Thursday, July 31, 2008

Land lines down

If you've been trying to contact me by phone you won't have had much luck. The phone line appears to have been out a couple of days, maybe longer. If you need to get in touch email seems to be OK so far (different cable coming in). Just wanted to let folk know I am not ignoring them, nor have I completely flipped out (yet).

Hopefully we will be able to get the phones back up soon.

I might be winning

Or I might be fighting the quilt to a draw. It's a close call. Yesterday my machine wouldn't play. Not at all, I guess I managed an area about the size of both hands in 6 hours. Not what I need with a deadline looming. This morning wasn't a lot more promising. However a good clean, re time, new needle and different thread colour got me going again. Dunno how I will fare when I go back to the lilac, ask me tomorrow. Still I have now made reasonable progress. I can believe this quilt may be finished in time, by the skin of my teeth. It's going to cost though, I expect to spend the weekend flat on my back of in warm baths. The very dense quilting is hard physical work. I also finished the second book today, and started the third. I am keeping to Heinlein as long as I can. So far I have listened to "The cat who walks through walls" and "The door into summer" and now I am on "The moon is a harsh mistress". If I need a fourth book, and I suspect I will, I either have to re listen to something or move to a joint project "Variable Star". It's going to be a tough call, but without the books I will go nuts doing this quilt, so I will be listening to something. For now though, it's bed time. I can't quilt anymore, my hands are shaking too much.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quilt eats first book

Well this quilt is taking a while to do. I'm still not quite half way, so it isn't looking great for being done. So far I have listened to one whole book while working on it, so it's shaping up to be the most time consuming quilt I've done. It's also very tiring. It has a lot of tiny fiddly quilting. I intend to keep at it and see where I get to. If it's done it will go to the show, if not I can use it in talks and elsewhere. Who knows? Right now I need to lie in a warm bath and try and get my shoulder working again.

Isn't POD supposed to be simple?

I thought that the whole point of print on demand was to make things easier. OK maybe it does, if you are printing a novel with black and white pages. However if you want full colour, 8.5" x 11", perfect bound it's harder. Is that a really odd request? Well if you're a quilter grab a quilting book, if it's soft cover the odds are that is exactly what I am trying to get printed. So not that odd really. I can find a lot of companies who can't do that size, and a few that can. Of those that can most won't tell me how much it will cost. Some of those that will have interesting pricing. Would you pay over 90 pounds for a quilting book? Nope neither would I and at that price I would still be making a small loss on every copy!

So now I am back to calling printers and asking for quotes on a traditional print run. It wasn't what I had in mind, but beggars and choosers. At least I have just spoken to a very friendly and helpful person from one of the printers. Hopefully they can give a quote I can live with and I will have a winner. We would like to know who we are printing with before the layout goes too much further, and I really do want this book out this year.

At least it is a bit cooler today. I should be able to get some quilting done before I cook. I can see the center of the quilt on the frame now, although I can't claim to be half way there yet. I am definitely seeing a machine binding in this quilt's future.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy busy

Well the weekend was hectic if fun. We went down to Canterbury on Saturday as planned and caught up with more people than I had expected. Better still they were people I wanted to see. I managed to do some of the shopping I wanted although good quality belts seem to be in short supply. Canterbury has changed surprisingly little in many ways over the last 20 years, although the new housing estate in the middle of the short cut into town from the university is a bit of a shock. The shop keepers are not only the same but they remember us! Did we spend too much when we lived there?

Sunday we went visiting and a very good dinner was had. As you might conclude this did reduce the time available to quilt of tidy the house. However I did manage to finish the first round of painting things black. Unfortunately Ikea are out of stock of the corner shelves I need and don't expect them in for two weeks, so I won't be able to rehouse my stash just yet. I have started moving the bolts though. Especially as one of the wholesalers seems to be watching me. They sent me a box of fabric today, just in time to be first on the new shelves. It turns out I have rather more bolts than I thought, and this walk in storage might not be as huge as I was thinking. Still I will definitely be able to get a better idea of what I have and what I need. Somehow I have run out of marble blues, and I have two quilts waiting that need them. Guess another order is looming.

