Thursday, 8 August 2019

My baby quilt’s baby has arrived!

Back in March I gifted this baby quilt to a New Zealand friend who was pregnant with her first baby.

At the time Morgan didn’t know whether baby was a boy or a girl so I made a bright quilt with Primary colours, orange and green fabrics. She was so thrilled and promised to let me know when baby was born. I was thrilled to have an email from her on Sunday with the great news that Isabel Michelle was born and some gorgeous photos. Such a beautiful baby! Both my husband and I are very fond of Morgan, a lovely young lady and we know she will be a super Mum. Lucky Isabel.

Isn’t it lovely when your baby quilt finally has an owner?
Another of my quilts living in New Zealand. I think this makes ten quilts now!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Great meeting up at Festival of Quilts!

About four years ago I discovered the organisation called Siblings Together - a Group which makes and collects donated quilts to gift to children in care or being fostered who have been separated from their siblings. Each year Siblings Together organises camps where Siblings are reunited and each child is given a quilt which will be a permanent reminder of that reunion.
The idea really touched me: I couldn’t imagine how devastating and life-changing being split from your brothers and sisters would be. To be able to meet up with your siblings again and to have the comfort of a quilt made with love by a complete stranger sounded marvellous.

Since then I have made 5 quilts and lots of blocks (some QAYG) in a few Siblings Together block drives which I send to a lady called Nicky who works so hard for this Charity.

On Thursday I was at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham and was going up and down the rows of Competition quilts when I overheard a snatch of conversation. Two ladies were standing in front of a quilt and I knew they were talking about Siblings Together. After their conversation broke up I spoke to the other lady and asked if she was connected to this Charity. She turned out to be Nicky! Such a lovely person, exactly how I had imagined her to be. We had a hug - s0he remembered my name from various parcels I had sent over the last few years and we had a lovely chat. The quilt she was standing beside was the Siblings Together Group quilt made from signed friendship stars sent in by supporters. Somehow I missed seeing the call for that Block drive so there wasn’t a star from me.
Nicky took a photo of me standing by the quilt and said she was putting it on Instagram ( she did, I’ve seen it). Thank you, Nicky, it made my day to meet you!

I visited the Festival again on Friday and thought I ought to have a photo of the quilt. Imagine my surprise when standing by the hilt was Nicky and another lady called Lucy who also makes lots of quilts for Siblings Together.

And here they are, Nicky on the left and Lucy on the right.

So delighted I met you both. It’s inspired me to make another quilt for this good cause.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Emptying the Coin Jar

I follow Jo Butterfield’s blog and she saves coins in a jar which she empties every year. She recently added up the amount she had in her jar which reminded me to empty my jar.

As you can see it’s not very big, just a regular jam jar.

Not too long ago I needed some coins so I exchanged coins for a £10 note so there was a bit more money in than I could have squeezed in with coins.  Just counted up and ( with the £10 note) I have the Grand Total of £56.85. Not bad at all and as I am soon going to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this extra Spending money will come in handy.

I will be buying fabric of course - there are usually some good deals but I always stock up on batting. The stall I like to go to has a good sized bundle for a reasonable amount so I always buy 2. My Coin Jar money will cover that plus a bit over.

Earlier this year our neighbour decided to take out a black currant and red currant bush from their garden and offered them to me. I didn’t know how they would take to being transplanted. However they survived and we had a reasonable amount of black currants which we have enjoyed mixed with raspberries and strawberries topped with Greek yogurt. This week the red currants (lots more than black currants) were ready. I picked all the ripe ones, leaving the others to ripen, and We can’t wait to sample them tomorrow with a lemon tart when we have visitors staying overnight.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Look what I found!

I was looking for something in my sewing room a few days ago and then found a bag of gifted bonus triangles, already in pairs. I then unearthed several bags of them!

 Quite small but I couldn’t possibly throw them away so I decided to start sewing them together into HSTs. I have been sewing them in little bursts of machining or as Leaders and Enders as I put together a baby quilt. I have actually emptied one bag and started on a second one.I have also been pressing the HSTs and trimming in short bursts too as I find that a tedious job and I’m happier tackling them like this. I am now building up a bag of trimmed HSTs.

Here’s a few of them:

Sunday, 23 June 2019

A super weekend

Two sets of Crumb blocks I put together late this afternoon, a few 4” ones and more 4.5” blocks.
I have laid out a set of 4.5”  Crumbs alternating with a variety of fabric squares so I can start a Linus Quilt at tomorrow’s Patchwork Group meeting.

We had old friends to stay for the weekend which was so lovely. Good weather (for a change this summer!) so we were able to do a few walks including a great day yesterday when we combined a walk beside the canal and a  visit to Packwood House and Gardens, a National Trust property not far from our house. I was happy with all the meals I produced which were devoured eagerly. All our walks were new to our friends so a good time was had by all.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Another finished quilt

I finished hand quilting the latest Siblings Together quilt using various Perle threads.
Finished at 51” x 62” although I guess it will shrink a little in the wash (just finished).

Friday, 7 June 2019

Memories jolted by Cathy’s blog

I follow Cathy’s blog Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting every day. I love everything she makes and admire her ability to sew beautiful quilts from scraps many folk would throw away.

A couple of days ago she wrote about her sewing history - she was lucky enough to be taught by her Grandma and it made me think back to my own childhood and how I was “put off” sewing!
Which was strange as my Nana (Dad’s mother) was a  tailoress and was able to knit and crochet beautifully as well. My eldest sister is 11 years older than me and learned a lot from Nana but by the time I was old enough to learn she wasn’t able to teach me. However I picked up knitting and crochet from my sister.
Then came Grammar School at aged 11 and in the first year we had to make a cookery apron and a silly hat for Domestic Science lessons. I had never used a sewing machine - Mum didn’t sew - and every lesson was horrific. Either the machine wasn’t working or the needle broke, or the bobbin ran out etc etc. I spent most of the lesson waiting for our teacher (can STILL remember her name!) to help me. So as a result I hated sewing and was terrified of sewing machines!

Fast forward 10 years and I was a qualified Primary Teacher. In those days there were such things as Evening Classes run by the local Education Authority. My lovely big sister had always made my clothes . She knitted all my baby clothes and then all my jumpers and cardigans and then made my dresses, even through my College days! I thought it was about time I learned to sew myself and stuck it out for two years. Not really my thing, although I tried!

Fast forward again another 10 or so years. Now a Mum of two children including a little girl who took Ballet and Tap dancing lessons. Every two years her teacher did a big show and I was expected to make costumes for her. Quelle horreur! Mum -in-law was also a good sewer and gave me her old machine. Unfortunately she didn’t live near enough to help me so I plugged on by myself. I actually managed to make the costumes but I hated it!

Then came early 1997. I read an article about Gillian Clarke, wife of a well loved politician.  She was a Quilter, something I don’t really think I knew about. She made the most amazing appliqué quilts and I was hooked. I investigated Quilting, went to a Saturday class the other send of the country because I didn’t know of anything in my area. I was put in touch with a local group and the rest, as they say, is history! I was hooked, “obsessed” my husband would say. I have made the most wonderful friends, made probably 200 quilts, of all sizes and loved every minute of it.

My big sister is still amazed, she still has to pinch herself that Little Sister sews, owns more than one machine and loves cutting up fabrics into little bits and then sews them together to make something pretty and useful. She readily says it’s something she COULDN’T do, the thought of sewing all those bits together fills her with horror! So I’ve loved making quilts for all of her  8 grandchildren. Perhaps Great grandchildren one of these days?