I love these little fans, I almost feel like leaving them as they are but they are for the next challenge from Sarah Fielke’s book ‘Quilting from Little Things’; the dolly quilt called ‘Fanfare’. It is rated three stars and so far it has not been too difficult, I think that will come in the next few stages; applique and piecing the little blocks.

I had fun scribbling alternative layouts before I had made all the fans and then more fun as I played around with the placement using actual fans. The template is very small so I was able to get most pieces from my tiny scrap bag (the scraps are tiny not the bag…) which I keep mostly for applique. As I rummaged through the scraps, all the colours turning over and jostling for attention I decided to use all of the colours and have a different fabric for each fan blade

Piecing doesn’t take long and it was easy to draw on the seam allowance as a cereal bowl happened to have the exact curvature I needed to draw it. The squares for the background are cut waiting for their fans now all I need to do is attach them

I will have to put them on hold for a short time though as I am taking part in The Global Quilting Project. I am more than half way through completing the blocks ready to post to the other members of my group – The Balkan Puzzle – but more on that later!

A Blanket is Just a Big Scarf



….is what I told myself when I started this blanket – you wrap them around you to keep warm right? A blanket can seem to be a large and rather daunting project when you haven’t been crocheting  very long. It is the craft I have learnt most recently, I have wanted to learn for ages and now there are so many great patterns out there that I couldn’t wait any more.

What is your craft history?

My mum taught my sister and I to embroider when we were 7 and 9 using cotton with a crinoline lady printed on it. I kept it up but my sister wasn’t interested. I also learnt to knit, sew and do English paper piecing before I was 10. My mum couldn’t crochet and it wasn’t until I was a student and working part-time in an art shop that I encountered crochet again. I went with my friend Nina on a ‘teaching adults art and craft course’. We all had to teach a 20 minute class in our chosen subject to our classmates and one of those we were taught was crochet. Alas both Nina and I were rubbish while Ray the radio ham took to it like a duck to water. I nearly gave up my dream of learning crochet asit seemed I would never master it.

Many years later, while I was back in the UK, another friend persuaded me to take her learn crochet at Violet’s, a wool shop that ran informal classes twice a week – this time I got it! I only went once as that class was in the UK but when I returned to Brisbane another friend showed me photos of her first crochet blanket and recommended the course at Knitch in Paddington. Three classes later I had made my first nine granny squares and backing for a cushion. A giant granny square cushion followed (purloined by the borrowed cat) and now for the blanket!

It is also the chance to practice new stitches using the excellent book by Sarah Hazell: 200 Crochet Stitches, a practical guide to swatches, charts and step-by-step instructions. the number of stitches on my hook mysteriously waxes and wanes but I am managing to keep it reasonably under control and also am learning why this is happening. A garment might be next!


Pegboard! How could I have forgotten this stuff exists! It is great for keeping tools you use all the time readily to hand. I have some craft tools hanging on hooks and nails (nails…very bad)  why did I not think of getting some pegboard and this article from Houzz has some great ideas

Some of the old ideas are the best!


A Little Silhouette


What a sweet little dolly is this little silhouette. Rated 2 stars I would agree. I had practice on the smaller shapes for Spring and which was good practice before tackling this one as the piece is larger and the shaping more difficult. I was tempted to do a cockatoo instead but thought the plumed feathers on the top of a cockatoo’s head might be too fiddly

I really enjoyed the quilting and used different blues, getting lighter the further away from the eagle. I love the look of the close quilting lines and how they almost look like a landscape when viewed close-up.

I also loved the simple small squares of the background and am keeping a bag of small squares ready for another project – not that I have decided what it is – I just love the look of them

There was no real problem with this dolly as I had already completed needle-turn applique for ‘Spring’ but I would recommend that they are completed in that order if you are new to this type of applique


Dear Jane

Had a lovely day out with Mr ‘I don’t like cats’ and his friend as they looked for somewhere to play their doodle sacks. Doesn’t sound like fun but we stopped at another doodle sackers warehouse who just happened to sell haberdashery! I ended up getting two things. (I didn’t want to put Mr IDLC off taking me there again) Which means I now have another project to add to the list!


This is definitely a long term one to go with my other long term project – grandmother’s flower garden. There is quite a bit of applique to do for this which I prefer to do by hand so it will take years ha ha.


Taking Stock July 2015



Pip Lincoln over at publishes a blank ‘taking stock’  list for anyone to copy and take stock for themselves – don’t forget to read Pip’s too

This is my first one;

Making : blocks for The Global Quilting Project – TGQP ….. Cooking : as little as possible …..Drinking : tea …..Reading: blink; the Power of Thinking Without thinking. by Malcolm Gladwell ….. Wanting: my mum to get better ….. Looking: out of the window …..Playing: Midas mah-jong online …. Deciding: which fabrics to use for the next quilt challenge …..Wishing: Greece well ……Enjoying: the summer sun ….Waiting: for a PAC to change my phone but keep my number  …… Liking: the crochet blanket I am making … Wondering: if this headache will go without taking tablets …..Loving: being able to see family now we are back from Australia …..Pondering: what to do next ….. Considering: starting baby crib blanket …..Buying: a venus fly trap  ……Watching: silly cat and dog videos …….Hoping: to win the lottery like most people! …… Marvelling: at moths      Cringing: at my dry hair ….. Needing: a good conditioner ….. Questioning: why can’t I get a good conditioner …..Smelling: the borrowed cat’s fur* …..Wearing: jeans, t-shirt and a long cardigan …..Following: no-one, I’m not a stalker! …..Noticing: that I am still full-up from lunch even though it is time for dinner …..Knowing: I need to finish numerous WIPs ……Thinking: I should make a label for my sisters birthday quilt….. Admiring: PC Ian Dibell who was killed off duty trying to protect the public from a gunman….. Sorting: out books retrieved from storage …..Getting: excited about finishing my blocks for the TGQP swap…… Bookmarking: my place in an actual book …..Coveting: nothing …..Disliking: olives (the things in jars not people called Olive)….. Opening: drawers to select fabric …..Giggling: at Mr ‘I don’t like cats’ making a fuss of the cat that came with the rented house*….. Feeling: sad about all the wars going on ……Snacking: on Blue Riband chocolate wafer bars …..Helping: to babysit Poo-pert ……Hearing: the sound of  Mr ‘I don’t like cats’ testing bagpipes when I am trying to listen to the radio

I should add Having: no idea why this looked like a list in draft but not in the preview – hence the dots to separate everything


This is what our sweet little ‘borrowed’ cat looks like

Geese Around the World

Geese close-up

My first go at foundation piecing and I thought it was harder then the woodpile, even though they are both rated two stars for difficulty. The first part; attaching the inner patch and the ‘goose’ wasn’t too bad and I only used one strip of background fabric out of the four needed. I thought I was being very economical but for some reason attaching the last piece was harder – it must have been some thing to do with the angles – and I used all of the other strips.

IMGP4428 IMGP4442

When I finished I thought ‘I won’t be doing that again!’ , but I love this little dolly quilt and it is the only way to get perfect piecing. Not sure that I will rush into making a Mariners Star but maybe in the future…