Wednesday 16 November 2011

Anyone for Darts ?

I had a special request a few days ago from a young man down in Worcester.  Actually, although he's young and lives in Worcester he's also my partners younger brother.  I was asked to create a championship sized dartboard out of fabric, and as I love a challenge I said yes.  I must have been mad or drunk.

So, here is the start of it.  An 18" in diameter circle of black fabric stitched onto a backing fabric with warm and natural wadding behind for stability. 

The wedges are actually a soft beige colour.....more in the shade of what they are on a real dartboard and I need to place 10 of these wedges around the circle to create the illusion that there are 10 black ones in between. 

Here I've got all 10 beige wedges positioned and pinned.  Then I've lifted the outer section of the wedge to place the red inner circle for the triple points.  I've used a double sided adhesive tape for that and will stitch it down permanently later. 

Once that inner red circle was complete, I did the same for the outer circle for the doubles points.   See what I mean when I said I must have been mad. 

A little further along and the red rings are in place, the beige wedges are stitched down, the green pieces are now being overlaid on alternate wedges and I have one very gummed up needle in my machine.  This is the last time I use double sided adhesive tape on fabric if I plan to stitch as well. 

The next step will be to finish the green sections and then start the numbering.

It's the hand stitching of the numbers around the outside of the circle that has really been doing my head in today.  So I decided to put the dartboard to bed for awhile and do something else. 

I need to find a narrow silver cord that looks like thin wire.  When I've accomplished that then I can start hand couching it on around the circles as well as between each wedge.  More pictures to come later. 

Monday 7 November 2011

A part of my past ....

I'm sure most of you know that I'm originally from Canada.  I returned to this country to buy a business with my now ex-husband and two other partners.  We purchased a hotel and transformed it into a nine bedroom bed and breakfast.  The reason I'm telling you this is because I want to show you the quilts that were made to cover the beds at the Manor.  These quilts are still at the Manor accept one that I have kept for myself as it has a very personal story behind it. 

This first picture shows the two single beds in Room #1.  The quilts were made of Log Cabin blocks and pre-printed squares, so they were quick and easy to put together. 

All of the quilts at the Manor have Warm and Natural for the wadding and only the quilt in Room 2 was made while I was one of the owners/proprietors of the business.  I certainly didn't have much time for sewing back then. 

Room #2 contains the Iris Quilt.  I named it after my Auntie Iris who lived with us at the Manor, but has since moved down to South Wales.  I will miss her now that she is so much further away. 

This is the only quilt that was created while I was at the Manor.  Across the top of the quilt just under the pillow and in the middle, is a paper-pieced Purple Iris.  The rest of the quilt was built around this block. 

Room #4 has a Sampler quilt on the bed.  Room #3 has two single beds and they have duvets with pink throws on them, so there were no hand made quilts there. 

This sampler was done in Canada and it was a block of the month that I did with about  20 other quilters in the north of Ontario. 

This next quilt was called 'The Millenium Quilt'.  It too was a block of the month that myself and my patchwork group found on the internet that was based in British Columbia.  This quilt was on the bed in Room #5, but I now have it here at home with me. 

The block of the month started in January 1999, and with all the blocks completed by December of that year, the layering and quilting would take place in 2000, so this quilt was aptly named.  It was handed quilted by another quilt group and the money raised went to their favourite charity.  My son and daughter in law were married in the year 2000, so their 10th wedding anniversary quilt, which I made for them last year, was created using the same twelve blocks and of course a completely different colour scheme. 

My 'Bird House' quilt is still in Room #6.  The top of the quilt has 12 - 18" square blocks with a narrow attic window framing around each one.  I am hoping that this quilt will be returned to me after my two other partners sell the business as it also has special memories for me.  I will though, need to purchase this one as I sold it to the business with all the other quilts when I left.  I still have the pattern for this so it certainly wouldn't be difficult to recreate the entire quilt again. 

On the left is this lovely 'Jewel Box Garden' quilt on the bed on Room #7.  This quilt was also created in Canada and brought over with me when I moved here. 

Since this picture was taken this room has had a complete makeover and is now a much softer cream colour. 

The last of the quilts at the Manor is in Room #9.  Shown above on the right is the Panzy Patch quilt and is a super king size.  Room #8 has a four poster bed and the large brocade throw on that bed helps to create the ambiance in the room and won't be changed anytime in the future. 

So here you have them....all the quilts that are still at Lowbyer Manor in Alston, and a few others, where I was once an owner for about 26 months.  It was only due to severe personal reasons that all this came to an end much too soon.  

So I think that's about all the chatting I'll be doing this evening, so I'm off to bed, once I here from my partner.  It's been one of those nights for him. 

Friday 4 November 2011

There are still roses blooming in my garden.  Then yesterday I noticed that one last Gladiola was trying to flower.  We've had such high winds and heavy rains lately that I felt it best to bring some of the colour into the house.  So here I've posted a couple of photos for your enjoyment.  It won't be long before all the colour is gone and all the leaves will have fallen. 
But to brighten everyone's end of day, I'm posting a piccie of those fabrics I purchased while at the fabric shop yesterday morning.   A special request from here you go Liz.

