Friday, 31 August 2012

Simplex star construction
Fabric piles for simplex xtars
It's a bit frustrating but having got to the binding stage with the bluework I have an idee fixe I must bind it in white so need to delay before I can lay my hands on a match.Which having said I'm sure I ordered some Kona white recently so must check.

Border choice

Simplex stars
Today I selected the inner border for the batik stars. I auditioned red, dark purple, aqua etc before settling on this aqua with gold and other muted colours which I hope relate to the centre of the quilt. Now I am making simplex (friendship) stars for the border as one of the swap conditions was "no simplex stars please". The ones I have done so far are all aligned the same way which makes a nice secondary pattern - they look like can can dancers side by side but I shall do some which revolve the other way and either intersperse them or use on different sides.
I've selected fabrics to go with the star blocks and arranged in four piles: purply, orange, pink and bluey. Instead of HST's for the simplex stars I've used a single piece of fabric for the black trapezoids and used a special ruler to cut them. These come out too long so I've trimmed after piecing and cut them shorter on the next go round. This method involves partial piecing arund the central square so not so simplex after all.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Sewing machine sequence

Machine tying seaside bluework

Quay Quilters' group members demonstrate ideas and techniques to each other and for my little presentaion I chose redwork despite very limited knowledge. I attended a couple of workshops and made two little quilts with a seaside theme but in blue, not red. This one is 37inches square and I used a perle thread rather than stranded embriodery floss which was easier though I couldn't vary the width of the lines as you can with varying numbers of floss strands.
I quilted in the ditch around the blocks and diaonally across the nonepatches.

Stitches - I'll cut off the tails.
In the blue blocks I am using 5 little white "ties" using a clasp stitch and the memory sequence function on my machine whereby it cuts the thread after a single stitch. Easy and effective.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Working on the backlog

Batik Stars

I have been trying to clear a lot of my backlog of projects in various stages so that I can concentrate on one thing at a time or one thing and perhaps one or two ongoing group efforts but I won't engage in these unless I can complete promptly. Likewise workshop projects. Anyway here are some very nice batik stars on Kona black background  from a 2003 (?) swap. I had 14 in all but resisted the urge to make the total up to 15.  Instead I'm omitting two, one mine, a pale green that stood out too much. The orange interlaced star is mine. As you can see there were some expert piecers in this transatlantic swap notably friend Judi whose block is top centre. I had all sorts of clever ideas to make the quilt large by framing square in square star borders etc but looking at it I can see a modest size is best and I want to capitalize on the fact that unusually these blocks of different designs can be pieced without sashing. I will add an inner and then outer border. Then it will go to my friend Maggie who is embarking on her longarming business. She is to be my secret weapon when it comes to finishing up.
Now to watch the paraolympics opening show. 2.25 million tickets have been sold for these events. Populous China managed 125000! Pleased about the change.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Festival of Quilts

Cotton Patch's wonderful stand
Last weekend I had a very enjoyable time at the Festival of Quilts held annually at the NEC in Birmingham UK. This is the UK's biggest show wihich attracts visitors and entrants from all over the world but especially Europe. I show some general views here. I particularly appreciate the white walled galleries featuring the work of individuals or groups. The Pauline Burbidge retrospective was a wonderful chance to see her work from early art deco inspired pieces to her latest work passing through various phases inbetween.
I have been having problems uploading photos from my computer to my blog. I get a 'server returned invalid response' message but if I upload items into Picasa and then download I can do it from there. Very roundabout and very mysterious. If anyone can shed light on this I should be grateful.

Stands for demonstrators/designers/teachers.

Outer wall of a gallery
Photographers at work
Main  non juried show

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Out for the day

Valerie's star quilt

We had a lovely day visiting with Marigold today with lots to look at and talk about, Festival of Quilts debriefing for a start. And Valerie has been finishing off projects including this super star quilt. I love the unexpected mix of fabrics which works wonderfully.
I took photos of Marigold's work but for some reason the blog refuses to accept them This is a first. I get a triangle with an x in it!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Central block of our group quilt

I completed my Quay Quilters' applique before setting off for Somerset but have yet to quilt it. At Montacute House, a National Trust property I was allowed to take a photo minus flash of this 17th crewel worked bedspread.

Wonderful hedge at Montacute House

The backing was later and the crewel work had been lifted off the old backing and stitched down on a new one. Make do and mend.

Friday, 10 August 2012

At a Quilt Group near me

Quilt group day today. At Bonnie's this afternoon Fran showed off her "Farmer's Wife" quilt while at Crab & Winkle Mary has finished a top from silk samples for her son who will be off to university this autumn.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Clear out

Still clearing out various incomplete projects and this is not the most successful quilt to say the least. It was made to test out a pattern. I've been winding off some some Shetland yarn before selling off the cones on eBay and I have some pale yellow just right to tie this. It will felt after washing. Then the "quilt" will go on the sales table at our group show next year where the most unexpected items find a new home. If it doesn't it will not reenter my house but stay in the car boot till I'm with reach of a charity shop.
Great day at the Olympics today apart from the girl cyclists. They were remarkably philosophical but rules are rules.