Saturday 6 December 2014

Oh! Modern Christmas Tree

A few weeks ago my friend Stina from Kviltstina blog fame designed a pattern for a modern, low volume christmas tree and sent me the pattern details to proof read. I liked it so much that I just had to give it a go and put the Stitcherydo stamp on it.

I am proud and pleased to report that mission was accomplished and it is finished and hanging up on my hall wall. Three weeks from start to finish is little short of a miracle for me plus it is machine pieced AND machine quilted. Is it perfect? No. Have I learned things from making it? Yes. Do I love it? Absolutely.

Everything came from my stash. I did not buy a single thing. Did not realise I had so many lovely glittery christmas fabrics although one was a recent acquisition. The squares were already cut and stashed away from a session of making use of scraps. New they would come in handy one day. Free motion quilted tree bark and straight lines of quilting half an inch apart and it was done. I used a iron on glue based wadding for which I can only think I bought for bag making but it worked well and stayed in place and was in my stash waiting to be used.

If you want to make one of your own then there is still time and you can find the details on Kviltstina blog where Stina has generously shared it as a free pattern.

Happy Stitching.


Monday 24 November 2014


There is nothing like a new project to banish the post wedding blues. I have had this pattern for a while now but  after seeing lots of scrummy versions on social media sites thought it was time to dive in.

This is Stonefields by the talented Susan Smith of Australia. This quilt was made as a commission for a film being made in Ireland. As of yet we do not know who is in it or the title but I do hope the quilt gets more than a bit part

These blocks are 6.5 inches and there are a total of 121. 

It is such a soft and gentle quilt and very pretty. These four stars are in the corners of the quilt. they are then surrounded by a border of flying geese and then a large border of appliqued hexagons. Pink, hexagons, sounds like a me quilt.

Trying to use as many different fabrics as I can.

Now we are up to nine and a hexagon rosette.  A great tip from a blogging friend who said to cut and make them as you go. Every time I use a fabric I cut hexagons and flying geese.

I love this block. The hardest part is choosing fabric and trying to use fabrics in unexpected combinations. Some of these pieces are quite small so it is fun digging into the bag of scraps to see what emerges.

For some time I have been collecting shirting type fabrics and they are coming in very handy for this project. The difference in hexagon sizes. The middle one used for the border is 3/4 inch and the ones in the blocks are 3/8 inch.

The next three prepped and ready to go.


Should you want to join in and make your own version of this beautiful quilt then you can buy it from Susan or indulge in a block of the month from The Running Chicken.

Thought I would leave you with one more wedding photo. All ready and waiting to go. Maisie thought it was great fun and posed perfectly playing peepo with the bedpost.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.

Monday 6 October 2014

New Hat

In my life I wear many hats. I am wife, mother, sister, niece, auntie, great aunt, granny and I wear them all with great pride. In the last few days I have acquired a new one for I have become a Mother in Law.

This beautiful daughter of mine became a bride to marry her school sweetheart Olly. They have been a couple from the age of 15 and inseparable since. We love him as if he were our own.

A joyous moment when they became man and wife. Happy faces all round.

A tender moment.

Here I am with my immediate family and wearing my new hat.

Little Maisie was a bridesmaid and walked up the aisle with her mummy. Maisie is now a very confident and amusing one year old. That time has flown by.

Sarah and Olly with Bridesmaids, Sarah, Rachel, Leilee, Mel. Groomsmen, Ian, Simon, Lewis, Andrew, Tom, Best Man and Olly's brother.


Of course there had to be some things to be made. Labels for suit/dress covers. Believe me when I say that saved a whole load of time having them labelled. Two waistcoats. Jar covers for jam and chutney made by the bride and groom. Lavender hearts for the dresses. Bunting and baby bunting for the table plan. Not to mention bunting for the top of the cake. Now I need a week away to just do some catching up on neglected stitching projects.

It has been the most wonderful of weekends. The venue at Muddifords Court Contry House was second to none, the Posh Picnic by Scoff was unique and yummy and the Groove a licious Band great dancing entertainment. Amazing flowers by Suzanne, friend of Olly's mum. To share it all with our families and friends was simply the best.
With Love 


Thursday 14 August 2014

Joy of Life

Last week I met for the first time a very dear and special friend who arrived in the UK from Sweden to visit the Festival of Quilts. She came bearing the most beautiful gift. I had seen glimpses of this quilt as it was being made but with no idea it was for me.

