I blame LLJ…

Only playfully. Lunch Lady Jan is a long time WOYWW participant, and a lovely lady in all ways. She is very committed to her charity sewing and I cannot imagine how much she has raised over the years. I mean, I try, but she produces! Over the years we have traded the occasional YT video or link for inspiring sewing and quilting, and again, while I fall off the quilting train more often than not, it is still something I enjoy. I always get tempted when I see her finished items, and always watch videos the algorithm serves up if it is quilt related. Even when I am not actively quilting.

We are letting Poppy (the cat) outside in a sort of playpen thing (see yesterday’s post) but as it is not claw proof if she were to make a concerted effort to escape, I prefer to sit outside with her when she wants to be outside. And that is, as you may expect, A LOT. Till the Catio gets built, I am forced to sit out in the sun. Poor me. LOL! Well, I am not one to sit idle and needed something to do. I am working on some socks from scrap yarn, but I don’t always feel like knitting. I was served a video on something called Kawandi quilting and it mesmerised me.

I didn’t find the time to do a deep dive, but what I have gleaned is it is a form of quilting, usually using scraps of old clothes, and originally done by Africans who fled Goa to escape slavery and landed in India. I think I have that right. The method is simplicity itself. You fold in the edges of a square, as big as you want your quilt to be. You fold two sides in, finger pressing them , then line up the corner to the first corner of your quilt. You sew a running stitch just close to the edge and around the perimeter, adding new pieces as you come to the end of the previous one. Working inward in a spiral, you fill the top with scraps. There are a few more detailed videos so if it appeals, dive in yourself.

While some people have embraced a machine piece/quilt version, I like the slow-stitch idea of doing it by hand. I grabbed a piece of small scraps, ones that would be destined for the bin if I didn’t use them soon, and had a go.

You can see how simple the process is. It is a lot of fun, and fast too. What you see was just a hour or so out in the sunshine. OK so it is not a massive piece, but it will make a small cushion or the like. I heard on woman mention she might make the base shaped like you would for a fabric basket/box and I really like that idea too. A great use for making something useful out of scraps!

The plank of wood that you see is my “bridge” for Pretty Poppy to get to the window ledge to look out. The tiny window gap gives me fresh air and is too small for her to escape from!

So yeah, just one MORE project to keep me busy! But fun for sure, so very simple, and I am enjoying the hell out of it.

Not forgetting the ICADs. Let’s see – today is the 8th and I have shared cards 1 to 5. Hummm. Card six should be today, really, and it is done, but I think I will wait and share Cards Six and Seven tomorrow. If I manage it I should be able to catch up maybe with an unusual Saturday post then make every effort to do one a day from there. The issue is there is always so much for me to share and my posts get too darn long!

I guess that is far better than having so little to share I am stretching things thinly over multiple days, right?


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Quilted ATCs

After making the Life Book class stitched meditation, I thought that making fabric ATCs might be a fun idea. I looked at the fabric piles I still had all over my desk and picked out a large piece for the background.

I kinda gridded off the 2.5 x 3.5 inch blocks, although that kinda went out the window as I started the process. I cut up some bits of fabric, in the same way as for the meditation (no circles tho’) and laid them out. I used the ATC sized window to preview how the cards might look:

So then the sewing. I should perhaps of done a bit of research, cause a lot of people have made quilted or fabric ATCs an the most common method seems to be using what is basically a buttonhole stitch all around the edges. I didn’t do that, my versions is way more raggedy, a bit rough and ready, which I am totally OK with. I might try the other method at some point but this is what I thought to do. I ironed all the small pieces on to fusible web then ironed them on to the background. Some of the bits, like the long strips and the small squares, I stitched onto the background which I backed with medium weight cardstock. I cut them into ATC sized blocks.

I used a zig zag stitch just inside the edges of the cards and ended up with these as backgrounds

I think you can see what I mean by rough and ready! I did want to disguise the card peeping thru on the edges, so I inked them using Archival ink rather than my usual Distress ink.

So now I have to make a decision and I am struggling a bit with which of the two screaming figures I want to use!

