Sunday, 31 January 2016

365 Circles so far - its a top!

I joined up the blocks this evening and despite lining up a couple of the verticals in the wrong places, I can live with where blocks are now situated.
It will grace my legs on the settee anyway and most likely have a cat or dog laid on it too - so it will do.
Of course now I have to do the wadding, backing and quilting!
I think I will hand quilt it by simply stitching around the circles on the outside of each one, well maybe.
I'm linking up my 365's with Audrey at
You can find a whole bunch of other great 365's there too!

Change of the Glorious Hexi plan : )

So .... that was the plan according to the Facebook group pattern for the Katja Murak Quilt with Me/Glorious Hexagons - the framed hexis as above.
But the more I made, the more each finished hexi was slightly different in size and joining them meant in places, as much as a quarter inch difference in sides lol infuriating!
Making up your own templates you have to be precise and I clearly wasn't precise with my wadding and backing!
So I considered crocheting the blessed things together but didn't want to give in to that idea.
So, change of plan,
I took the backing fabric frames off them all and am now joining them together instead, but I am sort of toning the fabrics I'm using instead of using loud and just any colours!
I will lap quilt size them and then border them round with  'frame'.
Thus, this is the new plan ..

Lori Holt devised the 'BLOOM' pattern for stitchers which she has kindly provided free and ideally you need to buy her special templates to facilitate making the quilt properly.
Lori has made it with her own fabrics too and they are delightfully bright and cheerful.

Picture below taken from her blog, so pretty isn't it!

Lori's blog is a joy to follow so do nip across and take a look and her wonderful tutorials in blog posts  are extremely well put together showing how to use her templates successfully.

She uses fusible web as a backing to her shapes, turning them inside out which makes appliqueing them down so much easier ( for me!) than applique needle turning.

Well first let me confess I haven't bought her templates, shame on me I know.
So no surprise if my versions turn out skew whiff and that will be entirely down to me and in no way Lori's patterns fault.
In fact its likely to prove how very much more sensible it would be to buy the really great templates!
I meant to buy them, but off the cuff, I sat and faffed with some fabrics just to see how the shapes might look whilst trying out the fusible backing method.
I really like that method and ended up with 2 blocks made .... now I may as well follow on for a few of the blocks since I am not likely to make it full sized anyway.

So as is my way: I half read the instructions : ) and ended up with this

which you might notice is missing the small squares at each corner duhhh
So then I tried inserting corners and ended up with edges and points that didnt match and that was going to be annoying so - I changed the plan - again!

This is as far I've got so far and I have yet to decide how I will adjoin the blocks but I suspect I will go the simple route and repeat the above block style again.
At the end I may embroider or add in a folksy stitched square at each corner and save myself the headache of trying to match corners!
I know, but why stress yourself unnecessarily : )
 So here's as far as I am now, just a small circle to stitch in the centre of the 2nd.

There are 4 delightful short irises blooming away in my back garden!
I guess they are January flowering anyway but really, you'd have thought they'd' have hung on till it was warmer!
But they are a joy to see and the unusually mild weather is turning now so I doubt they will be around for long.
The wonderful part of this time of year is that the days are gradually pulling out and it is lighter earlier mornings and for that bit longer in the afternoons.
Bring on the longer days!


Friday, 22 January 2016

365 Circles, Glorious Hexagons and Psychiatry ......

You know, you blink and its the 21st January already -
Stephen Hawkins must have an explanation as to why time seems to have speeded up, don't you think?
On the other hand I'm down to only 3 weeks till half term and a week off!



My 'Glorious Hexagons' are coming on, its supposed to be one a week but most in the Fb group are charging ahead and making them ahead of schedule.
Being an enlarged version of Katjas 'New Hexagons' (enlarged to 133%) they are so much easier to work on and with.
Though the real bonus is that your only making one of each hexi pattern and not 6 at a time like we did for the rosettes!
So if its a fiddly pieced block, when you've done one - you can move on!

My 64 blocks for the 365 Circles are still unstitched together, but I may start that tomorrow, maybe lol
It's the squaring up the blocks that's putting me off, I know I need to do it so why not just get on with it?
I don't know - and yet, I am itching to start making more circle blocks, so I have no excuse for prevaricating.
( don't you just love that word - prevaricating -)

I wonder if any of you are doing the Splendid Sampler BOM which starts in February and have seen any of the posts on the Facebook group that the (already)5000 or so members have been posting?

