Sunday, 12 January 2014

Holy Crap where did time go ???

Argghhhh !!!

Here we are almost half way through January ! THe last time I posted was November ... what the hell happened???

Well Christmas .... yes ok ..... and New Year .... ok conceded..... but half way ??? ALREADY ????

well as you can imagine I;ve been wel land truly nose to the grind stone with sewing.

We ( talking about myself and others not just myself in the plural ! )  had a beginners class at PIED PIPER in HOLT  on Free motion quilting and drawing/ raw edge applique yesterday .

I plugged the fabulous book by Cheryl for "doodle Quilting"  and we used a new method of practicing drawing.

FOr classes I give everyone a folder to take home with notes and links  including Empress Mills , Schmetz, this page and my pinterest page and links to Leah Davis page on FMQ too .
I also set up some samples for people to have a go with .

This 3 hour class races by and I have to confess I am knackered at the end but the smiles as people learn a new skill is GREAT .

I must confess I am desperate to go onto frame as my wrists are killing me and this might reduce my pain for bigger quilts .

After class I sat and worked on a quilt for Ian who has made his first quilt . Shades of blue.
Simple stipple in the blocks was all that was required to give it a vintage country cottage feel . He is now going to quilt the borders and then join them to the top under Simone's supervision at Pied Piper.

Some of you may know I make samples for the shop as wel land am making raw edge applique pillows with Osnaburgh ( great name ) which inspire people to have a go . We have a Appliue pillow class coming in March I believe  and a Bowl class in late Feb.
If in doubt contact Pied Piper HOLT (UK ) for details .

I also talked myself into cutting a quilt for Maggie and it is for her son;s birthday . In shades of delicate creams and ivory with a lovely panel of a family tree in the centre It should make a beautiful quilt for the family bed.

We are also host to a small dog for a few weeks whilst we find her a home. Sadly Cindy is with us after the rapid decline and demise of her owner whom I have known for several years. I agreed to take the dog and find her the right home rather than her being handed into to one of the UK dog charities who required a "legacy" payment to rehome the dog. Talk about a sick woman being held to ransom.

Cindy looks like she may have found her forever home with a lovely lady called Jackie who has an adorable male dog called Benji. Benji grins at you ! he and Cindy have got to the point of bow play and trotting around together . Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly over the next few weeks to make sure Cindy gets a great home .

Im really annoyed with myself as I have lsot my large box of Schmetz needles ! 100 of them !! wel lthe language was appaulling ! I'll keep you informed if it turns up .

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

OK peeps I know it has been FOREVER !!!!

but like I always say blogging ain;t sewing and I need ot sew . I can't find time to sew and WORK and blog so blogging gets thin .

My reason to sew is because of orders classes and my tri pto the USA .

This lovely beast was a special order ... a lone star done for a family addition . The family are very proud of their native American heritage and the colours were chosen to represent earth sky , sand grass . as at the time we didn't know if the baby was to be boy or girl we went gender neutral and this is the sample that the uber proud Grandmotehr has chosen . Totally scrumpcious .
 To keep the machine turning and my friend Kat at Wonky stitch supplied I ran out some sweet baby items .
Simple light quilted blankets suitable for use in prams and pushchairs . using simple fleece as a backing and no wadding . simply bound easy to wash and use.
Speak to Kat at Wonky Stitch for prices and catalogue.

everyone loves Monkeys or so Sheldon from Big Bang Theory says . This top was one made by my friend Genevieve in Germany and returned to the UK for quilting .. It was quilted with ....

fanfare please ...

no. not particle physics models ..... Bananas !

Happy campers was arange of fabric that came from USA and was combined to make a series of various colour quilts . with sweet critter prints these are like I spy quilts . Quilted with acorns and leaves for extra woodland fun .

Now as some of you know I am quite keen on Free motion quilting . Mine is slightly quirky with a rustic charm . but I also try and help people get over their fear of FMQ and to do this I first of all taught Rowan .
She listened picked her picture .. boat at sea ... and she got on with it ... I love her attitude. SHe jsut proves that if you don;t know you cant you can ! 

so we had a go at different shapes ... we giggled at where the thread ended ! and trimmed it 
 We tried Fish  or fish with no eyes ....
 and then she spent hours thinking about making a picture for a friend I was going on retreat with .
she knew that Stephanie loves her trip to the beach and so she carefully constructed her beach scene.
She also incorporated a whale as Rowan adores whales... lord knows where we will have to take her to see them .
 She carefully picked out the trunk of the palm ... the waves . added texture to the beach .
I admit I helped on the jets for the whale and snipped the palm fronds ... sigh .
 A series of dinky trailers/caravans was then generated . mine
 So down to some more serious sewing and quilting ....
This was a piece I worked on for about 5 months... it is a
D9patch flying geese ... it starts as a series of 3 x3 5 inch squares sewn together ... then you cut through the centre .... then you cut each square into 2 triangles...
It picks up a glorious mixture of fabrics  and given my love of blues and green ... wel lthsi HUGE and I mean HUGE  beast appeared.
I need ot quilt this and will be doing it on frame . when I get a amchine quilting frame .
 As you may know I wash eading off to the USA .
I was visiting the Knoxville Mod Quilt Guild .
So I took them a home made gift .
This piece is micropieced  and reads from top to bottom ...

