Thursday 18 January 2018

My New Year's Quilt (photos to follow)

I shall turn my shoulder on the unfinished projects (although some are still being worked on), as it was OUR turn for a new quilt.  Several years ago now, my dear friend Sharon in Kentucky (Morning's Minion blog) sent me a parcel of quilting materials - oh, such pretty patterns andcolours, which I put on one side, thinking our house would soon sell, and then I would make a new quilt for our bed as a housewarming present.  Well, we are still here, and I am waiting no longer. 

(This photo took over an hour to load!!)

I chose a simple design from a magazine.  The main border colour was green, but mine is just random!  The blocks go together quickly being a very VERY simple pattern, and my new machine is such a delight to use.  I intended to start on New Year's Day, but it was about the 3rd or 4th before I began cutting out.  I've sewn about 95 blocks so far (200 are needed), but pinched 4 to make a work-in-progress quilt bag to cover all my materials and keep the cats off them!  Sewing the blocks has made up for missing the first two weeks of my patchwork class, due to no functioning car (but more of that later).

. . . . . another hour gone by . . . .

The broadband here the last 12 hours is ridiculous - falling out so no Netflix or Prime on tv, and I can't load a photo or send an email.  I can't even load the page to TEST the broadband speed, it's that bad.  Hah - now the page has loaded and it has spent the last 10 minutes TRYING to test the speed and is still at it . . .  I can see that a call to BT is going to be happening later today.  NOT a good way to spend the morning.

This Hollyhock floral design is my favourite.

As for the car, having paid out £400 to get it fixed - and then it wouldn't run when we went to pick it up! - we had to wait overnight whilst the garage did a further repair - cleaning the emissions filter which we think had been a problem for a long long time.  They did that free of charge, bless them, but gave us a couple of advisories, including one which we really didn't want to hear - the clutch was starting to slip.  Having already spent more than the trade-in value on our car (as we later discovered) we decided that despite our level of skint-ness (trade has been very poor in the last year) we would have to bite the bullet and go and see what a replacement might cost us and we drove straight to X-Hands to look at what was on offer at the car dealers there.

The W.I.P. bag to keep my half-made quilts and material free from muddy footprints . . .

To cut a long story short, we have negotiated to purchase a Nissan NV200.  It has a very low mileage for the year (2011), and has been regularly serviced and in good condition.  It gives us the boot room we need, with the seats folded back, plus height (there is a camper van version, but dream on Jen!)  It will be lovely to have a totally reliable vehicle again.  We  hated going out in bad weather in the Doblo as the windscreen wipers had been a real pain in the past - stopping working in really torrential rain, both times on the motorway and one at night, which was SO scary, trying to negotiate across traffic to get onto the hard shoulder.  Whilst the AA bod had fixed a clip on to stop it happening again, we were never convinced it was 100% so it will be nice not to have that niggle in the back of our minds.

So, money is going to be tight until the house sells (and it looks like we will have to drop the price yet again to try and attract a buyer, from desperation).  I am going to make sure all the forgotten tins in the back of the cupboard are brought to the front and used in . . . interesting! . . . ways and I will have to work my way to the bottom of the chest freezer too. 

I think when the weather improves regular car boot sale stalls are going to be the order of the day to clear the items not suitable for the Fairs we do now.  We need the space and we need the money . . .

Back later with photos.  I hope . . .



  1. Well at least you have a decent working car now. Remember when we came to visit you a few years back with our American friends Bucky and Loie, well he has released his articles on all the journeys they have done over the last few years - loads of them! A couple of photos of you, Keith and the houses, though mostly the little cottage came up which I have apportioned ;) don't know if you want them.
    Sounds as if your quilting is becoming the thing in your crafting life, mine still is knitting though.

    1. I remember that visit Thelma. I wouldn't say no to any photos. I bet Bucky and Loie have been over much of the world now.

      I would love to do some knitting again (I got stuck on a sock back in the summer, but knitted on a magic loop, and I don't know how to graft the toes or heels the way I was shown, or how to start sock no. 2. That's the trouble when a talented knitter "starts it off for you" . . .)

      However, at the moment I am quilting, and enjoying my patchwork class. I may blow the dust off my lace and spinning wheel when the next Fair is over, but there are always so many calls on my time. There is a tin of paint and a paintbrush downstairs, with my name on them!!

