Thursday, 26 January 2012

Quay Quilters

The topic at Quay last night was Peruvian braiding. Pauline talked about various kinds and attendant pieces of equipment, showed examples and gave everyone a card thingy so they could have a go. It was one of the most concentrated evenings I have ever seen with everyone beavering away keeping their attention on the correct sequence.
Pauline showed us a book by Helen Deighan on this subject, "Beautiful Braiding Made Easy".

I was taking the beginners' log cabin session and Helen brought along a log cabin quilt she had made which had strips of varying widths to give a curved effect.
Helen's Quilt

Friday, 20 January 2012

Trundling along

I am finding working on Isla's quilt quite hard going in some ways as I am used to lots of repetitive piecing and have been dashing off Linus projects. This quilt seems painstakingly slow and I'm not sure the result will justify it as it's a bit of a hotch potch though I'm trying to keep the colours moving throughout the quilt. I know Isla will like it as it will be a quilt  full of activity like her. Today I have been making hearts. At least the technique is successful (see last post) but I've been moving and swapping around. I am going to have pots of flowers in both bottom corners and had planned background pieces to to go in both corners. I am now utterly miffed to find I've miscut - 8" not 8.5" - as I'm committed to this particular fabric because of what has gone before I shall cut off 1/2" from the top of the house, I hope 1/4" of sky above the chimneys doesn't look too ridiculous. I'll try blotting it out with masking tape to check. Oh dear! Just a thought -  I could repiece the chimneys to go right to the top - I may do that.. .
The mess I am working in - not my usual practice.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

8 pointed star

Star and hearts

I completed the star. I couldn't use the outer fabric I'd originally planned as I realised it would be too much pink but I prefer the substitute. I've now started on the hearts. I thought the fabric choices would be enjoyable but again there is much furrowing of brows. The applique technique I was putting off is going well thanks to Karen Kay Buckley's workshop at Houston as I'm using her technique of pressing over templar which forms a sharp outline. I'm using spray starch rather than sizing which we can't get here.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I built four houses today

I pieced four houses today though I'd cut out the pieces before. Gathering the various fabrics was quite thought provoking. They're not joined in a row yet. Next stop is a star and then it's all applique which I've been putting off.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


I'm not sure what this technique is called where you end up with self contained quiltlets which are then sewn together. The front and back can be different as with these rail fence examples. I've seen this demonstrated several times but Margaret's samples shown here  are particularly lovely.

The front

Pinwheels on the back

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Farnham Maltings

I went with friends to Farnham Maltings where quilt shops sell off off their surplus fabrics and products. I needed more fabrics for Isla's quilts as my choices are now being constricted by the fact I can't cut background squares or even hearts out of some of the pieces I have left. Also to get sufficient contrast I needed some fabrics with coloured dots on white backgrounds. One of my friends bought some and told me just which stall to go to so I'm very happy.
As part of the day local groups display their quilts and there was a one woman show by Diana Taylor. Her room just glowed.

Partial shot of Diana Taylor's room

A Mary's Triangles quilt

My "Viewer's Choice" by Deborah Redman

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Maggie's return

It was Crab & Winkle last night. Maggie is back from her African sojourn so had lots to show us including her Hidden Wells quilt and wall hangings  which she had brought back from her second home unable to remain parted from them. Whilst there she had made a quilt or rather quillow  for her son's girlfriend who had laid down firm stipulations about gingerbread people, cottages and the like. It is a masterpiece of invention. Mary - the "other" Mary as I'm one too - has started a beautiful stars quilt so a very colourful evening.
Maggie's Hidden Wells

