Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stepping Stones Workshop
with Sue on the 13th October

Here we are, a select few enjoying ourselves making our Stepping Stones quilts.  With Sue's excellant
instructions we were soon cutting our squares out and machining away.

 Here we are showing off  our almost finished quilts. The difference in style and colour makes a good  display.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bag Tombola

Pear Bag

On November 10th we'll be holding our annual coffee morning and quilt display in Wetherby Town Hall from 10am to 12.30pm. This year as well as the usual refreshments, home baked cakes, gifts and quilting supplies we'll be having a bag tombola. Our members are donating bags that they've made to raise funds for our adopted charity which this year is the RNLI. 

I've been searching around for some free bag patterns and tutorials and have found loads!! Here are just a few:

First the pattern and applique template for the pear bag above is free from Hobbycraft. Try searching their Ideas Library for more.

Moda Bake Shop is a fantastic source of free patterns based mainly on jelly rolls, charm packs etc and has a long list of beautiful bag patterns - all free!

This is one of my favourites - the Charmed Gift Bag which is just perfect for a small child. I've made several in the past and they are very quick and easy and use small amounts of fabric.

Here's another quick and easy shopping bag, made from old curtains or sheets, from the Morsbag site. You can download the pattern and watch an animation which explains how to make it - very clever!

We're not only looking for shopping bags. How about making small bags for a phone, ipad or Kindle, or a toiletries or make-up bag? The DIY Bag Lover site has links to bags made in all shapes and sizes, including ones made from recycled jeans.

Some time ago I published a tutorial for zipped bags on my blog:

I use this version  for storing my small quilting rulers but it could be a pencil case or gadget bag. With a little alteration it makes lovely boxy bags like these:

Lastly, one of the best sites to search for quilting and sewing inspiration is Pinterest where members can 'pin' photos of their favourite things and the photo has a link to the original website where it was found. This morning I came across a host of pictures of gorgeous bags on the Travel Handmade ideas board - those should keep anyone in bags for a long, long time!

Let us know if you have a favourite free bag pattern which we could share.

Happy Stitching!

Hazel x

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Free Classes Online

Have you discovered Craftsy yet? It's a great place to find video classes including this new FREE class with Elizabeth Hartman called 'Creative Quilt Backs' and the Craftsy Block of the Month, also free. Elizabeth also has an 'Inspired Modern Quilts' class running costing £25 which is a typical price forCraftsy courses. If you sign up for Craftsy you will often be offered classes at half price which for me have proved irresistible!

I find the classes incredibly good value (an important consideration for Yorkshire folk) with very easy to access to the videos at any time on the internet, class discussions and notes to print too. There are 22 classes listed on the Quilting page such as  Sewing Machine Basics, Scrap Quilting, Cloth Dyeing and Thread Art. For those interested in other crafts there is a wide variety of sewing, knitting, crochet, papercrafts etc too

Recently Craftsy launched a pattern market place with quilters from around the world offering patterns for free download or for a very reasonable price. If you fancy publishing a pattern this may be a good way to offer it for sale.

Let us know if you have taken any Craftsy classes and what you thought of them. Also if you have found any similar online classes tell us so we can share the fun!

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What a Mess

What a Mess

What does your Sewing space look like?  I' m not sure what project I'm suppose to be  working on at the moment. Somewhere there should be a bed,  it's a good thing we not expecting visitors.

 I'm sure I  only tidied it up last week.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Friday was the final class of "Embellished Landscapes" with Hazel - I was sad!  These classes have been such fun and I've learnt so much:  a completely different way of doing applique and lots of different uses of colour & embellishments. 
The fun part is when you peel off the freezer paper to see what you've achieved!  We all enjoyed seeing each other's work and progress with lots of exchange hints, ideas, fabric, bits & bobs.  Adding embellishments can get to be addictive - so when do you stop adding bits of this and that!
I'm already into my second "artwork" using "Dream Landscapes" by Rose Hughes and have a third planned and enlarged (by Hazel).  In fact I might sign up to do this course again when Hazel offers it!
Many thanks to Hazel for her inspiring teaching and advice and to my classmates for being there!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cathedral Windows Workshop

Glenda Smith visited us today to teach us her method of making Cathedral Windows patchwork completely by machine and we had a wonderful day! Glenda is an encouraging and patient teacher and worked hard to make sure everyone was successful. She brought several examples of the cushions, pincushions and a bag to inspire us including the cushion above and these:

Everyone was very busy all day:

By the end of the day we were well on the way to finishing our 12 inch panel:

Here are a few close-ups to show the range of different colours we chose:

Some of us struggled at first with the invisible appliqué stitch on the folded frames. QuiltSue gave a cheer when she finished her first one!

