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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 10 January 2011

A New Year - 2011

Happy New Year! I hope that the coming year will be a good one. I know that for many, this past year has been a struggle. So I hope that 2011 will be a happy and prosperous yearfor everyone.

I had a good holiday period, apart from the four days I spent in bed as part of the UK swine flu epidemic! All recovered, with no after effects.....Sophie and Tom came back to Suffolk for Christmas and I enjoyed hearing all their news.

Tom has been working in an architects' office at Tower Bridge and uses powerful vector drawing programmes - part of his job is turning plans into 3D images. He is going to install an external hard drive for my computer, and also will show me how to use the drawing programme. Not only will I be able to draw patterns, but I will be able to scan in and redraw tracings. I will also be able to scan in photos taken at an angle, and then reorient the plane to horizontal - it sounds good and Tom will teach me to do this - now we just have to arrange a weekend.

I also have plans to look at the Hake papers this spring at the V & A archive in Kensington and I will be able to stay at Sophie's flat while I do this.

I finished the Pilani applique top- here is the centre cut out and ready to applique. I have ironed the top and resewn a few bits that didn't look right...
And here is the wadding that I bought at Quilters Haven yesterday - I will get the backing sewn together and baste the three layers in the next few days - then this quilt can go into the frame.

Also over the holidays I realised that I missed not having some applique on the go so here is the next Hawaiian project - it is called Molokama (a different pattern to the red and white quilt which was Molokama O Na Kaui).

Here is the paper pattern pinned to the extra wide cotton, ready to cut. I could not find my good Gingher scissors! - I obviously put them away in a safe place - so safe that I could not find them - luckily I had a pair of light weight Gingher scissors (given to me long ago by my friend Kay Michalak) and those made a good job of cutting the pattern out.

I have made a start on this quilt top. You can see that although I like the red and white colour combination, here I have used navy and cream fabrics, which I hope will be a good pair. I have been extra careful this time and have also pin basted each "lobe" with a safety pin.

These are the books that I have enjoyed reading over Christmas - the American Museum book has lovely photos, although of course I have the two smaller books that had been published previously.

Today, I ordered some fabric - pink and white Kona cotton - to start work on my Northumberland sawtooth centre diamond quilt. I traced the patterns from the antique top onto polythene over Christmas and can use those to mark the quilt once the top is complete. One of the twist borders is very wonky (it looks as if a cardboard template was used to trace the outline, then the interior lines were added none too carefully) so I may have to redraft this. The free hand scroll and flowers are very attractive.

And finally, here is Monkey enjoying the winter sun. The piano he is sitting on is going to a new home soon, where it will be retuned and played once again (it was the one Sophie used) and I will be able to replace it with bookcases and cupboards for my fabric. December and January are good for making plans!


  1. Hi Pippa, where can I find the book on the Helbeck Collection? I'd love to read that one. The American Museum quilts book is lovely, got that last year.

    Will you let us know how you get on with the 100% wool batting? Is it the first time you used it?

    I tried a pure wool batting about 10 years ago and had problems even getting it to unroll, as it seemed to have felted together in the bag. Can't remember brand but it wasn't Hobbs. Then tried Matilda's Own (80% wool 20% poly) which was lovely but have only used it once. Would like to try pure wool again.

  2. Susan, I have used this wool wadding before - on my Durham that I marked with Lilian Headley, with the red and white Hawaiian and also with the Allendale quilt. I really like it. I used another wool wadding many years before which I rejected as too thick -about 4 oz - it was possibly an upholstry product - would like to experiment with it now but it is no longer available. Also tried Black Hills wadding which was also nice but not 2 oz. These wool waddings do show the quilting up beautifully, as opposed to cotton which goes very flat. Also it is a natural product, unlike polyester wadding. But of course harder to wash and - the moth problem. so would not use on a quilt that needed a lot of washing.

    As to the little catalog,I wrote directly to Mrs Blackett-Ord at Helbeck Hall with a cheque as per instructions in one of the patchwork magazines - I got a nice note back saying that they had raised £2000 for the church roof fund, but that the quilt account was now closed - I don't know whether this means that the catalog is still for sale. It has descriptions of the quilts plus a few illustrations. Next task - to get a copy of the Emiah Jones diary! Pippa

  3. Enjoyed reading the info about wool batting. I have one, but wasn't sure what project it would be good in. I would imagine that it hand quilts nicely - easier than most cottons?
    Monkey looks so regal - Egyptian even!