Monday, 3 August 2015

July Journal Quilt

I'm running a little late but at least I'm running!  I have a whole day to myself, home alone, and I'm going to stitch my journal quilt for July.  The concept is that we are in steady waters, although they are tumultuous below the surface.  As always I am sticking to my self-imposed rules.  I'll (hopefully) post the finished quiltlet later today.  Happy stitching everyone.

Later the same day...

I've just finished the challenge piece for July:

Monday, 13 July 2015

Not Much Stitching, Lots of Planes

Isn't it strange how we often fail to visit places of interest on our doorsteps?  We had friends to amuse today and took them to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby, just a few miles from home and we had never been before!
Planes are not my thing as machines, engineering feats or for their wartime exploits but they interest me in an emotive way, they are nostalgic and the stories of individual crew members make me feel humble.
The BBMF had been in London on Saturday for the fly past at Buckingham Palace in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and, as the weather was poor yesterday, we weren't sure if they would be back.  We joined a hangar tour and while we were learning about the Dakota plane a Hurricane and a Spitfire were returned to the hangar and tucked up quickly out of the rain.

After oohing and aahing we moved on to learn about other Spitfires from our amazingly knowledgeable guide who gave us over two hours of his time and enthusiasm.

One special thing we learned brings us to the little bit of stitching referred to in the title of this post. Here is a close up picture of a Spitfire wing.
Can you see? These plucky little planes were covered with Irish linen and the fabric was cut with pinking shears.

The finale of the tour was the Lancaster, one of only two still flying. She had an engine fire recently, hence all the scaffolding and work going on, but still looked amazing.

All in all a great day out, we must visit other local attractions.



Thursday, 25 June 2015

June Journal Quilt Done

My CG challenge journal quilt for June was finished this afternoon.  Called "time to stand and stare" it follows all my rules, yay!! The chaotic nature of the piecing and stitching is a reflection of the fact that although making time to stand and stare is desirable, it is not necessarily achievable.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A Little Finish

You might remember that I trialled a natural dyeing idea for Angela at Fenland Textiles.  I decided to use the dyed fabric to make a sketch book cover and fold it to create a pocket where finds and treasures could be slipped for safekeeping.  I collected a few seed heads in the garden this morning.  The cover is hand stitched in cotton perlĂ© from www.houseofembroidery.com where you can choose from a wonderful selection of hand dyed variegated threads.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Sewing in the Rain

Today it is raining.  It is DH's birthday but we will celebrate it when we are in Norfolk.  So, he has spent a lot of the day trying to sort out our account with Anglian Water (who seem to have increased our charges by 33%), and I have been sewing.

Firstly, chain piecing the final quarter of the blue and white quilt.  I have realised that I have made a very elementary mistake with this piecing, hangs head in shame...
I didn't cut each strip to the correct length but rather joined them by eye and trimmed off the ends!  
I know, I know...
I will have to quilt it to within an inch of its life to settle it down.

On the subject of mistakes and accidents - I was changing the foot on my machine recently when suddenly there was a pain and then blood pouring everywhere.  Is your thread cutter anything like this?
Well I now know that within the plastic hook is a tiny razor-like blade that is not fixed in any way, it just sits in place.  At some point, presumably when I was moving my machine, this little blade had jumped out of its slot and settled protruding from the machine and I cut my thumb on it!!

On a more positive note, I also started my journal quiltlet for June today.  It's on a sort of life's a beach/getting back to normal theme using my favourite Japanese and batik fabrics (and keeping to my rules).


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Quilts in the Wolds 2015


I had a lovely time at Quilts in the Wolds today, this is the biennial exhibition of quilts and textile creations by Lindsey Patchworkers.
The first quilt that caught my eye was this, So Many Memories by Margaret Fulwood. A classic paper pieced hexagon quilt, made over many, many years, was then cut into pieces, quilted "as you go" and reassembled into this striking quilt. A brave move that worked out very successfully.

Stars by Diane Frankish was a great example of accurate piecing and lovely machine quilted, embellished with beads.

Denise Rothwell let her imagination run wild when creating this seaside themed box.

This quilt really caught my imagination and the "Delft" palette is perfect for it.

This tribal panel by Pat Cave was filled with interesting texture and colour,

and, in contrast, Whitewashed by Sheila Evans, was cool and calm.

The challenge for the exhibition was interesting and produced a myriad of inspired quilts.  It was difficult to take good pictures because of the labels and because so many visitors were enjoying this work but I hope you can get the idea.

In addition to all the quilts there was cake, two fabric stalls, the famous Lindsey Patchworkers tombola (I won twice), 
a book stall and sales of textile goods.  The exhibition is open again tomorrow, 10.00 - 4.00 and well worth a visit.  A huge "well done" to Lindsey Patchworkers and great inspiration for Country Roads Quilters???

