Sunday, 29 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave, One Year On....

Exactly one year ago I moved our fun stitchy days into Caverswall Village Hall. So many beautiful quilts have been made in our first year. Soon after starting the Fridays, I had to start a second day because there were so many ladies wanting to join us, as you know, that's our Wednesday meetings. 
My Table Top Shop, wadding on the side has blossomed, it started off as plastic box with spare needles for the sewing machines!  Take a look back at this date 2010... it's rather amusing to look back.... We love everything about our Quilt Cave Patchwork & Quilting meetings and  Kettle Corner just adds to the pleasure!

Do you have UFO's at home waiting to be made into sandwiches?
Do you often wish you didn't have to make your quilt sandwich by crawling round on the floor?
Do you put off quilting your project because you don't have space to make your sandwich?
Angie to the rescue...well sort of.... don't get too excited!!!
I'm not suggesting that I do it for you but what I can offer is the table top space.... If you don't want to come to spend a day having fun, stitching with fellow quilters but you would love to use our tables to make a sandwich... do it! !.....Come make your sandwiches at Caverswall Village Hall.
All you have to do is email, or call me, to tell me you how many tables you need so I can put them ready for you.
Is this not a brilliant idea????

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Barbie spent the day quilting her Log Cabin quilt. She decided at the last meeting that she wanted a design that looked great on the back... after a little 'pondering' and finger wiggling we came up with baskets... two triangles and a handle... next time, hopefully, I will get a picture of the baskets... they are looking great.
Lynda very proudly announced that her 2 year long project was finished... wooooohoooo! This was started with another group over two years ago... they must have been a very chatty group to have one quilt take so long, ha ha ha. anyway, well done to Lynda. She learned a lot during the process but she's decided ( like a lot of the ladies) to go back to basics... she wants to perfect cutting and piecing skills...
....To do that she was going to make a Log Cabin quilt, I got out my trusty Marsha McCloskey book (Block Party... it's a great resource) and left Lynda deciding which style of Log Cabin she liked... this was the decision.. PMS (Please My Self) not exactly a Log Cabin but great for the fabrics Lynda wanted to use. This project will, most probably, not take two years to complete... Lynda's far to excited about it... he he he
Chris The Foot is back on her mission to finish a secret project. I had put a Photo of it here but, for now, It has been removed because I'm not sure about exactly how secret this one is. I will re post the photo once I get the answer and permission from Chris... what I can tell you though, is that it is gorgeous!
My "Table Top Shop, wadding on the side"... this is a small part of it... what a mess it was by the end of the day... ladies rooting and planning, experimenting and auditioning, oooooh-ing and ahhhhhh-ing... so much fun!!! See the big pile of pinky-purples? Maid Marion will be using these for her next project... lots of triangles! The pile next to it belongs to Kate's next project... I wish I could explain how excited we all get when we start new projects but I can't... you just have to be there!
We meet again next Wednesday 1st of June, 10am - 3pm for a full day of stitching and you will be made most welcome if you decide to come to play... or to visit my Table Top Shop, wadding on the side... BUT On Friday 3rd of June we have our workshop with Katherine Guerrier, this workshop is fully booked and we will be very busy learning cool new stuff so best not to visit us that day... we won't have time to make tea and coffee for you he he he... come the Friday after?

Friday, 27 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Dotty Maureen's Square dance quilt is almost finished, she's hand stitching the binding... She was quite cunning when she planned her layout giving this great diagonal design... It's all quilted with free motion shadow lines in a deep purpley thread.. it looks much better in real life than it does in my photo.

Arty Beryl has been spending time stitching at home, something that's quite controlled, something that needed concentration... oooooer! so... she bought in some other craft bits and bobs because she wanted to play. Beryl makes the most fabulous crazy pieced blocks, she uses all of her fancy stitches with ribbons and lace and stuff... lots of pretty 'stuff', shiny and silky... anything goes!