Last years New Hexagon group had a similar number of members and it was a caring, sharing, kindly bunch of people, full of encouragement and advice, support and confidence building.
It became a real community group despite us all living far afield across the world.
It was a classless group somehow.
Mind you there were a couple of members who clearly had joined to sell their own products too.

Maybe its just me, but it seems as if this BOM has attracted a different member group somehow.
There have been hundreds of photos of members homes for some reason and I don't recall seeing a single one in the group I was in last year.
Latterly some members have sjust ent in pictures of their local environment instead and they were much nicer to see.
In those pictures there was no (subliminal) suggestion of the expense and grandeur of their private homes, instead there was a pride in their community?
It was more a case of this is lovely Lincolnshire/Montanna or wherever and less of the 'Look how well off I am then folks' lol
Now, many members obviously have wonderful homes and good luck to them and the average seemed to be large, larger, huge or enormous!

One comment that struck me as odd was - " this is my splendid home" and there was a house rather like South Fork in Dallas!
I mean she is very lucky clearly but I am not at all impressed by material wealth ( unless it is fabrics!) and this excess of domestic grandeur has sort of turned me off the groups subliminal identity?
Does that make sense?
I just re read that and your probably thinking I've lost my marbles lol

But it's seemed like a 'one-up-womanship'  of sorts and I wonder if I'm the only one to have thought it an odd way of forming a 'community'.

Anyway will get off my psychiatrist couch now  - so you can relax!

I have bought another book, like you know how few I have
 and how I needed another one!
But this is kind of wonderful.
Id seen it on a blog I dropped in on and the managed to lose shortly after but loved the review of it so much I went looking for it!

It's a Quiltmania book, but happily bought from a UK supplier yeahhh!

    'Voyage autour de la Laine'
                                               or 'A trip around the Wool'
            and it is divine!
Boro, wool fabrics and yarns, embroidery and recycling come together in a wonderfully creative way.

Here's a couple of pics of my copy

Just look at those embroidered hexis!
and then this ....

Above picture taken from

I bought my book from the Running Chicken below

Okay I feel the need to make a circle block but smaller than my others!
: )

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Magazines and a knicker making kit

I was in WH Smiths the other day and noticed a whole batch of
'new to me' magazines.
I'm generally looking at the magazines directly opposite these,
so chances are these aren't new at all.
But having had a look through some of them -
they look more like coffee table magazines to me.
Interesting to see them, although they struck me as a bit strange, somewhat voyeur-like magazines?
Idyllic images of how some bright things imagine life 'should be'?
Not sure why they gave me creeps, yes fabulous photography in some but ... I'm just not sure!

Dropped into the nearby charity shop after that and felt compelled to buy this old packet, from who knows when!
If anyone would like the paper pattern from within, it is unused, and certainly wont be used by me! - for making your own knickers -
size 8 to 18, I will gladly send you it.
I'm keeping the fat quarter however : )
And yes, that's a cutey picture of Evie tucked under it, a picture from her holidays to Spain with Mum and Dad last august.
Butter wouldn't melt ... ha!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sue Stone at Stitchy Club

My second 'Glorious Hexagon' ( from the 2016 Katja Murak stitch along from The New Hexagon book of hers).
Mind you the colours are dulled on this pic which is a nuisance!

It was stitchy club yesterday and we had Sue Stone visit us with some of her work and she showed us what she has been doing since her last visit to us.
Sue hails from nearby Grimsby and her signature is a fish since her father was in the fishing industry there.
The work she showed us this time featured some really great mixed media, using paint, hand and machine stitching.
Sue says herself she doesn't use many different hand stitches 
but the few simple stitches she does use, are used very cleverly.
Needle weaving, lazy daisy, running, seed and long stitch with some couching, provide some clever texture and effects.
What she calls her 'herring bone' stitches are really effectiv and well worth looking closely at.
 Sue has been using old photographs from hers and her husbands family, recreating them in stitch on backgrounds on which she has also featured graffiti seen in London's East End.
There was she found, a Grimsby Street in the East End and it has a regular turnover of street art, which although much of it gets painted over over time, some of it has been immortalised in Sues work.

There is of course only one photo above with graffiti on, but if you chase over to her websites

I lifted the pic below from her pictures on Google.
She had shown us this one in her presentation and told us that on her wanderings around Grimsby Street in the East End, she stumbled on a dumped armchair.
Walking around the next corner its twin was dumped there also and then a little further, the matching settee( on the right) was dumped too!
As she said, she could have had a 3 piece suite with a spare settee too as it turned out.
So both armchairs and both settees feature in her current work.
The red areas are painted then distressed somewhat, sometimes first then stitched on and sometimes stitched then painted on and sometimes, stitched, painted on the stitches removed, adding another level of texture. Interesting that I thought. 

