Wednesday 30 November 2011


AHH! Its a wonderful feeling to have finished my latest rota of nights....and now I'm off for TEN!! I LOVE being on holiday xx

Welcome to Maureen, Terry and Diana.... I hope you enjoy reading the ramblings from this corner of Cheshire xx

NOW, the question is ....what am I going to do with my time off? I have so many projects to choose from...its just a matter of making the decision.....

I COULD  work on my TQS (The Quilt Show) 2010 block of the month that has been neglected for some time....

I COULD work on what is ,for all of you, my mystery quilt as I am only revealing it in small bits..

I COULD work on a wedding quilt that I have on the go....

I COULD work on a second match the one I made for the "how-to" Celtic project. 

I COULD work on putting together my Australian  swap blocks (this is group 1 was made up months ago!!)

There again ,the postman called today and brought me the latest Quilter magazine..

mmmmmm ...I wonder what I will choose?

Keep smiling

Diane xx

Tuesday 29 November 2011


WHAT weather! I woke up to rain, wind and darkness! I wondered if I had slept in and missed the day all together!! I know its November....but my goodness its rough!

I had word from Sally that the defying gravity wall hanging has arrived safe and sound in Australia. It is always a relief to know your post arrives safe...its such a long way, and you have to put your trust in Postman Pat and all his mates, lol!

Saying that the postman has done me proud recently. I received this bird....from Australia... He is so bright and cheerful, he brightens me up no end.

Also I have the latest Classic FM magazine to curl up with. The free CD this month is Christmas carols...beautiful singing I KNOW it is still November, but, I just had a quick listen!! Beautiful.

It is my last night tonight, then I am off for TEN!! OH YES! I have some excuses for not being ready for Christmas. I will be in work every, I NEED to get organised.

My thumb is much better now, going through the colours of the rainbow...but...not so sore!

Keep smiling

Diane xx

Monday 28 November 2011

I'm a good girl!!

OOOH! How lucky am I?

This beautiful basket was given to me today by my mum and dad. It is to say"thank you" for running them around last week, and for looking after dad while mum was in hospital.

They shouldn't have....

They didn't have to....

BUT they DID...

They are beautiful.(the flowers AND mum and dad!!)..

AND I am keeping them!!

Pippa, I am not sure which fabric you where asking about, The backing and border fabrics have been in my stash ...FOR EVER! The bias is a Clover ready made no. 700/TBP colour....Teal/Blue/Purple. Hope that helps x

Keep smiling (I am !!)

Diane xx

Sunday 27 November 2011

last part

Maggi...I have looked at the bias maker a couple of times, but there always seemed to be something else I wanted ...MORE!!!! I may have to put it on a Christmas wish list.

Judy, this lends itself to any project...a table runner would be stunning...

NOW we are on the final leg....Ready?....Here we go!

The sewing comes next, for me this is the best bit, I can settle down in the chair, put the radio (radio 4) on, or a film I know SO well I don't need to look at the pictures (!) and I am away to go.

When you start sew down the INSIDE edges first, this allows the bias to settle into place. I use a small needle as this helps me to make smaller stitches...mind you the ones in this picture look HUGE !!!

Now, thread, I find this is a very personal issue. I like to use medium to dark threads. I find they fade into the fabric much more than a light one. So, I don't worry about matching background or bias...just go with what I feel "fades in" most.

When the inside is completely sewn, I them sew the OUTSIDE edges.This way the bias can stretch into place, and this allows it to lie flat. For those who do not like hand work this can always be done with a zig-zag or blind hem stitch...on the machine...again it is personal preference,,,,its YOUR project after all!

I have made this block into a cushion, BUT ,the list of what to use it for is only limited by your imagination. I hope this has been FUN and now you are itching to...HAVE A GO. I just did a zig-zag to accentuate the pattern...YES I do use the machine occasionally!

Keep smiling

Diane xx

Saturday 26 November 2011

next part

Thank you so much for the feed back, it is nice to know you understand me!!

Maggi ,thanks for the best wishes, mum is dong well xx

Pippa, starting small is good... it means you are more likely to finish it!

Amanda ,I am soo jealous! Doing courses such as C and G is on my DEFINITELY to do list when I retire.

Judy ,I wish I could say I put the blogger symbol up...but it was my son! I will ask him "how" ... and let you know! x

I promised to talk about bias today, home made is good, and easy (ask if you want THAT topic covering!) and allows you to incorporate the same fabric as you have in the rest of the quilt.

I DO like bought bias! Especially Clover, they have all the colours of the rainbow, and they have a bias that has bonding material on the back.

When you start look for an area you have marked where the bias goes UNDER, this way you hide any joins with the bias that goes OVER.

Lay your bias strip over the pencil covering it up. Remember to follow your marks for where to thread the bias under and over (this is the appeal of Celtic as you weave the pattern to form a knot).

Even though I like the bias with the bonded backing I pin it all down before I do anything else, when you come to curves the bias will allow this, when you come to corners try and make as crisp a fold as will show later!

I am a show off and have a Clover bias iron!! But as long as you are careful any iron can be used to fuse it careful the iron is not too hot, also that you don't iron yourself instead of the bias...done that a time or 3!!!

When it is all pinned down THEN I go over it with the iron to TEMPORARILY hold it all in place so that I can begin the sewing.

(I LOVE this variegated bias)

That's it for today, I am off to take the boys for a walk, they are both sat looking at me!! AHH! The demands of pet ownership! lol

Keep smiling

Diane xx

Friday 25 November 2011

part 2

Ready for the next part?...Here goes...OH! And have the new book ,so, you have no excuses now!! Have a go girl.

