Monday, 28 September 2015

Ashes to Ashes

My Journal Quilt for September is finished and it commemorates the combining and scattering of my parents' ashes.
The scattering took place on Saturday, today would have been their 59th Wedding Anniversary.  We held a traditional family picnic in a place that was very special to Mummy and Daddy and then, basically, made sand castles.  They would have had a quiet evening to themselves before the tide came in.
M&D would have appreciated the Champagne libation!

My JQ keeps all the rules I set at the beginning of the year but, for the final four quiltlets the text is free machine "written".  The words on September's quilt are from John Masefield's "Sea Fever", written in 1900:

"I must go down to the seas again,
... and quiet sleep and a sweet dream... "

I have captured sea glass and treasures collected by Mummy and Daddy under the layer of gold organza on the quilt and held them loosely in place with gold thread.
I wonder whether I would have signed up for the JQ challenge if I'd known what an emotional year 2015 was going to be? It's certainly been an interesting one to record and it's not over yet!

September JQ - Machine Writing

The final four journal quilts of 2015 and going to have their text machined stitched.
This is my first real use of the technique which I learned in a great workshop with Angela Daymond.  Basically, you set the machine up for free motion quilting and then "handwrite" by moving the fabric rather than the pen/machine.  Hmm, if only it was that easy.  I'm not unhappy with my attempts but practising a lot would obviously lead to better results, as with all these things.
Having "written", today I am back to slow stitching by hand and much more relaxed!!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

A Brace of Quilts

Today I have finally finished this sampler quilt (from Lynne Edwards' books) and named it Second of a Brace, "The Pear Tree Without the Partridge".
This quilt has had a long gestation period.  I started it to learn how to quilt, to try lots of techniques and find out what I liked and what I didn't.  The plan was that the nine block quilt would drape over one of my sofas.  I finished the quilt top in August 2009: Sampler quilt top finished

One of the first projects we did when Country Roads Quilters started was a Fat Quarter Frenzy
and I made a quilt of that design in 2012 which I gave to Daddy, it was One of a Brace  (scroll down to the end of the frosty post). I then decided that I would finish the green sampler quilt for Mummy, it would be the Second of a Brace.  Mummy died before the quilt was finished and I put it away, wondering whether I would ever finish it.

In May 2015, after Daddy died, I decided to finish the sampler quilt in memory of my parents and complete the brace.  Daddy's quilt was machine quilted, the Pear Tree quilt is all hand quilted, it has been slow-stitched and very good therapy during a difficult year.
And today, it is finished.  Next weekend, just a few days before what would have been my parents' 59th wedding anniversary, I shall take both quilts to a family picnic in a special place where we will be scattering Mummy and Daddy's ashes.  I think they would like that.

Friday, 4 September 2015


certainly wouldn't have had the strength for Harrogate today but I have managed a little stitching.  I've done some hand quilting on the green sampler quilt (from some date BC) and have raided Mummy's button box to add both interest, texture and memories. And, for a change, those buttons are not there to hide imperfect points!!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

JQ August - Deadline Met

Only just!  This is my Challenge JQ for August, the text if from the poem, "Appeal" by Anne Bronte. The last four months' quiltlets had to be posted to the Contemporary Quilt Group Yahoo page by the end of August, this one got there with no time to spare (although May, June and July were posted during their respective months).

Very little quilting has been going on, in fact, very little of anything has been going on recently.  I have been in hospital for a week following a Crohn's flare in the early hours of Saturday 22 August.  I'm now home, taking some hefty meds that stop me seeing well or doing a lot.  A little reading, a little time on the computer, a little sewing, or a little television viewing and then my eyes cloud and I have to rest.  My appetite is massive but as I am hardly moving I am having to be very careful about what I actually eat.

I am feeling a lot better than I was, I was well looked after in hospital and now am being well cared for by Al and getting lots of love from friends and family in messages, cards, flowers and phone calls.  I have to listen to my body and rest for a while.  I should be setting off for Harrogate tomorrow for a weekend including the Quilt Show, the Quilt Museum in York, Harlow Carr RHS Garden.....but that will have to happen another year now.  I'm looking forward to hearing all about it from friends and on blogs, lots of photos please.

While my body is resting, my mind doesn't seem to.  I am hatching plans and quilts and I'm delighted that Global Piecers have started some new swaps - more to think about.

A nice cup of tea and sleep now.....