Wednesday 27 April 2011

A Durham Quilt???

I have a quilt that just lies around on my couches in the lounge....I gave it a wash this week, just threw it in the washer like you do.... quilts are pretty tough really, while it was hanging outside on the line the light was just right and the definition of the quilting caught my eye.....I thought you would like to see it!

I bought this quilt ten or so years doesn't have a centre medallion, it's hand quilted in bands with a 'double wedding ring' or 'orange peel' type pattern with crosshatching in the middle band and hearts with crosshatching on the outside bands.

This quilt doesn't have a binding, it has what I think is called a turned knife edge where the top and backing are both turned under and stitched together. The front is a pale peach and the back is a golden yellow.

I've heard it said that quilts made in the north of the country are commonly called 'Durham Quilts'...Well, I live very near to the Scottish/English Border but I am a Durham Girl born and bred what do you think....Is this a Durham Quilt?

Update.....Apparently this is a 'Hawick' quilt...the hearts with thistles are distinctive of quilts made in the Hawick area in the 1920's ....isn't that wonderful!
See Pippa's comment below!

Friday 22 April 2011

Sights and Sounds of Spring!

The Grandkids have had a geat time over lambing.....the weather on the whole has been very good...that makes a big difference.....

This is Fierons own personal Blue Faced Liecester Ewe and her lambs....

Here is Kyles own Blue Faced Leicester Ewe and lambs...not the best of photos...

It's hard work for farmers.....the best time is when the ewes and lambs are ready to go out into the fields.....

Sights and sound of the countryside!

Monday 18 April 2011

A little trip!

I had a little trip down to England last week.....

That's the St. George's Cross and the Cross of St. Andrew known as the Saltire.... the flags of England and Scotland. 

Scottish Border View looking north....beautiful.
I was travelling down to County Durham, I stopped here in the County of Northumberland for a break en route... this is a beautiful Roman settlement.

You can double click on any of the photos to zoom in...just click on your back button to come back here....

In the grounds of this church is a wonderful old 'pele tower'!

Thursday 14 April 2011

Friendship Block Swap!

I received my blocks from the international block swap this I've got to design a quilt layout...just for friendship stars????

Thanks Guys.....Thanks Shannon !

Sunday 10 April 2011

The big switch on!

It was time for the big switch on times two!

I had some extra lights and overhead sockets fitted in my studio this week .... the frame from my longarm blocks one of my windows...they are only small windows anyway and don't get the sun till late afternoon so it can be a little dark in there.....

Not now though.....

I didn't want fluorescent strips as the ceiling is low and fluorescents strips can be too stark for me but these low voltage lights are just right!

I still need to sort out some rigging for the overhead power the moment I  have the cable running under my frame and up to the socket above the fabric's already out of my feet....that's great as I can trip over my own shadow!

My good friend Kathy at Tamarack Shack sent me photos of her overhead setup and as long as my ceiling is high enough that should be great...just need to collect up some!

Eventually the Postie delivered Linzi's fuses.....Thank You Linzi! 
As it was obvious that there was something else other than paper in the had to go through the guage that the sorting office uses....and there was an extra 10p delivery charge....well that was OK except that it held up delivery by 5 days and attracted a £1 handling charge....honestly!  That's more than the cost of the fuses and they arrived the same day as the fuses that I ordered online just 24 hours earlier!

Next time I need fuses there will be no problem......
As for the second big switch on....well take a look...

It was a bit nerve racking but the stitches looked very good on my trial sample.....I went on to quilt around 12 blocks over the weekend so I think I can now say 'I have timed my longarm'!

Saturday 9 April 2011

Spring Pallette!

There is nothing that says spring better!

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Time on my hands!

Remember this....

I had some time at the weekend...well I couldn't quilt so....

It's now marked.....this is only a practice piece so is only small....and you know me I like to make something from my practice so it's cushion/pillow the time of writing I'm still waiting for the postie to deliver fuses for my longarm so hope the marks stay for a month or may take that long to get to it! These blue pens usually last a couple of months before they start to fade....there again sometimes they last forever!

Sunday 3 April 2011


Titanium...nothing new, it's been around since the 1790's when it was first discovered in Cornwall, England of all places, most probably in the tin mines there! 
It's found in all living things but principally rocks, water bodies and soils.....titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminium and other metals to produce strong lightweight alloys for aerospace, the motor industry, orthopedic implants, dental instruments....the list is endless!
The two most useful properties of the metal are corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal.......

Why am I interested in titanium????

Well, I wasn't!
I found a supplier in the UK for longarm needles...just like the ones I always use.....that's what I thought....until they arrived......then I realised that these were not my usual needles but titanium coated needles.......after a discussion on one of the forums I frequent I realised that lots of people were very happy with titanium needles....they keep their sharpness longer, they are stronger, so don't break as often.... so that makes them cheaper right?

Sounds great doesn't it....until you break one!

This is the first and last titanium needle I will ever use.....That was friday evening 1st April....some April fools day huh!

Can you see it.....look in close....that needle snapped on the intersection of a quilt block....this is a beautifully pieced's not an exceptionally thick corner but maybe 6 thicknesses of fabric....that needle was jammed in there and not going to blew the fuse on my machine, it blew two fuses......which probably saved anymore damage as it took a while to really realise what had happened!

I eventually realised that I had to do major surgery on my longarm and remove the hook/bobbin assembly.....I was supported through this by some wonderful assistants on the APQS

I couldn't remove that needle, my DH couldn't remove the needle, I tried again but had to admit defeat and ask my DS who put the hook in a vice and with one sharp tap released the needle!
Did you ever wonder what your hook/bobbin assembly looks like totally dismantled.....

Now, all joking aside....the hook/bobbin assembly is now put back together and in my machine.....I had to re-time my longarm!!!!
I can't test it out just yet as my good friend Linzi has posted me some new fuses which I expect to arrive tomorow. 
Although everything looks and feels OK, I do not anticipate that the following days will go smoothly......I do expect problems and will be ordering a new hook/bobbin assembly which will probably take a week or so to arrive!  

If you are thinking about the merits of using titanium needles, think very carefully....a pack of ordianary needles is quite cheap...a new hook/bobbin assembly is not so cheap!

So why did I bother going through this proceedure...when I intend to buy a new hook/bobbin assembly????

Well, there is an up side to this.....I learned sew much about my machine this weekend....I am now not quite so anxious about having to do service on her...we have become better acquainted with each other.....that can only be a good thing!

My longarm is very precious to me!

Friday 1 April 2011

Out and about on Tuesday!

I wondered if planning permission would be given on this little old cottage?

Needs a bit of work don't you think!

Then I came across these two handsome Cydesdale Stallions out in the hills......

They were in different fields well separated to keep them from fighting!