Halo Medallion star revealed

June and now July have been hot dry months here in Belper so I’ve not spent much time in my sewing room but I can share my mini quilt I made for the Spring UKQU Facebook group swap.

The quilt had to be under 24″ and kept secret.  The idea was to stalk the person on facebook and any social media whilst asking pertinent questions to the group in question about likes and dislikes in quilting, fabric and love of wildlife etc.,  My swappee was very obliging liking most things but didn’t use facebook much so it was challenging to make it personal.



She liked piecing and I chose colours from her likes and incorporated organic elements in the quilting.

It looked quite plain when pieced and I was undecided whether to add flower applique in the four corners or use it in the quilting.  I’m glad I went for the flower quilting but wish I’d surrounded it with the close line quilting I did around the centre flower which would have made it stand out better.

I am pleased with a lot of what I did but some areas particularly the pebbling looks clumsy.  More practice is needed.

The pattern is paper pieced, it’s the centre block from TQS’s 2017 block of the month Quilt ‘Halo Medallion’ by Sue Garman.  I haven’t seen any other versions yet that have been quilted to death quite so much!  Or that probably have as much unpicking as this one.


My good news is we have another little grandchild due in October.  Thomas is growing up to be such a bright little lad full of mischief like most 2 year olds.

Here he is playing trains with me and a quieter moment with mummy taking it all in.  I’m pleased to report he is chicken obsessed.



Exchanges and mosaic fun

Wow it’s been an exciting few weeks.  At last I exchanged quilts with Marilyn from Idaho as part of TQS’s International Miniature Quilt Exchange.  Unfortunately we weren’t selected for exhibition but having seen the amazing quilts that also weren’t selected I’m not surprised and it does mean we get each others quilts now rather than 2019.  Yippee.

Marilyn’s been a friend for years, we’ve exchanged mug rugs and taken part in the Loch Lomond show’s Chinese Whisper Challenge, so it was a real joy to do this.

This is Marilyns quilt for me representing one of her ‘ordinary days’ travelling to her quilt shop across the mountains. Wow  She’s fussy cut lots of interesting fabrics to achieve her landscape with real depth and loads of interest.  Can you see bears and deer?


and my quilt of my ‘ordinary day’ walking across the Derbyshire Countryside finding a quilt shop with an exhibition from Idaho and Marilyn’s quilt hanging in the window.

Wendy Watts 28820180316_174311Quilt joinWendy Watts 2

Mine is mostly held together with bondaweb and some free motion quilting.  Piecing Marilyn’s house quilt was a challenge.  The whole quilts are under 24″ so those squares are less than 1/4″.  The dog image was found on the internet and pieced from a photo.  I added hand embroidery to the sky, hills and to make the sheep.  All the time chuckling about Marilyn would think seeing her own quilt there and in the middle window.  To do that I took a photo and minimised it before printing it onto fabric and covering with tulle.


The other excitement is the receipt of another exchange quilt.  This one is the UKQU facebook groups spring mini exchange.  The challenge was to be partnered with someone.  Stalk them on FB, pinterest, their website, Instagram etc and after numerous questions to the group make something very personal to them.

My quilt landed on the mat on Monday.  I think Maria stalked me very well.  It’s a wholecloth that’s been stamped, sponged and printed then free motion quilted beautifully.  I love it and smile each time I see it. I took it to our quilt group yesterday and they loved seeing the box Free motion quilting in the background the first we covered.

These cards of her fantastic work and a homemade key fob came too.


Unfortunately the one I sent is still languishing at the recipients post office so I can’t share yet.  Unlike the first swap you don’t know who is making for you.  I’ve got to know Maria during the swap chatting about our quilt groups.  Strutts Stitchers (link to the website in the panel on the right) are going to do a post card swap with Maria’s group next year, which we are all excited about.


I’ve started quilting the row robin exchange quilt.  Lovely to take time and appreciate all the work someone has done for me, and I love free motion quilting – more to follow.

Barbs birdy


Following an episode of The Quilt Show I made these little mosaic quilts using a technique demonstrated by Cheryl Lynch and  my own designs..  The elephant one went smoothly adding the pieces of fabric to Appliquick web then ironing it onto the background and quilting it.  The second was more challenging when I ironed the release paper the wrong way round and it stuck very securely.  Solved by ending up with the adhesive on top of the fabric.  so the chicken should be facing the other way.


with Cheryl’s permission I held a workshop with Pentrich Patchers yesterday.  Love what they’ve done so far.



