Overseas Office

… meanwhile, back in southern Spain, life is busy and not much stitching seems to be happening.

The current project is long term, no deadline and just because. Actually that describes most of the projects that are “in progress” ….

Strips of fabric have been cut, papers acquired (in bulk), glue pen refills gathered, patches basted and sorted into bags – quite the production line. Even though I say not much stitching has been done, it has been very easy to pick up a few diamonds for some mindless basting or lay out twelve diamonds for one hexagon block and stitch them together.

Pioneers sessions started again this month and we will be looking in detail at one of the old Ragged & Rescued quilts from The Cupboard

I’ve issued a challenge to the intrepid Pioneers based on this quilt – we may open up the challenge and, if so, I’ll post details.

Two Zoom lectures in the diary for this week and a Chris&Barbara PopUp class next month – lots of preparation to finish so I’d best get back to it – happy stitching!

All good

It’s been a week filled with lots of good things and a lot of positive energy – not before time!! A day at the Festival of Quilts was such a boost – quilts, traders, quilting friends galore. Fabric was acquired with the excuse of it being “needed” for the ongoing diamond project that began like this –

More cutting of strips and preparation has happened –

Further planning for vintage treasures stored in The Cupboard – this particular project is scheduled for some serious attention later this year.

And heading for the Overseas Office to be progressed further is the vintage project you saw last week –

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!

Same old

Failed on the kitchen cupboard front – so far. Much less motivation than re-arranging and reviewing the quilt Cupboard. And still sifting through reference pics taken quickly during that re-arranging and reviewing so here’s a few more to carry us forward –

Almost time to start planning a return to the Overseas Office so I need to get a move on!

Filling up

Quite a week! Everything in The Cupboard has been taken out, shaken out, straightened out, talked to, assessed, allocated a new, temporary, position and carefully returned. Lots of memories, lots of resolutions, lots of choices – quite a few of the wholecloth quilts will be looking for a new home in the next twelve months, and some made-by-me quilts will be going to an appropriate charity. No decisions yet about the collection of Tentmaker pieces but it’s possible some of those will be given the chance of another home too.

above – the fourth and final stack.
still some quilts to go!

Here are a few more of the quilts that have emerged and been returned to The Cupboard –

I’m hoping to make time to do some quilt archaeology – a few quilts are “re-covers” and I’ve always intended to do further investigation.

Kitchen cupboards are next on the agenda – probably not quite so appealing, but equally necessary!

Cupboard love II

Unpacking and sorting of The Cupboard is now under way. The Cupboard is half-empty and carpet is visible –

Just the vintage quilts to bring out now. I’ve taken some quick photos of the first few quilts to emerge, some of which you’ve seen before –

These vintage hexagons are going to be rehomed in their own box. I’m going to call my partner in quilting crime to review and document what looks like a jumble of bits – results of the review will be posted here in due course. Wonder if you can guess what this is?

Cupboard love

Sufficient progress with gardening and domestic projects means that there will soon be some time to empty the quilt cupboard, take pictures, re-arrange, re-fold and re-organise the contents.

This is the stack of vintage quilts at front right of The Cupboard; there are 3 other stacks, one to the left (mostly Tentmaker pieces) and two at the rear (more vintage quilts and my quilts). The process traditionally is to take everything out, vacuum and dust floor and walls, renew moth repellant and then put everything back – but not necessarily in the same order. As you can imagine this is never a quick process but is a great workout which can extend over a couple of days and can involve interesting tests of agility navigating through piles of quilts on the floor and on the bed. This year I’ll be adding to the time required by taking fresh pics of many of the quilts so that I have plenty of reference material for future classes and online lectures.

Let’s see what next week brings!

Hidden clues

A week of working with the red and white quilt from The Cupboard shown in the previous post. Patterns have been recorded with much musing over dates, fabric, origins etc. Hand pieced, hand quilted – razor sharp piecing of points and matching of seams, museum quality quilting of 10+ stitches to the inch, thin cotton batting, narrow single binding.

And, perhaps best of all, and hidden in plain sight – a date and possibly initials!

No more musing and theorising over the date for this quilt! Off to the printer this week armed with a stack of quilting patterns . . . .

Old favourite

No quilting this week – which feels odd.  Only excuse I can come up with is I’ve been busy finding my way around various online platforms and seeing how they could work for virtual classes (hand quilting and hand piecing maybe?), helping quilting friends on the same quest, making masks requested by family, and keeping up with students with their current handpiecing project.  Over on the chrisandbarbaraquilts side of things there’s a LOT going on behind the scenes – and, before you know it, another week has gone by!

So, a week with no quilting makes an excuse for showing you one of my favourite not-quilted vintage pieces from The Cupboard.  Foundation pieced Log Cabin blocks which measure 4inches approx, cotton velvet centre squares/rectangles mostly brown in colour, wide range of types and weights of fabrics from shirtings to sheeting,  equally wide range of fabrics for the foundations, blocks stitched together with overcasting stitch (as for EPP).  Rescued from a builders skip and gifted to me after a dark green velvet border had been carefully removed by the keen-eyed quilter who rescued it.

Now I really do have to make some decisions about borders on the quilt on the frame and move that project along…… happy stitching!

Vintage quilting

One of my favourite things for this post – quilted texture.  The quilt is one I acquired in the USA at least 10 years ago, probably more.  In terms of overall condition it’s pretty decent, some broken stitches, worn binding and serious fading of green fabric to a pale buff colour, no spots or stains etc etc.  I would estimate the date to be circa 1860s .  The pieced blocks are Triple Sunflower.  My reason (if I needed one) for acquiring this quilt was the quilting – super small stitching and lots of it.

The quilting stitches are really alarmingly small, averaging 13 to the inch –

and the familiar classic motif Feather Wreath –

plus a very delectable Feathered Plume –


The borders are quilted with triple diagonal lines – easy to mark and easy to quilt on a frame –

I found it interesting that the pieced blocks were quilted with an allover pattern rather than “by the piece” – again, easier to quilt when working on a frame.

Note to self: I really do have to knuckle down and draft the quilting patterns from this and other quilts from The Cupboard. ( In the meantime there is a simple measurements-and-construction pattern guide for this quilt available at Meadowside Designs ).

And with that it’s back to my quilt frame where good progress is being made – update next week!