Monday 31 October 2016

Home again ...

... to be fair, I've been back home for almost a week, but this is the first time I've had the time to write. I had a fabulous holiday, thanks to Lovely Lynn and Mr Joe. I loved spending time with with them, Lynn's sister Gail and all her family. I was made to feel so welcome by everyone.

The day after I arrived I went to Lynn's class and met a lot of her Tuesday girls. I loved seeing what they were working on, and just generally chatting to them all. It was interesting to compare quilting in the UK with quilting in the US.

The next day, Lynn and I went shopping,

 and we also discovered a wonderful drink at Starbucks - a spiced pumpkin frappacino.

We went to the Pacific International Quilt show one day. That was just jaw-dropping. In fact, after about 30 minutes I wanted to go home, the quality of the quilts was so high I just felt totally inadequate. I have never seen so many wonderful quilts in one place, and the number of vendors was amazing to me. So much so that I hardly bought anything, apart from a quilt kit. Lynn's sister Gail and a co-worker of hers, Anne were with us and I reckon that if we all compared notes at the end of the day, we'd all have chosen different quilts to photograph. This was my favourite though, although I didn't get a photo of the notes that went with it, so if anyone knows who made it, please let me know so I can give them the credit.

One day we went to a winery, where we may have tasted one or two wines, and I had my first genuine American hotdog.

Then we were off to the cabin with me with my fingers crossed that I would not see any bears while we were there. On the way, we stopped at a roadside pie shop, where they had a really great pumpkin display outside.

The day before the retreat, it rained all day. We stayed in the cabin, all warm and cosy, and Lynn, Gail and I sewed all day to get in practice for the retreat. Well, I say we sewed, we must have done a lot of chatting, a lot of laughing and quite a bit of eating, cos we didn't have that much to show for our efforts at the end of the day.

The next day the retreat started. This was a wonderful experience and I met so many lovely people, who I hope will be friends forever now. Every day Lynn gave demonstrations or little talks on various topics which were very popular. Naughty Nancy also joined us for this event, and I was thrilled when she produced three quilts that she had made when she was pattern testing for me. The photo on the left shows two different versions of Red Sprinkles, and the one on the right is Nancy's take on Colour Boxes.

Dress was informal for the retreat, 

and the food was superb. We often needed to go for a walk round the lake at some point during the day, to walk off a few calories (although I don't think it worked for me!) I did take the bearbells with me though.

Hmm, I must have spent too much time chattering, cos this is all I achieved in three days

All too soon, it was the last day of the retreat, and time for a final group photo. If you look closely, you'll see I'm still clutching my bear bells.

The next day we went to Yosemite. What can I say about that place? Awesome. Here's some photos which say it all far better than I can

After that it was time to return to Lynn's home where we had a relaxing day before it was time to say goodbye again. I had a truly wonderful holiday, met great people and saw some awesome sights, thank you Lynn, Joe and everyone else who helped to make the trip so wonderful for me.

Disclosure: since I could not post photos on the blog, Facebook or Instagram while I was away, I hardly took any, so almost all of the pictures in this post have been stolen from Lynn's blog, without her permission, but I'm sure (I hope) that she won't mind.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

California Dreamin'

Well, here I am in California, having a wonderful time with Lovely Lynn and Mr Joe, BUT I am having trouble with Blogger,  so this is the first time I've been able to write and I can't post photos at all, so if you want to see what I've been up to, please go visit Lynn at Hmm, it won't let me link either. I also can't put photos on Instagram or Facebook.

I must say, there's been lots of fun, lots of laughter and lots of great food.

Sunday 25 September 2016

Where have I been ...

... and what have I been doing there?

Well, here's two pictures that'll give you a clue:

The photo on the left shows some of the blocks made at the last meeting of Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group.  Some time ago we decided it would be fun to have a block of the month programme, with a different volunteer member coming up with the block each time.  I volunteered to do the first block, which I have called Tipsy Asterisk. I know I've seen a block like this on the internet, but I can not credit anyone for it as I don't know who first came up with it. (If you know who originally designed it, please let me know so I can give them credit) However, the instructions are all my own work, and I can tell you, it's not easy to explain how to angle the inner part to cut it and end up with your asterisk on the slant! Anyway, this is just some of the blocks that were made on the day.

