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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 30 June 2012

Workshop and new Patterns

Earlier in June I went to a workshop at Quilters Haven given by Dawn Cameron Dick, "Threaducation" all about different types of threads. It was interesting to try out the different trays of threads - there were some new ones to me - and also good to have a recap on thread types as well as machine needles.

New to me were Trilobal (Mettler  Polysheen), YLI Colours and Masterpice Superior. I used wool wadding and just doodled with my usual FMQ. Its nice to have a little book with eight samples.

These arrived today - more patterns from Cissy at Poakalani of Honolulu. Monkey is checking them out.....

...and I shall be checking them out carefully too - a Hawaiian quilt is such a large project in terms of time and fabric - that I shall have to choose carefully. I will have to look at the patterns closely! Should keep me busy for a few years to come.

I like to have one quilt on the frame and another applique quilt on the go. So when the purple Piilani is finished, I'll put the blue and white Molokame in the frame and at the same time, start another applique quilt. I have used up my yeardage so am currently invistigating plain is fun doing the preparation, choosing colours and choosing patterns.....

Thursday 28 June 2012

Goodbye old car!!

I had a big problem - my trusty old VW Polo was not going to pass its MOT (road test) this year without a lot of money being spent on it....and even then....dubious......

I had this car for over ten years and it never let me had done over 170,000 miles....but it's now gone to the big scrap yard in the sky (aka Whip Street Motors in Ipswich)

and it has been replaced by a new smaller VW Up! The money that would have gone on the repairs went on the deposit for the new car. It seems very nice and the mileage per gallon/litre is much better. I just hope that it is as reliable as the black will also get me across to Wales next week - FOQ in August - and Burnley in October! Public transport is not good here in Suffolk, so I need a car for work.

I am delivering the quilts to Llanidloes on Sunday - going to the Wool Museum on Monday - visiting Jen Jones' shop and Museum on Tuesday. Back Tuesday night to work again on Wednesday. Of course I will take the camera and share the photos with you.

Monday 25 June 2012

Popular Patchwork - July 2012

I was very pleased to see my article appearing in this month's Popular Patchwork magazine. I wrote the article in order to publicise the Minerva Quilts 12 - Summer Quilt Exhibition at the Quilt Association, Llanidloes.

Here's the cover to look for....

And here's what I wrote.....I was very pleased to see that the photos came out well and that my photo session in the back yard was of use!!

I will drive the quilts over to Llanidloes on Sunday, and will then go on to the Wool Museum and Jen Jones Museum on Monday and Tuesday. I do hope that the rain holds off for those days!! Will take the camera of course.

Friday 22 June 2012

Two Blogs to check out - Welsh Quilt alert!

I was interested to see Tia Curtis' blog post today - "Has a box of treasure ever turned up in your mailbox?"  Marjorie Horton sent Tia some lovely items including templates and photos - all to do with Welsh quilting. Tia does quilts "Welsh style" on her long arm quilting machine - with strikingly good results, as you can see in some of the older posts. Find the most recent post here:

Marjorie Horton has started a blog as well, which you can see here:

Although I read Marjorie's explanation of the larger and slightly crooked stitches she makes on cotton sateen, I'm not sure that I really understand it! I'm sure that the old time quilters just did their stuff and didn't have time to worry about the stitches too much - or perhaps the old fashioned sateen is different to the modern sateen? What do you think?

You can buy a copy of Marjorie Horton's book on Welsh quilt design from Jen Jones, the cost is £12 plus P & P, see here...

I am hoping to visit Jen's most recent exhibition in  early July after I go to LLanidloes to deliver the quilts.

More posts tomorrow....

Sunday 17 June 2012


On Friday I went up to York for the Quilters Guild Treasurers Training Day. I had planned to go earlier and use the additional time to measure the Guild's Sanderson Star quilts, but was delayed by work. I'll have to do this at another time - either in August or October. (I'm also hoping to go to Beamish as well).

I had planned to spend the afternoon walking around York, but there was a violent storm which trashed my umbrella! So after checking in at the guesthouse, I went to Evensong at the Minster.

York Minster is an imposing place and very large as cathedrals go. Evensong is a sung service, and very beautiful - York has an excellent choir. When I was at Durham I often went to Evensong and enjoyed this very much. The only difference is that 30 years ago, the choir was made up of men and boys - today's choirs are made up of girls and men - no boy singers in evidence. The service was held behind this screen.

York has some lovely stained glass. There is a lovely bell founders window which shows how the  bells were cast - given about 1330.

 The vaulted ceiling is magnificent.

 York has many old buildings - here is the famous "Shambles" - formerly the street of butchers, where goods were displayed on shelves facing out onto the street front. You can see how wet the weather was that day.

We had a meal out in Goodram Street at La Piazza - very busy, as there was a racing meeting going on.

Here is the former St Johns College building - it used to be the student centre with a cafe for students but I suppose that has moved elsewhere. As I walked back to the guest house, I could hear a great shout go up over the town - I guess that England had scored a goal against Sweden...

