Snowy Days and a Winter Solstice Quilt

Our first January in our new home has brought us some lovely snowy days up here in the Yorkshire hills.  I suppose after overseas postings in Russia and Sweden, you could say that we are used to it and we are, but in fact in both cases, we were living in cities, in countries that are geared up for dealing with it - Yorkshire...not so much....LOL!   Actually, that is a bit unfair... the gritting lorries have been out and about, it is just that we live on a hill and with no winter tyres on the car... time to stay home and sew.   I do love those early morning moments though, when I glance out of the kitchen window and see this.....

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 and even in this cold... signs of life in our garden

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 Anyway, was in my sewing room, working on my embroidered cushion, when I spied our mischievous cat, Basil skulking into the basket under my sewing machine table and lounging around on my unfinished 'Winter Solstice' quilt.   When I chased him out, I saw it was completely covered in cat fur and he has obviously been sneaking in there without me knowing.   Time to get it out and finish it, I think.

I started this quilt last year in Stockholm while we were waiting for the house purchase to go through.  I was totally enamoured with this fabric collection 'Winter's Lane' and knew it was perfect to go in our bedroom.  It also had elements in the design that would remind me of Sweden... and in fact the cherry blossom fabric, reminded me of Japan where we took an amazing holiday in 2012.   I blogged about this when I was piecing it, but just to  recap - the pattern I chose is from one of my all time favourite quilting books 'Simply Retro' by Camille Roskelley, who is probably one of the most popular modern designers out there at the moment.

It is a very large quilt - king size, I suppose and once layered with the backing and batting it is heavy and bulky to manoeuvre.  Of course, I wanted it to look like the one in the book, which has probably been done on a long arm machine by a professional quilter - mmmmmm!  I do like a challenge though - ok so let's go for it!

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I chose a free hand feather design for the patterned pieces and a curvy diamond with stippling to fill in the blank squares.  I simply used a plate to outline the shape in pencil and stitched it with the free motion quilting foot on my machine.

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 I have to say that having the extra long arm space on my new Janome sewing  machine made a huge difference to this.  It is still a bit rough on the neck and shoulders, but I am pretty pleased with how it's going so far.  

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 It's not quite finished and I shall be post some photos when it's done and 'in situ'.  Got to dash now though as we are off to Houston, Texas for a week or so.   Super excited and especially as I will get to meet up with my dear friend and quilting teacher from way back in Paris... and I know she has a very special quilt to show me.... so watch out for that next time.... oh .. and the Alamo...... better go and pack....

See you soon, Ruby x

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