Nantes, Antique Inspiration

Amongst all the pictures I took of doors, knockers and door handles that I took in Nantes, there are pictures of drains, drain pipes and stair rails. All things that I find endlessly fascinating when I am in France. 

I also love the chance to see some old textiles, and this shop opposite the castle was not a let down!

I treated myself to a couple of paper patterns from around 1906, and a reel of thread. But these are the things I left behind:

So today with the rain coming down, there is plenty of time to stay in and have a good stitch!

Quilting-on-the-Go:nothing new!

There seems to be much discussion in the patchwork world about 'new or 'modern' ideas.

I think debate is healthy, and I enjoy hearing what people have to say, or seeing what they sew under these titles! The more people sewing and quilting the better I say, and if they think they are doing something new or modern so be it!

I am often asked about the 'quilt as you go' as most people assume that the desire to quilt your quilt in smaller manageable or portable size sections is a 'new' idea.

Those of you who have been checking out Barbara Brackman's blog will have enjoyed, as I did, her post about 'Pot Holder Quilts'. Check it out HERE.

These quilts were sewn and quilted in small sections and then put together……… in the 1880's!

I saw a similar quilt at the American Museum of Folk Art in New York last spring, and I was blown away. Let me show you.

Looks like nothing out of the ordinary from a distance:

Take a closer look at the green sashing:

You can see the different quilting in the different sections:

And this is the information card:

This quilt was made for Mary Grow in 1856!

But what I found even more amazing was that no where does it make any reference the the technique that has so obviously been used to sew the quilt! I know I can be nerdy about the construction processes that are used to make quilts, but surely this would have been worth a mention?

Of course I am now just desperate to get my hands on a copy of the book by Pamela Weeks and find out all I can about these quilts!

Useful Utility Quilting

While I sit and wait for the sleet to stop before I walk Bosco, I thought I would share with you some quilts Jill had on show last year at 'The Patchwork Dog and Basket.

I love this grid quilting over the tiny baskets:


Grid quilting again, all over a quilt from the same era:


Diagonal lines cover this striking quilt:


The boldness of this is great:

Look at the way the fabric for the baskets has perished. I wonder what colour it really was? Something strong to not be lost against those flowers and stems. And interesting quilting with those double lines in the background:

Check out their website for an exciting new range of workshops too. They have a new space, upstairs opposite the shop and full of space and light! It was a great venue for the quilt show they had last year, and will make a lovely studio for classes!

On March 1st I am doing a class there, so if you want to come and have a go and find out how useful Utility Quilting can be for you, give them a ring and get booked on!

If you want to hear me talking about  utility quilting and the book this week, then tune in to Mark Lipinski's Creative Mojo on Wednesday at 3pm (US EST) or over here it will be 8pm UK time.

A Tied Finish

I am loving all the quilts I see over the internet that are quilted and finished with ties and Big stitches!

I used linen thread with  'wine glass' (actually a saucepan lid in this case!) and stitch in the ditch quilt designs for this Australian bush quilt:

Have a look here at some other great quilts:

Posie Gets Cosy

Molly Flanders

Anna Maria Horner

Blue Elephant stitches, and 

Sew Create it.

These methods of finishing quilts have always worked for me. One of my first quilts was Big stitch and Tied with stranded embroidery floss through 4oz polyester wadding, and it's still looking good!

This old quilt I find inspiring:

This is what I did on my stretched Hexagons:

Have a look here for some more ideas!

Get those quilts quilted!!!

Big Baskets

I am often inspired by old quilts and I saw a basket quilt, made with only nine blocks, on 'an online auction house' recently that was no exception.

It had a cheddar/gold background, and quite strongly coloured baskets. The blocks I reckoned were about 20", so nine of them makes a sizeable lap quilt.

So I set to. I raided my fabric stash for a selection of the backgrounds and the baskets. I came unstuck with anything that worked for the basket handles, and brought 1m of fabric to cut those from.

Rough layout, baskets with no handles yet!

Then I had some help:

The edge of the basket closest is my favourite, made from a Heather Ross fabric and something from Quilt Gate.

With handles and a border:

When the weather gets brighter I hope to get some outdoor shots of this, as I can hang it on the clothes line then. I might hope to add that it will be quilted too, but I fear this is a top that now 'out of my system' will need time to mature before I have time to quilt it!

Take a look at the side bar today as I have revamped my favourites!


New Project

I have been cutting up my Malka Dubrawsky fabric from Moda for a 'Diamonds and Square' quilt:

And I thought you might like to see some pictures I took of an old quilt I have, a Sanderson Star. Pippa is doing research into these quilts and asked if anyone had examples. I think the results will be really interesting.

From thr cream border:

A corner motif:

From the star points:

The Star:

Happy Thanks Giving!

Antique Quilt’s Part 2

The last of the quilts from The Patchwork Dog and Basket show in Lewes

These two were Red Cross Quilts from Canada in WWII.

These lovely little baskets caught my eye!

I spent last weekend at the Quilters Guild Region 2 quilt show at Hever. If you missed the quilts in a lovely setting JustHands-on tv were there so look out for their film of the show!

And don't forget to vote for the Quilter's Guild 'Unfolding the Quilts' to give us a chance to win National Lottery Funding ! It won't take a moment!

Big Stitch and Utility Quilting

Deb Rowden shared with us a lovely quilt here which has a lovely combination of both Big Stitch and Utility Quilting design.

This is a quilt from the late 1800's that Jill showed from her collection which I love because of it's boldness, but also because the quilting goes slap bang through the applique! None of that fiddly out line quilting for this Lady!

I used some Big Stitch quilting to finish off this book bag.

I think the boldness of the stitch works well with the bold fabrics! I love this collection from PieceO'Cake from Kaufman.

Antique Quilt Display

Jill at 'The Patchwork Dog and Basket' in Lewes generously shared  her collection of antique quilts in a lovely display in the vaults of the Needlemakers where her great shop is. This display was part of the arts festival held around Lewes.

Here is a taste of what we saw.

1930's stars:


1930' Periwinkle:


Hexgons' from the late 1800's:


Hexagons from the early 1800's!


A view of the room:

I'll show more another time! Thanks Jill!

Inspired by the Stitches

I don't know about you, but as a Quilter how often do you think about the stitches?

What are they doing?

Why do we do them?

What would happen if we didn't do them?

Perhaps this could get a bit heavy, but I only mention it as I was washing a couple of cutter quilts that I brought this year, and although they are in a pretty tatty way someone had sat and made those stitches.

In both cases the scrap patches were very accurately pieced and the quilting definitely Utility. So the stitches are quite prominent, making more of a statement than they would have if the quilting had been fine. As I have thought before sometimes the quilting takes a backseat when it comes to the patchwork quilt, but by making the stitches bigger and bolder the quilting could become a more relevant part of the quilt.


On the line:


Securing the binding:


I like the hole here. Have a look at these Kimono where the patching and the subsequent stitching becomes a part of the garment

I have been reading some interesting thoughts about the quilting here on Gwen Marston's Website. Don't forget to check out her new book too!

And as always, Jude Hill at Spirit Cloth has some lovely observations.

Enjoy the end of the Summer weekend, and don't forget the stitches!