Tuesday 1 January 2013

Deadline met.....

Yesterday I completed my major on-going project - hooray. I'm not sure when I started this quilt, probably about 8 or 9 years ago. It is based on an old family strippy quilt from Cumberland that I have on my table in my studio. I just love this old quilt and think of my Granny and her sisters sewing by oil lamp in their farmhouse at Stanger, just south of Cockermouth. I think it was made in the 1870/80's.

Most of the blocks are 'designed' in some way,

a few are more random. It's a great example of the fabrics my family were wearing and using.
 While I was teaching full time I had little time to be creative, it took me a long time to put this blue quilt together and then it would come out in the winter sometimes to do some quilting. Goodness knows why I decided to quilt it by hand.....oak leaves and acorns echo my love of the countryside and it has been good to keep my legs warm in the winter when I remembered to get it out!! (I do know that acorns don't grow on stalks, it's artistic licence!)

 Discovering it again in November I counted that I only had 20 big triangles left to quilt, out of a total of 60 large and 20 small triangles, so I set myself a target of finishing it by the end of the year.

After all the hand quilting I felt that the panels needed some machine quilting; the zig zags echo the 16 block and I also zig zagged above the border. It was obviously meant to be, I've just looked at the old quilt and it is hand quilted all over in a zig zag pattern, I'd not noticed before!

This is a border that I will NEVER do again. A double quilt makes a big 'sandwich' to handle and zig zagging accurately all round the edge on the machine, turning it the  right way out and clipping to make the zig zag edge look good took AGES, but I'm glad I persevered.

At some stage I got bored with oak leaves and quilted 4 hearts on a block in the corner, so of course I needed to quilt 4 hearts on the other 3 corner  blocks, then the blocks in the middle of each side... and last of all the block right in the middle of the quilt, plus my initials and the date. The hearts symbolise all the love and work that's gone into it, and the love of my family.

 Pulling out all the tacking was great!!
 all I have to do is think of a name.

On a similiar subject, my beautiful daughter Louise is 32 weeks pregnant; there have been a few ups and downs and recent trips to the Rosie, but all seems well now; I am crossing my fingers for a February birth.
 I also have my wonderful son visiting from Oz for 3 weeks via north and south America; part of his healing journey following diagnosis of a brain tumour on February 26th 2011. It has been a bit of a roller coaster for us, especially with Will so far away but has brought much love and healing to our family in other ways. He is deeply spiritual and philosophical (as well as loving wine, women and song!) and decided to heal the tumour through natural methods rather than have the operation. He is wonderfully well, scans last summer showed no further growth and he views it as a gift, which has shown him how to lead his life, sharing his experiences and helping others.
 He is writing a book and has a website  http://www.blessedwithabraintumor.com This all sits well with his work in recent years, fund raising for charities.


I leave you with 2 pictures of Barney, knitting!! and wanting more Christmas pudding and rum butter (another Cumberland influence, delicious; I've inherited the rum butter bowl that was used at Christenings, filled with rum butter and served with oat cakes).
 I feel very blessed to have my family around me.
 I wish you all a wonderful, creative, healthy and happy 2013.


  1. Well done on getting the quilt finished. Lovely to hear both Louise and Will doing well!

  2. The quilt is lovely well worth all the time and effort. Glad that your family are now doing well, it will be great to have a new addition to your family especially if they are as gorgeous as Barney!

  3. I think that quilt should just be called 'Masterpiece' Anna. What a lot of love and effort you have put into it. Now you too have added a wonderful heirloom to the family collection. I shall definitely take a look at Will's website. He sounds like quite a young man.

  4. I think both quilts are absolutely stunning.i find myself being drawn to original style quilts more and more...maybe it's the cold weather, I want to snuggle under.

  5. A beautiful quilt Anna, in fact two beautiful quilts. You must be so pleased to have finished yours and to see it on the bed making the space lovely. Blue is probably my favourite colour, it is so clear and peaceful.
    Your son's website is remarkable - he is obviously a brave man and one blessed with a tremendous focus and drive, as well as a spiritual vision of life. it must have been very hard for you to watch the darker parts of his journey. I hope you enjoy(ed) his visit.


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