Monday, 28 April 2014

Something old, something new

U3A blocks

I am currently processing the blocks made in successive years to teach U3A beginners and joining them quilt as you go. It was nice quilting the individual blocks and it's been good to have some hand sewing in front of the TV as I catch down the strips on the back but it's a long process of start and stop. When this picture was taken I was down to the last four sections (notice I do 3+2 and 2+3). Now I am sewing the last seam across the width of the quilt. Given the size (75x90"), I've decided not to add a border. I'm not too keen on this quilt; I like the green one that is at an earlier stage (not shown) better.
I took part in an extended show and tell session and brought down one of my Mary's Triangles quilts down from loft where it's kept with my son's things. It's been washed and is  enjoying a spell in the limelight on my bed. It was quilted at Kokopelli quilting in Albuquerque.
Stephen's quilt

detail of repeated unit

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Using it up

I had just used scraps in colours I could easily spare for Sandra's workshop as It was a technique day. However, I didn't want to throw away the samples but didn't want to keep them (where?) so decided to chop them up and make blocks for a child's quilt. I used up more offcuts and scraps from the pink and mauve bags in the process. The results were a bit too chaotic so I've calmed them down with pale pink dotted sashing.
I'm putting inserts in the border to practise another technique learnt that day though this is slowing me down as I want to keep the border strip aligned. This will be a Linus quilt, I think.
Sashed blocks

Border with inserts


Friday, 25 April 2014

Sewing Day

Usual Suspects and friends met up in a village hall to enjoy a day of sewing, lunch and chat. I took in my U3A green blocks to do some quilt as you go joining but didn't take a picture.
Judi has embraced the modern quilt movement with gusto and while many modern quilters are as yet inexperienced, Judi's work displays the skills and finesse she has developed over the years. I helped with the spray basting of the triangles quilt and can't wait to see the quilting.
Judi: Tula Pink blocks made using Windham's

Fifty Shades of Grey was a class at Houston. Judi's
quilt uses the  Comma collection and has been
wonderfully FMQed.

Judi's latest piece.

Marigold has just finished a large quilt long arm quilted by Maggie Kingston. We loved the way the design just fitted the piecing. Tracy showed us a magnificent quilt using Liberty fabrics destined for the Festival of Quilts in August. Again no photos.
Gillian is going to send Maggie the beautiful top with a frames setting she has just finished and Becky swapped the green frames of her blocks for white to good effect. Lots of cooks had a say in the arrangement. We like giving friends the benefit of our advice!

Becky's blocks

Penny does some relaxing
hand work.

Monday, 14 April 2014

More from the Conference

There is always a lot going on at the conference, the only snag being that you can't do everything. There are lectures, workshops, outings, sit and sew Linus quilts, demonstrations, tables for special interest groups, meetings for people who are collecting quilt stories or new to conference, displays of teacher's quilts, challenge quilts, traders,sewing machine demonstrators including long arms, fundraising ventures such as a splendid Chinese auction and bag and postcard tombolas. Oh and a wonderful gala dinner with a lovely grace said at the beginning, a table prize, a quiz and a dress theme. American quilter, Patti Hempen, came over to give the after dinner speech and to teach. This year, of course, the conference theme was "Navy Days". Throughout the weekend there were lots of volunteers wearing stripy tops and sailor's caps. No pirates though.

The opening ceremony.

Gill Turley's talk.

Linus blocks sewn together

Tiggy Rawlings' teacher quilt,
with lovely kantha stitching.

Christine Restall's lecture. I have always noticed her
pear quilts at shows but now know she does much

The amazing Jan Hazzard
speaking and showing
a huge number of
dazzling quilts.

Patty Hempen's teacher quilt

The masts of Nelson's ship the "Victory" rise up as I go past
on the bus (fantastic public transport in Portsmouth).

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Just back

from the Quilters' Guild AGM and conference in Portsmouth which as usual passed in the blink of an eye. On Friday I did an all day workshop on improvisational cutting and piecing with Sandra Grusd which was full of  ideas and techniques but no pressure, just lots of things to try and follow up later. I took pink and mauve fabrics mainly and from my scrap drawer. A cutter and board were on the list but  not a ruler though I smuggled one in and made limited use of it to trim off some of the initial pieces to cut.
Sandra's samples


Lots to see

Stripping and cutting

Now I know how this effect was achieved.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

More from the U3A

Like me, Denise and Margaret went to the Helen Howes "Fair Copse" workshop. Denise has finished her wallhanging using a tertiary colour scheme while Margaret has made four pieces based on the seasons. I think she is going to join them with  beading. Grace showed a wonderful crazy tablecloth using a technique taught her by Margaret. I am really inspired by this, having got lots of decorating fabric including one with a chair print. For this last session Margaret showed how to make a transparent hanging using organza and I took a photograph of Denise's.

Denise with tree hanging

Margaret's trees.

Grace's table topper.

Denise's organza piece.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Last day

It was the last meeting of the U3A group on Monday until the Autumn term. There was a bumper Show & Tell, including lots of completed mystery quilts, a very popular project which gave members a chance to practise all the different stages of quiltmaking. I show a selection here; my photographs don't always come out well.

I think this is Betty's

And this is Janet's

And this Jane's.






Monday, 7 April 2014

Quilt Assembly 3: joining

For this year's blocks I am using the joining strips method (the second QAYG on the handout) which involves extra fabric for the strips but which does permit using all the same fabric for the block frames.
First secure the backing strip, then the top one. Use the top strip to join the blocks. Overstitching the wadding edges is optional. Finally press the backing strip over and catch down with hand stitching.
1. Add 1.5" folded backing strip
to back edge of block, raw edges
aligned. Sew with large stitch
1/8" seam.

2. Add single 1" strip to upper edge
and sew through all layers with
1/4" seam. Flip and press.

3. Attach the joining strip to
the block to be joined and, again,
 sew with 1/4" seam through all
layers. Press.

4. The back needs attending to.

5. I like to loosely catch the edges
of the wadding together.

6. Flip and press the folded back
strip down and sew neatly by

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Quilt assembly 2: quilting

I'm getting more done on the U3A blocks now the course is coming to an end for this session.
1.Framed block: the frames are wider than needed (2 1/8").
2.Sandwiched, pinned and ready to quilt.

3.Quilting complete.

4.Block trimmed to 15" square through all layers.