31 December 2010


With warm wishes to all the readers of my blog

This clip is from the Graphics Fairy
I hope that you have a Happy New Year and that its everything you wish for.

Best wishes


Review of 2010 and Looking Forward to 2011

(This is a longish one, I suggest a cup of tea first!)

I thought I would end this year with a review of what I've made and look forward to the sewing challenges that lie ahead for 2011.

I've taken part in 4 workshops this year, 2 of which were with Philippa Naylor back in January after which I felt I gained a wealth of piecing and quilting knowledge. The next was a handbag workshop with Barnsley Embroiderer Sheila which was really good. This followed in November by a Pat Archibald weekend workshop of Ghost Images at the Silver Thimble, which despite the challenges of the weather was very enjoyable and again learnt a lot from this.

I took part in 8 postcard swaps plus 14 further postcards for birthdays with the BQL postcard group and some more postcards were made for an exhibition and sale in Norfolk for the Teenage Cancer Trust back in April.  In June BQL itself had challenge it's members to a postcard swap and a further 6 were made for that.  So an awful lot of postcards were made this year, so for next year I will be cutting back on this and just sticking to making cards for the birthday swap on BQL Postcard group - that is, of course, if I can resist the other swaps that come up during the year.

I have made some other things though - Freddie had a quilt made for his first birthday earlier this month.  Isobel also had a bunny and quilt that I made for her first birthday in March.  For August's Festival of Quilts in Birmingham I made 2 Pennants for Patchworkers. I bought tombola tickets for that at the Festival but didn't win a pennant. I made 10 "Wiggly bags" for the Liberty Rose Trust, for young cancer patients , which I sent off in October.  For a change I made a bag from fabric constructed on my embellisher machine, but that was the only embellisher make that I have done this year.

There was a Secret Santa on BQL this year, for which I made a Biscornu pin cushion, a mug mat and a small notebook, which I sent of at the end of November for delivery by the beginning of December and to my shame I didn't take a photo!  I also made a couple of cushions for my brother-in-law and his wife and took a photo of one, but not the other.  Another Christmas make was a puzzle block called Kath's Kubes which I  made for Isobel, who likes fiddling with things (a bit like me - I don't often have idle hands).   Here are some photos of the different sides.

I nearly forgot I also made a present for my Dad - a bottle bag from Susan Briscoe's Sensational Bags book, which did very nicely for the bottles of wine and sherry that I know he likes.
And also a Christmas stocking for David's cousin's baby, Samantha, who was born in the summer, which was sent over to Canada at the end of last month.

Lastly here are some things I received for Christmas from the BQL Secret Santa - a cushion cover with 3" square blocks and the last of the Touch of Bling postcards.

For 2011 I will be returning to Poole (more of that in another post very soon).  Before then Philippa Naylor returns to Barnsley Embroiderers for another Saturday workshop which will be the last one that I will be going to before I leave Yorkshire and is called Contemporary Curved Piecing which I am really looking forward to.

As mentioned earlier I am cutting back on the postcard making as I would like to make a large bed quilt next year to replace the 10 year old one that we already have - not sure at present what form or even what colours this will be but feel I want the challenge of making something larger.  On BQL Kandy (the moderator of the group) will reveal what her 2011 challenge is tomorrow. If it is what I think it is I might enjoy that too as previous challenges (the bags and the calendar quilts) have been completed items and I think this one will be.  I will be going to Exeter for the Quilters Guild AGM and conference for that Saturday of the conference weekend in April.  I hope too that I can get back into the fold of quilters in Dorset once again.

24 December 2010


A HAPPY AND PEACEFUL (or even Pieceful, if you're a quilter) CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.

I'll post during the Christmas break of things I've made but couldn't show and other bits and bobs.

19 December 2010

Catching up

This past week has gone in a flash.  Have been working and will continue to work until mid January and it's quite a busy place.  It's great I'm earning, but I haven't got the Christmas cake done and will have to do that tomorrow as I've had some sewing to do today (another Chrissie present so cannot show here). 

We've been lucky not to have had snow, only snow showers on Thursday but the drop in temperature has made things icy.  David and I went to York for last minute shopping (I've now got his present sorted- phew!) and he went to the National Railway Museum and I had a visit to the Quilt Museum.  I couldn't take any photos of what I saw at the museum and didn't have my camera with me so here's the link.  The Barbara Bailey exhibit was interesting as she was one of the founder members of the Guild and died in the 1980's so her work and the fabrics used were of the 60's 70's and 80's.  It also had a display of her sewing equipment and a small cabinet of the miniature quilts she had made.  David also had an interesting time at the NRM as he found at that the engine Sir Nigel Gresley was going through York station of an excursion trip.

