Monday 28 November 2011

Monday Memories 3

Now into 2001 and I had forgotten this next wee wallhanging until I was browsing thro my little record book. The reason I am posting it is because it reminded me so much of my Peeps project, turrets and pointy bits - this one was made from a panel for my niece Hope, for her 3rd birthday.(she is now 13!!)
My next project is in my book as being started in Spring 2000 and finished January 2001 - it was "T Shirt Memories" and made for favourite son. The basis of this quilt was outgrown t shirts from holidays, or brought back from foreign parts by his dad. My challenge was in unifying the pieces in some way as I cut small motifs from some and  great big squares from others. The small bits, I sashed, so I had blocks of a similar size, and I stabilised all the t shirt fabric with iron-on Vilene.(interfacing.
I remember being at Ingliston for a Quilt Show (March 2000), my first, oh and how I recall the fluttery excitement of seeing so many quilt traders.......anyway, my friend knew I was after some sashing to suit this quilt and came running up to me to say she'd seen some "boy" fabric and indeed it did suit very well. I also got some denim effect cotton too and a Debbie Mumm check for the borders.
This quilt became quite a recycled project, old t-shirts, and the backing was a cotton sheet but the unique feature is its wadding. I made use of an old wool blanket that had followed me from childhood, you know the sort of thing...I used it as a mattress cover for a while and then it lay forlorn in the airing cupboard for years. I dug it out for this quilt as it was single bed sized and imagine my surprise when I spied the label on one corner - it bore a wee picture of a sheep and the words 100% wool, made in Ayrshire. So this well travelled blanket had come home to Ayrshire via Edinburgh and Worcester and was in fact an Ayrshire blanket..
The quilting must have been quite challenging for me as this quilt is quite heavy, I did a mixture of dodgy fmq and some straight line quilting.

So, I harboured a notion that Stuart would take this quilt off to uni with him, like you read in all the American magazines but the reality is it still reside here, in my sewing room! However, favourite son is happy to have it draped across him on a cold night when he comes home for a visit.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Shiver Me Timbers

Am sitting having a nice glass of chilled white after another busy Day Workshop. Today was the Sailrigger's Bag - it's a brilliant bag, but quite a challenge and all the ladies who signed up for it were given some advance prep to do before the day, mainly pre- quilting some fabric.
I first saw this bag several years ago, in Florida and purchasede the pattern. I was delighted to see it was copyright free and have in fact re-worked the instructions quite thoroughly.
It is basically two bags in one and both the outer and inner bag has 6 pockets so it lends itself to many uses.
Most ladies left today with just the magnetic clasp to pop in and the final binding around the top to do. Great job girls, you all did so well.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Pillow Fight

It pouring with rain here, gloomy and dark but that cannot dampen my excitement. The postmen delivered my Pillow Fight Package a little while ago and LOOK AT WHAT I GOT!!!
This came from the lovely Reene, over at Nellie's Niceties pop over and see what she got in the swap.
Reene organised this 2nd round of the Brit Swap and from the moment she started posting her wip pics on flickr I had very strong feelings that this cushion was going to be mine. My "request" was for something to live in my sewing room which has a sort of Americana theme going on, so I said I like red, blue & cream. Perfect interpretation. I love stars, paper piecing and wow, is this a complex pp project.
Making friends with the other cushions.
See how well it fits in.
The pics are all just a tiny bit orangey, poor, poor light today.
And, I got extras, chccy and scraps - perfect.
 Thank you Reene, for my beautiful cushion, and for organising the Swap.

Yesterday, my partner Karen,  received her package from me -

So that's another swap done & dusted. If any of you are still dithering over whether or not to try a swap - jump in. It's scary, challenging & fun!!

Monday 21 November 2011

Monday Memories 2

After posting my first quilty memory last week about my daughter's quilt, I had been thinking on and off about this week's post, assuming it was going to be about my son's quilt....that was the sort of order my wee talks used to take. However, I dug out my old book of quilt pics etc and realised there was a bit of a gap in between the two.

My first quilt took a bit of effort and was done without a walking foot so I seem to recall my reluctance to jump in and make another right away. So there was a lot of small friend Sheilagh had heaps of quilting books and was generous in her lending of them. I was captivated by Thimbleberries and loved this style for many years....I made my first wallhanging from this book:-

