Monday, 31 December 2007

Feathered star

Christmas was good, but busy. Lots of visitors to our open house on Christmas Eve, then parents and children staying over the holiday. My DH's grandma used to say, 'God speed the parting guest' and I know what she meant! It's lovely to have a houseful, but also nice to get back to normal.
Once DS had gone back to London, I was able to get my sewing room back. I celebrated by making a feathered star. It's a Martha McClosky pattern I picked up from the Home and Garden Television site. I know it's really only pictures of the demonstration, but the instructions were a bit tricky to follow, especially when it came to assembling the block. 'Stitch each row together and complete' wasn't really enough for me - maybe I should have bought the book! Anyway, I'm pleased with the result, although I still have to work out whether I want to make more to start another quilt, or whether the journey was sufficient.
Hope everyone has a good time today, and has a happy, healthy and productive 2008!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Pre-Christmas present

DD was busy in her bedroom with the door closed for most of yesterday. Best to knock before going in at this time of year! About 11 pm she emerged with a big grin on her face, and said she had a pre-Christmas present for me.

It's a felt mince pie! Isn't it gorgeous? Unfortunately, she tells me you can't eat it, but that means it'll be available to enhance our Christmas table for years to come!
Merry Christmas to all, and a happy, healthy new year.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Postal goodies

Although we in England have quite a few good quilt shops, we don't always get the range of fabrics which our friends over The Pond enjoy. I am a fan of Michael Miller fabrics, and they are not easy to get hold of. My Dysfunctional Family fabric was bought over here, but the shop owner told me that it nearly didn't make it onto the shelves, as her wholesaler had assumed it had come over by mistake, and nearly sent it back! Luckily she was on the ball, and had chased the order just in time, to be told, 'It's so wierd, I couldn't imagine anyone wanted it!' I know many people buy hard-to-find fabrics on the net, but I've previously fought shy of it, being concerned about tax and postage costs.
However, my friend Chris has recently alerted me to a wonderful place to buy fabrics, where the range of fabrics and service is excellent, and the postage costs minimal. It's They have an extensive selction of fabrics for about $8 a yard, and with the weak dollar that means about £4 a yard! I am particulary interested in Victorian reproduction fabrics (another group of designs which don't seem to make over here) so bought 5 yards of fabric, which with postage, cost me only £25.64 and arrived after only 11 days from my order! I could have bought another yard of fabric for the same postage cost of $11, but didn't want to strain the credit card bill too much at this time of year!

Here are my goodies, all reproduction fabrics to add to my stash. Carly at Webfabrics sent me a little extra, a piece of sunflower fabric with a lovely little gift tag saying 'Happy Sewing'. The tag was made from fabric Heat and Bonded on to card - now there's an idea!

Of course, I couldn't resist something to add to my novelty fabrics collection. Here is 'Daily Grind'.If you look at Webfabrics' site, be aware that fabric is by the yard (not metre) and priced in half yards or sometimes fat quarters. If you're a cheapskate like me, scroll down to the weekly specials, where fabric is even cheaper! Happy surfing!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Bellydance Superstars, be very afraid.

This week I have danced (and drummed) in two local haflas. (A hafla is a performance party - think of a cabaret evening with bring your own picnic, and you'll get the idea.) These haflas were in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care and raised £1033.94 for this very worthy cause, as well as giving lots of people a great evening out, dancing, eating, drinking, and then joining in the arabic disco at the end of the evening.

I made sure I was on the second row, behind Tracey, so that I could follow her if my mind went blank or I fell over my own feet, but didn't realise that I was standing in a black spot, which has made the photos difficult to see. Never mind. At least you can't really see the look of blind panic on my face! I tried to smile, but when you're doing your best to co-ordinate hands, arms, chest, hips and feet, and keep in time with the music, your facial muscles are the least of your concerns.

People always think that you have to show lots of flesh if you're doing belly dancing. I suppose if you want to make a career of it, it attracts the crowds, but at hobby level, anything goes. You can see here that people are wearing a variety of different costumes, with various amounts of flesh on show. The one thing they have in common is the wearing of a coin belt - shaking your hips is so satisfying when they jingle!

We were all supposed to be doing the same choreography, but this photo looks as if it's a bit of an improv session. I think we've just turned right round, and some people are quicker into position than others.