Krafty Karen's animal blocks are all ready. We laid them out to get an idea for the placement plan... "To sash or not to sash??" well, with or without sashing, it will not be big enough for a single bed... So we pondered.. as ya do... how can we make the quilt bigger with very little extra work, the simple answer is "You Can't" of course there will be extra work...  we decided that the border will be Square in a Square blocks... Karen has lots of smaller pieces of fabric left over that can be used... she made a few... they look really good and, best of all... she actually enjoyed making them... sometimes extra work can be fun!

Foxy Margaret has acquired an antique chair and wants a quilt to accompany it. She looked through the books and papers trying to find something 'perfect'. For a few designs... I was thinking they were a bit modern for a special, antique chair... I suggested that a Log Cabin quilt would be a perfect idea...  a design that's 'older than old' and never dates... so it's modern too.... are you confused? Anyway, the outcome was the start of a fabulous scrappy Log Cabin block or two...

Annie Pie wasn't able to stay for the day but she couldn't wait to show us her Square Dance quilt top. She's going to add a pieced border and wanted a little advice... decisions, decisions.... don't worry... we decided! ha ha ha

There's not much point me telling you that we meet again on Friday as it is Friday today... I have had problems logging in to Blogger, sorry for the delay if you were waiting for my post... it's all too technical for me, but hey ho... I've done it now... all by my very own self!... you might have to put up with a few errors while I figure out how stuff works though!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Lizzy's finished her fabulous red and cream quilt, it's all packed up ready for her trip to the USA soon. She's now able to get back to making this Hour Glass lap quilt. Lizzy wasn't sure about adding the strong blue blocks but once we played with the lay out she became more convinced, for something so simple they look fabulous, don't you think?

We had a new lady join us for the first time, Lovely Lynda... she had been very inspired by the Uttoxeter Quilt Show a few weeks ago... after toying with the idea of patchwork for a few years. She's taken to it very well, and almost finished the centre of a Railfence baby quilt in the one class. You can't beat lemon, white and mint when baby's sex is a secret.

Giggly Gillian is Over The Moon (another silly expression we have?) with how her lap quilt is turning out, she's thrilled with every aspect of it... she suggested that she would like to wear it to show it off, ha ha ha. We had fun trying to stretch the border fabric as there isn't really enough... can you see what we're doing from the picture, quite genius eh?
Messy Maureen was with us too, just for the duration of the morning, her quilt is getting big as she's done a bit of stitching at home. Maureen volunteers in a charity shop so she had to leave us at lunch time to do her duties, she is always volunteering, a very generous lady indeed!

We meet again at The Bank House Hotel on Tuesday June 7th. 10am - 3pm.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Quilty Quarters

I need only to sew the top border row on and this quilt will be ready to be made into a sandwich. You'll be looking at the purple coping strips... they are different widths, this was necessary, not an accident. Once it is quilted I don't think it will be noticed too much.... with hindsight, I would have added a 2" strip of floral fabrics across the bottom of the centre part, before the borders but, hey ho... when this quilt is on my sofa, probably all scrunched up, no-one will notice, if they do... and if they ask, I will blind them with my scientific-mathamisms about how I come to calculate it all... ha ha ha. I will try to 'invent' my backing today and if I am reeeeeeally lucky, I might even make that sandwich!.. see ya next time...

