Wednesday 30 June 2010

Fussy cutting

I bought a metre of fabric with the intention of seeing how many flowers I can fussy cut out of it. So far I have 5 and have realised that you can cut the same patch again and turn it upside down and it will look different. It isn't as easy as it looks though as getting the seams to match can be a little tricky.

Following the exhibition I decided to seek out another old project that is lurking in the darkest depths. This little cot quilt is a good half way quilted and I don't really know why I abandoned it. It took me ages to locate the thread, lucky I still had it as I could quite easily have used it for something else. Anyone else do that? The pattern is by Sandie Lush and the fabric is a very soft cotton sateen. The mistake I made(typical quilter pointing this out)was that I noticed part way into the quilting that I had drawn the design onto the wrong side of the fabric. It isn't really noticeable unless you know that the right side should have a soft sheen to it. I used a watercolour pencil for the marking as per Sandie's instructions and of course having been in a cupboard for so long the markings are just about visible so I am having to re draw as I go and I really do need good light and my glasses. (Barbara do you know what you are letting yourself in for?!!!)

As it is my birthday on Sunday the Wednesday sewing girls gave me my birthday presents. Wendy gave me a Singer Sewing Machine. How lucky am I? It made me laugh as it is for a 6 year old and is battery operated. I shall test it later to see how it works. When I get my new sewing room up and running I shall have it on display for a laugh. Today was a pink day.

You may also note the very posh rubber gloves. They are of course pink, edged with fur and sport a pearl ring on one of the fingers. I love them Wendy. I have had some nice pieces of fabric, beads and a new book to get into, a little box for bits and pieces and the prettiest bag from Rosemary which will go lovely with my new dress for my nieces wedding. It cheered me up no end today as I am still feeling under the weather.

Happy stitching.


Monday 28 June 2010

Quilt Show Review Part 2

Day two saw us equally busy but with a much slower start. The afternoon was almost manic. We put it down to the WAGS coming in not wanting to be part of the England Football fiasco. ( WAGS - wives and girlfriends, usually a prefix for footballers partners). I think we could have carried on until much later in the evening we were so busy. It was a good, happy, relaxed atmosphere with lots of chatter. Visitors were asked to vote for their favourite and you could hear conversations like " oh! difficult. Do I vote for the one I think has the most interesting quilt or the one that I could take home and live with?" Of course I offered to slip a few fivers to try and win this award. Not yet decided. Ann took the box home with her to count. I don't yet know all the facts and figures, but we did well and a decent check will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

The raffle quilt was won by Abigail Marsh, daughter of the promoter. At least we know it has gone to a home that knows about quilts and it will be loved. I also made a document of all the details involved with what went into the making of the quilt. Things like the challenge details, who made which block, costs, who was responsible for the making up and quilting. It is something that I think should be done with any quilt made for charity. Hopefully it will be a good provenance to stay with the quilt for future generations.

This is the stage end of the Village hall and we made a banner to fit across the top of it. It was very fitting this year as the theme was apples.

This cushion is by Ann McLaren and I offered to take it off her hands at the end of the show. I love it and it will go very nicely in my home. Anytime Ann, I shall be waiting!!! Ann is a very talented embroiderer and runs The West Country Embroiderers group.

This Japanese style quilt was made by Joyce Turner. Joyce loves hand piecing and is a hand quilter and always produces beautiful work.

This quilt is quietly understated, gentle like Juliet Heaton, the maker, and has some lovely quilting on it.

A playmat, made by Vaila Croudace. Lovely little quilt Vaila and so cheerful.

Janet Daniels's version of our challenge blocks. Janet is on a seaside theme at the minute and I thought this looked quite nautical. It is great Janet. There were a few finishes for this challenge and I will show them at another time.

Ann Eckley's Civil War quilt and her first quilt although she is a much experienced stitcher these days.

Vaila's quilt made in a workshop with Anne Baxter. Love the use of red.

Janet Daniels - Autumn leaves. Janet likes things with a mathematical working out and interlocking shapes.

Janet Kittow standing next to a quilt by Mary Edwards. Janet is the most hardest working woman I know. Before the quilt exhibition she was up at 6.00 am on a quad bike rounding up her cows for milking, and off to milk them again after the show. Somehow in between she produces amazing quilts.She also has the most loveliest temperament of anyone I know.

