Saturday, 17 February 2018

Listening to:
The Atlantic 50 best podcasts of 2017  #49 The Bill Simmons podcast.  Another podcast I normally wouldn't consider as it's a sports podcast but this was quite political.  It is an interview with The Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.  Lots of sporting references that I had no idea about but the talked about Colin Kaepernick (started the kneeling protest at American football games as a protest about the treatment of black men by the Police), Obama and The Wire.  It flowed really well but I really wasn't interested in listening to his other podcasts.

Watching on TV:
George Clarkes Amazing Spaces (Channel 4).  I've been mourning leaving my big house and wild back garden for a tiny flat and not being able to build my cob house or geodesic dome (hadn't done that in the previous 2 years though....).  Suddenly realised that I am in my own Tiny House now.  What a numpty!

Found on the Internet:
News reports of the new portraits of President Obama and Michelle Obama.  I really like the portrait of Michelle Obama (ok, it looks more like a singer than the First Lady) but I loved her dress especially when I found out it was based on a Gee's Bend quilt.

This set me off on another Internet time-destroyer, looking for pixelated quilts - soon lost interest.  Not pixels then but circles or balls.  I started falling off Vimeo and the Gee's Bend quilts and landing on YouTube and finding Jessika Jacob and her amazing artwork of just different sized painted dots. 

You can see her technique here.  So now all I have to do is find out how to do this in fabric!
This lead onto searching for 'textile art' on and found Multi-coloured Orbs by Serena Garcia Dalla Venezia

From there I found Fav Blog this Week
The Jealous Curator.  This blog showcases contemporary artists and podcasrs of interviews with them.  Check out the Gallery and Podcast pages - they are amazing!
Also, spent a lot of time on the the Metropolitan Museum of Art and it's online collections, with images  free to use as you wish.

Sewing:  Those damn, damn, damn cushion covers for the Cricket Club.  Note to self: stop offering to do stuff I don't want to do.

Cooking without a cooker:
Used my bread machine to bake a loaf.  Dear oh dear oh dear - it was so scrummy! 
400mls warm water and
1 tbsp oil put into the machine.
Dump in 650g bread flour, 7g fast acting yeast, tsp sugar, tsp salt.  Set to 2lb loaf and it cooked for 3 hours.  It was trying to escaped and baked to the lid but was sooooo tasty.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Listening to:
Working my way through The Atlantic's 50 best podcasts of 2017 starting with #50 - Alone by Michelle Parise here.  Almost skipped this one as it's a love story (yuk) but it's really good.  The author is a Canadian (oh, Canada...!) journalist and the story is not sappy.  Love stories are something I avoid like the plague normally but I am glad I stuck with this one. Love podcasts whilst I'm sewing (or sprawling....)
Radio 4:  Nicola Sturgeon on 'A Good Read' talking about how important reading fiction is to understand other people lives and recommending books she has particularly enjoyed on her Twitter feed.

Watching on TV:
Silent Witness on BBC1.  I've not watched this before but am really enjoying it.  Stories are in 2 parts but both parts are in the same week so there's some chance of not forgetting the plot.
Spiral on BBC2. French detective drama.  Main character is female and in charge but she's a bit sappy.  Still hooked on Scandi noir but giving others a chance.

Watching on Netflix:
How to Get away with Murder, series 3.  All really far fetched but better escapism than other wallpaper tv like Eastenders or Coronation Street, both of which are becoming more and more unbelievable.  If I'm going to suspend belief, I'd rather it be for a better story!

Watching on QNNtv:
Took me ages to find this again and subscribe.  It's now owned by The Quilting Company ( and takes a real bit of work to find QNNtv videos but I watched Thomas Knauer Design Studio - Palimpsest (no, I don't know what it means either!).  This video shows how to use print to quilt your project and I shall use these ideas on my quilt challenge for my local quilt group Mimram Quilters which I shall start sewing next week after finishing (finally) all the Cricket Club cushions.

Watching on YouTube:
Needle threading witchery!  I tried but can't do it!


Still can't find my little sewing tins with all my equipment in from moving, so recovering some cushions for local Cricket Club - yawn, yawn, yawn........

Sunday, 1 March 2015

London Modern Quilt Guild - January (a bit late but at least not lost like February......sad face.....

Today was fab!  Shevvy did a show and tell about improvisational quilting and had loads of pieces with her.  Basically, it's wonky log cabin, wonky stars etc but she had made 2 really cute little bags by sewing together lots of left over triangles.  She also had a great quilt (sadly, didn't fit into my backpack......shame.....)  She had cut 3"x2" rectangles and sewed left-over triangles on 2 opposite corners then just sewed the rectangles together.  Simplest ideas always the best, aren't they.     This is another similar quilt she showed but using the same idea of triangles sewn onto 2 opposite corners.  Quite hard to see how simple the pattern as the feathers are just amazing.

