Friday, 17 February 2012

Furry Fun

It's been a funny old week, readers. On Wednesday, the builders descended and we are having some major structural work done here which is likely to take four months. I can't tell you how much I dislike this, whilst knowing it is necessary. I am luckily accustomed to having my days to myself, just me and my furry friends and Radio 2 so the constant presence of (shock) men in the house, banging, clanging and our beloved home being turned on its head is all pretty miserable stuff.

I've retreated into my Den with the furry friends. Of course. Today, I discovered that if I holed up in my quilting room, which is up on the third floor of the house, unless the builders are enjoying a particularly hysterical and noisy moment, I can pretend they're not there!

Thank you, by the way, for all the furry flannelette love. Having pieced the top together in a most enjoyable and if I'm honest, haphazard fashion, I then felt a little daunted at the next steps. It's a large quilt at about 64" x 84" and barely fits on my quilting table. The centre of the quilt didn't seem to be sitting very flat because the flannels naturally have a lot of looseness to their weave, especially those which have been "pre-loved". I planned to hand quilt it and I've never hand quilted something this large. Because of the quilt's size and the hand quilting, I also decided I should baste the quilt sandwich together by hand sewing rather than my usual quick pinning method.

So yesterday, I slacked off, hid in my Den and enjoyed starting to put together the blocks of my "quilt-as-you-go" quilt (we haven't looked at that yet, have we?) But I am very strict with myself, so today it was back to it. I straightened up the edges of the top and it immediately started to look better. I taped the backing down, laid the batting on top ("Dream Puff") and then the quilt top. And blow me if the top didn't smooth out beautifully flat, sort of clinging to the batting. Phew.

I then experimented with various needles to baste, needing a whopping great long one. I found I preferred a really long doll needle than a proper basting needle. I have to say I find this hand basting lark frightfully dull. My sister laughed when I texted her to tell her so, as she loves it. It's just too slow for me. I wish I'd booked her on a train and got her to come and do it for me!

I should have known that before long, I would have a different sort of "helper".

Ummm cosy, perfect for kittys, thinks Jacky-Ginge.

I've now basted quite enough for one day, thank you. I would continue but my fingers, despite various thimbles, are feeling a bit sorry for themselves now. I've been hand quilting every evening recently and my fingers are complaining! I am back in love with the flannel once more and look forward to doing a little more basting tomorrow. I want to get the basting finished and the quilt off my table to then hand quilt at my leisure as I have a new commission to start next week.

In the meantime, a search of the porch has yielded "just delivered by the postie" treasure! Just when I thought Selina Lake couldn't improve on Romantic Style, out comes her latest book which looks to be absolutely mega! This wasn't due to be published until next month so it's an unexpected treat. Ah, I do love it when new books arrive in time for the weekend.

(That's my "quilt-as-you-go" quilt in the background.)

Enjoy the rest over the next few days, won't you? It's half term for us next week ... happy days.


  1. Another pretty quilted, tested for quality too, Jackie-Ginge approves of its puffiness and for happy dreams.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  2. You have a quilt-as-you-go and I have a crochet-as-you-go blanket! I love to be able to mindlessly allow it to grow, becoming more scrummily colourful each time I see it and what a lovely treat you had through the post!
    Jess xx

  3. Hope you have a lovely half term...we have the cavity wall insulation people next week,so I'm expecting a LOT of noise and Bella barking her head off!
    Have a happy quilting weekend! :0)

  4. My friend used this

    to baste her quilts, she swears by it now and it saves her fingers and her sanity.

    Good luck with the builders.

  5. I nearly basted something last week, but just couldn't face it...also working on hand quilting something at the moment, but no quilty fun today, had to start on the great Spring Sort Out of the Upstairs Rooms.Nightmare! A 'looking much worse before it gets better' job.

  6. Just visited Amazon and ordered book, I loved her other book, so really looking forward to this one arriving, hopefully you will get a builders free weekend!!

  7. Hi Hen, it is a beautiful flannel quilt, obviously handsome Jacky-ginge totally agrees (a cat of immensely good taste!)
    Enjoy your half-term time, I'm sure you have some wonderful days out organised for Munchkin.
    Hope the builders don't cause you too much disruption.
    Carol xx

  8. The flannelette quilt looks beautiful all laid out on your quilting table Hen...
    And it has Jacky-Ginge' approval, so we know it's as cosy as it looks :o)

    I've heard about 'quilting as you go', and it sounds soooo complicated and difficult to me! I'm looking forward to seeing how you do it Hen....
    I can definitely see the benefits of it though if I could figure it out! :o)

    Your book looks like a lovely read -full of insiration too.

    Take care Hen and have a lovely weekend,
    Love Donna xx

  9. Not sure which I like most the quilt or Jacky-Ginge! Enjoy your 1/2 term :) x

  10. This quilt looks really cosy and very pretty! My Max would be just the same as your Jacky-Ginge and want to try it out for cosibility:) Maggie xx

  11. Remodeling can be such a disruption. I love your quilt!

  12. Oh My GOD I LOVE LOVE LOVE your flannel quilt - so jel! :O) I had to explain to a friend of mine the other day exactly what flannel was ... seriously she didn't know!? Love your blog header - it's soo sweet. I'm in the middle of knitting my cottage - might try a sewed version too :O) Good luck with the builders - I don't envy you there but you have a lovely retreat to hide in x

  13. I don't enjoy basting either, wish there was an easier, quicker way!
    However the quilt top is really lovely, and it will all be worth it in the end : )

    Sharon x

  14. This is going to be so beautiful.It looks incredibly soft and snuggly.
    That book looks wonderful, very inspiring... I might have to get the postie to drop one by here too :)

    Louise xx

  15. The Flannel Quilt looks amazing, I'm looking forward to seeing how you finish it. I do sympathise on the builder front, you feel your home isn't your own and although you want the work to be done you also want your home back. Hopefully they won't be intruding for to long and you'll be able to enjoy their work.

    We've still got to have the bathroom gutted.

    A pleasure to visit as always.

  16. Lovely soft colours...I have just the same problem with anything I spread out to work on, the purrfect place for a furry friend!

  17. Your flanelette quilt is gorgeous and I can just imagine how cosy and tactile it will be. You should start a Quilting Bee, and then you can recruit some helpers! Good luck with the building work. It's good that you have a little quiet room to get away from it all. I have been reading a lot of your previous posts, and I love all your quilts. I must say that little monkey landed on his feet when he came to your house, what a cosy retirement for him!
    I particularly enjoyed your post about the Julie Arkell course, and your finished pieces were just gorgeous. Have a wonderful week, and thankyou for such inspiring work, love Linda x

  18. I've heard of PAT testing, but cat testing is a whole new ball game!
    The quilt looks so cosy. I am very intrigued by the tools you have laid out? Please educate me!!
    Love Selina Lake's work. New book, eh? Will have to keep my eyes open for that one.
    Z xx

  19. Oh Hen, am having a SERIOUS case of the swoons over that quilt!! PLEASE say it'll find it's way into your shop?!?

    Jo x

  20. Ooh dear me no. The flannel quilt is all for me (and the furry friends!)
    Hen x


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