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There’s a Fete going on in Cornwall!

Hello lovely, patient friends! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the summer so far, the weather’s been pretty rubbish here, so at the first glimpse of clear sky I grabbed the chance to take some photos of what’s in my hoop at the moment. But more on that in a mo. First off…

Comments Are Working!

I’m sooo glad to tell you that I’ve moved the blog to a new hosting company and finally we have working comments again…we can have a conversation! I have to admit that as well as being really busy with all the walking, I haven’t felt very motivated to post over the last few months, because talking to myself was a little bit dull to say the least (even the blog emails weren’t working)! Hopefully that’ll change now.

Out Of The Hoop

Since I last posted I’ve taken Prosperity out of the hoop. I’ve only got the borders to quilt now (I’ve finished one of them) and I don’t always use a hoop for those, mostly because I’m too lazy to add extra strips of fabric to the sides to hold it in place. Let’s be honest here, who does that anyway?!

Hand quilted patchwork quilt 'Prosperity'. Improv design © Stephanie Boon, 2017

Just the borders to quilt now

One quilt out another one in. And that’s my sister’s 40th birthday quilt ‘Fete’.


The Basting

I thread basted this quilt with herringbone stitch. It’s so lovely to work on because you don’t have to keep removing pins every time you move the hoop along a bit.  And it really doesn’t take that long to baste this way, especially if you work at a table. I did in a couple of hours over 2 evenings and I could have done it in one go if I’d been feeling more industrious!

Hands quilted improv patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017 www.Dawnchorusstudio.com

Fete, basted and being hand quilted…at last!

Who else prefers to thread baste?  I imagine pins are much easier to remove if you’re machine quilting, as you wouldn’t have the trouble of trying to extricate thread from under small machine stitches? I’ve been enjoying snipping the basting threads as I go along, which means I get to see the gorgeous texture developing.

Fete, a hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Hand quilting in big stitch style

The Quilting

I had a couple of attempts at a quilting design before I settled on this one. My first idea was to create an all over zig-zag pattern in a random style, rather than geometric and even. I didn’t like it. At all! It seemed to lose the flow and movement of the bunting flags. So I tried again.

This time I stitched about a quarter of an inch from the seams and then another parallel row about another quarter inch apart. I didn’t like that either for two reasons: 1. it still felt geometrical and ‘rigid’ and 2. it left some of the larger flags without enough quilting to hold the layers in place (for my taste).

I went with version number 3. This version comprises ‘random’ echo quilting, various widths from the seams, with the second row various widths from the first. And if the smaller flags look good with just one row, they get just one row! And the larger ones might get 3 or more. I much prefer it because the quilting works with the flow of the bunting, rather than creating a pattern of it’s on own top.

The Thread

Hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017 www.dawnchrousstudio.com

Hand quilting on the Kaffe Fassett backing fabric

The back looks good too I think. I’m working in ‘big stitch’ with a cotton perle thread in blue. I chose blue because I didn’t want to see the flags too distinctly on the back. This was another decision I made so as not to detract from the pattern of the fabric.

The big, bold Kaffe Fassett design has as much exuberance as the front and the quilt could easily be reversed. The other thing I like about the thread is that a friend gave it to me. Her mum died relatively recently and she had lots of perle cottons in her sewing box that my friend was unlikely to use. It makes me happy to think she’s part of this quilt too.

Walking and Drawing

My desire to be creative seems to be on a bigger roll lately. Maybe having a break from being online so much has had its benefits? Instead of thinking about things I’ve been getting on with it. Perhaps all the long distance walking has helped too. It clears the head and allows you to see the landscape in a different way. I’d all but forgotten how much I love the simple act of looking and  painting too. I always draw, but colour and mark making is an enlivening experience.


Oak trees. Oil pastel on paper. July 2017 © Stephanie Boon, all rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Oak trees. Oil pastel on paper

Painting - Beech Trees In The Rain, © Stephanie Boon, 2017. all rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Beech trees in the rain.

Painting. Pines Through The Beech Trees. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Pines through the beech trees

Painting: Dead Tree at Trelissick (Beech Trees). © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Beech trees in fading light

Another old friend gave me a wonderful gift of a set of oil pastels. I’d never used them much before and I’m amazed at the range of marks I can make with them – I wonder where these sticks of gorgeousness have been all my life!

