Jane Dallaway

Jane Dallaway

Often found in front of a computer, loom or sewing machine.

Software developer by trade. Weaver and photographer by hobby. Dog owner by design. This blog has elements of them all.

Maintainer of 30yearsagotoday.com and brightonbloggers.com


Email: jane @ dallaway.com
Twitter: @janedallaway
Flickr: janed
Instagram: janed

  • Notebook fabric tote 

    Notebook fabric tote - Gridlines facing

    For my birthday last year my friend bought me a collection of fabrics that resembled pages of stationery. I love stationery. I love fabric. What a great gift.

    Finally the other weekend I got around to using the first pieces. I'd had a plan for a while. I just needed to get on with it but had prioritised finishing my quilt.

    I'd been thinking for a while that the tote bag design would look cute. So I decided to give it a go. Two of the fabric pieces were orange grid lines and japanese script (I think - it was printed on a different orientation). These looked like they would work together well from a colour and size perspective. So, I bought some coordinating fabric from the Brighton Sewing Centre.

    And then I started sewing. All told it was 2 or 3 hours work. And it mostly went to plan. Well, if you ignore the fact that there isn't a straight line on it. You'd think that having grid lines would help, but they aren't straight either. Or at least that is my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

    Notebook fabric tote

    I'm pretty happy with the result. It is a perfect size for magazines or books and I think it looks cute.

  • Storyline postcards 5 

    I'm still sending Mum a postcard every weekend. And I'm still using photos from her life to continue the documentation process. There are a lot of these in her room now. Some on the cork board we bought for her. Some on surfaces. Some tucked into photo frames.

    And, as with set 4 I now document what postcards I've created primarily so that when I create the next batch I know what I've already sent.

    I still try to pick photos that I can write a sentence or two about. This time I've picked quite a few beach or summer postcards hoping that we have a great summer and I can draw life and the photo together.

    Ordered and photographed in two batches.

    Batch 1

    Storyline postcards batch 1

    Top row: Me applying make up to Mum on my wedding day, Mum sitting on a deckchair at a beach somewhere
    Left hand column: top to bottom: Dad, Mum and Anne at a ruined castle somewhere in the Lake District. Mum and I on a windy coastal walk around Flamborough Head. Dad and Mum at Spurn Point
    Middle column: Mum with a hat on somewhere. Mum and Nicky (her Mum's dog) somewhere in North Yorkshire.
    Right hand column: Mum in Austria. Mum on stairs somewhere - I like this photo although know nothing about it. Anne and Mum at a gardens in Scotland.

    Batch 2

    Storyline postcards batch 2

    Top row: Mum on a beach as a child. Mum in the sea somewhere. Mum with me at Burnby Hall. Mum and I eating ice cream on the beach at Bridlington.
    Left hand column: Mum perched on a railing at a beach. Mum and Dad cutting their silver wedding anniversary cake.
    Middle column: Mum with her Uncle Arthur and Aunty Grace probably at Scarborough. Mum on her wedding day.
    Right hand column: A family friend burying me in the sand at Bridlington beach with Mum in the background. Mum and I at Gretna Green.

  • A quilted sofa cover 

    The full quilt

    I've made a quilt type thing. It took me many months. But I've done it. And I'm pleased with it. It is far from perfect and there is lots of room for improvement but not bad as a first attempt.

    The seat of our sofa is usually covered with some form of fabric. This is to stop the dog from making too much of a mess on it - muddy paws leave muddy paw prints. We used to use some dull brown blanket style throws. But they weren't exactly nice to look at. More recently we've been using a couple of long shawls I brought back from India many years ago.

    I'm not sure when the idea first appeared in my head but I decided that it might be a great opportunity to make a quilt type thing. I had some stripy fabric left from making the Sew! cushion so I decided that would be the base. I bought some coordinating fabrics at the Knitting and Stitching show and thought that would all work out.

    Sofa cover quilt plan

    Then I started to plan. And having planned I realised that none of the fabrics I'd bought would be quite big enough. And then I used the brown fabric as the back for the woven cushion.

