Sunday, 30 January 2011

Scraps and Stash

(these aren't my pictures, they came from the internet)

Celia, of Quilting by Celia, asked me a very interesting question recently. What do I consider to be scraps and what do I consider to be stash?

Well, for me, stash is anything that can be sensibly folded and put on the shelf, probably nothing smaller than a fat eighth or a four inch WOF strip. Anything else is scraps, and gets cut into sizes to go into my scrap boxes. I have one and a half inch; two inch; two and a half inch; three inch; three and a half inch; and four inch boxes. Anything smaller than one and a half inches goes into the waste paper basket.

How about you?


Today I'm going to make a real effort to reply to comments and other emails. I usually try to reply within a day or so, but recently I've just not been motivated and let them pile up; which is not very courteous to those of you who've been kind enough to comment on my blog posts. So apologies to everyone who has commented and not received a reply.

I'm always just a little envious of those people who are natural writers, witty and interesting, and who write such perfect replies to my comments. And, whilst I feel that I ought to reply to people who take the time to write comments on my blog, I never feel aggrieved with those people who don't reply to my comments; I just assume that they're far too busy doing interesting things to write about.

How do you deal with comments? And do you feel annoyed if someone doesn't reply to you?

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Yesterday I went for the second of my free lessons that came with my new Bernina. I asked for some help on using the different feet and embellishing fabric. The tutor gave me some great ideas which I'm looking forward to trying. One of the things we explored was different ways of using pintucks to embellish fabric.

All I need is time, energy and enthusiasm. I've been feeling very weary lately, which has done for both time and energy as I've been resting a lot; and as a result I've been feeling a bit down, which has not done a lot for enthusiasm, so not much sewing going on here over the last couple of weeks. What we need is a bit of warmth and sunshine, and a bit less biting cold and grey and gloomy days.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


We went to visit Number Two Son over the weekend, staying in our camper van in a campsite near Brighton Marina for two nights, and spending Friday evening with him and most of Saturday too. We had a great time; he cooked for us on Friday evening and then on Saturday we went out for lunch. But on both days we played on his Wii. It was the first time we'd had the chance to have a go and I must say it was great fun. He had Wii Sports and Wii Fit, and we went on several of the games. Truth be told I was pretty hopeless at most of them, but did manage to win one of the golf games. I was hopeless using the board and doing some balancing game, absolutely hopeless, and then of course we were laughing so much I didn't stand a chance of improving.

How was I? Well, sadly, not quite this ...

But then again, not quite this either ....

Now we're trying to find a reason to justify buying one for ourselves.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Some finishes (82)

I'm not going to complain, really I'm not, because it's a glorious day. Temperature just above freezing, but clear blue skies and sunshine. After the gloom of the last ten days or so it's wonderful to look at some sunshine and to be able to walk in the crisp fresh air. BUT, I think I need some lessons in photography. Ive been waiting for a brighter day to take these finishes outside to photograph them, and the sun was so bright that it's washed parts of them out completely. I shall have to have another go with a little drawstring bag I made to go in our camper van to hold one of the games, Rummikub. But here they are anyway.

This was the pattern from Hugs from Helen; it was designed as a round robin to be shared with friends, but I left it too late to get organised so made it for myself and just changed the verse to read The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra La!

This was  BOM from Quiltecke and I shall certainly try to get a better photograph of this as the little embroideries are rather sweet.

I made this using the last of my blue scraps for So Scrappy's Rainbow challenge. Having just bought Tonya Ricucci's new book Word Play Quilts, I decided to have a go at some letters for the outer border. I learnt a lot! For one thing, take more notice of contrast in the fabrics; some of the letters aren't too clear.

I quilted it with a wave and boat pattern from Mindful Meanderings, a book that I won in So Scrappy's give-away last year.

Does anyone know of a good, free, site that gives tips on taking good photographs?

Friday, 14 January 2011

Finished with the blue scraps

I've just about used up all of my blue scraps; just a few 4"+ strips left in case I need them. I used every last bit of the smaller strips up to make a file cover.

The only problem is that I now have two new tops to add to the finishing off pile, and I know I'll want to get them completely finished off before I start on next month's challenge. The pile of unfinished quilts is growing, and I really don't like it. I like to get things finished before I move on to something new.

