Monday sewing

Monday was our last sewing day at Rae’s for this year.We all brought food to share and stitched and chatted too.  I was so busy sewing I only took a pic of Rae’s new quilt that she’s currently hand quiltingand I finished off two more blocks for my  new quilt. and the little Santa’s scattered through the pics were made by one of Rae’s grand daughters, Miss D, one for each of us!  Very clever and very sweet.

Meredithe x

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A woolly bits weekend

As is our tradition, our last Woolly Bits class for the year is actually a weekend at the glorious Mill House Retreat.  Not much was done in the way of woolly bits, but we did get lots achieved.

The call of the shop is strong, and I’m not one to resist, as you know!  It’s so convenient having it right next door.Just love the sloths!

I also brought with me some fabric from the Fabric Library to make a dress, just needed the “dress” partI borrowed a friend’s pattern to see how it went and loved making it so much, I’ve since ordered my own (from here).  The pattern is for a top, but Jo gives info about making it into a dress, and I chose to add sleeves too.

Had a little mishap along the way – oops! (no damage done to the machine – phew!)but by Friday evening my dress was made!The forecast for the weekend weather was dire; rain, rain and more rain with flood and storm warnings.  The weather did prove to be very rainy and quite cold for December in Ballan.  Crazily we had the heater on, and just days earlier it had been the air conditioner!  But really, we didn’t care as it was Perfect Stitching Weather.Saturday I made a glasses casethen stitched up a 17in17 project (the blocks were already made and the triangles cut so it just needed putting together and sewing to the borders), finishing it off on Sunday morningand in the afternoon finished off two blocks for my new quiltAnd my companions?  Joy was crocheting a knee rugand teaching herself how to rippleJoy was also making blocks for “Sweet Sundayand had enough that she could start to put it up on the design wallso she could work out what was needed to finish it off.  By weekend end there were just three blocks to be hand stitched.

Jan K was doing her beautiful embroideryusing such pretty threadsand I did spy this sleepy bearJacinta started a quilt for her son, Master 8, using some of his Dad’s shirts, plus fabrics from her stash and gosh, maybe she had to go shopping too!  They were soon cut upthen stitched, re-cut and laid out (Disappearing 9-Patch)As I was leaving, Jacinta had just three rows to sew together.

Lynne was working on a bagand by weekend end had it finished to take home!Lizzie joined us briefly on Sunday morning, hand quilting a quilt for a grand daughterLizzie and I had very similar colours in our quilts!And the food?  The Food!  Breakfasts like thisand lunches like thisYes, I did roll home!

No more Woolly Bits now until February, so it was fond farewells and a rainy trip home.  Sigh, a lovely weekend away!

Meredithe x

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Christmas Village Stories | Philip

“C’mon Stevie!” Colin shouted over his shoulder at his little brother, “you know what Ol’ Waggy’s like if we’re late.”

“I’m going as fast as I c…” the last of Stevie’s reply turned into a yelp as he slid and skidded on the icy path, arms and legs widely windmilling but all in vain as he tumbled into a heap into the snow.

At the sound of his cry, Colin turned and ran back to rescue Stevie, offering his hand to pull him up.  Colin looked around cautiously and seeing none of his friends, kept a firm grip on Stevie’s hand and hurried him along the path up to the church.

“Ol’ Waggy will be going mad” Colin muttered under his breath as he dragged his little brother along.

Ol’ Waggy, or Philip Wagstaff to give him his proper name and who was in fact quite young, was gazing out of the church window, watching the brothers as they made their way to choir practice, laughing gently at Stevie’s comic tumble.  Philip sighed; he was destined for greater things than choir master at the village church waiting for all the members of the choir to muster.  Wasn’t he?  How on earth did he end up in this back water?  Again, Philip ran through the events that had brought him here, simply not understanding how it had all happened.

