Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (100)

Welcome to the 100th edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 😀 Come and join in this virtual sewing day (is there any other kind at the moment?), bring along your projects(s) and share in the inspirational conversations, tips and stories from the Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the comments box at the bottom of the page to add your thoughts and ideas.

At the beginning of the week I felt like I was wading in treacle (everything seemed to be taking twice as long as usual and my concentration levels were low) but somehow I did finish the secret sewing quilt top. It measures 70″ square and as it is destined for a magazine photo shoot I’ve decided to send it away to be long arm quilted. A quilt that size is right on the limit of my quilting capabilities and I’d hate to get all worked up trying to quilt it on my domestic machine. So, postal services willing, the quilt top will be winging it’s way to Trudi Wood for some edge to edge stitching magic 🙂

As the week has gone on I’ve nipped into the sewing room and done a little bit of stitching here and there. I often wish I didn’t have so many projects on the go but actually this week it has been a blessing to be able to work within my levels of concentration on a variety of familiar blocks.

I pieced the teal blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Made a couple more Dear Dottie blocks.

Worked on the second challenge of the Quilter’s Color Quest (more of that next week).

Today’s Quilter March 2020 photo by Allison Reid

And did a bit of day dreaming over the latest edition of Today’s Quilter. The magazine was a treat purchase after standing in a supermarket car park for 40 minutes queuing for my turn to shop (it was actually quite pleasant waiting in a very British, orderly line absorbing the Spring sunshine). The clincher for the purchase was the inclusion of not one but two rulers – you know I can’t resist a ruler 😉 The magazine held a lovely surprise for me: A Folk Art style applique table runner caught my attention straight away and then I spotted the designer is none other than Yasmeen who led the inspiring needle turned applique workshop I so enjoyed.

My project(s) for this weekend include making some more Dear Dottie blocks and working on the needle turned applique block – two more leaves to stitch in place and then it will be time to create a cushion cover. 🙂

Time to turn to the Worldwide Quilting Community for some patchwork quilting inspiration:

Angela Walters has announced a new Quilt-A-Long showcasing her Kaleidoscope Panel. You don’t need to have the Panel to join and learn from a master of the art of free motion quilting.

I so enjoy being part of our creative patchwork & quilting community. I’ve met lovely people both in person and on-line through our craft. I just want to give a shout out to two independent P&Q businesses local to me: there’s Viv and Eve at Purple Stitches (purchase fabric and notions on-line, just email or phone if you need help matching colours etc) and Jo Westfoot aka the The Crafty Nomad. Jo like Viv loves rainbow colours, she designs, makes, quilts, teaches and also produces patterns all with her distinctive, accessible style. Take a look at Jo’s website where you can purchase her patterns and for just £18 you can join-in her current skill-building BOM and access her supportive Facebook group.

Advice on home schooling is a bit off tack for this site but this is from a patchwork quilter who has done home schooling. You may find Rachel’s tips helpful or be able to pass them on to someone who has suddenly been landed with the role of home educator.

I have never attempted a Y-Seam. But I have saved to Pinterest Rebecca’s beautifully photographed Y-seam tutorial. Very helpful and her seam and point matching is so precise :-O Amazing!

Cindy over at Stitchin At Home has designed and made the most striking baby quilt using giant Dresden Plate segments. Well worth a look and guaranteed to make you smile 🙂

Leanne shares a little tutorial to show us how to use wax crayons to write messages on quilt tops. I didn’t know this was possible. Leanne finished her mini quilt with a border of mini pebble quilting – very effective!

Phew! That will do for links this week. One thing is for sure patchwork quilters are still producing blog posts – I have over 70 more email notifications waiting to be clicked and read! :-O You’ll find plenty more from the Worldwide Quilting Community on my Pinterest board, Pins of the Week.

Linking with Alycia for Finished (or not) Friday. Alycia does have a finished quilt to share – although the wind made for a challenging photo shoot!