Now what’s the next challenge?

Row Robin is back!

Wow Row Robin exchange is completed!  We had the big reveal last Thursday and it was superb.  It’ll be strange not having the coming and goings of these wonderous bags of fabric much to my husbands bemusement.

I was thrilled with mine it started as a bag of fabric – Kaffe Fassett Layer cake and a length of black fabric with a starter row and turned into a work of art.



I was gobsmacked its so beautiful and so many  lovely rows, the others have gone to so much trouble it’s quite humbling. (It may have been helped by the bag of chocolates I put in with my fabric, a book on chicken yoga and a journal full of jokes for scribbling in if anyone didn’t feel like sewing).

kaffe 2


Completing it ready for our exhibition in September as part of the annual Wirksworth Art and Architecture Trail is going to be a pleasure. This amazing event is held in peoples homes and venues across the town.  Taking part are 150 sculptors, photographers, textile artists, jewellers, glass and silver workers.

Here are the other Worksworth Quilters, the photo doesn’t do them justice.

Worksworth row robin

I’ve continued with TQS sew a row round robin which will be going on for over a year.  These are the rows I’ve received so far.  They are amazing!!  I’m so lucky to have such creative quilting friends near and far. The theme of my quilt will be birds.

rr received

This months Facebook free motion postcard swap’s theme is embellishment so embroidery, beads, buttons, lace etc.   Today’s tip is don’t embellish before free motion quilting and edging!  It’s off to The Netherlands.  Now do I put it in an envelope or argue with the PO counter assistant.  Last time I sent one with a bead on he said it would break all their machinery and no one would get any post.  It made it in one piece and there was no reports of a disaster at the sorting office!

July 16 July 162)

July 163)

Painting has taken up a lot of creative time since the beginning of the year.  I find it totally absorbing and although a lot is fit for the bin I’ve had a few I’m really pleased with.  I’ve made a separate gallery the link is above the blog title or click here Watercolour Paintings

Here’s a quick sample of a few


Finally my  yummy grandson is  6 months old now and really shouldn’t be drinking wine yet!!!

Thomas 6 months

Note the appropriate high chair.


Last flowers of summer

We had a free choice of theme for the fmq Facebook postcard challenge this month.  I used a technique I learnt from a friend at Worksworth Quilt Group .  She taught us to take fresh flower petals and leaves and layer between a fusible on a fabric background, cover with sheer fabric and iron.  The flowers on the quilt I made early in the summer are as vibrant now as then. Looking at it I think I scorched the yellow pansy.  Shame on me, mind you it does look a bit like marzipan.


I did feel guilty picking flowers from the few that are left in the garden for this postcard.

card1 card2 card3 card4

Layered, quilted, backed and hey presto a postcard winging it’s way to Oregon.  I wonder if customs will recognise them as real flowers.

I’ve completed my Treasured Splinters quilt I wrote about on my last post.  I learnt a technique from an online quilting friend to keep the edges straight using cotton tape.  As I was facing the quilt rather than binding it I had to adapt the method and slip stitched it to the back.  The facing then covered the tape and luckily the hanging sleeve will cover the stitches that have looped on the back.


The images can be clicked to enlarge

splinters 5  splinters 2splinters 1

splinters 3splinters 5

I love this quilt.  It’s been therapeutic making it, you lose yourself from the world whilst playing with fabric.  I hope everyone has a hobby that does this for them.

Thank you for reading

Dyeing the washing line

Decorating is nearly finished so I should have more time for crafting soon.  I’m going to catch up posting the projects I’ve been working on over the summer.

Inspired by a post on Facebook I’m making a few bowls for our craft stall .  I wind fabric around synthetic washing line and machine it together.  Pretty cool result.  I’ve ordered some cotton washing line and plan to dye it and sew it into bowls.  Failing that it’ll look pretty good in the garden with washing blowing in the breeze.


First bowl in progress slowed down by Meggett running off with the washing line and fabric but now finished.


I’ve booked a workshop on Art journaling by mistake thinking it was Journal Quilts.  Oh well the supplies list sounded exciting so I’m going to do it and who knows where it will lead.  While waiting for stencils, inks and other goodies to arrive I had a go at a page.

