Some More Practice, A Bit of Tidying and Some Sadness


F2F Quilt Label

As you will know, if you come here often, I have just finished putting together my quilt from the F2F Block Swap and I have inexpertly written out a label in permanent ink on fabric and attached it to one of the back corners to prove it.

So, that’s done then.

I was the first out of the hat to receive blocks for the next round so I decided that, before getting going on the next nine months of making three blocks for each participant, I’d better get my house in order.  Well, the part of my house that is my sewing room anyway – the rest of it lies sadly neglected as usual although I do have to do a bit of ‘damp dusting’ this afternoon as my Mum’s coming to stay.  Her eyesight isn’t what it used to be though so she won’t be able to see the rugs closely enough to know that one of my dogs is severely in moult at the moment.

Despite the fact that I’ve made any number of fabric storage boxes and bought shedloads of Ikea’s ‘fold this bit of floral card up into a box shape’ triple packs, I have come to the realisation that nothing really does the job like a bit of see-through plastic and a label.  So, I bought some, promptly filled them, then had to go and buy some more.

Plastic Storage Bins

These are most of them, but not all – there are two large ones labelled ‘Liberty Tana Lawns’ off camera :/  A fabric that I rarely use for anything but one that I can’t resist when I see it, still less when I feel it and at least I can get it out every now and again, Golem -like, and indulge in some stroking.  Still it all looks more ‘accessible’ now and is mostly divided into colours so when I’m reaching for the specific tones that people have asked for in their F2F blocks, I will know exactly where to find them.

In a slight digression – wouldn’t be my blog without at least one would it? I share my workroom with lots of vintage haberdashery items.  I’m not always sure why but, when I see them, I can’t resist adding them to my collection (are you noticing a trend?).  Anyway, you may or may not remember the fabric I bought that screamed ‘Hexagonal Sewing Box’ at me – well, I listened and it has come to pass.

Hexagonal Sewing Box - Haberdashery

See! I knew I’d need an old printers’ drawer some time.  I actually have another one mounted on the wall downstairs with which I amuse myself by trying to find teeny tiny things to display in those teeny tiny compartments.

Anyway, back to the patchwork blocks.  I have been practicing my paper piecing and behold my second attempt.

Paper Pieced Star for F2F 2016/2017

In case it turned out O.K. I made it in the colours I’ve chosen for my next quilt and I’m pretty happy with it.  There’s something about designs like this one – where it looks as if the square is threaded through the star – that make me absurdly happy in a childlike kind of way.  I can’t draw or paint but I love the fact I can achieve this effect in fabric.  I know, I’m easily pleased but there are no grilled, salted almonds or alcohol involved so I count patchwork porn as one of my lesser vices.

In a sudden change of mood I have had some sadness lately.  My lovely cat Beau, plucked from the refuge as a kitten with his sister Betty and bought home to live with us for the past nine years, has been missing for four weeks.

Beau - chat perdu

He is identified with a tattoo in his ear (which they do a lot in France) and is sterilised.  His photograph and details are on Pet Alert on Facebook, the Chat Perdu webiste and all the bins, bottle banks and poster sites in the village.  There is no sign of him.

He has always reminded me of the fish ‘Dory’ in Finding Nemo who had a short term memory of about 30 seconds.  He would start eating, get distracted by something and wander off, only to forget he’d been fed in the first place and come back to ask for food.  I’m hoping he’s just sort of forgotten where he lives and, any time now, he’ll remember and come back.

If you see him,  let me know 😦


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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on May 19, 2016 - 15:35

    I love the quilt block and totally get the thrill of the yellow through the star. Wonderful colour combo. Sorry to hear about the missing cat, sure he will turn up
    I love acquiring sewing related vintage items. I should find a way of displaying it. Have a good time with your Mum.

    • #2 by tialys on May 19, 2016 - 16:59

      Thank you for understanding the patchwork thrill 😉 I have saved up a hand pieced block that I can do when Mum is here – more sociable than disappearing off to the machine.

