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Lock-down quilting – part one

They say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

In the same vein, following the cancellation of twelve quilt retreats over the last year (along with many other bookings), I’ve been making the most of the extra time by spending my weekends in the quilt studio. I thought I’d share some photos of what I’ve been up to over the last year.

We were very fortunate to have been able to go on holiday to South Africa in February to celebrate Mike’s 60th; although the big downside was that it is almost certain that we both picked up Covid-19 on our way back into England in early March. My first few quilting projects were inspired by our South African trip. I made a star quilt from a pattern by Carolyn Forster using a jelly roll from Moda’s Safari Life range that Mike had bought me for Christmas and I added some fabrics I bought in South Africa.


Whilst I was busy sewing Mike was making screen prints from one of his photos and raiding my fabric stash for different backgrounds to print on.

I’ve quilted three of these prints and made them into wall-hangings – two of which I’ve given away as presents. I’ve also made another print into a cushion to go on the bed in our second B&B room.


I love the quilting pattern which features, Lions, Giraffes, Elephants and Monkeys, all of which we were fortunate to see on our travels. The quilt was long-arm quilted by Jennifer from Harmony Quilting – she always does a fantastic job on all my quilts.

I’ve also made a couple of table-runners using the scraps left over from the quilt and a few fabrics from my stash. I used a court-house steps pattern.


And finally on a South African theme I bought a couple of pieces of textile art in a craft shop we came across. I loved the use of a variety of fabrics and the quotes that have been embroidered on them. Originally they were not on a background and I wondered how to display them. I decided to apply them onto some of the traditional South African fabric, Shweshwe, which is usually used to make dresses and skirts.

Also during the first lock-down I wrote a series of blogs showing the sort of projects and techniques that guests coming on a quilt retreat can do ( various posts between 27 April and 10 May 2020). That meant I had to complete a few UFOs including these:

One of the hare wall-hangings I’ve made – this one in the snow.

An advent calendar with pockets for chocolate – put to the test in December and pleased to say that each pocket can contain multiple amounts of chocolate!

And finally a wall-hanging made for my daughter’s birthday to be hung in her sewing room.

As we came to the end of the first lock-down I had started on a second quilt that would be for our biggest B&B room so that we could alternate quilts between stays. More of that in the second part of my lock-down quilting blog.