The cobblestones are needle weaving.
Below also off Google but shows her stitching really well.

Sue showed us this below too but this is taken from her wordpress blog and is called - 

Girl’s Day Out for Hilda, Nellie and Ida
I love this one especially and the graffiti is a copy of what she saw in the East End.

Girl's Day Out for Hilda, Nellie and Ida

It is worth mentioning that her two sons run a great website, which I have followed for about a year now on Facebook, although I hadn't clocked that they were anything to do with her!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Glorious Hexagon number 2, Hocuspocusville and a scary cat

Well block number 2 of the Glorious Hexagon is right lol
Number 1 will be a mug rug and so I will re make number 1 by and by.
The bonus here is that number 2 was made using the lacy scraps left over from fussy cutting for one of the Milliefiori rosettes from last year! 

Hocuspocusville so far -

Weird lighting there, not sure what happened!
I will add odd coloured titbits later on.

You know I said Id been sorting out my (downstairs) stash area?
Well this will give you a flavour of where the area is and what's in there.
The previous owner had seperated off a quarter of the back room to one side and had an arch there. It was his study and is now my glory hole with curtains lol it goes off to the left and right.

To the left side ..... yes, he's such a scary cat.

Oh and just in case you thought the sorting out had worked long term -

that's the table in front of the curtained off store area!

And I need to clear it off before Evie arrives in the morning too!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

365 Blocks and Glorious Hexagons

Well here we are, January 2016 - don't these years come round quickly these days?!
Happy New Year to you all and I wish you health, laughter and comfort - if not bounteous wealth!
I mean what WOULD we do with thousands or millions of £'s or $'s?

Hmm Yes, I could write a list too - but I am not altogether convinced it would bring me any the more happiness , contentment or better health ...
... and I think in truth they would be the most valuable things to want.
 Although I would be prepared to give it a try of course and I would  most certainly retire straight away!

I have done some stitching to while away my days off and now have enough '365 circle blocks' to make a nice lap quilt.
I made the first 2 before Christmas and all the others up to last week.
The make one a week plan overtook me and I have made 64 in a  particular subtle color ways and now I've seen some of the others, made in bright and bountiful fabrics - well I will have to make another in much brighter fabrics later!
I guess my mood has been subtle and I have been in prolific mode!

 The laying out process with cats n dog shut out!

I have altered a couple of blocks since the above pic and they are now pinned together in vertical rows, awaiting some wadding to arrive.

Linking my 365 blocks up with

As of January 1st Katja Murak of The New Hexagon book, has begun a new years 'free' Facebook pattern. You can join the Facebook group freely and see what folks are doing and its a much more user friendly activity this year.
Details about this years project can be found on her website, just look for the Glorious Hexagon details.
The part pictures at the top of this post are my first attempt of the first block but I haven't done it right, didn't read the instructions properly!
I hadn't cut the wadding or the backing fabric big enough.
Hey ho, least I wont do that again.
It will make a decent mug rug so no loss there.
But it will give you an idea of the individual quilt as you go blocklets.
There are no intensely made rosettes this year, which can easily drive you crazy or obsessive, but you still do need a copy of her book for the patterns of the individual blocks.
This year we will make each individual hexi block, there's 52 in the book, but quilt them as we go along and then stitch each one together.
And of course you don't need to make all 52, you could just make less and make table runners or bags - or a waistcoat, jacket, whatever lol

The only difference is this time we enlarge the books full sized patterns by 133% so these hexi blocks are 4" edges and 8" point to point. Altogether easier to piece at that size and obviously it will grow quickly!

SO relatively less work is involved but it still offers a challenging opportunity to fussy cut - without as much stress!
My own 2015 milliefiori is stalled and will become other things bit by bit. I realised half way through that I would never use it as a bed cover, I didn't really like the mass jumble of colours involved although I thoroughly enjoyed the process and learning how to fussy cut.

However those who had colour toned their work from the very beginning have made stunning covers for themselves and I think that's the secret of best of them.
To have a themed colour combination and not just as so many of us did, a joyous bevy of every colour imaginable!

Ah well back to the fussy cutting, its one Katja block a week as its one 365 block a week too!
So I've no excuse for staying online : )
Have you made any resolutions at all?
Have you broken them yet? lol
I am still thinking about making any ..... it may take me a while to decide!