Friday, 3 September 2010

Hearts and Flowers

I first discovered Kim McLean quite by accident whilst browsing for something else. Kim has the most amazing talent for colour and design and I immediately sent off for several patterns. It is this pattern though that had me itching to stitch and over the months I have amassed quite a collection of bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics along with a few other Westminster fabric designers. This is Hearts and Flowers from Kaffe Fassetts Quilt Romance book. You may remember way back that I had been prepping hearts - well they were for this quilt. Unable to decide on a background colour or even what to choose for the centre hearts I eventually took the plunge. This lovely shade of lavender appealed to me and I bought a bolt from a show. I am hoping that the whole finished article will resemble the gaily painted bargeware or gypsy clothing. Well here goes at least. Kim's patterns can be bought from

The border consists of lots of fussy cutting to get a flower motif in the centre of each shape. If it worries you about wasting fabric doing this then let me tell you that not much goes to waste. There are lots of opportunities to use those smaller odd pieces for some of the other shapes. There are a lot of small circles and leaves to add to this quilt. I have drawn the design on the back and I am tacking over the lines (slowly I may add), then I am tacking the applique pieces over the shape. I am needleturning the edges down and removing the tacking stitches as I go. I don't know if this is how Kim does hers but this is the one for me. I do try lots of other ways and it depends on the type of project to which method I use. I just like needleturn the best. There are lots more Kim McLean quilts being made over at and you can follow the progress over there.

Earlier in the year I was sent some sunflower seeds as a small gift as I participate in a block of the month with Buttonberry.(Down in the Garden). I say participate loosely as I a haven't actually stitched a block yet!!!! Well the sunflower seeds were planted and this giant is still growing. It now must be nearly 9ft tall.The leaves are ginormous and with a tiny flowerhead. The other flowers are much smaller.

We were also sent another little gift in the shape of Nev the garden gnome. The lovely Lisa and Emma have asked for photo's of Nev doing exciting things so he may pop up from time to time while he embarks on this adventure. As you can see here he is scaling the sunflower. No mean feat for someone who is only 2 inches tall.

This rather odd shaped hot air balloon was overhead yesterday teatime and it appeared to be struggling with the height and literally was just skimming the roof tops. The previous night we had one that resembled an ice cream cone. August sees the hot air ballon fiesta at Ashton Court, Bristol and we often get a few drifting our way. The warm good weather has brought them out again. August was officially a very wet month.

Here is an interesting little snippet for you. You will have to do a little research and google Princess Anne at Ascot/Ladies Day. It seems my sister in law Gail had the same outfit as our Princess Royal. Gail, if I may say so you looked terrific in your outfit and the hat was a knockout. Gail was sent the clipping from a newspaper after the wedding with a note attached saying, "if it is good enough for Princess Anne then it is good enough for our Gail".

Leek in Staffordshire is full of lovely buildings and this black and white timbered one is in St. Edwards Street. Leek is also full of antique shops and quite often pops up on tv programmes. It also has quite a stitching heritage. The Leek Embroiderers at one time were quite famous for their reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry. William Morris was also a frequent visitor to the town as he was friends with the Silk dyer/manufacturer Sir Thomas Wardle.It is his wife Elizabeth Wardle who was a member of The Leek Embroiderer's Society. There is a lot of information out there if you want to learn more. Leek is known as The Queen of the Moorlands being on the edge of The Peak District.

I managed to do most things on my little list and completed 3 blocks for Farmers Wife, 12 klosjes, added quite a few hexagons to Kaleidoscope and managed to sew a few pies to their backgrounds. I have also acquired a serious condition for which there is no known cure and I am suffering greatly. I also suspect that there are quite a few of you out there with it too. It is called Quiltus Interruptus and has been identified by Janet at Quiltsalot. It's characteristics are having restless symptoms of the fingers and mind and only eased when they are occupied in a new project having abandoned a previous project. It is an affliction with which I shall have to live with for the rest of my life. It is hard, I know, please don't feel sorry for me. I am enjoying myself.

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.


  1. Lot of applique and my favorite colours & fabrics, can't wait to see more of this quilt !

  2. I love your block so far Shirley! It looks fabulous. Use whatever method you love, that's my motto. I had to laugh over the outfit your sil wore, what a laugh. You sound really busy so you must be keeping out of trouble, unlike Nev who looks a bit mischievous to me.

  3. I think many of us are afflicted by the same condition but what a way to go - playing with all those lovely fabrics and creating gorgeous quilts. I do like your new project using such vivid colours. Pink? What a surprise.
    And thank you for showing me another lovely place to visit. Haven't booked any tickets yet.

  4. I will put my hand up too as I am definitely suffering from "Quiltus Interruptus" and as long as I can finish the odd project I don't think I will look for a cure.
    Love your heart block and choice of fabric and I will be looking forward to further adventures with Nev. Leek will be another place to put on the "must visit" list. Happy stitching!

  5. Your lavender quilt is going to be stunning, Shirley. I love that method of needleturn too; you can just sit down and sew rather thatn needing to cut templates etc. Quiltus Interruptus has spread to New Zealand too, I suffer from it hugely. I, too, am hoping there is no cure. Have a nice weekend!!

  6. Quiltus Interruptus can strike at any time Shirley..I think we all catch it from time to long as your having fun that's all that matters.. I love your heart block, the colours go so well together..

  7. It seems to me that a lot of the Kim McLean quilts are popping up all over blog land at the moment and I must say, they are starting to grow on me. I especially love your background fabric; it's going to be a stunner of a quilt (another one;). And you have an interesting way of doing the applique. I also love needle turn but often end up with pencil lines that are not completely covered by the applique, so I might give your method a try. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Loving the colours your using for the Hearts & Flowers quilt Shirley, this is going to be another stunner!
    Quiltus Interruptus....yes I'm starting to show symptoms too as I'm waiting for the Lollipop Trees pattern to arrive & no doubt will have to start that too!

  9. I think I may have caught Quiltus Interruptus too! Your heart block is stunning. Ilove the fabrics you are using and the background is perfect!

    Fancy that, your sister in law having the same outfit as a princess!!!!

  10. Wouldn't that be fun if we all had to be put in quarantine together. It would have to be a huge place for all our sewing bits and pieces. Could be a great name for a quilting retreat.

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