30 August 2009

Post received & something made

Some postcards I've received recently, on the left from Sue, the last of the foundation pieced cards and from Janet the first of the Trapunto cards.
Above is an ATC (artist trading card) sent by Anne for a swap in the Embellisher (needlepunch) group. It may look big in the photo but this is only 2.5" x 3.5". Below is my own effort, which has turned out a slightly bigger than Anne's, maybe because I'm more used to a postcard size. Supposed to be a reminder of the poppy fields that I'd seen locally (see my post here for the photo of a poppyfield). The yellow French Knots are the odd oil seed rape flowers that grew amongst them. This will be going to Jenny in Wales.

27 August 2009

I've had some time to sew too.

BQL calendar challenge this month is half square triangles and if you saw my post earlier this month (here's the link) I tried some different combinations before settling on this star. Here it is all completed. It was simple so I kept it simple with stitching in the ditch (in the seam lines) and finishing the quilting with fancy machine stitches along the white strips.
The reverse of the quilt top before being hidden with wadding and backing fabric never to be seen again
And this was the backing that I used. Some shibori dyeing from ages ago which makes an interesting backing.

I've also made some postcards for the BQL postcard group on the theme of Trapunto and this time I took a leaf shape and added stitched veins before adding further wadding to do free machine quilting on the background. Keeping things simple again, it only took the morning to make.
And here's a close up of one of the cards.
I quite like Trapunto and may explore this technique further later on.

Three favourites at Festival of Quilts

Last Saturday I went to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham, which has fast become the place to go in the UK's quilting calendar. There's quite a big European presence there too as the exhibition centre is right next to the airport. Other blogs and websites will have had plenty to say about this so I'll keep my post short.

I took 169 photos of quilts and here are just 3 of my favourites from this show. The first one is this one by Helen Godden from Australia with this really gorgeous potter which started as black fabric but with bleach painting and free machine stitching produced this wonderful quilt.The next one was this bunch of fabric flowers. I love cut flowers and quite often have some in a vase and these would be just perfect - colourful and low mainentance! Seriously, the photo does not do these blooms justice they were just stunning.

The third was not one in the main exhibition, but in one of the galleries from the European Quit Association, this was "Excellence in Europe" and this lovely circular quilt with stained glass type detail was really eye catching. I know it is Hungarian and I think that the maker is Katalin Szekely and she calls it Cyclorama. It is so unusual.

I could show more photos there was so much to see and I was hard pushed to do it all in a day, but my purpose was to go there for the quilts, so came back with hardly any shopping to show for it.

It was also great to meet up with friends. Shirley and her husband in the morning when I arrived there and later in the afternoon with Chris and Lesley. I also met up with some of the ladies who belong to BQL which was nice to put faces to names that I see on the messages.

I think that next year will need some better planning and fortunately have the dates for next August. But I have another quilting and shopping opportunity coming up on 6 September as I'll be going to the Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate, just a bit closer to home.

16 August 2009

Beningbrough Hall

David was due to work today, but the work having been cancelled, we decided to go out. We're members of the National Trust and found that just an hour's drive away, just north west of York is Beningbrough Hall. The Hall has part of the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and has some really lovely gardens.To greet us when we first arrived was this giant teapot. Created from various 'tiles' made as a millennium project this must stand at around 6 foot tall. Some of the sections were edged in cups and saucers stacked in a row and I found one of the teapot shaped tiles had buttons embedded in it. There was quite a few textured tiles to appeal to those who are sight impaired.
After a wander around the gardens, which have pear trees trained around arches and a mix of pear and apple trees edging the grass areas, we looked at the vegetables growing on the borders surrounding the garden. There is a view down one path of perennial flowers, which look good this time of year.
After having lunch and visiting the house (oh yes, and enjoying rhubarb crumble ice cream, yum) going through to the shop I found there were 3 felt hangings on the wall. I had to take photos of those, aren't they great?

15 August 2009

August Challenge

After a busy week when my son Alex, daughter in law Mary and their two little girls came to stay I had to keep my sewing stuff under wraps out of harm's way, so not much sewing done. It was lovely to have them stay with us and a rare chance to see them since our move up north.

However a quiet afternoon this afternoon meant I could get to my sewing machine and fabrics once again and with just half of August left I thought I would crack on with getting this month's BQL calendar quilt challenge - half square triangles. For those not familiar with this two squares of fabric are placed on top of each other and a quarter inch seam is sewn each side of a central diagonal line. The sqaures are cut along the line so that 2 squares with 2 triangles of fabric are produced. I kept things simple and used just 2 fabrics.
These 36 x 2.5" squares could be arranged any way we chose. Here are a selection of those I photographed to help choose the arrangement. The top one had zigzags top and bottom with a pinwheel either side of a central square on point. The one above had pinwheels either side of 3 on point squares
This one above created a star and the one below had lines radiated out from a central square. Asked David which one to make...
and we plumped for the star shape. I'll post the pic of the finished article soon.

If you want to look at what others have done go to the link on the sidebar.

Meanwhile I have some postcards and an embellished ATC (artist trading card) to get done too. I hope there will be enough of the month left.

08 August 2009

Festival of Quilts

Just a short note to say that I'm going to Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham on Saturday 22 August. If you are reading this and going there on that day, get in contact! My e-mail address is suewilduk@yahoo.co.uk.

06 August 2009

More foundation pieced cards

It's been a while since posting (again) and we have been busy recently with visiting my parents in Christchurch weekend before last and last weekend with friends visiting us. And there's a little matter of a full time job, leaving not much time to sew or blog. Suffice to say that I've been late with getting out my foundation pieced postcards for the BQL postcard group swap, but have received 2 more, so have tried to get on. These lovely ones in the above photo are from Judi and Jacquie.

This photo above is my effort, I abandoned the cat idea (see my last post) and went for this heart shape from Quilting Works.com. I may come back to getting the cats right using them for another occasion.

I thought you might like to see the back of these cards before I addressed and send to their recipients. A while ago I bought a wood mounted rubber stamp which I designed myself for the postcards from this site. I've also got some small narrow stamps (the type that sticks to an acrylic block) to stamp the division between the message and address. I think this looks quite neat.
After this I'll have to clear my sewing room thoroughly as I will have more visitors next week, my son Alex and his family, so my granddaughter Sophie will be staying in that room. I'm really looking forward to their visit as its been some months since we last saw them, it'll be lovely to see them.