Friday, 30 December 2011

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Sunday, 18 December 2011

My furry baby

My puppy
I have been after a Schipperke for ages. They are a fairly rare breed in the UK. Finally we have a little fur ball come to live with us. And daughter seems to cured of her fear of dogs. Well, small black ones anyway.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


 I am making Simplicity dress 2828 for the daughters. I have made this dress in various sizes before. They are both size eight now, so I have decided to cut the pattern pieces out. I normally trace the size I want to make the most out of each pattern.

I sometimes do things differently to the pattern instructions. Friend A. was surprised when she came round for tea and sewing and saw me do something she would never dream of doing.
Sew lining to front along arms and neck
 I sew the shoulders of dress and lining leave the side seams open and then sew the ling and dress together, right sides facing.
 I then turn them inside out.
 The way I put zips in is also strange or so A. tells me. I leave the side seams open and sew the back seam closed. 
 Pin one side of the zip along the back seam.
 Zip it shut and pin, then I tack it in.
Then just open up the stitching in the lining, this makes sewing the zip in easier. Use the zip foot and sew it in. Don't forget to make sure you have enough thread on your bobbin - not that I am speaking from experience...

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Been busy.

I have been busy but probably not as busy as I could have been. Husband had to use up holidays, so I have been busy looking after him. 
Giant coaster

 I have made a large coaster out of the left overs form my mother's place mats. I just need to bind it and it will be a nice surprise Christmas present. 
Daffodil cross stitch
 I was looking for thread in the embroidery basket I have inherited. I found this little kit in the basket. It's tiny little stitches. I have put a 2Euro cent coin next to it for scale. Not sure what I'll do with it. But enjoying making it.
Flower girls
 I have had a go at teaching the daughters how to do blanket stitch. I didn't realise how difficult it is for little sweaty hands to do this. But they did it quite well I think.
 I like these little fairies and I am thinking of getting some white felt and making little angels for the Christmas tree.
Anchor cross stitch kit
 More treasures were found in my rummage through the embroidery basket. I should take a picture of the basket. Note to self.
Man/shirt quilt
Husband had a sulk that he is neglected in the quilt stakes. He wanted a manly quilt though. I was clearing the cupboards to things to the charity shop. I decided that the cuffs were too worn for a lot of his shirts. The charity shops can be quite picky. So the perfect solution a quilt made from his old shirts. I have made 15 blocks so far, 45 to go.

Other than that I have been busy getting the house in order. We need to puppy proof.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Ready for Christmas?

Are you ready for Christmas? I am not. I need to get Sinterklaas out the way first. Quite a tricky thing to make it fun with only the four of us and my parents to celebrate but we try to make the best of it.
I did fancy trying to make December a bit more fun and magical this year. I have made some fun place mats for us. The Father Christmas fabric is from Ikea as is the back. The borders are from Makeover fabrics Christmas range. I must confess I don't think they are all from the 2011 collection. My local fabric shop tends to sell what ever it gets hold of.
I tried to free motion quilt the place mats with stars. I gave up and drew them on instead. I quilted the place mats using Mettler green metallic thread. I like how they turned out and the daughters think they are fab.

I am trying to win an Go Baby Accuquilt. Have you got? If no why not enter here.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


I found that the daughter's have grown again. They had promised me to stay small and cute forever but I guess nature took over. I will have to settle for tall and leggy I guess. Photogenic would be nice or maybe the photographer is just rubbish (that would be me).
The skirts are made from a McCalls pattern. As you can see they are very wide aka swirly. This is a good thing if you are the daughters if you are the mother not so as she has to hem and iron. The red and blue skirt is made from fabric my mother bought in the 1980's when we lived in southern Germany. It was meant for a dirndl dress with apron. The more purple one is a fabric by Peter Pan fabrics (that's what it said on the self edge). If the daughter stands still long enough you can see that there are little animals hiding among the flowers.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Five down one to go

