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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 9 November 2020

House for Retirement

My retirement house, bought with the money left to me by my mother. The small house is in a very convenient and quiet location in a thriving village.

As the house had been empty for about two years, the garden was very overgrown. The previous owner was a keen gardener, and  I was attracted by the garden. As I plan to rent it out for the time being, I just hope that we can find tenants who also like to garden.

The entire garden was overtaken by an aster and other rampant weeds, so nearly twenty bin liners of plant matter were pulled and taken away by me.

I bought replacement curtains on Ebay to cheer the place up.

 I also repainted two bedrooms and the kitchen. Plus, I had the garage reroofed, the garage rewired, the front door rehung and I repainted the green house . Plus getting electric and gas certificates. So I hope that all goes well with finding tenants!

Saturday 17 October 2020

North Country Bed Jacket

Here is a very nice hand quilted bed jacket, which comes with a history. It was made by Mrs Herbert, pub landlady from Todhills, Byers Green, Bishop Aukland in Co. Durham. This was given to the sellers grandmother  Ruth of Sleights House Farm as a wedding present by her mother in law Mrs Herbert.  In 1973 it was then given in turn to her daughter in law Jennie Wearmouth of Hunwich, Bishop Aukland when Jennie was pregnant with her first child.  Through all this time, the bed jacket was kept safely in a box, so has never been worn.

The bed jacket is fully reversible. the front has daisies and twists, with a running feather up the sleeves.

 The collar has a twist, and the back has a rose surrounded by two feathers. Liz Nally has a similar bed jacket from another maker living nearby, and once Covid is over, it will be interesting to compare the two to see if there was a locally used pattern.

Saturday 10 October 2020

Hawaiian Quilts on the Go

I enjoy making Hawaiian quilts, but the appliqué is more enjoyable than the quilting! The background is easy to quilt, but the appliqué, where there is an extra layer of cloth, is more difficult. So I have quilt tops waiting to be hand quilted and some partially quilted. But with no quilt shows, I guess that I have plenty of time to do this!

This is Ulu, an Elizabeth Akana design that I posterised. I like the combination of light grey and mid blue. I have started to quilt this, and am just waiting for blue thread to arrive in the post.

This is Kuuipo, still waiting to be basted and then quilted. 

This is Kuna wai, not basted yet, I was worried that there would not be enough contrast between the grey and the purple, but I think it works...

Kikui Nut, again partly quilted, the green is a print...

Carnation, again partly quilted with a dark pink print.

 And this is Umeke O Kamehameha in purple and orange, it is partly quilted.

I have ordered more patterns from Hawaii, and I hope they arrive safely. Last time, I had to pay customs (import duty) which added to the cost, but it is worth it to me as I get a lot of pleasure from these quilts. 

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Garden during lockdown and Beth Chatto

As I have until recently worked full time, I never had time to tend the garden as I would have liked to. However, lockdown gave me the opportunity to devote significant time to clearing the garden in Melton. I spent part of each morning hand weeding and clearing. I had to have two enormous amounts of brush and plant matter taken away. My object is to eventually make a cheerful cottage garden.
We will have to see what survives the winter. As it was so dry, watering was required for the new plants.

Hydrangeas are a favourite.

These plants should fill out soon.

I am reserving some space for some ground cover roses which will arrive bare root in the next month or two.


Cyclamens, these were transplanted from the Wickham house, where they were getting lost....

Reminds me of New Jersey - goldenrod, scourge of hay fever sufferers everywhere...


A foxglove, Digitalis cultivar, I need to buy more of these for the shady corners..

Two weeks ago I made a trip down the A12 to the Beth Chatto gardens near Colchester. We have often driven past but this is the first time I had been. Surprisingly busy given that Covid was still around....

The famous gravel garden which is full of Mediterranean drought tolerant plants. Formerly a carpark, it is never watered.

 East Anglia is a very dry part of the country, and Elmstead Market is very near St Osyth which is officially the driest part of England. It only receives 20 inches of rain per year on average. The nursery is noted for selling plants for dry areas, also shade and damp areas.  All the plants are grown onsite in their nursery.

Thursday 2 July 2020

Life mostly at home for Lockdown

I have had a lot of time at home during lockdown, keeping safe and observing social distancing. Luckily, Suffolk has not been so badly affected as other areas. It is still a very unsettling time. Our holiday had to be postponed and I have not been able to go to the Guild in York to hand over the quilts that I am donating to them.

 I have been working steadily on my Ulu quilt - working towards the centre, I really enjoy the applique in the evenings.

This is a quilt called Gloria which still has to be sewn into a top...made with ombre fabrics

I am still working mostly from home, but going in occasionally to two offices. This is the Tide Mill, which has been redecorated and is slowly opening to the public. There was an unprecedented demand for the flour, with lots of home baking going on.

I have had work done to the house - a new drive - too bad there are not any children, they would have loved to see the digger and the grabber truck.

