Autumn Gifts and Antiques Roadshow

Several unexpected gifts came my way during the first week of September. The first was a bag of delicious home-grown tomatoes, brought round by a neighbour. I was never at home in the day-time before – how nice!

The quilt group re-started after the ‘summer recess’, although several of us went together on the trip to Birmingham (see ‘Three up-cycled dresses in three days‘). We were all (19 of us) given a roll of fabric like this, courtesy of Coats Crafts (www.coatscrafts.com/).  Thank you very much!

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The roll contained six two-and-a-half inch wide strips of printed fabrics  42 inches wide, in toning colours of green. I therefore set out to develop an item that would use every piece. A quiltmaker’s standard kit always includes a rotary cutter, a wide quilter’s ruler and a cutting mat. I’m always concerned about keeping the ruler intact – they’re made of plastic and my long ruler has already been split – so I created a bag that would be exactly the right size for an A3 cutting mat to fit in, with a pocket that would take a quilter’s ruler. The mat would keep the ruler rigid (therefore unlikely to break!). On the other side of the bag would be a pocket for the rotary cutter. It’s so easy to turn up to a quilt group or class without all the equipment you need; I reckoned a dedicated bag would be just the thing. So this is it, a machine-pieced patchwork with curvy quilting in a contrasting orange thread:

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Here’s look inside the bag, showing the two pockets:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The step-by-step instructions for how to make the bag are almost complete and will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop: (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AmandaJaneTextiles)

On Wednesday the gift was a twenty-pound note with the exhortation to buy something for the business – excellent. It was converted into a huge (A1 size) cutting mat from Dainty Supplies (www.daintysupplies.com/)

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I just drove up the A1, but they have an online shop too.  I also purchased fabrics for the next project, which will be decidedly Christmas-y.

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The next gift (courtesy of my friend Sharon) was a day out at the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ which had hitched up its waggon outside Durham Cathedral.

Antiques Roadshow lorry

The valuations were done mostly inside the building or in the cloisters courtyard. We were waylaid on the way into the main door by a BBC person with a clipboard and persuaded to form the ‘audience’ for a piece of filming outside the cathedral of an Indian carved sideboard. It was a lovely ornate piece with lions’  faces for feet and which I imagine might be included in the programme, so look out for it next year, especially as I was carrying the ‘Green Mat Bag’ (see above)!

We visited several ‘stands’ where the experts commented on the things we had brought, including this one:

Jewellery sign

where I stood in the queue to get advice about an inherited pocket watchwatch expert
He was patience itself, kind and informative – a marvellous free gift!

And the other autumn treasures? Well my friend Pat gave me a huge bag of freshly picked blackberries, picked from the hedgerows and a couple of days later, my friend Ev gave me some cooking apples (without knowing of the blackberry gift). This lead to the best ever autumn flavour: stewed blackberry and apple, eaten warm with Cornish ice cream!