Belly dancing is great fun, and I would recommend it to anyone, whatever shape, size or age. It's done to music, is great exercise, like quilting it's effectively a ladies-only hobby, with all the benefits that being in a sisterhood brings, and gives you an opportunity to dress sparkly and jingly and reveal your inner goddess! It's also a fantastic conversational gambit which you can use to great effect at parties - it ensures people always remember you!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Christmas present

The last of the cards have gone off in the post - including the one for DS, which DH took to London to give him when they met for lunch yesterday, and then brought back home again! The only ones left now are the local ones, which will be hand delivered.
I have also made inroads into the Christmas presents. The ones to my nieces and nephews have also been posted, and today I finished the only hand-made present I will be giving this year, a bag for a friend at work.

When I was a girl, everyone had a cloth shopping bag for carrying purchases home in. Nowadays, plastic carrier bags are most often used, although there is a movement to go back to reusing bags, and many supermarkets give incentives to people who bring, and use, their own bags. Hopefully my friend will be able to use this when she does her weekly shop. Not only will she have her green credentials on display, but the sophisticated Michael Miller fabric will count for extra Brownie Points, surely!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Another Christmas card (and hanging)

I have made one more Christmas card, this time for my DS. I have used a house block I made up with pictures of him and his house mates in the windows - well, one of them is him (the male one) and the three young ladies he shares with will have to fight over who is the angel, who is singing and who has a very fetching hat! I originally made a wreath on the front door with leaf shaped sequins, but eventually decided that French knots were the preferred option. At least it's the kind of thing which could be displayed all winter. Hope he likes it.

I seem to have gone a bit house-crazy (what would Freud have to say about that?) and houses are my theme for the Winter Class I took with Tonya. We had to start by thinking what Christmas meant to us, and to me, the feeling of togetherness and bonhomie when friends (old and new) and family get together is the best part of the celebrations. So I decided to make houses, with all kinds of people (and creatures!) peeping out of the windows, and a space underneath for all the people who visit us over Christmas to sign their names. That way, it will be a real record of the best part of Christmas for me. I made the letters using Tonya's clever improvisational method, and changed the saying to 'people' rather than 'men' as we have a feminist in the house, (my DD). I really have more hand quilting to do, but need to hang this up on the dining room wall ready for people to sign.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Christmas cards

I'm not really a card-maker, but for special occasions and special people it can be fun. I usually make something for close family at Christmas, and this year I decided to make some for my parents and mother-in-law using soluble film.

First I rummaged in my waste bin and found a few scraps of green fabric (and I mean scraps!) adding a few bits of ribbon and some scraps of shiny green fabric from my special box. Then I cut them up into tiny pieces using my ruler and rotary cutter - think of chopping herbs, it's that kind of exercise.
Then I arranged the scraps in a rough wreath shape on a piece of soluble film, topped it with another piece and transferred it carefully into an embroidery hoop. (In fact, I had to do this several times, as I kept tipping it slightly, so that all the little bits kept sliding together in a pile!)

Next I used my darning foot to machine all over the bits of fabric randomly. I tried to make a holly pattern, but soon gave up as it was impossible. Obviously I ket going round in a circle, and left the middle free.
When I was satisfied that I had sewn most of the bits together, I took the whole thing out of the frame, immersed it in warm water for a few minutes to disolve the film and left the resultant wreath to dry. It looked a bit dodgy at this stage, but I gave it a little trim here and there with some sharp scissors to help the shape look a bit better. Then I made another one!
Then comes the fun bit. In front of the tele, I sewed on some tiny red beads, to represent holly berries, some stars to represent...... well, stars, and a little red ribbon bow. I stuck them onto blank cards and have to admit, they look pretty good.
Here's a close-up where you can see the decorations a bit better. Actually, now I think of it, I'm sure my sister-in-law would like one too. Here's to another rummage in the bin!

Saturday, 1 December 2007


I'm very keen on recycling as much as I can. Over here in Leicestershire we have a green bin to collect garden rubbish and grey cardboard, a brown one for food waste (a new idea, even collecting cooked food, bones, meat etc) and a black one for other rubbish. I have a box of my own next to the bins to put plastic bottles in, and I take those to a facility at the supermarket. I regularly take things to (and buy things from) the local charity shop, even saving all my off-cuts of fabric - even the little tiny ones - to take for them to get money for as rags. I have fabric bags for my shopping and even save the plastic bags you get on the weekend papers and put Project Linus kits into those.

So when I saw on Tonya's blog that she made reusable fabric gift bags, I was motivated to have a go. First I tipped out all the off-cuts of wadding I had saved 'just in case' and found some which could be sewn together.

