Sunday, 31 March 2013

Streak of Lightening

Farmer's Wife Blocks
is well named as a block! I think it took me seven minutes to make! Here are the next six blocks, clockwise from top left: Churn Dash (my version), Waterwheel (I have changed the colour values in this one), Contrary Wife, Basket Weave, another very quick block, Windows,  and Streak of Lightening.

I am getting on with these as they are preventing me from doing something else... but I am not wanting to keep making blocks that are almost the same when there are other blocks I really like that I would prefer to have in my quilt. I don't think I will be making another tree block, and can't see the point of Spider Legs when I have already made Wood Lily.

Here are some of the Journal Covers that the Westwatch Girls made on quilt retreat for the Bookwrap Gems:
Enid Carroll of Pennyloaf Patchers

Mandy Parks

The West Watch Quilters' Retreat

Friday, 29 March 2013

More Belsey Quilt Pics

Two more of Julie's quilt tops, a lovely soft blended design and a double four patch, a pattern that looks quite different close to from further away, or in a photo.

Blended quilt
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Monday, 25 March 2013

Quilt pics

Here is Carrie's Pinwheel quilt, simple but so effective.

And one of Julie's quilt tops, made for her son from his old T-shirts.

I have had a quiet and restful day doing washing ironing cleaning the kitchen and a bit of gardening, too cold to stay outside for long though!

I had a look at the peregrine falcon webcam on Norwich Cathedral and the hen bird has now laid two eggs and was sitting there in a howling gale every so often lifting her head to look round, for all the world as if to say: where is he with a pigeon for my lunch?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Farmers Wife again!

Six more FW blocks
Clockwise from the top left: Wild Rose and Square, Evening Star, Butterfly at the Crossroads, Wrench,, Wedding Ring, Single Wedding Star. Three of these are based on a five x five grid and I used Gilly's templates for them, thank you Gilly!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Belsey, Saturday

Lots of quilt tops have been completed by the girls, and I'll try and post some pictures next week. I don't know how to reduce the size of the files on the iPad yet! But here is a pic of some of the Winding Ways blocks I have been working on.
Winding ways
These won't be adjacent to each other in the finished quilt as I have cut a greater variety of fabrics now, but I am pleased with the colour scheme.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Farmer's Wife Blocks

Here are my six blocks for a six day retreat! Northern Lights, which I know as Buckeye Beauty, top left. Weathervane, top right, Puss in the Corner which is easy to make with Marti Michell set A Templates at centre left; Aunt Sukey's Choice at centre right, which is similar to Cups and Saucers but not actually a F W block! Bottom left is Railroad, Wild Goose Chase is bottom right.

I downloaded a foundation pattern for the flying geese from (Marcia Hohn's  site ) where there are lots of free patterns and made them in pairs. Aunt Sukey's Choice uses the same size geese, and Cups and Saucers needs them too. It's a fairly easy way to make small ones accurately.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Belsey Bridge

Sandra who is sitting opposite to me has just completed her beautiful pale quilt. All machine quilted in sections, quilt as you go, and now bound and done.
I spent yesterday cutting blocks for Michelle's quilt. I sewed on together and found myself unpicking as I had forgotten how to do it and sewed on one piece in the wrong order!

Today I am going to show the girls the Bookwrap gems and hope to encourage them to make some for the Guild Tombola.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


This little collection of blocks is me playing, because I was too tired to cut out Michelle's quilt. They are made from pieces picked up on the scrap table, sewing tiny scraps and strips and chopping them up again. I liked the unusual colours of the hand dyes. They are the same technique as the ones I made here last time, each time you make a block the pieces left suggest another one. They are 4" square.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bookwrap Gems

Jean-Ann Blanchflower
Here are the three Bookwrap Gems Jean-Ann gave me to finish off as she had injured her hand and had her arm in a sling. The first is bright strips of sari silk, and is very hairy! The other two are from an experimental day with machine embellishers using felt, scrim, wool tops, threads, and a beautiful gold lacey fabric. The outsides were done and the one on the right completed so I didn't have much to do.

Next week I am away on Quilt retreat so may not get any posting done.

The Raffle Bag

Here is the result of three days work! It is a bag to give away!!

It is made from a pattern by Elaine Aitken of Button Angel Designs. This was a birthday gift from a friend some time ago and I wanted to try it out. It suggests using an interlining instead of wadding, and I tried some of the canvas left over from my other bags, but put some wadding in under the little flower panel. It is rather stiffer than I intended and seems to have taken ages as I had to stitch loads of french knots round the flowers! There are 4 pockets around the outside and a fairly wide strap. I am pleased now that it is finished.

I have made this for a raffle that the Fleggburgh group, Pennyloaf Patchers, are holding during their exhibition next month, at Fleggburgh Village Hall. Saturday, April 13th and Sunday 14th.
I'll be there on Sunday so come and say hello! There will be bags to win, and a cushion raffle too and lots of lovely quilts.