done in orange and then bound in blue .
Now I am not sure if I told you about Miss Wish .
We brought Miss wish home from Sarah following a sad visit to the vets that indicated that wish couldn't have kittens. Rather than have Wish under stress in a breeding environment with a bunch of grumpy queens ... we offered her a new home where she would be top queen and have Leo to play with .
I am delighted to say she settle like a dream . The little madame lies a godo cuddle and snuggle and doesn't nibble too much during grooming time .. all good ..
she has podged up a bit . She likes a good snuggle on the ned and as you can see she is pretty comfy

 ahhh Heathrow airport ....
 I was so busy sewing I didn't really take many pics but I did take this of Lynne chatting. ... she made me laugh A LOT ...
 ahhhhhh my stash ... that retuned from the USA . Careful shopping in the sales online and a friend who went aboive and beyond dealing with my 13 boxes well
Thank you Bobbie.
 I admit to panic packing it on my shelves... I went back and put in new boxes and tidied seriously
some serious serious fabric
 As you can see the lgith in my room is excellent providing the sun can get through the cloud . ahh Britain in the autumn and winter .
 I made a temp rack for my fabric. Most of this is 3 or 5 m sections .
herringbone tape and 12 mm dowl   result .
 Now I did get a pic of my friend Nancy .I look like I have spinach in my frint teeth ... I don't ...
THe quilt behind us is the group quilt I roped people into making last year and I am OTM at the result .
 Feathers . made in jeanean Morrison ...
Straight line quilted

Monday, 2 September 2013

3 weeks until Tennessee

well it;sbeen a while and a lot has gone on , gone wrong and gone past since June .

THe good stuff has included visiting friends having a little 4 day holiday , experiencing the channel tunnel and doing some sewing.
Sadly I am no nearer getting my quilt frame and the minivan nearly went to the big garage n the sky .

I have done al ot of sewing in between  but typically it get sewn and sent before I evne think to blog about it .
I am finding if I spend time blogging I am NOT sewing and that sort of defeats the blog ... ergo chicken or egg or even sewing and reason to blog ....

A friend is setting up her own shop and so ( I LOATHE it when people on sewing blogs put SEW instead of so... )  I am aiming to provide her with some stock and items to draw in customers etc .
Her previous partner was a bit possessive of who could make and stock what and sadly that enterprize bit the dust.

THe bonus is though that she is now going it alone and doing it HER way noth someone elses way .

The other bonus is I might be going to do some sewing sessions with people as wel las the ones I now do at Pied Piper in Holt .  This has bene a fairly informal relaxed lets see how it goes event to introduce people to machine quilting and free motion applique and free montion quilting.

I really want people to NOT feel tied down by RULES of the quilting police ... there are NO QUILTING POLICE

There are ideas advisories and tips but the only police are usually nit picky stick in the mud people who ................. see now I got cross and you can tell .....

Saturday, 1 June 2013



FRANCINE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Francine can you please message me at   with your choice of FQS or JAQS or your preferred place to spend money .

If you are UK based then I will send you a prize.

Congrats and thanks for reading .

Sunday, 26 May 2013

GEtting nowhere fast . !

Im NOT being negative ! honest.

I have just reached a bit of an impass with some stuff . The large peacock quilt top was a nightmare to quilt and I don't like it so I am going to pull out ALL the quilting on a 72 x 70 top ... that's a lot of crap .

I managed ot quilt one small lap size quilt to go to a local charity ..however Idon;t know about you but it takes a while for the "right" quilt pattern how yr going to quilt it to really JUMP OUT at you ;.  I mean I can't stipple EVERYTHING really .

Feathers are nice but they require balance and if it's not up to scratch or just looks wonky or a bit naff then it's NOT good enough . Why should my people receive something I don't feel is good enough .

SO you se I sort of sit there and think .. oh boy ...

THe right quilt pattern can take a lot of viewing to evolve. You might look at yr quilt top in different light ... it looks like it needs X or y style ... but you get started and you think NO ! it needs curves or swoops or links or plain ...  so you know it's worth the wait really .

Why am I so wound up about this ?? Well I suppose that each piece is a piece of me ... I appreciate Iam not perfect , I appreciate I am human and make errors and mistakes  however and it is a however and NOT a but ..... well ok would I go out in a green skirt and a red shirt ?? answer ... NO .

