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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.













Saturday, 26 April 2014

Small Quilt plus cushion cover


Here is a small cot quilt that I bought recently. It is made of a silky artificial fibre in a gold colour. I like these cot quilts - they usually have been used a fair bit, and the small size demands a fairly simple pattern.


In this quilt, there are fans at each corner, and a daisy in the centre. These were very popular patterns, as they were showy and covered the fabric well without close quilting. The background is a straight set grid.


The quilting is neatly done....


This brown colour seems to have been popular after the war.....I would guess that it took a while for a range of fabrics to reappear on the shelves....


Also thrown in with the above was a cushion cover in Italian, or corded, quilting. This design shows a flower basket. These patterns were commercial transfers. I have a number of cushion covers in this technique, and all seem to be in this brown colour, so it must have been the "in" colour at that time.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Welsh Cot Quilt - Hywel

Here is a lovely little Welsh cot quilt. It is obviously well used, I suppose this is part of the charm of these small quilts.... It has also shrunk a bit, as it has undoubtedly been washed repeatedly...


The little quilt is treated as a wholecloth, with a grid enclosing spirals and four petalled flowers.


One side is white and the other side pink. This quilt measures 29.5 inches by 22 inches, and was found in Carmarthen.


In the centre of the quilt, the baby's name...Hywel.... Made by mother or grandmother? Hywel is a masculine Welsh name, and the anglisized version ( not often found in Wales) is Howell.



The edges are neatly hand sewn. This quilt is filled with wool and has a lot of bearding...


I dug out other crib cot photos - this one is also welsh and is patchwork, also very worn... 


Here is a north country one, and quilted with border patterns and having a frill... 


Another North country crib quilt, with an all over design with daisies....

I am trying to mark some quilting over Easter. I have a small piece of purple glazed cotton which I will use to mark a cot quilt. I want to try out the smallish traditional frame that I bought at Gregynog...it is ex Angela Brocklebank......I will also try to start marking a larger quilt for which I have been drafting patterns. 

The purple cloth requires light markings, so I'll be using my remaining Karismacolor chalk pencils....they are difficult to source now. For the larger quilt, I will use a very light mechanical pencil, which has worked well for me in the past on light coloured fabrics.

My Hawaiian quilt is finished and has been bound, the sleeve applied and been de-furred. It is to go off to Malvern soon. I have been asked to return the hand applique cup with the quilt. I will try to take a photo of this quilt before I send it off.

I bought a copy of the May British Quilting and Patchwork magazine and noticed that this blog has been mentioned on their Wandering the Web page. I'll try to publish posts on some quilts that have stayed in draft for a while!

Singapore 3

We came back to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur - "the haze" was apparent - the hot weather had caused fires to burn, making the road smokey at times. For our last day, a trip to Little India, the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands....

Little India was more colourful and exotic than Chinatown in Singapore - lots of interesting foods, clothing, spices and a wet market....

This was a traders house, which has been restored and also repainted in vivid colours...

The market was interesting .....it was very hot and humid, so a drink was needed....we decided to give durian a try. This fruit is love or hate, as it has a very strong (bad) smell. A milkshake was OK, although it did have a strange aftertaste. The lady that sold it was very curious to know what we thought of it....
A few textiles were in evidence, but not many - mostly clothes of all sorts...

Then it was off to the Harbourfront to meet Sophie, who had taken the afternoon off work - these are the gardens behind the Marina Bay Sands - the large tree-like structures are meant to have vines growing up them - and there is a cafe on top of one of them. The two domes have biomes for plants in them....


This dome had different arid land plants plus a display of roses (which didn't look very happy)...


I liked the other dome better - it had an artificial mountain plus waterfall, which recreated a mist rainforest. Mist jets came on at one point, which was very amusing.....


Here is the lobby of the MSB hotel, it is very grand, but also a bit impersonal...



Then up to the 57th floor and the sky bar...the famous infinity pool was very crowded....you can see that the atmosphere is decidedly hazey...waiters clearly very practiced at taking photos.


Another photo of Sophie, Mike and myself...

A view of the Singapore harbour...
And a building which is supposed to be modelled on a lotus...

Then off for dinner at a Chinese Dim Sum restaurant.....everything made under very careful conditions, with exactly the right amount of filling, the resquisite number of pleats, etc.... By this time it was evening, so back to the flat, where we got our luggage and caught a taxi to the airport. A smooth flight back to London, with the only hold up, a delay of an hour due to fog over London. The car started - then it was back to Suffolk - work - and reality.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Kuala Lumpur 1

While we were visiting Sophie in Singapore, we took the chance to visit Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur for two days. There are very comfortable busses that leave from the Harbourfront in Singapore for KL, near to the area we were staying. Doing a bit of internet research, I was able to discover where the bus set you down, and book a room in the hotel next door. It proved a very good choice, near to the town centre and with a view of the Petronas towers from the balcony.


View from the hotel room balcony....can you see the Petronas Towers there?