So not much sewing to show, but I can show some cards I made at cardmaking class - the last one this year.  Bit uneven, bit wonky but like the effects.

Whoops! Took the Father Christmas photo upside down!  It's meant to be a double sided insert on the card with some thread twisted so he spins round but I made some mistakes with that.  Now I'd normally use Wednesday morning to have a go again while things are fresh in my mind, but not this time.  The little girl card turned out a lot better - I quite like making that one.  Just like quilting, you have a design that you like and will make again and another that, well, made once you're not in a hurry to do again.

I've also been in receipt of some Bling postcards this week and they are really brilliant.

The group are sideways on even though I'd rotated it in i-Photo. 
And a belated birthday postcard!  I knew that Lesley's was going to be late and there had been trouble with the post from Scotland so a nice surprise when it came.

House is getting more Christmassy. There's jobs to be done before the guests come on Christmas Eve.Work to fit in too. But I'm getting there.

11 December 2010

Christmas Cheer

Since posting about the bad weather, David and I managed to get away from it and head down South last weekend and stay with my Mum & Dad.  We had Santa Special train tickets booked on the Mid Hants Railway for the children and grandchildren as we will be spending the Christmas holiday in Yorkshire this year.  It was a chance to also exchange presents too so the majority of our shopping is out of the way already. 

Before we left we found some of the snow trying to thaw, but the weather was still bitterly cold. David could not resist taking a picture of this very long icicle hanging from the gutter at the front of the house. Although the snowy weather continued after our return on Tuesday, all of a sudden it just vanished on Friday and continued to thaw today just leaving some bits where the snow was piled up while clearing the drive.

The little ones enjoyed their train trip with a visit from Father Christmas, though maybe Isobel was a little young and was scared by the big bearded one.  After that it was a trip down to Eastleigh and the soft play centre that's popular with all four of the little ones.

Here's Leo, Sophie and Isobel waiting for Santa

and Freddie getting his present
The four together
 Now something of a sewy (rather than snowy) nature.  You might remember a few posts ago I mentioned about the Bit of Bling big postcard swap, and now I'm receiving cards from the swap and here they are below:-

 The cards above are from (clockwise from top left) Irene, Lis, Lois, Alice and Jan
These are from (again clockwise from top left) Barbara, Pauline, Dawn, Avril and Jacquie.

I've looked back at my blog and realised that although I've written about this swap I haven't put any photos of mine.  I'll put that right - here they are

Mine are made using Christmas fabric with organza (some with sparkly stars on them) and I trapped snowflake sequins and Angelina fibre between the 2 layers.  I added more sequins and stick on gems on top and finished with gold or silver braid or ribbon.  I used bits that I already had for this with added to the variety.

I am always surprised with the variations that come with each theme of postcards, which I think make them enjoyable to make and receive.

I almost forgot, I now have a job for a while.  I'm now working in Wakefield again, near the city centre after 3 months of not having any (paid) work.  It's a temporary job which'll last a few weeks so see how it goes.

02 December 2010

Snow, snow and more snow

We've had snow in Hemsworth since Saturday - it was only a dusting then which didn't stop us from going away last weekend, however it had got progressively worse over this week.  With the threat of snow I went and got some shopping  to get that out of the way so I could stay in, and I think half the town were there too doing the same thing.

It started on Tuesday and going into Wednesday morning with further heavy snowfalls during the course of the day.  We've now got about 18" of snow judging by our patio table where the snow's been collecting over the past few days.  So here's some snowy pics

Snow on Tuesday

Snow yesterday morning - probably well over 12"

My car is under there somewhere

David's working from home

Our bench is disappearing

Snowy hats on the wheelie bins

The snow is getting deeper on the patio table

29 November 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday and I'm now an ancient 55 - how did that happen - where did all those years go?  Anyway shouldn't agonise over that I did enjoy my birthday weekend even though the snow made the journey home yesterday afternoon a rather long one.

I booked to go on a weekend workshop at the Silver Thimble workshop situated between York and Malton and is at the Station House right by the railway line between York and Scarborough (though it is no longer a station). I'd also arranged for us to stay over at the Beansheaf Hotel on Saturday night just the other side of Malton and it was just as well as there's been some snow fall before we went and more during our stay.  There was more snow during Sunday after the workshop and with Christmas shoppers in York making their way from the city it was a long slow drive along the ring road to the A1.

