Saturday, 26 September 2020



Lockdown Logs 73 x 86"

This week I finished the last of the hand quilting on my Lockdown Logs quilt. I'd already machine quilted the border strips and attached the binding so that was it. It's definitely a product of lockdown. The hand quilting was very calming while watching TV in the evenings.


My Dresden Plate for  Lizzie Albright did not go well.  I realised there was a problem developing and tried to make my seams smaller. This was exactly the wrong thing to do. When I pinned some of the seams the block began to take its proper shape. I'll resew tomrrow.
Not my finest hour.

Pinned version


Thursday, 24 September 2020

Sewing Day

There were just four of  us at our Chartham Hatch sewing day but we were so pleased to see each other. Three of us were hand sewing various complex projects but I was embarking on my tessellated blocks by machine and finished the first two rows.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Let's tessellate


An issue from 1995

Having finished my BOMs and sandwiched them ready for quilting as you go I'm avoiding getting down to the next quilting stage.  I am working my way through old magazine runs tearing out anything of interest and discarding the rest. This piece on tessellation caught my eye and I thought it would be good to use with a long held pack of 29 fat quarters from the Sweetwater elementary collection. I'm not particularly fond of these but need to do some using up and I think they would suit a teenager or boy. 

Leftover pieces

My oblongs will finish at 6 by 12". Because of the tessellation and interlocking planning is tricky so I started with on point 1" trimming pieces, then a diagram on graph paper and then stuck the fabric to the centre of its corresponding cross.

First attempt

The cunning plan

The plan was invaluable when laying out my pieces on the floor at which point I needed to do some stitching and some unsticking and resticking on my plan. Once fixed I picked up the 12" blocks and piled them on my board separating each with kitchen paper or napkin and each rows worth with a square of fabric, ready to sew.

Blocks layered up ready to sew


Although the sewing isn't challenging I shall have to be careful about the arrangement as the cross pieces are matched with four different corners which link up to form further crosses.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Three blocks


As we were out on Monday visiting my daughter and climbing One Tree Hill (affording a lovely viewpoint over the Weald of Kent towards Tonbridge) I didn't finish my Lizzie Albright blocks till Tuesday. I got a bit over confident with the Churn Dash and it isn't quite as accurate.

I am using a collection of 40 rainbow fat eighths from various designers and manufacturers and a pack of greys I've had for a long time as part of my using  the good stuff drive. I shall keep going with first ones I picked out until they run out and then choose another combination.

At first I thought I might use a roll of Tula Pinks and related fabrics but decided the designs were too large for the small patches and small prints and tone on tones would work best. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

New Venture


In an burst of enthusiasm I signed up and paid up to join Ricky Tims'  Lizzie Albright quilt sampler classes. I liked the idea of learning lots of different blocks from Ricky. I will use them differently from his Attic windows quilt setting and I won't do the complex border because, very conveniently, I don't like it. Meanwhile I plan to do the blocks on Sunday (when the video comes out) and Monday.

We started last weekend by video - the classes are streamed so we have useful permanent access.

The blocks are 8" so nine patch designs don't work easily. Ricky has provided templates and cutting guides to get round this. I do know how to draft round this problem by slanting a ruler from corner to side of a square so that you have a measurement divisible by three (or 5, or 7) and placing a dot at the divisions and using these to mark vertical lines, Then repeat the other way. Anyway to my surprise my final Dove in the Window block came out exactly 8.5" square.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Milestone reached


Yesterday in short order I made four more centres for the setting blocks, square in squares to add to the two stars from the day before and having cut all the pieces out, finished all six blocks comfortably. I laid five out on the reverse of the quilt on my bed. (I forgot about the sixth which was still on my display pad).

I decided on my final arrangement, took a photograph and labelled the blocks. My original plan was to join the blocks and quilt but I now plan to follow Carolyn Forster's directions and quilt as I go but by machine as I have enough hand quilting on the go.

I know I could have put my blue blocks to form a focus in the centre but I don't want to! 

As a postscript I've been reminded of a sort of fishnet pattern I used on earlier hand quilted quilts and may use it on the Jan Hassard HST quilt currently in progress. (I need access to a die cutter before I can proceed on that one.)

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Off and On

 At the moment I am putting single quilts on our bed laid crosswise. It isn't very cold at the moment (though our bedrooms are cool being built into the slope of the site) and it's a chance to enjoy them more fully. 

