Thursday, 30 June 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt 2011 – June …

:: something with your town’s name on it ::

spotted walking past my GP’s surgery

June - something with your town's name on it


:: an elephant ::

a picture in my conservatory

June - an elephant


:: a wheel trim ::

I think I’d like one of these on my bike!

June - a wheel trim


:: architectural detail ::

on the bank on the corner of my local shops

June - architectural detail


:: cheese ::

l-o-v-e this cheese!

June - cheese


:: night ::

lights out!

June - night


:: tree branches ::

looking up on a sunny day

June - tree branches


:: cutlery ::

left this one until the last minute and did a quick dash outside this morning!

June - cutlery


:: a childhood memory ::

what I’m reading… I still play now, though and intend playing more…

June - a childhood memory


:: a farm animal ::

in my back garden! (I didn’t realise it was blurred until just now! Sorry!)

June - a farm animal


:: something beginning with z… ::

found in my workroom.  One day, I will conquer my fear of zips…

June - something beginning with z...


:: the view right outside my door ::

I can be found there most days, at some point.

June - the view outside your door

Monday, 27 June 2011

My first quilt-a-long…

I’ve been watching with interest and growing curiosity about the Farmer’s Wife QAL that is popping up all over Blogland.  You know how it is, when you’re on a finishing up marathon.  Something catches your eye and before you know it, you’re in!  I happened to spot the book in a fabric shop last week and I have to confess that judging by the cover, I wouldn’t have normally given it a second glance, but having seen some of the modern interpretations in the Flickr group I knew it didn’t have to be in any way traditional.  The following morning I went on to Amazon to buy the book and decided on a whim to download the Kindle version for instant gratification. 

I then spent a good while reading through the Flickr group discussion and I was well and truly hooked.  Two blocks a week sounds manageable and I am hoping that by doing perhaps some of the easier ones first, I could catch up.

Until this morning, I had no idea what fabrics to use but I’d seen a comment on the Fat Quarterly blog about using whatever you felt like on the day and thought that sounded like the way to go.  Looking in one of my fabric boxes, I found an unopened bag of these Momo Wonderland fat quarters and made an instant decision to use them.  Once they have gone, there is plenty in my stash that will fit in with them, I think.


FWQAL starter fabrics


Then I found myself on Carla’s blog reading her first post for the QAL and before I knew it, the first block I was making had 51 pieces to it! In a 6” block!!!

In spite of having made probably 10 quilts to date, I have never made a half square triangle!  Throwing myself in at the deep end, I set about making 24 1” square hst’s, carefully following Carla’s instructions.


HST constructionHST'sTrimming HST's

Tiny HST'sTiny HST's joined together


Am I pleased? I’ll say! I don’t know exactly how long it took me but I do know that I ate lunch somewhere in the middle.


FWQAL Block 1


Before I knew it, the second one had been made as if by magic! 


FWQAL Block 2


Oh, and while I was busy, the postman delivered the backing and batting for my Babette quilt so it’s back to the UFO’s for the rest of the week.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Don't you just love it when... wander around and suddenly find the most perfect bunch of flowers from someone's garden for sale.

How was I supposed to resist? Especially when they look so good on my new runner.

Another project off the list. To tell the truth, this one wasn't exactly started but the fabrics had been waiting patiently in a carefully chosen pile for a-g-e-s just waiting for the grey linen to come into stock at Ikea.

I'm hoping that it might make me think twice before dumping all and sundry on my kitchen table. I mean, it'd be a shame to cover it up...

I used the same technique as the cushions in the den.

One more of the flowers? Ok, then!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Adventures in quilting…

Following on from my last post, the maths issue has been resolved and I have finished the quilt top. I filled in the gaps with 2” squares in rows, columns or blocks as necessary.  I am now waiting for the backing to arrive so I can get to quilting it.


Arcadia quilt top

terrible picture, sorry!

The inspiration behind this quilt came from the Babette blanket that I failed to finish and turned into cushions instead.  I loved the way the blocks of blocks were created and I knew it would be an amazing quilt.  I think it is a slightly odd size, but it will fit nicely on top of the small double bed I have in my spare room.  Also, it is not the whole of the Babette pattern. I was restricted by the fact that I only had the one jelly roll of these fabrics (now out of print, Arcadia by Moda), to which I added about 1/4 m of five plains.  Who knows, maybe one day, I’ll have a bash at the whole thing.  I certainly love it enough to make again.

Ali’s post the other day has struck a real chord with me and I have many reasons for not blogging as much of late and I am determined to try and get back into the rhythm of it.  The first step towards this is that I have moved my laptop onto the desk beside my sewing machine.  I love spending time in my workroom and figured that I could come in here and do more than just sewing.  Also, my laptop is absolutely on its last legs and I get incredibly frustrated at the length of time it takes to do anything now other that surf the ‘net.  At least I can multi-task while it catches up with itself.  I am desperate to buy a new one… and now we are talking contracts at OUP, I may be able to fulfil my dream and buy one of these.

There has been lots of sewing going on around here lately as I seem to be getting my creative mojo back again.  Like Monica, I am on a UFO kick and am trying to get round to finishing lots of projects that have been laying around in various states of progress for far too long.  Perhaps the more frequent blogging will spur me on, although it was part of the show and tell thing of blogging that seemed to be getting a bad press that was putting me off a bit.  I don’t know why because I still love to see what everyone is up to and it keeps me inspired on a daily basis.

Right, back to the machine while I wait an age for my crusty old laptop to upload this post!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Today I'm loving...

Blue Anagallis monelii with bright pink geraniums in my window box outside the kitchen.

Keeping a lookout for whoever is visiting my new feeder. Isn't it fab? It was a birthday present.

Watching the promise of sun-ripened (?!) tomatoes grow before my very eyes.

Doing the maths for a new quilt.

Unfurling a jelly roll that I've had for probably 2 years and cutting into some plain fabrics to go with it.

Experimenting with the layout on my design wall.

Not loving: realising maths isn't my strong point... ah, well...

Monday, 6 June 2011

It's really going to happen...

It's been a long process and we've been writing for its duration, in fits and starts admittedly. This email arrived last week:

This is my publisher:

It sends shivers down my spine, just looking at the building, and knowing that I am part of this.

One day, maybe our book will be in here:

All this may explain why I have been short of words in this space. Sometimes, I feel all written out.

Our deadline is around October time with a publishing date of April 2012 but more of that later.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

One week...

There were strawberries

and sweet peas.


and blue skies and sea.

And some good news. Stay tuned.