Wednesday 28 October 2015

Mini Jelly Race

I have never used a Jelly Roll! There, I've said it.

I think pre cuts are brilliant, don't get me wrong, but have just never splashed the cash for a Jelly Roll. Judging by the amount of books and patterns that are about I guess they are definitely here to stay.
So with that in mind I dug around to see what was involved in a Jelly Race, a popular day workshop it would seem.
But I wanted to give it a go with my weekday classes, make it part of the current sew a long, make it possible in 2 I studied the sums and came up with a mini jelly race.I know some of my students have used or at least purchased/acquired Jelly Rolls. But I didn't want to insist one had to be bought, so as an alternative I worked out how much would be needed should anyone like to cut into stash.

In class I cracked the whip!! We were on the clock after all.
It was a bit of a learning curve for everyone including me - results were interesting depending upon the length of strips and variety of fabrics used. I was intrigued at how those with less variety of different prints,produced quite interesting patterns. The wee quilt tops that were produced measured approximately 32" x 40", one or two returned to the next class with their little quilts all quilted and bound.

Here are some of the fun results -

Well done ladies, you all did brilliantly. We are currently in the middle of our 4th project, I'll be back soon to show our results.

Monday 26 October 2015

Tumbling Around

Yesterday was my Tumbling Around workshop where we were hoping to make a baby sized quilt top with the help of my Accuquilt Go, Gordon.
Last year's Tumbler Cushion workshop was popular and utilised the 3" tumbler die - this time it was the big brother die at 6" or thereabouts, makes for quicker piecing.

With a smaller than usual gathering we had less congestion round the cutter and quite a few finished tops - great work ladies.

One even got to layering up stage, pretty good going.
Cutting with these machines can be quick, but sometimes a little wasteful - so I "encouraged" my ladies to retain their scrap and we even had time for a little improv.
Will be back again soon with updates on our class Sew A Long.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Today's Quilter

A few days before Stitch Gathering I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the brand new magazine, Today's Quilter, to review.

This new magazine comes from the same stable as Love Patchwork & Quilting and is described as "offering something NEW to traditional quilters".

Here in the UK we don't have dozens of different P & Q magazines like in the US, for example. When the two youngsters, LP&Q and Quilt Now  came onto our market, it was so refreshing, both sporting such a young, modern vibe.

In trying to think about the appeal of these different magazines I am playing around with the terms modern, traditional, young and older and I think all four can be interchangeable and I think maybe we shouldn't be putting people in boxes.
Maybe it's more about experience?

I would say in this first issue that the quilt projects might appeal to those who wish to stretch themselves a little.
The magazine has some fantastic contributers, none more so than Lynne Edward MBE. Over the years students have often asked me to recommend a book and I often found myself suggesting Lynne's Sampler Books - well written, informative  and totally non scary. It was in her book that I clearly remember learning that it's not the end of the world if a block comes up short - just add a narrow border & Bob's your uncle. It's not a question of encouraging sloppiness, I find this sort of attitude is likely to encourage more than put off.

There are several quilt projects to try and each one has a "Behind the Quilt" feature so the reader can learn a bit more about the history of the design.

There is going to be a regular Essential Guide series giving in depth tutorials on a specific technique and this month it is all about templates - these are being compiled by Linda Clements and will be a really useful go to tool.

In between all of this there is lots of info about fabrics, books, gadgets etc as well as info on events in your area.

Every issue there is to be a FREE collectible supplement or a gift, and in this first one we have a rather nice booklet celebrating 50years of Kaffe Fasset in Textiles - having heard Kaffe speak this year at Festival of Quilts, I am paying a bit more attention to his designs & fabric and so I was delighted with this booklet which includes 3 new previously unpublished projects, like this one.....

But for me, my heart skipped a beat just as I got to the end of the magazine where I found a new Block of the Month, by Jen Kingwell. As one of the participants in Jen's "My Small World" QAL, I have become converted to working with small pieces and lots of scraps so I just know making her blocks will be fun and it might just be enough to lure me into a subscription.

There is a subscription offer on at the moment - 3 issues for £5 (for UK direct debit customers)

So I'll leave you to make up your own mind, with this colourful image of Kaffe.

Thursday 1 October 2015

Stuffing, Stitchin', Scarves..........& Snot!

Sorry, my title was purely in the interests of alliteration and too good to pass up.

Since I last posted, my classes are now well underway - we have completed the first 2 projects of our Sew A Long.
Project 1 was an EPP Baby Ball, made using pentagons and one of the first EPP objects that I ever tackled. It really wasn't about the ball, more an intro for some to the technique. One or two came kicking and screaming but ended up enjoying the process. I resisted EPP myself for so long I wanted to show that it can be a fun technique that can be portable & enjoyable. Here are just a few of the finished balls.
Project 2 was an infinity scarf, nothing to do with patchwork and quilting - this took a few out of their comfort zone as we tackled slippy, stretchy and very fine fabrics. Good to have a challenge though, isn't it, and I think everyone was surprised how quick and easy they are to put together. Here are some of my lovely ladies, having completed their scarves within class time, always a bonus.
Well done ladies, so far, so good. (laughing with menace!!)
Over the next two weeks we are having Mini Jelly Roll Races in class, look forward to reporting back.
So that covers the stuffin' and scarves, what about the stitchin'? Well what else could it be other than the fabulous Stitch Gathering in Edinburgh last Sunday. I take my hat off to Jo & Jonathan for pulling off this great event, it has grown from strength to strength and has become a wonderfully sociable, sewing get together. This was year three and I have been lucky enough to teach each year - this year I reprised my Mega Pinnie to a very full class and then in the afternoon did the very opposite to the Mega Pinnie by demonstrating the Mini Teacup Pinnie, a lovely quick project to round off the day.
I have only a few photos to show but am sure if you visit the SG website you will find lots more, or try Instagram #stitchgathering2015. I had such a good day, made all the more special by meeting up with online Bee Buddies, Nicky for the first time ever.

The final picture, above right, shows the amazing Goody Bag received at the Stitch Gathering - I'd like to take a minute just to list all the sponsors who made these possible, it was a super selection of goodies made possible by the generosity of the following -

Aurifil - threads
Nairns - biscuits, yummy & low cal!
Pilot - Frixion pen
Coats - patterns, needles & thread
Dear Stella - fabric FQ
Love Patchwork & Quilting - Magazine
DMC - embroidery thread
Duck Egg Threads - Liberty hexie pack
Michael Miller fabrics - fabric FQ
Cloud 9 fabrics - fabric FQ
Blend fabrics - 8 FQ bundle
Anbo - 4 FQ bundle
Lewis and Irene - fabric FQ
Soak - sample sachet

and finally.......woke up Monday morning, wheezing and coughing, the penalties of having nursery age grandchild!! No further explanation required, nuff said.


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