Friday, May 22, 2009

Little hens

I have seen this design many times on the net, even a video on Quilters, and I wanted to try it.
Our quilting group theme was log cabin, and I knew what to do with my little blocks.

There are 2 log cabin blocks, the center of the block is 1"square finished and the logs are 1/2" wide around it. The finished block measures 4" plus the seam allowance.

Then you need to prepare:

- the beak of the hen (I used a 2"square of fabric folded on the diagonals),

- the comb (draw the shape on paper, put it over the fabric doubled and sew around. Cut around with 1/8" seam allowance and dent the round parts, turn around),
-and the tail (same technique as for the comb).

Place the beak and the comb on the right side of a block, seam allowances aligned, on the light part of the log cabin for me. I did a quick seam to maintain them in place, hidden in the seam allowance.
Put the other log cabin block right sides together against the first one, pin and sew around 3 sides that will be the back, the front and the belly of the hen. Leave a gap on the belly to turn your hen out.

Then pin the tail inside the hen, centered on the seam, you are giving your hen its shape. You open the hen bit that is not sewn, and move the seams you have just made so that they are opposite each other. Sew across as on the photo.

Now you just need to turn you hen the right way out, and sew some eyes if you want to make it safe to be used by children, or sew some buttons if you want a bigger effect.

This hen can be used as a toy or as a pincushion.

It was so easy and nice, I made another one straight away.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Malvern 2009

On Saturday I was very happy to be able to go to the Quilts UK Malvern patchwork and quilting show. I have been doing this for a few years now and it is my treat of the month, I'm like a child in a sweet shop. Each time I feel I could stay longer and see more things.

The weather wasn't the best, and I got drenched walking back to my car at 5 pm.

There was a meeting organised for the members of the internet group BQL at 1pm near Susan Briscoe's stand in the marquee. There I met Mary A, Marian K, Anne, Margery and of course Susan Briscoe, but she had to stay in. I felt very proud to be told that my blog was being followed, by a real person. We all went outside to eat our lunch between 2 showers, horrible weather at the moment.

I looked at lots of shops, bought a little, and had a chat with all the french people I could meet. There were 2 women on separate stalls: Isabelle from Creative Quilting, who has a shop in Surrey, and Julie from Loving Fabrics who was recognisable from her accent, such a warm woman selling Toile de Jouy, between other things.

I also had a long chat with the owners of a new company, no affiliation, who started 8 months ago to import australian patchwork and sewing magazines to the UK. Alison created Manor House Magazines and sells to shops as well as private subscriptions. She offers several publications and explained that she receives them a week after they appear in the shops in Australia, because they are printed in Asia and sent directly to her in Marlborough. Her website is
I think it is nice to see somebody creating a company in our crafty domain.

I won't show you any photo because of the copyright laws, but it was a great show. Now I'll wait for the autumn one, as I won't be able to go to the Festival of Quilts in August in Birmingham.
Back to some sewing.

Friday, May 08, 2009

My little cup of tea,

This is my last portable project, started on the ferry bringing us back from Le Havre, France, at Easter. The journey was over 5 hours so I had plenty of time, nothing else really to do on a ferry, and no restriction about scissors or needles like on planes.

This was made almost all the way by hand in consequence, except yesterday when I finished it with my machine.

This is my second one, the first one having been given away, as soon as it was finished. But this new one so far I wish to keep.

I know if I was to do another one, it would be wider and not so tall, so that you could easily reach what is at the bottom. We'll see if it happens.

So this little purse is hand quilted, with a zip, a label on the pull that says "TEA", and completely lined.
Oh and the real tea cup is one of ours and comes from Russia. I bought it for my husband when we were still living in France, but we don't use it so much now. Just mugs most of the time.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Block 5 in ribbon embroidery

A long time ago, I think it was over a year, I started this project organised by Pascale in France on her blog "Journal d'un Atelier", and then the secondary blog for this project "Nature et petits points" which is the name of the project. I think she is very busy with lots of new realisations, but I am still behind on block 5 when she has published block 8. I intend to finish this, it will just take me time.

So here is block 5 in ribbon embroidery, and I have put a photo with a ruler so that you realise how small this is.
There is a basket of roses, some lavender and 3 butterflies.
Now on to the next UFO to finish.