Tag Archives: quilting

Stitching and Listening

Regular readers of this blog will know that my love of stitching is only surpassed by my love of reading. I’m not sure how I got to the ripe old age of 40 without discovering the joy of listening to books. One of the tasks for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge that I am taking part in this year is to listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie award. I signed up for a free trial of Audible, and downloaded this book:


First of all, it's a great story, and the narration is absolutely spot on – it really brought it alive. But mainly – audiobooks are a revelation! I can "read" a book and quilt at the same time!! I can "read" while I am making the dinner; I can "read" while I am doing the ironing; I can "read" in the bath without risking dropping my book in the water. Hurrah for audiobooks!! I have used my birthday money to treat myself to some decent headphones and a year’s subscription to Audible.

My next audiobook is this one:


This will fulfil the challenge task to read a book by an author from Southeast Asia. The author, Zen Cho, was born in Malaysia. The books sounds pretty intriguing, don’t you think?

The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. But lately the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman – a freed slave who doesn’t even have a familiar – as their Sorcerer Royal and allowing England’s once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven’t stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man’s profession.
At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path that will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain – and the world at large.

So, my Slow Sunday Stitching this week will involve headphones and a quilt, much like this:

stitch & listen

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More of the Same

My slow stitching this week has consisted of more hand quilting on my hexagon scrap quilt. I am just quilting in the light coloured hexies and have made it to the ring past the first dark one. A long way to go, but steady progress! I plan to get some more done this afternoon – the weather forecast is for rain and there’s darts on the TV 🙂

More quilting

Do pop over to Kathy’s Quilts to see what other slow stitchers are up to this Sunday.

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The Quilt as Journey

This week, I have spent as much time as possible hand quilting my hexagon scrap quilt. I started this quilt back in 2010, less than a year after I first started learning to sew. Having started on the hand quilting, it is becoming apparent that my stitching at the outset was…ahem…less than perfect and I have had to make a few repairs along the way. At first, I felt pretty upset about it, but then I decided to look on it as a record and a testament to how my stitching skills have improved and progressed. Until I decided to learn to sew in 2009, I had never so much as sewn a button on something, so it’s pretty amazing that I’ve got to where I am and made the things I have. I am looking on this quilt as a journey, and a journal. So the fact that the stitching is not the best in the world just adds to its provenance :-). In any case, as my Nan would have asked, “would a blind man on a galloping horse notice it?” I imagine that I will be the only one who will ever notice the repairs I have needed to make, much less care!!

Hand quilting in progress

Philosophising over, do pop over to Kathy’s Quilts to check out what other Slow Sunday Stitchers are up to!

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In the Hoop at Last!

Today’s Slow Sunday Stitching will consist of making a start on quilting my hexagon scrap quilt. Yes, it’s in the hoop at long last!

In the hoop

Last week’s lone star has transformed into a lone star in a hexagon. It’s number 32 so far.

Hexagon star number 32

Do pop over to Kathy’s Quilts and see what other Slow Sunday Stitchers are up to!

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Hexagon Progress

It’s been a while since I managed to get a photo of my hexagon quilt in progress. Today being a sunny day, I thought I would peg it out on the washing line and take a few snaps. It’s getting biiiiig!! The squaring off is going to plan too, so hopefully the finished product will be a more practical shape for a bed.

hexagons july 2014
hexagons detail july 2014
corner of hexagons july 2014

I wonder how many more months (years) before I get this top finished? And then I will *only* have to quilt and bind it. A labour of love for sure but I’m not in any hurry 🙂

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Festival of Quilts – Oh My!

This weekend I have visited the Festival of Quilts at the NEC! Oh my, what a fantastic exhibition!

I was a very good girl and refrained from buying any fabric (knowing that I have no storage space left whatsoever). Unfortunately, I forgot that my bookshelves are also overflowing and did buy *ahem* one or two books ;-).