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Shirley Lerly made a start on the quilting of her huge blue quilt. She had the luxury of an extra table to the left side of her machine to take the weight of the quilt, which is such a big help... you can do it at home by using your ironing board, just drop the height down to that of your table, place it to your left side and "Bob's Your Uncle" (actually... he's my brother he he he!)
Joan The Shop has almost finished stitching the binding on her leafy quilt so it was time to get back to this work of art... if you remember, the top was complete and Joan just needed to piece all the bits of applique together to make up the second top which for ease of understanding we shall call the back. The small problem was.. neither Joan nor myself could remember our plan, we have had 5 weeks of sleeps since the decisions were made! ha ha ha no worries as we went back to the drawing board and made up a new plan...
Chris The Foot (who I have to say, is hardly even wobbling now as her foot repairs from it's operation) completed her Split 4-Patch quilt top and was able to make a sandwich. There are no limits to how this design can be quilted. Chris and my good self doodled our fingers over many of them... some using the walking foot, some "ditch hopping" and, of course, some designs will involve using her wonderful Bernina Baby's BSR... she just needs to make a decision and make a start on it... decisions, decisions....
Actually you know, we didn't have any ladies piecing yesterday, Barbie was quilting, Helen was marking out pieces for embroidery and Maid Marion continued to embroider and play with her fancy Bernina stitches for the Heirloom quilt cushion she's making. We had two lovely ladies come to visit so they could play with the Juki TL 98-Perfection... we call it the big Juki! If you would like to come play with the 'Big Juki' just contact me and I will set it up for ya... no problem!
As I said it the last post..., Table Top Shop has had to be increased to the 5 tables, wadding still just about fits at the side... though yesterday it was relegated to sitting under the Table Top Shop and 4 more beautiful fabrics were waiting for me when I got home. 
Ok... I'm off to play now in my quilty quarters.... oh, first there are chores to be done... Ready, Steady... Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! ha ha ha

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Annie Pie's black and white Square Dance.. she started it a few weeks ago, stopped working on it to get another quilt ready and came back to it yesterday. Pinning PhD's to something, in this case a piece of wadding, is very useful... especially when the order of the blocks is soooo very important. Had Annie not pinned these blocks to a foundation, she would have spent the whole day doing a jig saw.... I am speaking from experience! ha ha

Arty Beryl has started another project and, as you can see in the picture, it is adorable. Poor Beryl's head must be looping and spinning.. every week she has another idea and another and another.. sound familiar?

Arty Janet had been avoiding the quilting of her cushions. She had tried quilting in the past, actually, I think she said it was free motion embroidery... any how... it was not something that she had wanted to repeat... until now... She actually did enjoy her quilting yesterday... no longer affraid of it and will no longer avoid it... she's an artist you know.. who knows what she will come up with when she starts playing....

Krafty Karen continued to make up animal blocks, she only needs three more to make a single bed quilt. To sash or not to sash? We laid out he blocks trying to help the decission... maybe it will be made next time, difficult to choose when both look great...

Ruth is so funny, she actually made great progress on this "blooming quilt". It's really big now as she adds the sashing colours and more block strips, she had folded it up ready to go home... we will have to keep you in suspense until next time. There are a few ladies watching this quilt, I think we might see a few more in the weeks ahead...

We meet again tomorrow, Friday 10th May, 10am - 3pm. More new fabrics have arrived for the Table Top Shop, wadding on the side... there are so many fabrics now, I will have to add another table! Come take a look if you like, it's wonderul!!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Quilty Quarters

You are, for sure, going to think I am crackers... I had the centre of this quilt finished... see the word "had"? I made the blocks at 8" finished and I fancied making the same blocks, 6" finished for the borders. I do want to add a strip of the purple fabric (as in the picture) BUT... 6 x 8" = 48" so 8 x 6" blocks fit exactly, precisely, spot on, perfect... no room for a strip on the sides then (are you following? it's a coping strip mathy thing) so... to rectify this, I have added another row of 8" blocks to the bottom of the centre... see why I think I must be crackers... who adds a row of blocks so that they can use a coping strip, when a coping strip is used to make a pieced border fit?? ME that's who... PMS (Pleasing My Self) I need 16 more 6" blocks and I will be done... unless I change my mind... which is highly likely... tis such a good job I like making HST's (Half Square Triangles)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Quilty Quarters

