Monday, 11 May 2015

Pendle Hill Centre

I cannot believe that it is already a week ago since the last day of the workshops with Di Ford Hall.  This quilt has me gripped and I have stitched on it virtually every day. The centre of the urn is now completed and stitched to a square in readiness for the next stage which is to apply flowers to the edge of the circle.


My new passion is pentagons. These beautiful little flowers are stitched using 5/8" papers. Each one I make I declare it my favourite. Warning! Highly addictive. I already have a few ideas for making lots more of these. For this quilt I need 56.


These little beauties belong to my friend Marie. We had great fun playing with ideas for these. Marie has some great idas too for a whole new adventure.


Posing with Di in front of Phebe and Rotherfield Grey. Those quilts are amazing. 


This week I bought this little tray in a shop in Wellington. I love the colours and the green  suits my home very well. It is Mason's and the backstamp says Paynsley Pattern. I have no idea of its age. I just really like it. Think I mght look out for a bit more now. It goes well with my chair!!


Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and it is warm and it is wafting the scent of these bluebells. As a child we used to play a game in the school playground called In and Out the Bluebell Windows. I did a bit of research into this game. Only in my area of Staffordshire is this game called Bluebell Windows, it is mostly known as Dusty Bluebells. What we used to do was form a circle holding hands high and one person would weave in and out of the bluebell windows and then that person would stop at a random person in the circle and we would sing "pat a little girl upon her shoulders" . She would then join in the weaving in and out until there were no people left and the game would start again until the whistle blew. As you can imagine, the patting upon the shoulders used to get a little vigorous at times especially as the chain got bigger. These games usually have their origins somewhere in history and this one I believe derives from the May Fairings. Anyone looking for a servant or anyone wishing to be hired as a serving girl would go to the May Fairs. The bluebells just so happen to coincide with appearing at the same time. The Hirer would parade up and down the line of hopefuls and when he got to one that he liked the look of she would be patted on the shoulder and they were hired. I am sure it would have extended to boys too.


Hope you are enjoying some sunshine and some stitching where you are.

Shirley.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Pendle Hill and Pentagons

On Tuesday my friend Marie and I had a fabulous day at Sue Watter's house on a Di Ford Hall workshop. As you know I am a big fan of Di and it was great to see her back and with a new quilt to start.

This is Pendle Hill. My start of it. Never has a day gone by so fast. Great company and a lovely atmosphere.


Once the urn was stitched, time to do a bit of flower arranging. This quilt has a lot of broderie perse and there will be a lot of cutting out in my future.


Part of the quilt has a border of 5/8 inch pentagons fussy cut. Oh my goodness! If you like hexagons then you will love this. I can see this being highly addictive. These three are ready to assemble. I have five completed and another four cut ready.


Today I have been to Cowslip for a weekend of stitching with Di. I have had my head down and worked hard on my applique. Hopefully I shall be able to show you the next stage soon.

This is a small section of Di's quilt. Yet to be finished and will not be revealed until publication of her next book which I am sorry to say will not be out until 2017.  Plenty to keep me going until then.

Just look at those pentagons and that applique. 


I sat opposite a lovely lady today named Jackie who said she followed my blog. I had no idea and had not met her before so, this post is for you Jackie.

Happy Stitching.

Shirley.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Trip Around The World

At last I have got my Trip Around The World quilt top to a finished state. As the rounds got bigger and took more time the enthusiasm waned somewhat. I took the decision to end at row 28. It is a decent throw size at roughly 62 inches. Amazingly, the triangles for the outside edge were stitched at record speed once the decision had been made. 

Started as a on line challenge via Facebook, hosted and designed by Brigitte Giblin in 2014. Based on a quilt in Brigitte's collection.

Red spot fabric was compulsory for the challenge and to be used at  certain stages. One row we signed up for a swap. My swap came from Australia. My swap partner turned out to be a friend of another blogging friend and I had the perfect fabric. My swap fabric went to America. 

It is hand pieced, seam allowances eyeballed and not marked. Not pressed either except with a bit of finger pressing.

It has been a fun project to work on and every time a new fabric was added it changed the whole appearance. The online support and encouragement was and still is amazing and the quilts simply stunning. Each and every one.

So, here it is. 




Today I had a little visit to Dotty Dolly Quilt Shop and found the perfect backing fabric. I introduced Maisie to the delights of a quilt shop and I think she quite liked it especially the lovely nursery prints. Anything with dogs and lions are a winner. Mind you, I think she was more interested in playing with the toy counting frame. 



