Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (232)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and take inspiration from our Worldwide Quilting Community as members share their projects, thoughts and tips. Please do join in by clicking on the links below and leaving a comment or two 🙂

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison ReidI’ve got over the discombobulated feeling brought about by the imminent lock down and I’m now settling into the four weeks (or more?) of restrictions. I managed to follow a mini course shared by Elise & Emelie as a taster for their new course, Illustrator for Quilters (registration has now closed). I was certainly stretched by the Adobe software but having to concentrate so hard did my general mindset a lot of good. I still have much to learn before I’ll be producing a patchwork pattern using AI but I can now draw and colour quilt blocks (well! I could yesterday!). Here’s my first effort 🙂 Definitely counts as a tick next to my word of 2020, ‘GROW’.

In the sewing room I’ve been working on the Scrap Vortex blocks. I decided to add wonky sashing and borders. I’ve used a Royal Blue extra wide backing fabric to frame the scrap blocks.

The sun glowing through the fabrics of the quilt top puts me in mind of stained glass windows, in particular the huge West Window of Winchester Cathedral.

In December 1642, during the Civil War, a band of disgruntled Roundhead soldiers over ran Winchester, rode their horses into the Cathedral and set about shooting the Medieval glass out of the windows!

Local people managed to salvage fragments of glass and kept them safe until, several decades later, restoration work began. There was little chance of being able to piece together the glass into the original pictures , instead a stained glass collage was created and remains in place to this day filtering sunlight into a myriad of patterns.

The outside view of the West Window

Not so many links this week. What with feeling unsettled and spending hours practising Adobe Illustrator I’ve fallen a bit behind with reading blogs. Anyhow, I do hope you find plenty of interest through exploring these links 🙂 :

Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has written a comprehensive tutorial to guide us through matching a fabric print for a quilt backing. I love her examples of matching the same prints in different colourways. Her method produces ‘seamless’ results – Well! the seams are there of course but only visible on very close inspection 😉

Fancy tackling a UFO with the support of the quilting community behind you? Then UFOvember could be just the blog hop to follow! A whole host of patchwork quilters are disclosing their UFOs and sharing tips and ideas for moving these projects forwards. There’s a hashtag to follow too: #ufovember

Rebecca explains the reasons why she always washes a quilt before gifting it. Her post is full of interesting information re. a recently finished quilt and it’s appearance and qualities pre and post washing.

Leanne has made a very effective mini quilt depicting a pine tree/Christmas tree. In her blog post she includes a link to the free pattern and describes her method of ticker-tape patchwork and how she quilted the mini.

The Royal British Legion logoLinking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia has made a quilt using Greek Key blocks – it’s the right colours to be a Quilt of Valor…. Which reminds me it is Remembrance Sunday tomorrow. We will stand on our doorstep at 11am to share in a socially distanced Two Minute Silence.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (110)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and join in the generous sharing of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add to the conversations by leaving your links and thoughts in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

I must confess the cover has remained on my sewing machine for most of this week. We’ve had a couple of days out – a real treat in these times of limited travel and social distancing. My husband fulfilled my birthday wish and took us on a woodland walk. It turned out to be the last day of a run of of warm, sunny weather. Walking (or sitting!) in dappled shade in the peaceful Hampshire countryside was such a treat.

Our walk ended at the flint walled Ellisfield Church which is a typical of old buildings in this part of the country where

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VE Day 75 – my snapshot

It has been a special, memorable day. Unlike the people who took part in the exuberant celebrations of VE Day seventy-five years ago we have had to celebrate under the restraints of lock-down.

This necessarily quiet day of commemoration has given time for reflection. Many of the scheduled programmes on the TV have been dominated by interviews with ordinary people sharing their experiences of WW2. There has been an opportunity to take part in a two minute silence of remembrance, to hear Winston Churchill’s speech made at 3pm on 8th May, and to close the day with a short, poignant VE Day address by HM Queen Elizabeth II broadcast at 9pm – the same time her father, George VI, spoke to the nation 75 years ago.

The 2nd World War lasted six long years. Ordinary people had to take on responsibilities and roles they would not have chosen, often living away from loved ones, enduring shortages and heartbreaking losses. Thinking about such a lengthy time of severe hardship certainly gives perspective to our seven weeks of lock-down!

