Wednesday 28 May 2014

Spring Fever

I haven't achieved much in the way of sewing this week due to a strange malaise that has come over all started on holiday earlier in the month.
I took my trusty Kindle with me but just wasn't in the mood for reading........books. In the back of my mind I was pondering the mess that is my sewing room. This is a room that has to double as a guest bedroom and I just can't keep kidding myself that my look is eclectic.
I am never happy with the way I sort & store my fabric, it's not a huge stash but still needs's sorted by colour at the moment but then what about the scraps, and when is a scrap a scrap, and what about a line of fabric, do you split it into colours or keep together.......such dilemmas.
So I started to surf the net for some ideas, I strayed from quilting blogs to a new world and friends, I now have a new addiction!

Home organisation blogs - who knew there were such things!!

Like this one - Sew Many Ways - probably the one that started me off. I have some bookmarked on my Kindle for bedtime reading and drop off to sleep dreaming of tidy shelves, amongst other far I have re-organised two of my OH's t-shirt drawers, very well received they were too (but then he is a wee bit OCD.
I have gone through 10years of class paper work & purged like never blue bin (recycling) is full with a week to go before collection.

I did manage a little sewing during this frenetic activity, a cushion for the son of a friend for his very first home of his own.
My design was inspired by a quilt in this book, a recent purchase that I have absolutely devoured!

My friend told me her son's colours were taupe & grey. The background fabric is Road 15 by Sweetwater.
The other fabric is a textured linen/cotton (I think) - I got it from Kaleidoscope fabrics and I know it's part of a range they have had a while, and think they were described as Japanese taupes, totally yummy.

I love the way the cushion pad made the Churn Dash look rounded.

I did simple straight line quilting using an Aurifil shade I can't recall, well it was last week!

I now always quilt the back of my cushions, makes them so luxurious. And the cushion was very well received so a good result all round.

Meanwhile, for those of you who may be worrying about my state of mind, fret not - I expect to be fully cured in the fullness of time.

Monday 19 May 2014

A Double Whammy

I have a FAL Q2 finish!! And as I was prepping to do this post I thought, what the heck, let's put it into the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

This was my part of a group entry from my local Quilters' Guild into the Loch Lomond Quilt Show - and our group was one of 20+ groups that entered the Chinese Whispers challenge. Basically, number one participant in each group was given a photograph, each group had the same photo. Number one made a small quilt, inspired by said photo and passes her quilt to number two who is inspired to make another. The fun is when all quilts are viewed as a group and you can see the thread or theme disappear before your eyes. We were all sworn to secrecy, not allowed to discuss our quilts with anyone and nobody other than number one knew what the photo had been. I can now reveal that the photo was of an iconic bridge in Glasgow - the Squinty Bridge - also known as the Clyde Arc or Finnieston Bridge.

I was number two in our group and obviously recognised the bridge, but being an Edinburgh girl decided to keep the bridge theme but move East and so opted to have a go at the Forth Bridges.
We each had 8 weeks to complete our mission and I remembered being totally panic stricken back in November 2012, when I started my project. 
I took inspiration from an online image and bought some batiks in what I hoped would be the right colours. My plan was to piece some of the background in an effort to emulate the technique I had seen in Gloria Loughman's work.
I made a full sized sketch plan and worked the rail bridge in narrow black bias tape. The road bridge is harder to see, I did most of it in stitch with just the curved outline in a couched metallic cord.

I passed my quilt on to number three without having bound it and I was never too happy with the reflection of the rail bridge so for these reasons it became eligible for the Finish Along this quarter, knowing I had to have it ready for the Quilt Show. My friend Janet encouraged me to slap carefully apply some paint to the stitched reflection and with some trepidation I gave it a go, not as scary or disastrous as I feared.

And at the bottom, I did a bit of FMQ for texture............

It was fun to see the wee quilt as part of a group exhibition and I have obviously got carried away with myself and have decided to enter it into the BQF under Art Quilts.
I shall leave you with an image from Loch Lomond on Saturday there, as Janet said so eloquently, "Sheila, hung at last!!"

Thank for dropping in to look, my other entry is HERE.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Blogger's Spring Quilt Festival

I have been at a real quilt show today (more of that later) but for now it's time to enter the virtual one that is the Blogger's Quilt Festival. If you have not visited this blog before, welcome, and thank you for dropping in - I quilt here in Scotland and have enjoyed the last few Festivals, there is always so much to see, so much inspiration. I am only entering one quilt and have deliberated over which category to enter it in as it seems to fit quite a few. So I have decided upon Original Design.

I call this Modern Sampler - it's going to be the project that my classes will follow from August and I look forward to seeing all the different versions of it that will be made. This one measures 54" x 73" and I designed it to be constructed and quilted in three separate panels & then joined together using QAYG techniques. This avoids us all having to fight with our domestic machines and frankly makes the actual quilting so much easier and even enjoyable - shocker!! There are basically four different blocks each repeated, with a tweak or two, three times. I am hoping lots of ladies will use up their stash fabrics and delight in the different effects that can be achieved in the same block.
Anyway, I hope you like it, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Post Holiday Activity

So last week, we were on holiday down in sunny (yes!!) Warwickshire. Making Stratford Upon Avon our base, we visited with several old friends in Worcester, where we lived in another lifetime, for 15years. We have a great fondness for the place where we had our babies............
We visited Warwick Castle, owned by Tussauds of the waxwork fame, all a wee bit Disney, but none the worse for it.
Am I the only one that keeps looking up and seeing quilts everywhere?

