Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Having acquired new pins in the US at the behest of Judi I thought I would make a new pincushion for them using a favourite pattern pieced over papers - a rosette top and bottom and six more hexagons round the sides and six squares with sides the same length as the sides of the hexagon to make it 3-D. Mine are 1 inch. I was sewing these on the the coach to Festival of Quilts and companion Maggie said that they looked a bit large for a pincuhion. I pooh poohed this notion but on completion I have to acknowledge she was right; this is one mega pincushion and with two bags of emery inside plus enough wadding for a child's quilt or so it seemed this could be used in some ancient Highland sport as much as in a sewing room. It also has a lopsided look when placed on one of the sides. I shouldn't be able to mislay it. I now realise my earlier pincushions had 3/4 " sides. This is such a useful pattern I'm surprised not to see it more often - the only other person I know with one is friend Trish. It came from an early P&Q book which now I can't find though I'm sure I still have it somewhere.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Bee Scene blocks

Here are some of the Bee Scene blocks - the yellow mimosa or wattle as the Aussies call it is from a book of Australian designs. I quilted round the applique designs and drew curling tendrils stretching into the honey bee blocks.
Last night I slept under this quilt for the first time as the there is an end of summer nip in the air. It was wonderfully light and soft as well as warm thanks to the wool wadding.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Honey Bee

The day after I finished the red/white Twisted Sisters, a quick group charity quilt I finished a major project that I have been working on (on and mostly off) for more than a decade - the Honey Bee quilt which I shall title "Bee Scene". Ruby taught the Honey Bee block in a Quay Quilters session then at the American Museum in Bath I saw a quilt featuring Honey Bee blocks with alternate plain squares. I opted for the background fabric after admiring a fellow class member's choice. By the end I didn't like it so much, retribution for envy! I lived in Kuala Lumpur for a year and and appliqued many "wings" while travelling around - Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and different parts of Malaysia. Once done I decided the bees needed some flowers to feed on and made applique blocks, not my usual technique. I found the preparation a bit tiresome but once done enjoyed the sewing. I drew on various sources but especially Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine patterns but I rearranged the elements so the quilt could be placed on the bed any way up. The original Bath quilt had scallops in the borders but by border time I was done so quilted a honeycomb design instead. The whole thing is handquilted and the wadding is Hobbs Tuscany wool which has a lovely soft and drapey feel to it. It was like butter to handquilt through. I used a fine crochet thread. It measures 85" square.
I won't be able to take a better photo until it hangs in a show which won't be till next year sometime.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Sew and Sews Quilt Show

I went to Sew and Sews' show at St Saviour's Church, Folkestone, today and loved the great light space of the church and impressed by the 162 items listed in the catalogue. The old flying geese quilt was made by a Phyllis Ripley and some information about her was on display as was another quilt she made. The "Sunset" quilt on the altar was made by Jean Gale who also made the Tree of Life quilt hanging below the East Window. Lovely work. The group was raising money for the repair and restoration of church banners.
The long landscape sections to the right beneath the East Window were made by Ethelburga Quilters for the church in Lyminge.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Linus top

In my new set set up I bordered the orange and blue Linus Twisted Sisters top from the Oast Quilters workshop earlier this summer. Most blocks were made by participants so I am trying to get the finishing of these quilts to be a priority.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

New Arrival

My Horn Eclipse Plus cabinet was delivered this am. I am very pleased with the care taken to set it up though disappointed the Horizon infill was not cut exactly enough so it has gone back for modification - oh the problems associated with getting a new model as soon as it comes out. It should arrive by post next week.


Now there is space and I have set up temporary sewing camp.
sewing camp

Sewing Room Makeover

Today the drawers, wardrobe and bed went. Now the items which were ON them are on other items of furniture. I set up a temporary sewing "camp" in the gap left and later today my new Horn cabinet should arrive. Then it's a longish wait for new floor, decorating and new furniture. These are going going. .

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Twisted Sisters finish

The Twisted Sisters Linus quilt is finished. I used a piece of fleece on the back and machine quilted in the ditch. In the border I used my Janome Horizon clasp stitch. It's specially for quilting so it just does one stitch then cuts the thread. Perhaps you can see it in the centre of my photo. This is enough to secure the layers, a bit like tying but more decoratively and without ends.
I made the single fold binding using the Clover binding tool and attached it to the back then caught it down with a decorative stitch on the front.

