More clearing, cleaning and reviewing over at the Rural Office – this time it’s a stack of stencils that requires attention. Barbara has designed stencils since 1990 for Quilting Creations International – her trademark feathers and Egyptian-themed designs are perennially popular.

Designs inspired by The Tentmakers of Cairo – use for quilting or applique
Loop & heart designs are easy for continuous line machine quilting
Detail from a quilt using Barbara’s designs for quilting, embroidery and applique
Quilting design becomes an applique design (same quilt as above)

Stencils offer a reliable method of putting quilting and applique designs onto fabric and have the advantage of being durable. Multiple stencils can be stored flat or clipped together and hung on a rail or hook. Thirty years’ worth of samples is a considerable quantity and weight so storing flat may continue to be the best option!

classes, Piecing, possibilities

Still puzzling

Chris’s Puzzle Quilt classes at Pollyanna Patchwork were full of returning homework this week.  “Beginners’ and ‘Improvers’ turned up with lots of blocks.  After two blocks last time some of the Beginners were quite disappointed to be given only one block design this week and requested others be e-mailed.  We think the pictures just speak for themselves – first a sample from Beginners :

Chris didn’t manage to get many photos – beginners are shy and don’t think their work is worth photographing. How wrong can they be?! We love how different these pairs of blocks look – they are pairs of the same design, hence ‘Puzzle Quilt‘.

The ‘Improvers’ – and some are really Beginners – have been getting two different blocks to make each class so their piles of blocks are growing even faster. Again lights (or blocks) have been hidden under bushels (or in bags).

Saturday’s students had time to make blocks and speedy ones even quilted.

The others made the London Roads block first and will make their Mystery Flower Garden blocks at home.

Chris and Alison aren’t sure they can wait for a fortnight to see what comes in from this week’s ‘homework’. Some of the blocks are now starting to look like ‘proper’ quilts as students begin to quilt-as-they-go and everyone is getting excited at the prospect of having a finished quilt by the end of term.


Too much sun?

Whatever’s happening – has Chris had too much sun? Is it the effect of going away on holiday?

You may remember seeing this some months ago when Chris was attempting to make a back large enough to fit, with enough overhang for longarm quilting.

And now ….. Here it is on the kitchen table being tacked. By hand. No pins. Does this mean …. I fear it it does … Chris is going to attempt to (dare we say it?) hand quilt this monstrous thing.

The reasoning behind this seeming madness (and for those you who don’t know – Chris does not (repeat, not) do hand sewing) is that quilting by credit card is unaffordable at the moment and the thing is too large to be mauled around inthe small space where the sewing machine resides. So … hand quilting it is. For the moment. Do not expect to see a post of the finished article for some years. The last quilt (also a Welsh design) that Chris started hand quilting is still not finished some 20 years later! Although, thanks to stirling work by Ann Jermey, it’s not far off and ‘will do’ for now (and probably for ever, unless Ann comes to stay again).

It was made with Viyella ‘ends of rolls’ from a long-defunct shop (anyone remember the White Hart fabric shop?) and has a wool wadding which – as you can see- is bearding horribly. Never mind, it has been bound and lives behind the settee where it does a great job as a ‘poorly’ quilt for snuggling up in when watching daytime tv and nursing the ‘flu.


We finally made it!

Welcome to our blog – something we’ve talked about for months and months and not quite got around to.  We’ll post about all the different quilt-related things we do, our day and evening classes and much more besides.  It will take a while to get everything set up the way we want it to look, but we hope you’ll visit often for our latest news.  Kate's quilt top