Sunday 30 September 2012

Another Little Quilt Swap

Today I am linking up with Barbara at Catpatches for her NewFO. For NewFo you don't have to finish something. Instead you have to start a new project over the month - or more than one if you like - with no pressure to finish it. The button for this link is on the right of this post.

My new project for September is a mini quilt that I have made for a swap. I actually designed this swap in August but didn't start to make it until September. The idea came from a painting I did back in 2004 of a clematis growing in our garden. I slightly altered the design to fit the quilt which had to be 12 inches square when complete. So the starting point for my quilt was this design.

I drew the design full size to make it easier for myself.

To do the appliqué I used freezer paper onto which I traced the design. I cut out the leaves individually from the freezer paper but cut the flower as a whole item. I ironed the freezer paper onto the fabric I was using which I had previous backed with iron on fusible. I used the lightest weight fusible I could find as I didn't want the design to be stiff when completed. I cut round the freezer paper template, peeled off the fusible backing paper and ironed it in place on my backing fabric. I should have taken photos of the different stages but unfortunately didn't think of it until I had finished. However I will remember next time.

I stitched round the outline of the petals and leaves using buttonhole stitch and chain stitch. I used three strands of stranded embroidery thread for the outlines.  Once that was done I added detail to the leaves and used Portugese knotted stem stitch for the stems using all six strands of the embroidery thread to give a thicker stem. The knots add a lovely texture to the stitch. Finally I stitched pearl seed beads and thread beads to the centre of each flower. 

I used heritage cotton wadding and the quilt is hand quilted using a variegated thread that picks up the pink and the green from the flowers and leaves. To pull the whole design together I used the same green fabric used for the leaves as the binding.

So not only a new project for September but also a project finished. I can guarantee that next months start will not be a finish for quite some time as I have a big project I am about to start, I just need to get my fabrics together.

Saturday 29 September 2012

A few festival of quilt photos.

I'm still working through my photos of this years Festival of Quilts held at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. I have lost my catalogue so I will give the quilt display number and the title. If you know who made any of the quilts please let me know and I will credit them on the post.

Quilt number 435 is titled 'Autumn Sampler'

Quilt 434 was called 'I love feathers' - I wonder why? I didn't take a photo of the whole quilt just detail of the quilting. The quilting was very much admired.

Quilt 204 'Fireworks' played havoc with your vision if you stood looking at it for too long

Quilt 214 'Black with a spot of White' was another of my favourites

Quilt 209 'Colourful Kaleidoscope' was very pretty. Unfortunately the photo of the whole quilt is a little fuzzy.

Quilt 237 'Bletchley College'

Quilt 230 'A Buddhist Dance' .

Quilt 229 'Clarice' was beautiful. I love Clarice Cliff designs and this quilt showed her style and colours really well.

Quilt 260 'Bluebirds Spring Song' This is another quilt that the photo didn't work as well as I would have liked.

I have one final batch of photos to post which includes some of the prize winners. Unfortunately it was very crowded around the prize winning quilts and getting enough room and the right angle to photograph them was a problem. For now I hope you enjoyed this selection.

Monday 24 September 2012

100 days Hustle.

It is apparently less than 100 days to the end of the year and over at Kelsey Sews she is running a 100 days hustle to get some of those UFO's finished up or moved forward. As I only came back to quilting and needle craft earlier this year after a long absence I haven't got many UFO's (yet). However I decided to link up with Kelsey as I have so many new things I want to start that I need to finish those I've already started. Kelsey has asked us to identify and post about our UFO's and link up to her blog by September 25th so here goes.

1. Dresden plate wall hanging. All cut out, partially sewn and languishing in its project box (I'm not sure why).

2. Quilt for Lucy of stamp collection blocks and hexagons. I still need to make 4 stamp collection blocks. As I am making this as quilt as you go once the blocks are finished it should go together very quickly. (well that's the theory)

3. Grandmother's garden quilt. Why did I chose to do 1 inch hexagons? Lots of hexagon templates cut out and lots of fat quarters in stash for the quilt. This is slow going but very enjoyable.

4 and 5. Scamp and Picasso's quilts (their Christmas presents) Fabric bought and quilt designed. Both are waiting to be cut out. How many days did you say until Christmas? 

6. Blocks for the Wicked blog hop. My day is October 26th. Again I have identified the fabric and the blocks I am going to be making but haven't started yet.

7. Pillow for Holiday lane blog hop. Only just signed up for this so I still need to add the button. I think the dates are the end of November...... maybe I'd better check.

8. Grandmother's choice votes for women quilt (see button on right hand side of this post.). I am making this quilt for my older daughter. This is more an on going project as the blocks are released weekly over 49 weeks but I am already behind. Have chosen the fabrics and cut the first block.

9. Sew many fishes mini quilt. This one is designed and waiting for me to sort out the fabrics.

10. Mario quilt for my son. Pattern organised, fabrics identified, I just need the time. This is to be completed for his birthday next June so no big rush at the moment.

11. Millennium sampler. This is my cross stitch sampler that my hsband bought for me Christmas 1999. Over the last 11 years I have done some now and again and then put it down for months (or years). I have been linking with Sharon at Pintangle on her Work in Progress Wednesday. Since July this has really moved forward and I would dearly love to finish this by Christmas.

My priorities for this link are the blog hops and the Christmas presents but completing some of the other projects would make 2013 more comfortable as I have a bunch of projects planned for next year and of course I will see more things I want to do and try as time passes.

Sunday 23 September 2012

The finish of mini quilt swap 1

I finally finished my mini quilt for the Quilting Gallery Friendship Embroidery swap and I'm quite pleased with the result.

