Monday, 29 September 2008

Split Ninepatch Charity Quilts

These were also handed to me, started in a class I did on Nancy Brenan Daniel's techniques - "Her Slice'em Dice'em" book is really good value and she was the one who has given birth to the whole disappearing ninepatch craze, though scarcely acknowledged.
I'll try to put up a tutorial soon.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Charity Quilts

Yesterday at Oast Day I was handed a bag of charity quilts made by members for prison babies in 24" and 36" sizes. I'll take these to our local volunteer section ready for distribution shortly. Meanwhile here are some pictures. I love the Rudolf fabric and the use of the bright half square triangles to form a barnraising design is a nice idea.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Wedding and Oast

Today my neighbour's wedding coincided with Oast Quilters' Open Day so I missed the morning talk and gathered in an ancient church for the very touching and happy wedding service. As we waited for the service to start I contemplated the medieval beams with the marks made by long dead masons and thought about how our quilts continue as an expression of us after we are gone though not for several hundred years I imagine. This thought was echoed by Phillipa Naylor who was the afternoon speaker at Oast and most of whose talk I heard. She said how it was a comfort to think of her quilts as a record of her life after she had gone. The photo I took obviously didn't have flash and is incredibly dark so I don't show it here. Her quilts are phenomenal tours de force with masterly curved piecing, threads constantly changed to match the fabrics top and bottom, seams sewn concave curve up and turned over to ensure this is always the case and hundreds of sequins and beads sewn on by hand. The focal point though is her masterful quilting incorporating trapunto work. She said she itches to get down to the quilting - I sense it looming. She also said how she wanted to make these masterworks which take a long time and massive effort rather than churning out lots of quilts. I guiltily knew myself to be one of the latter sort.
On this site are shown a couple of details of her work; click on the images for a proper close up detail.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Batik Snowballs border treatments

After the plain border the easiest was the dark turquoise and black quarter square triangles as there were no seams to match.

Batik Snowballs

I made 104 blocks, swapped many, and made 4 tops shown here. I had just the right number for one made with all batik snowballs, one with alternate black and batik and two with all black snowballs alternated with ninepatches. The 5 by 7 setting meant I had no blocks left over. I experimented with various border treatments with the aid of templates and made myself use some special batiks.
The quilts were originally intended as charity teenage quilts but 4 young people from downunder, relatives of my husband, are about to visit and I think I'll pack the quilts off to Australia once completed.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Moda Mystery Quilt.

I was asked to produce a mystery quilt project by my group, Quayquilters and drew up mysterious instructions for this traditional design with a choice of sizes. I made three versions and this is the largest, 80 inches square, using mostly Chocolat line fabrics by Moda. I especially like the diagonally printed border fabric but it was hard to get the chevrons to match up at the corners. It's quilted by machine in the ditch and by hand using 12 count thread. The wadding was bought in Australia and is 60/40 wool/poly. The backing is a super viyella (wool/cotton) paisley print bought as a remnant. It's quite heavy and should be very warm I should like to keep it but am thinking of giving it away. . .

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Quilts at Hever

Here is the Group Quilt made for our display at Hever with a detail showing Mandy Parks' expert (longarm) quilting. We all made single applique leaves and pieced "leaves" while Meg Leach executed the applique panel. Lesley Brankin designed it. I show a general view of one section in the marquee and my effort which was blocks, extra ones originally made for the swap we did in 2001 when three people requested "Autumn". I chose mine from "Choice Scrap Quilts" and the revolving leaves ones are slightly adapted Judy Martin designs. They very much carry her imprint of one shape superimposed upon another. The wadding was dyed yellow and the raw edges covered with dyed tape and tacked with thread from the same dye bath. Our display quilts had a size restriction but I have made enough blocks to add another set all round and then will border with a leafy fabric to make the quilt bedsized. I'll remove the tape first.
Listeners never hear good of themselves; I thought I would listen to the comments made by two attendees only for one to look at mine and "That's very clever" (!! - good) followed by "but I couldn't stand all those colours. It's too fussy for me." Serves me right though I am concentrating on the 'clever' bit. Painstaking is more the word as I resorted to a lot of handpiecing.
To see the other quilts check out the Saturday 13th September blogpost by Kate North, another of our members:
Her quilt included masses of "tree" fabrics combined very successfully and subtlely embellished.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Pick 'n'Mix at West Watch

Region 2 of the UK Quilters' Guild hold a quilt show every September at Hever Castle. The castle provides the marquee, the stands, the catering and staff to help set up the larger quilts. The weather this year was typical Hever weather, warm and sunny despite being rainy when setting up.
I'm lucky to be a member of the Pick'n'Mix group who initially got together on the internet to swap blocks but now meet every year over Hever weekend to sew and catch up with our news. We meet at West Watch House, this time for the last time as the house is to be sold. Only six could make it this time - all the more room for those remaining! Here we are in our workroom and here too are the brown/teal/aqua blocks I am doing for a transatlantic block swap and a batik snowball quilt I added the border to.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Flower Power at FOQ

Each year a region of the Quilters Guild hosts a breakfast event at FOQ with refreshments and demonstrations. This year it was Flower Power hosted by Region 7(?).
One technique shown that took my fancy was teabags, used, dried and emptied and then used as stitched backgrounds or painted to represent leaves and flowers. Surprising but effective. Also shown here are lined baskets and stitched and flipped flowers in the manner of Jean & Valori Wells.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Wholecloth Quilt

I feel naughty but unrepentent: I bought a quilt at FOQ though without any forethought. However, I am delighted with it. It had been bought at auction in Pennsylvania and probably dates from around 1900. It is in excellent condition, no thanks to my perspicacity as I didn't even open it up. Once I saw the exquisite tiny even quilt stitches I had to have it.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Quick Classes at FOQ

I attended two one hour quick classes, one with Ann Jermey on Colourful Squares shown first, then come samples from Jenny Dukes' Prairie Points Class, Jenny in playful mood wearing a PP trimmed hat and finally my sample of colourful squares - a light/dark exercise but based on colour too. Jenny's PP workshop was particularly good value - we worked in paper and learned how to make continuous prairie points in one or two colours and what was new to me in graduated sizes. Ann's technique of sewing the rows and the rows too all linked ready to sew was very clever - I must try following her instructions. It would be good for Irish Chain.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Famous (quilty) faces at FOQ

Here are pictures of Amy Butler at her presentation, Andrew Salmon at the Flower Power event wearing the jacket he was given and dared to proceed across the show floor wearing, Ricky Tims playing the piano at his "evening with" and Marti Michell at her lecture.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Festival of Quilts NEC 2008

I have been on my travels hence the gap in posts. First stop was the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. I have been to all of these and stay for the duration. This time I was on my own quiltingwise though Alan joined me on Thursday as a non-participant (he explored Birmingham) and I helped a bit on the Traditional Quilt Group Stand, a first and a different slant on the proceedings. I got to know fellow members and chatted to lots of visitors. I shall definitely volunteer again next year. I was worried about missing too much of the show but I planned and organised my time quite efficiently and saw my preferred sections quite thoroughly and got round all the galleries. The galleries are a special feature - white walled rooms with proper gallery lighting to showcase the work of invited quilters or groups. This year Ricky Tims was featured and Susan Brandeis. My favourite, though, was Inge Heuber.
I can't show the quilts, unfortunately, not even one as I didn't enter. One day, perhaps but here are general views giving some idea of the galleries.