Yes, I know that there are four place mats in this picture not five but mother was so exited that she grabbed the first one of me before I knew it. The eagle eyed will also have spotted that one place mat is missing it's binding. This has been rectified. It hasn't been photographed though as the light here has been rubbish. For those who have spent time in the UK this is no surprise. Also we had a leak, which shorted the lights. Though (touch wood) they seem to be working again.
Mother is very please with them. Her sixth place mat is on hold for now. I need to make Christmas stuff for my house and finish my report for work. After all I need to be able to keep myself supplied with more fabric and wadding.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Christmas gifts for quilters

Have you been to look at Lily's quilts giveaway?

I love the FQ bundles.

Fingers crossed but I never win anyway :-)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Barbie Pink

Sorry for the poor picture quality. I missed my 15 minutes of sunshine to take a picture on the washing line. Mainly because I was drying washing. Well if you live in the UK you have to grab your chances. My daughter thinks that Barbie would love a quilt like this. But now comes the tricky it. How to quilt it?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

How do you add a button?

Lily's quilts is hosting this giveaway. I would love to take part but I don't know how to add the button to my blog.

I have never tried Aurifill but have heard many good things. I won't win. I never do - not even the school raffle but if I can't even figure out how to take part... well no chance. Any help gladly accepted.

Christmas Gifts for Quilters


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

almost a quilt top

Look 18 blocks and they are all 9.5 inches. All almost 9.5 some are a little smaller.
I have been cutting the sashing and hope to be able to update you soon.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Pink sampler quilt update

I made some more "pink" 9 inch squares. I am afraid that the little Aussie cousin needs to be super cute if she is to get this one. Darling daughter is quite sure she wants this quilt.

Rising star block or "mummy star with baby"

Double Cross
Road to the Whitehouse. I like the daisies a lot

Pussy in the corner. Husband thinks this a hilarious name... A dirty mind is a joy forever as they say.
Right hand of friendship.

Amish star.

All this week's newbies.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Finished Baby boy blue

I am pleased to say that I finished it before J's birthday. I did all right at not buying new fabrics for it. The only fabric I bought specifically for this quilt is the dark blue with the toys and dogs and things. The frames around the squares are an old shirt of husband's (thank you darling for helping out with providing the right colour blue) The sashing is material my mother bought for pajamas for my brother and father - yes she did used to make the PJ as well in the 70's. The other fabrics are dress fabrics from either the girls or myself.
The back is Ikea fabler fabric. It was on sale last time I was at Ikea for £1.00 a metre. I decided that 8 metres should do for a little while any way. Just need to make the quilt label and it's ready to go.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Outside my comfort zone

This block is completely outside my comfort zone. According to my book the pattern is called Railroad Crossing. My youngest chose the colours. I like blues and greens and turquoises. She loves red. Don't get me wrong I like red but not sure how to combine the really bright reds she likes.

The "retro" material is in fact 40 years old. My mother bought it in Amstelveen. She says it's Swiss cotton (Zwitserse katoen). It lay in her cupboard until last year because she too likes red but doesn't know what to do with it. Last year the 4 metres (well some it) she had bought were turned into this by me.
And no, I don't know why she chose to wear a cerise cardigan with it.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Sampler quilt update.

The sampler quilt as I like to call it is progressing. Husband likes to call it a scrap disaster quilt. I fear he may be right.

I know a lot of people will list which fabrics they have used. I am afraid I can't do that with most of my fabric as it comes out my mother's stash. I do know that the little cats are freedom fabrics. The pink polka dots and white background with large roses (Churn dash block) are from Ikea and are left over from a quilt back. If you look carefully you'll notice the centre of the Churn dash block is being modeled, if a little grumpily, by my youngest daughter.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Project Runway

Finished the simplicity dress 2320 for my daughters. Can you tell which one wanted to pose for the picture? I should apologise for the untidy house. I am not a good housekeeper. I normally make sure that the dirt isn't bad enough to kill anyone. Also I haven't done the ironing yet. The weather is really autumnal now, so the girls have their leggings and things under the dress.

