Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Log cabin quilt finish!!

Its been a long time since my last blog but then there has been a lot going on one way or another.  As mentioned in my last post, I've been to India and what a fantastic experience that was!!! Never have I been treated so well and practically enjoyed celebrity status!! 

I promised lots of pics of fabulous fabric but although I bought loads the weather has been so poor since I've been back that I'm still yet to take pics........but I will soon I promise.

In the meantime I have finished up my log cabin quilt and took it in for show and tell today and would you believe it the sun actually peeked out whilst we quickly took some snaps.

I really struggled in deciding how to quilt this and in the end as it's such a busy design anyway opted for the cowards way out and quilted in the ditch.  Each block has six rounds so I quilted after three rounds and then again around the whole block.  I think I made the right decision and am very pleased with the end result.  

I'm taking my India fabric to work tomorrow so hopefully if the sun shows itself by tomorrow evening there may be some long promised pics.

Happy stitching......... Jacky O

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Bad blogger!!

Yes that's me, and I'm so sorry. I have neglected my blog seriously this month and it's not as if there hasn't been anything to blog about.

First off there was the Thanet Quilters exhibition, I showed my "Stacked Squares" quilt and was very pleased to see a couple of people actually taking pictures of MY quilt!! This is the first time I have ever showed a quilt to people other than family and friends or on my blog so I was a bit nervous about putting it in amongst so many other beautiful quilts. But I'm glad that I did. There was a visitors choice vote and I took Simon along, afterwards he told me that he'd voted for my quilt but actually he preferred the one with peacocks on it!!

I spray basted my log cabin quilt ready for quilting but can't settle on a design.  I tried a small stipple pattern but it was far to busy for the quilt so that got ripped out. I've put in some "in the ditch" lines but this only works in one direction due to the colour ways of the fabrics so that might have to come out. In exasperation I've put that one aside and started (and almost finished)  a star quilt in lovely spicy colours.  This will be a gift for an Indian lady that I will be staying with when I go to India next week.

Oh yes that's another reason I've been away from my blog....... I had to get this star quilt completed and get a visa for India.  

I can't believe the sun went in just as we had a few spare minutes for photos!

I'm not sure which was more stressful!! But my passport has come back, at last all stamped up so I'm nearly ready to go.  I shall be staying with the family of one of my nurses and can't wait although I'm super nervous as I'll be travelling there alone. Ah well I know my big sister travelled all over the place alone and with small babies so I'm sure I'll cope!!

Last weekend Sam, Sharon and I all joined the Thanet Quilters on a coach trip  to Lady Sew and Sew, a huge warehouse of fabric in Henley.  We had a fabulous time, they stock the whole range of Kaffe Fassett fabric, Zandra Rhodes, Amy Butler......, oh it was heaven!! We all spent well, Sam spent the most as she bought some expensive voile for dressmaking. I bought some gorgeous Kaffe Fassett for a bag (because I don't have enough bags!!) and the fabric for the star quilt.  Sharon bought fabric for a log cabin quilt, we all came away exhausted but happy,

I finished this little lap quilt "What a Liberty" a couple of weeks ago but have only just got round to taking some photos.

Well that's about it for now. I promise lots of pics and hopefully lots of fabric when I get back.

Happy stitching............Jacky

Sunday, 5 July 2015

A no picture blog post!!

Well I was hoping  to have loads to show you this weekend but it has all gone wrong for me in my neck of the woods!

I have finished my log cabin quilt top, and have pieced the backing. Problem number 1 - went to Deal yesterday to buy my batting and they had sold out. Swan stitch  in Deal is the only place in a 30 mile radius that sells 100% cotton batting. This weekend I had scheduled the sandwiching and possibly the start of quilting this quilt.

So I decided to crack on with my Sunbonnet Sue blocks for Mimi's calendar quilt - well  I only have a small sewing room but do you think I could find my white on white fabric ...... Not a hope in hell and I only tidied up a couple of weeks ago!!

Finally not to be deterred and even more determined to get some sewing done I pulled out some look a like Liberty charm squares and started adding sashing to them to make a small lap quilt for a Christmas gift ( please don't hate me for mentioning the "C" word in July) , well it must be Karma because no sooner had I started, all the electrics failed.

We'd been having some pretty spectacular lightening storms and initially I thought this was to blame but after a quick look up the street it was apparent it was only my house.  An hour and a half later - and after  missing all of Dessert Island Discs I eventually discovered it was my washing machine that was tripping all the power off.

I did get a little sewing done today but not anything worthy of a photo............maybe in my next blog.