A new clean drive.

New windows, a big job this...also the garden cleared and a new fence put in. The neighbours will be happy....

We have been going on 3 or 4 walks each week - some just around Woodbridge and Melton but others in surrounding villages,

 Helmingham Hall has a great selection of roses..

A rose called William Shakespeare...

 and Helmingham Hall itself..
 Beautiful skies recently...

Lots of lovely stately churches - this one is Eye St Peter and St Paul. Unfortunately they are closed but nice to see the grounds. No bellringing at present of course!

The Guild Hall at Eye, 15 c but heavily restored in the 19c.

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Quilts April & May 2020

Well, I have been busy during lockdown, as I am still working online from home with cloud accounts.
I have also been clearing the garden, which has been much neglected. As the rubbish tips are closed just now, there is a huge heap of plant material in one corner of the yard.

Here is the mariners compass - it was sent off to Daisy May Quilting in Martlesham Heath. I chose a paisley quilting pattern to match the vintage and modern paisley fabrics. I also added a red paisley binding. I am pleased with the way this turned out. I originally was hand piecing it, but reverted to machine piecing. I used Ruth McDowell's piecing methods, whereby you sew on the marked seam line, and match registration marks, this method works well for me.

I found this pattern to be sufficiently challenging as well as very attractive, and during lockdown decided to make a second quilt using a different colour scheme (all fabrics already in my stash). This time the top was entirely machine pieced. The quilting design I chose was Tiki, which is a triangular spiral design. Again, I was pleased with this quilt.

During lockdown I have been trying to prepare quilts as much as possible, as I don't have very much free time when I am working. So I have cut out and basted two Hawaiian quilts. This one is Kunawai. The most difficult part is arranging it carefully on the background fabric after cutting out.

I also prepared this pattern - Ulu, a pattern by Elizabeth Akana. For the first time, I "posterized" the design to make it the size I wanted. It was a learning curve, and next time I would change it to a light grey colour, as with black the print cartridge was used up at a fantastic rate. Or, choose an outline! But it worked...

I was able to cut the pattern out and baste.. I will mark the complicated parts once I have located my Sewline pen, which seems to be hiding...or may have to order a new one, as I seem to have plenty of lead refills but no pen....

I am still quilting - Kiku Nut is almost finished, and I basted and started to quilt the orange and purple quilt Umeke O Kamehameha. Of course, no Festival of Quilts this year, so no urgency to get them finished!

Wednesday 1 April 2020

New Projects - March 2020

I have several projects on the go - it looks as if there will be plenty of time to work on these, due to the current lockdown.

The colours here are a bright orange and a mid purple. The top is complete and now for basting and quilting. I am currently almost finished hand quilting the green and white kiku nut, although it looks as if there will not be a Festival of Quilts this year, as part of the NEC is being turned into an emergency hospital.

This mariners compass has been completed and has gone off to Val at Daisy May, for long arm quilting. I enjoyed making this, but had to laugh. The instructions said that once cut out, it went together easily. Of course not true. I used the Ruth McDowell method of marking seam lines, registration marks and pinning carefully. More exact than quarter inch seams.

One of Gundrens patterns, a fairly simple one called Kira. Decided not to enlarge....

Lucy, as above but with two cuts not one. Very difficult to make the triangles the same size and match up, so again will not enlarge....

A small baby quilt or play mat for Francis’ 1st birthday party. It had to be made quickly, so was quilted simply on my machine.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Chalybeate or Zany Quilt

This is a Welsh quilt made in Aberythsweth by Mrs Annie Davies who lived above a drapers shop in Chalybeate Street. The quilt was bought from Jen Jones, who has another quilt by Annie.

Jen asked to borrow this quilt for this years show at her museum in Lampeter. The intention is to do further research about the drapers shop at archives in Aberythsweth, and to hang the two quilts over a re-created drapers shop. It should look stunning.

The quilt has been posted off and received by Jen, I only hope that the current lockdown does not delay the exhibition too much. I am really hoping to see this exhibition!

Sunday 15 March 2020

Lilac and White Sanderson Star Quilt

Here is a recent purchase. I have a special interest in this pattern, the Sanderson Star, so was pleased to acquire this quilt at a reasonable price.

 This quilt measures 81" x 93". It is in very good condition with no wear or spots.

The quilting patterns are rather simple compared to the earlier quilts, so may be a later quilt. The designs seem to have been stamped, or marked by a quilt designer, but are simplified. For example, in the star there are the usual rose and fern, but not as detailed as earlier quilts.

 It is also not square. Beds changed shape during the 20th century, and quilts became rectangular in shape to fit the new-sized beds. In this pattern, which was very popular, the centre stayed the same but the borders in one direction were enlarged to create a rectangular quilt. When I get a chance to measure, I will confirm this.

The quilt came from an established dealer in the North East who has her own collection of quilts. No further information on this quilt.