Tuesday 30 March 2010

Hexagon Heaven

At our quilt group meeting this afternoon Pat(with the pearl earring) brought in a huge box of bits and pieces.(We have two Pat's and when we did self portraits Pat Sumner gave her self a pearl earring - hence the name, the film Girl with the Pearl Earring was out at the time). The contents of this box belonged to a lady who had passed away and her husband didn't know what to do with it all. We are very good in our group of sharing and finding a new home for these sort of things. It is all quite sad really and I have given my family instructions as to what to do with my vast collection of goodies when the inevitable happens. We usually put some coins in a pot for whatever we have and that money then goes to a charity. This one is going to the Salvation Army. All these fantastic hexagons came home with me. It has a largish section made up and there were many more rosettes made up ready for stitching together. The fabric is of a good quality and quite pretty. On the back of the hexagons is newspaper with dates of December 1970. Now this is pre decimalisation as there was a snippet of something costing £11.11.0. and the shoe box containing some of the hexagons had a price tag of 59/6d. I have vowed to finish this quilt. I love it.

I have had a very poor week in the sewing department and have managed 5 Klosjes. That makes the total 55.

My daughter Sarah and I went to Bath for a spot of shoe shopping. Did we buy lots of shoes? NO. It was a bit wet and cold and not very conducive to shopping really but Bath is a fabulous city to go and visit even if you don't buy anything and it does have a wonderful patchwork shop called Country Threads.

Sarah suggested that this is the place for all those dead sewing machine's. I hope that clicking onto the photo will show you just how amazing this shop is. It is a trendy clothing shop and all the windows (and there were many) had row upon row of sewing machine. All makes and models, some very elaborate and beautiful.

Sunday saw our Wednedsay girls having a day out looking at the quilts and fabric shopping at Westpoint, Exeter. It is a lovely little venue, not too crowded which means you get to see things without too much of a wait to get to the front of stands and to photograph the quilts. These were a few of my favourites.

This quilt wasn't very big probably about 24" at the most and those hexagons are tiny. Beautifully made.

I haven't shown the whole of this quilt but this block was beautifully quilted. The whole quilt consisted of hand quilted blocks sewn together with sashing of a red print. It was very understated and I admired it very much. I wish I could have taken it home with me.

When the weather is cold this is exactly what you need to look at to make you remember what summer in this country is all about. We have been promised a hot summer again this year although no one believes it as we have had the coldest winter for 30 years after the weathermen telling us it would be mild and the barbecue summer last year was a washout.

This quilt really deserved it's rosette. It was fabulously machine quilted and consisted of little bits of fabric randomly placed for the tree tops. Again I could have brought this one home with me.

I am a fan of miniature quilts and this one had it all. The middle section was tiny squares of Liberty fabrics and with a border in a very pale duck egg blue. Exquisite quilting. I can only dream of doing something this wonderful.

Some of my purchases that I simply had to buy. When I was after campervan fabric for the back of a quilt for Penny (a 1963 split screen, pale blue and white vw camper van)there was none to be had. This fabric was from New Zealand. Sarah and Olly will love it. I did also buy a few books. One of them was to satisfy my obsession with Japanese bag books. I did buy a few other things, thread and a lovely charm pack in pinks. Now you wouldn't expect me to buy any other colour would you?!!!

I would just like to say that today my friend Sue won a giveaway of fabric from a uk patchwork magazine. She is so thrilled with it and I cannot think of a nicer person to win it. It has gone to a very good home. Thank you for bringing them in to show us Sue. Can't wait to see what you will make with them. Also apologies to Ann for not having been able to blog very much this last week. Husbands computer died and he commandeered my laptop for his work. Apologies also if I haven't replied to everyone this week. Will do better in future.

Happy stitching

Love Shirl.x

Thursday 25 March 2010

Wednesdays Round Robin

Spring is well and truly here. Colour is appearing. The tulips and daffs add some lovely brightness to this corner of my dining room.

We decided some weeks ago that we were up for another challenge. Great idea again Wendy. This time we have had to make a block, any size, any patchwork type and then it will be passed on to the next person for them to add their bit to it. We have vowed to remain friends!!! Mine is the pink applique flower with the blue button. It has gone home with Wendy. Kate made the mini 7 sisters block but missed out the middle star as each one is meant to represent one of each of our group and in our favourite colours. It went home with Margaret. Wendy made the lovely little stitchery block which went home with Rosemary. Margaret made the elaborate tumbling blocks, Pat was terrified to take it home. Rosemary made the lovely snail trail block which has gone home with Kate. Game on girls.