I noted in my book that I was "unhappy with all my fabric choices, especially the tartan/gold blocks but was restricted by local availability and desperation to get on..."
My output seemed to increase in 2000 and I have just realised why - in January 2000 I left my job with the local Council (woohoo) after 10yrs and with husband working overseas, and kids at school, I had time on my hands..............
As well as being a Thimbleberries fan, I also loved all things Debbie Mumm - I feel almost embarassed admitting this, almost as bad as admitting to being a staunch Monkees fan when I was 14. (Mickey Dolenz was my favourite) in April 2000 I made my friend Delia, this, from a DM book - (still no walking foot)
Very twee - it still hangs in her summer house.......that's a friend for you!
In the summer of 2000 I purchased a walking foot, got a hold of "Quilt It" by Barbara Chainey and there was no holding me -
I started with a cushion -
 and then another..............
I attended my first Quilters' Guild Area Day which was held in Ayr - I recall Anja Townrow speaking..........and only 2 traders.My friends and I discovered Purely Patchwork in Linlithgow and went along to workshops there. I remember going to a Christmas one - we drove for two hours there, parked, bought all our fabric instore, bought lunch, paid for the workshop etc, etc -and drove home -  think it totalled to about £100 - madness!!

I made a small quilt - it was an Irish chain pattern using bright colours on black and fussy cut themed fabric called "Gardening Gals". I remember in those days I wanted to try out everything, but especially fmq - bright coloured thread on black, I don't think I have the nerve to do that now.
Christmas 2000 probably was the end of my cross stitching days. My gifts that year were a mix of cross stiotch and quilting.
So, looking back to 2000, my inspriation was all coming from books, magazines and attending shows and workshops. No internet browsing, no internet shopping, and few local shops selling cottons..............
..........meanwhile, I had made a start on favourite son's quilt but more of that next week.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Just in from waving off a bunch of friends who are taking part in the Santa Dash today for Ayrshire Cancer Support.

If any of you feel moved by these pix, including the gratuitous doggy ones (no idea who they belong to!) then you might consider donating to such a worthy cause HERE!
Hope you are all having a great Sunday.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Solid Giveaway

This week, over at Lily's Quilts there is a humungous giveaway .......
Christmas Gifts for Quilters
Can you believe it - one person is going to win both of these boxes of fat quarters and I have just popped over to Robert Kaufman  and discovered that each box holds 100 fat quarters - so with my epic maths abilities I have worked out that someone, and it could be you, but  I hope it's me, will win 200 fat 1/ still my beating heart.

Meanwhile, to matters more mundane........I spent a bit of time re-organising my hexies this week. I have been happily making and adding in different fabrics to this project with just a vague nod to my colour plan. At first I wanted lots of greys for a cool, grown-up look but I found it a bit dull. I have used purples and pinks and some novelties and believe me, I was beginning to worry that I have created a total hotch potch. So I have grouped my hexies in  sort of colour blobs....I have only 11 more to make and can make them to order now, shifting and sorting before the final big sew. I intend making a heap of half hexies to fill in the sides as I don't want to trim back what I have already made....I am thinking white all the way far I think I am on schedule altho I fear the joining will take forever............
last weekend's eforts
first layout - nah! to suggestions.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Everyone's a winner.............

 Remember Amy's Blogger quilt festival?
Well, I got up this morning to find out I had won a $50 gift voucher from the Old Red Barn Company , one of Amy's sponsors for the festival - this appears to be a company specialising in hand-made soaps and scrubs so I should be smelling rather luscious for some time to come..............

 Back in April I posted pics of the Open Night for my classes - I do this every year to exhibit all the lovely work completed by ladies who attend  my classes and workshops. I featured Margaret's wallhanging - this was her interpretation of the class project, Cabin in the Woods, and was stunnimg. That was not just my opinion, it won the Viewer's Choice on the evening.
Following my post, someone wrote to me (sorry can't recall who that was) to alert me to a quilt competition in Coast magazine. As Margaret's piece depicted such super seaside images, it seemed like a great idea for her to enter. And one of the judges was to be Sheena Norquay, so definitely a prestigious competition.
Well, the months have rolled by and finally Margaret has discovered by digging thro a tricky website, that her quilt was short-listed. If you go here, you will see the winner, and the short listed pieces, and I am sure you will agree her quilt stands proudly amongst the others, I am so pleased that she entered, she is a very talented quilter.

Monday 14 November 2011

Monday Memory 1

Thought I'd start a wee series. For the last few years, for my sins, I have been invited to speak at Women's Rural groups, Church Guilds and the like to "demonstrate" my quilting - I have yet to discover how this could be achieved in an hour so I usually go along with a pile of quilts and babble on about how I started etc........I always get terribly worked up about these events but usually find most groups show real interest in my work and from these evenings several ladies have started coming to my classes throught this introduction.
My talk always travels chronologically through my quilts so I thought I'd do just that, here in my blog , for anyone who is interested, and if not, then as a personal record.
I seem to have always sewn, I remember my mum making curtains and stuff like nighties and a red riding hood cloak for me, and there was always a sewing machine around........ so I made clothes thro my teens and into my twenties.
As a young mum I got into making soft toys and churned out many teddies and Care Bears (remember them?)
By the time we moved back up to Scotland in 1990 I had moved on to cross stitch and anyone who was getting married, giving birth or celebrating some event, were prime targets for my samplers. My friends and I would meet on Thursday evenings (still do) and cross stitch or do tapestry, chat about our kids and generally put the World to rights. Then in 1998 we had a new member join our sewing bee - another Sheilagh, (always wanted to spell my name that way!!). The first time she had us all to her place we saw these rather interesting wall hangings and - quilts - and that was the start of it.Sheilagh showed us a few things, I joined a local quilt group and I embarked upon my first quilt - it was 1998.

