I had to make this when I was trying to decide the layout of the little fans for ‘Fanfare’. The pieces are so small that a design wall would be ridiculous. Putting them on my drawing board was ok until a breeze blew half of them on the floor, so I had to come up with an alternative and a lightweight mini design board was the answer
Take a piece of polystyrene around 60 x 40 x 2 or 3 cms (or whatever size you want) to use as the core of the board. I was lucky as I had a piece of polystyrene packing in the garage measuring 59cms x 39cms x 2cms.
Draw round it on a piece of scrap cardboard box twice and make a sandwich for extra strength using PVA or white craft glue, as shown in the photo. Weigh it down with heavy books
Once the glue has dried cover with batting which will need to be bigger than the board by about 12cms so that it can wrap around to the back. Use PVA or white craft glue again and spread out evenly. I made a spreader with an offcut of cardboard – it went soggy with use but lasted long enough to finish the board.
You could use different size scraps of polystyrene as long as they are the same thickness as they will be held together by the cardboard. The same applies to the batting, any scraps can be stuck to the cardboard so all those strips cut off after basting can be put to good use – Re-use is better than recycling!
It works fine with EPP projects too when you can’t decide which way round your fussy cut hexagons look best, or which centre to use in your flowers. Looking at the orange flower I decided I need more fabric to make them both!
I also find it useful when I am pressing multiple sections of more than one block when chain piecing. Sometimes they can get mixed up but using the board you can press and replace in the appropriate block with no problems
I have neglected my ‘Little things’ challenge as I have been concentrating on the RSC15 rainbow quilt. I started late and have a lot of catching up to do but thought late last night that I would try to get back to my original challenge.
Sarah Fielke’s little dolly is in red, white and blue and is reminiscent of a rebel flag, hence the name. I didn’t really want one that looked like a flag but the diamond shaped blocks made me think of a trellis so I decided to do a flowery theme. I used some fabrics that have been languishing in my stash forever – which is usually a sign that you don’t like them that much! Two of them originally formed a border for the Botanical Gardens quilt but I removed it as it looked better without them.
A few people have observed that there is no ugly fabric if you cut it small enough. Tonya Riccuci has written an amusing post about the quilt she is making from donated ‘ugly’ fabrics here After making this mini quilt I am inclined to agree as I love them all together. I liked them so much I made a scrappy little border to finish it off which is not on the original quilt – a border goes with a trellis don’t you think?
To carry on with the scrappy mood, encouraged by Angela’s quilt-a-long, I rooted out a little bag of left-over binding and found a yellow stripy one that was perfect to complete this little project
I must say that I didn’t take enough care with my piecing as it was late and it was intended for the cat! She has a habit of visiting me when I am sewing and sitting on the fabrics I am sorting through so I thought a little quilt for her to put on the desk (so that I will have something nice to look at too) might keep her out of the way. It is on the desk now and she has decided to sit on my knee!
A little label on the back to finish off. I never used to label quilts but I think I will go back and label the others too as it is easy to forget the details
There are three orange blocks for this section, yesterday I posted the ‘birds in flight’ block and it’s significance. The two blocks today have no significance other than I wanted something simple.
Firstly, a nine patch made from Happy-go-Lucky candy squares by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. I bought these at The Quilters and Embroiderers Store, Brisbane. Camille Roskelly was giving a talk and I bought her book Simply Retro and a few packs of these candy squares. Loved her talk and the quilts she brought with her!
Secondly, another simple patch which I made up. I don’t think it is an old block, at least I couldn’t find it. I was trying to think of a name. As it is an easy variation of a nine patch I thought Easy Kate but that sounds like it is named after a strumpet ha ha. Kate in the corner sounds like a naughty child so I’ll leave it as a nine-patch variation which sounds boring but accurate
The little flower in the middle is from ‘Sweet Things’ by Holly Holderman for Lake House Dry Goods and has the cutest colour chart on the selvedge of cupcakes instead of the usual dots. Another scrap from a scrap bag bought on EBay
Ode to Autumn; ‘Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness’…John Keats.
