Monday, 30 September 2013

Chinese Curse

Isn't there a Chinese curse which says, 'May you live in interesting times'?  Well, just recently I think someone has cursed me!  We have just been on holiday for a week (lots of eating breakfast in the sunshine, wandering around in foreign cities, red wine, chilling out etc), then back to pick up the current threads of DD's wedding preparations and my parents' imminent move to Lutterworth (hooray! can't wait!).  Add to this the fact that I had agreed to do some Linus quilting at Brook House, a local care home, and had all the arrangements and fabric cutting to do for that.

This was the design we made blocks for.  It's Kathy Doughty's 'Fractured'.  The block is just a dark and a light rectangle joined with a sloping seam, but the arrangement of the blocks was a bit tricky - not just for the sewers, but on assembling the quilt!  I think this will be stunning once it's quilted.  Many thanks to the staff and residents of Brook House for their hospitality.
Then it was running a Linus stall at a new local show.

Since this was a new venture, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was lovely!  Paula and I went and manned the stall for the weekend, and Julie kindly gave us a hand on the Sunday.
Here they are sewing labels onto completed quilts.  We had a lovely time and met lots of people, old friends and new.  We were able to spread the word about Linus, offer patterns and ideas and even found ourselves as 'quilt experts' when we were asked, 'Are you the quilting ladies?' to which the only answer is 'yes!'  We gave our opinion on the merits and snags of hand and machine quilting, and it seemed to go down very well!  Fifty people took a leaflet about Linus with our contact details on, so we were very satisfied.
Here is our neighbour, Kate from p/hop.  I hadn't heard of this charity before, but they have designer knitting patterns which you can have for a donation calculated on the pennies per hour of pleasure (p/hop) you will get!  All the money goes to Medecins Sans Frontiers, an extremely worthy cause.  If you would like to see their range (from Christmas reindeer and stockings, through scarves, shawls, gloves, hats, teddies and tea cosies), click here.   Kate came up from London and gave up her whole weekend, but I think it was worth it for her, as she got plenty of donations. 

here is a scene in the main hall, with quilts displayed in the middle and stalls round the outside.

And here are people flocking in to pay for entrance and workshops.  I think the organisers were pleased with the visitor numbers and positive comments, and look forward to doing it again next year! 


Monday, 9 September 2013

Desperation piecing

I have been doing some more hand piecing - American method.  I find it quite relaxing, and pretty accurate.  I have finished the first of the blocks from Kathy Doughty's book, and while not as flat as a pancake, it's flat enough!

I've started another, and have joined about a quarter of the pieces so far.   I was cutting pieces a few at a time, when I suddenly realised that the green fabric was rapidly being used up.  I quickly drew out all the shapes, and found I was one short!  A rummage round in my scrap bins didn't yield anything, so it was down to desperation piecing!

I looked in my waste bin and joined together the largest pieces of green I could find. 

Here is the result.  Phew - just enough!

Friday, 6 September 2013


It's been a busy time recently, and my quilting has fallen (slightly) by the wayside.  But I always have some sewing on the go, in case I need a bit of relaxation.  I'm still continuing my love affair with Mile a Minute, and here are some stars on a pink background. 
I've got one more row to make, and then some assembly.  I love the big diamonds which have appeared - they'll be ideal for some free motion quilting! 
I've also been making up several Linus quilts.  People are so generous at donating tops, but not so many people like the making up!  I'm trying to make up a quilt most weeks (they're usually small, and don't need precision quilting) and have some lovely volunteers who are happy to bind these.  A recent quilt had a cream 9-patch which looked a bit bare, so I embroidered a cat on it.

I couldn't find a nice clear image on the web, so went to the children's section of my local library and searched for a picture book about cats.  Our library has a good selection of books, ones about dinosaurs, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, mice and lots and lots of books about dogs, but hardly any about cats!  Unbelievable!  However, I found one, and I think this image is just the job.

Here is the quilt, made of orphans (obviously!).  I think the cat looks right at home here!