Thursday, 31 December 2009

Goodbye 2009

As I keep this blog really for my own benefit and a record of my quilting activities including the groups I belong to and workshops attended I try to get an overview at the Year's end by going back over the year's entries and try to get an overall view and remember the backdrop against which items were made. I like to think I have made a lot of things just for the sheer pleasure of making and that I have also made one or two quilts I shall keep by me always. I think my Autumn quilt still not quite finished will be one of those. I've also made quilts as gifts this year and friend and neighbour Josy and cousin in law Bronwen in NZ really appreciate theirs. As I write four quilts are on their way by sea to young relatives in Australia. I was putting the binding on these as I sat by my dying mother in hospital and her death and the clearing out of her things has been the dominant event this year great sadness and loss tinged with relief she did not suffer too much at the end of a long and active life. Two quilts which belonged to her are with me now and one to complete. I have been reflecting on the many aspects of her that I admire and now seek to emulate. The things she had kept were precious to her but she had left her possessions and her affairs in wonderful order for us to sort out. I shall try to do this too and am looking at my mass of possessions with a fresh eye. I shall try to use that special fabric, not to acquire too much more and to prune my belongings.
I am on babysitting duty over New Year so not much time for reflection in the coming hours but before they arrive I shall be continuing to quilt a Twisted Sisters charity quilt on the machine and putting out my handquilted Patchwork Party block to show the others the first Friday in the New Year.
Here is hoping 2010 will be better than 2009 for all of us.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Kaleidoscope samples

These are the two Kaleidoscope blocks made with the aid of Marti Michell's Kaleidoscope ruler.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Different triangle samples

The block with the turquoise frame is made with Peaky triangles, taller, thinner and more of them (Tri-Recs ruler), the other with 60 degree isoceles triangles where all the sides are the same length (Creative Grids 60 degees ruler). Both sets were cut from 3.5" strips. When piecing the Peaky triangles you have to make sure the straight grain base line is at the bottom as this is a different, shorter length than the other two sides.

Monday, 28 December 2009

More special rulers sample blocks

Here are the sample blocks made with the Companion Angle (Quarter square triangles) and the square in a square sample made with the Creative Grids Square in a Square ruler and corner triangles with the Easy Angle.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

No Sew

Definitely a no sew day today with the arrival of "The Tribe". Needless to say the children liked the box their mother's lamp had been in rather than all their presents!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Day sewing

Today I worked on Crab & Winkle anniversary blocks. Lots of green squares for Pam which will have applique added to them later. These are November and December blocks. Each row was stuck on a length of sellotape and numbered which was very helpful. Mary is doing a countrystyle wallhanging and these are two double hearts which I've bondawebbed and will blanket stitch - Mary's provided the thread(and even the bondaweb!)

Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas

It's been a very quiet but lovely Christmas - chat, a game or two and lots of shared cooking. On Christmas Eve my "Silent Stars" quilt went on the bed and will remain till 12th Night. The label quotes the line from the hymn which goes "Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by". Appropriate on several levels. As usual our toast echoed Tiny Tim's "God bless us every one!"

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Those special rulers: another sample

These pictures show blocks made using Peaky and Spike as Dorothy Speckman used to call them made with the Tri-Recs tools and one has a square in a square unit, the centre square cut with Lynne Edwards' square in a square tool and the triangles round it with the Easy Angle.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Those special rulers: sample

Here are samples of quarter square triangles cut using the Companion Angle ruler, one from a strip set of three 2" strips (5" unfinished) and the other a 9" variable star block where the QST's have been cut from 2" strips.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A Quilting Christmas

It's been a lovely day today. First lunch at Read's with the Usual Suspects, a lovely meal then coffee in the lounge. Lots of chat, a beautiful Georgian (?) house and the knowledge we are meeting up again in the New Year apart from the person who is flying off to Uganda for a birdwatching trip under canvas. Some of our group were glad to stay at home! In the evening it was Crab & Winkle which turned out to be another jolly meeting. We have been going for 10 years and to mark the occasion are making blocks for each other. Last to set us our tasks were Mary and Melanie. Mary has made a delightful centrepiece for her quilt depicting her family. Some of us will be making her beach huts. I am doing hearts and pinwheels. Melanie is doing quarter square triangle blocks with appliqued squares - four each to do. This wll be a good technique for me to try. Both of them have given us kits and instructions - I like it! Maggie has finished the coverlets for her granddaughters made in pretty Fassett type fabrics backed with Minkee and quilted with lovely big stitches in variegated thread.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Sewing Room sort out