Would I wear yellow with red ??? ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh nooooo

SO why choose crappy quilting just because you want a project finished? I want it to be right .

So anyway life is interesting and busy . Nothing new there we al lknow and have much the same .
Show me a woman NOt doing 4 things ato nce and I will be  checking for a pulse quite frankly .

Rowan has been away on a school trip to France to see the trenches at Arras and Vimy Ridge  as well as making croissant in a bakery . Eating snails ( garliucky rubber) and going to the sea life centre.

Mark has been busy with national examinations and is finally home and working 12 + hours a day to make sure the exams are done in a fair and proper manner .

I finally got over another one of those VILE migraines and went to have a go on my friends 750 Bernina. O kthis is a source of much discussion ... why spend £2500 on a machine?? well quite frankl;y because it is BLOODY AMAZING !

This was well just WOW . It will take a while to save for one of my own but I can borrow Jo;s as required. which might be useful as I "need" to make some stuff. LOL . I struggled with the BSR function and that I feel is my own hand eye co-ord causing the problem ... Im so usedo t doing it myself .

SO yes only 5 days to go to DRAW date and so to the first person who reads and replies ot this I will send a SUPRISE . Send yr reply to

Squirrels or Bears ??.... send yr answer .

Anyway Im off ot make some spicy thai food for lunch . Peace love and alkaseltzer

Raven XXX

Monday, 20 May 2013

17 days until the DRAW!

YUP so only 17 days to go which also means 17 days to my birthday ....hmmmm not sure how I feel about that fulcrum of my 40's ... over the top and heading towards my 50;s .

I;ve never really been bothered by my age, my looks, my hair style ( you wouldn't with mad hair like mine)  so this birthday and my underlying niggles .well it sort of suprises me I am so bothered. Maybe a life ( so far ) of not being bothered is culminating in a few weeks of potential MLC.

Im sure DH and DD and DCs  are all looking at me and thinking oh boy here we go ...  but anyway ..

I still battle on with the McCalls quilt top . Im getting there slooooooooooooooooooooowwwwly as it is a lot of small piecing  and it takes time to piece and clip and press and piece and clip and press . It should be ok .. It's a bit pastelly wishy washy for me .

I have also broken my golden rule ...............and bought a quilt pattern .
I buy books . but never ever one off patterns but this one I thought ...............hmmm ok give it a go .
So for the princely sum of $8 or so .... I bought an interesting interwoven style pattern . Now the pattern saysu se bright colurs to get plenty of mix but I feel the need for blue .

BLue is the colour .
Soft blue, deep blue , aqua blue, turquoise, sky blue different size spots and dots . It might be a rights dogs dinner  you never know but it has the potential to be glorious .

My mother and husband ask who are these for ............................ HAHAHAHAHAHAH you're kidding right ???
Maybe display maybe demo I dunno but I am making them .
Again I will post pics as I progress and as I also say . blogging ain;t sewing and we're not here necessarily for the blogging so get sewing.
Have a great day people and remember :

 Have the courage of your conviction. 
  Remove false friends and those who irritate you . 
Stop looking at things that make you cross.
WOrk at things that you are good at and make you happy . 
Make the most of what you have
Stop wishing for what will never happen . 

Love ya! Raven

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Ah Tuesday !!

The Joy of an unexpected day off is a rare and splendid thing.

Time to do shopping and find a bargain on your every day stuff like colour catchers ( essential when washing quilts for the first time ) and tea on major sale... so you get 4 boxes for the price of one ..... RESULT .

It also means I get to sit and sew as wel lwhen I would not expect to . I am on the school run today as DH is in London at a meeting and so I suppose I ought to go and get the child at 4pm ... LOL .

But it technically means 5 hours of sewing !

Well considering I stepped right out of my comfort zone and am making a McCalls free pattern quilt

This one in these colours ... well ................... lets just see how it goes.

The pattern does say lap quilt .. but Im looking and thinking lap ?? of what ?? a chiuhaha  ( the dog you have to remember to stop spelling !)

the 9 patch blocks are miniscule  3x3 finished size ! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkk   but anyway stop bitching and get sewing . I will post pictures as I progress but I will say ................... STARCH /STAY PRESS is your friend on stuff like this . it really keeps those edges tight and stops frayting and makes that scant 1/4 a lot easier.

OK there;s another controversy ... the 1/4 inch and scant 1/4 .................................. look people as long as you are consistent your pattern will be fine .

A bit more than 1/4 and you will end up with a bulkier seam and a smaller top but that's fine ...
a bit less and you run the risk of a split in the seam but hey it's YOUR choice. You know I loathe quilt police and mealy mouthed bitching. I can do MMB  if proviked but .......................... you;ve really got to go some.

Anyway enjoy YOUR sewing. Love your work and look after yourselves.
See it's a short one today ... lucky things