Thursday, 31 May 2007

Workroom and Linus day

Well here we all are at the Bramble Patch on a Linus Day. We all had a great time - very relaxing but you know you're making a small contribution.

Next are my bargain books from Amazon UK. The three large ones were only £3.00 each and I just thought that 'Zen and the art of quilting' would be a fun book to look at.

And finally - I've been very envious of those of you who have been re-vamping their craft rooms - well this is my small effort. DH very kindly put up these two cork noticeboards so I can use them as mood boards for me to look at whilst I'm sewing.
The weather has been very strange lately - freezing on Sunday - humid today and just lots and lots of rain.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Bank Holiday Monday

Thought I'd share a few photos with you of more things I've made for the festival in June. As you can see aprons have made an appearance - McCall's 2947. There's really 2 aprons - both with the apple fabric but one with matching pockets and ties and the other with contrasting ones (as I ran out of apple fabric).

Next are yet more bags - made from the remnants I bought from Fenwicks - I'm rather pleased with them. Hopefully it'll all sell.

And finally I said in my 7 random facts that I love a cup of tea - well in the UK you can get a cup of tea in a pub these days - very civilised. And I can't wait until the 1st July when the smoking ban comes intro force and the pubs will all be smoke free. Hurrah...... Well this one of the pubs in the village Ye Olde Red Lion - very traditional looking with a good menu and great guest beers - it's in the CAMRA book. If you're passing, pop in - it's well worth a visit.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Malvern 2007 and Flo update

Hi to all of you out there. I'm still getting very excited about the red dots on my blogging map. So thanks for looking and I hope you like what you see. I'd love to hear from you all.
Flo is having a great time now in the garden - without being supervised on her harness. She still hasn't worked out that plants aren't solid and she can't use them to stand on. It's very funny to watch her running around and bouncing chasing bees and birds. As this is yet another Bank Holiday weekend so it's raining - but she doesn't seem to mind it at all.
I'd also like to highlight a new forum to you all - The Quilters Toolbox. Please have a look and have a chat with fellow quilters.
I thought I'd share a few more photos from Malvern - this time I'm going to focus on those exhibits that used hand dyed fabrics. You'll see they've been used in lots of different ways - I'm sure you'll like them:

Oaks & Ferns - by Mary Button. A great example of hand painted fabric. The colours are great.

Black and white by Janice Croft - a collage of printed and dyed fabrics.

Timbuktu I by Christine Restall. A really fantastic piece of work. A good example of how to mix both hand dyed fabrics and African fabrics. A very interesting piece of work to look at.

Next year the theme for one of categories at Malvern is 'Architectural Inspiration' and to promote this they had the following two examples. This first piece is called Prague by Lee Brown. This inspiration was the Rider's Staircase in the Royal Palace, Prague. A very precise piece of work.

Another piece by Lee Brown titled Sagrada Familia - inspired by a trip to Barcelona and the work of Gaudi. Another great example of the use of hand dyed fabrics and accurate piecing.

'Indigo and sunflowers' by Delia Cecil. After dying a piece of fabric Indigo the image of a field of sunflowers resulted. The outline has been machine embroidered and a variety of threads used. I really dramatic work that deserves a closer look.

Going with the flow 7 - by Margaret Davidson. A very free flowing piece of work using hand dyed fabrics and diverse stitches.

Simply Pink by Kathy Turner highlights the exhibitors great skill is graduation of a colour using hand dyed fabrics.

Asterisk by Ann Jermey. The technique of spray paining is used here is is really impressive.

In my opinion this is one of the best quilts in the show. Winter - Wessex by Liz Heywood is influenced by the Dutch artist Tom Schulten. A really great piece of work - I don't think my photo really does it justice.
I hope you like the examples I picked for the use of hand dyed fabrics and can see the very different ways they can be used. I hope some have inspired you to give it a try.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Malvern show - photo transfer

I thought I'd go through some of the photos I took at Malvern to illustrate some techniques I noticed. Brenda suggested that when we visit a show we should be clear why we are visiting it - what we want to gain. Now if all you want is a nice day out - great - but if you want to see what techniques are used and how they are used, then that's what you should take note of. Malvern isn't the biggest show going - it's not on the same scale at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC; however, don't think this means the quality is any less. I really enjoyed the day out and saw lots of different techniques used in very different ways. So in this post I'll include some photos that I think show the ways in which photo transfer have been used - you may like some more than others, but the idea is just to see how they are used. Please excuse the quality - I'm still getting used to our digital camera.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Post, WIP and the kitten's first time loose in the garden

Well - a very exciting post day as my first package from the Fabric Swap 3 came through - it was from Penny. It's all really nice - I'm really pleased and I'll share with you all what I make with them.

Next is the log style cabin I made with the potassium permanganate fabrics made at Edwina's class at Bramble Patch together with the photo transfer fabric from last weeks class with Brenda Boardman. I was really pleased with the results so far - there is still some work to do on it. Can you see the fabric I made the other week has also been incorporated?

