Archive for the month “January, 2012”

A Mouse Family – Part 2

Here, at last, is a mouse family… and they are the first mice I have made that are filled with washed Swaledale fleece:


with Mum:

A family picture:

These mice all match, but mouse families can be made in any variety of fabrics at all. I have made  a few in a range of pink and blue scraps, but any fabric colours are possible.


Selvedge is a textiles magazine, with as many interesting websites to look up as there are slightly wacky articles.

It is good for inspiration for any kind of fabric craft.

The link is here:

The Purl Bee

This is one of my favourite websites, from a craft shop in New York City:

It is full of lots of patterns, projects, ideas and lovely things to look at.

I hope you enjoy it!

New Quilting Gadget

My mother went to a quilt show recently.

A parcel arrived this week with a gift from her trip:

I am delighted with it – do you know  what it is?

It is a sharpener for rotary cutter blades, and it works like a knife sharpener.

This is how you use it:

A Clean Fleece

I have washed the Swaledale fleece (in the machine, on a wool wash) and it has dried in the gentle heat of the airing cupboard.

It is now ready to be pulled apart into small pieces and used as filling for my patchwork mice:

Fair Trade Fabric

We have been buying Fair Trade coffee and tea and other products for many years and there is now an online store selling Fair Trade Fabric:

They have wonderful colours, cotton fabric and reasonable prices. This is a quote from their home page:

‘At Fair Trade Fabric we source cotton fabrics that help to improve the lives of poor and marginalised producers, from those who grow the cotton, to those who dye and weave it. The cotton is grown organically and produced to minimise the impact on the local environment so both people and planet are protected.  And we’ve found useful notions made by groups from Guatemala to Vietnam.  Everything you will find in our online shop is fairly traded, guaranteeing that small scale producers in developing countries receive a fair, stable price.’

Fabric Hunting

After making the baby quilt, I had almost no pink fabric left, so I went fabric hunting in charity shops. I look for good quality, 100% cotton fabric, which will wash, wear and iron well. It can be difficult to find as a lot of clothes are now made of synthetic or mixed fibres.

This week, I came home with a good collection. I found three cotton men’s shirts, with lots of fabric in them, for under £5 each. They are all slightly different pinks and slightly different weaves, so that will be useful for creating interest in quilts.

A Little Quilt

I was recently commissioned to make a little quilt in pinks and blues, to go with a white painted traditional crib. The crib was used, some time ago, for two baby boys in turn and was made by their grandad. The babies are now grown, and their grandma has the crib for her dolls.

Here is the quilt. it looks wonky on the photo, but I am pleased to say that it does lie flat and straight in real life:

It has a few ducks quilted on odd squares, and it is quilted along the straight seams. Here is a close up:

Quilting Patterns

First, here is the link to the  website where you can buy the pattern for the quilting frame that I am using. It is from an Amish man in America. It is not expensive to buy the plans, it is not hard for a hobby woodworker to make, and it works well – 

The clever part is the simple ratchet system which holds the tension and then lets you roll the quilt on as you sew it:


Quilting Patterns on Our Wedding Quilt

This is a local pattern to Swaledale. It is called ‘chair back’, because it looks like the pattern on the back of a wooden wheel back chair:


This is another Swaledale pattern, called ‘star and bellows’:


These are North Country feathers (The colour is a bit odd on this photo):


There are Welsh hearts along the wide middle strip (Alex has family connections in Wales):


So far, I am almost half way with the quilting.  The next time I roll the quilt on, the fabric will be well off the floor at the back of the frame. As the daylight hours get longer, I should get on a bit quicker. I will let you know how it is getting on.


Our Wedding Quilt

Alex and I got married in June 2001. I said then that I would make us a Wedding Quilt to mark the occasion.

 The following summer, whilst on holiday, we had a visit to The Cotton Patch in Birmingham –  and chose lots of lovely material. It was not until and we got home and I started to sew the top together that I realised that a king size quilt was going to be too big to lap quilt, as I had done before. I needed a quilting frame to be able to work on such a large quilt.

We looked at lots of quilting frames and found that they were all either too expensive, too complicated or just too big for our house.

Last year, 2011, a number of things came together – we now live in a house with space for a large frame; we found a pattern for a frame; Alex’s father (who has made furniture as a hobby for many years) made the frame and we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in June.

Our Wedding Quilt is now on the frame at last:

It is a king size north country ‘strippy quilt’ in light blue and dark blue. The quilting patterns are mixture of traditional and local designs. I will describe those in the next post.


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