Saturday, 30 January 2010


Four of us went to the Ardingly Show today.  There were lots of very technically skilled and artistic quilts there by Pat Deacon, Irene McWilliam and Patricia Archbold and others but I especially enjoyed the assembled group quilts made by Beckenham Quilters a compendium of fabric and quiltmaking styles over the last 30 years, some of which I show here. Ardingly was followed by a visit to the Hanging Together Exhibition, all wonderful work.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Valerie's stars

The Usual Suspects house group spent a very enjoyable day at Valerie's where we enjoyed some feline company and gasped at Valerie's stars, many handpieced. There are some wonderful quilts in the making and we have a block swap idea for another in the making.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Long Time No See

I was very pleased when my brother emailed me with a link to a quilt I made in the 1990's for my father to have on his bed in the nursing home. It caused comment from the staff and was much appreciated by my dad. I would sew patchwork when I visited him and as a mathematician he would take a good deal of interest. It meant I could just keep him company without having to maintain a constant stream of conversation and I found these times well very companionable. When my father died in 2000 I wanted David to have the quilt. I liked the fabrics; the cotton check had a batik type flowery pattern almost like a watermark only visible if you look very closely and the corner triangles were Malaysian batiks. I was also prompted to have a good look through the family section of my brother's site and see lots of wonderful old time photos.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Oast Show & Tell

Saturday was Oast Corners day. There weren't as many Show & Tell items as usual. Here are three. I love the applique stems and leaves and the lap quilt started in Katharine Guerrier's workshop looks stunning. It's amazing how different these quilts look.
The Ethelberga ninepatch hearts and flowers has been shown on this blog before as Liz seen here on the right was quilting it at our retreat in October. This time the recipient, who had had a significant birthday AND got married, brought it to show us.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Fourth Finish

Here is the Twisted Sisters Linus quilt made on a Crab and Winkle Sewing Day. I cut the strips and Pam and I both sewed blocks which I put together and quilted and bound to make this quilt. It won't be donated until after June when I teach the second and last of two Twisted Sisters workshops.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Oast Quilters

It was Oast Quilters "Corners Day" today when instead of our usual speaker various members present corners about 20minutes long and four times in all. Mine was about special rulers and I think my audience found it quite informative.  Tracy had a very decorative table with quirky broaches and Helen a folded technique. Helen's in the same group as me so I hope to catch up on this idea. Wendy made the circles and Cathy beautiful machine embroidery. Liz presented ideas to make for the sales table at out quilt show. Carol showed cache pots originally made for lavender plants at a family wedding and Sue immaculate curved piecing.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Swap sewing

Crab & Winkle'ssewing for each other is gathering pace. Here are the pinwheels and hearts I was assigned for the other Mary's wall hanging. (I'm Mary too!) We are 5 M's and a P; the P is Pam then 2 Marys, Marion, Maggie and Melanie. I've enjoyed my swap sewing - I liked blanket stitching the hearts. The fabrics are charming.

A Major Finish

After several hurdles I've finally completed this quilt - the hanging sleeve is sewn and ready to attach. It started life as surplus blocks for a block exchange, then a 3 by 4 block quilt for a forest challenge and has now been enlarged to 73" by 84". I think of it as Babes in the Wood as that is what we will feel like when it's on the bed. Although it'll never win a prize I feel it's somewhat of a best effort quilt for me because of the complexity of some of the blocks and I love it because of the different blocks used, the funny birds with spindly chain stitched legs and lots of fabrics some of which have been with me for decades. I took it to Quay Quilters last night and two kind friends held it up so I could take a photo.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Crab & Winkle Sewing Day

Today we adjourned to Maggie's wonderful workroom where, led by Marion ,we spent the morning making these little bags - Pam's, Maggie's, Melanie's, mine and the rest Marion's. We are still missing the "other" Mary.
In the afternoon we made amazingly easy boxes, still with Marion showing us how but I forgot to take photos so perhaps we'll bring them to show and tell later. Maggie lives surrounded by fields and shoes get muddy on the way from the car. So I bring my going out slippers. Do you like them?

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Crab & Winkle

Crab and Winkle had their first meeting of the New Year but one of our members has had a family bereavement so couldn't come. It will be good when all of  us are back  together one day soon. Meanwhile we had a lovely time going through magazines Marion had brought and Melanie who is making lots of her own patches for her group quilt laid them out to have a look. The line of light is much more apparent in the photo.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Piecing the top

I resist joining quilts in rows or in even sections so here are the four pieces of Kente ready for joining. I love how piecing transforms even simple regular shapes into something more than the sum of the parts. I am pleased with this top.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Kente Quilt

I've used a woven Indian fabric for the setting oblongs and the bulk of my African waxprints for the patterned oblongs. They are mainly from Magie Relph's African Fabric Shop and many are from Ghana.

I wanted to avoid both red white and blue and course feminine designs. Speaking of Magie I went to a workshop with her some years ago making a similar design but longer thinner oblongs and they were foundation pieced - very nice but time consuming. the pieces are cut 5" by 7.75 to finish at 4.5 by 7.25 and 12 blocks by 10 should end up as 54" by 72", one of the requested sizes.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Continuous bias binding

I enjoyed cutting out the pieces for my next quilt but before starting on the next enjoyable task of sewing them all together I took on the chore of making the continuous bias binding. First a 27" square cut diagonally across and then secondly the side straight edges swapped to the middle and third joined.

Then fourthly I pressed the seam and drew 2.25" lines parallel to the long bias edge. Next fifthly came the tricky part of joining the sides together to make a tube BUT offset by one drawn line Lastly I started to cut along the drawn line to achieve more than 8 yards of bias strip which I pressed in half and wound into a neat hank. Let's just hope I can find it when my quilt is finished.! What quilt is this? - well despite my best intentions to concentrate on UFO's I am taking up the BQL list's monthly challenge. This month's is to make a British Quilt of Valour. So I am justifying my diversion by telling myself it's a worthy cause AND it's all from stash AND it's a design I have long planned to make with no particular recipient in mind so it's good to have one suggested to me.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

First Finish

This is my first finish of 2010 though a bit of a cheat as fellow Bonnies member Trish made the top - I just sandwiched quilted and bound it. However it was a project initiated by me and I cut out the pieces. When I folded it up to put it with the four other charity quilts made by our group it was smaller.  I'd forgotton to add the 2" border to bring it up to Prison baby quilt size of 36". I do feel mad with myself. Folding the back over to the front made for a quick and easy finish but not so neat as binding would have been hence the wobbly edge.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Groundhog month

I've been looking over my January 2009 posts and am surprised to say how little has changed - snow on the ground, grandchildren going home after New Year, sorting out my sewing room, first Quay Quilters' meeting of the New Year and making the blocks for the Autumn quilt that I am currently handquilting! Oh and my Silent Stars quilt being put away on Twelfth Night and being replaced by the Millennium quilt.
For a photo here is the bag pattern I won in one of those magazine Giveaways - I don't know which magazine even as it arrived without comment but timely as I intend to make bags for the Oast Showcase tombola in May this year.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Hello 2010

The first two answers to the crossword this morning were twenty tens which mystified us somewhat before realising the reference to a new decade. New Year's Day was spent looking after our grandchildren, which turned out to be quite demanding but this was a pleasant time making a doll's quilt for DGS seen here turning the wheel of my Singer 99K a lovely machine and DGS in charge of pins. They swapped every so often. Finally all is quiet and it's home time tomorrow morning!!!