07/04/2018 § 2 Comments
A good while ago, I gave a presentation about my patchworking adventures, to a local WI group. I chatted on about what inspires me to make quilts and showed lots of photos of quilts that I’ve made over the years, including Memory Quilts. I once made 4 quilts for the same lady – I can’t believe that was back in 2014!
One lady at the WI meeting had her imagination sparked, as she’d kept lots of her 3 childrens’ baby clothes, so there was a memory quilt just waiting to happen! We had quite a wait as a very special snuggling blanket needed to be ‘released from the clutches of her youngest’ and form a very significant patch in the corner of the quilt – so it was easy to snuggle up to some more!
As always, I regard Memory Quilts as a huge responsibility. To be trusted with precious tiny clothes that remind a mother of her children as babies, is not a task to be undertaken lightly. I love making memory quilts and make a huge effort to include tiny labels, hidden pockets and as many details as possible.
One morning in early March, I donned my leather glove – to save from blisters with all the cutting out – picked up my scissors and cut out for 6 hours with hardly a break. Many, many more hours of cutting and stabilising, stitching and applique followed and here’s the finished quilt …
I won’t give all the personal details, but the applique stars & hearts are significant fabrics and bind the quilt with clothing pieces from 3 generations of the family. There are almost 20 tiny pockets and so many appliqued details that I lost count!
Here are some lovely words, from the recipient …
I have to say a huge thank you. Whilst I am typing this, I am sitting underneath my wonderful new memory quilt (oh how lovely and warm it is). It is beyond anything I could have imagined and the lovely touches you have added like the pockets, the added shapes of sentimental fabric and the inclusion of so many beautiful features from their clothing makes it such a unique and special item. I can’t wait to show it off.
Many thanks for sharing your amazing talent with me. EG, Hants
There’s now another huge project underway here in the studio – a textile collage to mark the 175th anniversary of a village chapel in Wales – the village where my great-grandfather lived and worked as a stone-mason. I’m working to a deadline and will have it finished for a preview evening here in Winchester (let me know if you’d like to attend), before it goes off to The Land of my Fathers later in the month. Very exciting!
Workshops are booking up for the summer and early autumn – we’ll have to discover whether Spring ever actually makes an appearance – it’s a long wait! Next time I’ll show you some of the finished quilts that my students have been making over recent weeks.
Have a lovely weekend
linking up with Finish it up Friday
09/03/2018 § 3 Comments
“Quilted clocks – now there’s an idea!”
I had this idea a while ago and then, a couple of weeks ago I decided to have a go at making them. It was time to try something new.
So, here are Spring Time (blue and white versions), and High Tide!
They’re tissue wrapped and boxed up all ready for tomorrow’s Makers’ Market in Alton – the first of the year and I’m hoping that it won’t rain all day, as it has done here today.
Just think – a week ago, it was like this …
and tomorrow they’re saying it might reach 14 degrees – what a change in the weather. Whilst last week’s snow was still with us, I did finish one other pretty little quilt – Squirrel Nutkin …
Now, it’s time to finish a few more cushions ready for tomorrow and make herby dumplings to go with the chicken casserole for supper this evening.
Have a wonderful weekend.
linking up with Finish it up Friday
02/03/2018 § 7 Comments
It’s been absolutely freezing here this past week. Siberian chill and lots of snow! Fortunately the house is warm but workshops have been cancelled due to the weather and even though there wasn’t too much snow on Wednesday morning, we had a power cut so the studio was freezing inside and out.
It’s been pretty though – proper Christmas card snowy scenes and I’ve loved the magic of the light, snowflakes, scrunching snow under wellies, snow-crusted collies and the activities of the garden birds who I’ve been feeding 3 times a day!
And, it’s been perfect weather for quilting – I’ve been busy …
I can’t tell you for how many years I’ve longed to be able to photograph quilts in the snow. I pore, with envy, through photographs of my US and Canadian quilting friends’ quilts, laid out on a magical snowy blanket. So, I’ve been quilting like a fiend this week and have waited all day for it to stop snowing, then donned hat, gloves, coat, boots and clickety clicked away – I’m so in love with quilts in the snow.
The Sunday market in Winchester is apparently still going ahead though I’ll update my website events page, if it’s cancelled.
Stay warm and toasty
linking up with Finish it up Friday
30/12/2017 § 6 Comments
quick catch up.
Since November, time seems to have absolutely flown by and whilst I’ve been clicking away on my camera and phone, nothing has made it to my blog, so here’s a lightning whizz – Open Studio, students, Kaffe Fassett, my old home, new quilts – here goes …
The Kaffe Fassett exhibition which has been at Mottisfont Abbey since September and ends in January, has been the destination for many of my excursions over recent months. I can’t get enough of his fabrics, colours and designs. I went to see him give a lecture back at the end of November and it was interesting to hear what inspired him – by coincidence, many of the same things that inspire me.
