Sunday, 30 December 2007

Happy Christmas to me.

Well on Friday I bought my Christmas present to myself. A Fab-u-motion. This is a fabric mover to attach to the sewing machine which makes it very light and easy to manoeuvre the fabric to sew in free motion, either quilting or embroidery. After watching the instruction DVD 3 times I eventually pluck up the courage to put it on the machine and have a go. It certainly made free motion quilting much easier and easier to keep the pattern quite small and neat. I also decided to have a go following a quilting stencil in free motion too, which was successful. I purchased this little heart stencil at the Fat Quarters on Saturday. While I was there Kim and I had a long conversation about sewing machine needles as I am guilty of just using the same needdle for months and months until I break it before putting in a new one. I bought some demin needles which Bonny recommended for quilting at the Husqvarna demonstration a few weeks ago. I am going to have a go with the free motion on this Nancy Halvorsen Calendar panel. However I still like a bit of hand sewing in front of the TV so this little stitchery has kept me going

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Christmas Day

Well this is what it was all leading up to... the months of preparation, shopping and spending...... Christmas Day culminating in a big family lunch. Now the kids are older we didn't have to get up until nearly nine o'clock but they were still excited for their presents. My sister and her family came to spend the day and Dad was staying for a few days too so there were 9 of us for lunch. I also got more quilting type gifts, a book, Tips for Quilters, some nice small pointed scissors, a desk top needle threader (so I can thread needles without my specs now!!), some lovely embroidered ribbon and a cute little cup cake trinket box which will live on my sewing table. My other favourite presents were the Jackie annual and Jackie - The CD, just right for bringing back teenage memories for those sad 40 somethings among us. I have spent the last 2 days sitting in the conservatory , sewing and singing along to David Cassidy,David Essex, Donny Osmond, The Bay City Rollers, Mud, Roxy Music, Peter Frampton.....

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Quilters Christmas Party

Friday saw the girls from the Fat Quarters Friday afternoon class out celebrating with a Christmas lunch. A great time was had by all. Santa delivered parcels for all and you can see Margaret and Janet opening their gifts. Santa was especially kind to me, thank you for the lovely presents. I can't wait to make a start on the lovely quilted bag from the pattern by Rosalie Quinlan. It has been good to have fun with great new friends over the last year. After lunch it was back to the Fat Quarters for some sewing (and knitting) this week. Margaret's daughter Mandy sent this cute snowman for Helen and lovely box of chocolates which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks Mandy.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is up and dressed, again the photo has tested my skills (or lack of) with the camera. I like to have a real tree but since we went out late on Sunday to buy it choice was limited and it was dark. Anyway after the usual marital dispute, a green prickly one was chosen. Some things are traditional about Christmas and in our house it is the annual falling over of the Christmas tree, it hasn't happened this year yet but there is still time. I made the folded patchwork tree decoration from a kit. Lots of ironing and burnt finger ends, very little sewing.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Bad day at the office

A bad day at the office today. So I am seeking refuge in sewing and posting on the blog. I can't show you what I'm making at the moment as it is for the secret Santa gift for our Quilters Christmas party. So as they say on Blue Peter "Here is something I made earlier" This table runner was one of my first quilt projects last year. I was really pleased with it at the time and I still think it looks good now. I think the pattern comes from a Debbie Mumm book and the block is a delectable mountain or something like that. The Santa tea light holder was an impulse buy from Brocksbushes at the weekend. The large slice of toffee pavlova I bought too was not an impulse but a planned purchase.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Strawberry Apron

This lovely strawberry fabric caught my eye at the Fat Quarters a few weeks ago. When my niece said she would like an apron for Christmas, it seemed the perfect opportunity to use it. The photo isn't very good though. I am having trouble taking photos for my blog, how to arrange objects artistically. The camera is a bit temperamental so I use my phone but it doesn't have a flash. In the summer I arranged things in the garden, nice background, plenty of light but unfortunately I am out at work in daylight hours at the moment. Work does get in the way of both quilting and blogging. Any suggestions for taking better photos greatly received.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Advent Calendar