Today I decided I had to get a grip on the state of my sewing room. I've still got far too much stuff and projects on the go but at least they are more tucked away and I have some clear surfaces. I'm resolved to tidy up after each session and to keep tidy as I work. I celebrated my newly reorganised room by sewing up the ninth Patchwork Party block - three quarters of the way along now.
Tomorrow I'm off to Read's a Michelin starred restaurant with the Usual Suspects a bi-monthly house group - these gals like to do things in style. I'm excited as I've never been there before. Tomorrow evening it's the Crab & Winkle meeting postponed because of snow where we exchange Secret Santa presents and do the odd game. So I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Easy Angle

Having done a session on Those Special Rulers with Quay Quilters I am doing a "corner" at Oast Quilters January meeting - four 20 min. sessions on the trot so have been sewing samples from the practice pieces Quay Quilters cut. Two birds with one stone, in fact three as I'll make a teenage Project Linus charity quilt from them. The Cherrywood fabrics give a very arty look to the finished pieces, I think. Super colours.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Patchwork Party

Here we are in Fran's conservatory hard at work cutting out our ninth PP block. It's very absorbing and there's always someone to ask about colour choices though this time we took the plunge without deliberating but then started to make changes later - I have masses of spare pieces. It was snowing.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Latest Patchwork Party block

This is the latest (8th?) Patchwork Party block, tricky to piece with lots of inset seams. If I have time and fabric at the end I may redo this one with an improved fabric layout to set off the star more.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Advent quilt

This past week I have had what I think of as my advent quilt on the bed, warm Moda fabrics with a lovely paisley brushed cotton backing. It's a mystery quilt which I wrote the instructions for though the pattern was based on a traditional design set as a mystery for a group in Australia by Pat Davies and pictured in a magazine. It's got quite a lot of hand quilting as well as machining along the main seams.
I loved the potential of the diagonal striped border fabric but matching the stripes at quilt corners to form chevrons was tricky - I was pleased with myself in the end.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Autumn quilt bordered & bound

I've attached the autumn quilt binding - I found just the fabric I had in mind and am gradually sewing it down. I'm rationing my efforts because of hand and arm problems.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Today's stint

Writing this while someone is snoozing under his quilt! This afternoon I finished quilting the border of the Autumn leaves quilt. When I laid it out on the floor I thought oh dear not a good choice of border fabric but having gone down just now to take a photo I'm happier with it - perhaps it looks better in artificial light.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Quay Quilters' Black and White Challenge

Tonight was Quay Quilters' Christmas meeting - lots of tasty nibbles and a black and white challenge with many (for us) entries. Mine was my black and white bag.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Babes in the Wood

Still on the finishing front I've been adding a border sew and flip quilt as you go to my Autumn quilt. I made the first of these blocks as extras for an internet swap 10 years ago, then made a 3 by 4 block quilt for a challenge with a size limit then added and made more blocks to make it 5 blocks by 6 and now I've added two inner borders mitred and a final log cabin type set border which I'm quilting by stitching down the two marrow yellow stripe repeats. No tacking - it's glue basted. As I've been having shoulder problems from hauling and binding such big heavy quilts I'm limiting myself to a side at a time with exercise breaks. I've also got to finish 500 + pages of small print Doris Lessing's "Golden Notebook" for a week on Thursday. It's very dense so it's hard to speed up my reading.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Oast Quilters

Oast Quilters here in Kent had our AGM on Saturday followed by tea and mince pies. Frances who is a physiotherapist took us through some exercises appropriate for quilters which did us good and we were noticeably livelier at tea. As well as a challenge of which the theme was "Circus", for me the most enjoyable feature of this this meeting is a larger than usual Show & Tell. Crab & Winkle always put on a good show all of us except Mary who is very very busy with job and family had quilts to view but I post some photos made by other members here.