Quay Quilt

This is the quilt I took off my bed yesterday. This dates from 2000. The Q in the centre refers to my group Quay Quilters which used to have a tea towel with blocks printed on to sell at their quilt show. I drafted the blocks and made the quilt. It was started in Kuala Lumpur at the end of our year there and finished back home in the UK.

A River Runs Through It quilt
The one on my bed now was made from Mary Fisher (the Aids campaigner) fabrics I bought from her at Houston. I have made several quilts whereby four fabric repeats are secured on top of each other and four identical stacks are cut and arranged to form new patterns. Squares give the most options but here are HSTs (two options) and QSTs (one option) as well as strips. It is hand quilted in fish net style. I love it.

Friday, 11 September 2020



The blue block on the left is too strong as is the the "spare" on the right replaced at the top left

When I laid out my blocks one stood out like a sore thumb  because of its busy background as well as the bright feature fabric. 

The miscreant!

I had already made two of the penultimate block as I thought I might need a choice. I chose the softer version.



Although it would be nice to draw a line under making these somewhat complex blocks I decided I had to remake the earlier one. I tried to draw in more colours and used up the last of the blue fabric.

The new version, tamer but a better fit.

This time I foundation pieced it which speeded up construction though it was funny how hard it was to visualise the end result from looking at the FP papers.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

FOQ 9: round up Belated

I have just come across this on my blog list as a draft - it's from Festival of Quilts 2019 and only published now. Other pictures were blogged at the time. Happy Days!
Stitches Unlimited by Patricia van Walree-Visser
a Swedish quilt in the Stitches without Borders gallery.
I love the fabric choices and design echoing the piece below.

I have cut out magazine photos of this fascinating quilt from the Guild collection before. It really appeals to me and I think to others.

The Quilters' Guild is 40 years old this year and it's been a chance to look back at the quilts collected over that time. There are some splendid major pieces but often it's the more homely ones which attract, the Hallville Red Cross quilt being one that is often pictured. It is a Red Cross quilt sent over in WW2 to give warmth and comfort to bombed out families. 
Sandra Meach's work is inspired by the Arctic north and as an aside she has collected pieces by Inuit artists.
Whale Cove a wool
embroidered hanging from
Baker Lake.
Artist unknown

Boy Flies Away by Irene

No one could fail to be impressed by the red and green quilts in the Nebraska Quilt Study gallery.

Liz Jones is someone whose quilts I always look out for. This piece is a sharp contrast to her satin stitched applique designs but no less wonderful. Perhaps that is why this quilt is called Moving On

Wonderful use of the glowing
colours of wool.

I have only recently started to look out for Sarah Hibbert's pieces. She has been inspired by the Modern movement and uses linens, hand printed and commercial to make very refined pleasing quilts. A recent piece, Reflections, is now in the Quilters' Guild collection.
Sarah Hibbert: Haiku
In the Vlieseline Fine Art Textile Award Gallery 


And on a final note my last picture is half square triangles, first and last love.
Deborah Maguire: A new Bertha Mitchell quilt

A disappearing 4-Patch

After an August break Lyn emailed instructions for our September Bee block. It was a very quick and easy but effective design and she asked for two if possible.

To make it take four 6" squares and sew them into a four patch. (I like to unpick the stitches in the seam so the the seams can twist in the same direction making a nice flat centre. You can find pictures of how it is done at the close of my post HERE)

Cut 1 1/2" inches away from each side of the vertical and horizontal seams.

Swap the top and bottom strip pieces and then the side strip pieces

and sew. 

Top and bottom strips swapped

Side strips swapped too

Press the seams on one side in and on the other side out. That way your blocks will nest. 

Here are my blocks to be posted today.

You can make this with just two fabrics and I think that is what I prefer.

A useful YouTube video is on on the Sew Very Easy site  HERE

Monday, 7 September 2020

Last Feature blocks

Finally after several versions and sizes of petals and struggles piecing in the circle I finished the twelfth feature block though I have thirteen in all  having done two colour ways of one. These are the others I completed in the final stint after a long gap. 

I laid out what I have. I'm not sure about the strongly patterned one. I may redo it with a more nondescript background.

Now I have 6 remaining setting blocks to do. I shall cut them all out at once and sew as a batch.