31 August 2014

Demolition Job

Back in 2000 I took part in a Official Birthday Block swap organised by a lady who was then a member of BQL (British Quilt List) Yahoo Group. She was at the time about to celebrate a significant birthday, she was going to be 40 that year, and 16 of us joined up and as we had our birthdays in different months so the block swap actually took place once a month over 16 months, hence the Official Birthday, like the Queen.  My actual birthday is in November but my Official Birthday month was March 2001, when I received the blocks I requested which I posted about a little while ago, but here's a reminder of the quilt I made from the blocks, a photo of which I took a few months ago.

A few people in the group decided to make duplicate blocks of the the blocks they were sending to the Birthday Girls to keep for themselves and so did I. These blocks made a single be size quilt top.  I must have made the quilt top at least 10 years ago, if not longer, and get it out have a look and fold up again, not knowing that to do with it. As you can see there was a larger block in the middle, Bears Paw, which was a larger size than the others, which were 12" blocks, so there are some 3" wide filler strips dotted around to make the others fit in.

Not having a single bed now and the spare bed that it's lying on already has its own quilt (the cream bedspread is a cover when the spare room is not in use), there isn't really a use for it.  Yesterday evening while watching the television I unpicked it.

As you can see I've taken the two ends off. I will also take off the border fabric and will utilised those pieces to go on the ends of the larger quilt to make a lap size quilt for charity.  As the whether the two strips of blocks remain together or I take those apart and I think I may keep them together I might try to find some block designs which work with what's there to make another row and add a new border.  Does anyone have any suggestions to make it a similar size quilt to the larger one above?

So that's my demolition job awaiting rebuilding!

23 August 2014

Playing Around

As I had most of today to myself I decided to have a go at the Sally McClure's Facebook challenge "12 Months Mixed Media", which started this month.  The theme is Animal, in any type of media, drawing, paining, photos, etc.  Having bought a set of Indian block stamps from Colouricious at the Festival of Quilts it contained an elephant so decision was made.
I photographed the set after I'd finished with the paint but they have been washed and they're not so pristine now.  I used some fabric with script and backed with some freezer paper to keep the fabric stabilised while I used some fabric paint to sponge onto the stamps.  Here's how the printing looked this morning
And some more
Later this afternoon I made the top sample into a postcard and then afterwards I thought of using some fabric pens to colour in bits of the elephants.
And this as well, which might be made into bookmarks.
I had some paint left this morning so used a scrap of calico to mop up, which was dampened first to spread the paint around. As I went into the utility room I found the spray paints that I'd bought from FoQ as well.
I got out a stencil and sprayed the gold and red colours onto another piece of scrap calico
That looks interesting, not sure what I'll do with it yet.

And another session of playing around that I did last weekend was free machining with a quilt sandwich of fabric I didn't like very much and some thread in a colour that I don't use.  This was brought about by reading Jan's postcard blog and seeing her lovely feather postcards.  I divided this large piece into postcard sizes and had a go

Bit wibbly wobbly, but you get the idea.

Then one evening during the week I did a bit more machining. But the samples were getting smaller and I got fed up with feathers!

And there's space for a bit more!

10 August 2014

Back From Festival of Quilts

I came back last night from a couple of days away at the Festival of Quilts.  Although I enjoy my time there it can be overwhelming, where do you go, what to look at, so has to be done in chunks which usually works for me.

I went on the train with a some friends from Sewing Saturday - Brenda, Donna and Grace, which made a change from how I've travelled before and stayed overnight in a Travelodge near Birmingham. Previous years I've gone by car with David coming to Birmingham with me, but David felt he'd had enough of finding places to go while I was at the Festival.  It was a great time with Brenda meeting up and staying at the hotel with her sister and her friends so we had a lovely time of show and tell on the Friday evening. Made on occasion of the stay up there.

On Friday afternoon I met up with Benta, her friend Jackie and also Margaret, all bloggers and lovely to see them all.  I didn't bump into anyone I knew on Saturday, but I think I just wanted to fit in as much as I could, that I probably didn't look!

I had booked a couple of quick and easy workshops, on Friday afternoon was the Sumptuous Surfaces one run by Laura from Colourcraft.  Here are my samples

The top sample used 3d fabric medium on bubble wrap pressed onto Lutrador which had some spray paints and distressed with a heat gun. Below those pieces the fabric medium was painted onto Evolon and wooden stamps pressed into the medium, spray painted and dried with heat gun.

The bottom sample was a piece of Evolon with Markel Sticks rubbed over rubbing plates. The spray paint was sprayed on the reverse side and shows through the fabric. Underneath that was the state of a piece of kitchen towel after all that.  It was great fun and influenced my purchases yesterday.

The workshop I did yesterday was Layered Landscapes with Catherine Lawes, a member of the Contemporary Quilters.  

