Sunday, 25 August 2013


I've been working on one of my scrappy tripalong quilts this week and getting used to doing free motion on the new juki. It's so much faster than I'm used to so it's been a bit hit and miss in terms of stitch length but the bigger throat space made it very easy to handle this 64x80 inch quilt.

I'm still working on getting the sewing room sorted in advance of the arrival of the frame so the house is all topsy turvy. Therefore I haven't been able to find the space for a full sized quilt pic. These are the best I could manage.

The front

The back and binding

What is even more exciting is that of the remaining 6 tops I have left, only one is too big for the frame so I only have that one left to do the job I hate most and baste it. Yippee. The rest can wait for the new baby. I've been auditioning backing fabric for it tonight.


Sunday, 18 August 2013


Since I exhibited a quilt in the Sandown show earlier in the year I've been thinking about what to do for next year.

I saw two kona solids together and just had to get them.

I know chartreuse and coral aren't a usual combination but I had in my mind something shocking and uncomfortable for the quilt.

I played around with the touchdraw app and came up with a design that reflected what I was looking for. Something that hurts the eyes - I even named the quilt before I ever cut into the fabric.

Today I finished the piecing. For some reason I can't get a photo that shows the green in all it's real vivid glory but you get the idea

I am waiting to get the frame before I try and quilt it, but I already have ideas how I want to do that as well.



Thursday, 15 August 2013

More baby quilts and a lot of spending

Firstly, I apologise if this post goes a bit wonky but I am trying blogsy for the first time to post with.

I've been busy working on small quilts for the charity that the LMQG is sponsoring. I'll post more later on, but here are the latest two.

This is all four together.

I've been using up scraps on these, I love the way they have turned out.

Last weekend was the festival of quilts and I may have had a major brain fart and spent a lot more money than I intended! I've been looking at quilt frames for years and finally bit the bullet. When it gets here I will give you more details but it does mean I am finally going to clear out the little bedroom for a sewing room.

Then yesterday, it was a trip to The Village Haberdashery - Knitting, Embroidery and Quilting supplies to have a chat with the lovely Tula Pink and I ended up spending even more money on a couple of her needlepoint kits. I really wanted all four, so I could have spent more!

I've just started the stitching..



Saturday, 3 August 2013

Warning - lots of waffle in this post

I know I have been going on a lot about the Fat Quarterly Retreat in my last few posts, but there is just one thing more I wanted to talk about in more detail and that is the community element.

The last year has been tough for me, mentally and emotionally. I have juggled part time working away from home with my counselling studies and then added voluntary placements for counselling into that mix as well.
Working with clients, particularly the young people has been very moving and I feel I have experienced every emotion possible in there with them.

Apart from the academic aspect of the counselling course it’s also necessary to re-examine ourselves and dig deep into our own wounds. This is so that we are really sure we have come to terms with them in case our clients bring stuff that are triggers for us so it is totally necessary. But, I have a lot of very deep wounds going back into my early childhood and it’s been a difficult process.
By the end of the school year, I was feeling exhausted and drained, physically but most of all emotionally. I was full of doubts about even carrying on with the course next year. All I wanted to do was hibernate – I really thought that was what I needed. But the retreat was the next weekend. To be honest, there was a part of me tempted not to go. I didn’t think I could “put on a happy face” and deal with it.

The thing is, I was so very wrong. There was no need to “put on a happy face” as being with such a great bunch of people, friends I already knew and friends I made that weekend was the greatest therapy I could have.
From the minute I arrived, the energy of the group nourished my soul. I know that sounds a bit flowery and fanciful, but that is what I experienced. The whole weekend was joyful and that sense of fun and being with great people replenished something in me that was running empty.

My course focuses a lot on the here and now. But for me that is a hard place to stay. I can brood on the past or try and anticipate the future but I struggle to stay in the present. To really experience it as it is happening.
After the retreat I spent some time reflecting and realised for the whole weekend I was truly present and by being there completely I experienced the people around me in such a fulfilling way.

This feeling was only possible because of the great community quilters have - I want to thank you all for being part of that community.

And if you are still reading after all that fluffiness, I’ve also been sewing up a storm this week with all that fantastic energy and finished three quilts!
Firstly, this is a scrap string quilt that has been on the go for a couple of years.

These next two are only little for a charity, roughly 30x40 inch each and also use scraps etc.

Friday, 2 August 2013

The classes

I meant to write this post earlier this week, but I've been in a sewing frenzy which meant no time for blogging.

At the Fat Quarterly Retreat I took a number of enjoyable classes.

Firstly the one I was most keen to do. Sewing PJ Pants with Kerry. I've had a bit of a mental block about dressmaking for years even though I've wanted to do it and felt that this would kick start my attempts.

I decided to make some for my Mum, mainly because she is half the size I am so I thought it would mean less sewing and fabric wasted if they were awful. I don't know if it was a good or bad thing that I was sat next to Moira in the class. Talking and laughing hysterically is great fun, but it does mean a lot of mistakes get made. I unpicked as much as I sewed.

Unfortunately I haven't got a picture of the finished product, mainly because they aren't finished. Even though I did the S size, when I got my Mum to try them on they were still huge. I found that so funny I totally forgot about the camera. I will try and remember after I reduce them a lot and try them on her again.

But the class did inspire me. I had a top that I really liked the fit of that was wearing away and so I unpicked it to use as a pattern and made this.

Its not too shabby for a first effort. It fits for example and the darts in the front and the back are nice and smooth. The neckline is a bit wavy when on, I could have pulled the bias binding a bit more when sewing it. I might unpick it at some point.

My second class was also with Kerry and it was the fantasy fabric shop. Again, no pics, but I did enjoy the way this made me think differently about fabric. Particularly around storytelling which isn't something I ever do. I might try this one day with my stash.

I then did a trapunto class with Ruth Singer. This is one of those techniques that I've always thought, one day I might try that but never got around to so I was really pleased to get the chance at the retreat. Again, no photo (can you spot a theme) of my little sample but if I ever turn it into anything I will post it.

My final class was on another technique I have thought about a lot over the years but never tried. Cathedral Windows. This was with Brioni and I have to admit my output in the class was hampered by two things. It needs a lot of ironing (on an extremely hot day) and it was the morning after my second night drinking!

I did a little bit by hand but was really struggling to use the needle. However it was nice to sit around with a few friends and have a calmer lower key ending to the retreat.

When I got home though, I persevered. I could only do a little bit at a time because it was just too hot to do the ironing. I also cheated and gave up on hand sewing and went for the machine instead. I ended up with this panel which will probably end up as a cushion cover one day.

All in all, I really enjoyed all the classes, they all had me trying new things and challenged me to think about things differently.