I finished free motion quilting Mum's quilt on the Juki TL-98 P... a fabulous machine, it has to be said. I wouldn't like to learn to do free motion on it though. I have gone back to my beloved Bernina Aurora for a little "ditch hopping". I tried on the Juki but the walking foot has very poor visibility for 'stitching in the ditch' even if you're ditch hopping. I have the Juki Exceed here, Phil Morton has allowed me a few weeks to play with it... tis rather wonderful actually... I shall have set it up and put it through it's paces, I would have done it before but it doesn't fit in the hole of my table... I'll have to improvise a bit... using a different table seems the easiest option... ooooh that sounds just too easy.. silly me!
If you would like to know a bit more about the Juki Exceed, there is a video here, it has very irritating music playing along with a rather excited sounding lady talking (not sure why they felt it was necessary to play such music really, grrrrrrr), sorry, but it's full of information.. hope you can make it to the end... he he he. If you can't and you'd like to know more, just come along to Caverswall Village Hall Wednesday's or Fridays and play with mine... I promise not to sing to you!!! ha ha ha

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Quilty Quarters

I've had my Mum's (Gwynneth) quilt hanging over my banister for over a week whilst trying to make a decision about the quilting. I spent time running my finger over it hoping for an easy to do and effective design. Something that would show up the secondary pattern.. I hope you can see it... big circular shapes? very clever and that's what had drawn Mum to want to make it in the first place... Yesterday, I made a start with tiny meanders in all of the cream bits, I'm hoping to quilt longer lines in the red bits, if I quilt them at all... I'll put it back over the banister for more pondering after finishing the meanders...
Before that, also yesterday, I finished quilting Annie Pie's leafy quilt, she chose a beautiful King Tut thread with all Autumn-y colours... I don't know about you but I feel very silly whilst sewing with the beautiful variegated threads we can buy these days... ooooh Orange... ooooh Green... oooooh it's going Yellow... ha ha ha... Do you do that? I've left all the ends for Annie to tie off and thread through nice and neat... not my favourite job but, In my opinion, a job that is so well worth doing for a fabulous finish.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Dotty Maureen finished quilting her challenge quilt, the one she was working on on Wednesday, she had the last three blocks to do and once Dotty decides what she's doing, it's done! Simple as that... she then made a sandwich with her Square Dance quilt and joined the strips for the binding... all ready to be worked on while she's away in her caravan.
Helen's come back to play with us, she's all done and finished at University, we had celebratory iced donuts at lunchtime!... Helen was worried that she wouldn't remember how to use her Bernina baby as she hadn't had any tine to play with her... no problem though, they bonded well and Helen made more of these fabulous blocks...,
...she was also helping Maid Marion to get on with hers. Maid Marion started this quilt last Friday, she found it much easier having the experience of Helen at hand. Looks like Marion is hooked on this project too. The beauty of going to regular groups/classes is that we all inspire each other...

Shirley Lerly also came back to play, life's been getting in the way, as it does. No problem, Shirley came back meaning business... she added the borders to her top, joined the backing fabric, taped it down, made a sandwich and went home very happily with a huge sandwich to quilt... great progress, in the picture we are trying to decide how to quilt it.
My Mum (Gwynneth) decided she wants to perfect her piecing skills. This is a very simple project, great for going back to basics. It's often a good idea to do that, go back to your basic skills and test them out, check that your quarter inch is as accurate as you thought it was, verify that your cutting skills are spot on etc... of course this is only important if accuracy is something you really want... we don't let quilt police come to our Quilt Cave!
Taaadaaaa.... Joan The Shop finished quilting her leafy quilt, yeeeehaaa. She is only one week past the deadline but, great news for Joan, the recipients have gone on holiday, so they won't even notice, a stroke of luck eh! Joan only needs to add the binding now... it will be double sided and all done by machine. The colours are fabulous, not sure that shows up in my picture.

