Monday, 22 December 2014

Show and tell Monday

Well it's been a couple of Mondays since I was last here and I'm sorry about that but I hate blogging without pictures. But at last some finishes to show. 

First up is a train case from Sharon. Now before I reveal Sharon's work of the past weekend she has added a disclaimer  -- she lost concentration and then was hassled to leave the peace and tranquility of the sewing room.............

Yes it appears to be a bit off centre !!!

So not to be defeated Sharon perfected Mark 2......


And to emphasise the difference....... 

The of moral of this story is - a quilter needs space, peace and the opportunity to mess up from time to time!!!!

Sam has been on annual leave and has taken advantage of the time to complete not one but two quilts!!  (And some additions to her wardrobe but I didn't photograph those!!)

Sam is our patient English Paper Piecer and has made this lovely Charlston lap quilt

And a lovely quilt using the Scrumptious range which she has called "Opal Fruits" 

I also managed a finish to share ...... A cushion which I will gift to a male friend and happy to share as he's not likely to be reading my blog!!!!!

I will be signing off now until the new year.   
Hope you all have a splendid Christmas and a wonderfully creative new year.  I'll be checking in then with all my works in progress, finishes and projects that will never see the light of day cos I got side tracked!!!!!!!

Happy Christmas. Jacky O 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Show and Tell Monday

Well the news is......... this Monday there was no show and tell!! It seems all three of us at St M's quilters are busy making Christmas gifts which are either not complete or have to be kept under wraps for obvious reasons.  Sam, who has been working on a lap quilt for herself has completed the top and has started on the quilting and although she took some photos the light wasn't very good so this too must wait before being shared.  

To top it all two of our trio (Sam and myself) have had to have emergency dental treatment so all things considered not our usual happy Monday!

Hope your Monday fared better.   

Jacky O

Sunday in the sewing room

I can't tell you all what a lovely, satisfying day I've had in the sewing room.  There's not much that can beat a cold, overcast day outside, than a productive day in the sewing room accompanied by the reassuring broadcast of radio 4.  

I got household chores quickly dispatched by 9.30am and  everything in place for me to be at my Janome in time for the Archers omnibus, which is followed by Dessert Island Discs.  It's 40 years since I lived in West Street Gillngham where I grew up and yet when I hear the opening music and seagulls  of this programme I immediately smell a roast beef lunch cooking and I am transported back to our little house in West Street.  We had pork today but I still smelt beef at the start of Dessert Island Discs!! 

Today I cracked on with my Christmas gift list and prepared  5 gifts ready for quilting, it's so exciting seeing these items nearly ready for wrapping and labelling.  

Hope it's warm and cosy where you are......... Jacky O

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Hive cottage!!

Hive Cottage this is the name my good friend Jane has given to my home after her visit last week. Well she's not too far from the truth, and my little sewing room has certainly been a hive of industry over the past few days/ week.  How is it that one minute it's only October and there's plenty of time to stitch up a host of Christmas presents and then suddenly I'm reminded that Christmas Day is exactly four weeks today!!!  

Anyhow I refuse to panic and I am still adding to my list of things I want to have made in time for the big day.  I may need to adjust my sewing schedule though as there are some gifts that need to be posted!! But the main thing is I am really enjoying every stitch and finish and it's great to see my little stack of gifts growing by the day. 

This Saturday is the Thanet Quilters Christmas fair in Birchington so I will be taking a few hours off to browse the stalls, pick up a few goodies and meet up with fellow quilters and crafters. I have only been part of this fantastic community for three years and I can't for the life of me remember how I passed the time before I started quilting!!!

Hey ho I know where my time goes these days!  Have fun   Jacky O

Monday, 24 November 2014

Show and tell Monday

The St M's quilters were depleted from three to two this morning and only I managed to produce a couple of finishes to show.  It's that time of year when getting organised for Christmas eats into precious sewing time and some finishes just can't be shown or it would spoil the surprise!!
But here are a couple of finishes that it's safe to put up.

A Christmas table runner.

Place mat and mug rug!

I've not been able to crack on with my bright diamonds quilt as I need to find just the right fabric for the border.  I've been tempted to buy on line but it has so many strong colours and patterns that whatever I choose will have to be auditioned up against what I've pieced so far or I could end up making a costly mistake. This purchase will definitely have to be made in person at a quilt shop but goodness knows when that will be.

My darling little granddaughter, Mimi is obsessed with ducks and Sam managed to find this fabulous fabric for me.

Will be making a shopping trolley padded seat for her - I can already hear her quacking around the supermarket!!!

Happy Monday stitching.    - Jacky O

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Tuesday - catch up!!

