Wednesday, 31 December 2008


It's still 2008 here for just 42 minutes more. I'm still stuck with the the "Sisters" quilt and will ask for advice on Friday evening when the Crab and Winkles meet here. I'm surprised at myself for one minute I was saying I was just going to play and go for it while now I'm dithering and want to make the "right" decision and not spoil it.
Anyway here is the block of the day from my Autumn project. I am finishing the final block now - chain stitching a leg onto an appliqued bird. We are in for New Year's Eve and our two darling grandchildren are sleeping downstairs while their parents celebrate.

Stuck: BOD 1

Well I thought I would be working on the Twisted Sisters top today and indeed cut out quite a few 3" strips with a view to putting them around the quilt more or less till I ran out but am now wondering whether to finish off the top more tidily and use the scraps to make a still smaller top, lasagne or squares...
Anyway the Autumn blocks are proceeding steadily. I'm appliquing the last bird block now. Meanwhile here is a pieced leaf block-of-the-day I made earlier...

Monday, 29 December 2008

More Twisted Sisters

Yesterday I got back in my sewing room, free again after the Christmas visitors and a chance for yet one more arrangement of the furniture. It's working quite well. After making my full size Twisted Sisters top I had 16 blocks left and I'm now using up the rest of the fabric adding borders. The trimmings from cutting the Sisters units have been used for the pointy borders. As this quilt has no particular purpose apart from using up fabric I'm just playing around and as happy as not to see the odd upturned point. I've added more top and bottom as I want to end up with an oblong not a square.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Just a quiet moment with husband and son before my mother, daughter and partner and two lovely grandchildren arrive. The turkey's cooking, the sauces made and vegetables prepared and mum is doing a pudding and mince pies!
Happy Christmas to all, peace and goodwill to our neighbours - we are all neighbours on this earth of ours.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Twisted Sisters Top Finished

Here is my completed Twisted Sisters top showing a detail of the border and corner. The corner is deliberately big so I can square off the corner properley once quilted. It's quite big and I'm thinking about how to quilt it or perhaps have it quilted.
I still have a smaller piece 4 blocks by 4 that I shall add my remaining three cats fabric to till it's all gone in an effort to keep the scrap pile down.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Mavis's Ecard

Fellow Log Cabin quilter, Mavis, was ill for our last meeting (lots of bad colds/flu going round here) and sent me this ecard of her quilt, border complete and on her bed. Mine's on my bed too. This was her first quilt, a real quilting course in one.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Quay Quilters Christmas Challenge

We met for our Christmas drinks and nibbles last night and the challenge entries were displayed. I forgot mine, a very meagre little bag. We had all been given a slip of paper with a colour wriiten on it and we had to make something all in that colour. Vanessa, a member who had earlier in the year, given a talk on colour judged and made very interesting comments on how colours in the items worked. The winner? - Norma's large red bag in precious fabrics, all in varities of red , blue red, but deploying texture. Ruby, a founder member, made the wonderful green leaves spotted with dandelions based on a quilt she'd seen in the background of a magazine picture. The incomplete star was Vanessa's!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

U3A Patchwork Group

I have been going to a U3A (University of the third Age) patchwork beginners' group slightly under false pretences but I have enjoyed the morning outing and appreciated our tutor's exquisite work. She achieves a precision I can only dream of. Here I show the bag she made for the Oast Quilters' challenge and came second. Unfortunately the way the bags were displayed most weren't aware of their presence otherwise it would have won as the result was very close. (I suggest you click on the image.) Other members have worked on quilt-as-you-go log cabin, one a baby quilt the other African animals while another has done a variety of small projects. In the latter case my presence was of use because she needed help with handquilting (here're the last two cushions she made)and this morning paper pieced hexagons which is not our tutor's area of interest.
U3A classes cost only a token sum and the tutors "work" for nothing and everyone pitches in. Today was our last day but I shall meet up with Margaret from time to time to compare notes. Next term it'll be the singing group - singing for health and pleasure. No pressure.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Three Cats in a Twist

