Friday, 30 September 2011

Portland Quilt

This is called my Portland quilt because I bought the fabrics while I was holidaying in Portland, Oregon. I was trying to freshen up my stash and rather than hoarding  decided to break some out and use them for Marion's stack and slash workshop. This required 6 FQ's to make six blocks but as I had half yards I used double and made the border from the fabric I had a yard of. In setting out the blocks the orange spots were my deciding factor arranging as much as I could around the edge. I used Quilter's Dream Request wadding which is the thinnest quality and really enjoyed the handquilting though nowI wonder whether Perle Cotton would have been better. Today I washed the quilt to remove the marking and hung it on the line. If only more people in Portland would dispense with dryers and hang out their washing. They considered themselves so environmental but I feel this one step would outdo all their other efforts. It was wonderful drying weather all the time I was there in early autumn and whirligig washing lines take up very little space and clothes dried outside are so much nicer and fresher.
Back of Portland Quilt - does this count as a "Modern Day Quilt"?

Portland Quilt  54.5x70"

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Usual Suspects

We met at Judi's today for lunch (hearty soup followed by cheese cake and raspberries all very delicious) and hand sewed and talked our heads off. Judi had received some blocks gifted by Nancy of whom she knows personally as well as online and has added more and set them in a random yet balanced way.
As you can see from my sidebar  I (along with  many others) follow Nancy's blog closely. The Usual Suspects have been inspired  by her framed and sashed scrap blocks (September 25th post) and are planning to get together and make some of these for an  Alzheimers project in Scotland where the plan is to make 40" quilts to cover the international football pitch there and then auction them off to raise research funds and also distribute some to care homes.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Oast Open Day 2011

This rather blurry photo is of this year's U3A quilt at Oast Quilters
show and tell TODAY (I'm up to date at last!).
 When I saw the member who does work with the Teenage Cancer Trust was there I realised I could hand it over there and then. However she must have left very promptly as she had gone when I looked for her so I shall hang on to the quilt for a while longer. It measures 53.5 by 62.5 inches, a good size.
There were lots of lovely Show & Tell items some dating from the outset of Oast which is celebrating its 25th anniversary but my camera wasn't at the ready till I caught up with these two contemporary items by Nancy A. whose quilts I love.
Nancy A's quilts

The morning speaker was Sue Pritchard who curated the Quilts at the V&A show last year. We learned it had attracted 140,700+  visitors putting it in the top echelons of  exhibitions. This will help to put our craft and art on the map and encourage other museums to unearth their textile treasures.

In the afternoon Frances Pickering a very well known textile artist and maker of books, spoke. Her sketch books and little book artefacts were exquisite. If only I could make something like that. She is to teach two one day workshops. Strangely just as I can imagine my fingers rippling over the keys of a grand piano or the voice of Barbara Streisand emerging from my throat I could almost picture charming "books" spilling out fired by my creative vision. Perhaps if the chance to do a two day workshop crops up I''ll give it a go. In my dreams.

Frances Pickering's book works

Francis Pickering's sketchbooks

Friday, 23 September 2011

New arrivals

I am doing a swap involving block units made from Civil war reproductions and lights including shirtings. To my relief these "classc shirtings" arrived today though I may need more . . .
The enclosed leaflet is about the sort of panels used in medallion quilts. Early designs have been reproduced using the giclee process and can now be purchased. It was interesting to see the origins of the ones on sale, whether in private or public collections. I'm sure these meet a need. However I have ambitions to make a reproduction of an English frame quilt drawing on humbler examples - just a twinkle in my eye as yet.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

She sells sea shells. .

I have sashed the bluework shell blocks and am very pleased - result greater than sum of parts. I like the clearcutness of it and am very grateful to the lady on the stashbuster list who supplied me with the now out of print unobtainable pattern. I saw a completed quilt made from it in in theLadies Circle years ago and liked it and then when I saw another completed one on the list I emailed the maker and she came to my rescue.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Vote now!

After rounds of public voting the Quilters' Guild project "Unfolding the Quilts" has reached the finals (last 3) of the Lottery heritage award. The next round of voting is from 2nd to 26th September - to vote go to and ask all the friends and family who have been recipients of your quilts too and let's raise the profile of quilting in this country and show we (mainly) ladies are a force to be reckoned with.
Note - only vote once otherwise you may be disqualified.

Hever and U3A

It's very late so Monday's activity goes under the heading of "Yesterday. ." . I am helping with the large U3A patchwork group. All our machines were Pat tested this morning and we talked about a lot of basic stuff. Margaret showed us a couple of log cabin based quilts. I love the William Morris fabrics in the larger one and the illusion of curves in the wall hanging.

At home I sewed the border pieces for the blue squares quilt together but haven't attached them and I added sashing to the shells squares and laid them out. I'll use white for the sashing posts and add a navy button to tie them.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sewing Day

I'm still a day behind - all my posts seem to begin begin "Yesterday...though now it's after midnight so that isn't strictly true today.
Yesterday Crab & Winkle had a sewing day mainly to work on the second raffle quilt made with kindly donated fabric all from the same line. We finished the inner top and next up is a piano key border. I've been excused the latter but have taken home the remaining fabric - it seems inexhaustible. It may be for another small quilt and/or for sales table/tombola items.
And in between we worked on our own stuff - bluework in my case.
Bea's quilt top taught by Marion

Maggie's top awaiting more applique

My bluework shells shown to advantage on the tablecloth

Melanie's top to which we have all contributed

Our raffle quilt bfore we corrected the piecing error!

Pam's group quilt with more to do.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Setting up a show

My Bright Stars
Yesterday I went to Hever Castle, home of Anne Boleyn, to deliver my quilt and those of two other Quilters Guild region 2 members for our annual quilt show.  The castle sets up a marquee for us and their staff hang the larger quilts. This time the traders are in a separate tent and there are displays of poultry, bee keeping, trug making, felt and various other country crafts. I didn't get round to posting as I drank 2 gins on my return and slept for the last half of the evening waking up disorientated at 11.30. Not an experience to be repeated! In excuse I drank the gin my husband poured only for him to realise when he got round to his that he had given himself the diet tonic he doesn't like so I had to drink that one as well!

Margaret W's

Anne M's

Belinda's Twisted Sisters

Setting up

Monday, 12 September 2011

Home again,gites37_b2011.1.G17951.G.html
I'm just back from France where we had a lovely time staying with friends in Fecamp, Normandy, and, mainly, in a super gite in Chinon, part of which was built into the cliff though the main rooms were were in a large old stone building. We were very comfortable and we enjoyed the picturesque surroundings. We could walk into Chinon along a terrace which was once home to troglodyte dwellers.
The new house on site was occupied by our hosts but their car was kept in a cave behind their house and of course they had just the right place to store wine! Our building is on the right of the picture. The dormer window on the right was our bedroom

The quilt on the sofa is one I was binding.

We slept here

Downstairs troglodyte loo.

Yes, I did some sewing while there - sewing down the binding of the U3A quilt  and quilting the Portland quilt though finishing neither. In odd moments and on the long motorway drives I sewed more bluework squares. Unfortunately I washed the sun square before realising I hadn't yet sewn the frame so I'll have to remark it.

I started off repeating the shell designs done earlier but after three felt like a change so sourced more from Internet clipart all on a sea theme more or less and I'm using single strand hand dyed Oliver Twist thread from the hank, more manageable than embroidery floss but I cannot use different thicknesses.
Oliver Twists
More photos here:

France 2011