I like them both quite a lot and can’t decide between the two. I think I will ponder on it for a bit – I am having another idea looking at them. One I considered a while back for a troublesome set of backgrounds that I want to use but have not found the right focal point for. I think I might have. Wait and see…

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Really, this should be for a Sunday but…

I have fallen out of the habit of doing Sunday Someplace Else posts.  If I were doing them regularly I would hold this over for that but I just love it so much I had to share.

Recently, DH wrote down a couple of passwords I needed to have. He wanted to just tell me what they were, but they were long and I knew I wasn’t going to remember them as quickly as I needed to so I handed him a random piece of paper off my desk and told him to write them down.  He made me PROMISE to memorize them and destroy the paper. I didn’t.  I tucked it away someplace “safe” – but then I pulled it out cause what I gave him was actually a printed pattern from the internet that I was actually USING.  Anyway, cue panic when I feared I had just put it in the bin (and we burn all paper with names, addresses, etc.  Nothing identifiable goes in the trash. EVER) and that he would need to change the passwords.  I found it, it was all good, but still…

I was eating lunch at my desk, listening to TED talks, and saw this one.  SO interesting to me.  I found it amusing that MONKEY is such a popular password.  Can’t say I ever even entertained the thought of using that, nor ILOVEYOU or 12345678 or (heaven forbid) PASSWORD.

I love, too that there is a WordPress shortcode for embedding the video.  But what really tickled me was that the speaker made a QUILT from her password research.  Fab. Had I the time and the talent I would be tempted to make one for DH – it would, I think, appeal to him.

Isn’t it just amazing?  I covet it in the extreme.  You can read the little blurb in Science magazine here. Can you spot your password?  Are you rethinking changing all your passwords now?



Freeform quilt, finally done.

Just AGES ago I started a small quilt.  You can read about the process here.  It’s the top two photos.  I am ashamed to say the other quilts in the post are still unfinished.  The dotty circles one is VERY close to having the quilting done, and the hack and slash QAYG one needs only binding, but I’ve not settled on the fabric.  Since my MIL is here, and she is the quilter, I might as well take advantage of that fact and see what she thinks.

But the Freeform one IS done, and the binding of it, is as close to perfect as I  have ever managed. I have to say the process is fabulous.  Read the book by Rayna Gillman or watch the Interweave video (or do as I did and get both) and you will soon see that it is both fun and easy to do.  You can sort of see the process in a short YouTube video,and  although I can’t say the cinematography is fantastic, it does give you an idea of how it works

Apologies for the early morning, not great light, rushed photos, but DS is due home this evening and there is far too much to do!


I love the BIG STITCH quilting and the wild colours and the organic way it grew.


I won’t say it’s the best quilt ever but it makes me smile and that is always a good thing.

Have a great day.

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A quilt for ME!

Having done enough smaller quilts for LillyBo (although still not delivered them yet! I keep saying I have to make the bags! but can’t set aside all the stuff I am ENJOYING to do it.  I will, I will, soon) I had an idea so I just sort of went with it.  That is my way…

Anyway, I don’t know if this qualifies as a MODERN QUILT – I think it does –  but it has elements of QAYG, free-form piecing (only in that I am beginning with no pattern, making it up as I go along) and I am having a go at machine quilting, albeit using the feed dogs up and the walking foot – free-MOTION quilting I think I am still a way off from.


Basically, I am using some fabric I unearthed, pretty sure it is from some of DDs “ethnic” dolls.  As I’ve said before, row after row of peachy white faces didn’t appeal to her – she wanted Chinese dolls, Afro-Carribean dolls, Asian dolls….. I have NO IDEA why I bought the khaki colour.  I simply cannot think why I would.  Anyway I have a huge chunk of it (maybe destined for a backing at some point when I flirted with quilting in the past?) and it works with the beige and the bright strips, I think.

My method is this:  I am slashing the long strips of fabric, on a 45 degree angle, and inserting the strips of multicoloured fabrics to create the angled lines. I am finding in fiendishly difficult to make the side seams perfectly aligned!  Try tho’ I may, they always seem to be just that little bit off.  I am going slow, taking care of the seam allowance (I used an index card with a 1/4 inch line to position the needle to ensure I am keeping the 1/4 inch seam allowance – read that trick SOMEPLACE and it’s a good one), taking note of the bias nature of the seams, and making sure I am aware of the action of the feed dogs pulling the top fabric at a different rate than the bottom so I am stitching with the right fabric top or bottom. And they still don’t match up perfectly.  Grrr.

