Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Before I go to join celebrations - thought I'd let you know that the Silk Threads from Imran on Ebay have still not arrived!!! 

Oh dear, just found another UFO - to join ones I posted yesterday - see below!


You can now subscribe to fabulous POPULAR PATCHWORK magazine by accessing the Form on the sidebar and have a peek at its website whilst you're at it. Katy is Web Editor and you will be assured of a warm greeting by all the girls on-line. or merely click on the sidebar to access this colourful and informative site.

I've been a subscriber since the inception of this magazine. Worth every penny.

See new QUILTS SLIDE SHOW on RH side bar.
Lots of nice things to see -  no Art Quilts yet - but they'll soon be on their way!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It only remains for me to wish you all A Very Happy Christmas!

My Christmas cushions!

Buying Threads on Ebay

Have at last received emails from Imran. Seems he is abroad hence mistake for which he apologises profusely and is sending me the missing silk threads ASAP.

So hopefully - in words ye old Bard himself spake: 

"All's well that ends well!"   (I hope).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cranberries? No! 'tis ye Olde Cherry Ripes from Bucks.

O me of little words . . .

'Banter' is not apt description of contributions to the Blog of late.

Circumstances, i.e. hospital visits - attending to the sick - running about like a headless chicken - have demanded my full attention hence pictures of quilts Ancient and Modern in place of text.

I shall continue to bombard you with an eclectic selection of craft work until things have resolved and sick relatives are restored to rude health.  Health, at any rate.

Meanwhile, am beavering away - administering Beechams Powders to all and sundry - mopping brow(s), including mine own, serving calf's foot jelly and copious quantities of of beef tea to invalid(s) - attaching Border and Appliqué(s) to the Autumn version of Singing Garden Quilt. 
Not to mention washing/ironing and feeding the birds. 
Oh, mustn't forget scrubbing the step with donkey stone as good Lancashire housewives are expected to do.

Am having fun playing with Blog -  lots of wonderful colours but I'll try not to get too carried away.  Tra la la la . . . . 

I do hope participating quilters add their own original appliqué touches to SG. Make it personal and much more exciting.

Step-by-Step instructions for techniques can be accessed on Popular Patchwork website by clicking on side bar of this Blog.

For all sewing needs, including wonderful fabrics, click on 'Fabrix' website at side bar. The lovely, talented and always smiling Terri, is at your service. Go on - have a click!

You want a wonderful bag to end all bags?  Brenda and Peter Dean in Oz have a pattern for it. 
Click on 'e-quilting' website at side bar and you'll see what I mean. Go on - have a click!!

Star over BETHLEHEM #2

Star over BETHLEHEM #1

Sample for dyeing workshop - using single piece of home-dyed fabric.

Sample for a Spiders web workshop.

A christmas sampler I made years ago for Polly. Looks ancient now!

Sample for an 'Easy Piecey Pineapple' workshop.

Scrap Sampler - won Visitors Choice prize at Quilt Show.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Ending day on a higher note - and to show I'm just fine!

Am surrounded by invalids!

i) Sister in hospital for knee op.
ii) Great grand child, Baby Harry - has chicken pox.
iii) Eldest daughter has chest infection - seeing doc tomorrow.
iv) Daughter-in-law going in hospital next Tuesday for hip replacement.
v) My close friend having major bowel op on 29th.

I am fine!

Ah! Just remembered - having laser treatment on eyes on 13th January. Perhaps that doesn't count.
Just hope the doc has recovered from New Year celebrations and doesn't have shaky hands like Shakin' Stevens!


"Knees up Mother Brown!" Sister after knee op today. She won't mind you having a peek!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ending day wi' a bit of colour. Postcard of my garden sent by Priscilla from PP.

Not colourful - but sweet little Harry - my great-grandson this Christmas.

Time for Panto and Aladdin's Cave in Manchester!

This is Barry's fabric store in Manchester. 

A bit depressed after a visit to Christie Hospital (cancer hospital for non UK residents) so popped into this store en route from said hospital to buy some calico.  If they had some. 
If they had some???  Barry has EVERYTHING!  Wunderbar fabrics for every imaginable creation.

A veritable Aladdin's Cave!  They have branches all over the UK so do have a look guy and gals.
No website I'm afraid. You'll have to totter along to the store. They cater for everything creative and are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!  Yes, that's how cheap they are.  Only canaries are cheeper.
Perhaps the word inexpensive is more appropriate having had a good education. Me that is. Not sure about Barry.

Talking of whom - I hope you read this Barry, this 'cos I 'm going to ask for a discount when I next visit the store - which will probably be tomorrow as we have another CT scan appointment in the morning.

Talking of COLOUR . . .

Having FUN with colour!!

This colour thing is getting to me . . .