Anyhow the workshop was taught by Pat Archibald on Ghost Images of the Orient, which is her method of using sheers and nets on a fabric background to produce "ghosting" images as seen here
if you look below the kimono to the Moon Reflections 1 & 2.  I chose a fan design to work on and this is my in progress here, the front image being darker, the middle being more faint and the top one you may barely see taking in the perspective of the design.  It was great workshop and has given me some ideas to work on my wall hanging.

When we stayed at the hotel we found this on our bed can you guess what it is?

It was a small dog made from a bath and a hand towel - never seen that before! After a lovely meal in the evening, we went out to more snow! But it was sunny and a lovely scene from the hotel. 

When we arrived home I found some postcards amongst my post to wish me happy birthday.  If you have been following my blog this year I have taken part in a Birthday Postcard Swap and mine is the last birthday this year.  So these are from (clockwise from top left) Ruth, Barbara, Claire, Carole, Janet and Plum.

I'd also found another black and white card, this time from Jacquie, which got me wondering why had I got 6 cards when I'd only sent out 5 and found that a one of the ladies from the other group in this swap had sent me one - so I've promptly put my spare black and white card in the post to here - good job I had actually made 6 cards.

The above cards are from Benta, Carole, Jan, Jacquie, Annette and Avril. They're a lovely collection of cards too.

21 November 2010


On my earlier blogs I said about taking part in the Friday Night Sewing which was this Friday just gone, the 19th and I totally forgot!  I made up for it yesterday, making things that I can't show here because they are for Christmas presents!

However I have been busy with other stuff.  I've made a birthday postcard for Claire, whose birthday is today as part of the BQLPC birthday swap.  She opted for a Pot Luck card so I came up with the idea of using fabric from a charm pack of Japanese fabrics and this lovely one that reminded on Chrysanthemums (November flower) and that flower appears in Japanese designs. Appliqued onto navy blue I used white stranded cotton for the sashiko to go with it.  I hope she likes it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Since being in Yorkshire, one of things I like is Yorkshire Curd Tart, which I used to able to get when I worked at the bakery until recently.  So having Googled a recipe and found one on the Channel 4 website I made this and some tea bread too.  I don't bake that often but enjoy when I do.
I've also been back to the card classes at Elsecar and made these two cards.  The tri fold card was quite tricky but I quite like the effect of that.

And this is my go to sort of replicate the Christmas tree one.  I don't have a tree stamp so coloured some card green and made simple triangle trees.
I'm going to a workshop next weekend which I'm really looking forward to and hope to show something from that soon.

Photos of Edinburgh

Let's see if this works as I've posted onto facebook here.  But here's some more if you can't view through facebook. 
Map of Edinburgh outside the art gallery

Turret outside Holyrood House Palace, see the faint rainbow on the right

Views over Edinburgh from the Camera Obscura viewing point

Another view of the city

Edinburgh Castle

David at the Camera Obscura

14 November 2010

Black and White

Just come back from a few days away in Edinburgh and David has taken lots, lots of photos and I've taken one or two.  A nice break away, even if it was cold, windy and rainy but what could we expect for November.

Before going away I posted off my Black and White postcards which I made back in September thinking I would be returning to paid work but that hasn't happened yet.  This I decided would be a bargello technique, joining strips of black and white fabrics and recutting and rejoining again.  Here's the orginal piece that I made and I cut the 6" x 4" pieces on the diagonal which produced 5 cards then had to make up a 6th with joining up 2 diagonally cut pieces that sort of matched.
This was the original Bargello piece
Cut on the diagonal into postcard sized pieces
One of the completed cards
As you can see from above I added some white flower sequins which just about show up and I used some black ricrac to edge the card.  This was the only card I had left as I posted off the other 5 without having taken a photo of them all before they wended their way to their recipients.

Another postcard that I've made has been a birthday one for Jacquie in the BQL birthday swap group and her birthday was at the end of October, as it was a pot luck request I decided to make her a card with autumn leaves on.  Based on what I'd seen in John Lewis store where some cushions with leaves and contrasting stitches were sold like this one here.  I used rusty/orangey scraps of fabric and embroidery thread to achieve the effect.

I've also been getting on with the big Christmas swap which will be posted in December.  They are all ready bar the stamps.  These ones will go in cellophane bags (which I haven't done before) and here they are waiting to go...
And for postcards that I've received from the Black and White swap these are some I got from Avril (Boo! in luminous paint) and Benta
 And below from Carole and Annette.
 I liked Annette printing on the reverse of the card (I've blanked out the address here)

As today is David's birthday (he's just a year older than me for a fortnight!) he received a surprise of his own in the post.
Pictures of Leo and Freddie!

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