And finally here's a photo of Flo's first outing (without harness) into the big wide world of the garden. She really enjoyed chasing the bees. I hope you can see her peeping out.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Details of purchases...

Well I've had a request to give a few more details of my purchases - so here goes:
From Art Van Go:
Crayola Fabrc crayons
Pentel Fabricfun Pastel Dye Sticks

The Silk Route:
Noil Gauze
Silk Niol
SIlk Dupion

Ario cold water soluble fabric
Acrylic gesso

Also from other stalls I can't remember:
Texere Yarns variety bag
linen of some sort
3 bits of bargain fabric
Needles - very important as you should replace them very regularly.

I've been thinking about the show at Malvern and have edited my photos so I'll be able to post details tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Malvern Show

Well what a great show - I'm sure the fantastic weather helped. As you can see from the photos we like to do these shows in style - so we start the day with coffee looking at the Malvern Hills, have salmon sarnies, salad, champagne and fruit for lunch and then Victoria Sponge cake and tea in the afternoon. We were lucky this year the weather was great - last year we sat in the car passing food around and steaming up the windows.

The show itself was very good - I'll give you more of an update when I've collected my thoughts and they're more ordered. I did buy a few things - but I don't think I was too naughty.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Brenda's class

Well - a really quick blog tonight as I need to sort out my shopping list for Malvern for tomorrow. I thought I'd post a few photos of my class today at The Bramble Patch. The first on is of the class gathered around looking at Leanne's work as she was trying to decide how to put her quilt together. The next one is an empty class room - it shows the work Brenda has put up to illustrate the photo transfer technique we were using. The last one is of our work pinned up for 'show and tell' - my work is top right - the brown log style cabin.

I think we all had a great day and learnt lots.

I thought some of you might like to see Flo in her blue velvet harness having a walk around the garden. She's not very keen on the outdoor life at present - she'll have to get used to it. She was also very naughty as instead of being subdued after her little op - she decided she'd like to run up the curtains, just to see how much my blood pressure could take.

Friday, 18 May 2007

7 random things....

Many thanks to Jade and Jessica for tagging me. The idea is that each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

So here goes:

1. Whilst at senior school I inadvertently dyed my hair pink. It was in the days when Toners and Shaders were just on the market. I thought the old one had washed out - but it obviously hadn't as it reacted with the new one and went pink. Luckily it did wash out over a period of time.

2. I got married (very young - child bride) in an emerald green dress. I looked like a corpse in white as I'm so pale.

3. I used to work in a bingo hall. I hated it - smokey, very static carpets and terrible hours. I was so glad I only had to give 1 weeks notice.

4. I am a tea monster - I drink gallons of it, but at least I'm on the de-caff now.

5. Due to my addiction to tea I've developed the ability to sniff out a good tea shop from some distance. I think I might start a blog with details of my favourite tea shops. (Latest one was "Fresh Basil', Strutt Street, Belper.)

6. I fell over when I was about 7 and smashed out my front teeth - they were left hanging on a piece of skin. The dentist refused to pull them out so my Dad had to. It was very bloody but better than them flapping in the wind.

7. I'm rather messy. People at work are surprised about this but I can assure you DH is well aware of my tendency to pile things yup and never be able to find anything. I usually end up having to have a really good tidy up and always surprise myself with what I find.

Now - the lucky 7 who I'm going to tag:

Jane at Sew create it

Print & Pattern

Marisa at Quilt Otaku

Florence's Attic


Pod Bobbins

How about orange

I'll be commenting on all of these blogs to let you know you've been tagged.

I'll be back soon with photos of my class tomorrow at Bramble Patch and then of the Malvern Show on Sunday.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Exhibition and other things....

Sorry I've been away for a few days - been busy playing with my Bubble Jet Set 2000. I must say it was really easy to use and there was no mess. I used a whole range of fabrics to test it out - linen, scrim, calico, silk fine, silk coloured, dyeing cotton and a synthetic silk. I treated the fabric, let it dry and then ironed it to the freezer paper. It was easy to put it through the printer - I printed 2 A5 images on each piece of fabric. When it was dry I cut each piece in half and washed one half in a gentle solution and then washed it at 30 degrees. I wanted to do this to see how the ink faded with washing and what the fabric felt like. I must say I was rather pleased with the results. When I've got it organised and in my sketch book I'll take some photos to show you. But honestly it was very easy to do.
Yesterday I happened across a really good art installation at the Leamington Spa Museum. It was by Jo Roberts, and was titled 'Finding a Way Through'. It's so different to anything else I've seen so please excuse me if I don't do it justice in my description. I entered the room and the first thing I saw was a large screen - shown on the screen was a movie of a river flowing and at the same time there was audio of the same. As the room was dimly lit the whole ambiance was very calming and tranquil. On the left hand wall was a geological interpretation of Jo's life - it was great and I think if you look on her site you'll get an idea of this. You were also asked to contribute to the installation by adding pebbles to the core samples that represented parts of Jo's like. As I said it's difficult to describe but it was really good.
I'd like to thank Jade for nominating me for a Random meme. I haven't forgotten but I'm trying to come up with a good set of 7 things - it's much harder than you think. But many thanks to Jade - I'm very flattered.
On the saga of the large quilt being hand quilted I am making significant progress - I'm actually on the first border now. However progress is made at the exclusion of most other things.
Apologies for no photos - I can promise lots next week. On Saturday I've got another class at Bramble Patch and then Sunday is the Malvern show that I hope to go to. It's not as big a show as the NEC (but what is) but parking is free and it's got a good range of quilts on show and lots of opportunities to buy.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Shopping finds....