I have Pat's lovely block. It has been paper pieced and I love the colour so I am sure I shall be able to find something in my stash that will co-ordinate nicely. We have 2 weeks to do it and will swap again at the next Wednesday meet.

Rosemary has been diligently hand quilting this beauty. Many a week I try to sneak it home with me. I just love the colours. It is nearly there with the quilting. Well done Rosemary. Keep up the good work.

I now have all 6 large beach birds done. I love their simplicity. Next is 12 x 9" blocks.

I am in a dilemma with these baskets. Making 300 seemed really daunting and so I drew myself another design using less blocks. The only problem is I love them when they are set out like this. Maybe I need to make some more to see that it will work ok with less blocks. Hmmmm!!

This is the very last scrap of what has been my favourite fabric. It was a beautiful batik and had such lovely shades of pinks/oranges/reds and purples and went with a lot of things. This piece literally is only a few inches. I am sad. Maybe I will get lucky and find someone with a bit left at The South West Quilt Show, Westpoint, on Sunday.

My daughter Rachel took part in the Sport's Relief Run a Mile Charity on Sunday. She did very well and did 6 miles instead. I am very proud of her for having a go and supporting a worthwhile cause. As you can see she didn't want the publicity. There was one guy running in a suit of armour!!! when he passed the barrier he clanged into the gate, just as well it wasn't magnetised or he would still be there.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirl.x

Saturday 20 March 2010

Moving Art

This tiny window on the world is like an ever changing canvas. The views at Ringehay Farm, Cheddleton, are fantastic. I would have loved to have seen it all covered in snow and I am sure in a few weeks time it will look different again when all the greenery appears on the trees and bushes. I don't think I really appreciated it's beauty when we lived not too far away.

The attention to detail at the barn was amazing. Even the floor was interesting and had lovely fossilised ferns in the stone.

I had my Mother's Day presents waiting for me from my daughters when we arrived back home. These lovely tulips from Rachel, still going strong nearly a week later. Love the deep purple ones.

And yes! the lady does love milk tray.(Remember the adverts years ago?) I didn't eat them all myself, my husband had his fair share. My favourites are the nutty ones and the turkish delights. Mmmmm.

From Sarah I had a lovely pack of fabrics in shades of green. They have been washed and are ready for stroking and caressing... sorry, sewing into something creative.

Thank you girls. I love them all.

Back to sewing action. Remember the beach birds. Well, we have 3 gulls. They are very simple to sew and fairly naive in design but, I love their simplicity. I have 3 more large birds to do and then 12 x 9" blocks.

Klosjes total = 50. Phew!

It is beginning to look a bit like a quilt now. Still a long way to go. I can't imagine ever getting fed up of doing these. I think I could make them forever.

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.x


My mum was thrilled that you lovely ladies all wished her happy birthday. Thank you.

Saturday 13 March 2010

Saturday's Spools

Today is my mum's birthday and as a treat we have had a day out. Mum, my sister and me had a visit round a large Antiques centre where I found these two lovely wooden spools of thread. As you can see they are the perfect shape. Mum's passion is cats and she had a lovely collectors plate with cats on it. My sister needs to win the lottery to buy all that she has seen today. Mick went to watch the rugby.

It is sheer pleasure working on these little blocks. Progress so far - 30 made.

We are staying in The Staffordshire Moorlands while we visit our families and this is the view. It is absolutely beautiful here, very rugged and COLD. Luckily the accommodation is fantastic and warm and snug inside.

Just love this tree on the edge of the pond.

How about this for an art form? This area has many miles of drystone walls. This one is newly built and the colours of the stone is still fresh and beautiful Millstone Grit.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Love Shirley.x

Wednesday 10 March 2010

The Birthday Girls

Today was a triple celebration day. We celebrate our birthdays at whichever is the closest Wednesday. Both Rosemary and Pat were away for theirs and Wendy has hers in the next week and today was the chosen day. The birthday girls are depicted in the cake made by Kate. They are very snug and cosy in bed under a patchwork quilt. Wendy is the one in the middle, Pat is to the left and Rosemary to the right. It was good to have a full house (6 of us) today and it has been a good laugh. Happy Birthdays girls.

Wendy has finished her challenge quilt. Well done Wendy. It looks great and I do love the green you have used.