I chose the fabric for outer and lining, cut it to shape, zigzagged a couple of pieces of wadding to the required size and then made the bag. Tonya gives detailed instructions, but basically I layered the fabrics right sides together with the wadding on top, sewed all round the edge, leaving a gap to turn through, turned right sides out, folded the bag into shape and sewed up the sides of the bag and along the flap to top stitch.

Here are the first two I made. They're about 10 inches square. Tonya suggested using Velcro to close them, but I just put on ribbon ties - my children are in their twenties and not likely to get try to peep before the day.

Then I made two more using pieces of Christmas fabric which have been lurking in my Christmas box for years, one a Debbie Mumm and the other a horrible cheap piece I picked up somewhere or other. Another plus on the recycling front! I put little ribbon loops on these and sewed buttons on for closing. Seems to work well enough.

I have no idea what I will be putting in these bags, but as long as it fits in, the gift doesn't have to be the exact same shape. At least it will slightly reduce the mountain of wrapping paper which is cleared up every Christmas morning, and has had the welcome effect of reducing my stash too! Let me just go and see what other pieces of Christmas fabric are still lurking....

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Old quilt

On Saturday, when I went to Rocheberie Quilters in Rugby, the speaker was Barbara Chainey. I knew of her excellent work but had never heard her speak. We had a real treat. Not only was her work very inspiring, but she was amusing and very down to earth, and an excellent speaker. However, the best part of the day for me was when she took a little time to look at the old quilt we have.

Striaghtaway she said it was beyond repair. She looked at the fabrics and said that there were at least two which were woodblock prints, and one was a known pillar print. It's the glazed chintz with the shield and chain fence background on in the picture. She thought that was about 1830. There was another floral chintz which was from the same era.

There were also patches of purple fabric, which became very fashionable when William Perkin invented analine mauve dye in 1856. (This was first used for silks, but influenced cotton fabric production where the colour was much duller, as here). The red fabric with the seaweed pattern is in fact a double pink.

Barbara thought some of the fabrics had been dyed using a manganese solution, which had rotted the fabric, and caused so much of the damage.
Barbara also confirmed what we had thought, that the quilt had been remodelled, probably in the 1940s or 1950s, just before it was sold. The multicoloured patches are mid-twentieth century fabric which has been appliqued on top of the patches. Maybe it was to repair or strengthen it or maybe to brighten it up.
It's obvious how out of keeping these patches are. Barbara also said that the backing and quilting had certainly been done at the same time. The backing is a furnishing fabric and the quilting is 'in the ditch', a fashion never seen on old quilts. The inner is domette, which is a lightweight lining fabric used in curtain making.

The egde is finished in a very unusual way. The edge of the quilt top has been folded over to a depth of about an inch (losing all the points on the front!), and then the backing has been slipstitched on (with green thread - another 20th century giveaway!) about a quarter of an inch below the fold. An old British quilt would have been finished with a knife edge.

All in all, the quilt is still a puzzle. It seems that the top is mid/late Victorian (it's only as old as its youngest fabric) which was originally either a top or a coverlet. Someone decided to remodel it in the 1950s, appliqued some patches on top, layered it with domette and furnishing fabric, quilted it in the ditch and sold it.
Thanks to Barbara for this information, but I'm still looking for more!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Busy, busy

This last week life has been very hectic - in a good way. On Wednesday it was Piecemakers' Christmas meeting, where I demonstrated an easy advent calendar; Thursday was work and belly dancing. On Friday I took my Mum, as part of her 80th birthday present, to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate and on Saturday I went to Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters in Rugby. Lots of fun, but no sewing.

My friend Chris, who went with me to the NEC back in August, had sent for some fabric from America, and while browsing the stock, had slipped in an extra half yard as a present specially for me.

She knows that I love novelty fabrics, but the clincher was the liberal use of lime green!

This is her and me out shopping together. (I'm the one with the lime green top and big feet, and she's the one with brown curls and trendy ear rings. We're both well endowed in the carrier bag department!) Don't know what I'll use it for yet, but it'll be something very special.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Old and new

I have still been fiddling about with bits and bobs, and have nothing finished to show for all the mess in my sewing room. I've started making the medallion quilt for the lady who gave me the old quilt and am using the old quilt for inspiration. Looking at it in the photo, I think it needs a bit more of the rust colours of the medallion. I'm doing another row of pinwheels, so can easily mix rust in with them.
Incidentally, is there anyone out there who knows anything about old quilts? The old quilt in question was bought in London 50 years ago, and nothing more is known about it. The maker was obviously very thrifty, as she has used some selvedges in the piecing. Here are two of them.

