Today (Monday 24th May 2021) is our second moving day. If you read last week’s post (here), you will know that we left our home in County Durham three weeks ago. The furniture van with all our belongings arrives at our new house in Kent today. I am nervous and excited in equal measure. There is still some further sorting and discarding to do: I just hope all the boxes fit in the house today.
Some of our possessions have been in storage over those weeks, but all of our books and bookcases have been in storage for a year. I have missed them terribly. However good e-readers are (and I do own a Kindle), it is a different experience to reach for a known and loved book about Art, about Design, about Embroidery or Quilting. Currently, in the monthly newsletter I send to subscribers, I recommend a book I have enjoyed and found useful in each issue. (You can sign up too, if you’d like to. Click here for the link.)
For the last three weeks, we have been living in a somewhat modest way with just the possessions we could fit into the car (a Seat Ibiza – not large!).
A light made by Groves UK that I used to take on quilting retreats has been very useful.
I bought mine from my friend Sharon Robins, owner of ‘Raggy Robin’ in Durham (now newly opened post lockdown hooray!) It folds in neatly, has a carrying handle and the top can be angled in different directions. It is ideal for task lighting when embroidering, hand-piecing or hand quilting. In the current context, it has been a perfect bedside light, as we have been sleeping on the floor on a borrowed mattress until the furniture arrives.
Knowing that living for a couple of weeks without furniture was in the plan, I packed in the car we drove down in, two sets of bedding and this quilt.
This is called ‘Sea and Sand’ and I love it. Here, you can see it being used as a backdrop one time when I gave a talk.
I love these soft beach colours. It’s machine-pieced and was originally hand quilted. The wadding is wool which makes it light and wonderfully warm. Thereby hangs a tale. In a moment of total aberration, I washed it in a washing machine. Why?
I used to teach Textiles at A-level including textiles technology and I know perfectly well what happens to wool. Suffice it to say, the quilt was ruined. I loved it so much though, so I unpicked the hand-quilted circles at the centre and outside edge of every single block. I unpicked the binding. I re-made the back, inserting a patchwork panel to make it bigger.
As for the wadding, I did use wool again, but I pre-soaked the wadding for ten minutes in cool water in the bath, squeezed the water out gently and dried it as flat as I could. I then layered up the quilt again, re-quilted it (by machine, this time), trimmed the wadding and backing and re-stitched the binding (machine-stitched to the front and hand-stitched to the back). It was a labour of love.
And rest assured, I will never, ever put it in a washing machine to clean it!
I have delayed for a long time in writing a pattern for this quilt – perhaps because it seemed quite personal to me, but I think it’s time to share it so I will be working on the pattern soon. Just let me un-pack a few boxes first!
In the meantime, there are plenty of quilt patterns in the Etsy shop here
Raggy Robin is at: http://www.raggyrobin.co.uk