I’m using them to make the series of small woodland drawings/paintings you can see here (they’re just a little bigger than A4). I’m aiming for 10 or so and maybe I’ll even exhibit them some day!

Another Hike

Cliffs and beach at Duck pool. North coast of Cornwall. July 2017. © Stephanie Boon, all rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Cliffs on the north Cornish coast

I’m heading off to the north coast again tomorrow and I’ll be taking some art materials with me, of course. It’s a short trip, only two nights, but what with the weather and a load of appointments (more about that next time) just squeezing in 2 nights seemed to be better than none (it was meant to be 4). Things won’t be so frantic towards the end of the month and I’m planning another 80 mile stretch, this time on the south coast. When I finish that section, I’ll have walked the entire Cornish coast in one continuous route (that’s 300 miles). That makes me happy.

Come and join me on Instagram (I have 2 different accounts) to see more pictures of walking and hiking in Cornwall and how my quilting is coming along (slowly, haha!).

One last thing before I head off to pack my rucksack, please, if you find any glitches on the site just let me know (in the comments, haha!); I have every confidence I can sort it out with this new host! (And a few oddities are to be expected when you migrate a site from one host to another.)

I’ll see you on the other side of my hike, so until next time have a great end to the week and a fine weekend too.

Best wishes

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

12 replies
  1. Sophie Zaugg
    Sophie Zaugg says:

    I’m happy you’re back Stephie ! Your two quilts in progress are gorgeous. I always thread baste, for both hand and straight line machine quilting. I dislike spray baste and can’t get used to pin basting … But that’s ok anyway !

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Thanks Sophie. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my thread basting endeavours! Which stitch do you prefer? I used use just a big basting/running stitch, but this is one of the first times I’ve used a herringbone stitch and it’s working really well.

  2. Pat in WNY
    Pat in WNY says:

    Hi Stephie, So happy to see you’re back in blogland and with comments enabled! I love where Fete is headed, that is a gorgeous quilt, so perfectly unique and gorgeous in its coloration. Your sister is a very lucky recipient! Your walking adventures take you through some breathtaking country, which I hope you’ll continue to share on your blog, since many of us “old-timers” don’t do Instagram or Pinterest or other more modern modes of super-fast communication. I for one, love the stories that go along with blog posts, even if I don’t write very good ones on my own blog. They are like letters from an old friend, and really help establish relationships with people of like interests who we might never meet in person. Somehow I think that aspect might be missing in Instagram.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Pat that’s such a lovely, thoughtful comment, thank you! I’ll definitely continue to share my walks and homelife, I’ve just been concerned that visitors may come by to see quilting and feel like there isn’t much here sometimes! (Well, there hasn’t been lately, haha!) It has to be said that I’ve noticed (via Instagram) that men in particular seem very single-minded about what they talk about. They seem much more confident about saying hello on an account that’s predominantly walking with a bit of art thrown in than they do about a quilting and walking account. I’ve had some lovely conversations with hikers that I know wouldn’t have passed the time of day if there’d been quilts feature too – sad. It’s a generalisation, of course, not all men are like it, but it is noticeable. Like you, some of my favourite bloggers share stories of home and it makes you feel like you can really get to know someone, Deb at Frugal Little Bungalow is one of my all time favourites. I feel like I’m part of the neighbourhood when I read her posts! I look forward to sharing some pictures of my last overnight hike with you – it was a jaw dropping part of the coastline and I hope my pictures captured a little bit of the atmosphere.

      So lovely to be back in touch Pat! x

  3. Maureen@MysticQuilter
    [email protected] says:

    Stephie – hooray, you’re back!! I have recently been looking at you on Instagram, I’m going to do my first post tomorrow – hopefully!
    Oh it is lovely to see your blog again – the quilting on Fete is ideal I think, showing off the lovely triangles. Your sister will be over the moon with this I think. Drawing – wonderful, wonderful tree sketches, English green! Enjoy your walk, hope the weather is kind to you and I’ll follow you also on your walking and hiking!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Aw Maureen thank you! And thank you for your email, it was so thoughtful and I really appreciated it (didn’t get the ones sent from the blog though). I planned to email back ages ago, but it would have turned into an essay and I kept running out of time! But thank you, thank you so much.

