Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Flock of Seagulls

I spy with my little eye.... is that a flock of seagulls? I have now finished all 12 x 9" blocks. All that is left is the 6" blocks x 12. The missing gaps don't look too daunting. I am really enjoying making this little quilt. I prep a few at a time and stitch them when I can. I am waiting for inspiration to hit me in the quilting department. I keep looking at them hoping, but, as of yet, nothing. Have ideas for the borders.

My busy bunch of Apple County quilting friends. From the left Sue, Sarah, Ann, Val, Janet and Wendy. Apologies for not showing everyone but the photo's weren't very good. Will have to do better next time.

This is a closer look at Wendy's beautiful work. I so love this and could just drool over it everytime I see it. Most of the hexagons came from a swap from Inklingo. If you don't know about this revolutionary patchworking invention then you need to check out and it's inventor Linda Franz. It is really clever. those hexagons are quite small but absolutely beautiful. Keep going Wendy. One day it will be done. There are lots of ideas and projects from Linda Franz not just hexagons. I promise you will be amazed, check out the blogs too.

Janet this week has been making the most prettiest little girls dress. The dress even has a matching headband.

I have been updating my beadworking skills. When you haven't done any for a while it gets a bit rusty. I made the beads using peyote stitch and then threaded them onto magic elastic thread. It didn't take too long and I can see myself making a few of these.

This bead was worked using the same technique but with bigger beads. Once the beads are made into a tube bigger beads are added to the outside. My husband said they looked like hedgehogs. This is one of those times when you really do need to pick them up and feel them as they are so tactile. I need to make one more and then I can add some crystal beads and make it into a bracelet. The pattern came from GJBeads in St. Ives. That shop is like being in Aladdins Cave full of glittering treasures just crying out to be taken home. I am getting carried away again.

Happy Stitching

Love Shirley.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Growing Robins

Well, our little round robins are coming along nicely. I hope you are keeping up with which block belongs to which person. We drew names as to who gets to do which block and we had a job keeping up with which ones we had done. It was funny though and in the end we came away with a different block to work on.

I had the task of adding to Wendy's little beauty. Inspiration finally struck and I dug into my bag of strips from my Tail Feathers quilt ( of which I am hopelessly behind with) and added the borders.

Yes, I hope you noticed the hexagons in the corners. They are a 1/4" and pieced over paper. That corner block is 2" square. Call me mad but I did enjoy doing them. Taking the papers out after were a bit of a fiddle though and I keep finding the pesky bits in odd places.

Margaret is holding up Pat's block. Kate added the most perfect colour border and did all this before departing for a weeks holiday in the Cape Verde Islands. Kate should have been back on Wednesday as we were celebrating Margaret's birthday but the Icelandic Volcano put paid to that. She did rub it in a bit though and sent a text message that said "stranded in paradise". We said poor soul, (or words to that effect), sent her a message back saying that she was a martyr. Mind you she did say that she wanted to be at sewing. All I can say is all that sun must have fried her brain!!! We missed you Kate.

Next up is Kate's block which we have named the Six Sisters. Margaret added the next round and Wendy took the brave decision to square it off. Always a hard task when you have a hexagon shape. It looks good though and the blue is the right shade.

I love what Rosemary did to Margaret's block. It looks like it has real depth. Pat did the little pastel border round the hexagon in the first round. I have this block for the next round. Right this minute I haven't a clue what to do next. I am waiting for inspiration to strike. It is a secret though so have to keep any ideas to myself

Margaret found the most perfect fabric in her stash to add the next border on Rosemary's block. You somehow know when it calls for something really simple and to let the fabric or colour do the talking and it works really well.

Finally, here is my block. Wendy added the squares and set it on point and Pat added the green border which is lovely. I am liking what has been done to it and can't wait to see what happens in the next round. I hope that I have got all the blocks in the right order of who has worked on which block. Phew!! My brain hurts. It is good fun though and we are on round 4. They are starting to get a bit bigger now and may have to extend the stitching times to allow for the increase in size.

More views of Bradford on Tone. This is looking out of the window of the village hall and over the road to the village pub. The building to the right is the shop.

St. Giles Church from the front.

The doorway to the church.

Happy stitching

Love Shirley.x

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

British Air Space

As I was sat here eating my breakfast I happened to glance out of the window and up at the sky. British Air Space looks to be well and truly open. The sky is criss crossed with vapour trails. I hope air traffic control are on the ball, that's a lot of planes in the air trying to get travellers to their destinations.

Finished my little beaded trinket. This will go off on it's own flying adventure very soon. I hope my friend will like it.

I have completed six blocks so far from the Farmer's Wife book and they are coming along nicely. I think I may get more blocks than I thought with the addition of a few fat quarters to eke out the charm squares. So far it hasn't even made a dent in the pile. I may even get a reasonable sized quilt from it. For anyone interested, there is a yahoo group making this quilt on line and you can go over there and see what everyone else is doing. I also believe that there is another book planned for next year.

