Porch Stained Glass Windows Installed

       The large stained glass panels I made last year for a friend’s porch have been installed and the owners are very pleased with them.  That’s a relief!

Pumpkin joins Acorn Squash

Today I welcomed my new glorious Kate Malone (http://www.katemaloneceramics.com/) Pumpkin that joins my dazzling Acorn Squash.  They are very happy sitting together – who knows if little pumpkins might appear?

‘Crazy’ Quilt

This was my Easter weekend project, although I had previously prepared the ‘crazy’ block fabric and made the first cut.

I have previously made a quilt using this ‘crazy’ pattern, and bored with just squares I fancied doing it again with some of my donated Linus fabric stash. This time I adapted the ‘crazy’ pattern for a smaller starting block (10”) and made only 3 cuts.  However I hadn’t really planned the result and ended up with an odd number of blocks – hence the 2 plain blocks added.  When I had sewn the blocks and the sashing I realized it was not wide enough so scrounged some more more fabric to add to the offcuts for the 2 borders.  I had the calico and backing in my stash and some wadding so no purchases necessary.  The end size was 36” by 53”.

If you haven’t done one of these before it is amazingly simple.  Start with the same number of squares that you want to end up with and make a random cut at an angle in one block from side to side.  Use one of the shapes as a template and make the same cut on the remaining blocks.  Arrange the cut pieces together in a different order, and stitch together.  Repeat the cut, rearrange and stitch several more times.

My Kate Malone Pumpkin

Okay I had nothing to do with creating this masterpiece, but it is so gorgeous and I’m so proud to own it, I just had to share.

This is one of Kate Malone’s (from The Great Pottery Throw Down TV programs) creations, from her exhibition at Waddesdon Manor last year (‘Inspired By Waddesdon Manor’ exhibition 8/6 to 16/10/2016).  This is a second version of one of her smaller pumpkins in the display photo.  It is approximately 6” wide at the top and 2.5” high.  It is a second version because I wanted that one and it had already been sold!.  I just loved so many of her creations but couldn’t afford a large pumpkin or vase.

I do hope that you want to see more of her work – please visit: http://www.katemaloneceramics.com/

This page has a link for more information on the Waddesdon exhibition:


Memory Quilt


I was asked back in late summer of 2016 to make a quilt for someone in memory of her mother, using a number of her mother’s favourite blouses.  I thought this was such a lovely idea.  The blouses were mostly in shades of pink and purple, and of beautiful material – all cotton and most were very fine cotton.  The client selected a ‘Rail Fence’ Design.  Out of 15 different materials, 3 weren’t used.  The main block had 9 different fabrics, 2 further ones for the sashing, and another for the binding.  The backing was white calico.  Quilting was using a multi coloured (pink and purple ) thread on the top and white on the backing.  I made a label using my sewing machine alphabet in the multi-coloured quilting thread on white backing. (If you click on the photo to see a larger version the materials will show up better)

I started on 14 August 2016 and the quilt was finished on 22 January 2017 so elapsed time was approximately 5 months.   This time I kept a log of the hours and minutes I worked and the actual work time was 96 hours.  This was broken down into  :

30 hours 40 minutes for material preparation – de-constructing the blouses and unpicking darts etc, ironing on very soft interfacing.

5 hours 35 minutes for cutting the material into strips – this would have been a LOT more without the use of my acquaintance’s die cutting machine

8 hours planning on which fabrics to use where and the layout of the blocks

26 hours 50 minutes sewing the strips into blocks and sewing the blocks together

9 hours 30 minutes quilting

15 hours 25 minutes sewing on the binding, creating the label and sewing it on.

Mini Christmas Knits


I have been knitting for Christmas; actually I started in June and then abandoned it until October.  These are some of the tiny items from Sue Stratford’s wonderful book ‘Mini Knitted Christmas’.    Her books are shown on her web site: http://www.suestratford.co.uk/.

I may yet finish some more in between stained glass window number 2 and other sewing. Whilst they are small in size and quick (ish) to knit (although fiddly), they do take HOURS to sew up and stuff!.

6 Days to a Stained Glass Window


I have recently completed a 5 day workshop with Vitreus Art, building a large (118 cm long by 43 cm wide) window for a porch.  Ultimately there will be two of them one on either side of the porch.  A HUGE thank you to my tutors Jenny and Mike without whose encouragement, tutoring and help the window would never have been built.

The window stretched my capabilities – I was unaware of the challenges until I started – accuracy in cutting and building straight lines, and I don’t ‘do’ straight!.  Thanks to the eagle eye of Mike and his assistance the lines ARE straight.

The main photo shows the window against the porch where it will be installed.

Day 1:  Started with quite a bit of practice cutting and grinding. Then the setting up and the decision on which way the long lead cames would go.  Doesn’t look like much progress!  2016-10-17-day-1-left-window

 Day 2:  Some progress was made, including putting together and taking apart a couple of times to get an accurate fit!  2016-10-18-day-2-left-window

 Day 3: Finally it looks like a window!!  By the time I arrived in the morning it had been dismantled and re-built by Mike – reason number 1.  2016-10-19-day-3-left-window

Before Lunch time it was dismantled and re-built – reason number 2.

If you compare day 3 photo with day 2 you might see why!

The piece labelled B6 (blue) actually fitted just as cut without further grinding !!  this is a SUCCESS.  I am improving on cutting straight lines and grinding straight lines.

Day 4: Significant progress was made.


I’m getting the hang of cutting mostly accurately so building the pieces up didn’t take as long as previous days.  It was a long day and by the end I’d lost my energy.  So Mike kindly helped out with the last 4 tricky pieces (the edge ones) and put in the came at the top as I just wasn’t capable.


Day 5: Today’s steps were:

  • Add came and steel to the remaining side
  • Solder all joints on both sides (yes they let me loose on a soldering iron!!). Sadly I was disappointed in my soldering skills which soldering had an ‘off’ day
  • Apply cement into all the came edges followed by powder to encourage the cement to dry, on both sides – this is a VERY messy job.
  • Finally it was partially cleaned up on both sides – removing excess cement from the inside of the panes. 2016-10-21-day-5-left-window-cement-and-chalk


As the cement needs some time to harden before the final clean up that was scheduled for a few days time.

Day 6

This was cleaning day – 7 hours worth!.


  • First the excess cement was removed from the glass with a scraper and vacuumed up.
  • Then Grate Blacking was applied to the lead cames with an old toothbrush; this also got over the glass – very messy.
  • Then the lead was polished with a cloth, removing as much of the blacking from the glass as possible.
  • Finally the glass was cleaned using special glass cleaner and a cloth to reveal a clean window on one side.
  • The window was turned over and the process repeated.

I think the window did look good afterwards.

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