Well I missed the Monday show and tell so catching up today!  I spent a lovely Saturday in Imelda's sewing room in Deal where we stitched, designed and cut to our hearts delight.  She has a huge - well twice the size of mine - design wall curtesy of her husband Terry, and I was able to lay up my triangles until I had the colourful diamonds I was hoping for.  

I will need to extend the width by three more triangles and the length by three more rows to get the size I want but I was pleased to be able to see them up and stand back to view the overall effect.

Meanwhile Imelda was cutting up her HST's to make her Sea scape quilt.  She has decided on a chevron quilt and with the fabulous fabrics she's chosen she has really captured the movement of the sea. I just love it and this is only her second quilt!!! 

Again this is only half the size of her intended quilt.  Her fabrics include fishes, sea birds and waves.  She is thinking of adding the beach hut fabric as a border, but wasn't quite decided when I left!!

Back at St M's on Monday, Sharon brought in her lovely creation of a Lunar Lapin, unfortunately we didn't photograph her, well it didn't seem right - she was naked ( lunar Lapin not Sharon!!) but as soon as she gets a dress we'll show her!!

Thanks for dropping by    -  Jacky O

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Mid week catch-up

It's been a busy week in my sewing room and I have finally finished Lunar Lapin! I bought this kit when I visited the Festival of Quilts back in August but have only just got round to making her!! The kit was excellent and included everything, including pins and the instructions were clear and easy to follow.  The only trouble I had was setting in the little sleeves of the dress.  The fabric, a lovely liberty print was quite slippery and the curves very tight but I got there!!  

My second finish is a favourite bag pattern by Carlene Westberg Designs - her Jumbo Drawstring Bag.  This is a great bag, big and roomy with lots of sectioned pockets inside and because it's drawstring there's no zippers to insert!!! It makes a great craft bag and I can't get enough of them!! This ones made using a selection of lovely Lotta Jansdotter prints that I bought at Sew Modern in LA earlier this year.

I still haven't put my Kaffe Fassett triangles together but I am spending a lovely sewing day over at my friend Imelda's house on Saturday so here's hoping!

Happy sewing.......... Jacky O

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Open house art in Whitstable

I have spent a lovely relaxing weekend meeting up with my talented friend Vince Donlin.  Vince is a brilliant artist, originally from Gillingham but now based in Brighton.  He has been showing his work in Whitstable as part of the open house exhibitions taking part all over Whitstable for the last three weekends. Vince, and fellow artist Helene Williams' work has been on display at the home of fellow artist Stephen Postgate in Oxford Street. 

I only managed to catch this opportunity to view the art of our talented local artists because of my friendship with Vince.  It's a shame that this event was not better publicised so that more people could have visited the open houses.  

To illustrate my luck, I arrived too early at Oxford Street to met my friend only to find a most delightful woman on the house steps by the name of Margo Selby.  She told me that this open house wouldn't open until at least 11.00am however her own studio around the corner was already open.  What luck. I got to see her wonderful textile art and her work rooms.

Such fabulous woven fabric in the most vibrant and gorgeous colours.

This fabric reminded me a very traditional log cabin block.

And the looms where all the magic takes place.

I live less than 20 miles away and was totally unaware of this fabulous artist.

Jacky O

Friday, 31 October 2014

Works in progress

As you all know I am relatively new to the quilting community but I have noticed in reading more than a few blogs that nearly all you quilters out there tend to have works in progress. In fact some have projects that span over years, well I'm not there yet, but give me time!! I've already found how easy it is to get side tracked into new projects and the lure of freshly bought fabric just can't wait for a finish. Then there is also mood to consider, sometimes ones mood simply dictates what to work on!!! Do I sound like I am making excuses to myself for starting yet another quilt with three already on the go?!! A little count up at work the other day (I got bored with doing the staff rota) honestly shocked me when I counted all the projects I'm currently working on, and then I panicked even more because I know I want to get started on my Christmas gifts and other festive makes, and the knitting I want to complete in time for the right season......... Oh well there's no point in kicking against it I guess I'm becoming a fully stashed up member of the quilting gang.  

I was off work recently feeling unwell, too unwell even to sew, but not so poorly that I couldn't go on line and treat myself to 10 half metres of fabric from the wonderful Kaffe Fassett range.  This fabric is so bright and fun it really cheered me up. Last night I cut out 160 equilateral triangles from it for a quilt that I want to make channeling Kelly from "my quilt infatuation" Jewelled quilt. She made hers using Amy Butler fabric and I wanted something equally bright but not the same.

What do you think?

Hey ho another project to add to the list.......leave a comment and let me know what you're up to. Jacky O

Monday, 27 October 2014

Show and tell Monday

I know I've missed a Monday and there are no excuses except to say life got in the way of sewing! But hey back this week with a couple of finishes. 

