25 December 2013


Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas

Best wishes from Sue. x

Sue W- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

16 December 2013

Getting There

Not much made, but getting ready for Christmas.  Getting food, shopping for presents.  I did do a workshop day last Friday but haven't yet uploaded photos to show what I've made.  What I can show is the Secret Santa for a colleague at work for whom I bought a mug with sachet of hot chocolate and marshmallows in a set which I thought needed something else....

I actually made this before I made the one for Merrill (in my last post) in red and white which went really well with the mug.  She was pleased with her pressie and I quite enjoyed both the little mug rugs that I made, quite quick and easy.

I can now show the last postcard that I made for the birthday girl of the year, Rosemary, which I made way back in September, her birthday due very soon.

Looking back in the album of birthday swaps in the Yahoo group it appears I have a thing for birds as I've made several bird themed cards this year.

08 December 2013

1st week of Christmas

This last week has found birthday merging into Christmas as I was receiving both birthday postcards as well as Christmas ones from the Big Christmas Swap (well it was called that but in the end there were 12 participants in this swap)  so here they are:

 The last of the birthday cards, top left clockwise, from Jane, Marian, and Jan

The first of the Christmas cards from top left clockwise again, Jane, Jacquie, Diana and Pascale.

A lovely package I received on Monday came from Merrill, my swap partner for the Christmas Stocking swap

As well as the gorgeous little stockings a desk calendar of Australian flowers and a little ceramic Scottie dog.

So here's what I sent Merrill.  To my amazement it only took a week from the local post office to get all the way to Melbourne!  Some of the post in this country takes a while to get anywhere so I was staggered when I got her email that she'd received it.

A spotty mug rug (was going to make a Christmassy one, but at least this can be used all year round)
I had a chance to use the Christmas lights fabrics that I couldn't cut into before

I'd also popped in a baking liner which is used as an applique mat, which always comes in handy for helping to stop the iron being marked with Bondaweb sticking to it.

I also joined the facebook page for the quilting swaps and there were some really lovely stockings to see there, but it is a closed group.

02 December 2013

Better Get Ready for Christmas......

I'm sure that I'll get in the Christmas spirit soon, but not just yet.  I've got some Christmassy things done - I've finished the postcards to send out for the big Christmas swap, done and sent the Christmas stockings in the swap with Merrill on Australia (can't show that just yet, not until she's received them) and I've done the Secret Santa swap present for a work colleague for the Christmas lunch next week. December birthday presents are almost sorted (yes, people have birthdays in December!) so maybe I'm more prepared for Christmas than I thought.

David and I went to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth Saturday afternoon/evening and saw the Christmas lights there, I took photos with my i-phone. I'm making no apologies for best bit about Christmas, the lights!

 The Spinnaker in its rainbow-y brightness
A rather lovely reindeer, but it turned out a bit fuzzy.  I also managed to get another present sorted which came in this lovely carrier bag.  Never mind the present, I'd just be happy with the carrier!!

Yesterday was a stay-at-home day.  Bit of tidying and sorting out. Bit of sewing, bit of baking (cake to take to work today). Having signed up to a Craftsy class "Traditional Blocks Made Easy" I had a go at making this, called "Anita's Arrowhead Block"

This block was trimmed to 8.5" square.  Although I'd not made up gallons of starch to soak all my fabric in I did spray the fabrics really well so that the square I started off with really stuck together well and made it easy to sew and cross cut.  Rather like the effect of this block, might keep that in mind to use up large scraps.

Before I forget, here are my Christmas postcards, one of which is on its way with the Christmas stockings to Australia

 Perhaps I am getting in the Christmas spirit after all!

30 November 2013

Happy Birthday/Thanksgiving to Me!

Just a quickie today as this weekend will be a busy one! My birthday was on Thursday, which by chance was also American Thanksgivng, so I figured if other people were taking a holiday so can I. Below are some lovely cards and plants that I received

And being part of the birthday swap I also received some lovely postcards

Said it was a quick post!

Sue W- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

18 November 2013

Birthday Postcards

Not mine, as my birthday is at the end of the month, but for others in BQLPC who also have birthdays this month. What is it about November that there are 4 birthdays so close to each other?

In order of dates here they are:


This year there was no theme set by the recipient, so it was our own choice of designs.  I'd made some earlier this year with a Japanese theme using some fabrics from a Japanese fabric charm pack which I used for Diana's card.  Avril's used some fabric with dressmaking motifs on and I managed to find some stamps on a sewing theme too.  One of my early samples of machine embroidery was used for Inge's card. 

There will be one more birthday at the end of December which is done and ready to post when to time comes.

Yesterday was spent making the Christmas postcards and now have made 14 cards with a Christmas collage theme, so lots of bits cut, fused and stitched.  Made quite a mess with working on these, but now they are done I can have a bit of a tidy up.  So that is all my postcard making done for the year.