Christmas is coming. Jenny has always wanted an advent calendar with little pockets full of surprises. Well at last I have got round to making one. It was a close thing mind you only finished at nine o'clock last night, but stuffed with goodies it was waiting for her when she got up this morning. Made from a panel it was very simple and easy to do but much more personal than buying one of those cardboard ones full of cheap chocolate. I also like the decorative hanger I got from the Fat Quarters. We had a very relaxed class at the Fat Quarters yesterday, with everybody getting down to some sewing. Janet bought lovely cakes - A belated Happy Birthday Janet. Margaret brought photos from the Harrogate show last week, where Monkey buttons had the seahorses quilt on display - beware anyone who bought a pattern!!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The Happy Knitter

As a complete antidote to the seahorses quilt I have been doing some knitting this last weekend. On Friday I discovered a lovely new wool shop Woolaballoo, which stocks and supplies a spectrum of speciality yarns as well as books, knitting needles and a wide range of handmade products. I only went in for a look but couldn't resist this lovely Noro yarn. Hand dyed in Japan it is a blend of silk mohair and lambs wool. One ball knits one of these cute beanie hats and the pattern came free. I also bought ribbons and buttons too. Jenny loves her new hat and is seen modelling it here. Check out Woolaballoos web site at

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Finished at last

The sea horses quilt is finished at last. I have worked hard on it for the last week and despite it having a mind of its own I have conquered and finished it. I found it much more difficult than I expected. The pattern by Monkey Buttons was not terribly easy to follow and I modified it as the foundation pieced background was impossible. I think I'll give it to my dad for Christmas as he likes all things to do with the sea. So don't tell him if you meet him.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Strawberry pincushion

This is my first make from Kim's haul from Houston. This dinky strawberry pincushion is filled with emery to keep pins and needles sharp. Mine was completed last night at 9pm. Helen finished hers on friday night so I am slow. But there's plenty emery powder left to make a whole bunch of strawberries.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Vultures gathering

Friday afternoon at the Fat Quarters was very exciting, Kim had just landed from Houston and was emptying her suitcase of quilting goodies. Here you can see the vultures gathering to pick off the spoils. Some were more restrained than others. I bought an emery pin cushion to make and ordered a Rabbit stitchery quilt pattern. There are lots more goodies on the way by carrier too. Eventually we got on with some work and I plodded on with the seahorses. There's just the border left to quilt now and I'm not sure what to do with it, something quick and easy I think. Apologies for the post in the middle of the picture, but it is quite important in holding up the shop ceiling.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Halloween

Pumpkins and trick or treaters, some things are very traditional for Halloween, However in our house costumes are not traditional. Jenny went out dressed as a shark attack and her friend as a devil ladybird. I am not going to say who my pumpkins look like!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Not Quilting but Reading

I have just started reading the Elm Creek Quilts novels kindly loaned to me by Janet. As Sarah starts her first quilt with Mrs Compton here is a picture of my first quilt too.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Quilters lunch

Friday was class day at The Fat Quarters but first Margaret, Helen, Dawn,Jenny and I met up for lunch at The Herb Patch. Check out their website for opening times After a nice lunch there was time to stroll around the gardens, for Dawn and Jenny to check out the bunnies and Helen and Margaret to check out the ducks. Sorry the picture is a bit dark. Anyway on to The Fat Quarters where Ann and Janet were already getting down to some work. Jenny has finished her Tilda Christmas mouse and I made some bunting for Halloween and a cute halloween bucket bag for collecting all those goodies. The seahorses are coming along, all layered up now and quilting has begun. I can't wait to get it finished.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Too busy to quilt

We have been away for a long weekend break to visit my Dad up in the Scottish Borders. The weather was fab so we had some lovely walks and a trip to Edinburgh too. Sightseeing for the boys and shopping for the girls. Jenners haberdashery department had a half price sale so I bought an embroidery ring and some bias binding. The lovely Rowan yarns were half price too but I resisted temptation to start a wool stash. Also visited a lovely shop in the neighbouring village of ST Abbs. Woolfish is a tiny shop selling yarns, blankets, throws and cross stitch. I bought a tiny cross stitch of an owl which I completed while watching England get thrashed at the rugby. Check out their web site at Must get down to some serious sewing tonight before the class tomorrow.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Glorious Autumn

