Wednesday, 31 August 2011


I have been worrying about the dimensions of the Beth Ferrier quilt and last night could not stand it any longer so decided to put it all out on the floor. The borders did not seem to fit and although I had read the instructions (or so I thought) several times, I could not see a way of fixing them.
I just put out the borders first of all and somehow they did not fit.
Then I included the central panel

It was only when I saw that the points of the large feathered star came up to the points of the turquoise blocks that I realised my mistake. I suddenly realised that there must be a small plain border between the two. Once I had sussed that and did a lot of calculations on the back of an envelope I realised I had cracked it.
It was lovely to see  vaguely  how this is going to turn out - although there is still a mass of work to do.
I apologise for the pics - they are not very good but it was very late by the time I had finished.

Now off to de a further three narcissi for the central block (thanks to the NAG group for suggesting that three exra would be the ideal number!).

Back to the grind stone.  Happy quilting.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Busy Bee

Today I had a change of tack as the measurements on the borders I sewed yesterday do not tally up the central block. I think the borders are too long but as this is a block of the month project, I am just waiting for confirmation that I still need them to be this length - if not, there will be a fair amount of unpicking and resewing to do.
So I decided to get on a start on the large applique patterns - oh boy was I in trouble. I had all the various elements glued and sewn and piled up neatly but then I realised that I should have put those elements of each design in separate piles.  Still with a very liberal sprinkling of glue I managed to get the main elements of the borders put together.
These are mirror images of each other and here is a close up detail

Then there are the partridge blocks

and a detail

I also managed to sew all the applique down on the central panel

and here is a detail. I don't think that I got the positioning of the central motifs exactly right and so I might add two more narcissi flowers underneath - will auditioning them tomorrow.

So in a way it has been a productive weekend.  Like most things in life, one's quilting life never runs smoothly but I do have quite a lot to show for it - thankfully.

Happy quilting.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

I have been busy

I have been busy working on the Beth Ferrier quilt - we got the latest instructions last week and I needed to get on and catch up. I did the sixteen small purple blocks which has enabled me to put all the borders together. The ones on the right are the inside borders and the ones on the left are the outer ones.
Then I started to put the bunches of grapes together. These are incredibly fiddly and the sewing was even worse as you could not do it in a continuous fashion but kept on having to stop and start.

The ensemble is less than 6" long so you can imagine the size of the pieces.  I have only cut out a few as I wanted to see how they worked. This is going to be a hugh amount of work.

But I have all the elements for the central panel so I shall try and applique it this evening.

More photos tomorrow.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Weekend in Norwich

Just had the most marvellous few days in Norwich - ashamed to say I had never spent any time in the city before and it has a wealth of wonderful attractions. Here are a few photos
look at the different textures on the side of this house.

We had lunch in this tiny garden above a pub (the building is on a hill) and don't you love the grave stones as a wall.
lots of old streets with ancient buildings.

I just loved these silver birches in the centre of town.
We also went to the seaside - amazing big sky and colours

Those tiny black dots are seals which were swimming up and down the coast very near to land. We saw five in all.
Then I got a bit carried away with footprints - as yet have no idea what I will do with them but they are fun

That's all for today but I will do more on the saga of pebbles tomorrow! Needless to say we found a quilt shop but I will leave that for another day - and yes I did give in to temptation and buy some fabric!!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


All my machine threads are now sorted - sad I know but it feels good to be more organised
Even room for a few more I think!
Off for a long weekend in Norwich so will hopefully be able to post some inspirational photos next week.
happy quilting!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

More quilts

Here are some more photos from the Festival
This quilt won the Traditional section and was made by Deborah Kemball from London. Here are some details. All hand appliqued and will wonderful hand quilting

This quilt is by Shenna Norquay, followed by some details of the quilting

This next quilt is by hilary Beattie of Lincoln - just loved the colours and the composition
and a detail

There will be a few more tomorrow.

All the fabric is now washed and ironed but I need to sort out all my threads. I bought another art bin  thread box so I am going to colour co-ordinate them all - sad I know but hopefully it will make me realise what I have!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Festival of quilts

Spent three wonderful days in Birmingham at the Festival of Quilts and I have some photos to share with you of the quilts that I liked best.
This was the Best of Show quilt by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga from The Netherlands and here is a detail

She also won the first prize in the pictorial section with this quilt

and again here is a detail.

