Monday, 30 March 2020


Using up the Cherrywoods
I've laid out  my crumb blocks and added 48 sashing posts. 
I will add the plain sashing  to calm it down a bit and sew rows so I can press consistently towards the sashing. 

I find that these two blocks were not only the most straightforward to make but also my favourites so that is a lesson for the future.

Saturday, 28 March 2020


Now I am using up leftover pieces and for the first time I have chopped up spare blocks, adding strips and shapes till I can cut out a 7'" square. I'm aiming for 35  blocks and have already cut out 3.5" sashing pieces. Once the blocks are done I'll make 40 cornerstones.
Blocks: there are some very odd shapes partly because I cut out some starter triangular pieces. I shall avoid this in future.

Mess making. I listen to BBC Sounds on my device as I work. It was Inspector West of the Yard and Koestler's Darkness at Noon today.

Friday, 27 March 2020


Well the chequers weren't quite as mindless as I expected. My clever wheeze of taking a colour and then combining it with other colours till I ran out meant it was hard to separate the same or similar colours. And the brighter lighter ones upset the look I was going for. So I made some darker ones in new colours from the back of the drawer though these too upset the balance. I left in three and fewer light ones and now I love it although it's much more wayward than I anticipated.
Sections laid out ready to join

Very pleased

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Sign of Spring

I hung my line of washing outside for the first time this year this week as although it's cold it's sunny and windy. We hadn't put the peg bag away in the shed over winter so it had to be thrown away and the pegs washed. Yesterday I made a new one from furnishing fabric. Marion gave me a pattern years ago. I reuse the hanger. I added the tabs at the opening too.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Spring has sprung

Our garden is carpeted with primroses and I picked a bunch which will warm my heart when I go in the kitchen and when we eat our meals.
It was the day to change the bed and the wintry navy quilt was replaced by my hexagon first quilt. Although pale it is substantial and will keep us warm during these bright but chilly days.

After the rigours of Brian I am sewing chequerboard blocks. I was planning on 5 by 7 but had three extra so am now sewing more extras aiming for 6 by 7. And so it goes . .They are proving very hard to arrange.

Saturday, 21 March 2020


Yes I am being naughty and ignoring the piles of UFO's and to do lists. I answered the siren call of two stacks of Cherrywood fabrics that I bought at QuiltCon which were out in my spare bedroom cupboard as I haven't put any of my purchases away yet (another to do) and set about making a four by four chequer blocks post haste. More haste less speed. I decided I wanted my squares to measure 2.75" and cut several 2.75"strips before it dawned on me my squares would now measure 2.25". After decades of patchwork how can I forget about the seam allowance? Easily. This was probably a bonus as it meant I had less waste. One pack was square and the other oblong which misled me into thinking the pieces were bigger - not: all FQs. So I needed to delve into previous Cherrywood scraps and cut more. However the block was suitably mindless and repetitive which is what I was looking for.

1. Four 2.75" strips x 11.5+
They will finish at 11.5" but
 I allowed extra for trimming.

2. Sew into pairs

3. Join the pairs to make a 
strip set.

4. Cut into 2.75" strip sets

5. Turn two the other way up so
colours alternate.

6. Important: feed the strip sets into the machine aligned the same way. Otherwise you will have to unpick one.

7. Sew the pairs together.

8. Done! The block measures 9,5" and finishes at 9".

For a 10" block cut 3" strips; for an 11" block cut 3.25"; for a 12" block cut 3,5" strips, that is if you trust me.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Snail Trail

Brian as is the way with snails left a very messy trail behind him and being magnificent it was the job of his minion (me) to clear up after him.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Brian the Magnificent

At last my snail is complete - it was painstaking and slightly addictive but for me quite arduous. I did replace the long thin bit at the bottom of the shell as the dark fabric made it look as if I had missed a bit and also the second row down of the body.
I don't know where snails' eyes are but I've given him a bright red one.

Dark fabric in place - its point meets the body at the right of the picture

Dark fabric at base of shell replaced but now I don't like the second row of the body.

