Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Relaxing into Appliqué for the Monster Quilt.

When I started this Monster Quilt project part of me was full of hesitancy. Would I be able to "do it!"

I was keen in a nervous sort of panicky way.

What helped me was to have my stash beside me. I was kind of shopping from my personal store,without spending any money. Once I had sorted and searched I realised I probably had enough material to make the whole quilt without spending any pennies at this time of year. All of us are recovering from the Christmas splurge I am sure.

Because the quilt is abstract in nature I was encouraged that my lack of artistic skills would not hold me back.

Because I want to make this for William I feel a quiet determination for it to be finished and on his bed by the time he comes to our home again in late June.

Because for me, this time of year is quiet,reflective, and enjoyable I actually want to spend it making something different. My crochet usually accompanies my life when it is lived at a faster pace. I crochet in the car,I crochet when waiting for appointments. I crochet with love but can almost hook Granny Squares without thinking. Perhaps,because of this I need a change. Something to make me slow down. Something to make me plan and work slowly, something to push me out of my hooky comfort zone.

So,today I decided to stop panicking and get really organised with thoughts of working this quilt all the way through January.

I put the ironing board up in the bedroom. The view is calming and inspiring . The village church to the right of me and the meadow to the left. Usually I slap a tea towel down on the nearest work top to where I am working and bang the iron down fairly randomly!


Thinking in the same way as yesterday's post these are the things I remember from my Needlework lessons. The teacher was called Miss Vickary. She was small and mousey if I remember rightly. I do remember she slapped my leg once when I apparently fidgeted as she was pinning a hem on my dress. I told my Mum expecting sympathy and understanding and before I knew it I had another slap on the leg for misbehaving in school! So Miss Vickary snippets!

  1. Iron all the pieces of your work before pinning and tacking.
  2. Use Iron on Vilene to help small pieces from fraying. This is especially important when using loose weave materials.

3. When using Blanket Stitch the direction you put the cotton around the needle affects the stitch. If you hold the work in your left hand and facing you by passing the cotton from left to right you end with a little knot at the top of your stitch and I think this gives a firmer finish to each stitch.If you don't want your blanket stitches to show use a thread which blends. Conversely if you want the blanket stitches to become part of the piece use a contrasting thread. I am going to try this contrasting idea on some of the blocks.I have decided to bring a sense of a small production line to the blocks. I realised there is a repetition in shapes so am going to work sets at a time. So far this is working really well because it helps the flow of placing and stitching.


Here is a shot of the thread around the needle when making a single Blanket stitch.

4. There is no need to break off your thread if you have another area to sew. Just trace it on the back of your work making sure it can not be seen on the front and carry straight on. This saves knots and too many joins.

5. When I looked at the quilt carefully I realised that some of the monsters shapes are repeated so I decided to get a little production line going. I found this saved me so much time as I could iron and use Vilene on all the pieces which needed it at one go.

This gentle repition of shapes but using different colours has also encouraged me greatly.

So here we have the first three blocks of a set of 5.




Most importantly of all the encouragement and kindness shown by fellow quilters such as Julie from the lovely blog Mac and Mabel has made me think " Yes I can do it " I know a bit more about batting today... It's the same as wadding!

And lastly the lovely comments left by my lovely followers has helped me so much. I feel you are beside me wishing me well. It really is like having a best friend by my side. Thank you one and all. It's strange how many of us creative souls hated P.E. And what horrible teachers there were around.

Talking of P.E I did make myself go out for a walk today. Thus quilting is stationary stuff!


And before I sign off for 2013 and a wonderful year can I wish everyone a wonderful New Year.

May each footstep beckoning from 2014 touch your heart with gentleness,happiness and love.

From Linda and all the family .With love.





  1. You seem to be very organised. I'll look forward to seeing the finished quilt.

  2. It's looking great so far, Linda. I hope you have a happy and healthy 2014. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and I value our growing friendship very much.

  3. Such a colourful and cozy treat is going to be waiting for William when he gets back!

    Happy New Year to you and your family!


  4. Linda you have made fantastic work already Im loving it, cant wait to follow this quilt and what a stunning view - happy new year to you, sporty and family xxx

  5. Forgot to say didn't really like PE either did venture into Country Dancing in Primary School with the formidable Miss Watts (I know saying her name you can almost imagine what she was like) I also enjoyed hockey but that's it couldn't shimmy up a rope if my life depended on it xx

  6. What a lovely relaxed post. I wish you well with your quilt and much happiness for 2014.

  7. William is going to love those monsters, I bet you end up naming them all, and making up stories about them ! I hated PE at school too, unless it was dance, which I really did enjoy.
    Wishing you all the very best for 2014

  8. Oh, I think this monster quilt will be one very much loved by young William! Looks as though you're doing beautifully on this, and I look forward to seeing more monster goodness! Happy New Year!!

  9. I love the great big smiles that your monsters are wearing!! The view from your window is lovely and I hope that you will enjoy looking at it change as the season moves on whilst you work. Happy New Year!! xx

  10. Linda, you are making great progress and I'm enjoying lessons from you teacher from long ago! I look forward to another year of sharing things with you from Oregon.

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

      *H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R*!*

  11. Linda, my dear friend, the quilt is looking fantastic, I love the way you are jumping into it with such zest!
    Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family,

  12. This is going to be such an amazing quilt. The blocks you have made already look brilliant.
    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    Sally xxx

  13. Amazing progress made so far and I can tell from your post that you're enjoying this experience very much. I haven't done sewing properly for quite a number of years. I did make some simple curtains for the bathroom last year but that's about it. I feel I would now be able to spread my craftyness further than I was able too now that both my children have left the family home. I have a nice spare room where it is okay to leave the ironing board up for many days in a row if I should want to. My ancient sewing machine does not have to be packed away after each sewing session either so maybe I will delve a little into sewing in 2014. The only thing stopping me is precious time of which I have very little alas.

  14. Hi Linda
    Not only have I been away from blogging I am also behind in reading my favourite blogs. I have been catching up and love the idea of your monster quilt and your first panels are amazing. Happy New Year x

  15. They are looking great! I'm loving the idea of slow crafting


  16. That is going to be one fabulous & very well loved quilt I'm sure - happy new year Linda

  17. Hi Linda, happy new year to you! it would be nice to do some stitching. I didn't know all that about blanket stitch! enjoy the making, can't wait to see it! Heather x


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