Friday, 23 October 2015

Issue 27

Issue 27 of Love Patchwork & Quilting came out and I have two projects in it. First up I made a Christmas tree skirt. I wanted to make one because we don't have one. LPQ wanted one, but not traditional. I was happy with that.

Happy colours with a touch of gold and silver in some of the fabrics. Some gold thread used in the quilting. For me the right balance of seasonal and modern.

The other projects wasn't a commission. It was something that popped into my mind one day. I had it pictured in my brain, working out how to make it, and couldn't get rid of the idea so I sat down and made it. Thankfully I took a few notes along the way. Because when I was done I was so chuffed with it that I sent photos to Jenny at LPQ and asked if she was interested in having it as a pattern. She was. Yay!

It's a giant needle book/pouch with the pouch being an integral part of the back cover. Then on the inside of the front cover I put in little pockets for pens/seam rippers/whatever fits. And I used some of my cherished Farmdale blossom fabric. Thank goodness my imaginings worked out. I would have hated to have wasted any of it on a big mistake.

And, I have to say, it is a really easy pattern to make. Seriously, it is.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Lucky Me

I'm almost finished my current commission and then I can start the next. Hopefully with time to make some Christmas presents on the side!

And look what I have to make the next commission with.

This is the whole range of L's Modern from Lecien Fabrics, with some white and some yarn dyed linen mix in black.

I am in heaven. This line is just perfect for me. Blenders in jewel tones running the gamut of the rainbow. Bliss, pure bliss. I just need to make sure I finish one project before I start the next.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Small Things

Horribly sad things happen to wonderfully nice people and it is just so hard to wrap my head around the sorrow of it all sometimes. This happened with Nat, who I met at the Festival of Quilts several years ago, when her and her husband lost their beloved younger son recently. 

Her friend Lucy immediately stepped into the breach to do what quilters do - make a quilt for the family to bring them a little bit of comfort. Lucy asked for simple LV blocks made with nine 4.5" squares. Easy peasy and who wouldn't want to contribute in this small way?

Lucy now has enough blocks to make a quilt for the family and one for each set of grandparents too. I love this community we are a part of. Always so supportive.

Meanwhile, one of the lovely ladies on IG - @gotchacoveredquilting - was diagnosed with breast cancer. She asked if anyone would be willing to make a hexie flower for her so she had a hand project to work on through surgery and treatments. And she asked if people contributing could put their name and country in the centre so she would have a record of everyone who was a part of this quilt. Yet again a small and easy thing to do for someone.

Being able to contribute in these tiny ways makes me feel ever more part of this wonderful quilting world that we are a part of. If we can't give a little to others in life then why one earth are we here? 


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Playing Catch Up

Good God, time is moving faster than my brain these days. So many things going on and I'm not finding the time to come and tell you about them. So I shall endeavour to catch you up over the next couple of days.

Last week was particularly busy because we had Emily's German exchange student with us. She was a lovely girl but had very little English. Seeing as how our German is even worse there was a lot of silence, long uncomfortable silence. Unfortunately. And she brought nothing to entertain herself with. Nothing. Not even a book. I know, because I asked.

Oh well, we did our best and she certainly wasn't unpleasant, just very quiet.

During the week there was lots of taxiing back and forth as the day trips for the German students often returned at entirely different times to the school schedule. Add on top of that the fair was in town. Helen went all three days. Emily went twice. Our exchange guest once, as that was all that fit in her schedule.

Then on Saturday Emily and I took our guest to Birmingham for the day. We live about halfway between London and Birmingham. Obviously you are aware that we go to London as often as time and budget allow. We love London. The girls have both been to Birmingham on school a school trip when they were in Y8. I went once about a dozen years ago.

My apologies to all that is Birmingham. It was brilliant and you can tell by all the developments happening that it is only going to get better. I think we will return when the Christmas market is there. Planning it already.

The Selfridge's building is iconic. And the new New Street Station - which I got an abysmal photo of - is going to strike an equal architectural mark on the city.

Another new landmark is the Birmingham Library. It is known as the wedding cake, and you can see why.

Whilst there I found out it was the largest library in Europe. Having had a good look around I can well believe it. It is as striking on the inside as it is on the outside.

The space is so user friendly, with outside spaces as well as inside, including ping pong tables available for use. I like that.

We had lunch down by the canal where more regeneration has been happening. Really, for someone who has lived so close to this city for so long I was blissfully ignorant. No longer.

We did venture into Selfridges. And got sucked into the loveliness that is Cath Kidston because it turns out Emily rather likes her. And it also turns out there are some very covetable items out right now. Plus prints that are very Heather Ross in nature so therefore right up my street.

Sewing notions too! I fell in love. Not with the notions, but with this.

I had to have it. It was essential to my mental well being. It's a cookie jar, just in case you can't tell. It's no secret I like cookies. And I bake cookies. I needed this to put my cookies in. So I bought it.

Then we missed a train and had to wait another 50 minutes. So we went back to the mall. And there was a misunderstanding about the time to meet up again. We had to run for the train. I'm not renowned for my coordination. I went ass over tea kettle (or shall we say ass over cookie jar) in our mad dash. And we still missed the train. Seriously!

