Monday, April 27, 2009

Have you seen this?

Roberta has posted about organising quilts for the children affected by the recent dreadful earthquake in Italy.

For further details, please follow this link and send an email to Roberta.

(Just scroll down to the English version of the post.)

Thanks go to this wonderful Blog for posting about it recently:

The post is dated the 26th April.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New projects.

Well, I am well and truly on a sewing binge at the moment. I took myself off to Jaycotts yesterday. A wonderful place for anything to do with sewing machines. I normally visit their internet site. However, this time, I went to the shop itself to find sewing machine needles to restock my collection, patterns, sewing thread and some pattern tracing cloth.

I have never used pattern tracing cloth before, generally using baking parchment to trace off my patterns. (I prefer not to cut up my paper patterns.) Thought I would find it easier to use rather tha the paper which tends to rip easily. What do you use when sewing using a paper pattern? My cats adore the sound of paper patterns with rather predictable results...........

I went on to the nearby Hobbycraft shop. These two fabrics just shouted out to come home with me.

This, though it is really a quilters fabric, is destined for a blouse.

Now, the last fabric (the coffee design), will become a jacket. More of a man's jacket than the patterns I bought yesterday. The design will be based upon my favourite jacket which is beginning to show signs of wear. I have ideas for the remnants - I did buy rather more than I really needed - to become the lining, or the outer fabric of a bag. What the finished bag will look like, has not yet been fully thought out.

One project I have already started, is the lining of two bags. One of them belongs to a friend of mine. It has been a shamefully long time since I was given the bag to line. I last did some linings for two similar bags here. Like the last linings, there are three pockets of various sizes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


This post is my entry for the Bloggers Quilt Festival I mentioned in my last post. Do go and see all the entries, they are truly awe-inspiring. The link is to the right of this post.

And now, I had better introduce:


This particular little quilt was finished on New Years Day, 2005. I call it "Monograms" because the design is made up of MJH (my initials) and those of my husband (IH). He is a very special person whom I love dearly and I had wanted to make something that could symnbolise our partnership. (We recently celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. A quiet meal for two in our favourite restaurant.)

The quilt, which measures just 16 and a half inches by 14 inches, hangs in our bedroom.

The fabric I used for the centre initial "I" and the surrounding MJHs came from the fabric used to line a box holding two lovely champagne flutes (glasses). The glasses reside in the glass cabinet in the kitchen now. The box holds fabric scraps.

The quilting around the outside is a repeated design of stylised daisies, the MJH motif and also the IH design.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I finally got the Traveller's Chuck completed.

The back is one fleece which I picked up cheaply some time ago. I had intended making it into part of a coat. I also have a deep yellow fleece bought at the same time. In the end, I really didn't fancy a yellow and orange coat even though it would have been really warm. The yellow will back another quilt.

The front is bright and cheerful. My dear husband's reaction? "That's bright!!" He isn't too keen. Never mind, he will enjoy using it for picnics.

Outside, it has been the most wonderful Spring day. Chilly this morning, but bright and sunny all day. Definitely a day for sitting outside. This is the delightful Rhododendron which lives in a corner of the back garden. The cats love hiding underneath it.

Have you seen this wonderful event yet? Use the link in my sidebar to join in the fun. When I visited today, there were over 300 quilts entered! Amazing. I still haven't decided which of my quilts could be anywhere good enough to be seen amidst these wonderful entries. I'll ask my daughter Rosie to choose for me. She has a good artists eye.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I've actually finished the Red, Black and White quilt. This really has taken rather too long to finish off. Today, all I needed to do was to finish the last section of the binding. This was hand finished so that I could get the two edgings to match up.

This quilt is completely reversible, with a repeating block of mixed colours on the other side.

Felix has been nagging me to get on with the Travellers Chuck. This is moving more slowly than I would like, since the thread is repeatedly breaking, or shredding. I have been continually changing the needles - trying first a quilting needle, then when that broke, replaced it. Then the thread started messing around. Its been a frustrating journey. The quilting goes well for a short time, then I find myself rethreading, replacing needles, and so on. I am using the machine with the feed dogs dropped and my darning foot in place. I have also restricted the speed so that I am not moving too fast for the thread. I have now run out of quilting needles, so I am using an embroidery needle. Any advice to save my sanity?

Trying to avoid sleeping cats does not help...........................

This is what it looks like so far. Probably insanely fussy, but I am quite pleased with it.
My knitting carries on in the evenings, or when the quilting has really got me too irritated to continue.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Busy, busy, busy......