Happy stitching............Jacky O

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

National Quilt Championship at Sandown

We had a splendid day at Sandown on Saturday.  Went there with St M's quilters, Sam and Sharon and friend Imelda and were inspired by the fabulous quilts to then go and raid the traders for books, fabrics, notions and info on up coming workshops.  Here is a flavour of what was on offer.

We loved this quilt called "All that Remains" by Terry Donaldson

"Layers of Polperro" by Brenda Thomas

"Maldives" by Neel Williams

Part of a series of three but this was my favourite "Narracot Snow" by Penny Armitage

Section of Liba's Quilt by Liba Blaha and Richmond and Kew Quilters based on a Dear Jane

And another Christmas Jane by Dorothy Darrell

"Purple Haze" by Pinewood Quilters

And I'm always a sucker for a beach hut quilt entitled "Summer Breezes" by Jenni Sharpe.

Hope you enjoyed my selection, happy stitching............Jacky O

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Beach Bag

Well I thought that as it's officialy summer and I live in the second most popular seaside resort in Great Britain (yes Broadstairs came second to St Ives) in a seaside survey that I ought to have a beach bag. Those of you who regularly read my blog will know that I made the lovely daughter one of these earlier this year, but I didn't make one for myself.

So, as I had this weekend all alone, my dearest was on a jolly to Brighton, I decided I was going to be really self  centered and make something just for me!!

This was a very satisfying make, I added a zippered pocket to the lining and also a couple pockets inside so this could double up as a project bag if the British weather stayed so determinedly not summery !!

Not sure what happened to the colours in the first photo, both pics taken within seconds!! But the second picture is a truer representation. 

Happy stitching............Jacky O

Monday, 1 June 2015

WIP and some instant gratification!!

I have been away from my blog for a while as I've been busy on a project I began sometime last year or it may have even been 2013!! Anyhow I retrieved a few of these WIP log cabin blocks two weeks ago and put them up on my design wall and since then they have inspired me to crack on and finish this project.

It's still not finished ..... The blocks are completed but they need squaring off and stitching together, then I will need to decide on a border, I'm thinking some piano keys......

Well that was last weeks sewing and some of Saturday.  But when I went in my sewing room on Sunday I felt like just I did!!!!!

And made these cute little pin cushions. Each little square on the nine patch measures just half inch!!! They were so simple to put together that I got seriously addicted, it's a good thing I got called away or heaven knows how many I would have made. But hey oh they made me smile!!

Happy stitching........... Jacky O

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival Modern Category

Most of my fellow quilters at St. M's are traditionalists and were a little surprised when I came up with this quilt

It's called "Block End" and this is going into the modern category over at Amy's quilt festival. I really enjoyed the freedom of not working to a pattern and just seeing where the fabric took me!!

Check out all the categories there's some fab quilts on display, or enter one there's still just time.

Happy stitching.........Jacky O

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I can't believe how quickly this has come around, and it's such fun to see what everyone has been stitching. To see for yourself hop over toAmy's Creative Side and take a look.

I've thought about which quilt I should enter and have decided to enter the small quilt category with my "Stacked Squares".  This is a quilt that was originally inspired by one I saw over on Kelly's blog at My Quilt Infatuation. So here's my version.

This quilt measures 60" x 84" and was straight lined quilted approx 1" apart.

Enjoy looking at all the quilts and happy stitching...........Jacky O

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Zippered pouches

Having got my Mustang quilt all bound and finished I wasn't sure what to get started on next. I have a lovely fat quarter bundle of Dashwood fabric....

A big fat quarter bundle of Kona solids, that I got free when I subscribed to a magazine...

A fat quarter bundle of nautical/seaside prints, that I got on special offer from Lady Sew and Sew..

I still haven't decided what to do with my lovely ikat fabric that my sister sent..

And last but not least I have 3 metres of fabric that I couldn't resist when Lady Sew and Sew put them on offer for just £5 a metre......

So much yummy fabric I really didn't know where to start.  I also have a charm pack of Regent Street which looks very much like Liberty prints which I want to make into a small simple lap quilt, I've already bought some off white fabric to use as sashing. So where to begin????

In the end as it was lovely daughter's birthday I decided to make a zippered pouch for her in the wonderful sixties Notting Hill fabric.

And then as I was on a roll I also made one for myself from some vin de jour fabric I had in my stash..

Sometimes there's just too many choices. I'm off to Paris for the weekend so I think I will spend my time planning until I get back, but when I'm back...... I'll be a busy bee in my hive!!!

Happy stitching...... Jacky O

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


This is my latest quilt finish which I am calling Mustang as I can't think of anything better at the moment and the fabric is from a range by Cotton and a Steel called Mustang. If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them, in fact I always love to read your comments and suggestions .....hint hint.

