Monday, 20 August 2018

Book Club - A fall of marigolds (6)

The stories, yes stories, in my next suggested book, take place in September 1911 and September 2011. Hundred years apart, two emotionally strong stories are entwined with each other by a beautiful scarf with marigolds on.

The book is called A fall of marigolds and is written by Susan Meissner.

Starting in September 1911, we follow nurse Clara Woods who is working on Ellis Island in New York Harbor. She likes this 'in between place', as she hides from a life she was hoping to have, had a fire not taken her dreams away from her.

Circumstance makes her meet a man fresh off one of the ships, who has lost his newly wedded wife during the passage. Clara identifies with him and possibly takes her nurse duties a step too far...

Scroll forward to September 2011 and meet Taryn Michaels. Taryn is enjoying her life providing a unique fabric finding service as well as selling beautiful fabrics in her shop in Upper West Side, New York.

One day a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is brought back to the terrible events of the collapse of the World Trade Towers, the same day her life took some unexpected turns.

It is a lovely story, although I found parts of it a bit too far fetched. Still, it is a throughly enjoyable and from time to time, a very emotional read.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Book Club - Alias Grace (5)

During August I suggest you read Alias Grace, by Margaret Attwood.

Based on a true story from 1843, when the 16-year-old housemaid Grace Marks was tried for murder, Atwood re-tells the story in a captivating fictional form. Throughout the book Grace is meeting with Dr Simon Jordan who listens to the her retelling the story of her life, including the events leading up to the day when she allegedly murdered her employer and his mistress (another servant) when in his service. Atwood skilfully describes 19th-century prison and asylum life in great detail.

Quilt references

According to the story, there are three quilts a woman should make before she is married: Tree of Paradise, Flower Basket, and Pandora’s Box. Also, according to Grace, every woman should have a log cabin quilt with red squares in the centre, as it symbolises the home and the hearth fire.

Each section of the book is given the name of a quilt block and the names are used as a red thread through the section. as part of the story.

The blocks are: jagged edge, rocky road, puss in the corner, young man's fancy, broken dishes, secret drawers, snake fence, fox and geese, hearts and gizzards, lady of the lake, falling timbers, Solomon's temple, Pandora's box, The letter X, and the tree of paradise.

By the same author

Atwood is also the author of A Handmaid's Tale, which is available both as book and television series.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Miniature football ready


The miniature football made with Liberty of London fabric is finally finished. It is just slightly larger than a Pink Lady Apple and will most likely be used a key ring / backpack decoration.

Download the templates:
It uses 12 pentagon shapes and 20 hexagon shapes and you can download a pdf for free over on UKQU (no need to register, just fill in your email address). Download here (if you can't see it, please click Free Patterns)

Monday, 18 June 2018

World Cup fever - make a football (EPP)


If you have been really bored, you may have found out that a typical football consists of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. I say ‘typical’ football, as the older ones were made up of rectangular-ish shapes and the latest one used for the World Cup is actually made up of six cleverly interlinked panels. But this make is for a ball consisting of hexagons and pentagons.

Lots of left-over hexagons?

I believe there are many like me, who have lots of basted hexagons not yet used in a project. Find 20 of them, measure the side and create 12 pentagons to match. Add toy stuffing and you can make a football.

For this particular ball, the recipient decided she wanted to be able to hang it on her bag; hence we added a ribbon when sewing the shapes together.


I found that you can turn and stuff the football through just one of the pentagons (1 inch sides).


Free pattern

Head over to my shop to download the free template and brief instructions. The PDF file includes the full set of hexagons and pentagons for a football; all with the side 1 inch. I have also included a separate page with hexagons and pentagons with 1.5 inch and 2 inch sides.

Refresh of the footmuff pattern

Almost seven years ago, I posted a tutorial of sorts, showing how you can make your own customised footmuff (also known as cosytoe, bunting bag, pushchair bag, etc). It has by far been my most popular post, attracting over 50k hits.

After receiving a request to contribute to the Baby Feature (#babyfeatureUKQU) on the UKQU website, I have now updated the tutorial and turned it into a downloadable PDF pattern with images explaining the various steps of the process. As usual, it has taken longer to get the pattern and tutorial written up than actually making the item itself!

Feedback on my original tutorial can be found in the comments section on the original post.

Get your copy of the pattern

To make your own customised footmuff, please head over to my UKQU shop; whilst you are there, don’t miss the opportunity to also download some of my free patterns to make the UKQU logo (appliqué and FPP); just make sure you click the ‘Free Patterns’ link to see all of them.

Thank you

The main fabric I used is called Geometrix and was generously donated by Lewis and Irene. It is available in shops across the United Kingdom now. I also used a stripy mint green & white cotton, probably from Fabrics Galore in London, and in an effort to be frugal, a previously used fleece blanket from IKEA. You need around 1.5m of each, but it varies depending on the size you are making.