I would say that the pattern makes it sound easier than it is. "just turn over to sew the yoke" is not just a quick flip you have to make sure all the pleats are in place. I like the fit and all the design ideas. The girls like to get involved and choose their own sleeves and bows etc. Now I just need to make some matching hairbands.

Thursday, 15 September 2011


I had some time to do a spot of quilting today. I made a bit of a mistake. I did wonder why my machine was finding it tough going. This is the back of baby boy blue quilt. I would like to have it finished before the end of September.

Monday, 12 September 2011


I was never going to do another hexagon quilt ever again. No really, never. Well that was until I had to stay at the pool for an hour watching my two girls. I got very bored. The light on the spectator bench isn't good enough to attempt cross stitch, so I thought some I need another project. Well here it is. Hexagons - the return. I hope this doesn't take as long as the first one.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Work in progress up date

The daughters are back at school today. I should have been editing journals but I decided to do some dress making. This simplicity pattern 2320. It is not as easy as it looks. It might be because I sew in metric rather than inches and the pattern is made in the US therefore in inches. I love the result so far and the daughter is pleased too.

These are some 9 inch squares I have been working on. It was going to be a quilt for the youngest Australian cousin but now I am not so sure. I like it a lot myself even if it is very pink.

Also I am not sure how to get the quilt to Australia. Daughter 2 did suggest having the quilt finished before my brother and his children come to visit. "Then all A. needs to do is open her suitcase put the quilt in and then her clothes. Close the suitcase and hey presto. Or if that doesn't work get a carrier bag." Simple really I wish I were seven; I wouldn't need to worry about luggage allowance and boring practical thing then.

Friday, 2 September 2011


Nothing to do with sewing but look what arrived in the post today.

They are Hushpuppies I like them a lot but not sure they are the right size. I will have to think about whether they are staying. I do believe they will as they are red and shiny and have a little sparkle.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

End of summer holidays

It's almost the end of the summer holiday. I haven't been able to do as much sewing as I would like. I have had to organise school uniform for both the daughters. The plan of having two girls so that you could have hand me downs didn't work out. Daughter 2 is as tall as daughter 1. I have spent quite some time sewing in name labels, a boring but necessary job. Mind you it doesn't guarantee you are going to get your children's clothes back but ay least you have a fighting chance.

I have finished the sampler I started for daughter 1 when she was born. I took to be framed on Saturday. I will post a picture of it when I have a chance. I need to work out how to take her name of the picture, as I don't really want to publish her name and date of birth on the internet.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Baby boy blue not so blue

I really like how this one is turning out. It's not as blue as I had thought it would be. I need to add a border. I am not sure I have the right material though. Most of the squares are made with scrap fabric I had any way. I am not sure I have enough "boyish" pale blue as a border. I need to have a think about it. I could do a piano key border I guess. It will need a border to make it larger. The boy it's intended for will be two soon enough and will get his own big boy bed.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Free motion quilting

I attended a free motion quilt course today. I am not sure it's for me. The whole "free form" and "organic" that the teacher was talking about does not come naturally to me. Anyway this is what I came home with. Tomorrow more free motion but concentrating on borders.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Place mats

My mother would like place mats. I need to make six of these. The discussion now is. Do I make six exactly the same - this is what my mother wants or do I make them all different - as my father would like. Though choice. Husband suggested six the same and another six different ones, that way both will be happy.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

work in progress baby boy blue

I made this pink quilt for my friends new baby girl.

I should have known that her boy would want one too. He is only 18 month older than baby L. about the same age gap as my two girls. I have decided to rectify this terrible mistake.

This is boy boy blue quilt.

Now I just need to finish it. Not the easiest as I am trying to work (freelance editing scientific journals), look after daughters while it's the holidays and keep the house tidy...