Good Friends

It is a grey Monday morning so here are two pictures from when Ginger was still a kitten. Tigger is about a year older than Ginger. You can see how well they get on together.

They used frequently to sleep like this, until Ginger got too heavy!


Single Shuttle Tatted Doily

I finished this doily last night and blocked it overnight to show you today.

I made up the pattern as I went along and I think it works. I wanted to achieve a balance of solid areas with very airy ones using just one shuttle.

Here is a closeup. You can see that the open areas get wider as the doily grows. And yes I do know I missed a little ring at one point. I didn't have enough of the thread to correct it. The thread was an anonymous reel from the bottom of my thread drawer. I think it was maybe a fancy quilting thread. Anyway I ended up with less than a metre of thread left at the end. So the two mistakes I am aware of just have to stay there!

Here I have photocopied the doily and drawn over part of the pattern to make it easier for anyone else who wants to make one like it. It is very simple. The centre ring has 3 stitches between picots. Everywhere else there are 4 stitches. The trick is in getting the lengths of thread between the rings the right length to make the doily lie flat. This is largely a matter of experience.


The rest of the applique blocks

The computer is cooperative this morning so here are the rest of the applique blocks.

I particularly like this papercut star block.


More Applique Quilt Blocks

More problems accessing the photos but I have finally managed to get most of the ones I was going to show you today.

More next time, if the computer cooperates!


The next lot of Applique Blocks

I had so much trouble persuading the computer to access my photos this morning that I was on the point of giving up. But it finally decided to let me show you some more applique blocks from my quilt, so here they are.

I should explain that I very rarely use plain white fabric in a quilt. It isn't obvious in many of the photos but I actually always use white on white or cream on cream fabrics. Somehow it doesn't have the starkness of plain white so I prefer it.

More next time, computer permitting!


More applique Blocks

Some more applique blocks from the quilt I started showing you yesterday.

More next time!


Applique Quilt

This is another applique quilt that I made about a dozen years ago.

I particularly like blocks like the one above that can be cut from a folded piece of freezer paper like the linked paper dolls of my childhood.

This very simple block has the Lord's Prayer written round it.

And here is a basket of spring flowers.

More blocks next time!



This was a kit I bought nearly 30 years ago.

I had had surgery on my left shoulder so that for a month or more afterwards I could move the fingers of my left hand but do very little else with that arm. So I ended up doing this embroidery to pass the time.

It is a crewel embroidery kit and I'm afraid the photograph is not as clear as I would like. The cats are worked in split stitch. I did the mother cat's face about four times before I was happy with the way the fur lay.


Miniature Kniting Shop

This is a little knitwear shop I made, complete with the old lady who runs it.

 I enjoyed making knitted blankets and shawls and this seemed a good way to display them.


3-shuttle tatting

I very much like Teiko Fujito's patterns, and one of the ones I often make is her 3-shuttle pattern.

This is a version of it, worked in very fine thread and with fewer repeats to make it fit the lid of this little box.


Star Shawl

This is a very simple shawl, but I think it is a pretty one. The pattern forms a star in the centre with lines radiating out from it. And I have added a very basic edging. You can see a much fancier shawl with a similar centre in 'Victorian Lace Today'.

I made this shawl in a 90% silk 10% cashmere yarn which means it does not need blocking after washing, just shaking and pulling into shape. It is the shawl I grab when I am going into the garden in summer, but it is not quite warm enough out there (which in the British climate tends to be most of the time!)


More dollshouse dolls

Some more photos from my albums today.

Before I had a dollshouse I keppt my dolls on a couple of shelves in a bookcase. I cut pieces of plywood to fit and covered them with dollshouse paper. I cut out and added doors and windows and because the 'windows' looked onto the wood at the back of the bookcase I cut bits of photos out of magazines and stuck them behind the windows to suggest a view from the windows.

You can see how effective the 'windows' were.

Here you can see some of the pictures my husband drew for me. they were on cartidge paper so I just stuck picture frame on to them and cut them out. A dab of blutack keeps them on the wall.

The tea set was given me by a Japanese friend when she moved back to Japan. She was a keen, and very able china painter, with her own kiln and she found a miniature tea set and painted it for me.

And here is the cook in her kitchen.

More another time!


Kitty Pics

I couldn't make up my mind what to show you this morning. So here are the cats. There always seem to be more pictures of Tigger than of Ginger because Tigger is a cat who sits still, looks at things and thinks about them, but Ginger is always in a hurry and not about to hang about while I fiddle with the camera.


Tatted Baby Bonnets

The old tatting books are full of the prettiest little tatted baby bonnets. These are of no practical use today but are fun to make so I got a baby doll and dressed her to show one off.

And here is a different tatted bonnet.

And a little pair of baby booties in tatting.

Totally impractical, but such fun!


Cover for ereader

My husband recently gave me an ereader and it is wonderful. My eyesight was never very good and now it is a good deal worse so I have been unable to read normal print for a number of years. I get talking books from several charities and the RNIB have even started to produce giant print (24 point) books, for all of which I am very grateful. But giant print books are big and heavy and come in multiple volumes for even a short book. None of it is the same as reading an ordinary book for oneself.

So the ereader, which lets me enlarge the print without making the book any bigger or heavier, is an almost unbelievable pleasure. In the photo above, the text is not even at its biggest, there is an even larger setting.

My one niggle is the plasticy cover that is all (as far as I know) that is available for my model. So I decided to try to achieve a leather cover.

I bought a leather book cover kit. It was intended for a Bible so was a bit big and aimed at a much thicker book. It came ready sewn so I unpicked the stitching along 2 sides, cut it down, shortened the strap, made holes with an embroidery stiletto and  resewed it by hand. Then I stained and finished it.

It is not perfect. A purpose designed kit would have been better, but I have not been able to find one. No doubt they will become available as ereaders become more popular. But it protects my precious ereader and does for now.


Jacobean Applique Quilt

Back in the days when my eyesight was better I used to be very fond of freezer paper applique, and this is one of the quilts I made at that time.

When I was at Girton College, Cambridge, back in the 1970s, the room used as the Junior Common Room was a wood panelled one, with huge floor to ceiling panels of Jacobean style embroidery all round the room.  Ever since then, I have had a little corner of my mind that is entertained by the weird and wonderful nature of Jacobean design.

I originally intended the strips as borders for another quilt, but decided they looked better on their own. So I turned them into a strip quilt instead.