Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Wallflowers, Log Cabin & Farewell to Paradise

I love Wallflowers, their colours and their scent appeal to me - and they don't have thorns!

Yesterday a friend came to visit and while I pegged out the washing, she snipped off the straggly stems - to encourage more flowers.

The quilt I want to share today is one that always makes me smile and feel happy, which is probably more about when and how I made it than the actual quilt - the Quilt Police would have a field day!

I had been quilting for many years when my husband John died in 1997, about this time of year.  For the next two years though I continued to go along to the prison to teach quilting every Saturday, at home, I read comfort books - mainly Georgette Heyer - and never touched my quilting.

I have some marvellous friends who used to have stitching days over long weekends, and they would invite me to join them; which I did - though on autopilot - and when I returned home I put the bags and machine back into my sewing room, and picked up another book.

The one day I woke up, looked at my large empty house, and gave myself permission to bring my sewing machine up from the spare bedroom and put it on the dining table and I started sewing.

I had several metal coat hangers full of fabric strips, held together with safety pins.  I cut these strips using a plastic strip bought from the first quilt shop in Wellington, Patchwork Annie.  In those days we didn't have access to all the wonderful rulers around today, so Robyn got in a selection of plastic strips and one took my fancy, it was a little under one and a half inches wide.

I actually started to make a nine patch doll quilt, so I took the strips and joined them in threes, two dark and one light and vice versa.

I then cut them into one inch pieces - oops - wrong size! I ended up with rectangles instead of squares.

So, I decided to use the rectangles as the centres of a log cabin block, sewing rounds of light onto the nine patch blocks that had dark in the corner, and vice versa!!

I can remember sitting there listening to the television or the radio and happily sewing from the pile of strips in my lap.

I did so enjoy sewing these blocks, no thought except was the fabric in my hand dark or light?

I did square off the blocks so that joining them together was easy, but not agonised over!

The dark fabric at the bottom of the centre block is one that I bought in about 1965.  It is polished cotton and I wanted a dress with a scoop neck and full skirt - scoop neck from a stiff polished cotton?  I don't think so!  But pieces of the fabric appear in many of my quilts.

Sometimes I even used the same fabric for a whole round.....

And most times not - but I still feel good when I look at it !!

I also want to share with you another piece of vintage fabric that I planned to take along to Fabrications

 It's a distinctive blue with these strange stylised figures that remind me of an artist whose name I can't remember!

All the men? with yellow shirts have the number 78...... Then we have orange pants with slightly less hair

And pink pants with even less hair -

I would be very interested to know more about this fabric and its designer if anyone knows.  I have looked in all my books on the subject but can find nothing similar.

I will leave you today with a quote from the diary, "Prestige is built on quality" and with a photo my son sent that he captioned, Farewell to Paradise.

I've just got to get back to the South Island.........


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