I've had the black fabric before but so enjoyed working with it, got a bit more.  The cream and the plum just called out to me and then there's the Terracotta a gorgeous colour. 

So with the sewing alterations complete and two quilt blocks done today, I think I can go to bed knowing I've had a full day.  Good night all. xo

Thursday 3 November 2011

Another Nutso Day !

Don't you think it's a bit odd when the first thing you think of in the morning when you wake is, 'I'll get the sewing machine turned on and the iron warmed up in just a minute.' 

For goodness sake child, get some breakfast first, and at least get out of your nightie and brush your teeth. 

Today alterations consisted of four pairs of trousers, all being taken up, and two skirts that need a tuck in here and there.  For some reason, I'm the only one on this planet, (I feel) that's not shrinking.  Also cancelled my appointment with the physio guy (shame as he is a bit of a hunk), due to a cold.  So instead of physiotherapy, I went to the fabric shop.  Had to buy four spools of thread to match the four pairs of pants that needed shortening.  I couldn't believe that with all the threads I've got, nothing matched.  Of course, it wasn't just the thread I came home with, but no one but me needs to know that. 

Well, I'm off to bed shortly, and no.....I didn't get everything done today, so tomorrow it's more clothing work before quilting fun.  But come heck or high water, by high noon, I'll be searching my stash for the perfect fabrics to complete those infamous block swaps and postcards that are calling. 

Wednesday 2 November 2011

The Underground Railroad Quilt

Well, it has been in the making for 15 months, so I had best get a picture of it on here.  It is actually hanging on the clothes line, and then the picture was rotated 90 degrees....this is why Abbie is floating in the top left corner. 
It's been a joy to make, mainly because I shared the experience with so many friends.  The quilt will now be used on my bed and it certainly won't take much time before Abbie has christened it with her dog hair.  But then, it is meant to be used. 
The centre of the quilt with its 16 blocks and sashing measures 63" square and then with the 11" wide outside border, the whole quilt is 85" square in total.  The outside border was strip pieced using leftover fabrics from the centre of the quilt.  The border was 14" wide, then I cut 3" off and set it aside to make the final binding.  It worked well. 

Marlene Hutchison did a marvelous job on the overall meandering stitch with a leaf pattern on the border.  My backing fabric is a lovely floral print on a purple background which makes the quilt reversible.  Here's a picture of the stitching shown on the back. 

I'm pleased that so many friends decided to follow the progress of the Underground Railroad story.  It really turned out to be an adventure worth taking. 

Monday 31 October 2011

All Hallow's Eve

Thirteen years....that's how long it's been since I carved a pumpkin.  There just wasn't the need for one, but this year I felt it was time.  I was going to be home alone with Abbie and Molly, so during this afternoon I carved my pint size gourd, filled the bowl with candies and chocolates, lit two candles to be sure his face shone bright, sat him in the window beside the front door, and waited for my first victim.

In total 54 victims knocked on my door, and I was left with nothing.  Not one scrap of chocolate, not one measley little lolli-pop, just an empty bowl and a dead pumpkin.  Oh well, the costumes were great, the kids were well behaved, so it was a good night after all.  And my pumpkin....'Didn't he do well?' 

Saturday 29 October 2011

Only 24 hours ago I was working through the instructions on how to set up my own 'Blog'.  Thanks to Ros for her great 'two pages worth of what to do' and Jan for her 'batty banter' on getting things going I believe that I am now a newly fledged 'Blogger'....wahoo ! ! !

Snow Covered Blencathra in the West

To start off with, I'd like to share a few personal things.  A couple of pictures that complete my every day here in Penrith. 

This photo shows a prime example of the north end of the Lake District....and I see this every morning from my bedroom window.  Blencathra, also known as Saddleback stands at a height of 2,847 feet and is about 10 miles west of Penrith. 

Although I will never climb it, the drive from Mungrisdale at the bottom of the mountain to Caldbeck where the wool shop is, needs to be done at least once a year. 

Abbigael is my sidekick, my best friend and the one friend with never ending unconditional love. 

She's now 9 1/2 years old and came over to England with me when she was only two. 

Her gentle dispostion makes her a joy to be around and so much fun to walk with. 

Well, enough of the chatter bug ....  time to get back to the sewing alterations.  Six pairs of trousers, two jackets and two skirts in 48 hours.  Not bad I'd say. 

Friday 28 October 2011

The Final Postcard

Well, it came today...the final postcard of the most recent PP swap co-ordinated by Katy.  Here is the postcard I received from Irene Baldock called 'Happiness'.  It's made from the leftover 'starpoints' from her grandaughters quilt.  It's lovely colours of black, white and lilacs are well suited to each other.  Thank you Irene. 

Oh My God....I've done it.....

October 28, 2011

I would never have believed that this would be my next step in the world of computer literacy, but hey it own blog titled 'Tessa's Treasures'.  Hopefully this will be the start of many postings, pictures and adventure.