Monday, 29 December 2008

A Taster

Especially for Belinda, who asked so nicely.


Cheri - I don't use my Clipart program that much.  I mostly search in Google Images.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Thinking Outside the Box


I've  given  into temptation and am piecing again.

I'm not showing what I'm doing until it has got a bit bigger.  The only clue you're getting is that it is a scrap quilt, won't be very big and is made up of  strips that Tonya gave me when I was in Paris with her last March (oh I do wish she wasn't going back so early (sigh)), plus some additions that have come my way since.

I'm stretching my boundaries - doing my thing - quilt police don't get a look in.

I also want to say how thrilled I am at all the comments I've received recently.  Thank you all so very much for stopping by and leaving a comment.  I'm so sorry I haven't managed to reply to everyone, but I've loved reading them all, especially what your favourite sweets are.   So far I've opted for Liquorice Allsorts, Fruit Salad and Smarties.  They seem to fit the quilt.

Oh - mustn't forget.  Been doing some hand quilting too.

Must get back to the sewing machine.

Catch up later.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Goodies

As usual, way behind with everything, including getting Christmas presents done!

Suddenly realised haven't got anything for the friends we are spending Boxing Day with so made a SOS call to the Stitchery Queen yesterday evening and asked her about the pot stands she made last year.

hpim5557 She very kindly talked me through what to do and I finished the first one about an hour ago.  The one bottom left has got to be backed and "stuffed", and then they are ready.  They are so easy to make - no quilting involved and you get to have a rummage through your Christmas stash at the same time.

The Old One is cooking curry this evening - I'm on strike - and tomorrow it is just going to be the three of us, but with The Young One directing operations from the sofa whilst watching My Fair Lady.

And on that note, I wish all of you a peaceful and happy time over the festive season, drink and eat lots on Christmas Day, and those of you in the US, keep warm and safe.


(The potholder is for someone who shall remain nameless as the things that are going with it aren't ready.  Shhhhhhhh).

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Not Snowing ...........

.................................yet.  Yes I know it is on the blog, but Not Here.

So I found this on Julie's blog and thought I'd give it a go.


You can make your own snow flake here.

Friday, 12 December 2008

AbFab Update

The sewing machines have decided they've done enough work for the moment, so I've been doing some hand quilting, especially on my AbFab quilt.

For relative newcomers to my blog, AbFab is a piece of fabric I found at the Riberac Brocante in 2007. I was fascinated with the colours and the design so decided to hand quilt it.  It will eventually be a wall hanging.

I've called it AbFab because of the abstract fabric design - obvious really!

You can see what it looked like at the last updates by clicking here and here.

AbFab Update1

and a close up

AbFab Update2

Now for a question.

Remember the houses quilt I did for Tonya's Lazy Gal Summer Class?  I've decided to quilt it with the names of sweets and I need some suggestions from you please.

So far I've got :-

  • Gob Stoppers

  • Bubble Gum

  • Liquorice Allsorts (yummy!)

  • Candy Floss

  • Love Hearts; and

  • Fruit Salad (don't know if you can get them in the States).

Any more from anyone?

Monday, 8 December 2008


Before I start jumping up and down and screaming.

Is anyone else having troubling logging into Bloglines?

I keep on getting an Error 500 Internal Server Error

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

OMG - more suprises

Look - can you see - oh do look - please!

Someone sent me this gorgeous gorgeous book, signed by Her Royal Quilting Highness herself and oh oh oh - oh!


I've had a quick look through (I was taking The Young One over to a friend's house just as the postman arrived.  The Young One arrived late!) and the denim quilt, right at the back before Lucy's bag, is already calling my name.

First things first and and then we'll see.

Be strong Clare, be strong!



Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Surprise surprise

Don't you just love it when something turns out well, or how you wanted it to look (ish).

Star Bright

Really must teach The Old One how to hold quilts up.

hpim5526A detail

I've hand quilted it in various ways.  The centre has been tied, as has the left hand side.  The words have been hand quilted in the ditch, with various designs in the gaps between each word.  On the right hand side, reading from the bottom upwards it says Estella Elizabeth and her birth date (30-10-08 though I suppose it should be 10-30-08 as she's in Los Angeles LOL).

