Thursday, 20 December 2012

Quilting E-book Review

You all know that I don't usually review quilting books because that's not my style. I do my own thing. Isn't that liberated quilting?

However, a couple of weeks ago I received an email from Fons and Porter asking me if I'd review their e-book for December - Log Cabins.

I said yes (for some reason) so imagine my surprise when this arrived in my Inbox.

Then I wasn't too sure and it took me 24 hours to open the link!

Oh imagine!

There's the traditional and the modern. Amish to Ricky Tims. Bits that aren't me - machine quilting and Trapunto! But lots that are me!

There are photos of some of the Amish quilts in the Sara Miller collection which are stunning. You really need to read the book to see them.

And then there's the modern day Log Cabins for those of you who love that sort of thing. The colours are great if you have to follow a pattern.  Personally I could have done without the Chevron quilt, but that's just me.

However, there is one downside. Just as you are getting in to it, it stops. Dead.

You read about the history of these gorgeous quilts and then you hit upon a binding tutorial which I must admit I found boring and totally out of context.

Perhaps a bit more research, expand the history of log cabin quilts, more colour plates and it could, just could, be a winner. Both as a "proper" and an e book.

You can download the book for free from the Fons and Porter site here.

Tell me what you think.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

A Finish and a Top

Oh dear. I'm sorry - I don't seem to have posted for ages!

Things are a bit busy Chez Nous. Getting ready for winter and keeping warm seems to be the order of the day at the moment.

However, I have managed to finish one or two things.

First - the  name banner for Twilight (see new link to Leeanne and Mike's web site in the side bar to the right).

At 35.5" by 17.5" it's quite big!

Apparently it is going to be framed with glass on the front and back and Leeanne and Mike love it!

(Crap photo- sorry.)

And here we have Greengage Fool which turned out to be twice the size it was supposed to be. The good thing is there are hardly any tiny green squares left! I'm thinking of widening the black border by a couple of inches and leaving it. That green pops!

I'll be back at the weekend with a book review for you so stay tuned!

More soon.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Twilight - Retirement Home for Dogs

The blue isn't as dark as that. It's sort of a midnight blue.

I was going to put a binding on in the same colour as the letters, but I think think blue will be okay.

Any thoughts?

More soon.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

My First Commission

A friend saw photos of my name banners and has commissioned me to make one for a dear friend of ours.

The colour choice has been difficult. The friend likes wild and wacky colours - orange and lime green together - that sort of thing.

I  found a really wild batik in the stash, but on a white background it would look terrible. So I decided it needed a dark colour to throw it out.

Not too wild about that W, but it will do.

More soon.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Monster Finish!

Do you remember the craze last year for Lego quilts. When I started building bricks with fabric and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger,

until it got so big it could only be photographed outside?

All That Jazz

I decided it was time this monster was actually on the bed and not idling away in a cupboard taking up  space.

Getting read to start sewing the layers together

The kitchen table was cleared of all detritus. The Old One's favourite armchair was used to take the weight of the quilt as I turned it round. After about an hour I had 3 layers sewn together. A bit haphazardly, but sewn. Those seams are definitely not straight!

Then I rolled it up and left it for 48 hours. I wasn't at all sure if the backing was going to be strong enough. It's an old cotton sheet which has definitely seen better days.

After a lot of cogitating, I decided that if it was going to be finished I needed to get on and do it. Now!

Cleared the kitchen table again, turned it inside out (or outside out [grin]), pushed the corners out and stayed up until 2.00 am closing the open seam. I was determined to sleep under it that night.

Et voila!

It is still be be tied and I'm going to sew some orphan string blocks on the back to reinforce the sheet and cover up a few holes. That should also help keep the layers together.

I think I've got my mojo back. I rescued the Liberated Amish project from the dust bunnies under the bed and hope to start hand quilting it again soon. In  the meantime I've got Greengage Fool to finish.

More soon.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Bad Bad Blogger!

I know! Aren't I terrible!

But I have got an excuse. I'm working on a project and I'm not allowed to blog about it, but I'm going to be really naughty and show you a bit of one of the fabrics I'm working with, which should give you a hint.

In between piecing the Secret Project, I'm also doing a lot of work on Greengage Fool.

I think this is going to be the largest of the Fool quilts.

Not a lot going on at Chez Nous at the moment. The Young One passed her "code" (pronounced cod) on Thursday which is the French version of the Highway Code and is the theory exam. This unfortunately means that she can now start learning to drive properly and her first driving lesson is Wednesday week. Yikes!

So as you can see, I can't really blog at the moment, but I hope that when the Secret Project finally finished I'll be allowed to show in all its glory.

To finish this post a couple of photos I took the other day.

