Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Who needs another birthday?

A couple of weeks ago I had one of those horrendous big birthdays that no one in their right minds should celebrate. As is becoming the tradition my BFF Maria and I had a day out together. We chose a trip to Abbotsford House, nr Galashiels, home of Sir Walter Scott, the writer. We have both passed by on many occasions but never been inside the gates. Unfortunately no photography is allowed inside the house. It was a beautiful autumn day, we took the guided digital earphone tour of the ground floor, had a stroll by the river, even seeing a Kingfisher flying by, then wandered around the walled gardens. I couldn't resit plucking a few apples from the orchard, they were ready and many were lying in the grass as slug food, it was a shame not to take them, brought back childhood memories.....

No, not my photography unfortunately, gorgeous photo.
After our stroll we enjoyed lunch and a really long chat in the visitor centre before a little window shopping and more legal apple picking in the Abby walled gardens in Melrose.

I'll be back with super quilt very soon....

Friday, 14 October 2016

I'm still here....

Life has a way of 'knocking you for six' sometimes, the loss of family members even if you only meet up with them once or twice a year has a real effect, lots of should have's and could have's, hug your loved ones and keep them close, life can change in the blink of an eye! Rest in Peace Nigel!

After my DH had a breakdown in his truck last week, I did a quick online search for a new motor, on Friday we made a quick trip up to Sterling, he had his heart set on the first one we tried, we are awaiting it's delivery, it's been an expensive couple of months motor wise, two new to us motors in two months, we never see any sense in buying brand new, let someone else run them in for a year or so first....

I found some photos on my phone that I don't think I have shown here on the blog. This first one was made by an Aunt for her Nephew who bought all of the fabrics himself, not your usual quilting fabrics but upholstery fabrics, it's a heavy quilt and a very large one. I would say super king sized. I could see this in one of those fancy loft apartments, it works. Quilted by me with Crystal Maze a digitised design.

This next quilt was also a large one with a fancy scalloped border, I quilted a digitised pattern on the main body of the quilt and freemotion hand guided feather designs in the outer borders, my customer was super pleased to have it back, I was super pleased that she intended to bind all of those scallops herself.

I really like this small quilt made by a Lady who is 90 years old, Betty used a Jelly Roll, it has a very ethnic feel, quilted with crystal maze design in Khaki Sand thread.

Anne made this very subtly coloured quilt adding a striking red border, quilted with Chocolate leaves, a digitised design. The backing has an off set stripe which is a very good way to piece a backing if you don't have a big enough piece of fabric and it doesn't need to be centre which is a big help for your longarmer.

Today I loaded this fantastic applique quilt, it's another huge quilt 114" x 88", there is already a couple of years work in this quilt. I'm still in the planning/procrastinating stage of the quilting designs. It will be freemotion and ruler work so if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks send in the search party....I start the quilting tomorrow...

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Scottish Quilt Championships 2016 /2

Has it already been a week? Here are a few more photos from last weekends quilt show...

 Linzi Upton with her fabulous quilt Tartan Tattoo

Rhianon Taylors Butterflies

Beautiful hand quilting by Andrea Stracke

Beautiful hand quilting by Andrea Stracke

Rhianonon Taylors wonky houses

Quilting by Birgit Schueller

Quilting by Birgit Schueller

Beautiful hand quilting by Andrea Stracke

I've been busy catching on my customer quilts although having a few appointments this week has slowed things up a little.  I have given myself a few deadlines, it's funny how that can get you going a little. The main deadline looming is the big trip to Houston, Texas to International Quilt Festival, it's is now less than 4 weeks till I fly out to meet Maryna in George Bush International Airport in Houston, woohoo, but hold on I have a few quilts to get through first. This week a few edge to edge quilts and then onto a lovely applique quilt.

I pulled out a UFO bag and was surprised to find a quilt in full kit form all pieces present and correct.
I set myself the task of not putting this one back in the bag, it will be lifted from this floor only to be placed on a hanger to await quilting, lets see if we can get this top finished before Houston too, watch this space!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Scottish Quilt Championships 2016 /1

Just a little note to let you know my website is undergoing a wee revamp and will be up and running shortly on a new server.....

Overall Champion and Best of Show by the lovely Sheena Norquay entitled 'After the Snow Fall', beautiful!

It's always wonderful to meet up with other quilters at shows, my friends Linzi Upton and Rhianon Taylor photo taken by Billy Taylor.

Runner up Champion and 1st Large Wall Hanging my quilt 'Brewster Reflections', my take on the kaleidoscope block.