 I have shown this before on my blog - but didn't go into details........a sensible person might have started off with a cushion, not a quilt measuring 7' x 5'. I had heard of log cabin so jumped right in to do that altho I always think my logs are more like tree trunks. My daughter's room was blue and yellow so that was my colour scheme, but I need to stand up and admit that there is that quilt, shock, horror! The shop I work in now was around then but did a roaring trade in pc, I recall they had an empty ice-cream tub with fat quarters in so their cotton stocks were low. The nearest source of patchwork fabrics was a good couple of hours away and the internet was still in its infancy. We holidayed in France that year, I remember cos it was World Cup year and we saw lots of fans in Brazilian tops........I digress - there is blue and yellow striped fabric in the quilt that I bought over there , can't recall exactly where, but recognising and remembering fabric sources is one of the things I love about quilting...stitching memories.
I loathe polyester wadding, the bouncy stuff, so mail ordered what the shop described as "needlepunch", quite flat, but still polyester. I had no walking could so easily have been my first and last quilt.
rubbish seam matching
rubbish stitching in the ditch

I always think advice to beginners to stitch in the ditch is just awful - the disappointment of veering out of that ditch is guaranteed, not to mention the aching neck & shoulder muscles. In those days I never gave a thought to thread types, colour or needle sizes etc.......
My label shows how I still had cross stitch on my mind - I used some waste canvas to stitch out my message directly onto the quilt.................and that was my first quilt.
It lived on favourite daughter's bed until she left home and has been on our own bed these last few months, until yesterday actually, when the big guns had to come's getting chilly at night now.
So, despite all its faults, it's special - and that goes for all of your first attempts and subsequent quilts - you put a little of yourself into all of them.

Saturday 12 November 2011

'Allo Peeps

In between class prep, swaps and Christmas, I have been working on Baby Quilt number 1 - the girl version! 
I have now completed the top so no doubt it'll lie about for weeks waiting for me to quilt it...
I loved the 1001 Peeps fabric as soon as I first saw it and bought some in purple but then fell for the Dusk palette. I took inspiration from this quilt on the Andover site that was designed for a previous Lizzy House design - Castle Peeps.
 I wanted to make the most of the great images on some of the range but I also wanted to put in a bit of patchwork too so I played about on EQ6 and came up with this -
I started to make the little pinwheel blocks using templates - and I remembered why I have always avoided templates! The block was just so bulky where all the seams met, I wasn't happy, so back to the "drawing board".
and Peeps 2..........
and I am done -

 I still didn't quite stick to the design, and on reflection I wish I had - paid more attention to my plan and used specific fabric where I intended them to go, been less random in my little 9 patches, mitred my borders, but I had pre-cut my fabric to non mitred length - duh! I could nit-pick on but I need to stop. Favourite daughter likes it and grizzled when I said she is only having it if she produces a daughter!! (So she must really like it)
Watch this space for the boy quilt - to follow......

Monday 7 November 2011


Thanks to Trudi I found out about Moo MiniCards and on Saturday I received these -
I am so pleased with how they turned out - a tiny snapshot of my work on one side, and my contact details on the other, these cards are going to be so useful for me.
Have added a few more hexies to the pile - introduced some of my 1001 Peeps in purple to the mix...........
plus some plains to make up the numbers. My plan is to have all my whole hexies finished by the end of this month, I reckon about another 20..................wish me luck.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Christmas gifts & a swap.........

Christmas Gifts for Quilters

The next part in Lynne's Christmas gifts for quilter's is over at Lily's Quilts - there is also a chance to win some yummy fabric courtesy of Backstitch.
Why don't you hop over and take a look.......

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I came in last night to find my scrappy goodie package from Fay in New Zealand! This was a quite simple swap involving some scrap fabric and a small goodie to be made from scraps. It was low key, and great fun, thanks to Kat for organising this one.
Thanks again Fay, I love it all, the pleated zippie is just gorgeous.
And by chance, my scrappy make was received yesterday, by my partner in Melbourne, so that's that one all done and duste


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