Tag Archive | Patchwork quilt

Guilt-free quilting

Going through difficult times and wanting to stay at home rather than venture further afield makes it very easy for me to feel guilty that I’m not doing anything. Of course that is nonsensical as it is impossible for me to do nothing except when at my lowest nadir confined to bed and sleeping all day.

So when I look back at the last week or so, although I haven’t been out and about as much as the previous week, I have still achieved a lot and should take pride in that instead of beating myself up. We could all learn that lesson and be kinder to oneself more often.

I finished my mini-quilt swap for my swap partner in the US. I will now be able to put it in the post and wait for her reaction. I just hope she likes it. Likewise, I will be waiting for mine to drop through the letterbox and I am sure I will love mine! Just the thought that someone has spent their precious time and energy on a project for me is warming and I love this idea of quilt swapping.

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Mini-quilt swap Spring 2017[/caption

My quilt-swap partner lives in Texas and I therefore settled on a pattern which has one star at the centre as I understand that Texas is known as the “Lone Star State.” I also hand-quilted it with stars. I love how you can personalise even the smallest quilt either by pattern or colour, or both and all quilts are made with love. They are almost living things and each one gifted goes with a piece of me.

I have also started to hand-quilt one for me. It is divided into 4 large squares which I will sash together when quilted. I find it very relaxing to sit and stitch in the evenings whilst watching TV. Good chill-out time and, as I am being creative and making something tangible, it’s all guilt-free.

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I am also learning a lot about the history of quilting both in the UK and the US. I have to say that the US wins the “most interesting” award and I am now fascinated with the quilting stories, history and myths which abound. All this in addition to the Civil War quilts and fabrics mentioned previously.

[caption id="attachment_14798" width="2560"]IMG_5075 Easy 4-square mini-quilt

I may not be racing around like an ant, but I am still being productive and creative. This should not be underestimated!

Creative

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114 Days of freedom-days 8-12 catch-up

I am hopeless.

All my good intentions of keeping my Blog/journal up to date thwarted by …….by….. Mmmmm. Not sure, except that I have neglected my duties for 5 days.

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In my defense, Days 8 and 9 were spent celebrating my birthday ūüôā Whilst I am not a fan of Christmas, Easter and other Public holidays when I am celebrating something totally unconnected with me, my birthday is sacrosanct. I have never worked on my birthday. Ever. I have always loved my birthday and ¬†the work thing came about in my penultimate year at school when I sent off for retail management opportunity information from our best-loved high-street stores. Strangely, it was the Woolworths scheme which caught my eye.

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In addition to the standard holiday allocation, they gave you a day off for your birthday! Wow! That really appealed to me, and I vowed then and there, never to work on my birthday. I never have and my well-trained secretary used to book my birthday off as her first job each New Year. I think that Woolworths were years ahead of their time with my employer ony following their blazed trail 35 years later by¬†introducing “Birthday Leave” in 2014. It may not seem much, but it meant a lot to me; Better late than never.

My birthday this year fell on a Saturday. I went to my Slimming World class as usual and¬†the class sang “Happy Birthday” when they found out I was in group on my day. I didn’t want to do anything special on my birthday except that I got to choose the dinner menu. Steak of course! Not only do my hubby and I enjoy a good steak, Jasper has developed a liking for it too. The good thing is that today, steak is not the expensive luxury it used to be, and Jasper gets his own slab of red meat to eat with his mummy and daddy. Yes, we spoil him but he deserves it. He gives us both so much pleasure that we cannot possibly deny him a bit of sirloin.

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Jasper also likes going to the pub. He likes it because he gets lots of adoring attention and he meets his doggy friends for a get-together!

Jasper and Tess

Birthday celebrations over, I have mostly been busy making the quilts I have “on order.”

If someone wants a quilt, I am happy to make one if they choose their colour scheme. It’s very interesting to see who chooses which colours. Everyone is so different.

I currently have 4 quilts in progress.

  1. Will’s housemate (a) yellow/green/spring-like colours
  2. Will’s housemate (b) teal/grey/silver
  3. Feri’s mum in Iran- Moda Modern Neutrals
  4. My Slimming World Leader- lap quilt in random FQs

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Whilst looking at quilts on Pinterest, I have also found details for “Fidget Quilts.”

I will explain these another day. ūüôā

Streetlife:-

About 12 months ago, I discovered a great website called “Streetlife” Streetlife is a social network website which “makes it easy to connect with local people, ask questions about your area, share news, events and recommendations with neighbours”

So far I have found a great local tiler, who did our kitchen tiles before Christmas, found free horse manure for our garden and this week, found a group of ladies who are interested in walking. Today we met for the first time in the local park and went for a walk along the canal. It was a beautiful sunny spring day and we have a lovely time. It was so successful that we will meet again next week for a walk in the fresh air and sunshine (hopefully). People bemoan the internet but I love it. It has provided some great friends and wonderful inspiration and ideas apart from being able to keep in touch with family. How did we ever do without it?