We meet again in Caverswall Village Hall, next Wednesday, 18th and Friday 20th May, 10am - 3pm should you wish to join us.
It seems that I never remember to mention that a full day of stitchy fun costs £12.00, thanks for pointing that out to me. Tea, Coffee and biscuits are included, you just bring your packed lunch... simple! if you have any questions you can email me at

Friday, 13 May 2011

Quilty Quarters With Juki

  I wanted to show you what I'd been up to in my Quilty Quarters but, this morning, the folk at Blogger were doing something for maintenance meaning that no-one could post stuff, including ME! How very dare they? Don't they know there are ladies waiting to read me with their breakfast... according to my emails at least, ha ha ha... anyway... On Wednesday, Annie Pie requested my help to quilt this leafy quilt. Yesterday I was able to stitch all but the last quarter before life got in the way... real life?... mending rips in work trousers!!! tisk, tisk! See the paper, that's my practice scribbles, I wanted to train my head to tell my hands how to move the quilt so I drew it over and over and over again... it works, I'm all trained in leaves at the moment, you could try it too.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Wendy's quilt is coming on a treat. Not sure whether you'll recall me telling you that she has used the Eleanor Burns method for the wedding rings, that means they are all done using applique. Wendy has used a large blanket stitch on them and it looks fabulous. Here she is testing out the layout... I think it's plan 'C' or could be plan 'D', he he he She changed her mind a few times already... and she can... PMS remember?
Annie Pie has spent quite a lot of time quilting at home and continued at our meeting. She decided to shadow each of the star background pieces, this means that she has tied off two ends for every cream shape.. what a fiddle, but you have to agree it was well worth all the fiddling it looks stunning.... see how she used one of her many 'fancy' stitched to embellish the sashing... brilliant!
Dotty Maureen brought her very own Juki TL-98 P machine to our meeting so that she could do free motion quilting on this very old PhD. Apparently, Ruth (who was working on her Stained Glass quilt top) had been asking whether Dotty had finished it as it was something they had both worked on in a class together ages ago... Dotty decided to please Ruth by actually finishing it. She's doing a different quilting design for each block, great practice... looking good so far.
Foxy Margaret finished her Braids and added sashing, which stabilizes each row. This quilt will not have wadding (so I guess you're thinking it's not a proper quilt, but hey... we don't allow the quilt police to comment so quilt it is) It's going to be used as a Sun lounger cover... we are getting plenty of sun these days,,, so that's a good plan... tis raining today though, ha ha ha
Chris The Foot, a proud brand new Grandparent, added the sashing with corner stones to this lap quilt, it's the Split 4-Patch design that we all love at the Quilt Cave... Just a small border to add and this one will be sandwiched. Then Chris will put all of her energies into making a wedding gift quilt... August deadline .. very do-abubble!
Of course there were other ladies having fun with us, no pictures though, completely my fault and I know it's becoming a habit... too much fun to remember the camera, we can catch up on their progress next time.
We meet again 10am - 3pm in Caverswall Village Hall on Friday the 13th May... don't worry, we won't have any ladders for you to walk under, no carpets to trip over... ha ha ha are you superstitious?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Another busy and very productive day for the ladies in the Uttoxeter class. Jenni finished sewing her rows together with the sashing and added one of the two borders, the last one will be red, scrumptious! It's almost time for a sandwich session... Gillian was with us, she's finished all of her main blocks and is ready to start playing with borders, she packed it all away before I got a picture and she told me to 'wait until it's finished' ha ha ha, so, wait we will. Messy Maureen has spent a few weeks making up the pieces for this quilt, today we were able to get about half of it pieced together. The clever sashing, with it's corners, makes stars 'happen' at each junction... such a cool and simple effect... I might try this one for my very own self... one day... don't hold your breath!
We meet again with the Uttoxeter ladies on Tuesday 24th May, 10am - 3pm and there will be three spare tables... some ladies need holidays... don't ya know!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Dotty Maureen loves to learn new patchwork methods and ways of doing things. After we demonstrated how to make the Square Dance quilt using Annie's project a few weeks ago, Dotty went home and couldn't wait to have a go for her very own self... here you can see it's almost finished... which shouldn't surprise you at all! ha ha She added small borders so I expect it will be ready for a sandwich next time she comes to the Quilt Cave. 
Maid Marion was funny, she wanted only a little advice for choosing some of the stitches on her Bernina... how to change them by increasing the length and width.. she wasn't going to work on this project... it's one to do at home, phooooey... she couldn't stop, she was so happy with the results and laughed as she left, not even having started the project that she had meant to be doing... a perfect example of PMS, yeeeeha! (Pleasing My Self)
Annie Pie made her sandwich last time she came to our Cave and had started to quilt it at home. Realising that she didn't have the right thread (I mean the right thread for Annie herself, not the right thread for the quilt police, we don't let them come in!) anyway, she came to the 'Table Top Shop, wadding on the side' and purchased a gorgeous red King Tut for the top
and she used this beige-y King Tut on the bottom. The back of the quilt shows up the stitching very well.. the ladies all love to turn a quilt over to see the back.... seasoned quilters and not even a year has passed yet, woohooo. we just can't resist flipping project over to see the 'nitty-gritty of the process.. don't tell me you don't do that!
This is my Mum's (Gwynneth) 10 Minute Block quilt, I did the free motion quilting for her so now she is using the walking foot to do a little, tiny zig-zag round the inside of the Cathedral-ly bits... they needed something to hold them down a bit and it was too many layers to use a darning foot... 8 layers of fabric in total... gotta love your walking foot for the difficult jobs
Joan The Shop is back from her holidays looking fabulous and refreshed. She took this quilt with her to France intending to finish the quilting... obviously she had so much holiday fun as she was back to the quilting in the Quilt Cave.. not much though, she did get most of it done. Here she is marking circles to free motion.
This is Mum's (Gwynneth's) Kayak block project... each centre junction has 12 seams meeting.. had I noticed while she was making this we could have used the Kaleidoscope block and made it with only 8 seams.. too late now, tis a sandwich ready to be quilted on the fabulous Juki TL-98 P, by me, myself, yours truly.. there might be a bit more tooting on my trumpet, he he he