I rushed to get these photographs done because the sun came out! I hate wishing my life away, but I do look forward to the summer when I can take some half way decent photographs again.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Singing the blues

I've just finished my second top using up blue scraps for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Having just enough left to make a rather small centre I decided to have a go at making some letters to go around the border, using Tonya Ricucci's new book. I enjoyed making the letters, they were more straightforward than I'd expected, but I'm not overly happy with some of my fabric choices. Some of the contrasts are too low so you can't see the letters all that well. And I've just noticed that I've put one of the borders on the wrong way round. Bother and Drat!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Australian Floods

The girls at Among the Gum Trees are trying to put together sewing kits for the women who will have lost so much in the floods. If you would like to help out please follow this link.

Monday, 10 January 2011

It had to happen some time!

I was happily cutting and stitching, cutting and stitching this morning, making more blue letters for my blue quilt, when OUCH!! Yes, that's right, I'd sliced across my finger with the rotary cutter. Mighty BIG ouch. Well, I held on to it for ages to stop it bleeding and then Christopher helped me bandage it up. It's given me a very good excuse to sit and do nothing much for a while (which makes Rosie very happy) and to read blogs - sorry for the very few comments, but typing this has been tricky enough.

That's my new diary behind, from the Quilt exhibition at the V & A, a lovely Christmas present from my SIL.

Hopefully I'll have some letters to show you very soon.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Scrappy update

Even after finishing the blue quilt top earlier this week I still had loads of blue scraps left, so I've made string blocks and stitched them together. I though about using sashing somehow, but I rather liked the look of the whole lot just put together.

Sorry about yet another flash photograph, but I wanted to get this posted and tomorrow's weather forecast is looking pretty grim.

Yesterday I bought Tonya Ricucci's new book Word Play Quilts and I'm using more of the blue scraps to make letters to go around the border and then I hope to use the last few bits up during the next week or so. I don't know what the next colour is, but I'm sure I won't have as many scraps of any other colour as I had of the blue.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Quilt top finished

I've finished my scrappy blue quilt top, and I'm so pleased with it. I just kept adding bits to it until it was the size I wanted, a lap quilt. I added in the red border because it just seemed to need something to bring it to life. I'll try and get a better photograph when I've quilted it, but the weather is so dull and grey at the moment that I don't think it would be any better if I waited for daylight.

I've still got quilt a few blue scraps left, but the bigger pieces will get pieced together to make the backing and then I'll see what I do with the rest. I want to keep a few back to make a rainbow quilt at the end of Scraphappy's challenge.

As you can see, we've still got the Christmas tree up. I feel obliged to leave something up until Twelfth Night, but to be honest, once the New Year is well under way I can't wait to get them down and 'reclaim' my home.

Rosie's just come and given it her seal of approval, so that's alright then.

Monday, 3 January 2011

If at first you don't succeed ...

Tri-Recs! Well, I've been trying quite a lot over the last couple of days, but without a great deal of success. I decided to try out my new rulers with my blue scraps for the Rainbow Scrap challenge. I've made five each of the three different star patterns and quite a lot of nine patch blocks. Drat! Having uploaded the picture I've just spotted a mistake in the top left star - it would have to have been the one I picked to photograph wouldn't it!  I wonder if it's going to get fixed, or if I'll just hope that the mistake gets lost once the whole thing's put together! No, looking again, I think it's meant to be like that. Weird. There is a definite mistake in the bottom right star, but having made the lot before I realised there's no way I'm changing them.

These blocks finish at about eight inches each - I say about, because they're so wonky around the edges that there's no telling what size they'll actually finish.

I've decided that (a) I'm not an accurate quilter and (b) I'm not cut out to make these rather complicated blocks where accuracy is a prerequisite. I think I'll stick to 'liberated'.

I'm hoping to get enough of these blocks together to make a reasonably sized lap quilt. Perhaps I'll call it a day on the 'fancy' blocks, and extend the size with some log cabins made from all of my one-and-a-half inch strips.

One thing I do like though, is not having any set plan to start with, just playing around and seeing what happens.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Scrappy Saturday

Today is the first day of Scraphappy's Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2011. So I sorted out all my blue scraps - enough to fill a fair sized basked.

Then, in between sewing together the top for my redesigned Tail Feathers, I ironed the lot, and now it looks like this.

So now I'm already to start sewing. I recently bought myself some Tri Recs rulers so I think I'm going to be playing with those and seeing what I come up with.