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Friday, 23 January 2015

baby quilt & frosty walk

Some time ago I bought some pre cut squares to make a baby quilt for my Etsy shop, the fabric was geared towards boys and I made up the squares then when we heard we were to have another grandchild, I waited to see what the sex is because if it was to be a boy, which it is, I wanted to keep the quilt for him. 

In the mean time I decided to make another quilt for him using some lovely plain fabric pieces I had bought. So I guess he will have two :)

I didn't have a pattern for this one, just a picture of a finished block, so I have made a bit of a mistake in my measuring, you will see in the bottom quilt photo where I have added the border and nipped off the points on the green and brown squares.

I thought this quilt would be nice to hang on baby's  bedroom wall once he moves from his cot into a bed. I love the fabric colours. Today I have pinned the layers together having bought 100% cotton wadding. I'm looking forward to hand quilting it when I have finished my sons quilt. 

The weather here is pretty chilly with beautiful frosty mornings. Today we took a lovely walk up to Ivinghoe Beacon which is where my parents would often take us as children.

Have a great weekend!

                                  

                                  

                                   

                        

                                         
                                        






     


    



Friday, 16 January 2015

What is God doing?

I think it was around March 1998 that our eldest daughter flew off to Brooklyn New York to take part on an internship program with www.metroworldchild.co.uk She stayed for the 4-5 month program and then returned home for a few months before being offered a place on staff at Metro Ministries as it was then called. She worked there for seven years, we visited on a number of occasions and could tell that this was the calling that God had on her life. A calling to work with the vulnerable and needy.

Metro is 'Based on the principle that it is better to build boys and girls today than to repair men and women tomorrow, Metro World Child reaches nearly 100,000 inner-city children and their families every week in New York and around the world.'

It was at Metro that Vashti met her husband, a fellow Brit, they returned at the end of the seven years to be married and then follow their call to work with orphans in South Africa. The main part of their three month honeymoon was sent working with Metro on the rubbish dumps in the Philippines and Thailand. They have spent the past 10-11 years working in the rural and urban areas of Durban and Kwa Zulu Natal. During this time they have also adopted two little boys and have been caring for a third baby who they also hope to adopt. They have also cared for a number of older children during their time in SA. They began a charity supporting orphans and mainly their grandmothers who are caring for them. This charity was put on hold a couple of years back, they knew at the time that they didnt have the financial support to run the charity as they felt God wanted them to. Vashti now works part time for their church as children's pastor and Martin has been home schooling their boys as well as keeping up contacts with those who live in the area where they carried out their ministry. Vashti has also worked into the homeless shelter in Durban supporting the girls who work the streets and their children. 
Before Christmas they had come to the place where they wondered if God still wanted them in SA, each month was a struggle to meet their bills and care for their family, they gave God an ultimatum, either He shows them what they are to be doing in SA or they begin to set about moving back to the UK. 
Well God spoke and just last week they took a trip to visit some friends who they met on their arrival in SA over ten years ago, God had been speaking to them too and if you would like to read more of what they believe God is saying, please visit my daughters blog
www.sheltermeblog.wordpress.com

Im always a little reluctant to step out and say this is what God is saying, maybe its not? But I do believe that if we don't act on what we believe we may miss out big time. I know their testimony is that they haven't always acted on what He has said and at times they have acted on things He definitely HASNT said. But what I also know is that He is their loving Father and will carry them through any mistakes they may make and I can never say they haven't taken huge steps of faith throughout their adult lives and that their hearts have always been to serve their Heavenly Father in loving those living in devastating circumstances.

Below is Vashti's IG post from last night




In 1991 a prophetic word was spoken over Vashti, it was a long word so I will just take a very small portion of what God said 

"....Dont lose anything that God has given into your hands for the Lord has blessed you and the Lord has called you and the Lord says 'I will use you if you give yourself seriously to Me, that joy will spring out more and more to everlasting life and you will be a blessing to all around you, for I have called you and I have put My name in your heart and I have put My name on your tongue....'"

Monday, 12 January 2015

Sashiko stitching

I have managed to work on the linen star quilt that I am making for my son, the top and bottom only took a couple of days to put together and when the wadding and sashiko thread arrived on Saturday I was able to baste the layers with a little help from hubby and Molly :)

I am really enjoying working with the Sashiko thread for the hand quilting. My cousin, when she found out I was using it, sent me an paper that she had written about Indigo for her degree in which says 

Sashiko meaning literally little stabs, is a technique traditional to Japan. Old garments were re-cycled, the layers of fabric hand sewn together with a running stitch, in a contrasting colour.This practice harks back to times when cloth was a valuable commodity. both‘ “If you can wrap three beans in a piece of cloth, then it is big enough to keep.” This old saying demonstrates the frugality of ancient Japanese rural society, which held firmly to the notion of richness in poverty’ (Indigo, C. Le Grand, 78)

So sashiko was traditionally used to re-inforce indigo garments, recycle small pieces of indigo fabric to make larger ones, and in some cases the stitches made patterns which told stories of their own. 


I am stitching straight lines, two inches apart, across the entire quilt. I am glad it's winter as the weight of the quilt is keeping me warm and I certainly hope I finish it before the warmer weather arrives!



