Sunday, 15 September 2019

BLOG 461

Blog 461
I have put in a lot of work in my studio but, as you can see from the pics below, we are not there yet! I have filled bag after bag of ‘stuff’ and I gave them to my husband to burn immediately. If there had been any delay, I was afraid that I would want to go through the bags again and reclaim some’ stuff’!! I had hoarded about 10 years of course material from art classes which I have rarely looked at, so out went the portfolios without a backward glance. I had hoarded teaching files, workshop hand-outs, multiple patterns and pictures; all have gone now apart from some favourites that I couldn’t release. I feel cleansed! The final push will be to sort through my archive material and find some way of filing it for posterity!!! This I will do when I sit in front of the fire of an evening.
            Studio view 1

              Studio view 2

Here is the sequence for a simple decorative design for the top of the serviette box. I glued the pre-cut square of wadding to the top of the box. I then cut out a piece of the lining fabric (1” larger all round than the top of the box) to work on.
              Box top

I looked at the motifs on the outer fabric to decide what was worth cutting out and I ironed Bondaweb onto the back of a strip. (NB I have a box of fusible bit and so I used these smaller off-cuts to cover the WS of the fabric, over-lapping where necessary. Over-lapping still works the same because whatever touches the fusible sticks to it) I cut out motifs which I thought would work on the red background.


           Fusible bits

             Fused fabric

             Motif 1

              Motif 2

           Design pieces


I drew round the top of the box with a pencil to give me a guide line for size and I played with the cut outs until I was happy with the design. Once I had removed the backing paper, I was able to iron the motifs in place. After adding another square of wadding behind the red fabric for ‘body’, I used a wandering leaf quilting design to cover the edges of the motifs to prevent fraying, making sure that I didn’t go beyond the marked line. I trimmed away the excess wadding to the size of the top by folding back the red fabric. I stuck it in place with spray glue. Follow the process outlined for the lid of the coaster box to complete the box. Another Xmas gift completed, just requiring the selection of appropriate serviettes to go inside.  

           Thread work

            Trim wadding

               Attach to the lid

           Sew the strip

Sunday, 8 September 2019

BLOG 460

Blog 460
My wonderful daughters have just cycled from London to Paris in 3 days as part of the Women against Cancer campaign. Many people have taken part from club cyclists, to regular cyclists, to those who have trained up for the event. Along the way there have been trials and tantrums and tears but they have done it! As a group they have raised £23,000+ and I am bursting with pride for them; what an achievement! This is especially poignant for us and remarkable for Tess as it was exactly 2 years ago that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

           Tam and Tess

These are the trophies that I won at Harrogate for my quilts. I wasn’t able to attend the presentation on Sunday myself, having already been at the show on the Friday, but one of my friends collected them on my behalf.



Here is the first part of the instructions for the serviette box, another Xmas idea for you following on from the coaster box. The procedure is the just the same as for the coaster box which was featured in Blogs 457 and 458; it’s just on a larger scale. With this box I am going to pad the inside of the base and base sides too and I intend to make a decorative top.
Here is one I made earlier, in true Blue Peter style! The sides on this box are deeper at 3” and 3 packets of serviettes will fit in it. Although it is really faded now, it is a sentimental piece as my mother did the beautiful crossed stitched butterfly on the lid.

             Serviette box

Cardboard Requirements: Cut the following accurately from strong card
Base: 7” x 7”
4 Base sides: 7” x 2”
Top: 7 3/8” x 7 3/8”
4 Top sides: 7 3/8” x 1”

Other requirements: fat ¼ metre of lining fabric and ½ metre of outer fabric, a small amount of wadding, Pritt stick, masking tape and threads to match the fabrics.

Cut out wadding to fit the base of the box and the 4 base sides. Also cut out 2 pieces of wadding to fit the lid but not the lid sides.



Cover all the pieces of card with the lining fabric as detailed in Blog 457, placing the wadded sides onto the fabric.




Construct the top and bottom of the box in the same way as the coaster box. Part 2 next week.



Sunday, 1 September 2019

BLOG 459

Blog 459
 I’m sure you know Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’; well that’s just how I feel this week! Not because I am depressed or bothered or at the end of my tether, but simply because my studio is being revamped. I feel displaced and upheaved … if there is such a word!

         The Scream

            Studio 1

              Studio 2

I need to throw out a filing cabinet that is all but empty and taking up space. I have a small cutting table which is a bit on the high side so that needs to go too. I am sorting through my vast library of quilting books and discarding the ones I don’t need any more.  There are quilting supplies that I haven’t used for years and fabric that I am never going to use. Everything really needs sorting out and it is a job to know where to start!  Instead of piling all my fabric baskets high, they will be in a long line and Himself is going to build a two-tier storage/working surface over the top. Watch this space as they say.
Last week we were staying in Easingwold in Yorkshire with my daughter and husband. We had a lovely time exploring the area; it’s such a lovely county with big skies, rolling moors and plenty of space. In Thirsk we were delighted to see knitted characters mounted on bollards around the town square. These are such fun and make people laugh and smile as they are going about their business. What’s not to like eh? You will see Red Ted on some of the pictures. He is beloved by my Granddaughters and he goes off on adventures and reports back to them.
            Peter Rabbit




          Princess and the Pea

On Friday I attended the Great Northern Quilt Show. It must be 14 years since I have been there and I really enjoyed the experience. I went because I had entered quilts, again for the first time in 14 years and I was glad that I did! I won Best Sampler quilt for ‘Logs in the Sampler’ and Best Art quilt and a Judge’s merit for ‘Cat with Flower Pots’ and I am delighted. My Dolphins caused a lot of interest as well which is always good to see. The Group Quilt also won a Judge’s Merit and there was a lot of laughter from the ladies surrounding it; a quilt making fun of the menopause always has a captive audience at a quilt show!!
            A Sampler in the Cabin

          Cat with Flower pots


Here are some other quilts from the show for your interest. The serviette box will start next week.
             13 Elaborate hexagons

          14 Bargello

              15 Double wedding ring plus

                16 Tessellations

                17 Sampler quilt

               18 Painted surface

             19 Log Cabin

           20 Fabric collage

             21 A year in houses

              22 Dynamic Flying Geese

              23 Painted surface

             24 Kaffe Fassett fabrics

              25 Clarice Cliff inspired

         26 Christmas Sampler

           27 Optical illusions

               28 Child’s quilt

            29 Hexagons

             30 Machine quilting