Have preferred making bed quilts to wallhangings and suchlike in the past, but now have urge to create colourful somethings or other using some of my stash of home-dyed fabrics. 

The few pictured below (have lots more) are a result of a series of "Come Dye with Me" workshops I organised with the lovely Terri at  FABRIX of Lancaster (see website on side panel).

Am anxious to get started but as I have 3 quilts to finish before Christmas and a couple of others before February - my creations will have to take a back seat.  
Then there's the  Christmas presents in the form of  fabric ??? to complete.  It's all GO GO GO. Ah!

More colour!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pastures new . . .

Time to put thinking cap on head . . . hmm . . . and await inspiration whilst stirring Christmas pud. 
Have a 3 year old pud in shed, which may possibly be past it's sell-by-date so starting anew. 
Bit like quilting for 2009.

No silver sixpences this year due to credit crunch!

Singing Garden has flown north . . .

Colour on brain . . .

Never fear! Merely experimenting ladies and gentleman.

Fabrix of Lancaster Sampler Group .

Painting with Fabric - latest offering . . .unfinished

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This was the inspiration and starting point for the Singing Garden Quilt. Took a year to complete.

Singing Garden Quilt goes on a Journey . ...

The Singing Garden Quilt is all packed up and ready to go on Tuesday - to the Editor . . .  to be seen by all and sundry in it's finished state.
Can't tell you too much at this stage - all will be revealed in Popular Patchwork magazine early in the New Year. 

Bet you can't wait!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Time for a change. .

Thought it time that Raymondo and myself had a rest.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Parting is such sweet sorrow . . . .

I'm afraid I shall be absent from my Blog for the foreseeable future due to sad family circumstances. It's a case of time and priorities.

It has been great fun and I thank those who have stopped by - some silently - others to say hello.

In the unlikely event that things may change -  I shall return with more offerings of 'tosh' and 'blather' - but all containing a ring of truth.

Au revoir - Auf wiedersehn - Cheerio - Bye y'all . . . . 

Babs. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Places I've lived . . . .

It's exciting to see where friends are located on my Feedgit display.

These are places in which I've lived:

USA: Minnesota - Oklahoma - Washington State.

France:  Dreux - Evreux - Paris.

UK: Lancashire  - Kent - Bucks - Oxford - Norfolk - Surrey - East Sussex.

Canada:  Toronto.

You could say I've been around!!

An apology to my piano . . . .

I blamed the piano for the wonky handle on my winter block.
However, I now owe the piano a humble apology 'cos it was the Bernina that done it.

As I tell my students, "Unpicking is an Art Form!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Winter Rain Block

O Babs - where art thou?

You've sought her here - you've sought her there . . . . that naughty Bab's been everywhere.

Apart from (failed) Top C recovery, have been stuck in jams one way or another - mainly traffic.

Allow me a day or two to recover m'dears when I shall return with a vengeance - and if you're lucky - and patient - I might even post a picture or two!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Beethoven was deaf when he wrote this . . . . !

Yep, this is what I'll be screeching tonight at my choral society practice. 
Beethoven's Ninth - otherwise laughingly known as "Ode to Joy." 
A misnomer if ever there was . . . 

Please note - and please count  - the number of bars where us poor sopranos have to sing top A -and there's more on the next page - where - yes, we end the phrase on top C!!

"How do you manage it?" I hear you cry.  

A considerable number of young sopranos have opted out of this musical delight. 
It is, therefore, left to a few  'old boilers' on the back row to compensate for the loss of youth (including their own - but that's another story)!

We have devised a secret weapon which enables mature sopranos to reach Top C  which I will reveal tonight - post practice.
It worked last week - but there is always the possibly it will not work twice and I would not wish to deceive you with a tale of false remedies!

Till this eve . . . . .

ODE TO bloomin' JOY . . . .

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stained Glass Appliqué in the home.....

Latest Stained Glass Appliqué to beautify entrance hall . . .

Lots of quilters make charming fabric postcards to send to each other. Perhaps, when I have more time I will have a go at this whimsical activity. I like whimsical!

Meanwhile most of my present time is spent making bed quilts for magazines, friends and family, plus Linus quilts, not to mention lots of quilting to re-decorate my home, which is showing signs of wear and shabbiness.

Made heavy curtains for entrance hall - appliquéd a design to match original stained glass window - see above.

Am planning to make bedroom curtains, using Liberty fabrics, covered with tasteful Celtic motifs to match the proposed Celtic Quilt for my bed.

Using 1930's designs for living room curtains. Appliquéd on very heavy cream linen.

So you see, not much time for 'owt else, apart from cooking, cleaning, nursing, gardening, singing, exercising and writing tosh on Blog. 