The weather has not been too wonderful just lately, so I have not ventured far from my sewing room. The sky has been quite dramatic at times. Yes, I spend far too much time looking out of the window............

Perhaps I should have called the post "Lazy, lazy. lazy....."

Ah well. I have been getting on with the Traveller's Chuck and also knitting my top and cardigan. Quite a lot has been completed, but I find myself prevaricating over the quilting. This is probably because its such a lump to maneouver.

The above shows the variegated thread I have been using. (YLI Machine Quilting Thread, Mango 04V). The lower bobbin thread matches the fleece. The design for the plain blocks is intended to look like large stylised flowers. The design for the 16 square blocks will comprise four stylised leaves. What is it they say about plans? Perhaps I should comment that this is the idea at the moment................

I completed the front of the Ribbed Top. I just love the way that the bamboo yarn forms itself around the tailor's dummy. Aggie certainly looks good in this. I only hope I do when its finished.

This is Aggie again, this time she is clothed in the back of my cardigan. I finished that too! I just adore the colour. I shall have to raid my fabric stash for a nice fabric to make a skirt and/or a dress to wear with this once it is completed.

Ah well, my sewing machine calls. Dear Rosemary has handed me a jacket she wants to wear "tomorrow". Can we take this in? Can we make it more tailored? Of course "we" can! What makes me think it will probably be me doing the sewing? I have already pinned it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Carey Park

One of the things I had promised myself this Easter holiday was to start having a daily walk. I really do need to get myself fit. Parking close to the entrance to Carey Park was a perfect opportunity to explore.

This has not been a park for very long. It had started out life as a landfill site. The signs around the park encourage walkers to remain on the paths since some areas are quite polluted due to the rubbish left underground. However, the trees don't seem to mind. They were really healthily showing new leaves.

The paths are lovely - really sturdy and flat.

The following photos show the trees and plants around the path I followed.

I went as far as Carden's Ferry Bridge. A rather attractive pedestrian bridge over the River Weaver.

This is a well-used pathway at the weekend, since it links to the Anderton Nature Park. You may remember that I went on a walk here on Boxing Day.

After this I walked back to the car park by another section of pathway. The nice things about these pathways is that they are accessible to the disabled and parents with children in pushchairs.

This photo shows the industrial nature of the area around Anderton.

I just couldn't resist this beautiful moss. Such a wonderful colour.
The daisy had just opened it's petals on the grass in front of my car as I got back.

A lovely walk, I shall try a different route next time.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Getting creative

A lucky shot of Felix taken this morning. My dear little friend had already done his best to "kill" my pin cushion and then decided he really fancied having a cuddle. Unfortunately, he had chosen the time when I was stitching my new "Traveller's Chuck" basting the fleece backing to the quilt top.

Obviously, it looked really inviting. Not good timing though.

I eventually completed the stitching and now its ready to be quilted. It is already covered with cat hairs as well as thread ends! Never mind, at least someone loves it.

The knitting is coming on quite well, progress is much faster with the cardigan than with the bamboo top. Probably because I could do with the cardigan now......... The summer top will be needed soon, but the weather is not yet warm enough.

This is my knitting bag. As you can see it is rather full at the moment. There is also a pair of socks in there. I have almost completed one sock, but got sidetracked onto working on the cardigan. I have a funny feeling that I shall be ripping the sock back. The colour just doesn't suit the pretty pattern. I can see myself using this as an excuse to get some pretty sock yarn. Oh dear, if I venture over the threshold of a yarn shop will I just be able to leave with enough yarn for a single pair of socks.........................Probably not.

Felix with his sister Coco. They really are a gorgeous pair. Rare to see them happily side by side. They usually need something between them so that they can pretend each has the bed to him/herself.

This is Coco resting on Felix's quilt, just after I photographed the basted quilt.

She purred her approval of this image of herself. I obviously caught her best side. I'd better explain that both cats have their own quilts. Felix's quilt is backed in white teddy bear fabric. This one is the quilt they both prefer using. Coco's quilt is backed in fleece. She loves using it, but only if the white fluffy quilt is not available. Felix will not use Coco's quilt - he has been in dreadful trouble in the past for daring to sit on it!

The next photos are of a book I recently bought from my favourite book stall.

Printed in the 1930s, it has the loveliest cover and spine. The illustrations inside are enchanting.

Yes, it really does contain both "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion". These are two of Jane Austen's novels which, although I have already read them, I did not own.

Its now the Easter holidays, so I am hoping to get quite a lot of sewing done.