Saturday, 28 May 2011

My Saturday

After a quick stop to "forage" for supplies at the local farm shop this morning we arrived at a quilt exhibition a little early for the organisers so Al was put to work hanging the last quilt.  The quilts were in an ancient church, always a good setting I think.  All the fundraising was for the restoration of the church.  This was the display behind the altar.

I'm going to share my two favourite quilts with you.  The first is this wonderful blue and white quilt, "Willow Star" by Paula Doyle and it was longarm quilted by Izi Hall.
 Here's a close up of that lovely piecing and quilting:
The second quilt that I would have liked to take home was this one by Jackie Norris called, "Oh Yes I Can!" after she saw it as a kit at the Houston Quilt Show and her friend told her she'd never be able to make it.  I'm so glad she proved her friend wrong!
 It's hand pieced and then machine assembled and machine quilted, here's a close up:
After a not very quick visit to the LQS to buy wadding and fabric for a Gail Lawther workshop (watch this space) we visited the Straw Museum.  Al's ancestor was a strawplaiter so we had a bit of interest in the hat making side of straw work and of course knew about corn dollies but we were blown away by the Swiss straw lace.
 Yes, everything that looks like goldwork embroidery is made with straw, here's a closer look:
I'm now thinking about how I'm going to layer and quilt the two quilt tops I got finished at my group yesterday, the picnic cloth and the Round the Nara Garden, and my darling Al is cooking dinner, aren't I a lucky girl?  Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Sorry, no pictures

Some quilty goodness coming up.  I'm off to a new group tomorrow, the Mustard Seed Quilters.  They grew from the over subscribed group that I used to belong to.  I'm taking a pile of unfinished pieces to work on.
  • The Round Nara's Garden quilt that didn't get finished in time for Teresa to sleep under it.  It needs a border and then layering and quilting.  I'm hoping some lovely ladies will help with the tacking for me, many hands make this a much happier pastime.
  • The picnic cloth that I started on FNSI and which now needs the border and ditto - there's a theme emerging here, it seems I enjoy piecing but baulk at the finishing and layering and quilting!
  • I'm signed up for the quilt swap at Lynne's BritQuilt group and have made tentative plans towards this that probably involves buying more fabric!  I hope to get the background pieced tomorrow, it's going to be foundation pieced strips of lime green and purple, more about that later.
That will be it for sewing as its half term here and my DD and the wonderful Sam are joining me for a week of zoo visiting, swimming and a quick trip into the city (that's for DD and me, not GS Sam).  Have a great weekend whatever you're doing.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Love our quilt heritage? Vote for it!

Love our quilt heritage? Vote for it!

The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles announced some exciting news re funding - Click the image above to enlarge and read.
The Quilters' Guild Needs Your Help!

Our project "Unfolding the Quilts", based at the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, has reached the semi-finals of the National Lottery Awards for `Best Heritage Project'. Vote for our project and help us reach the televised finals!  Go to or phone 0844 836 9716 to cast your vote from 31 May. Ask your friends and family to vote too! I'll try to remind you once voting is open :)
You don't have to be a Guild member to support this project. Winning it would be a fantastic boost for the Quilt Museum but just getting through to the next round would help publicise the museum's collection and conservation projects.  Thank you.

NB I copied this post directly from Susan, she said exactly what I was about to post when I heard this great news for quilting:

Monday, 23 May 2011


I was talking to my friend Trish today as we are attending a Gail Lawther workshop soon and will be making a Japanese-style quiltlet.  Trish told me about a television channel, NHK, where she is able to keep up with how life is progressing in Japan now that we here in the west are not getting their news in our headlines anymore.
Then I came home and found that Susan Briscoe had posted this link on Facebook,
Yesterday I was catching up with some blogs and read one by Deb in Christchurch, NZ, who writes
"Here in our beautiful city life has changed forever and I think we are all slowly realising the fact. It is going to be many years until life returns to the “normal” we once knew and then it will be a new version of that which we will all have to get used too. All we can do is be there for each other."
I think Deb sums it up for all the places in the world hit by disaster of any sort.  Life will not be the same as it was before the event.  
These three things reminded me that I need to keep the people of Japan, New Zealand and elsewhere in my thoughts and prayers even if they are no longer in the news.  Thank you Trish, Susan and Deb.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Friday Night Sew-In: Saturday Morning Report, May 2011

Thanks to Heidi and Bobbi for hosting another great Friday Night Sew-In.  (Click on the button right to join in next month)  This is as far as I've got with my scrappy floral picnic cloth yesterday.  I've used all the six inch squares I got from Susan, the Quixotic Crafter, and now need to find something suitably summery for the border.  I was tempted to head off to the LQS this morning but think I might be better off looking at dress fabric.  I'm going to have a simple six inch border with contrasting floral corners and then I'll need to think about quilting but I want it finished to use this summer so it'll be something straightforward.  I love it already, thanks Susan.
On the subject of florals, the Californian poppies are looking splendid in the garden at the moment:
Have a lovely weekend and can I add two massive thank yous?
Thank you to all the lovely people who visited here during the Bloggers' Quilt Festival and left such lovely comments about my Manatees quilt.
Thank you to all my wonderful followers from Online Quilting and Sashiko Started It who have clicked that follow button here at Piece'n'Peace, you're the best.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Day Out, A Finish and Some Shopping

