Wednesday, 25 November 2020

November Siblings Together block


This is the November Siblings Together Bee block which I posted off today. Carole had requested two tones of the same colour around the feature centre. There was quite a lot of sewing with so many HSTs - 28 in all and 61 units in the block but it's a very nice design. I'd like a quilt made with larger units perhaps to finish at 15" with 2.5" squares. 

To make multiple HSTs at once I cut 3" strips of 2 fabrics right sides together and marked the light side with 3" squares and with zigzag diagonal lines across.

Then I sewed 1/4" on either side of the diagonal lines continuously in one direction and then back. Then I cut along the drawn lines straight and diagonal

Then I pressed the units open and trimmed the HST pieces 2.5" exactly.

I sewed the block not in rows but in four patches and undid the straight seams caught by the long seam so I could rotate the units making for a flatter centre and nesting seams.

Sewing in four patches: note the large
corner squares before trimming to 12.5"

Centre treatment

Saturday, 21 November 2020



It's a good size, 64.5" x 74"

I finished binding my Elementary quilt in the week. I'm pleased with it. And I like the backing fabric hugely, Succulent by Heather Givens bought on sale. I've put it on the bed wrong side up.

I haven't finished my binding tasks: four more await, Roman Crosses and three lots of red binding. I am going to face the Cafe Curtains quilt and after a wrestle with my conscience have ordered an extra half yard of the fabric I want instead of substituting.

Last stage
Can you see me reflected in the window?

I set up both machines for binding tasks. My Janome by the window has a lovely wide walking foot for sewing through all the layers. My equally lovely Pfaff I used to join the binding strips into one long piece. 
Sewing set up. I can raise or lower the
height of the table the Pfaff is on but
not when the heavy machine is on it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020


 Every money barring August and December  it's time to submit a requested block to one of the Siblings Together Bee 3 group. June  2020 was my turn. 

My two examples

All the blocks were well made but some of the fabric choices were a bit unexpected - I'd asked for bright modern fabrics. I felt I couldn't set them side by side and the current plan is to set them 4 by six but alternately with a red or blue framed block.

The blocks set out

Layout try outs

I now realise why my fellow Siblings Together Bee members often stipulate white as a background. It does tie things together but I'm not keen on white for teenagers, especially boys. (Sorry for the stereotyping but it applies in many cases.)

I've laid it aside for now. Roman Crosses binding is nearly complete and then I shall sandwich, quilt and bind two little quilts.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Use it Up


I had leftovers from the Tiptoe quilt including two tulip blocks and couldn't bear to throw them away so set about combining the bits and pieces to make a 24" quilt. Then I did throw the extra bits away. I should have been binding my Roman Crosses quilt but I like piecing best so was lured away. Now of course I have set myself up for more quilting and binding. I laid out what I had and then made 6 nine patches with the blue in the corners.

When I sewed it together AND glue basted it I realised  I had  misaligned the red tulip. I couldn't stand it so decided to unpick. As I was trying to bring up BBC Sounds and the broadband was playing up I had a stressed nose bleed and drops landed on my unpicking. Off to the bathroom to rinse and wash with a Vanish bar  but I'll have to wait till it dries.

Then it was time for a Guild Zoom talk by Carole Lyles Shaw. That's why I was stressed about the Broadband but I needn't have worried as it came back quicker than ever.

Monday, 9 November 2020

By email

Maggie sent me an email to say my Elementary quilt was ready along with this picture. She has done such a good job. I hope to pick it up tomorrow.

Sunday, 8 November 2020


I have nearly finished quilting my Carolyn Forster BOM blocks, just two more setting squares to go. I couldn't resist laying them out.

Here is the pile of 16.5" trimmed blocks, all done.

Laid out again to give a better idea of what it will look like finished.
It's a keeper.


Sunday, 1 November 2020

Lower Hardres Day

 We had a marvellous day at Lower Hardres, all the more so in view of the fact that as the day went on we learnt of another national lockdown due later in the week. As it was a Saturday we had an excellent turn out of 11 with Becky and Mary I being able to join us.

We were super safe sitting in bubbles of three threes and one two and wearing masks when we left our seats or visited another table. Nurse Beverley took our temperatures, surfaces were disinfected and we used our own and provided wipes to clean handles as we went. It was lovely to enjoy face to face company.

Unusually everyone hand sewed as the emphasis was on sociability. Mid morning we stopped for a magnificent Show & Tell.  I'm showing only the first two tables worth as I have photographed my own (five!) earlier along with Maggie's, Mary's and Stephanie's.

I have been making quilts for twenty five years and patchworking since the 1970's. Jenny has been making quilts from long before me and has the fabric collection to prove it. This quilt of the crosses is pieced using papers from Lina Patchwork. Jenny points out that although she has completed the feature blocks the connecting pieces make up more than half the quilt. I wish I was making mine this size! 

Jenny's Quilt of the Crosses laid out on a sheet

Tansy had been shopping both for vintage quilts and one from Jo Avery's recent culling.

Tansy's vintage quilt top; interestingly lively modern versions of this are being made within the group, a technical feat.



Tansy's vintage basket quilt with beautiful cross hatch hand quilting

Tansy's purchase of a more modern and very colourful basket quilt by Jo Avery which was published in "Today's Quilter" 2019. The quilt looked even better in real life than the photograph.


Meanwhile she is making her own heirloom based on on one of the Australian's master quilter's pattern and class.

Beverly is yet another of the day's expert needle women and showed a lovely wool felt piece.

Beverley's lovely piece


Tracy is a quilting tornado who manages to produce complex quilts in a relatively short time. She loves colour and has a distinct style. She and her friend Sandra often enjoy the same things and both have made strippy housetop quilts. Tracy has made two, the second one freer in colour placement. Check out Tracy Aplin on Instagram to see more of her work including garment making (Sewing_Tracy).

The first one Tracy made

The second one. Note the denim pinafore also made by Tracy.

Tracy's WIP, hand pieced, more to
be added.

Detail of Tracy's big stitch quilting.

Sandra's colourful version

Another one from Sandra

I glue basted my Tiptoe through the Tulips top and handed the elementary top over to Maggie to longarm with more concentric circles. I finished my Timms' Robbing Peter block, a never to be repeated experience. I hand stitched it and stitches can be seen in the centre. I shall put a little dot over it. I also worked on my Siddi piece a long term project I'd forgotten about till the other day. I'll take a picture shortly.

Siddi piece.
Siddi quilts are an African innovation, starting from the outside and working in. Siddi is the name given to an originally African group in India who make these quilts from scraps, often pieces salvaged from old saris. Where fabrics overlap an edge is turned under and the whole secured by parallel lines of kantha type stitching. I started mine in a workshop given by an Indian lady at QuiltCon this year and was reminded of it hen I saw Sujata Shah demonstrating on the Quilt Show the other day.