Friday, 31 December 2010

Rounding off 2010

I have spent the last few days trying to bring order to the chaos of my sewing room. Nothing grand, it has to be able to be turned back into a spare room when we have multiple guests, but it gets very untidy and I really don't have enough spaces to put things. Added to this I am really bad at throwing things away! I always think that it might come in useful somewhere down the line!
I have thrown out no end..... Old books I'll never look at again, out of date magazines, culled for odd images and articles which are now filed. The shelf unit is done and tomorrow I have the fabric stash cupboard to deal with. Things are now more logically stored, but I suspect I need to label the drawers, or I will spend valuable time trying to recall where I put things! The thought of starting a new year with a tidy, ordered space is a good one.
I feel quite up about the progress I have made on my journey this year, the JQ's have certainly helped boost my ability to produce a series of work; the Region 7 challenge was just that, and I will approach any further group efforts with more confidence. The UFOs have dwindled to just 2 and they will be done before too long and more than anything I have so enjoyed the time working away with fabric and thread and am really looking forward to the JQ challenge for next year; spending a day a month with Bren Boardman working on a series of small quilts and my big aim of producing a quilt for NEC in August.
Full set of 2010 JQs assembled for posterity, then they go into storage!(Yes I know the photos wonky, can't get far enough away from them to photograph properly!)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Hold on tight stripy horse!

Finally I have finished the second snuggle quilt! I really did take on more than I could reasonably do in the time, so its been a bit rushed and I'm really not happy with the way the fleece backing behaved, or was it just my ineptitude! However it has shown me that i can deal with representational figures and that should I want to include some in future I can do so with some confidence.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


We have just returned from a wonderful family Christmas, 11 of us, foodies all, who have eaten and quaffed our way through some of the most delicious food ever! We make it easy for the host as each "family" is responsible for an element of the feast. This year we were treated to a fish feast on Christmas eve, roast beef on Christmas day and home made raised meat pies for boxing day. Nibbles, puddings and cheeses completed the picture!
It was however sad not to have my Dad with us, but we went and had a Christmas with him just before. He is in a British Legion Nursing Home a couple of hundred miles from here and the price of places to rent over Christmas is so high when you need to sleep 11-13 people it just wasn't a possibility.
Celebrations over - I am now setting to and clearning up my sewing room ready for the challenges of the new year!
All good wishes for 2011.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

December JQ

Despite my fears, I am relieved to have completed the challenge within the set time! This month my JQ is the image for my Christmas Cards. The background is my own printed fabric, from a plastazote block made from baking beans and printed with acrylic paints. The background is quilted using a double needle which really saved me some time! The image appliqued and some decorative stitching applied. I tried to put a couple of Christmas garlands in the background, but my base fabric is too busy and the machine stitched too small, so they are rather lost.
I have so enjoyed this monthly challenge, I wish I had made myself keep to the original theme, even though my creative ideas were running a bit thin, a series of 12 would have been a lovely set to keep. As it is I have put a set of three ready to hang and plan to put another three together in the same way, the rest as they say will be history!!
The discipline has been really good for me and I now know that I must take time in January to plan a series not just one month at a time, not that this means that I will have to adhere rigidly to the plan, but this way I should have a collection worthy of the name.
Roll on January and finding out what the next challenge is!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

November JQ

I am finally catching up on all the bits and pieces that have to be finished! For the November JQ I have gone back to the "Cogs" sketchbook and looked at whether there was a little bit of inspiration that could be squeezed from the material I had accumulated there. If time were on my side I would now have a go at another version of this idea, making good the mistakes and using the experience to refine the idea, but.... time is not on my side so this will have to be submitted, with note to self to do better next time!!
I am quite please with the effect from using the heat gun on the voille and the multicoloured thread on the background quilting which provides a sense of movement.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

October JQ

I have really lost the plot this autumn! I found it really easy to plan and execute the first 9 JQs and then ran out of steam because the theme ran dry. I have been struggling to decide what to do and now I have 3 to do in short order!
I have undertaken to make far too many things for people for Christmas and this has meant there has been a tight deadline for these as well and I am really am quite a devastatingly successful procrastinator!
Margaret Cooter from CQ send these amazing links to textile sites across the world which I just have to look at, so, even less time for stitching.
Have to do better next year!

Saturday, 11 December 2010


I have just spent 2 days up in Yorkshire - and can't believe how much snow they still have. Its been so cold that it has remained white and fluffy, where not walked over but compacted and icy on the untreated roads and pavements. The countryside looks fabulous but it must make ordinary life really hard.
I had forgotten how imposing the Minster is, especially when you happen upon it from the small medieval streets that surround it, it just dominates and on Thursday with blue sky and sunshine it looked so beautiful.
I have now delivered Jan's quilt and the two snuggle quilts for the great nephews so can now get back to the real business - 3 JQ's to finish before the end of the month!!
I'm really looking forward to finding out what the JQ challenge will be next year.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Here, we have not been troubled by the huge snow falls experienced elsewhere but it has been very cold. Its been sad not to be able to try out some snow dyeing but all in all we've been lucky. The days have often been bright and sunny and this morning there was such a heavy frost I couldn't resist taking some photos!
It feels so crisp and bright out, wrapped up against the cold its lovely. I really do not like the days where the sky feels that it is down on top of my head, where it barely gets light all day and I need the lights on to do anything - that's my idea of winter hell. I'd be no good as a northern European with so little winter daylight.

Christmas snuggle rugs

I have finally finished one of the little quillows for our great nephews, its been a bit learning curve as I'm not really into representational images. I've learned alot and won't make the same mistakes again - with any luck our great nephews (2 and 1yr olds) wont notice these! I will be interested to see if they are well received or not, but I have enjoyed making them! :)