Thursday 30 June 2011

Cyril the Sailor Duck!

Here is Cyril the Sailor Duck all finished and ready to play with his friends

In the end I went round my applique with machine zigzag, then in big stitches in cotton perle.

I did some more big stitcherie round the rectangle and in the borders I did hearts, circles, straight lines and a flower!  I also stitched the name of the quilt in the border - just need to add my name and date to the back and the label is done - yeah! 

Buttons from my collection, both old and new, adorn Cyril's trousers and shirt, the small border patches, dot the 'i's and set everything off to a tee!  

I have used several techniques from Carolyn Forster's utility stitch workshop in this little quilt - it just seemed appropriate.  

think he looks every bit a Cyril but now I need to make his mate the little dog in the series as this was both quick and fun!  Now you all think I'm quackers, don't you??

The trouble is you are probably right!


Sorry - posted late due to problems with getting onto blogger and uploading photos!

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Little Duck

I posted earlier about this little chap in his sailor suit.  He is one of a set from the Storybook Animals series by Jan Kornfeind of Country Appliques.

I thought he would make a nice addition to my Easter decorations - something different from all hens, rabbits and lambs.  I am a bit early for Easter, I know, but I am just trying to stay ahead.

Here is my background - you may recognise some fabrics from the Galaxy quilt I have just completed.  I thought I could use some of those plaid shirtings up! 

Next it is just a question of tracing, bondawebbing, cutting and go for the applique!  But the bit I like best is choosing the fabrics.  What will I pick for the duck's feathers, his hat, his beak, his trousers? 

When I first started doing these little appliques and people in shops offered to help I would say I'm looking for rabbit fur, or santa's beard - some people gave me some strange looks I have to tell you but others were very helpful.  It did feel great when I found the right fabrics though.  

Anyway here he is all cut out and ironed on!  The only bit of ironing I have done of late...

Now all I need to do is either machine satin stitch or hand button stitch round the pieces, a bit of button sewing on his trousers, and in the borders, a bit of embroidery of features and letters and some quilting.

A little project to keep me going and give me a rest from those big UFOs!  

And yes - for those sharp eyed among you - he does face the wrong way as I forgot to reverse the pattern templates but I thought that as they actually recommend this method of applique they would have done that for me....ah well it matters not!

Now I really think he deserves a name - any suggestions?   I'm thinking he looks like a Cyril....?  


My earlier post on my little Easter applique quilts here

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Farmer's Wife Post 5

Here is my Farmer's Wife post no 5.  

I have been disappointed with a couple of blocks so I have fiddled with them a bit and hope you agree that they look better now

Block 88 Star of Hope before

and after

Block 4 Basketweave before 


And here are this week's newbies

Block 16 Calico Puzzle

and Block 1 Attic Windows

Now all of a sudden I seem to be going very blue.  I wonder which colour will feature next?

How are you getting on with your blocks?  I hope I am getting better at putting the fabrics together and constructing the blocks...have to say they are getting quite addictive!  


Monday 27 June 2011

Birds of a feather, flock together!

Well, I now have two bird tops completed to be put together back to back but do you know what?  I cannot decide which is to be the front - can you help me decide?

This one you have seen before, which is using the attic window block 

If you have been following my progress you will know that I have been making birdbath blocks - just a few to go on the back of this quilt.  Well I'm sorry to say I have failed to do just a few....I LOVE this block and soon did this many..

I took Mary and Katie's idea of pink background and Susan's idea of green and it came together just like so... 

So the question is which is the front - attic window or birdbath?

Or is there a third way??

Looking forward to seeing how you cast your vote - the bigger the sample of voters, the better, so any lurkers now is the time to make yourself known, to have your say, to come off the fence...this quilt needs your opinion!


Sunday 26 June 2011

Label for Galaxy Quilt

Ok not a very exciting title but we all know that we should label our quilts and my Galaxy quilt is my most recent finish but can I honestly say it is finished without adding a label?  Why no of course not...

To put things right I have quickly done this

Normally I would put my label on the back of my quilt but this cheeky little bit of stitching is up on the front in one of the stars I have quilted there!  It is a bit wonky and the letters are not even or particularly beautiful but it is an example of my neater style of writing so it is my connection with the future generations - I hope.

I need to add my name as the maker in another star - just not enough room in one!  Now do I stitch it in the next door star or put it on the other side of the Galaxy?  What do you think?



Saturday 25 June 2011

Farmer's Wife Post 4

Onto the fourth post of the Farmer's Wife quilt along - and some more complicated blocks with more HSTs. 

Have to say I am not really loving these and am considering a re-think on the concept of plaids and funky florals.   May have to be either plaid or floral and something else as I do not seem to have much value difference in my blocks, which was something else I wanted to explore in this quilt along.  

Oh well I do quite like the ugly block look in antique quilts so a few yucky ones will be ok but I do not want to end up with an ugly quilt...?

Block 88 Star of Hope

and Block 93 Swallow

and here are my eight blocks all together

At least the colours seem better balanced with a bit more blue as I was thinking I had gone too pink.  But now I need to work on more value contrast I think.  