Although it is not 100% perfect, I'm just so chuffed with myself that I knuckled down and finished this off in one hit.  Didn't get side tracked and just, well, finished it!  Wooo hooo.

Back to the UFO's.  What will be next I wonder?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Colourful Thursday


Jambon sec


I love the colours here.  Makes my fingers itch for some solids and the rotary cutter


Jen pointed out some stringy, skinny letters.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Friday, 14 November 2008

Is there anyone there?

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder!  After a 10 day break I hope so!

Yuk grey weather.

Yuk cold weather.

Mist in the Valley

Yuk weather FULL STOP

Enough to give anyone the winter blues.

So I'm hand quilting like crazy.

Hand Quilting - Stars

Haven't touched the sewing machine for what seems like weeks.  That string quilt is still on the wall with 2 borders on and I can't seem to get the motivation to finish it off.

So keeping warm and quietly stitching away.

Hand Quilting - Stars

Hand Quilting - Stars

Hand Quilting - Stars

Whoops - that photo wasn't supposed to be that big!

Monday, 3 November 2008

No Strings Attached

Here's part of the string quilt I'm making for a little girl in New York State.  I'm rather pleased with it.

I'll show another photo later in the week once I've got the borders on.

We don't normally celebrate Hallowe'en over here, but Alex got a call from a friend of hers asking if she wanted to go trick or treating yesterday.  I don't think Amandine knew exactly what it meant, but they did it anyway and got soaked.

It hasn't stopped raining for about 3 days and the forecast for the rest of the week is c**p!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Thursday Catch Up

Trying to juggle umpteen UFO's, deciding what to do next and getting side tracked has been the name of the game this last week.

Finn's New Year's Eve Challenge has been giving me nightmares as I know I'm not going to achieve even 50% of my goals.   I'm:

  1. quilting the Pink Stars quilt (sister is in hospital as I type this about to give birth to the quilt's recipient);

  2. piecing together another Q4L quilt (No. 14).  Wanda at Exuberant Colour sent me a whole lot of strips which are brilliant for strings so I'm creating lots of red and white strings and having great fun sewing them together on this. She came home last week and apart from a slight hiccup in threading the bobbins and altering the tension to suit the fabric, she sews like a dream!  I love the dual speed button.  We found a 1/4 inch and quilting foot combined on EBay and that is now winging its way here from the US.  So once that arrives there'll be no stopping me!

  3. I've also restarted Ab Fab in between quilting Stars.  I seem to have gone off it.  It doesn't hold the same excitement as it did before.  Hummmmmm.  Perhaps it will come back.

Last, but by no means least, look what arrived in the mail yesterday.

Oodles and oodles of fabric in all shapes and sizes.

I signed up for Quilt Pixies December Swap. By some flook I managed to get teamed up with Donna and wow did she come up trumps. Thank you so much Donna. I'm itching to get started, but my new no new projects rule is stopping that!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Words! Words! Words!

Words! Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!
I get words all day through;

© Lerner & Lowe

So we have inspirational photographs instead.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

........... a finish

You need to read the post below this one first.

Roughly 10" x 10".

I can see me getting addicted to mini's :-)

And that's me outta here!

We have .................


It's the Stashbuster Stay at Home Retreat Weekend.  I'm supposed to be working on those stars, but I needed a break.

Mum wants me to make her a cushion cover.  All I've got to do is the front and she'll do the rest.

Time to get the scrap bins out I thought.  Now I can't stop piecing!

So much for the best laid plans ...............................

Friday, 17 October 2008

Mucking about with Picasa 3

Whose mucked about with the new collage option on Picasa 3?

These were taken at the vide greniers at Bourdeilles last Sunday.

You can view more photos of the expo hereTonya - you must check out the skeleton!

Another collage

and another one

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Open Letter to Bonnie Hunter

Dear Bonnie,

When I first started quilting little did I know that within 3 years my outlook would have changed completely.

As far as DH is concerned, today was the last straw.  With a huge sigh and a shake of the head, he decided that he's had enough of this quilting lark.  I thought you might like to know that he's walking around muttering "What a waste.  What a waste.".

From My Photos

Perhaps once he's seen them cut up he'll change his mind, but on the other hand probably not!

You also nearly got me into big big trouble.