The site of my 14th Geocache find. A lovely peaceful spot.

Le Pont Coudé in Brantome
 More soon.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

And Then We Go Green

The beginnings of Greengage Fool.  The third one in the Fool series.

Sorry I haven't been around much. I've been busy busy busy preparing for our first car boot/vide grenier/yard sale as sellers. It was yesterday and I had a ball! More like a party than a sale. Lots of laughter and giggles with other stall holders. Great great fun and I managed to sell some "stuff" too.

More soon.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Things are a'changing

As most of you know by now, the beginning of the new school year (rentrée) in France can also mean out with the old and in with the new.

New broom sweeps clean and all that.

The Old One and I (actually I) have decided to try our hand at selling "stuff", rather than buying more "stuff", so we're having a huge clear out and will be setting up our trestle tables at a local vide grenier on 30th September in aid of Twilight (click link to learn more).

So there am I starting the massive clear out and I got ever so slightly side tracked. I had to get the big ladder out so I could clear the bookshelves of no longer wanted books (I know Kathie, but it had to be done).

Then I had a brain storm. Ladder. Quilts. Rehanging Time.

This isn't a brilliant shot, but it shows how high our ceilings are. I was standing on tiptoe to hang Blackcurrant  Fool. Liquorice Lane will probably come off and Blueberry Fool will take its place, but my arms were aching. I'm only 5ft 2ins!

Music is Magic is finally hung in nearly its resting place. Again I was standing on tiptoe on the ladder and it should be further to the right.

All these photos were taken after I'd hung the quilts and the ladder came down, but to take the photo of Music is Magic I was standing on The Young One's bed. I wish I had had a bedroom like this when I was her age.

So you can see what she will see when she wakes up in the mornings. She hasn't seen it yet as she went back to lycée yesterday for the start of her last year of education. I wonder what she'll think when she comes home on Friday?

Right - back to the clearing out.

More soon. x

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Summer Sewing

What does it make you think of?

Me?  Elderflower Cordial because the brand I like comes in dark green glass bottles.

However, as much as I'd like to call it that, this is actually the centre of the next Fool quilt - Greengage Fool.

More soon.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

New Blogger on the Block

Fancy reading about living next door to a chocolate farm?

How about coping with monkeys yelling at you while you are trying to sew?

If we are very nice to her and say nice things she might just show us how she machine quilts using monofilament thread.

Click here to read more. Mary has only written two posts so please be patient.

More soon

Friday, 17 August 2012

Summer Dayz

In the Pool

Outside Living

Evening Spectaculars

Family Celebrations

Children's Voices

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Yesterday Was a Busy Day

No words - just photos - as a lot of you asked for close ups of the batik cabins, which, thanks to Julie,  is now called "It's a Jungle Out There".

The backing

Music is Magic

The backing of Music is Magic

More soon.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Catching Up

At long last a bit of breathing space after all the rushing about taking The Young One to various exams at various times.  Now all we've got to do is sit back and wait for the results!

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I headed off into deepest France for a 48 retreat with Pippa. She lives north of Limoges, in a very rural part of France. More rural than here I can tell you!

We had a great time. We talked quilts, read about quilts and she got out her Grace Quilting Frame and quilted my batik log cabin quilt. We had a few hiccups with the thread, but in the end made quite a good team. Photos to follow as soon as I done the binding and buried hundreds of threads.

However, this is the thread we used on the top

It's Aurifil variegated 50wt thread and is a lot greener than in the picture. It was a perfect match.

When we finished that we got out our sewing machines and Pippa gave me a lesson in FMQ'ing on her Janome.

First thing she told me was that it isn't necessary to drop the feed dogs. The subject has since come up on Facebook and I didn't realise there are so many people who FMQ with the feed dogs up.

Her next tip, which she picked up at the Fat Quarter Retreat in London at the beginning of June, was that instead of using quilting gloves, use this instead.

It's that rubbery stuff that is used for table mats and things and really cheap. Just cut off chunks and you can get a really good grip on the fabric. You learn something new every day!

Just as I was leaving to go to Pippa's, the postman arrived with my winnings from Katy at I'm a Ginger Monkey. A gorgeous bundle of 12 FQ's from The Village Haberdashery.

7 Thomas Knauer Flock FQ's and 5 Kona Solid FQ's. Yum!

And whilst we're on the subject of fabric, I have been doing some personal stash building too.

I've fallen in love with the Summersville range of fabrics.  Pippa said she was ordering a Charm Pack from her and I just couldn't resist!

Just so luscious!

So I've got a million and one things to keep me occupied over the coming months and I can see the batik log cabins taking an age as there are zillions of threads to hide. I might just have to cheat!

And to round  this post of, a photo taken of a Day Lily last week.

More soon.