Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Quay Quilters Show & Tell

 Margaret's tree

 Ann's wreath

Ruby's cot quilt

Mavis's Farmer's Wives
I'm still catching up with my quilting activities. Wednesday last week was Quay Quilters when Margaret showed the Suffolk Puff (Yoyo in US) tree she made after Ruby's class and Ann her wreath though Ann isn't in the picture. After the show Ruby was commissioned to make a cot quilt for my neighbour and this is it. Piece de resistance, however, was Mavis's wonderful Farmer's Wife quilt made with blocks sewn at the gatherings of Bonnie Quilters, a small house group I've belonged to for nearly 30 years though we did machine knitting for the first decade or more. I'm only on block 80 or so and wondering whether to give up. I was never intending to make the whole quilt but to make groups of blocks and smaller quilts but I'm running out of inspiration. My latest assortment of fabrics are the dullest of Civil War types which doesn't help.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Usual Suspects Day

Judy's super samples
Today I have packed up some of my quilts to show to a U3A group who have been studying the Amish this term. I lent the tutor a couple of books about Amish quilts. This represents quite an upheaval but it's good for quilts to be unfolded and refolded and I need to get them into the order I shall use them with winter ones on top.
Tracy's Christmas project
All packed up and ready to go

Belinda's Cindy Blackberg piece

It's two weeks to the day since the Usual Suspects met here so this is a very belated "Show & Tell". Judy and Belinda shared their work from Houston workshops, Belinda's from Cindy Blackberg's class and Judi's from Debbie Krasilik - I just love those chevrons. Meanwhile Tracy is getting ready for Christmas.

Last night I finished handquilting the border of the Blue Squares quilt.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Quilting retreat

Stack'n'Whack blocks
Redwork coverlet hanging in the chapel anteroom

No sooner had I got back from Houston than I set off, the very next day, for a quilting retreat in Norfolk, a quiet country location with meals provided and sewing from dawn till midnight. I took along various UFO's  though only finished one but the others are more finished than they were.   However as I was due to do a redwork session for Quay Quilters I was pleased to encounter this piece hanging outside in the chapel entrance.

I framed these bluework blocks, pieced the ninepatches and made the centre top. Since coming home I've added a border to which I shall add more stitchery. I cut and made more kaleidoscope blocks and decided this was the right number of blocks for this top though I have plenty of fabric leftover. I'll add a border anon.

My bluework seashore top

Friday, 18 November 2011

Houston Workshops 02: Karen Kay Buckley

Next up was a three hour hand applique class with Karen Kay Buckley though the final stitching could also be done by machine. This was a superb well ordered class with Karen keeping up the pace and using camera and screen technology so we could see the finer points of what she was demonstrating. The image was manipulated so we saw the work as she was seeing it not from the camera direction. I appreciated her class management skills. This method of applique pressing over heat resistant template plastic suits me better than needle turn. I do feel amused though that I got a dozen FQs in different colours and shades as per the requirements list only to use a few snippets. However, I thought this might be the case and got them cheaply from Jo-Ann's in useful bright tone and tones which will be good for Linus quilts. I suppose the tutor feels she has to give quantities to go on and complete a quilt whereas I am happy with a sample as I have enough quilts on the go anyway.
I spent loads from her helper afterwards - serrated scissors, perfect circles, needles and her DVD and am well satisfied with all.
Our classroom with our project hung at the righthand side

My fabrics purchased for the class

I used this much!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Houston Workshops 01: Lois T. Smith

I spent the days before the show opening attending workshops and learnt from them all. First was Lois T. Smith and machine quilting which involved various approaches which combine into a wallhanging though I shall make a bag  and dye it. We use both walking foot and free machining techniques and the Janome lady was kept very busy swapping our needles about. Although in my very first machine quilting class with June Barnes well over a decade ago we followed a drawn line with our darning foot, I have never fully believed in my ability to do this but I was delighted to stencil a leaf wreath in Lois's class and realise I could follow the line. I was teacher's pet, taking the register and attending to bits of things leaving Lois free to prepare and teach. Later when I was alone in the bar she and her travelling companion joined me and we ate and drank together and we saw each other every day after that while other people I never set eyes on again. I should also say the Janome lady herself felt she had learnt a lot too.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Home again

I'm back after 2 plus weeks of intense quilting activity first to Houston for the IQA show then by contrast a retreat in deepest Norfolk where we sewed from morning to night.  Both were great experiences though Houston is one I shan't do very often. We arrived on Friday in Houston and spent Saturday getting workshop supplies from a quilt shop  and also cashing in JoAnn's vouchers as well as shopping at Walmart. On Sunday we enjoyed driving through the Texas landscape to the new Quilt Museum at La Grange ( )which opened especially for us, then a short hop to the Winedale collection of quilts (and buildings) then on to the  Copper Shade Tree at Round Top where amongst other high quality craft goods was to be found an exhibition of quilts by men, my favourite being Gerald Roy's made from shirtings and similar materials.
Quilters' Cottage: this shop went on and on
like the Tardis!

Entrance to the Winedale collection;
Mr Karr kindly showed us round the buildings on site.

Barn on the Winedale site.

Show at the Copper shade Tree

The Texas Quilt Museum