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