It is called Joy of Life and is a pattern by Rosalie Quinlan. It is simply beautiful and I love it. The quilting on it is amazing and I shall treasure it for always.

Made for me by this beautiful lady known as Stina. We met through blogging, have very much in common and met for the first time last week. We are soul sisters.

Stina brought with her these equally beautiful ladies.

Karin, Marica, Stina.

Stina and Lilian. They were sitting on the naughty seats on the back row of the bus.

We stayed near the iconic Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham and Friday night we ate out at Jamie Oliver's Italian. We had a great night and I have never laughed so much. These Swedish ladies were the best company. You can read and see more at Stina's and Marica's blogs.

This church is right by the Bullring and looked beautiful lit up.

I came away from Birmingham feeling  tired  but good tired. Shopping is exhausting you know but it could have been from carrying multiple bags of purchases. I am in weight training for next year. I came back with an impressive haul of goodies but the most impressive treasures are the memories that are firmly printed in my brain of this fabulous time with the most wonderful ladies who I can now call friends. 

These are the of the Joys of Life.

Happy Stitching.


Friday 1 August 2014


Progress is being made on the Brigitte Giblin Facebook challenge. Brigitte has put in a lot of hard work to see that this project works and into the bargain organised a truly international fabric swap.

We were asked to contact a person on Brigitte's master list of participants  and we were to send and receive a fat quarter of fabric to add to a round in a later stage of the challenge. I had the greatest luck to receive my fabric all the way from Australia from Simone Honey who happens to be a friend of another fellow blogger and friend Lizzie at broderie blog. The world gets so much smaller with this blogging lark. Simone sent me a beautiful piece of fabric with a flower motif which I managed to fussy cut and fit it in with the help of another fabric to fill the gaps. Since taking this photo I have finished Row 20. It is now getting quite a size at around 42 inches square. I am all prepared up to row 24.

Wendy joined me in the early stages of making and is not far behind me. The common denominator for this quilt was a red spotty fabric to be used at various intervals and given that is where we all start they look so different and are producing the most amazing results.

Seeing what fun Wendy and I were having our Wednesday stitchers decided to join in too.

Kate decided she wanted hers to be in her favourite colours of blues, greens and teal. I think it is going to be amazing. The more rows you add the better the effect gets.

Rosemary always chooses very pretty fabric and is often lucky to go home with everything she came with as I ogle her choices sitting beside her.

This is Margaret's start. Looking very soft and misty, like a colourwash effect. Pat was away so have no progress report.

At the weekend we headed off to my favourite part of Cornwall and stayed at the lovely Carbis Bay Hotel. This was the view from the window and our little balcony. Looking towards Hayle.

On the Saturday we walked the coastal path to St.Ives. It was a little misty when we arrived and it even rained for 15 minutes but then the sun came out and was even hotter.

This was St.Ives as we walked back a few hours later. A very enjoyable trip out.

Keep stitching everyone. 

Love Shirley. X

Thursday 26 June 2014

Part Two Finished

It took a bit of doing but eventually I got there and round two of the Di Ford Mystery Quilt is done. There is a lot of work in that two inch border but it transformed the already beautiful centre to a new level. Part three may be a while yet but in progress.

Feeling the need to get the sewing machine out I spent a few hours sewing a bunch of strips together so that some progress can be made on a project not really abandoned, just on hold. All strips sewn. Next stage sew up into tubes.

Now, you all know that I have the attention span of a gnat and like I needed a new project in I waded with a fabulous challenge. This one popped up on Facebook and before you could blink I had joined in. It comes courtesy of Brigitte Giblin and is based on a vintage Trip Around The World quilt from her collection. A few guidelines and rules and deadlines to be met but so far I am keeping up and on a promise to only use stash. Feeling good so far. It is now a closed event and it has been great fun watching the progress as things get posted to Facebook and I have to say the encouraging comments and witty banter. It has truly been a trip around the world seeing people joining in from all corners of the globe. Well done Brigitte. so far I am on row 12. who knows what row I will stop at  but I am cut out and prepared up to row 15.
On Saturday we had a little boat ride along the River Tone which runs through the centre of Taunton town. It was lovely to see it from a different perspective and to see people just messing about on the river. It was the perfect midsummers day. Lots of things happening eleswhere in the town and lovely to see people enjoying the sunshine.

