It’s not Christmas in July!


 On the days that I could get Yurt helpers it was wet and windy so it still hasn’t been to the Castle for its photo-shoot. There MUST be some sunny days coming in the holidays when my friends are around! Instead, I managed to finish all sorts of projects, despite being invaded by children in my workshop. They had a great time making rag dolls, making cups of tea, leaving biscuit crumbs and scraps all over the floor. I managed to put up with it until there was an “incident” – while I was in the kitchen a sewing machine mysteriously fell off a table as if by poltergeist activity. There was a dent and I have not dared switch it on to see if it still works…

There has been a Christmas quilt on my sofa since December and I had actually stopped noticing it. I finally got around to finishing off a jelly roll quilt called “Jelly Jazz” from Monkey Buttons. It was my Thursday Night no-brainer and I even followed the pattern without any deviation, apart from attaching the inner borders. I should have taken them off to reapply in the correct order but decided to fudge the odd joins instead and plonked some spare crochet rosettes over the boo-boos. After 5 hours of heavy shelling, I bound it and duly replaced the Christmas quilt. I came across brilliant instructions for joining the ends of binding so that the start/end is impossible to find. I made the binding the way that I like to make it and it looks very neat. I may even write a mini chapter on binding “My Way” which is really a cobbled together combination of other people’s ways that work for me. At the moment I like to sew it on the back then machine sew it down from the front which is utilitarian but it is not quite as neat as hand-sewing for a show entry. I think there is room for further improvement.

Mo gave me a simple children’s sofa throw to run up out of leftover curtain material which I put together fairly quickly. I used to do those all the time and sell a few at craft fairs but it is difficult to sell them for what they are worth in fabrics and time.

I trimmed, painted and bound another unfinished Yurt panel so now there are only 3 of the original ones left to quilt and one to finish painting. The Yurt panel backs were much admired so I ordered 40 metres of white glazed chintz for dyeing to cut up strips or squares to sell in packs at Festival of Quilts to see if my dyed fabrics would be worthwhile sideline. I was a bit disappointed with the results. The glaze must have resisted the dye because they are half as bright as I would have expected and there is very little sheen left after such a hot wash. I actually put soap powder in with one batch by mistake but it did smell nice. I have now done the sensible thing in retrospect and ordered a selection of white fabrics to see which ones dye the most successfully. I want to produce a fabric that is different to all of the others that are available so maybe I need to use linen or silk instead of basic cotton. I could easily produce quilt backs but I need to determine whether it is worth doing first. This collection may have to be titled “Beach Collection” as they have a washed out, bleached appearance – rather nice, just not planned.

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