Saturday, 31 December 2011

Another Year Nearly Over

And not a very nice one at that.

Here's hoping the next year will be better, despite the media forecasting doom, gloom, and despondency!

Photo courtesy of Google Images


Hope it's going to be good for you too.

Clare x

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Next Project

I've been pondering and mulling over books for my next project.
I want to stop doing words and UnRuly stuff for a while. I thought I ought to expand my hand quilting skills by using templates or creating my own designs.

I was also give some gorgeous hand-dyed 9 patches sometime ago by Kate at Kate's Quilting and have been wanting to use them.

Lo and behold - I found this in Amish Abstractions (click on link). Perfect!

Can't wait to start!

More soon.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Quality Controller at Work

Quilt Quality Controller here.

I've been working very hard today.

Yup - she's using the right threads.

Nice and comfy.
Definitely passes the test

Nice colour thread.
Goes very well with black don't you think?

This quilt has definitely got the paw of approval.

More soon.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

And Then There Were Three

Once upon a time, many years ago, there were 3 little girls who stuck together like glue.

They met in the Petite Section at Ecole Maternelle and stayed together, through thick and thin, until they reached CE2 at Ecole Primaire when one had to leave due to unforeseen circumstances (click here for the full story).

Then there were two.

These 2 girls missed the third one terribly, but they got through it.

Then came Collége and, despite a hiccup when they were in 5eme (teenage girls can be horrible!), they made it through to 3eme together.

After Collége, they went to separate Lycée's, each following their chosen course, but still they are together and the bond between them is unbreakable.

Didine and The Young One

On Holiday Together

Even more so when the 3rd one returns for holidays.

My 3 Girls
So Didine (short for Amandine which is French for Amanda (I think)), who is the youngest of the 3, finally reaches the magic 16 the week after next, and it's time to make the last friendship quilt in the series.

Joyeux Anniversaire Magaly

Sweet 16
Joyeux Anniversaire Didine

There - the circle is complete.

More soon.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


As I type this the sun in streaming in through the kitchen window and it feels like Spring.

The oak trees are still  in leaf, although the leaves are golden coloured, and for the first time in about 6 months the grass is green (and needs mowing!). It doesn't feel at all like 1st December.

The UK trip was a bit of a whirlwind. Lots to do and not enough time to do it in.

Mother loves her quilt. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo of her with it. Her 80th birthday party was a huge success. Afternoon tea for a select few (50!) in the local village hall. Lots of tea, sandwiches and cake, with a few glasses of Cava to round the afternoon off.

The centrepiece (apart from Mum) was the most amazing birthday cake with accompanying cup cakes.

Mum adores Creature Comforts, the cartoons made by the same person who makes Wallace & Gromit. Us sisters like The Old Bats being asked about speed cameras.

"Cucumbers" has become part of the family vocab!

Mum, however, prefers Shaun the Sheep.

So my lovely little sis arranged for a friend of a friend to make the cake and cup cakes along the lines of Nick Park.

This is the cake. The house is home in Kent and sitting/lying on the lawn from left to right are The Young One, with Tolly the spaniel, and my nieces Estella and Isabelle, oh and the chickens. Isn't it brilliant!

And here are 2 of the 40 cup cakes.

All in all a great day!

Right, on to the subject title. It is definitely a Phew!

All That Jazz

I've decided to call it "All That Jazz" because there are some musical notes fabrics in there somewhere and, of course, the cat jazz band.  It covers our queen size bed with more to spare so goodness only knows how I'm going to baste and quilt it, but I'm not even going to think about that at the moment.  Thanks again to Tonya for the inspiration.

I've now got to run up a name banner for The Young One's best friend's birthday in a few weeks. Bright green background and black and white letters.  Mmmmm interesting!

More soon.

Monday, 14 November 2011

And Another One!

Met the deadline.

This is travelling with me to the UK tomorrow.

Colour of Life
Approx 48" x 46"
Will try to get photos of my Mum and her 80th birthday present.

More soon.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Please Do Not Adjust Your Set

In need of an 80th birthday present. Don't have time to rustle something up.

