Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas book

I hope everyone had a great holiday, with plenty of food, drink, rest and quilting stuff!
I have to share this gorgeous book that my brother and his wife gave me for a present.  They were a bit nervous that I might already have a copy as I have a large collection of quilting books but this was a new one to me. I spent the afternoon recovering from a large dinner and flipping contentedly through the pictures.
It's set out in sections for each region. Here we have three lovely American quilts.

 I really love these scrappy quilt designs

Three beautifully embroidered quilts from India. The spare use of colour and stitching in the last one is very striking.
This is a modern quilt from Japan. It`s so delicate and the colours are wonderful. Like a painting by Paul Klee. 
Sorry, this came out a bit dark. It`s a frame quilt from Ireland.

The next two quilts are ones that I definitely would like to make myself.

I love the colours in this Dutch quilt. The rich red fabric is like a dark wine or stained glass and the backing fabric, which you can just see folded over at the top, is also on my wish list.
I`ve never used such a deep colour for backing  but will certainly try it.

This Australian quilt really merits this double page spread. Simple 1940`s and 1950`s fabrics, a variation of a nine patch pattern and yet the way they have been put together gives this amazing quilt.
And finally, from my own country, this magnificent Welsh wool quilt.

I wasn`t just vegging out and reading. I have been working on my current project as well...

 Looong way to go yet....

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Nadolig Llawen

Got the Christmas tree...

Quilt for quilting. It`s a little bit squashed from being in a bag for a while...
loads of patches for piecing and plenty of time to relax and sew. Bliss. 

Nadolig Llawen i bawb!  

Sunday, 18 December 2011

My latest find

The weather was horrible yesterday; cold and grey with gusts of wind that sent the sleet at you horizontally.  I did a bit of Christmas shopping until my fingers went numb and stopped off at an antiques place on the way home. It`s a large place and thankfully very warm. Good for a couple of hours browsing and they usually have at least one quilt for sale. Yesterday they had several, most well over a hundred pounds.

But they also had this rather sad quilt which I just had to buy. 

It`s actually off white and rather grubby. The photo makes it look dark but it shows the quilting patterns better.

It has a traditional Welsh quilting pattern, which you can make out under the dirt!
This is from the innermost border, a leaf design with what looks like a small cloverleaf . I`ve not seen that before and I rather like it as a filler.
The outer border has this interesting design, complete with some traditional Welsh spirals.
And another spiral, slightly larger.
Unfortunately the fabric is quite worn and the wadding shows through in several places. It`s a light wadding, almost like cotton wool and this might make it tricky to wash this quilt without covering the worst areas.
It has been a well used quilt and someone has tried to mend it a few times

A torn area has been stitched here 
and some of the edges have been covered with fabric to stop fraying....not very skillfully. There are at least three pieces of fabric in this one area.

So I have a bit of a project over Christmas. I should have time to try and repair,  wash the quilt and have time for it to dry. Fingers crossed it should come out looking better.

And I also have quite a horde of patches for my new project too.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Blogging and quilting again!

I`ve had a bit of a hiatus from both;  no sewing since I finished the Kalidoscope quilt and the basted quilt I took on holiday with me, didn`t even leave it`s bag.

I`d got in a bit of a rut and nothing seemed to inspire me to pick up the scissors again. So, after Life had ceased to get in the way, I did what I normally do for inspiration. Went to the bookshelves and brought out a few of my favourite quilting books.

This is a book I used to take out of the library all the time. It took me a while to find my own copy but it has inspired a couple of my quilts.
It`s full of the most wonderful varieties of Star patterns. This is a Seven Sisters against a wonderful green background.
I don`t think I`d ever have to skill to piece those intricate circles around the Stars of Bethlehem.
And I love this Streak of Lightning quilt. I have a weakness for deep reds in quilts and it really makes this quilt zing! 
And that leads me to this quilt,   
Isn`t it pretty! A collection of tiny jewel like stars against a saturated colour background. I started thinking where I`d put my fabric stash. Then it reminded me of a similar quilt I`d seen in a book about the Beamish collection of quilts.

This is an absolutely gorgeous chocolate box of a book. It`s packed with the most wonderful North Country quilts of all description.
And it has this quilt......

It`s difficult to see in this picture, but it consists of alternate lines of six point stars and diamond shapes.
Here is a close up of some of the stars showing the 1930`s style of fabrics. The quilting is in 'worm' and 'trail' according to the book.

So...I bought a length of the richest red fabric that I could find, dug out all my fabric bags and I am now contentedly sewing patches surrounded by drifts of fat quarters.

I`ll keep you updated and I`ll be posting some more vintage quilts soon.


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Latest quilt

And I found another one.......
Sorry about the pictures. I have to drape the quilt over the sofa to get the shot.

This is quite a small quilt but made with a wonderful selection of 1950`s fabrics.
This is gorgeous;  very 'Festival of Britain'
This very vivid fabric design is present in two separate colour ways. The texture is quite rough and this may be a furnishing fabric. It`s reminicent of the barkcloth fabric that was so popular at this time.

The construction is quite crude and there are the stamping marks visible on the black fabric...
..and also on this red sprig fabric used in the border.
There is an older quilt visible inside the covers. It`s very worn but seems to have a pink sprigged fabric and some quilting is also visible

This looks a bit more familiar, and the quilting has a very distinctive zig-zag to it.
 It is in fact a cut down fragment of a  'Comfy' quilt. These were factory made during the 1930`s and beyond and there were thousands of them produced.  
Here is a picture of one in far better condition. There are usually at least two or three listed on eBay most of the time. Pink seems to be a popular colour, though I have also seen purple, yellow and even black.
A very utilitarian quilt then. The original Comfy quilt was used until it was worn to tatters and was then used as wadding for a rough but rather fun quilt. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Just returned from a fantastic holiday near Land`s End.
This is the walk down to the sea cliffs only yards from the holiday cottage. Cornwall had a massive mining industry and the remains are still visible everywhere. The spoil heaps on the left are from a tin mine that only closed in 1985.
 This lighthouse was just a short walk along the cliff path. It still has an original compressed air foghorn which is very effective!
There was so much to do in this area of Cornwall, but the weather was so good I ended up going for long walks almost every day. I took my brother`s dog with me and as you can see he had a great time.
We visited some of the many prehistoric stone features that litter this part of Britain...

This is Chun Quoit. A Neolithic burial chamber.

Men-An-Tol. A very mysterious structure. No-one knows if this is a tomb entrance or part of a stone circle. Children were passed through the ring stone nine times to cure them of rickets until the last century. 
Rhys isn`t impressed.
The Merry Maidens Stone Circle.
Cornwall South coast. Just to the right and out of sight, is the Minack Theatre which is a spectacular open air theatre carved into the cliff side.  I`d love to see a production there but you are warned  to take loads of cushions and blankets, even in Summer.
I took a load of books, dvd`s and a basted quilt for quilting.......
....but we were too tired to do anything!