28 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I have decided to enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival on Amy's Creative Side in the Wall Hangings category here.

I thought I would enter my "Welcome to Hollywood" Quilt.  A real ray of sunshine on a wet and windy autumn day.  The starting point for this quilt was a fat quarter of fabric from Mary of 'Needled Mom', which came with her little quilt from Kate North's "Another Little Quilt Swap" late last year.

The sign with "Hollywood" is at the top, but what you can't see is "Welcome to" at the bottom.  I went to a local quilt exhibition hosted by Quarterjack Quilters, which had a collection of "Nine Patch Pizzazz" quilts that some of the members made, which used feature fabrics with other contrasting fabrics.  I thought this would suit the Hollywood fabric, but with just a fat quarter I had to think small.  So it became a four patch rather than nine patch quilt.

I selected these fabrics from my stash - a red/orange sunflower print batik, a yellow tone on tone and a turquoise/green mottled fabric.  Using an improvised design wall, a piece of polar fleece I then arranged fabrics.
I started with cutting 6.5" squares, some 3.5" and a few strips that were long and thin or short and wide, a bit of juggling around and managed to get the sign to meet up in the middle! I did a couple too many four patches. but it kept me busy all that afternoon.

Here it is all sewn together and I had a batik backing just the right size to go with it.

I kept the quilting simple by quilting in the ditch around the large squares.  I then drew a surfboard shape which I traced onto freezer paper to outline quilt the remainder of the quilt.

All done!  It measures 24" high by 15.5" wide. I really pleased how this has turned out so I'm pleased to be sharing this with you.

23 October 2013

Day at Rosemoor

I had to go to the Quilters' Guild regional meeting in Exeter on Saturday and would normally whizz down to Exeter, sometimes giving a  lift to one or two people on the way and whizz back again afterwards.  However this time, because I have a RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) membership this year and also because David has been working at home recently and not always being able to go to an office and needing to "escape".   We decided to stay overnight in Barnstaple and then go to the RHS garden in Rosemoor, near Torrington on the Sunday before returning home on Sunday afternoon.  It was a fabulous place to get a feel of the autumnal scenery with the leaves on the trees turning and a last blast of colour from late summer flowers and roses.  The vegetables too, at harvest time looked pretty good too.  Here are some photos that I took
Colourful dahlias

Pampas grass against the red acer
There were a lot of roses still in bloom
I tried to find the name of this plant, it still looked good in autumn

Some gourds called "Speckled Swans" drooping from the dying plant they were hanging from

Sculptures, like this sundial
and these children
The urn wasn't that big, just took a close up. To the left is "the gardener" statue

Mustn't forget the vegetable garden, runner beans growing on a pergola and pumpkins...

and chickens
took me a while to find them, they're not real, just metal
And lots of autumn coloured trees

Just loved the ferns growing in the dry stone wall. 

The sky wasn't brilliant for photo taking as it was grey and murky as it kept threatening to rain, but the skies later cleared for a lovely drive through the country roads before making our way home. A lovely Sunday day out.

12 October 2013


Seems to be "Another Friday, another workshop" recently. My friend, Brenda persuaded me to sign up to a monthly workshop in Wimborne with a textile artist and teacher Tricia Forshaw and I should have gone last month, except I was on holiday when the classes started.  The theme for the workshops is on textile books, although I had a list of things to take having not seen what I would be doing it was a bit of a mystery and I hadn't seen Brenda for a while to find out more.

Yesterday Tricia demonstrated how to make a book with Japanese binding and I was also shown how to make a traditional book binding (which was shown in the last class).  Soon I was working on making my own book
I has drawing paper pages and pelmet Vilene end papers.  Under that was some free machining to be used as a cover which would be stitched onto the top half of the end paper and covered over with the other half.  I was getting into my stride when people started packing up at 3.30 - I could have carried on a bit longer :o( .  So I had to wait until last night to carry on with what I was doing.  I cut the sewing up to size and stitched around to join the end paper and couched some glittery thread around the edge
Not quite blingy enough and so I added on my little sticky dots.  Lesson learned here was to make the cover and attach to half the end paper before making up a book, much easier I think than adding after the book is made.  But hey, that's the fun of learning!

