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.



Round Robin rows and portraits

Now I can share some recent projects.

This is a quilt made with Japanese fabrics for my sister in law in Guernsey who has been very unwell and currently having chemotherapy.  Actually it’s long overdue, her daughter has one and her dog!  Now should I make one for my brother?

The design is chain pieced and assembled without separating the chains but I can’t for the life of me remember how I did it.  It’s quilted on my domestic machine randomly with lots of practice for feathers and odd shapes.

My neice Rebecca holding it up.


detail of the quilting


I’m taking part in a round robin with my group in Wirksworth.  We each provided a bag of fabric and each month we swap bags and make a patchwork row with the fabric.  We’re not to share our work and about next July I’ll have my bag back with a completed top of about 10 rows.  What a great surprise it will be.  I include some Kaffe Fassett brights and black as a contrast.  The bags of fabric I’ve worked on so far have been very varied from chintzy flowers to farmyard fabric and batiks.  I’ll post pictures of them when we have the reveal in the summer.

A conversation with my online friends resulted in them wanting to do something similar from January.  We are making rows each month on a theme chosen by each person.  Mine is chickens and birds – that’s a surprise.  Some of the other themes are trees and leaves, sea sand and seaside.  etc.,

I received an amazing row for January all the way from Canada, the blocks are named after birds.  Some are called flying geese, birds in the air, birds of paradise and flock of birds.

Andree 1

This is the row I made for January  on the theme of trees and leaves that’s now in Illinois.

jdluka 2 I’ve another 2 rows ready to post to Texas.

I’ve also been working on a Lynette Anderson block of the month with TQS for the past year.  I’m a bit behind (3 months!).  Showing it will give me the incentive to get it finished. The original quilt is beautiful but I wanted to personalise it so the house and sheep have changed to chickens and a coop and most of the other applique has had a few changes. Just another couple of borders to go and then on with quilting and embellishing.

photo 2

Here is the original


I’ve been itching to paint again so tried another quilt technique to transfer to watercolour.  This time portraits.  I did the same as I would do if I was making a fabric portrait.  With Paintshop Pro I changed it to greyscale and then posterised the picture, printed it out and traced features using a light box onto watercolour paper rather than fabric and painted as opposed to applique.  The posterised picture was used for reference for light and darker areas.  It worked pretty well although this is probably thought of as  cheating by watercolourists. I’d love to be able to draw properly.  Who’d have thought quilting skills transfer to other hobbies.


12540947_10101855918373498_226764641871563134_n   Karen 1.21

and this is a similar attempt to paint my grandson Thomas.

29th Jan


He’s growing quickly now but just as cuddly and cute, pictured with his other granny.


I’m sorry to say I lost my  6 year old little chicken Coot yesterday.  She’s been unable to walk for a month and needed lifting around and special care.  Despite the vets best effort with analgesics and antibiotics there was nothing that would improve her quality of life or return function so we took the hard decision to say goodbye.  We had a lot of good times with her and she had a happy life in my garden.

Cygnet is here 018

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Painting Quilts?

Happy New Year.

The year started with the sudden and early appearance of this lovely little chap on the doorstep of youngest son and my daughter in law.  Meet Thomas Henry my new grandson.

day 14.1

He’s a real joy  and I’m so looking forward to knowing him and watching him develop.  As you can see he has the obligatory quilt. His mum and dad are coping so well and you’d think they’d been parents for ever.  I was really anxious with my first even though I’d been a paediatric nurse and midwife!

A lot of the other sewing has been for exchange projects and gifts which haven’t been received yet.  I’ll share them when they are.

I’ve been a bit in the doldrums creatively, but happy knitting for little Thomas and I’ve joined a painting group organised by U3A in Belper.  My first meeting was this morning.  We were shown how to make the most of painting trees using perspective and shadow to make the branches grow out of all sides of the trees rather than stick out the sides.  It’s been many years since the few watercolour classes I went to when the boys were young and I’ve not painted since so I was really unsure what to do.  So a bell rang in my head and I decided to paint my quilts.  At least I had already thought of design, colour, tone etc., and can knock up the odd birch tree in fabric.

Here is my effort, I’m quite chuffed with it.  If it seems familiar to you, it’s a painting of one of the birch quilts I posted about previously.   Link to gallery .  I wasn’t brave enough to tackle the background.


I’ve plenty more picture quilts I can paint before I’m brave enough to do something original.  It’s a friendly group who aren’t afraid of poking fun at your efforts and encouraging you.  Roll on next month.

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