The glorious autumn weather continues and the colours of the trees are absolutely stunning. Here is one I snapped earlier today while out walking with Jenny in Wylam. There has still been time however for some quilting over the weekend and I can now announce that the seahorses are finished. Not the whole quilt but the applique of the actual seahorses. When I started this I liked applique but I have sickened myself. The seahorses are now sewn onto the background fabric, the foundation pieced background went out of the window as being too time consuming and fiddly so I now have a large piece of stitch and tear going spare. All that's left is to add a couple of borders.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Sunny Saturday

Today Jenny and I have been for a girlie day out in Hexham. The weather was beautiful and the autumn colours of the trees near the hospital are just stunning. We had lunch at The Cornmill then went to the Forum cinema to see Hairspray. Jenny bought some furry boots and I got a new cardigan.
Then I went home and did some gardening, and then an opportunity to take a quilt photo in the sunny garden too. This was my summer quilt finished earlier in the year, made in purples and pinks from the Moda sanctuary collection to a pattern from the book Bundles of Fun - quilts from fat quarters by Karen Snyder. This is a nice book with easy quilt blocks made from bundles of 12 fat quarters. This was my first attempt at free motion quilting too so I was quite pleased with it.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Cup cakes quilt

Progress on the seahorses quilt is very slow at the moment, I now need to mark out all the lines for the foundation piecing of the background. So I thought I would post a picture of my favourite quilt I have made so far. It is a cup cakes quilt made from a pattern by Dandelion Designs. I also made the matching cushion and bunting on the pattern too. The fabric I made it in is mostly the Poetry Collection from Moda. I got the kit from The Fat Quarters, (where else?) earlier in the year. I enjoyed doing it because there were lots of different techniques involved, Patchwork, applique, embroidery. Its a shame we never got any summer to hang the bunting up in the garden!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Friday afternoon class at The Fat Quarters. Today it was more like a farm yard again than a quilt shop. Margaret has been incubating and hatching eggs for Helen to raise the chicks. These 2 little cuties we think are a boy and a girl so they have been named Emma and John. Eventually we got down to some sewing and this is a picture of Margaret about to start cutting pieces for a new floral quilt. I am still on with the seahorses but they are nearly all pieced together so I will soon be able to get on with the background. I bought a couple of fat quarters and a printed nativity scene for my niece to cut out and sew. It's too soon to think of Christmas surely.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

weekend wanderings


My favourite day out. Lunch at The Herb Patch at Newlands near Ebchester and then on to The Fat Quarters for the Friday afternoon class. It was very quiet with Kim away in America and Emma left in charge(she even found time to do some sewing). Only Janet, Marilyn and myself there. The seahorse quilt is coming on slowly but I bought some lovely thread, to do the applique on the large seahorse. The colour is called Baked Pumpkin - doesn't it remind you of Autumn?


Not so sunny today but did a tiny bit of gardening. Planted a lovely purple chrysanthemum in a pot at the front door, planted out the lavender I bought on holiday at the Jersey lavender farm and harvested some of the existing lavender to dry.

tilda creations

This is a picture of the tilda witch Jenny made a few weeks ago - isn't it great

she is busy making a mouse at the moment but so far it doesnt have a nose yet

Sunday, 2 September 2007


The first seahorse is starting to take shape, although it is more like doing a jigsaw than quilting! I'm still not sure yet whether it will be a quilt or a wall hanging - we'll see how it goes ...

The fabric is a mixture of batiks I bought on holiday and the pattern is from Monkey Buttons.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Today we we have been to The fat quarters to our quilting class. Jenny is making Christmas mice from the Tilda Christmas book and I have just started a seahorses quilt from monkey buttons.


well we're back and running again because we've recovered the password to log in.

so be sure to keep checking the blog for new updates.


Saturday, 11 August 2007

my new blog!!!

well this is my new blog i've finally made, and isn't it great!