This one has a kind of crown and squiggles motif, which may have a V (for Queen Victoria?) in the middle and then the word LINEN and some numbers underneath. (The fabric doesn't seem to be linen to me.)
This one has large numbers on it, and on the back of the fabric is some writing, which isn't very clear. My friend Jane lent me a lovely book, called 'Ontario's Heritage Quilts' by Marilyn I. Walker where there is a coverlet which has the same two manufacturer's marks on it: a crown with 'British Manufact...' underneath, and then another piece with big numbers. In the book, this coverlet is dated 1827, so I'm wondering if the fabrics in the old quilt are of a similar age! Does anyone know anything about selevdge markings? Please let me know.

On a different vein, have signed up for Tonya's Winter Class. it's not a class as such, more inspiration. She starts by asking you to think what Christmas means to you, and for me, I think it's getting together with family, friends, strangers who might be friends etc. and the feelings of togetherness and happiness that brings. So I have started a wall-hanging with all kinds of people gathering in houses. I'm going to leave the snow at the bottom blank so that all the people who visit us over the Christmas period can sign their names. I'm planning to add words to it - probably Goodwill to all Men, which seems to me as good a Christmas sentiment as you can get.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Greeting card quilt

I have just finished a greeting card quilt for a work colleague who is leaving to start a new job. He's a great admirer of my quilts, which I think comes from him being an all-round nice young man, and the fact that he's a craft person too (wood-working and DIY) so appreciates in some way the work which goes into creating something.

This isn't my original idea, but one by Eleanor Dugan which was featured in Quilter's Newsletter magazine in December 2001. The idea is that you make a list of everything you can think of about the person the quilt is for, such as jobs, hobbies, places they have been, favourite foods, star signs etc. then look through your stash for images. It's surprising what you have, and even the writing on selvedges can be useful. Cut the images with a half inch seam allownace and then start to arrange them in groups by size. Four small square ones can make a four-patch, several long ones can make a strip, etc. Try and make the shapes into a rectangle, ading plain or geometric fabrics to fill the gaps. Some shapes can be fused on, to break up the regularity. Border, layer, quilt and bind and then add embellishments, such as badges, buttons, charms.

This card has a picture of Stuart as a young man (in a nice hand knitted jumper!), his initials ST, writing because he's a teacher, tea and coffee motifs because he'll often make a cuppa for everyone, wood and stone fabrics and paintbrush for his DIY, the child on his shoulder because he's a dad, wine because ... well, you can guess that one, plaid because he wore a kilt to his wedding, horseshoes for good luck and the eyes (next to the teapot at the bottom) because he works with visually impaired children.

I had great fun making it, and I'm sure he'll like it too.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Only UFOs

I was reading an article in a magazine this morning, where the writer said, 'Yesterday, after I had washed the breakfast pots, I sat down at my machine for a day's sewing.' Suddenly, I realised why I seem have done lots of sewing, but have little to show for it. When I have put the breakfast pots in the dishwasher, I clean, go out and pay bills, garden, do my school work ... well, you get the picture. It's only after all the things I need to do are over, that I sit down at my machine for half an hour or so. I need to set aside specific time to quilt. So I've decided I will do just that, after I have wrapped DH's birthday present, written my niece's card, iced the cake for my parents' diamond wedding party tomorrow, prepared the veg for tea, collected DD's car from the garage - oh, well, perhaps another day I'll do it!

One thing I have been doing is preparing for the meeting of a small quilt group I belong to called The Flutterwheels. Half a dozen friends decided they would like to meet up to do projects which would extend their skills and challenge them. We meet just 6 times a year and all try out the same new block or technique, then when the blocks are completed, we raffle them off between ourselves, so everyone gets a chance to try something, but they're not stuck with odd blocks which just go into your UFO box. This year we have been looking at illusions. We have made Crazy Log Cabin Roses (a la Jan Mullen), Double Nine Patches, Fans, and this time's challenge is Kaleidoscope. We decided on Mediterranean colours and here are my blocks. If everyone makes four, that will make 24 altogether, which is either a lap quilt, or a good start for a bed quilt.