My parents were very young at the outbreak of war. My father was born in 1937, he was seven years old on VE Day 1945, my mother was six years old. Their families lived in London. They both have very clear memories of the air raids, running to air raid shelters or hiding under their kitchen tables as bombs exploded in the streets around them. With an adults perspective they can imagine the fear and hardship that their parents went through as they sought to provide for and protect their young children. But my parents memories of WW2 are not saturated with fear. My Dad can think of only one incident when his Mother betrayed her fear to her young family: As they hid in the little dug out air raid shelter at the end of their garden a ‘Doodlebug’ flew overhead, the engine noise stopped and my Dad remembers his Mother throwing herself across the three children in a desperate attempt to protect them from the coming explosion.

With hindsight my Dad is sure his Mum must have shared her food and clothing rations to supplement her childrens’ rations. The children also benefited from kindly Aunts and Uncles who made regular visits bringing their own rations of sweets for the youngsters to enjoy. My Mum remembers her family having to move out of their house when a bomb blast blew out all the glass from the windows. In hindsight she realises some of the difficulties her Mother endured while her husband was away serving as RAF ground crew. A while after VE Day my Mum recalls there was great excitement when the local greengrocer announced a shipment of bananas was on the way. At six years old Mum had never seen a banana let alone tasted one. Everyone told her how good bananas were to eat and she was caught up in the excitement. Oh! The disappointment on tasting the fruit – it was not to her liking at all and yet she couldn’t show her true reaction to her parents and felt compelled to finish it with a smile on her face! To this day she avoids getting close enough even to smell a banana let alone eat one!

While we have not had to endure even a small percentage of the hardships experienced by the wartime generations we are going through a shared time of tragedy the like of which few of us have encountered before. Today it was a great morale booster to hear directly from those who acted with such courage and fortitude during the War and to take part in a local celebration honouring them and those who paid for our freedom with their lives. The neighbours on our street came together (well no nearer than 2 metres together!), decorating houses with bunting and flags and sharing in a front garden/doorstep tea party. It was a lovely opportunity to see one another, to stand at a distance sharing our news and remember the people and events of WW2.

Allison

 

 

So what exactly is a Churn Dash?

My bedtime reading had me puzzling over this question: So what is a Churn Dash? I know it is the name of a much used and much loved patchwork block but actually what is a churn dash?

Little House in the Big Woods Puffin edition by Allison Reid
My childhood Puffin edition of Laura’s book was printed in 1974

Little House in Big Woods is the first in a wonderful series of books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder telling of her childhood in the 1860s and 70s. The books tell of the adventures encountered and everyday activities lived out by her family as they followed the Pioneer trail for ten years from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to the Prairies of Kansas onto Minnesota until finally settling – at Ma’s insistence – in De Smet, South Dakota.

Mary Ingalls churning butter, illustration by Garth Williams
Mary Ingalls churning butter, illustration by Garth Williams

The recollections of everyday life for Laura and her family include a description of the weekly task of making butter. Laura describes how Ma poured cream into the tall crockery churn and then lowered the ‘churn dash’ attached to a long pole into the cream, dropping a lid with a central hole over the pole to stop the cream splashing out of the container before the lengthy task of churning got underway. Laura was too small to move the dash up and down but her ‘big’ sister Mary was able to take over every-now-and-again while Ma had a break from the heavy work.

Having read this description of butter making I wanted to know what a churn dash looks like. I tried ‘images of churn dash’ in my computer search engine and received links to lots of very lovely variations of churn dash blocks used in patchwork quilts! I was in danger of disappearing down a rabbit hole …. But managed to resist and instead tried a more specific search, ‘images of butter churn dash’.

 

Image result for images of butter churn dashThis second search provided the answer I was looking for. Seeing this image and others showing the churn dash at the end of the pole has helped me to see how the patchwork block got it’s name. The dashers vary from simple ‘X’ shapes through to circles with several round holes. Wisemen Trading have a variety of replica churns and dashers on their website.

 

 

 

The Churn Dash patchwork block is simple but very versatile. Here it is in a straight layout and then turned on end in an on-point layout.

Churn Dash 3 x 3 by Allison Reid

Churn Dash on point by Allison Reid

Allison

PS. If the photo of my Puffin book has made you nostalgic then have a little smile at the price on the back cover 🙂

Little House in the Big Woods cost 20p by Allison Reid