Then we have the photo on the right. It's not me who is moving, it's my father. This has all happened very quickly. About a month ago I asked him if he would consider going to a brand new care home for a couple of weeks in October while I am on holiday and, as he was happy with idea in theory, I went to have a look at it, and was very pleasantly surprised by it. I obviously did a good job of praising it to Dad, as, the next day, he said he'd like to have a look at it, and if he liked it, he thought he'd move in permanently. So, off we went, and he was so impressed that he made the decision there and then to move in. So, moving in day was set for 1 October. He decided to sell his house, so on the market it went. By the end of the first week of it being for sale he had two offers and a third couple who wanted it but had to sell theirs first. The offer Dad accepted is from a young guy who is a cash purchaser with nothing to sell. All this means that where I thought I'd be able to empty the house, sort out paperwork, work out what was going to various members of the family and what to charity, etc, after my holiday, I have had to do most of it before, as the solicitor thought it could all go through by the end of October.  I get home from my holiday on the 25th! Dad moves out on 1 October, and I'm off to stay with Lovely Lynn again on the 10th and I can hardly wait to see her and Mr Joe again, and at some point I'll be seeing Naughty Nancy too.

So, that's where I've been, and what I've been doing.

Monday 12 September 2016

Handy Household Hint ....

.... another in the occasional series of Sue's Whoopsies.  Don't put a silk tie in the washing machine!

Thursday 18 August 2016

We're in training ...

... Scrappy and I have decided to take a leaf out of the Olympic contestants' books, so we're now officially in training. It's going to require a lot of hard work, and great personal sacrifices while we aspire to become Ladies Who Lunch! We started today by going out for posh coffee instead of making our own. In a couple of weeks, we are off for some luxury spa treatments, plus lunch out. See, I told you it's going to be tough, but hey, we can cope.

After a slow start, we did also do some quilting. Scrappy finished piecing this quilt
and cut the backing and the wadding, and I finished off the binding on my YMQG Challenge quilt. Since this quilt is due to be displayed at our meeting in December, I can't help feeling a teeny bit smug about having finished, and I thought you might like a sneak-peek at it, so here it is.

Friday 5 August 2016


..... OK, that's not a very polite way to start a blog post is it, but I'm feeling very wound up.

I've just been reading this blog post from the Modern Quilt Guild and I'm afraid it's really made me annoyed.  It's about the rules for entering quilts in QuiltCon that can be considered "derivative" and then goes on to define what is derivative.

Reading through the post, it seems to me that they are saying that unless you live and have created a quilt working totally in a vacuum, it is likely to be a derivative of someone else's work. Does this mean that, just because I love the work of Jacqui Gering and have taken her online classes on Improv Piecing, and Quilting with a Walking Foot, and I have read and loved Christa Watson's books on quilting, and used techniques from them all of them in a couple of my quilts, that my quilts would be considered derivatives and therefore not eligible to be entered into QuiltCon's categories for awards? Not that I am considering entering any, but I just wonder?

Surely, almost everything we do in the modern quilt world derives from work done by pioneers such as the ladies of Gees Bend, Gwen Marston, et al., and isn't that, in fact the very essence of quilting, that we pass the knowledge, techniques, etc from one person to another?  If you do go and read the post, do look at the comments too as they make interesting reading, and no, not all of them agree with my point of view.  I would have liked to leave a comment myself, but I don't seem able to, maybe because I am not a member.

OK, I'll get off my soap box now shall I?

Thursday 4 August 2016

Advice needed ....

.... if there's anybody out there still reading my blog, I need some help please.  I would like to make some quilt labels using my printer at home.  Can I just attach ordinary fabric to freezer paper and run that through or does the fabric have to be special, pre-treated stuff?

Thursday 28 July 2016

It's Wonky ....

... "What? QuiltSue's made a quilt that's wonky, and scrappy? What ever is happening to her?" I hear you ask?

I blame Scrappy. She's obviously a bad influence on me.

I first got the idea from my friend Vicki who showed a table runner on her blog, here. and she got the idea from her friend Jayne, who has a tutorial on her blog, here. I love the effect and can definitely more wonkiness is going to creep into my life in the future.

Monday 18 July 2016

Sneak peeks ....

.... I imagine that you (if you are still out there?) have decided that I must have given up quilting all together. Well, to be honest, I haven't at all, but what I have been doing is making secret stuff, mainly for gifts for some good friends. So, just to prove it, here is a photo of 3 gifts:
Well, come on, you didn't seriously think I'd show you the whole thing(s) before they've been given, did you?

