Monday, 31 December 2012

CQJP update

thank you and thank you again for all the advice I have had since my last blog.

I am now feeling far more motivated and plan to do my blocks in green, various shades and embellish with additional colour, charms,tatting, maybe a little ribbon work which I have not done before and lots of stitching.

This morning I enthusiastically washed 21 fat quarters, 5 half metres lengths, one one metre length and quite a lot of small pieces I had dyed over the years, all these are in green but some have a bit of added colour and not all are plain so I do not think i will be able to use them all. After washing I spent what seemed like hours ironing them dry and steaming up the kitchen so i could not see out the window, all done now so no excuse for not moving on to starting the blocks. I plan to make all 12 together so will only have to embellish one each month, well at lest that is the plan.. Also washed the muslin I am going to use as the foundation Hurrah!!!

When the warmer weather comes I will wash the other pieces of fabric I have and then will know all is prepared, did not realise how much I had, just picking up fat quarters here and there, found there were 2 I had duplicated but that is not so bad as I bought the first pieces in the 90`s but never  knew how to progress till now.

Well it is New Year`s Eve here, I am afraid I will not be staying up to welcome the new year but wish you all a happy,joyous and content year ahead.

Saturday, 29 December 2012


We are fast approaching the new year and I have come up with one resolution,  in 1995 my late husband bought me a Kenwood food mixer, with liquidiser etc, well I still have not managed to work out how to use it, it did come with a video but no video player,   bring back the old manuals please!!  Two years ago I got in touch with Kenwood and told them it did not work, I press the button but nothing happens, well they said send it back which I did and they returned it saying it was in full working order,  still no success but 2013 is going to be when I get the confounded thing to start or the bin can have it!!!

Now fellow bloggers I have signed up to CQJP for 2013 but have not got a clue where to start, have asked one or two of you for advise but thought I would throw it open to everyone.  Do I need a theme? what size should I do? oh so many things I want to know.  I think I would like to make it into a hanging when finished so surely it needs to have something linking the blocks together, I thought maybe the blocks should all be the same but with different stitches but this seems a bit boring. From looking at other blocks plain colours seem to be the thing to use    oh dear have I bitten of more than I can chew??   Advise will be greatly appreciated and maybe then then creativity and inspiration will begin to work.

I was given some jelly roll templates from my daughters for Christmas, they are new to England and were demonstrated on create and craft tv channel, only available at the moment through the tv, They are from Australia so as I have a jelly roll I might do something with that whilst waiting for your advice for my CQJP

All the best to you all for 2013.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Best wishes

Christmas morning here so a quickie to wish everyone a joyful time,  and all the best for 2013.
Tine to stuff the turkey.
I also want to thank everyone for following me and the wonderful comments you have posted on my blog.

Wonder what time my 2 daughters and granddaughter will wake up, probably not for hours yet, one of the cats is already up, think she can smell the turkey and is waiting for the giblets!!  

Sunday, 16 December 2012


It has been a while since I last posted a blog, have been following everyone else`s but not been motivated myself so will try and put a picasa photo on of the things I have stitched over the years and the little nativity scenes I have.   Sorry could not understand the instructions so will just post a few of my photos.

well these are just a few of the things done in the last 20 years.
I have also made a bag for daughter Catherine, see wants a black,grey,white small shopper in crazy style.
think she will like it if not I will keep it myself!!

A little pillow for Helen who loves angels and suffers from chrons which can make her quite poorly at times.

I have both daughters and granddaughter here for Christmas, Helen who is a nurse has an early shift Xmas Eve and hurrah the day off on Christmas day and is back on a late boxing day, will also have their 2 cats Sophie and Alfie, they are mother and son but the few times when they have been here together they have not got on too well, will see what happens this time.

I wish all bloggers a happy and peaceful Christmas.

So sad the tragedy in Connicticut, my prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and also for the poor little children who witnessed the appalling events, I pray they will come to terms with what they saw and heard.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

my purchases at the K & S show

How I enjoyed meeting Kathryn and Judith at the show, both from SF and blog land, hoping to meet Judith for a visit to Hobbycraft in the next few days, Kathryn is further away in Chester but we had some quality time together and I am sure we will keep it touch.It is good to walk around the show with someone and share ideas and well just the company was wonderful.
Thanks ladies for your comments on the show blog, now I will show you where my pennies went whilst there!

The purchase I will find the most useful is this ironing board, saves getting the big one out when doing my crazy blocks, its just sits on the work top by the sewing machine

I had seen one of these used on create and craft then found The Stitch Witch stand and hey presto have my own. It measures 12" by 18", had thought about trying to make one myself but now no need and it would not have turned out so well as this one.