A few days before that, Somerset County Cricket Ground had a change of use and became the venue to one of my all time favourites rock stars and a little count in my head told me that I had been a fan for over 40 years. How can that be when I am not even that old.  Rod Stewart. He was fabulous and yes he did sing "Do you think I'm sexy" and yes for a pensioner he ain't doing too badly. We had a great night singing along. The evening was gloriously warm too. I have a hard time choosing my favourite song but it has to be Mandolin Wind. The crowd definitely loved the older Rod Stewart songs the best.

Anyone else have a favourite.

Ah Well! Back to the stitching.

Happy Stitching.


Thursday 29 May 2014

Day 2 and something completely different

Day 2 at Cowslip and today we were to be learning all about Broderie Perse . This is Di Ford's version of Rotherfield Greys and it is simply beautiful.

I went into this class with no fabrics whatsoever. I had drawn a complete blank and just could not picture it in my head. First task was to nip into the shop before class started and I was not alone in my dilemma but I spotted this fabric and Di was on hand to help me see other possibilities. It is called Gentle Flowers by Quilt Gate.

First task was to cut out a few motifs and I think I cut way too many pieces, enough for another project at least. I am no flower arranger but after a bit of tweaking this is what transformed. I hear you saying " where is the pink Shirley?". Sorry to disappoint but there is not a scrap anywhere. I simply love the soft greys and creams of this fabric with a hint of teal and lavender. Maybe they do a pink version but could it be this lovely?

Lots of applique in my future. Once the outer bit was decided on we had to think about the centre and I chose a very dark grey charcoal striped paisley fabric with lots of fussy cutting potential. It took a long time to figure all this out but I know I shall love this quilt. 

On returning home I found in my stash a fat quarter of a French General fabric called Fa La La La and I managed to cut 6 sets of half inch hexagons to surround the star. Now I need to search for more fabric as there was a lot of potential for further fussy cutting. I even found a grey fabric in my stash that had hexagons on it which I have used for the centres of the flowers. That was a lucky find.

Anyone wonder what I bought from that stand outside the shop? Yes, you guessed it, the pink basket just had my name on it. Well, I saw it several months ago and my husband asked me what I wanted it for and my sensible head said put it back. He wasn't with me this time and no way was I going home without it.

The early start on the Sunday morning saw the most beautiful skyline from my window at the B & B. Very peaceful and beautiful.

I had the most fabulous weekend with the most inspiring teacher I think I have ever met. If you are fortunate enough to be anywhere near a Di Ford class then I would urge you to book. What is more exciting is that Di has promised to come back next year. No pressure then to at least attempt to have something to show her when she returns. Thank you Di from your number one English Groupie.

Thank you to Jo Colwill and all the team at Cowslip who work so hard to make it the most peaceful and inspiring place to just be. 

Happy Stitching.


Saturday 24 May 2014

Di, Phebe and Cowslip

Last weekend my good friend Marie and I spent the weekend in Cornwall at the best place on earth - Cowslip Workshops. We were having a Di Ford extravaganza.

Day 1

Phebe Quilt.

I have admired this quilt for some time and to see it up close is wonderful. Full of rich colour and detail.

You know by now that whatever I do ends up pink and this is my start. I had a fat quarter of a pretty fabric which became my urn and Di very cleverly showed me how to turn a piece of fabric into a scalloped border that suited the urn perfectly.

The only thing stitched are the tree trunks and the scallop border on the base of the urn. Everything else is just pinned and I can see clearly that things need to be repostioned. Looking forward to making the centre of this quilt.

Something from this delightful montage came home with me. Resistance was pretty futile.

The wisteria over the porch was in full bloom and looking magnificent. Every now and again the swallow would fly in and out of the workroom which is just to the left of this photo.

The new addition to Jo's garden is the lovely summer house. It looks so enticing. Inside there is a quilt hanging on the wall and a table and chairs for you to sit and have your cream tea. Note the beautiful blue sky.

Later in the evening camped at our fabulous B & B we sat and sewed, talked, drank a glass of wine and generally admired the view which is just beautiful. 

If you need a great place to stay then look no further.

Goodmansleigh is a wonderful place where you can stay in the house as we did or, stay longer and hire one of the barns. Lisa the owner is also a quilter. 

Day 1 done and going way too fast.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.