Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Busy Day

 Tonight was Quay Quilters AGM. Helen brought in the quilt she'd made in Ann's machine applique workshop and another for a wonderful friend.

Helen's quilt for a friend

Helen's hearts and  circles

Alan's antimacassar

I completed this earlier in the week and then washed it to remove the felt tip markings and it's finally dried and in place on the back of Alan's chair. One I made a decade or so ago had worn out and this is the replacement - same pattern and intended to blend in. Although the design looks simple the execution is a bit tricky and it was good to have some handquilting to take on holiday.

This is the 36" square top resulting from last Thursday's workshop. It is for a Prison Baby but will stay as a top for some time yet.

Spinning Stars

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Oh dear oh dear oh dear

I have made three pennants/banners as part of an Olympics project for 2012 mainly because I'm an inveterate joiner and as part of a Janome Club project and it was as ever a chance to practise stuff on my machine. However given the size of competitors' goodie bags and luggage allowances I suspect my efforts will be left in a corner of an hotel room or Olympic Village accommodation.
We chose subjects redolent of Britain. The London fabric (designed in NZ!) was a gift in this respect, a nice cup of tea is another aspect and the stairs of the third piece relate to the winners' podium and to London Cockney slang where apples and pears (which grow here in Kent) is an expression for stairs - "Going up the apples and pears".....

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Spinning Stars

Mine  - the orange spikes will form further stars when other blocks are added.

On Thursday I took a Quilters Guild class with Terence Gilbert who used to belong to a group I've been in for 15 years or so. They hold beginners classes from time to time and although they now include rotary cutting etc originally the emphasis was on drafting, templates and blocks. I always look back with gratitude to these classes as they underpin everything I do now though I rarely resort to templates. Did I just say that? - well I forgot I am making my farmers wife blocks using just these methods though lazily I'm just drawing round the ones friend Trish has already done. We'll have more than a 100 by the time we've completed all the blocks.
Anyway Terence holds true to the Quay Quilters' path and just loves those templates, the quilter's wheel (everybody should have one!) but also devising new ways of using them and with the Spinning Stars developing more and more takes on the original idea. With the original publicity I'd seen a photo of one of the quilts, took a photo of it myself and took fabrics accordingly so that was what I chose to do though with all the chat and demonstrating I only completed one block set - eight or nine more to do to complete a Linus quilt. I cut several layers at once with scissors  (drawing and cutting 192  separate shapes did not appeal) and perhaps that is why my block is not as accurate as I should like. I think I would abandon the template route and opt for foundation piecing  for any future attempts.
Terence's sample

Friday, 25 March 2011

Spring Start & Finish

I went to a class yesterday and was able to hand my Lilac  Linus and HST quilt over to a participant who is in the same group as our local Linus lady but unfortunately I still had a bit of binding to sew down on this one which I finished last night. It's made from 10 blocks collected from the Linus stand at Festival of Quilts here in the UK to which I added the pelican and the lighthouse both from Quiltmaker magazine (109 & 110). It's number 103 (d) on the Quilts of Mine list. I group smaller quilts and quilts others have had a hand in under one numder but make sure the total adds up to a good size bed quilt equivalent. This one measures 44 by 58 inches.
As for the Spring start? I went on a farm visit with 8 other U3A members this morning and saw this second of twins being born very quickly. I also show a cleaned up version. It was a perfect warm Spring day and we learnt a lot and got the chance to bottle feed the orphans.

New life

Mother and child

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Madeiran inspiration

Just back from a lovely 10 days in Madeira. The weather was mixed but there was so much luxuriant greenery and brightly coloured flora. I may even make a small wallhanging based on the photos I took of many different varieties. I found lots of inspiration for quilt designs in the pavements and other architectural details. I shall go again next year and catch up on some of the ones I didn't get round to photographing.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Crab & Winkle Meeting

Maggie's design

Mary's convergence

Marions stack and slash sample

I realise Crab & Winkle's regular evening meeting is coming up and we are having a sewing day on Thursday but I haven't written about our last get together at Marion's house.

Marion showed a sample top for an upcoming workshop she is teaching while Maggie has been making items for which she produces patterns and which set off the fairtrade fabric she sells. Mary was very taken with Jenny's convergence corner at Oast and has started her own version using gorgeous fabrics.

Monday, 7 March 2011


I've had a very quilty weekend starting with a quick trip to the annual Puddleducks and Quercus Quilters Quilt Show on Saturday morning. My visitor's choice was Jane Tandy's off centre log cabin with its restrained use of colour and pattern. The off centre blocks are not usually a favourite of mine but I thought this was very successful.

In the afternoon it was our Oast meeting here in Canterbury and Edwina McKinnon talked and showed her quilts. I'm sure everyone enjoyed it. There was a great variety of work, very inventive and covering a wide range. Beautiful work.
This quilt was the topic of the workshop next day which I attended. Judi and I worked on a joint project ntended as a Linus children's quilt


Today the Usual Suspects met and we finished the blocks and pieced them into 4-Patches and three panels which will form a strippy

Thursday, 3 March 2011


U3A Linus quilt

HST scrappy

Here are a couple more of these year's finishes: firstly the quilt begun at the U3A taster day which I led last year which ranged from English paper piecing to American block patchwork then strip piecing with cutters and finally anything goes. We used Cherrywood fabrics so the students coud just concentrate on colour and value rather thean style and texture. This isdestined for Linus. After my Katharine Guerrier quilts I had masses of of leftover squares and HST's and used them all in a scrappy quilt displaying many common HST arrangements. This will serve some charitable purpose or other whether funds or a gift.

HST details

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Mary's Triangles

I think I may have posted this quilt in "top" stage but it is now complete and is destined for some charitable purpose or other. I found a bag of Mary's Triangle units and lots of single squares in a bag while kitting out my sewing room. They were leftover from Quay Quilters' raffle quilt some years ago. I sewed the squares into 4-Patches as leader enders and combined with the Mary's Triangle units to form a diagonal pattern I used up every piece, adding a couple of squares from my own fabric and the border at the end. It's down as QQ Lilac Linus on my 2011 finishes list.
Now my fabric is folded on shelves in cupboards I can access it more easily and am making myself use stash rather than new purchases though I have bought longer lengths for backings.


Donated Linus blocks

My Linus blocks
  At Festival of Quilts last year I collected a bunch of 10 Linus blocks which I laid out with two spaces for which I have made blocks. I'm a piecer but am slowly discovering the joys of fusible web. At the Janome class I learned the Heat'n'Bond brand doesn't separate like some and I also tried some stitches suggested on Sunday to secure the pelican pieces. The lighthouse is foundation pieced. I'm currently auditioning sashing. It pains me to break into fabric sometimes but I'm being strong about it. The patterns are from Quiltmaker magazine (109 &110).

My pelican
Intended layout minus sashing