful. I cannot remember even one instance of affection.
I very nearly never became a mother. Two ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages and finally IVF later I gave birth to a baby girl (20 years ago , tomorrow). It still brings tears to my eyes to realise how lucky I am.
My best present this morning were the words on her card 'you are the best mother I could ask for'. I had a lousy role model so I'm very lucky to have got it right.
Spare a thought today for all the women you know without children, some through choice (though some just say this to avoid discussion), some because the magic of conception just hasn't happened.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Sometimes perfection isn't what is wanted

I started painting the new bed this morning and it struck me perfection is not always required or even desired. This is just the undercoat but when it's finished I don't want if to look like it's just been done nor do I want that carefully distressed look. We'll have to wait and see. I haven't a clue how to get what I want, it might take time just until it gets a few knocks.
And I thought this equally applies to quilting and other hand crafts. Many years ago I knitted DH a Guernsey sweater made traditionally with very fine wool. When I'd finished and given it to him, he said "Wow, that's great it looks machine made". I never knitted for him again. So what we want is something which says not too obviously, this is a one off, made by one person with care.

Thursday 19 March 2009


I want to show you how I get my plump binding.
I cut my fabric for double fold on the bias at 2¼" wide.
This time I stitched it on with the number 20 Bernina foot for no other reason than it was the width I wanted to use and I could see where I was stitching.
I then trimmed the edge of the quilt ½" from this line of stitching. As you can see when I fold it over, it doesn't fit. Well it does, but it's a strain to hold it down whilst I'm hand sewing it down. It's a pig, it's much harder than if I'd either cut more off or cut the bias fabric wider but it does give a lovely fat binding.

There's a horse in my soup!

Steph laughed last year at my blog post where I put a quilt feather on a cake.
So there we were having lunch and the first course was this beautiful beetroot, parsnip horseradish and ginger soup. The colour was just so pretty I had to add some cream just to emphasize the colour.
Steph swirled hers around until she had a horse's head. Only by the time I'd nipped into the sitting room and got the camera, she'd 'fiddled' with it a bit more and lost some of the image. I think it looks a little more like a cow by now LOLS!
So who gets the last laugh, me for a quilt feather on my cake or her for a horse in her soup?

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Quilting the Swags and lovely things in the post

I tried several different things on these swags before I settled on this. The lines are about ¼" apart. Another 31 swags to go but last night the dreaded insomnia came back to hit me between the eyes and then when I finally drifted off, I woke to a stinking headache. Tomorrow is another day, but Steph is coming and I'd like her to help in the garden whilst the weather is so very lovely.

Christine Thresh sent me these two super patterns. They are both very clever, the wedding ring are pieced with no curved piecing and the butterflies are three dimensional. You can find them here .
They are both very clever and I wish I'd thought of them, though they both have given me inspiration for other ways to take the idea.
Then Alex Veronelli from Aurofil Threads sent me these lovely samples of their threads. I can't wait to play with them but have two things which must be finished before I have time.

Sometimes I put an offer for something on Ebay with a very low bid. Most times I don't win the item but sometimes I get lucky. This lovely pieced bowl was described as in excellent condition. However as you can see in the 2nd photo it has a rather amateur repair. The seller promptly refunded my payment so it sits on the windowsill until such times as it needs a wash (that will probably make it fall apart) and then will go in the bin.

You can see where its been broken and the repair here. Click on it to see it enlarged. It isn't a very special piece so I can only assume someone repaired it to practice.

Quilt In Search of Excellence

I've just set up a new Yahoo group for people with this aim.

"Not for beginners.
This is a group for quilters who are NOT interested in the quickest way to make a quilt but the very BEST way.
We are the sort of people who will unpick as many times as is necessary to get it right.
We seek excellence in design and execution of our craft by hand or machine. We might enter shows, we might not but we want to produce work of which we can be proud.
Join if this is your attitude, if not this is not the place for you."

