Tuesday, 6 February 2018

First finish of 2018

I have managed to finish one quilt so far this year.  I've registered for two UFO challenges, and typically, this quilt isn't on either list!  It's a variation on Mile a Minute, and since the MAM blocks wwere already made, it seemed silly not to leap in! 

It's very simple to make.  Just take a MAM square and a white square the same size.  Place on top of each other and slice both at the same time at an angle.  Swap the top left piece for the bottom left piece and sew together so you get two blocks half MAM and half white.  Then arrange them going alternately horizontally and vertically to create the zig zag effect.  Simple!  I quilted it it zig zags on the white to emphasise the design.  

This quilt is on my challenge lists.  It's granny squares and there were only a couple of blocks completed so was a bit of a slog.  I need to quilt it before I can cross it off the list.  Lovely. 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Slippy rulers

Most of my quilting rulers are from Creative Grids, and have little nonslip dots on the back of them, to make them stable when cutting out fabric shapes.  

I hadn't actually appreciated that as much as I should have, till I used my EZ Triangle ruler.  This is a great ruler for making HSTs and flying geese etc, but occasionally it slips a bit and the shapes aren't completely accurate.  Now, I need all the help I can get with accuracy, so if my shapes haven't been cut accurately, I'm on a loser!  I was sure there must be a solution to this problem, and found that there are indeed products you can buy to do this job.  But I didn't want a product I can buy, I wanted an instant fix!  And then I found a tip using surgical tape.  I have micropore tape in my first aid box, so wondered if that would do the job.  

And the answer is yes!  I put two pieces on there as you flip the ruler, and it's fabulous!  Now here's hoping it'll make my quilts more accurate (don't hold your breath!) 

Saturday, 27 January 2018


I have finally found some time to do sewing for myself!  There have been a few panto related jobs to do (missing press studs, broken headbands, seams that needed a bit of reinforcement etc) but now I can sew for me! 

Something I've wanted to have a play with is this idea to use up MAM blocks.  You take a white square and a MAM square, slice them at an angle, swap the sides and sew together to make a wonky rail fence.  Then, by rotating them, you can make this zig zag design.  
I know there is a block wrong on the right hand side - I've sewn it together wrongly twice, so let's hope its third time lucky! 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Have I been sewing, oh yes I have!

This is the time of year when I'm usually busy with panto sewing, and this year has been no exception. This year's offering is 'Beauty and the Beast' which has been quite a challenge.  Apart from the usual princes, witches, villagers, servants, dame and chorus, there has been a clock costume, a chest of drawers, a candelabra, a rug and a table.  That's apart from two French poodles, a girl who is a blacksmith and a 'masculine' dame's outfit.  Luckily we have a store of costumes, and so some just had to be found and fitted, but the furniture was a real headache.  

Here is one of the poodles - luckily more man than poodle. 

Here is the chest of drawers (I'm very pleased with how that turned out). 

Here is the candelabra (I'm not so pleased with that, but at least people can work out what it's supposed to be!  

The witch turned out well, although the skirt is borrowed. 

The clock is awesome, and was made by the talented Jess, who is currently at college and hoping to study costume design at uni.  Thank you Jess, and why didn't I ask you to do the rest! 

Monday, 1 January 2018

Yay, Bonnie!

Happy New Year to all, and I hope 2018 brings you lots of happiness and fun.  My year has started well, as Bonnie Hunter is revealing her mystery quilt day by day!  I haven't managed to keep up, but I have enough elements to make some blocks. 

Bit of a dreary photo, but the blocks are looking lovely!  I did my usual half of the components, and find I will have enough to make 25 of these blocks.  Twenty five!  Nine down, and sixteen to go!  Plus there are more components to come!  Exciting! 

Friday, 29 December 2017

Slow progress

There hasn't really been much sewing going on here recently.  I know there's been Christmas, which always slows things down, but before Christmas I had a very nasty cold which knocked me off my feet for two weeks!  I've never had a cold like that, and I ended up with earache so bad, I had to get up and take painkillers in the night!  Luckily (apart from a hopefully temporary) deafness in one ear, I'm back on form.  But my sewing is well behind. 

I usually do the latest Bonnie Hunter mystery, and while she has released six clues, I'm only just working on number four!  I only do half the units too!  Not to worry.  She doesn't send the Quilt Police round to check up on you, so it's all fine.  Cutting more chocolate triangles now and I'll catch up eventually. 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Coming clean

I have been making some kiss clasp bags recently, but they were for a Christmas surprise workshop, so I couldn't share them.  I don't remember ever seeing anyone make one of these, although there are plenty of instruction videos on YouTube. 

Here is bag number one.  It's a glue in frame and it's about 4" wide. 

Here is the inside (made from scraps, well, it is just a prototype!) .  Makes a good bag. 

And here is the final product.  This one is 4" as well, but since the top is curved, it makes it less roomy inside.  It's a sew in frame.  I like both methods, although they're both rather fiddly.  On balance, if you can handle glue, the stick in one was easier I think. I was aided by the talented Di, and she thought the sew in frame was best, so that's what we went with. 

It certainly seemed to absorb the attendees!  I'll look forward to seeing some finished bags in the new year.