The next morning, we took a taxi to Merdeka Square, in the older part of town. Malaysia was of course a British colony for many years, and these buildings were built in an Indian style by an British architect. 


There is also a tourist information centre there - these children were on a class trip and asked to have their photo taken. 


An old mosque near to the main square...the Masjid Jamek.


We had lunch in a food court near to the craft market - very popular with office workers. We just chose things that looked good - there was a very hot sauce called Sambal that could be added as a condiment... 


After lunch, we walked to Little India, where there were lots of clothes and fabrics for sale....a colourful stall selling saris and other clothing. 


Despite the heat, we were able to walk to the Menara Tower, which has a viewing platform with a 360 degree view of KL... 


Mike, with the Petronas Towers in the background. 



Trip Adviser was very useful - it recommended this restaurant across from our hotel - very popular with locals, open air and with tasty food and drinks - and all at a very reasonable price. 


The Petronas Towers at night - we were surprised to find that, on closing, the fountains behind the towers had a short son et lumiere show....dancing fountains and coloured lights.... 


Of course, while we were there, jet MH370 went missing ....this was a large frame to which people could write messages and attach them...very sad.....

We later caught the bus back to Singapore....

Monday, 31 March 2014

Singapore - 2 -

Singapore is famous for its food, and we certainly tried as many different sorts as we could while we were there.....


 ...Sophie and Paul rented a barbecue pit at the flats (you have to book on-line) and we had a pleasant evening by the water. This complex is built on the site of an old dry docks, so there are channels of water , linked by bridges here...

We also went with Sophie and Paul to Jumbo's for food including the famous chilli crab - bibs for all of us.....there are several  branches of Jumbos, but this one is at Dempsey's, on the site of the old British military barracks....lovely food....


 ,,,including this fierce looking snapper..


 On Sunday, we went to  the MacRitchie Reservoir which has a nature reserve surrounding it....drought conditions, so the reservoir was well down (it did start to rain once we had left)...turtles and fish to be seen.....


I was intrigued by these clumps of very large bamboo..... 


...but the highlight for me was seeing various troops of long tailed macaques. This species is a commonly used laboratory animal, so it was great to see them in their natural habitat, eating natural foods. Lots of youngsters and mothers....


I do think that primates should be given special rights, they look so intelligent...


Mother and baby macaque....although you are not allowed to feed them now (this was popular in the past) they still attack when they spot bags of food; the girls ahead of us lost a bag of potato snacks which the monkeys enjoyed. However, the bottle of Pokai Sweat could not be chewed open and had to be abandoned...



This is the treetop bridge (built by HSBC) - it gave you a good look down on the tree canopy.....not many birds stirring in mid afternoon....

Rather than retrace our steps, we left by another exit, near a country club, and spotted another troop of monkeys - this one had stolen a piece of bread I think....


....eating the bread.....



Lots of exotic plants including rattans and "elephant ears"...


On the way back to the flat, spotted these buildings which are called the Interweave Buildings I think...builders and architects seem to be more adventurous in  Singapore!!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Singapore 1

After lots of hard work at home, finally we were off to the airport for our trip to Singapore, to visit my daughter Sophie and her partner Paul. We made good time, had to divert to Tesco Chelmsford when we ran low on fuel, but finally made it on to the airplane at Heathrow. But our flight was delayed by 90 minutes by a non working tow truck. We weren't sure that we would make our connection at Frankfurt, and were almost looking forward to a night in a hotel there. But, running to the gate, we found our flight still there. The flight to Singapore was a long one, time for at least three movies! But when we arrived, our bags did not. But we were handed 300 dollars for the inconvenience...and they were promptly delivered the next evening. Thanks Lufthansa!


Here's the large complex of flats where Sophie and Paul live, near Vivo City. We slept in, and then walked to Labrador Point....it was very sunny, very hot and very humid....how different from the UK.


Singapore has a number go really exciting and different buildings!these appear to be curving gracefully...


Of course, one of the things that Singapore is famous for is food, especially the hawker stalls and the food courts. We enjoyed this immensely and liked trying different styles of food. Our first visit was to the Food court at Vivo City....interesting fruit juices, too.....


On our first afternoon, we met up with Sophie in Chinatown, which had lots to look at....


A Hindu temple, interesting to wander around once we had left out shoes at the front entrance. This temple had some of the largest cooking pots that I have ever seen, some the size of a bathtub...


Then on to the nearby Temple of the Golden tooth, Tom's favourite....lined with statues of Bhudda...


Very colourful....

and on the top floor, a beautiful roof garden, with a large prayer wheel and tropical foliage...



The following day we took the tube to the Botanic Gardens, which were looking rather brown and dry, as there had been no rain and drought conditions prevailed, with trees dropping their leaves..


Lots of beautiful orchid cultivars..


Just a few of the many photos that I snapped...very hot, between 30 and 36 degrees and also very humid...


More orchids...

A slipper orchid....back to the flat...we got warned by the police not to eat or drink on the metro - we quickly complied....