It's been a beautiful, sunny day today and I just want to share a few things with you.
Firstly, DH and I went to a garden on the north Norfolk coast at a place called Beeston Regis.  It's called Priory Gardens and it was the first time we'd been there.  We shall return as the gardens were delightful - maybe rather wild for some people's tastes, not exactly manicured - but a wonderful collection of plants, ponds and walks.  The cakes and lunches were also top notch,  broccoli and Stilton quiche for me, a fillet of fresh plaice for Al, all eaten in beautiful sunshine with the birds singing.  Here are a few pictures and here's the website,  Oh yes, I forgot, there's a maze, created in 1995 to echo the floor plan of the original Beeston priory and planted with purple copper beech, hornbeam and escallonia, great fun.

I've finished my New Zealand wallhanging today and so I've made more progress through my "to do" list for 2011.  I made a brooch yesterday which might or might not go to my swap partner in Susie's brooch swap, I'm not giving any clues away!  It's Friday Night Sew In tomorrow and I'm looking forward to an additional sewing project using the lovely collection of six inch floral fabric squares I received in a giveaway recently, from Susan, the Quixotic Crafter.
Finally today I want to share the goodies I bought at the Woad Centre - all those of you who commented were dead right, I didn't come away empty handed, you know me so well! 
Some woad pigment as I can't imagine I'll be successful in growing my own.
Some goodies from Woad-Inc's delightful range of toiletries.
Some wonderful indigo threads:  
And I couldn't resist this delicious woad-dyed throw designed by Bernadette with the Woad-Inc flower trademark woven into the design.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Silk Tour of Japan

For all my friends who are off to Japan tomorrow on Glennis' Silk Tour I wish you a wonderful trip and wanted to share this picture.  |It was this week's Big Picture winner in the |Daily Telegraph and is by Robert Allen of York, North Yorkshire.  It's of a maiko (apprentice geisha) en route to a cherry blossom festival in Kyoto, Japan.  Just look at those wonderful kanzashi in her hair.

You can follow the progress of the tour by subscribing here

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Wonderful Woad

Al and I had a wonderful day with woad on Saturday when we joined Ian and Bernadette Howard for one of their Woad Workshops.  We followed a series of country roads, which were getting narrower and narrower until there was actually grass growing in the middle and ended up at The Woad Centre in deepest Norfolk, the countryside that would have been familiar to Queen Boudicca and her Iceni tribe who are believed to have painted their faces with woad before going into battle.  Ian explained that woad has antiseptic and healing properties and it might have been against potential wounds as well as to frighten the enemy that the indigo blue dye was applied.
After coffee and learning all about the production of woad, which Ian grows in his fields that used to be a standard arable farm, it was time to make the dye bath and for the mess and excitement to begin.  We used silk to make a small hankerchief trial piece, tying the fabric and adding various items to create areas where the indigo dye wouldn't adhere and so the fabric would stay white.

Even though we knew it was going to happen it was still like magic to see the fabric come out of the dye bath looking yellowy green and then develop into a beautiful blue as the oxygen in the air reacted with the dye.
Happy with our small pieces we started work on silk scarves.  This time Al made a very controlled design (not like him at all) and I went for random (so unlike me).  These pieces stayed in the dye bath for a longer time and we had the opportunity to learn more about Ian's woad business developments and his future plans.  I encourage you to take a look at the website, woad-inc, where you can learn more about the history of woad (the last woad mill in Lincolnshire closed in 1932), read all about what they are doing at the Woad Centre, see (and buy) the gorgeous products they create and study the science bit too.
Time to go back to the dye house and see the magic again:

Now I love those earthy shades that appeared in my scarf but according to Ian and Bernadette they shouldn't be there and none of us could work out where they came from.  Nothing I used to tie my cloth could have rusted and I didn't spill my coffee.  Whatever it is it adds to the uniqueness of what I created and I love it.
Our final stop of the day was in the woad showroom.  This is the result of the creative talents of Bernadette.  Do you think I bought anything?

