Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Book Cover

Woven silk book cover
It was Janome Club on Sunday after a 2 month gap because of the Royal Wedding. This time Cathy who so generously helps and leads us showed various ways of creating fabric. I had a little packet of deliciously coloured silks from the Silk Route and after a decade decided it was time to pluck up courage and use them. After a quilting acquaintance died prematurely leaving her lovely stash to be used by others I am trying to be the who has used up the most fabric before I pass away.
I opted to weave my strips onto bondawebbed calico, iron to seal and laid pink organza on top to contain the raw edges and machine quilt. I make the book covers the way Cathy showed us one edge at a time and adding separate end covers making for a snug fit. Then additional satin stitching all the way round.
I have three more blank notebooks  and at the moment the plan is to donate them to the tombola. The book is on top of a cupboard inmy spare bedroom and when I approach from a distance it glows. I'm pleased as although I know others make much lovelier things, Cathy for one, I always assumed 3D was beyond me.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Local Quilt Show

The view in the Abbey Church

My Visitor's Choice
On Saturday I went to the Abbey Patchers biannual show in the ancient Abbey Church in Minster, Kent. There are always lots of lovely quilts but the interesting Attic Windows design here caught my eye.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Home again

Twelfth night is left, Bright Stars right.

I had a lovely time at Malvern spending a day at the Quilts UK. Lots of lovely quilts but I shall only show my two and a detail of friend Margaret's who made a beautiful Log Cabin in Liberty fabrics bordered with immaculate machine applique.
Of mine I prefer the one on the left, Twelfth Night, which I made second with friends. I needed to see them hanging side by side in order to decide. I would like to sell the other eventually but it will probably take some time.
I collected my quilts at the end of the show - they are given back in potato sacks and what with these heavy bags and another one containing my puchases it was hard work getting back to the car. I bought some fabric to make a quilt for my grandaughter. I was looking for fairies and/or princesses and I think I've got fairy princesses in pink of course.
We stayed in a lovely converted farm building (The Stable) in a quiet and remote spot afterwards http://www.holtfarmholidays.com/ and I washed and ironed my purchases but I have still to tidy away all my stuff as I've been off quilting since getting back on Thursday. Friday was Crab and Winkle Sewing day. Having bought more Three cats fabric at Malvern I was able to get on with my bags (will post later) while Marion combined lots of novelties to make I Spy quilt tops and Melanie and Pam worked on Melanie's quilt-as-you-go stenciled quilt. Yes the top row is off and was corrected later. They made quite a team with Melanie machining and Pam doing the hand sewing she loves. Maggie was making a starry space quilt for a soon to be born young relative.

This  braid quilt top made by Maggie's mother, a remarkable woman, was discovered recently. One for Maggie to finish.
I don't have any other pictures of our day - I must have been concentrating on my sewing but I expect I'll get a chance later. Next meeting my house next week. A cake to make!

Friday, 20 May 2011

uh, uh, uh, oh

Isn't this delicious??

The rest of the hoard

I used to envy those I read or heard about being gifted with fabric because someone knew "they sewed". Now it's starting to happen to me. Ann in my quilt group gave me a bag of perfectly nice things she was pruning from her stash partly because she knows I make charity quilts. However, I have to accept fabric on the basis that a particular piece might not find its way into a charity quilt though it very well might. Today I was asked to go the house of a neighbour I don't know very well as she has been clearing her loft. I was delighted as there were cottons and lots of viyella which is 50/50 cotton and wool and is soft and warm for quilt backs, especially lapquilts. I left the synthetics and some wonderful wool tweeds which I know I wouldn't use. I felt pleased she accepted money for them as otherwise I would have felt rather greedy. I added up what I should charge if they were on a stall. And the money will be donated to the Cathedral building fund for whch there is a £50 million target. Still every little helps. I included the curtain fabric in my purchases as I though it would be good for bags. Opened out when I got home it was lovely - a garden replete not just with flowers but cats, tortoises, rabbits and some very large mice. Hope they're not rats!
However I now think my last cupboard doesn't have very much room in it so no more for a little while. Oh no - I'm off to Quilts UK on Sunday.. .

Thursday, 19 May 2011

New bed

24" quilt just fits!

When we converted our third bedroom into a sewing room (NOT a studio!) it meant we only had one spare room for guests. Now I have acquired a vintage 1920's bed for the sewing room. I wonder who will sleep in it. . . .

