Monday, 11 December 2017

Puppy Love

Snow Day

Unexpectedly housebound today, I took the opportunity to put together this little quilt for a precious little puppy called Evie. She is a Golden Retriever and a new member of Elise and Tom's family in Plymouth. I can't wait to meet her!

The fan heater conked out in the loft and it was freezing up there. But I was determined to do it and actually quilted it in MITTENS!

The 'Churn Dash' blocks were a charity shop find that friend Gloria couldn't resist buying, but then she gave them to me to make something with!!!!!!!!!!!
I have managed to use 5 out of the 6 by making 'Broken Dishes' blocks to make up a 9 Patch layout.

Thank you to the ladies of the little U3A group in Mill Hill who so kindly treated me to a lovely lunch last Friday! It has been a pleasure starting them off on their own quilting journeys. I am sure we will keep in touch and it is great to see what they have achieved. 

Here is Julia's version of my Mystery Quilt. Not bad for a beginner - absolutely perfect!! 
Well done! 

And Finally... 
Here's one for the music loving Grandson in Sue Mashmoor's family. As usual she gave me a few challenges, having already cut the backing and wadding to size. But I couldn't say no!

That really is the last one I can do before Christmas.
Happy Quilting Everyone!   

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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Tiggy's Quilt!

Winding down for Christmas

I promised Sandy I would set aside time to quilt the third of her memory quilts, so she could finish them in time for her Christmas visitors. This one is for Tiggy - the youngest little girl. 

 There was such a lot of lovely detail to work around, as Sandy had managed to incorporate so many bits of appliqué from this lucky little toddler's baby clothes. 


I chose to echo around the actual shapes this time and do a little fancy freehand work on the plainer squares to try to pick up the different themes.

Can you see the 'Dino Snore' in this piece?

 And it made the back very interesting too.

Last weekend, Karen and I visited the Mead Quilters' exhibition at Wheathampstead. There were around 40 full sized quilts hanging, as well as smaller pieces and wall hangings, all beautifully displayed. The standard of work really was excellent and I was most impressed by the amount of hand quilting - more than 50% I'd say, and expertly done.

Apart from one last minute job (!) I am taking a rest until after Christmas, just doing things for myself. I am about a third of the way to my target of 840 half square triangles for my Jamestown Landing quilt. Once they are done, I can start to piece the blocks and it will soon take shape - that's the fun part!

Happy Quilting Everyone!   

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Friday, 24 November 2017

Keep on Trucking!

Lovely Appliqué

This is the latest piece off my frame. Such a lot of appliqué work by Jenny, a fairly new patchworker, and she made a lovely job of it. Her 3 year-old grandson is going to love his Christmas present! Jenny was off to look for a sewing machine upgrade when I saw her this morning - she's got the bug!

Before I started that one, I had chance to baste this top for Susan. This is her version of my Star Crossed Chains  'mystery' design and she plans to hand quilt it. Susan chose to make it in the subtlest of neutrals, yet there is still sufficient contrast to show the pattern. I am so pleased to see the variety of fabrics everyone has used and how different they all look.

Last Saturday, at Studio Quilters, I set about increasing my stash of 4 1/2" neutral string/strip squares.
 I have been piecing these on and off over the last year or so, from all my odd sized scraps (and I mean scraps!) of mixed neutral fabrics. These are pieced diagonally onto foundation squares of phone book paper using the flip and sew method and then rotary cut to the required size. They seem to be transformed into something beautiful when all the ragged ends are cut off. And look how little I actually throw away  - if those triangles had been even a little bigger I would have made half square triangle 1 1/2" squares with them too! 

I knew I needed a large number of these for Bonnie Hunter's Jamestown Landing quilt, which has long been on my personal To Do List. So on Saturday I went into mass production and prepared larger strip sets, purpose cut from my neutral stash, and cross cut them into squares. I checked the pattern when I got home and was surprised to find I only needed 168 and had actually got 162. 
Guess what I did that night!! 
Now I only need to make 840 blue/neutral 2 1/2 " Half Square Triangles.

On Sunday, we manned our well stocked stall at the Christmas Fair at Allum Hall and gave a healthy contribution to the NSPCC. 

And I parted with my Tree of Life Quilt!

Next up is the third of Sandy's 'memory quilts' that she is making for her visitors from the States, so it needs to be ready by Christmas. The fussy cut clothes on this one are lovely, as Sandy has salvaged lots of precious little details. I set aside the time to do this for her and it is coming along really well. Pictures in my next blog...........

Happy Quilting Everyone!   

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Feathery Fun!