Doesn't she look pleased with herself?!

All in all it was a lovely day with plenty of fun and laughter and a real sense of achievement.

Thank you Glenda!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hard work pays off

Its so nice to know that all your hard work makinga quilt for your loved ones has been worthwhile.  When you see it being put to good use.    You never know when you are going to need a tent in your garden.

I have also made some red, white and blue quilty things.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Hexagonal Obsession

Hazel has asked me to do a guest post about my quilt, I feel very honoured!

The Quilt (as it is named in our house) began about two years ago with a trip to St. Gemma's Hospice shop in Street Lane where I found an old 1980's copy of a Marks and Spencer book about quilting. I started in earnest to make the small paper hexagons and began sewing the fabric covered hexagons together to make small flowers. After some initial research about quilting I came to the realisation that America must be quilting heaven. The fabrics available in the US were so bright and modern and unusual that I couldn't help but feel a little jealous as a trawled through the many American quilting blogs there are on the internet. I turned my attention to the internet in a desperate search to find some fabrics that I liked. Ebay was my first friend, the choice of fabrics available was immense and most of my purchases were made from shops like sewmehappy. I also went on tours of the quilt shops near to me, The Skep, Samuel Taylor's at Embsay and The Viking Loom in York all became firm favourites.

After some success with Ebay I moved onto a site called Swap-bot. Now this changed everything! Swap-bot is an online site that matches people together so that you can swap things, anything - sweets, card making supplies, but most interestingly for me - you can swap fabric. The first step in swapping was to set up a profile page, here you describe your likes and dislikes and the kind of things you would be able to swap with another member. Once you have set up a well padded and informative profile about yourself you can go in search of 'swaps' that you would like to join. The magic Swap-bot computer links you up with your swap partner so that you know who you will be sending to and who you will be recieving from. Once you have recieved your parcel, you open it with much anticipation and rate the person who sent to you. The site is such a simple and easy way to share different crafting materials, obviously you do take a risk that you will send something out and recieve nothing back but this has only happened to me once or twice in the 137 swaps I have taken part in. There's a fab Swap-bot blog and that is written by the gorgeous Swap-bot founder Rachel where there's lots of information should you decide to become a fellow swapper!

So here's a little tour of The Quilt in pictures...

I haven't chosen a specific colour theme, I have just chosen fabrics that I like. Some of the fabrics above where bought from The Skep, The Viking Loom and good old Samuel Taylors in Leeds city centre. 
Barack Obama was the result of a fabric swap organised through Swap-bot. Never has he looked so pretty!
Fussy cut cats stalking a fish.
The first fabric I bought on Ebay, never seen again - if anyone knows who it's by I would love to know...
Car boot sales have been suprisingly useful, the embroidered flowers in the centre of the photo above were from an old napkin, initially I felt quite bad cutting up someone's beautiful sewing but I figured that it will last longer as part of a quilt than it would if it was a napkin.
The Quilt is well travelled, the small, portable nature of hexagon flowers has meant that I've been able to sew on holiday on France, away with school to Ireland and most importantly on my way to the many away and home matches played by the greatest team the world has ever seen.


Saturday Sew-In

 Yesterday was a Saturday sew-in when some of our group members meet to just sew away from distraction. Helene brought along her hand-pieced hexagon quilt top which is nearing completion and spread it on the floor so we could talk about how she might finish the edges. The fabrics she'd used are amazing and we all spotted different ones we liked. Helene has agreed to write a blog post about how she swapped fabrics on the internet so watch this space!

 Susanne was also doing some hand stitching to finish quilting this simple but beautiful quilt. Look at her lovely quilting:

The quilt back

Maria was using some gorgeous floral fabric in her quilt blocks. She added her borders after I took the photo so completed a quilt top before the end of the day - great work!

I was using a charm pack and some tone on tone ivory fabric cut into 5" squares to sew simple pinwheel blocks and was really pleased with how they turned out.
I'm hoping to have the quilt finished in time for our Jubilee party at the end of the month. Is anyone else making red, white, and blue quilts?

I'm afraid I didn't get s photo of Rebecca's lovely Japanese fabric blocks but perhaps we'll see more of those soon.

If anyone has photos or news to share with our group please do get in touch


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Quilt Exhibition

We had a lovely day on Saturday welcoming visitors to our Quilt Exhibition. There were 63 quilts on display ranging from bed-size to small wall-hangings and an amazing variety of designs and colours. Here are more photos of the day:
The raffle quilt - blocks were made by our members

 Eileen demonstrating hand pieced Dresden Plates

 Stan from Leven Crafts brought us lots of lovely fabrics to buy!

 Phew after viewing all those quilts you deserve a home-baked cake!