Tag Archives: fossil ferns

Fossil Ferns and Fun in the Sun

19 Mar

Finally everything is sorted – well most things- and my shop is open in Polperro in Cornwall. I am glad to report that despite the fact there is practically nobody about, we are selling steadily. There have been several quilters actually staying in the village and that means they have to resist the shop for at least a week. Thankfully few do.


The glass jewellery I make  with the occasional input of various members of the family is also going well. The secret seems to be to have things that are different and so not available elsewhere. Alas I was having a ‘day off’ – if you can count making jewellery as a ‘day off’ – and was not the one who made the first of our quilt sales but it is still a lovely feeling that someone now has an heirloom made by yours truly.

I have sorted out the sock monkey kits. They contain everything needed to make a monkey, including the stuffing of course. An added  bonus is that instead of a paper bag or box they are packed into a matching bag with an embroidered sock monkey. In other words when the monkey is finished the bag is usable in its own right. We waste nothing here.




Anyway, if you are visiting the West Country call in and see us. I don’t think you will be disappointed. We have Fossil ferns in abundance. We have a great many of the Makower plains. We have Elizabeth’s Studio prints and Laurel Burch collections. We have a wide range of fun and funky fabrics. It is certainly a bright and cheerful place to be.


If I get lonely I talk to the Dolls (no not really).





Monkeying Around with The Hosiery.

11 Sep

Having been inspired by a link to Ladybelle’s web site and the fabulous sock monkey quilt featured there and given my obsession with machine embroidery I had to acquire the embroideries. Having done that I searched the internet for sock monkey fabric to match. There was none in the UK that I could find in a hurry so I went to Christa Quilts over the pond (not physically you understand) who just happened to be featuring some cream fabric in one of her regular  offers.  She also got me again this week by offering the whole range of sock monkey fabric at the same discount. In case you don’t know what the fabric looks like ;

If you want to see the full range of sock monkey embroideries click on this link and prepare to be surprised at the variety of things sock monkeys do.

Harrogate was a much bigger success from our point of view than Exeter. It was completely different in every way and we sold lots of goodies too so we were happy.

You will be pleased to know that sewing all the embroideries was not in vain. They were very popular. I will be extending the repertoire for next year. We will also have lots of new quilt designs.

I now have to try to sort out the stock and find room for it. Whilst I was up in the area I went to Ebor to stock up on fossil ferns. I now have 47 different ones so if you are as obsessed with fossil ferns as I am you know where to come.  nsaaquilting fossil ferns page.   I am still charging the old price despite several price rises and I have the brightest colours.

I’ll keep you posted on the sock monkeys. I just have to decide which to do first.

Meet Molly Moo Cow

24 Jul

Today, Saturday I have been knee deep in cheese again. Not that I actually had to do anything but I still felt part of the process so to speak. I went down to the cheesemaking bit of the cellar to get the watering can as the flowers out front were looking a tad wilted and it looks like a mini dairy. There are not actually any cows there but there are four different cheeses being pressed as we speak. very impressive. In fact I began to feel quite like a farmer’s wife and it put me in mind of my ‘Funky Farmyard’Quilt design.

This evolved from some sketches I made and then I saw the Makower farm fabric and had to have it and the Funky Farmyard was born.

Meet Molly the Moo Cow, Horace the Horse, Sadie the Sheep, Denzil the Duck, Ronald and Rabina the Rabbits and Percy the Pig.

On his own Gerry the Goat.

The pattern has a 6″ border but I just had to use the Makower border fabric which is actually 10″ so the quilt is a very large single and should hang down to the floor on a single bed. The Goat applique is on a play mat. I think the playmat is a good thing to have around with a baby . If you use a hiloft wadding so that it is soft it makes a very good surface on which to lay the baby when small and also to lay over it when asleep say in the car or on a picnic. In short a very useful bit of katundu.

Whilst I was making up the quilt it occured to me that the designs would make good wall hangings too. They could be used to decorate a child’s room in addition to the quilt.

Denzil and Daisy

They are quick and easy to make and great fun. As you can see you can put on multiple Ducks or just the one and you could put on as many flowers as you like. Using a plain fabric changes the whole look of the design. You could also combine patterned and plain for yet another look. If you would like the pattern or kit go to nsaaquilting.co.uk. If you like the fabric I have some fat quarters in it. At the moment I have kits in Pig, Duck and Rabbit although I could make up one of the others if it appeals. Just email me a  info@nsaaquilting.co.uk.

I made these in the same way as described in the last post, using a couple of pieces of greaseproof paper and the template. All my applique patterns have reversed pieces so that you don’t have to mess about with a light box. I got quite distressed in sunny countries watching people trying to trace pattern pieces whilst holding the original up to a window. Louvred windows were a particular challenge. You can of course still use a light box to make it easier to trace the pieces onto the fusible webbing but they are the right way round to trace onto the webbing. The use of the lightbox is one of the reasons I only produce single sided patterns. I find it very frustrating to trace pattern pieces over a lightbox with the pieces on the other side showing through. Paper doesn’t cost that much and the printing costs are the same however you look at it. To recap; having traced the reversed pieces onto the fusible webbing and cut round them roughly, I iron them onto the reverse side of the fabric to be used. They are then cut out on the traced lines and the paper backing removed. This leaves a glue surface which allows the pieces, now the right way round, to be placed onto the background fabric and ironed on. This fuses them onto the background and keeps them in place whilst they are stitched.

Instead of putting them straight on to the background I make the appliques up first. I lay a piece of baking paper over the template which shows the finished applique. I then place each piece down starting with those that will be underneath and use the point of the iron to tack the pieces in place. When I am satisfied with the result I put another piece of greaseproof over the applique and press quickly, just long enough for them to fuse together. When cool the applique is carefully removed from the greaseproof paper and placed on the background. Using a steam iron it is then fused on. Follow with your choice of stitching.


You can use a special applique sheet but I don’t get on with them I prefer the paper. ‘Horses for Courses ‘ as they say.

As a finale let me now introduce the Rabbits.I really Like the Rabbits.