Saturday, 28 December 2013


Well it is finished    nearly,  I have just to attach the bit on the back for hanging it but needed to ask a friend how to do that so  I  will attach it later today, will then have to buy the dowling to hang it.
It has been fun doing this challenge and have signed up to do it next year too,. Helen wants one done in various pink fabrics with stitching in pinks and greys,  tried to dye some thread the other day but it did not work so will have to try and try again till I get it right. I use silk paint and just trickle it on but when I put the grey on and them wanted to have pink in the same piece it turned it all a purple shade.

I quite like the dark green binding,  was going to use an orange spotted one but had a change of heart.
The colours are not looking true on this photo, they are a bit louder than they look,   think is is probably better on the photo than in  real life. Not sure if I will hang it anywhere, will need to take something down and as it is my first finished patchwork it might look a bit odd in the living room with all the hardanger pictures I have done,    maybe I will make some of the pictures into cushions as they are about the right size but I am already overwhelmed with cushions,   will give it all some thought .

We had our Christmas meal yesterday due to Helen`s shift work, it went well, Helen went and collected Catherine and Sal, having dropped off  Alfie the cat  (who enjoyed more than his fair share of turkey) on her way over so he could share the day with us. I had bought a turkey crown which they seemed to enjoy,  lots of hard work but over for another year. I always make a pineapple cream pudding which Mum always made and have a little to enjoy today but to be honest I still feel rather full!    The girls departed at 6pm and it was not long before I was tucked up in bed .
Maybe one of the girls will offer to do the meal next year,   I can live in hope! Well  lets face it they are old enough,  41 and 37 and Sal is 15

Friday, 20 December 2013

block catch up

I seem to have not posted my Tula pink  blocks for 3 weeks so here is a collage of blocks 82 to 90,   thought it would be too much for you all to have them on individually!

Yesterday I was such a proud Mum,  Helen my younger daughter had her graduation for her Palliative care diploma.  It was held at Leeds University and brought back memories of when she graduated 8 years ago as a nurse.  Now she is about to start nursing in Wheatfields a Sue Ryder hospice in Leeds which has been her goal in life for a few years now.    I did take photos of her in her gown but she is not happy with them so I will not share them here, I think they are very good but she has said no.

Christmas will be soon here but we are not having our Christmas lunch till 28th as Helen is working 12 hour shifts over the holiday time.  Catherine and Sal will come over from Halifax for the day on 28th  weather permitting of course.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2014,    keep on blogging.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

little mats for Helen

A couple of days ago I finished some little mats for Helen   (pink of course)   These I started a while ago, it was going to be a table runner but then we had a change of heart so now she has one square mat,   2 funny shaped and 4 mug sized ones.   How I dread cutting them around the buttonhole stitch but amazingly I did not cut in to any of my stitches.   Like most of the hardanger I do I just stitch with no pattern and let the needle go where it wants to.

Not sure what she is going to do with these, whether they end up in a drawer or are out on the sideboard, maybe they will appear when she knows I am calling round!  They compliment the large picture I did for her for her previous house,  that was done as a request to go over the bed, needless to say it never got hung but she is planning to put it in her lounge as she has decorated it, 3 walls grey and a feature wall of pink  flowers on a white background, it really looks lovely.   This is her first proper house as she calls it, until now she has lived in shared accomodation since she went away to uni when she was 23, she is now 37 and has bought this house.

I have also done some flowers on a piece of hardanger for my friend Carol who lives in Manchester, she was struggling with a mat she was doing so I have done the bits she could not see to do.   Must admit I find this technique so relaxing, especially after doing so much patchwork.Posted it back to her yesterday so she will get it either today or monday.

The batik blocks quilt is now tacked together with the wadding and backing and on the spare bed until I decide what to do next and also pluck up courage to do it.

Will add the latest tula blocks in the next few days.