    First batch of strips cut for a patchwork quilt

    So I headed off to my nearby fabric shops armed with the stripy fabric and picked large enough pieces of two more fabrics. And I was off. Looking on instagram I cut the first pieces on November 2. And did the first bit of sewing a couple of weeks later.

    Having sewn 32 squares of fabric, and then stitched 8 rows with 4 squares each I re-measured and had a change of plan. I hadn't been optimistic about my ability to sew straight or even so I'd planned to put some sashing between each row. But I didn't need to for size, and I didn't need to for straightness either. Whilst not exactly being straight, they would do.

    So, I started assembly. I seem to remember there being some unstitching when I realised that the pattern I had on my plan didn't match what was in front of me. But I got it all back to where it should be.

    I then had a bit of a break whilst looking for fabric for a border and back panel. I ended up compromising and choosing something with stripes on it. Never again! I made a mistake on one of the borders — it isn't quite as noticeable now it's all quilted BUT I KNOW WHERE IT IS! Chalk that up to lessons learned.

    Whilst on my quilt break I made some quilted coasters to practice both quilting and binding. These went ok so there were no more excuses.

    Quilting in progress

    Despite my fear that my poor tiny sewing machine was going to burn out at any moment I enjoyed the quilting process. So what if there isn't a straight line on it.


    The binding went on well and I finished the reverse of it using the ladder stitch.

    Quilted sofa cover covering the sofa

    And so here it is. Finished. On the sofa. With my two made cushions for company. It has been on the sofa for about a week now and it is already hard to see the pattern for the dog hair. Still at least there is little chance of anyone looking too hard at the stitching!

  • Springtime at the seaside 

    All paws off the sand

    This time of year is my favourite time of year. The first sunny days. The first evenings when I can consider a walk with the dog after work in the daylight. The hopes and dreams of a long, warm, sunny summer stretching ahead of me.

    Another day. Another low tide sandy beach photo

    Over the last couple of days we have made the most of the low tide sandy beach. The sand only appears at low low tides. And because it is rare it feels special. And different. And a little bit like being on holiday.


  • Weaving Project 53: Fiboscarfi 

    Fiboscarfi and Lincolnshire little waffle hat

    As I briefly mentioned in my WIPs and UFOs post the other week I've been experimenting with using a pick up stick whilst making part of a blanket. It turns out that using a pick up stick is fun.

    Out of the various hats I've made over the autumn/winter the one that I like the most is probably the Lincolnshire little waffle. The only problem is I didn't really have a scarf to go with it. And I like to have a scarf-hat combo that matches. So I decided to interrupt blanket making to knock out a scarf.

    For one of the panels I'd made on the blanket I'd decided to add some colour. And I'd used the fibonacci sequence to determine how much colour and where to put it. I liked how it looked so I designed this scarf with that in mind.

    I used the left over orange yarn from the hat and bought medium and dark grey in the same aran yarn - Drops Nepal. I used the lighter grey for the warp and the darker grey for the weft. I decided that I wanted to keep the use of orange to a highlight so thought I'd make it a warp float. The pattern was multiples of 4 warp threads - and I was using 20 repetitions. I set the first 4 repetitions up in grey (1 + 1 + 2). I set the next 3 up with orange as the primary float colour (3), and then grey for the final 13 (5 + 8).

    The pick up stick followed a 1 up, 1 down pattern.

    The weft pattern was:

    • Up
    • Neutral + pick up stick
    • Up
    • Down
    • Up + pick up stick
    • Down

    I did a fibonacci start and end to the scarf as well and put 3 single orange picks in the weft float section.

    Fiboscarfi end

    It was an enjoyable and quick project. I also got to use my fringe twister to get the fringe secured which makes the finish look much neater. I then hand washed and machine rinsed/drained/slow spun it before drying it. And I love how it looks.

    Fiboscarfi being worn

    It hasn't left the house yet as we're fortunate to be having a nice warm spell but it feels like it'll be warm. My only concern is that it might be too itchy so I may need to look into lining it. Time will tell.