Posted by: marymarthatours | February 28, 2014

Late for the Coach Award–A Quilt Top


It seems a bit ironic that the penalty for being late to the coach on our 2013 M&M tour will be the prize of a quilt top with blocks made by the travelers.  There is a story here for sure.

On all of our tours we stress how important it is that the travelers return to the coach by the time we give them.  We make several stops in a day, and ten minutes late here and there can add up and mean less time at another location.  Every tour has a “task” for anyone late back to the coach.  We try to fit the task to the tour.  On the Ireland tour, it was “write a Limerick telling why you were late”.  We had folks who said that they wanted to write a Limerick.  “OK, you can, but please don’t be late on purpose just to be able to do so.”  It was great fun to read the Limericks at the end of the tour.

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Title page and instructions for the Late Task

The tour last fall focused on quilts and textiles in England and Wales.  The “late task” was to draw a six inch quilt block related to the tour.  Mary provided the sketch book, colored pencils and other supplies.  She drew a block as an example.  The first late traveler drew a cute picture of a Cotswold cottage in a garden.

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Ginny’s block drawing in the “late book” and her finished quilt block

And then, oh my word, it happened!  I was in the lead when the entire group of travelers and I returned to the coach from the Welsh National Wool Museum.  Standing outside the coach with the biggest grins were Mary and Darren, our driver, saying, “You’re late, you’re all late!”


Mary & Darren wait for the latecomers

Everyone had to create a quilt block.  The drawings were wonderful and some very detailed.  We decided to go a step further.  Each traveler was instructed to make a fabric block of her design.  Traveler Anne volunteered to turn the blocks into a quilt top.  She purchased English Liberty fabric for the border and backing.  Soon there will be a gathering at my house to draw the name of the winner of the tour quilt top.  Everyone who made a block has a chance of winning the treasure.

And the top is fabulous.  There are many blocks representing Wales:  the Welsh flag, the red dragon, the national flower – the daffodil. 

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Kathy’s red work Welsh dragon and Joan’s field of Welsh daffodils

Some blocks are made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  We saw his quilts at the Welsh Quilt Centre


Sharon & Glenda used Kaffe Fassett fabrics for their blocks

An intricately machine-stitched pink block represents a Welsh quilt.  Several blocks are made with British imaged fabric purchased on the tour.  One block has delicate embroidery and reminds me of the calligraphy in the Diptychs seen at Bath Abbey.  A block in the Baltimore Album style commemorates our visit to The American Museum in Bath.  Another block in blue and green reminds me of William Morris and our visit to Kelmscott Manor

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Marcia’s Baltimore Album block and Jane’s block with William Morris colours

And there are some extra blocks with photos of Mary and Martha which can be added to the back or to the border.


Even the non-winners will win because everyone will receive photos of the top with the travelers who gather for the drawing.  And we will all want to see the completed quilt or at least a photo of it when the lucky winner finishes it.

But I promise any future M&M travelers, that while there will be a penalty task for being late, it is not likely to turn into such a reward, not unless you all can re-landscape the “winner’s” garden.

(by Martha)

Photo Credits:  all photos copyright Mary Wallace and Martha Liska



  1. I would like to say a big thankyou to all off you who wished me a happy birthday.
    I had a great day with friends, maybe a little to much to drink and a good meal.
    I’m now looking forward to meeting some old and new faces at the end of April.
    See you all soon

  2. What a lovely remembrance quilt. It will be exciting to see where it will find a home. Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this project; we are all winners indeed.

  3. Hi girls,!
    Thanks so much for the post and the gorgeous pictures! Reminds me again of just how much fun we all had. Hope your Gardens tour is just as enjoyable and even though I won’t be on it, I’ll be looking forward to blogs and pictures.

    Travel safely!!!

    Fran Kerlin

  4. Hi All, Today eight of the Quilt Tour travelers gathered at my home for the drawing of the winner of the quilt top. Drum roll please, the winner is Barb Feldt from Rochester, MN. Her block is in the top left corner, a Christmas tree made with fabric she purchased on the tour. Congratualtions, Barb. We now await seeing your finished quilt. Cheers, Martha

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