             



Friday, 9 January 2015

star quilt


This is my first visit to my blog since New Year, I am really slacking. Our Christmas was great, we were both a little apprehensive as it was to be the first Christmas morning we had woken up in our house with no family with us for nearly 38 years. As my husband is a church minister we need to take the Christmas morning service and so couldn't travel to spend Christmas eve with family who had all chosen this year to stay in their own homes. 
So after church we traveled to London to spend the rest of the day with our youngest son and his wife at her parent house together with the rest of her family. We had a great time and then went to our son and DIL flat in London Bridge to spend the night and boxing day before traveling the following day to Devon to be with our daughter and her family. Lots of traveling but a really lovely Christmas. New Years eve we traveled to our cottage in Wales and my sister and BIL joined us for NY day. This was our first entertaining in our little cottage, we ate beef in ale casserole with dumplings while the log burner sent out the much needed heat.

A couple of posts back I told of the beautiful pieces of Irish linen our eldest son gave me, he had this left over from a photos shoot and asked if I would like it...
I am now making him a quilt from some of the beautiful blue and red. I love the quilts of www.folkfibers.com if you havent seen these before go and visit their site. Their quilts are amazing. I have ordered cotton wadding and sashiko thread to hand quilt it. 
I made up the centre star yesterday, see the photo above, and I plan on making the rest of the quilt top later today....lets see how that goes, I may be a bit optimistic about that. Sewing with linen can be a little challenging at times :)
Happy New Year to you all




Tuesday, 23 December 2014

vintage quilt

          I dropped into a little antique/vintage shop yesterday and saw this beautiful quilt hanging on a screen. The price was right so I bought it. The stitching is so small and neat that it looks like its matchined pieced and quilted  but on taking a closer look I can see that it is all done by hand, the only machine stitching is joining the strips of diamonds. It is beautifully made and mostly in very good condition, the grey patterned diamonds next to the pink are worn and could do with replacing. I'm guessing this fabric was thinner than the rest and has therefore worn.

I have washed and dried it and now it looks brighter and fresher, I will take it over to our cottage, I need to get hold of a quilt ladder to hng it on alongside some of the older quilts that I've made.

I'm delighted with my find!



                     

                     

Sunday, 21 December 2014

I have been so neglectful of my blog in recent months, I can't use a busy life as an excuse because I know you all have busy lives but still seem able to keep up!

I've been considering my Etsy shop and what to do with it. I have enjoyed making baby and children's clothes to sell but I just don't seem to have the inclination to work on promoting it. 

Last week our church put on a Christmas Market to raise funds for the missionaries that we support, I decided to take along my Etsy products and my husband took lots of the pots he has made together with his potters wheel for people to have a go at throwing a pot. This was a huge success and especially the men and children enjoyed taking a turn. 

The market was great fun, lots of very talented people had stalls selling homemade soaps, candles, cakes, preserves, fudge and cookies to name just some of the produce that was for sale.


I sold quite a few of my items and I'm thinking of just winding down my shop and maybe concentrating on quilts and blankets. With a new grandchild on the way I have plenty of reason to make baby clothes. 

I've loved making blankets from the attic24 blog, I'm making cot size blankets at the moment, finished the cottage ripple blanket and am now using the rest of the yarn to make the cosy blanket

                                         

                                    

On Friday we went into visit our son in London, he asked if I would like some pieces of Irish linen he had used on a photo shoot and no longer needed, of course my answer was "Yes" and we swung by his studio to pick them up, this pile doesn't look that big but each piece of fabric measures from 4 to 8 metres long so plenty to keep me busy :) I am thinking that I will make some plain quilts, using the same colour linen top and back with wadding in between and then hand quilting through the layers with embroidery silks. 

I have washed all the pieces and although none shrunk, the darker colours did bleed so I couldn't mix colours in a quilt. I'm pretty excited about getting started with these beautiful colours.

                                      

Below is a Christmas photo of some of our grandchildren, they dressed up to go to see Elf 
at the theatre. Gilby isn't really into dressing up and usually will only wear a cowboy hat! I guess his Mummy and sisters managed to persuade him on this occasion :)
                        
 




Sunday, 7 December 2014

Liberty Quilt

Back in 2012 I wrote this post http://finelinenandpurple.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Liberty
Well two years later I have finally finished my Liberty quilt. I will add, I haven't been making it all that time, I collected fabric and began making it earlier this year :)

I had also been given some pre cut squares, in two different sizes, so I joined those squares then made triangles and rectangles, backing the quilt with a sheet that my mother bought for my bed when I was 16 (obviously good quality to last all these years!) I hand quilted around each square, triangle etc and  then made bias binding from Liberty fabric, using one of those little gadgets which I had never used before but worked pretty well. All in all I am very happy with the outcome, I do love Liberty. 

We have just spent a few days over at our cottage in Wales and I took the quilt over to put on our bed there.
The weather was pretty chilly, the cottage is in Mid Wales and we are told that is the coldest area in Wales but with the heating on and the wood burner going we were pretty snug. 

And as you can see Molly enjoyed the quilt too