I have other photos on my phone of the Salisbury Christmas market where I spent a bone-chilling 4 days at the beginning of December – admittedly my chalet was better insulated than most as there were quilts hanging up all around the inside. There was a lovely atmosphere though I could cheerfully have throttled a lifesize model Santa Claus who waded through the same few songs whenever anybody walked past and his sensor set him off! I was seriously in dispute with him about it being ‘the most wonderful time of the year’!!
Since Christmas Day when J2 and I spent a very peaceful time together, I’ve seen a few friends from near and far, which is always special at this time of year. I do enjoy the company of friends.
Winchester has yet again missed all the snow for which I’m disappointed and relieved in equal measure.
I’m looking forward to some quiet quilting and gentle planning of projects for the new year and wish you all Blwyddyn Newydd Dda (Happy New Year).
03/11/2017 § 2 Comments
It may be the last rose of the year and it’s a real beauty, if a rather lonely little bloom. Yesterday, in the garden, two tree surgeons came along to declutter the middle of the White Birch tree and take down the Walnut.
I planted the walnut over 25 years ago, having bought it as a tiny plant in a yoghurt pot! I’ve grown another one from one of the walnuts so will plant that up to replace the rambling, huge tree that had outgrown the space here. The garden seems so much bigger and lighter and when the morning mists clear, the sunshine is lovely and warm.
I’ve also been quilting …
Jewels is a vivid quilt that combines a pretty Liberty paisley with some stunning solid colours. I love it and will take it out to some talks that I’m giving next week.
Another Christmas Table Centre has been completed too …
Pinks and aqua blue with flashes of green and orange make this a very jolly affair. The colours are so fresh and it could be used for other festivals too.
One of my students has just finished her first sampler quilt …
I do so enjoy welcoming students to my Garden Studio and this student has a very good eye for colour choosing greens and blues and purples with a bright turquoise binding . The sampler blocks include a simple 9-patch then HST stars, on to log cabin blocks and finally stitch and flip squares. What fun!
It’s my birthday on Sunday so I’m going out for a Sunday roast with a friend and J2 who’s visiting for the weekend. I might even bake a cake – then eat it!!!
Enjoy the 5th November and all the fireworks.
Linking up with Finish it up Friday
19/10/2017 § 1 Comment
from the Latin aureus, meaning Golden
Although I’ve been away from my blog for a while, I haven’t been idle. My studio has been humming to the sound of sewing machines (yes, another Janome Horizon has joined my teaching studio) and as well as teaching patchwork classes here at home, I’ve also been busy working on my own projects.
Aurelia is a recent finish. She’s been in my head for absolutely ages and it’s been a treat to create what was for so long an image that I longed to touch.
Oh, how I love this quilt. Almost 30 fabrics capturing the shades and delights of Autumn.
There have been days in October where the sky has been the clearest, deepest blue and I needed to hold on to those colours – leaves, berries, darkness and light and all sunset shades in between. This will be a show quilt – to take out to talks and presentations – definitely a keeper!
Here’s the White Birch that dominates our garden, on a crisp morning a few weeks ago.
and some of the sunflowers and Japanese anemones from down by the veg plot.
How I love Autumn. It’s always been my favourite season of the year. Before she arrived, I ventured for a late summer jaunt to Cornwall and was treated to a week when I could actually bask in warm sunshine. I missed the collies who stayed at home with J2, but enjoyed daily walks for miles and miles along the coastal path – a special place for us.
Back home and feeling the need to light an evening fire to keep my toes warm. I’m working on a Snowball quilt – hope that’s not tempting fate!!!
What are you working on at the moment? Is Autumn a source of inspiration for you?
I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finish it Up Friday.
11/07/2017 § 5 Comments
It’s time to gather in the winter wheat.
Early last Sunday, the most perfect summer’s morning you might imagine, I set off while the air was still cool with faithful Belle at my heels. We took our usual route down around the corner then up the hill, across the road and onto farmland where the farmer has been taking advantage of the heatwave to gather in the first of his wheat harvest.
It was so still and already, as the sun rose higher by the minute into the clear blue sky, it was hot. Belle and I had a good walk, met some other dogs including a whippet who Belle chased at high speed, but couldn’t catch! Then home again, already puffing slightly in the heat, on the final stretch up the steep hill to home.
I couldn’t stay inside. Such a perfect day wasn’t to be missed so I gathered an armful of quilts and my camera but this time drove back up to the farm. Five large quilts are quite heavy so I had 2 bags, one over my shoulder and the other with handles to carry – I must have looked rather eccentric. But it was so worth it. Those straw bales were crying out for some quilt therapy …
Quilts named Gypsy, Happy Weekend, If Wishes were Horses, Down by the River and Summer in the Park all had an outing on what was definitely a morning to remember!
Hope you had a great weekend. I can’t believe how fast this year is speeding by. Sunday’s full moon was the Buck Moon and I have a little deer or two to show you next time – and I haven’t forgotten I promised you boats too – there’s some catching up to do over here!
Linking up with Finish it up Friday