Philip was a very young child when he realised that the black and white dots on and between the five lines of the pages on the hymn book he was holding corresponded to the sounds made by the organ played in the cathedral and the voices singing to the organ.  And when he broached this revelation with his mother, she was delighted to think she might have a musical prodigy on her hands.  Mama even let the little boy into that sacrosanct room, The Parlour, where her piano was kept and started to teach Philip how to play.

To say Philip was enchanted was no exaggeration, and music and composition filled his mind and brought him immense joy and satisfaction.  Philip quickly realised that music was all he wanted in life; to play, to sing, to be the best he could.

As he grew older and music became more and more of an obsession, Philip asked around and was delighted to find that the best place to study was at The Conservatorium in the city not far from the town where he currently resided with his family.  From then on Philip’s sole objective was to gain a coveted place there and he diligently studied and played in order to achieve his goal.  His long term dreams were to play at Covent Garden and at the Royal Albert Hall, but first he needed to get the necessary qualifications.

When all his hard work paid off, Philip’s parents were only too happy for him to accept the prestigious position, but Mrs Wagstaff was concerned about Philip living on campus; she knew only too well that it was difficult to get Philip to the dining room and she feared that if he lived in student accommodations he would forget to eat and stay up far too late.  Luckily Papa had a second cousin living in the city not far from The Conservatorium.  This second cousin was in fact the mayor of the city and his cousin’s request was greeted warmly.  It would do his standing in the community no harm to provide a home for an upcoming musical talent.

So the day arrived when Philip took the train to the city and caught a cab to his new abode.  He had arrived early to settle in and become accustomed to living with this new family.  Mayor Simpson, his wife and two daughters were pleased to welcome this handsome young man into their home.  Mr Wagstaff had sent a letter to Mayor Simpson enduring him to apply a firm hand to Philip to ensure he regularly attended meals, and had similarly exhorted Philip to bring his head out of his music while he was in the dining room, to make conversation and behave politely.  Philip promised to do his best, which was all that could be hoped for.

Philip’s rooms at the Mayor’s fine house were on the top floor, and had in fact been the nursery for the Mayors two daughters.  Having recently been converted, they contained a bedroom and sitting room with piano which suited Philip’s needs.  At first a maid was sent to request Philip’s presence for meals.  When this meek mannered girl struggled to gain Philip’s attention an older footman was sent forth and Reed brooked no delay and Philip was summarily propelled down to the Dining Room.  With difficulty Philip listened to the family’s small talk and they made sure to included Philip in their conversations.  It was with relief that Philip was able to leave the table at the end of the meals and head back to his room.

After a few days Mayor Simpson requested Philip’s presence in the Library.  Having been bade to enter after his knock, Philip found himself in front of Mayor Simpson’s desk.

“Just checking that you’re settling in well with us, m’boy,” the affable Mayor said.  Philip replied that all was well and, remembering his father’s admonitions, thanked the Mayor for his hospitality and generosity.  “Well, well, that’s all to the good” replied the Mayor and waved Philip away, both satisfied that all was going well.

As a young boy, Mrs Wagstaff had encouraged her son to take walks as a means of getting him some exercise and of getting him out of the house.  Initially this had proved problematic, but Philip soon realised that walking exercised his brain as well and difficult harmonies and problematic chords could be solved and resolved in his head out in the open air.  Philip was usually accompanied by his older brother Ian, partly to ensure that Philip was not harmed when crossing roads, but also because the boys had always gotten on well together and Ian was able to tease and cajole Philip out of his “music thinking” and converse on other topics.

The day of Philip’s first class soon arrived and Miss Adelaide, Mayor and Mrs Simpson’s elder daughter, offered to walk with Philip to The Conservatorium as she herself was learning the violin at the music college nearby.  Miss Adelaide was a pretty girl, not that Philip noticed, and was happy to be seen walking with this good looking music protégé, and as they walked Adelaide chatted inconsequentially.  Philip’s mind was busy with what lay ahead and he barely noticed Adelaide.  He did remember to thank her politely for showing him the way as she stopped at the door of her college, then he walked on to The Conservatorium.

