Sunday, 31 May 2015

Judi's Show & Tell

FMQ squiggles on the cream fabric

And on the back

The three of us going to Sisters met up to tie loose ends connected with our trip and as we haven't seen Judi for a while she had quite a bit to show us. She'd been on holiday but not without a sewing machine. She's going to use pieces as a vehicle for the sort of modern machine quilting which may be within reach of more ordinary machine quilters like myself. I shall watch and learn. Judi is an ace quilter on her domestic machine but makes it look so easy I have been known to say "Oh that's not rocket science" only to find that as far as I am concerned it might as well be. However I live in hope as I have now dipped a toe into FMQing on my Pfaff which isn't throwing up the back tension problems my Janome got up to.

A bit Mondrianesque but not slavishly so.
We both went to a Mondrian show at the
Turner contemporary here a few months ago.

Uvulati mug rug swap. Top is a copy of the of the one she made and below the
one she won.

Lots of negative space to show off quilting.

Friday, 29 May 2015


Thangle Stages

Oh those papers

Chain Piecing the strips

I have taken a break from my Bonnie blocks as I have completed the current stint and have prepped the next ones. I have things I should be doing but have instead decided to make some mini quilts for my doll's bed using HST's to demonstrate some of the patterns available, with the U3A class in mind. So armed with packs of FQ's from Hobbycraft and some fine calico, I set off,  using Thangles. A 24" square quiltlet uses 144 2" HST's. The next lot will be 2.5" units to make a 25" Broken Dishes quilt and I'll use the Easy Angle, fed up with all those papers.
The Hobbycraft fabrics remind me of those available in the 90's, now back again.
Taking shape

6" block ready to piece

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Minster Show

Abbey Patchers held their show this weekend and the Usual Suspects rolled up for a hearty pub lunch which we needed as it was such a chilly day and the church was chilly too. The quilt stands are sited in the pews of this large and magnificent Minster so although there are always lots of impressive quilts one has to peer at them sideways. So what with the space, the gloom and my very indifferent camera the photos are not up to much.

I noted the quilt design on this one for future reference.

Effective use of decorator fabrics

A pleasing version of Gwenfai Rees Griffiths' "Houston Stars" pattern. I made this one too but
hung it the other way up as in the magazine.

I can never resist a disappearing 9-patch.

I think this may have been my favourite,
simple in construction but "just right".

I'm working in blue and white at the moment so peered closely at these super
compasses to check out the fabric choices.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Group Quilt

The three Queen Beez met up to complete the last details on our quilt ready for Sandown. Maggie had put in the hours to finish the custom quilting which is just perfect. We sewed in the remaining ends and I corrected some loose bits on a couple of my appliques and Mary attached the binding. This Mary made a hanging sleeve in the same fabric as the backing. The backing was cheap Indian cotton from Ikea but it's lovely and soft and would be easy to hand quilt through. I must get some more.
Maggie is in the process of quilting her own quilt for Sandown using African fabrics.

Binding attached

We managed to sew down some of the border on the day and you can see
some of the quilting on this photo.

In the evening I went to Preview Night at the turner which was heaving. The reason: Grayson Perry. He had mounted an exhibition of his ceramics, drawings and paintings and three huge tapestries. He spoke in a very amusing and down to earth way and then stayed to talk to people and was still there when we left which as he hadn't been well and was dosed with antibiotics was very generous of him. I was impressed.

Grayson Perry

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Quayquilters night

Hilary speaking

We are still getting ready for our show which  I shall miss while in Sisters. It was good to see the lovely decoration in the school where we meet. Hilary gave a very thorough presentation of the surface techniques she has been learning on her City and Guilds embroidery course. And, of course, there was Show and Tell.
Hilary's samples

Paper Bag printing

Pauline's quilt

Heather's without benefit of rotary cutter

Pot as demonstrated in paper by Ann last week

Items for sales/tombola  started in
a previous meeting

And some more

Jan is making covers for her Aga hobs

Gail with her version of the bag taught in our U3A class

Norma's creative bag replete with

Saturday, 23 May 2015


Aisle of quilts, general view

After our Chesterfield holiday we stayed 2 nights in Malvern to attend the wonderful quilt show. It was very busy and I withdrew from the throng at midday to attend a screen printing mini workshop with Kate Andre ably assisted by her husband which was a very good introduction with lots of different screens and colours and an efficient cleaning up and drying (Hairdryer) operation. I was impressed by the results.
Screen Print class samples

I didn't have a quilt in the show but my friend Margaret had two in the theme section which I think was explosion of colour. She constructs in sections which are joined together by exquisite stitching and beading.
Margaret's bargello

Detail of joined sections

Margaret's quilt: I love the centre

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bonnie blocks

Blue Stained glass block

I have been doing my stint involving lots of hand sewing. I've finished the  stained glass block from Lynne Edwards' book in blue but this design does seem suitable for my Doe fabric so I used an applique design from a recent magazine. I made my bias strips using bias bars then ironed Steam-a-Seam 1/4" fusible to the back and ironed it into place then handstitched to secure.
Fabric audition

More fabrics

Pieces in place, temporarily secured with pritt stick and
Roxanne's fabric glue.

Stained glass ready to sew.

I've also pieced a new Honey Bee base to replace the one in my last post. It'll have dark wings. I've drawn  round templates on fabrics to make a Leila's Fan block and drafted a 12" schoolhouse.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015


I completed my blue version of the Honey Bee block.
I knew as I was making it I didn't like it.
This one won't make its way into the quilt.
I was plotting an alternative version as I sewed.
Small picture on purpose!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Been Shopping

Today we have been visiting the wider area around Chesterfield and calling in on two local quilt shops along the way. The first was  Quiltessential where there was a class going on and lots of lovely fabrics including my favourite Carrie Bloomston prints. the shop owner was also a fan and brought up pictures on her phone to show examples of items made from Carrie's next collection, "Story", out in September. I think I've thought of how I want to use these designs, a repeat of a quilt I made for Bronwen in NZ some time ago. This shop is sited in Cromford Mills, the first/very early, 1771 cotton mill built by Richard Arkwright and powered by a complicated system of water power. My husband enjoyed reading up on all this while I was in the shop. Then we checked out the canal and the wharf. I was pleased my quilting led us to such an interesting place.

The setting

What I bought

On the way to Bakewell (utterly lovely) we stopped at Heirs and Graces, Patchwork Direct. Lots of varied fabrics including wovens and designer voiles and the converted church was an excellent setting.

My Heirs and Graces purchases: I continue to collect novelty prints.

It was a lovely day and the countryside round here is so delightful; the leaves are very fresh and every town has a river and extensive riverside walks.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Honey Bee

After ignoring a good  deal of pre-election news, a mixture of spin and wild promises from the politicians and misguided polls and commentary we watched TV yesterday evening as something real was happening, particularly mass resignations, very sad for the people concerned who were only doing their best. And "Have I got news for you" was lively as well with the recording punctured by news of yet another head to roll.

Anyway I took the opportunity to  finish the Doe Honey Bee block. I am appliquing the "wings" on the blue version but am not very happy with the fabric choices on that one. Indeed. although on the face of it it's an easy block, we all found fabric selection very difficult.