All change

Not much chance, it seems, of settling in for some peace and quiet at the Overseas Office – looks like we will be returning to the Rural Office in the next fortnight. Nothing dramatic, just a routine but essential medical appointment for Himself with a short recovery period afterwards. Time to review the projects and stash here in Spain and decide how much/many can stay until our return – this is never an easy decision!

During the last few weeks I’ve been busy with Zoom stuff and putting July’s work of measuring a variety of quilts from The Cupboard to good use –

It’s been great fun to virtually share some of the contents of The Cupboard – even from such a distance! For 2022 I’m developing a series of online talks and classes with the theme “Ragged & Rescued” – more details in due course, website to sort out first.

Not much obvious progress with the longterm diamond/hexagon project but it is moving along and is the ideal travel companion –

Hope you are all safe and well – happy stitching!

Time flies

Can’t believe how quickly time is going! I’m getting a good start on at least 2 long term projects. Project One is based on quilts etc stowed in The Cupboard which I’m aiming to grow into a series of Zoom lectures –

Project Two has been picked up from one of last year’s class samples and progressed with lots of prep, cutting and basting. Just the teeniest dent in part of the stash! No deadline but a few thoughts on how this might go together –

And there’s a re-make project that’s been sitting quietly in The Cupboard for a Very Long Time and may get moved on a couple of stages this week –

Happy stitching!

Good light

Sometimes, even in a gloomy cold Spring, the light is just right to capture quilted texture. Even the most elusive white-on-white quilting –

This is a very worn and almost shredded vintage strippy quilt that I bought for pennies in the 1980s. Strippy quilts are most often pieced from strips of contrasting fabrics by colour, value, print and plain. In this quilt both front and back are pieced from strips of different widths and weights of white household cotton, a thin cotton batting, and the simple quilting patterns are Lined Twist and a Bellows variation.

White on white quilted strippy style like this would be a great way to make a wholecloth quilt without the angst and terror of design, marking etc. Just a thought ….

The light was good enough to take a quick shot of the 1845 quilt too –

I know I commented before about the sharpness and precision of the hand piecing of this quilt – take a look at the scant seam allowance that’s visible here. Our standard seam allowance is 1/4inch, this measures a very scant 1/8inch. Imagine stitching with so little room for error!

Happy stitching!

More settling

Quarantine is over and first vaccination tomorrow – important milestones! It’s been a really slow week, hard to find motivation to finish unpacking and the quilt cupboard remains in need of a thorough working over. But I have brought a long-standing (a mere decade) project to the surface ready to be moved to the batting and basting pile –

Keeping this really short and hoping that this coming week is more productive!

On the move

Almost all packed up and ready to roll! I’ve been reflecting on the last 12 months as I’ve gathered quilts, books, projects, notions together to head back to the Rural Office. Lots of challenges and changes for everyone, everyone found their own ways of coping and, for many of us, quilting, stitching and handwork became more important than ever. I will admit that I thought I would be more productive but can see that a lot of time has gone into (literally) the air instead – Zoom, FaceTime, Skype – adapting to different teaching platforms as well as staying in touch. So for this last post from the Overseas Office here’s a quick look at just a few of the starts from March 2020 to March 2021 –

Finishing up with a detail (above) which shows what I hope to be doing more of once we are back at the Rural Office. See you soon!

Getting ready

Yet again, little visible stitching progress to show although there has been a lot of activity! We’re in the early stages of getting ready to return to the Rural Office so I’ve been trying to make the right decisions on which projects need to go and which ones can stay. The simplest strategy would be to take everything each time but that really isn’t practicable, so it does become a question of prioritising. So far I’ve stocked up two manageable bags with diamonds and triangles glued to their relevant papers in readiness for basting – a perfect task for travel.

The table runner I’ve shown here countless times is also going to be included in the Travel Stitching – there’s just one block remaining for Pass Two and then I can contemplate what might constitute Pass Three.

The blocks on my pinboard need to return to base to collect additional blocks and gather some setting ideas –

And, as I resolved in an earlier post, I’ve made a note to bring this quilt top from the Rural Office “still waiting” stack to the top of the pile for backing , batting and quilting –

On to another week – happy stitching!

Marching on

Terrible pun, but sometimes these things need to be done. Thanks for all the sympathy and helpful tech info re my WordPress “improvement” annoyance, I’m managing at the moment but strongly in favour of moving over to in the near future.

On the stitching and quilting front it has been a week of preparation. Delved into a couple of scrap bags, wielded the glue pen and scissors and, from out of almost nothing, there is now a tightly packed bag of diamond shapes all ready to be basted. Hardly a dent in the scrap bags!

This is one of those “no idea” projects – no idea what it will look like, no idea when it will be finished. It began last August in one of my online classes when we were looking at 60degree diamonds, triangles etc and EPP.

These small diamond hexagons were so much fun to do that I thought it would be a Good Idea to make many more using scraps from the stash here at the Overseas Office as the starting point. And that’s as far as that Good Idea got at the time. But now I’ve ordered further supplies of papers and it seems that the time is approaching to continue with this Good Idea. Not forgetting the other Good Idea of assembling lots of sample blocks when we return to the Rural Office…. Wishing you lots of Good Ideas for the coming week!

A lot going on

Still searching for my sewjo but managing very small amounts of progress.  A busy week on Zoom starting today – short class today, quilty meeting with longstanding pals also today, hosting a Very Special private class Tuesday (really excited about this), regular class Thursday (we’re looking at Pineapple blocks) followed by a Thursday at Three meeting.   Here’s a glimpse of my prep for Tuesday –

One of my US quilting pals Barbara Black ( graciously offered to lead the class – or did she have her arm twisted? The truth may never be known….. but it’s going to be fun to be one of the students and not the teacher!  Tucked into the class materials that Barbara sent ahead was this gorgeous repro fabric –

Thank you Barbara! I’m now investigating the blues scrap bag here at the Overseas Office and there’s a whiff of another new project in the air.  Maybe the elusive sewjo will soon be knocking at the door.

And there’s a lot of activity behind the scenes at the blog – we have a Tile Tuesday series just started and some mysterious stitching coming next month.  We were really pleased with the block we developed from this fragment of Roman mosaic floor at Fishbourne –

the floor

the block

Check back in next week for another thrilling update!





Very modest progress on the project in hand, just 3 stars remain to have the first pass outline quilting (shown here at the lower edge ) –

– and a closer look, showing outlined diamonds and not-yet-outlined diamonds

I’ve also been busy with one or two projects for online classes and get togethers –

Onwards with another week!



It’s that quilt – again!

A quiet week at The Overseas Office, not a lot of stitching but worktables re-adjusted, projects unpacked and put in safe places and lists consulted.  Now that the binding is on I’ve spread the current quilt over an appropriate size bed and tried to come to a decision re the amount of quilting.


At the moment I think there’s just enough quilting but that it really would benefit from more, but perhaps not right now.  I am pleased with how the circle concept has worked so far –

The mindless quilt close to the seams  stitching has begun on the stars and diamond piece –

– quilted on the left, not quilted on the right.  It’s always fun to see the subtle changes that even a small amount of quilting can make.  This is a great size project to just pick up and put down again, so I’m quilting in my hand rather than with a hoop.  Different tension, softer texture and very satisfying.