Saturday, 24 September 2011


The quilt group that Mum and I belong to, Bottom Drawer Quilters, have our biennial exhibition coming up next month. As well as trying to complete a few quilts to go in the show, we have each been tasked with creating some small items for the sales table. That's right - there will be retail opportunities, along with refreshments, a raffle, a tombola, demonstrations. All the proceeds will go to Pendleside Hospice. Here's what I've made so far... 

First up, 12 houses from a pattern in Quilting Arts Gifts 2010. Because of the roof, door and window colours I chose, these remind me of the board game, Monopoly.

HOW much if I land on Mayfair (or Boardwalk in the US)?

It's possible that Monopoly is bubbling just below the surface of my brain after a recent chat with my sister about the game. As a child, Kath devised the fiendish strategy of buying up all the cheap property, the utilities and the railway stations - a strategy which she was convinced should always win her the game, and generally did when she played against friends and family. Strangely though, every time she played against me, her devilish strategy came to naught. Despite my seemingly haphazard approach to the game, I always won.

getting on the property ladder

I'll admit here, as I admitted to her recently, that my modus operandi was not the slightest bit random. What she failed to notice was that I was always the banker, and paid myself an exorbitant salary. Ok, I embezzled wildly. Sorry, Kath! In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably also tell you that I used to cheat at the card game, Cheat.

With those ugly revelations off my chest, let's get back to the items I've been making for the exhibition. Next, 12 Christmas tree ornaments. These are also from a pattern in Quilting Arts Gifts 2010.

Do they remind you of poker chips? Or is that a story for another day?

Next up, three small bags for organising jewellery when you're travelling. This time I used a pattern from Quilting Arts Gifts 2009. There are eight separate sections inside to prevent tangled chains and unpaired earrings.

for organising jewellery on safari

 Finally, a book bag made from unbleached calico and curtain fabric.

The quilt show is at St Luke's Church, Brierfield (near Burnley), Lancashire BB9 9JL. It's open from 10 to 4 on Saturday October 15th, and 12 to 4 on Sunday October 16th.

Righto, I'd better get back to the sweat shop.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Cosy Toes

Autumn is definitely in the air in the northwest of England. It's been wild and windy over the last few days, with a few torrential downpours thrown in for good measure. At least that provides a good excuse for staying in and making things.

I recently completed knitting and felting these slippers, from a pattern I found through ravelry. I love everything about them - comfortable, cosy and so quick and easy to knit. I think I'll be making another pair for my sister before Christmas.

the ultimate cosy toes

Our house can get a little draughty and chilly in the winter. We are adding insulation everywhere we can, but there comes a time during the autumn when the heating has to be switched back on. This year, we are planning to delay the inevitable central heating switch-on for as long as possible. Our secret weapon? Wearing more jumpers. Oh, and the occasional evening use of the gas fire in the front room. Mr Q loves the fire. The cats think that (after sardines) it is the very best thing in the world.

dreaming of sardines

When they are awake, the cats love to help with my crafting activities. Over the past few weeks, I've been working methodically through my stack of unfinished projects. Firstly, a good friend of mine has just had her first baby. Inspired by the stationery that she used for her wedding invitations, I am making a quilt that will look like a field of daisies. Here's Bonnie helping me arrange green squares to make a field. 

Bonnie helpfully rearranging squares

Mr George likes to help too. He does less rearranging, more quality control. He signals his approval by lying on things. Here he is approving of my layout of rectangle blocks for a different quilt.

Mr George approves

And here, with the rectangle quilt top completed, and the green squares coming together nicely, Mr George indicates that these fabric creations are very comfortable indeed.

All these quilts are for me? How kind.

It feels good to be working through these unfinished projects. Hopefully, more to show you soon.