Wednesday 19 October 2011

Christmas gifts despite the flu!

Well the reason I have not been blogging this past month is that life has been extremely stressful, and I have been feeling very low, and then I went down with a really nasty flu bug and chest infection, and I was really under the weather for 3 weeks.  The only positive side to this was the fact that I sat by the fire every afternoon and cross-stitched Christmas gifts which was therapeutic, healing and calming.  So I am now ahead of schedule which is great!

I have been sewing Christmas stockings for "little people" and I am so thrilled with the results. 
These are so lovely to sew - in case anyone is interested in doing the same, these are Bent Creek patterns (available from sewn on 20 count linen so they grow quickly. The only fiddly part is getting the binding and hanging loop to look good but I am getting better with each one I do! I also want to make some fun Christmas runners - here is one "work in progress"!

I have also just finished an applique cushion in bright pinks and greens which is a 40th wedding anniversary gift for some special friends at the end of the month.  They are having a Sunday luncheon party for 80+ friends, old and new, so something original and handmade is called for - these are "their colours" and they have a home in Barbados too so I think this will probably go there - hence bright and sunny!
I just hope they like!

My youngest daughter Dot sent me some gorgeous Liberty tana lawn fabrics as a "cheer mum up" gift - I am now planning what to make with these beautiful fabrics.  Any ideas?!

I do not intend to have such a gap between blogs again and as Christmas approaches I should have more to show you - with luck!  As "Sir Brucie" would say .... "keeeeep sewing"!

Thursday 15 September 2011

Autumn is here

Since I last updated my Blog I have been up to Nottingham to visit my 91 year old Mother.  Nina, one of her God-daughters who also just happens to be one of very dearest friends came with me - we had such a lovely time and had fun looking through old photos and generally talking about the past.  It is amazing what Mum can still remember from 70 plus years ago.
This photo shows Nina and Mum delving into the Second World War years.
I also caught up with my sister over a delicious curry, and took Mum out and about which she loved.
Here we are about to go to the garden center, and then off to the pub for lunch!  My Mum is just amazing!

Drove home through wind and rain Friday night, and have settled back into normal Devon life again.  I have a couple of finishes to show you:  the first is a Christmas sampler (done in good time this year - I am usually rushing into the picture framers 3 days before Christmas asking for a miracle!) -
and an Autumn table runner which is for my youngest daughter Dot.  Special request (I think she is bored with the Easter chickens on her table!) - so Dot, hope you like!  It is double-sided - a bonus when you spill the wine!

I also ordered two new books on Sunday, and they both arrived Tuesday.  Such great service and lovely books - I recommend!
The first is the new Blackbird Designs book " A Schoolgirl's Work" which I ordered  from "The Patchwork Rabbit" - ( - it is full of antique samplers and projects related to them.  Absolutely gorgeous, great photos.
The second book is the new Whimsicals "Buttons and Blooms" which I got from "Threadbear" ( - another lovely book and I am now deciding which fabric to order, and how much!

I want to make everything in this book - not enough hours in the day!

Meanwhile we are still picking raspberries so I will be making more jam at the weekend - and when I take Ben - our Goldie - for an early morning walk each day before breakfast I am eating one of my "five a day" - the hedgerows are full of delicious blackberries - can't be bad!
I think I now need to start on my Christmas patchwork so will be pulling out the basket full of Christmas fabrics and deciding what to make and for whom!  Only those who have said "thank you" in the past will receive!!  It never ceases to amaze me how casual some people (luckily only a VERY few) can be about home made gifts.  They seem to have no comprehension as to how many hours go into planning and making what hopefully will end up as a "family heirloom"!  There is nothing more precious than giving one's personal time up into making a gift, and a "thank you" is always so appreciated.
I have finished my "Debbie Mumm" quilt - from the gorgeous fabric I found at the FOQ - large squares with a nine-patch set on point - and that is now being long-arm quilted.  Photos will follow when I have collected and done the binding.  Cannot wait to see it finished - patience is a virtue!

Now back to the Christmas Design Board.

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Latest finishes

Well first of all I would like to say "Thank you" to all my new followers, and it is lovely to read your comments - so much appreciated.  As I am new to "Blogging" all encouragement is welcome!
Since I returned from the FOQ life has been busy, with our Cottage full of friends and their families.  Much laughter and chat, food and wine - all good fun but no time for sewing or updating "My Quilting Life"!

However, I have just collected my latest sampler from the framers - I am delighted, and this is now hidden away until October when I will give to my husband on our wedding anniversary.  He will LOVE the words, though probably complain that they are not clear enough in the "grass"!

I have also collected 3 baby quilts, and 2 bed quilts from my dear friend Carole at Butterfly Quilters in Kilkhampton, Near Bude in Cornwall.  She has worked her magic and long-arm quilted them so beautifully.

This has a lovely "Winnie the Pooh" backing!

These fun backings I found in Ikea - absolutely love them!

This next quilt is an early 30th birthday gift for one of younger daughter - Dot's - closest friends who is off to live in Australia at the end of September.  Hopefully it will remind her of those of us back in the UK who love and will miss her.
  These are the backings - more fun!
And this is a large "log cabin" - fabulous Moda fabric which I bought in the USA 2 years ago.

So all in all I feel I have been quite productive this summer.

This past week I have been making more Raspberry Jam, and also Plum and Ginger Jam - my favourite.  Plus I thought I would "dress" the kitchen ready for Autumn - so the red leaves are dropping over the Aga!

At the FOQ I found this wonderful old Debbie Mumm fabric - I have never seen it before - I bought 2 meters, and wished I had bought the whole bolt!  As luck would have it, the fabric was put in a carrier bag with the shop's details printed on it.  So I have been in touch and they have been so helpful - and although they had no more of this gold colourway, they still have some in Bottle Green. So I have ordered 6 meters - and this will back my quilt.  I am using large 12.5 ins squares, set on point, with a 9-patch - it is looking good!  All will be revealed in time!
Well as the nights draw in there will be more time for cross-stitching by the fire, and time for sewing on those bindings - it is a long way round a King size quilt!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

More from the FOQ

I thought I would show you some more beautiful quilts that were being exhibited last week at the Festival of Quilts.

This next quilt was so so long - lots of individual house blocks, such fun!

Lots of log cabin variations, and houses.

And this Union Jack made from Kaffe Fassett fabrics was just great, bright and fun.

I have tried to show you a cross section of just a few of the beautiful pieces that were on view - there is so much talent and creativity out there - congratulations, and thank you, to all those who worked so hard - now looking forward to FOQ 2012!

Sunday 14 August 2011

Wonderful wonderful show

Once again the Festival of Quilts was full of amazing quilts of many colours and designs - there are so many clever creative quilters - I was totally overwelmed.  Here are just a few of my favourites .....  I have taken lots of photos, so will post some more during the next few days. 

The stands were full of glorious fabrics to tempt - of course all my good intentions - I do NOT need any more fabric! - were gone within the first half hour!  Everyone is so friendly.  Unpacking my new fabric today has been such fun - gosh, I forgot so quickly what I had bought - it all looks wonderful! I cannot wait to start a new project.

One of my favourites is always the stand with all the glorious Kaffee Fassett fabrics - so vibrant!

And then there were some amazing pictoral quilts - such as this one -  unmistakable -"Old Blue Eyes!|

And I loved this one - "The Faraway Tree" - I remember those stories from when I was little!

And these pictures show the quilt of one of the Bayeux Tapestry panels.  The work is exquisite.

Well, these are just a few photos to show a cross section of some of the hundreds of beautiful quilts which were on view these past few days at the Festival of Quilts.  I hope you enjoyed!