Back home and it was time for me to get going with my Bee a Brit Stingy blocks for May. Karen had asked for two strips of isosceles triangles in LV with navy and a hint of peach. Despite my teaching I have never really encountered a lot of triangles created from templates. I have stitched numerous HSTs and more than a few foundation pieced triangles, but was a bit of a rookie with these babies......hope they are ok.

Before I went on holiday I found out I had won a giveaway over at Nellie's Niceties - Reene & Yvonne, who blog there are just so generous with their giveaways and often include some hand made treasure. I won this delightful little cushion which has one of Reene's Hexiestars on it, and a pile of quite vintage style Lecien fabric. Thank you ladies. There was also a super card included, made by Reene's daughter Jess. There is a lot of talent coming out of that family!!



I think the fabric pieces might be destined for a Princess quilt - I think someone agrees.
I got some blocks done for Alison's Soy Amado today. If you have the time, I thought I'd explain them a little.
This first one was a sample block from some years back, a little too small for Soy Amado, so I added a border.

This four patch has two charms in it from my very first charm pack, before such things were called charm packs and it came all the way from the US, must have been about 1999 ish...again, brought it up to size with a border.
I think I made this block as part of my City & Guilds course, I think it might be called Sister's Choice & it will date back to 2003. Added a border again.
More recent block, from class when we did a Scrap Happy game - I added a border, made it wonky and trimmed to 12 1/2 ".

These next two were not made by me but are also orphans - Roisin used to come to my classes way back when I started in 2004. Sadly she has given up her sewing due to arthritis and gave me all of her books, equipment etc to use in my classes in some way. Most of it was sold at our Open Day and the proceeds given to charity. There were a couple of blocks, made in class that were fully bound & when measured were about 13" square, so I thought might be just the job for Soy Amado. They were gently hand quilted so I took the liberty of adding a bit of machine quilting and the Soy Amado embroidery, & then trimmed them back, just to keep them in line with others. So these two orphan blocks will hopefully make it into quilts and bring a little pleasure for many more years to come.

And finally, I made progress on one of my Princess quilts, this one was made by Janet as a bit of improv practice and she thought it might suit the Princess & the Pea project. I thought I might practice my FMQ on it and I was pretty happy with the result.
So, getting things done! Tomorrow it's a workshop - Intro to P & Q and then Saturday I am off to the Loch Lomond Quilt Show. This fabulous show has been going strong for ten years but sadly, mainly due to ill health, the organisers are calling it a day. 
End of an era.

Thursday 1 May 2014

In the blink of an eye......

...........that was April.
It was a busy month for me despite having no regular classes.
I held two mini workshops, one in FMQ, the other Mile a Minute quilts.

It was Di's turn as Queen Bee in our Bee a Brit Stingy Bee and she requested Maple Leaf blocks in different sizes, plus a Siggy block.

For Judith's Bee Blessed, we made Asterisk blocks from a Craftsy video tutorial - fun, but I couldn't make a whole quilt of these myself.

A few of us in the Stingy Brits had a mini swap for Easter - little baskets. Partners were allocated once everyone had made their little baskets, I liked this idea and mine went to Janet which was great as she lives a 5 minute walk away so I lucked out on the postage front.

I also lucked out by receiving these goodies from Nicky......

Around this time I also had a deadline to make - Jo (MyBearpaw) had asked those of us teaching at this year's Stitch Gathering in Edinburgh, 
to have our project samples ready so she could announce the classes on her website. I am delighted to be teaching my Mega Pinnie which seems to have acquired a life of its own. I didn't have a spare one lying about and really, it will be going to Edinburgh after all, so I needed a really nice one.

With just a little advance prep this will be totally achievable in a half day session at the Stitch Gathering. For those of you interested in coming along this year why don't you hop n over to Jo's place and find out all the details, as well as all the other classes on offer, I think they are even better than last year!

As Easter approached, so did my birthday which fell on Easter Sunday this year. I had my family visiting for the day and the weather was so beautiful we spent most of the day outdoors. (Unlike today - heating has been switched back on)
Of course, due homage had to be paid to Easter traditions, and every egg hunter needs a bag.

This wee Tote was adapted from my own tutorial which you can find at the top of the blog.

After Easter, more deadlines for me as I tried to finish off samples to show at the Open Day ( thank you everyone who visited my slideshow, hope you all enjoyed it)

My Tumbler cushion for a workshop in September.

And my Deer Cushion for my Christmas in August workshop (with permission from Julianna

and finally, I am able to share with you a special piece of work. Many of you will be familiar with
 Carol's Ladies, what a talented lady she is. I hatched a plan a few months ago to commission one from Carol to give to my friend Delia, whose birthday it was on Tuesday. Here she is, holding her portrait.
Happy Birthday Delia.


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