Remember The Challenge we were set by Wendy way back? Well, I had to wait for my gift as Rosemary was away on holiday and Rosemary received hers today from Pat. I am absolutely thrilled with my present and at last I have a dog that doesn't make me sneeze and itch. As you can see she has two puppies. Now they need names. What to call a sausage dog and her two babies!! Thank you Rosemary, I love it.

To prove that I actually did do a bit of sewing today I made a pincushion. I had a few squares left over from an old project and thought this was the ideal use. The instructions for the pincushion came from Janet at Quiltsalott. Thankyou Janet it was really easy to do and looks good. I also did a few Klosjes blocks. I don't feel guilty now that I know I can stitch them in the week and just show them on Saturday. Grand total now 23.

Happy Stitching


Monday 8 March 2010

Pressing matters

I have noticed that several people have asked how to press the seams on the klosjes blocks. This is how I like to press mine.

Press the longer light seams towards the dark seams and then press the other seams in the opposite direction and the intersection will flatten out. This way it will lie much flatter.

Hope this helps.


Saturday 6 March 2010

Saturdays Klosjes

Today is the first official Saturday of stitching my klosjes blocks. I did try a few out this week just to see how it all went together. I have managed a grand total of 16 blocks. This equals a 12" square.

They really are going to be so addictive. I have a nice neat pile cut out ready for the next time. I think they might come away with me this week when I go to see my mum.

Having done a bit of number crunching in trying to decide what size quilt I may make it is not for the faint hearted.

A 60" square quilt will need 400 x 3" blocks
A 72" square quilt will need 576 x 3" blocks

Hmmm! I have the power! I think!


Wednesday 3 March 2010

Joining In

I am not a person to shy away from a challenge. Over the last few months or so I have been following you clever bloggers out there busily making your little klosjes blocks and the results are looking pretty impressive. Janet at Quiltsalott has thrown down the gauntlett and I have taken it up. Here is my small start. Whilst the tea was cooking I busily cut out a few blocks and have sewn them together this evening. Making the pattern pieces was a simple process.

Now it is really early in the day to be getting to item 13 on my list but, sorry girls, I couldn't resist. Just had to do it.

Love Shirl.x

Tuesday 2 March 2010

March's List

After some deliberation and my so called success at "almost" completing February's list I have decided to add a few new projects that I have just been itching to start. Come on, own up, do you feel like me when you want to do something new?, feverish excitement, can't sleep. There. I new I wasn't alone. I know I have lots more to finish and starting something new really shouldn't be high on the agenda but,and a big BUT, I want to. So there! You will notice that the ongoing projects are still there and even if I don't get to finish them this time then, just doing a little will eventually see them finished

1. Huggable doll - knitted
2. Start Kim McLean quilt
3. Tail Feathers
4. Tail Feathers
5. Trick or Treat baskets
6. Orange Peel block
7. Orange Peel block
8. Quilting - Apple Cores
9. Sandwich Bunnyhill quilt
10. Start Life is Beautiful quilt
11. Selvedge blocks
12. Start Beach Birds
13. Anything else I fancy ( should cover it)

I like the idea of item number 13. Stina from Kviltstina adds something similar on her blog by saying anything else she fancies that comes her way. Like your style Stina. If you haven't already checked out her blog then do so, it is lovely.

The first new start is called Beach Birds. It comes from a book that I have had for a long time called Scrap Lap Quilts by Leisure Arts. It is very simple and it appeals to me for that reason. I also have a huge assortment of scraps to use although I did buy the background fabrics for this as it is a shade I don't use often.

There are 3 block sizes, 12", 9" and 6". I have started the 12", my brain tells me that the bigger blocks will look like I have done more than if I had started the smaller ones. I am hand piecing as I just love doing it and love the accuracy, plus I like to just pick up and put down when I want.

I have been to my quilt group this afternoon. We are known as Apple County Quilters and this year is our 10th Anniversary. As we will be having our 4th exhibition in the summer and the theme is apples there are one or two things happening in that line. Somerset is well known for its apples (hence our name). This quilt in progress belongs to Sue Marsh and she has used old varieties of apples grown in Somerset for her inspiration. Well done Sue, it looks great, love the bumble bee and the border.

If you drink too much of the alcoholic version of these apples known as Scrumpy then you will be more than half cut. Be warned! it is extremely potent and there is many a man spent the night sleeping in the hedgerows following a night on the scrumpy.

This little bit is for Ann Mclaren - no Ann I am not sewing all those scraps onto fabric. I think the dogs will like the bed much more!!! Keep saving those bits for me, the dog pillow will soon be full.

Love Shirl.x