Friday, 27 April 2007

Another sunny Spring day


Before I get onto my views of another sunny April English day I'll share something I've been trying to master. It's a combination of techniques learnt at Brenda Boardman's class at the Bramble Patch.
I made a calico sandwich as a practise piece. I then painted a pattern on photocopy paper with transfer paints and then, when dry, iron this onto the man made organza. As you can see I used 2 coloured pieces and a white, more opaque fabric. I cut the fabric out to shape, pinned it to the sandwich and then (tried) to free machine the pattern painted - using the lines painted as a guide it was so much easier than it being completely free - I must say I'm rather pleased with the result. You may notice if you click on the photo that I embellished the white one with a few beads just to see what it would look like (and to justify having bought them in the first place).



Now to the sunny day photos. The first one is of my cup of tea I treated myself to at Whitemoors. The gardens are really nice and there's nothing that my husband and I love more in the summer than to sit in the sunshine and have a cup of tea - and sometimes a piece of lovely cake. Next along are Dennis and Fluff enjoying the sunshine. And finally my purchases from Woodlands Garden Centre. I have tried to plant them but hadn't realised quite how hard the ground was due to lack of rain. So now I'll now have to water the garden for a few evenings to try to soften it up a bit.
Nothing much planned for the weekend.
Thanks for the comments about the blue and orange - I'm going to take the samples to quilting on Moday night and I'll let you know what they think.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Opinions please


Well here is my orange and blue fabric from the Strawberry Fayre cut into pieces. And below are the 3 samples I've put together.
Which one do you think? Top, middle or bottom? I'd like to hear any comments but can't promise I'll go with the consensus. I'm going
for the brightest one - I'm not too sure the colours have come out on the blog too well - but to be fair they are very close shades


























I did experiment a little with transfer paints today. The fabric on the left is 100% polyester organza (Bramble Patch) and on the right 100% polyester lining (Fenwicks). The idea here was to test the colours on their own to see how they worked on the different fabrics - a point of reference.
For those of you who use The Bramble Patch you might like to know they have an 'arty farty' corner. Very nice - I did buy rather allot.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll experiment a bit more.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Work in progress


Here's one of my WIP. It measures approximately 16 x 20 inches. I bought the pattern for it from The Pumpkin Patch. The shop is rather small but very nicely fitted out and the service was great - well worth a detour if you're that way. The kit was very easy to follow and there's lots of variety. The kit is called 'Fat Quarter Quilting: Sampler Quilts'; it comes in an A4 plastic bag.
Tomorrow I'm going to have a day doing some experimenting with transfer printing and will also try to make a start on my orange and blue test pieces. I promise to take photos and share them with you.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Still plodding on......

I'm still plodding on hand quilting my large quilt. As you can see Flo likes to 'help'. When she's awake she attacks me whilst I'm sewing and when she's asleep I daren't move her as I don't want to be attacked. Bit of a no win situation.

Had a great day yesterday at Brenda's class and I'll post some photos in a few days time.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Class preparation











Tomorrow is another of my 'Exploring your creative potential' classes at The Bramble Patch with Brenda Boardman.
I've included a couple of snaps of work from the last class where we used thermofax screen printing method. It was amazing to see how every student used a different image for their screen - I was the only one who used text.
The first image is gold text on plain white dyeing fabric. The second sample used red text on a piece of fabric I'd dyed in the class the month before. We all used different fabrics to test the results we'd get - for example muslin, tulle. I was really pleased with the results and hope to be able to try this method again. It was idiot proof - must be if I can manage it.
I'll post photos of the results of tomorrows class as soon as I can.

Oh... I also managed to get the next copy of Selvedge... I'm going to curl up with a cuppa now and read it.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Shopping.... mail order

I wanted to let you all know about Strawberry Fayre - a mail order only fabric shop. The idea is you buy a set of samples from them of their whole range and when you place an order you staple or tape the sample to the order for them to match (this is returned with your order). The fabric is reasonably priced and the range extensive. As you can see I bought a few oranges as I wasn't too sure which one I wanted. I wanted to let you know how great the service was. When you order you can either ask for standard or urgent delivery (you pay a small premium for urgent). I posted my order on Sunday morning for a Sunday post collection and my whole order turned up on Tuesday morning - very impressive service.
I know the combination is a bit bright, but one of the things I'm trying to do is to be braver with colour combinations - for me orange and blue is brave.


This is also the start of making things for the sale table at the festival. So here are a few bags (just the right size for magazines) and some hearts with lavender (from my own garden).
The fabric was a real find. I was in Fenwicks in the curtain department and saw their remnant bin. Oh dear.... They had loads of pieces from their sample books - about 10 sample pieces for £1. So - as you can see for £1 I managed to make 5 bags.
I also bought some pieces left over from when they must have made curtains for customers. I'll probably use these for more bags.





I also wanted to say I'm still getting very excited when I see the new red spots on my map - thanks for viewing and commenting on my blog.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Cats......

I thought I'd introduce you to the cats.....
Here's Dennis - the old boy. Adorable - but getting into more mischief now. For example this morning he managed to get himself stuck in the gate and had to be rescued by myself and a neighbour. He's very sociable - with everyone and everything. As he's very deaf now he wails lots but shuts up as soon as you pick him up.




Fluff isn't quite as old as Dennis - but is getting there. She really is a ball of Fluff - hence the name. In spite of her age she still has silly sessions - chasing her tail and rolling about in the grass on her back.




Flo is the new edition. Only 5 months old. She may look cute here but don't be fooled - she can be a real terror. She is still running up to the top of the curtains, swinging - but as I don't like the decor I really don't tell her off too much. She has the occasional moment of sanity - perhaps one a day. I think her main problem is she has too much energy and can't burn it off. I wish I had the same problem.