From the moment of entering the doors of The Conservatorium on that first day, Philip felt totally at home.  He revelled in his classes and found like-minded souls in other students.  A pattern for the days quickly emerged, with Adelaide accompanying Philip to and from their respective schools, Adelaide chattering away, Philip offering the occasional “yes” or “no” and vaguely hoping the right response was said in the right place, but all his attention was on upcoming classes, lectures and musical works.  He barely noticed when, after a few weeks, Adelaide tucked her arm in his and smiled up at him.

At the end of first term, Philip headed home for the holidays leaving the Simpsons behind without a backward glance, and certainly not seeing the yearning on Adelaide’s delicate face.  He and Ian had much to talk about, Ian teasing him about the Simpson girls, Philip dismissing them and more eager to hear about his brother’s news.

Too quickly it was back to The Conservatorium and the year rolled on, the days following their pattern and Philip learning more and more, becoming more adept with his playing and showing great promise with composing, and Adelaide by his side on the walks to and fro her chatter floating over his head and his replies not of any consequence to him.

Before long Philip’s first year was over, then the second, and then his final year before deciding on a fourth where he would be specialising.  In what, he wasn’t quite sure; he could go the path of piano, or follow his other love of composing.

As his last days grew closer, Mayor Simpson once again called Philip into his Library.

“Well, m’boy, I believe you have something to ask me,” said the Mayor with a broad smile on his congenial face.

At a loss, Philip wasn’t sure how to respond.  Eventually he thought it best to ask outright.  “Um, I’m not sure I understand what that would be, sir”.

“You and Adelaide, young Philip” replied the Mayor.  “I must say, her mother and I are delighted at the prospect of having you for a son-in-law.”

“A….a….son-in-law?” Philip stuttered somewhat bewildered.  “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, sir.”

By now, the Mayor was starting to sense something was amiss.  “You and Adelaide have been discussing marriage…..between the two of you.”

“I can assure you, sir, I have had no such discussions, with Miss Adelaide or anyone.”

“Well, this is not what Adelaide has said.  She told her mother and me just this evening that you’d proposed on the way home this afternoon.”

“I’d what?” exclaimed Philip.  “No, no sir.  No such proposal has ever been made.”

“But you’ve been walking out these last few years.  A proposal was bound to come of it.”

“Walking out?”

“Are you going to repeat everything I say, young man?” The Mayor’s once affable face was now suffused with red and he was clearly getting quite angry.

“No, no…..” stuttered Philip, “I…..” Philip cleared his throat; this was bad, very  bad.  “Sir, all we have done is accompany one another to our respective schools.  I have never spoken more than a dozen words to your daughter on any of these occasions.  I really don’t know where…..” Philip suddenly realised that he should have been paying more, no should have been paying all his attention to Adelaide’s chatter.   “I am at a loss, sir, as to where Miss Adelaide derived the notion that I had given her any idea that a marriage proposal could have been offered……as it most certainly hasn’t.”

“I see,” said Mayor Simpson, “or rather, I don’t really.  Let us get Adelaide in here to see if we can clear up this ‘misunderstanding’.”

From there matters only worsened as Adelaide insisted that they had discussed marriage, where they were to buy a house and when they would be starting a family.  All of which, needless to say, Philip had no recollection, far too engrossed in his music to be listening to what he considered idle chatter.

Totally dissolutioned, Adelaide broke down declaring that she would be made a laughing stock as all her friends were expecting the big announcement imminently.  Shattered, Philip could hardly believe what he was hearing, and again expressed his disbelief that these conversations had ever taken place.  By this stage Adelaide was hysterical and a doctor had to be called to calm the girl.

