Monthly Archives: September 2013

Let the cheating begin.

A trip to Joannes to buy thread.

Yes, I have a billion spools of thread, but of course, none the right colour.

And then, a date with the sewing machine.



Two flowers down.



Five to go.

See you on the other side.

The top is done eth …

Well it’s all in place except for one or two final touches which I will do later.

Also it’s without its border, but, apart from that, the top is definitely, almost, just has to be sewn together, done eth.

Be sure to shield your eyes.


It’s blinding!


So, with sunglasses on, I peeled all the paper from the back of the Wonder Under and ironed the pieces in place. I then also pinned the ironed pieces to the backing fabric as I’ve found from previous experience that the Wonder Under isn’t that stickable under heavy use.

Usually I’m making blocks, one at a time, and the Wonder Under is fine, but I know that this quilt is all over the place with no particular rhyme nor reason, so I decided to pin the pieces also as a double back up plan. As and when I get around to sew each flower, I’ll take the pins out and re iron . Once that particular flower is completed I’ll move on to the next one.

Or so the plan goes.

I quickly remembered (once I began to sew) that I’d forgotten how painful those tiny white headed pins can be when you try to maneuver the fabric through the sewing machine, so, amidst pain and blood, I had to have a quick rethink.

I decided to baste the flowers to the backing fabric and remove all those pesky pins.

Now I’m ready to begin to sew.

Tomorrow …

And what exactly happened here?

You went into the quilt shop for white background fabric, and?


So you’re trying to tell me that tangerine is the new white?


I’ll buy that.

Amazingly tidy quilt table.


Look at it now, because it won’t last long.

First cup of tea.

(Actually my third. I’d already had two before I even made it to the quilt room).


Then I continued to make flowers and arrange them on the new white background.


I think it’s getting there, but the orange certainly surprised me.

So I had to have another cup of tea.


And I’m still not sure.


So I walked away for the day and went into the studio instead.

And made a bracelet.


I also found a (very) old photograph of me when I was at art school.


Could I look more grubby?

That jacket cost me 50p at the Help the Aged shop in Winchester. It was an old dustman’s jacket. My sister wouldn’t walk next to me when I wore it.

I have no idea why.


So I never promised you a rose garden.

But who cares when you can have these instead.


Industrial Bloom on Etsy


Industrial Bloom on Etsy

Although you could probably get lockjaw from both.

I wonder. Would it smell as sweet?

Would it matter?


Why is it that all of my animals are exhausted?

You remember Willow who was simply shattered after a hard day of doing absolutely nothing to help with cleaning out the studio.


Well it looks as though Wally has caught the all tuckered out bug now.


And don’t even get me started on Sophie!


I’m sure Spencer and Pickles are off somewhere being more discreet about their laziness.

Man, it’s a hard life.

The line up – revealed.

But first.

Today’s cup of tea.


Well, one of them. I’m usually a four cup a day girl.


Here are the five great, Hope’s Quilt, bonanza flowers that have made the final cut.





Except maybe this green one.


Which might need a little something more.


See, compared to the others, it’s a little too green.

Then I got a little distressed with the state of the fabric stash. Because it was everywhere. So I took a break to clean up a bit.

I know, shocking.

Then I had to hide away in the studio because the a/c man was coming, and so I made a few pairs of earrings instead while P dealt with the man.




But not to fear.

Tomorrow I will be back on task.

So if you promise not to tell anyone …

I cheat when it comes to making my quilts.


Really, what’s cheating anyway? It’s not like I’m taking an exam or anything.

My problem is, I’ve too many quilt designs inside of me, and not enough years in my life to get them all out.

I’ve made loads the conventional way, and now I just need to move on.

So, saying that, here’s day two of the great,

Hope’s Quilt Bonanza.

Tricks an’ all.

If you want to have a go, you’re welcome to take my drawings, or draw your own. You can either do it the cheat way, or the conventional way. Whatever’s good for you.

(E you should make one for Zara. You know you want to … )

First, get your cup of tea.

This cup would be perfect, but I don’t have one :(


So I’ll just have to resort to using old faithful.


Don’t leave your cup on your cutting board for too long, if at all, as the heat from the tea will warp it.

Here are some of the fabrics that I’ve chosen.


Washed and ironed.


And, this is where the cheating begins …

Get out some Wonder Under, or something similar, just so long as the fusible web stuff is thin and has paper on one side.


Draw out each shape of your design onto the paper side of the wonder under. This will make a reverse of your original design, so you’ll have to compensate for that if you don’t want this.

Make sure you leave the shapes longer for those parts of the design that fit under other parts.


Iron the shapes onto their chosen fabric.


And cut them out.


Then reassemble the pieces of your design to check out if you like it.


No peeling away of the paper backing today :(

I did buy one brand of paper back adhesive web stuff once that you could peel the paper from almost immediately, but the brand I have now has to cool completely.

I usually get too impatient and try to pull it off anyway, but the fusible web bit doesn’t want to stick to the fabric and keeps coming away and bunching up. This time I’m just giving in and waiting a whole night for it to do its magic.

It’s the only sensible thing to do.

So in the meantime, I continue to cut and pin together shapes to see how they’re working for me.



I keep thinking to myself that for this quilt I’ll just cut everything out first, but I know I won’t be able to stop myself from stitching them as I go along.

It’s all way too exciting.


Although I’m not sure how I want to handle attaching the shapes to the background fabric yet.

That will have to wait for now.


What can’t wait, however, is the fact that these flowers need more red friends as the blue and yellow ones are getting a little  carried away with themselves.


