A week or so earlier, we had spotted that this fabulous poster went up for auction. As you know, we are quite fond of vintage railway posters.
So on a gloriously sunny Saturday, we all wrapped up and went off for a walk, to show Mr HenHouse "The Groves", which is the riverside location pictured in the poster. I'm pleased to say the poster is quite an accurate representation; many railway posters show scenes which bear no resemblance to the "not so pretty" reality!
Many of the town's most desirable residences border the River Dee.
Heading into town, I spotted this rather cute shop at the bottom of a street I wouldn't often need to wander along, and decided to take a closer look.
Oooh, isn't this shop positively dreamy? It's the sort of shop you read of in children's story books but don't imagine exists anymore in reality. Sadly, it was shut but promised to be a real treasure trove. I think as it is such a specialist shop, possibly it is one which only opens on request to collectors. Hmm, I think in the future I shall return.
It's one of the cosiest shops I know and reminds me of the beautiful shops I once visited in New England. It has a good selection of patchworking fabrics, including many of the Civil War reproduction style ("sludge") and I was looking for something in particular.
I absolutely adore these little wooden buildings. I want!!! (But I was very good and restrained.)
Happily, I found what I was looking for, which was the checked border fabric for this dolly quilt which I pieced at the cottage over the New Year holiday.
It's another Kathleen Tracy pattern from her book, "Prairie Children and their Quilts". It is called the "Schoolgirl Sampler Quilt". A sampler quilt is one which contains many different blocks, the idea being that it gives the maker good practice in a variety of techniques, hence being ideal for a learner or schoolgirl. As Kathy says in her book: "The sampler has a long tradition in American needlework. Young schoolgirls may have practiced sewing and quilting simple blocks until they were more proficient at the craft..."
I can tell you that it was rather challenging to make, though undoubtedly enjoyable so long as one is not too exacting. So many little pieces and so many points to line up and not chop off! It measures about 16" x 20.5".
I have also just finished this little dolly quilt which is from the same book and called the "Crosses Mourning Quilt". For the rest of this year, Kathy is selecting one quilt each month from one of her four books for members of her "Small Quilt Talk" group to complete if they fancy. She also gives us a special variation on the design so members can choose which to make if they want to do so. This is the variation, a little smaller than the version in the book. It measures approximately 16" square.
Kathy's book not only provides beautiful quilt patterns but goes into the history of the pioneers, those who travelled the arduous journey in order to settle land in the West back in the middle of the nineteenth century in America. As Kathy explains, quilts were often taken along by the pioneers on their long journey and sadly, they might have ended up being used to comfort the sick or shroud the dead. Kathy designed the quilt as a tribute to those pioneers who died on the trail. Some of the quilt group members have made it using clothing from loved ones who have since sadly passed.
I have used new fabrics to make my quilt but I can share with you a special photo which my mum gave to me last weekend. It shows her "nain" or her great-great-great (I think) grandmother, nain being the Welsh word for grandmother. Mum also kindly gave me these jet beads which belonged to one of her ancestors, too. I think they look perfect alongside the quilt.
Happy weekend, my wonderful readers.