The other sort of travel kit

In just over 3 weeks, we’ll be hitting the road north.

The Husband and I, Miss Scarlett and her trailer are off on a camping trip. We’re heading first for Townsville for a couple of days and then for Atherton, up on the cool tablelands above Cairns, in Far North Queensland. Into our newly refurbished motorbike trailer will go tent, camp bed, chairs, lamps, basic cooking equipment and food, bedding, water, fuel and other bulky necessities. Clothes and personal kit will go in the bike panniers, top box and tank pack. It’ll be warm, so warm clothes aren’t needed, but we’ll definitely have the waterproofs along, given that it’s spring and we’re coming into the Wet.

Somewhere in that lot, I’m going to need some sewing. What – you thought I could go on holiday without sewing? Some mistake, surely…

Clearly, it will be hand sewing, and given that we’re camping I can’t pack my super-duper LED magnifying lamp, so the embroidery’s out. So yes, you guessed it, time for hexies once more. BIG hexies.

big-hexiekitI have a pack of large hexie papers, and a lot of lovely large pieces of scrap left over from the Hatbox Quilt blocks, and some of these will fit in with what I have in mind. I’ll need lots of 5 inch squares of my floral prints, mid to pale colour palette, and at various scales. The hexie flowers will have a dark centre, either navy or black. Some will have all the same petals, others will vary. At night, when accuracy will be hard, I can assemble hexies. During the day (assuming I get any down time off the bike!) I can stitch the hexies into flowers. I’ll stop short of trying to sew flowers together; I need to keep the kit small and manageable, given how much space is available.

I’ve no idea yet what these will be for, but I’m sure there’s a hexie quilt of some description in my future.


Blogger’s Quilt Festival: time to vote!

Me again…

The Cloths of Heaven final, frontJust to remind you that all the entries are in and voting is now open, so if you’d like to vote for The Cloths of Heaven quilt I posted about 5 days ago, and the Bookcase Quilt 4 days ago, now’s your chance.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 5.10.41 pmYou can go to this post, or you can click on the logo button below. Once you’re there, go to the Original Design Quilts category for The Cloths of Heaven, or the Small Quilts category for the Bookcase Quilt, and find the familiar image to vote.

There’s loads of brilliant work there to enjoy, and plenty of inspiration in all the categories.

Go on, get clicking on those little corner hearts and voting. It doesn’t have to be for me!


Keeping my nose clean*

On long, quiet evenings when the Husband is on night shift, I often cast around for something to do, mostly to keep myself out of the biscuit tin (cookie jar).

In this situation, there’s a strong tendency on my part to get into mischief (snacking, rearranging furniture, ‘tidying’ things that I should have left well alone…) unless I keep busy with legitimate projects. So I’ve made myself some handkerchiefs. I showed you the fabrics a while ago, and expressed the intention of doing so, but like so many things, it fell by the wayside of more interesting or urgent projects. Last night, lacking the Husband’s company and any other undemanding sewing project, I got out the lawn fat quarters I’d acquired, cut 12 inch squares, and got cracking.

hankiesI do like a narrow hem and mitred corner on a hankie, and these lovelies have them, thanks to careful scoring/creasing and corner trimming. The creasing of the fold lines really is key to producing a nice tidy mitre. I’ve also found managing the narrow (¼ inch) hem and sewing line 1/16 of an inch from the fold is considerably easier if you use a walking foot. I could probably have bought hankies for a fraction of what I paid for the fabric, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun, and I wouldn’t have ended up with the lovely scraps.

Now all I have to do is wait for an opportunity to give them a test drive. Shame nose-blowing season is over in the Southern Hemisphere… gloat, gloat 😉

*Slang for staying out of trouble, in case English isn’t your first language!

SAL 35: Halfway through the alphabet

Yup, I’m half done with the letters.

That’s no indication of how far I’ve got with the whole thing, mind you! Lots of frivolity and exuberance still to come… But amidst work on the trailer, work on the Grey Nomad quilt, work on my Tiny Picks top, and landing a new Gluten Free Bakery customer and cranking out lots of samples, I did manage to get a measly two two whole letters finished :-/

Where we were before.

Alphabet to K

And where we are now.