My Artist statement -:

Brewster’s Reflections 2016
47” x 59” (120w x 150h)
This quilt uses a simply pieced kaleidoscope block in a symmetrical layout using duplicate coloured and mirrored blocks to give the appearance of a star. The overlaid quilting designs were chosen to simulate the circular optical illusions and reflections that occur within the pieced kaleidoscope blocks. Hand guided, freemotion quilting.

I did enter one or two quilts, you have to support your local show, if there are no quilts there will be no show, please think about entering a quilt for next year.....

My quilt 'All Airs and Graces' won 3rd Bed Quilt made in 2016
67wx 73h (175wx185h)

This is the second in my series of wallpaper inspired quilts. This time the wallpaper is in my lounge, my finished design lends itself to a strippy quilt. Usually strippy quilts were quite plain with simple quilting whereas the quilting here is more elaborate, there is an element of ‘showing off’, hence the name. Hand guided, freemotion quilting. 

My quilt 'Interlaced' made in  2014 won 2nd small Wall Hanging (Celtic Basketweave)
20w x 20h (50x50cms)
This quilt is a study of Celtic basketweave, one fabric, one thread, one ‘ribbon’ in the border but two sides. I like the green side best, but even the binding is truly double sided. Freemotion, handguided with ruler work. 

My quilt 'Delightful Stars' finished in 2016 won a Judges Merit. This quilt is 'For Sale' leave a comment or email me if interested...
73wx89h (185x225cms)
I was enticed to start piecing this quilt top as a technique builder on an online forum some time ago. I pushed through and finished the top this year and popped it into the quilting queue. Pieced using hand dyes from Colours of Egypt

My quilt 'Grand Illusions' 2016. This quilt is for For Sale, leave a comment or email me if interested....
89” x 89” (225Cms x 225cms)
This quilt was a Bonnie Hunter online Mystery Quilt, I used yardage rather than scraps, although a little busy I still like the finished look  . The colour scheme is taken from the d├ęcor at the Grand Hotel Mackinac’s Island, Michigan, USA. At the time of entering this was still a top, undecided how to quilt it but it will be quilted in time for the Scottish Quilt Championships 2016

My Customer Carol entered her quilt 'Sugar Free Latte' which won Best Longarm for me. Lots of intense and complicated machine embroidery, don't be fooled into thinking machine work is an easy option there are lots of skills to be mastered......

Carol also entered her 'A-Z for Ewe and Me' quilt, a Janet Stone BoM from The Quilt, also quilted by me unfortunately no ribbons but well worth the outing....

My Customer Zeynep also entered her quilt 'Nearly Insane'  which won a 2nd Prize in Bed Quilts, all hand pieced and perfectly so, it's a fabulous quilt!

I know, I'm singing my own praises here, if time allows I'll be back later in the week with photos of other quilts entered by my contemporaries....

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A mixed bag....

I was so pleased to finish Jan's quilt for her, it is a souvenir from New York, bought as a kit from 'The City Quilter' a world renowned quilt shop. Unfortunately The City Quilter is closing down, isn't that a shame, hopefully someone will buy the shop as a going concern.

There are lots of panels/blocks of famous landmarks as you can see in the photos. I quilted it with Surf by Anne Bright with black thread to match the sashings. I had a backing fabric in stock, a blue and green batik that was just the thing to finish it all off

This lovely charm quilt is from a new customer, it's Kathryn's first quilt made with lovely pinks, mauves and lilacs. Kathryn request an open design called primrose, we chose a silver grey thread, it turned out just lovely.

My DH and I had a trip up to Edinburgh last Saturday to help No 2 Son and his Wife move house, after we had finished lugging bags and boxes we took a walk around the new neighbourhood. This is the New Town, beautiful sandstone terraces and cobbled streets.

I love this old car, an Auston A20, I think?

 I love these cheeses, did you know the correct way to serve a stilton cheese is to spoon it right out of the top of those huge cheeses.

Just around the corner is this lovely Starbucks, took this photo for my friend Maryna, who has promised to buy me a 'pumkin spiced latte' when we meet in Houston in just a few weeks.....woohoo!

It wasn't long before we had wandered onto Princes Street, it was packed with people, it was difficult to walk around.

 This fantastic sand sculpture caught our eye, it was very lifelike, guess the artist just sweeps it up again at the end of the day...

I did a bit of hedgerow foraging at the weekend, I picked Rowans, Rosehips, and plums....

 I made jellies and jam and pickled some beetroots too....


Pickled beetroot, Damson jam, Victoria plum jam, Plum jam, Rowan jelly and Rosehip syrup, of course I've already tasted most of it, far superior to shop bought preserves....