12 November 2013

Seriously Christmassy Post

Hard to believe that Christmas is just a few weeks away, but have to start getting ready.  I'm taking part in BQL Postcard Groups big Christmas swap, which so far has 12 participants so 11 cards to make (but will make a couple extra for contingencies).  I made 4 by Saturday but since I took the photo I have finished a couple more.

 These are completed ones
and more in progress

I wanted to make Christmas collages using my assortment of Christmas fabrics that I've accumulated over the years.  They are appliqued onto a background mounted onto felt to give the effect of a picture frame.  It kept me busy on a very wet Saturday.

The next thing I can't show just yet, but suffice to say that I am taking part in another swap this time organised by Quilting Bloggers called Christmas Stocking Swap and I've been informed that I'll be swapping with Merrill from Melbourne so I'm looking forward to finishing them and sending them all the way to Melbourne.

Christmas Stockings Swap

It doesn't happen very often, but I did a proper bit of embroidery for the stockings while I was watching Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday evening.
On Friday I went to the textile art course that I signed up to and this time we made some silk paper using gummy silk fibres, which are dampened and ironed to bring out the gumminess of the silk to create a sheet of silk.  This was coloured with spray paints.  I only decided to take a photo with my phone after I sewed some ribbon yarn onto the paper.
If you thought these colours looked lush, then wait until what I did after lunch

Using encaustic wax in blue, orange, copper and gold colours and working the iron into the fibres changed it completely.

I had a Google about gummy silk fibres and just had a go on Saturday morning with an assortment of fibres that I have in my stash to see what would stick together or not.

 Tussah silk works quite well and the orange and pink pieces worked and held together OK.  The yellow piece did to begin with but its beginning to come apart so not so good (I didn't know what type this was)
A couple of other indeterminate pieces in red and blue didn't work too well either.  What I may do is needlefelt these and the silk will hold together better, but I had a lot of fun find out what worked and what didn't. Seeing these photos, these pieces are a riot of colour; one way of brightening a rainy Saturday morning.

05 November 2013

Trains, Planes and Quilts

Last weekend was probably our last weekend away for this year.  David and I, for various reasons, have only had one week's proper going away holiday this year (to Cornwall in September) but have had quite a few weekends away this year.  We joined Peter and Diane, my brother in law and sister in law in Knaresborough for the weekend staying at a B&B there on Friday.

On Saturday we went to York travelling on the train from the quaint station in the town, but before then we followed a trail of painted fake windows.  Knaresborough has a lot of Georgian buildings, which were subject to Window tax and in order to keep the symmetry of the houses but without paying more tax these bricked up "windows" were created.  These were used by local artists to get people to explore the town. 

Quite appropriately (as it's Bonfire night tonight) the window above right is of Guy Fawkes, who was born in York, but lived in Knaresborough, with a keg of gunpowder.

This was the station, Grade 2 listed building with old fashioned semaphore signals and the signal box was attached to another building at the end of a terrace of houses. 

It even had some friendly looking staff
 Once in York, as usual of a Saturday there it was heaving with people.  We wanted to visit the National Railway Museum, which is currently celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Mallard steam engine's world speed record, which remains unbroken.  With the Mallard were the remaining engines in the same A4 class locomotives, Union of South Africa, Sir Nigel Gresley, Bittern (from the UK), Dominion of Canada (from Montreal, Canada) and Franklin D Roosevelt (from Green Bay, USA).  The queue to get into the NRM was so long, we decided to have a wander around the city before going back in the late afternoon, by which time the queue had gone.  It was an awkward place to take photos and there were a lot of people- my camera got totally confused and they all came out dark, but my iphone managed OK, but these were the best I could get.
 This was Bittern (4464)
The star of the show - Mallard 4468

Sir Nigel Gresley (this engine was named after its designer)
Dominion of Canada

I took loads more, but don't want to bore you here.  I'll see if I can have another go at a photo collage to put them together.

On Sunday we left Knaresborough and went to Duxford, near Cambridge.  At the IWM Duxford was the Autumn Quilt Exhibitions held by Grosvenor Exhibitions.   I wanted to go here to see some of the Civil War Quilts made by Foxy Quilters of Barnsley.  When I lived in Yorkshire I used to be a member of Barnsley Creative Embroiderers and some of the ladies used to be in Janet Bottomley's patchwork class and I guess that Foxy Quilters came about from that class.  They are a talented group of quilters and their work shows.

A couple of my favourites.

There were some quilts by other groups too, here are just some of the photos I took

 And you can't go to a quilt show without any purchases.  Mine were small - a cutting board, a bag pattern and a couple of books.  Shows my diversity with an embroidery book and a modern quilting book.

Oh yes, there were planes too, if you didn't know about the venue (or didn't see from the link)
it is an aeroplane museum
Here's the Typhoon and it's engine beside it amongst the quilters in the eating area with the quilts on display behind it. Really unusual venue.