Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative


Creative Week 34

There is a definite chill to the air now here in the UK.  Although the sun has been out all day today we have had a steady breeze, it has ensured the temperature has been held down.  I did manage to take a few photos of the very last of the flowers before the rain starts again.

dahlia 1 dahlia 2

The dahlias are still in flower but come the first frost they will be gone.

My last 3 roses

My last three roses for this year.

my last strawberry

My last strawberry!

drooping sunflower

The head of this sunflower is so heavy it has made the whole thing droop.

the one still to come

We do still have this one to come.


Still in full flower, as are

The last of the nasturstions

and so are the sedums


You know when you wake up sometimes there is a remembered thought whether it be from a dream or something else, well last night was very restless and when I woke all I kept seeing/remembering was this little devil…..

One of the little devils that started it all

Obviously it wanted me to do something, but other than plant it out I could only think to try to recreate it in a quilt somehow.  Here are my drawings……

Basic sketch

         The basic sketch, which then moved on to ……

Block drawing

which then became this ……


which got put into this quilt diagram…

That pansy that kept me awake pieced quilt

Then I moved on to looking in the EQ7 block section for their rendition of a pansy, I found 2, one pieced and one a motif.

EQ7 pieced pansy

EQ7 applique pansy

from these I came up with these……..

That pansy that kept me awake EQ7 block quilt

and this …….

That pansy that kept me awake applique quilt

I drew the bee, my little son chose the colours.

The bee…

the bee

This last one is this weeks quilt idea – The Pansy that kept me awake.

It measures 27″ square approximately and is ideal for a table topper.  It needs fabric in the following amounts

  • Background – blue a 24.5″ square
  • yellow 3/8ths of a yard
  • pale mauve 1/8th yard
  • dark mauve 1/2 yard
  • black 1/8th yard
  • very pale beige 1/8th yard

The inner border cut from yellow need 2 pieces for the top and bottom 25.5 ” by 1″ and for the left and right 24.5″ by 1″.  The outer border, in dark mauve for top and bottom 27.5″ by 1.5″ and the left and right 25.5″ by 1.5″

A piece of batting and a backing fabric, both 29″ square.  Binding approx 130″ by 2.5″ wide.

Here are the links for the templates,

the large pansy:- Pansy that kept me awake templates flower

the small pansy:- Pansy that kept me awake templates flower small

the bee:- Pansy that kept me awake templates bee

the placement diagram:- quilt layout for the pansy that kept me awake table topper

Talking of table toppers, little son is off to Germany soon to stay with a family who’s son stayed with us in May.  So, I thought I would send a present for his mother over with my son.

Table topper

The pattern (yes I know I don’t usually follow commercial patterns but…) is from Patrick Lose’s website as part of his Party with Patrick scheme.

The close up….

table topper detail

This turned out to be a very, very quick project and I have not only finished this one but made (and finished) another ready for the Myton Hospice Christmas Fair.

This week I have also gone through my knitting yarns, gathering all the leftovers from projects and have found enough of one to make a cardigan, again as a gift so I don’t have to spend anymore money buying yarn at the moment.  I did find some that will be sold very soon as I don’t need/like/want it anymore, that will happen soon when I can get DD to upload it to Ebay for me.

That’s all for this week, thanks for visiting. X


Creative Week 23

And the fine, hot weather continues.  After all the rain we had last year and during the beginning of this year our water company has now issued a warning for people to conserve water!  We have only had about 2 weeks of good weather – are they mad?


Oh well, at least the flowers are thriving.  I need to get out there and dead head the roses, the lupins and the tree peony – later.

This last week I have been working on bags.  I needed a bag for traveling on planes, that was big enough to carry my tablet computer, my ipod, my camera, all the travel documents, my knitting, my purse, keys and all the kids stuff too, so I made one and a couple (so far) of attachable inner bags.

Bag 1

Tablet bag

Travel Documents bag

Just a few more inner bags to go, then I’m done.  I am attaching D rings to the inside of the main bag to clip the smaller bags to so I don’t loose anything, well to try not to anyway.  The outer bag is so big I need all these inner bags to keep track of everything.  They can be taken out as necessary whilst we are traveling.

This weeks quilt idea -: Sends Your Eyes Funny 2

Sends your eyes funny 2

Follow the links for the rotary cutting info-: Block Corner triangles Setting triangles inner border sides inner border top and bottom outer border sides outer border top and bottom and the fabric requirements-: Fabric requirements  The quilt measures approximately 80″ by 91″ but can be made smaller or larger just by adding more blocks, you will, of course, need less fabric or more depending on size.

Here is another version of this quilt which still makes my eyes go funny!

Sends your eyes funny!

All made with one block

Block drawing

that is turned to create the pattern, although the second quilt idea is set horizontally whereas the first one was set on point, both make my eyes hurt.

Enjoy your week, thanks for visiting. x

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Creative Week 22

Now we have good weather (finally) in the UK it is good to see a line full of clean laundry drying in the sun.

Nothing like a line full of clean washing

This line is now even longer as I have to take every opportunity I can to get the laundry dry in the fine weather.  Nothing smells as fresh as line dried clothing.

Since last time I have cut up all the halloween fabric and constructed the quilt top, as per usual it is waiting for layering up and quilting, but this will have to wait until things cool down a bit.  Oh and it needs to have its lime green borders added.

Halloween Quilt top

This weeks quilt idea is Floral Squares.  The quilt idea uses just one block set on point and turned to create the pattern.  The size for this one is 85.5″ by 102.5″ approximately.