As with all the projects I complete I know it could have been better if.....   But that is about the decisions I made during the process so there is no point in worrying about it now. I would be happy keeping the mini quilt or receiving it from someone else and this is the important part.  So I am celebrating the completion of my first quilt swap and the quilt is now on its way to its new owner. I hope she likes it.

I have already posted about the process and you can read that here. The quilt is 18 inches square and hand quilted in the ditch and has a label on the back. I forgot to take a photo of the back but in keeping with the theme of the embroidery the backing fabric has a floral print on it set on a blue background.

Now all I have to do is finish my other mini quilt swap so I can post the photo before the 1st October. Then I can start one of my new projects .. yipee

Friday 21 September 2012

Even more festival of quilts 2012 photos

I didn't realise just how many photos I took when I visited the festival of quilts in Birmingham UK back in August. Although I have done several posts about it I still haven't shown you all the pics. Unfortunately I lost my catalogue so can't give you the name of the quilt maker but I can give you the quilt number from the show and its title. If you know who made it please email me and I will add it to the post.

This one number 407 is titled 'Tuscan Landscape'. The colours really give it that hot Italian feel.

Detail from the quilt

Number 386 is called 'The Korean Colours'

Number 360 was a hexagon quilt called 'My Godmother's Flower Garden.' There were several hexagon quilts in the show.

The colours in this quilt were quite subdued but it didn't detract from the final effect. I loved the different grouping of the hexagons  which gave a different feel to different areas of the quilt.

Number 414 'Aurora's Dawning'. How did the maker manage to get all those points sharp?

Number 431 'Double Wedding Ring' This was one of a few quilts of this pattern on display.

Number 418 titled 'Mosaico de la "Casa del la Imagen" .

Number 427 was titled 'The Knot Garden'. I really liked this quilt but then I like Celtic patterns. I plan on making a Celtic knot quilt at some point in the future. (My list of must do quilts is rather long.)

Number 442 is 'Blue Ribbon Baltimore'.

I loved the different appliqué blocks in this quilt.  I particularly liked the little bird below.

The vase of spring flowers made me very happy.

Visitors at the show agreed that quilt 440 'Flowers Meet Stars' was very bright, happy and uplifting.

The final quilt for today number 445 is titled 'Galing Galing'.

I still have more photos and I will post some more soon. I hope you are enjoying the Quilt eye candy. I am really enjoying going back over my photos and seeing the quilts again. There were so many quilts at the show it was a little overwhelming.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Its awful high up here!

Over at Happy Quilting Melissa runs a link on Thursdays - Try New Things. The new things don't have to be quilting or quilting related. This week I was involved with a camp for Brownies and Guides - girls aged 7 to 16. Those who were tall enough and wanted to try were able to have a go on the high ropes course. Having never tried it before I thought I ought to have a go. 

Here's me about half way round the course. By this point I had stopped shaking and was starting to enjoy it. My daughter Lucy also did the course. This was the second time she had done it so she knew what to expect and therefore found it really fun.

The final section was a zip wire. This was great fun but I ended up hanging on the wire for a while as one of the ropes had got caught up and it took me some time to release it.

I was pleased to be back on the ground but will certainly try this activity again if I get the chance.

Last week I wrote a post about something new I tried but forgot to link up the post. If you want to see what I tried last week click here

I am really enjoying this link as it has made me realise that I had stopped trying out new things and tend to stick with things I know. I can't wait to try something new next week.

I'm linking to  

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Catch up time

The end of the summer holidays, back to work and University and here I am already forgetting things and losing the plot. Last week I told you I was taking Lucy to Bath to move her things into her new home for her third year. The journey only takes a couple of hours and it is a lovely opportunity to chat as we travel. We never seem to leave at the time planned but we still got to Bath with time for a quick look at the shops. We had two shops we wanted to visit, one a bookshop and the other a quilt shop.

On the way to the quilt shop we passed Bath Abbey.

This picture is taken from one side. The present Abbey Church was founded in 1499 when Oliver King who was the Bishop of Bath at the time was inspired to build an Abbey Church following a dream of angles ascending and descending to heaven. I will post some more photos of the abbey when we next visit later this year.

The quilt shop, Country Threads, is situated down a little cobbled street close to the Abbey. The shop is small but compact and has a fantastic range of fabrics. At first sight it appears to be one small room but a second room leads off and houses more fabric and batting. Although small the shop has good natural light which helps when matching colours. The fabrics were well laid out.

 There was a good range of layer cakes, jelly rolls, charm packs,

fat quarters arranged by colour,

and a good range of speciality ribbons. 

We spent some time looking at the quilt patterns and Lucy bought one to make for her friend for Christmas. I am not sure if she reads my blog so I am not posting a photo of the pattern. All the photos are of the first room of the shop. We got talking to Jan Prior the owner and Lucy forgot to take any photos in the second room. The shop is available on line, click here for the link to the website. Jan also runs quilting workshops so if you live in the area or you're planning a trip to Bath check out the website for details.

Having spent longer than we had meant to we had to rush to get to the bookshop before it closed. Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights is an independent bookshop in the centre of Bath. Their specialist area is twentieth century fiction but they will order anything in for you. It covers three floors but not in the usual boring manner of bookshops.  Here it is a delight to move from one area to another as you never know what you might find. For example the book display in the converted claw foot bath, the comfy arm chairs that encourage you to browse so you take home books you love. Even the toilets are papered with book reviews! The staff are extremely helpful and will suggest books you might like, having first talked to you to find out what sort of books you like to read.

We didn't take any pictures but if you click here the link will take you to their website. If you like books this shop is a must visit. It has also won Independent Bookshop of the year in 2011 and 2008.