Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tuesday - using the gel from nappies in a hanging basket

I have been asked about using the gel in hanging baskets.......

I use old compost bags to line the baskets, open up one side and the bottom and line the basket leaving some of the bag sticking up. I put holes in the side to plant through.

Open up the nappy and flood with water, allow it to stand whilst the gel swells, then cut through the outside covering of the nappy and mix the gel with a bowl of compost, put a layer of compost and gel in the bottom and plant your first plants, do not forget to plant through the holes in the side. Put in more compost and gel, plant up again, continue like this until the basket is full then carefully trim off the excess plastic round the top of the bag, water the plants in and hang up. That's it. I have found that the gel last for about a week before it needs watering again, you might need to do it more often in hot weather, but be careful you do not flood the basket and kill your plants.

Its a foggy morning, the sun keeps trying to break through. DB has gone to the Drs about his knee, I know what they are going to say, he needs to get a support for it, but let them tell him, I know nothing.........It is the leg that was affected when he had his slight stroke 2 years ago and sitting about all winter has not done it any favours. I did suggest he did some knee strengthening exercises, but as usual he ignored me.

I am off this morning to the gallery to see the lady about the fair in November, have packed up some things to show her, will also take the quilt thats on the back of the settee, just to prove I an do other larger things. I borrowed back the dresden plate from my neighbour, I was given strict instructions that I was not to sell it!! I have pulled out some fabric to make a summer one for her in green pink and cream to go with the sitting room.

Sausage and mash tonight, will do the sausage in the Remoska, I am wondering when thats going to pack up, I have had it longer than the microwave. If it conks out I doubt I will get another one, they are very expensive now and they no longer make the smaller one.

Tomorrow is coffee day at the chapel, our friends are away, they were doing a couple of days in Doncaster then going on up to see R's sister in Edinburgh for a few days. We will see them when they get back. Will pick some more rhubarb to take to the chapel in the morning, the rain yesterday has made it put a growth spurt on again. 

Right offsky for a shower and put some decent clothes on........may be back later...........


Went over to the gallery, two very nice ladies and a gentleman, most complimentary about the things I had taken to show them which was nice, we discussed hanging a quilt on the wall behind the table as well as the table itself. I have paid my £10 for the table, also picked up an order for a ring pillow for a wedding a friend is going to, so had to order silk fabric and also thread, as the thread I have keeps breaking, I do not want to have to constantly rethread the machine because of thread breakages.

I have used up the last of my roll of wadding, managed to find an old friend who orders wadding on a roll, have got her to order one for me as well Will have to go over and collect it when it arrives.

I now need to settle down and sort out what I am going to make and get going. need to spend at least one day a week sewing.


  1. Anne
    Can I ask a question please - what type of wadding do you use? and do you pre wash it before quilting it? I'm only working on my second quilt - the first one was a single bed size and I used polyester which I attempted to quilt on my little brother sewing machine - talk about hard work - trying to fluff and shove it through the small neck space - the second one I'm still working on - it's a double and I'm using a cotton/polyester mix but the wadding isn't a thick high loft one so you can see the quilting but it doesn't stand out too much - I've also had a new machine with an 11 inch throat space so it's been a far easier task to quilt this time round - I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on wadding and which one you consider to be the best - also on the type of thread you prefer to use when quilting - hope you don't mind me asking
    thank you xx

    1. Trudie,

      I have been using a german wadding, I buy a roll at a time. It was a low loft polyester. I like warm and natural, but I have used a variety over the years. I have just ordered another roll of polyester. I have a wide throat machine, its so much easier to quilt with it. When I first started quilting I used to buy a king size piece of wadding to use. I not longer make big quilts,so find that the polyester wadding is fine teamed with the heat resistant wadding in pot holders table mats etc. I buy the insul bright from Barnyarns at Ripon, you can get the wider wadding by the yard from them. I buy 3 yards at a time.

      You can sew bits of wadding together, I put the two edges together and use the zig gag stitch to sew either side and join two pieces together. I often piece bits to make wadding for pot holders and smaller things. I only throw bits away if they are too small for me to do anything with.

      I use cotton thread from Barnyarns, either light medium or dark grey to piece and contrast or toning thread for the quilting. I sometimes use a matching thread in the bobbin if I want the quilting to 'disappear' on the back. Make sure the tension is ok before you start sewing.

      When I am machine quilting I bring the bottom thread to the top, put your needle back in where you pulled the thread up and work a couple of small stitches to secure it then cut off the bottom thread and carry on quilting. You do not end up with lots of ends on the back. The alternative is the hand sew them in afterwards which is a pain in the butt. Do the same when you finish quilting a few small stitches. thread a needle and slip the needle between the underside of the top and into the wadding, bring the thread out a needle length away and clip off.

      No problem asking questions, only too happy to help.

    2. Thanks Anne - that's really helpful - I must say this cotton and polyester hasn't been too hard to handle and it was reasonably priced too - I'll also have a go at joining the wadding - make it stretch a bit further.
      I saw Barnyards at the NEC recently and I brought some gutterman's cotton from them at a reasonable price, I'll have a good look at their web site now.
      Thats a really good tip about bringing the bottom thread up - I have got some ends on the back of the one I'm working on already so I'll know how to eliminate that problem now, thank you
      I'm trying to build up confidence to have a go at free motion quilting - I know they say practise makes perfect but when the machines going faster my hands want to go faster and I end up with whip stitches on the back (I'm not going to give up though - I shall keep going at it!)
      Thanks again Anne - it'll help if I can ask you when I'm not sure xx

  2. I love your quilts. I used to quilt but my fingers are all gnarled now. Thanks again for the nappy recycling !

  3. More good information in the nappy use planting dept! Ta!! We have such lovely views of trees all around the house that I no longer use hanging baskets.

    Trudie's question reminded me of my 1st quilting efforts done back in the 1970s using polyester fabric and the fluffiest batting (wadding) I could find for several baby quilts. It wasn't until I really had a few lessons and a boss who was a quilter that I learned that quilts are usually made with fairly flat batting. I like Warm and Natural, too, and for the smaller wall quilts I machine quilt myself, I use Hobb's fusible batting. I use 100% cotton thread to sew my fabrics together and to machine quilt.

    I'm glad your meeting with the gallery show folks went so well. You have made such lovely for the ring pillow you made in the past and I look forward to seeing the new pillow you have a commission to make!

    Hope DB's knee is okay.


    1. Hi Barbara
      I've read about the fusible batting, but havent seen any for sale - I've also heard about the Warm and Natural wadding too - a flatter wadding is certainly easier to maneuver through the machine - I am enjoying patchwork and quilting but there is a lot to learn to it
      Thank you for your advice too xx

  4. Thanks for the hanging basket tips, will be off to daughters now to cadge some nappies lol:) have a good day:

  5. Trudie, look at creative grids for the fusible wadding I thin Fabric Guild also sell it, they have a website, have a look. I do get a lot of fabric from them too, but find its actually better to go to the warehouse and see the fabric in the flesh. Creative grids are good for rulers and stuff. I am going to have to buy a new 36 x 24 cutting mat shortly, I have had my present one for a good number of years and its showing its age.

  6. I believe Lakeland have a lifetime guarantee on their products some friends of ours took back their Remoska when it broke and they were given a new one!


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