Saturday, 29 November 2008

Quayquilters Group Quilt workshop

We are making a "Whirligig"/Buzzsaw quilt for our biannual quilt show next July 2009 using a cream on cream background and dark and pale blues. The room divided itself naturally into lights and darks with a degree of rivalry between the two. We - the darks- benefited from an excellent forewoman who sorted out strips to combine so that each unit would contain different fabrics. By the end of the afternoon we had sewed enough for a 90" square quilt - the blocks finish at 15" and joined the first two rows. We hope to finish combining it all at our evening meeting next Wednesday. Needless to say there are discrepancies in size but we always find it comes out right in the end and despite the amount of cutting and seaming in this pattern there is a minimum of seams to match up.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Houston Stars

Our Houston Stars quilts are coming together. Trish's minus borders was posted November 7th and here are Fran and Mavis with theirs - just glorious, really quilty quilts, still with borders to do. But what were we up yesterday in our log cabin? Machine knitting, that's what!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Design Wall

This is the Cheryl Ann design wall, a very simple idea, which I had seen advertised in US magazines. However I found a UK supplier and am very pleased with it. I use it more to display and photograph things. I like the way it's easy to set up and take down and stores neatly.

I have been sorting out all the cuttings and photos that have been piling up and honing my filing system. I wonder why I bother as I have hundreds of pictures and ideas piled up, more than I will ever accomplish but I guess it's the librarian in me. I have been making a list of all my quilts with dates and sizes - eighty plus. All my quilts are intended to be of practical use and many of the smaller charity ones have been bundled under the one number and listed as a, b , c etc., sometimes 8 or 9 at a time. Unnumbered is a list of WIPs, works in progress.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

U3A Patchwork Group

All four of the small scale patchwork groups I belong to are meeting this week. This morning it was the U3A beginners' class which Margaret is teaching. As well as quilts she embroiders and makes teddy bears which are shown here. Top teddy isn't striped but made of chenille and I wanted to take him home! The teddy display was prompted by Jessie's request for ideas on how to make a 3-D mouse. Jessie is shown here with her first effort, a wholecloth quilted cushion. As I had helped with this I was very pleased with the completed effort. I had suggested marking with children's felt tips and was relieved they completely washed out!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Houston Stars: bordering

The quilt as you go border is composed of triangles, the outer ones larger than the inner ones so there's no need to worry about points and quarter inches when adding the binding. I thought I was going to use a dark red joining strip but didn't want this to stretch to the outer edges of the quilt. I thought I would stop short of the end of the border and add a triangular piece to the corner but on reflection changed my mind and added the borders in rectangular strips but log cabin style and partially pieced so that I could ensure the corner squares were correctly aligned to aid accuracy I also sewed from the centre out to the edges. I saved the dark red for the binding, no photos yet.
I am feeling so much better today after my surgery visit. It seems I am not going to be crippled for life after all. This news alone made me feel a hundred times better. The strong anti-inflammatory pills seem to be helping too. No need to bother with hot water bottles, alternative practitioners etc and yes it's a good idea to keep moving so I'm OK for my quilty activities this week and trip to Norwich next week. Alan took me and I found his car very comfy to travel in.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Off blogging

I haven't been keeping up with my blog as I was in a frenzy earlier this week getting my Houston Stars to the binding stage which by Wednesday evening I had achieved. Thursday morning a cleaning frenzy hit when I foolishly tried to pick up an armchair from the front and bending over. NOT a good idea. Later the twinge became very sore and painful lower back pain. I have been sitting with a hot water bottle at my back hand stitching leaf blocks and watching loads of TV. Not much progress has been made. This morning I found a page of back exercises in my sewing room along with the information that in cases of back pain it's best to keep active and mobile so today I am pottering about but sitting at the computer does no good so will stay away for a bit. I try to go for years at a time not darkening the doctor's door but tomorrow I'll go for advice.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Stelling Minnis Art & Craft Show

We popped out this morning to visit the Stelling Minnis Arts & Crafts Show, really an excuse to get out of the house. The colours of the trees glowed in the damp conditions. The show was on a small scale and was mainly a selling exhibition and mainly pictures by the local art society so the quilts were at one end of the room and here they are.
The Minnis is a very interesting place being unenclosed common land, grass, trees and scrub with houses dotted about as the original commoners' cottages would have been. The former inhabitants would have grazed their animals on this open land. Now they walk their dogs!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Trish's Houston Stars

Two more Log Cabin Quilters have finished their centre sections. These photos don't do the beauty of the quilts justice. Here is Trish with hers exquisitely pieced and quilted. Her work is beautiful and the colours are very tasteful too. We were using a magazine pattern by Gwenfai Rees Griffiths.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Border quilting conundrum

In my urge to get this quilt finished I was rather careless about the border quilting and just used the thickness of an ordinary school ruler to measure the lines not even bothering to measure the spacing so I had a narrow strip at each side of the triangles. I slept on it (not on the quilt, on the problem) and when I got up this morning drew more lines in between and quilted those. It looks better now and I'm happy. The point of this quilt is the piecing not the quilting. The centre blocks are just quilted in the ditch though this does make a pretty pattern on the reverse.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

BQSG Weekend

The BQSG Conference was held in the resource centre of the Beamish open air museum in County Durham UK. They have a large north country quilt collection and on the first afternoon some of the provenance collection was hung around the room and on tables for our perusal. The Elizabeth Sanderson Star has iconic status. She was a pupil of famous quilt marker George Gardiner and took in apprentice pupils to teach them how to draw and mark quilt designs. She also seems to have pieced and marked tops and this is a recurrent pattern - the very central star set in with no bumpy seams meeting in the middle. Quilts without provenance, that is where little is known about who and where, are used to cover beds in the dwellings that have been moved to this site - miners' cottages, a town terrace and farm and manor house, grouped in different time zones. BQSG stands for British Quilt Study Group and is a sub-group of the Quilters' Guild, our national body.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

North Country Trip

I have been away for nearly a week, hence no blogging. First stop was York to see the new exhibition at the Quilt Museum, this time quilts from the IQSC, Nebraska. No photos allowed so here is my travelling log cabin quilt on the bed at the B&B. This quilt fits into whatever decor it finds itself in. After my evening meal in York I walked back through the museum gardens where a sound and light show was taking place with wonderful moving images projected onto the ruined abbey walls with accompanying commentary. Very atmospheric. Then on to another B&B for 4 nights in County Durham. I revisited the city where I was a student 1965-68. It was and is a wonderful setting for learning: here is the Castle and magnificent Norman Cathedral. Going to lectures each day I would pass through the cathedral and pause by the tomb of the Venerable Bede in the Galilee Chapel to say a short prayer. The Castle doubled as a student hall of residence.