Maggie's wall hangings

Quillow cushion

Maggie's quilt for a gift

Mary's stars project in progress

Friday, 13 January 2012

Coming along

Laying out trees one at a time

Aide memoire of the order. Trunks to be added and then trimmed to right length.
I'm working away at Isla's quilt and taking my time. Once I decided on the fabrics and arrangement of my line of trees I got down to the part I like best, sewing and ironing and sewing again. I foundation pieced the trees using fine leave-in washable paper 
and pieced the trunks and background. The arrangement of trees pointing inward may seem odd but they will hang upright over the side of Isla's little bed. The piano key border formed by the trunks will easier to bind as there will be no points to lose. I'm putting off doing the hands for which I have card templates but will try bagging out with thin interlining. Not yet though!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Quay Quilters

Quay Quilters met for the first time in 2012. Show and Tell included Log Cabin projects as I thought that was the beginners' topic this week. In fact it's next time so this was premature. There were other Show & Tell projects too and it was a very busy and informative meeting as we talked about magazines and shared out a few.
Mags's Christmas bunting

Helen's Twisted Sisters variation

Trish's log cabin floor cushion

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Usual Suspects

It was the first Usual Suspects gathering of the New year (but not the last). It was great to see one of our members who has been poorly looking so much better and definitely on the mend. We were at Tracy's who had so many super projects in various stages. Belinda had some blocks made from fabrics supplied in a challenge workshop now combined and awaiting a wide border. I made a start tracing foundations for my chatelaine blocks and completed one.


Tracy's - love this pattern

Tracy's - started in Carolyn Forster's workshop

Tracy's again- made as a present

My effort that day! 15 more to do.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Moving along

I meant to attach these frames yesterday but was called away to watch David Hockney on Countryfile (most inspiring) so I have the two last ones to complete. Then I intend to applique hands. Then it will be a nice part: making units of trees, houses, hearts and little people to go round though there will be some tricky bits getting them all to fit together. I tried putting green or lilac in the corners of this centre unit but it didn't work. As I'll use these other colours in the units to come this will mean a lack of continuity but Isla (did you think she was an Ivy or Irene or Iris?) wanted it PINK so PINK will be the dominant effect. I've never done anything pink for myself so this is fun.
Tonight I shall probably finish the minimal handquilting on Belsey Blooms a workshop UFO which will be a FO and destined for sale or donation so have to line up some evening handsewing pretty quick especially as I'm off to sew and chat with the Usual Suspects tomorrow. Bonnies are opting for some smaller projects after the mammoth Farmers' Wives so I shall hand foundation piece this chatelaine from Quiltmaker Nov.Dec.96 (page partly obscured by a bookmark and there are two or three pages anyway so I'm not disseminating the pattern). I've long had this tucked away in my file though I shall make it a tad shorter.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Silent Stars

On Christmas Eve my Silent Stars quilt goes on the bed and comes off on Twelfth Night. This season I was preoccupied and forgot so it didn't go on till Boxing Day. This is one of my most successful quilts so looking at it is a treat! The name comes from the hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem ....the Silent Stars go by...", a favourite. The pattern by Gwenfai Rees Griffiths was published over several months in the British P&Q magazine.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Onwards and upwards

I'm making steady progress with Isla's quilt. Once I get past this middle part I shall be working on smaller units. At the moment every decision seems a big one. I know it's going to be a bit quirky and typically "me" in that I cannot work with coordinated fabrics but have to branch out into strangeness but there you go.
I have tracings of family hands which I hope to superimpose somewhere but have two more borders to go. I find I need to sleep on it at each stage.
Trying to decide

What do you think of it so far?

Monday, 2 January 2012

The first one

Having completed some long standing projects it's now time to make a start on my granddaughter's quilt. She came to stay over New Year and when we took her and her brother back home I doublechecked the measurements of her bed. Her quilt will have an "I" in the middle surrounded by pieced squares then various frames, pieced and appliqued. I'm deliberating still about the quilt as you go route especially as I plan to do some machine blanket stitch applique which could serve for quilting as well but I have a nice piece of backing it might be good to use as is. I really like mindless piecing but will need to go slower with this.  Also my fabrics are varied not hugely coordinated though I know PINK must be dominant.
Here is the centre laid out - it will be on point.

The centre on point square - it awaits the "I" but the girl in a swing will will still be able to be seen.