Monday, 2 December 2013

ready for quilting

After a lot of deliberation and pondering I have joined up 24 blocks for my first proper quilt piece.     Having cut the blocks with an 8.5" square I realised I had cut 10 on one twist and 5 on the other so back to the 100 blocks and I pulled another 9 out to play with. They all have a bit or similar to batik in each block.These I cut so that I had 12 of each twist and then on friday I spent most of the day arranging them in patterns to see what I liked best. Having to climb up on a dining room chair to photo each one was  bit of a hazard.  After each arrangement I took another photo  and downloaded it to the computer,   17 attempts later I decided on the way I wanted them to be so here is a photo of them all put together,  that took less than 2 hours!

of course when I look at it now I see things that maybe should be in a different place but tough I am not unpicking and will put it down to a learning process.   Having discussed the quilting   I have never machine quilted before with my friend Cheryl,  (thanks Cheryl)  she has advised me to quilt in black on the slashings and then more ponderings as to what to do elsewhere,   feel at the moment that nothing will be done as a bit  dubious about starting. it  measures 32" by 48"   will fit over my knees and keep me warm and cosy

Thursday, 28 November 2013

batik quilt

Thank you all first you your comments and advice on the CQ  wall hanging.   I will leave it for a while as I have had mixed advice, some saying stitch on the seams others saying don`t!     Will ponder, I am good at that!

I went through the Tula blocks yesterday and pulled out those with any batik on,  I have 15 and thinking of doing a small wall hanging with these. The blocks will be cut down to 8.5", planning I think to cut them crooked then the eye will not notice so much the errors in the individual blocks,  not so sure I like the black now but what the heck I am a beginner and can and will learn form my mistakes. I think the correct way to go about it is to join the blocks  then add the wadding and backing then quilt it, after that I put the binding on and    wow all is done!!   just like that.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

crazy quilt and tula

Once again it is time for 6 more Tula blocks.Only 19 to go after these and then it is all done!!

block 76

block 77,  love the colours and batiks used in this one

block 78,  the purple/yellow fabric is a bit I created with sponging silk paint onto the fabric, this is the nearest I get to dyeing fabric.

block 80

block 81   think this one is nice and fresh looking.

block 79,  this did not upload first time round and did not know how to put it where it should be!

I have now joined the CQJP blocks together.

maybe I am being overcritical but there are one or two bits I do not like.  The large yellow butterfly on the may block, is it too much in my face? and the block below may is the  july one both the centre flowers and the embellished orange flower seem to shout at me. The central flower I see I have not used any of that colour elsewhere,    what do you all feel?

Now I have to stitch over all the seams,   not sure how I go about this, do I do the same stitch all the way down from top to bottom in the same colour and use a similar stitch across the rows or maybe each block has its own stitch,  have it pinned up on the wall for the time being waiting for some inspiration.  Not thinking of adding a border just some narrow binding maybe in a tan colour.
My younger daughter Helen has asked me to do one with lots of pinks and grey for her lounge for next year so I have something to think about.  

Monday, 18 November 2013

blocks completed

I am ahead if myself this morning having done the CQJP block for december.  Of course it has a bit of a Christmas theme!  I think it could do with some more brightness looks a bit dull to me.

I then got all the other blocks out and put them in order on the table and here is what they look like

this is the first time I have looked at them all together and on the whole I am feeling rather pleased with myself!!       Now the big question    what shall I do with them.   Maybe a wall hanging,  if I do that do that should I have sashing?  or maybe make into a book,   not sure how to go about that though.  I suppose I would back each page maybe with a plain cotton fabric or maybe have it as a 6 page book and back each page with another crazy one.  I will take them with me to the K & S and buy some backing fabric,  was thinking of staying with a shade of green possibly dark or maybe I should look for a contrast, tan?  any advice will be greatly received.
I have signed on to do this challenge next year too,   Helen says she might like a pink and grey theme but have not decided yet.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

