Sunday, 30 June 2013

BLOG 155

Some of my followers may be interested in the breakdown of the finances of last week’s Gresford Show. It was our most successful so far.  And again the figures illustrate just what an important part food plays in the success of our show!

Figures for the week as follows:-

Visitors    947

Admission    £2367.50

Food            £2747.30

Plants            £186.45

Tombola        £500

Challenge        £195

Commission    £150

Magazines        £88.35

Donations to be given

£1200 each to the Church, Memorial Hall and Hospice

£700 each to the 4 local charities

£195 from the Challenge to the Breast Cancer Fund


1st: Willow Williams … rectangular bag with wooden handles

2nd: Jenny Harrison … flower picture

3rd: Angela Jones … patchwork rabbit


                                      Challenge entries


I have been away to visit my mother in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. This town has been in the glare of the public spotlight recently as the result of failures in the Health Care system, in particular at the Furness General Hospital. A few miles away, the town of Dalton-in-Furness, where I was born and brought up, was also in the news recently following the death of a female keeper in the lion enclosure. This is not the way you really want your home town to be immortalised! That said I always find it comfortable to revisit the familiar sights of my formative years. I doubt I would want to live there again having been away from the place for 2/3rds of my life, but I really do enjoy ‘visiting’. I used to refer to these trips up north as ‘going home’, but when my parents sold the house I was born and brought up in, I always felt like a visitor there. So ‘going home’ for me now is returning to the place where my husband and I live. And that’s how it should be.

 We are still working on our bedroom. It is slow as there is so much else to do in the garden at this time of the year but we have managed at last to prepare, paint and apply tongue and groove on the wall behind the bed. I have seen and admired this feature in my friend Kate’s house ( and at last we have had a go! I just love it and with the ‘String of Diamonds’ quilt on the bed, we are making progress.


                           String of Diamonds

In this room I also want to make a patchwork wall quilt and I have chosen a favourite technique that I taught many, many years ago. I have been reminded of it recently by another friend, Liz, who is about to teach the technique to her students.

So what do you do with a pile of scrap fabrics?





 You make a quilt!



This is a Delectable Mountain quilt that I made about 20 years ago for one of my daughters. I was a utility quilt, made to fit the colours in the room, but it has long faded with use.



                                                Tessa’s quilt


FABRIC: I am using scraps of reds and neutrals, the more variety the better, and my starting point for the size of quilt that I am making is a 5” square.

You can start with any sized square; the bigger the quilt, the larger the starting square.


 1 On the reverse side of all the neutral squares, use a ruler and pencil to draw one of the diagonals.


                                 Draw the diagonal

Press with your hand at the start and finish of the diagonal so that the fabric does not move whilst it is being marked.



                                        Stabilise the fabric

2 Place a neutral square, with RS together, on top of a red square and pin to hold them together.


                                       Squares RS together



                                             Pin to secure


3 Use a neutral thread to sew a ¼” seam on both sides of the marked diagonal line.



                        Sew seams on both sides of the diagonal


4 Iron the squares to settle the stitches and smooth the fabric across the diagonal.



Continued next week.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

BLOG 154

I have had a wonderfully busy week, a busy-ness of the best sort. The Gresford exhibition is the highlight of our year as a craft group, providing the members with an opportunity to display their year of work. For me particularly it provides a much needed dead-line and makes me step up a gear or two, to finish my quilts, boxes and book covers. As a well-oiled team, it took us from 10am to 4pm to put up the exhibition. We all have our own duties and displays to take care of in various parts of the church, and somehow it all comes together in the end. I was responsible for hanging quilts and wall hangings which meant a lot of climbing up and down stepladders and over pews (next day my muscles were proof of the energetic nature of this activity!) If you have been following my Blog, you will have seen the techniques involved and witness the progress of Ella’s Quilt and String of Diamonds. Here they are hanging in the church (with apologies for the quality of some of the photographs).



                                 Ella’s quilt (left)

                                       String of Diamonds

Thank you to all the friends and visitors who showed an interest in my quilts. Many of you follow my blog already … Thanks for being interested … and there may be some new ones coming to visit for the first time …. Welcome on board and call by regularly for quilting news and projects.


                     My Floral patches (centre) SOLD


                 A variety of crafts.

The church is a lovely venue for our exhibition. We are surrounded by all the artistry of those past; stone masons, stain glass workers, carpenters, metal workers and embroiderers. I firmly believe that churches need to do more to bring people through the doors to share these wonderful spaces.


Knitwear, Olympic Quilt and stained glass


                          Coat of many colours, wall hangings

           Various displays across the pews


                        More wall hangings and a first Sampler Quilt


The Challenge this year was ‘Pink’ and here are the anonymous entries. Each entry is labelled with a letter and there is a corresponding pot for money for each of them. The one with the most money is the winner and we will find out the results next Tuesday at the craft meeting, along with the final amount raised during the exhibition. (Hope you noticed the patchwork bra!)

There were several special exhibits within the exhibition but the one that was always buzzing with people was the display of miniatures (mostly 1/12th scale).  Here are some that took my fancy.


                   Funeral procession and green houses


                                          Holby city

                                                Fabric shop

Thatched cottage (in progress) The thatch was made from tufts taken from a coir mat and tied into bundles.

                ‘Horologist Within’. This was my favourite!

 There are a few sales table items left over and I am showing some of these below. If you are interested in buying anything, email me at dilys.fronks

Terracotta or Blue Jacobean hand applique cushion:  £15:00 each plus postage

                    One only: Crazy Patchwork cushion: £20:00 plus post

Sunday, 16 June 2013

BLOG 153

An incredibly busy week has passed, with another one yet to come.  We are at the starting blocks for the count-down to putting up the Gresford exhibition tomorrow and all my time this last week has gone on preparing my exhibits and my sales items. It has been incredibly busy and here is the evidence. I haven’t actually appliqued all these this week, many were teaching aids or book samples, but I have finished them off as cushions, wall hangings etc so that they can be sold next week.

                     2 hand applique Jacobean cushions

                       A machine applique Jacobean cushion


                                   Jacobean table mat


                            Crazy patchwork cushions




                         Hearts and Gizzards cushions


                               Mosaic flower cushion

                          Positive/negative plaid wall hangings


                           Positive/negative floral hangings


                                           Table runner


                        Positive applique side of the bag


                      Negative applique side of the same bag


        og cabin bag (Can anyone else see the sad little face made
                     by the pattern on this bag, or is it just me!)

I will photograph my exhibits in the church and post them during the week but if you can get to Gresford for the exhibition, you will not be disappointed. I finally finished quilting Ella’s quilt last night and I collect the String of Diamonds quilt from Di at Castle Court Quilters on Friday and bound it yesterday too. I was delighted with the quilting on both these quilts.


I also wanted to mention this exhibition which is being held in the museum in Llangollen. The exhibits have been made by the Contemporary Quilt Group of the Quilters’ Guild. It is their 10th anniversary this year so for inspiration they chose this photograph by Tony Howell of a tin mine (10 years = tin). Try and get to see it if you are in the area.

                           Photograph by Tony Howell

 When you look at the black and white photograph, yes it is atmospheric but is it inspirational? Many of the group thought so and here are some of the amazing interpretations.

                              Lesley Brankin


                                  Catherine Stonard


                                   Judy Fairless


                                        Annabel Groom


                              Hilary Richardson


                         Sandra Grusd

            Pippa Wardman