This is certainly a learning process...


Friday 24 June 2011

New Birdbath blocks

The lovely block called Birdbath caught my eye on Hyacinth Quilt Designs, but it is originally from a book called The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman.  This block will feature on the back of my Birds in the window quilt

Here I have 2 new birdbath blocks with different bird fabrics.  I am using a mixture of solids and prints as the borders.  

A pink one -

An orange one -

A threesome - in a triangle formation 

A foursome - in a square formation -

And in a cross or circle formation with square in the middle -

In my previous post I mentioned that there will be a lot of background between these blocks - it is supposed to be the back of the quilt after all  - and I asked for suggestions for the background colour.  Both Mary and Katie suggested pink....but looking at these formations I am not so sure there will be any background....

What shall I do now?  Make more of these addictive blocks of course!!  Haha laughing madly all the way to the cutting board and sewing machine....?   

Whatever, I am sure there is more room for pink - thanks Mary and Katie!


Previous post here

Thursday 23 June 2011

Farmer's Wife post 3

Here I am in my third post on the Farmer's Wife, trying to catch up a bit,
and still having fun combining florals and stripes/plaids for my funky, country look.

Block no 15 Buzzard's roost

Block no 3 Basket 

My six blocks so far

Need to do less pink I feel...  Oh well plenty more to go!


Wednesday 22 June 2011

The flower festival

A local church, St Mary's has a flower festival each year. 

All the town's churches and church organisations are asked to make a flower arrangement inspired by a short piece of biblical text.  For a few years now I have been helping one of the ladies in my church with the arrangement representing the United Reformed Church (that's the one we both attend).  

This year they were celebrating 400 years of the King James version of the Bible and our text was 

And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the 
tabernacle and anointed Solomon.  And they blew the 
trumpet; and all the people said “God save King Solomon”

Yes that is what you get and then you have to use your imagination and interpret the text in the medium of flowers and this is what Kate and I (but mainly Kate) came up with:

The velvet represents the anointed king, the white satin the priesthood.  The trumpet shaped lilies represent the trumpet which was blown.  The flowers - lilies, freesias, lavender and sweet peas are scented to represent the golden anointing oil which is poured out from a ramshorn onto the head of the king.  

But you will have worked that out for yourselves....

Here are a few more arrangements

This is Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd... 

This is the burning bush from which God talked to Moses

And this is David slaying Goliath - you can see his sling in the foreground and for the sharp eyed among you there is a pebble hitting Goliath (in orange) between the eyes!

And my husband's favourite which represents the clouds (round glass balls) and fiery column that the Israelites followed through the desert to the promised land

Do you enjoy arranging flowers?  I can appreciate it and support someone else doing it but my own skills are limited. 

Do you get involved in flower festivals too?  Or visit them? 

Until I started helping Kate I did not realise all the thought that went into it before you even get to the flowers bit!  But it is great fun and possibly slightly competitive....


Tuesday 21 June 2011

Farmer's Wife 2

My next two blocks are completed.

I have done the easy Basketweave block no 4 - the dotty fabric is actually sage green but shows up differently on my laptop 

and Economy block no 31

Here are my four blocks together

I seem to have a lot of pink/red and my poor bottom left block seems to be overwhelmed a bit at the moment.  Time will tell....


Previous post on Farmer's wife

Monday 20 June 2011

Quilt labels!

I am not good at labelling my quilts - it is usually an afterthought, with one exception....

The front of this quilt has the name of quilt embroidered on the border using stem stitch - or my attempt at it

Label on back again in stem stitch, directly onto quilt back

I have also stem stitched a label, and blanket stitched it onto the back of my quilt

And finally this is a wallhanging so I used the computer to print onto one of those transfer print films that you iron onto fabric.  But you have to remember to reverse your image otherwise it's like Alice through the Looking Glass!  I know I've done it!  Not sure I'd try this on a quilt that needs more washing...


I just wondered what other people did?  Do you have a special way of labelling your quilts?

Any tutorials you know of with easy, and quick, or exciting and beautiful ways to label a quilt?  

To be honest as I have finished very few quilts I haven't needed to make many labels but it is something I'd like to explore.

This is a post where I am looking to you for help and feel free to use the ideas that come up.  If I get enough ideas I may post about it or make a permanent page dedicated to the art of labelling.

So over to you out there.  Please give me your thoughts....


Sunday 19 June 2011

Our Village Fete

We went to our local village fete yesterday - it is a small affair with a dog show attached but we were too late to see that bit this year.  There are stalls and kids stuff and food and drink.  Most of the village turn out at some point.  It is a community thing but also raises money to keep the village hall going and all the stalls are run by local people.

Some vintage cars dropped by

The local school children were dancing in pouring rain until they stopped for a bit of respite...

My family buying up the bookstall

A traditional coconut shy

It was raining on and off all day and we were quite late in arriving but some hardy people still gathered there and had some a good cause!

A little slice of English country life ....



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