Wednesday, 27 April 2011

What are you doing on 29th April?

What is everyone who hasn't been invited doing for Friday's wedding of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton? 
Things are getting up to speed here and the British reserve is starting to ebb as people shyly erect bunting and gazebos in preparation for parties large and small.
I'm having a very small affair, a red, white and blue themed watching of the main event on television and then a wedding breakfast, hopefully in the garden, weather permitting, of smoked salmon and scrambled egg with pink champagne and then an afternoon tea, pretty cakes and delicate sandwiches, very English!  What will you be doing?

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Happy Easter everybody.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Giveaway Winner and a Lynne Edwards Fest

I am delighted to announce that the winner of my blogiversary giveaway is
Number 100
(chosen by my personal random number generator aka DH)
who is one of my lovely followers:   
Terri at QuiltnCards
Well done Terri, let me know whether you'd like the rotary cutter case or the egg cosy and email me your address and I'll get your prize on its way to you.  Thank you to everyone who follows my blog and comments on my ramblings, I really appreciate you all.

You will know I am a fan of the wonderful Lynne Edwards having started my quilting with her sampler quilt books.  I was tempted to attend the Quilters' Guild Conference by a workshop with Lynne on Patchwork in Perspective and it was a great class.

Things turned out even better than that as there was an outing to Cowslips Workshops on the Saturday afternoon of the conference.  Here we enjoyed an exhibition of Lynne's quilts, including the famous Cathedral Windows.
They were beautifully displayed in the barn, the tearoom and the classroom and looked wonderful.

Now both the ladies I was in Exeter with were busy on Saturday afternoon, Betty with a class and poor Ros with official meetings as she is a regional coordinator.  I enthused about my outing and Ros offered to drive us to Cowslip on Sunday afternoon after conference closed.  This is when my weekend became perfect.  The sun was shining, Cowslip was sitting blissfully in the Cornish countryside with the views across the fields to Launceston castle, I bought fabric in the shop for "our" panel Michelle, and we were sitting enjoying a Cornish cream tea
(wonderful scones, homemade raspberry jam and to die for clotted cream) when Lynne Edwards asked if she could join us.  Well, as you can imagine we had to think about this for a few minutes :)  After finishing our tea we said we were going to look at her quilts and Lynne came with us, giving us a privately guided tour after closing time.  I cannot explain how privileged we felt and what a joy it was.  What a wonderful way to finish the weekend.  Thank you Lynne (and Jo Colwill without who there would be no Cowslip Workshops).  Am I gushing?  Well, why not, it was that brilliant!  Here's a selection of Lynne's quilts for you all to enjoy:

 Blue Lily Quilt, 2006
and detail

 Quilts in the barn

 Floating Triangles, 2011
and detail

Blue and White Reversible Quilt, 2009
 Second Sampler Quilt, 1997/1998
and detail

 St Mark's Floor Tiles, 2008
and detail

And finally, here's one of Betty and Ros with Lynne:

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Meet Two Quilters: Christine Porter and Susan Denton

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to me!  I'll be drawing the winner of my giveaway tomorrow so you have time to enter if you haven't already.  Click back to the original giveaway post here, or enter at the end of this post full of yumminess.  Good luck, now sit back and enjoy some wonderful quilts.
Two of the lectures I attended at the Quilters' Guild conference last weekend were particularly inspiring.  Christine Porter (who will probably be familiar with from The Quilt Show spoke on tessellations and patterns in pavements and illustrated her talk with some pictures of stunning tiled floors in cathedrals here in England and others in Italy.  She has published a book about these, "Viva Venezia"  She had two of her quilts with her so that we could get a closer look.  This lovely one of irises was criticised by the quilt police for focussing too much on green!
This is her floor tiles sampler quilt, with a close-up of one of the blocks, isn't it wonderful?

