Friday 30 March 2012

Lavinia and the Mystery Blonde

This delicate beauty is named Lavinia. She is a very sweet girl and everyone admires and loves her because she is such a pleasant person. Lavinia isn't a family member, more of an outsider and with all that red hair she should have a fiery temper but, she is just so adorable. She dances like a dream too.


Who is the mystery blonde? She has been whipping them gals into formation and they will soon be ready to enter the blogosphere in all their glory. Not long to wait now.

Another word added to the sampler - Romance.

We were a small and select group at Kate's on Wednesday as 3 out of 6 were away on holiday. Rosemary is having way too good a time in Australia having been invited to join Elyte at Quilts in the Barn and The Quilted Crow sewing day. We are not jealous of course, well, not much, o.k., yes we are. Rosemary also got to meet Sue-Anne too and I was forced to shed a tear because the excitement they all had was quite clear.

Pat is busy making cot quilts as she is expecting no less than 3 great grandchildren this year.

This is the centre of a quilt that Kate is making for her quilting retreat ladies to enjoy making this weekend. The fabrics are hand dyed. If you head over to Kate's web site and look under workshops you will see the quilt. I am still waiting for you to tell me you are coming to sew at Kate's and then I can come along too.

The weather here is like a perfect summer's day. There have been bright blue skies without a cloud in sight and oh! so warm. Hope it is being kind to you wherever you may be.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Cousin Isabelle

Meet Cousin Isabelle. She is a good and kindly soul and as a family member is often included in events but sometimes she feels like she is the poor relation. Today she makes her debut as a member of the dance troupe and has a pretty outfit for the occasion.

Only two more members to meet and then you can meet the whole team. There has been a flurry of activity as they perfect their steps. Can you guess who the last two are?

Today at Kate's we celebrated Wendy's birthday. Here are some of the goodies on show and we always have a delicious muffin baked by Wendy and yes she did bake her own birthday cakes. You have to be here to taste them and they are yummy. Sorry Rosemary, you can have yours when you come back from Australia. Lucky Rosemary is going to be meeting up with blogger Elyte and having a visit to Quilts in the Barn. I am not envious - much! Sue-Anne if you see Rosemary she has a hug for you.

This is my effort so far with the first quilt from Carolyn Forsters book. It was a quick and easy one to construct and the beauty will be the quick and simple utility quilting - I hope. Wendy has a much better photo on her blog and if you pop over there you will have a little sneak preview of the dancing dollies.

Lastly, I apologise for not having a better photo of this wonderful quilt. My friend Jill is making this or rather finishing it as a labour of love. It belonged to her sister in law who sadly lost her short battle with a rare cancer last year. This partly made hexagon quilt was discovered in a cupboard and Jill set about finishing it. Trisha didn't believe that she was a good stitcher but I can tell you she was and her daughter's will have a fabulous gift when it is done. Jill tells me that there are enough hexagons and fabrics to make another quilt so both girls will have one. It has also been a trip down memory lane as they have looked at the fabrics from old dresses and blouses.

Happy Stitching


Sunday 4 March 2012

Utility Quilting - Review

I recently purchased this fabulous book by Carolyn Forster. I saw it advertised on the back of the Fabrications magazine and immediately sent for it. I am a big fan of Carolyn's and if you have not come across her before then do check out her blog and web site. In the past few weeks there have been very favourable reviews for this book and you can find out where they have been shown on Carolyn's blog. It has beautiful photography and if you want to know all about big stitch quilting and other easy ways of finishing off a quilt then this is the book for you.The diagrams are easy to follow, well written and a series of step by step photo's show you the way. All aspects of quilt assembly are covered too so a beginner would easily know how to start and finish off and the more established quilter would still find it useful. I have no vested interest in this book and I purchased my copy before the reviews came out but it is now a firm favourite. Carolyn also has a book out called Quilting on the Go plus several individual patterns.

All the projects in the book are doable and believe you me you will want to do them. Starting with the first quilt in the book I have put together my strips along with a gorgeous piece of Philip Jacobs fabric and I am itching to start. The lavender is for a little extra border.

Spring is on it's way and at Kate's on Wednesday we sat outside for our lunch enjoying the warmth. Today however, it is cold and blowy. My friend Angie gave me this lovely bunch of flowers and I love the springlike colours.

On Friday I went to the quilt exhibition at Radstock Museum. Radstock is not an easy place to get to and there was a huge hold up of traffic right in the centre. We, Joan (from Dotty Dolly quilt shop) and myself (I was driving so read I)missed the turning and had to turn back and queue again only to find that the museum didn't open till 2pm. We queued again to get out and headed for Frome, had lunch and indulged in a spot of retail therapy. Frome ( to say it read froom)is a lovely little town and has some fabulous individual shops, Millie Moon for fabric and Marmalade Yarns if you are into knitting. Then we headed back and queued again. Dedication.

This week I have been sewing, honestly. There are 3 more dollies waiting to burst on the scene and then they will be ready for some formation dancing.

This afternoon however, I have been catching up on this sampler from The Historical Sampler Company. I love it and once upon a time I would have happily cross stitched all the time but now my eyes won't let me do it, just in small doses. Today I stitched the word "sweetheart" and the underlying border. I also broke a needle and I don't think I have EVER broken a cross stitch needle.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.