Saturday, 23 July 2016

Time and Again on Orkney - quilts progress

I have had these photos for about a week but haven't got around to posting them until now, so the quilts came along much quicker than the date on my blog post suggests.  The one at the top is Barbara Morrison's version of Time and Again, layered and ready to quilt.  I'm not sure if she was hand or machine quilting it. The block centres are all the same fabric, with a black and white kanji print.

The second quilt is the one Gina Patterson made, using a Bali Pop in the 'Sparrow' colourway.  The block centres are all the same, with a Japanese style metallic print of tiny cranes flying in all directions.  She cut the applique flowers from the same fabric and added larger applique cranes before she did the amazing machine quilted motifs on each block.  Strictly speaking, this is my 'Irori' design which uses the same block as Time and Again, as it uses that layout.  These two quilts are very different in terms of colour, which goes to show how versatile the block and pattern are.

Around Orkney - colours

Here are a few more photos from my trip to Orkney almost a month ago.  The stone at the top is one of the Stones of Stenness- a very interesting shape.  Orkney was full of beautiful colours and shapes.

Lovely evening colours at the Broch of Gurness.

A boat glimpsed down a narrow lane in Stromness (Glyn took this photo).

Cotton grass and wild flowers near the Ring of Brodgar, with Hoy in the background.

Lichen on stone, Ring of Brodgar.

Patterns in stone, Ring of Brodgar.

Wild flowers and heather outside the Ring of Brodgar.

Maes Howe burial mound.

The Stones of Stenness.

Purplish grasses at Barnhouse village and the Loch of Harray.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Sidmouth revisited - progress

I have been pushing ahead with Sidmouth Revisited recently, as I need to get it finished now so it can appear in Today's Quilter's Christmas issue.  The photo above shows me tracing the feather circle in the centre, before the last four borders were added.  I have an A2 slimline lightbox which is so useful for work like this.  

Lilian Hedley drew this wonderful feather circle/wreath for me when we did her North Country design course at The Royal, Bridlington, last October.


The original Sidmouth Quilt has a central circle motif which is almost but not quite a true feather circle - more like a double circle with slanting lines.  But as I am not making a replica quilt and I'm only using the original's quilting designs as a starting point, I wanted to have a proper feather circle in the centre instead.  Yesterday I called at Just Sew in Penrith and bought a rather lovely cream cotton sateen for the backing, because I want the quilting design to show really nicely on the back, rather than being somewhat camouflaged by a print.  It should show very well on the cotton sateen. The back of the original Sidmouth Quilt is shown below.

Mary Jenkins has written several recent blog posts about the Mary Lloyd quilt in the collection at St Fagan's museum - about the quilting and about the applique and patchwork.  This quilt uses the same centre panel as the Sidmouth Quilt. There are also some similarities in the quilting, notably in the extensive use of cross hatching or square diamonds, which Mary had mentioned being more typical of the early C20th in Wales and not seen much before.  I wonder if the Sidmouth Quilt is originally from Wales?

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Sashiko course to run in Perth

I am going to run the Yuza and Shonai Sashiko course at The Peacock and the Tortoise in Perth from mid February 2017.  The classes will run from 10.30 to 4.30 on Thursdays and there will be eight sessions like my other courses, but we will have mostly a fortnight between sessions, so we can finish well before the summer holidays.  Trudi and Mhairi will be putting the info on the website when they have finalised the spring workshop programme and will be including the info in their newsletters as well, but if you can't wait until then, you can contact them via their website -

There will be a small difference with the course materials.  As the shop already stocks sashiko thread and fabric, they will deal with supplying the students.  I just don't have enough Yuza Sashiko thread and fabric to supply a third course as well as my other two!  We have chosen the Olympus dark blue sashiko fabric and there will be a choice of cream or white Olympus 100m sashiko thread.  These are the nearest equivalents to the Yuza Sashiko materials and this way we won't have the supplies shortage issues that I had earlier in the year, when I had underestimated how much fabric the two other groups would use up.

Bookings will be taken via the shop.  It's great to be running the course closer to home, as well as my other two venues.  Now we just need to finalise the dates for the Kaleidoscope course and I will announce those soon.

The sampler above was made by Liz Clarke who came on the course at Kaleidoscope.  She combined her samples with Moda 'Nocturne' fabric to make this very sophisticated bed runner.  Lovely!

Monday, 11 July 2016

The next sashiko course at Edinburgh Patchwork

I have only three places left for the next sashiko course at Edinburgh Patchwork, which starts on Saturday 8th October.  Please contact me if you are interested in booking a place. 

Edinburgh Patchwork, 4 Bellevue Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4BY,
tel: 0131 538 5030
Saturdays - 8th October, 22nd October, 10th December, 28th January 2017, 11th February, 25th March, 8nd April, 29th April (this date may need to move to later in May if it clashes with the Knitting and Stitching Show at Edinburgh).  Each session costs £38, payable one session in advance, and the first £38 is your deposit.

I will also run the course again at Kaleidoscope, Dobbies Garden Centre, Boclair Road, Milngavie, Glasgow, G62 6EP, tel: 01360 622 815 - dates to be announced soon.

On Wednesday, I'm going in to The Peacock and the Tortoise in Perth to discuss possible dates for running the course there too.  It would be a weekday course in Perth, possibly on a Thursday, and I would be looking to start it in the Spring.  More info about that as soon as I have it.

We will be learning how to stitch numerous hitomezashi (one stitch) and larger sashiko patterns from the Yuza town and Shonai district of Yamagata Prefecture in Japan, an area noted for its special sashiko patterns and long tradition.  Exploring the different groups of patterns, we will make a series of samples – finished sizes 9in and 4 1/2in square, plus some rectangles 9in x 4 1/2in – that can be combined later into a patchwork sampler.  These patterns are handed down through the Yuza Sashiko Guild and among other stitchers in the area, and this is the only longer course taught with their approval outside Japan.  Ganbatte kudasai! (Go for it/work hard!)

The gorgeous sampler in the photo above was made by Hazel Clark at the Kaleidoscope course. The shaded Moda print she used for the border and sashing looks wonderful.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Time and Time Again on Orkney


I visited the Creative Patchwork and Quilting group on Orkney last week and had fun with them creating many more new versions of both Time and Again and Irori, since the two quilts share the same basic block.

Getting there was quite an adventure.  This is the furthest north I have been in Scotland and my first trip to Orkney.  We went via John O'Groats.

We took a short crossing from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope with Pentland Ferries, which meant we had a lovely drive up through the main island to stay with Gina Patterson, one of the quilt group.


Here are some of the lovely fabric coordinations used, many from jelly roll precuts.

Barbara Morrison worked really hard on her quilt top and brought it when she came for dinner at Gina's on Thursday night - almost finished.

The quilters must be inspired by the wonderful colours in the Orcadian landscape - I will post some photos of the Orkney mainland soon.  We had a great time on our trip and hope this won't be our only visit to the islands!