Saturday, 29 March 2008

Summer Suffolk

I've finally finished what will probably be the last sheep picture I'll make (well, for a long time anyway.) It was commissioned last November, so I haven't been exactly enthusiastic about it, but I've persevered and it's done at last.

You can sense the reluctance with which I approached the stitching and I did work on it in fits and starts. But this sheep does have "it." What I mean is that there comes a stage in working when the image transcends the technique and the toil and takes on that certain magic of life and personality.

It's only a smallish picture -30 x 40cms but I'm satisfied that my final sheep is not too bad!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy Easter all!

This would have to be my favourite Easter joke. And Drew and I ate into our chocolate Easter bunnies in exactly this way this morning, so obviously it's a universal truth!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Samuel Street

It's done! And it only took me about three months! Being only a part-time quilter, that's good going for me.

I planned this quilt years ago. I had decided to make a quilt for each of the four daughters of my niece, Liz and had the first nearly finished when she gave birth to a son, Ben. So I followed Lillie-Mae's lily quilt with a bear one for Ben. Tigers for Jackie followed and finally it was time to make this long planned design. I had originally planned a house in the middle square but I managed to find this pieced "Overall Bill" which did nicely for the boy. Fer had got me the Rag doll block pattern from an old Quiltmaker magazine, and , though I have no confidence with my hand-appliqué skills, I managed to make these up without too much hassle. The problem was that they were not square blocks and I preferred a square quilt for this series. So, after some fairly violent mathematical calculations on my part, I made the green sashes different widths to bring it up to square and match up with the 6 inch blocks for the outer border.

Many years ago I had made another quilt, Samuel Town, using these different houses and trees and it had been my favourite quilt. Now as Liz and her children lived in Samuel street (a very rural road!) it was a logical name for this effort. I tried to use fabrics from my stash so I graded the colour of the background of the outer blocks. I nearly got away with it but had to buy one more fabric ...

This detail shows the hand quilting of the inner panels. Perhaps I got a bit carried away! Anyway, I've finished and I love it. Samuel Street is machine and hand stitched and hand quilted. The batting is a 60/40 wool/poly blend and it is backed with a printed cotton flannelette. The rag dolls are embellished with a few beads and lace and have hand-embroidered details. The finished quilt measures 108 cms square (3 feet 6")

And now for Pheobe's quilt ...

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

New Wheels!

So, here she is, the new Clairemobile! She's an '04 Nissan Xtrail manual, one owner, low mileage and the poor lady nearly wept as I drove it away. (Her third child is due in 3 weeks and they're upsizing to a Pajero.)

It's so quiet and comfortable to drive that it's a strain to hear the engine and know when to change gears. I was nearly back at Exton before I realised that it had a tacho, and should be reading the revs. Like all the early Xtrails it has the speedo/tacho/other dials in the centre of the dashboard, which will take a little getting used to and my left hand on the steering wheel tends to hide the tacho from my view. You do have to watch the speed continually as I can't judge it yet - it goes very fast! The colour is called twilight.

We still have the hyacinth van which we've advertised. I hope it sells soon - I'm feeling desperately broke!