Friday, 29 April 2011

Today's post is brought to you by the letter Q...

The first Q is for Quiche.  I don't often cook for two main reasons - one, I don't really enjoy it, and two, my husband does.  So that works for both of us.  However, I do like to bake, and quiche, to me, falls into the baking category.  I know that's not logical, but I can explain.  I like to bake because you mix up the ingredients, get it in the oven and then clean the kitchen.  So, by the time it's done, you have a neat kitchen and a yummy finished product to cooling on the side, sending beautiful smells around your house.  And you can do that with quiche.

This recipe is a new discovery for me from The Bean Book by Rose Elliot who is a wonderful vegetarian recipe author.  This one is a mushroom and chick pea quiche and it's very tasty.

The second Q is for Quilt.  The green quilt is done and I'm so pleased with how it's turned out - I love it!!  It's not for me though - it's for the daughter of a friend.  She opted for green fabric and I chose the pattern.  It's a basic square and triangle block which can go together in lots of ways, but I think this arrangement is very striking.

She's not seen it yet - so I can't wait to give it to her.

The quilting is quite simple - straight lines in the ditch and echoing the main lines in the patchwork.

And the third Q?  Queen of course! Or future Queen at any rate.  Hope you  enjoyed the Royal Wedding if you watched it.  I loved seeing all the fabulous dresses and hats.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thanks for the comments....

....on the UFOs. Glad to know I'm not the only one out there!! I love the expression 'crafting ADD' - I think that describes it perfectly.

Interesting to see this post from yesterday on the Crazy Mom Quilts blog. She is a fantastic quilter and seems to have just the same problem.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

So little time, so much unfinished...

Finishing is something I find really difficult. I am about the worst person I know in the whole world for UFOs (unfinished objects), except for, perhaps, my mother - but then I must get it from somewhere!! I have so many UFOs, of all shapes and sizes, in all stages of construction, just waiting for their time to come.

A UFO - one of the many!

Appliqued circles - not sure quite what it'll be when it's finished.....
.......if it ever gets finished

I don't know why I find finishing so difficult. When I think about it logically, it makes no sense at all. I love the feeling of finishing a quilt. Completing a quilt makes me so happy; when I've been watching it grow and develop and then it's done and on the bed looking gorgeous. Perhaps even more so, I love finishing quilts that I give to other people - watching their delight as they unfold a piece made just for them.

So why do I find getting to the end so hard? I think one of my problems is the lure of the new. There is always an exciting pattern or intriguing book or fabulous fabric which is begging to be used. And although I know it will still be there in a week or a month when I've finished the current project, I can't help myself. It's like there's not enough time to make everything I want to so I make a little bit of lots of things - and then end up with nothing!

Or it might be that I love the sociability of sewing. I adore attending workshops and classes to sew with like-minded people so I rarely say no if there's one on offer. Or a friend asks me to join her in a new project - and again, I just can't turn them down. So then there's another UFO joining the pile.

And then perfection is a problem that I think many of us identify with. We invest so much time and energy in our crafting that we want our finished items to be perfect. But how many of us are perfect?! So, if we declare something finished then we're accepting its imperfections, whereas while we're still working on something, it might yet be perfect.

So how about you then? Are you a one project at a time person, carefully finishing everything you start? If you are, perhaps you would share some tips on how to do this? Or are you like me? Are the UFOs taking over your life?

Sunday, 24 April 2011

As modelled by Florence... charity shop finds from yesterday. I had a lovely day out with my fabulous friend H. We had a very long lunch and then a thorough investigation of the charity shops in and around Warrington. H is the best person to go charity-shop shopping with as she has the most patience for sorting through rail after rail of so-so clothes to find the gems. And she makes me laugh at the same time.

So, I got a gorgeous light-weight top which will be perfect for my summer holiday.

And a barely worn M&S dress in a funky print.

Is it obvious that I love orange!?

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I'm on a roll....

...with the quilting. I've lots of half-done projects which are waiting to be quilted and yesterday's finished item has inspired me to keep going.

The next project under the needle is a quilt for the daughter of a very good friend. This will be the fifth quilt I've made for the family and I absolutely love sewing for them as they are so appreciative. That's all I need for my quilts - a good home where they are going to be loved and used. I make quilts to be enjoyed, not put away for best.

I'm having lots of fun with my new Janome Horizon too. It has so many fabulous features for quilting and so much space - it's a gorgeous machine to use and it's getting plenty of wear this bank holiday weekend!!

Friday, 22 April 2011


I'm so pleased. The more I've worked on this quilt, the more I've fallen in love with it. I adore the bright, sunshine colours and I'm delighted with how it's gone together.

The pattern is from the ever-useful Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. It's a great book - I've made a number of quilts from it, as have friends, and they always turn out beautifully. The quilt is the Log Cabin Hidden Stars pattern.

The fabric is a Moda jelly roll. Can't remember which range it's from though I'm afraid.

I've had lots of fun quilting this one. I'm really enjoying quilting at the moment. I think (know!) it's one of those things which gets much better with practice. I'm taking my time more and really trying to include the quilting as a key part of the overall design. To start with I quilted round all the stars on the quilt. I've then done a large meandering pattern all over, with butterflies at random points to match the butterflies in some of the fabric.

So all it needs now is a label and then I'm done - just need to decide on a name for it.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

I know I'm lucky...

... that my husband is so supportive of all the craft work I do. I mean crafting takes up A LOT of space. I have an attic room full of stuff but it doesn't stay up there. I have taken over most of the dining room as I like using the bigger table to quilt. And so there are piles of work waiting to be finished in the dining room. Then, of course, it also spreads to the living room as I like to have hand sewing by the sofa for when I'm watching television.

It's not just the space (or lack of!) though that he's so understanding of. However often I vacuum, sewing always seems to leave bits of thread all over the carpet. And over the sofa. And all over clothes. And in the car. But he doesn't say a word (except when I'm in the supermarket with bits of thread all over me).

I love that he takes an interest in the work I do. He likes to have quilts, hangings and other craft items around the house (but no cushions!). He asks how I'm getting on with different pieces and makes thoughtful, considered comments.

I know all this makes me lucky - but I'm especially lucky. The boy knows how to layer a quilt!!

For the non-quilters - quilt layering is a two-person job. You can do it by yourself but it takes longer, is more difficult and I find I don't get as good a result. Especially with bigger pieces of work.

So I know I'm lucky.

How about you? Is your partner / family supportive of whatever craft you enjoy? Do they celebrate your achievements? Or complain about the mess? Do you show them what you make or wait to share with other craftily-minded friends?