Sunday, 30 March 2014

Boston Pilgrims

Boston today
To the south of Lincolnshire lies Boston. In the middle of this historic town is the church called The Stump, which can be seen for miles across the fenland area. Inside are momuments to Reverend John Cotton, who led members of his congregation to the New World and became the first pastor of Shawmut, Massachusetts, which was later renamed Boston in honour of their far away home in Lincolnshire.

detail of seagulls, Green Star Quilts
 The Pilgrim Fathers set sail from our south coast in 1620 at the height of the storm season and sailed for two months before they landed on the other side of the Atlantic. The drawing shows what a scary and dangerous journey it must have been.

The Mayflower

Another memorial is at Fishtoft on the north bank of The Haven river.

Pilgrim Fathers memorial at Fishtoft
What a long journey to the New World and what hope of new beginnings the pilgrims must have had and what sights they must have seen on the way.....

detail of dolphins Green Star Quilts

Detail for Calan's quilt, Green Star Quilts

I wonder about those pilgrims, especially the women. What did they pack? What did they expect to find when they arrived? How hard it must have been to leave their friends and families. How much space did they have to take precious things....

Vintage coffee pot on 'Whitby' fabric tea towel
Did they take seeds, hoping to grow new gardens?

Could they take livestock to start their farms?

hen and chicks
I have just finished reading The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier  about a pilgrim who journeyed to America in 1850, such a good book, I couldn't stop thinking about Honor Bright afterwards. She was a quilter too. When I look at the equipment I have to produce quilts and think of these women who made quilts by the light of oil lamps without rotary cutters, electric sewing machines, irons, specialist rulers.... the list could go on and on... I am humbled by their beautiful quilts which can still be seen today. This summer I will definitely be visiting the American Museum at Bath. 

Thanks for dropping in, I know some of you live in America and Canada, so welcome to Lincolnshire for a few minutes. I hope you have a lovely week and Happy Mothers Day to all who nuture families, friends, neighbours and even care for strangers,


Friday, 14 March 2014

Low volume quilts and pale mornings

This morning the view from the window was very misty, even foggy. The garden was mysterious with muted colour. 

Greens were tinged with grey, yellows softened and tiny mauve primulas were pale.

It all reminded me of a low volume quilt from the book Sunday Morning Quilts  by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkinson which is one of my favourite books at the moment. Here is my own pale quilt....

low  volume baby quit

In the garden, the big willow tree is almost in leaf, nearly there, it just needs another sunny day or two and the suggestion of lime green will be replaced by minted new leaves.....

The May blossom tree is in her full frothy bridal glamourous dress.....

paper fine petals and delicate yellow stamens with little bobbles on the end of each one... 

low volume baby quilt

I used loads of long stripe scraps, some recycled fabrics, it was a great way to use things up from the huge pile of bits too useful to throw away...

low volume baby quilt
Later on in the morning a pale sun struggled through the fog and the day turned into bright colours....

elephant fabric for back of low volume baby quilt

The fabric for the back of the quilt is from Kay in Lincoln, little elephants in bright colours... and then when the day was in full swing I noticed the camillia had opened her first ruffled hot pink flower, a small corner of brightness in the front garden and it made me feel so happy that the spring has started. 

I hope your garden is waking up too and your week is going well, thanks for dropping in,


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Project Linus UK

Some of you will know that I am one of the co-ordinators for Project Linus UK Lincolnshire. If you haven't heard of Project Linus UK, you can read about it here . Lovely people in Lincolnshire make patchwork quilts which are then donated to Project Linus UK and given to children who are in need of an extra cuddle for so many reasons. In fact, lovely people make these quilts all over the British Isles too and there are lots of other co- ordinators in lots of other places.  We all know the wonderfulness of being wrapped in a quilt, the comfort, the soft touch of the fabric, the colours and the skill of the maker... I could go on... The gift of one of these quilts just says that we care for children who are sad and their families who are so stressed. 

Project Linus UK quilt made in Lincolnshire

Trudi at Quilting Prolifically has been so very kind and quilted several quilts for us including a really big one which was second prize in the national raffle. 

