What next?


I’ve been adrift all day, now that I don’t have a couple of half finished quilts draped accusingly around the house. So time to start thinking about what next? A few ideas have been playing around in my head but they might need to wait a little longer as a couple of weeks ago we had an unexpected wedding in our family – my brother-in-law and sister-in-law got hitched courtesy of Elvis in Las Vegas without telling anybody! It seems a quilt would make a perfect wedding present.

I’m toying with:

  • Appliqued hearts
  • A take on ‘wedding ring’ – I wouldn’t attempt to do this design allover as I don’t think my quilting abilities are proficient enough to carry it off, I’d do just two interlocked rings as a central motif
  • Appliqued word(s) ‘Love me tender’? (again would probably be just one in the middle)
  • Also thinking about trying the ‘quilt-as-you-go’ method, mainly because I sruggled with the quilting on the last quilt I did and that was only single bed sized, plus I’d like to have a go at something other than straight line quilting and I’m just too nervous to try free motion on a full size quilt

I think I’ll sleep on it.


All done!


I can’t believe I got it finished in time!


Coincidentally the book with the quilt pattern has finally arrived (Quilts Baby! )! Although it was too late to help me make this quilt I was very keen to see how my method of construction compared to Laurraine’s. Apart from the ears which I did exactly the same, I put my monkeys together in a completely different way. I won’t go into details here as I know Laurraine would rather you bought the book :-). There are loads of inspirational projects in this book and all come with encouragement to improvise on the patterns, which is exactly what I hope I’ve achieved with my monkeys.

In any case I’ve had loads of fun personalising these monkeys with characteristics that will hopefully appeal to our grandson Brandon.

Monkey Quilt – Top Finished


Phew! Just finished the top of the monkey quilt – meet the rest of the monkeys. I’m absolutely bushed now, but can only stop for a short while. I need to get on with making the quilt sandwich and quilting. No rest for the wicked!

Monkey Quilt Top

Monkey Quilt Top

Original monkey quilt designed by Patchwork Pottery

My Sewing Machine


Joining in with the sewing machine meme over at Sew,Mama,Sew which I’ve been following recently.

What brand and model do you have?
Elna 2600

How long have you had it?

About 6 months.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?


What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
So far I’ve made 3 cot quilts and I’m now in the middle of a slightly larger child’s quilt which has some applique.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
Every chance I get, but as I have a full time job it’s not nearly as much as I’d like to

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I really like my machine but no, I haven’t gone so far as to give it a name (or even a gender!).

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I’ve recently been using some of the decorative stiches, which is a revelation! My previous machine was a *really* old singer and could only do straight stiches.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

So far so good.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
My (then pregnant) daughter was with me when I went to buy it. I’d never ever mentioned quilting to her but she’s always been a bit of a mind reader. As we were looking at the machines she suddenly said ‘Ooh you could make a quilt for the baby!’ (which of course was the very plan I had!).

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I think so if they were looking for a fairly inexpensive and not too fancy machine. But my recommendation would come with a health warning because I really don’t have enough experience to judge my machine against any others in a similar price bracket.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Well I still feel like I have a lot to learn about what this one can and can’t do, nevermind what other machines might be capable of. So basically I don’t have enough experience to answer this.

Do you have a dream machine?
I’ve only recently discovered through this meme that some machines can be set to stop with the needle in the down position, and another feature I like the sound of is variable speed settings. Oh and I’d really like some nifty way to thread needles! But for now I think I might get a bit overwhelmed by a dream machine. Maybe I’ll have hankerings in about 12 months!

More Monkeys


Two more monkeys done. As you can see I’m straying from the buttons on shirt pattern and I think I’ve decided to give each monkey different attire. Why do I do this to myself?

I’ve included a Santa monkey because since last Christmas our little grandson has what can only be described as a minor obsession with him. Whenever he comes to visit we have to read Raymond Briggs’s ‘Father Christmas’. Several times! No great hardship as I love this book and I remember reading the very same copy to his father when he was the same age – 32 years ago!

Original monkey quilt designed by Patchwork Pottery

New Project


This monkey marks the beginning of my next quilt. I decided I wanted to give my three year old grandson Brandon a quilt at the same time as his new baby sister gets hers. Which means I have to get my skates on as the baby is due in about 5 weeks or so!

The original design of the monkey quilt is by the incredibly talented Laurraine Yuyama of Patchwork Pottery. Unfortunately I don’t yet own a copy of the book “Quilts, BABY!” in which this quilt appears (it isn’t published in the UK till July), so I’m bungling my way through it using guesswork and the pictures that Laurraine has posted. I know this isn’t a patch (no pun intended!) on the original but all the same I’ve never done any applique before so I’m very pleased with how it’s turned out. Only 11 more monkeys to go!!!

Back in the land of the living


I haven’t felt up to posting recently as I’ve been recuperating after an operation. But well on the mend now! One of the advantages of slacking on the sofa is that I got the opportunity to finish of my second quilt.

I made this using the pretty much the same techniques as the first one (diamond quilting and self-binding). It was intended for another grandchild I have on the way (expected in July) and from the start I was intending for it to be unisex. But I now have doubts and think that it’s ended up looking pretty boyish. I think it wasn’t too bad until I foolishly added a light blue pattern fabric as the backing (and the binding). What was I thinking?

Anyway as Sod’s law will have it I’ve since found out that the future arrival is a girl. So I’m thinking I’ll start over using more girly fabrics and put this one into storage until the next baby boy enters our lives. Anybody got any good tips for safely storing quilts?