Saturday, 23 February 2013

It's snowing

 Merville House sewing group...
 It is lovely to belong to a sewing group, to share ideas and be wowed at what others are creating.       We eat lovely buns, have a laugh and sometimes Martha sings.
Everyone makes wonderful things..

Ella's applique she has created using an image from a greeting card. This is about A4 size.

Gail and
Doreen's little bag.

Doreen's applique picture.. about A4 size.

Rosie's table runner.

Brenda's (mum's) bits of pretty applique which form part of a cushion design.

Esme's postcard which she whipped up in no time.

Gail's gorgeous cushion.. actually a pin cushion... but too beautiful just to stick pins into.

And this is a very special bag which my mum has made. ( she's in the background).
It's special because she has given it to me.
And I love it.

It fits perfectly in my bicycle basket so when I go cycling to the shops (doesn't happen very often here but it does when we are camping in France) I will be tres chic n'est pas?

We had the most lovely tiny little cutie pie of a bird in the garden yesterday.
A little Goldcrest. Along with the firecrest, this is the UK's smallest bird.
This is the first time I have spotted it in the garden although I did see one in the park a few weeks ago.
The garden is full of birds at the moment. I think they might be eyeing up potential partners or having a good flirt before breeding season.

So a little birdie interlude followed by some more patchwork pics...

I am working on 3 things at once.

my Flora piece

a quilt for my friend Jayne who is getting married in April.

and a quilt for Beth.


it's snowing.

Monday, 18 February 2013


I had my first hangover in about 10 years yesterday. I think I got drunk on purpose just to remind 
myself why I shouldn't get drunk.
It was a good night though. 
My husband said I was very lucid on the dance floor.
No point in worrying about that now. 
So yesterday didn't happen.
However I feel on top of the world today. The sun is out and it's a beautiful crisp clear day

This morning I took my 2 favourite hairy boys to the beach.
To Boneybefore.

Carrickfergus Castle and St Nicholas Church in the distance.

and in the other direction Kilroot Power Station.
Not such a bad view either in my opinion.

out to sea.

the new quiet trains

 marks on the sand, ours, the bird's, the sea's.

Feeling full of fresh air for the rest of the day.

Friday, 15 February 2013

design emergencies

Just before I fell asleep last night I had an idea for my flora piece. I really wasn't into that painted thing I did.

So down it came.

My new idea, which I'm really into at the moment because I can picture it exactly in my head, goes something like this...

20 little separately made images, which will be pieced together. I think I will have strips of sashing in vintagey feeling fabrics running horizontally across. Or maybe try and incorporate strips of printed paper from a book somewhere.

The first one is done. This is about 8 by 5 inches. 
When the whole is complete there will be machine quilting which will add to the piece.
And maybe a bit of paint.
Or doily print.
And hand stitching.
French Knots?

I am so happy I have eventually got somewhere.

The best ideas always come to me in bed.

I keep a notebook and pen in my bedside drawer for such emergencies.
In case I wake up in the morning and all is forgotten. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Not sure about this.


This is where I am with my flora piece.
Not sure about it.
Hadn't planned a painted centre.
The idea would be to applique over this and let the painting be in the background.

I will move forward with it and try some machine stitching and whatever.
It may go well or it may not.
We will see.
I had other ideas for the flora piece to start out with.....

Perhaps I could incorporate these spirals and petals and dots into the piece in some way. Maybe bringing the stitched spirals out into the crazy pieced border. 
That could work.

It could all go pear shaped.
Or it could be fantastic.
I won't know until I try it.
I am sounding very negative today. Sorry.

My friend Jayne rang me last night to tell me that her and her partner of nearly 20 years have decided to get married. On the 5th of April this year. 
I would love to make her a quilt. 

So Beth's quilt will have to wait a little longer.

I wish it would stop raining.
It's putting me in bad form.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Contemporary Crazy Tutorial.

In my VERY tidy and organised sewing room I am going to demonstrate how to create 'Contemporary Crazy' strips similar to the strips I have made for my 'Flora' piece. 
The border strips below are 3.5 inches wide, but will end up at 3 inches when pieced.

I used this same method for a piece during my City and Guilds course.
The border strips below are 1.5 inches wide.

A few easy steps.
Start with a strip of fabric. If you want smallish shapes keep the strips small. This strip is about 2 inches 

Cut different shapes of similar proportions.

keep the shapes 4 sided.

Attach to the strip.

Cut with a rotary cutter into separate pieces.

Again keep the shapes four sided and try and vary the shapes slightly.
Get another strip.

I have used odd fabrics from my scrap basket...

..and they don't particularly go so well together.
But for the purpose of this they are fine.

Attach to the strip as before.

Again FOUR sided.

This process can go on and on, using as many strips as you wish until the four sided shapes grow and grow.
Here I have joined some together.

And made them four sided again. Which may be best achieved by creating two shapes out of one piece.
As you can see here.

Then I attached them to a pink strip.

Joined some of these together.
You can get some lovely little pieces poking through in the middle, which you could never achieve with other techniques.
Like the lime piece below. Imagine if you used all white and grey fabrics and this was a small piece of red jumping out.

I then cut the shapes into 2 inch strips and joined a few together.

And then it's up to you what you do with them. They could be used as they are within a quilt or as a border, or piece some sashing strips around them as I have done here.

Look at the teeney weeney glimpse of lime green.

I have to say the only negative about using this technique is that there is a bit of fabric wastage.
Although the bits you trim off to make the four sided shapes could be used again to add to strips in a similar fashion as before.

If there is any of this you don't follow or are unsure of let me know.

Now I need to start as I mean to go on and tidy up.