With the notes and from what I remembered from yesterday this morning I started on another book.  A lot of craft magazines that feature papercrafts will often have patterned papers as a free gift and I used the papers from a Handmade magazine from some months back.  I don't have any mount board so I improvised using a double layer of cardboard from a Shredded Wheat pack rescued from recycling. This is what I started off with

I made the white spotty front cover before supermarket shopping to leave to dry and the red one for the back after.  This afternoon I cut the papers for the book and trimmed them with my wavy rotary cutter blade.  Following the instructions for binding I used some perle thread in blue.  Here's the completed book

Although I had a bash at this in paper because I have it to hand, I will have a go at a fabric one soon, I think I might have impressed myself with this little effort.

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to get one of my daughter's cast offs, she's just replaced her phone and I've got her old one (autumn leaves, they almost match my blog!)

With a lovely holographic butterfly cover.  I've wanted an i-phone for a while, but couldn't justify the cost of getting one.  I was getting frustrated my "smartphone" as I could usefully put any apps on as it kept running out of memory.  Got a new sim and will be able to transfer my number soon, meanwhile I can boast that I've got 2 phone for now!

Done and just about to go in the post on Monday are these lovelies

Churn Dash blocks for Sarah of Sew Me for her Siblings Together Quilts. I hope she likes them.

Have a good weekend.

07 October 2013

Last weekend

Last Friday was spent at a workshop tutored by Susan Denton who was also the speaker at Saturday's Quilters' Guild day.  She is a well known quilt artist and it was a privilege to be in her class about colour theory.  It is really difficult to pick out colour values so this was a worthwhile exercise, starting with taking dark, medium and light colours and seeing how different the medium appears on dark and light backgrounds, then taking 2 similar medium colours and how they react with dark and light squares.  After going from a light colour and going through to another dark colour in nine changes (easier said than done) after lunch we were working on nine patch blocks sticking triangles and squares, grading shades of colour from one corner to another but mixing things a little so there are no harsh lines of colour.  Just a pic of what I mean, below

I worked on this yesterday with buttery to mustardy shades of yellow
Almost good enough to make a quilt out of.

Being Regional Treasurer meant that I had a busyish day on Saturday, though nowhere near as busy as Chantal and Jenny, the Area Reps who arranged the day and made sure that everyone had a good time.  I didn't take many photos but here's one of Susan's quilts (it was the only one I took) of the rocks around Cornwall, where she lives.

In the afternoon Sara Price, also from Cornwall, gave a very different talk on antique quilts, a collection of which she started building up when living in the US.  Her site is here.  My friend Penny and myself where quilt holder-uppers so had a close up of some lovely old quilts and some that were, well, the worse for wear, which must add to their history.  People were gathering around the old quilts after the talk, so please excuse my photos.

I had seen a signature block quilt, which was very similar to the Granny Square blocks which seem to be popular on some blogs, but could not get near that one.

And of course a purchase of fabric was inevitable.  From Mandy at Cherry Tree fabrics
As you can see from the fabric on the right I am working on my colour shades.

As autumn progresses I am surprised how good some of the plants look.  The fuschia at the end of the garden, a happy accident from last year, is doing really well.  A gorgeous splash of colour against the bricks and stonework.

01 October 2013

Fresh Sewing Day

Signing in a bit late in the day, can hear the 10 o'clock news downstairs. Here's the link to Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day  (sorry can't seem to copy the button)

 I have finished my Welcome to Hollywood Quilt and I've even done the label (though it's showing upside down - things are not working well this evening) I can assure you that it was put on the quilt the right way up!!

I've also made a start on some Christmas postcards.  Here's one in progress which I started last week.

Another start and finish in September was my owl and baby, now gracing the mantelpiece in the living room.

Don't they look sweet!