9 more blocks

Time once again to add 6 more Tula blocks,   we are now three quarters of the way through,   well I have finished all 100 but adding them as I add them to the web site.   Oh dear just checked and it appears I have not added any for 3 weeks so have 9 to share with you today.  They are 67 to 75

blocks 67 to 70 still in the stripes design

block 67

block 68  I have really come to love the batik fabrics,  I bought a jelly roll a few years ago before I was quilting,  have now used it all so must replenish my stocks with more batik,   will have to wait till a quilt show then plan to but some half metre lengths!!

block 69

block 70  oh dear  can see a bit of a blunder on this one!

we are now in a section of blocks made using squares.  block 71, one of my favourites.

block 72

block 73

block 74    I love the patterned fabric here but have been unable to track it down,  have taken it to quilt shows and drawn a blank,  if I could find some I would buy 2 metres,  any one seen it anywhere please?

block 75 this is very plain but I find it quite pleasing.

that is all for today,  thank you all for all your encouragement, advice and comments how I love the blogging world!!

Friday, 8 November 2013

CQJP november

Just a short blog today to show my block for november.   My how this year has flown,  it seems no time at all that I started the block for january at the beginning of january and now I have only one block to do.

  My theme for the centre block this month was the falling leaves of autumn,  I am a bit ahead of myself here as we still have most leaves on the trees, never mind.  I used PVA glue on some fabric to stiffen it and then cut tiny leaves out and stab stitched them to the block, both on the branches and the ground below,  think of worked quite well as it is my first attempt with the glue idea.  In the top panel  are fireworks!!  maybe if you squint a bit and screw your faces up you will imagine they are fireworks!

I have also been busy making a few shopping bags, some pin cushions and Christmas tree decorations and have put some cards I made in the past in the bag too in memory of a dear friend who passed away recently.  Her family are having a charity stall at the K & S show in Harrogate to raise funds for the hospice that cared so well for Ann in her last few weeks,   lets hope they raise a large sum.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

casalguidi and hardanger

I am today going to share a few items I made in the casalguidi technique and also a few more hardanger cushions.    These have been made for a while now, just never bogged with them before and I feel now I am on the quilting journey I never seem to finish anything to share with you that is finished.

this is a favourite of mine,  it is in the same colour as the green cushions I have on my bed and is on the bedroom wall in a frame that is a darker shade of the fabric. I put wadding behind it to give it a bit of a lift, think it works well

I worked this piece as a sample and then it lay around for ages decided to make it into  a little bag measuring 6. 75" by 9. 25",  the fabric was a bit I had dyed.

I went through a phase of making these little pouches, not much use for anything but they sit very nicely in a large dish I have in the lounge, this one measures 5. 75" by 3. 75". I have lined it with a piece of dyed poly cotton.

this green one is similar to the blue one measuring 6. 5" by 3. 5" and lined with dyed poly again

This pink one Helen my younger daughter claimed, it is a bit bigger than the other two

this is a set of four cushions I made for the 2 couches in my lounge,  they are all the same size  but different designs.  I do  not draft onto paper but start in the middle and go where the needle takes me, it seems to work quite well.   I have decided the cushion pads are not full enough so must get some more, think they need to be bigger as well.  When I look at the hardanger I have done it makes me smile as I get so much pleasure from this technique.

Sorry about the photos, photography is not my forte!! The cushions I put on the floor but seem to have been a bit skimpy with them

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

disappearing 4 patch block and Tula

I learnt about the disappearing nine patch which I really like and now I have found out about the disappearing 4 patch   form Sarah at Sew Me here is a link to the page "More Like Magnus":   I can not believe I have achieved this,   will just click and see if it has worked  yes it seems to have.  I cut my blocks 3" two of each colour making four and joined them up as in a four patch block.  I then cut them 1" away from the centre on each side of the centre seam both vertically and horizontally

this is the block cut

here I have flipped the pieces to make the correct pattern

the finished block.
I can see me using this again but will try and be more accurate next time.
Two firsts for me on the blog today,   managed to give a link to another blog and have given a mini mini tutorial!

Now for the next 6 tula pink blocks, we are still in the stripes mode with these.