I couldn't do full justice to Wendy's beautiful seaside quilt so here is just a small detail and this block is my favourite - the jellyfish. At least Wendy finished hers. Mine is still un quilted but I do promise that it will be started sometime soon. I want to handquilt mine.

Last but not least this little hexagon beauty is by Sally McCann. Love it Sally. It is all Liberty fabrics.

Hope you have enjoyed seeing a few more of our exhibits.

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.x

Saturday 26 June 2010

Quilt Show Review

It was a colourful sight that greeted us on arriving at the village hall this morning and there would have been no doubt that something was happening. There was bunting galore, in every colour possible and beautifully made and doing well in the days extremely strong sunshine. It has been a scorcher today with a steady stream of visitors throughout the day.

The exhibition was organised this year by group members Ann Eckley and Sally McCann,I hope you will agree with me that they did a great job. It is no mean feat taking on this task and only possible if everyone does their bit and helps out and of course without the fabulous quilts there wouldn't be a show to put on. Well done to everyone for all your hard work in making your quilts and all background efforts behind the scenes. Those of you out there that have done it will know.

Some of you may recognise the fabrics in this quilt as they were bought Down Under and this quilt was made by Marilyn Mann. I love the colours of this quilt and have had to go back and keep looking at it today.

Another fabulous quilt again by Marilyn. It was machine quilted at Step by Step patchwork shop by Marilyn using their facilities and machine.

Every year we have a tombola for which we collect, make and donate all sorts of bits and pieces. We had a rota to help out and this afternoon it was the turn of Kate and myself to run the tombola stall. We had a small crowd of people all wanting a go at winning something. We had a little patter going and as game show hostesses I can safely say that Tess Daly your job is safe. It ran like this " come and have a twirl with Shirl" as we spun the tombola tub. One chap's eyes lit up. I don't know what he thought he was getting but his prize of a can of deodorant put a stop to it. Ha! This photo shows from the left Juliet Heaton, Pat (with the pearl earring)Sumner and Ann McLaren.

Sue Lewis loves blue. It is a great quilt Sue. It was sent away to be gammill quilted.

These two dodgy characters were lurking in the vicinity of a campervan quilt and could be heard muttering something about matching cushions. I think it might have been aimed at me but it went over my head. Olly, I have a suitable bowl and I have sharpened my scissors ready for that haircut!!

Sarah Covey works amazingly hard on behalf of the quilt group and the Pot Luck table did a roaring trade today. We had everything on there from fabric, to thread, to books and lots of cross stitch kits which sold very well.

This lovely work in progress belongs to Sally McCann. I think it was started as a project from the internet. The colours are so soft and pretty and I may have to sneak it home with me.

The secret to a long life apparently is cider and you have to say the little poem like Pam Ayres.

Sheppey's Cider Farm down the road loaned a few bits and pieces for the display and that lit Olly's eyes up as he asked how much for the bottles of cider.

A trug full of delicious fabric apples.

I hope you have enjoyed the days review. There will be more this week as there is far too much to tell you in one go. Keep posted.

Love Shirley.x

Friday 25 June 2010

Apple Cores

This is my own quilt exhibition or rather my entries into our patchwork group's exhibition. It is this weekend and is in the process of being set up now and ladies, if you hurry, you can get a flight and come and see us, there is time. We will look after you.

This quilt was finished at gone midnight last night. It has been in the making for a long time and I finally finished it - drum roll please.I have called it Apple Cores and it is hand pieced and hand quilted. It is also a scrap quilt and a one patch quilt. You ladies of a certain age will know what I mean when I say hand quilting a large quilt in a heat wave when you are having a hot flush is not a wise move and it has been a hot week with the weather set to last. Maybe this is last years barbecue summer that we waited for.

This cushion is a pattern called Bullseye and was made in a workshop with the delightful Anne Baxter. If you get the chance to go to one of Anne's workshops then do because Anne is wonderful company, talented and generous to a tee, both with what she has in supplies and with her knowledge.

Remember all those little jars that were filled a few posts back now? They are on the sales table and this quilt is hanging up behind it. It looks very colourful. Again, only finished yesterday. Why, oh why do I leave things till the last minute?!!!

The next two quilts are the same but different colours. It is such a lovely quilt to make. The pattern is called Paradise Hearts and is from I am not sure if it is still in print but you can always email them and check.