Now those of you that have looked carefully at my quilts will have noted that I tend to stick to quilting in straight lines.  This is mainly because my attempts at free motion quilting have ended up with frantic squiggles rather than lovely free flowing swirls, so this week I have made some simple cushions in order to practice.

Still a long way to go..........

At this rate I'm going to be over run with cushions!!

Also I've been busy making a little "train case" using a pattern from Sara Lawson. I made the middle size but having finished it wish I'd gone for the larger one.  It was a bit fiddly to put together but the instructions are clear and the diagrams good. Sara's pattern can be found at "Sew Sweetly".

Happy Monday..... Jacky O

Monday, 13 October 2014

Show and tell Monday

Today I have two finishes to share. First up is my "red red wine" quilt. This quilt was inspired by a pattern I found in Primitive Quilts magazine.  I have tweaked it a bit but have basically kept to the same colour scheme.  It measures 66" x 66" so lays nicely across the top of my bed.  I used a variety of fabrics that I have collected, these depict - my favourite wines!!! Blacks for Pinot Noir, pinks for rose and dark red for a rich claret. The yellow is of course a lovely buttery Chablis!!!!

Unfortunately it's been raining ever since I finished this quilt so it had to be photographed in doors and the result is not great and doesn't really do the colours justice. As soon as the sun comes out I'll re photograph it.

Next up is a bag made using a Lynette Anderson pattern from her book "Country Cottage Quilting". This has taken some time to finish as I lost momentum with the embroidery element but here it finally is!!

It's great to have some finishes to show, please feel free to link up and show what you've been doing and don't forget to leave a comment. 

Love Mondays !!! Jacky O

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Log cabins

There's been a serious change in the weather, the wind started blowing, the sky darkened, the rain arrived about mid day and the temperature dropped considerably all making it perfect to retreat into my snug little sewing room and cut lots of strips for my log cabin project.  I haven't decided on the arrangement yet but think it may be a variation of the barn raising design. So many more blocks to make before I get to that stage though!!

Loving log cabin piecing..... Jacky O

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Detling Autumn Quilt Show

Set off early yesterday with Sharon and Imelda for the quilt show at Detling, we left at 9.00 as we wanted a leisurely day with time to spare for a sit down and the obligatory piece of cake! Well a smooth drive and no traffic got us there promptly just before 10.00 so we had to queue along with lots of other excited ladies. 

The quilts once again were an absolute delight and unlike the Festival of Quilts at the NEC there was actually room to move around and take time to really inspect the workmanship ( should that be workwomanship - I didn't see any by a man on this occasion??!!).  Anyhow I snapped away with my iPhone and here are a few of my favourites:

First up a couple of the tropical theme wall hangings

Calendar quilts - love calendar quilts, it's on my bucket list to make one!!

A Dog's Life - one of Lynette Anderson's designs

Now those of you that know me will know that however much I try to get modern and use fresh bright fabrics I always gravitate back to the traditional and lovely civil war prints so the next few quilts had me swooning in the isles!!!!

(Didn't really capture the fabulous colours of this one)

Showing this next one because I am always in awe of quilters that can do perfect points on the mariners compass!!

This next quilt had us touching (with gloves) and feeling every wonderful texture and marvelling at the range of skills displayed, a brilliant demonstration of techniques

And finally a few to prove that simple blocks cleverly arranged can use up the stash and make lovely quilts!!!

After looking at the quilts we were inspired to use up our stashes but not before we had added to them considerably!!!   I bought some Civil war fabric and book plus one or two other bundles, Sharon purchased all the fabric she needed for her next quilt project and Imelda, well every time I looked she was tucking yet another goody into her copious bag!! She excused herself by saying she was new and had to build a stash!!! 

Happy Sunday stash building - Jacky O

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Wonderful weekend

Do you ever get to Sunday evening and think "what a lovely weekend"?  I've just had that kind of weekend. My most pressing assignments were all completed, I had finished off a couple of pillow shams to go with the quilt I handed over earlier in the week and so I headed off to the pretty town of Deal to see my friend Imelda. Now Imelda has recently discovered the delights of quilting and has bought herself a new sewing machine and a few books........ We chatted eagerly about projects and she is looking forward to the quilt show to be held at Detling Showground next Saturday.  Tonight I see from her social media comment she has turned her son's bedroom into her sewing room ( he has moved out!!!!). I just happened to mention it would make an ideal sewing room......

This morning I managed to finish off a couple of cushions that have been hanging around in the WIP bin and I got to sort out and rearrange my sewing room whilst listening to the Archers! Bliss.  Now I can't help from going in there and just looking at how lovely it all looks.

