Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The last one

I think this must be the last finish of 2011. I made a sample of courthouse steps to check the measurements and strip widths for the Crab & Winkle raffle quilt and made it 24" for a prison baby quilt. There is little visual stimulation in those surroundings so the snazziness should help. I turned the backing  (from Merida in Mexico) over to the front to finish the edge.

The back

The quilting

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Boxing Squares

Boxing Squares 44" x 57"

On Boxing Day I sewed down the last bit of  binding on this Linus project started with cut squares at the Quilters' Guild AGM and Conference in Exeter in April this year. I pieced the cheater pinwheels and this month added borders and backing from my own stash and quilted it very simply through the pinwheels with variegated thread. The squares turned out to be all sorts of misshapes but I compensated as I went along and made sure the rows lined up neatly. It's not a silk purse from a sow's ear but a serviceable one at any rate.
The back

Friday, 23 December 2011


"Spinners" 36 inches square

The back

My next "finish" is a workshop project which I have made 36" square suitable for a prison baby. We drafted the design and used card templates to measure the cut pieces. Often I'm a defender of templates but this day put me off them! I certainly think this design lends itself to foundation piecing. Anyway the quilt would not impress the Quilt Police but it is nice and puffy and the shot cotton on the back has a soft feel and the quilting on the back is effective though I only followed the design lines. So a result.
I attached the binding to yet another project and content I had enough handsewing to see me through a couple of nights of TV viewing I rearranged my sewing room moving the cabinet next to the wall to stop my quilting falling off. I am very pleased. I must just take care not to eat so much over this Christmas season that I can't get through the narrow access gap. I'm aware I have one piece of furniture too many in my sewing room but each drawer has its contents, quick to locate.
The arrangement of all the other rooms in the house is firmly fixed but the sewing room is in a state of intermittent flux. Each I think 'this is it' only to swap round again some months later.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

She sells sea shells

I have been getting on famously (famously as Georgette Heyer would say) with finishing off tops though in my haste I forgot I had planned to put borders on some of them such as this little piece made to demonstrate redwork though this of course is blue! I intended to add a navy border to echo the frames of the blocks but forgot so it only measures 24 by 31 but a good size for a wallhanging. I've done two redwork classes this year funded by a bursary I won in a lottery from my Guild, Oast Quilters and have to report back in March so this will form part of the presentation. It is an out of print pattern that a kind quilter on the Stashbuster list helped me source. I used double embroidery floss strands for the main pattern lines and single for details. A good carry along project.

The back

Note machine clasp stitch used to "tie" this section.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Postman Cometh

The Post Office really came up trumps on Monday with not one but two parcels. One was a delightful tree hanging made with Suffolk Puffs which is now replacing a picture in my hall. It was something of a mystery as I didn't know who had sent it but at the Usual uspects lunch yesterday I learnt we had all had one from our Houston co-conspirator.
The other was a cardboard box, no less, from the states and came from Nancy of and her fellow Uvulati Quilt Group members who had had a cookie swap. They didn't want the 2 international members to miss out, hence the box. Sampling started forthwith. Also in the box  were our Civil War 4-Patches swap units. Judi has donated hers to me and I shall have a nice time playing and plan a UK QOV.

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Farmer's Daughter

Since I completed the Blue Heaven quilt I have turned my attention to bits and pieces of UFO's, I've made a list of them and it's rather daunting especially as there some sets of blocks not included. So my resolution for the New Year will be not to start anything I can't finish in the short term and to tackle the UFO list too.
Anyway some time ago I assembled the Farmers' Wives block made in 1930's fabrics into a top. As ever the quilting proved a stumbling block. Anyway I've bitten the bullet and machine quilted round the blocks and along some of the internal lines to produce a different pattern on the back.
The Farmer's Daughter!



Another block

Another reverse

Yet another block

Yet another reverse

Friday, 16 December 2011

Bonnie's last Friday (9th December)

Mavis with Advent Calendar

Earlier this week google was playing up. The blog posting reverted to a previous format and I couldn't publish what I had written so this is a second attempt to post pictures from our last Bonnies session of the year. I thought Mavis's advent panel was the most tasteful I have seen while Trish brought us the latest in her Christmas tradition of a new cross stitch roundel to commemorate each family gathering. Meanwhile I now have two small quilts to bind. The end of year finishing off is going well.