Floral Squares Quilt

The block

The block

Block sketch of block

Please click the following links for all the info-: Rotary cutting – Rotary Cutting info, Fabric requirements in yards – Fabric requirements

Until next time, thank you for visiting. x

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Witley Court Worcestershire

Sunday 21st October dawned with clinging fog but with a small promise of becoming brighter.  Regardless of the weather we had decided as our trip to Germany had been postponed due to circumstances beyond our control we would have a day out.

Witley Court and Gardens are only 45 minutes from our home so are quick and relatively easy to get to, via a number of motorways and a variety of minor roads.  I had intended we set off early but as usually it didn’t happen, I suppose I should have learnt by now, but I suppose if we had gone early the fog would have still lingered.  As it was we found numerous trees draped in clouds of cobwebs encrusted with diamond-like water droplets just waiting to sparkle when the fog lifted.

I managed to take some really quite good photos, some of which are above taken with my small compact Nikon digital camera as big son was using my Fuji and little son my Panasonic Lumix.  Husband was using his new Olympus, which is able to take panoramic and 3D shots without the help of Photoshop to create the magic.

The photo with the spiders shows the fog just starting to lift. 

We had a great day out which was enhanced by enjoying a light lunch at the tea room just outside the gardens.  It was so nice we didn’t need our Sunday dinner when we got home.

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Batik Quilt finished and Kaffe Fassett top done

I can’t quite believe how productive I have been since my return from America.  I have started and finished 3 quilts, finished another quilt top that will be layered up early next week and quilted, bound and label attached before the end of next week; I have also knitted two jackets and a scarf, designed, cut out ready to sew at least 12 creature bag tags – only another 18 to go to complete the set.


Kaffe Fasset top 1Kaffe Fasset top close up

The above quilt top has only been on the go for 12 months since last years festival of quilts.

I have had fabric printed ready to make into scarves, that’s another job for next week as this weekend is DD 21st birthday, so party time!  The garden is tidy and cleaned up the lawn needs mowing and the edges clipped but that will get done this evening.  Sunday garden party here we come.  Tomorrow I will be making a tiered death by chocolate cake covered in chocolate fudge sauce, chocolate and then just to add something more sweets – smarties, minstrels, chocolate buttons, jelly beans, marshmallows, glitter anything I can find oh and of course 21 candles!

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The Garden is just about to burst!

Whilst I’ve been away the much needed rain has delivered its benefit to my garden.  The plants all look healthy, except the slugs have been busy on my Canterbury bells (Campanula).  the oriental poppies are slow to flower this year but there is plenty of promise from the self seeded nasturtiums and of course the strawberries – yum!

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My garden before the rain.

My son tidied the garden yesterday, planted up pots and hanging baskets, cut the lawn, clipped the edges and watered before the rain came.  It looked wonderful but this morning the rain had flattened the pink lupins and the red oriental poppies.

We still have plenty of plants left, although there are two more hanging baskets to make up and the front garden needs planting up.


Welcome to 2011 – May it be very creative

Happy New Year.  Yes I know I am a couple of weeks late and several months behind in my posts – life has a habit of creeping up on me, so this year with that in mind I have decided to get things done as I am usually the goddess of the last minute.  Sadly I have passed this on to my daughter, she stands no chance really as her dad is the god of the last minute -poor girl.

We had a fun but quiet Christmas if that isn’t a contradiction in terms.  We usually try to do something different for Christmas Day, this year it was spread over 3 days, starting on Christmas Eve with a night out at out favourite curry house, surprizingly we were the only ones still in there at 9pm.  We did get invited to a muslim wedding the next day and were very tempted, sadly we decline the invite as it would have upset our plans.

Christmas Eve finished off with the traditional visit by husband dearest and our three children to midnight mass, whilst I stayed at home to welcome the man in the red suit with mince pies and a glass of something warming to savour whilst we discussed his bill and I paid it!

We are always woken by our youngest son, this year it was later than before as he is growing up and likes his sleep a bit more.  The excitement is tangible, giggles and the sound of ripping paper can be heard all over the house.  Breakfast is never a problem any other day in the year but Christmas morning the children never seem to want to eat – they bounce in their seats whilst eating a really strange sight to witness.  This year they had been warned that the expectations may not be realised but they still had piles of gifts.  (I had wrapped things individually rather than just the outer boxes this year to make it look like they had more).

Christmas lunch was interesting – we had a barbeque in the snow.  This is the first year in a long, long time that we have had snow at Christmas in our part of the world, so the Christmas card scenes matched the actual weather.  Husband dearest was, as always, in charge of the cave man bit i.e. cooking the food, we all stood in the cold to support him and sang, no that should be massacred a few Christmas carols.  I had suggested a blanket laid on the snow to sit and eat but was quickly shouted down so we all returned in doors to eat.  The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with assorted gifts, reading books etc before the inevitable happened and the TV was switched on!

Boxing Day was more like a traditional Christmas Day, without the stress as the roast lunch could happen when it happened, rather than being a a strict timetable, so much more civilised.

New Year was spent in Dover with our friends and our daughters boyfriends parents.  We had a plentiful supply of both food and drink.  We enjoyed fireworks whilst listening to bagpipes played excellently by the boyfriend, we watched chinese lanterns float over the sky towards France, when some bright spark suggested they could make quite good delivery mechanisms of the non destructive, non violent, variety, by carrying effluent which would then be dropped when the flame had died – lovely!  Mess right on your head yukk.

The festive period sadly ended, as I had thoroughly enjoyed it for the first time this year for a very long time, when our daughter was taken back to Cambridge for the start of her next term at university, our youngest son returned to school and our eldest went back to work after a month at home, (he had saved all his holiday up so he could have the time off to watch the cricket Ashes in Australia).  And husband dearest actually left the house to work rather than working everyday over Christmas and New Year from our bedroom/his office.