The QAYG idea I have adapted to fit my needs.  I am sewing the long strips then doing the quilting so I am dealing with only a small bit of fabric thru the machine at a time.  Maybe you can see the pattern in this shot?  The angles are sort of concentric lines into the middle and the straight bits (where I have two colourful strips close together, going at the same angle) are…straight lines.


I am loving how it is turning out, but I do wish I could work out so the sides line up perfectly when I insert the strip!  The strips are about 2.5 inches wide, and mostly I have been looking at asterisk quilt blocks for guidance but they tend to end with squaring up the block, which I don’t really want to have to do with the long strips, and lose too much of the width.

Once I have the long strips pieced and quilted, my plan is to join then with long sashing just between the columns, in the QAYG style, using the SAME fabric for the sashing on the back so it LOOKS like one continuous piece of fabric, rather than a contrasting colour – but I may still change my mind on THAT – I joined Craftsy and got a free class on pieced backings when I did so I will watch that and see if making the backing with a pattern to it appeals to me more.

Now, I have to await delivery of 505 quilt basting spray as finding it at a local shop has proved impossible.  So I’ll carry on piecing and then see where this goes.  I am also still working on two different quilts with big-stitch hand-quilting but that is proving difficult to find time for.  I have high hopes for the long trip to skating tomorrow when I know I will have a good 90 minutes of travel time, at least, and provided I am not piercing my fingers with every stitch in the bumpy car, I should make some progress.

Oh, and the Tando clock – be warned!  I def. need to highlight the hands to make them stand out better from a distance, and OMG the TICKING!  It is soooooo LOUD.  Honestly, I can hear it over the TV.  If you like a silent clock this is not the thing for you LOL!

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When quilting and scrapbooking collide…

…and not in the way you are probably thinking.  Not with photos printed on fabric or quilted mini-books, but using scrapbooking tools for quilting.

I had a group of I think 4 fat quarters of this dotty fabric.  I did love the lime, blue and purple ones, less keen on the yellow, but I wanted to make something to try BIG STITCH quilting on.  I love the look. I also wanted to try out something I had seem in a couple of places, most recently in the Freeform quilting book. It’s a technique where you lay your two fabrics on top of each other, right sides up, then cut a curve.  You flip and match the edges to create a curved seam.

This is the quilt top – really, it looks a lot less garish in better light!


Can you see the wibbly-wobbly edges? I had four of the strips of dotty fabric.  I took one of them, laying a piece of the pale blue over the top, centred.  I cut the curve then swapped over the pieces so they matched and sewed.  But what I USED to cut the curve was my old CM curvy ruler! The plain yellow was a remnant so I had to add in the bumblebee stripe (which I THINK I have enough of to bind it with) and then I used my (still used and useful) CM circle cutter to mark the big round circles for the quilting!


I’m using a thick cotton thread (not like matte 6-stranded cross stitch floss, but not shiny like pearle cotton either) to do the hand quilting.  It will take me some time to find my rhythm and get the stitches more regular, but even so I am really liking how it is turning out!


I like it even more on the backing fabric (again, remnants, so pieced) although it does show my imperfect stitching better.


I’m quilting in a hoop so the wrinkly fabric is not due to bad basting – I think I actually did than fairly competently.

My MIL used to work on something small, to help her get back into the groove and get her stitches uniform, before going back to a major quilting project.  This is my warm-up piece, before I finally, FINALLY, go back to the quilt I started for DS about 5 years ago.  And I am sure that BIG STITCH is the way to go. I think the thick stitches will look fab on the striped denim fabric.


I went to my local crop today and picked up a Tando clock kit.  I have a plan.  But that will have to wait for another day…..


WOYWW 200 – nearly done

WOYWW 200 – amazing!

Well, I am still working on hand-sewing the binding of the playmat quilt but am nearly done.  I am trying a butted binding rather than a mitred one, so that is new for me.  And in the end I decided it was less the light that was my problem and more my aging eyes, so I ended up buying these.


