Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Over Blue Yonder

My ships quilt was made from scraps. Left over from previous projects.

Poor thing had been stuffed in a drawer for 2 years! All blocks were finished waiting to be lovingly put together. Once started I found it hard to put down, there were other quilts needed planning and sewing like 5 puff quilts, might I add, all for lovely babes that were blessed to couples, friends of daughters 1 and 2.
The Quilt was an inspiration of my childhood, the beautiful blue sky and visits to the seaside. RicRac resembling the Water, Pearl Buttons:- sea shells, also Buttons and Shiska mirrors for portholes.
While sewing on the puffs my dearest friend said they looked like limpets, just the thing for a seaside theme!

With my love of Buttonhole Stitch it just finished off the quilt lovely.
I'm very pleased with the Results. One UFO Done!

GanGan's latest seaside memory!

Monday, 11 August 2008


A few years ago I went to Coldharbour Mill at Uffculme, near Collompton in Devon, and a fascinating trip it proved to be.

It had been in continuous use for the weaving of yarn from being built in 1799 until it was closed in 1981. It was re-opened in 1982 as a textile museum and is open to the public. We were lucky enough to go on a tour of the mill and see woollen yarn being made, from fleece to the finished knitting yarn. I don't know how often these tours take place, but Coldharbour Mill has it's own website so it would be easy to find out. The tour we went on consisted of four adults and a dog!

One of many baskets of bobbins in the mill
There is a shop at the site selling the finished yarn, as well as rugs and tartans, which I believe are also made on the premises.
The site is full of interesting industrial artifacts, enough engine-type things to keep the men interested, and a photographers dream. Good cafe too.

And while on the subject:-

The little bobbin block is one of my favourite patterns, which I love to combine with florally fabrics, most of these in the photos are Liberty lawn, although some other cotton lawns have sneaked in too.

The quilt below is the one I made first, and although it is very pretty, and actually contains more of my favourite Liberty lawn patterns I'm not so keen on the setting I used. At the time I used sashing for speed and to increase the size, but I wish I had not been so impatient.

I suppose the origin of the pattern shape was the old wooden cotton reels of my youth, as this is what they looked like in profile, I can't think that the modern plastic ones could inspire you, but who knows, I may soon be proved wrong.

It's quite a simple pattern to make. Basically four triangles, two of which are made of joined backing fabric and floral fabric, and the other two of just the floral fabric. Each of my little blocks is 4 1/2inches (12cms) square. If you cut an accurate square of paper or card, divide it diagonally then cut it into 4 pieces you will have the first piece of pattern. Then rule a line 1 inch (or 2.5cm) from the pointy end of one of the triangles, cut it and you will have two more pattern pieces. Draw round these pieces on your fabric, adding a quarter inch seam allowance and you can start to make your first block. This is one of the few patterns I like to sew by hand, I just keep working at them when I am in the mood, and if you are careful to add a regular seam allowance it's quite therapeutic. It makes an ideal scrap quilt.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Cleeve Abbey

On the way to Devon last week we visited Cleeve Abbey, which is not far from Washford in Somerset. We have passed the sign to the Abbey hundreds of times, but finally made the detour, and realise what a gem we had been missing.

This Cistercian Abbey, an English Heritage property, is the most complete and unaltered set of monastic cloister buildings in England. The roof timbers are absolutely amazing, as is a 13th century floor of heraldic tiles, currently under a white marquee for conservation reasons.

There is a big car park at Cleeve Abbey, with a large grassy area, where a couple of families were picnicking. In spite of there being several cars in the car park the Abbey itself did not feel in any way crowded, maybe because it is a bit off the beaten track and the casual passer-by may well think it is 'only' another glorious ruin

Monday, 4 August 2008

The Bloggers

Last week we had a bloggers' lunch, ostensibly to encourage ourselves to keep posting and remind ourselves of how to do it. However, as with our 'sewing days' we are easily distracted and not a finger was laid on the keyboard!

Imogen brought me these roses from her beautiful garden, so I wanted to post an image of them in our blog, although the photo was taken several days afterwards as I was away from home for a few days.