      It will be lovely to connect on Instagram too – I think of it as the equivalent of a quick chat on the street, and the blog like sitting down and having a good cup of coffee with friends! I’ve got some serious catching up to do with everyone, so if Kenya runs out of coffee it’s probably down to me! ‘

      I tell you what Maureen, all this woodland drawing is getting me covered in nasty insect bites but I’m still really enjoying it. I’m glad they make you think of “English green; I’m trying to capture the atmosphere of the place (rather than make botanically correct drawings) and ‘English green’ [in the rain] would seem to sum it up perfectly 🙂 Hope you’re having a fab weekend and I look forward to popping by your place soon xx

  4. Kaja
    Kaja says:

    How nice to see you’re all sorted out and back blogging. It’s great catching up properly with all your sewing – lots of lovely stuff on show as always. I often wish I was the sort of person who added strips to the sides of a quilt, but apparently life’s too short.

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Ha! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there Kaja, life really is too short to fret about the pointless stuff 🙂 It’s been wonderful seeing what you’re up to, you have so many new projects on the go (it seems) that it gets me all excited every time I pop over. (Yes, I have been quietly lurking!) I had intended to get this post up and link up with you and Ann for AHIQ, but sadly I was late as usual. I like the idea of the new word challenge very much, but I still haven’t got very far with the coins. My brain is fried just thinking about all the things I want to do and my heart’s full of guilt with all the things I haven’t finished…yet! Hmm, I’ve just had another idea…thanks for that!! xx

  5. Ann
    Ann says:

    Thanks for explaining your quilting choices. The one you’ve selected for Fete looks awesome. It’s one of my favorite quilts. In fact, I have a bunch of leftover pennants that might make a good start at this. Colors are much brighter though.
    You’re so clever to stop and draw or paint rather than snap photos. Anything the makes us really look at the world around us. I’m always intrigued by the colors you find.
    Glad you’re back online with comments!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Ann it’s so good to be back amongst such lovely friends, I really have missed you all.

      I think you should definitely have a go at a bunting quilt, bright colours will be perfect – what could be more summery? I restrained myself (well I tried!) because this is for my sister and other people are often more conservative than I am, or I want to be. I asked her what colours she’d like and she told me to surprise her, I remembered she had poppy-red wall paper for a number of years, so I went for this colour theme. I hope she still likes red! (I’ll be happy to have it back if she doesn’t!) x

  6. Mary Richards Kallman
    Mary Richards Kallman says:

    Hello, Stephie! I stumbled upon your blog in a random Pinterest search for “hand quilting in a hoop”. So glad to find you!

    Yes, I thread baste quilts for both hand quilting and machine quilting. I don’t care to deal with “metal things”, especially when machine quilting. My luck I’d run over one and be out a machine!

    So question: How do you place a quilt in a hoop? Hand quilters say to give the quilt much slack, 3 – 4″. I try, but getting the hoop on always stretches it taught. Any insight you can provide is much appreciated!

    Fun fact: my paternal great grandparents on my grandfather’s side are from St Cleer, Cornwall. I mean to visit some day!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping to say hello. St Cleer is in a wonderful part of the county, full of rich history, and funnily enough I was just a few miles away last Wednesday, near St Neot! I hope you get to visit one day, the moor is a very atmospheric place.

      Ah, the quilt hoop problem, it took me a while to get it right! You definitely need some slackness. Put your quilt in the hoop so that it’s fairly taught, like you describe, then slacken off the clamp a bit. Now take it and sit at a table, rest one edge of the hoop on the edge of the table with the other edge in your lap. Hold the hoop with one hand, and then with the palm of your other hand push the quilt in the centre of the hoop until it’s at a slackness you like, then tighten up the clamp again if you need to. ‘How slack is slack enough?’ is really a matter of experimentation, but the quilt should probably droop at least an inch or two below the bottom of the hoop. I wrote about How I learnt To Use A Quilt Hoop in this article which might help (the sections ‘Slack’ and ‘What I know Now’ talk a bit about my experience of getting the tension right). I hope you persevere, it’s definitely worth the effort 🙂


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