Saturday, 12 April 2014


Eight blocks made early this afternoon ......
Eight blocks to be unmade late this afternoon!

I have sewn, pressed and trimmed all eight blocks before realising that I have sewn the two centre pieces in upside down in every block.  That means the whole block hast to be unsewn every time. How could I not notice such a glaring mistake earlier? 

I hate it when that happens.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Thought for the day ...

There was a comment on my last post asking how I can sell the pattern for Wimbledon Squares when the same quilt has been around for ages and can be seen all over the internet? This raises an interesting point and so I thought that rather than replying by email as I would usually, I would put my reply in the form of a blog post so people can join the conversation if they want to. 

I agree the block is not necessarily original, however, if you look at almost all patterns, you will see that they are based on traditional block designs that have been around for many, many years.  As Harry S Truman once said “there is nothing new in this world, except the history we do not know”.  However, what hasn't been around is my version of the pattern.  A designer does her own calculations on fabric quantities, writes her own instructions and draws her own diagrams for how to make the quilt, from how to cut the fabrics and sew them together to make blocks, through to adding the binding to make the final quilt.  All of this is in her own words, and has taken up her time, and that is what she is selling.  In short, I believe that any designer who does this has the right to expect to be paid for her work.

I also think that quilting would stagnate if designers were only allowed to produce patterns using blocks that have never been seen before.

The commenter also stated that she has made quilts like this without a pattern, as have I and many other people, I am sure, but I doubt that a beginner would be able to do that.  If we don’t help those beginners by giving them straightforward patterns with instructions, they won’t be able to increase their abilities and confidence and they might well lose interest and drift away and then there is a danger that the art of quilting will gradually die out.

I think my friend Nancy summed this up by saying “none of us ever got up on our legs for the first time and ran a marathon”.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Wimbledon Squares gets tested ...

... this is another of my designs which is now becoming a pattern.  Here is my version, which I made several years ago.  (Memo to self: get a decent photo of this quilt to replace this one where it's scrumpled up to fit on a washing line.)
This time my testers were Donna, Rita, Susan, Janette who all did a wonderful job with this pattern for me and the resulting quilts are all very different.

Donna and her constant companion and helper Ms Cha Cha Cat, made this version, which she has called Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly.  They have made this for Donna's niece, Bailey, who loves all things pink and purple.  There is a little funny story about the fabrics in this quilt.  They have all come from a range called Henley by Makower.  Now Makower is a UK company, and Henley  Royal Regatta is regarded as part of the London Social Season and would be attended by people such as Lady Mary from Downton Abbey.  All very appropriate considering I live in the UK, don't you think?

This very dramatic version, called was made by Susan.  When she had finished, Susan took this quilt and another one she has made, which you will see in a minute, for a drive to find suitable backdrops for some great photos. Who remembers the Wombles of Wimbledon Common?  Well Susan obviously does, as she's named this "Wombling On".  Once I read that I couldn't get their theme tune out of my head for days, and now it's back again.

Not content with making one quilt, Susan then decided to play around a bit with the pattern  and Autumn on Wimbledon Common is the result.  I was blown away by this version as it is so different and so clever.

Now, this one has made me laugh for several reasons.  You all know my friend Scrappy?  Well, she decided to challenge herself to only use three fabrics instead of the three hundred and thirty three she would usually go for.  That was amazing enough, but then, the other evening, just as she was finishing the top, I had an email from her saying "wasn't I clever, to chose one fabric with tennis balls on it?".  I was with her when she bought the fabrics, and although they aren't really tennis balls, they do look very like them.  So she is calling her quilt Wimbledon.

There are still more quilts to show you, but I expect you're fed up with the sound of my voice by now, so I'll just say thanks so much to Donna, Susan and Scrappy for the great job they have done on my behalf and leave you with the Wombles song

Friday, 4 April 2014

Red Sprinkles becomes ....

... Honey Bee Sprinkles, Blue Travelling Sprinkles and The Dragon Princess, thanks respectively to Nancy, Joanna, and Nancy again who have been pattern testing for me.