Side view

Front View

Thursday, 14 March 2013

T-shirt Transfer paper

I was asked about T-shirt transfer paper - it is a relatively inexpensive way to transfer images to cloth. Available from stationers, e.g. Staples.
You set up an image, I usually work in Word, and design a page full (if  I were making Quilt labels for instance). Put the paper into the printer, go through the printer menus / advanced /flip horizontal and tick the box to reverse the image. Print, place face down onto cloth, iron the back of the paper to transfer the image, peel off backing.
There are varieties, some require peeling the backing paper off while still hot other kinds are cold peel; read the instructions!
Some versions leave a very plasticky shiny surface which can be ironed over with silicon baking parchment (not, not ever, greaseproof) to remove some of the shine.
Like most things, trial and error process really.

February Journal Quilt

This is my Journal quilt for February, 'Lifting the Latch'.
It is an image transfer using T-shirt transfer paper which I have knocked back by ironing again under silicon paper as it was very shiny! the image is taken from a photo of an ancient door which had several latches, in the Eco Musee in Alsace, taken when we visited the Silver Valley Quilt Exhibitions. It is on the same silk used for January's quilt and machine quilted with a rayon thread.
I may use one of the other images next time, perhaps on a differently coloured background.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

iPad Covers

Front cover
Back Cover

Embellished felted blanket, front cover

I have been making iPad covers today. I made one last week with patchwork, using the same methods as for the bags, stitch and flip and quilt all in one go.

Today's efforts are made with dyed blanket, dyed scrim and dyed felt, mostly from my dye day with Helen which I showed previously.

Embellished blanket, back cover
The front has a more regular design all melded together with my 12 needle embellisher, and quilted in square spirals, it looks very like a bluebell wood in  colour; the back is more organic,with felt circles attached onto the dyed scrim with the embellisher machine and wavy rather uneven lines of quilting holding the blanket onto the lining.

The edges are overcast with zigzag stitches and a wider stitch used to join the back and front together.

Monday, 11 March 2013


Naked is the theme for my March Postcards. It just means that they have to go through the post without any kind of envelope. Apart from that they can be any design you choose. My African ones were fun to make so I thought I would look in the box of African fabrics and there I found this interesting piece of Indonesian Dress fabric given to me about 15 years ago. I have not used it as it is very lightweight and poly cotton, but the design is quite unusual and I added a little African elephant block print to make them even more ethnic!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Today I went to quilt group at Winterton and worked on an iPad case. On the way home, just as I was leaving the coastal village, there was a grey heron sitting on a fence right next to the road! Just alongside the field rooks were passing overhead with long twigs in their beaks as their ragged nests took shape high in the trees.

Around the corner there was a bright pheasant scratching in the dead leaves on a bank covered with snowdrops. I thought that would be it for birds apart from the ubiquitous pigeons and seagulls flocking behind the tractors, but at the end of the next lane, leading to an ancient round towered church, sitting on top of the Calvary, I saw a little owl.

It reminded me of why we moved here, far from family and friends, to retire to the country.

Several times I have driven along the lane to the next village and found a barn owl hunting along the field margins beside the car.
Magical, but hard to photograph...

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

January's Journal Quilt

I've signed up for the Journal Quilt project that Contemporary Quilt do each year. I have done this several years running and enjoyed the discipline of making a small quilt each month. I didn't join in last year and found that I missed doing them, so signed up again this year with great excitement only to find that my project stalled as I was busy making Bookwrap gems.
Fragmentation. January Journal Quilt
Fortunately we don't have to post finished work every month, just 3 times a year.
This year the quilts are 8" x 12" and in a landscape format. You can choose your own theme and mine is Microcosm.
My husband takes landscape pictures and while he is looking at the wider picture I am
looking at pattern much closer to hand, in tree bark, shadows, leaves, peeling
paint, reflections; so I plan to develop some of these more close at hand 
shapes and lines for my Journal Quilts.
January is taken from a very much enlarged small part of a photograph of reflections in a glass skyscraper. I drew out the lines of part of the fragmented image and transferred them to Bondaweb. This was attached to a piece of stripey silk hand-dyed by Helen Howes and cut into the fragmented pattern. These pieces were attached to a piece of silk I had dyed in one of Helen's dyeing workshops info here and quilted in vertical lines to echo the amazing height of the building. The backing acts as a facing and is in two parts with an open seam across the centre hand stitched closed after turning through.
I am really pleased with it and now have to think hard about the next one (or three)!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Comfort! Cats know how to do it.

 Luciecat on the unmade bed, snuggled up on my nightshirt. You can see from her expression she doesn't want to move, although she knows she is not supposed to get on there till the bed's been made and the old quilt thrown on top for her.
It's strange that she likes to sleep on our clothes - she almost never sits on either of us. And here she is adopting the "perhaps if I pretend to be asleep she'll go away and leave me alone" pose. And I fell for it!

Much tidying to do after my teaching sessions. Had a lovely time showing the Young Embroiderers how to make Snappy Bags on the sewing machine last Saturday.

Here is the magnificent cat Lucie replaced, Rufus the Red, always with sparkling clean white unders and toes and very willing to curl up on my lap.And a purr like a tractor engine.
When I can get the dining table this clear I might be able to proceed with some sewing. Lots to put away and lots to find, I have a two day workshop with Angie Hughes to look forward to later this week.