Also, she had been in a bee and had given the other members, the background and pieces of fabric to make flying geese (I hate flying geese!) and everyone had done them so differently - some going in curves, some tiny geese, some placed really randomly - it was beautiful. 
This is the bee quilt that she gave the other members bits of background and fabric and they had to sew geese their own way.  It's  not a good photo as the background is quite a dark green

These are the geese before putting together

And, wonky log cabin

Shevvy is so good at explaining stuff and even better at making everyone feel confident to try improv. quilting. I so enjoyed this day!
Shevvy blogs here
and the London Modern Quilt Guild blog is here

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

January swaps - better late than never?!

This is my January postcard swap to Jane in Idaho (part of the monthy postcard swap here, posted just after January perished!  It really isn't as wonky as it looks?  Must pin down stuff so it doesn't look so manky!

These are the second rounds of hexies I sent to Janet but... there was a major problem with them...arghhh....  I had downloaded 1" hexagons from the web but, when I printed them I forgot to uncheck the 'fit to page' box so they were too small (only by about 1/16th of an inch but that's a lot when they are only 1" to start with!

Well, Janet was really kind and rebasted my hexies and made this flower:-

But, the seams on the other set were too small to rebaste so, they were used here.  I think this flower is even more effective, even though I am crushed by my carelessness.  Here is how Janet used them and I'm just so impressed:-

So, that's a lesson learnt the hard way for Janet - check your printing settings carefully and still check against a 'real' template or ruler.  

I was especially mortified as Janet runs the swap and I sent silly-sized hexies to her.....well, you live and learn, don't you!  Incidentally, Janet also blogs here and I've been following her for ages - it's a small World.

Codicote Tuesday - February

Codicote Tuesdays make my heart fill with joy:  wonderful, inspirational company and lots of laughs.  What more can a person want or need.  Well today, we got a glimpse of Honor's Di Ford quilt and it is just amazing.  Such detailed hand-work.  Truly, an heirloom.

Only wish the photo was better....

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder

A moment of twee-ness!  I grew up with the 'Little House...' tv series and today is the 148th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author.  So, I'm going to read the first one in the series tonight, published in 1932:

Less twee and far more accurate and properly researched will be Pioneer Girl, the real memoir of Wilder's life that was rejected as 'not suitable for young children'.  It was published last Autumn by the South Dakota Historical Society Press but is consistently out of stock.  It is on Amazon though but it's quite expensive at around £25.  Being cheap keen to use my local Library, I've reserved it.

Then I thought, I should make a Little House quilt............Nah......a modern Dear Jane would be better.  But how to do it?  I don't want it to be pictorial but a block design from a modern icon, logo, whatever.  You know, like the Corns and Beans block doesn't actually look like corns and beans - that sort of thing.  Need to think on a bit.......

I really know how to burn the candle at both ends: curled up with a childrens' book on a Saturday night..........sigh.......

Saturday, 29 November 2014

London Quilters Coming Home Exhibition 2014

This runs from 17th November-23rd December 2014 and 2nd-4th January 2015
Swiss Cottage Central Library, 88 Avenue Road, London NW3  3HA

This is such an inspirational exhibition of around 50 quilts made by beginners to clearly very advanced members of  London Quilters.  It's also, the magic word, free!  I had such a good day there today and spent quite some time at the Workshop table learning how to raw edge applique circles.  Others were sewing squares together for baby quilts and some were make cathedral window blocks.  There will be a workshop there each Saturday from 10am-4pm and all that is asked in return, is to buy a raffle ticket for this quilt made by the members:

I had two viewers choice quilts: I couldn't decide between them!  
Here they are:-
"Sarah's"  by Margaret Jarvie

The description of this really made me laugh but I can't remember exactly how it was written but something along the lines of considering applique rather than piecing curves!

"Dreaming of San Juan"  by Maggie Paykel

This quilt is made of raw edge appliqued
triangles which were then caught with 
a perle thread at each of the three points
of each triangle and then seed stitched
all over the background

A really moving quilt was "Heart of the Home" by Yana Krizka.  It has been made with her fathers' shirts.  He escaped the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1939 and the maker has made many fabric transferred photos of his various passes and identity cards along with his favourite things, hand-embroidered around the main photograph.  I especially liked the flag, cleverly placed as the background.  A really sad but yet uplifting piece of work.

This is Tracy Chevaliers' "My First Quilt".  I particularly like her description:-  "It was surprising to me how similar writing and quilting can be: the meditative quality needed, the mix of planning and spontaneity, the inevitable mistakes that creep in the make you wince afterwards"

I think we've all been there!

On the way out, was a group of 18 small quilts all 12" x 12" commemorating the First World War.  I especially like these four, all made by Sabi Westaby.  However, all these mini quilts were so moving and also fittingly displayed along a wall in a quieter area on the way out of the Library.

It was such an inspiring day with lots of chatting to other quilters around the Workshop table.  I can highly recommend this exhibition!