This has been "hanging" about for ages

so I took it down and am machine quilting it. Just straight lines, using 1" masking tape as a guide.

All I can say is Hmmmmm. Interesting!

More soon.

Monday, 7 November 2011

A Finish!

Strawberries & Cream is about to start it's journey to the UK.

For once I don't want to see this quilt go. It's so beautiful and cuddly and I hope its new owner will love and cherish it as much as I do.

I knuckled down last week and decided that this quilt had to go to its new home. Choosing the backing fabric proved to be more of a nightmare than I thought it would be.  I couldn't find a flannel sheet anywhere. The French don't seem to sell flannel, or flannel sheets, so a trip to the fabric warehouse at Javerlhac was called for.

It took ages to find the right fabric, but find it I did. A cross between flannel and fleece in a dark cream. Very soft and cuddly.

Then a couple of days while I plucked up courage to "birth" it. Never done that before and panic set in.  Took a few deep breaths, pinned the two sides together and sewed.

Turned it inside outside - that was so easy - sewed up the top and then started tying the sides together. What a mammoth task that was!

and here she is again - all tied together and ready to go!

I'd like to thank Mary for letting me use the Heartstrings Project pattern and for giving me moral support and help throughout this project.

More soon.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Do Not Disturb ....

.....  quilter at work.

Sorry Pipette. You can scratch and yell to be let in as much as you like, but your Mum is busy, busy, busy.

Look at this lot!

Clockwise from bottom right is Strawberries & Cream waiting to be tied;

Liberated Roman Strings being hand quilted;

another Q4L quilt waiting to be tied; and 

All That Jazz (aka Brick Building) still being built.


More soon.

Friday, 21 October 2011


I've created a monster.

It's got me in its clutches and it won't set me free. I need Dr Who!

This is the only part of the house big enough to hang it and even that's not big enough.

I'm cutting one last lot of bricks for another row of blocks at the top and that is enough!

More soon.

Friday, 14 October 2011

A Little Something

I finished this mini quilt way back in March as a birthday present for The Young One.

Unfortunately I messed up the binding so I have spent the last few days unpicking it.

I then cut off the excess batt and backing and started again.

This is the result.

A lot flatter and neater.

Re photos. I was wondering what on earth Blogger was up to with that Lightbox thing. I was reading Sharon's blog this morning and saw that she managed to disable it. After a lot of fiddling about I managed to find out where the settings are and it is now disabled.

So if you want to go back to the previous post and click on the photo you should be able to enlarge it.

FYI - the Lego quilt currently measures 52" x 48" and, no Sharon, I hadn't spotted that arch until you mentioned it.

More soon.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

First There Were Scraps ......

.... then strings, then blocks.

Now (insert drum roll) there is a part of a top.

(Click to enlarge)

There is a lot of infilling, because, as you know, I can't sew straight. Thank goodness I'm still making those strips. I knew they would come in useful!

Now where did I put that list of Autumn chores?

More soon.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Monday Mumblings

I've been at the machine for what seems like weeks, sewing away, and I think I've created a monster.

I am seriously addicted.

I've uploaded a large version so this photo should be click able.

I've still got at least another 2 rows to do. Then its infilling so the rows are equal in length. I think I'll add, rather than cut.

There are so many different fabrics in this. Lots of, to me, uglies, lots of fun ones and bits and pieces from all over the world. Notice the distinct lack of red, well not a lot!

I deliberating over doing a border for this. I'm loathe to, but I'm also think a narrow black one would make the colours pop.  I'll see how I feel when I reach that point.

I gave myself a break on Thursday to make a miniature quilt for the Liberated Quilts Online Retreat. I decided we'd have a bit of fun and quilt along with the quilters at Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilters Retreat, using the same theme - Gwen's current book 37 sketches.

I asked the group to take a quilt from either Gwen, Gee's Bend or the Brown's Amish Collection, reduced it in size if it was full size, and make it theirs.  I had a mental block and couldn't decide what to do. To help the thought process I rummaged through what is left in the string box. Right at the bottom was a bit of pink plaid lying next to a piece of black.

This is what I came up with.