How can I fail to have fun with these
How can I fail to have fun with these

All a bit of a mess but I had a go and am looking forward to the workshop.


For the past few years I’ve been exchanging Birch Quilts for Birch felt pictures with a Chicken friend.  Her work is superb I’m so lucky.  It beats me why I wrote Beech instead of Birch on the page?  must be my marbles going.

Lesleys Silver Birch Felt
Lesleys Silver Birch Felt.  She had a lot more to do on the Autumn one but I loved the ethereal look of it as it is so she never got a chance!

DSCF7527 IMG_1431 IMG_1723and my quilts.  So just summer to make and exchange after Christmas.  I’ll miss the Birch challenge.

Another workshop in the summer was called ‘Treasured Splinters’.  We used a photo as inspiration and flip and sewed strips of fabric catching various elements into it such as silk, yarn, bits and bobs.  Our tutor had used the cliffs on the Yorkshire coast and added sequins and beads to represent water cascading.

I prepared at the last moment as usual and grabbed a photo an old friend in Australia had sent me of her new partners farm.  I took a vertical section through the picture and matched my fabrics to it.  Forgetting the dog!

Roo photoRoo photo

I loved making it but the result really disappointed me.  It needed some quilting and straightening.  I always go through a stage where I really don’t like what I’m working on.  So a piece was slashed out with the rotary cutter and quilted it trying to work air currents into the sky and ripples in the water.  I really want to get on and finish it now, need to get some stems and reeds in.  I don’t think it’s too far from the photo just needs facing and embellishing with beads, sequins and some hand embroidery.

splintered fragmentAdjustmentsplintered fragment5splintered fragment3 splintered fragment4

Roo Quilt

I want to enter it into a competition next year on the theme ‘where the heart is’.  My interpretation is that the triangles and bling represent the lily flowers fading and dying and new flowers regenerating and my friends lost partner and her new life with the man she’s found a new love with in this place.  I’ll post a better picture when it’s done.

All for now Bake Off calls.  Thanks for reading.


August FMQ Challenge – option 1

Just in time I’ve completed the August Free Motion Quilting Challenge hosted by Darlene at QuiltshopGal This months guest tutor was Angela Walters who’s been an inspiration to me for some time and really helped me gain confidence.

I chose option one to cover the cushion I sit on at my machine.  You Quilt boxes and fill them in as you go and it appears as stacked tiles.  Quilting straight lines to make tiles is not easy!  I need lots more practice or a ruler and pencil!  But I got to make a sampler and I love the texture of all the quilting on the soft cloth.

This a nice piece of hand dyed fabric I bought at The Festival of Quilts, it’s really soft and has depth.

Lovely blue hand dye
Lovely blue hand dye

I tried out some new quilting gloves.  Actually they’re builders gloves costing £1.99 with the finger and thumb cut out.  They worked really well because you can still thread your machine and eat chocolate wearing them and there’s lots of grip for guiding the fabric.  Thank you Christine Camelli  for the idea.

Very elegent
Very elegant

Yes I really need more practice doing straight lines


and the finished cushion

cushion 4

the back which was a piece of fabric given to me by a quilting friend trying to reduce her stash.  Its beautiful

cushion back

My previous entries are found here Click to see my entries for other months

September’s challenge with Terri Lucas is really difficult I’m going to have to brace myself if I try it.

Meanwhile in the garden

These 2 have spotted something
These 2 have spotted something
Thought so, my poor bush again
Thought so, my poor bush again
Can't you reach
Can’t you reach?

photo 3

Jet propelled chicken.

All for now.  Thank you for reading.

Extra bits


I’ve still not done any sewing but I have cut about 40 toenails today!

I’ve added links on the right for subscribing by email and some of the blogs I follow that you may enjoy.

For over 2 years I’ve belonged to a Facebook group that swaps postcards and sometimes I’m asked how I do the edging on them so I’ve added a Tutorial . There’s a tab at the top of the page.  I have received some great cards over this time all with a free motion quilting theme.  It followed on from a years challenge learning free motion quilting with Quiltshop Gal in 2012.  If you use This link  you can still get access to a lot of the tutorials and videos.  They were very good and I really found it a lot easier practicing after watching someone else do it.

Here are some of the postcards I’ve sent over the years. (click on image to enlarge)

postcard 2postcard 3 1 postcard 4

Happy quilting and if you’d like to join the facebook group this is the link  FMQ postcard fun and challenges