“I think it best, young Philip,” declared the Mayor, “that you pack your bags and leave first thing in the morning.  We can’t have you here with Adelaide in this state.”  Philip could only agree, and he quickly packed his bags, spent a restless night trying to recall any of the so-called conversations he and Adelaide were meant to have had.  At first light he took his leave, only saying his goodbyes to Mayor Simpson and expressing apologies, for what he wasn’t quite sure, but felt it the right thing to do.  On the train journey back to his family home, Philip could only wonder at the last 24 hours, and question what should become of the rest of his schooling and his career.  His dreams of playing the Royal Albert Hall all but lay shattered at his feet.

His family were dismayed at all the news, Ian declaring that Adelaide must be very silly indeed, and  Mrs Wagstaff secretly thinking that the poor girl had had her head turned by her handsome son, but a little cross that Philip had not been paying attention and that he could have nipped this in the bud.

“Well, lad,” asked Mr Wagstaff, “where to now?”

“That I don’t know, Papa, I really don’t,” replied his forlorn son.

Phillip spent the next few days trying to finalise his end of year work, but found for the first time in his life, that he lacked concentration and instead spent more time out walking, hoping this would bring some solace as his playing did not.

Ian sidled up to him on one of his walks and nudged his brother gently to let him know he was there.  “Don’t think I’ll ever understand women, Ian” Philip tried to smile.  “That one’s beyond understanding,” said Ian, “wouldn’t even try.”  They walked on in comfortable silence.

It was Mrs Wagstaff who found a solution of sorts, hearing through a friend that a nearby village needed a new choir master, the village being well known for its choral activities in the area.  So Philip dutifully applied, and the village elders quickly snapped up this well accredited young man, and Philip found himself on a different train, heading to a very different life than the one he’d mapped out for himself.

The church door banged open putting paid to Philip’s reverie and Colin and Stevie flew down the aisle.

“Sorry, sir” they both apologised and quickly made their ways into the choir stalls.

Philip smiled at them, raised his baton, the choir stood.  He nodded to Miss Taylor at the organ and she played the first chord.

Choir practice had begun.

© Pomegranate and Chintz 2017

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Class show and tell

Morning

What could be in Marilyn’s gorgeous case?Lots of circles, in fact enough for two quilts!  And she worked on more in classFernanda stayed all day and showed off a shirt she made during the week (I recognise that fabric!)and the centre of her “Dancing Dollies” she finishedand this sweet needlecase she also made during the week Sue W had fun with my Christmas Tree blockwhich has a pocket in the trunk just perfect for a little sweet surprise (a bobbin was the best we could do!)and by class end Sue had nearly three blocks madeTineke stitched some woolly bits flowersand Denise did lots of tracing and cuttingA customer came in during class to collect her quilted quilt and showed us too.  Beryl was delighted with the outcome, as were we!  Always enjoy show and tell.

Afternoon

Fernanda, as I said, stayed all day and started working on the blocks for her “Dancing Dollies“, making one of each so she knew what to doand then cutting lots, ready to stitch some moreCheryl stayed all day too and cut out lots for her “Sweet Sunday” from the sets we chose last week, and stitched some up tooFrances was also in prep mode for her “Sweet Sunday”, choosing and cutting out lots Jane had finished sewing the star part of her block, so she prepped and stitched the outer and sewed the two together and phew, the centre fits!so she started the embroidering on the centre.Meredithe x

This class is held at Sewn and Quilted

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17ufosin2017 | November

Umm…….how can it be the end of November???  This month has just disappeared, and I’ve not achieved a lot of Substantial Progress on anything.  You could in fact say I’ve achieved Minuscule Progress on One Thing and in all honesty I stitched these few seams this morning just so that I would have a photo to accompany these words!  (It’s not even pressed!)

Coming into the last month of the year, I doubt I’ll get much more done for this challenge, and I’m sure a lot of you are the same.  But we’ll see, huh?

And after that brief overview, it’s now your turn!