Other than that it has been hot today. I was hoping it was about to cool down. There has been thunder rolling around for a while now, but the temperature isn't doing much yet. I find quilting (or indeed doing anything) very hard when it is so hot. I had a plan to do some late night quilting, but if the temperature doesn't drop I will pass on that. So here I sit in a distinctly warm office blogging, while the show quilts sit and wait. Ho hum.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paint it black

It seems a friend of our started a tradition. I am sure he didn't mean to, and probably doesn't know he has yet. Still when he was in the position I now am he spent some hours in the garden painting shelving black. Today I have done exactly that. It is about half the shelving for my new walk in fabric store. The room is now largely empty. If anyone is looking for an office desk or a fabric covered wardrobe do get in touch. They are free to a new home. Once they are gone I can shelve the whole room. I might have to have a rethink about the lighting, but dim will at least be good for the fabric, if hopeless for matching colours.

While the shelves dry we are going to see the new Batman film. Maybe when I get home I will be able to start getting the room straight. It will be so good to have all my fabric in one place. I will also have a sensible place to put my spare sewing machines, which should make them easier to get at and my sewing room clearer. Win, win I would say.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Promised Photos

I finally remembered to take my camera down with me and take some pictures. I know they don't show much, but, well, you will just have to wait to see it all. I am so thrilled with how it is going. I don't think the pictures really show how well it is going, but isn't that always the way. You will just have to take my word for it that it is much better than the last attempt. If nothing else that was so bad I never shared any pictures of it. Not even with close friends, but this one I am quite happy to show off.

I don't know how many of you will remember. I had a rather old computer. It didn't really like me doing anything with pictures including uploading them here. It had a fit if I suggested looking at a video. Well a while ago I got my new machine, and you would not believe the difference. I can now just take some pictures and upload them. It's just so easy now. I suspect it is going to take me a while to get used to how easy it is now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I just can't believe how many people are coming out of the woodwork at the moment. It's great coming to the computer and finding who else has appeared. It is encouraging me to take breaks from the quilting too, which is really important. It's going well now and combined with a book on just one disk I am likely to forget to take regular breaks. I guess I am about 18" down now. It's slowed up a bit as the quilting has got denser, but I still love how it is going and I think I may just get it finished in time.

I really will post photos, I just have to remember to take the camera downstairs with me (OK and the memory card too).

Wow, good fabric works!

I think I know what went wrong with the other wholecloth. To use shadow trapunto I needed the top fabric to be thin. I found one that allowed the colour through pretty well, but I didn't exactly like it. I gave up and I am now just working on a plain wholecloth. It's only just started but boy I love it already. The difference, well I am now using cotton sateen over wool wadding. I think that is the key, the much higher quality fabric. I am sure the lovely wadding is helping too, but the stitches just look so good on the sateen.

So I am now quite optimistic about this quilt. I still can't be sure I will get it done in time, but I feel I can give it a very good shot. Yes I will put up a photo later, just a little teaser.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

All marked up

It's finally marked. I can't believe I used up three washout pens on this one. There isn't really that much marking. Still it looks good so far, and I am ready to load it on the frame. With the way life is going I suspect my machine is going to want to discuss what threads I use, so I've not got too set on anything. I have an idea of how I would like it to work out, but I can negotiate. Wish me luck.

The right tool

Wow that made a huge difference. Not only was it a lot easier to put the pattern together, tracing it has been much easier too. I guess I have between a third and a half of a 95" square marked. Pretty good going for me in a day. Normally I find I am far too tired and achy to get this far. I should easily get it finished and loaded tomorrow.

I mentioned a while ago about how important friends are, well they've been at it again. Friends are the people who tell you what you can do. Just when all you can see is what you can't. It's been great talking to people I haven't heard from in years too. Keep up the good work, and know you efforts do make a difference.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Unsurprising facts

I am well aware that the right tools can make a job a lot easier. I had guessed that there would be a lot of right jobs for an A0 drawing board. I hadn't realised how much easier it was going to make assembling patterns. OK it will never be easy t put together sheets of A4 to be 95" square, but it is easier on the board. It's nice to be able to see so much in one go, and great that I can hang it off the sides as it grows. In fact it's gone so well I nearly have it done. Of course I will then need to trace it off, which will also take a while, and make good use of the board. I guess I should take a break and get the fabric sorted out.

Hello to some older friends. It's great to know you are still out there doing well and having fun. It's great catching up with you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bug jam day 2 - new best time

It was almost green, 0.0055 seconds red. See very nearly green, but it was a new best ET, 13.83. So that's us done for the weekend. Now we just have to see if we can get out of the track.