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Top done

Border detail and extras

I'm pleased to have completed my top today pushing on to meet my self imposed deadline. I'm pleased with the border, more stack and whackery based on quilts I saw in a Bethany Reynolds book which used a strip pieced block.
Top done

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sisters Quilt

Four Sisters

Today I've done quite a lot of work on the borders of this quilt, another form of stack and whack which I'm thrilled with,  and made a start on sewing the sashing strips together and attaching them to the rows of blocks. The posts I think of as "chips", just random snippets. I started this project in a workshop with Judy Johnson in the Sisters Quilt Show week. She was a very thoroughgoing teacher going into design aspects as well as technique. There are only three Sisters mountains overlooking the small Oregon town of Sisters but this quilt has four identical squares in each block hence the name. I've had the dark green Fossil Fern fabric for a long time and it's just right for this and for once I have ENOUGH!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Bonnies' afternoon

It was the usual get together today where we gathered around the table to draw round templates and cut out our Farmers Wife blocks. We showed the ones we'd completed in the meantime.
Mavis's colourful blocks

Trish's collection

My "Farmer's Puzzle"

My "Farmer's Daughter"

My "Evening Star"

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Tree bag for tombola

Cutting out Farmer's Wife block

Blocks arranged
 Today has been a bitty day on the quilting front. I have finally unpacked and put away all including this bag which I took to the Show & Tell at Oast. I have a lot of this fabric and made a couple of bags last year - I was pleased to see one at the foot of the lady who had won it. I wanted to advertise our show by displaying the bag.
Bonnies are meeting again this week so I have been cutting and setting out Farmer's Wife blocks. We spend our meetings drawing round templates - very peaceful. I set mine out on a padded cake board each one separated by a piece of kitchen paper. Then I sew them one by one.
Also I decided I can't spend the next two months just thinking about the show so I unearthed a UFO from a Judy Johnson workshop at Sisters last year. This very flamboyant fabric was the only one with a 24" repeat I could find in time. I think the quilt would probably be better with 20 blocks rather than 30 but I'll use them all up. I like the technique very much so will return to it, I hope.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Strings workshop with Carolyn Forster

One of Carolyn's versions of this design


 This was a really good day. Carolyn showed showed us several patterns which worked well with strings and several techniques for making them, not just " one true way". However what I liked best was the huge number of examples she had brought with her, complete and incomplete, vintage and her own work. This was to alert us to the design and fabric possibilities and to analyse the piece's impact. I'm not sure if I shall leave my efforts as samples or go on to make some smallish quilts. Sewing strips is very addictive!

Student squares

Student stars

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Bag Lady

One aspect of my patchworking life and all the groups is I am constantly packing bags and sometimes packing the next lot before unpacking the previous one. It's been like that this weekend with Farmers's Wives, Oast and Carolyn Forsters string workshop today so tomorrow will be the great unpack.
Ready for Farmer's Wife

Back from Oast

Strings at the ready for today

Friday, 6 May 2011

Bonnies are back!

Fran with her quilt top

My Farmer's Wives

Mavis's blocks

Three of the four Bonnie quilters met today and the most recently completed Farmer's Wife blocks were set out and Fran showed us the top she has been making which will be an imminent great grandchild's floor quilt.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Usual Suspects Day

Tracy and quilt

Tracy and her Kaffe quilt
The Usual Suspects came to my house yesterday. We had fish and chips (chips courtesy of my husband) and lots of chat and impressive Show & Tell especially from Tracy who has finished several massive projects including a huge quilt started in a Kaffe Fassett diamonds workshop  and which all bear her hallmark of bright colours and joyful combining of patterns and some very clever piecing.

Another Tracy quilt!

Valerie had been to a weekend with Barbara Chainey and was pleased with her quilt top when it was held up to view and Judy has been making blocks in William Morris fabrics, very subtle and pleasing. Me I did a spot of handsewing binding down on my bags but with all the chat and hostess duties got very little done but finished in the evening. No photo yet.

Valerie's top

Judi's William Morris blocks

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Royal Wedding Fever

Watching the wedding

Out for celebratory lunch

Our table

Farmers wives 24-29

Bag making

 It's been a lovely long weekend (tomorrow is still a bank holiday). On Friday we had a joyful time watching the Royal Wedding. While the palace photographs were being taken we had a tasteful lunch of smoked salmon and potato and green salads preceded by a Kir Royale and accompanied by champagne. There was enough left to toast the couple as they came out on the balcony. In the evening we watched it all again and the next day somewhat spruced up we along with other neighbours had a celebratory lunch in aid of the chirch. Our table was rather renegade being hatless; other guests wore some impressive creations and sadly there are no red white and blue decorations in this shot either. Again a toast of champagne to close.
In between I have been sewing: Farmer's Wife blocks and two bags at once as fundraisers for our show in July.