Monday, 28 July 2014

Vintage quilt returning home

It has been a sad month for me, as Kitty, my elderly  Godmother has come to the end of her life. She was also my mother's best friend and they supported each other faithfully throughout marriage, childbirth, sadness, happiness and bereavement.Growing up, I remember her matter-of-fact love for me. Birthdays always remembered with a card and book token, letters in her careful handwriting, marking events, telling me of her visitors, full of encouragement for me when required. As I grew older, she was there for my wedding, to celebrate the birth of my children and even recently, my grand daughter, sending a carefully knit teddy bear. By now she was nearly 100 years old but her mind was still so sharp. Here is the quilt I made for her many years ago, now it has come home to me again...

Kitty's quilt
Kitty was very independent and could be fierce if she thought I was spoiling her. She often told me off for presents I sent and so began the Amaryllis War. Every Christmas I would send her an Amaryllis bulb in a pot, she would open the parcel and then phone to tell me off! I would protest and tell her I would send presents if I wished, feeling rather a stroppy teenager sensation. Then she would phone again to marvel at it's growth and even send a always sent me into fits of giggles. 

4 blocks of Kitty's quilt
Her practical demonstration of her faith in God was always there. I never heard her give way to self pity or loneliness. When my daughter moved to Singapore, Kitty was again on the phone, remembering how she coped when her own daughter emigrated to New Zealand fifty years ago. No Skype or e mails then, only letters and parcels which took six weeks to arrive, so I must be brave. Her dignity and strength was a huge inspiration to me, along with her quiet acceptance of life's sometime sadness.

Kitty's quilt with honeysuckle
Kitty was a skilled gardener who tended who tended her friends and family as carefully as her plants and I will miss her so much. These are the words of William Lawson that I chose for her:
'Cultivate the garden within. What was Paradise? But a garden, an orchard of trees and herbs, full of pleasure and nothing but delights.'
I hope she has found a sunny spot there with a beautiful quilt to sit on.

Kitty's quilt in my garden

This week I have been getting on with the Christmas quilt for Alex. It seems funny to be making snowmen in this heat, 30 degrees here yesterday.... 

Snowmen for Alex quilt by Green Star Quilts
Here are some more blocks for the sides of the quilt:

tree and stars block

and this will be the sky for Santa to drive his reindeer through....

sky blocks
to go with the blocks I have already shown you...
Holly and parcels block by Green Star Quilts
Christmas quilt star blocks by Green Star Quilts

This is becoming a mystery quilt for you to watch growing! The top should be finished for the next blog post, so you can see it all put together.

I hope you have a happy week,

Kind regards,

Friday, 18 July 2014

Finishing Friday

It is Friday and I must review what I have done this week. Lovely Amanda Jean, my all time favourite quilter has Finish Up Fridays on her blog and kindly provides a link up too. Every week she has something wonderful to show for her time, quilts finished, bags made and everything beautifully photographed. Here the list is not so good..... I have painted three hall doors twice each, Finished Up the box of ice cream cones with toffee flavoured ice cream in the garden ( a very important achievement), and painted a chair. Here is the chair.... and yes,sadly the ironing is Not Finished as you can see in the background... 

chair, ready for painting
and in undercoat.... ironing moved but still not done, washing up cropped out of the photo....

undercoated chair
and in the afternoon, husband away, so not able to tut at me not waiting 16 hours as it says on the can for ultimate drying time of paint....

chair painted with eggshell paint
It is not quite dry yet, so there is still the Ta Dah Cushion Moment to come.... and I can't wait to move it into the hall where it will look jolly against my new decorating. In the meantime it is in the middle of the kitchen and preventing all cooking... and look at all those legs in the background just asking to be painted too, but that's another day!

Monday was a sad day for Pam as Bella, her Cairn Terrier came to the end of her days. She was last of three great little dogs and I have walked the South Common many times with Pam and her trio, well, Bella and Ralph walked with us and Molly gallivanted off regularly on a rabbit hunt. To remember our lovely walks, I made a little picture for Pam, in the style of Janet Bolton, you can see her work here. I love making these small presents for friends, although I will never achieve the beauty of Janet's textile art  and if you ever get the chance to go to one of her workshops you will never regret it.

A windy day walk by Green Star Quilts
I have also ventured into the world of pin board making. Kate has asked me to make a starry, padded memo board, so after a lot of consulting the web, I made the star blocks and set to with a stapler. The biggest problem was when the staples ran out in the gun and I had to look on U Tube to see how to fill it...

Here is the finished board and I must say I am rather pleased with the look as it is the first I've ever made:

Padded memo board by Green Star Quilts
The last finish will be to make ratatouille from the many courgettes in the fridge, the vegetable garden is in overdrive now...

