Saturday, 23 July 2011

Such a happy me

Blogger have finally helped me to sort out the original blog, so all these posts have been transferred, and this blog will no longer be updated.

My new home is

I look forward to seeing you there


Friday, 22 July 2011

Foundation Pieced Flying Geese

I came home tonight to an email from Sally, the Assistant Curator at Chertsey Museum.  She wrote "I forgot to ask… What is the topic for next time?"

I was so tempted to reply telling her that the next topic would be Foundation Pieced Flying Geese, and see what she made of that, but she is too lovely for me to be that mean! (and if she started using archaeological terms to me, I would lose very quickly!)

So I have started a sample and can send her a photo. 

Not too bad for an hour's work :-) I will finish it before the August class.  Oh, and the Museum have just confirmed dates through to the end of 2012! 


And... off topic - I had an interview at a lovely little school today.  They really want someone all day every day, but i cant do that, so I'm starting temping for them in September and they'll see how that goes until October half term, so at least I have work for 7 weeks - yippee

Cut. Stitch. Press. Repeat

A lovely day yesterday :-)

I came back to working on the Aunt Grace's Flowers jelly roll, and made up strips for 9 patch blocks, and a random alternating-with-white quilt.

I tried to explain my time saving method last time, and certainly confused Hadley, so here it is again with pictures!

Pick up a strip of white, and a strip from the jelly roll.  Cut 8 inches off the end of both.

Stitch together the long lengths that are left.  Then at one end add the short piece of white (so create a section which is white-coloured-white) and at the other end add the short piece from the jelly roll (coloured-white-coloured)

and then trim off the two ends where the triple section is. Press everything. The middle section can be trimmed into 2.5" pairs, and put to one side until there are about a zillion of them

Trim the two triple pieces each into three triple strips each at 2.5".  Now you have enough to make two nine patch blocks, one with white corners, one with coloured corners

Clear as mud?

Anyway, new topic - shopping!!!

I want to start a hand sewing project in grey and red for the sofa, and decided to do log cabin using foundation by the yard.  Good plan, but f-b-t-y log cabin doesn't exist, and I really didn't fancy drawing out each foundation block by hand, so I have switched to court house steps.  The foundation fabric arrived today, along with (well if I was paying P&P I might as well add some more stuff???) some f-b-t-y flying geese for the Fun With Fabric course, and a cutting board that I have been lusting after - one that turns, so it's much easier to always cut away from me.

Now off to a job interviw and then an afternoon shopping with Mum and Lisa :-)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

School's Out For Summer ... and Nine Patch blocks

School finished (for me) at 6pm yesterday, so I now have six weeks with almost nothing to do apart from sewing, yippee!

I managed to get to the fabric shop yesterday morning, and got 3m of white cotton for the Nine Patch project.  About 3am I woke up thinking that I didn't much like the planned layout.

 I am planning to make two quilts with the fabric, one will be alternating random 2.5" squares of Aunt Grace fabrics with white and I'm happy with that one.  The other is so far equal number of  4 white/5 coloured, and 5 white/4 coloured 9 patches which I was going to arrange randomly
But it doesn't read (to me) as nine patches, but as not-quite-random 2.5 inch block and white

So I thought I might go for a colour wash Irish Chain with the 4xwhite blocks (do these have a proper name?)

and perhaps a diagonal arrangement of the 5xwhite blocks
I have plenty of time to make up my mind, and I have another 17 strips of  white to cut, 17 pairs of white & coloured strips to sew together, 17 hours of ironing and trimming ... good job I don't have to go to work!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Benta's Blog and some sewing

I have renamed the blog "Benta's Blog" as I am beginning to lose hope that I will ever get SLIKstitches back, and SLIKtemporary was chosen in a fit of pique!  I think the address will have to stay though, as I'm not taking the risk of messing with that again!

I have stitched the (hopefully) last block for the texture quilt, but no photo yet.  It is a mosaic type, raw edge applique, so needs to go through the wash and tumble drier before it looks right.

I have done some repairs on some silk and velvet pillow cases from Laura Ashley.    They had been marked down as waste as the silk had frayed at the seams, and the caretaker at school's daughter had been able to get them for her mum for free.

I had some pleated fabric in the right sort of colour, so added a strip to each pillowcase.

Very satisfying to do!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Texture Quilt and Pay It Forward ideas

I have finished the woven block for the texture quilt, and have made a log cabin.  I think there is just one needed now, and that will be raw edge applique: a sort of ticker tape block.  Then I might iron and square them all off before arranging them

I also started playing with ideas for the PIF gifts

 ... I was thinking of using one of these fabrics

or maybe one of these

or this one

Hmmm, time will tell. 

I did make a prototype of my PIF possible project - but Lisa said it was exactly what she wanted, and she loved the fabric - that was such a compliment, I had to give it to her!  I didn't even get a photo, but as both my PIF's read the blog I wouldn't have posted the photo anyway!!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Chertsey Museum - Fun With Fabric

A lovely afternoon with 7 ladies at Chertsey Museum, making stained glass patchwork.

Most of them used the cut away method (thank you so much to Doris for teaching me :-), while two used the fusible bias method, and one tried the needle turn method.  They all took home notes and materials for the other methods.


We seem to have evolved a bit of show and tell at the sessions too, and some brought back their smocking from last month.

 Jenny is a very accomplished needlewoman anyway, and always brings something with a WOW factor to show.  She has decided that everything she starts is to be finished, and with than in mind made her smocking into a hat pin pin cushion:

Prepare to be wowed!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

When one door closes ...

No photos, and just a brief post today.  I've had car problems (thank goodness for extended warranties) and work, and planning for stained glass owl lessons , but have also had an interesting week workwise.

