Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Labels or a Cloth Book?

These are the labels in my son's shorts.  I have spared you the horror and him the embarrassment of showing you the labels in his pants, which are just the same.

Five pages, 27 languages, with English twice, saying different things for this country and for the US.

Just one of the reasons mass produced clothes get ever so slightly on my nerves.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Butterfly in the Wheat

Taken on the 15th August in my favourite field, a small tortoiseshell having a rest.  The wheat was making that delicious crackling sound as it dries and chaff cracks open in the sun. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The All British Pin Box

This little box has just found its way from an antiques market to my sewing room.  No prizes for working out when they were made.

Inside, two brass screws and the full quarter pound of pins, a bit dull, some very slightly rusty, but after almost a hundred years, still seriously sharp enough to make one proud to be British. Not like those cheap and nasty blunt safety pins imported from C---a that a shop fobbed me off with a few months ago.

 blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

Free Motion Mavericks will be back on the 28th August.
If you had been intending to link up today or next week, you can take a well earnt rest, or just carry on quilting and show extra posts at the end of the month.   

Meanwhile, I shall be having a bit of a holiday.

Welcome to Iris Johnson, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Repairing a Sewing Box

For some reason I have ended up with three sewing boxes.  For years two of them have been in this state, next to useless.  Every time a screw was replaced it would work itself loose. Eventually screws and washers would get lost.

The smallest and prettiest box is of a far more ingenious design.

The corners have a triangular wedge glued into them...

...and the compartments pivot on a rod of dowelling set through all three tiers.

This box has spent a bit of quality time in the shed with my husband.  The annoying loose bars and screws have gone...

... and he has put wedges in the corners and dowelling.

The handles needed to have a small section shaved out to give the compartments room to swivel.

Now I can open up the whole sewing box at once.  It is ideal for storing my quilting threads, because I can see them all at a glance instead of rummaging through a tin.

An added bonus is that the compartments can be lifted off the dowelling...

... so if I just want a few of the colours to hand, they are all together in their own little tray.

My husband offered to fill in the old screw holes and clean the box up to make it a bit smarter. No need, I said, I was too thrilled and grateful already.   

Welcome to six new followers today - Martha Davis, Sharyn Mallow Woerz, Scrappy 101, M. Verheij, Laurel Braunstein and Gretchen.  Thank you for joining!

Linking up with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Chelwood Church

This photo was taken when I was passing through Chelwood on my way to Bath this week. Chelwood is a Thankful Village.

Welcome to Kelly, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 10 - A Present for Bonnie!

It has been a busy week, so I shall tell it mainly in pictures... another project with the free motion quilting done on the 1945 Singer 15K treadle, and all the rest of the stitching done on the 1949 Singer 15K hand machine.

Last week's fancy leaves were such fun to do that I dived into my mini-stash of Oakshott cottons and varied the design, this time combining the leaves with berries.  

Here is the back of the panel, which shall never see the light of day again, so the few tails left hanging don't matter.

Three different variegated threads were used against the different background colours.


I took the opportunity to make a test video, using a mini tripod on the table.  In the past the focus has kept shifting if I move my hands in the foreground, but this time I zoomed in on the action, and I think the result is better than previous attempts.

The quilted panel was enough to make two identical tea cosies, made using the same method I have shown before, lined with thermal curtain lining.  Here is the one that has stayed at home with me.

First I tried the cosy out with bold colours and everyday crockery.  Peach for the tablecloth with a lime green mug isn't my usual style, but somehow the colours of the cotton lend themselves to taking risks with clashes and getting away with it.  Also, don't ask me how a Canadian Coastguard sugar bowl found its way into a local charity shop.  I expect someone nicked it years ago.

Next I tried it with the posh crocks, and decided it teamed up quite well with the Royal Doulton too.

I love this bird doing a plunge into the teacup.

This tea cosy's twin was specially gift-wrapped and given to its new owner last night.

Dawn, Brenda, Bonnie, Julia and me

There she is in the middle - Bonnie Hunter out with the girls on her last night in Bath.  It was a very cosy and noisy affair, and the very sweet waitress (from North Carolina, would you believe, just about 12 miles from Bonnie) was a great sport and took photos for us.

It was such a pleasure meeting Bonnie.  A few years back I would stay up till silly times of the morning studying all her wonderful piecing methods. Thank you Bonnie! Then as time went on we were acquiring some very similar vintage machines.   It was a delight having such a good night out with her, hearing how much she is enjoying being in England, meeting three new friends, and giving Bonnie a souvenir to take home.

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So here goes for week 10...

Firstly, many thanks to Esther, Gwyned, Cynthia, Myra and Dora for linking up last week - another wonderful collection of projects!

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far bloggers from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany and Holland have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week!

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

How to Wrap a Present for a Quilter

Why use paper?  It will only end up in the bin.

Just have a quick rummage in your stash, and make sure that if you need to do a seam that the stitches are giant sized so they can be unpicked in a trice.

Stick the present into a cloth envelope, and tie it up with a strip fished out of the sewing room rubbish.  The ribbon is the only clue as to what is inside.  The brown cottons were oddments bought in Liverpool about 35 years ago.  I can just about cope with the roses, but the one on the right is particularly hideous.  Yet in the hands of a scrappy quilter, these brown horrors could find their way into something marvellous.

Let's just hope she likes what is inside...


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