  2. #3 by sew2pro on May 19, 2016 - 15:44

    Oh no, poor Beau, I hope he’s making his way back as we speak. How worrying this must be for you. I’ve just read a very positive account of a cat called Tuna being found after 35 days (if you’re interested: and it does seem as if cats can get a bit disoriented and go feral for a while Fingers crossed, I’ll be thinking of you both!

    I am impressed by the printer drawers; an interesting relic with a perfect contemporary setting.

    • #4 by tialys on May 19, 2016 - 16:57

      What a charming story – bless her! I was also sidetracked by the tale of the cat/fox murderer stalking the streets of Norwood. I did have a white cat once who took himself off for weeks at a time, returning covered in ticks and fleas and fight wounds in order, I suppose, to be cleaned up and cured. We got used to it in the end but Beau hasn’t done this before and he is nine. I am wondering whether his nose was put out of joint a little when we introduced the kittens to the menagerie.

  3. #5 by Joan on May 19, 2016 - 16:00

    Praying for you and your dear Beau. I know the deep pain of missing pets.

    • #6 by tialys on May 19, 2016 - 16:48

      Thanks so much Joan.

    • #7 by sew2pro on May 20, 2016 - 15:33

      Maybe now they’re older, the kittens are acting like rightful heirs!

      Some years back, my neighbour went through a crisis and acquired four cats to cope: within a year, two cats had kittens (she was of the opinion, like many, that it’s good to allow queens to have one litter before being neutered). As the kittens grew, a few of the originals began moving out. I used to see them as I’d walk along adjacent streets and think… hang on a minute, that’s not your garden!! But one of mine moved out a few months after my son was born… I didn’t mind as I was so busy and his new owners loved him. The irony is that they soon had a baby too. The cat moved in with the baby’s grandparents.

  4. #8 by claire93 on May 19, 2016 - 16:52

    your paper piecing skills are coming along in leaps and bounds! That’s something I haven’t tried yet (apart from one failed half-hearted attempt) but seeing your blocks, I’m thinking I’ll have to give it a go!
    Sorry to hear about Beau missing. Advantage of the tattoo in ear vs micro-chip, people do think to look in a cat’s ear, so hopefully, if he’s forgotten where he lives, someone will take him to a vet and you’ll get a phone call.

    • #9 by tialys on May 19, 2016 - 17:01

      Yes, lots of people wouldn’t bother to take a cat to the vets to be scanned – so few people microchip cats around here – but if they see a tattoo they might just do it as they would know it belonged to somebody. Here’s hoping.

  5. #10 by Frivolous Monsters on May 19, 2016 - 17:17

    I hope you find your cat. A local cat that went missing, and then was found, had made it a mile or two I think. Always hope.

    • #11 by tialys on May 19, 2016 - 19:21

      There is hope and I have had cats go awol before and then come back as if nothing had happened. It’s a bit worrying on the Chat Perdu site as some kind citizens, hoping to relieve the horrible ‘not knowing’ feeling that owners get when their pet goes missing, have taken photos of dead cats by the side of the road. I was a bit shocked when I first saw those but, really, it makes sense to let people know. Here’s hoping I don’t see one featuring my cat though.

  6. #12 by katechiconi on May 19, 2016 - 17:44

    See! It’s just like the postage stamp blocks. I knew that once you were out of the traps and running, you’d be unstoppable. All it needed was someone to nag you to start paper piecing, and you were away. Lovely work, and I now look forward to seeing lots and lots of lovely PP blocks in the forthcoming episodes of F2F2. The fabric organisation is slightly scary, and I’m wondering what you’ve done with the real Lynn… Perhaps she’s contentedly tucked into a box herself with a pile of Liberty prints to pet and sing to! I’m sorry about your poor missing puss. We live in hope on your behalf…

    • #13 by tialys on May 19, 2016 - 19:16

      I know, it is scary – I love it when I’m all organised and always vow to keep it that way but, somehow or other, it gets away from me again. Still, I’m all labelled up now and I don’t think I’ve ever gone that far before. As for the PP, as with the postage stamp blocks, it must be true you should never say never – just watch, I’ll be stuffing mushrooms and signing myself up for a cruise next 😉

      • #14 by on May 19, 2016 - 19:26

        …and come back fat as a pig.