If you have a blog, please add your link below (link will be open for a week); if you don’t have a blog, list your month’s achievements in the comments, or add a post to Instagram with the hashtag #17ufosin2017 Can’t wait to see what everyone has done! Hopefully more than me!

Meredithe x

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New templates!

Last weekend was AQM, the wholesale market for the Australian quilting industry, and as usual I had some new templates which were released at AQM.

Unusually for me, I actually got to make quilts with my new templates and I had so much fun designing and making these quilts.  Now that AQM is over, I can share the new templates/quilts with you.  You may have seen some sneak peeks on Instagram and here on the blog – now you can see the whole adventure!

The first template set is “Fly Away” (Code VT4041MC)which I teamed with another of my template sets “Parsons Geese” (VT4031MC) to create this quiltI fell in love with the stunning Outback Wife fabrics designed by Cathi Bessell-Browne from Gertrude Made and used these fabrics for the large triangles in the “Parsons Geese” blocks and having cut too many (oops!) I used them in the outer borders.  Wasn’t going to waste that precious fabric!  The smaller prints in Cathi’s range I’ve used in the centre squares of the “Fly Away” blocks.They say necessity is the mother of invention and when you don’t have enough grey fabric in one piece for sashing, why not use lots of greys in varying lengths?  Makes sense to me!I raided the Fabric Library and chose modern prints, repros and some solids too which all seemed to play well together, plus black and white prints, and shirtings which I played around with too for the outer triangles on the “Fly Away” blocks.  A happy eclectic mix.

A big thank you to Carol at Sewn and Quilted for the professional machine quilting (which she did just days after arriving home from Houston) which suits the quilt perfectly.

The second template set I’ve called “Fossick” (VT4042MC) as to make this quilt I had to fossick through my 1930’s and pretties fabrics, as well as fossicking through a pile of doilleys.There are 9 pieces in this set and they can be used in a myriad combinations to produce all sorts of interesting blocks; the above pic shows just four.  When I was making these blocks our Miss Helen stopped me from cutting up a cloth which had just the lace inserts I thought would be good in a block.  She was very insistent that this cloth remain whole and NOT be cut up.  I’m so pleased she stood her ground for this piece of cloth as it made me rethink the design of the quilt.I took the piece home, traced on a basket pattern and stitched my own embroidery onto it, and it meant that I had a much more interesting quilt than just rows of blocksCan you see the pretty lace inserts?  Once the embroidery was done it was just a matter of choosing a “background” to applique it to (and meant 4 less blocks to make – time was running out!).  I loved hand quilting this one with big stitch and a colourful collection of perle 8 threads.  Didn’t quite get it all done, but enough to pass muster at AQM.  And hardly a grey piece of fabric in sight!

Except for the outer border and my embroidered block, everything else is made using the templates from the set.

Both quilts have scrappy bindings made from left over fabrics incorporated in the quilts.

These template sets are available now; just ask at your local quilt shop and quote the numbers above.  I hope you enjoy using these templates to make your own quilts.

Meredithe x

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Class show and tell

Morning

Sue E cut more pieces for her quilt (the Welsh Quilt, pattern by Sandra Boyle, Everyday Quilts) Denise started on her borderLeanne has fallen in love with big stitch hand quilting after our last lesson together (yay!!) and she had finished hand quilting her little quilt, so she had a binding lesson this timeand Marilyn is making more blocks

Afternoon

Jane has finished her first block of her BOMand in class made a good start on the secondFour students stayed all day and achieved heaps!

Fernanda finished off the centre of her Dollies and cut, pinned and stitched the outsideTineke stitched on the binding of her Christmas quilt and we made a rod pocket and attached it tooCheryl and I had fun sorting through and making sets of her fabrics and doileys for her “Sweet Sunday” blocks and she started cutting outand Frances has started “Sweet Sunday” too, but we interrupted that for her to attach the binding to one of her quilts too (and she cut out and prepped the binding for another quilt)It felt very much like “Binding Day”!

Meredithe x

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