I promise I'll post about quilting related things next time.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Magazines

I thought I'd share my views on a few magazines I like and what I like about them.The first Qulitmania is a French publication but is luckily for me in English language. It has great articles about international quilters and also good projects. The projects are graded and seem to use different fabrics to the ones I see in the UK.
I bought this from The Bramble Patch.



Quilting Arts is an American magazine I bought from The Bramble Patch. It's different to other quilting magazines in that it's focused on design element and getting you to think and see things differently. This one also has an international feel about it with articles by and about artists from all over the world. It also explains techniques that I've certainly not seen before.



Selvedge is just beautiful and really is a piece of art in itself - it's really special. The articles are easy to read but do make you think about other aspects of textiles. The ads are almost as exciting as the articles. I bought this one from Borders. I just like to sit and look at this one.
I would recommend getting all of the above magazines (I'm not on commission- honestly). I know I should be doing lots of other things but they really are a delight to look at, and we all deserve a treat - don't we.
I'd also like to say how much I've enjoyed seeing the red dots on my Cluster map grow and pop up in new places - it's really exciting and reassuring that there are people out there.....

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Roman Stripe



I was asked to post a few more photos of my 'large' Roman Stripe quilt. As you can see it more Super king size. All of the floral blocks have been stitched in a double seed stitch. I found this stitch in 'The quilter's and patchworkers stitch Bible' by Nikki Tinkler - I can't recommend this book highly enough. Nikki explains how to do a wide variety of stitches and also shows what they look like on the back of your quilt. She also suggests when various stitches should be used - either decorative or filling. I'm really pleased with this book and in particular this stitch. On the Roman Stripe block I've stitched in the middle of the rows and then added my curved template in each of the corners. I wasn't too sure about it but it was suggested at our group and as usual they were right. I must say that's one of the greatest benefits of being a member of a group - you can ask for suggestions and discuss ideas.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Another sunny day...

Yes it's still April and it's still sunny.


Had a very nice outing to Staunton Harold today, as you can see from the photos.






I'd like to say a big thank you to all of who have sent words of encouragement to me about my blog. It's so nice to hear from you all and I hope you'll keep an eye on my site and see what I get up to. In the future I can promise loads of photos from the NEC Festival of Quilts (we're only about a thirty minute drive away - I'm lucky enough to be able to go for 2 days), details of the Quilting 5 day holiday at Quorn, updates on my classes at The Bramble Patch, details of the Market Bosworth Festival and general updates on my attempts at quilting and other 'things'. I hope you'll enjoy it.




Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Plodding on .....



I've spent today plodding on with my rather large quilt. It wasn't meant to be this big. It started out as conventional Roman Stripe and should have been for a single bed. But, it didn't quite go as planned. The speedy construction method meant 2 edges of the block were on the bias and therefore not very square. So I had to stabilise the Stripe bit with floral blocks - so it's ended up at least twice the size I'd anticipated. I'm very pleased with how it's going, but hand quilting something this big will take some time - so don't expect to see it too soon as a finished project. Having quilted all of the floral blocks at least now I know I'm half way there and quilting in the middle of the stripes and the leaf template is fairly speedy and there's no bulk.




Encouraged by other bloggers I may be brave and go to Ikea tomorrow as I've heard they've got some very good linen at a good price.




I've attached some photos taken yesterday to remind us all that it was a sunny Bank Holiday....


Monday, 9 April 2007

Sunny Bank Holiday Monday

Yes - it's Bank Holiday Monday and it's sunny again. We've pottered in the garden - pulling out all of the weeds, it looks rather bare now.

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon in the sunshine drinking bubbly and eating. I managed to catch the sun and have a rather red neck and nose. I'm sure it'll calm down in a few days.

I made the template for the corners of the blocks of my quilt - I'll test it out later today and with a couple of the threads I bought from Cotton Patch - Au Naturalle and Topiary. I've a bit of a thing about variegated thread..... Having tried the Topiary I won't bother with trying the others as I think it looks really effective.


Sunday, 8 April 2007

Easter Sunday

Another beautiful sunny day - not like a British Bank Holiday weekend at all.

I thought I'd share some of my favourites magazines with you today. The first one Selvedge is one I've only recently discovered. It's a real delight. It's a bit on the pricey side (7.50) but it's a real quality publication. I'm hoping to be able to subscribe as it does work out allot cheaper. I got my copy from Borders, Leicester.

Another magazine I have started to look at is Quiltmania. It's French - but luckily is in English. It has really good articles about artists from Japan and France and exhibitions across the world. I've enjoyed looking at the projects and work published in this one. I've been buying my copies from The Bramble Patch. This shop is a real treasure. They have a great range of stock and very helpful staff. I've attended a number of classes here - the facilities are great and they have a fantastic range of teachers. I would highly recommend a visit if you haven't been before.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

A new experience


Hello,

After reading and looking at so many inspiring blogs I thought I'd dip my toe in the water. I hope you'll stick with me whilst I master this new thing.....

I've only been quilting for a few years but have always been involved in crafts. My first experience of quilting was with my great aunt - the old fashioned paper hexagons with material from cut up purchases from jumble sales. I have advanced from this but I'm not the world's greatest quilter - although I am enthusiastic.
The photo above is my quilt entered to Quilts in the Garden at Trentham last weekend. Although I didn't win a prize one of our group came third in the Bed Quilt category - we had a glass of bubbly to celebrate.

I also have a bit of a thing for making bags - this comes in usful when we need things for our sales table at the village Festival (I can assure you they'll be lots more about this as we get nearer to the event).

Hope you've enjoyed my first attempt......

I hope this post works