Monday, 27 February 2012

I have been working on Isla's quilt top since the start of the year and I decided I must finish it today. This morning I completed the flowers and in the afternoon made the star blocks for the other lower corner though it took four before I was satisfied. I laid the top out to photograph. However I then had to wash it as I had used a Solvy Sticky fuse on the back as a stabiliser for the applique. Now it's laid out flat but it's going to be quite a job to iron all those seams and I hope the soluble interfacing hasn't greyed some of the paler fabrics.
The top

Leftover scraps

Some left over fabric

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Usual Suspects got together to set together their Quilt Show BOM blocks. We hired a village hall and had massive space and tables to set things out on as there were only five of us. We enjoyed a contributory lunch and celebrated Belinda's belated birthday. The local wildlife took an interest.



Mr Pheasant

Sunday, 19 February 2012

End in sight

Flowers with markings for stems.

Today I prepped the flowers for the lower right corner and traced in the lines for the stems. After three days at least of prevaricating and messing about I can see my way forward. I've abandoned the idea of flowers for the other bottom corner - I'll do two more stars. I think that will look better (and be much more straightforward!). I'm looking forward to clearing the materials away. At the moment fabrics are dumped on the (dolls) bed pending stars but I have tidied the table. I'm looking forward to the hand quilting.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Out for the day

I and another friend and her daughter had a lovely time today with a friend we went to the Houston Show show with. Today we shared patterns and fabric, cutting up the Westminster fabric we had bought into thirds to distribute among us. Amazingly we had no duplicates so we have a very good range between us. I took a photo of our hostess's bed and back drop. Just lovely.
I also took a picture of a vintage circa 30's/40's quilt I own lent to my friend to replicate the pattern. The other quilt was made by our hostess from fabrics won by friend's daughter at Houston, given to her and returned as an appreciated gift.
My dresden plate quilt made in 30's/40's.

Gift of a quilt.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Can you see the mistake?
I realise one of my Irish Chain blocks had a (non deliberate) mistake in it and although I have spares this is the one I want so I'll change it. Meanwhile after three attempts I've got the bird I want - green on a light background and have started to piece the top.  I am facing problems here and there because of miscut fabric or not enough fabric but I am pleased. It's busy but not so much of a messy mish mash as I'd feared. Vases of flowers still to do.
Birds of a feather

Top taking shape

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Millennium hanging

I am helping a lady who lives in Faversham with her patchwork as she came mid course to our beginners' class. Our group Quayquilters is based in Faversham. To mark 2000 the group, mainly a core of 4 people, designed and made a hanging for the library. Library users contributed fabric. In fact Norma was the designer and it is brilliant - not the small fiddly needlework and crammed in images of many such projects but big and bold which can be seen from one end of the building to the other. It depicts scenes from Faversham's history in a lively ebullient manner typical of Norma's work. I spent 1999 to 200 in Kuala Lumpur so played virtually no part in this project apart from handquilting a cherry or two on the border. Faversham is surrounded by orchards. In the reference library hangs a more "patchworky" hanging. I don't know if this is the group's work or not.
General view

One of the Stuart kings, the Quay, the gunpowder factory explosion, sheep and brewing.

Matilda and Stephen warring monarchs, Thames barges and the murder of Thomas Arden by his wife and lover subject of a play by Thomas Middleton: "Arden of Faversham".

In the reference library

Monday, 13 February 2012

Here are the Quilt Show BOM stars we swapped out more than a year ago. I first laid them out strictly according to match the original block designs. Then it was time to swap around, with the job made easier by three spares. We'll be meeting up to combine them next week. The border stars are so numerous they won't present a problem.

Friday, 10 February 2012

I have made a row of little people to go along the top of the quilt. I shall have to pluck up courage and dot the eyes (and noses and mouths). They will have a bird to the left of them and a dog to the right. I planned to put pots of flowers in the lower corners but looking at this I think I shall have a tall tree bottom left and the flowers bottom right. It's all taking a very long time.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A Farmer's Wife

It was Quay Quilters last night when Trish showed us how she had used the computer programme EQ to make her Farmer's Wife quilt. She had scanned in a plethora of fabrics and when choosing fabrics for blocks, as an exercise selected them using the computer images not the fabrics themselves. The EQ mock up revealed that her choice of sashing was not the right one so she was able to substitute before any wasteful cutting took place. Trish and I are part of a gang of four who sew together and work on the same projects. I only made sets of blocks and haven't got to the end yet and suspect I never will. Trish's blocks are so beautifully pieced and the fabrics so wonderful I felt quite moved on looking at it. Truly a magnum opus. I hope to take a better photo when we meet up on Friday.
Margaret, our treasurer, reported on our show from last year. With a change of treasurer and the bank repeatedly messing up it's taken some time but I was pleased to learn we made £1447 to donate to our local hospice. This is more than we've ever made before partly because of a very successful tombola and also because we charged for admission for the first time. It didn't stop people coming.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Crab & Winkle

It was Crab & Winkle night on Friday. I had only my dyed fabrics to show. On the quilting front I am on the straight and narrow working on Isla's till done though I have had nearly two weeks of not doing anything for it. I saw her on Thursday and her first words were "Where's my quilt?" A hard taskmaster.
We discussed our show and I took a picture of Marion's very pretty cottagy Hidden Wells for my Hidden Wells file and also Maggie's two latest. Just so lovely and inspiring. Pam brought out what will be our second prize quilt a 60" square lap quilt made with a panel and a complementary set of fat quarters which was a large and generous donation from a friend of mine. She is handquilting it. One of Maggie's is a variation on the Katharine Guerrier Galaxy of Stars design but using strips to frame the stars. Indeed it's a completely different pattern, I feel. The other is just squares but using the lovely pastel fabrics so popular now in a very beautiful combination.

Raffle quilt in progress

Maggies stars framed with strips in progress

Maggie's squares

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Dyeing to Quilt

I've been slightly poorly last week and I seem to have spent two weeks centred on a one day dyeing dyeing session, collecting lots of stuff and mixing masses of salt solution. Then on the day itself  we dyed our allocation then acquired extra dye so that last week  I finished up surplus dyes and rinsed and rinsed then rinsed again before final washing and ironing. What I omitted to do for some items was to dampen the cloth beforehand. I have learned some lessons and got a good collection.

Some completed fabric

Fabric stewing in bags awaiting rinsing

The dye kitchen on my return home

Gradated greens