Flowers Finished

I have been looking at so many posts about what everyone has made over the last year, that I feel slightly inadequate!

Although I start lots of things, not all of them get finished in the same year. This quilt, which I finished over the New Year, was started in 2010!

On the floor in my room:

The pattern for the applique is a Ruby McKim. The blocks are about 18in.

Out in the garden:


I quilted it with Elbow Quilting:

Flapped in the wind, there actually a nice Denyse Schmidt print in the centre of the back that is hidden here!

Have you seen who will be at the quilt show in Nantes this April……Kathy from Material Obsession!

I am planning on going to the show this year, so this is an added treat!

I must start saving my pennies now!

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.

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!

Off to France!

Sewing has taken a back seat here whille I get us packed to go to France for some of the holidays! But not until I had my sewing projects for France sorted out!

Whilst sorting I found this which I made years ago, but shows that my interest in hexagon quilts has been around a while!

And while I found a few moments to spare, I loved this quilt on Ebay:

I don't often venture into applique like this, and I think a lot of the charm of this quilt comes from the hanging diamond quilting!

I also came across this advert in one of the old magazines for books by Jan Halgrimson. I have two of these and was not aware that there was even a third. Anyone seen a copy of "Patching Things Up"? I would love to see this or even own a copy, so any info greatfully received!

Be back in September!

Old Quilts and New

This week has been busy, more busy than I had anticipated. I still have a list of stuff to get done, and it looks very similar to when I wrote it last Monday afternoon!

First off, my copy of Sew Hip arrived, and I could see in print lots of things I had worked on during the Summer for them. I was busy!

Then on Friday I was at Creative Quilting in Surrey as a student on a day class with Lilian Hedley.

phpH8P4c7AM Lilian Hedley

I was so excited about this. Lilian is an expert on Durham and North Country Quilting in the UK.


 She had been a pupil of Amy Emms and she had so many interesting stories and information that she had learnt form the women who quilted these quilts. It was fascinating to hear how these patterns on the whole cloth quilts were ‘designed’. We worked on a cushion size sample using templates that Lilian supplied. Time just sped by! So thanks to Issy for organizing the visit (in conjunction with Region 1 of the The Quilters Guild).


And now today I need to get some pictures of the Perkiomen Valley quilts for the information for the class I will teach in France next September. This class is such fun as there are so many different quilts that you can sew just from a basic block, it will be a good job we are there for a week, as on the day class we just scim the surface. We can really get our teeth into our quilts…. so to speak!

And I need to get packed , as I fly out to Houston next week for Quilt Market and then Festival.I thought I had more time, but when I read about Rosalie  referring to the number of sleeps before she flies out… I thought, ‘Wah! Better get started!!!’

I will let you know how much fun it was when I get back!

A bit more Quilting!

Thanks so much for the lovely comments about the hand quilting! 🙂

I agree whole heartedly agree that it is very soothing and eases you out of a stressful day.

This little piece is part of a Quilting-on-the-Go quilt that is one of my current take along projects. This is an Amish design I found on an old quilt in one of my books. It is a Sunflower, and somewhat appropriate for this time of year in the UK when the sunflowers are coming to an end and becoming bird food!


My friend Tracey came to visit yesterday, and was very taken with my thread catcher! Go take a look at the tutorial at The stitching Room and sew your own this weekend, as I think Tracey is!

A little bit of Quilting

I have always been ready to admit that  I REALLY like quilting by hand. And I also like to hand baste my quilts together. I also admit that I don’t always have the time to hand baste, so use other quicker methods, that will give me equally good results. But this Summer the quilt I quilted I had hand basted and I then hand quilted it.

And it was such a shame when I finished!

phpSO2Zy0AM snowball

This was  quick to quilt as I opted to cross hatch it and add a ric rac border of quilting.

phpdG62xmAM ricrac quilting

On another note I (mostly) sew my quilts on a Bernina 1080 sewing machine that I mentioned the other week had gone to be fixed. Well, it will be a little longer away as the problem was that the ‘gears had gone’ 🙁 I have had the quote for repair (££££), and after much discussion as to whether it would be worth it, realised that it would be. So I had better start saving now!!! 

To take my mind off the gloom I popped over to Bonnie’s site. She sews on a machine like mine, only she is more prolific!

And Lori and Barbara had some inspiring quilts to take my mind on to other things!

Hera Markers

Lori was talking about how she marks the lines for diagonal or cross hatch quilting, and I wondered if she had ever used a Hera marker.

So many people have not experienced the wonder of a Hera marker!

php0yUbeaAM hera marker

You must excuse me as I can become almost evangelical about this tool. It is originally from Japan, and the one I use is made by Clover. It is an inexpensive tool for marking given the fact that it will never run out!

I use it to mark grids so that I can follow the line to quilt, either by hand or machine. It is great as it is non invasive, and if I mark a wrong line, when the quilt is finally washed, it will just disappear.

phpivyh5TAM hera lines

The lines last along time, so there is no rush to quilt once they are there. I mark the lines when the quilt top is on batting and backing , and if I am saftey pin or tack gun basting I do this afterwards. But if you hand baste or use 505, then you can do this once the quilt is all together!

phpweonHQAM cross hatching

This is a Burgoyne Surrounded quilt that I am working on, that I mark with a Hera for the cross hatching. It is such an easy desigh to quilt, but soooo useful and effective!

phpVChx9JAM cross hatching

String Stars

Anita has been busy with her shirt quilt blocks! Go and take a look….

Here are some of the pictures I wanted to show in my last post, but I was experiencing some difficulties with the resizing site, hence I only had one picture to show!  Here are the others:

php09UNpIAM baptist fan quilting

And here is a star from a string quilt I made this year. My husband’s shirts were just the right colour for the background of the string stars!!


phpkngjxTAM 2009 srting star

Still needs quilting ( and basting) as you can see! Obviously ‘no peace for the wicked’ ( or the quilter!)

Re-purposed Shirts

There have been some creative people out there starting some lovely projects with mens shirts! Go and take a look:

Mrs Schmenkman Quilts


Over the years I have had phases of saving my husband’s shirts. Sometimes he would discard one and I would selvedge it from the charity bag, and other times when ironing I would comment that the collar or cuffs were looking worn, and perhaps he should replace the shirt. This is my ploy when I have my eye on a particular shirt for a particluar quilt!

I first made this LeMoyne Star quilt about 15 years ago (or maybe longer! Gulp) from a range of paids by Roberta Horton which I liked because they looked like old shirts.

You might be able to see that I was using the Baptist Fan quilting for the background of the quilt way back then! And I am still sewing string quilts now!