Tea, anyone?

When I was a child my mum drank about a dozen cups of coffee a day. She was totally, physiologically addicted to caffeine. So much so that, on Yom Kippur (when no food or drink of any kind is allowed for 25 hours) she would make a paste of instant coffee and a spoonful of water and take it like medicine, just to avoid the crippling caffeine-withdrawal headaches. Looking back on those days it is so strange to me that she is now completely unable to tolerate caffeine at all. Even a cup of tea will keep her awake half the night.Of course, we British are obsessed with our hot drinks. Had a bad day? Put the kettle on. Got caught in the inevitable rain? Put the kettle on. Lost a limb in a freak [Read more...]


My scrappy-trip-around-the-Denyse-Schmidt-world top is finished, and I am still not convinced about it. I'm reserving judgement for the moment and hoping that quilting will make all the difference. After seeing this gorgeous quilt by Rachel I am tempted to give dogwood quilting a go, although wrestling it through my machine could prove interesting.These blocks really are a lot of fun to make, and they come together so quickly. I may very well end up making another, although next time I would probably limit the palette.Just a heads up – tomorrow is my blogaversary so it may be in your interest to pop back. There could be a bit of a giveaway.

Emerald progress

It seems that there is a lot of disagreement about what Emerald actually is. In my (clearly minority) opinion emerald is a very green kind of green, and Pantone Emerald is actually teal. But then I did once spend an entire day being teased by the other members of the LMQG for saying my cardigan was blue when everyone else thought it was purple (yes Pennie, I am talking about you). Maybe I have something wrong with my colour perception. In any case, the organisers of the Pantone Emerald challenge have decreed that any shade of green will do, which is fab because I bought this stack at Quilt Market. I love it when a non-plan comes together.I really love the colour gradation in these bundles so [Read more...]

I’m kvelling!

*Kvell: to burst with pride of your loved ones (Yiddish)Rachel came home from school one day last term and told me that her year group had been entered into a pre-GCSE course called Project Qualification. The basic premise is that you can pick any topic you like and present work on the subject, like an essay, a piece of research or some artwork. Being the smart kid that she is and knowing that there is no way I would refuse to help her, she chose quilting, with a particular emphasis on the work of Denyse Schmidt. Oh, how my heart overflowed with pride at her choice and her incredible manipulation skills. That's my girl.Anyway, after a fair amount of faffing about she finally sat down over [Read more...]

Washi, redux

The other day I popped into The Village Haberdashery to buy some binding clips. The ones that cost a couple of quid. And yet somehow I came out having spent a good deal more than that on all sorts of things including some of this gorgeous print from Center City by Jay McCarroll. Since making my washi dress last summer I have been itching to have a go at the tunic version, and given that the weather is completely freezing just about perfect now for little sleeveless tops it seemed just the right time to make it. That's my story, and I am sticking to it.Let's just pretend I don't look really uncomfortable, ok?After the boob related issues I encountered last time I decided to go a size bigger. [Read more...]

Kindle cover tutorial!!

As promised, here is a tutorial for the Kindle cover I made the other day. Please let me know if anything is confusing or if you have any questions.This holder was designed to fit a Kindle Paperwhite (6 5/8” x 4 5/8”) but can be adapted for other tablets/readers. Just measure your device and adjust the dimensions as necessary. Cut: Pocket/holder5.5 x 8.0” – two each of fabric and fusible interfacing, one of fusible fleece Closure2.5 x 3.5” – two each of fabric and fusible fleece Main body11.25 x 8.0" – one each of outer, lining, fusible interfacing and fusible fleece You will also need:Magnetic snapTwo elastic hair bandsTwo pieces of plastic canvas, each 4.5 x [Read more...]

Everyone needs a little protection

I've been feeling bad about chucking my naked Kindle into my handbag so decided to make the poor thing a cover. There were several requirements. First, it needed to open like a book (so, not a zip pouch). Secondly, it needed to be fairly rigid (yes Kelly, that is your cue to snort). Thirdly, it should be easy to hold while reading. And a pocket for the cable would be nice too.I bought some gorgeous yarn-dyed Essex and Center City from Annie the other day, with another Sidekick Tote in mind. I'm not normally the matchy-matchy type, but having cut the bits for the bag I had enough left over for a Kindle case. And it's such gorgeous fabric I couldn't resist.So yesterday, on my [Read more...]

Why I need to get out more

Katie (the puppy) is a master of toy destruction and can decapitate pretty much any squeaky animal in less time than it takes to get it home from the shops. I'm fairly sure she's not alone in this talent, so I don't hold it against her. Instead, I thought it might be nice to commemorate her kills.Yes, I know vulture is spelled wrong. That's how my son says it.I have a whole stack of little wooden plaques just waiting for their heads. Dog toy taxidermy – it's the new big thing.

A (very) long-term WIP

I've had something lurking in my WIP drawer-of-shame for almost two years (actually, I have several things lurking, but we won't go into that). It's an EPP hexagon top made from sort-of-1930's repro fabrics, finishing at about 50 x 60 inches. It's not exactly my current aesthetic, to say the least, so finishing it always got pushed to the bottom of the pile even though I had already bought the backing.Anyhoo, the other day Jess posted an appeal for quilts to send to those who have been affected by the fires in Tasmania, which was exactly the kick up the arse that I needed to get this baby finished.In the end it only took a morning to baste and quilt, with the binding finished by the [Read more...]

Wherein I express disappointment that this is not the 1790s

My mum very sweetly gave me some money for Chanukah this year (as she usually does) and I treated myself to a Kindle. I love reading and as a kid would spend days doing nothing else. The school holidays were filled with alternately going to the library and holing up in my bedroom with the resulting massive stacks of books.Between the kids and the being an editor, reading has taken a back seat in the last few years. I didn't realise how much reading stuff all day for work would make me not feel like reading at night. It's a real shame, but I pretty much stopped entirely. The effort of holding an actual book, of turning pages, of keeping the bedside light on – these are inconsequential things [Read more...]