Coming soon….

I hope to bring to you my first tutorial.  The idea to do this has been in my head since Sunday’s designer challenge ‘class’, but I need to sort a few things out like making the block itself & taking piccies.



Now I know why…..

Last Wednesday someone came to inspect the boiler and it turned out there is a problem with the heat exchanger. The boiler was switched off and the fuse removed.  That meant we had no heating or hot water since Wednesday.

Today someone else came to look at the boiler to assess the situation (i.e. repair or replace), and yes there is a problem with the boiler. The heat exchanger has corrosion (rust) and the air intake pipe at the top is hot! So the engineer is recommending to the Housing Association that the boiler must be replaced. So we are left with no heating or hot water AGAIN! 😦  Thankfully the shower is self-contained from the boiler.

It could be 2 weeks before the boiler is replaced.  Now I know why quilts are necessary!!!  Though I do have a duvet on my bed, and a hot water bottle for the very cold nights.

In other news….

I have approxiamtely one week’s worth of work left on Maple Leaf (i.e. one block) which I started today. I rang work on the way home last Friday to say I had to take today off as Emergency leave due to the boiler issue (see above).

My next quilty task is to quilt Autumn Waterfall. I had brought 3m of Warm & Natural cotton wadding at the Festival of Quilts last August and already I have used 2/3 thirds of it, leaving offcuts suitable for table runners.   If I had (a) the money, and (b) the space, I would buy a bolt of wadding, but I don’t have either (a) or (b) at the moment.  Had planned to send a top off to be basted on a long arm machine and had found two shops on the interwebs that offered such a service, but again I don’t have the money for that at the moment, so yesterday I had to ‘borrow’ the living room floor at the parents to lay out  the quilty sandwich, with my mum joking about renting me the floor space.

I had brought some bent safety pins (aka basting pins) at a quilt show several years ago (forget which one!) and hadn’t used them until now. Spent 45 mins or so on my hands and knees pinning the sandwich together…. Damnit! I don’t care if there are puckers on the back when I quilt it, as I am not putting it into a show for Mr & Mrs World to see it.  Also, at FoQ I had brought some Aurifil threads and I will be using some of them to do the quilting.  I hope the quilting doesn’t take too long to do, as I hope to be quilting Diamonds in the Sky (aka the blue monster) at the Fat Quarterly retreat in June.

Here I come…..

I took the plunge after a bit of thinking…. and booked a room in the same hotel as some of my quilty friends.

I hope to take Diamonds in the Sky for those who have followed the naming saga about that quilt.

Bye Bye 2011….

Hello 2012!  Ok, so it’s 24+ hours early, but I will NOT be staying up till Midnight tomorrow night (I need my sleep!!).

After seeng some really fab mosiacs and end of year posts by fellow quilty bloggers, I feel like a quilty dinosaur as I do all my quilts (piecing & quilting!) by hand. I do have a sewing machine but don’t use it, though I have tried machine piecing once and the star block I made did turn out ok.  But I don’t have the space to leave my machine out all the time 😦 but I may try machine piecing again some time.

Just a quick update on  the monster that is my Maple Leaf quilt. I spent most, if not all of my free time, sewing on Maple Leaf when I was at the old folks’ home (aka my parents! I can say that as my dad is 70 & my mum is a little younger than him). Last Friday I started on the last row of block and have finished 2 of those last 5 blocks. When I am done with ML, I will be sandwiching my blue starry monster that Hadley kindly named for me and start on the quilting.

More Tortoise than Hare

That’s how my Maple Leaf quilt top is coming along. On average it takes about 1.5 weeks, with 1-2 hours in the morning before I go to work and the evenings to do just one Maple Leaf block, and all hand sewn! So it is definitely more Tortoise than Hare. At least I am 3/5ths of the way there, with 16 blocks completed, the pieces cut for 3 and 1 EPP’ed for sewing, leaving 5 more blocks to ‘design’.