Talking of postcards, Priscilla, from ( sent me a lovely fabric postcard she had created from a photograph of my garden.  It's enchanting and I was delighted to receive it.  You can see the postcard in the Gallery on Pop Pw site.

Very First attempt at Stained Glass Appliqué...1987

Keeping Youthful . . . . a bit of a moan . . .

Just returned (crawled) from Pilates class.  Have any of you taken up this 'sport?'  Sport??
 It is the longest hour of the week.  
When manoevring into' The Bridge' (you know the one)  - am merely able to drum up enough energy to hum 'London Bridge is Falling Down' during contortions - before collapsing into an ungainly heap.

When lying flat on tum with instruction to 'zip and hollow' (joke) my mind is cast back to days of yore when worried about lack of breasts (trust I am allowed to use these words on Blog).
Whereas my 'barrage balloons' (memories of the war) tho' previously appealing to opposite sex   - now distinctly inhibit any movements on floor. Ah, happy memories!

Will post picture of patchwork block(s) as penance for moaning.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

PS. The Rosemary Jelly was absolutely delicious!


Put last stitch into the quilt 3 days ago. 
Quilt is now rolled up and packed ready to go to Editor of Popular Patchwork magazine and is to be revealed sometime next Spring. The pic below shows the unfinished top. 
Must say the quilting has transformed it.

It has been a fun quilt to make - tho' not without some hairy moments, with broken needles, thread and the accompanying ripe epithet.

Have nearly finished the Autumn Garden quilt top, but still have a few more blocks to make of the Winter version.

My GPQ Sampler Group are heading for the last round up. Final workshop on Saturday.
Some great quilts have emerged from this group.

My Elgar Quilt Group have almost finished their quilts. Next step is designing an Elgar Quilt for The Elgar room at the Rectory. Have some glorious fabrics, which I luckily bought from the States when the exchange rate was favourable. Over $2 to the £1 at the time.

Off to bed in a few minutes having spent a sleepless night watching the US elections. 
Weren't they thrilling!

Singing Garden quilt top is complete - packed - ready to go... but unquilted . . to meet magazine deadline!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

That completes the pictorial instructions. Now for the RECIPE.

You will need at least a couple of lbs of Bramleys.
As you can see in the second picture  -  I had a bucketful. I didn't weigh my apples.
Enough juice was  left over after making Chilli and Mint jelly. Enough to make a few extra jars of Rosemary Apple Jelly and at least half a dozen jars of plain Apple jelly.

You can find fruit jelly recipes in almost any cookbook - recipes are mostly the same - but here's the one I used (filched from my brother David's recipe collection -  a brilliant engineer in real life.)  Thanks David. 

Definitive RECIPE for Simply Wonderful Apple Jelly.
Bramleys  3 - 4lbs
Approximately 3 lbs of jam-making sugar or granulated sugar
Enough cold water to cover the chopped fruit in pan (see pic).

For Chilli Apple Jelly - add  2tsps dried chilli flakes
For Mint Jelly - add 2 dessertsp finely chopped fresh mint + food colouring, if desired.

i)   Roughly chop apples including skin/pips/cores.
ii)  Put in large pan.
iii) Put enough cold water in pan to cover chopped apples.
iv)  Bring to the  boil. 
v)  Reduce heat. Simmer for approx 40 minutes.
            Fruit should look pulpy.
vi)  Pour the whole mixture into jelly bag (sterilised).
vii) Leave to drain into large bowl - preferably o/night. Cover contraption with large cloth.
viii) Measure juice and pour into clean pan.
ix)  Add 1lb sugar for each pint (or 500ml) of juice.
          If making Chilli Apple Jelly then add  1 tsp dried chilli flakes for each pint of juice.
x)  Stir the mixture and have heat on low until sugar is dissolved.
xi) Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and skim scum from surface.
xii) Return to the boil.  Boil vigorously for 15 to 20 minutes until setting point is reached.

Test for set:
Pour a few drops of jelly onto cold saucer that has been in freezer for half an hour.
If jelly wrinkles when slightly pushed - setting point is reached.

xiii) Remove pan from heat. Let stand for a couple of minutes.
xiv)  Ladle or pour liquid (HOT) jelly into sterilised jars using wide-mouth funnel.
       I sterilise jars by putting them through the dishwasher - then into 200ºC  oven for 10 min.
xv) Seal each jar with a wax disc (see pic) and a slightly wet large cellophane disc.
xvi) Fasten with  elastic bands before leaving to cool.
xvii) Finish off by covering the top of each jar with some pretty fabric.
 Enjoy!  It's a lovely delicate jelly and the Chilli Apple Jelly has a real kick!

Am off-line for a few days. Have a nice weekend.

Clear as a bell - my stash - waiting for lids and fancy tops.