French General Style

This is the second quilt I have finished off for Janet S, made from the leftovers from her earlier 'French General' quilt, on a background of Ivory 'Crackle' by Kathy Schmitz for Moda, (one of my favourite fabrics in my collection).

                                                                      Janet asked me to quilt allover feathers again and I think I am even more pleased with how they turned out this time. I started out with 2 full reels of King Tut thread in Flax colour.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       As I got near to the bottom I started to panic and I ended up with literally an arm's length to spare - how jammy was that!!!!!!!!!

It was worth all the work, though, I am so pleased with the texture.

Next up is a lovely fun applique quilt with cars and trucks on a batik background.
Don't forget to pop into the NSPCC Christmas Fair at Allum Hall in Borehomwood, 10am- 4pm this Sunday, if you are local. Studio Quilters will be putting the final bits together for the stall at this Saturday's meeting.

After all that is over, I want to get down to some creative time for myself.

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Oh Brother!

Where is SEWING MACHINE REPAIRMAN when you need him?

I was never going to make a full wreath of leaves at the Connecting Threads workshop today - not really my thing, but I was willing to give it a go. So I made one maple leaf (the light coloured one in the picture) and donated it to Viv, who was positively churning them out! Then I felt guilty and started to make a Horse Chestnut Leaf, which looked a bit easier. All was going well until the machine jammed up and I had to cut the leaf away with a sharp knife. Much fumbling and fiddling followed, as I struggled to take the plate off and pulled out all the snarled up threads and fluff. (As Viv will tell you, I am not one to open and clean my machine often!) But when I tried to carry on, with new needle, new bobbin and all - it was having none of it and I just had to pack up! 
Looks like I will have to take him to the doctor. 😭😭

I can take some comfort, however, from an otherwise highly productive week. 

Having finished Sandy's two memory quilts, I cracked on with this gorgeous Liberty print bed topper made by Jean S (with some of her old night dress  material!) 

It has that lovely washed and faded look - right up my street - and deserved some pretty flower and heart motifs. It was one of those pieces that I just couldn't stop until it was done (a late night!)

Then I moved on to 'The Calendar Quilt'
This was the result of Studio Quilters' Annual Challenge (2016). Everyone was given a month and had to produce a block depicting something relevant:




July August





And Finally ......
I got that cushion done for the NSPCC Christmas Fair next Sunday at Allum Hall in Borehamwood, 10am to 4pm. 
'Drunkards Path' ... Curved piecing with NO PINS!


Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Christopher is Over the Rainbow!

At Last!

It's a couple of years since Christopher asked me to make him a quilt and I'm rather glad he changed his mind from his original request for a 'Minecraft' pattern, because I so enjoyed making him a rainbow!
He seemed to really love it. Good job he's a growing lad - it came out about 84 inches square!

                                                                                                          Sandy's two memory quilts are both done (side by side on my frame to make best use of the wide backing fabric - waste not want not!)

This first one had enough space for me to fill the sashing and borders with curls and petals. 

Sandy asked for a coloured thread on the pale backing to liven it up - it shows off the quilting pattern nicely. (Pink of course!)

The second one had irregular sized blocks and no border, so it lent itself more to an all-over pattern. I just had to carefully work around all the applique details that Sandy had incorporated so cleverly.

I get carried away with this design - it's almost addictive!

Now she has to bind them and make labels before the girls come over for Christmas. And then she has to make another one for their baby sister!

Tonight I have been putting the finishing touches on a pretty 'Liberty' print quilt for Jean and I will photograph it in the morning. 
I hope it is as sunny as today!

Happy Quilting Everyone!


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Sunday, 29 October 2017


And Christmas is Creeping Up!

Next up on my frame is the first of two 'memory' quilts made by Sandy for her dear friends' little girls across the pond. They feature fabrics selected from a big bundle of favourite clothes which Sandy has sorted through, laundered, pressed, cut and painstakingly pieced into quilt tops for these lucky little girls. Many of the fabrics were stretchy and had to be stabilised on to an iron-on backing. Now she has entrusted me with the quilting, I hope to do justice to all her hard work. So far I have stitched in the ditch around the blocks and will do some simple ruler work on the various feature fabrics. The on-point sashing and borders are wide enough for me to do some fancy freehand work, which I am looking forward to.


The Studio Quilters' Christmas scrap bag is nearly depleted as I have finished the little wall hanging I started last Saturday.  

Also, I put together a few little place mats with other odds and ends I found, for the NSPCC Christmas Fair at Allum Hall next month. They just need the binding finished off. 

My commissioned 'H' Block quilt is completely finished now and ready to be dispatched. 

35 hours work from start to finish.

I have at least 4 more quilt tops to finish for others and then I hope to find time to complete a project for myself, with some of the lovely fabrics in my stash.

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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