Amazingly, they really do help, so long as I am focused on the sewing about a foot away!  If I look up, I am in a blurry, hazy world.  But I am confident I will finish this up today! I like how the centre turned out, although I sort of wish I had done the frame in black.  I thought the yellow would be light and bright but I think the black might have really set it off.


I had a small scrap of the smiling sunflower fabric so I used my Grand Calibur and some Nestie circles to cut out a few and appliquéd them on with a little blanket stitch.  Appliqué is NOT my forte!


There yo have it – just the top and bottom edge to do – YAY!


I think it turned out quite sweet.  Hope someone likes it!

Happy WOYWW 200, y’all!


WOYWW 199 – quilting again

I know I said I was going to be making bags for the already completed quilts but in the end I was just itching to get back to the one I showed a glimpse of a week or so ago, using the made-fabric idea.


I’m just at the stage where I am joining the blocks for the quilt-as-you-go method and am quite liking how it is turning out.  It’s not huge, but I think it’ll make a nice play-mat size item when it’s done.

Happy WOYWW!


Just to finally, years later, add a photo of the completed quilt!


WOYWW 147 – fabric galore.

One thing about a dodgy connection and computer problems is you actually sometimes get a lot more done.  My desk is full of nifty little fabric squares destined for a quilt.

The really interesting thing is that just by arranging the blocks in a certain way it produces some patterns that are totally appropriate for the recipient.  I’ll say no more for now – mums the word LOL! It’s looks quite chaotic in the photo and the colours are a bit off the real ones so it’s better IRL.  My mate finally made it round for lunch (the downside of a dodgy connection – you think someone got your email confirming lunch on Friday and it’s only dinnertime when you finally discover they didn’t just not show up, they never knew they were supposed to! DOH!)  and gave me some welcome input on sashing colours so a quick trip to the fabric store is required.  The method is explained here but as usual I went my own way with it. My previous attempt at a quilt was flawed – While I was determined to use the flannel as the backing it was simply too stretchy and I ended up with some slightly misshapen blocks that made neat intersections impossible.  I’ll have another go a the Fun & Done method, although I think the actual tool would help as much as cotton fabric.  Live and learn, live and learn…

I am homing in on the computer issues.  The internet connectivity seems to be a faulty router – a new one has been ordered.  DH is (or should I say WAS) feeling better so I had high hopes for my upgrade this weekend.  He’s relapsed so now I am not sure. So while my commenting on WOYWW hasn’t been as good as I would like, I am managing to do a reasonable portion each week – it just takes me hours, with regular clearing of my font name cache and a re-boot every so often.  But I wouldn’t miss my travels across Blogland and inspirational desks around the globe.  You shouldn’t either so stop by Julia’s for the linky list.

Happy WOYWW!



I have had a Jelly Roll of MoMo Wonderland hanging around for a looooong time.  I had a plan – I had a pattern from the Moda site that I was keen to try, but then the whole quilting lark went off the boil for me.  I finished DS’s Tee shirt quilt in record time and the thought of tackling a long fiddly project with lots of piecing left me cold.

My sister has been chatting to me about quilting – if you recall my visitor of last week was her mate, and a quilter mainly.  So quilting has been on my mind. Going back to my MoMo jelly roll, the problem was I had cut the strips already in preparation for the planned quilt.  Stupid, really.  I should know better than to cut before I am ready to sew, I’m so fickle.   In speaking to my sis I was pointing her in the direction of some easy to make quilts (mostly because the real quilter is my young niece, who made one for a charity as part of a church group project) and came across, once again, the quilt-as-you-go method.  So what I decided was to sort of reassemble the strips but grouping the similar fabrics – so a variety of the scissors print would form one strip.  I had a few uncut strips and I thought I would mix them in.  I know this is probably a bit ambitious for a QAYG first attempt, but the tee shirt quilt was bigger than this one and I managed that OK.  It’s all straight seams so what the heck?

I aim for it to be less ordered and more chaotic so I plan to sew the strips so they are offset, trimming off at the sides.  So the rows will be neat but the columns not, IYKWIM. I had planned to use flannel for  the batting (wadding) but could I find flannel? Not at the two stores I went to.  So I have some thin poly wadding which I’ll try.  I also got some 505 spray basting.  Anxious to see how that works.

If you fancy some good instruction, check out the Missouri Star Quilting videos on You Tube.  I find them very helpful.