September’s colour is orange which is very appropriate for those of us in the Northern hemisphere as the trees will soon start their yearly change of clothes before flinging them off altogether.
The blackberries are ripening in the hedgerow in Essex so last Saturday we took the grand-daughters to the nature reserve to go blackberry picking. We should have taken a walking stick to pull down the highest runners which tantalised us with the choicest berries, even so we still managed to pick about three kilos in a couple of hours. That doesn’t include the ones the girls ate!
There were lots of different plants to see; instructions on which ones to avoid – like deadly nightshade, and birds intent on eating the blackberries that we were picking. When we were nearly finished we came to a fork in the path and I started down the left-hand side but my other half, who knew the woods better then me, called me to go right. How glad I am that we did. As we examined one bush he saw a bird fluttering in a particularly dense patch and realise it was trapped! I couldn’t see it at first and when I did I was sickened to see it hanging upside-down, desperately trying to free itself from the thorns
‘I think it’s leg is broken’ he said.
I cringed as I have seen the translucent broken bones in the leg of another bird years ago and didn’t want to see it again but the bird needed rescuing and taking to the Wildlife trust centre. He pushed the tangled thorny runners aside and I reached in through the briars and put my hand around it’s frail, trembling little body. He snapped off the piece that held the bird so I was able to pull it out.
I couldn’t look as he gently pulled the plant apart to free the bird. As he did so the frantic fluttering stopped and the bird waited motionless in my hand; the quivering of it’s heart the only sign that it was still alive. I ventured a look and was relieved to see that it’s leg wasn’t broken after all.
Once it was free, the bird began to struggle again; we called the girls to come and see but only the oldest was quick enough to see the bird as I opened my hand to let it go. It disappeared in seconds and we were all glad that we had taken the right path!
After many months of consideration and ‘shall I, shan’t I thoughts’, today I posted off my enrolment form for the International Diploma in Crochet from Crochet Design http://www.crochet.co.uk/
I have crocheted on and off for many years and it’s not just crochet- I have a love for all things crafty! But crochet is what I want to focus on and I have a desire to take it to the next level.
I love crochet! I love how it looks, I love its versatility and more than anything I love to actually do crochet!
A craft I can take anywhere with me and the joy of gradually seeing each stitch transform the yarn in my hands into something beautiful.
I can follow patterns and one of my proudest crochet creations was a dress for my daughter on her First Holy Communion celebration last year . A wonderful pattern from…
At last I have finished my new purse. For American readers a purse is something to keep money and cards in which is placed in your hand/shoulder/messenger/bag in the UK. The male equivalent is a wallet
It was made following a very clear tutorial by Ayumi of Pink Penguin which I have made before following a similar look to the one she has demonstrated. However it is showing it’s age now and I wanted a different look. I wasn’t sure what I wanted until I bought a scrap bag of fabric at Peppermint Stitches and in it were two fabrics that went well with each other; a piece of dark grey linen and a few scraps of fabric by Anna Maria Horner from the Loulouthi collection from a few years ago. It is still available here
Hand quilting on the top
The lining and internal pocket fabrics were also in the scrap bag and are all fabrics that I wouldn’t normally chose but they all went together so well for this project.
The zip was quite difficult to put in – because it was so narrow, not because of the instructions. I have avoided zips in the past but it’s not too bad if you have good instructions. I saw another pattern for a similar purse but the zip ends were on show when you opened it! It looked great on the outside but terrible on the inside, so it is always worth doing a bit of research for a project to find the best one
I enjoyed doing the simple embroidery outlining parts of the fabric design, but the bottom part was closely machine quilted to give it a bit of rigidity. All in all a good project that cost very little. I have had a lot of compliments for the old purse – will the new one get as many?