Then it was off to Canterbury for a birthday lunch and a spot of shopping with my Simon. The perfect end to a splendid weekend.

Here are my weekend finishes.

One of the pillow shams to go with the dashing stars quilt.


A cushion for my sewing room, made with the Moda 23 fabric.


A small cathedral windows cushion that has been waiting for a back for sometime now!!

Hope you've all had a great weekend. Jacky O

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My latest finish

I can finally reveal pictures of the quilt I have been working on. This is a quilt that a colleague at work, Lanuta, commissioned me to make and as the only clues she had were the basic colours used I haven't been able to share pictures of the quilt as it progressed.  Well after a mammoth sew in at the weekend I was finally able to deliver it yesterday and happily Lanuta was delighted. She told me she wanted something in burgundy and cream so this is what I came up with...



Sharon, my administrator and quilting buddy has also been working on a secret quilt commission and we made yesterday a double reveal day!! Her brief was something in purple.  So here is Sharon's disappearing four patch.


Seen in this picture is Lanuta and Gabriella, two happy quilt owners!!

It's good to have a finish.....Jacky O

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Friday round up.

Well I may be back in my sewing room and stitching like crazy but alas I haven't got any finishes to reveal and the WIP is still under wraps. It's been one of those weeks where life keeps interrupting the sewing and conspiring against me.  Oh well I'm almost there with the commission quilt, just the binding to make and stitch on.  I've managed to pack my man off to cricket for the day so as soon as the whippets have been walked it's "hello sewing room"!!!!!!

Happy stitching. Jacky O

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Back in my sewing room!

Well it's been a long break but I'm finally back in my sewing room.  We've had a lovely week in Northern Provance France, staying in a small basic farmhouse.  Not so basic that it didn't have a beautiful swimming pool though.  Our week was spent shopping for local produce at the markets, such wonderfully simple things like tomatoes that tasted of sunshine, honey from bees that had used nectar from the lavender, local cheeses and the bone dry Provancal rose wine, swimming, laughing and generally chilling out with our books.  The sun shone throughout and for the first couple of days we were cooled by the Mistral.  


Before we went I had to pack up my sewing room completely as the decorator was coming in to redecorate our bedroom and although we got back late on Sunday it's taken me until lunchtime yesterday to shift all the furniture and unpack my sewing room.  But such deep joy when my Janome was finally uncovered again!! 

I set to and made lavender bags!!! Well what else! The farmhouse had an abundance of fragrant lavender growing all around and Madame very kindly told us to help our selves.  My sewing room is quite heady with its perfume at the moment!!  Tomorrow I'll really get back in the saddle though and crack on with my quilt commission, hopefully there will be something too show soon.

Sew happy to be back........ Jacky O

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Phoenix Quilters Exhibition Deal

 Today saw the first Phoenix Quilters exhibition held in Trinity Church Hall, Deal, Kent and what a turn out they attracted!! The exhibition of this group of quilters, who have only been together for three years was a truly inspiring delight and everyone who attended was warmly welcomed by Sandra who kindly gave me permission to showcase some of the quilts on display.  

This exhibition was not about picking the best in show, or a visitors choice but an opportunity for the group to display their talents and enjoyment that the quilting community fosters.  It is a shame that the hall wasn't larger as this meant the quilts had to be closely grouped which made taking photographs difficult and I always like to see quilts close up and from a distance.  Still perhaps next year!

Opening this inaugural exhibition was the very talented Sue Timney, interior and textile designer who was presented with a lovely set of quilted placemats and coasters in her trademark monochrome by the Phoenix Quilters and she was clearly delighted by this thoughtful gesture. 

If you didn't catch the exhibition today, there is another chance to see the work of this talented group tomorrow. But for those who live too far afield here are some of the pictures I took today.  


                                        Sue Timney opening the exhibition


                                       Receiving her gift from the quilters!





Due to the limited space it was difficult to photograph the whole of the quilt but this was a lovely quilt in rich warm tones by Sue Clayson entitled "Sevenoaks'


Another intricate and beautifully worked quilt.  This one is called "New England Beauty" by Sandra Hall

Again apologies for the photography but this was a lovely demonstration of quilting called "Memories" by Barbara Barclay

Stephanie Farrow decided to turn this Kaffe  Fassett inspired quilt into a door curtain.  


                                            Cathedral windows - by Lynette Platts 


             I love books so loved this quilt.  "Bookshelf for Florence" by Susan Tann


                                                  Loved  this scarf by Liz Hicks. 


              And finally even though I don't want to think about Christmas 
             just yet.  The Twelve a Days of Christmas by Carol Chandler