My friend maggie Barber won third prize in the Art Quilts section

And another friend, Angela Kitson competed in the Quilter's Guild challenge under the title of "Festival".
Lots more photographs to come in future days.

Did manage to limit the spending a bit - not too much fabric - 2 metres which I needed for the Beth Ferrier quilt and then some for the stash:

Just had to get a few more Kaffe Fassett fabrics to add to the collection. I will save them for the next quilt and not include them in the Kim McLean Roseville quilt.

Also found this marvellous background fabrics which I could not resist

I think they will look really good with bright applique flowers.

Now off to stroke my new fabric gently!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Festival of Quilts

A really quick post as I am busy getting ready to go to Festival tomorrow.  Have money (not much of it admittedly after buying The Beast) and a credit card. Am going to try really hard not to buy any more fabric but never know!

I have a small shopping list - a super slider for my new machine for machine quilting, a look at Invisfil thread which I have seen on the Bernina yahoo group seems to be good for applique and quilting. Some new turquoise pens for drawing quilting designs - why do they always run out so quickly? I seem to get through masses of them with my students and I need to throw away all those I have a start again. Also some more bobbins for the new machine and another box to house all my threads - oh dear that all sounds rather expensive!!

I hope to have some photos to upload of the quilts I like best at the show - I will try and post on Sunday - stay tuned!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Just like buses ...

Sometimes the post brings presents and today I received two magazines
Both very different but I really like them. The Quilting Arts one is full of inspiration - at the moment I am not at all proficient on all the arty side of quilting but some of it is really interesting and hopefully when I have done the Committed to Cloth workshops next year I will be more clued up. I am going to do the dyeing and printing course which should produce more metres of fabric fairly quickly!!

The Quilters Companion is more of a projects magazine but has some really good editorial contents as well - this month has a good article on machine quilting which looks good.

Have spent the afternoon sewing more of my blue triangles - just mindless sewing but I wanted to try out my new stitch plate and the dual feed on The Beast. A great improvement thankfully so I am very encouraged.

Happy sewing!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

All up to date

Well I have been working hard to get up to date with all the elements of the Beth Ferrier quilt - I had put it aside for a few weeks and now felt I had to catch up.
All the pears are done
and also the holly leaves

Now all I have to do is embroider the eyes on the partridges but that will have to wait until I go to Festival to buy some white thread.

The Beast has been behaving very well and makes the blind hemming of all these pieces much easier (you can press the pattern start button at any time to take more bites into the top applique which is brilliant to sew at sharp points.

The next month's instalment will mean that I have all the pieced blocks and so will be able to sew up all the borders which will make it really feel as if I am making progress.

I now have the new stitch plate for The Beast and so can start doing some chain stitching of triangles. Thank goodness for the yahoo group which is wonderful at sharing information and makes the whole experience less scary. The screwdriver for changing the needle, which I got with the machine, did not work but thankfully my dealer was able to give me another one so I can use the smaller needles.

Now I must go and tidy up the sewing room - it has been getting in a real mess and I have already spent more than enough time trying to find some applique pieces that I thought I had lost.

Happy quilting.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lots of practice

I have been practising on The Beast all weekend and after a few teething problems - I need a separate stitch plate in order to do ordinary sewing of patchwork triangles - I seriously began to panic when I first started to do some chain stitching - they came out all wavy and not straight.  All that money and it would not sew as I wanted. But I then joined the yahoo group specifically for owners of Berninas 820 and 830 and asked the inane question. Thankfully lots of comments came back and I realised that I would have to make some adjustments - my dealer is very good but is not a sewer so had no idea of the requirements of a quilter! I soon put him right and when I go and fetch my old machine this week I will be taking samples so that he can understand what quilters need to know about this machine.

Anyway, it appliques like a dream - you can press the stitch start button which will automatically do a bite stitch when you turn a corner - really really useful.

I have tried to do some machine quilting and I must say the stitch regulator does make a difference. I think I am going to really have to do daily practice until I have got a smoother result but am happy so far.

Have also been doing lots of applique pieces for the Beth Ferrier quilt - have finished the holly leaves and am now on the pears.

I could not resist starting to put the central block together
As you can see I can't finish it yet but some of the overlapping pieces can be sewn down.  I am not looking forward to the bunch of grapes next month - there are about 19 bunches to do!!!

Happy quilting!