I go over the pencil lines on the paper, so that it REALLY stands out..

THEN I tape it onto the window, if you have a light box that's great, I find the window works, of course you can only use this method in the day!!

Next I tape the fabric over the pattern, making sure to line up the creases so that the pattern is central to get the best use of the fabric . Remember I make it bigger than needed, so, it can always be centered when completed.

Using the pencil I mark the pattern on to the fabric.......mark IN BETWEEN  the lines, this way you can lay the bias strips over the marks and cover them up. Remember to mark where the bias goes under...and over, this again makes it easier as you go along. Keep the pattern when finished.

Check that you have all areas marked, and that you can see where you are going!

Tomorrow I will tell you about types of bias strips and how to attach them ready to complete your project.

Off to get ready for work.....gosh it has been windy and cold here today,the bit I have seen of it anyway!! NOT that I am complaining, this time last year we were knee deep in frost and       waiting for the snow!!                                                                                                                 
Keep smiling                                                                                                                               

Diane xx                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Thursday 24 November 2011

how-to part 1

I have named this part 1 because, with being back at work it may take me a while to get it all together!

First off you need to choose a pattern, I would aim for simple to start with..lot less frustration and tears! I have used a pattern out of this book, however there are many books, magazines, downloads etc to choose from...have FUN finding your favorite from what is on offer out there.

Draw out your design on paper...any will do as long as you can SEE what you have drawn!! I have used the copy paper the boys use for drawing on. I have only traced part of the design...because..... I am a smarty pants and am confident enough to move it around..but when you are starting draw the whole thing (x) I use an ordinary pencil..nothing fancy...YES! One of the boys!! Having grandchildren is WONDERFUL for resources!

When you have chosen you choose your fabric! When you first start it is best to go with a plain fabric that you can see through me life will be simpler! The books (etc) will tell you what size to cut it...I usually go a bit bigger then you have space to trim to the size you want when finished.

I like to find the centre of my fabric by folding...then gentle iron marks it for me

Notice the fancy ironing surface? YES its a tea towel on the worktop! All mod cons here!

Off to finish the tea, Adam and James are here tonight and we are having fish pie...OK that means throw everything in a pie dish and leave it ...but HEY! That's my style ...and what they expect!! lol

More tomorrow                                                                                                                       

Keep smiling                                                                                                                          

Diane xx                                                                                                                                

Wednesday 23 November 2011

quilt group

It was quilt group in Sandbach last night...I decided to take all the examples with lots to look at.

We each had a pack with a piece of background fabric and ready cut out bias strips,

there were 6 different patterns for each of us too choose from ...depending on skill AND of course the time you feel you have to give to the project.

When the block is complete we are to return it, we will be given a raffle ticket in return

THEN a grand draw will be made and the winners will be expected to make "something" with their blocks. The no of blocks returned will decide on how many are in each "prize"

As you can see I spent today making mine...the reasons being

1. I am back at work tonight
2. I have to many other things on the go to leave it
3. Now its done I can leave it until they ask for them back...and wont forget to do it!!!

Amanda as promised I am going to do a picture tutorial on this keep watching and you will soon be able to have a go yourself.

Keep smiling

Diane xx

Tuesday 22 November 2011


Mum had her procedure stent area drilled! I did not ask too many questions about that! Best not to know I feel...I just know it was a success!

They kept her in over night, she had 2 angina attacks during the procedure...but none since ..success. 

She was a bit rough last night when we visited, typical woman, trying to RUN before even being able to CRAWL! However, this morning she is MUCH better...and wants to come home! I have to ring at dinner time for the final OK ,then, I will go and collect her.....I recon we will ALL have to watch out then!

Judy...ribbon is not good for Celtic work as it does not "bend" enough, Amanda ...sorry you cannot come to quilt group ,I will take you in spirit...not much fun for you I know.

I feel another "how-to" coming on!....when I have a bit of time to myself I will put together another little photo teaching aid.

Just to make us smile on a dull day....

Keep smiling

Diane xx

Monday 21 November 2011

NO sewing

To-day there will be NO sewing done here in my corner of Cheshire......I have not one,but TWO excuses for my behaviour!

FIRST...I am taking my mum into hospital to have cardiac stenting done. IF all goes well she will be allowed to come home this evening...however...if they feel she needs "a little bit longer" to recover ,it will be tomorrow morning (Tuesday). While she is in the hospital. I am "in charge" of my dad....we have a list of jobs to do.......PROPERLY... and we are going out for dinner !

SECOND reason for not sewing is....I very confidently watched my self shut my thumb in a door!!..I do not know why, I do  know it HURT, and when I try to use a needle hurts EVEN MORE!

I don't know that the picture shows it very well...this is an hour later! I just know its going to get worse! OH well...worse things happen x

Keep smiling

Diane  xx

Sunday 20 November 2011


I thought these little beads would look good on my quilt

and they do to!!

It says on the packet that the average content is 120...I am half way and have used ONE packet! SO...back to it!

Keep smiling

Diane xx

Saturday 19 November 2011

getting organised

Next Tuesday is quilt group in Congleton, the topic is Celtic I haven't read the programme (!), I know what it is because I have been asked to help out!!

There is to be a demonstration and then a block making session. The organisers want someone on each table who ....and I quote..."knows what they are doing" seem I fall into that I am to be a helper.

Also we have been asked to take samples for others to look at.

SO. do I take a small piece...such as a sample

or a cushion...

or a small wall hanging?

OR should I go with a wall hanging/table runner?

Then again there is a larger wall hanging

with embellishments of course....

then there is my Christmas lap quilt

which I LOVE

maybe I will just take them all!! More the merrier xx

Keep smiling
Diane xx