Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Craft fair here I come !

Well, I've decided to have a go at doing my first craft fair.  I don't have a lot of items for sale, but I feel like I need to start somewhere....so I've got my first half table booked at St. Andrews Church in Penrith for the end of this month.  

Here's just a couple of things that will be displayed on my little portion of the table.  

Here is one of my hand made, home made tote bags.  I call it my "Happy Scrappy Tote".  It's fully lined with nice long straps for comfort and strength.  A large black button is used for closure of the bag as well as decoration.  

Also, I have this other bag which I call the "Mosaic Tote".  It is mainly black, red and white and on the front is a mosaic design while on the back it is stitched in a Log Cabin quilt pattern design.  

I'll also be selling blank hasty note cards.  These cards started as a hand painted quilt block pattern done on watercolour paper, then the painting is scanned onto the computer and then printed directly onto the note card.  Here's a couple I have chosen to take to the fair.  One is 'Precious Pinwheel' and the other is  'Muted Maples'.  

So, wish me luck if you are reading the first entry in my blog for some time.  Will update on here later and let everyone know how things went.  Until then, have a good day. 





Saturday, 28 January 2012

Finishing Those UFO's ....


It's been a busy few weeks since I last wrote here....but it's been a productive time.  While I was in Canada on holiday I was working on six quilt blocks each one with a Grandmothers Garden set of seven hexagons.  These six blocks are now in a finished quilt top with lovely deep blue sashings and a bright orange Morning Star for the cornerstones. 

The quilt top is presently in the hands of a good friend who is doing the machine quilting for me.  This quilt is a gift for a dear friend who is moving away in April, and this will be a little something for her to remember her stay time in Penrith. 

There is in fact one 'humble' block in the quilt top.  Not thinking, I accidentally put a dark green hexagon in one of the centres instead of the light beige I had originally cut for it.  I'll consider this a good luck move. 

My other accomplishment is to finally finish the dartboard.  It turned out quite good and looks rather realistic. 

A competition dartboard is almost 18" in diameter so this is full size and with the background fabric the entire wall hanging is approximately 20" square.  I've put a rod pocket on the back so that my brother in law can hang it where he pleases, and pin his dart badges and pins where he wishes to.

Wanting a new project to work on, (and I'm sure we all get that urge now and again), I dug out the Amy Butler fabrics that I received from my daughter last year for my birthday.  I've decided to create a quilt top using 16" square quilt blocks.  Although these fabrics and colours would not be my first choice, my daughter was genuinely trying to get me to think 'outside the box' so to speak.  So here are the pictures of the first three blocks.

The Garden Block
Crossed Roads

Log Cabin
The photos aren't the best, but all the fabrics do tone in with each other...but I'm always in such a rush to get pictures of things taken that I really do need to be more patient and wait for the sun to come out, but then again....I could be waiting forever....I live in Cumbria. 
I've got the next set of instructions for the fourth block, but it will be waiting in the wings as I've gone back to yet another couple of UFO's and plan on finishing two quilts using my Birthday blocks from all my quilting friends from the last two years.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Year, New Thoughts ....

Well, I suppose it's about time I did something about showing a few piccies from the holiday in Canada over Christmas.  We flew from Glasgow Airport and took off just in time, as the weather deteriorated very quickly within a couple of hours.   Within a short time we were well above the clouds and the weather up there compared to down below was the difference between chalk and cheese.  Have a look.....Can you see the rainbow just above the engine?  A circle rainbow ! !  Never seen anything like it before.

It's amazing to think that under all that cloud there was a ferocious storm going on.  We were almost eight hours flying time instead of seven due to the strong head winds.  As we landed at Toronto Airport the sun came out and being five hours behind England time, we were certainly ready for a cuppa.  My daughter Kate was there to pick us up and it didn't take long before we were heading back to her home.

That afternoon I had the chance to surprise my grandson, James, by heading over to his school with Grandpa Terry and his mum to pick him up.  It was a lovely opportunity to get first hand hugs. After supper it was Jame's delight to show Nana and Grandpa the lights on the Christmas Tree in the living room.  James and I still needed to decorate his own tree downstairs in the family room which we did another evening.  That tree was the one that was being saved especially for Santa you see. 

Another lovely surprise when we got to Kate's was the new addition to the family going by the name of 'Balero'.  Approximately one year of age, this small, soft calico feline is a really sweet kitten. 
Balero is a rescue kitten from the S.P.C.A and had only been a resident at the Mason housefold for five days when we arrived.  She has settled in quite nicely and enjoyed Christmas with her new family. 
She is a curious little beast and had a few unusual adventures throughout the house during our visit.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Anyone for Darts ?

I had a special request a few days ago from a young man down in Worcester.  Actually, although he's young and lives in Worcester he's also my partners younger brother.  I was asked to create a championship sized dartboard out of fabric, and as I love a challenge I said yes.  I must have been mad or drunk.

So, here is the start of it.  An 18" in diameter circle of black fabric stitched onto a backing fabric with warm and natural wadding behind for stability. 

The wedges are actually a soft beige colour.....more in the shade of what they are on a real dartboard and I need to place 10 of these wedges around the circle to create the illusion that there are 10 black ones in between. 

Here I've got all 10 beige wedges positioned and pinned.  Then I've lifted the outer section of the wedge to place the red inner circle for the triple points.  I've used a double sided adhesive tape for that and will stitch it down permanently later. 

Once that inner red circle was complete, I did the same for the outer circle for the doubles points.   See what I mean when I said I must have been mad. 


