Radiance Mini Quilt


It never ceases to surprise me how many million ways there are to take humble half square triangles and then pair them with some plain squares to make a different design. That combined with the use of colour and pattern and the options increase exponentially.

This quilt is an example, nothing clever about its construction but I’ve always liked this pattern by Heather Jones. And I toyed with this design when deciding what pattern for the baby quilt I did recently. In fact now I’ve bought the pattern I wish I had used it……


Anyway I needed to make a mini to go to Jennifer who collects bags and table toppers for the children who come over to the U.K. for an extended holiday from Chernobyl. (More on this wonderful initiative and the bag I made here.)

I chose a fairly simple selection of fabrics with a blue green theme. The striped one was a pain frankly making sure they all ran the same way.  A few extra had to be made to get the alignment  correct. I also wish I’d gone for an off white as opposed to this bright white. But it’s not a major problem.


Other than that it was an evening’s make, at least the top. I meant to go for a concentric circular  design for the quilting but forgot so the quilting is a bit boring  and next time I must remember that a double layer of batting really does give it substance and texture. I only went for one and it’s a tad flimsy.


I enjoy making minis, they are so quick and effective, but it’s a bit like eating a canapé, tasty and in the moment satisfying, but doesn’t quite beat the sense of achievement of completing a full sized quilt or to continue the analogy a full meal. The fact that it will be winging its way to Jennifer makes up for that as opposed to joining a pile of minis that I’m not entirely sure what to do with.

I remember reading on someones blog that they were offering a giveaway and to determine the random winner she picked out a number, 118 as it happens, and the person who had made the 118th comment was the winner.  This lady in her thank you reply said that the number coninceded with the number of quilts in her house. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGTHEEN QUILTS!! I’m presuming here that she is not including place mats, mug rugs etc but proper quilts, ones you hang, display or sleep under. I was reeling. Where do you put 118 quilts for a start.

Now in the interests of full disclosure (you can see that I’ve had a week dealing with legal matters, not mine I add just to reassure my parents!) I have in my possession in this house 8 full size quilts on beds/sofas, 7 on walls, mostly minis or cot size quilts and about 3 minis in this ‘don’t know quite what to do with them’ pile. I’m ignoring the 6 quilts that are awaiting transit to Siblings Together (in the picture below). So 18 in total. Each of us have either asked for or planned to make a second so that would make another 4. And I’ve a couple of biggish empty walls that could take another couple. But still a small fraction of this lady.


Of course houses vary in size but not usually massively in occupants. So I’m still reeling what you do with them but maybe she is a collector. And I’ve seen in blog land houses where quilts are used as decoration and are draped over chairs, bannisters, quilt ladders etc. And you have to admit a pile of quilts is an inviting sight. Of course she maybe a quilting teacher so a collection of quilts for demonstration purposes or even trunk shows at Quilt Groups is necessary. Even so it’s a lot of quilts.

If you fancy confessing how many quilts you have feel free….


Linking up with TGIFF




More Russian love


OK there doesn’t appear to be much love between Russia and the western world at the moment but there is on a different level. Each year groups of children from the Chernobyl region come to the UK for an extended holiday staying with local families. One such group go to North Wales and the lovely and generous Jennifer of Glinda Quilts who lives in Wales brings together a group of quilters from all over to make tote bags for the children and table toppers which they take back as gifts. Needlesksn to say Jennifer fills those bags with goodies and receiving these gifts is one of the highlights of the holiday. The original plan had been to make the table topper this week as well but life’s dramas got in the way ……


Each year I enjoy taking part. The children are quite young around 9-11 years old and are mostly girls. I made this girly version last year.

IMG_5900A friend’s 10 year old daughter helped me with fabric choices but unfortunately they’ve moved away so I was left to my own devices this year.

I would normally have gone with my usual tote bag but I’ve made so many over the last few months I wanted a change. That tote bag has also got quite a wide top so while useful as a shopper not so ideal for a day bag containing things you don’t want to lose.

I  came across this free bag pattern on the Shecansew blog. For some reason it won’t let me link the actual free pattern but it is on Craftsy called the Mini Downtown Messenger bag. As blogs go Shecansew is quite commercialised but each day has a free pattern and last Monday it was this rather sweet mini messenger bag. The problem was just that, it was mini. Jennifer suggests a bag 14” deep and 12” wide so I had to scale it up. I don’t have access to a fancy photocopier that can scale it up automatically 0so I just scaled up the overall shape and then made a couple of more templates then cut out the relevant sections, so the curved pieces, the front pocket etc  and then added seam allowances. As haphazard as it sounds it worked.

