Monday, 26 October 2009


Last year I was given an old hexagon quilt which had been found in the loft by someone when her mother died. She gave it to a quilter friend, who gave it to me to be made up for Linus. Unfortunately, the quilt was in poor shape, literally, as mice had been nibbling at it, and it had lost a large piece which had been undone and several patches had also been partially eaten. It was also not at all suitable for Linus, as when I turned it over, many of the papers were still in place, and from the copperplate handwriting and some postmarks, they appeared to be letters and envelopes from the 1890s. Here is the quilt and if you would like to see some closeups, go to September 2008.

I didn't know what to do with it. Part of me thought it should be given to a museum or collector, but another part of me felt for the original maker, and wanted to complete this quilt and not have it consigned to a box, to be seen by very few people. I took it to a Quilter's Guild Area Day, where a member knowledgeable about old quilts said it was 'not of museum quality'. So, I wrapped it carefully in acid free tissue and put it on top of the wardrobe.

Last week I reached a decision. I have decided to complete the top using reproduction and sympathetic fabrics, remove the papers, scan the most interesting ones and print them onto fabric to be used as the backing of the quilt. This way, the quilt is completed, but the history is not lost.

This is the progress I have made on the top, so far. Looking good!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Stash guilt

Of course I knew I had quite a lot of fabric in my stash, but it wasn't until DH and I decided to decorate DS's bedroom (aka my sewing room) that I realised exactly how much!

This is the wardrobe where I store the bulk of it - or where I thought I stored the bulk of it! The IKEA storage unit has red, pink, yellow (+orange) and batiks in it, and the boxes have creams, blues, purples and greens plus a Christmas box.
I knew there was a box of browns under the bed, but when we pulled the bed out, there was also a box of non-quilting fabrics (tulles, silks, curtain fabrics for bags, denim and all sorts of stuff which will be very useful one day, I know) and a box of novelty fabrics, oh and a box with UFOs, orphan blocks and backing in it.

Oh, and I suddenly remembered the reproduction fabrics, lace and dyeing cotton which I've put in the drawer of a filing cabinet. So that's it, apart of course from the boxes of strips, squares, charms squares and little blocks, so that's not too bad, is it? Bad enough for me to decide not to buy any more fabric and try and use what I've got. (And if you thought you saw me today buying fabric at The Bramble Patch, it was all for Project Linus, well, nearly!)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Why did I choose it?

Eileen, over at 'Quilting Together' is making a Christmas sampler quilt to be raffled in aid of the Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance. I'm always happy to help with a charitable project, so volunteered to make a block for her. I had Carol Doak's '50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars' as a present last year, so decided one of those would be perfect for the job.

What a mistake. First I had to go down to the copy shop and get four copies of the pattern (quicker and more accurate than tracing my own, I decided). Next I had to paper piece 8, yes eight, sections, which were all the same. This took me a while, as there was a certain amount of reverse sewing involved here! Then, when I'd joined all the sections together, I had to pick the blooming paper off the back! I hope Eileen's not one of those 'I use tweezers to get all the little bits of paper off' types, as I'm a 'the little bits of paper will add extra warmth to the finished quilt' type! Anyone want to buy a practically new copy of Carol Doak's '50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars'?!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Ship ahoy!

It didn't take long to finish the ship quilt I am making for Project Linus. The blocks are from 'Fast Quilts' and quite straightforward, and then they are trimmed slightly tilted, which gives the impression of sailing along the waves.

I had some of the border fabric with lighthouses in my stash, and it's the perfect compliment to this block. I think I'll make this one again!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Last weekend saw the exhibition of my local group Piecemakers. This was our second bi-annual show, and was very successful. We hired the hall for Saturday and Sunday, and the quilts were set up on Friday evening. Unfortunately I couldn't help with the setting up as I had already agreed to be on the front of house team for the drama group's Old Time Music Hall. Never mind. They had enough helpers, and I sent several quilts, my raffle prizes and cake, and spent Saturday afternoon as a 'quilt angel', my favourite job! Here are a few of my quilts displayed.

My Family Tree quilt, made for my Mum's 80th birthday - ironically displayed next to a quilt made by another member for her mum's 80th birthday! She had printed out photos of places with sentimental interest to her mum, which made for a delightful touch.

My French Roses are on the left. This quilt attracted quite a bit of interest, perhaps it was its old world charm which caught people's attention. At the very front is a Dresden Plate I made ages ago. The old designs are always good.

The sew-a-row isn't mine (unfortunately!) but 'I love my Willy' (a homage to Shakespeare) is. The quit with balloons is our group quilt, and it looks splendid. If you want to see more of the pictures, click here to see pictures I took and here to see Jane's much superior pix!

Friday, 9 October 2009

But I don't do cute!

I'm usually not one to be seduced by cute stuff, but this lovely little table mat caught my eye.

It's a free pattern by Marcie on this site and she has several with a Christmas theme which she is sharing. It's only 9.5 inches square, so perfect for protecting surfaces when people need to put down drinks and plates over the festive season. Maybe I'll make another as a present for my Mum!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Linus ahoy!

Linus coninues to be my main focus at the moment. It's been lovely to spend some time with people who have made quilts (and want to make more!), completing tops, sewing on bindings and labels etc., but it's meant that, what with everything else which is going on, I haven't had much time to get on with anything for me. Then just when I thought I might try and get ahead of the game and start a couple of Christmas projects, I saw this lovely boat pattern in 'Fast Quilts'.

It's designed by Lisa Christensen and looks perfect for scraps. I managed to find some 'sea' fabric, which will unify the blocks, but the boats can be any colour on a cream background, and will look great. Linus wins - again!