      • #15 by katechiconi on May 20, 2016 - 01:57

        Now that would be going too far… If I ever see signs of impending stuffing or cruising, I’ll take action.

  7. #16 by Magpie Sue on May 19, 2016 - 18:01

    I feel your pain and concern for Beau. I hope he finds his way home soon. Your fabric storage is looking lovely! Makes me want to come over and play. ;- ) I’ve always wanted a printer’s box but have never been lucky enough to score one (or able to afford it when I found it). Doesn’t stop me from collecting little treasure though!

    • #17 by tialys on May 19, 2016 - 19:13

      They aren’t that rare, or expensive, here. Shame you’re not just round the corner – I could let you have one of mine. It’s quite fun finding things to display in it. I do have quite a few letters and numbers but I have things like teeny seashells, sharks teeth, mini reels of cotton, etc.

  8. #18 by on May 19, 2016 - 19:20

    Chapeau for the brilliant pp block and the hexagonal sewing box (I love that fabric), and I am drooling over your organized fabric stash. Please can I have a stroke of your Tana lawn, but don’t leave it unattended with this fabriholic.

    I do hope your Beau re-appears.

  9. #19 by Abigail on May 20, 2016 - 00:48

    So sorry to hear about your cat, I really hope he is found.

  10. #20 by dezertsuz on May 20, 2016 - 05:12

    I’m so sorry about your cat. I know how those little beasties wind their ways into our hearts. I hope he returns, or is returned, soon. I do love your 2nd paper-pieced block. I’m so glad you made it in your colors!

    I’ve been pawing through my stash looking for just the right blue and the perfect golden mustard. Not sure yet what those will be, but I’m excited to start a new round – and I’ll be working with my own F2F blocks from year 1 while I wait for my much later draw to come up in December – which is my birthday month. =)

    Your room looks great – I came to that same conclusion a couple of months ago and am slowly switching over. I don’t have shelves, so they are stacked on top of each other, but at least I can see which color is there.

    • #21 by tialys on May 20, 2016 - 11:49

      I’m glad you decided to join us again! Lucky to be drawn during your birthday month – all those squishy parcels to open. I’ve just realised – duh! – that June is my birthday month so I can also pretend I’m getting loads more parcels than I usually do on my birthday 😉 It’s a shame I didn’t switch over a month or so ago because Lidl had an offer on storage boxes and I bought one pack of 4 not really having formulated a plan in my head at that stage. They were such a good price, they flew out of the shop and, afterwards, when I realised how handy they were, had to pay much more to add to the original four – even in the ‘cheapy’ shop. Never mind.

  11. #22 by themateriallady on May 20, 2016 - 10:36

    I hope your cat is home soon. We had a rescued Siamese who went walkabout for five days not long after he started going poo outside. We were fortunate to get reports of ‘sightings’ but he didn’t come home until he was ready. I hope Beau does the same.
    Your organisation is admirable, as is that gorgeous quilt block. (Itch, itch)

    • #23 by tialys on May 20, 2016 - 11:52

      Thank you – he’s probably just moved house to somewhere there aren’t 5 other cats/kittens vying for attention. This did happen to me once when I was still in the U.K. My cat spent her days in an old lady’s airing cupboard and, eventually, never came home. When the old lady died, her son kept the cat and by the time he died we had moved out here and my ex-next door neighbour took her in. She lived until she was 22!

      • #24 by themateriallady on May 20, 2016 - 20:52

        Another cat we had used to move into my arthritic neighbours house during the day when her heating was on and ours off! She knew but forgave him anyway 😸

  12. #25 by Fred the Needle on May 20, 2016 - 11:09

    Oh you poor thing, missing your little cat.. hope he remembers where his home is soon and returns to you safe and well.

    Your sewing room looks amazing, it must be so much easier to see the fabrics! I think I might follow suit, the clear boxes do help to identify contents quickly. I have used little suitcases for various haberdashery items, despite labelling it is sometimes frustrating.
    I adore the printer’s block, what a great way to create your own little Art Gallery!

    The quilt block looks fantastic! I love the colours.