A little further along and the red rings are in place, the beige wedges are stitched down, the green pieces are now being overlaid on alternate wedges and I have one very gummed up needle in my machine.  This is the last time I use double sided adhesive tape on fabric if I plan to stitch as well. 

The next step will be to finish the green sections and then start the numbering.


It's the hand stitching of the numbers around the outside of the circle that has really been doing my head in today.  So I decided to put the dartboard to bed for awhile and do something else. 

I need to find a narrow silver cord that looks like thin wire.  When I've accomplished that then I can start hand couching it on around the circles as well as between each wedge.  More pictures to come later. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

A part of my past ....

I'm sure most of you know that I'm originally from Canada.  I returned to this country to buy a business with my now ex-husband and two other partners.  We purchased a hotel and transformed it into a nine bedroom bed and breakfast.  The reason I'm telling you this is because I want to show you the quilts that were made to cover the beds at the Manor.  These quilts are still at the Manor accept one that I have kept for myself as it has a very personal story behind it. 

This first picture shows the two single beds in Room #1.  The quilts were made of Log Cabin blocks and pre-printed squares, so they were quick and easy to put together. 

All of the quilts at the Manor have Warm and Natural for the wadding and only the quilt in Room 2 was made while I was one of the owners/proprietors of the business.  I certainly didn't have much time for sewing back then. 

Room #2 contains the Iris Quilt.  I named it after my Auntie Iris who lived with us at the Manor, but has since moved down to South Wales.  I will miss her now that she is so much further away. 

This is the only quilt that was created while I was at the Manor.  Across the top of the quilt just under the pillow and in the middle, is a paper-pieced Purple Iris.  The rest of the quilt was built around this block. 


Room #4 has a Sampler quilt on the bed.  Room #3 has two single beds and they have duvets with pink throws on them, so there were no hand made quilts there. 

This sampler was done in Canada and it was a block of the month that I did with about  20 other quilters in the north of Ontario. 



This next quilt was called 'The Millenium Quilt'.  It too was a block of the month that myself and my patchwork group found on the internet that was based in British Columbia.  This quilt was on the bed in Room #5, but I now have it here at home with me. 

The block of the month started in January 1999, and with all the blocks completed by December of that year, the layering and quilting would take place in 2000, so this quilt was aptly named.  It was handed quilted by another quilt group and the money raised went to their favourite charity.  My son and daughter in law were married in the year 2000, so their 10th wedding anniversary quilt, which I made for them last year, was created using the same twelve blocks and of course a completely different colour scheme. 

My 'Bird House' quilt is still in Room #6.  The top of the quilt has 12 - 18" square blocks with a narrow attic window framing around each one.  I am hoping that this quilt will be returned to me after my two other partners sell the business as it also has special memories for me.  I will though, need to purchase this one as I sold it to the business with all the other quilts when I left.  I still have the pattern for this so it certainly wouldn't be difficult to recreate the entire quilt again. 


On the left is this lovely 'Jewel Box Garden' quilt on the bed on Room #7.  This quilt was also created in Canada and brought over with me when I moved here. 

Since this picture was taken this room has had a complete makeover and is now a much softer cream colour. 

The last of the quilts at the Manor is in Room #9.  Shown above on the right is the Panzy Patch quilt and is a super king size.  Room #8 has a four poster bed and the large brocade throw on that bed helps to create the ambiance in the room and won't be changed anytime in the future. 

So here you have them....all the quilts that are still at Lowbyer Manor in Alston, and a few others, where I was once an owner for about 26 months.  It was only due to severe personal reasons that all this came to an end much too soon.  

So I think that's about all the chatting I'll be doing this evening, so I'm off to bed, once I here from my partner.  It's been one of those nights for him. 

Friday, 4 November 2011

There are still roses blooming in my garden.  Then yesterday I noticed that one last Gladiola was trying to flower.  We've had such high winds and heavy rains lately that I felt it best to bring some of the colour into the house.  So here I've posted a couple of photos for your enjoyment.  It won't be long before all the colour is gone and all the leaves will have fallen. 
But to brighten everyone's end of day, I'm posting a piccie of those fabrics I purchased while at the fabric shop yesterday morning.   A special request from Liz.....so here you go Liz.

I've had the black fabric before but so enjoyed working with it, got a bit more.  The cream and the plum just called out to me and then there's the Terracotta mix....wow...what a gorgeous colour. 

So with the sewing alterations complete and two quilt blocks done today, I think I can go to bed knowing I've had a full day.  Good night all. xo

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Another Nutso Day !

Don't you think it's a bit odd when the first thing you think of in the morning when you wake is, 'I'll get the sewing machine turned on and the iron warmed up in just a minute.' 

For goodness sake child, get some breakfast first, and at least get out of your nightie and brush your teeth. 

Today alterations consisted of four pairs of trousers, all being taken up, and two skirts that need a tuck in here and there.  For some reason, I'm the only one on this planet, (I feel) that's not shrinking.  Also cancelled my appointment with the physio guy (shame as he is a bit of a hunk), due to a cold.  So instead of physiotherapy, I went to the fabric shop.  Had to buy four spools of thread to match the four pairs of pants that needed shortening.  I couldn't believe that with all the threads I've got, nothing matched.  Of course, it wasn't just the thread I came home with, but no one but me needs to know that. 

Well, I'm off to bed shortly, and no.....I didn't get everything done today, so tomorrow it's more clothing work before quilting fun.  But come heck or high water, by high noon, I'll be searching my stash for the perfect fabrics to complete those infamous block swaps and postcards that are calling.