Her photo is on the right with my sample on the left. Using some base fabric and layers of chiffons/organzas to make a sunrise landscape to fit a small frame/card, which would need a bit of a finish off, but enjoyable.

This wasn't really a workshop but a little have a go session by the Guild of Silk Painters to paint a card.  One small girl enjoyed the painting so much she went back to do another painting.

That was quite relaxing at nearly the end of a tiring day.

Some freebies

Some books (and a calendar)

More purchases

And a. It more
A bit nondescript looking but is a tiny yellow print on a bolt end for backing the Tubix quilt.  I did want something bolder but couldn't see what I wanted.  With 5 metres there's plenty with at least a metre to spare, which lol come in useful.

So Festival done and dusted for another year.  I'll get my camera photos uploaded and share more later this week.

03 August 2014

So I Made a Bag

Can someone have too many bags? I have decided to give some away that I've never used, but that's beside the point.

I had a couple of orphan blocks dating from I'm not sure when, but an article in Popular Patchwork in 2000 probably dates these at least 10 - 14 years old and it shows how much my fabric taste has changed.  I probably wouldn't use the dark greens and there was also a lot of Debbie Mumm fabrics around at the time I made this block and she hasn't designed fabric for years as well as the Rose and Hubble fabrics that haven't been around for a long time too. So here it is the bag

The pattern is a type of stained glass patchwork called "Trad Jazz" the pattern is by Sharon Garrick.  I added a green/red batik border around these blocks to make the bag pieces.

Here are both sides below

The blocks were about 8.75" square which I think were due to the strips joining the 4 small blocks together. From what I remember the pattern was drawn onto freezer paper and 6 squares of fabric were layered on top of each other with the freezer paper ironed onto the top fabric and cut through all the layers through the pattern lines.  The fabrics were then juggled around so there was a different fabric in each piece and ironed onto Vilene to (sort of) hold in place. Bias strips were sewn on to hide the raw edges and hold down the pieces and lastly the squares joined together by the straight strips.

I had a small square 6.5" of wonky log cabin, which judging by the fabric was made around a similar time to which I added a batik fabric to make a slightly bigger square to make a pocket. A bag has to have a pocket.

And here it is inside the bag
Last night I finished off the thread ends, just have to close up the bag lining and done. That only took Friday afternoon and Saturday morning to do. Nice to do something quick and easy.  This will go towards the charity stall later this month, so it won't be adding to my bag collection, but to someone else's.

01 August 2014


I've managed to meet my targets set earlier this month in my post here, so a round up of what I've done

1. Landscape picture.  Sewing stuff done, just has to be framed. I'm going to class on Friday, so should be finished.   -  DONE! It was the first thing to finish off and I posted about it here

2. Dolly Dress Up Block (2 of 6). This is a hand sewing project, which I will take to a Sewing Saturday session this Saturday so this may get done this month. The first block was finished while watching the Tour de France last weekend. Aim would be to make a start on block 3.  - DONE!  I finished the second block and now on the third, but also have a fourth one with wadding and backing ready to sew

3. Trip Around the World quilt. I've made a second top, like the first one pictured below. I've got wadding and backing, so no excuses. - DONE!  I started on the quilting on Monday this week, kept to simple machine quilting and folded over the backing to the front to bind, finishing that on Wednesday.

4. Coupon wallets. Three I've done pictured below. I've cut out and got 8 sets of fronts and backs ready to sew for a charity stall for August and also for the Tombola at Festival of Quilts (not long to go!). I've also got 3 biscornu pincushions to make for the Tombola too. - DONE! I had a session one day to sew them together and also this week got the biscornu pincushions for the Love Hearts tombola done.

I addition I also managed to make a couple of cushion covers for the charity stall with a spare Scrappy Trip block and a pinwheel block that I tried out after watching a Missouri Star You Tube video. With a couple of bags that I made but never use from the BQL bag challenge of 4 years ago I think that will make a decent contribution.
So that's my round up for July makes.  It was good to have targets, this will continue for August too.

August's targets will be

1    While at Festival of Quilts I will get some backing fabric for my Tubix Quilt top, see my post about it here.  I have the wadding for this already and hope to see if I can bag a bargain at the Festival which will go nicely with it and think about the quilting. See if I can make progress on this.

2    Have a sort out of my fabric and a good old tidy up.  I've got a lot of children's novelty prints so see if I can utilise them in any way.  There will be a table top sale towards the end of September (seems a long way away, but I'm sure that will come around soon enough).

3    I've joined Diane's (The Cheshire Quilter) daughter's Mixed Media Challenge on Facebook, which starts today.  See what the challenge is and have a go at that.

4    (This is a difficult one) Get a job!!!  I am signed up to local agencies and keep looking around, someone out there will want my amazing talents!!! I'm sure that will come right eventually.