Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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Another Quilt Find

Having the house turned upside down over the last month or so (feels like much longer), and being almost housebound waiting around for people, has given me an opportunity to go through things, chucking stuff away and rediscover other interesting items – see photos.

I unearthed this beauty at the weekend and found the fabric I need to finish the top.  I have to cut some more paper squares as well as the fabric then all it will need is layering up, quilting and binding, when I say all it involves all the yukky bits like crawling around on the floor layering the thing up and the hand basting ready for quilting but I may give spray basting a go if the weather gets a bit better and I can get outside.  Sadly this won’t happen until the dining room is fully repaired as I don’t have access to my sewing machine for the quilting until then but I can do the rest.

This quilt was started many years ago, it must be at least 10, supposedly to go on the wall at the back of our bed in the, then newly created, loft conversion.  The wall is still bare and waiting!

I chose the Carpenter’s Wheel as it is one of my most favourite blocks and can be grown outwards as large as is needed.  I originally used some fat quarters I had but obviously have added to these.  Thank goodness for John Lewis who had a stock of the pansy fabric long after the Cotton patch had sold out!

It is, what the American’s call English piecing, but it is just paper piecing really.  I thoroughly enjoyed cutting these out, attaching the paper templates and the hand sewing; all very relaxing and something for in front of the TV.  I have still left all of the papers in and they will remain until the top is finished.

I think I will machine quilt it but I have yet to decide how – any suggestions will be gratefully received.

It measures 82” x 82” so far without any borders – the biggest quilt I have ever made.

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Charity Mug Rugs

Since my last posting I have made in excess of 30 mug rugs for charity.  Some of which have been delivered already and will be sold next week at Myton Hospice Christmas Fair in Warwick.


The others are in various stages of completion (they will all be finished off this afternoon) and will be put ready for DH to sell in aid of her degree show, unless something else deserving comes up in the mean time.

Once I have cleared the decks of the ‘stuff’ needed for these and all the associated scraps of fabric, batting etc., it will be time to start a new project.  I have several in mind including quilted silhouettes and a couple of art quilts.  These are all to be finished before Christmas along with an embroidery, the design of which is secreted in my head but needs to be drawn out on paper – another job for this afternoon?  No perhaps I will just do the remaining hand stitching on the mug rugs whilst I suffer in silence (yet again I have lost my voice) with my very sore throat and horrid cough, my ears hurt too.  Thanks to those who are kind enough to pass on their colds and share their germs around.  Enough self pity – I have a new sewing machine arriving in the next couple of days so I will need to be fit and well, with a cleared sewing table ready for that, I can’t wait, it has been a long time in coming.  I have bought it to replace the one I have used nearly everyday for the last 20 years, it’s about time it enjoyed its retirement although it will be still around as a back for when the new one is in for its service.

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Cotton Patch Studio Day

I had an enjoyable morning yesterday at The Cotton Patch Studio in Hall Green Birmingham.  On show were the various quilting frames and sewing machines plus the associated paraphernalia they offer.

To see more visit their website at  The shop is only down the road from home so I enjoyed the walk in the sunshine, this also means the I visit often, spending far too much money each time.

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With nothing to do but……..

I might not have a working sewing machine at the moment but I still have plenty to do – designing another quilt, a table runner and place mats, embroideries, as well as considering things for Christmas, yes that’s right Christmas.  Needless to say I got side tracked by the internet, as per usual, and came across this site. There is a link to a YouTube channel showing a multitude of tutorials which maybe of interest.

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Sick Sewing Machine Again!

My poor old sewing machine has become unwell again nearly 12 months since it last fell ill.  This time I think it is the swing arm that has a problem, the noise is dreadful therefore I have had to book it in with the sewing machine doctor.  I am in the middle of stitching my last City & Guilds assessment piece which has to be completely finished and images sent for assessment by 25th June.  I really hope I can get it fixed in time to finish the piece.

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Sewing Machine Update

It’s back!

Well it came back last Friday, but as we had to go to Dover to fetch our daughter I haven’t had chance to play with it.  I don’t think I missed it as much as I thought I would, if I had I would have had a play by now.  The machine being away has given me chances to do other things that had it not broken wouldn’t have been given a look in.  Now it is back though I must get down to some work.


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Sewing Machine Update


Mr Parr has called with the news that my machine is fit and well and will be returned to the Cotton Patch for me to pick up on Friday.  It wasn’t the tension spring in the pressure bar but a seize up of the workings so all it has cost me is the service fee which includes a PAT test too!  So much for the repair quote of £100 to £200, perhaps the other sewing machine shop couldn’t be bothered to look for the problem in the first place or just didn’t want the work, glad they can afford to be picky, needless to say I wouldn’t go there again for a repair let alone a purchase.

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Sunday’s Digital Art

Sunday 13062010I have turned the blog page header into digital art but then I am sure it is very obvious.

We have returned from Dover with a very full car only just room in the back for the little one, he had to have his feet on a bag all the way home, but still never mind he got his M&S sandwich from Beaconsfield services so he was happy and he has agreed to move back into his small room – I think he feels happier in there even though there isn’t much room.  We’ll have to get him a new bed and a better cupboard asap.

I have a sewing machine again, not the best one but the spare so can start sewing again when we retrieve it from the depths of the car boot!

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Sick Sewing Machine Update

My poor sewing machine has been returned to me as the repair man couldn’t fix it as he wasn’t a Pfaff dealer and couldn’t get the spares.  Funny Pfaff head office customer services in Redditch recommended this particular repair man – what do they know!

Well I trawled the internet and found the spares I need for just £5!  I called Mr Parr in Malvern who is going to fix it for a very reasonable sum considering.  So the machine has been deposited at the Cotton Patch ready for collection on Friday, it might be back in a week or may take two as Mr Parr is snowed under, what is it with sewing machine repairs they always seem to be done in the summer.  I am sure it will be home right as rain as soon as possible, although this time with it away has given me time for other things.

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Sick Sewing Machine Update

I took my machine to the menders yesterday.  I will get a call either today or Monday with the cost involved and estimated completion date, which I hope will be next Thursday.

The fact that my machine is broken has enabled me to work on some of my photos, preparing them for a possible textile piece, I do make my life difficult with all these promises to myself to create these things, I wonder if I have enough life left!  I’ll just have to get cracking.  Images worked on will be displayed once I have refined them to my satisfaction – watch this space.