I am off sewing today and I am looking forward to catching up and doing a bit more sewing.

Happy stitching

Love Shirl.x

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Running Away

A little while ago my friend and I feeling a bit fed up with life said that we both felt like running off. Ever feel like that? Well we decided to do just that and off we ran to London. Just for the day. We did come back and here I am to tell the tale. We booked the early morning coach to Hammersmith, jumped on the tube and arrived at the fantastic Westfield Centre. If you need Retail Therapy of the non quilty kind then this is the place to go. First stop was the Champagne Bar. Boy, did that put us in a good mood. A beautiful glass of bubbly and delicious chocolates felt very decadent and indulgent but hey, we are worth it. We strolled round the shops and had lunch, shopped a bit more and then had a bite to eat before heading back to the coach and the journey home.

These little darlings had to come home with me. Once I had tried them on I just couldn't be parted from them. I love the colour. My husband said - " but you haven't got anything that will go with them ". I told him not to worry at all on that score. As we plan to run off for the day again some day soon I am sure to bring them back a nice companion.

Now you will have to take my word for this and I apologise in advance at the poor quality of the photographs but you will understand why. On the way back the motorway skirts past Heathrow Airport. Just so you know I am telling the truth here is a poor photo of the sign for the turn off ( well I was on a coach and it was going fast and it was getting darker ).

Unless you live on another planet you will know that a volcano in Iceland has erupted and thrown volcanic ash high into the air. This contains particles of silica
that gets into the engines of aircraft and seriously damages them. The consequences don't bear thinking about. As the wind is blowing in our direction and indeed other parts of Europe, all planes have been grounded.

I show you this photo because anyone who has ever been on this stretch of road will know that the aeroplanes follow each other in every few seconds and there is usually a line of them as far as the eye can see. There was not a plane in sight. A very eerie sight. Listening to the news this morning the reporter said that at Heathrow for the first time they could actually hear the birds singing. It occured to me that even the Queen at Windsor Castle would have noticed the silence. My daughter works for a well known travel company booking holidays and honestly people are being so rude. I know that it is their hard earned cash and they are concerned about their travel arrangements but this very unusual happening is not the fault of the booking person and they are doing their best. The decisions are not theirs. No one can go anywhere at the minute. It is better that the planes are grounded and safe than in the air facing the consequences of what would happen.

This week I was given a gift from two friends independent of each other and as you can see they could have been made to go with each other. Val gave me a strip of fabric with sweet peas on them and Sue gave me some of her pinks/plums. They are yummy and I am very lucky to have such great friends. Thank you.

I thought you might like to see where we meet for our sewing adventures. We meet at Bradford on Tone village hall. It is a very pretty setting next to the church. It was a lovely sunny day and the blossom was out.

Sarah has been making this little beauty for her new granddaughter Poppy. It was started by her daughter Lizzie and we had a nice chat about all the various fabrics that had been used that had once been part of clothing items worn by members of her family. I am sure Poppy will love hearing the tales from Grandma Sarah. Well done Sarah for finishing it. This is a small project for Sarah, they are normally ginormous.

Janet made this gorgeous little quilt using the quilt as you go method. It is definitely one to try and those of you who want to use up scraps would find this an ideal project to do. The idea came from a book by Sharon Pederson called Reversible Quilts - Two at a Time. I wish I was as neat as Janet is with everything that she does.

One of my other passions in life is Beads. I love them and have a vast collection. I will show you the finished thing shortly as it is going to be a gift for a friend. I am not going to say who. There is a little clue in the photo.

Finally, the weather here today has been so warm and beautiful and I just had to show you these little beauties in my garden. It is spring but felt more like a summers day.

Happy Stitching

p.s. - Klosjes total 81
p.p.s - Danielle or Emilie for Dorothy

Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Farmer's Wife

I bought this fabulous little book this week called The Farmer's Wife. It comes with a cd rom and all the pattern shapes are there to download to make all the 6" blocks.
The Farmer's Wife was an American magazine and in the 1920's posed the question to it's readers " If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in the light of your own experience, want her to marry a farmer?" Ladies were invited to write in with a prize of $200 for the best letter. The magazine had over 7,000 entries and the book reproduces some of these letters. It all makes for very interesting reading. Each letter is illustrated with 2 blocks from the quilt.

At Westpoint I bought a charm pack, because it was in pinks and because I loved it. This is my basis for my version of The Farmer's Wife quilt. I am going to see how many blocks I can get from this pack. Of course I shall be cheating a little as I already have some of these fabrics in my stash and it will eke out the backgrounds and the larger patches that will not fit on a 5" square. (I don't have very many reproduction fabrics). I am also hand piecing the blocks and using freezer paper to draw out the pattern pieces. Isn't freezer paper a fantastic invention. Who for instance and why/how did someone figure out that a roll of waxed paper used for wrapping food in for the freezer would be ideal for sticking to fabric and useful for making templates? I would love to know the answer to this one.

