Saturday, 30 April 2011

Long weekend ups and downs

I was planning to raise a glass of champers or two to celebrate the wedding after watching it on telly (much more comfty than traipsing up to westminster) and spend the rest of the long weekend sewing.

But, the downs sometimes come. Another aunt has died in Ireland and I'm off to the funeral in the morning. She was a mad old bird with 7 kids, 20 grandkids and 7 great grandkids. Today would have been her 80th birthday, so its such a shame she didn't make it. She lived in London for a long time and I grew up with her youngest son and oldest granchild. In fact we all went to school together.

I was thinking about her a lot yesterday morning watching the wedding as when Charles and Di got married we all went en masse to her house as she was the only one of the family in London with a colour telly. It made me realise how far we have all come since then and how much easier our lives our now. No one in my generation have any appreciation of the poverty my Mum and her siblings grew up in and even how tough it was for them just a few decades ago. The things we have available to us now to make our lives easier would have been totally inconceivable to them then.

So while watching I thought of her as I knew she was very bad. But she has had a lot of health scares for the last 20 years and pulled through against all the odd so I suppose I was expecting the same to happen again. Sadly this time she didn't pull through.

The old guard are fading away for my family. She is the 3rd sister we have lost in 6 months and also the generation above have all gone with my last great aunty dying as well a couple of months ago.

My Mum was born no 11 or 13 kids and her Mum was the eldest of 10. Now there are only my Mum and 2 sisters left of that generation above mine. Thats the trouble with an enormous family, you never have trouble filling up a party, but eventually you loose them and they do seem to go in groups.

Rest in Peace Aunty Mary xx

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Pyjama Party Sunday

Marg is hosting a pj party so head over to her at for some more fun.

I have to confess I didn't spend all day in my Pjs, but I did most of yesterday so hopefully that counts.

I got a few more string blocks finished and a bunch of my paper piece blocks for Sarcastic Quilters QAL, none of which I actually remembered to photograph! Ah well.

I also tackled the big white elephant in the corner of the room - well not actually white but yellow with coloured blades. Yes, I went to quilt one of my dresden blocks for Lynnes QAL.

I started by straight line quilting the inner and outer circles and then the blades from the inner circle out to the first border. Then I went for the centre - which if I do say so myself came out quite well. I used a template to get the inner flower shape and the first round of petals then just followed on from that.

I was going to do the blades in a zigzag from the centre out, but after doing 3 I realised it wasn't working and had to unpick! Yuck. But, I'm glad I did because my second attempt worked so much better and was easier. I FMQ'd a loopy pattern through the blades to the first border. This is one corner.

I then straightlined around both sides of the first colour border and left the outer border for joining my blocks. This is what it looks like from behind where you can see the pattern more.

Then I went to the V&A to see an exhibition on "The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900". What does it say about me that I kept seeing quilting patterns in the designs!

As usual there was always something new to discover in this wonderful place. This was a set of tiles but I could see a beautiful quilt in this.

And a whole new area that I hadn't seen before that must have been a courtyard of something before being covered over with glass.

And after all that, I didn't even eat any chocolate! How good am I? Well it's only because I don't see my Mum until tomorrow and get my egg then. Hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend, however you celebrate.

Friday, 22 April 2011

More joining in

As if I don't have little enough time vs quilting plans I've joined a mysery quilt a long over at Bluepatch quilter. The button is over on the side and below. Do the clicky thing if you want to get more details and join in.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bit of this, bit of that!

Firstly, we have a new Flickr group for British Quilters. This was the brainchild of the lovely Lynne at Lily's Quilts so if you want to join us go to and come and meet us all. Or you can use the button in my sidebar.

Talking of Lynne, I've finished the borders in my six blocks for her dresden quilt along and even basted them. I just haven't got a clue how I am going to quilt them so I will watch what the other clever and creative people do that are joining in and then copy some of them!

For my paper piecing quilt along with Becky at Sarcastic Quilter, I've got quite a lot done, but no where near enough. I knew this would take me a long time when I decided to go for something bed sized. This is going to be a lot of work, but it is for a cousin who will actually appreciate the effort so I don't mind. I've calculated I need 80 blocks and so far have done 24. Not bad. The worse thing is cutting all the fabric. When I get going I do two blocks at once and it takes about 40 minutes.

From tomorrow I'm going to be working away from home all week so my sewing time is going to be minimal. However, when I do get home, I have lots cut for the paper piecing and with my dresdens basted I will be able to get on with those when I get inspired. I'm taking some hexagons with me, so at least I will have some fabric fun.

I probably won't be a very good blogger either and struggle to comment as I don't know if the hotel or work will give internet access. But I will try and read everything at least to keep up with what is going on with you.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Favourite Things Friday

For more fabulous favourite things head on over to our wonderful hostess Mrs P at

For me this weeks favourite thing is a cheap item that falls into the toiletries category but without it I would be so different.

By 30 I would have been grey and by my mid 30s nearly white. Too young for that I think!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Pay it forward - take two

I posted this back in January, but only got one response so thought I would give it another go. I have two spaces left so the first two commentators (if any) will get a little something made by me, sometime in the next year.


I have never joined in with any of the blog worlds swaps or anything like that but when I saw about this "Pay it Forward" over at Cynthia's blog I decided to go for it as it gives me a year to get my act together.

Hopefully someone out there will be interested in playing along with me.

Here is how it works:

1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people who comment on this post. Your gift will be a surprise and it will arrive when you least expect it.

2. I will have 365 days from today to mail your gift. (Okay, I can deal with deadlines!!!!)

3. You must have a blog. Hopefully you will want to post about your progress.

4. Once you comment here, you must post about your "Pay It Forward" on your blog to keep the fun going. Please use the "Pay It Forward" badge.

What's the catch? To get a handmade present from me, you have to play too! This means YOU pledge to send a little handmade something for 3 readers of your blog. It doesn't have to be quilty - just handmade!

If you dare sign up, I will contact you in a few days to get your snail mail address. And remember, its the thought that counts, not the quality of the gift (at least any I make!)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

First Dresden Block finished

DSC00583 by shevvy
DSC00583, a photo by shevvy on Flickr.
And it lays flat .... mostly! I have the centres sewn on the other five and the outsides ready to piece.

I have to admit, it hasn't been as scary as I thought it would be.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Perfect Day

We are having a few days of lovely weather here in the South East. Glorious sunshine, no wind, 70 degrees and to make it even better for me today, no work.

So what to do? Well the only sensible thing was to go to the seaside for lunch and a stroll on the beach. Whitstable, Kent is just over a hour drive for me and it is a lovely fishing port with a working harbour, shops and restaurants.

The traditional seaside food is fish and chips. I sort of had that, does lobster and chips count?

Monday, 4 April 2011

Paper Piecing

I've done my first few blocks for Sarcastic Quilters paper piecing QAL and they are coming together really well.

I love this block, it isn't too complicated but can be put together into so many interesting ways. These aren't the layout I will be using, but they show its variety.

If course, I should also be getting on with Lynnes QAL but I'm still avoiding the curved seams bit!