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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.













Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Another Hawaiian Quilt - Sunflower Ipu Kikui

As you may know, I find hand applique very relaxing and satisfying, especially with the larger designs. Hawaiian quilts are a favourite, as I find them very striking. I don't like the newer designs so much, but really admire the traditional designs from the 30's and 40's.
 
 
I have been saving this fabric - the first job is to fold the applique fabric and background fabric carefully and iron into eighths. Next, having pinned the design securely, the applique is cut out. I have to use my sharpest scissors here, there as there are eight layers to cut through...

I did use the little Clover clips here for the first time to hold the edges in place, they worked well....

 
It takes quite a while to cut out, several sittings...and is hard on the hands...
 
...but the most difficult step is to unfold the cut applique, to get it to lie smooth on the background fabric and for the folds in both to match up. In this case, I had to make sure that the centre had an even space all around.

 
Finally, you have to baste the pieces in place, so that they do not shift or move during the long applique process. As I have cats that might like to destroy the placing, or even worse, be sick on it, I have to finish this in one evening (a long one - I was tired the next morning!)
The traditional way to baste was to thread baste - the more modern way is to use dots of a fabric glue like Roxannes - but I prefer to use lots and lots of safety pins. I have lots of them and can move or remove them as needed. And, I do not usually wash the quilts, as would be needed to remove spots of glue....
 
 
Finally I could get to work on the applique - of course the edge is much easier than the centre to work on. The applique "lives" in the ubiquitous IKEA blue bag....it takes about a year for me to applique a large quilt, and another year to quilt it by hand, but only working on it some evenings.

I had cataract operations last year (only in one eye, unusually for my age, but both were done on the NHS quite speedily by the NHS as I am still working). I was near sighted - now I am long sighted, quite a change after 50 years of glasses. I have tried a magnifiying glass on a stalk for my applique and like it very much, I am able to see the stitching much more clearly and its almost like pre operation days....


My Japanese daughter in law Lily chose a cafe decorated with Hawaiian pillows in Tokyo for her birthday treat this year, so when they visited in August I hunted out some spare blocks and quickly made them into pillow covers. Not too much bulk to take back to Tokyo! I hope that she is able to enjoy and use them. They look cheerful, don't they?

Saturday, 12 August 2017

LLanon and Aberaeron

Having visited Lampeter and Tregaron, the slightly wet weather improved, and we decided to have a look at the Cerigion coast once more. We ended up at Llanon....
 

...which again is on the coastal path....


And then on to Aberaeron, a lively town in the summer.


The harbour was empty at low tide......


The next day, it was back to Suffolk...via Port Talbot, which Mike wanted to see....


The Severn Bridge - no toll this way, you pay to enter Wales but it is free to exit! We had a lovely visit and I hope to return again....

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Jane Beck and Tregaron Bog - Wales 2017

On Saturday afternoon, I wanted to drive to Tregaron, to visit the shop of Jane Beck. Jane deals mainly in the Welsh blankets and shawls, but often comes across quilts with these, and thus has a selection on her website. I have bought two quilts from her, including a wedding quilt by Miss Jones of Ty Mawr, Brecfa, which I really like.
 

The satnav sucessfully found the shop for us, a bit out of the way like many things in Wales....
The Shop is called Ty Zinc or tin hut....


The shop is crammed full of blankets..


Some new, some antique...


Most are arranged by colour, for use in interior decorating...


There are also coats...




Bags....

 
And hot water bottle covers (very popular).
 
No, I didn't buy this hat, very fetching however...
 
 
Jane at her counter, with little dog Binkey...


Jane also has two shepherds huts for rent in a field across the road, we went to have a look...

After visiting the shop, I could not resist a trip to what we used to call "Tregaron Bog", a part of the scientific journal reading for my PhD in ecology (long ago now). It now seems to be called Cors Caron, the local Welsh name.

 
It is a raised bog, a rarity nowadays but formerly more common. Most have been destroyed so this is worthy of interest.
Grazing by local ponies...

Lakes created by water management, some on former peat cuttings...
...and a Sphagnum pool, testimony to the unpolluted environment in Wales.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Quilt Museum, Lampeter - As Good as It Gets

This year's exhibition was As Good As It Gets, centred on the Rural Industries Board initiative, to alleviate poverty in the Depression years of the 20s and 30s. Clair Claridge was able to provide contacts and information about known RIB quilters, with some of the quilts being loaned by relatives.
Other quilts were made at the same time and give a flavour of that era. The twenties quilts are a bit quieter, whilst the 30s quilts can be rather showy.
 

Of course I was very interested to see three Margaret Williams quilts, as I have a quilt which Clair identified as being one of her designs (made by her or one of her students).


I will show photos here, but will encourage you to buy your own catalog by emailing Jen via her website.














After looking at the exhibition, we went to the deli next door for a lovely lunch. Recommended!