I think the quilting will be simple cross hatching. Undecided on thread but have a varied selection to choose from. It may be a while now before you see it again.

Thank you Brigitte for an amazing experience.

Happy Stitching.

Shirley.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sutton Grange Progress

It is almost twelve months since I started this quilt in a class by Di Ford Hall at Sue Watter's home. Progress has been slow but held up by a long search for a suitable fabric to use as the narrow border which frames each round. I think I found the best one and I am pleased with the progress. It still needs a little something in the centre and in the corner squares but for that I am still waiting for inspiration. The next round consists of lots of little drunkard's path blocks so it may be a long while till you see this again.


I thought of making little stars for the corners and the colour is perfect but it does not fit the square so it is back to the drawing board. I still may or may not applique butterflies. There is no rush. At least I shall have something to show Di on her return visit. Oh yes! More trouble and a brand new quilt. I am so excited.


I have also started a new baby quilt. Following on from the bubble theme. Fussy cut bubbles.


A bit of sock knitting going on and I have learnt a new skill of adding beads to knitting by using a crochet hook. This yarn is amazing and has a bit of silk in it. Most luxurious.


This week in the UK we experienced a partial eclipse. At least it was in my part of the world. The further north you went the more it blocked out the sun.  It was very cloudy and dismal here but spectacular just the same. Scared the pigeon off the roof in the eeriness that followed. I held my ipad up and pressed but looked away as I did it so I am amazed to capture anything at all. 


Happy Stitching.

Shirley.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Bubbles #1

Woohoo! I have a finish. It may be small but it is action packed.

Bubbles #1 measures 18.5 x18.5 inches.

Amazing what you can do with a bag of scraps and a bit of imagination. It is hand appliqued and needleturned and hand quilted too.  One dolly quilt.


For the binding I decided to try something different. It gave me a few problems but I worked it out. I saw on YouTube a video called Susie's Magic Binding by Aunt Marti's 52 Quilts. If you google it it will come up and if you use Facebook it is also on there. It is a fabulous binding and one I shall definitely be trying again. It is stitched on from the back and turned to the front and machined in the ditch to give that tiny little flange. What the video does not say is that from the back the binding is a quarter inch but a half inch on the front plus the flange. I had not allowed for that because I did not know it. At least I don't recall it being said. Eventually I went to bed just gone midnight satisfied after unpicking, trimming and restitching that it looked good.  I wanted the edge of the flange to meet the edge of the quilting. The flange is sewn down by hand to match the quilting. Watch the video to see how it is done. For my first attempt I am pleased. I personally don't like flanges that cover stitching and points on blocks.


On deciding the quilting here was my first attempt. I printed off a photo of the quilt itself and then drew on it the idea in my head of how I thought it might look. It works well and a great way of seeing if you will like how it will turn out. At this point I was not sure whether to quilt bubbles or straight lines and asked my Instagram followers which they preferred. Most said straight lines but in my head the bubbles would not go away until a certain Barbara Chainey said compromise and do both. I simplified it by adding circles in two opposite corners and straight lines in the other two corners with a few bubbles escaping. I used a thin cotton wadding and Sulky 30wt cotton thread in shade 1558 just because it was what I had and it happened to work well.


In my head now are many more bubbles waiting to escape. I think the next one will be a bit bigger but I can see it as a border with lovely quilting in the centre, as a fussy cut I Spy and even in the borders one or two scrappy bubbles appearing. See how many ideas spark off. One thing is for sure, I am not short of scraps.

Happy Stitching

Shirley.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Filling the gaps


I have enjoyed this little play with fabric scraps and everything came from the scrap bin. It has sparked off a few ideas in my head which need to be jotted down for future reference. I will keep a wide border but as of yet still thinking about how to quilt it. 

Shows what you can do with those scraps. Who would have thought it?


Happy Stitching.

Shirley

Monday, 9 February 2015

Circle play

On my list is this idea which is in my head and needs to come out for a play.

So....

Take  1 fat quarter. Mark a 12 inch square.


Next, grab those scraps from the overflowing bin.


Packs of plastic circle templates.


Draw round circles and applique them within the 12 inch square. I am needleturning these circles. It won't take long to fill that square. That large circle is probaly 3 inches across. Thinking of the projects those scraps have come from makes for a lovely evening sewing. 


Happy Stitching.

Shirley.