Happy Stitching!


Time to ponder?

To begin with a question: Am I the only person failing to experience extra time on their hands? This phrase ‘extra time on our hands’ has been used a lot in the past couple of weeks. Of course it can not apply to those working in essential services but is used as a generalisation for the majority of us confined to our homes.

I have found the rapid escalation from social distancing to ‘lock-down’ to be quite an overwhelming experience. I am used to having time on my own during the day; now I share our house with a home working husband and a dissertation writing son. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad not to be home alone and we are fortunate enough to be able to use separate areas of the house to do our daily work. Many of my weekly events have been successfully transferred to the internet. A week ago I’d never heard of Zoom, this week I’ve been to Church, met my women’s Bible study group, gathered our Housegroup together and been to a Pilates class via the wonders of Zoom :-O

All of which is wonderful and I’m sure as the weeks of lock-down continue I will be ever more grateful for these link-ups BUT how about a bit of time and space to grasp the ‘new reality’ which differs so much from the ‘old normal’? Technology has enabled us to bring our old normal into play with our new reality. There has been little opportunity to sit back and take on board what is happening. I find myself choosing not to listen to the radio or even music. Not because I’m thinking deeply but just because I can’t take in any more information; any more words or sounds; process any more new experiences (queuing outside supermarkets, wondering if going to the allotment is permissible daily exercise?).

I have begun a slow reading of the Book of Psalms. Today I read Psalm 4 and was struck by the word ‘ponder’ in verse four (other translations use the phrase ‘search your hearts’). Here are definitions and synonyms of PONDER:

…think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
…to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply.
Consider, contemplate, meditate, study, wrestle (with)

In the context of Psalm 4 the writer is instructing the reader not to give in to anger that would lead to acts of revenge, rather to ‘ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent‘. I’m feeling ‘overwhelm’ rather than anger but I think it is not stretching the meaning of this Psalm to apply it to present preoccupations. In these modern times when instant reactions are the norm it is hard to give ourselves up to the quiet, sober, deep practice of pondering. At the end of our pondering we may well conclude our initial reactions were wrong, ill-judged, unhelpful, possibly unkind and so be thankful we took the advice to ‘ponder in our hearts’ before acting, seeking instead to find what the Psalmist found:

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

I need to take a step back from all the activity of bringing the old normal into the new reality; to ponder the current situation, ponder what is in my heart and discover afresh God’s perfect peace. How about you? Too much time on your hands or has the old busyness been transferred into the lock-down thus obstructing the Psalmists instruction to ponder?

With blessings to you and your household.



Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (99)

Happy International Quilters Day and welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring Share. Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the encouragement and inspiration being put out there by the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add your thoughts and any links you’ve found helpful in the comments box at the bottom of the page. Thank you! 🙂

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International Quilter’s Day overcomes social isolation

For me a sure sign we are moving into Spring is the arrival of rays of sunrise sunshine creeping into my North-easterly facing sewing room 🙂

Well! What a week! So many plans and events scrubbed from our diaries along with the pain of having to keep away from elderly and vulnerable family members and friends just when we most want to give and receive comfort from those we love. Here in the UK we have been told to expect this period of social isolation to last at least twelve weeks.

It’s been heartening to read positive blog posts written by other patchwork quilters adjusting to a change of life style and discovering silver linings. Bernie over at Needle & Foot has the joy of seeing photos of her new born Granddaughter, unable to visit her because of the restrictions Bernie is keeping busy delving into her UFOs to make charity quilts.

The online patchwork quilting community is a friendly place to be and a great place to stay connected with like minded creatives even in this period of physical isolation. This Saturday, 21st March, is (Inter)National Quilting Day. Many sewing get togethers will have had to be cancelled but do not loose heart, there are a whole host of quilt-a-longs and Quilting Day events being organised online. Anneliese Johnson is compiling a list of on-line

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