Thought I'd share a couple of recent purchases I made. The first photo are my purchases from Wilkinson's - yes humble little Wilkinson's. I've learnt there are lots of good crafty things in the kids art section in lots of shops and Wilkinson's was a real find. You may wonder why on earth I bought them - well they're for my dying and printing classes - and as they were from Wilkinson's they were really cheap. I think this lot cost about a fiver.

Unfortunately I've rediscovered E-bay - but what a find these black Bakelite buttons were. I don't think my poor photo really does them justice but I'm really pleased with them - they're so delicate and beautiful.

I've also been playing around with some machine embroidery. The book I've been working from is 'Beginner's guide to machine embroidery' by Pam Watts. It's a slim but practical book .
The first sample has a backing of calico, with a piece of silk with various threads arranged on top and then stitched by machine. The second sample is the same process but with organza over the threads - this does make it much easier to machine and so I got carried away and used a number of threads - plain and variegated.
I cut up some of the first sample and machined the pieces to tags that I'll uses for pressies I'll wrap in brown paper. One of them was a bit wonky - DH said this showed they were hand made.... I resisted hitting him. I was rather pleased with the pieces I made - I needed a change from hand quilting.
Many thanks for the comments on my last post. Unfortunately my replies to you were bounced back to me - but I wanted to make sure you knew they were appreciated.
Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


As I'm still plodding on (but making progress) with hand quilting my large quilt I thought I'd share photos of a couple of cushions I've made for the raffle at our festival. The idea is that we each make 2 cushions and those buying raffle tickets can pick which cushion they'd like to win. We'll be raffling at least 5 cushions on both the Saturday and Sunday. We hope that all of the cushions will be very different and so they'll be lots of choice for people. The orange and purple one is a colour combination I wouldn't usually use but a cushion is ideal for trying out new colour combinations. The brown one has fluffy edges - it was a bit hit and miss how it was put together - I'd seen one in a shop and made it up as I went along. I'll be demo-ing this at our quilting retreat - when I do instructions I'll share them with you.

Thanks for all of the comments from the last post - I'll give the magnetic clips a try later this week or at the weekend and promise to report back.

The Bank Holiday was typical weather wise - wet, windy and a bit cold. I think we've been spoilt and now the weather is as it should be it seems really cold and miserable. Anyway poor weather means you're inside and you can sew lots......

Oh... and I'm very excited about being included in the fabric swap 3.....

Friday, 4 May 2007

As promised .......

As promised here is the pattern I'm planning to follow (from Popular Patchwork) but adapt for my orange and blue scheme. As you can see it's a diagonal pattern. As I said before I think I need to plan this very carefully otherwise it will end up a real mish mash.
The weather this Bank Holiday weekend isn't going to be great and DH is working Saturday and Sunday so I've got the perfect excuse to sew and only stop to eat. I'm really cracking on with the huge quilt - I've only got about 7 blocks to finish before I have to contemplate the borders. I'm going to machine some of it in the ditch - as it's at the edge it'll be manageable.
I also need to make some more bits for the sale table for the festival in June. I bought some magnetic catches for bags today - but I'm not entirely sure how you put them on... so any help would be great.
I also want to say again a big THANK YOU to all of you for looking at my blog - I'm still getting very excited when I see a new red dot appear in another country so thanks.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Orange and blue - the results....

Well - I did say I'd get some good ideas when I went to quilting last night, and I wasn't disappointed. The idea is to use more shades of orange and more patterned blue and to have the colours moving across the quilt. I promise this would make allot more sense if I'd posted a photo of the pattern, I'll do that very soon. So now I'm going to start planning it as if I don't it'll just look a total mash.
On another point I wondered if any of you out there had used Bubble Set Jet 2000? If so have you got any tips or trade secrets? I've got some tips already off the web but, being the practical lot you are you may have some more very interesting comments.
And for all of you weather watchers, yet again the weather in England is simply gorgeous. Just like July - you watch we'll have a hose pipe ban again soon.
I'll also still plodding on with the large quilt - but I do seem to be making good progress.