Accepting my early retirement I am filling my days with quilting and sewing projects as well as catching up on my blog and organising my huge backlog of holiday photos. I have also started the Royal School of Needlework's Diploma classes at Hampton Court Palace. That's what I love – hand work, travel, being around my family and writing about it.
As many of you know the UK is under strict lockdown rules
right now and has been for four weeks. I
would have liked to have volunteered more to help during the crisis but the
various avenues I tried didn’t pan out.
I did make some facemasks for various people so that makes me feel like
I have contributed a little…only a very little though.
My sewing room, however, has never seen so much activity. I have managed to finish four quilt tops that have been languishing in various places while I pursued a more active normal lifestyle. Now with time to spare and with hubby out working at the local supermarket (on crowd control and the hygiene station) I have started at the top and have been working my way through my quilting projects list.
The first top I finished is made with fabrics I purchased during my two trips to Australia. It’s very colourful and a bit busy for some people but I love the memories the quilt evokes and there’s a story to tell from every square. I had to be creative and piece my border – had just enough to create a canopy of Eucalyptus leaves at the top of the quilt with earth toned fabric at the bottom.
A Drunkards’ Path quilt top came next. I bought the pattern in Australia but I chose to use general fabrics from my stash to make the quilt. It could have all gone terribly wrong, what with all the colour and pattern choices, but I think it blends well. I love the offset borders that extend the pattern beyond a square.
This quilt is a monster in size and weight as it is made from flannel and has a lot of applique leaves. I started the applique in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia when I visited my husband who was working there in 2011. I used to tour the city in the 30-35 degree heat then come home for a swim and further cool off in the air-conditioned hotel room watching reruns of the old Hawaii 5-0 TV shows while appliquing lots of lime green! Over the years I have taken the quilt out to finish the piecing but I never seemed to get to the end – then last week I did!
A few days ago, I finished piecing the final red and blue stars for this smaller quilt – I added the scrappy red and blue borders yesterday and I have a lovely red backing for this beauty which will make a lovely lap quilt for next winter. Hopefully when lockdown is over!!!! Keep safe everyone!
Well, I am off to Houston, Texas to perhaps the biggest and
best quilt show in the world! I’ll only
get to attend the Houston Quilt Festival for a day or two but I will get to
spend four days immersed in the quilting world as I attend the inaugural Threads
of Success conference being held in conjunction with Houston’s Quilt
Market which is not open to the general public.
Along with two full days of lectures I will also go to the Schoolhouse Series which I have heard is exciting, scary and fun all at the same time! Hundreds of lectures, demos, workshops and samples will be delivered all day, rotating every 20 minutes!! For this usually peace-seeking person I am sure I will be blown away by the experience.
To top it all I am also taking a book proposal with me that features eight of my own projects as well as three of the quilt tops. I hope to get some ideas about how I can take the book to publication or perhaps someone might be interested in one of my quilts for a quilt pattern or magazine pattern?
Long story with this Christmas quilt. I bought the pattern at the International Quilt Market in Chicago in 2006. I started hand-piecing the trees on the Queen Mary 2 during our 25th anniversary trip. Appliqed the bulbs and hand/machine quilted the top during the last year and it is now ready for Christmas 2016! 10 years in the making, but I just love Alex Anderson’s design and the modern colours for the season.
Feeling chuffed with myself this morning – actually machine quilted a project all by myself on my sewing machine. I haven’t done that for ages (except for my quilted tote bags) so it’s nice to know I haven’t lost the touch. And more importantly no wrinkles on the back!
I decided recently to have a concentrated sewing binge and finish a few quilt tops – some of which were just sitting there for months waiting for borders. I hate sewing on borders. The Mariner’s Compass quilt top I started BEFORE we left Calgary in 1998!!! Now I have to save up the money to buy the backings and to get them all quilted – another delay before they can be used. However with only three more tops to go before I am caught up I am currently looking through some of my quilt books for the next thing to start…hmmm!
My latest quilt top – all the stars were hand-pieced. It actually started out as a table runner but I had so much fun making stars I just kept going. I love the Americana look even if it isn’t the best style for London.
I made the first quilt for a wedding present for Laura’s boyfriend’s cousin who got married last weekend. Now that the event has past I thought you might like to see a picture of my latest creation – quilting as usual by my favourite machine quilter, Lisa at Seattle Quilt Company.
The second picture is a quilt top that I sent round to some magazines to see if they would be interested in my design. No luck but, hey, I like it anyway and it’s gorgeous flannel.
Changed my sewing room around yesterday and had a good clear out in the process – doesn’t that always renew the creative juices? I’ve attached a picture of my New Zealand Christmas quilt that I started at a symposium in Christchurch in 2003. Finally got it handquilted and hung this year. Quilting at times is not a fast hobby!
This past week I finished two more quilt tops, both of which required extensive button-hole applique. I have attached a photo of the Alex Anderson quilt. I got the pattern in Chicago when I went to the quilt show there with my sister Diana many moons ago. The trees were hand-pieced as it was easier to work with the bias edges and some of them went with me on the Queen Mary 2 and were made up during the voyage to New York in October 2012.
The second quilt will have to remain a mystery to you as I have taken the plunge and submitted the design for possible inclusion in a quilting magazine. The basic design is a log cabin, with a half-square triangle border, but it’s what I have done in the wide inner border that makes the design truly my own. If I get a negative response then I won’t be too upset, but I just thought that since this quilt is really mine from beginning to end (as I didn’t copy it from anywhere) that I should grab this one chance fornotoriety. Wish me luck!