Midweek in my Sewing Room – Seagulls and Half Square Rectangles

Image result for free seagull images clip artWhew! It’s Thursday morning and I’m struggling to get going today. I slept well until the local mob of Gulls decided to kick up a bit of ruckus well before 6am. These pesky birds have set up residence here, some 50 miles from the coast, making up for being low in numbers with their high volume calling. They are constantly patrolling the skies, chasing off Red Kites and Buzzards and skirmishing with the local crows.

My main goal this week has been preparation for the Patchwork Workshop tomorrow. On Tuesday I made the final adjustments to the pattern for the ‘Into the Woods’ table runner. Yesterday I printed out the foundation paper piecing patterns and made some part-finished examples for the demonstrations I’ll give in class.

Read moreMidweek in my Sewing Room – Seagulls and Half Square Rectangles

Touring Quilter – Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire

Wow! The sheer faces of the chalk cliffs at Bempton RSPB Reserve provide choice nesting spots for tens of thousands of seabirds. It was an amazing experience to walk along the cliff tops, and stand on the viewing platforms provided by the RSPB to take in the sight of so many birds clinging to the cliffs, bobbing around on the sea far below or wheeling around in the air between.

Bempton Cliffs (1) by Allison Reid
A short section of the cliff top walk and one of the spectacular cliff views.

We saw Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Guillemots, Fulmars, Gannets, Herring Gulls and Puffins from the cliff tops. Walking across the beautiful chalkland meadow between the Reserve Centre building and the cliff edges we spotted Tree Sparrows, a Barn Owl – hunting in broad daylight – and Jackdaws in abundance.

Bempton Cliffs (4) by Allison Reid
View from the Reserve Centre across the meadows to the cliffs.

We learned that most of the seabirds only come to land for the breeding season, the rest of the year (including the Winter) they stay out on the open waters of the North Sea and Atlantic. I find it incredible to think of them surviving the storms and the cold.

Bempton Cliffs (2) by Allison Reid
Click on the photo to zoom in and see the birds on the cliffs.
Bempton Cliffs Gannets by Allison Reid
Gannets, the largest birds on the cliffs.
Bempton Cliffs Gannet on nest by Allison Reid
Gannet on nest with Kittiwakes behind.
Bempton Cliffs Kittiwakes by Allison Reid
Kittiwakes clinging to the cliffs.
Bempton Cliffs Razor Bill by Duncan Reid
Razorbill (photo by D Reid)

The Puffin population at Bempton Cliffs has declined sharply over the past few years. The pairs that are breeding there this year were hard to spot. They nest in tunnels (about the length of a mans arm) so aren’t that visible. As the day went on we got our ‘eye in’ and spotted several on the water far below the viewing platforms – far too far for our pocket cameras to produce a recognisable image. My husband did manage one photo of a Puffin resting on the cliff face – it’s a bit blurry but it really is a Puffin 🙂

Bempton Cliffs Puffin by Duncan Reid
Puffin (photo by D Reid)

And finally, a close up of a cheeky Jackdaw that fancied a share of our lunch 😀

Bempton Cliffs Jackdaw by Allison Reid

Normal patchwork and quilting posts will resume shortly. 😉

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (62)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. An opportunity to bring along your project(s) to a virtual sewing day and join in some of the conversations reaching across the Worldwide Quilting Community this past week. Do add your links and thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Salisbury Cathedral from the North by Allison ReidIn my last blog post I mentioned a planned visit to Salisbury. My lovely Daughter had arranged a day out for the two of us 🙂 We met at Salisbury Railway Station. First job was to deliver my (rather heavy) Pfaff sewing machine to the repair shop at the Franklins sewing and knitting store. My much used machine is in desperate need of a TLC service: although still valiantly soldiering-on it sounds mechanically dry, almost like it’s been left out in the desert and filled up with sand 🙁

Square in a Square border and binding fabrics by Allison ReidOf course while we were in Franklins we spent some time trying to match up fabrics with the Mirabelle fabrics of my current project. It wasn’t easy. I think this range of fabrics is about five years old, maybe more, and the tones and shades of current fabric ranges are completely different. Still in the end we decided these two fabrics should make acceptable borders and binding for the pair of Square in a Square quilts I’m making.

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (62)

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (36)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (even though it is Sunday 😉 – it’s me who’s late not you!). Bring along your weekend sewing project and share in some of the quilty conversations that have caught our attention through the week. Add links to your project posts or add to the conversations by using the comments box at the bottom of this page.

My projects this week have been all about teaching and learning. I’ve had fun experimenting with foundation piecing Pineapple blocks before teaching the technique at Purple Stitches’ Quilt Club. Here are my versions of the 12″ Pineapple and Old Maid’s Puzzle blocks:

Pineapple and Old Maid's Puzzle Blocks by Allison Reid

The Orange Peel blocks are still on my design wall. I need to spend a bit of time with pencil and squared paper figuring out how to enlarge the blocks to give the effect of leaves drifting across a blue blue sky…

Orange Peel blocks by Allison Reid

But I’m in deep danger of being completely distracted by this little pile of fabric happiness…

Serendipity by Minki Kim for Riley Blake Designs from Purple Stitches
Serendipity by Minki Kim for Riley Blake Designs from Purple Stitches

Viv has come up with a fresh design for the Purple Stitches Beginners Course quilt. I’m the lucky one who gets to pattern test the design and fondle these new fabrics (available from the shop website).

Here are just a few of the blog posts that have caught my attention this week:

I like that by writing my blog and using social media I am part of the Worldwide Quilting Community (could WQM become a recognisable abbreviation? :-D). Quilters from places across the globe share their love of patchwork and quilting and also give glimpses into events in their lives. Kristie shares her experience of living through Hurricane Michael and how this massive storm has affected the rural community around her home.

I think Avis must have the patience of a saint! She is making the Loyal Union Sampler Quilt designed by Jennifer Chiaverini (she of the Elm Creek Quilt novels) . Avis’ latest blocks look so neat and they showcase several different piecing techniques.

Have you ever wondered why quilt patterns cost what they do? Kirsty of Bonjour Quilts has written a very candid blog post about the costs she incurs in producing and selling her patterns. The short version is that as buyers we can provide designers the best remuneration by buying patterns direct from them. She explains clearly why paper and PDF versions of a pattern have the same cost and reminds us not to break copyright either by copying patterns we have bought or by accepting copied patterns from well-meaning friends.

Do you have fat quarters of large scale prints that you are feeling reluctant to cut into small pieces? Leah Day has a video tutorial using the stack ‘n whack method to create large ‘fractured quarter’ blocks that allow you to showcase your fabrics 🙂

Is it too early to be writing our Christmas gift lists? Maybe not! Alyce has been testing the advantages of using a wool ironing mat as opposed to a conventional ironing board. She found the wool mats are winners!

If you’d like to find more links into the quilty world try my ‘Pins of the Week‘ board 🙂 I refresh the board every Tuesday (sometimes Wednesday ;-)).

Happy stitching.

Allison

PS. Bearing in mind we live in a town and have a small garden, it was a big surprise to find a rather handsome pheasant paying us a visit from the countryside this week!

Pheasant in my garden by Allison Reid