Trish's cross stitch

Thursday, 15 December 2011

My Blue Heaven 75x89 inches

My Blue Heaven detail
When the Book Group organiser came back from her house swap holiday in 2010 she announced her daughter had had a quilt on holiday and wanted one for herself. Anyway as I make some quilts with no home to go to I said I would make her one. First I lent books. Still no decision. Then I suggested she should come to our July 2011 quilt show and get some ideas. I then thought this might NOT be have been in my best interests as there were some complex quilts on display including a Baltimore and New York Beauty but the wonderful girl opted for squares with a plain border and cable quilting. The blues she pointed out were rather grayed shades. She was very firm in her requirements concluding ". .and I want it single bed size!"  So my task was easier than I expected. I could have hugged her! I sewed "blocks" 4 squares by 5, the individual squares measuring  3.5". I bought a set of FQs to lend some unity to the project and then added lots more from my own stash. As we wanted the quilt to be finished in time for Christmas I machine quilted the centre but handquilted the border. It's now ready to go and I hope I've started a young person out on a lifetime of quilt collecting.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Quay Quilters' Christmas Challenge

The challenge setter took a leaf from a display at Festival of Quilts and set us the task of making a Christmas "plate". The entries are shown here. I made an inadequate stained glass Christmas pudding seen in the lower photograph but I did make the effort. The Quay Quilters' challenges are the only ones I do as I hate challenges and I just satisfy myself with also ran status. It was good to see all the different ones and that one of the prizes was won by someone from our beginners' class.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The tree

I got the Christmas tree today.It didn't look very tall in the garden centre but seemed bigger as I approached the car and I looked nervously at the house as I unloaded it but it fits with 6" to spare so I don't have to cut off the top like I did last year and disguised it with my Mexican tin angel. Also today I changed the bed and the quilt. I call this one my advent quilt. It's not exciting but pleasing. I like the biggish stitch quilting, the wool blend and I always have to point out how the chevrons of the fabric print meet at the corners. This was a bit of a struggle so I like people to notice.

Monday, 5 December 2011

U3A Class

This morning was the last U3A class of this year tutored by Margaret. We start off with a Show & Tell and here are three pictures I took of students' work. Margaret made the beautiful wedding ring quilt in Saturday's post.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sewing Room Treasures

I remember our hostess displaying the frog quilt in the Oast Showcase a dozen or so years ago and she quilted around every frog on the background fabric to get into machine quilting. It's just delightful. The sampler quilt was made in classes long ago with Dinah Travis and Pat Salt, teachers who set many quilters on their way.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Oast AGM

It was the Oast Agm today. I can't say I was particularly looking forward to it but as is the way I enjoyed the afternoon very much when I got there. I went with a bag full of stuff and came home having passed most of it on or returned items. I gave one quilt (jointly made with Judi) to Linus and one (jointly made with U3A members) to the Teenage Cancer Trust. I hope the recipients enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed making them. Apart from mince pies (and cake!) a feature of this meeting is the challenge, this year given the royal wedding the theme was weddings and there were some beautiful quilts, including double wedding rings of course. I voted for the small piece made by fellow Crab & Winkler, Marion, as I felt it best answered the idea of a challenge featuring the items celebrating each anniversary and displaying a great deal of ingenuity. I make a point of voting for the one I think is best not for one made by a friend so this was a genuine choice. However I haven't shown it here but instead some of the other entries.

Margaret's double wedding ring quilt which came third was immaculately made and joined quilt as you go and diiferent sections joined by lacing. Liz's displayed magnificent free machine quilting with feathered hearts and Ursula's which came second used lots of scraps in crazy pieced setting. This one was second.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Dream sewing space

Today we visited the bungalow one of our Houston Party has just moved into, having completely remodelled it. The roof space has been transformed into a beautiful and tranquil sewing area where we spent most of the day comparing Houston purchases, acquiring things she is throwing out and oooing and aaahing over her projects and fabric collections. In all a lovely time.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Armadillo quilt

Can you see the armadillo waving his legs in the air?

Two colour binding

November 28th I finally finished the armadillo quilt Judi and I worked on together originating in a cut and come again workshop with Edwina McKinnon. Edwina approached her project from an artistic point of view but Judi and I used bright scraps, many novelty fabrics including the one featuring the the armadillo. The panels were assembled and quilted separately then joined with strips front and back. I used a two colour binding to match the different binding strips.
It is destined for Project Linus.