Sunday, 31 July 2011

Cold turkey in July!

Due to these not working.............

and not having any of these.........
we weren't able to make these...............
Sorry ladies...................

Saturday, 30 July 2011

For Sale

Once or twice in the past I have used my blog as a platform for a friend to sell her sewing machine - I realise that this will really only appeal to those of you who are fairly local but I think todays "offer" is too good not to share with you.
Both of the followng machines belong to a friend/former colleague.they are both Janome machines and she is parting with them to trade up to a new model.
First up - the Janome 6600 - this is a real workhorse, metal bodied beast of a machine - it suits being kept at home as it it really too heavy to cart about to classes. It  has heaps of stitches, memory, the wee man inside to cut your thread (officially known as an automatic thread cutter), a wide bed to take quilts, and it comes with an extension table.This machine also has a built in walking foot. This machine is about 3/4yrs old, is in very good condition, and the price asked is £650. (it currently retails at £1095)
I have two close friends who each have this model - they love it!
Next up is the Janome 300E - it is a dedicated embroidery machine - it will not perform as a sewing machine. This baby is for all the creative embroidery jobs you never thought you would be interested in! Having a separate embroidery machine in your sewing room means you can have it chugging away at one end of your sewing table while you happily quilt at the other end.Once you master these machines you can start to incorporate some embroidery into your quilts........Sew Materialistic also run classes in machine embroidery.
The 300E is the forerunner to the 350E current model that retails for £999. This machine is in great condition, is about 6yrs old and £350 is the asking price. It comes with customising software and a flash memory card.
(I have one of these machines in my "stable" - love it)
So that's the sales pitch - if anyone is interested please email me and I will forward to the seller for you to negotiate.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Blogger's Block

Have not been in right frame of mind this week for blogging, not sure why, probably too busy making
I have my first workshop of the new season coming up on Sunday - it's Christmas in July and those coming along this year will be the first to try my very own creation - it's an Advent Postbox
I might even produce a saleable pattern for this if there is any demand ...........might even manage to produce a better pic!!
I thought some of you out there might like to see some of the progress being made by the lovely ladies who are participating in my Mystery QAL - join in any time HERE
With their kind permission, here are some shots of the unfolding mystery............
So these have been made by Jennifer, who blogs over at The Enchanted Bobbin. - aren't they looking good together?
And these are from Hadley over at Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle - same blocks, so different, that is the Magic of the Mystery QAL!!!!

Great job ladies, keep going............
.........more progress reports later.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Upping the Ante

No more nice Miss! It's the next instalment of the Mystery Quilt and this time I am increasing your workload!!
If you go to my Mystery QAL page HERE you will find the link to this week's instructions - there are two blocks to make this time, PLUS a little extra, what I call infill strips. The blocks in this Mystery are of different sizes and need a bit of help to become a whole quilt. In a couple of areas I have popped in panels of plaited fabric. Now when I originally did this project in class I was able to demonstrate plaiting so I am going to have a bash at a tutorial - this will be my first.
Select at least three different fabrics, cut into strips of 1 1/2" x 4 1/2".
Place two strips right sides together at right angles - stitch together using 1/4" seam.

Press open.
Place next strip across the seam just sewn, and stitch together.
Press open.
Continue adding strips on alternate sides until your strip is long enough for the infill strips - we will be trimming to 15 1/2" long so you need a good bit longer than this before trimming away the angles.It builds really quickly tho, so no complaining.
Now we need to think about trimming.
I have stuck a bit of masking tape along the 45 degree line on my ruler for the photo.....align this with the first seam line.
and cut.
Our strip needs to be 3 1/2" wide - a 3 1/2" ruler is obviously brilliant here, centre and trim both sides.
Now just the top to trim

Plaited strips can be put to use in lots of places - borders, strippy quilts, table runners etc. You can vary the width of strips you use and mix different width too, a great stashbuster. You can even cut blocks from a plaited strip.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Easily Led

Come to the conclusion that I am easily led - one minute I am trying hard to achieve a "modern" quilt...........

That's my wonky 9 patch pieced and ready to layer up........jury is out on this one...................
 Next minute I am making hexagon templates and hand - stitching, and I think I might become pics yet but I did make this today for a friend - used up the last tiny scraps of my vintage caravan fabric....

Note the shape..............I am lost.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Go Baby

No luck winning the Accuquilt Baby  on Lily's Quilts? Never mind, hop over to Want it, Need It, Quilt, for another chance.
So make like Austin Powers, and Go Baby Go.........

