First Sunday of Advent

Advent is the time to re-set the focus of our hearts and minds on Jesus, the ever-lasting light, turning away from the distractions that get our hearts and minds heading into the shadows where we can become full of dread for the future.

Jesus described himself as ‘The Light of the World’.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

The opening chapter of John’s Gospel is full of descriptions of Jesus as light.

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.


Advent is not only a season to count down to Christmas, remembering Jesus’ birth but also a season to look forward with certain hope knowing his death and resurrection have defeated the darkness and his light will prevail into eternity.


Step Away From the Sewing Machine!

Do you ever approach sewing with a sense of foreboding? Thankfully not too often or maybe never? This afternoon I did enter my sewing room with nagging doubts about the wisdom of continuing to quilt one of the little quilts from the big UFO. I told myself such doubts were due to feeling a trifle tired after a busy morning plus my usual apprehension re. free motion quilting.

I fought the nagging niggles, took a deep breath and sat down at my sewing machine. I slowly and carefully made the adjustments required: stitch length switched to zero, feed dogs down, presser foot pressure dialed down, speed regulator at medium, fmq foot fitted securely.

Thankfully I did opt to begin with a warm up using a practice sandwich… Within a few stitches BAM! the needle had broken! That did nothing to quell the creeping feeling of dread! Hey! Ho! Replace the needle, stitch s-l-o-w-l-y watching for a fault. I couldn’t create smooth curves and closer inspection showed that some of the stitches weren’t catching the bobbin thread. Time to get the manual off the shelf and double-check I’d set up the machine correctly. Yes! I had but still the stitches were skipping.

Back to basics, re-thread and start again. It was then I discovered an ‘operator error’ (that would be me!). For some reason I’d inserted the bobbin in the bobbin case with the thread running anti-clockwise instead of clockwise! Doh! Silly me!

Surely now me and Julie the Juki could get on with improving our fmq skills? Well! No! Still skipping stitches! *SIGH*

Time to step away from the machine. Maybe I should have listened to that sense of foreboding in the first place and opted for a different occupation this afternoon?

When I do go back I have a couple more options to try: first change to a bigger needle (I’m set up with 50wt thread and a 75/11 quilting needle), if that doesn’t work then I’ll have twiddle the tension dial.

Sorry this is a rather down-beat post, but it wouldn’t do to give the impression that every sewing session goes according to plan would it?

Anyway a frustrating session with my sewing machine is put in perspective by news of the terrible dangers and damage created by Hurricane Laura. I’m sure quilters across the region will already be rallying to give aid and bring comfort through their craft.


Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (100)

Welcome to the 100th edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 😀 Come and join in this virtual sewing day (is there any other kind at the moment?), bring along your projects(s) and share in the inspirational conversations, tips and stories from the Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the comments box at the bottom of the page to add your thoughts and ideas.

At the beginning of the week I felt like I was wading in treacle (everything seemed to be taking twice as long as usual and my concentration levels were low) but somehow I did finish the secret sewing quilt top. It measures 70″ square and as it is destined for a magazine photo shoot I’ve decided to send it away to be long arm quilted. A quilt that size is right on the limit of my quilting capabilities and I’d hate to get all worked up trying to quilt it on my domestic machine. So, postal services willing, the quilt top will be winging it’s way to Trudi Wood for some edge to edge stitching magic 🙂

As the week has gone on I’ve nipped into the sewing room and done a little bit of stitching here and there. I often wish I didn’t have so many projects on the go but actually this week it has been a blessing to be able to work within my levels of concentration on a variety of familiar blocks.

I pieced the teal blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Made a couple more Dear Dottie blocks.

Worked on the second challenge of the Quilter’s Color Quest (more of that next week).

Today’s Quilter March 2020 photo by Allison Reid

And did a bit of day dreaming over the latest edition of Today’s Quilter. The magazine was a treat purchase after standing in a supermarket car park for 40 minutes queuing for my turn to shop (it was actually quite pleasant waiting in a very British, orderly line absorbing the Spring sunshine). The clincher for the purchase was the inclusion of not one but two rulers – you know I can’t resist a ruler 😉 The magazine held a lovely surprise for me: A Folk Art style applique table runner caught my attention straight away and then I spotted the designer is none other than Yasmeen who led the inspiring needle turned applique workshop I so enjoyed.

My project(s) for this weekend include making some more Dear Dottie blocks and working on the needle turned applique block – two more leaves to stitch in place and then it will be time to create a cushion cover. 🙂

Time to turn to the Worldwide Quilting Community for some patchwork quilting inspiration:

Angela Walters has announced a new Quilt-A-Long showcasing her Kaleidoscope Panel. You don’t need to have the Panel to join and learn from a master of the art of free motion quilting.

I so enjoy being part of our creative patchwork & quilting community. I’ve met lovely people both in person and on-line through our craft. I just want to give a shout out to two independent P&Q businesses local to me: there’s Viv and Eve at Purple Stitches (purchase fabric and notions on-line, just email or phone if you need help matching colours etc) and Jo Westfoot aka the The Crafty Nomad. Jo like Viv loves rainbow colours, she designs, makes, quilts, teaches and also produces patterns all with her distinctive, accessible style. Take a look at Jo’s website where you can purchase her patterns and for just £18 you can join-in her current skill-building BOM and access her supportive Facebook group.

Advice on home schooling is a bit off tack for this site but this is from a patchwork quilter who has done home schooling. You may find Rachel’s tips helpful or be able to pass them on to someone who has suddenly been landed with the role of home educator.

I have never attempted a Y-Seam. But I have saved to Pinterest Rebecca’s beautifully photographed Y-seam tutorial. Very helpful and her seam and point matching is so precise :-O Amazing!

Cindy over at Stitchin At Home has designed and made the most striking baby quilt using giant Dresden Plate segments. Well worth a look and guaranteed to make you smile 🙂

Leanne shares a little tutorial to show us how to use wax crayons to write messages on quilt tops. I didn’t know this was possible. Leanne finished her mini quilt with a border of mini pebble quilting – very effective!

Phew! That will do for links this week. One thing is for sure patchwork quilters are still producing blog posts – I have over 70 more email notifications waiting to be clicked and read! :-O You’ll find plenty more from the Worldwide Quilting Community on my Pinterest board, Pins of the Week.

Linking with Alycia for Finished (or not) Friday. Alycia does have a finished quilt to share – although the wind made for a challenging photo shoot!

Happy Stitching!


Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (79)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring and Share 🙂 I hope you have time to bring along your project(s) and enjoy sharing in the conversations doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do leave your comments and links in the box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

I have to confess to being totally distracted by what Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon calls a DrEAMi (drop everything and make it) project. I needed a little project to take to a quilting day with friends. Scanning my bookcase I caught sight of ‘Take 5 Fat Quarters’ by Kathy Brown. I thought, ‘I’m sure I’ve got 5 (million) FQs in my stash….’ Sure enough I found three I’d bought only a month ago at the West Country Quilt & Stitching Show and matched them

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