Bug jam day 2

The sky is clear, bu the track is empty. The bugs have jammed the pits so badly we can't run. The marshals can get us to the start but are still working on a way to get us back to the pit. They are thinking about us coming back down the emergency road then up the pairing lane to the pits. It would work, but it will be interesting.

The number of people here makes me think we won't be getting out of here any time soon. In fact I suspect this will be a very late one. Still I am making good progress on hand sewing the binding on 'Herd Mentality'.

Bug jam day 2 - rain

Well the weather seems to have turned. The clouds are thick black and plentiful. We will just have to wait and see if it clears. Meanwhile I can queue. Th loos have taken a hammering and really aren't places you want to go. Even the Main event is nothing like this.

Bug jam day 2 - personal best

So after much debate, Tet settled on a 13.91 dial in. We weren't convinced. I was certain the next run would be quicker, it was and by more than I thought. We ran a 13.84, a new personal best. However we are still looking for the magic 100 miles per hour termial speed, this time we hit 99.05. So close and yet so far.

Bug jam day 2 - green light

Yay, finally a clean and tidy run. We dialed in 13.86 and ran 13.92. Not stellar but perfectly fine. I was just thrilled to see a green light. We do seem to be getting some good burnouts this weekend. There are some videos which may appear on the web oce we get home. I don't fancy uploading that from my phone.

Bug jam day 2 - morning after

So we are getting lot's of warnings about where not to drive. The no glass rule hasn't been observed and people are worried about their tyres. Maybe it isn't so bad not running slicks.

Trogdor is off driving arround. It's cold here and one drive hasn't warmed him up much. Even sitting idling isn't making much difference. We've had him up on stands this morning, much to the amusement of the rest of our class. They have noticed this happens most meetings. Given we have rented th tarmac here we might as well use it. At home we have mud, not so good for jacking cars up.

All being well we should be running about 10, with two more rounds of qualifying. Given all the VWs have to go first, we may be delayed by oil down. I'll let you know. The photo is taken from our pit. It's not the normal view, there really shouldn't be a stage in the middle of the pits.

In between the racing yesterday I managed to hand finish the binding on Radience. I would have taken a picture last night at the hotel, but there was a very asleep driver all over the bed. You will just have to take my word for it when I say it is looking good.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bug jam 4 - red light 2

Did I mention one was enough? Well this was a greener shade of red, but still quite definately red. We didn't break out though. We dialed in 13.85 (that had to be safe) then ran a 14.00. It could be worse, but I would like to see a green light.

Bug jam 3 - red light 1

And before we go any further can I suggest 1 is plenty. It was a good run though 13.89 and we thought the track was going to be slow. So another very conservative dial in proved too slow. The Fords have joined forces as ford jam.

Bug jam 2

So 3 o'clock start became 4 o'clock. 4 o'clock became oil down. Oil down turns into rain. Maybe we will run today, maybe not.

Bug jam

Well I would say it does what it says on the tin, but I suspect that won't help some readers. So the bugs in question are Volkwagen Beetles. Dozens of them jammed into a too small pit. The pit is too small because there is a huge stage with audience space, it's making it tricky for the racers. The other exciting feature is the humans who haven't met cars before. They have no concept of danger and apparently have been breaking down fences and wandering in restricted areas. We have been told to be very careful at the top end and look out for strays. All in all it's pretty strange and the music is way too loud.

Our first run should be about 3 o'clock, I'll get back to you then.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I've been discovering things. Did you know if you hang around with sick people there is a good chance you will get ill too? You did, oh. I guess I did too, but, well, I didn't think about it at the weekend. So I spent yesterday not doing much except feeling ill. Fortunately I do feel better today, but the cough is very annoying. I still haven't felt like doing much so I decided the time had come to sort clean socks into pairs. Conclusion, I am too lazy to own plain black socks. So off the the recycling a lot of them will go. I like socks with some design, they are so much easier to pair up. Still I do now have a whole drawer full of nicely paired socks. Perhaps not much of an achievement for most people, but for me something of a novelty. I've been living out of bags for a long time, so clothes in drawers it really nice.

