Tag Archives: quiltmaking

Don’t look now, but …

I have a secret.

All you good grammar people out there may well be shaking your heads in despair right now, but I have to tell you that I love writing.

I love words. I love putting them together. I love playing around with them. I especially love just sitting down and letting the words go wherever they want to.

In other words, making it all up as I go along.

It’s amazing what comes out when you’re not looking.

Now that can get a bit awkward. You happily start off in one direction, and then, before you know what’s happening, you write a sentence and end up in a right pickle.

Love it!

I have two writing projects on at the moment, well, three if you include the one that’s been lingering by the edge of the cliff for twenty years now waiting to put everyone out of its misery. And then, of course, there are the poems, and attempted short stories, and journal entries, etc, but we won’t go into those here.

I know you’re disappointed, but I have to maintain some form of dignity.

The first project is called.

Twigfern. Her life and all that went wrong with it. By One who Knows.

Only I’ve just changed her name to Leafmold because Twigfern was too nice.

The second is called.

The Ledgers Legend of Cornelius Audenberry III

Intrepid Explorer and Botanist to HRH Significanta Regina, Queen of Spry.

He’s quite new, and is inspired by my, Day of the Triffids, paintings.


All incredibly incredulous flower paintings need a botanist to explain why, don’t you think?


Every so often the bug hits, and I start thinking about my little stories, and what’s happening to all my peeps in writing limbo land.

Are they frozen in time, waiting for me to pick up my pen again, or have they been getting on with all their getting ons while I’ve been out here playing around with smelly wax, gooey pastels, and sheets of metal?

Do they even miss me?

Last night I decided to go upstairs to my clean space, and get out my writing books. Not an easy feat considering that my notes and ponderings are all over the place, in so many different hiding places and note books that they may never see the light of day again.

Man! One day I am going to organize myself.

No, no, you can’t stop me. It has to be done.

Unfortunately, as I entered the clean space, I came upon this.


Yep, it’s still there, just hanging out waiting for me to get back in there and finish it.

So now I’m torn.


Between the poor, forlorn, patient quilt, and this.


Just can’t seem to catch a break …

Now …

The top is done eth …



And I included her (secret) name.


Because it’s always fun to find something hidden.


Especially if you’re five years old :)

And so today.

Make the back.

Sandwich the batting.

Find some thick orange thread.

And quilt away.

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 …

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.

It’s all about me.


Yesterday was my first day back in the studio.

MIL flew back to England on Friday and so it was all systems go on Saturday.

Well, that’s a small fib really as I didn’t get out of bed until 11, then we sat around watching West Ham take a thrashing from Sunderland until P left for London at 1. (I don’t know why he tortures himself this way.) Of course then we needed lunch, but, by 3 p.m. it was all systems go.

That’s when I kicked myself that I didn’t get going earlier.

In the pottery room I poured water onto the dried out clay. Did I mention I’ve been hearing the pottery call for a while now? And looked around at the green-ware already made.

At the jewelry bench I took my time. I touched all my tools, bounced in the chair a few times, just to remind it who’s in charge, and then I organized all my bits and pieces into some kind of order.

 Then, just as I sat down to begin a jewelry order, I looked over at the painting corner and got a bit excited at the prospect of getting out my new Christmas paint brushes and what I could do with the new canvasses P bought me, while thinking about my half sewn quilt abandoned due to holiday visitors that only just went home …

I haven’t even told you about the doll’s house.

Good grief. I think I’ve just thought myself to a grinding stop.

I need to stop worrying that I wont be able to fit in all the things I want to do, and just do them.

Man, that Nike girl had the right attitude didn’t she?


The only way to victory is to just do it.

Oh, and get yourself a pair of wings.

Being sick and also trapped in the MIL corner was a bit of a bummer in the whole boredom area. It meant a lot of internet browsing and spontaneous, poor me, purchases. Don’t tell P. Hopefully they’ll all arrive before he gets back.

To be honest, he just rolls his eyes. As though there’s no hope for me, or him come to that. But, I know that these beautiful things were made just for me. They were just waiting for me to find them.




Craig Martell

I mean, look at it. Don’t you think that was made for me?

I also had to get some more stones.


Because everyone needs one of these, right?

Or four in my case.

And, now it’s time to get back to finishing a bracelet and, hopefully, start on a pair of interestingly different earrings.