Monday, 18 July 2011

Block of the Month

There is a modern BOM starting over at Sew Mama Sew - it has been inspired by this book,
which I don't have but have to say it looks very interesting.
Anyway, if there is room in your life for another project, this might be a good 'un.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

I Give In

Never say never................
Go on over to Lily's Quilts and to Gayle Brindley's blog (where you will see the fabulous quilt that inspired this hexalong)
They are combining forces (forces to be reckoned with!!) and hosting a summer hexalong..............of course, I have absolutely no other projects on the go at the moment so have all the time in the world to start something new, I am going to spend part of this wet Sunday idling thro my stash to decide on colours.......

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tiny Piecing

Moved on a little this evening with my DQS quilt..............I changed it up a little, was a bit worried that my pieces weren't as small as others were producing, this is my first mini. Then I had a bit of a eureka moment and thought I could make the HSTs in the centre strip a little smaller so re-sized them to 1.5" finished and added an extra couple to make it fit in with the others. I am quite happy with the result.
This is not the sort of wee quilt I thought I'd be making but I think it fits the bill quite well, look forward to letting you know why..........
 And finally..........a giveaway of an Accuquilt Baby Go HERE another chance to get our mitts on one!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Desperate for a Fix

After a difficult week, I managed to get into my sewing room late this afternoon for an hour or so.
 I am keen to get on with my DQS quilt and managed to cut and make the little HSTs - they will finish at 2" square and I made 30 of them.
I am working to quite a specific brief for this little quilt which is going to finish about 10" x 12", but I can't tell you any more cos it's a secret swap.
Meanwhile, I have recently become increasingly aware of what I can only describe as a hexie revolution. Those of you who know me in real life will know that I would probably choose to "bile ma heid in hot oil" rather than English Paper Piece - oh no, that would never be me.But secretly, a few years ago, I started a
B & W tumbling blocks project....I had delusions that it would magically transform into a boyish quilt.
Well...........I dug out that said project a couple of weeks ago, and I am sort of...oh I can barely say it........(enjoying it)

if I am not very careful, this could lead to - HEXAGONS and QALs and flickr groups, is there no end to the madness.........I need therapy.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Big Duvet in the Sky

Our wee cat Cleo who was nearly 16, has gone to join her old mate Sophie, on the Big Duvet in the Sky.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Mystery Continues

It's just amazing how quickly the Mystery QAL posts come around - todays is the 6th and I am posting fortnightly, can't believe we have been going for 12 weeks already.
This week's instruction link is HERE or just click on Mystery QAL on my header. It's never too late to join in, the instructions are all available for free download.If you would like to see some of the great blocks being made pop over to the flickr group.

Meanwhile I am happy to show off another block for Japan - this time from Helene.

Isn't it great? The theme of the block is squares and triangles so I don't think Helene could have got it much better than this - perfect colours too.
You still have time to make a block for this excellent cause - details and pics of other great examples HERE.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sheila Goes Modern - Episode 3

Ok, so now I have 27 blocks - 4 are duds, but as luck would have it, I only need 23 for the quilt front and the duds, which have not worked out to the right size, can be trimmed down and will "float" on the back.
I had a frustrating time with batch 3 - made a wrong cut somewhere and did quite a bit of reverse sewing. Still a very quick project tho' - if I hadn't stalled I would basically have all blocks ready to join inside 3 hours, well say 4 hours as I have yet to cut the plain.
In the pic above is some yardage of white cotton I bought in Mauritius 4yrs ago when I fantasised about doing some dressmaking - huh, never going to happen. Weight wise, I think I could just about get away with it on the front but I think it will do well on the back. It has self cloured embroidery all over it so nicely textured.
Now here's the question - when I popped my white cotton against the blocks the white in the blocks suddenly doesn't look bright white - so is there a particular white you would recommend to me, all you Kona fans??

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Another Swap

I got in!
I have only recently been made aware of the phenomenon that is Doll Quilt Swaps and number 11 has just started - go HERE  and HERE to have a look at what it is all about.
So it seems that it can be tricky to make the cut, especially with not much swapping experience so, with just one, recently under my belt, I feel rather lucky.
I have been allocated my secret partner, spent several hours "stalking" her flickr photos and favourites and am quite excited about it all.
The finished quilt is to be no more than 9" on any one side, and no bigger than 18" on any one side. Teeny.
I have played about on EQ6, as usual, and come up with a few ideas to suit "my brief" - that is the important thing to remember I reckon, it is not necessarily going to be something I would choose for myself, I have a partner with firm likes & dislikes.
This is my plan so far.........I do have coloured versions but I think it would be quite obvious to my partner so I am keeping it under wraps for a wee while yet.
My plan requires serious fabric shopping, I don't think I have anything