I've also discovered something I can do when I am too tired to do anything but can't sleep. Stick weaving. It's thought to have been brought to Europe by the Crusaders, according to Finniwig Studios the company who made the kit I have. It's very easy and quite soothing to do (OK if you're well and active it possibly would be boring) and you get pretty quick results. I am thinking of getting some more sticks and trying to weave bigger pieces. I think starting with more than 6 sticks will be interesting but once it gets going it should be fine. The fabric you make is quite thick but feels fairly fragile, the weft will move around quite easily. It looks like it might be a very interesting base for stitching. I an plotting ideas for some quite structural belts. I think with more sticks (and a less lurgied brain) I might even be able to weave patterns in as I go. It's certainly a technique with a lot of potential. The sample in the photographs is about 3" wide and 23" long, just to give you an idea of scale.

We have also discovered that blinds, bath screens and taps are all ridiculously overpriced, and that when you are bored and ill the Internet can suck hours of time without effort.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Patterns patterns everywhere.

I'll try this as one answer for all, as I am getting a lot of queries on this. I haven't got any of the Turning Twenty range of patterns right now, but they should be with me in a few days. They sell faster than I can buy them, which is great but does mena you will somtimes have to wait for them. I am selling them at 8 pounds per pattern whichever one you choose plus 50p posst and packing.

I do have Dawn and Dusk patterns (the photos show the back and front of the quilt) on hand, they are 5 pounds each. If you are looking for ombre fabrics try calling Patchwork Corner, they still have some of the same range I used for the pattern and at this morning there was at least one kit. If that doesn't turn up the colour you want then Equilter may be able to help you. Put ombre into the search bow, you will a get a great range to choose from.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's here.

So having removed over a third of the desks from our computer room we have just enough space for an A0 drawing board. It's a monster, a lovely monster, but still. It had been living with a friend but needed a change of scene so has come here. I have plans to get paper on it sooner rather than later and get designing. Perhaps the best bit is it can be put low enough to use an ordinary office chair when drawing. Most boards I have seen in the past needed a stool, which I find a lot less comfortable. I will have to sort out the sewing room a bit though before I can do much as my paper is well buried at the moment.

Why no quilting?

I suspect you've all noticed the lack of sewing going on here by now so I figure I should address it and assure you the cogs are still turning even if the machines are silent. As I mentioned there has been some significant upheaval here. The upshot of which is a major reorganization of the house. I started with the bedroom and despite my best intentions have been working around the other upstairs rooms before dealing with my sewing rooms downstairs. It does make sense in some ways, but it has slowed up the sewing. I suspect I will have to get some sewing done before the house is sorted but it will be interesting. My main cutting and sewing area is currently being used as a dumping ground.

On the other hand while I was away this weekend I did make some progress on the block of the month quilt I am doing. I am desperate to quilt this so I have to get it made. I think I have done about 25% of it now. This is one of the projects I need to get back to sooner rather than later.

Three of my quilts for the NEC this year just need hand sewing doing. The binding sleeves and labels. For me this is pretty amazing really. The fourth however is at pattern stage. This is worrying but not a disaster yet. It is a wholecloth so only needs quilting. I really must get the pattern onto the fabric though and ideally get my frame up and ready to go.

I have a group of quilts going off to Scotland. I need to get them packed and sent today. It will actually be quite good to get them out of the way, and the rest that are sitting around the house will be off to the storage unit again today as well. Hopefully this will clear enough space for me to get sewing.

I've also been designing some new quilts. As my first book reaches completion I have the next two designed. I want to have samples of both made up by the start on the next term at Patchwork Corner, as I have classes who will be making them. If writing one book was daunting, two together somehow doesn't seem too bad. I must be crazy. To be honest, looking at my sewing room right now, sewing the samples is the scary bit. Still I am sure it will come together. I've also designed three new show quilts, all of which are desperate for me to make them. Hopefully after I get the drawing board set up in the new office I will be able to get them drawn up and ready to go as soon as the class samples and block of the month are finished. No pressure right? Add to that the portrait that is ready to sew and I think I have a few months full of sewing to look forward to. Right now though I had better get on with packing quilts and tidying up.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home again

Well I survived the weekend and I am back home. Actually I met a lot of very friendly and interesting people, and I think they had a lot of fun. It was a long trek and as you might expect on a Sunday afternoon the M1 back to London wasn't playing ball. I ended up taking quite a large detour and coming home on the M40. Not a bad trick from Leicestershire

When I got home I was faced with the task of sorting the house again and made another push on the office. We are definitely making progress, but there is still a way to go. I am hoping Ikea will get some shelving in soon as I won't be able to really get things straight until they do. Still I guess every step forward is a good step.