Find and join here

Saturday 14 March 2009

Too busy actually doing it than to blog

But I thought I'd let you know I've just passed the 3/4 way point...

Wednesday 11 March 2009

My very own support group

I want to thank each and every one of you who keeps encouraging me to keep going on this, without you it might never be finished.
I've never really been into support groups like Weight Watchers and the like, they're not for me. But now I see the value of such groups and now I have my very own personal support group, it keeps me going.
Though yesterday was not so successful. I iced a couple of cakes, just butter icing but ran out of icing sugar so a trip to town (and the bookshop) and got very little done, Today is another day and I'm up for giving it a good time working away.

Yesterday I couldn't resist seeing what it would look like on the bed. It doesn't look so big now does it? And worryingly the new superking bed is a foot wider.....

Monday 9 March 2009

Shoot me if you ever hear me saying I'll do another quilt of straight line quilting

This is it about a third of the way through. Is anyone else having a problem with uploading and the photos becoming less clear?
Anyway, if you click on it you might see the quilting. If the sun is around tomorrow before I start stitching, I'll try for a better shot.

Saturday 7 March 2009

So exciting!

I received an email with these photos this morning from Avril Horn. She tried this 18 months ago and was displeased with the results, now she had another go and did this with the 'freebie' feather from my blog. (find them on the left hand side)
This is great work and so very much better than my early stuff. She's very self depreciating but I think this is great.

Friday 6 March 2009


But which of these did I decide on for a friend who moved house this week?

This one below, because I knew others would have bought flowers and it's narrow enough to fit in somewhere small, will look good next week when the flowers are fully opened and her other flowers have died and it's quite sophisticated.
I nearly bought this one but one of the flowers (drooping on the right) has died of draught.

Thursday 5 March 2009


What was I thinking, all these straight lines? I knew I would find it tedious to do. I love the effect, but.... I 'need' more feathers as a reward for doing the boring bits.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Tools of the trade and Sinclair's sabotage

I've been asked a few questions over the last few weeks and here are a few of my essentials.
Neutrogenia anti ageing hand cream. Their normal one is good but this one is a little less thick. This gives me a nice grip on the fabric.

Friskars scissor sharpener. This one sharpens all but the smallest scissors really well, so much so I don't have to worry about using my best scissors to cut paper.

The red ergonomic rotary cutter (Martelli?). Fantastic much much easier on my poor hands, the next best one is this Olfa one.

On this quilt I'm using Masterpiece thread. Not good if you quilt with wide open spaces but lovely for any machine quilting ½" or less apart.

This Clover unpicker is worth the extra price. The end is fine, it's nice to hold and it makes life easier for that dreaded task.

A pair of curved tipped small scissors is for clipping threads exactly on the fabric without risking cutting the top. I've used them on this quilt as it stands no chance of winning a machine quilting award. I've just used tiny stitches to end off rather than burying the threads.

Machine needles by the hundred. I change mine often.

And the pen I use for drawing on the fabric. It's a Berol Handwriting roller ball, Find out what you can use in your country here
It doesn't rinse out but it does wash out in the machine.

And my cat. This is how I found him this morning, he knows a good thing. He was on it yesterday morning when I woke up as well. I had to vacuum the quilt heavily to remove all the hairs and dust and then again this morning.
I do love him, I really do but sometimes he tries my patience.......
Just a little.....

Monday 2 March 2009

I think I've finished the marking!!!

My eyes have gone totally blurred from marking and drawing feathers for 3 solid days. I ended up drawing the feathers directly onto the fabric. These lines are guidelines somehow whilst you are stitching the needle always corrects curves.
I did make a little template for the large tear drop and then marked the feathers round them on a wing and a prayer.

Sunday 1 March 2009

Sore fingers

I've marked up all those lines and now have started designing for the kite shapes.
What do you think of this for the very large ones on the pale blue fabric with the large roses? I've kept the lobes of the feathers this size to keep them in proportion to the parallel lines elsewhere.