Remember a few weeks back when we found those sewing machines?  Well, the 1425 is coming back from the hospital next week and the 191B is going in.  It's so far cost us €25 to buy the two and €90 to get Emma 1 restored to her former glory.

Well today, I "just happened" to "spot" a Singer 191B treadle in its original table with some of the accessories.  €50 the seller was asking - €50!  The leather belt had snapped and she was looking very sorry for herself.  She wanted to be taken home and loved.  The seller was prepared to bargain.  I was tempted - very tempted.  DH spotted me from a distance and I swear if there was an Olympic Gold Medal for the fast sprint through a crowded vide grenier, he'd have won it!

DH  "That woman has influenced you enough.  I'm not having any more sewing machines in the house.  You've already got 4!"

ME  "Yes, but look at the price.  And he's prepared to bargain."

DH  "No!  End of!"

I do hope she goes to a good home.   Perhaps if I'd bought her for you and got her shipped over to NC he would have let me buy her.  On second thoughts ..............

Hope you had a good time in PA.

Clare x

PS - the shirts with a non-sewing purchase

From My Photos

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Quilts 4 Leukaemia Question

I don't know if you all remember, but sometime ago Jenni and Jen contacted Quilter's Quarter in the US and set up an arrangement whereby you purchased a gift certificate, QQ contacted me with the details and I was able to purchase fabric and batting for the quilts.

Quilter's Quarter have stopped doing gift certificates and I have been searching for another online shop who would be willing to take over.

I have found someone in the UK, but before I take the offer further I need to know if you'd all still be interested in continuing with this arrangement.  I know some of you got a bit frustrated with the QQ set up and, to be quite honest, they weren't exactly on the ball!

However, the new people are, and are willing to help so if you are still interested please leave a comment.

After all, its got to be a damn sight easier to donate this way than sending boxes of batting and fabric through the post :-)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

I forgot to say ..........

I've started a Liberated Quilters' Yahoo! Group as the ring is nearly full.

I thought those of you who didn't get to join the ring might like to join this instead.

If you do want to take part please follow this link and click on the "join" button.

I'm sure you are all familiar with Yahoo Groups and how it works, n'est ce pas?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

There is Hope

This is the top for my Priority Hope Challenge quilt.  I've started quilting it and hope to get it finished by the end of this week so I can register it and send it off.

Have you checked out the Liberated Quilters Web Ring recently?

There is some stunning liberated quilting going on out in Blogland.

Take a look at Marit's Liberated Stars.

Belinda has got the star bug too, so much so that she can't sleep!

Kristin has been having great fun with solids and she's done some awesome houses.

To round this post off - a photo taken by DD the other day of the Banana Tree in the courtyard (and before you ask, no it doesn't fruit!).

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Stained Glass or Sugar Candy Houses

This is one of the projects I did for Lazy Gal's Summer Class 2008.

This is the stained glass version.  Pretty isn't it?

But I think I'm going to stick with the original idea.

Question now is how do I quilt it?  I don't want to detract from the houses so perhaps stitch the ditch round the rooves and the house blocks and then fans on the black?

Anyone any ideas?

Monday, 22 September 2008

....... and more Pink (and a link)

Wooo hoooo - this has got to be a first!


Crap photo - sorry.

The small maverick star on the right has got some white in it which slipped in by mistake.  That's why it doesn't show very well.  I was going to do the right hand border entirely of Maverick stars, but realised I'd still be cutting tiny HST's in 6 month's time!  Remember this?  It's going to be the binding.  Thought I needed to starting cutting into it after just over a year of it sitting in the pink stash box

I've already started tying the quilt and it should be ready to go to the UK at the end of next week for Mum to take to Los Angeles middle of next month.

Whilst I'm here, have you read about Lazy Gal Tonya's latest idea.  Hop over to her Priority Hope Challenge blog and join in.  It won't take up too much of your time and it looks like fun.

And on that note I'm off to bed!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

More Pink

It's the Stashbuster Virtual Retreat this weekend so I thought I bust more of the pink stash.

The words are done and all I've got to do now are the borders.  I'm going to put a few small Maverick Stars in them to use up some of those tiny HST's that seem to have been multiplying by themselves in the scraps bin!

I rang my sister in Los Angeles the night before last.   I'd sent her a photo of the current WiP on this quilt and in between telling me how gorgeous she thought it was, she told me that they are going to call Little Miss Bump Estella, which means star.  How spooky is that!