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Blue and White Quilt Progress

This is the bottom quarter of "my" side of the blue and white striped quilt.  
There is less gold and red, more cream, a quieter side, night to day, female to male, yin to yang, to completely mix up my cultures!
If you compare my quilt with the pattern in Selvedge magazine (link a couple of posts back) you will see that I am embracing random while the design that inspired me is anything but!
It looks rather wobbly at the bottom, I blame that on it being pinned to the airing cupboard door for the photograph!  I've had a lot of stitching time over the wet weekend and only have one more quarter like this to piece and then the layering and quilting starts. I visited Camelot Crafts, my LQS, for wadding yesterday and Laurie kindly cut the yardage into four quarters, perfect for 'quilt as you go' for this project and I didn't have to find the floor space to do it.
I'll be at Country Roads Quilters for the first time since January on Tuesday and am really looking forward to catching up with everyone, welcoming a new member and seeing what all the clever ladies are creating. I'll try to remember to take some photographs.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Blue and White Quilt

Two posts in two days!  With all those goodies from the Springfields Quilt Show calling me I have been machine piecing today, quite a rare occupation for me these days.  
I have used basically blue Japanese cottons from my stash and those I bought from Katie on Friday to make a start on my strippy quilt (I wrote about this idea recently and showed a picture of the inspiration).
This is one quarter of the quilt top pieced, it measures approximately 42" square.  The quilt will be for our bed but I'm doing it in four "quilt as you go" sections for ease as it will have both machine (on the white) and hand (blue) quilting.
Also today, I've done a little research on my new toy sewing machine. It's a Muller 15, made in Germany by F. W. Muller at the beginning of the twentieth century.  She needs an appropriate name..,

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Weekend Show and Tell

I've just unpacked my goodies from the weekend and thought I'd share them with you (virtually-speaking, of course).  The haul shown above is from Images of Egypt and there are exciting things to be creative with, including a couple of their amazing £1 offcut bags.

On Friday I attended the Springfields Quilt Show and was impressed with how this small show is developing. The quality of stalls, workshops and displays was much higher than on previous visits.  The catering is still poor but I had time out of the show to visit a local cafĂ©. The best thing, though, as ever, was the time spent meeting fellow quilters both around the show and on stands.

This quilt, by Kathy Unwin, caught my attention, it really appealed to me for many reasons.
Here's a detail and the label:

I was delighted that Katie Chaplin, of Japan Crafts, was attending the show and had a lovely chat with her as well as selecting some gorgeous fabrics:
I was caught by a member of Country Roads Quilters who said she was "amazed" to find me looking at Japanese fabric!!!

This is not Japanese but it is indigo.
A length of vintage indigo-dyed fabric from a Hmong pleated skirt.  I was also tempted by this quilt hanger, made from wood recycled from looms by Burmese refugees. The carving is traditional but not an original piece.  I spent a long time talking to Beryl Lee on the Karenni Student Development Programme stand, do take a look at www.ksdp.org.uk (website currently being upgraded but it has a link to their Facebook page).

On Saturday I had a change of pace, spending the day with Angela Daymond at Fenland Textile Studio. I trialled a dyeing idea for her and now have this piece to do something creative with, preferably before Festival of Quilts!  It's dyed with logwood and weld.

There was also a surprise waiting for me at the studio, this stunning baby:
Some research is needed, and some dusting, but isn't she cute?

I hope it was a good weekend for you.  To top it off I think Summer has arrived, we had wonderful weather from Thursday onwards. And, in case you think I ran short of food while doing all this textile stuff, here's dessert from The Black Horse at Gosberton Risegate last night:

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Would You Like to Be A Global Piecer?

It is strange how things work out sometimes.  At the moment I should be absolutely in panic mode, doing the final checks and arrangements for the first Global Piecers' Summit. In fact I am calm and just have to pack my weekend bag for a trip to Spalding with DH.

The idea of the summit came about after one member said she would be visiting UK at about this time and so we decided to see if most of us could get together.  A lot of enthusiasm and an itinerary was born, with a visit to the Springfields Quilt Show this weekend, a workshop with Angela Daymond and then all up to Bridlington for more quilting delight, cake and time together at the Royal Hotel plus a visit to the Quilt Museum in York.  The husbands had their own itinerary!

Anyway, life took over and, one by one, the Global Piecers gave their reasons for being unable to attend.  Initially I was upset, even while understanding their reasons but now, I am relieved beyond belief.  How could I have arranged the summit with everything that has been happening recently?  I haven't even been able to arrange a hair appointment!!  As I say, strange how things work out.

The Global Piecers are having a Summer break (even though some are in Winter) but we will be arranging new swaps and chatting over the Yahoo group pages come September.  It seems a good time to invite new members;  fresh ideas and enthusiasm are always a good thing for any group of people and we have lost a couple of long standing members recently as their passion for quilting became replaced by other creative addictions.  We don't want to be a massive group but a few quilters from anywhere around the world would be very welcome.

The Global Piecers' home page is here:  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/globalpiecers/info

and I have a page on this blog about our recent swaps (click on the link to the right).

The group is closed, you have to apply to join before you have access to our posts.  This protects our addresses and contact details as well as making members feel confident about sharing their thoughts.