Block 1. Attic Window

It doesn't much look like an attic window to me but, it was the first block and it had to be made.

Block 2. Autumn Tints

I know the block doesn't look very autumnal but that is deliberate. There weren't any autumn colours in the pack so I have renamed it Spring Tints because the deep pink squares remind me of all the blossom that is appearing down my road.

Klosjes total - 73. Yes I know, I only managed 3, but better that amount than none at all. I did prep a lot more and have more fabric to add to the box.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Happy stitching

Love Shirley.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Wednesday's Challenge

We were eagerly waiting to show off our round robin blocks this morning and wanting to see what had happened to our little pieces of work. We weren't disappointed. I had Pat's block and I chose to do a very simple border but found in my stash the perfect colour for it. It has now gone home with Kate.

Wendy had my block and I am thrilled with what she has done to it . Thank you Wendy, it looks great and had I to do the next round myself I would have set it on point. It has gone home with Pat.

Kate had Rosemary's block and she did flying geese around the border reversing the colours part way round. Perfect colours.

Pat did a great job of adding a strippy border on Margaret's beautiful block.

Margaret added triangles in Kate's Six Sisters block.

Last but not least, Rosemary did a great job of her border on Wendy's little block. This has come home with me. Think I know what I am going to do to it.

We have 2 weeks now to do the next stage. I have a few other odd blocks lurking in a cupboard and it would be a great way of making yourself do something that is a little different and think outside of the box.

Today I have made a few more beach birds and they are beginning to look like a flock of seagulls. I am trying to use up those bits and pieces that get thrown in a box although any piece of fabric that I own counts as scrap.So far I haven't repeated any fabrics. The left overs from one of the creams became part of the klosjes. Prepped a few of those today too. It has been a good day.

Thought you might like to see part of this lovely piece of work that was hanging at Westpoint. It dates from the late 1800's and is still pieced over the papers.

This piece of art was amazing. quite a large piece and if you had a big wall space to fill then it would look fantastic.

I have to apologise for not acknowledging anyone as I didn't write down names.

If you like looking at antique quilts then head over to Barbara Chainey's blog as she is posting photo's of the quilts in her private collection. Barbara is a fantastic hand quilter and you need to see it.

Have a great day.

Love Shirley.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

March List Review

Spurred on by the success of February's list I smugly thought that I had cracked it. Piece of cake. Sooooooo, here is a review of what happened in March.

Item no 1 - huggable doll. As you see, I got far. This is an Australian pattern and quite fabulous. You can check out, although I bought this pattern in the uk from the Knitting Parlour. It has an opening in the body which has a cushion inside and a pocket to put a heat pad. A really clever idea. The dolls are gorgeous and there are girls and boys. This however was at the very beginning of the month.

Item no2 - I have prepped the hearts in readiness for the Kim McLean quilt. I haven't yet decided on the background colours. This is going to be one very bright colourful quilt. Don't look if brightness is not your thing.

Items no3/4 - Tail Feathers. Not a dicky bird stitched.

Trick or Treat baskets - 2. Better than none.

Orange Peel blocks - big fat zero.

Apple Cores quilting - nothing doing.

Sandwich Bunny Hill - wake up everyday and think about doing it!!

Life is Beautiful - on hold.

Selvedge blocks - woohoo! 1 dozen.

Beachbirds - have a whole flock of them.

Item no13. Unlucky for some. This one got me into real trouble very early on in the month. I am not totally to blame. It is the fault of the Klosje and Janet at quiltsalott. Preying on the weak willed. I am not alone though. It has sparked an international sew along with these delightful little blocks being eagerly stitched and shown off every week. Progress on these has now reached 70. Phew!!

I am not sure if I am a completely lost cause. Just as well I didn't put April's list out otherwise people might have thought it was the April Fool's joke.

Earlier in the week I bought a huge bag of old hexagons and in the bag was a smaller bag of 1" hexagons. I think these may become a bag. Will show the results at a later date.

The lovely temptresses/ladies at Buttonberry are not blameless too. Here I am not trying very hard to finish Tail Feathers block of the month ( the last one arrived and I am still on block 4) and there was my finger hovering over the click button to start the new block of the month Down in the Garden. As you can see I pressed it. No self control.

Yesterday and today we stayed at our caravan at Blue Anchor. It is so beautiful there. This photo is looking towards Dunster Castle. It is truly magnificent and takes my breath away everytime I see it. It looks like a fairytale castle and is situated in the mediaeval village of Dunster. If you have never been there, do go, honestly, you won't be disappointed. The fields in the foreground are flooded. The rain has been very heavy this week. Click on the photo's for a closer look.

The view has moved a little to the right and you are now looking towards Conygar Tower.

Looking towards Carhampton. All the sheep in the field were playing follow the leader. They were all in a single file following the leader sheep. There must have been over 200 of them.

Happy Stitching

Love Shirley.x