Courgettes and ingredients for Ratatouille

I hope you have had a chance for ice cream in the garden and your courgettes are as bountiful as mine...
Kind regards,

Friday, 11 July 2014

Painting, a Christmas quilt and young families

Here we are and husband is still up a ladder....we tried the blue paint around the cornice but it was too bright, so now we are going for grey....then the paint wouldn't stick..... but we triumphed in papering the ceiling using husband and ladder and me with a clean mop providing the support act for the paper from ground level.... and that's the best way I can describe the morning!

All this reminded me that I have other responsibilities with houses. There is another house which I own and it is sadly neglected. In fact it is in a state of ruin and needs extensive repair, updating and redecoration! For a long time it has been situated in an undesirable and isolated location ( the attic). A 1950's detached villa, it would suit a family who can see it's potential...

1950's detached villa in need of a new roof


Over the next week I am going to supervise repairs and decorate and it's going to be such fun! I can't wait to choose the wall paper and the ceiling will be easy to paint too!

In the sewing room, I have started a Christmas quilt for Alex who is three years old. Here are the four corner star blocks:

Green Star Quilts Christmas star blocks

Here are the log cabin blocks for the bottom of the quilt:

Green Star Quilts Christmas Log Cabin blocks

In the middle there will be Santa on his sleigh and snowmen, also parcels, holly and stockings. I will show you as the other blocks are finished and then put together over the next two weeks.

In the garden and on the river bank, families are growing and babies are leaving home. We found this little chap under the apple tree yesterday.

Baby hedgehog in a Lincoln garden
I thought he would like a raspberry as I have seen them eating fallen fruit before, but he wasn't keen and much preferred sausage meat, a few worms and hard boiled egg which he wolfed down with a little clicking noise from his tiny teeth, then a drink of water and when I looked again he was gone, off on his travels around the compost heap. 

On my cycle into town along the river, here were the cygnets, all grey and fluffy, getting bigger and so sweet to see.... incredibly untidy about their pulled out downy feathers like teenagers who don't put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket.

Cygnets and mum on The Witham river bank


The Mallard duck locals look deeply unimpressed! In our Bay tree this morning, five wrens were all shouting 'Peep' in very fierce tones as I got too near, so I think we have a nest there too.

I expect your gardens are full of new families too, so have a lovely week wildlife watching too,
Kind regards,

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Painting, jumpers and a tea party

This week I have been catching up on the piles of unfinished things in the sewing room and having a big tidy up at home generally. So far I have painted one window and the twirly bit at the bottom of the stairs which has suffered many a stiletto heel during a wedding, a christening, lots of parties and me dropping nail polish remover on the paint.... I am persuading husband to the top step of the ladder to paint the ceiling and the turquoise cornice which will become the blue of the cupboard. I am a bit faint hearted about the top of the ladder and our ceilings are very high!

When not wobbling at the top of the ladder I have been reusing woolly jumpers whose elbows Have Gone, as my mother would say.... and now the  they are all joined together into a lovely cosy woolly quilt which will be an essential in our drafty house during winter evenings and, if I'm honest, these quilts are jolly nice during the day and at lunch time too!

Woolly jumper quilt by Green Star Quilts
For this quilt I used five jumpers and backed it with lilac coloured fleece from Kay's stall on the market. You can see her stall here. I took it for a walk around the garden ....

I quilted it with a wiggly stitch to hold the thicker seams flat and the edges are bound with floral brushed cotton form an old dress.

In Colleen's garden her blackbirds are in a tizzy about the cats and here they fuss all day long about the owls. We have two fluffy babies snoozing in the sun at the top of the willow tree...

and parents who are fed up with their hungry squeaks during the day when they should be asleep like good babies... parents of all young children will understand! Sometimes they hide in an effort to catch up on sleep...

Thinking outside the box!
This afternoon we saw one parent catch a field mouse in the flowerbed amid a huge noise from the small birds roundabout. I have never seen one hunt in the day before, but the babies are big now and flapping and hopping and need lots of food.

In Lincoln we have a new bookshop:

Lindum Books in the Bailgate Lincoln
I am delighted to find they are stocking Persephone books which are my passion. These are books written between 1900 and about 1940, mostly by women and published by a Persephone Books in London. You can visit their excellent and really lovely website here

The books are all printed with pale grey covers and have lovely end papers of old textile designs, and, best of all, they come with a matching bookmark....

I have a little collection starting...

and this is where the snuggly woolly quilt meets my new Persephone book...

and maybe one of these too...

The kind ladies of Lindum Books are hosting a tea party at the White Hart Hotel in the Bailgate in August. Jo and I can't wait to meet more Persephone readers and tuck into more of the above! We are so lucky to have this event instead of travelling to London to the shop in Russell Square, so thank you Sasha and Gill.

The Bailgate, Lincoln
 If you would like to know how to make a jumper quilt, just let me know and I will come up with a tutorial for those of you who might be worried about the using of knitted fabric,

I hope you have enjoyed the virtual tea party with a good book and your week goes well,
Kind regards,