Monday, 22 July 2013

Little Treasures Winner

Having chosen the nearest container which happened to be the lid of my travelling box of hexies my husband did the honours and picked a name out of the box.

The winner is Marina from Maisie and the boys blog. Congratulations Marina. Will pop them in the post as soon as i get your snail mail address.

Big congratulations to the new Royal Baby boy who made his arrival today weighing in at 8lb 6oz. My husband says his money is on the name Fred?!! I have chosen George.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Little Treasures Giveaway

It seems a timely moment to announce a little giveaway following on from our lovely workshop with Barbara Chainey. Barbara very kindly donated a copy of Volume I and Volume II of her latest collection of patterns for me to give away to a lucky winner.

Inside you will find designs suitable for quilting and appliqué and designed to fit within a 9" square. You will be able to enlarge or reduce the designs as required and the pages slip out of the binder easily for ease of use. The pages are A4 sized.

Stitching has been a very slow progress this week due to a painful back. I often have aches and pains but this has been something else and I was told to cut back on the sewing to give things a rest. Feeling much better this morning I attempted to stitch the last small component of the Lotus Blossom block. I had to rest after each tiny seam as the pain is also bad in my hand. I did it and that is my lot for the day. Maybe tomorrow I can add another seam. Progress is progress no matter how small. During this week all those carefully arranged pieces stayed in one place and neither husband or budgie came to any harm.

Often when we stitch we just show off the front of the work. It is after all the bit we want to see. What I always want to know though is how do you press the seams and which way do they lie and what does it all look like at the back. Starting from now I will make the effort to show you what the back of my work looks like and I hope you won't be shy in showing me what yours looks like. This is the small section from the back. Nothing has been pressed other than the sections in the middle and only with pressure from my fingers. A word of warning here, those pieces are very stretchy and may not fit the next section if you are too eager to flatten it all out. Hand piecing also allows those seams to move freely too. I am no expert on this matter and any hints or tips or advice are always welcome.

All you have to do to win the patterns is leave me a comment, blogger or no blogger so long as I can contact you if you are the winner. First name out of a suitable receptacle will win on the 22nd July. You can leave me a comment even if you  don't wish to take part, I do like to hear from you.

Good luck.

Happy Stitching.


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Whig's Defeated

On Friday we had the greatest luck to have a workshop with Barbara Chainey who was going to put us through our paces and show us how to make the Whig's Defeat block. It was a lovely sunny day, very warm, not what we have been used to but with the ceiling fans going full blast, all doors wide open we enjoyed a most informative day. Lots of tips and advice given throughout the day and fortified with tea and freshly picked strawberries saw Barbara's energy levels maintained. She left deepest Middle England at 5.00am to make it in good time for us at 9.30am.

Here is Barbara showing sections of the block. Talking us through the sections of what goes where.

This is the same block but with a different placement of colours. Very different effects can be achieved with colour placement.

This is Jacqui's block looking very bold and adventurous.

Janet from the previous post used very soft shades of  fabric with a deep purple. Thank you for all your wonderful comments regarding Janet's Race Track Quilt.

Ann's block taking shape and the pretty feet belong to Ann's daughter Emma.
Kathryn hiding behind her block and blending in beautifully.

Marie's block looking very pretty. I say that because I have some of those fabrics and I was drooling over them. Marie's summery dress was very pretty too and she was lucky to go home with it intact.

Emma's version is on the table and you can see it in the foreground. It would work fabulously with the décor of the hall.

Much discussion on what goes where.

Diane's version.

I had to try something a little different. Still Whig's Defeat but based around a hexagon. What else would you expect from me? I can tell you there was a lot of muttering going on from where I was sitting and if only you place the small pieces the right way round then it all becomes quite simple. The pattern is very much a trial piece as it is based on an old quilt found on Pinterest.  The pattern was drafted by Barbara's partner in crime Chris Frances. That really will teach me not to send a Pinterest link to a friend who has a friend who is an expert in drafting patterns. I am using fabrics that were hand dyed by my friend Wendy. This version is called Lotus Blossom, the block is 20 inches and I think it is beautiful.

Back home and all the little pieces cut and placed in order. My husband is under strict instruction DO NOT TOUCH the table OR ELSE! Just hope now that the budgie doesn't swoop over them and scatter them on a downdraught.

All set out on the floor and apologies for the table leg and the plastic bag in the way. It did take me ALL day to do that one small section of points but once I got some sense of order the next piece went together in a very short time. My plan is to have the circle completed by the end of the week. Oh! A pig just flew over.

Outside of the Orangery is a magnificent Tulip Tree and it was in full bloom. We should never be stuck for ideas on how to put colours together, just look what nature does. Smelled lovely too.


We thoroughly enjoyed our day and have now defeated The Whig's. Easy when you know how. Barbara enjoyed it too as she had a personal guided tour around the beautiful old church and I wonder how soon we shall see some drawings inspired by her visit.
Thank You Barbara on behalf of everyone at Apple County Quilters.
Happy Stitching.