One of the challenges that I set our group was to make a quilt the size of a quilters ruler 24"x6". The theme was water. We had some great entries and this was my offering. It is called "Little Snapping Turtle". I enjoyed making this as it was a great excuse to add a few beads and buttons. It was another very wet year and Kate's entry made me laugh as she did a roadsign just poking out of the water and she machine quilted the poem Dr. Foster went to Gloucester all over it. My daughter's boyfriend who is a marine geographer told me that those little turtle's live on that seaweed. Of course I knew that!!!!!

Remember when I knocked off the head of the very pretty and unusual geranium at Barrington? Well, it is now in full bloom and looks beautiful.

Missing from the mini exhibition are Gleanings and Penny's Run to the Sun. You have seen them in the last few weeks but they are at the real quilt show.

Anyone who is in the vicinity and fancies a day out do come and see us. We are at Bradford on Tone Village Hall, Wellington. Saturday and Sunday, 10.00am - 4.00pm. Refreshments are available and there is a pub across the road should you want something more than cake and tea. We will be only too pleased to see you. All monies raised is going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

I promise not to forget my camera and will take lots of pics of the day. It is looking good there. Are you sure you can't get here?!!

Enjoy your stitching.

Love Shirl.xx

Thursday 17 June 2010

Gingham Buttons

There is a new quilt shop in town. It is situated in Corfield Hall at the back of the church at the end of Hammet Street and is one of a few select departments within. Do go and visit Pam as she is working hard to get her business up and running. A web site is in the process of being constructed but if you google gingham buttons handmade'ns then you should find it. If you plan a visit then Pam's number is 01823 350034 / 07912 734658

Pam is selling Moda fabric, lots of jelly rolls, layer cakes charm packs as well as bolts of fabric. More is on order and she is waiting for the books to arrive. You can also sell your work through the shop, the details you would have to discuss with Pam. If you are at a loose end on a Thursday evening then you can go in and sit in with the craft sessions and have a cup of coffee.

Pam is also selling work by other crafts persons and if you have anything to sell then you can get the details from the shop. These little delights are calorie free and will even make your purse lighter should you buy one!!

Should you require some light refreshment then there is a great cafe at the back of the hall.

For you armchair visitors this is The Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene. It is situated in the centre of the town at the end of Hammet Street.

You cricket wives who sew whilst the menfolk watch the innings your ears will prick up when Somerset County Cricket Ground is mentioned. The cricket ground is near to the church and when the ball goes up in the air you will see this church tower. You will know then that I am not too far away. There are several churches in the vicinity.

It is a most magnificent church to look at and if you come and visit, deposit the menfolk at the cricket, give me a shout and I will join you for a cream tea.

Just to let you know that "Gleanings" has been featured on Karen Griska's Selvage blog and can also be seen at the on-line quilt museum under selvage quilts. I am thrilled and truly honoured. Thank you Karen.

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.x

Tuesday 15 June 2010


At long last a FINISH. Tadah!! I have worked hard these last few weeks trying to get this done for our group's exhibition next week. I am calling it "Gleanings". It measures 65" square.

There are several definitions in the dictionary but this one I think is very appropriate. It means :- to gather, collect and accumulate information and material, bit by bit. I am not quite sure it means fabric, but hey, the description fits.

I am also calling it "Gleanings" because my friend Val kept giving me little bags with her scraps in and as she gave them to me she said " more gleanings". Thank you to all my friends for saving me all your scraps. I am now thinking of what else I can do with them as this can just go on indefinitely. I also liked the idea of calling it "Cover Stories" or "Bedside Reading". It was also an exercise in using what I had. I didn't buy a single thing for this quilt. The wadding was leftover from a project long abandoned and Wendy gave me some of her leftovers in exchange for some of the backing fabric. The backing fabric also was from the same abandoned project. The sashing strips were hauled from out of my stash.

Last Saturday we went to Beer in East Devon. It is a very pretty, unspoiled seaside town. The weather was magnificent and turned out much hotter than expected.

This little boat was just bobbing along....

Then we walked right over to the other side of the bay and watched a gang of teenagers giggling away, catching crabs. It was so very pleasant to just sit with a nice pot of tea, bliss.

For such a warm sunny day it was very quiet. I can only assume it was because England were later playing their first World Cup game. Oh Joy!!! The only thing for it is to stitch the time away.

Happy Stitching

Love Shirley.x