I love how the plaid changes colour, depending on how you cut it.

Onto family stuff.  Someone asked me (can't remember who) what The Young One is up to these days.

She started her second year at lycée last month. She is now in Premiére and studying hard for her Baccalaureate Série Littérature (scroll down the page). There has been a reform in the French education system and the upshot is she has dropped Maths, which is her weak subject. She is overjoyed! We were a bit worried about this to start with (well, The Old One was - I'm not bothered), until she said that because the last two teachers weren't prepared to help her, she's basically missed out 2 years and to sit the Bac in Maths would mean losing those precious marks.

Instead she has gone for the English and Art option. I'm really pleased with the English part as she is studying English Literature and the book list is probably what she would have read if she was doing A-Level English Literature. She's starting with A Picture of Dorian Gray and Wuthering Heights is on the list too.

The art side I'm not too sure about and even she admits she's not brilliant at it, but she's got to better at art than Maths!

Spanish is also on the curriculum and it looks as if we've got a tri-langue daughter!

She's sitting her French Bac next June and, if she passes, will do Philosophy in Terminale, her last year at lycée.

I can't believe the little 3 year old who started in the Petite Section of Maternelle (kindergarten) is now 16 1/2 and nearing the end of her school life.

If all goes to plan, in 2 year's time she'll be at Limoges University reading languages.

To round off this post. The Old One has been busy busy busy.

Those of you who have been to this pile of stones know what the big barn normally looks like. Piled high with junk. The Old One collects junk!  Even he has decided there is enough to start our own brocante and been clearing it out.

Et voila!

Yes - it really is that big!

I've got a list of Autumnal chores as long as my arm so I'm going to give the machines a bit of a rest and see if I can reduce the list by at least half by the end of the week.

More soon.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Now I Have 6 ......

and I've been told enough is enough.

Excuse the background decoration!

Some extracts from the handbook.

More soon.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

And Then There was Space

Do you want to know something?

Finishing this top has taken a lot longer than I thought it would. I suppose it was the precise spacing between each letter and word which made it harder. Something I've never done before.

You know me. Just wing it and see what happens.

Before I show the photo, I think the bottom row has got to be unpicked and re-sewn. Somehow the machine had a yummy I'm hungry moment. I don't think she likes doing strings cos she chewed that seam up.

So here we are

and I'm not sure about the exclamation mark either. I like the top half, but the bottom is too square.

Oh Clare, do shut up! You're striving for perfection which you know you just cannot do!

On a different topic, we went shopping yesterday.

Sewing machine shopping.

She hasn't come home yet, but when she does I'll make sure you are the first to see her.

More soon.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Time to Clear the Decks

I reached an impasse.

I can't do any more Brick Blocks as I've run out of design wall space and I can't get an overall impression of how its going when the blocks are piled on top of one another.

So it's time to clear the bigger design wall. That means back to Music is Magic.

I started planning the layout and putting the first row together yesterday.

I originally wanted the letters to jump about a bit, but it didn't seem to work with this quilt. So this is how I feel it should look.

I'm starting with 1" strips between each letter, but I may need to rethink that as I progress.

I need to drop "beyond" down a bit so it doesn't clash with the A above it and make it more centred.

The second row needs moving down a bit too so the two A's are separated out.

I want to leave the "y" in "beyond" as it is, dropping down between "all" and "we", and the last line will need to be spread out a bit as the exclamation mark has still to be done.

Once the top is finished it can be pinned on The Young One's wall as is until I'm ready to quilt it.

In the meantime, I still adding to the pile of strings when I get an opportunity to play Leaders and Enders.

Changing the subject.

The  second series of  Downton Abbey started the Sunday before last. For me it's not hitting the same spot as the first series did. I'm finding the actors a bit wooden and I get the feeling they are reading their lines off an auto cue. All except the brilliant Maggie Smith.

We'll see what happens this coming Sunday which appears to be a bit more exciting. Lady Edith needs a good hard slap, but I won't spoil it for you!

And woohoo! The last in the current series of  Dr Who tomorrow night. I wonder if all will be revealed.

More soon.