Sunday, 27 May 2012

BLOG 100

HAPPY BLOGDAY TO ME, HAPPY BLOGDAY …. You can guess the rest!!!!

Now that I have reached the milestone of my 100th blog, it makes me wonder what I have had to say of interest for the past 99. I know there are regular followers out there and it is for you that I sit down at the computer each Sunday (even when the weather is glorious like today!) and try to come up with something fresh and worthy of sharing. Periodically, I look at other quilting blogs but quickly get bored with the recipes, in-depth family information, pet ponderings, household revamping and so on. So I decided early on to keep my humble mutterings strictly on quilting lines. Let me know if you agree, it would be good to chat to some of you out there.

This week I need to start a Memorabilia box as a gift for an Aunt who will be 90 in a couple of weeks. In Blog 91, I showed the one I made for my brother and his wife for their 40th Wedding Anniversary. Blog 92 shows the ones that resulted from my WE workshop at Alston Hall and Blog 95 shows the box I made for a friend’s 60th birthday. So I have perhaps whetted your appetite enough to have a go for yourself?  Here’s the start of the workshop and there will be more next time.


Cut out the following pieces accurately from neutral mount board (available at art/craft shops). You will need just over 1 sheet. Measure and draw them accurately first with a ruler and pencil, label them clearly and then cut them out with a craft knife or rotary cutter.



OUTER BASE: 1 at 10 1/2" x 8 1/2"

OUTER SIDES: 2 at 4" x 10 1/2"

                             2 at 4" x 8 1/2"

BASE LINING: 1 at 10 3/8" x 8 3/8"

SIDE LININGS: 2 at 10 1/4" x 3 3/4"

                             2 at 8 1/4" x 3 3/4"

MIDDLE LID: 1 at 11 1/4" x 9 1/4"

LID TOP: 1 at 10 1/2" x 8 1/2"

LID LINING: 1 at 10 1/2" x 8 1/2"


OUTER FABRIC: 3/4 yard


BATTING: 1/2 yard, low loft

On the mount board, use a sharp pencil to mark accurately shapes as detailed above. Measure twice and then label each piece of card before cutting.  There are 13 pieces of card.       

Accurate marking

Cut out each piece with a rotary cutter and ruler or a craft knife and ruler. The outer base and 4 outer sides should fit accurately together to form the structure of the box (5 pieces).

Outer base and sides

There is a slight margin of error with the lining pieces (5 pieces).

Lining pieces

The lid is made up of 3 pieces.

Lid pieces

Monday, 21 May 2012


My apologies for posting a late blog this week. We have been looking after our 2 ½ year old granddaughter.  She has unbelievable energy and we were on the receiving end of it. However, I am well rested today and back on my own rails once again!


It is difficult to tell you how many blocks to make because I don’t know how any signatures you may collect for an occasion. As an example though, a small quilt maybe 3 squares across by 3 down, that’s nine squares in total and 36 spaces for signatures. Some can be left empty for dates, comments and the like.

Joining the signature blocks

The horizontal joining strip is made up of 3 squares, positioned as shown below: points square, coloured square, points square. Join them together accurately with a ¼” seam.

Horizontal joining strip

 Place the joining strip onto the signature block, with RS together. Use pins to hold them together at the important places and sew an accurate seam. Check the joins from the RS. Join the blocks together to create vertical lines. Try to butt up the seams where possible.

Pinning the seams

The vertical joining strip is created in the sequence shown below: points square, coloured square, points square, coloured square, points square coloured square and so on…..  Part of a strip is shown alongside a constructed line to illustrate its position along sides the joined blocks.

Vertical joining strip

I obviously need to make progress on my friend’s signature quilt, so here is one I did earlier! I made it on the occasion of my Silver Wedding anniversary, when Rog and I went back to the tiny island of Tarawa in the middle of the South Pacific where we got married in 1972.

My signature quilt


Sunday, 13 May 2012


My ‘Wall to Wall’ (or Wal i Wal) exhibition has now been hung in the Ucheldre Centre in Holyhead on the island of Anglesey. The quilts will be on show until June 5th, and the opening times are from 10 to 5 daily, 2 to 5 on Sundays. Eunice Lord teaches quilt-making classes at the centre and her students’ work is displayed in the main hall. Go and have a look if you are in the area.


You have no idea how much disruption there is for me when getting ready for an exhibition. Firstly I have to locate all my quilts from bags, cupboards, under beds, and around the house (I’m not programmed to be organised so quilts just get stuffed where there is room to store them!). Then I need to assess whether they are good enough for display and the inevitable scrutiny; most quilts are better viewed from a distance! As well as quilts for display, I need to take enough quilts to make my lecture for the Open Evening visually interesting. Three full bags is a good. I had an exhibition and lecture in the same place 2 years ago and people have a memory and photographic evidence so I need to hang and show different work. No pressure there then!


More quilts

Even more quilts

 There are quilts on the floor, on the sofa and over the bed. Even Willow gets in on the act, although I am not sure what message I am supposed to glean from her grooming her nether regions like that. I have always said that wadding is magnetic to cats; they always find it, whether it is in a bag, stored on a shelf or sandwiched in a cushion or quilt. Here is an over-view of the exhibition.

Exhibition 1

 Exhibition 2

Exhibition 3 

And this is what the stage looks like at the end of my talk. The big bags are empty, Eunice and I are holding up the last two wall hangings and the stage is just littered with quilts. Showing slides or giving a power point presentation is a poor substitute for showing the actual quilt. They are colourful and tactile and they need to be on display!

Job done!

 More on the signature quilt next time.

Monday, 7 May 2012



Last week I demonstrated how to create the individual blocks for the Signature quilt. This week I will show you how to construct the squares.

Place the squares in sequence:-

LINE 1: Signature square, star-point, signature square

LINE 2: Star-point, coloured square, star-point

LINE 3: Signature square, star-point, signature square

Placement of the squares

TIP: Always lay out the squares in sequence beside your sewing machine. There will be no confusion about what goes where and which square is attached to which. This is a logical way of working.

Place a corner square onto a star-point square and align the raw edges. Put the point of the pin into the exact place where the seams cross over.

Pin at the cross-over

Sew the squares together with an accurate ¼” seam and a neutral thread. Check the seam from the right side.

TIP: When looking at a quilt, the eyes go straight for the points, so it is important to make sure that they are sharp.

Sew and Check

Create the middle line by joining the star-point squares to the coloured square.

The middle line

For perfect points, pin accurately before sewing accurately. Make sure that the line of stitches goes right over the place where the seams cross.

Pin accurately

Sew accurately

Perfect points

Sew line to line to create the block.

In preparation, iron the seam allowances so that they can be butted up together for sewing.

Iron the seams of the top and bottom lines away from the centre.

Iron the seams of the middle line towards the centre.

Squares into lines

Pin where the seams cross over and butt up the seam allowances. I have used 5 pins at these points, to stabilise the edges ready for sewing. Sew with an accurate ¼” seam.

Sew line to line

Close up of joins.

Next week I will complete the sequence for this quilt.

Have a good Bank Holiday Monday; it’s raining here so nothing new there then?!