Our last illusion is Storm at Sea, which we have chosen to do in red, for a change. This block looks so complex, but it's actually very easy. It's just two squares within squares and then two diamonds in rectangles. The blocks are 12" finished so they should knit up big. You can already see the circles apearing, even though I've only done two blocks.

Aaprt from this, I've been quilting a Linus quilt, making more Chaos Crumb blocks for DD's sofa quilt (82 down, 18 to go) and making a greeting card quilt for a colleague who's retiring. I'll post a photo of that when it's done.

Something on my to-do list is to make a quilt to give to the lady who gave me the antique quilt in poor repair. I think it would be fair to replace old for new. My friend Sylvia has kindly given me this lovely medallion which will be perfect as a centre for the quilt. The colours and design are so old fashioned and ideal for framing in 19th century colours of browns, beiges, reds and blues. I think I'll get on with it as soon as I've washed the kitchen floor!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Halloween!

I find it hard to understand why anyone should be wished a Happy Halloween, as the whole notion of Halloween is about ghosts, witches, horror and death, but I suppose I'm in a minority with that thought! Anyway, although it is an American tradition, I will welcome any children who come trick or treating tonight with my lovely pumpkin hanging on my front door! (Quite what they'll make of it, I'm not sure!) . Tonya corrected my last post, in that the paper cutting wasn't meant to provide templates for the block, but was just a way of learning how to think in strips. The blocks are all free pieced. Thanks for that, Tonya - just shows how patient I am, that I can't even manage to read the instructions properly!

The writing at the bottom of the hanginging doesn't stand out too well, but at least it throws the emphasis onto the pumpkin!

My friend Jane has lent me a fascinating book called 'Stars by Magic' by Nancy Johnson-Srebro. It shows how to make lone star blocks without cutting triangles or dealing with the dreaded Y seam. Of course, I had to have a go and instead of starting with the easiest block (block 1, would you belive?) I started on block9. Here are the pieces I cut for this block.

All squares and rectangles, but quite a few of each, as you'll agree.

The block is very impressive, and the instructions are very clear, but beware - even on Halloween, magic doesn't come into it! Accuracy comes into it, and as you'll see, if you look closely at the block, I had to do a bit of fudging to get the diamonds to fit together, and I think more fudging will be necessary if I want all my yellow diamonds to have points!

One downside for this method is the left overs, which are not insignificant. (They aren't really fuzzy like this, I think they jumped when I clicked the camera.)

Nancy helpfully says you can 'discard the cut off triangles or save for another project'. Discard the triangles! Who is this woman that she can cheerfully drop large pieces of fabric into the bin? I've got into the habit of saving crumbs to make Chaos Crumb blocks, so the idea of dropping a triangle of fabric which is half of a 6 inch square into the bin, isn't one which appeals!

However, these are minor criticisms. The book is great and has clear instructions for 30 different star blocks in up to 10 sizes, and certainly cuts out the tricky Y seams. Now I have to decide what I'm going to do with a 12" lone star block. Perhaps I'll put it in my UFO box for now...........

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


As usual, blogging has distracted me from my current projects and encouraged me to try something new. Tonya, it's all your fault! I was very impressed at her 'Blooming Horrors' wall hanging- how clever! But I was motivated to try her strip pieced jack o'lanterns, which are great fun.
As usual, I decided to do it the hard way. Her instructions are to use paper templates, and I decided not to 'waste' time on those. Also, her pumpkins had straight sides, and I wanted mine to look more rounded, so added more half square triangles and different lengthed strips. The eyes are a bit strange (I couldn't think how to do them at first, so made two half square triangles, which is why they're so big!) but on the whole I'm very pleased with it. Once it's quilted, I'll hang it on the front door on the 31st. .

Sunday, 21 October 2007


I was tagged by Karol-Ann, so here goes. (I have changed things slightly - hope that's OK.)

4 jobs I have had

working as a Sturday girl in a cake shop

packing lollies at Trebor factory

nursing auxilliary

Camp America counsellor (all before I started teaching!)

4 films I could watch over and over

The Graduate

Groundhog Day

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Sixth Sense (not very sophisticated taste, I'm afraid)

4 places I have lived

Chesterfield, Derbyshire



Derby (bit of a Midlander, really)

4 favourite foods




fresh bread (don't have a sweet tooth)

4 favourite colors

lime green (especially in quilts!)
anything bright (can't do pastels)

4 places I would like to visit

Shanghai (just fancy it)

Sydney (always wanted to go down under)

Hong Kong (I hear it's a very vibrant place with great shopping)

Paduca (don't need to explain this one!)

