Sunday, 4 October 2015

BLOG 268

BLOG 268

 We have all had a wonderful week of warm sunny weather, unusually for October, and we personally have had a busy week on the roads. Last Sunday, we stayed near Abergavenny for the night and then went onto a funeral on Monday morning in Griffithstown. It was for a favourite auntie on my husband’s side, Auntie Dorothy. It had been a while since we had been at her 90th birthday party and she had suffered mixed health over the following years until the final stitch was sewn in her life’s quilt. I don’t particularly enjoy funerals and attend as one does to remember the deceased and to support the family mourners. What I do enjoy is the get-together afterwards; the general lightness of spirit, the catching-up and reminiscing, the tales of the river bank and so on. It was good to talk!

On Wednesday, 5 cousins on my side of the family came from Anglesey for lunch. The cooking is no problem as I don’t attempt to try anything too exotic and I have always enjoyed having people round my kitchen table. Again there was lots of catching-up and reminiscing, tales of the river bank and so on ….. And it wasn’t a funeral!  It was good to talk!

On Thursday, we journeyed to Abersoch to stay overnight with friends who had rented a house there for the week. This is such a spectacular place, with harbour, bays, cliffs and coastal walks. The weather was great again and the tides were the highest and lowest ever seen. We filled the 2 days with leisurely meals and walks and endless chat. It was good to talk!

Saturday saw me at The Quilters’ Guild Regional Day and I think I talked my way through most of that too! This event is held twice a year in Frodsham and excellent speakers are invited to entertain and inform us about their work. There is often a workshop on the Sunday as an added bonus. I took 2 of my scrap quilts for ‘show and tell’ because they were total contrasts. The first, Lady of the Lake, is a 2-coloured scrap quilt. The fabrics came from my stash, the blocks were set on point and the top was completed before it was put onto the wadding and backing to be long-arm machine quilted.

                                              Lady of the Lake

The other quilt, Dilys’s Multi-coloured Dream Quilt is made from colourful off-cuts; the blocks were also set on point but it was a quilt-as-you-go method where each block was quilted before the quilt was assembled.

                                            Multi-coloured scrap quilt

And here’s what I have decided to do with all the thread flowers from the abandoned quilt. I love long thin wall hangings because they are easy to hang beside a door or in an alcove. It needs a bit of extra work but when I have stopped talking, this I will do!

                    Floral strip

Sunday, 27 September 2015

BLOG 267

BLOG 267

…… And whilst I was contemplating the garden last week and wondering how to use it as inspiration, I was also thinking a lot about the Calendar quilt. This wretched quilt has been on the go for several years and I have attacked it in fits and starts over that lengthy period. It has taken centre stage on my design wall many times and then it has been moved to make way for something else. It was always being side-lined and there must have been a reason for this. So I have come to the conclusion that, basically, I don’t like the way it is progressing and so I don’t want to see it through to completion.  I have decided to give myself permission to abandon this project (Hallelujah!). And you can’t believe how liberating this has been for me. And now let the demolition process begin. I decided to retrieve the thread flowers from the two quilted blocks, so I took them off and threw those squares into the bin (yes really)!


Then I pondered what was left over on the design wall to see what I could rescu


 I removed the paper patterns that I had half-heartedly designed and threw them in the waste paper bin.



And truly, these are going out of the door because they are in the big plastic bag with all the other rubbish. There will be no second thoughts which is why they need to go rapidly. This goes against the grain as I am not usually the sort to waste fabric and effort but sometimes it just has to be done.

                                            Rubbish bag

And now I need to rescue what I can of the remaining fabric and see what I can come up with. The remaining thread flowers were just pinned in place so I was able to reclaim a lot of pins and a pile of thread posies.


Thread posies


And the next thing is to make a decision on what I can save from the colour washed background and how I can use it. I am now much happier about going into my studio and feel as though it is back under my control rather than being ruled by that wretched quilt. Oh Joy!

                                    Where next?

Sunday, 20 September 2015

BLOG 266

BLOG 266

It’s rare that I show pictures of my garden but I think that autumn is a beautiful time of the year. The flowers, shrubs and trees have done their best during their appointed growing season and they are dying back to recharge their batteries for next year. But still, there is lots of colour in the garden and this I share with you this week.




                                             Choisya and Berberis

                                                  Berberis and Euphorbia

                                              Acer and Fuschia



                                               Sheep trough and view

              Japanese anemones

                                                         Sedum and bees

And now, all I need to do is use these snapshots of the garden as inspiration for future fabric/thread work.




Sunday, 13 September 2015

BLOG 265

BLOG 265


This week, I returned to the craft and sewing groups that I habitually attend after a few weeks break over summer. I personally think it is good to have a bit of space sometimes, to re-charge your batteries and to actually miss being there. I now feel ready to get on with things again.

I needed a new project to do at the machine sewing session that I go to in Suzette’s home. I remembered saying in an earlier blog, after the Festival of Quilts, that there was a miniature quilt that I would have loved to have taken home. Here it is:


Miniature birds


And then I thought, in the absence of being able to bring this quilt home, I wonder if I can make something similar? I started by collecting pictures, cards, books and the like, anything that would help me visually. I did some preliminary sketches to get to know the character of each bird. Here’s the progress so far:



A stabiliser was ironed onto the WS of the hessian-like fabric that I had chosen for the background. It was held taut in a hoop as I started to free-hand draw with a neutral thread in my machine.




More sketching


Thread birds


Once I had sketched each of my selected birds (one’s that habitually come to our bird table), I used threads and occasionally bits of dyed scrim to colour them in. This was my progress during an approximately 4 hours of sewing (the rest of the time was spent talking, oohing and aahing, tea drinking … I’m sure you are familiar with the format).


Colouring in


More colouring


There are usually just 4 of us around the table at these sessions. Pat and Peggy allowed me to take photos of their lovely work this week to share on my blog.


Pat’s insects


Peggy’s rose