Oh, I forgot to tell you.  The 1425 sewing machine has gone in for a service and renovation.  We couldn't get it to work and DH was loath to touch anything.

He's not too sure about the 191B either.  We are waiting to see how much the 1425 is going to cost before going any further.

Back to the sewing.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Playing with Pink

I'm still weighing up the pro's and con's so will stay put for the time being.  The main reason for staying is the templates - much prefer Wordpress to Blogger for that, even though Wordpress's widget's aren't as good.

Anyway, on to more important things, like what has been happening in the sewing corner.

I've put the stars together and put a border round them.

I then thought words round the edge (You are a star), but I think I've over-egged the pudding.  The words could go across the top and down the side, both sides, or down one side and across the bottom.

Without the words the quilt measures 26.5" by 36".  Obviously with the words and another border it's going to be a lot bigger.

The quilt is for my niece to be .  If I leave it as it is then it will be fine until she gets to sleep in a big girl's bed, but I thought if I made it bigger then she'd have it for keeps.

Decisions, decisions. HELP!

The weather we've been having here is unbelievable.  The Hibiscus has normally finished flowering by the end of July.  There are still one or two blooms left on it.

I've been meaning to take a photo of these fountains for ages.

They're in the centre of Périgueux near the Theatre (Allée d'Aquitaine).

Now isn't that just typical!  There's me saying we having gorgeous weather and the sky has turned black, its raining and there are ominous rumblings.

Donc, A+

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Just thinking ..........

..................  that I might move back to Blogger.

Would you be terribly cross if I did?

It's only a thought at the moment.

I'm weighing up the pro's and con's.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Quilts 4 Leukaemia

Boy is this getting big or what!

Right now the total number of quilts made is 11, with the help of Finn and Mary, and there are requests for another 4, with more requests coming in.

The web site is now up and running and if you click on the How to Help link at the top, you will find a Pay Pal Donate button at the bottom of the page.  There is also one on the side bar of the blog.  The money will be used for sashing fabric and postage.

Thanks to everyone who has already contributed blocks, donated batting, backing fabric, gift certificates via Quilter's Quarter (Quilter's Quarter have stopped doing these) and no end of support.

Monday, 8 September 2008


".......... 2a an abstract or visionary idea. b the formation of abstract ideas ........."

I suppose this is could describe Gwen Marston's new book.

I haven't seen it yet, but it's on my Christmas list and I hope if I'm good enough Santa may decide I deserve it.  (Mum - subtle hint if you are reading this!)

However, Woolywoman, aka Laura, over at Yarn, Kids, Dogs and a Few Weirdos (got to love that title) has already made a start.  Hop on over a take look.  Great colours.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

I'm hooked!

I've been following Bonnie's exploits in her attempt to build up the largest collection of vintage/antique sewing machines.

She has been very kind and replying to emails fom an over-excited amateur.  We swapped mails about a Singer 239 I found in the local brocante which was well and truly battered and would have needed a lot of TLC - and I mean A LOT!  She suggested I went for it, just to give the poor thing a home, but it wasn't to be.

Yesterday we were in Périgueux twiddling our thumbs in between various appointments and thought we would try to find the local Emmaus.  Emmaus is a charity founded to help the homeless and those "on their uppers" so to speak.  Someone had told me you can occasionally find sewing machine bargains.

So it was a must go to NOW.  You know what us sewing gals are like - Do It Now!

We found it at the back of one of the housing estates in Perigueux (not the sort of place to be on a dark night I can tell you) and Mrs Eagle Eyes set to work.

Meet the Emma's!

Emma 191B is my baby - it looks as if she has hardly been used.  No accessories or instruction book, but oh boy am I chuffed to bits with her.

I think Emma 1425 is going to be my "work horse".  Again no accessories or instruction book (has anyone got one they could copy for me in exchange for fabric or something?).

They've both got foot pedals and electric leads - the 1425 has got a variable speed control which is right up my street AND a self-threading bobbin case.  I think I'm going to love her to bits.

All for the princely sum of .................................................. wait for it ...........................................

















25 Euros for both.  YES!

Update - User Manual for the 1425 now found.  Now surfing for its accessories.