4 people I'd like to meet

Germaine Greer (so clever)

Tracey Emin (seems like good fun)

Ewan MacGregor (dishy)

Camilla Parker Bowles (she always keeps her own counsel, and I bet she's got lots to tell)

I'm not going to tag anyone else as I've changed the categories a bit. Got to go and peel some vegetables for Sunday lunch now. Hopefully will squeeze a bit of quilting time in after the washing up.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Hey, Mister Postman

Why was it that as soon as I had ordered a CD and a book from Amazon and had won a prize on Karol-Ann's blog the postmen went on strike? I could just about manage without the book and prize, but the CD was the music for the bellydance routine I am in for a charity performance in December, and I need all the extra practice I can get!

Then, wasn't it typical that they all arrived on the same day, and some lovely cards from children who had received Project Linus quilts.

Here you can see the lovely chilli key-ring from Karol-Ann (the sparkliness of the beads hasn't come out well, but it almost looks real in the photo! Thanks to her also for the chilli fabric. I love novelty fabrics and will stroke it for a bit, then add it to my collection. I was inspired to buy the book by a comment from Joyce. We have both been trying some ideas Tonya gives on her blog (she calls her blog Lazy Gal Tonya, which is a laugh if you look at her work) and Joyce recommended the book. I've seen some quilts by Freddy Moran before, and love the bright colours and relaxed piecing, so thought I'd give it a go. More of that later, no doubt!
I don't get too much feedback from the Linus quilts I deliver, but am always touched by the letters and cards which make it.
I have finally finished my Mile a Minute, but due to an accidental error by Patti, who set us all off in the first place by showing her excellent tutorial, the name has to be changed to Crumb Chaos blocks. Have a look at Patti's blog for a full explanation. Unfortunately, it was too late to change this quilt's name, but I will note this for the future.

Since it is to be a sofa quilt, I wanted to quilt it well to strengthen it, so decided to use Jane's idea of the cinnamon roll quilting motif, from Kim Diehl's book 'Simple Blessings'. I don't actually know what a cinnamon roll is, so I have re-named it the Swiss roll motif, and take comfort from the fact that good, homemade Swiss rolls are often a bit lopsided and cracked, and match my quilting motifs perfectly!
I think they look good on this scrappy quilt and I'm sure all the bottoms which sit on the quilt will be appreciative too.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Last weekend our local patchwork group held an exhibition. We have had them before, but either on a small scale, or as part of another event. This time we decided to go it alone. As anyone who has ever organised anything will agree, it's a lot of work. Apart from the extra planning meetings, there's the booking of halls and quilt stands, publicity, delivering of flyers and posters, baking of cakes, writing of labels and lists, collection of quilts and sales table items, not to mention the sewing on of sleeves (or pinning on in my case!) and labelling of sales goods. And that's all before the day!

Needless to say, all this planning paid dividends and all went smoothly during the show. Here are some photos of the event.

Sometimes it was quiet, and sometimes busy. Some people came to natter (fine by me) and some to admire the quilts.

I hope this lady isn't touching that quilt - I'll have to notify the Quilt Police if I decide she is!

Some came to spend their money at the sales table and others to eat the excellent home-made cakes. (Amazingly my banana, walnut and chocolate chip cake was eaten up on the first day! I usually have to take my cakes home and eat them myself.)

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event, my day was made when a lady came with an old quilt she had bought 50 years ago, to ask for some advice. It was badly worn, and she wanted to know if it was worth repairing. Although we are not experts on old quilts, we felt that it was not. She wanted to continue using it, and even if worn areas had been replaced or strengthened, it would never have been suitable to use again as a bed quilt. If you click on the picture of the quilt, you can see for yourself how badly worn it is. I think she was impressed at how thrilled we were to see her quilt, so has loaned it to us so we can see what we can find out about it.
As you can see, it is a medallion quilt, with a cross motif in a central square of floral fabric. The glazed chintz fabric of the cross has almost completely disintigrated as have other fabrics. It is quite a utilitarian quilt, and some of the selvedges are visible in the blocks.
We thought it was probably mid-Victorian, although it had probably been reworked at some time (maybe before the present owner bought it, in the 1950s) as it had a newish green sateen backing, and some triangles have been appliqued on (see the multi-coloured floral at the bottom of the photo on the left). If anyone out there has any information or opinions about this quilt, all will be gratefully recieved.