Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Review Time

On Sunday past, it was the 2nd Stitch Gathering, a Modern Quilt Retreat, in Edinburgh. Last year I was lucky enough to be one of the teachers at the inaugural event and really, you would never think it could be bettered.....but, Jo & Jonathan pulled it off again. What a brilliant day.

Our venue had changed, for the better. Lots of parking outside and lots of room inside.
The day began with registration and handing in our "tickets" - this year our ticket was a calico bag that we had to embellish in whatever way we fancied. Later in the day it would be handed to our allocated swap partner. This was the bag I had doctored -

After meet & greet, it was time for class - this year I was teaching my Mega Pinnie - I had a great bunch to teach and everyone had a finish at the end of the session - what a result!! I must also say a big thank you to the lovely Alison for being my class helper.
Let me show you some pics I took along the way..........

At lunchtime we all enjoyed a lovely spread and then had the chance to shop - Jo had brought lots of goodies with her from her shop, and she kindly agreed to me having a mini Aurifil pop up shop so I was able to spread the Aurifil love to lots of ladies.

We also did our bag swap. Mine went to Di - I was so happy to have her as my secret partner as she is in my online Bee and I really wanted to make her bag quite special. Di came to the SG with 
Trudi of Quilting Prolifically fame and I totally lucked out by receiving the bag she had made for me. I was beyond chuffed. Her quilting skills are legendary and you can see this in the following pics. Inside, the bag is lined and includes a zipped pocket. I absolutely love it - thank you Trudi. 
If you think you might need the services of a longarm quilter, look no further than Trudi, her work is FAB - U - LUSS.

In the afternoon, more classes and this time I was able to enjoy being the learner as I took part in Fiona's Reverse Applique hoop - by hand. We had a lovely, relaxing session and a mini show & tell.

Last year, our tickets to the SG were printed on fabric and we were asked to embellish it in some way. All of those 6" "tickets" were transformed into this fabulous quilt and raffled on Sunday, for Maggie's Centres, a wonderful charity. I think over £600 was raised.

Of course, no retreat would be complete without Goodie Bags - unbelievable!! I have left mentioning it until now because I want to take a moment to thank all of the sponsors who generously helped to make our bags so brilliant.

So, in no particular order, a huge thanks to the following -
1. Aurifil, for some thread.
2. Nairns, for some biscuits.
3. Pilot, for one of their brilliant Frixion pens.
4. Coats, for some needles & threads.
5. Dashwood, for a FQ.
6. Love P&Q for a copy of their magazine.
7. DMC for embroidery thread.
9. Groves & Banks for lovely embroidery scissors.
10. Liberty, for a lovely baby cord tote bag & Tana lawn sample.
11.Blend Fabrics for some fabric.
12. Robert Kaufman for a 5 FQ bundles (!!)
13. myBearpaw for some DMC perle cotton & some beads.

I shall end this very long post by saying a huge thank you to Jo & Jonathan - your organisational skills are amazing. I heard so many positive comments throughout the day so be very proud of your achievements. Here's to 2015.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My August

I'm way too late to be linking my August up but I thought I'd sum it all up anyway.

The first half was all about Bee Blocks and I was intrigued by Nicky's choice of a Nordik theme with no prescriptive design or size. I came up with these blocks.
Nicky also started planning ahead for her quilts for Siblings Together and asked me if I thought the ladies in my classes might like to help out with a block or two - they certainly did and the first batch went off to her last week.

I have another pile waiting to go and happy to accept more.

I made a start on a little baby quilt, more pram sized really - it was inspired by Hadley's quilt that was featured in last month's Quilt Now. I cut the tumblers using my Accuquilt Go.

All my classes are now underway with their Modern Sampler and I made some blocks in my new colourway.

And on the last day of August I held my Christmas in August workshop - this was a challenging session of foundation piecing with a cushion as the final goal. The pattern was Not So Spring Deer from Julianna at Sewing Under Rainbow. Julianna graciously agreed to me using her pattern in my workshop. All the ladies made excellent progress and here is one of the finished cushion fronts - made by Audrey. Isn't it stunning!

I have made a great start to September but will keep that for another day!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Into the Groove

Well, I couldn't call it Back to School again.

Yes, schools are back here in Scotland and my classes resumed last week. It seemed for a moment there that Summer was over but the weather picked up again and we enjoyed a pretty good weekend. I am sorry if your Bank Holiday today was not blessed with sunshine.

So I am running four classes this year, two in Week 1 and two in Week 2 - everyone is following one main project, The Modern Sampler. Basically there are four different blocks although a couple will have variations - and then the quilt will be layered up in 3 main sections and joined using Quilt As You Go techniques.
One of the things I love about teaching a project is seeing the variety of fabric and colours that are chosen. All these different choices come together to make very different quilts. I finished making the one in the above picture in January this year and recently decided (as always!!) that I might as well make another, along with my classes. I find demonstration is the best form of tuition, and everyone loves it if I mess up like on Wednesday when I didn't notice my wee mechanical machine was still set to zig zag and I had my 1/4" foot on - oops!!
So I have chosen a very different palette to the one above. I pulled a fat 1/8th bundle of Cuzco by Kate Spain, from my stash and decided to go for a b & w spotty background, very different for me.