All done
I have the option of leaving uncovered or covering with net. My plan is to leave uncovered and quilt in straight lines with taupe invisible thread.

Now for some regular quilting.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Snail Pace

My snail now has most of his shell. I am determined to finish him. I'm already wondering about the quilting. Lots of very fine/invisible thread I think. A job for the Janome.
On another note the three Bonnies not on holiday met to make a mug bag to take our mugs to Quay in. We sent our picture to the Bonnie not in Quay.
Sue, Trish and me

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Oast workshop: Animal Mosaics

We had an excellent day making animal mosaics with Laura Thomas-Jenkins. Laura will soon complete her PhD into the protection of endangered species. She also sews her own clothes as here. I think we were all surprised by what was unfolding as we worked. No sewing machines so it was very peaceful apart from chat. It's a very painstaking and absorbing technique but Julia (mackerel) and Victoria (flower) made great progress. The snail was an appropriate choice in my case!


Victoria finished hers

Ann's to be sleeping cat

Class works in progress

My snail

Julia's magnificent mackerel

 A dog taking shape

Monday, 9 March 2020

Oast Quilters

We had a wonderful afternoon on Saturday when Marion Drake brought just a segment of her wonderful antique and vintage quilt collection to share with us. Items ranged in time from the early C19th to the 1960's. A visual feast and lots of ideas to apply to our own quilt making.

Just look at that brilliant acid yellow
Items on tables in front of the stage were for sale.

I have noted this pattern and the extra wide sashing

A classic

I hope to make a frame quilt on these lines one day. From the time of Jane Austen.

The background strippy squares could be a modern jelly roll pattern but enter another league because of the mini Dresden Plates appliqued on top.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Scintillating Scraps . .

. . . was the title of Jan's workshop last September and I have borrowed friends' dies to cut hundreds of HST's which combine to make a 3" finished square. The block is a nine patch with a single dark central  square and six dark/light HST's and six dark/medium HSTs. The darks were straightforward but I found lights/mediums tricky to sort. So much white in scraps makes me uneasy!
The idea is to arrange half the blocks one way and alternate locks the other way up. I have now made 38 blocks, my A set. I need 72 in all 36 of each though I've a couple of spares. I shall now embark on my second set made from different fabrics so there shouldn't be two the same touching and the pressing of seams will alternate too.
These blocks are arranged the same way up.

These are alternated so the mediums "weave" through the lights.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Butterflies and a heart

I finished my February block for Siblings Together very late: Thank goodness for Leap Year. Mags chose a heart block. I do enjoy trying these things out on a small scale. This month it's a butterfly, quick to make but you need to take care. Both are made with 2.5 strips and flipped over triangles. The central white strip of the butterfly measures 12" by 1" finished size. The first one I made suffers from an ill chosen solid fabric so I made a second one.

Not good - ugh.

Second version
I've just read Jo's original email which reminded me the butterfly came from a Missouri Star Quilt Company video.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Last U3A morning

Margaret Harrison's huge and immaculately
worked Sunset over the Garden quilt: there
was only room for half of it on my spare bedroom floor.
It is now folded on the bias, wrapped in a sheet and in
a roomy bag for storage. It will raise money for charity.

Monday was the last U3A class of this session and my last one for the time being as I find the preparation of samples and examples takes so much time away from my own quilt making. It was quite a sad moment but it was such a busy morning there no space to mope. 
Gabrielle's Batik Mystery top

Mary's very pretty Mystery top.

Grace's individual piece

This is the back of Linda's Scandi Christmas top, a piece in its own right.

Angela's bag in effective

Margaret's uses
a single fabric.

There was Show and Tell but the main focus was on the collection of lovely fabric, tools, books and patterns from Margaret's stash that Peter brought in. The students had a field day acquiring items and it rounded off the year. Margaret was just about well enough to teach the first session before going into hospital. I shall miss my old friend. Among other work there was a magnificent large quilt which we decided was too much for any one person to take home so it will be raffled for charity.