Sunday, 29 January 2017

BLOG 332

BLOG 332

Progress has been made in many different directions this week. I carried on working on the rainbow colours just because I enjoyed it so much … And perhaps because it was strewn across the floor and restricted movement in the loft room! In the end I aimed to make each rectangle 4” wide so I could at least construct vertical rows easily enough, just based on colour placement. The vertical rows were easy to join together too as there was no seam matching to be done. All in all this has been a very liberating project thus far!

                Bits n Pieces




I pinned it on my craft room wall so that I saw it every time I went in. That helped me to make the decision to add more colour over the wall hanging somehow, in a bid to spread and mix the colours across the surface. Iron-on bias binding was used to define circles of varying sizes. This now awaits the magic of machine quilting to add texture.


Before Christmas, Roger‘s name was pulled out of a hat as the winner of a raffle (I bought his ticket!) to make money for the Linus quilt project. The quilt is a beautiful log cabin quilt, barn-raising style, made by Fiona Macaulay Davies. I asked him to write an acceptance speech for me to read out and this is what he wrote.

I should say why I am so delighted to have won this marvellous quilt. Via Dilys I have had the most enjoyable association with the quilting world for the past 32 years. In the past I have shared our home with over the 80+ ladies a week who came to Dilys’s quilting classes. Lucky boy some might say! Throughout this time I have transported quilts, posted quilts, folded quilts, hung quilts, stored quilts and looked at quilts I must have seen hundreds of them …. But I have never actually owned one! …etc

It was very humbling for me to read that out. We have a home filled with quilts, there is one on every bed we are likely to sleep in, one on the chair in the computer room where he spends lots of time, many to snuggle into in most rooms. BUT because I have never said ‘I made this quilt for you’ he says he has never owned a quilt! How sad.

             Roger’s quilt

So having received this quilt, I decided to make some more quilts for the cause. This is what it is all about according to their website.
 Project Linus UK is a volunteer organisation. We aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted/crocheted blankets, and give volunteers across the UK the opportunity to contribute to their local community.

 I found some left-overs from another quilt project to make a start with a 9-patch block.


                9-patch block

             Many blocks

           Quilt centre

The Llangollen based Quiltfest takes place during February. There are exhibits in the Royal International Pavilion from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday 8th to Sunday 19th of February. Free make-and-take workshops will take place during the exhibition so if you fancy having a go at anything, tap Quiltfest 2017 into Google and take a look at the schedule. I will be doing Positive and Negative applique (sample below) on 15th Feb.

And in the Museum and Art gallery, from Wednesday 1st to Tuesday 28th February 10am to 4pm there is a challenge inspired by the Wrexham Tailor’s quilt which will also be on display.

             Pos/neg appliqué

Sunday, 22 January 2017

BLOG 331

BLOG 331

I have got my scrap project under way now. I started off with two bags of scraps; one was full of lights to medium lights and the other medium darks to darks. The machine was threaded with any thread that I wanted to use up and away to go!



I decided to do crazy log cabin this time using a paper foundation method. I am sometimes asked why I sew on papers and the answer is easy. Paper is a cheap medium and it is easy to sew on. It also gives accurate shapes and when I have covered all the paper, the block is complete. I use very cheap A4 paper and in this instance, I made the square as large as I could by just removing a narrow strip from the lower edge.

              Crazy patchwork

The centre shape is 5-sided to make it less regular and this is placed in the middle of the paper.


A strip, any width, just whatever I pull out of the bag, is placed RS down over the top so that it lies along one of the sides. Pin them together ready to sew. Reduce the length of a stitch on the machine so it is small enough to perforate the paper but not to cut it entirely as the paper needs to be in tact until the end of the process.

             Strip 1

Sew a ¼” seam allowance through all the layers and remove the pin. Flip the strip over and press it well.
             Sew and flip

Trim away the excess fabric from the end of the strip so that it follows the line of the adjacent side.