We get lots of thank you e mails and cards from families who receive the quilts, the kindness of strangers towards their families helps so much at such a difficult time. 

This weekend I have maxed out on the wonderful smell of dried lavender as I have made lots of lavender bags as a fund raiser. We buy the lavender from The Yorkshire Lavender Company and it has the most amazing scent which makes the sewing room smell like a summer garden. 

Lavender bag

Its a simple design, a rectangle of patchwork 6 x 8 inches, sewn into a bag, filled and hemmed to close. They are made from scraps from my sewing room and every one is different....These go with the hundred or so we have already sold at our talks.

lots of lavender bags

They have pretty ribbons to hang them up with and a carefully chosen button which is tied on. Often the buttons are from my Mum's vintage button box although there is only so much I can do with all the grey trouser buttons she saved so carefully with war time economy...

even more lavender bags
Each one is tucked into a cellophane bag with a contact details card

front of the contact details card

 and a sticky 'thank you from Project Linus UK' label on the front...
lavender bags ready to sell
Now they are ready for the sales table at our next talk and Project Linus quilt show to be given to a Women's Institute in the north of Lincolnshire.

If you have any scraps of fabric you can spare for Project Linus UK, please send me an email, we are so grateful for donations. If you would like to make a quilt, contact the
 co-ordinator nearest you and she will get you started, the names are on the national website. And lastly, thank you, thank you, thank you to the kind and generous people who give time, skill and so much more to our local group, 

PS. Thanks for reading all this, do leave a message if you have any fund raising ideas too. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A Memory Quilt

This week has been so cold, but I have been rather warm as I have wrestled with a huge quilt which I am making for Alisdair. It is a memory quilt and uses all his baby clothes. The clothes were mostly babygros and little t shirts, so rather stretchy and different to use from woven cotton fabrics. Here it is laid out on the floor as the pieces are put together. It won't be the flattest of quilts but I hope it will be very loved throughout his babyhood:

Here it is, finished, in all its glory, on a king sized bed ....

Alisdair's memory quilt
 It is a big quilt and hard to photograph no chance of taking it outside in the rain, so together we went on a tour of the house....

memory quilt

The airing rack is from Dublin, used in the 1930's and now lovingly painted by husband. This is only one part of it, there are three pieces and it is very tall too. Ideal for photos of big quilts.

memory quilt for Alisdair

This week I'm hoping to meet some new friends. Lynne at Lily's Quilts has kindly hosted a meet up for people with small blogs, yes I nearly said small bloggers, which brings a delightful picture to mind!

If you are dropping in, do tell me what you are making and how things are with you,

Monday, 3 March 2014

Moving house

House and garden

Several of my dear friends have moved house recently. It generally involves lots of upheaval and plenty of this....

Our kitchen about 5 years ago

Also new boilers, skips of old carpet and, in Jenny's case a new baby on the way.... well they do say new houses have that effect....  Some people love gardening and specialise in topiary:

This is a garden path at Hackthorn Hall near Lincoln, where they had an open day last summer.

 cushion made from a printed panel with an added border

Charlotte has moved just across the road to a house with more bedrooms and a bigger garden. For those that need help in the garden, our local garden centre has a fine selection of people just waiting to be asked ....

Maybe there will be a wildlife garden, we certainly share ours with lots of other families....

Hedgehog nest in the garden

But how to combine everything one hopes for the family moving to the new house? This is my gift to Charlotte in her new home. I must admit there were some sharp words said over the piping of the edges... but I am pleased with the colours. I bought the garden gnome fabric from Kay. You can read about her fabrics here


back of cushion

The cushion was inspired by the beautiful cushions made by Amandajean  here She is the most generous of ladies and has great photos too. The back is fastened with two large buttons tied on with red embroidery thread...

and here is the Ta Dah photo of the front complete with slightly wonky piping...

Gnome, hedgehog and watering can cushion 

Thank you for calling in to read my ramblings, if you are moving house this week, I hope it goes well,
Kind regards,