New Years Eve .......

I thought I would share some photographs I took on Xmas Eve. We have had snow every day now for two weeks, a couple of inches or more each day. Keeping the drive clear has been a major task.

The novelty has worn off and I just want it to go now. As I sit here writing it has started again covering all the clearing I did this morning. The trouble now is finding a place to put all the snow we move from the drive and pavement!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year however you may be celebrating it.

Have a Lovely Christmas

A very happy Christmas to all the visitors to my blog. Thank you to the people at Electric Quilt for the above animation which is available for download from their blog here.

New Work

We have both beel full of cold for the past couple of weeks but I have managed to get some work done in the studio.

I finished off the two parasol blocks by adding little flowers around the centre and outside embroidered stitches and also 3D flowers on the parasols and centre design.

I have also completed two of the Royal Bluebell block, Block 2 in the design. I had some problems with some of the embroidered stitches but I bought a new foot 34C and all was well.

I am really enjoying working with the Bernina 730. I made this stocking. The Poinsettia design is lovely to stitch.
This redwork santa was a joy to stitch. The lace cuff was stitched using water soluble.

The above two snowmen stockings were appliqued in the hoop.
Just for fun a little fabric cupcake. I will be busy with my third block from the Latte quilt and will post pictures when they (I am making two) are finished.

Thank you for dropping by.

Beavering Away

I have been busy working on some of my own work but also getting ready for the start of my classes at Currie High School. The taster sessions went well with the Monday session full to overflowing, what a buzz, and the Thursday class was quiet but I enjoyed it.

On the Monday one of my students mentioned she would like to make a Christmas table runner and so I made this one this week, I hope she likes it, it certainly went down well on Thursday and so I shall carry on and layer and quilt it.

I bought the Latte Quilt book more years ago than I care to admit. It was about the time I bought my Bernina 180 with Artista V1 software and I thought at the time it would be a good project to really get to know my machine and software. I read a lot of reports about there being errors in the book so being new to machine embroidery I thought I may be biting off more than I could chew and so left it for another day.

In the meantime I was busy with City & Guilds courses and the Judging course altogether 6 years of learning and of course all of my classes.

Earlier this year I bought a Bernina 730 and Artista V5 software. I was also looking for a new challenge. What better way to learn the new machine and software than to make the Latte Quilt. I already had the fabric and book and so this month I embarked on making the quilt.

This is the first block, the Parasol Block. I am working with a lovely lady called Serena who teaches the Latte Quilt online. The class will run for a year and I will post my progress.

I am going to make one more of these blocks this week as I await Lesson 2 at the beginning of October - I can't wait.

I have already learned so much about my new machine and the new software and am looking forward to learning so much more over the coming year.

EQ6 - A Twist on Tradition

For September's EQ6 project I have been playing around with traditional blocks. I removed some lines and added some curves. Some work well some are not quite so good but it has been a lot of fun and I am sure I could come up with even more interesting blocks if I had more time.

I am offering the project file showing the blocks in their various stages of change to let EQ users see what I have been doing. You can download the project file from HERE. I hope you enjoy it and try to create some of your own designs from traditional or non traditional blocks for that matter.

Today I must go and get my packs ready for the two taster sessions that are being run at Currie High School in a fortnight.

Enjoy your day and thank you for dropping by.

Congratulations Mike Perham

Huge congratulations to Mike Perham for becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single handedly - he's just 17 years old.

What an amazing 9 months it has been following young Mike on his personal challenge in He is one very brave and talented young man. He stood up to every challenge he faced and he faced many.

Well done Mike.

Back from Birmingham

I am back home again. Norman and I spent a week in Birmingham. I was judging at the Festival of Quilts - and survived! If you were to believe everything you are told about judging such a show you would be forgiven for wondering if you would survive unscathed. Well, yes you can. Before going I wondered if I should perhaps train as though I were undertaking the London marathon. Since I walk 6 miles most days I was sure that would be enough "training".

It was great to meet some of my fellow students from the Judging course again and other fellow judges. It was a busy day with so many quilts to judge. I did start a little slowly but was gently prompted by my "angel" and I soon caught up. After lunch we had more quilts to judge. It was interesting, enjoyable and a lot of fun.

We went off to Oxford for a couple of days and spent a day wandering around Birmingham.

As someone who loves Morse we visited some of the places where the series was filmed which took us to places we had never visited before. We had a drink in the Turf Tavern, it was small and cosy. We also visited some of the colleges.

The Botanical gardens were lovely. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous and we had a lovely time.

Now it's time to get back into the studio. Will post pictures of work in progress later.


Yesterday we had a trip to Heatherslaw Mill. It is a lovely spot and it's so nice to see a working mill. We have been before but I wanted to buy some of their flour, it's lovely for bread making. This is the river whose energy powers the mill.

As you can see someone else has been inspired by the mill workings.

I thought this was a lovely plaque - I was surprised to see the thistle! Mind you I wasn't as surprised as I was later in the day when we visited Rosslyn Chapel (they filmed part of The Davinci Code there) to see carvings of corn. They started building the chapel in 1446. No photography was allowed and the outside is covered at the moment due to renovation but it was a lovely place.

The wheels of the water mill I could certainly see becoming a quilt.

Both visits provided much inspiration.

This is a block from a pattern called French Roses.

It's raw edge applique. I have made 4 blocks. I thought I might put purple sashing but it looks better without.
I am currently auditional for the borders and think I might stick with this. I need to layer and quilt it then give it a couple of washes to fray the edges of the flowers in order to get the full effect. I will post a picture once it has been washed and frayed.

