Sunday, 1 February 2015

A new treasure, quilting begun and revisited inspiration.

It was bitterly cold this weekend but we wrapped up and made our usual trip to the market to wander around the few stalls who had decided to brave the weather. I always go with good intentions not to buy more useless stuff but I can rarely resist an old box no matter how distressed.

This one certainly fits that description. The leather is so parched he who gardens gave it a rub with moisturiser and then oil. Believe it or not this is the after picture - you should have seen it before! We had to pay out one whole pound for our treasure.

It has a metal frame and clasp and the expanding concertina construction intrigued me even though the dark blue silk is completely perished.

Inside, the dent in the lining gives its original purpose away - it would have held a pair of silver glove stretchers. Not sure what I'll do with it yet but I couldn't leave it on the stall. Not for the sake of £1.

Back home in the warmth of my workroom I made a start on the quilting of the full size version of 'To the Brim'. This is where the huge PowerQuilter table shows its worth. As long as the immediate area being stitched is kept perfectly flat, the rest of the quilt can be rolled out of the way or simply supported by the tables I've placed either side of the machine.

I've quilted the red sun in the centre with a continuous grid in the same way I treated the small quilt but this time I've used black thread instead of red. Around that I've written, ' to the brim, to the brim, to the brim.............. in a pale variegated Madeira Cotona 50 thread. Beyond this I'm just starting to stitch angular lines in red Cotona 50. This will hopefully add a bit of warmth and blend all the different colours of the patchwork. I am really looking forward to getting out to the edges of the quilt where all the stencilling, appliqué and printed text will give me lots of scope for the quilting.

When I reach this stage of a quilt I know pretty much what I'm doing and it frees my mind up to consider the next thing. A few years ago I made a small quilt featuring an image of the moon seen through the beech trees in my garden. I love them at this time of year when the branches are still bare. It's hard to show scale in a photo - these are actually immense. Probably 80 or 100 feet tall. Spectacular as they look in the winter sunshine, it's at night they become quite magical. If it's clear tonight I'll be out with my camera trying to capture the drama of the full moon as it rises behind them. Last time the trees were only a small part of the design but I have a fancy to make them centre stage. The great thing about a subject you love is that it can provide endless inspiration and it will be exciting to see what I can do with this again. I like to have plenty of thinking time before I actually make anything and, oh dear, I've just remembered I've already got a list, so please don't hold your breath!

Thanks for dropping by - Linda x


  1. Do you collect the beech nuts and use them?
    Sandy in Bracknell

  2. Glove stretchers?! I learn something new everyday - I've never even heard of glove stretchers. I would have guessed a measuring device like you used to use on charts and maps.

  3. Hi Sandy - no, I've never done anything with the nuts although I believe they are edible. Do you use them in some way?

    1. Where I grew up we had them. Basically we just took the inner hulls off the kernels and ate them! But they can be roasted or tossed into salads. I guess they take more time than a lot of nuts to prepare, but you can use them like most nuts. I have seen recipes for using them instead of pecans, etc.

  4. Dear Charlotte - I've got a pair of glove stretchers but they are wooden and sadly just a little too long to fit into the depression in the box lid. They were another 'treasure' found on the market for just £2. Completely useless but lovely all the same!

  5. What a treasure! It's intriguing. Your quilt is looking wonderful- such gorgeous colours.