We meet again in Caverswall Village Hall ( it's in Stoke-On-Trent, did you know?) next Wednesday 11th and Friday 13th... oooooer missis, don't worry, we aren't supersticious at all, at least I know I'm not, hmmmmmm

Friday, 6 May 2011

SPQ Presentation, Toot Toot Toot...

I'm not usually nervous when I present my quilts to an audience, I never tire of seeing them... of holding them up, talking about them and telling their little stories.... I was nervous last evening though... I felt like I was having an important interview... Of course I felt very silly afterwards for having any worries at all... the ladies were smiling with me and  (I Hope) enjoying everything they saw...
Most of my quilts have a little story of their own and I love popping down memory lane with each of them... happy times... reminiscing about the lovely ladies I have met during my Ex-Pat travels... and confessions about a few things.. like fabric hoarding!

I knew some of the SPQ ladies had seen my quilt presentation before at another venue so I rang up a few family members asking whether they would mind lending me the quilts I made and given to them, just so I could show something different to the ladies...
The quilts you see in these pictures are from my brothers family, I made them a quilt each for my 40 birthday back in 2004. Each one is backed with flannel so they are extra warm and snuggley soft...

I haven't seen them since the day I handed them over...7+ years wow, doesn't time fly! so it was lovely for me... I know it's a toot toot toot on my own trumpet... but hey ho... forgive me? ... I think they are fabulous! Oh, the last one, with the sunflowers, is a wall hanging/table topper the others are lap size quilts...
I think it's fair to say that the evening was quite successful....
Caverswall Quilt Cave today... I better get a move on, there's a fun day ahead... are you coming?