Monday 29 September 2014

An autumnal walk

 On this morning's walk, autumnal mist was shrouding the views...

As usual, the mist first gets worse before it gets better:

same spot, half hour later

The dampness shows up the spider's webs well...

 ...but ruins the blackberries:

And while the fuchsias have started losing their leaves...

...they are still flowering abundantly!

Now there is work to be done, where did I put that wall hanging-in-progress...


Friday 26 September 2014

My vestibule

A vestibule /ˈvɛstɨbjuːl/ is a lobby, entrance hall, or passage between the entrance and the interior of a building (Wikipedia).

Today, and actually most of this week, I have been working on my (City &Guilds) wall hanging. To be honest, the idea was already on paper for a long time, but I have been struggling to get it together in fabric. I just could not decide on the fabric placement. 
In the end I decided to go back to the original design and play a bit more on paper (and on the computer) with colours and (scanned in) fabrics. Finally after a few days stewing, my ideas crystallised into a firm plan. So today I have been cutting, placing and sticking fabrics to make this:

Tomorrow I hope to decide if I will leave the panel on the right pieced (as above) or if I will use one fabric (below), detailing may then be added in stitching/quilting.

Then the fabrics will be permanently bonded in place and the stitching can begin... 


Friday 19 September 2014


My latest project - that is the project I started most recently. I don't want to imply that any previous projects have been finished. Don't get your hopes up yet - is a major undertaking.
Not only is it a full size bed quilt, for our BIG bed, but also it is the final item to be made for the City and Guilds Cert course. So it has to be designed with the brief in mind, and executed to the best of my ability. Now I can do this, I know I can. But being me, I am not going to make it easy for myself, am I?! And I want to make something that I am proud of, that I will be really happy with. No pressure then!
I have long been wanting to make a medallion; I love medallion quilts, and I have never made one. And a square shape will suit our bed so that's ideal.
Also, I have once made a throw size feathered star quilt top (still to be quilted...but that's another story), and I would love to make another. So that's what it is going to be; a medallion with a feathered star centre.

Fast forward some weeks - this has been started a month or two ago - and the brief is written, fabrics gathered, feathered star pattern drawn, and order of construction worked out. Templates have been made, and used, and the feathered star has been sewn together. It is an elaborate feathered star (told you I was not going to make this easy) and I LOVE it.

The rest of the medallion is build up of plain strips, squares, and half square triangle (HST) strips. Which seems rather boring after the intricacy of the centre. So I have decided to liven it up a bit. I am introducing a bit of a sparkle, and a touch of improv, into an otherwise very strictly geometric design. It will be only a touch, mind you, but I do like to introduce a little twist or two into a project.

The first twist I have added, is what I am calling a twinkle - it most likely has been done before, and may have a "proper" name, but I don't know. So I may as well give it a name I like! - Twinkles are small strips of contrasting colour inserted into one round of plain strips in the medallion, in this case to indicate a touch of a starbeam showing - I cannot find "starbeam" in the dictionary, but in the context of this quilt it obviously means a beam of star light - This is what I did:

 * Place the strips where they are to go (around the existing centre), and indicate with a pin where the twinkle will be. In this case I placed the tape measure across, and stuck a pin at the correct angle into the right hand strip, and in the bottom strip:

* Take the medallion strip to your cutting board:

align the twinkle strip (yellow) with your marker (pin)

cut the twinkle strip even with your base strip (blue)

cut the base strip along one side of the twinkle

the pieces you end up with

 Now the most important step:
* Mark 1/4" from the edge that is to be sewn to the main strip (on the wrong side of the fabric). I marked only at the edges which will be in the seam allowance so the marks will not be visible later.

marking 1/4" from the inserting edge

marked 1/4" on both sides

* align edges to be sewn. Make sure that the twinkle fabric (yellow) is shifted so that the 1/4" marks are placed at the edge of the main strip (blue). The pieces are sticking out and do not appear to be correctly placed (but they are...):

* Sew a 1/4" seam, and repeat for the second seam. And there you have it:

twinkled strip sewn to medallion centre

I am happy with it and it went together so easily!
So after all that back to the cutting board. After all, I have a load of HST to be cut for the next border...


Friday 12 September 2014


If the gap between blog posts means that the last one was then:

...and this is now:

I suppose you could say I have been missing here for a while!

Since it has been such a long time I am not even going to try to fill you in on anything specific that happened these last months. Suffice to say that it was summer (and a good one, too!), and school holidays, with travel and a visitor (who is very much missed now she's gone home again) and lots of time in the garden, and not much sewing being done at all...

But now the days are becoming noticeably shorter, and school and college have started again, it feels as if the sewing season is starting, too. And so it is high time to get actively sewing again and get some a lot of projects finished. A final serious effort is being made now to get my coursework completed. I have not (yet) dared to make a proper list of everything that needs to be done, because I am afraid that panic will set in when I see how long that list will be! But I know there are legions of small and larger projects started, but not quite finished.

And even though there is a lot still to be finished, I HAD to start sewing on my final (master?) piece for the course, item 5, the bed quilt! Not only because it needs to be finished as well, but also because I really look forward to making it. And in between projects that need to be finished, but are not my favourites (any more), it is good to have one that I really look forward to!

a glimpse of the final course item
And now, in between reactivating my sewing, also a blog post! It seems miracles do happen...