Once again I stayed at the Abbeyfields Guesthouse at 19 Bootham Terrace, near to the station and Minster. The owners Les and Al are very helpful.

The room was quiet and comfortable.

Our meeting the next day was useful - I found out those things that I had done that I ought not to have done, and those things that I had not done that I ought to have done (to quote the Evensong).

The books for last year's accounts were chosen for audit - they came back with no comments so apparently that means that they are alright.....

I will show photos of a quilt that was brought for us to look at in the next post.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Paisley Quilt from Devon

Here is a large and heavy quilt, cheerful with red paisley fabrics.  This quilt came from a seller in Devon -  it was sold by an elderly man; apparently it was made by his mother and he was clearing out her effects.

The quilt is extremely heavy and it is obvious that it is a recovered quilt. I have not peeked inside - but you can feel ridges where the quilting is. It has been recovered with scraps of fabric. The size is 66 x 73".

Most of the fabrics are red, but there are two pieces that are darker.

I like to see the red fabrics - this one has charming fans  -

and this one has pansy flowers....

.....while this fabric has the traditional paisleys. The quilting pattern is a rough grid.

I have previously open up another recovered quilt - alas, no hidden gem, only a rather ordinary welsh quilt in a beige colour..... obviously recovered as it was getting rather tatty. Recoveringa quilt was a way to extend the life of a quilt - important when people were poor and hadn't much money.

This quilt came from Devon, but with Wales not far away, I think that it is probably a recovered Welsh quilt, as you can feel the spiral quilting designs.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Pink Corded Cot Quilt - 1940's

Here is another article of corded quilting that I purchased last week. Corded quilting was popular in the post war years. It made an elegant item for the house with less work than a wholecloth or patchwork item. The patterns were transferred to the cloth with commercial patterns.

This quilt was bought from Marjorie B in Lancashire - it was made for her when she was a baby by her mother, Ethel Allen. Ethel was an "outstanding needleworker" and enjoyed embroidery, sewing and other crafts. As well as making items for her family, items also went to friends and relatives in the UK and abroad. Other items included tablecloths, tray mats and embroideries. The stitches are neat and even.

Some of Ethel's projects remained unfinished.  It is nice to have this larger example of corded quilting. The size is  26 x 38 " and the fabric is a silky satin-like fabric in a pale pink colour. The item has been well used to judge from the back.  The wadding is a thick soft fabric filling. There is a surrounding frill to the cot quilt.

Friday 8 June 2012

Quilters Haven

The antique quilts came down yesterday at 4.30 as the QH classroom was needed for a class today.

Here is a photo of the Quilters Haven window - the White Allendale quilt is on the right side of the window. Karin was very impressed at the number of ladies arriving to see the quilts on Wednesday, some from a distance away. I know that one was Liz from Norfolk!

The upshot is that Karin is considering repeating the exercise over Christmas and New Year - with different quilts, of course....I'll let you know the outcome. I'm just pleased to be able to show them off, old quilts are lovely...

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Two Hawaiian Quilts

Progress on two Hawaiian quilts - here is one in purple and cream that I have almost finished quilting. It is "Piilani" and will go off to FOQ in July. I need to finish quilting the edges - I have lightly marked in the edge line evenly around the four sides - now to finish the quilting. I also noticed that an area of one "arm" has escaped being quilted!!

Luckily I have plenty of fabric to make a binding this time. The wool wadding has worked well again, I think.

Here is Molokama, which is still a top. I like the dark blue and cream combination, good contrast. I have finished the applique and gave it a light press. Now, I have marked some areas with pins that need attention - places where the curves are a bit bumpy - I will go and tweek (resew) these. Also, I notice that the central circle is a bit wonky - I think that I will make a freezer paper curve and use that as a guide to even these out a bit. I know that I won't be able to make it a perfect circle.... Then the top will be ready for quilting. These patterns come from Poakalani of Honolulu and I do enjoy making them.....

Sunday 3 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Bellringing

Bellringing usually takes place for special events - in the past, we have rung for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, the Millennium, and lots of weddings. So ringing for the Diamond Jubilee was planned well in advance.

What is especially interesting, is that bellringing has had a prominent place in the national celebrations  today. There was a special ring of eight bells cast, that will be hung in St James Garlickhythe in the City of London. These bells and their frame were temporarily mounted on a barge for todays Thames Jubilee Pageant. A hand picked band of ringers rang a quarter peal while leading today's Royal Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames. See a video of last weeks tryout here:

Locally, Mike conducted a peal of Plain Bob Triples at Southwold yesterday. And today we rang two quarter peals...

At Pettistree we rang a quarter peal of Cambridge Surprise Minor, we then went to Ufford where we rang a quarter peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major. And tomorrow, Mike will be ringing in a peal at Sweffling.

I had fun watching the flotilla on TV - and am now back on track to finish the last quilting on "Piilani" my purple and white Hawaiian quilt which will be going into the Festival of Quilts. A good day!