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Two Extremes

So, fuelled by all your nice comments yesterday, I got on and made another 9 Crazy Nine Patches this morning.
I was a bit more careful in stacking my squares and I think it paid off when matching seams - there are still quite a few that will never match but I can live with that.
I did do a bit of re-pressing of seams to avoid bulk and in general I am pleased and will batter on as they say........For those of you interested in such details, the fabric is "Summertime" by Barbara Jones of Quiltsoup for Henry Glass.
After lunch, this time fuelled by a tin of Heinz tommy soup, I set about making a mini block, in case I am accepted for the Doll Swap............I kept telling myself it wasn't taking any longer than making a normal block and to remember it would end up as a mini quilt. So after a lot of faffing about, trimming etc I ended up rather seduced by the final result.............
How cute is that? - measures 3 1/2" at the moment.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Keeping in Touch

A couple of ladies from my classes got in touch this week to show me what they had been up to recently - in a patchwork way of course..........
First from Helen, her block for Japan,
This lovely block will end up in a multi-national quilt which will then be auctioned to raise funds to help the Japanese Earthquake victims - still time for you to make one, you know it would make you feel good. Click HERE to see how you could help by making just one block.
Meanwhile, Helene (subtle difference in spelling) as been busy making this super quilt in time for her niece to take it off to Uni.
Helene tells me she got the pattern from Triangle-free Quilts by Judy Hopkins and found it quick and very satisfying to make. She also used spare strips to piece her backing........
This quilt is a classic example of what has got me all excited about quilting again through reading lots of blogs. This huge modern quilt movement says to me that quilts don't have to be labour intensive and hugely complex to result in something beautiful. They can be simple, and let the fabrics speak for themselves. I am sure your niece will love this one, Helene.
I bought myself a pile of fat 1/4s back in February, when I wen tto the Quilt show at Ingliston.
They have been lurking safely in my drawer since then - I have spent many hours trying to decide what to do with them and this week got the rotary cutter out! I have looked a dozen times at this pattern.
It's a sort of stack and whack idea and something I have never tried before. The advantage to us Brit quilters is that our fat 1/4s are bigger than US equivalents and so the 9 fat quarters required can produce 36 of the wonky 9 patch blocks.
So far, I have made 9.....
I quite like them but my seams don't all match - I think this may be because I didn't cut my fat 1/4s neatly to begin with, I just used scissors and whipped each one into 4 pieces. I only have 45mm rotary cutter and with a fresh blade it did get thro 9 layers but when faced with seams too, it was tricky. But, in the end, with a following wind, I have ended up with 8 1/2" blocks (might realistically have to trim again). I made thes inside an hour so once again, could be a quick quilt. Watch this space for further developments in "Sheila Goes Modern".
In case anyone out there in the Universe hasn't heard, I got my Brit Swap Quilt this week - last post tells the story.
Here it is again tho, in situ...........
I am waiting to see if I have a place in the Doll Quilt Swap 11.........ideas for tiny quilts have been floating around my mind for a week or two now. But, I thought you might like to see a real one that I have on my wall here at home - it was made for me by my pal Janet for Christmas, a few years back and I have to tell you it almost made me weep (with joy!!) when I opened it. She knew  how much I loved Storm at Sea and she made it in colours that I loved. This little beauty measures 10 1/2" x 13 1/2". 
Now, I titled this post Keeping in Touch, and I am signing off to do just that with some real life friends before they cut me off.

PS - Keep forgetting to do this but have finally linked to WIP Wednesday with Lee over at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 4 July 2011


I always enjoy seeing what the postie brings, but today was really special because my parcel contained my Brit Quilt Swap was from Alison from Little Island Quilting and it came all the way from Guernsey.
Now when I saw this quilt evolve, on the flickr group, I had a very strong feeling that it could possibly be for me - but you don't want to hope too much................but, it was ok to hope 'cos it WAS mine - first of all I pulled out this beautifully wrapped in tissue, package..............

and then -

Isn't it fabulous? Alison read  me just right - this little beauty has been hand quilted which makes it even more special for me as I rarely, never,  hand quilt. So a huge thank you Alison. This has been my first swap - if anyone out there is considering joining a swap but feels a bit unsure - DO IT, it's fun.
AND there was more, in my package............
a beautiful tea towel that will never have to dry a dish!!

Happy Monday!!


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