    • #26 by tialys on May 20, 2016 - 11:55

      Sometimes the prettiest things aren’t the most practical are they? I have labelled the plastic boxes but it’s good to be able to see through to the colours too. It’s also much more practical because they are stackable.
      I gave a lot of thought to the colours for the new quilt. To be honest, they don’t really go with much in my current décor but I saw a pile of fabrics on a fabric shop’s website and just liked the smart, modern look of them.

  13. #27 by Hila on May 20, 2016 - 17:39

    I am sorry about your missing cat. I hope he will turn up soon.

  14. #28 by nettyg on May 21, 2016 - 01:03

    My cheapie shop recently had packs of 3 of those clear plastic containers on special, so I bought a lot, despite trying not to bring too much plastic into the house, but they work so well. I’ve been using mine for colour coded scraps,as things get trimmed, the scraps get tossed in the right box. I have a friend with a brain injury who comes to visit,and is slowly sorting my other big tubs, putting all the small scraps into the new boxes….she has poor concentration and manual skills, so this suits both of us. Glad I’m not the only one with moulting animal detritus all over. Poor Beau, poor you, hope he either turns up soon, or you hear he’s living the life of a king somewhere. Do like your PP block, nice work.


    • #29 by tialys on May 25, 2016 - 07:55

      I find the scraps the hardest things to store. I was trying to only keep scraps I can cut into 2.5 inch strips or squares, 5 inch or 10 inch squares. Then, I needed 2 inch squares for postage stamp blocks and, now I’ve started paper piecing, I need all sorts.

  15. #30 by Postcard from Gibraltar on May 23, 2016 - 13:25

    Oh what a sad end to your beautiful post. I do hope Beau soon returns home. Your patchwork block is stunning. I love your sewing room and as for damp dusting – I did a bit last week so reckon my conscience is clear for housework this week 😉

    • #31 by tialys on May 25, 2016 - 07:56

      My conscience is rarely clear as far as housework is concerned but I manage to live with it 😉

  16. #32 by poshbirdy on May 23, 2016 - 18:08

    Hope Beau finds his way home. That block is so clever, very effective. Looking forward to seeing the next creation

  17. #33 by sewchet on May 24, 2016 - 09:02

    Oh no, poor Beau, I hope he turns up safe and sound very soon. I love your new patchwork block and the 3D effect it gives. I totally agree about see through plastic storage containers and use lots in my sewing room. Very thoughtful of you to stick to hand sewing while your mum is around. I just bring my sewing machine downstairs…..

    • #34 by tialys on May 25, 2016 - 08:00

      I have another 3D one coming up – finished while my Mum’s been here – and I’ve almost completed a jumper I’d put to one side while she’s been here too. We have our very own ‘stitch and bitch’ sessions when she comes over and I usually manage to get a few projects out of the UFO bin.

  18. #35 by Tammi Kale on May 29, 2016 - 06:46

    I too am a quilter and love finding others who are also. Great post!

    • #36 by tialys on May 29, 2016 - 11:56

      Thank you Tammi. I popped over to your blog and found it very interesting but no quilts! I like diverse blogs – just as well as mine tends to be – and maybe it’s something you will write about in the future. I’ll keep an eye on you 😉

  19. #37 by Lynn on May 31, 2016 - 20:04

    One of our cats went missing when a new rescue kitten was introduced, but sadly she never came home. As she was a pretty Siamese, I hoped that she found a new loving home, but I fear it was probably a coyote encounter on her first night out on the razzle. I hope that your Beau has just found himself locked in somewhere and will make it home again.

    • #38 by tialys on June 1, 2016 - 10:48

      Still no sign of him I’m afraid. We don’t have coyotes here but wild boar and foxes – although cats are pretty adept at getting away from predators. Mine have had plenty of practise shinning up trees to get away from my dogs 😉 Like you with your Siamese, I will think of him sunning himself on somebody else’s terrace where he is enjoying life as the only pet in the family and being spoilt rotten.

  20. #39 by jendavismiller on June 2, 2016 - 21:21

    I loved this post — until the last item. I hope your sweet cat Beau is safe and finds his way home very soon.

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