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The back


Saturday, 14 August 2010

Twisted Sisters

I found a suitable border fabric for the Twisted Sisters quilt. This too, I feel, is dressmaking fabric, possibly Laura Ashley. I was intrigued to see in this month's Quilters' Newsletter an advert. for Laura Ashley fabric. After abandoning the dressmaking fabric market it seems in the wake of Kaffe Fassett's and Rowan/Westminster's success they've finally cottoned on (Ha ha) to the potential of the quilting market.
I pieced a strip of calico to the border strip and  mitred the corners.
Also on hand is a length of white fleece just the right size for a back so now I shall research whether this is allright to use for a Linus Quilt.

Today also found me taking pictures of my sewing room, a terrible glory hole at the moment and not the haven of peace and tranquillity I once found it. Next month the carpet will come up and smooth vinyl flooring be laid down and the decorator will come to paint and wallpaper. The priority will be storage space and what I don't have room for will have to go!
Just a starter photo here showing the view through the open door:

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Twisted Sisters

I've been trying to get various projects out of the way especially the Katherine Guerrier "Galaxy of Stars" scrappy quilt as I am currently making a second one along with Bonnie Quilters and the Honey Bee quilt which has been in the making for more than a decade. I'm currently machine quilting the border on the former and last night finished handquilting the Honey Bee border (in a hexagonal honeycomb). What a nice surprise to find I've already cut and pieced the lengths of binding for the Honey Bee.

As a break from these full size quilts I'm finishing up Oast Quilters Project Linus quilts. This is a pretty calico and dressmaking fabrics top with the border fabric ready to go.

Patchwork Party

My Patchwork Party is still in block form but Trish's is done and looking very good so that's an incentive. Here's the photo Fran took:

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

On a roll

I finally labelled little Mo's quilt. Mo is my daughter's friend's baby boy. Moses??? I lost the original label and when it didn't turn up made a second one which I thought should jolt the first one out of its hiding place but not yet. It's from a commercial pattern, Stars of Glory. I've also tacked the Guerrier quilt ready to machine quilt in the ditch. I quilted Mo's quilt in the ditch too but using a decorative undulating stitch in variegated thread. I was pleased with the result.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Usual Suspects

I spent a lovely day with the Usual Suspects and admired Belinda's Snail's Trail quilt also inspired by Katherine Guerrier. The secret is to arrange scraps not by colour but by value but the final look of the quilt is dictated by ones own fabric collection.

Friday, 6 August 2010

A finish of sorts

Yesterday I completed sewing my Katharine Guerrier Galaxy of Stars top from the book "Spectacular Scraps" which really does involve the use of scraps rather than fat quarter collections.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

New arrival

I bought the new Janome Horizon machine at the Oast Quilters Show and put it through its paces by making a book of all the decorative stitches to prove a reference. However on joining my Katherine Guerrier blocks which have some seams pressed open and some to one side it would not deal with these seams. I had to manually lift the presser foot to surmount them. However my trusty 29 year old Bernina Nova sailed through them effortlessly.  On joining a Janome 7700 email lists I came upon the tail end of posts about this very problem.
 A simple adjustment by the dealer to the feed dogs is all that is needed. How glad I am to have bought my machine from a local dealer and how glad to have the information sharing resources of the internet at my disposal.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Garden Party

The Rambling Roses held their annual garden party - lots of lovely food, chat, a lucky dip and the presentation of two friendship quilts, one drawn by lot and one for the retired chairperson.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Hearty Quilters Show

Hearty Quilters were formed to make charity quilts and raise funds for the Heart of Kent Hospice.
Hearty Quilters

They hold a Quilt Show annually, this time in a huge medieval barn attached to Aylesford Priory in a picturesque village near Maidstone. Quilts were crammed everywhere. My visitors choice vote went to Tony's Ties by Bernie Connolly which included many of her husband's ties. I was also pleased to see a quilt made from Katharine Guerrier's Galaxy of Stars pattern.
The "Lasagne" quilt from simple strips was made by Claudia Taylor inspired by Mary Fogg's work and included wondefully varied fabrics including chenille and corduroy while Jeanette Twort's "Loosely Japanese" cabblestones type quilt was based on a Susan Briscoe design.