Sunday, 23 July 2017

BLOG 355

Blog 355
I have had several things under my machine this week, but mainly during the latter part of the week. I inadvertently left my sewing machine attachments at Suzette’s on Monday and they weren’t delivered until Friday. I was bereft! It was my fault entirely but how maddening! Firstly, I added a border to ‘The Blues’ Linus quilt.

             The Blues


I made a start at quilting another Linus quilt, ‘Bubbles’, using a free-motion foot and an open swirl design. This didn’t take long at all; in fact it would have been much quicker if the ‘Quality Controller’ hadn’t come to sample the loft of the wadding! She even left a few fibres of her own as a gift!



          Quality Controller

               Additional fibres

The ‘At Liberty’ Linus quilt was next and it took no longer than 30 mins to run vertical and horizontal wavy lines across the seams of this quilt.

                At Liberty


Both of these quilted quilts will be bound ready to hand sew at Gresford on Tuesday. In the meantime, I am halfway through constructing another memorabilia box for a special occasion. I have yet to decide what will go onto the lid but I am thinking perhaps of synthetics and soldering. Watch this space!

                Memorabilia box



Sunday, 16 July 2017

BLOG 354

BLOG 354

I have never had a go at making fabric baskets and so I thought I would learn how and give the method a whirl. There are plenty of tutorials to view on the internet (isn’t that a marvellous tool?) and it all seemed very straight forward. I’m sure you know the expression ‘Just do it’, so I did it! I found some chunky rope in a hardware store and I pulled out some long 2 ½” fabric strips left over from a distant quilt project. I cut the strips down to 1 ¼” and I started to bind the rope, tidying and covering the raw ends with the help of a bit of glue. When I came to the end of a strip, I used glue to start the next strip and held it in place with a peg till it had stuck.


            Covered rope

To start, I curled the end round and held it tight with a pin. I threaded my machine with a multi-coloured thread and set it on a wide zigzag with an open foot. I struggled to get the rope under the foot of my machine but, once it was in position, it sewed as normal. I continued until it was wide enough for a base, about 6”.

               Starting curl

             Machine zigzag


And then came the shaping which was done simply by angling the base whilst continuing to sew. The only problem I encountered was when my machine foot disappeared into the wrapped fabric but it was easy just to stop sewing and swivel it out.



When the basket was the size I wanted it to be (ie I had run out of the colourful fabric strips), I reduced the bulk of the rope by trimming back some of the fibres it in and I bound and stuck it to taper the end.

            Tapered end

             Completed basket above

               Completed basket side

For me, this project was a satisfying introduction to making fabric baskets and I shall make more. (I will have to as I have half of the rope left!). Next time I will use narrower fabric strips for a tighter wrap on the rope.

The ease of constructing the fabric basket project has been a stark contrast to the intricate small scale sewing of the Liberty sampler blocks. That said, I did manage to complete another 16-patch block this week; Road to Oklahoma. Bravo!

           Road to Oklahoma



Sunday, 9 July 2017

BLOG 353
The garden has had a lot of attention this week as a result of the lovely weather. The heat encourages weeds to burgeon and that in turn spurs me into action. The cooler evenings take me to my studio where I relax into the repeated and comfortable rhythms of sewing. First I decided to deal with the Liberty blocks that I showed last week and using 2 ½” strips of calico, I joined them together to make a decent sized Linus quilt. Another one for the ‘to be quilted’ pile which I will do when I get more wadding in stock.  

                Liberty blocks

When I was in the mood for fiddling this week, I continued to make the tiny blocks for my log cabin sampler quilt. They are so very small and to give you the impression of size, I have taken pictures of the different size blocks alongside my small embroidery scissors. Be very impressed!!



              Sampler block

In a bid to keep using up my stock of fabrics, some of which go back many years, I pulled out my drawer of blue fabrics. Another Linus quilt was planned after looking through quick and easy techniques on the internet. I cut rectangles at 4 ½” x 6 ½” and placed them on my design wall; the dark fabrics are around the edge and the lighter ones in the centre. I chose a dark fabric to border the light rectangles and light fabric to border the dark rectangles and cut 1 ½” x 6 ½” strips from them. Adding these along 2 opposite sides created 6 ½” squares which were ironed to establish the direction of the seam allowances. (I can’t tell you how important the iron and ironing board is to us quilters. I seem to spend a lot of time there at the expense of my laundry so it must be a good thing!) This quilt may need a border but I will decide on that when I start to quilt all the tops I have accumulated. I need 6 quilts to fulfil a promise I made to the Linus project in Wales having already completed 6 for the Cheshire region.

               Blue fabrics
              Cut rectangles
               Border fabrics

              Ready to sew

               String piecing
              Ironing board
               Completed centre
             The quality controller

Sunday, 2 July 2017

BLOG 352

BLOG 352

And what do I do now? I have spent so long, hours, days, weeks and months, working my way towards the Gresford show that everything seems a bit flat now. This just goes to confirm what I have always suspected: that I am happier if I am working on a project. So, what do you do when you are at a loose end? You start to rummage in your fabrics to see what you can find.

It is a while since I pulled out my basket of Liberty fabrics and it proved to be a rich source of UFOs.

              Liberty fabrics

 I found several mini log cabin sampler blocks. These are 6 ½” finished squares and consist of 4-patch, 9-patch, 12-patch and 16-patch blocks. Seeing them laid out on the floor has renewed my enthusiasm for this project once again.

              Mini sampler

                Close up

I also found many 3 ½” squares made up of stripped triangles which were the start of some project long forgotten. Perhaps a Linus quilt will come from these.


            Dark and light

I also found 4 larger squares made of stripes for who knows what project. So my first task will be to make sense of the Liberty fabrics and get them out of my system.


The Gresford Show made £6,941. 64p this year, our best total yet. But we still haven’t broken that £7000 barrier, perhaps next time. The kitchen took £2927:50 and entrance payments £2598: 00. The money will be distributed amongst our chosen charities for the year. Well done all!!




Sunday, 25 June 2017

BLOG 351

BLOG 351

The Gresford show is over and done with for another year but it was well worth the joyous effort. Next week I will be able to say what moneys we have raised for charity but, in the meantime, here’s an over-view for you to enjoy. There was a special display of Christmas work and the theme for the challenge this year was ‘In the Air’. Enjoy!

Magic tiles quilt

            Liberty quilt

              Family memory quilt

            Appliqued angels quilt

             Jane’s first quilt


             60 crafts for a 60th birthday

              Canvas bag

                 Alpaca tea cosies

               Cross stitch panel

                Knitted toys (depressed hedgehog!)

             Knitted garment

                Embellished cushion

               Liberty Stars hanging

              Altar display

            Challenge entry 1

             Challenge entry 2

             Pin cushions

                Chris’s quilt

             William Shakesmeer group quilt

           Xmas display 1

              Xmas display 2

                Xmas display 3

                 Xmas display 4

             Xmas display 5
Exquisite beading

And finally, my daughter persuaded a group of us from her fitness classes to take part in the ‘Pretty Muddy’ 5km charity run on Saturday at Tatton Park. ‘Run’ was interpreted very loosely, we walked most of it, but when someone saw spectators the cry would go up ’public’ and we would all jog athletically until we had gone passed them! We obviously didn’t want to peak too soon! I can’t tell you how much fun it was to be squirted constantly with water, to roll, slip and scrabble in mud, to bounce on space hoppers and to finally slide into a huge pool of mud! Here are the before and after pics!
             Pretty Muddy before
               Pretty Muddy after

                Jackie, Dilys and Tess