Also bought three books,  a bit disappointed as I thought they were the tradition English paper piecing method but no they are traditional foundation piecing, just as well they were well reduced at £5 each, Make it simpler paper piecing by A G Solmon ,Paper-pieced bed quilts by J Davis and the Blessed Home Quilt by C Derksen and M Harder, the latter one has some things which really appeal including a project of a pillow with an angel on and the words angels are amongst us. My younger daughter Helen loves angels so think I will make one for her, lets hope she keeps the cat off it.
There were also some beads to add to the stash, I needed a few fat quarters in dark colours, got a black, navy and dark grey ready for the CQJP challenge.
Oh yes there was a lovely lady from Australia who had come over for the show, she makes the most delightful felt dolls    ak traditions   and also knitted dolls, had to have a pattern for the felt ones, her stand was packed throughout the show she said it was well worth the trip and was also seeing a book publisher who was interested in a book from her., she has a web site   www, for any who are interested.
Silk ribbon was also on my list but there was very little there, was hoping to be able to buy some that I could dye but not very successful, did manage to get these though

Then I found some charms, there were quite a few of each in each packet so have split them up to share with Catherine got a bit carried away I fear, found the more expensive ones first but then could not resist the better buys

 the more expensive ones are the last photo, do not look a better quality, had I have come across the good buys first would not have purchased these.
Now a few buttons

One of my favourite stands is the Oliver Twist one, Jean dyes all sorts of things,  silk tops, cocoons etc, threads , fabrics, all colour coordinated, I love her fine cottons which I use for the fancy stitching in my hardanger, checked before I went and this time only needed 5 colours, her range has about 53 variegated threads in it
 Her range of machine embroidery threads are also wonderful. I love to just stand and look at her stand as she displays her goodies so very well and has work boards above    such a feast for the eyes.Jean and Walter make everyone so welcome and will explain what and how to do if you have any queries, I can`t speak highly enough of them both.
There were also a few strips of friendly plastic to add to those I already have, quite like the technique, will post a pic when I achieve anything worth while.

Well think that is about it for now,   a good two days which I throughly enjoyed.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Knitting and Stitching show

I think I have finally recovered after a hectic 2 days at the show. Age must be catching up on me as I found myself so very tired for a few days.
It was great to catch up with old friends and also to meet up with 2 ladies I have met through stitchinfingers.
Lots to see, there was an exhibition by O2 textiles which was full of humour, unfortunately no photos allowed but I did buy the booklet they had published as I so enjoyed their work.  The quilters guild had a few quilts on display and there were various others with pieces of work, some photos to follow. I am afraid I should have made notes as I seem to have forgotten some of the displays.

There was a competition to upcycle old clothes etc, Bella Lane who is a member of HEN had a pair of shoes which she had decorated.

I was also amused by this dress made from silk ties.

 A branch of the Embroiderer`s Guild in the north east had an exhibition based on the coal mines which was very interesting, just one photo to show you

The gold is for the the sand and to the right is the sea where they mined a lot of coal, on the left are the two rivers and the counties are marked by different fabrics.  You do not really get the effect from the photo but to see it was pretty amazing.

Another exhibition I was drawn with a variety of work by a group called Push stitchery, a couple more pictures

this was beautifully embroidered by Erin Endicott

 this is a piece of needle felting by Zoe Williams.

just one more photo I must share with you made from discarded tea bags, sorry not sure who did these or what group she was exhibiting with
 Someone certainly drank lots of tea,   she also had a wall hanging made from tea bags.

Will do another blog to confess what I spent my money on later. think this is more than enough for now.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tast weeks 46 & 47

I am rather behind with week 46 only stitched it yesterday whilst doing week 47

Magic chain stitch,  I stitched with 2 shades of green  unfortunately they were variegated and in places looks as though I have used only one thread,  lesson learnt. In one area I have not alternated every stitch but every other stitch and have also done a small section in twisted chain.The fabric is a piece I have dyed with silk paints

                                             Magic chain stitch

week 47 is portuguese border stitch, I have worked this with a thick perle cotton from the Oliver Twist range, used three different ones, the bars were done with a finer thread.I enjoyed this stitch and can see me using it again and hopefully doing something creative.

                                       Portuguese border stitch.