The backing I chose is a lovely fabric by Riley Blake called Derby horses which I thought was very appropriate and goes very well.  I was intending to put this quilt in our local exhibition but have changed my mind as I am so disappointed in the binding.

Now I know us quilters are advised not to point out the flaws, which we are assured nobody but us really notice ......but .....I really messed up the binding.  I have always used 2 1/2" binding, ironing in half and then ironing outer edges to the centre just like shop bought bias binding. I then machine stitch along the first crease, flip it over and hand sew on the back. This time I followed a "you tube" tutorial which suggested ironing the binding in half and then stitching the raw edges to the quilt with a quarter inch seam and then turning over and hand stitching to the back.  It went so wrong on me. Instead of an even amount of binding on either side of the quilt I ended up with a thin meagre binding on the quilt front and a larger portion on the back.  I could unpick the whole lot, but that's not my nature, I think I will just put this down to a lesson learnt and move on.  I still love this quilt, I love the colours and pattern and that's what really matters, I just won't show it in the exhibition!!! On the bright side it gives me an excuse to buy more fabric to make another quilt to show! See what you think.

Actually it's not so bad......

Happy stitching.......Jacky O

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A Finish!!

My quilt along Irish Chain Twist is finally completed.  The quilting is a bit of a mix, I wanted to practice my free motion stippling and also use some of the stitches on my machine so I just went for it and threw it all into the mix!! This one's for my granddaughter Mimi as she's just got her first tiny bed!! She couldn't stop smiling when I took it round there yesterday and kept laying on it when I was taking the photos!!

As you can see the tips of my petals got lost in the binding, shame.  I followed the instructions exactly but I could see they were too close to the edge as I was making those blocks.

Now onto the next project.........

Happy stitching........Jacky O

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Red Letter Day!

Yesterday was certainly a red letter day for me! My lovely big sister went to a World Textile Day and sent me this gorgeous fat quarter bundle. 

 This cloth is made in East Bali and is a technique called ikat weaving. This is done by measuring out the weft threads and then binding them tightly with colour coded string.  The threads are then dyed, and the string removed. Finally the weft is woven into a plain warp on a hand operated loom.  This method gives ikat it's "shimmering" effect.  It's so lovely I now have to think what I can make with it to properly show it off. 

There are a few more dates for the World Textile Days to find out more check out

Happy stitching..............Jacky O

Sunday, 19 April 2015


I've just finished piecing my latest quilt top and am very pleased with how it's turned out. I used a fat quarter bundle of Cotton and Steel  Mustang prints that arrived on Thursday, so you can see how busy I've been!!

I'm not sure if I want to add a border and I want to find just the right fabric for the backing, so I guess I'll leave this up on my design wall for the time being. In the meantime I've pieced the backing for my Irish Chain Twist quilt and will get that all sandwiched up tomorrow and start the quilting. I want to have this all done and ready for the grand parade of quilts on Thursday.

Happy stitching............Jacky O

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

I'm back!!

Yes I'm finally back on my blog and in the "hive"!! It's been two whole weeks since I last wrote a post and shared what I've been up to.

I have been off work looking after our two beautiful whippets whilst Simon has walked "the Camino" in Spain, now this should have afforded me plenty of blogging and sewing time but not so, not once lovely daughter realised this meant I was free for babysitting and helping with dump runs etc!! Still it was Easter and it has been lovely to spend time with family and friends.

Still I have got a couple of finishes to share with you.  First up is a beach bag, made for lovely daughter - she told me that now she lives near the beach she needs one!! This was made using a Lakeside Gatherings charm pack I had that has anchors and birds on the fabric.The design is just a bigger version of a drawstring bag I've made before except this time I added a zippered pocket inside to keep keys etc safe.

It's very roomy and I added a thick cord drawstring to keep the nautical theme!!

Next is a small lap quilt that I've been working on in grey, black and yellow. I had such fun making this as there were no rules or pattern to follow I just kept adding fabric until each block was about 17" square, then I trimmed them all to 16 1/2".  I also added some of the fabric to the backing to break up the black. It hasn't got a name yet.........any suggestions????

Well that's it for this post. I won't leave it so long until the next!

Happy stitching............ Jacky O

Monday, 30 March 2015

Stacked Squares

The sun peeped out for about 30minutes this morning so Sharon and I downed tools and raced outside to take a couple of photos of my latest finish.  So here you are......

What do you think??

Happy stitching...........Jacky O

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Irish Chain Twist

I have just finished stitching all my blocks for the quilt along together, so here it is -

Making this cot sized quilt top took me in a slightly different direction. For the first time I didn't match up the points on the "x" squares as they are supposed to be wonky!! To start with this seemed to go against all I had been struggling for since I started piecing and quilting, but I really enjoyed the freedom it gave me and my next project, with my yellows and greys is going to embrace this style, I can't wait!!