So, a quick run-down of the last few days. I am trying to keep up with myself. Now I am beginning to understand how my mum felt-she always said she always felt like she was living in the middle of a whirl-wind. If I can’t keep up with myself, I can’t possibly expect anyone else to.

Stay with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Patchwork of Quilts

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One of my favourite ways to relax is sewing and in particular making patchwork quilts.I started off when young making “hexies” (that’s hexagons to the¬†non-patchers) and sewing them by hand into even bigger hexies to make a quilt, or more accurately, a throw.

I still sew quilts by hand, and I spent many happy hours on the train travelling to work and whilst sitting quietly when on holiday in Iran sewing triangles together. I find it soothing and relaxing with a purpose. Everything has to have a purpose so I might as well make it a pleasurable one with a finished article I can use myself or give away as a gift.

I have finished a few quilts over the past 12 months and I now have just two “on the go”. I have made the tops ¬†and am now finishing them off by hand quilting them rather than put them through my sewing machine or sending them off to be quilted professionally.

I have a few in plastic wrappers, folded up and in drawers, just waiting for the right time and place to be used. It was whilst thinking about my stash of quilts that I began to wonder what a group of quilters is called. I love collective nouns and how interesting it is to see what others call these groups of seamstresses with a penchant for quilts.

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My favourite has to be the “Coven of stitches” but these also caught my eye; A Stash of quilters, a Comfort, a Hotbed, a Patchwork and another favourite, a Frolic! I understand that a Frolic of quilters is a group which comes together to sew a quilt for a particular purpose like an exhibition and the word Frolic summons up a wonderful picture of a group of quilters having fun whilst designing and working together to make an amazing cover.

At the moment I am in a Frolic of one whilst my Sewing Bee partner-in-crime recovers from a foot operation but when we get started again, I may suggest that we form a Frolic. It sounds crazy and fun. Just what the Doctor ordered!

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Mystery quilt

I am relatively new to the craft of patchwork quilting and the more I find out about this fascinating pastime, the more I realise I don’t know much!

Today I went to a local quilt exhibition and discovered yet more quilting delights and surprises. The exhibition was hosted by the Lutterworth Piecemakers, a quilting club based in South Leicestershire. There was a number of standalone designs, beautiful quilts clearly made with love and so much patience, but what really caught my imagination were the “mystery” quilts.

The idea of a mystery quilt is that a person designs the eventual finished quilt, then month by month, provides the group with a panel to complete based on given instructions. Each individual quilter can choose their own colourway and add their own embellishments and interpretation of the instructions so that at the end of the given period, when all the panels are finally put together, bordered, quilted and bound, you get a series of “same but different” finished results.

It is amazing how different the same design can look in different colours so that there can be no two quilts the same. Incredible. Here are some examples of the finished quilts and the individual panels which make up the whole.

The mystery quilt is called “House and Home”

It was a lovely couple of hours wandering around admiring the details and hard work which has gone in to making these heirlooms. One lady had taken 6 years to complete hers.

We even had time for two cups of tea and a piece of cake whilst talking to some quilting afficianados who could have been talking a different language….jelly rolls, fat quarters, layer cakes, in the ditch, long-arm quilter…..etc etc. As a novice, I could have been quite overwhelmed, but as I keep telling everyone. How difficult can it be? It’s only sewing in straight lines!

I may have to change my opinion!

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey

Over the last few weeks I have been working hard at putting all the advice provided by Doc Fraser into place so that I make sure that I rest at regular intervals and taper my enthusiasm for all things in front of me. It has been hard but I am reaping the benefits of more energy and willingness to engage with my fellow man. Most people believe me to be an outgoing, sociable and confident person but in fact nothing can be further from the truth and in times of stress I tend to withdraw.

I am now almost back to “normal” ; presenting training sessions at work, telephoning my clients to arrange meetings and generally taking an interest in my work and home life. It is only now that I feel better that I realise just how ill I have been. I would even go as far as saying that it was touch and go at one stage as I fought against the negativity and preoccupation that I would be better off dead.

Thankfully, those days are behind me for the time being and I am now determined to carry on as before, working and living as best I can.

Creativity is again at the forefront of my recovery, and my latest wheeze is patchwork. If it’s not patchwork, it’s not in!

My new Moda fabrics Padstow design bedroom!

The Big Textile Show

Yesterday I visited the Big Textile Show which was held in nearby Countesthorpe, in my county of Leicestershire. It is so nice to have an exhibition/show held near to where I live instead of having to travel for hours to get there so I made the most of it.

It was a fantastic exhibition of a number of crafts but my overwhelming memory is that of colour. There was colour everywhere; patchwork quilts, embroidery silks, wool, felt, material. Everywhere vibrant, vivid, verdant colour. I am also a very tactile person and found myself touching the exhibits and tracing the contours of the quilting even though there were lots of signs saying “Do not touch”. I just couldn’t help myself.

I wasn’t looking for ideas, which is just as well as I was completely overwhelmed by the amazing colours and complexity of some of the exhibits. I was in awe.

Here’s why;