I am hoping that tonight if I am woken up by nightmares I will at least not have to the the 'Where the heck am I" phase. Days that start that way are not good.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

House update

For those who have asked, yes I am still ripping the house apart and cleaning sorting and moving. I had slowed down but I realised why. I wasn't working on the room that wanted my attention. I was trying to be logical, but apparently that is the wrong thing to so. So I am now back to working on the office. I would have been making better progress it I had been able to buy the new shelving but that was not to be. Still by the time I get it I will be more than ready. The room used to have desks around pretty much all of the walls, but I am making room for a large drawing board. I like the idea that I will be able to do my drawing and paperwork away from my sewing space. If nothing else it will make switching between tasks a lot easier. It does mean I need to invest in a new chair, which will be unpleasantly expensive. Still however much I have to spend it will be cheaper than not being able to work when my shoulder plays up. I guess (hindsight being great) I should have picked up the chair today while I was at Ikea, but I didn't expect to have room in the car. By the time I found out they had no shelving I couldn't face trying to find anything else.

On the cutting table issue, I think I have a winner. Ikea (no I hate the store but they do a good range of furniture) sell extending trestles, which are tall enough and stable. They also sell large glass table tops. The combination will mean I can use it as a really giant light box if I need one, and as a good surface for paint and dye. All in all it seems like a reasonable option. It does fail on easy to move, but I think I can compromise on that.

Are these cats spoilt?

I think they might be you know. Enjoying a retired show quilt with almost no cares in the world. Almost because I just dared to move a curtain. Aren't I cruel.

Ikea has a sale on at the moment (in the UK at least) and one of the sale items is the Dimpa bag. These are huge storage bag that zip closed. I find I can easily store 6 bed quilts on one. They are currently 1.99 per bag. However don't go looking for shelving at the Wembly Ikea they are out of stock of pretty much everything.

Jack touched me!

I am sure most of you won't get this at all, but I have to share. Jack is a very timid cat who I have known for several years. Sometimes when cat sitting he will run over my foot in his haste to hide, but normally I only see him because I deliberately look for him. Jez has been saying he was getting better and coming out to be petted most nights. I guess I believed it intellectually but it hadn't sunk in. Tonight he came out while we were chatting. I had been feeling guilty about being there so long, knowing I was depriving the cats of their time, and I guess he had finally got bored of waiting. He came out carefully and climbed up on Jez to be fussed. Very impressive for such a timid cat. He purred and sat there for some time. When he had got his fix he got up to move and headed to me. Well I was stunned, and petrified I would do something to scare him. So I mostly sat still and let him have a hand, which he duly washed and walked off. Oh my. He really is improving, and is a far bigger cat than I had ever realised. What a star, keep up the good work Jez.

Last nights talk seemed to go down well. They are a friendly bunch and helped a lot with carrying all my quilts in and out of the venue. I think I would have to say they were a select group, and indeed they seemed disappointed in the turn out. They more than made up for a lack of numbers in enthusiasm and overall I would have to say it was a good evening.

Now the quilt have done that outing I can pack a batch of them up to go to Scotland. I didn't want to send more away before the talk, as I was worried about having enough work, but now I have a gallery space to help fill. The gallery is called 'Touched by Scotland' and I will be giving a workshop there in September. So if you are in the area I hope if I don't get to meet you, you might have a chance to see my work.

This weekend I am off to teach at a retreat at Quorn Hall. This is something entirely new for me and I am sure I will learn a lot from it. I guess spending last weekend with the quiltathon was probably good training, for a weekend in one building with a lot of keen sewers. Hopefully I will have time to blog from there.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What a lot of quilts!

I've been a bit worried about my talk tonight (Enfield Quilters). I've sold quite a few recently, and two of my best are off at the world quilt show. I've got a few more that I don't really want to talk about any more and I was concerned that I would struggle to find enough to talk about. I have held off sending some to Scotland just to give me a better chance.

Well I've got lots. I won't say I can't tell I have some missing. I've had a bit of a struggle to get the balance back where I want it, but overall I'm not too unhappy. I will find the one the beginning of August a little lean, but I hope to have made a couple more by then, so they may actually get to see some new work, which always goes down well.

