Saturday, 26 April 2014

Moving on to applique- coffee &craft

Everyone is starting to get interested in patchwork at the moment and considering A Christmas wall hanging to try tout some patchwork and appliqué skills.
Hilary made some cute crochet bootees whilst Tracey continued to work on her cross stitch.
I am thoroughly enjoying this wall hanging and decided to appliqué by machine as I usually hand sew. I have learned a lot by doing this especially how important it is to change stitch width depending on the size of the piece- still learning from my mistakes or experiments!!!
I have certainly found the heat bond much easier to use than bond a web but have realised you can over heat it. It is very effective and one press of the iron is adequate.if you over heat it will dry the adhesive and it will come off.
I haven't used embroidery thread and regular thread appears just as effective. I have no stabiliser but the iron on interfacing has worked well so far.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Patchwork hanging-Completing the front

The main patchwork is generally very quick and instant satisfaction as you see it coming together. The small chequers on this one though were very time consuming and really could have been done much better, but practice makes perfect.
It taught me yet again the importance of accurate cutting and seam widths.
It all looked well but as I put it together some of my strips must have been cut a little narrow which effected the over all chequer effect.
The pattern did request I cut to the full width of the fabric but didn't state the width as a result I had much more than I required so have some chequers to put away for another project!!!
The colours I chose weren't those recommended but they were of similar tones and seem to work well together.
The inner red border did cover up a lot of problems I had with the chequers and then ready for final border
The patchwork is now ready for its appliqué before the backing and batting are applied. Once they are applied I will baste, quilt then bind before it goes on the wall

Monday, 14 April 2014


Basic patchwork

I am self taught with most crafts with the odd class thrown in from an artisan but most times I find another way of doing what someone else has already done- an easier way. Patchwork today isn't what it was set out as. It made good use of items of household fabrics and clothing that was no longer fit for purpose.Today it can be rather expensive to buy cotton fabrics and people like everything to match.

All colours will go well together providing they have the same tone. If you want to know more about tone you would be best taking up an art class (try Julie Douglas). In years gone by everything was the same tone because of the limited natural dyes available. The fabrics on the bundle on the left are a different colour but have the same tone so work well together. The bundle on the right contains more fabrics with more patterns but again the same tone. However the two bundles would not work well together as they have different tones.

I love to combine appliqué with patchwork and prefer this to be hand stitched. I do machine sew my main patchwork pieces and blocks together. When cutting out the fabric I prefer to use a roller cutting blade and cutting mat as less time consuming and gives a sharper edge so less chance of a dodgy seam. My seams are generally 1cm unlike 1.5cm I use in dress making. If you haven't done patchwork before it's best to start with squares as you wouldn't believe how easy it is to make errors when getting pieces to match up. I could show you many examples because of course I started with a complicated broken arrow pattern- because I liked it!!!! The large quilt below was made as a block a can purchase many block a month kits online from many dealers.

 This one has lots of appliqué and does lend itself to embellishments as well although I didn't add any. I struggled as to what to hang it on and discovered the cheapest and best looking option was the rail. I purchased from IKEA, it was even cheaper than buying a wooden dowel and much more effective. Below is an example of a simple square design for my dog Smudge.

Noah made his second appearance at Coffee&craft today and was as good as gold.

I got as far as cutting out the main pieces for my patchwork hanging as of course there was plenty of chat and a cuppa to be had. Jeanette very enthusiastic about patchwork and keen to use other materials from clothing. I did see a quilt recently made out of various pieces of Jersey fabric which was really cosy.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Spring 2014

We were married 23 years ago with the daffodils and bluebells in their glory. I had my favourite flowers in my bouquet as well as those I made from my ivory satin for my dress. Hoping to get out and about more soon with Smudge into the woods but the weather has still been playing up a bit with some heavy showers just when I think I have some free time.
Art class also has been reflecting the Spring blooms.
Motivation has been low for my crafting these last few weeks so hoping that Spring time will give me a little more energy.i attended the Kings Hall fair where despite a variety of crafts I was drawn toward patchwork with all the beautiful fabrics available. I have a little wall hanging I got last year which I need to finish but I felt a few more pieces of fabric wouldn't go a miss especially when there were so many bargains to be had.the ladies in the fennel shed from Donegal were particularly friendly and helpful.
 Art this week we went back to colour pencil which I struggle with but then colour is a struggle for me anyway. Pool ball on tinfoil.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

New season

Many signs of spring and for us that encourages a change in menu both inside and out. Lots more opportunities for picnics with friends and cooking different meals inside.


 A few trips to our favourite National Trust properties. The kids are never too old to dress up.
Crafting continues and this month we raised just over £26 for Kiwoko. I have spent much more time on my family research as you will see from my other blogs but still some knitting done, papercraft and some sewing.

Add captionSainsbury's have some great healthy recipes online



Jake my limited edition  bear gets his portrait done at art last Thursday

Update on Brown/Mole genealogy

I had such a wonderful experience this wek visiting a cousin of my dads whom he never knew or her him. She verified a lot of the family research I had gathered and I was able to add to hers. I was so overwhelmed by the fact she had photographs of those whom I had discovered. Above is my great grandfather's brother Jonathan Brown and his wife Sarah Best and their children.

We then went on to explore the family who had gone to Canada which was Jonathan and my great grandfathers sister Clara. It was. Clara who had married Harry Leonard Mole. In 1935 the electoral role shows Clara living with her son and daughter so possible Harry Leonard had died by then although I have found no record. I have since followed the family as far as 1992 when their son Harry Edmund Mole died in Priceville Ontario which has quite a history in itself. He lived in the schoolhouse with his wife Helen Rose. I have been unable to discover her maiden name as yet but I am led to believe she may still be alive in her 90's (as she was quite a bit younger) and maybe in the state of Florida as they also had a home in Hernando. It would be wonderful to find her before she dies but it may all ready be too late.
The photograph above is that of Harry Edmund's sister Ethel May Mole. She didn't marry but I have little information about her other than she survived her 82nd birthday.

Harry Edmund Mole appeared to have spent most of his working life working in the insurance business which is interesting as his uncle Jonathan back over in N.Ireland also became involved in insurance which appears to have increased his income giving him a better lifestyle than he had with the linen industry and when he became a small local shopkeeper.

I continue to try and find Harry Edmund Mole's widow and any other connection to the Brown/e and Mole family in USA and CAnada.