To all of you reading this. Don’t worry about me … I’m perfectly sane really, I just have a bit of a, I’ve got to do everything because it’s too exciting not to, but how the hell am I going to fit it all in, problem.

Happy Sunday Y’all.

(And now I’m a Texan! Will the madness never end … )

Well gosh.

Now I think I need one.


In other news …

The quilt is back on.


The corners are all but done. I decided to add a little red to the prongy bits, and the background is complete. Still not sure if the whole thing is drab, and, have to admit I felt a little disappointed with it yesterday when I laid it out on the floor, but I’m going to work on filling in the background a little more and see if that brings it back.


But, now it’s back off again.

My MIL is arriving today from London and will be staying with us for two weeks. I’ll find it really hard to shut myself away in the quilt room while she’s here, because, once I’m gone, I’m gone. My quilt room, and studio come to that, are like black holes. Not the bad kind that sucks everything up and disappears it, but more the kind that stops time completely and allows you to immerse yourself in lovely stuff and not remember that there’s a whole life out there waiting for you to be responsible in some cooking, cleaning, boring way.

But, I will survive. I have a few back up plans which I’ll show you later. For now, however, I’m going to make her bed up fresh, find some books she might like to read, buy a little pot plant and box of tissues, (you know, those nice little square boxes with pretty patterns on them), to place on her nightstand. The boy tends to not want flowers in his room, and as he’s always the one to have to vacate when relatives come, the room needed a little de-boyifying, and, as we’re on it, re painting as he’d royally messed up one of his walls. Don’t ask but it involved white paint on dark blue and just wasn’t in keeping with the whole look I was going for. What can I say, he’s 19, he’ll be gone soon, and, there’s nothing wrong with self expression so long as you keep it in your room I say – except when visitors come

I told Siri that my MIL was coming.

Me: My MIL is coming.

Siri: I don’t know who your MIL is. In fact I don’t know who you are. But you can tell me …

I can see we’re going to need to have a sirious sit down. She should know this stuff …

No pressies for us … or, why don’t you put the reindeer outside already …

No time to write today.

Probably a good thing, yes?

So instead.

Yes, I really do work like this. Once a project’s on, it’s on.

See those reindeer? They’ve been waiting to be taken to the garden to cheer on Santa to our house, but, every time I walk into the room I get distracted, then forget. Probably no pressies for us this year.

Like I said, once a project’s on …


Tell me.

Does anyone else work like this?


Or is it just me?


There is a little bit of clean shelf.

See it?

So, the middle is done, now onto the corners.


I’ve always loved how order comes from chaos but I think my chaos needs a bit of a pick up today.

Probably wont happen, but, there’s always hope.


I went to the Houston Quilt Festival. It’s held at the George R Brown Convention Center which must be one of the biggest buildings I’ve been in here in Houston.

 By the end of it my legs felt as though they were going to drop off, and, we didn’t even see all of it.

Here are some of the quilts. Some I like, some I don’t particularly like but have to appreciate the work put in to them.

This one (below) was huge.

This one was fun.

And, for some reason that I’ll probably never fully understand, I really liked this one.

Couldn’t sleep under it though. Or, come to think about it, have it on my wall.

I also liked this one a lot.

And have decided that

I really have to make one of these.

I’ve always been drawn to crazy quilts.

It always surprises me that I like quilts, but, there’s something about taking perfectly good pieces of fabric, cutting them up into small pieces, and, putting them all back together again in a different order, that really appeals to me. I also love the fact that someone I’ll probably never know, living  somewhere I’ll probably never visit, or in a life time before mine, sat down and made a blanket that I can look at now. What is/was her life like?  It fascinates me.

I have two great books on Texas quilts. They are called, Lone Stars, A Legacy of Texas Quilts. The first one is great. There are pictures of these little old ladies who actually are probably not much older than I am due to their harsh living conditions. There is a description of their lives and pictures of the quilts. It’s brilliant. It goes back to 1825.

As I was looking for a link for the Lone Star books I found this.

I am not a religious person, perhaps you can blame that on the fact that I’m British, but, this woman is very inspiring.

And, to top it all off I saw this.

And, now I want to make one.

Like I don’t have enough to do already.

And then …

Just when I thought I was safe …

(who knew there would be beads at the quilt show …)

Australian Variscite

Chinese Hemimorphite Druzy

And (please help me)

Natural Garnets from Alaska

Fortunately I managed to get out of that booth quickly.

I think I wont allow myself out of the house any day soon …

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