dear diary,

Ever since the day when ‘my man’ gave me a beautiful book on making Welsh Quilts have I wanted to learn how to. Living in Wales and loving history as much as I do, I feel it is absolutely essential that I make one of these traditional patterned quilts for our home here in the beautiful Welsh mountains. As always, time is an issue, but when my dear friend Jackie mentioned about a course on learning how to quilt spread over a period of almost a year, I thought it’s now or never. My quilting adventure started yesterday.

Quilt Book

gift from ‘my man’

I arrived at Liberty Bell in Chester and was greeted by the lovely Sue, owner of this Aladdin’s cave of fabric and notions heaven, and quilting expert.

She showed me to my place and I found this…

Bundle

my fabric bundle

…which when I unrolled it looked like this…

IMG_1756

fabric spread out

Sue then showed me what I was going to make…

IMG_1757

first block

…really??? I was beginning to panic. Faced with so much fabric, a cutting mat and rotary blade, all measurements in inches (as you know we don’t do inches in mainland Europe), terminology like ‘walking foot’ and applique…my head was spinning.

There was really no need as Sue is an incredibly patient and kind teacher and soon I was cutting, pressing, stitching and taking endless notes.

Before long I had managed to make this…

Squares

squares

…which soon turned into these lovely pinwheels…

IMG_1758

pinwheels

…and eventually turned into the bottom strip of my block.

Bottom Strip

bottom strip

I was best pleased with how much sewing I managed to do and on top of that I cut out all my applique bits and started on putting them together.

This course has six sessions making nine blocks to produce an stunning quilt the size to fit a single bed. This is what it will eventually look like, just different colours.

Quilt Pic 2

the finished quilt – eventually

I am a long way from my dream of making a Welsh Quilt, but I feel that this dream has potential of becoming reality one day in the not too distant future. 🙂

 

Dear diary,

On Saturday at lunchtime I got on a train and travelled to Newcastle upon Tyne to teach a workshop on Continental Knitting at my dear friend Anne’s yarn shop.

The Knit Studio

I don’t think that the term Yarn shop is quite right for this amazing Alladin’s cave of yarns, fabrics, books, notions, fibre and a whole lot more. This has got to be one of the most invitingly comfortable yarn shops there are. I don’t know of any others where the ceilings are so high you could abseil from them, or the sofas are so squishily soft that you don’t ever want to get up again…actually I don’t know of any other place that has huge sofas like this at all. It is enormously hard to leave again and I really want to have a sleepover upstairs (only to be reached by climbing a ladder) in the midst of all those yummy yarns that are stored there. But I digress…

I was there to teach 12 eager ladies how to knit continental style, and eager they were indeed.

Doing the Continental

more doing the Continental

Everyone was incredibly quick in learning the knit and purl stitch and before long needles were flying at quite some speed. Normally the day’s project doesn’t get started until after lunch, but not with this group. Oh no…they were on their way speedily and progressing well.

The Project

By the end of the day we had a few over half finished and beautifully knit cotton facecloths on the table. It is always a pleasure to teach but even more so when the group is so keen and doing so well. Keep practising girls, remember what we said:”A little continental a day keeps the boredom away!”.

Thank you all for making my day so enjoyable and thank you Anne for extending such a warm welcome and looking after us so well. I can’t wait to come back in October. 🙂

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