I was told that the school have decided not to extend my 5.5 hour a week contact as an extended school's co-ordinator.  It's a shame, as that has seen me raise two grants (totalling £12500) for a refurb to the swimming pool area, arrange extra curricular activities for 19 free-school meal children (which I have evidence that their interest in learning, self confidence and behaviour has all improved as a result), and produce a newsletter with about 20 free or low cost activities nearby over the summer hols.  This does leave me with a 3 hour a week contract to files papers for the SENco (special educational needs co-ordinator) but this isn't as rewarding either by money or by stimulation.


less than a week later I have been approached by the adult education department at the borough to ask








once a week

next year 


What do you think I answered?????????

less time per week, better hourly rate, 
and P.A.T.C.H.W.O.R.K.
I came over all unnecessary, 
and I may have offered to have the co-ordinator's babies

Can you see me doing a happy dance?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

9 patches and Block Lotto

I have done ten blocks for the July Block Lotto.  I loved doing the blocks (each pair is done together, and one is the opposite of the other) but the ironing was a pain.


Having not done enough squares for the day (!) I then made up a whole load of nine patches.  Lots more summery fabrics waiting to be used as soon as I get a chance to go the the shops

Friday, 8 July 2011

something pretty

Lisa suggested I sew something pretty, just because!

I picked up this jelly roll from Fabric Freedom (Aunt Grace, Circle of Friends, SOOOO pretty! It reminds me of summer dresses from childhood) and pulled out some white to go with it.

Did I want to do nine patch blocks?

Or scatter the patterned squares randomly amongst the white?

I started stitching each strip to white, and then had a brain wave.  I cut 8" off each pair, then stitched the remainder together.  At one end I added the patterned to the white to make an 8" strip of patterned / white  /patterned which I cut off, then I added the white to the other end (making white / patterned / white) so i made enough for two nine patches and left enough for 6 or 7  white / patterned pairs. (Makes sense to me anyway!)


Yes Mum, I know I'm supposed to do Hilary's textures first, but I needed some therapy!  I've had to stop with the circle of friends because I ran out of white fabric, so I did this one for Hilary: woven strips.

I think it's just a few more to go, so I think log cabin (maybe uneven log cabin? and maybe ticker tape (raw edge applique)

I'm also doing some liberated sizteen patch for Block Lotto, so I'll show those when they are done.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Where did the mojo go?

I still haven't really got my blogging mojo back: I really would rather be blogging at SLIKstitches, but still blogger ignore my communication attempts, so I have no idea what to do next :-(

I'm having a generally bleugh day anyway, as school have finally told me that although they have the funding, they are not going to extend my Extended Schools Co-Ordinator contract, so that leaves me with just three hours a week from September, so for the first time in about (gulp) 25 years I am actually looking at the vacancies section of the local papers.  Until now I've been lucky enough to hear about a job that I wanted - at a time that I was ready to work those hours - and get it, so this is a whole new ball game!

Anyways, enough of the whinging ... I HAVE been sewing!  I have pieced together some 8" squares to make an I-Spy quilt, just to have for when it's needed:

I have also taken this fairly simple flimsy,

and with the help of my little template

have turned it into this yummy Whirly Gig or Square Dance flimsey. 

Annoyingly I did type out 90% of the instructions about a month ago ... and saved them on the old blog, but I think I can copy and paste so if you want them just let me know.

I have also been doing some lesson planning for Fun With Fabrics next weekend: The ladies asked for Stained Glass, and I had three methods in mind, so I have done samples using two methods and am half way through the third.  I chose owls for the image, and wondered how best to display them

When I next checked in at Hadley's blog (Flying Blind On A Rocket Cycle ... What does that mean?) I got inspiration, so here are two of my owls, just waiting for for number three.  (Pink is created using the cut-away method, and Yellow is made using the fusible bias binding method.  Red hasn't fully hatched yet, but will be made with the mosaic, or needle turn method)

Instructions are available if you are interested

Monday, 4 July 2011

Too busy to blog!

I have been busy making stuff, and busy being lead down dead ends trying to revive the SLIKstitches blog.  The making has been fun, trying to get to communicate with someone at blogger reminds me of the saying "the impossible I can do at once, miracles take a little longer!

Anyway, enough whinging - I've mostly been working on blocks for the texture quilt, just 4 more to go, then I need to work out how to arrange them.  Here are some photos

Suffolk punches from A at Stitching Science (thank you A)

Not sure if this is smocking or pleating, but it seems to be called honeycomb smocking

This block is four squares of corduroy with the nap in four different directions

This is a very loose woven fabric given to me

This one is ripped fabrics with some extra threads pulled out.  The strip is made by alternating back and front of the fabric

and finally a pleated one where I have stitched the pleats down so there is a twist

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

and now the shopping

I was lucky enough to go to Amsterdam a few years ago with girlfriends, and found the most amazing market street with about a dozen fabric shops.  So when we planned our weekend in Holland, I knew I wanted to go back.  Slavka and Niki weren't interested, and chose to stay in the centre and shop, but Lisa and I wanted to go, and Brian came with us (sigh).  We walked (and walked and walked) and found the market street.

I was fairly restrained (having a bored man outside the shop does that I find) but did manage:
This firm postage stamp fabric suitable for bags

and in the same thickness this coffee sack print

And this newspaper print (I bought this last time in the firm, bag fabric, and in a sort of laminated tablecloth fabric, but this time it's 100% cotton)

I did look at the obviously dutch fabrics: windmills and clogs etc, but they were all done in a sort of tile design and I couldn't see any use for them.  we say a shop with hundreds of Russian dolls, so I decided to get this: lovely for an I-Spy quilt, or fussy cutting some of the dolls if nothing else

and then finally I got these two very dutch ribbons