I’m not a hundred percent on the background fabric yet. I did buy some off whites, but they’re not quite doing it for me. You can just see that little bit in the corner.

I’m thinking I might just need to break down and get white.

But that’s it for today.

Only three done. Five hundred and sixty-three to go …


Now we get to the part of the programme called, Tell me again. How exactly do you work like that?

(Or, Don’t worry E, I’ve started it now).

Since May I had decided to make Hope, my 5-year-old niece, a quilt, and, although I had started doodling ideas I never really got any further with it.

Well, as E pointed out, it needs to seriously get started if it’s going to get to Hope by Christmas.

How is it that all of a sudden it’s September already?

Man! Surely it was just April?

So, here we are now. A little on from doodling.

But not that much …








So, this is how my mind works. You’ve only seen the half of it, but it’s like a doodle showdown until I get all doodled out and simply can’t doodle any more.

O.K. so I can always doodle more, but you get my drift.

Then, everything else gets put on hold.

It doesn’t matter what was on the table before, now it’s swept to the floor to make room for the new project. It’s all very exciting, but in the back of my mind I’m a tad annoyed that the floor is a mess – again.

Oh well,

Best to ignore it really.


forget the mess and carry on is all I can say.

This is how you should proceed if you ever encounter the same dilemma.

I taped together 12″ x 12″ newspaper print squares to replicate the grid in my latest quilt doodle.


Because I really am a hands on visual doer kind of person.

And then I re-sketched my pattern to the larger scale.


I prefer to use my thicker graphite pencils here.



Of course it’s vital to have a cup of tea before, during, and after you embark on this kind of creative venture.


And so the drawing grows.


As I recount the happenings of the day, and the amount of work that lays before me, I wonder.

Will Hope ever receive a quilt at all?

For Christmas, or, at any time?

We will have to see.

New chain.

1.5″ lengths of 18 gauge fine silver wire.


Wrap around a mandrel as below.




Join together


Ball up the ends with your torch.


Fuzzy photographs. Sorry.



Give it a friend.




Repeat again.


Until desired length.


As this is fine silver the ends ball up perfectly, but the links are very soft.

So, tumble to harden.

By the way.

This is what I did with the other half of the amethyst.


Happy Monday :)

And now for something completely different …

monty python

O.K. Perhaps not that different.

Click on the image if you really need to know what’s going on here. Remember, you can never undo what you’ve seen once you’ve seen it. Otherwise scroll down to see what magic is going on in the studio this time.


So you bought this piece of amethyst a long while back


because you made this (below) about six (or, you can’t really remember) months ago and thought you’d have another go.


But the new piece of amethyst broke before you really had a chance to see what you could do with it.


You wasn’t too upset about it, however, as it was much thicker than you thought it would be, and kind of ugly – ish.

And then you remembered that time when you decided to banish amethyst from your studio completely.

But, when you were cleaning out and moving your studio around you found the piece again, and, as stubborn as you are, you decided that surely you could do something with it.

So not to be defeated you take the smaller half, because you don’t really want to waste that much silver on it if it’s not going to turn out well in the end.


You decide that it is kind of nice after all, in that broken, lonely way that only a broken, lonely piece of amethyst can look. and you decide to make it a collar out of bezel wire.


Just to cheer it up.


Then, you stamp a strip of silver with the new stamp you bought from Larry.


And solder it on to one end of the collar.


Then you do the same to the other end.


You file the ends flush with the longer sides of the collar.


 And repeat the soldering process on both the longer ends.

Note: You had to cut the outer layers of silver longer than the bezel wire because the inner collar wasn’t long enough to cover up the ugly stub end of the amethyst which, for some unfortunate reason, also has a large grubby hole drilled into it.


You file everything flush once more, and then solder a fifth strip to the top.


And sigh quietly to yourself when the thing fits back on top of the stone.


Because you really were wondering if it would.


 You’re not completely happy with the top edge being visible and wished you’d inserted the top sheet of silver inside the cap so you wouldn’t see it, but, on the whole, you decide it’s not too bad.

You start mulling around ideas of how to make a bale for it when,


Those people that live in the house with you have come home from work, again, and now you have to go inside to cook for them :(

My life. I’m telling you!

So ….

It’s now tomorrow and you’re kind of thrown off your groove a bit and don’t really know what to do next with your small piece of dressed up amethyst.

So you play around with all sorts of beads and such.

You kind of like the funky look of this yellow lamp work bead that Kim made, but because you’re not absolutely sure you decide to move on from that somewhat strange idea.

You’re going to save that little beauty for another day.


And then, you have an idea.

So you take a lump of silver that just happens to be hanging around on the table.


And hammer it into a disc.


 You draw some leaves on it


and place it next to the amethyst to see what you think.


You’re actually not convinced about it, but now you’re a bit fed up with all the indecision that’s been going on and decide to proceed anyway.

So you cut the leaves out.


And because you never know what your going to do before you do it, you now have to cut a slot out of the top of the box you’ve made for the amethyst.

This would have been easier had you planned out everything before hand, but then, that wouldn’t be as exciting.

Far better to live on the edge.


You cut a rough prong out of the disc and now have something to slot into the box.


And, remarkably, it seems to fit!

So you square up and file down the prong to fit flush to the inside and then solder it on to the box.


And slide the amethyst back into it.

But you’re still not sure if you like it.


Oh well, it’s too late now.


The End.

Thanks for showing me yours.

Now I’m going to make one ;)

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