And as always, the other lovely ladies in the SAL will also have something nice to show you, so do hop over there to take a look. Don’t forget about the difference in time zones; if you’re seeing me first, you may need to drop in to theirs a bit later to give them a chance to get their posts up. Not everyone posts every time, but there’ll still be something worth seeing there.

Avis at
Claire at
Gun at
Carole at
Wendy at
LucyAnn at
Jess at
Sue at
Constanze at
DebbieRose at
Christina at
Susan at
Kathy at

See you next time, on 16 October!

Let’s go round again

Today is my third anniversary with WordPress.


We all know that blogging can be a thing of transient tastes and enthusiasm. I tend to think long and hard before following, because that blogger and all her/his works will become part of my daily routine, and it seems rude, somehow, to simply jump off the carousel if I get bored! I have unfollowed, but only a few, when it became clear that our tastes, ideas or opinions were beginning to diverge too much.

My following figures have grown slowly and gently, sometimes decreasing, mostly increasing, a few at a time, and I am content. I feel no great need to push for an increase.

Of my nearly 400 followers, some are still with me since the beginning, and have become old friends. Some are more recent (only two years, instead of three!), and are also now good friends, but I thought I’d acknowledge the ones with true staying power 🙂

So here we go, the 9 oldest and still active followers. They’re a varied bunch, but I hope you find something to enjoy there, as I do. Click on the links to go and see what they’re all up to.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: entry 2

I hadn’t planned to show a second one, but after Ann reminded me about this quilt I changed my mind!


Another entry into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival for 2016, which you can check out by clicking on the link, or on the button to the left. This one is the Bookcase Quilt. Although it’s another original design, I already have one there, and this one is just small enough to fit into the Small Quilt category in the Festival.

bookcase quilt designThis quilt was made for a niece who’s living and working in Australia just now, having fallen in love with the place on a previous visit. She has a wonderful blog called The Unlikely Bookworm, and writing, books and reading form such a huge part of her life that the theme for a quilt for her was a total no-brainer. I’ve managed to incorporate a number of her own possessions into the finished quilt, as well as book titles she’d read as part of the BBC Big Read. If you zoom in a lot on the image, you’ll be able to read titles on the orange and white ‘Penguin paperback’ spines. Obviously, the design has evolved between the fairly dull paper original and the end result 🙂

This little 60 inch square quilt is intended to have an interesting life; on her bed, on her lap, on the beach, on picnics, and perhaps sometimes doing duty as a yoga mat. Already it has kept her cosy in her first chilly Sydney winter…


Blogger’s Quilt Festival: my entry

The Blogger’s Quilt Festival starts today. This fun event allows quilters everywhere to showcase their work in a wide range of categories. Clicking on the button below will take you through to the website where all the entries will be showcased, and you can vote for your favourites, but voting doesn’t open for 4 days, so you’ll have to wait a little, to give people enough time to enter.


I’m entering The Cloths of Heaven as an Original Design Quilt. It’s not some-thing I’d normally do, but enough of you said I should that I’m going to do it! Entry requires an entire new post about the finished quilt, and as many of my more recent followers are not familiar with either the quilt or its story, here goes.

Construction pageA bit of background. My brother’s eldest daughter was getting married and was delighted to be offered a large quilt as a wedding gift. We created a Pinterest board together, using colour, imagery, texture and ideas for embellishment as inspiration for the finished thing. I had in mind a piece of poetry, one of my all-time favourites, and it seemed a perfect starting point. The poem is WB Yeats’ He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, a tender offer of hopes and dreams to the beloved.

The Cloths of Heaven centre detailOver the course of many months, the idea evolved and gestated. I did a lot of experimentation, since this was to be a wedding gift and I was not prepared to let errors sneak through. Section by section it was assembled, embellished with hand-written calligraphy for the poem, 3D leaves, spangled star constellations, both hand and machine quilting and a purpose-made label to commemorate the happy event.The Cloths of Heaven label

And here it is, the finished thing. It now graces their bed in England, and she and her husband lie snug under a covering into which I have sewn hope, love, faith and my best wishes for their continued happiness, health and love for each other.

The Cloths of Heaven final, front