Starting in October,the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group is running a BOM, with various members designing a block. I volunteered to do Block 1, so I have now made it and written the instructions, so it's all ready to go, look:

In addition to all this, I've made a small wonky quilt which is just waiting for me to sew the binding down, so here's a bit of that:

And finally (yes, I know, don't start a sentence with a preposition, or a conjunction, but gimmee  a break, it's hot and humid here today, so brains don't work too well) I don't think I've ever shown you this mini quilt I finished a few weeks ago:

Tuesday 28 June 2016

We sewed!

Usually when Scrappy and I get together for the day, we seem to do a lot of talking and quite a bit of eating (all healthy foods, of course) but precious little sewing.  Well today was different. Within an hour of me arriving at hers, we had both made a block for a charity quilt that Simply Solids are organising (to make quilts for the children of the MP Jo Cox who was murdered a few days ago).
Then Scrappy test drove my instructions for a block for Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group's BOM. No picture of that yet, but I'm glad she tested it cos I had managed to make a real pigs-ear of some of the cutting instructions.

As if that wasn't enough, she went on to try out a block for her next charity quilt and we discussed her idea for a block for the BOM too.

Don't worry though, despite all our hard work, we still managed to eat and chat and generally have a lovely day.

Thursday 23 June 2016

It didn't work ...

Remember my thought that I was owed 5 days of good luck? Well, it didn't work.  The day after I found the 5p my father collapsed at home and has spent the past week in hospital while the medical brainboxes tried to work out what was wrong. It turns out that he has a problem with his heart, which I did tell them I thought was the problem about two years ago (aren't I a cleverclogs?) Anyway, he came home again yesterday and is waiting for an appointment with a cardiologist to see what happens next.

Yesterday, while Dad was still in hospital, Scrappy and I escaped for the day. We had lots of fun, lots of food, and some fabric purchases. Here's what I bought and now I'm looking forward to not spending all my free time hospital visiting, so I can actually use some of them

Sunday 12 June 2016

See a penny, ....

.... pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck. Well that's the old rhyme anyway, so will I have five days of good luck since I found a 5p piece?
Well I can always hope.

Monday 23 May 2016

A comedy of errors ...

.... that's what Saturday was for me. It was the sort of day when, if it could go wrong, it would go wrong.

I was looking forward to going to a meeting of Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group. I had packed my stuff up the day before, and even made my lunch so all I would have to do in the morning was get up, shower and go by 9.30. Well, that was the theory. Unfortunately, the practice was a bit different. It started when I went to put some washing in the machine, and discovered that Mr Fixit had set off to the supermarket, but left his glasses and shopping list behind. I was fairly certain he would not remember everything on the list, so I grabbed it and ran (OK, I walked fairly quickly) towards the shop, thinking that I would meet him coming back for it. I got all the way there without seeing him and then walked all round the shop looking for him, with no luck. I therefore went home again, thinking I must have missed him. He finally turned up, and guess what? He'd remembered everything on the list. So I loaded up the car and was just about to get in when our gardener appeared and wanted a chat before he started work. So, I was late leaving.

I got to the meeting and unpacked my "stuff". We were having a demonstration of how to make a small, portable design board, and I don't know where my brain was when I was getting ready as I needed two binding strips, but only took one, so I had to use two different pieces, which isn't really me. Anyway, I made it and it's going to be very useful. After that I was going to do some machine appliqué but guess what? I had forgotten my foot pedal. I do have a button on my machine to start and stop, but that didn't give me enough control on pointy bits so I had to rethink that one. Luckily I had taken a mug rug with me that just needed the binding, so I did that.

On the positive side, I now have a mini design board, another finished mug rug, and I was lucky enough to win 5 FQs in the raffle. In the picture, you can see the FQ's and the mug rug sitting on top of my design board. So, all's well that end well as they say.

Friday 20 May 2016

Look ....

.... I collect antique cranberry glass, and look what my lovely son-in-law has just given me. Thank you so much Mr Nomad.

Saturday 7 May 2016

I'm back ....

... after a great holiday.

We spent 11 days away, 9 of which were on a steam train puffing round the UK. We were with our friends L & C and Scrappy and Mr Scrappy.

We all ate wonderful food (I'm back on the diet this weekend), saw wonderful scenery and stayed in some great hotels. My favourite hotel has to be the one in the Lake District, which is right in front of Lake Windermere, and where we were lucky enough to have a suite. I wish we could have spent more than one night there. The weather was interesting and in the space of one week we had everything from snow to a positive heatwave.