  2. I like a bit of a randomness in a homemade quilt and good for you for not putting off making a quilt for you any longer. Yesterday I had my 72 six inch pinwheels laid out on the sitting room floor and decided it needed to be bigger and have a little more 'punch' to it so I'm back sewing more HSTs while thinking about the border. I must say quilting is quite taxing on the brain - all that maths! I don't think your old farmhouse is ready to let you go yet. It has taken me ages to come to terms with moving from here, but at last things are moving and I'm allowing myself to be excited about a fresh start. Yesterday afternoon a double rainbow came out over my house and I'm taking that as a good positive sign. So yes, we are (fingers crossed) finally moving from our busy semi-rural commuter village where we are surrounded by houses to a (very practical) house in a hamlet on a quiet country lane with views and space and a vibrant village with a new community shop just around the corner. Good luck with the new car BB and looking forward to seeing your photos when Broadband allows.

    1. This one is an attempt to use up an amount of my stash, plus the fabrics that Sharon kindly sent. I needed some neutral shades, so bought two half metres this week, but it soon gets very expensive buying in new material, so I will stick with having a random quilt. There is quite a bit in the lilac/gentle purple line to pull it together. I don't have a mathematical brain, so just bodge things!

      Someone else has said that the house wants very special people to take over from us, but it may have to be disappointed as we just cannot afford to live here any more.

      I hope that your fresh start comes to pass. The house you are hoping to get sounds ideally situated.

  3. I love the randomness of your quilt. It is going to look lovely.

    God bless.

  4. Hi Jackie. I think this will have to be called the Random Quilt. Now the photos are finally loaded I will get back to it (and my cup of tea). It is a cold day, and I've had a walk just down to the bridge and back, and now I need to "shake a leg" as mum used to say.

  5. How lovely to see those fabrics again--many of them have remained favorites, including the hollyhock print. I made similar blocks of the same fabrics [having over-bought] while still in Wyoming, a king size quilt that kept growing.
    If one lives with cats there is definitely a need for a 'work in progress' cover [ask me how I know!]
    The process of selling real estate, particularly when it has special or unique features, can be disheartening. Your house has appealing classic elements which you have enhanced so well, I daresay the country location may put off those who might love the home but have need to be better connected to a business center. We have to go on hoping for the buyer!
    Meanwhile, we create quilts!

    1. They are bringing me much delight Sharon, deciding what will go with what, and trying to get them so there is a gentle mixture of colours. The only ones that jarred were two gorgeous blocks I made from the vivid strawberry print fabric (gorgeous) which I am going to make into a shopping bag for myself.

      The WIP cover has earned its keep already, with both the brothers making beds on it today!

      As for house selling, I have the January glums and have really lost heart. I have bought a can of paint to make sure I put my shoulder to the wheel again and I intend to start cleaning windows and paintwork a few at a time each week so I can try and stay on top of the spring cleaning, as I know once it gets warm enough to garden, I will be pulled every which way for my labour.

      The quilt making is bringing me joy though, so that's a real positive.

  6. A glorious array of colour and prints, that hollyhock print is lovely.

    1. Hi Pam. It is cheering me up to have COLOUR on the grey January days. The Hollyhock print is just divine. A wonderful combination of colours and far better than anything I ever grew in the garden, as Hollyhocks get rust here . . .

  7. Hi BB

    As I have said before lovely fabrics. However the pattern you have chosen is charming and shows the fabrics off to their best advantage. I like the Hollyhock pattern too but it should look lovely when it is all finished. Like the quilt cover holder too. Look forward to seeing your strawberry bag when it is finished.

    Its the weather that is not helping at the moment - I don't do grey. There has to be some colour somewhere so I can well see why the patchwork is helping. You really are doing a lovely job. Lets put things in perspective whilst you are in waiting for the Buyer you get the opportunity of enjoying such a beautiful house. I am still convinced it will happen when the Buyer is right. Hugs for the grey days but oh just look at the colour in the quilt. Colour is also very healing. We are taught how to live with people but nothing prepares us with how to deal with things when they leave an empty space, especially when the relationship is long standing and full of love. Hold in there sweetheart. Take care Tricia xx

  8. If you want some colour Tricia, go across to Attic 24. She has LOTS of bright colours in her patchwork and in winter I find her blog SO therapeutic. I need to do some more crochet to get through some of my wool stash, but at present I'm back to hand quilting the red and white lap quilt again.