But I was okay, albeit with bruised knees and pride, and the cookie jar survived.

The same could not be said about my new mug though. Sigh.


PS: But someone's thoughtful and loving husband has ordered her a new replacement mug, because he can be lovely like that.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Schnitzel & Boo

I got a quilt top finished, taped the backing down to the floor for basting, got my layers all done and then realised that the backing was about two inches too narrow for my quilt top. I stared at it for a while, convinced that was all it would take to make it fit. It didn't. Shame!

So I got it all off the floor and ignored it. (I still have some time before the deadline so it is not an emergency - yet.) Instead I picked up the mini quilt top I made for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap on IG. I had a big enough piece of backing for this at least. So I basted and now I am quilting.

I started with some teeny tiny fmq in the centre star.

Then I added some pebbling, matchstick and stippling.

Now I'm adding some perle cotton. Sure hope my partner like this. Because I'm not picking it out if she doesn't. Just saying.


Sunday, 11 October 2015

A Very British Weekend

I finished the weekdays in a fit of enforced drudgery, despite my much avowed dislike of housework. It turns out this is balanced finely by a little bit of pride. We had the imminent arrival of Emily's German exchange student and I didn't want her to know that things aren't always - um - up to par, shall we say.

Then the weekend was busy, in the nicest of ways. First up, I had a trip to London with just Helen and myself. We had theatre tickets. This weekend I was taking Helen out. Next weekend her dad takes Emily out. I kind of think I got the good end of the stick here. Because Emily is going to The Warped Tour. It would not be my first choice of how to spend the day. (Not sure it's his first, second or third choice but he volunteered, more fool him!)

No, I got to take Helen to The Phantom of the Opera. Not a hardship at all. And, needless to say, we had dinner in Chinatown first. It was good fun to be in London at night versus our usual daytime jaunts.

Then today we took our exchange guest for afternoon tea. Before her arrival she had expressed a wish to try 'English sandwiches' so I booked us in at the hotel where I have a gym membership. It's a country house hotel, the building originating 250 years ago, so steeped in character and thoroughly English.

And then I stirred up the age old controversy on IG about scones. Clotted cream before jam, or the other way around? Me? I'm a clotted cream first girl. Not because I think it is the right way, but because I find it much easier to spread jam on the cream than cream on the jam. For me it's that simple.

How about you? Jam first, or clotted cream? Are you of the Devonshire tradition or the Cornish way of doing things?


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

If It Looks Like This...


It's best to stay inside.

This is all the more pleasurable if you are in the company of a great friend and eating good food. The temptation to just while away the afternoon and skip the school run was strong.

And guess which box I wanted to buy?

I didn't. But I wanted to.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Pie Making Day

This was a pie making day - not of the fabric line kind - but of the fruit and pastry type of pie.

Each year at this time I am invited over to my friend's house to pick as many apples from their orchard as I would like. Obviously no one would turn down an offer like that so I go and take more than I need. Then I end of sharing them with my MIL and the neighbours. My friend thinks this is great so I am not being (too) cheeky.

I have been freezer diving to feed the family for over a week so that I could (a) defrost said freezer, and (b) have enough room to put some pies in. Yesterday the defrosting took place. Today was all about the pies.

I own five pie plates. I may need to buy more, but then again that may mean I need to buy another freezer too. My method of mass production is to make a big batch of pastry and line all the pie tins. Then out comes the good old fashioned Victorian apple peeler, slicer and corer all in one tool. I could not do this task without it. I fill a pie shell with fruit, top it with pastry and then move on to the next one. It takes (next to) no time at all like this.

As is the way of things there is always some leftover pastry. So jam tarts were the next to be whipped up. Silly not to.

And one of the pies had to be baked for quality control. No worries, when the pie tin is empty again I will make another pie for the freezer.

Only the jam tarts were ready before the pie was.

They got decimated while we waited. But we still managed to eat pie. Obviously. We are nothing if not determined.


Thursday, 1 October 2015


I got busy doing stuff and forgot to do a blog post.

Some of the stuff I've been doing.

I made thirty blocks for the next commission quilt. Now I've started working on the sashing.

I got a steam cleaner and actually got a strange thrill cleaning my kitchen floor. Enough said. I promise to try to never discuss it again.

I found out if you slow cook lamb shanks and use red wine in the sauce, that consumption of the remaining part of the bottle of red wine can cause a reduced amount of care in the presentation of said dinner.(It turned out to be a surprisingly strong red wine.)

And I received my lucky dip destash envelope from Amanda of Westwood Acres Fabrics. She didn't wish to list everything she was looking to sell off individually so asked if anyone was interested in a $50 flat rate, get what you get, stuffed envelope. I, of course, shot my hand in the air as fast as possible. What a wise move it was.

Hello Darling scraps. Liberty squares. A Meadow Friends quilt kit. Patterns. A myriad of FQs - including two Farmdale ones (seriously - the yellow crosshatch and the circle one below it). And a box of ten Aurifil threads. Happy me!

So life has been busy. Interesting. Social too. Mrs Heart of Charnwood came over to play. I'm off to a Macmillan Coffee Morning tomorrow, and more socialising next week.

Nothing to complain about here. Except my inability to remember to fit writing blog posts into my day.