Tomorrow I will raid my stash for a suitable backing and get it all sandwiched up ready for quilting.  I can't decide at the moment how to quilt it though.  I'm tempted to do a free motion loopy pattern in a contrasting thread, but not sure yet.

I've also finished quilting and binding my Stacked Squares quilt, and as soon as the weather bucks up and I can get some decent photos I'll share it with you.  I'm really happy with how it's turned out, the fabrics works well with the pattern and I've quilted it in a grey thread in straight lines one inch apart. 
I'm looking forward to see what you think of it because I'm entering it our local quilters exhibition!!

Happy stitching ............. Jacky O

Friday, 20 March 2015

Appliqué petals

I have never attempted machine appliqué before so this weeks assignment for the Irish Chain Twist quilt along was a first for me, and once I got going I loved it!!  I used a blanket stitch,  a blending colour of thread and quickly settled into a rhythm that I felt comfortable with.  I even found myself thinking "this is great what else can I machine appliqué !!"
Here's my appliquéd petals

Tomorrow I'm off to a fund raising quilt exhibition at nearby Manston and will be meeting up with quilting friend Imelda - hope there's some cake to be had whilst we catch up about our latest projects!! Imelda went to Duxford quilt show recently and did a workshop with Sally Holman. So I'm longing to hear all about that and the lovely Kay called in on the St M's quilters today with our orders from Quiltique in  Vegas.  I've been slowly collecting some lemon and greys for a quilt I want to make here's what I've got ......

It's been a busy week catching up and I managed to layer and pin my stacked squares quilt top ready for quilting. So watch this space for a quilt finish .......

Happy stitching .............. Jacky O

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Quick catch up

It's been a grim time in the Hive this past week, and precious little sewing has been undertaken. This once again has been down to sickness.  First little Mimi went down with a nasty tummy bug, followed by her mum and then I managed to round it all off with developing a streaming  cold.  So in between helping Kate out with Mimi, and minimal sleep it's surprising I have anything to show!!

But I have done this weeks assignment for the Irish Chain quilt along and finished my dining room table runner. So without further apologies here they are...

The petals for my Irish Chain

My table runner, complete with my flowers for Mothering Sunday.

Happy stitching......... Jacky O

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Irish chain twist blocks

Phew! True to my nature I've just completed this weeks homework, the night before it's due!!!

To be fair the quilt along doesn't really put pressure on for participants to "keep up" and it's up to us to fit our sewing around whatever is going on, but if you want to be included in each weeks give away then your homework has to be in on time!!!

I really thought I might miss out this week as I've been helping the lovely daughter move into her new flat  quite near to me and this has kept me out of my sewing room.  But as I said I've finished this weeks blocks and here they are!

Happy stitching.......... Jacky O

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Thanet Quilters Quartely Meeting

The Thanet Quilters had their quarterly meeting on Tuesday evening and what a well attended meeting it was.  The Thanet Quilters is an umbrella group for all the smaller Thanet quilting groups and meets four times a year at Birchington.  At each meeting a different group hosts and provides the tea, coffee and biscuits, and after notices have been read out we enjoy a talk or trunk show from a visiting speaker.  This meeting it was the art quilter, guild teacher and quilt judge Annette Morgan, who treated us to a slide show and talk about her art quilts and innovative techniques.  I'd never thought about using emulsion paint and a soldering iron on my work but that's exactly what Annette does with amazing results!!

After the talk we have a break for tea etc and a chance to buy yet more fabric from the visiting trader or choose books from the groups library. Then it's on with the raffle and a show and tell spot.  I love the friendliness of this group, when Sharon and I first found the group on the internet we just turned up and was so warmly welcomed we've been going ever since. The group welcomes individual quilters and we were allowed to borrow books on our very first visit.

The speaker generally seems to be booked to run a workshop the next day, unfortunately we've not been able to attend these as it's mid week and we have to go to work!! But we did sign up for a day trip to Lady Sew and Sews at this meeting.  We also, very bravely took entry forms for our quilts to be entered in this years Thanet Quilters exhibition!!! I haven't decided yet whether to enter the traditional or art quilt category, which is a bit of a joke really as I've never made an art quilt but I was very inspired by Annette Morgan, and have already been on the look out for a soldering iron!!!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Irish Chain Twist Catch up

I didn't make last weeks link up as I have been unwell with a horrid flu like virus.  I felt so weak it was tiring to speak let alone sew!! Anyhow much better now so getting back on track.  I have made my wonky "x's" and yesterday I stitched and cut this weeks blocks, and here they are.

Happy stitching..............Jacky O