I was lucky enough to take a couple of Ami Simms workshops at the next to last Cabot Quilting Conference here in the UK. The first day was devoted to her signature Twisted Sisters technique and pattern. That was March 2007; this year being the year of the UFO I've made more blocks and on our sewing day I finished assembling enough for a quilt for my bed. Then I had 16 leftover and I combined those too 4 by 4. I used Oakshotts navy a Fairtrade fabric from India and my collection of Three Cats indigo fabric from South Africa plus an old-fashioned bright red ditsy floral for the squares. Very guiltily I've received an extra order of Thee Cats to piece a border but in my current (Jan 09) British Patchwork and Quilting magazine there's an article about the the Da Gama factory which produces these fabrics (originally the designs and machinery came from Manchester near where I lived in Lancashire)and they are a cooperative enterprise on quite a large scale which is of great benefit to its employees and the Cape area so now I feel I'm a benefactor. Anyway I've used all the new FQs and plan to make another small quilt from the leftovers. Yesterday I pieced two longer borders and am about to add them using partial sewing.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Crab & Winkle sewing day

Crab & Winkle had a lovely sewing day in Maggie's beautiful workroom. In fact after months of mess and builders the whole house is starting to look very good. Six of us were there but here are photos of Melanie with Christmas projects - Advent calendar and wreath, Marian with bags destined for a craft fair and Maggie's delicate applique block. What was I working on?? I'll try and post tomorrow.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

More artistic inspiration in Norwich

Here are photographs of textile pieces, worked in tapestry. The figures are hanging in the foyer of the Castle Keep Museum, the other two were part of the modernist collection in the Sainsbury Centre shown in a temporary exhibition.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Artistic inspiration in Norwich

I was amazed by The Sainsbury Centre located on the UEA campus which acts as a resource for the arts faculty. Lots of ethnic objects and athis wonderful depiction of a primitive axe rendered by masses of tiny images, reminiscent of digital imagery but also patchwork!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Norwich visit

Still catching up, I went to Norwich a week ago - a brief work trip for my husband and a chance to explore for me. While there I came across this quilt hanging in the super duper new library building, the Forum, right in the centre of Norwich near the market and newer shopping area. It was made by Norfolk Quilters to mark the Millennium, over 2000 pieces sewn English fashion over paper and joined by hand. In a wonderful church right on the market square was a little children's corner with this delightful applique frieze depicting children of the world.

Saturday, 6 December 2008


December 3rd I finally sewed the last binding stitch on the Houston Stars quilt, subject of many previous posts. It was a very happy moment. Many of my quilts are quite flawed but with this one I feel I've done my best and the result is all I'd hoped, all the sweeter because I have two other large tops waiting to be sandwiched which are so so but I tell myself at least they will be done done and interesting and lovable in their own way - like children to their mother!
I have still got a label and hanging sleeve to attach and I shan't get a good photo till it hangs at our group quilt show in July and I plan to show a quilt at Sandown for the first time. Along with others I'm trying to raise the profile of traditional bed quilts which has been somewhat subsumed of late.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Buzzsaw tutorial 03

Yesterday evening we met to lay out our blocks, light and dark, and sew them into rows and then added the border pieces. We are following an arrangement in a version of the pattern published in British Patchwork & Quilting magazine March 2008. We'll sandwich it at my house early in the New Year and then it's the quilting by many hands.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Buzzsaw Tutorial 02

Once cut the strips are rearranged as shown and an additional 8 by 2 inch strip added to the side. The strips are sewn into units and then four squares are sewn together to make a 15.5" unfinished size block. Our quilt will be 90" square when done. We used lots of different dark blues for the initial squares and then once cut mixed up the strips for a scrappy look.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Buzzsaw tutorial 01

We started with a white and a blue 8.5" square placed right sides together. A diagonal pencil line had been drawn corner to corner on the light square and we sewed 0.25" on each side of this, then cut along the drawn line. Two HSTs resulted which we trimmed to 8". With the cream triangle at the top right we cut four 2" strips from each pieced square.