Just before classes started back I asked my students if they would like to make some blocks for Nicky's Siblings Together drive. Here is what turned up on the first week, also in the post and to my door...........

and a few more,

Thank you ladies, you are all brilliant!!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Kaffe Treat

Shared by a friend who is in Aberdeen at the moment and caught the exhibition.Enjoy.

Kaffe Fassett: 50 Years in Colour from Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums on Vimeo.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

136 Days Until Christmas

A fresh month always means new Bee blocks to be done. This month the Queen Bee in our Bee a Brit Stingy Bee is Nicky and she has thrown us a curved ball. She plans a Winter quilt and has asked for blocks of a Scandinavian feel - we can choose or design the blocks ourselves and we have a choice of sizes. She favours red, cream and aqua and from what I have seen so far, this is shaping up to be a glorious quilt.
I have enjoyed raking about looking for blocks and have made a couple of FP trees which will finish at 3" and a 9" block inspired by knitting patterns.  I have more up my sleeve..........

Nicky obviously has the bit between her teeth this month. She is already involved with Siblings Together and has decided to make an early start on quilts for this great cause, that will be needed next summer! She has come up with a really simple block that has a great look when multiplied in a quilt. I made this one very quickly because as many of you know I underwent an organisational epiphany last month so have a box of 2.5" strips just waiting for such a project. Maybe you have some Jelly Roll strips lying about?

Nicky is hoping for each block to be kept to a colour family with the diagonal steps in white, and running in either direction to allow flexibility in block layout. Nicky knocked up this whole top last week..........
If anyone is interested in helping Nicky, I have a quick handout here for making the block.

I also made good progress on my Advent Calendar, just waiting for a fabric delivery to finish, and I finished off the second Tree Skirt. So again, nearly everything I have been doing this week is related to Christmas, or Winter!! As I look out of the window at the moment, I could be forgiven for thinking it is already Winter.
And I bought my first Christmas pressies today! I blame my daughter who is a Christmas Day baby and always encourages me into early shopping...................

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Late Call for July

Better late than never with my review of July. Some project finishes, some progressed and some ignored, that'll be a normal month then.

I got my Bee a Brit Stingy blocks done early on in the month for Charlotte. Then there was a birthday pouch and a workshop Tree Skirt. And with leftovers from the skirt backing, I made the Nested Churn Dash, yet to be made into a finished item.

I made good progress on one of my FAL Q3 projects which is a double bed sized quilt. I have pieced it in three sections so that I can QAYG it, took a lovely pic of it in the garden when it was dry & then discovered that not only did my camera not have its memory card in, it doesn't have an internal memory. Every day a school day!! Since finishing the piecing I have made a start on quilting one of the thirds.............lots more to do though.

I spent some really enjoyable hours making  remaking my tote bag for the Stitch Gathering. Last year we were all sent printed patches to embellish as we wished and Jo made them into a quilt that is going to be raffled at this year's SG. This year we were sent a printed calico bag. I forgot to take a pic until I had started my makeover that included unpicking all seams and cutting away the printed circle in the centre. That was a wee bit scary.

I then faced the hole, porthole style and laid it over a 4 patch I had prepared earlier. Then it was layering up, quilting, firming up the handles a bit and then putting it ll back together.

I really love how it turned out and hope my partner will love it too.

Lastly, and so far not shared here, is a Mini quilt I made for a friend who celebrated a 0 birthday yesterday. This particular friend introduced me to quilting way back about 1998 so I really hope she likes this little offering which is a bit different for both of us - from granny to granny.

The four little granny blocks were all different sizes, I brought them up to an equal size with white solid and added the border in Bella (?) .

This was my first attempt at matchstick quilting, good fun on a small piece like this. Granny came in at about 17" square.


And so that was July - not too shabby considering the amount of time I have spent in front of the TV becoming an armchair expert in several sports. Glasgow has done itself proud putting on the Commonwealth Games, so well done to everyone involved.
I think I may just have enough time to link to Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Cooling Off for Christmas

My Sunday workshops have a bit of a reputation - the weather is always really good. Seriously, even in the winter the sun will be splitting the skies. People have been known to check out my workshop programme before organising weddings & BBQs. (ok, so I made that up)
Well, my first workshop of the new season was on Sunday and it rained. After a week of temperatures in the high 20s, I don't think any of us minded the cooler temperatures and as we were about to make Christmas Tree Skirts it seemed more appropriate weather.

I think everyone enjoyed themselves and all left with their Skirts ready for a bit of simple quilting. I was thrilled to have a young quilter join in on Sunday. At 12yrs of age she fairly brought down the average age, that's for sure!!

Thank you ladies, for easing me back into the old routine and for acting as unofficial pattern testers!
If you would like to make one of these Tree Skirts, you will find the pattern in my Etsy shop.


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