Each ML block is 7×7, made using squares 5cm x 5cm. The original ML block includes a stalk, which I have missed out. The colours were inspired by photos and tv films of the New England ‘fall’.  At the Festival of Quilts I picked up a bundle of red/orange/gold fat quarters for £12, which coincidently included 2 prints that matched really well the colours already used in.  No two ML blocks are the same, though some fabrics (particularly the prints) are repeated.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you would have read that Hadley was one of 3 ‘winners’ of my last giveaway/naming competition. She has posted a piccie of part of her ‘winnings’, a charm pack of Denyse Schmidt’s Picnics and Fairgrounds collection. She will get a name-check on the quilt’s label.

Last Sunday I took some of my ever-growing stash to show my mum, when I went to the parents’ for Sunday lunch. I said that the DS Picnics and Fairgrounds reminded me of 1930s prints, and she agreed.  Something she said later made me think that I have a stash which has a split personality, like Jekyll and Hide. I have either retro type prints or modern prints (like Anna Marie Horner’s Loulouthi). I kind of dread to think how much money I have spent in buying most of my stash, but we all know that patchwork/quilting is a VERY addictive hobby.

August already!?!

OMG!!! I can’t believe it’s 1st August aready.  It only seems like yesterday when I stumbled across the several quilty/crafty blogs I follow and the fabulous Brit Quilts group on Flickr, thanks to British Patchwork & Quilting magazine’s Wandering the Web section.

In that time, I have started my own little blog, participated in my first swap and had a very successful giveaway (my first, & certainly not the last!).  My friend Lynne is having a Small New Blog Meet-Up once a month, where us ‘older’ bloggers can help support the small/new blogs. I have put the linky button on the left, so hop on over and check the new/small blog and become a follower!

Since starting my blog I have finished one quilt top (Autumn Waterfall) and now I have 2/5ths or so left to do on Maple Leaf.  Autumn Waterfall and the yet-to-be-named quilt are now waiting for to be made into sandwiches and quilted, it’s mainly a question of finding the right backings for them.

So as the song goes, here are some of my favourite things…. Only 4? Yes, given how little I have done/made in the last few months.

Bright Sun Shiny Day

After the last few days of mixed weather… sunshine/grey clouds… At last a bright sun shiny day!!!
Watching Mr Paul Simon at Glastonbury on the tv with the sun shining…. I’m a happy bird. I don’t like really hot days (when the thermometer reads 30+ Celsius), but today is perfect.  Great for doing some more work on my Maple Leaf quilt and browsing the interwebs for yet more fabric.

My poor bank account is screaming at me not to buy any more fabric… I still have the Festival of Quilts to go to in August (a great place to buy yet more fabrics and other quilting supplies), and to get photos done so I can renew my passport and save my pennies for a holiday to Albania next year. ‘What?! Albania?!’ I hear you ask… Yes! Albania!  Although the communist regime collapsed in 1992, it is a country that is still opening up to the West after 50+ years of political isolation, and is full of history/archaeology. It is the history/archaeology of the country that I am interested in and the reason for my planned holiday there.

I have lived overseas twice in my life… First was in Nigeria when I was a baby due to my Dad having a job out there at the university in the northern town of Sokoto, and we (dad, mum & me) came back in 1981 to the UK.   The second was in 1983 just before Christmas when I was 5 and my little brother is not quite a month old, when Dad took us (Mum too) to Trinidad as he again a job at there with the University of the West Indies. We came back to the UK at the end of June 1988 (when the school year had ended). Since then I have been to Normandy, Austria (passed through Belgium & Germany), Italy (Bay of Naples; less than a week after 9/11 attacks in NY), Tunisia (2005), Libya (2006), Crete (2007) and Mexico (2008), which has meant that my recently expired passport has some fun foreign immigration stamps.

As well as doing more on the Maple Leaf, I amvery tempted to start y Summer Waterfall, a blue/green/red summery version of my Autumn Waterfall.  But if I start on Summer Waterfall, then my Maple Leaf will never get finished.