I have another little project to try and will post pictures in the next day or two.

Quilt top finished

I finished the quilt top today. It went together very well. I took some of yesterdays blocks apart as some of the points weren't quite right. I decided to change the design yet again. As I was putting it together I played around with the blocks and I liked the way they looked in this design.

I just need to give it a good press then layer and quilt it. I shall leave it for a little while as I decide show best to quilt it. I think a little free motion would work well. Hmmmm!

Now I must get to work on the "leaves" quilt and get some kits together for my taster sessions as Currie Community High School in September. I have plenty of time but it's good to get them organised well in advance.

What's on the Design Wall ......

I have been working with half rectangle triangles for this past little while - in Electric Quilt - I thought I would try this pattern from Margaret Miller - she has a couple of books using half rectangle triangles (was going to use the three letter acronym HRT but thought better of it!)

The above pattern was a project on the Quilt Show. I really enjoyed working through it, although I added my own "twist", and now that I see how easily they go together using Margaret's templates I shall get busy working through my own designs once I have completed the piecing together of this quilt.

Chim Chiminey, Chim Chiminey .......

Chim, Chim, Cher -roo (or something like that).

My vision is complete! I envisioned the bench area with a Chiminea and here it is. Of course we had to light it to get the full effect but it might have been better in the evening but I couldn't wait!

I am busy in the studio working on my class projects as September is looming ever closer.

There will be an open week for all the adult education classes that Currie Community High School, Edinburgh are offering. They start from 14-17th September. My Patchwork & Quilting taster sessions are Monday 14 September 2pm - 4pm and Thursday 17 September 2pm - 4pm. I will have a display of some of the work I teach in class and I will also be offering a short hands on class on how to make fabric postcards - I will bring everything you need to make a start on the front of the fabric postcards and you can easily finish them at home.

If you would like to drop in you will be made very welcome.

Term dates/times for the new session are as follows:

Term 1 - 21 September 2009 - 16 November 2009
Term 2 - 23 November 2009 - 25 January 2009
Term 3 - 1 February 2010 - 29 March 2010

There is a 4th term but I don't teach after April (I like having the summer to recharge my batteries and work on new ideas for the next term).

If you are interested in coming to one of my classes you can call 0131 449 5922 to enrol.

Autumn Leaves

I have been busy designing in EQ6. I wanted to play with the import for tracing facility. Since I have used leaves extensively in my work since I did my City & Guilds Part 2 work I thought I would use them for this design.

I have been busy taking photographs of leaves and found some nice onces online to trace. I started a new applique block using the patchdraw option and opened the leaf image.

Using the freehand tool I roughly drew around the leaf as you can see from the above picture.

You can turn the image off/on to see how your applique leaf is going to look by clicking on the hide/show image for tracing on the edit object toolbar. This leaf clearly needed some additional work, which is very easy to do.

Using the shape tool, click on one of the lines you want to edit and a window will open with additional options. The one I use most is ADD. You can add new nodes which gives you much more scope to improve your design. You can try as many as you like and delete some if you don't want them. You can play around with the other options as well to enhance your applique design.

As you can see the leaf is much better although I think I could improve it but I shall leave it as it is for now.

By clicking on the colour tab you can recolour your design.

Here is the final design. I have used the custom set layout to design this quilt as I wanted the blocks to vary in size.

I am off to play some more with the design. If you would like to download the project file just click HERE.

Photography Today

I have just spent a little while in the garden with my camera. It's nice just to snap away in the hope of getting at least one good image. The squirrel visits every day and I managed to get a couple of pictures before it disappeared.

The dove potters about the garden most days as well.

Ism't this little bird just cute? I took these with a long lens. I have fed the birds throughout the year, I normally stop in the Spring but we were asked to continue feeding them and so I have.

I spent a while laying some hexagonal paving slabs under the bench as the dampness from the grass would, I think, have reduced the life of the bench over time. Norman gave it three coats of a wax like paint to preserve it but I thought it best to give it a better base - I just knew I would do this - laying the grass was a bad idea I just thought it would look better but this is OK I think.

I ordered 15 strawberry plants for Norman which arrived on Thursday so we went and bought a nice pot for them. I suspect it's too late for strawbs this year but they last about 4 or 5 years so we can expect some nice strawbs next year. I did order them about a month ago but had to chase them up as they hadn't arrived.

My potatoes arrived this week as well. I am hoping to have some new potatoes at Christmas - that's the plan! Just this morning I received a lovely email from the potato merchant telling me how I should plant them. It was just as well as I had planned on leaving them aside to chit - apparently they don't need it and I can plant them now.
We have had some lovely courgettes this year, my first attempt at growing them but they seem to be easy to grow. As you can see we have plenty more to come.

I spent a lovely afternoon in the studio yesterday. I managed to get some backgrounds done using Markal paintsticks. I will poist some piccies later as I hope to get some more work done on them today.

The weather was lovely and we had a BBQ in the early evening. I tried some new to me sauce on the pork chops Reggae sauce, it was gorgeous. You can read about it HERE.

It's raining here so I might just play in the studio. Thanks for dropping by.

Kaleidoscope Quilt Finished

I have quilted and bound my Kaleidoscope quilt. Now it's time to move on to another project.

EQ6 New Project for July

This month I have been playing with one block but using different layouts. Just changing some of the colours can make a dramatic difference. Click on the image to download the project file for EQ6.