Block 61,    this has been personalised, the 4th row is not correct the two orange strips need to be swapped, I call it personalising it but really it is doing it wrong but I did not notice until I loaded it onto the web page

block 62

block 63

block 64   rather like this one

block 65,   this is my favourite, I had a jelly roll of batiks which I have used up making little bags etc and  have used the rest up on some of my blocks,  must get some more batiks for my stash!

block 66

That is it for today, only 34 more blocks to add,   they have all now got their sashing on and I have ordered a 8.5" square so I can get them cut accurately, will then be back asking what I should do with them!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

crazy quilting

Here goes again,  I have just done a blog but hit some button on the keyboard and have not a clue where it has gone or if it will come back so will try again!

I realised I had not posted about the October block so here it is now.  Could not decide what to do at first then hit on the idea of doing a bock around Halloween.

I do like my catbat in the left hand corner and the spiders web has worked quite well with a tatted spider that is a little on the large size for it.    I feel it needs a bit more on it but not sure what so will leave it till all 12 are done then hopefully inspiration will come.  The orange ribbon looked rather in my face but see on the photo it has calmed down a bit. Of course I could not resit a few bits of tatting, no crochet this time though.  I also used Sharon`s stencil, these have been a great buy,  have not used them to their full potential by any means,   they are from Sharon she can be found under pintangle,  sorry have not worked out how to add as a link, have had a few instructions but still not there yet!

I have signed up for CQJP 2014 but think I will not make all 12 blocks in advance like I did this year as I want to add more lace etc and maybe do the blocks in different colours and with more patches on them  who knows i could change my mind half a dozen times between now and then

I have added a sizzix big shot machine to my collection of bits and pieces,   it was an offer to good to refuse at hobbycraft, down to £50 for a few days, normally about £75, have also bought the hexagon and tumbler dies but not worked out how to use it yet, must take the bull by the horns and have a go!!

Will put the latest Tula blocks on tomorrow when they get uploaded to the web site.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

birth sampler cutting and more cutting

Being one of 5 children all but one having had children there are now new arrivals coming with another generation.My sister has 3 grandchildren,   17, 15 and 13 years old and I have one Sal who is 15 then no more until last year when 2 of my brothers` sons became grandfathers for the first time  I made samplers for each of the new babies. these were given unframed so they could decide whether they wanted mounts and choose the frames they liked rather than me picking them for them..  In august my youngest brother became a grandfather for the second time in 18 months so another sampler was required, this I have stitched over the last couple of days and my new camera managed to take a reasonable photo of it, the previous 2 were taken with my previous camera but they did not come out well enough to share with you all.  So here is the latest one stitched for Peter

sorry the picture is not as good as I thought

the words at the bottom read 

God bless this child
with all thy kindness.
Guide this child with tender love.
show this child
the ways of goodness
Fill his little heart with love.

I am not sure where I found this little prayer, I have quite a few I have written in a book that I browse through and add to when I can and thought this was just right for this latest dear little boy.

I have recently had a photo emailed to me of the one done for Molly last year, here it is

unfortunately it has caught the shadow of my brother, have asked him to try and get a better one as he and Sue my SIL are up in Scotland visiting their son and family this week.  The words at the top read 
someone special, someone dear
someone new to love is here 

and on the bottom i
I have put

cherish yesterday
dream tomorrow
live today


during your life I wish you two things
one is roots and the other wings

unfortunately I have no photo of the other one I did last year but it had the same sayings on as Molly`s but was done in blue as it was for a boy.

The sampler is now in the post along with a little bag for Molly I had stitched some time ago

I have made quite a few of these for charities etc and they always seem popular. I have a few hanging on  various little chests of drawers that I have  and I keep pieces of jewellery in etc. I have a few larger ones too that are hanging from the curtain pole.

Today I took the bull by the horns and cut out 200 2" wide by 6.5" long pieces and 200 2" by 9.5" long pieces for the sashings around the individual Tula blocks,  it was not as daunting as I thought it would be so tomorrow I will start attaching them all.