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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.

Monday, 11 November 2019

More Amy Emms cushions

I was offered the chance to buy some more cushions by Amy Emms. These came from a seller in the Borders, near Hawick. The sellers mother had these made by Amy, who was often to be seen at craft fairs in the area.

Many of the cushions made by Amy have feather wreaths. These three are similar, but not identical.....this one had feathers plus corner motifs....

This one is very similar to the first...

...but this one has feathers only and no longer has its pad. The backs of all have larger crosshatching, there is no frill and no label. The colour is an old gold colour in "art silk".

The three cushions came as a group, but I did not need duplicates. So one has gone off the Norfolk, the other off to Sheffield, where I am sure they will be admired, and used as teaching aids.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Two Amy Emms cushions

Here are two cushions that I recently "won" on that online auction site. The seller was a lady from Carlisle, who had known Amy Emms well . She was selling a number of cushions as her children were not interested; however she still owns three quilts made by Amy.

Here is a cushion with a rose and a feather circle. Fans are in the corners. This seems to have been Amy's most usual pattern. Notice the very even quilting stitches!

The back of the cushion has a nice wineglass pattern, The cushion also has a frill, which is an added extra,

The other cushion has four feathers or trefoils with infill. 

The back of the cushion has diamond infill.

Both of the cushions have Amy's label. I have other Amy Emm's cushions that are earlier, and lack this label.

There were other cushions for sale, but of course you can't bid on them all, for fear that you would then have to pay for too many items, if you won them. So I just put in two bids.....

I never met Amy, but have heard a lot about her from Lilian Headley and others. Most of us also have a copy of Amy's book, which is well worth a read,

Monday, 7 October 2019

Current projects Sept 2019

 I bought this pattern (downloadable) as I wanted to use some ombre strips that I had bought.

Pre cut strips are 2 1/2" wide. However, when I bought the pattern, it wanted you to cut the strips to 2 1/4 inches - I wondered if it were possible to enlarge the shapes to fit onto a 2 1/2" strip - I found that I could just squeeze the larger shapes onto a  2 1/2" strip. I guess the designer thought that this wasn't a good idea for most sewers and thus adjusted the sizes to the smaller width, which easily accomodated the shapes. So - my blocks are larger than those in the pattern.

The blocks are finished and now to put in the sashing....I had to make a few extra blocks...

 A nice parcel arrived - it was a free offer when you took out a  subscription to a magazine. As I LOVE Aurifil threads and already bought the magazine, I went ahead.....lovely threads.

The Rainbow Rails quilt top was longarm quilted by Val H. at Daisy May, in a swirl pattern that I picked out. I wanted to try a binding with piping as demonstrated by Philippa Naylor, and it wasn't that difficult although I am not sure that I would do this again...

The quilt before being bound...
I like that way that this quilt turned out..
I am now busy quiting the Carnation top. I had a great rush finishing the quilting for the last Hawaiian, in order to send it off to the FOQ in August, so I am determined to finish this one in good time for next year's show.

A pair of muntjac deer have taken up residence in my backyard, and are busily eating everything in sight. Still, they are interesting to watch in the evenings. I am getting annoyed when they eat the plants in my planters, however!

Friday, 4 October 2019

Baltimore Album Quilts on display at FOQ 2019

There was a display of Baltimore quilts, from the Quilt Museum in Nebraska. I will not say anything more, but I hope that the labels are in the correct order...

Monday, 30 September 2019

Festival of Quilts August 2019

The Festival of quilts 2019 - once again, we stayed in Solihull and just went for the weekend. This is more than enough for me! as four days was just too much, too exhausting. It is a very big show, and the best place to buy things that are specialised...

My red and white Hawaiian had arrived safely. I had to work very hard to complete the quilting, binding and sleeve in time. Next year - I must complete the quilt in good time!

Another Hawaiian from a Japanese entry. Two ladies agreed that they liked this one better than mine. It is more colorful - but not strictly traditional....quilting was good on this one...

I was especially interested to see Christopher Tate Wilson's trunk show. He advertises heavily on social media and I have heard so much about him from the other dealers. He is the "wide boy" of the quilt world. Most of the quilts go abroad to collectors and do not stay here in the UK, I guess this has long been the case...

The Best of very bad for photos..

I really liked this quilt, it reminded me of my work with fossil pollen grains in my PhD work...

I don't watch any of the TV selling stations - but I did watch Susan Briscoe giving her broadcast for a while. Karin Hellaby also appeared and received a lot of attention afterwards. I dont often watch videos or Utube, as I am not a visual person:  I like to have written instructions that I can return to quickly. But I have been buying a few downloadable .pdf patterns recently....more later.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Vintage Sewing Machines

I have a small collection of vintage sewing machines. When I retire, I will be able to clean and restore these machines. Unlike modern machines with their plastic innards and computerised boards, the vintage machines are all metal and highly engineered. If cleaned and lubricated, most will give many years of sewing. And it is possible to rewire them if necessary. Here are two that I bought inexpensively recently.

A 99k Singer.

A 201 Singer. This is the type of machine that I learned to sew on. Of course, Mother's Singer was in a lovely wooden cabinet and had a matching chair. This little machine weighs a ton and is definitely not portable. It is even a job to get it from floor to table! Still, it will happily sew through heavy materials like denim, canvas and leather.

At the moment, I am only interested in the electric models, although the hand crank models are abundant here in the UK. I do have a treadle singer bought from the estate of one of the old Ipswich bellringers who worked with leather. I also support a charity, Tools with a Mission, based in Ipswich which sends tools including sewing and knitting machines to Africa, where they can be life changing.
Training and the gift of a vintage sewing machine allows a person to earn money and keep their family.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Lavender and Black Hawick Quilt

Yes, another Hawick quilt, this time one from Hawick itself. This quilt was bought in an antique shop in the town many years ago.

This quilt is very similar to other quilts, with the same wooden templates being used, although in a different arrangement.

The centre is a daisey (gowan) surrounded by a circle of the spikey heart motif

The strangely stumpy thistle is present too. Also seen are the scale fillers and the yinyan motif.

Black seems an unusual colour for a quilt but the Quilters Guild collection has one in black and pink.

The reverse. The lavender side is faded, so must have been the side that was used most.

These quilts were made as church fund raisers and there is an interesting article about them in Quilt Studies. As group quilts, they are not especially well made, the stitches are rather large as are the motifs. Still they are rather charming!