Sunday, 29 June 2008

Our rescued hens arrived today!

Today has been a day we have been looking forward to for a while. We have rescued 3 battery hens which were due to be slaughtered this weekend. They have come from a charity which rescued 500 hens this weekend which would have otherwise died. And the great thing is that they all got new homes. This is a view of their outside run.
This is their hen house which used to be part of the kids play shed. Their nesting box is an old toybox. Apart from the chicken wire we have done the whole thing using recycled materials. We transported them in a cat basket - here you can see how their neck feathers are missing from continually poking their heads through the cages they were kept in.

They seem to like their new home! They seem to be happy already and we are looking forward to getting to know them.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008


The first photo is of my friends Barbara and Caroline. Barbara was 83 yesterday and was the recipient of my June BQL bag. She has already used it today on a shopping trip and really loved it. Caroline is her daughter, also a good friend of mine. This little quilt is one I finished yesterday as a belated birthday present for 4 year old Sophie. Sophie is mad about the Disney movie 'Cars' and this is a panel I bought in Arizona.
As you can see Sophie loved her quilt!
Finally two cat photos -
Gizmo relaxing!
Finally Misca yawning - she is a friend's cat - might submit this to!


How the words 'free machine quilting' or FMQ strike fear into many a quilters' heart. Well I am no exception!
I used a brick wall as my source material and we were told to use each 'brick' to do a different example of FMQ.
My artwork is painted hand made paper which I used as a template for my sample. I painted some plain calico with fabric paint to represent the bricks and then experimented with different FMQ patterns. The main problem was that my fabric paint is very thick so my machine needle struggled to get through it. Not a great start for a beginner but I was determined to continue as I was quite pleased with the effect of my painted fabric.

The photos show different views of the piece. Although it is a bit drab in my opinion - it did get a lot of compliments in class!
I am currently trying to finish module 5 with 3 samples to go and just 2 days! So watch this space because it is my aim to get all my samples posted in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Another bag completed!

I am so behind with my blogging! Its not that I haven't being making anything - I've just been so busy. I have been teaching almost full time for the last three weeks so it has been really difficult to fit everything in. Also my eldest son has been busy with exams and has been giving me a lot of stress! Thanks to everyone who has sent me messages of support - the exams are over now but the stress still remains!
Anyway one of the things I have been doing is my BQL June challenge bag. I really enjoyed making this - the colours are not my usual choice because I have made this for a friend who is 83 today! This photo shows the detail - I decided to echo the triangle shape in the quilting rather than doing the free motion stuff. Leaving the 'geese' unquilted has made an interesting effect.
I really love this cute inside pocket made with a couple of left over geese!

I still have loads of City & Guilds work to post which I am hoping to get on with - the course finishes on Saturday (until September) with our open day and Exhibition.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


For this sample we had to use a stained glass window as our source and I found this one which looks very much like a patchwork block already! Plus I loved the colours of it!
The artwork is a collage of hand made paper painted with acrylic paint. I glued the shapes onto black card to give the stained glass effect.

For my stitched sample I used some of my hand dyed fabrics and I actually used the fusible black tape which was much easier - I didn't even need to bondaweb the shapes although you have to be careful to make sure that it doesn't move as you iron it. I stitched over the black using my twin needle just to secure it. I then quilted it by stitching just inside every shape.
I was very pleased how it turned out although I am not sure I would want to do a whole quilt in this technique. It does give a lovely dramatic effect though!

Monday, 2 June 2008

A New Bag and a Birthday!

The month has passed from May to June without recording two important events! Friday 30th May was DS2's 14th Birthday. I did buy him a cake but he thought it was more amusing to have his candles in his spaghetti!
I also managed to get the May BQL challenge bag completed on Thursday - so a couple of days to spare there then!.
I did enjoy making this bag and the bow tie blocks which are of course just the same as the mock cathedral window ones I did for my City & Guilds but without the added centers. I'm afraid that I used ordinary wadding so it is not a cool bag as it should be but it is a perfect fit for my A3 folders - so that is how I will use it.