Tomorrow I am off to Harrogate for the Knitting and Stithing show,  this show is held at Ali Pali London, Dublin and Harrogate.  A great day out well two days or maybe even 3 days, will be going back saturday and maybe sunday. There are at least 4 halls, three with the traders, one which is full of professional embroiderers etc displaying their work and lots of exhibitions, must remember to charge the camera before I go as there will be photography allowed on some of the stands.Downstairs there are workshops and more exhibitions, guilds etc and there is also a competition of upgraded recycled things, will be looking out for a pair of shoes that someone I know has entered, have her permission to post a pic here when I do my next blog.
What am I going to buy I wonder,  I need some acid dyes, more Oliver Twist threads and of course the book stalls will draw me in like a magnet. Patchwork stands will be an attraction too, some plain fat quarters in dark colours, black, brown, red,grey  sounds dismay but I know what I want them for,  maybe also a couple of Christmas fat quarters, should check what I have before I go,  so happy days ahead, will let you know all about it later.    With working at the shows about 15 years prior to retirement 6 years ago there will also be catching up on all the gossip to do. Unfortunately one or two traders will be missing as there is a very big show in Paris at the same time, never mind more than enough for me to feast my eyes on.


Over the weekend I made my hexagon block into a bag for when I go buying patchwork bits and bobs.  I added feather stitch and alternate barred chain stitch to the seams as one or two were not too good then attached it to some fabric.I am quite please but have got the corners a bit to shaped I think but have trimmed the excess fabric so cannot redo.


I also made a couple more pouches to keep the 12" square ruler in and another for smaller templates. Slowly using up the jelly roll I bought last year at the K & S show,  off to the show on thursday and no I will not buy anymore as have 2 left.

  this one holds the twelve and a half inch square ruler as yet not been used! Colours are a bit brighter than this but a bit insipid really.

 These hold smaller template and the rotary cutters and they all live in the large one that holds the cutting mat and the 24" ruler.
Now I have so many bits and pieces to make the patchwork easier I will make an effort to take it further.
I have signed up to CJQP 2013 to get me motivated as I have seen so many wonderful blocks others have done this last year.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


I have been rather lazy with my stitching this past week but did have a go at a hexagon that Janet M Davies put on her blog  sorry do not know how to put a link on.  Done over paper in the traditional English hand piecing way so takes a while to do. I must admit I found it very relaxing apart from pricking my finger periodically. I do wear a thimble but should have one on my left hand too.

This is of course the same block photoed (sorry about spelling but not in my dictionary but it looks wrong to me ) in 2 different ways, you can see how it has a different illusion,  I plan to put it on a bag but could find no suitable fabric when I went to buy some, maybe today I will have more luck, want something quite strong and hopefully in a tan colour or similar.

I did a single block first but I am not sure if it is the colours but it does not work so well


 I thought I would share some photos of a beautiful sunrise I watched a couple of days ago.  Shame about the telegraph  wires but I do not think British Telecom would be too pleased if I cut them! I have a large field opposite, sometimes we have horses grazing, children playing and people use it as a short cut but soon they are to build social housing so my views will go. In the far distance on a very clear day I can see the hills but that will be lost forever  Such a shame but the houses are needed, so little building has been done in the last few years.  I do not know why the powers that be cannot do something about all the empty houses, they would make homes for those on the never ending waiting lists, such a waste.

The last photo was taken a few days previously,   rather liked the half hearted attempt at a sunrise and managed to catch a few gulls flying past.

Yesterday we were back once more at hospital for Sal`s check up on her shattered ankle.  Still not been discharged but have to go back in 3 months, not healing too well and quite a bit of calcification going on whatever that means.  She can now do a bit of dancing but cannot do sport till he sees her again, he said normally a patient is discharged after 6 weeks, Sal had her accident on july 12th so it is really dragging on.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Yesterday I made a bag to take my cutting mat and rulers. I have just ordered a new mat as the one I`ve had for the past 18 years I have used to cut all sorts, even mount board with a stanley knife and now I am getting my head around patchwork thought there were on or two bits I needed.  I also have a new 24"ruler, a 12" sq,a 6" sq and new rotary cutter, oh yes have got a dresden plate template on order too,   must stop buying now. Quite pleased with the bag, had I thought about it a bit more I would have made it the other way round so it is long and thin rather than short and stout! The jelly roll I had bought last year (along with 2 others) an offer I could not refuse came in handy, still plenty left so think I will make a smaller bag for the 12"sq but not put wadding in it, will see.

Have discovered my nose does not like cotton, sneezing all the time whilst machining, think it must be the tiny bits of fluff, will have to learn to live with it as I am enjoying the patchwork world.

Have also taken the bull by the horns and signed up for the CQ block 2013, well will try anyway.