The work of the other quilter who I found especially inspiring was already known to me as I had seen some of Susan Denton's work at Festival of Quilts last year.  A self-taught quilter, Susan obviously enjoys the process of combining colour, fabric and shape.  She has developed a lot of bargello style pieces, such as Musk Melons From Samarkand below and has now moved into wonderful landscape quilts with large hand quilting adorning them.  It was a delight to listen to her describe her quilting journey, closely related to her life journey and to her travels.  Oreiginally from Australia, she lives in beautiful Penwith in Cornwall and much of her current work is inspired by the landscape there.  I'll let the quilts speak for themselves:
Towednack Treasure
and detail


and detail

Musk Melons From Samarkand

Green, Greener, Greenest
and details

Auvergne Potager
and detail

 St Ives Harbour 2
and details

I hope you enjoyed all those wonderful quilts and that your computer coped with this photo heavy post.  Don't forget to enter my 2nd blogiversary giveaway:

The dress code at the QGBI Gala Dinner was black and white.  
What is your favourite combination of colours and why?

To see what you can win, click back to the original giveaway post here.  Good luck. 

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Fabric Postcards for Easter

I thought I'd give you a break from my reports on the QGBI Conference and show you what I've been making.  This is a set of fabric postcards for the BQLPC Easter swap and I'm quite pleased with them.  I love the way a set of cards looks when put together as a patchwork too - must put something similar on my to do list!
The design is based on a stained glass window I photographed when I was in Jerusalem with DS in 2009.  I always thought I would translate it into a fabric project and these Easter cards seemed ideal.
I tried to make the colours using fabric crayons and adding lace for texture but wasn't very happy with my first attempt:
so I raided my stash for a brilliant blue fabric, a batik and also a gold metallic fabric for a bit of additional texture.  NB There's an article by Chris Hammacott in this month's British Patchwork and Quilting magazine about texture in patchwork, very interesting.
Here's a quick "how I did it" in photos:
Mark the design on the background fabric in pencil
 Mark the lines with a Hera marker onto the fabric to be applied (below the background)
 Cut just beyond the marked lines
 Position the pieces and attach with fabric glue or bondaweb
 Pin bias tape into place around the awkward bits and iron into position
 Add the rest of the bias tape, iron to hold and then stitch it all in place 
(preferably while sitting outside in the sunshine as I was able to)
I backed the cards with calico and pelmet vilene, 
cut them to size 
and machine buttonhole stitched around the outside.
I couldn't manage the Hebrew text from the window
so added the words "Alleluia" in Pigma pen and
I've been alternating making these cards with short sessions in the garden today.  It's been so glorious and the weeds seem to be growing at a massive rate.  I sat and pulled the weeds and moss out of the cracks in the patio and then DH and I had lunch - including yummy asparagus and herbs from the garden -outside on a very tidy patio and admired our work, bliss.  I hope you've all had a good weekend too.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Friday Night Sew-In: Saturday Morning Report, April 15th

After a sunny day yesterday it turned chilly in the evening and so DH lit the fire, an excellent setting for this month's FNSI last night.  I worked on my Patchwork in Perspective piece that I started in Exeter last weekend.  It was the opportunity to join this great workshop with Lynne Edwards that was the main reason I was attracted to the Quilters' Guild conference in the first place.
I started my patchwork and quilting journey with Lynne, working through her two sampler quilt books to learn skills and techniques and discover what I liked (and didn't like) doing.  You can see my sampler quilts in the right hand side bar if you scroll down a bit.
It was a brilliant workshop.  Lynne is funny, talented and a very generous teacher.  We all came away with an accurately drafted block pattern for the Ohio Star in perspective and the skills and knowledge to draft other blocks in the same way and also to develop them into larger designs if we wished.  We sewed one side of the block - and they looked great displayed together on the wall (mine is on the far left and I'm sorry that the photo is a bit out of focus).
If you would like to learn more Lynne has written about Patchwork in Perspective in a new book called, "The Quiltmakers" and this is her sample piece for the workshop:
I also did a little design work and thinking for the current BQL fabric postcard, I need to get a wiggle on with these as they're due by Easter.  I'm basing them on a stained glass window I saw in Jerusalem, more about that later.  Hope you all had a good FNSI, I'm off to see what you got up to, have a good weekend and if you want to join in my 2nd blogiversary giveaway (on 19th April) please go to the post here, good luck.