I chose these fabrics.


I love the raccoon fabric ( I think it’s a raccoon and not a bear but US friends do correct me). I did wobble a bit on this choice thinking perhaps a child from rural Russia might have a fear of a bear like face. But then I thought back to my fellow holiday makers last year on a ranch holiday in Colorado. We were discussing bears and the threat of walking or riding into one. We don’t have bears or anything that can attack you in the UK (other than fellow humans unfortunately). I found it amazing how sanguine the US folk were about the very real threat of the wilder types of the US’s wildlife. On one hand saying how rare it was to come across  a bear and in the next breath swapping stories of bear encounters and the best brand of bear spray!! They are so much braver than me….but I decided, fearful or not, that it was too cute a fabric not to go with it


It was a very simple make and using my beloved headliner as interfacing gives it body but it is still light and functional. I chose the cursed polyester mix for the lining thinking our alphabet would be an interesting contrast to their cyrillic alphabet.


If you are thinking our garden is looking very verdant then that might be due to the torrential rain we’ve been having but sadly not all my garden looks like that, see here my very sorry looking vine….. it was chosen to hide that ugly down pipe, a task it is spectacularly failing at! I think I will give it a thorough prune and see what happens.


Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF

This is a Q2 QAL finish and covered here

The Missing Lilac Cat

imageNo this is not the blog being pulled because of non compliance with the new European GDPR rules but the actual lilac cat did go missing (note past tense, it has a happy ending!).

This is not a post about quilts and sewing so feel free to pass on by.  I do really understand that one person’s passion can be incomprehensible to another. I could never get my late husband’s obsession with Norwich City Football Club, he would even cry, for goodness sake,  if they went down a division! For the sake of marital harmony I expressed more sympathy than this suggests but taken altogether it gave him much more pain than pleasure. I’m guessing I’m not the only sports widow and many can relate to this. But as this blog is named after Skye and she frankly features more than any one single thing I’ve ever sewn I thought I’d share.

Skye and her cousin Felix are indoor cats. I have wrestled with this as its not a natural existence but today’s story only goes to prove my reservations were well founded. Being bred for beauty and not brain has it’s pitfalls.


No one saw Skye escape and I suspect a door wasn’t fully closed and in a busy household with the children off school it could have been anyone of us.  But she’s been more and more keen on escaping recently and on this occasion she saw her chance and went for it. Once we couldn’t find her in the house we were out in the neighbourhood calling her name and then settled down in the garden to await her return. Except she didn’t. Hours went by and no cat and we got ever more concerned.

I put her details up on our local residents Facebook page.  We are part of quite a close knit community and have been here for nearly 30 years so it wasn’t long before I got a call to say she’d been seen 100m houses up  the road but the trail was cold and there no sign of her when we went up there late at night.

With Skye still missing  in the morning action was needed and by 6.45am I was out leafleting. I had used posters when a neighbour and I tried to find out information about a stray cat earlier this year  but we found they weren’t very effective. Typical surburbian life means most people drive. I thought the personal touch of a leaflet would have more impact and more eyes looking out for her.

Sure enough another couple of sightings came through but nothing very recent but it gave me another area to leaflet. And on my walk back I saw a little face peeping out from behind the tyre of a car. She was damp, cold and hungry after going solo for nearly 30 hours.  I’m not sure who was the more relieved!

Stressed cats shed fur as you can see from the picture on my daughter’s lap. She never normally sheds. If this was the same for humans I’d have needed a wig by the time she came home.


She was quickly spark out with exhaustion on my daughter’s bed. Mindyou most of her normal day she’s like this!


I was hopeful that her experience of being miserable outside  would give her an aversion to the outdoors  but not a bit of it.  Given half the chance she was outside in a trice less than 24 hours of being home. Obviously I staged this and was ready to scoop her up before she made a run for it.  But she shamelessly edged the door open with her paw, little monkey.



As I say beauty over brains. In some ways it’s more worrying as we now know if she gets out she won’t just amble home. I can see more leafleting in my future at some point. And for Skye a new collar with a clear tag saying ‘I’m lost’!