Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The thing about a new sewing machine is that you have to get to know it…  Especially this machine which seems to stitch at the speed of light!!  So for my first sewing project I decided the best way to get to know it was to sew something that didn’t require precision.  As the crumb box was getting full I thought a few mile a minute blocks would be just the thing…

I sewed and sewed and sewed…and rather than cut them into squares, I decided to get out the Accuquilt to cut them into tumblers…96 in all!!  I had some other fabrics all ready so together I have more than enough for 2 quilts.

More sewing to be done before they become tops…

Until next time...♥

Friday, March 21, 2014


Last week the U.K. was blanketed in fog.  To add to the travel chaos, the town where I live was having some road works which were jamming up the streets so I walked to work.  I’m glad I did as I wouldn’t have been able to capture this eerie scene if I had been in the car.  Anyone in the traffic jam in the road behind me must have wondered what I was up to as I walked past the church and cemetery and then turned back on myself to take a few pictures with my phone.  To anyone observing I looked like I was walking back and forth lost!  Oh the things we do for art :o)


Until next time...♥

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New and Old..

The new sewing addition has arrived and I can finally reveal to you what resides in my sewing corner. Meet Sookie the Juki!

I have bought a Juki 8100e industrial straight stitch machine. I have looked at industrial machines for awhile as an alternative to say the Juki TL-98 or even the Janome 1600 and I have looked at the old big Singers too just to get the extra harp space for machine quilting, but after several discussions with the DH we came back full circle to the idea of an industrial machine.
We found a dealer who had one set up for me to try, so we set off to Birmingham to S Nutt Sewing Machines to have a look. As soon as I saw the machine in action I knew it would be fab! But the big question, of course, was would it do free motion as the feed dogs don't drop...? I knew it had to be possible as I found Katie's video showing her quilting on her industrial machine.  A few emails later (thanks Katie) and some help from the Nutt brothers the solution was found. The work around is that you drop the stitch length to 0 and with a high shank free motion foot from Janome free motion quilting is possible.
I have already completed the quilt and the experience was bliss.. No fighting with the bulk!

So if one new machine wasn't fun enough.. Another found its way into the house the same week and it is a complete polar opposite... A hand-crank Singer 99k made in September 1931. She needs a little TLC but is already a working machine. I had it out this weekend with the girls and set about threading it to give it a try... DD1 was cheeky enough to catch my pose so I could see the needle to thread it. (sharing this picture with you is in the category of keeping it real!)

I didn't bother to put it on a table and being that it is wireless you can use it anywhere lol. So all threaded up we gave it a go and it worked!

Today I cleaned out the bobbin area and replaced the race wick as it wasn't doing its job anymore. I just loved the idea of getting this old girl working and sitting on the patio in the summer sewing away. What is interesting is that the upper tension on the Singer is the same as the industrial Juki so even though they are 83 years apart they really aren’t that different!
Until next time...♥

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Strawberry Fields…

Just before half term one of my students came to class with a quilt she had made using a layer cake. The design was simple, but really effective. She couldn't quite remember how she had made it saying she cut it one way then did some sewing and the cut it again. So there on the spot I worked out the pattern and in a 2 for 1 special not only gave the class the insight how to make the quilt, but also inspired myself to finally cut into one of the layer cakes in my stash. I decided to used the Strawberry Fields layer cake. It was really hard to make the first cut, but once the first one was made I was well on my way to some mindless holiday sewing. I thought you would like to know how I did it so I took some pictures along the way. Apologies for the quality of the pictures...they were taken in low light with my tablet.

Recipe...1 layer cake

Take your layer cake and cut a 3 1/2" strip off each square...the remaining half measures 6 1/2".  You can cut several layers at a time..4-6 layers if you have a nice sharp blade.

Now take the two halves to the machine and sew them together mixing and matching your patterns as you go.

Now with the seam running horizontally, cut each block into equal halves (this should be 5")

Now mix the halves up and sew them back together making sure to reverse the direction of one of the blocks.   Make sure you sew the pairs so the small rectangles are always in the same place or your pairs will be mirrored.

Sew them together alternating the direction of the blocks and sew them in 7 rows of 6.


Oh…and this last little pic…well this was my DH’s idea…More to follow! :o)…I’ve got to keep you guessing!

Until next time...♥

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Random Photography…

Back in February I spent the weekend with DD1 and stayed with her at her university. On the Sunday we had a dry morning and we went for a beautiful walk. Along the way we came across some odd graffiti and my more artsy side came into play and for the first time in a long time I took some pictures just for the sake of capturing something different. I've altered them using Pixlr, which is an online editing website and I quite like what I've come up with...I hope you do too...

Until next time...♥

Monday, March 03, 2014

Put on Your Sunglasses…

OMG where on earth did 3 weeks just go... Well, never mind...I won't make excuses, but rather share some of the things I've been working on.

My deliberate choice of bright colours is certainly helping to lift the blahs and I now have a top ready for quilting and a start of something that I think might grow a little bigger before being finished.

Here is the top that I completed over half term using the Missouri Star Quilts pattern that they share in this video. It was a delight to make, but as I mentioned before the edges are all bias edges and extra care needed to be taken. I carefully measured and pinned each border -see Liz...I took note- :o) so that the edges won't ripple when it is quilted. Once completed it will heading for Project Linus.

This block (below) was started as a sample for a class I'm teaching, but I decided that it didn't really show off all the components I needed, so I remade my samples and had enough flying geese from my old sample to put this jazzy border around the sides. It measures 20" at the moment, but I think it needs to grow a bit more before being called done. If anyone has any suggestions for the next round, I'm all ears.

In other news...there is to be a new addition to the not that kind of addition!!!! but rather a new sewing addition. My sewing corner has been cleared and I'm just waiting for a delivery date before I reveal what I've bought. Ooooh I do love leaving you in suspense :o)

Until next time...♥