Tag Archives: Christmas Quilts

Farmyard Frolics with McKenna Ryan

28 May

If you follow my blog you will know that I finally braved a McKenna Ryan pattern in December 2012. I admit it was daunting before I started but it was one of the most rewarding quilts I have made. It was called Chrissie Down Under.Chrissie Down Under

 

Lately I have been trying to find another one to do but have failed completely. Not one to give up easily I decided to stock them on my web page and at shows so here are the ones I have chosen. I love the farm ones best I think.

Back to the Farm Back on the farm copy Storybook Farm Storybook Farm copy Next Favourite – Beach Walk Beach Walk copy In Full Bloom In Full Bloom copy Bella GardenBella Garden copy More birds with Fields End Fields End copy Then some Christmas ones When Friends Gather copy Once upon a Star copy

Journey to the light copy I also have a few singles of seaside subjects.

Whether you use traditional satin stitch as I did or follow McKenna Ryan’s own method you will definitely end up with an heirloom. It won’t be finished in an afternoon but then you wouldn’t expect it to be.  If you are up for the challenge take a peek at my website www.nsaaquilting.co.uk

Or come to Harrogate in September or Exeter in April.

Of ‘andles and Fings Wot ‘old the Candles

26 Nov

I  have been helping Daughter Number Two to move house. They say it is one of the most stressful things we do – moving house not helping other people to do same.  Mind you there can’t be much in it.

I started the week at The Cotton Patch in Birmingham trying to get to grips with my quilting frame.  I bought it years ago and have hardly used it. I have to say that the course was very useful. The Cotton patch has a dedicated studio for teaching and familiarising so that if you decide to buy a machine or a frame you can ‘try before you buy’ as they say. (In my case ‘have a go before you throw’).  It was a very small group, there were five of us but I think normally it would have been four.  This means that everybody can have a hands on experience. This is the only way to go if you really want to learn something practical. I managed to spend rather a lot extra because I saw the value of a stitch regulator. This is a device that regulates the length of stitch. Having already used the frame I found that this was one of the problems; keeping stitches the same length throughout. The normal method of working the sewing machine on the frame is by way of a handle connected to a lever that presses down on the presser foot. I always found this quite stiff and as too many years of sewing obsessively have affected the hand I use to operate the lever the idea of something to help was very attractive. When I receive it and use it I will report on what hopefully are its benefits. I can certainly recommend the course if you are in UK.

Back to the moving – We felt the first sense of forboding as the van came round the corner. It was going to be too small. This wouldn’t have been a problem, except monetarily, if they had said so at the beginning. However they swore they could get it all in and they were the experts so we believed them. At least we did until the axels were practically on the ground and then we questioned the wisdom of travelling 400 yards never mind 400 miles in that state. ( Daughter Number Two has a bit of a background in Health and Safety) The long and the short of it is that Daughter Number Two and I left The Big Cheese supervising (thank goodness for Sudoku) and set off to reach the unit that was going to absorb the overflow, before they closed. The need for the overflow had something to do with trying to get a quart into a pint pot. In this case the quart was a large three bedroomed house and the pint pot a small two bedroomed flat Thank goodness for cousins buying a new house and being able to look after the excess. They had to repack the van and use a second one. They blamed it on the solid construction of the furniture but I am not sure how that would have affected the quantity. Mind you I am not an expert so what would I know.

Having  paid extra to transport the  furniture and boxes we then had to make up quantities for the charity shop. Yes I know but when it all went into store it might have been going back into the same house eventually. The removal men talked fondly of the day when everyone will have a Kindle and two bookcases had to be purchased to take the books. Yes I know but the furniture being looked after by the cousin is bedroom furniture and if you saw the size of these ‘double’ bedrooms you would understand.

I stayed on a while to unpack boxes and take deliveries which is why I have been offline for a while. Being without the internet was not as bad as I thought but it did mean I came back to hundreds of emails, most of which I didn’t want.

On the plus side I found  a quilt in one of the boxes. It was part of the tradition we have of making something christmassy for whoever is hosting Christmas. This was from Christmas three years ago. It is another Millamac pattern.

What a lot of eyes.

The frog family photo. Notice big brother on the right making gesticulations over small Brother’s head.

Possums ( I always want to write  possa – must be the classical education) fixing the Christmas lights. See the ‘thumbs up’ from the foreman.

Peering into the manger.

Dressing the Tree. Where is the safety officer when you need him.

The Choir.

Kangaroos with Presents.