Thursday 26 April 2012


Who is that woman in black? Yesterday at Kate's I managed to get the Dancing Dollies all layered up ready for quilting . I needed the shades as the sun in the morning was very bright. It didn't last long though and the rain lashed down and the skies were dark and threatening.  Kate has devised a way of using her machine quilting frame to layer up a quilt and with her much appreciated help it all got done. First the backing and wadding are basted together and then the quilt top goes on and is basted to the other layers. It is a long process but it did save my knees from a lot of pain and trouble scrabbling about on the floor as is my usual method.


Starting the quilting process for me is always a dilemma. How should it be quilted? What thread to use? Which wadding/batting? I had to go back to Liz at Broderie to see how Trish had quilted the original and to help me decide on my version without copying it exactly. I wanted a motif and turned to my collection of Barbara Chainey quilt books as I knew there would be some inspiration in there. The motif on the left was what I wanted but it didn't fit the space so I did a bit of adapting and simplifying. I used a glass tumbler to draw the circle and the proportions of the petal are the same as Barbara's motif, shortened and rounded off to give the petal shape. As the Dollies have flowers and there are eight of them then the daisy motif seemed apt.

The design was then marked onto the quilt by placing the tracing paper with the pencil side face down and using a pencil I marked dots all around the motif. This transfers the pencil onto the fabric. I am sure everyone will have done this kind of image transfer at one time or another. It worked well and you may just be able to see the pencil dots on the unquilted section. I am using Gutermann Sulky 30 wt in shade 4013 and a size 11 John James Big Eye quilting needle. It is tiny. The wadding is a beautiful 100% cotton that is ultra thin. It quilts like a dream. I will have to do a bit of research to find out the name of it as I do not know it other than it was a summer weight cotton.


 The centre motif is now done and the two outer circles are quilted. Work is under progress. Woohoo! I am a happy girl.


Nothing beats the feel of a handquilted quilt. It feels so different, soft and smooth, wish you could feel this wadding.

Happy Stitching.



Friday 20 April 2012

Bring on the Dancing Dollies

They have been waiting in the wings, they have practised hard and it is time now to introduce to you.... TRISH AND THE DOWNTON DANCERS The mystery blonde and leader of this little troupe is non other than Trish Harper, creator and inventor extraordinaire
All the dancers in formation.
Embroidery in the centre circle, matching the flowers in their hair.
Blocks in the borders.
Close up in formation.
It has been an absolute pleasure to stitch these little beauties and I am in awe of Trish Harper and her fabulous work. If you would like to make one of your own then just click on Broderie on my side bar and you can order the patterns from lovely Lizzie. I am in illustrious company by naming my Dollies after characters from Downton Abbey. Ralph Lauren has based his new collection on Downton Abbey and I was given a link and watched the fashion show. I can tell you that it was AMAZING. Lots of tailored suits and lots of black with glamorous gold details. Oh to be 6ft tall and slim. FABULOUS. Off to congratulate myself on a finish. Oh! that sounds so good - a finish. Yippee! I am so happy I am joining in with the Dancing Dollies.

Monday 9 April 2012

I Get By With A Little Help

This last week I have had a little extra help from my feathered friend Frank. For some reason he got a little excited and insisted on helping me with the stitching of the borders for the Dancing Dollies. My aim this week is to have the top finished and ready to show. I planned to do this ages ago but I am way behind schedule.

The other weekend was Westpoint and I didn't show you my spoils. I had a lovely day with Wendy and Pat.

Two bag kits. Both gorgeous and I couldn't decide which one to buy. Pat said "Life is too short for such decisions - have them both", so I did.

Patterns that I had to have for my collection.

Fabric that had to come home with me. Loved the greens and the greys are to add to my stash for a certain project that is still in my head. It takes a while to get all those fabrics together. The jelly roll of "hot" plains had my name on it, not sure yet what for. I forgot my camera again so no pics of any quilts.

Good Friday was a good day weather wise so we set off for a long walk along the river Tone to Hankridge Farm for a spot of lunch. On the way I happened to glance up in a tree and there were all these pom poms. Not sure why but they looked amusing. Not even sure what the tree is.

On the way back we passed Somerset County Cricket Ground where a game was in progress. There was a gap in the wall where we could see a little bit of the action.
These are for you Leanne, when you are watching the cricket with Tony you never know I may be on the other side of the wall peering in. You may notice that it is surrounded by churches.

Well, back to the stitching. Hope you all had a great Easter and didn't eat too much chocolate.