Last year, one of my favourite quilts was made by Tracy Aplin, and the same applied this year. Here is her quilt “Tracy’s Reel Medallion”. I love the colours. I love the quirky fabrics. I love the hand quilting. I love the jumbo rickrack. Great stuff!

651 Tracy Aplin Tracy's Reel Medallion
651 Tracy Aplin Tracy's Reel Medallion detail
651 Tracy Aplin Tracy's Reel Medallion detail (4)
651 Tracy Aplin Tracy's Reel Medallion detail (3)
651 Tracy Aplin Tracy's Reel Medallion detail (2)

I was pleased to see several hexagon quilts, including this amazing one: “Fibonacci Fandango” by Jess Williams:

533 Jess Williams Fibonacci Fandango

I have a thing for rust, so I loved this quilt by Alison Mesley:

56 Alison Mesley Transport of Delight

And the geek in me was very drawn to Kirsty Daum’s “The Tenth”:

902 Kirsty DaumThe Tenth

Another favourite was the Thread and Thrift exhibition by Mandy Pattullo. I particularly loved these little blue textile collages:


Did you go to the Festival of Quilts this year? What caught your eye?

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Hexagons on the Sofa

I (finally) finished the latest round of hexagons. The light rounds are the least fun, cos there’s not as much colour to play with, but I know they are needed to give the eye somewhere to rest so I plod on ;-). The patchwork is now big enough to just about cover our two seater sofa as you can see:

hexagons on the sofa april 2013

The next round will be a round of medium value colours, so I get to play with oranges, pinks, greens, blues…fun!

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Ongoing Pyjama Saga

After I wrote about what I thought was a terrible cutting out error when planning Waif’s pyjamas, my mum rang me up to say “don’t do anything rash, your pieces are right!”. And she was right. It seems it doesn’t matter whether your fabric is wrong-sides together or right-sides together when you cut the pieces! So, I set to work sewing the trousers together. I sewed the inside legs and the crotch seam. So far, so good. Then, somehow, when sewing the outside leg lengths, something went awry and I ended up with this:

mc hammer pjs

No offence to MC Hammer, but this wasn’t quite the look we were going for! ;-)!

Out came the seam ripper, and I resewed the seam the right way, and yay – I had an item shaped a lot like a pair of pj trousers! Unfortunately, when I called Waif in to show him, I thought “uh-oh” because I realised that these trousers looked much too small. Yep, they were a couple of inches too short in the leg, and in the crotch!! It seems that using the waist and hip measurements of a child to work out the correct pattern size only works when said child is not a skinny beanpole ;-).

Luckily, my very capable and creative mum came to the rescue again, with her suggestion to add a waistband to the top of the trousers, thus solving the problem. This being somewhat beyond my current skillset, I handed them back to her and here they are:

pyjamas with waistband

All I need to do is sew the elastic into the waistband, and hem the bottoms and (fingers crossed) Waif should have a wonderful new pair of pyjama bottoms. Phew.

In other sewing news, things have been a little more straightforward. I have completed the embroidery and quilting on my “What a World” quilt panel:

map completed quilting (9)

And completed two more sides of coloured hexies on my charm quilt:

hexagons 14 rings + 2 sides (2)
hexagons 14 rings + 2 sides (3)

It’s tempting to say I will stick with patchwork and quilting in the future…but I do like the challenge of learning something new, so I am not going to give up with the dressmaking yet!

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See how it grows…

lamp and hexies august 2012hexies august 2012hexies from the middle august 2012

Slowly, steadily, but surely.

(for the history of this quilt, read here)

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Goodness Gracious, Great Ballz of ????

So, I thought I would give Jan Mullen’s “Magic Ballz” technique a go – as described in this book:

I pulled together some of my stash of bright reds and orange fabrics and came up with this:

orange ball

No, I’ve no idea what it’s all about either 🙂

I don’t like it enough to want to make it into a wall quilt. I didn’t enjoy the process enough to want to make a whole quilt of ballz. And I’m not sure my hand stitching makes it robust enough for a potholder. Any ideas?!?!

Oh well, at least it’s got me back in the swing of sewing!

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