Now tast week 45 I have nothing to post as I had used the stitch on the casalguidi bags last week, so taking a week off,   maybe I will do another piece, see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

tumbling and tatting

 I have just made my first patchwork block using papers which I am quite pleased with, I only used some poly cotton I had at hand to try this method, the block now needs mounting on a square piece of fabric. I think I might prefer this way by hand rather than machine patching, it is easier to get the corners meeting and think it is more relaxing stitching by hand if some what slower  well I expect it is but have not tried it on the machine yet. On friday I got a quarter inch foot for the machine so will have a go shortly.

Now for my latest piece of needle tatting, I found this necklace pattern on the internet, it went together very well but the chain part is not long enough for me to wear it, not sure I would if I could anyway
 I have now quite a selection of tatted pieces which I hope to use on some crazy blocks in the near future.

When I went out today I saw something odd on the garden by the path, touching it gingerly with my foot I decided it was a fungus of some sort, not sure what has made the holes in it but thought I would share this thing with you all, maybe it was something to do with halloween, I did not open my door to some knockers as they frighten me, no eggs or flour thrown at my windows which is quite common, maybe the fungus was deposited instead although it appears to be rooted in the soil, will keep my eye on it and see what happens.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

the tast stitch for this week is needlewoven picot stitch,  I have used this a few times so thought I would post a couple of photos from the past in case I do not get around to a new sample.

these lilttle bags are worked using the casalguidi technique which I enjoy, you work a block of 4 sided stitch first and them use various stitches, woven picots, bullions, cast on stitch,couching,buttonhole bars and padded raised stem bar to name a few.

Yesterday I stitched a little butterfly for Helen, just to let her know she is in my thoughts whilst she is feeling so poorly, will pop round to her house today, a couple of buses away and leave it as she is at uni for the day, will not be surprised if she has been sent home but she does not want to miss her course, doing a diploma on palative care, she is a nurse and wants to care for the terminally ill.  Her favourite animals are cats but butterflies are a very close second followed by ladybirds, think I will do a ladybird next,   cats are a bit more complicated!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

buttonhole wheel cup

this week Sharon had us stitching the buttonhole wheel cup for the week 43. I have done two pieces, the first is the sample piece I usually to see if I can stitch the stitch

as you can see there are quite a few of the stitches here but please do not ask me to name them all.

Here is my second attempt, a small pot plant, the pot has been used on another tast and you will probably see it appearing again for another stitch

Now for a few photos of things in the garden . Some of my plants are confuse, rather like me really and seem to think it is spring,  not sure why as we had a few snow flurries yesterday.

yes they really are flowers in october.

 this magnolia also is confused, have since had another flower but no sign of any more buds.

Some trees have realised autumn has come, beautiful colours here.

not sure what this is and hold my hands up it is not in my garden but next door,they keep chickens and  think the chicken manure has done this a lot of good.

 Thus is my rehder tree, has autumnal coloured leaves in the spring along with tiny very pale pink flowers and then the leaves go green only to revert to autumnal now.

 This one I took on wednesday, I was at the hospital with Helen my younger daughter, she has chrons disease, out of control at the moment so had 4 injections in her tummy on wednesday at a cost of £1600 to the good old NHS, will have to have one injection a fortnight in future which she will administer herself, fingers and toes crossed they will help her along with a very large dose of prayer.Once again I am not sure what tree it is, maybe one of you bloggers can tell me.
Think that will do for now.  As I think I mentioned in my last blog I like to thank you all for your comments but when there is no email address I cannot, please do not think I am ignoring you.

Monday, 22 October 2012


Thank you all for your suggestions for my stitch sampler

I decided it would look good on my coffee table but when I tried it changed my mind it did not look right. Not sure still thinking but knowing me I will either put it back in the drawer or end up framing it.

Or maybe taking Shirley`s idea and crochet an edging around it, I could then have it as a wall hanging,  yes think this idea is now top of the list,will have to tea dye the thread first or it will look too new against the rest of the sampler. will ponder for a little longer.

Thanks for all your replies, great to be able to have blogging friends and share all our bits and pieces.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Stitch sampler

I came across a piece of work I had done a few years ago the other day when I was half heartedly having a tidy up of the room where I store most of my stitching paraphernalia and thought it is time I did something with it. It was stitched on 28ct antique white evenweave with an assortment of threads but turned out to be rather bright and in my face so decided to soak it in some tea and rather like how it turned out. It is slightly darker than the photo shows, my camera does not believe the saying the camera never lies especially when it comes to colours!  Anyway I now do not know what to do with it,  has anyone got any ideas, I can not get past having it framed but my house already looks more like a gallery than a home and the cost of framing is so extortionate these days,   thinking caps on  please ladies.