One evening we were having a discussion in the bar about how something works, and as a result, we then spent some time watching this mucky video. (Ha ha, I knew you wouldn't be able to resist having a look!) On the one free day we had, Scrappy and I visited a quilt shop (surprise, surprise) but neither of us found anything we really had to bring home with us.

I should have taken photos of the steam engines, the food and the scenery, but, in my usual fashion, I forgot, sorry, but because a post should always have a picture, I am including this one.

Sunday 24 April 2016

If it could ...

... be done wrong, I did it! It's taken me all weekend, and I can tell you, I'm NEVER making another one.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Spring is sprung ...

At last. First coffee of this year taken outside. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted the stitch-ripper that accompanied me. Well, I can't go getting too excited about the sunshine, now can I?

I really want to show you my finished Lone Star quilt too, but so far I haven't been able to get a good photo of it that shows the colours and the quilting properly,

Sunday 17 April 2016

Yorkshire Modern Quilt group

... yesterday was our monthly meeting, and so I packed up my machine, my fabrics and my lunch, picked up Scrappy from the station and off we went for a day we knew was going to be full of fun, chatter, laughter and chocolate biccies, oh yes, and maybe, a bit of sewing too.

Last month one of our members showed us all how to make a Lone Star quilt that did not need any inset seams. Obviously, this appealed to most of us, cos yesterday at show and tell, just look at this. There were a couple of others that aren't shown here, but 14 quilts from a group as small as ours, is quite something.
Isn't it amazing just how different they all looked, with their different colours, borders and quilting? Thanks again Liz for a brilliant demonstration, which obviously inspired most of us to have a go.

PS I forgot to thank Scrappy for the photo I've used. Thank you  very much for being much more efficient than I was and actually taking photos.

Friday 8 April 2016

I'm a cover girl again ....

.... this time I've been chosen by "Fabrications, Quilting for you" magazine, who have featured my Tubix pattern as the main picture on this month's cover.  Now I guess I should make another acceptance speech  but I haven't written one so I'll just show you the picture of the cover, which I have stolen from the magazine's Facebook page (I hope they don't mind).

Wednesday 23 March 2016


Yesterday Scrappy and I went off on one of our fabric buying jaunts. You know the ones - train journey, Costa coffee, fabric shop, lunch, train journey, Costa coffee. Anyway, this is what I bought,

Aren't they just gorgeous? They're all backings for quilts I have had ready for ages, so now I have no excuse for not getting on and finishing them do I? Oh yes, and Scrappy insisted that I had to write the title just as it is, cos it's such a rare occurrence, and in block capitals, so I have.

I can go for weeks with almost nothing happening, then suddenly I get a busy week like this one where "things" keep getting in the way of quilting. Last Sunday we had to go down south to be at a funeral on Monday, Tuesday was the above mentioned outing, today it was dental check up day (all clear for another year) and the oven cleaning man is here now to give it it's annual deep clean, tomorrow will have to be housework day and Friday is the start of Easter and son and family are coming up, so I won't be quilting any of my flimsies this week. Now I'm off to research to try and find an Easter egg hunt locally that we can go on. It's no good doing it in our garden; it's so small there's really nowhere to hide anything!

Friday 11 March 2016

It's Finished ...

... well, it's a finished flimsy anyway.
The colours are way off, this is actually much brighter in real life, but I'm very happy with it.

Sunday 6 March 2016

Had fun ...

... yesterday at the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group.
Now to do the other half.  Thanks Harry's Mum for the useful hints and tips.

Monday 29 February 2016

I didn't mean to ....

... but it was too tempting
Yep, I swapped the bronken car (which had been mended) for this beautiful brand new, shiny version. The showrooms made me the sort of offer I found it hard to refuse, and by the time I'd finished negotiating with them, it would have been really rude of me to refuse. So I didn't. Let's just hope the old car has given the new one a warning of what happens if it messes with me!

Friday 19 February 2016

I've gone ....

.... travelling. Yep, I packed my little suitcase and sewing machine and popped over to visit Amy at Amy's Freemotion Quilting Adventures, here.


Well OK, I haven't really gone travelling, it's just pretend, but I am a guest on her blog today, talking about the fun I've been having quilting with rulers.  Amy is the tutor of a great Craftsy class on the subject, and she also has an online shop where you can buy the rulers and quilting feet you will need. You can see more about the class by clicking on the Craftsy logo on my right sidebar and then searching for Quilting with Rulers on a home machine. It's a great class to get you started. and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Why not join me, give it a go, and have some fun?

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