Rotate the centre anti-clockwise and lay the next strip RS together along the next side and across the first sewn strip. Pin to secure.

            Strip 2

Trim away any excess fabric which extends beyond the edge of the strip.


Keep rotating and adding strips until the sheet of paper has been covered. Eventually it will be just a case of filling in the corners.


              Trim and flip

As usual I prefer to sew one after another so progress is steady and little thread is wasted.

              Conveyor belt sewing

Once the paper has been covered, iron thoroughly to settle the fabrics.

            Completed blocks

With a rotary cutter, and working from the paper side, trim away any fabric that extends beyond the paper to complete the square.


This will be a long term project which should get rid of lots of my scraps. And there is a lot of satisfaction in the thought that I am getting something for nothing. Happy sewing!

             8 squares
And just take a look at this exquisite wreath made by Peggy who sits around the table at Suzettes. Her sister Pat made the cockerel which I showed last week. All the fine stem work, leaves and butterflies was painstakingly embroidered onto plastic bags which were then trimmed back. The plastic gives the shapes body and pliability. Fabulous!

             Peggy’s wreath




Sunday, 15 January 2017

BLOG 330

BLOG 330

And off we jolly well go into 2017! The picture below is an illustration on impending activity! The iron is plugged in, the machine is ready to do its stuff and there are bags full of fabric ready to be sorted and sewn.  I usually start a scrap quilt at this time of the year and that is now underway (more on the next time). It is a long term, stuff-it-under-the-machine type project which requires no mental activity, just application and slog.

            Off we go

I have loads of spools for my machine and there are several which have annoyingly small amounts of thread wrapped around them. A scrap project is a good way of using them up but it does mean that you have to be vigilant as they run out annoyingly often. Just as I get pleasure about not wasting scrap fabrics, the same applies for threads also. It must be my northern-ness and it makes me feel smugly self-righteous!


Another vein of creativity will be to follow one of aims, which is to work my way through this year with as much colour as I can.  I’m sure you know how much I love colour and I possess a lot of colourful fabric which makes my mouth water. So I am starting off with a scrap bag of bits and strips to see where that leads me.

            Bits and strips

To start with, I am creating small shapes, roughly 4” by free-sewing strips around a middle square. This is very naïve sewing as I am trying not to be too fussy about size and shape; all the concentration will be on colour families.

            Colour families

                Trimmed shapes

I work on one colour family each time I have an hour in the loft room and it is very therapeutic.


As I am working at my machine, I am pondering what I am going to do with them?! So, on the carpet at my feet, I start to organise them as I sew. I don’t want to be too restricted at this stage but it is a delight to see what may or may not happen.   

               Trial run

               More shapes

               Even more

And so this colourful project will continue. In the meantime let me share a beautifully machine embroidered cushion with you. This was made by Pat, one of the ladies who sit around the table with me at Suzette’s. I have watched it being sewn over many, many weeks and I think it is fabulous!

        Pat’s cushion

             Detail 1

             Detail 2

Sunday, 8 January 2017

BLOG 329

Blog 329

We all look back over the year just gone and ask ourselves, ‘Where has the time gone?’ I can look back over my blog (which is why I write it) and I have evidence of all the work I have done and here it is for you to enjoy:

             Sunflowers for Llangollen

            Whirligig quilt for Gresford

              Sunshine and Shadows quilt for Gresford

               Multi-coloured dream quilt for Gresford

            Disappearing 4-patch quilt for Linus project

               Triangles quilt for Linus project

               Baby’s floor quilt: gift

          Soldered table runner for Gresford

           40th birthday gift: Fishy panel

             Group quilt: A Quilters Tale by Shakesmeer

            Bespoke cushions

          Thread flowers

           Xmas gifts: wall hangings

               Xmas gift: cushion

          Luggage label (One of a collection of weekly fabric labels)                                              

           Corner log cabin