Now I just need to fold some leaflets and load the car. See you all later.

What do you cut on?

A while ago I made myself a cutting table. It is a board on some of those plastic drawers. It's not bad, it is a huge improvement on cutting on my sewing table, but I want better. I am in the process of completely rethinking my sewing room and I figure this is the time to try and get my cutting table right. I don't really feel I can justify 1800 or even 800 for one of the official tables I've seen. They are nice, but for that much money I am sure I can make something better (or at least as good). So what do you use? There must be some people out there with dedicated cutting tables, and I would love to hear from you. Heck, what do your friend have that you would like to copy or could never live with? All information will be appreciated, and I am quite sure the results will be posted here eventually.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Quiltathon Photographs

I've had time to upload the photos I took at the Quiltathon. As you can see we had a great time. There were a lot of smiling faces. The first few show the morning shift. How can people be this chirpy that early in the day? I don't know but I am very grateful they can, it added a great buzz to the morning session. As you might expect there was a lot of cutting out to be done first thing. Most early birds prefer to piece tops rather than do quilt as you go. Interesting huh. We did have one late shift worker who felt the same but on the whole it worked out earlier people were more into tops.

It was really good to see so many faces from my workshops at the Quiltathon. As ever names evaded me. Although I did manage Dot's name, and was able to introduce her to Tet. The two of them got the small quilting frame going and much to Tet's relief Dot took over running it most of the day. I think she quilted about eight tops in her first ever stand up quilting session. I hope she isn't paying for it too badly now.

During the day we were very lucky with the weather. Although Dot and I out in the marquee perhaps didn't always appreciate it. It got very hot at the quilting frames. It did mean that we could expand into the garden when we had too many for the workshop. By early afternoon we had teams cutting, sewing, pressing and making binding. It's surprising just how much binding you get through. Much of our fabric was sales men's samples. This lets you cut at least 10" square, some 6" squares and the rest often is around 2 1/2" ideal for binding. All of the quilts we have finished have very wild bindings.

As the evening wore on more younger quilters turned up. I guess teenagers are all busy on Saturday afternoons. Still having an influx of young fresh people (and indeed fresh not so young people) was great. By then I think some of us were flagging a bit. I was really impressed with how keen everyone was to step up to whatever challenge we gave them. Jobs were often allocated by what needed doing when they asked, not by skill level or experience. Without exception, people met the challenge and did the jobs that needed to be done. No cutting isn't as easy as it looks, and yes even a quilt as you go single can be a handful under a small machine.

As you might expect after a late fish and chip supper (thanks to chip lady's husband) people started to drift home. Some of the younger helpers had to be dragged out, which is great, I hope they are as keen to come back and sew again. The tone of the conversation changed and the wine appeared. Here you see the graveyard shift. These sterling ladies kept up the work until relief came in the morning. I crashed out at about 6 and woke up feeling very ill about an hour and a half later. Maybe sleep doesn't agree with me. When I came back the work was still going on and our first Sunday morning worker had appeared. I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures Sunday. First thing I felt too ill, then we were just trying to get as much done as we could before running out of time. As I said there will be a photoshoot later in the year with as many of the finished quilts as we can manage.

If you were there, or know someone who was could you let either me or Jenny know. I would like to compile a list of everyone who gave support in any way. Time, money, fabric, or food. If you helped I want to get you onto the list.

We Survived

Better than that we had fun. Lots of it. Even the pouring rain couldn't dampen our spirits. It looks like the final tally is 46 quilts. I say looks because I know there are still people finishing things off. We still have tops that need quilting and then obviously binding, but I am pretty pleased with that.

My goal (when I finally got around to thinking about it) was 1.5 quilts per hour. So in 30 hours I was after 45 quilts. Bingo, right on target. I couldn't tell you why that seemed a good number. One per hour just didn't seem enough, but well two per hour was a bit much. Bear in mind the smallest quilts were bigger than 36" square and the largest are good size singles. I think at least 10 of our quilts a re big singles.

We spent a lot of time considering where our quilts might end up. We were particularly keen to produce some for teenage boys, and believe me that is hard. Still every quilt has a label saying where and when it was made with the Patchwork Corner URL. maybe one day we will hear from one of 'our boys'. While they may never know it, we will always think of the owners of our quilts as part of our family. maybe one day Project Linus will be able to tell the people that receive quilts that they are getting this whole extended family too.