Friday, 13 May 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival, Spring 2011

Amy's Creative Side
Welcome to my post for Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival which starts today (now that Blogger is back with us).  Thank you to Amy for hosting another great festival, and to the sponsors for offering such lovely goodies.  When you've finished here there are lots and lots of lovely quilts to enjoy.
As you can see from the label (and I've just this moment noticed that I omitted a finish date - it was completed in August 2008 and was the fourth quilt I'd made) the quilt lives at our holiday home and is used by the grandchildren and by guests of ours there. 
It was the first quilt I'd made that used a bought pattern, it was "Yellow Brick Road" by Terry Atkinson which I bought, along with all the fabric for the quilt top, on holiday in Florida when we visited the Judy Hansen's Quilt Shop of Deland.  My DH and my friend's DH were very impressed with the coffees and the chocolate brownies that they enjoyed while Dorothy and I spent ages browsing, being advised and buying.  That morning we'd been to the Blue Springs State Park and had been delighted to see the manatees with their calves in the warm waters there.  When I saw a sample of this quilt hanging on the wall of Judy's shop I knew it would make the perfect holiday souvenir. 
As this was only my fourth quilt my focus was simple - follow the pattern carefully!  I also tried to balance the colours but think that the paler fabric is too stark in retrospect.  I also made a mistake by buying economy furnishing fabric as backing, thinking at that early stage in my quilting life that anything would do for the backing!  Hmm, I know better now.  The quilt is just quilted "in the ditch", for the first full size quilt I'd had under my domestic machine that was quite challenging enough.
I love this quilt for all it's faults and it is special as a holiday souvenir for me and because it is now part of the holidays of family and friends at the bach in Norfolk.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Welcome to Piece'n'Peace, my new blog for everything in my life.  I was juggling several blogs and decided it would be much more sensible to have them all in one place.  I hope all my lovely followers have arrived here intact and are happy to follow this blog - you'll get more for your clicks!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Mug Rug Swap

The Mug Rug Swap organised by Sal has been a great success with lots of delightful things whizzing around the globe and being enjoyed by us all.  I received a great parcel from Joan, thank you Joan:

and enjoyed making up a goody bag for Sal.  I cheated the post office by a few pence and sent her mug rug swap and her birthday FQs together!
The next swap will be a "softee" swap, again organised by Sal - they say you should always ask the busiest person if you want something done!  Thanks Sal, looking forward to getting more details.
Teresa recently came to stay with me (and respective DHs) and we had a great time although we didn't get as much sewing done as I'd hoped but we did spend a considerable amount on time "quilting" on the computer - blogs, flickr, email, swaps etc etc.  Wouldn't it be brilliant if we could manage to get all GPers together sometime?

Monday, 9 May 2011

Now what have I got myself into?

I'm finally out of bed and up and about now, although still taking it carefully after a nasty M.E. flare up.  It was particularly annoying as my quilting guru, Teresa, has been here with her DH for the week and I had all sorts of quilty outings planned.  Never mind, we did make it to the LQS, Camelot Crafts, and were very amused to see our respective other halves head for the tools display before enjoying a nice cup of tea courtesy of lovely owner, Wendy.

We've had time to chat and plan and I seem to have got myself into one or two projects!
Come and Join "Brit Quilt"
Lynne at Lily's Quilts has done what we've all been waiting for - UK quilters now have an online place to meet, get to know each other, chat and show off what they're working on.  The first project is going to be a Brit mini quilt swap but firstly we're getting to know each other.  No offence to all you lovely quilters in the rest of the world but it's nice to think we might actually meet up with a fellow BritQuilter at a local show or in the LQS.
The group is for any quilters living in Britain, long or short term.  So click here and go and join, add the button to your blog and spread the word amongst any UK quilters you come across in your blogland, flickrland, facebook, twitter or real life travels.  Look forward to seeing you there.
While I was at it I've signed up for a Charley Harper quiltalong at Ethne's blog.
Charley Who?  That  was my first reaction when Teresa mentioned it but fortunately she was armed with books illustrating his wonderful work and so I was inspired.  There's no time limit on this one and it's just for you, no swapping, and maybe an opportunity to get to know this artist and explore a new style.  More details and follow Ethne's posts forward for lots of inspiring pictures and a button for your blog.  I'll share the process on here but at the moment I'm just enjoying the designs and trying to decide which one inspires me the most.
Do you think technology has taken over our lives?
Thank you very much to Plum who sent me a lovely fabric postcard with her best wishes to me while I was feeling so unwell.  I've sent healing hearts etc to others in the past but this is the first time I've been a recipient.  Golly, it made me feel good, loved and cared about, so thank you Plum and, knowing how much I appreciated your kindness, you have inspired me to make sure I send even more quilty thoughts to those in need of them.
Also in the post I've recently received a lovely goody bag from Joan, my partner in the Global Piecers recent mug rug swap and above you can see that mug rug, mug carrier and other bits that I sent to Sal.  We don't use mug carriers very often but in US and NZ they use them to take their own mugs to workshops and classes.  I suppose our meetings are often in church and community halls that have their own kitchens and equipment.  It would save on all that washing up though!  
I have finally got back to stitching and completed the Patchwork in Perspective quilt top that I started in Exeter with Lynne Edwards in April.  I'm quite pleased with it and am looking forward to hand quilting it with a simple shadow quilting design so I don't distract from the geometry.
Time to start catching up with all your lovely blogs now...