Here are some pictures of their versions of the pattern

First up is Nancy's Honey Bee Sprinkles.  I love the different colours and the bees in some of the blocks are gorgeous. I think the red border does a great job of keeping them all under control.

This is Joanna's lovely blue quilt.  She has already quilted and bound it, and has donated it to the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.

Then, be afraid, be very afraid, cos here come the dragons.  This version was also made by Nancy who has called it The Dragon Princess because apparently she had a story in her mind about a Princess who falls in love with a Dragon she finds in her rose garden.  If you look closely you will see that Nancy has only used three fabrics in this version.
Edited to say there are 6 fabrics, the dragon had obviously hidden some when I first looked at the quilt!

I would like to thank all of my wonderful testers for doing such a great job for me.  There will be more posts showing the testers' quilts coming up, so, as they say, watch this space.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Normal service ...

... can now be resumed, I think.  I have three four good reasons for having been absent again for the past week.

Firstly, on the day I was writing my last post I had a tickly throat and the odd sneezle and by the end of the day I had developed a horrid, dasty code id by dose.  I still have the sore throat and a cough a week later.  It's been years since I've had a real cold like that, so I've felt very sorry for myself, although the manufacturers of paper hankies, throat lozenges and cough mixture are very happy about the increase in their profits.

Secondly I lost my virtual voice.  Most of you have heard me whinging for months now that my laptop was preparing to give up the ghost, and last week it got so that I had to give in and buy a new one.  That has meant I have had to go from using Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, and that, let me tell you, is a massive leap.  So much so that, after a couple of days I ordered myself a Dummies Guide to Windows 8.  There seems to be very little similarity between the two systems so far, and I have to tell you that I do NOT like it.  I will persevere though, as I have been told that once I get used to it I will like it - yes Lynn, I'm blaming you if this doesn't work out!  Just as an aside, would you all like a bit of a giggle at my expense?  Well, the day after I got this new laptop, I wanted to uninstall the preset virus checker programme, McAfee, and install AVG, which we prefer.  Mr Fixit helpfully produced the CD for me to insert, and that's when I realised something.  Putting it politely, I had nowhere to stick it!  Yes folks, I had bought this super-whizzy new laptop with loads of memory and an extra fast brain, but it doesn't have a disc drive!  Heyho, I guess I'll now have to buy an external one.

The third reason is that I took off for a brief trip down south to visit my DS, DDIL and DGS3.  Grandson 3 was performing in a concert at the local theatre which was lovely and I so enjoyed it, but I didn't really have any time to blog about anything.

The fourth reason is that yesterday was Mothers' Day here in the UK, so I treated myself to an even lazier than usual day.  Mrs Nomad came round in the afternoon with a Yankee Candle and some chocolates, and my son gave me flowers, so I was a spoilt mother.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

yesterday ....

...  was the monthly meeting of the Yorkshire Modern Quilters, a group which I thoroughly enjoy belonging to.

This month a number of us were making sewing caddies.  The pattern is a free one which can be found here. It was a fun day, but along the way, there was much wailing, whining and sulking (and not just by me, in case that's what you were thinking).  The main problem we were all having was with our bottoms! Variations of the problem ranged from having left it at home ( most of us did the cutting at home before we met), cutting it the wrong size and sewing it on the wrong way round so all the seams would be on the outside - and yes, that last one was my error.  Anyway, by the end of the day there was quite a collection of cute little caddies like these,
 and this is Scrappy's
and here is mine
Ignore all the loose ends that I haven't yet sewn in but I couldn't wait to put things in it and see what it looked like.

It was a great day, and thanks must go to Quilthaze and Janet for organising these for us.

Friday, 21 March 2014

What's missing in this picture?

Our bird feeder, that's what.

The other morning we got up and opened the curtains to find that some toe-rag had come down our drive in the night and helped themselves to it.  Amazing really, it's been standing outside ageing in all sorts of weather for about three years now, so it's not as if it was all shiny and new looking. We've walked around the are to see if it's lying around somewhere but it's not and it's certainly too heavy to have just blown away.

It makes you wonder what goes on in some people's minds, doesn't it?
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