I'll try and upload some more pictures later. The ones of the finished quilts will have to wait for some good weather as we will have to take it outside. We are thinking of leaving it till the middle of August to give people time to finish all the quilts and in some cases make a few more. Thank you for all your help this year, and watch out for next years project. If you know of a charity that might like our help let me know and we will see what we can do. We have fabric left over that has to be used to help people so it could be your charity that benefits.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sun is up

Well guess that makes it an all nighter then, and still quilting.

3am and counting

Ok, so we have dirty jokes, wine and a boobie obsession. I think we should be worried. As you can see we are still sewing away. We are down to the select few, but the quilts are still coming. It's amazing some people are still waiting up for updates.

Night shift

So here are the night shift. We have several ladies working on the quilt as you go projects, some binding, and some hand sewing labels on. I have no idea how many quilts we have done and right now I have no great desire to try and track them all down. I am sure there are more than 15 tops waiting, and I have one quilted on the frame. I can't do any more quilting as the machine is in the marquee and I don't want to upset the neighbours that much.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Progress report.

Well the machines have had enough. They have both gone on strike. Still we are making good progress. I've just tried to do a count up, but with so many people here it's hard to be sure. I think we have 7 completed quilts, 8 quilted waiting for binding, and 11 tops waiting for quilting. There are also several quilt as you go projects going, but who knows how many. It looks like we will run out of wadding pretty soon, so I guess we will just have to buy what's in the shop.

I can't begin to tell you how impressed I have been with everyone who has given time, money and fabric. Several fabric wholesalers have been very generous, as have individuals. We have one lady here who just popped in to wish us luck this morning and stayed till late afternoon. Impressive huh, well about an hour later she was back and she is still here! Another lady who had to go and baby sit took work with her, she will be back tomorrow.

first finished quilt

We have had dozens in progress for a while, but finally one is finished. Here is Jenny, who's shop may never be the same again, holding it. It's manic here, I can't believe that Dot has done 5 quilts so far on her first day at a stand up machine. How cool is that?

Now I must stop gossiping and get back to work. I've got more appearing all the time.

Patchwork Corner - sweat shop

The quiltathon is in full swing. I've been longarming since 10am and the pile of tops waiting is still growing. One lady just popped in to wish us luck and is still here working her socks off. I've lost track of how many tops she has made. The first 5 quilts are being bound and I really have to get back to work. Do come and join in if you are in the area.

Friday, July 04, 2008

More progress.

I am in the process of stripping out every room in the house and the refilling it. In somme case changing the use entirely. Ultimately I am planning a new walk in fabric store. It's long overdue and I really can't wait for it. Today I have cleared a large expanse of shelving, which I will eventually use for audio books and all the business paperwork. For now it is temporary storage for all (OK many) of my blots of fabric. It's amazing to be able to see them all in one go. I didn't bother to group them in any way as they should only be on this shelf for a month, but I am still very pleased with me personal fabric shop. Now if I can just make time for some sewing I can turn this little lot into quilts.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

From anything bad comes good

Well she may not have been good enough for the Royal Academy but she looks great on my wall. As you can see she only just fits, but just is good enough. In cleaning and rebuilding the bedroom I've ended up with a mirror opposite the bed. It now reflects my nude when you lie in the right place. It would have been really clever if I had planned it. I can pretend right?

Things are still tough here. I guess for the next month I am going to be somewhat distracted, but hopefully things will improve after that.

Don't forget this weekend is the Quiltathon for Project Linus at Patchwork Corner. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Still here.

Well I am getting by hour by hour. This morning I managed half an hours quilting. It's a small start, but an important one. Blogging or indeed any computing is going to be slow for a while. I am finding it very hard to be in my studio, which is where the computer is. I've managed to read some email and the messages of support have been much appreciated. I am hoping my coping skills will be up to their usual standard and in the next week I should be back in the studio and somewhat on the ball. Until then expect just in time service on the big stuff, and a bit late on everything else.

Don't forget the Quiltathon this weekend at Patchwork Corner. I am planning on being there for 30 hours trying to make as many Linus quilts as possible. It's a great xause and I am sure all the helpers will have a lot of fun. Even if you can only spare an hour it will be appreciated.