Sunday, 17 May 2015

And the winners are - UPDATE

UPDATE - Poor Nessa is unable to go to the Festival this year after all so has asked me to re-draw. I suggest she buys a lottery ticket this week because her number came up on the re-draw!
If at on my next attemt, the new winner is -

Oh yes please, I've missed it for a while so it would be lovely to go, such great inspiration!

Three lucky readers have each won a pair of tickets, for this year's Festival of Quilts.

1. Catrin Lewis16 May 2015 at 13:59
I've been for the last two years and been very lucky both times when it comes to tickets ;0) here's hoping I'm lucky again this year!

2. salamanda14 May 2015 at 12:27
Yes please, I've never been and it sound like fun

3. Nessa14 May 2015 at 14:25
l would love to go one day. Your "old lady" trip sounds perfect, and hopefully stress free! Should be a great time!

Well done ladies, I have emailed you individually.
And thanks to all who tried - I hope you still go to the Festival.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival

If you are looking for my FoQ giveaway, go here.

I've been entering the Blogger's Quilt Festival for two or three years now - I love that it brings together bloggers from all over who share a passion for making quilts.

For the Spring Festival I am entering my second version of my Modern Sampler - I stitched along with my classes on this one and it actually was quite a departure in colour for me. I have been keen to try out a darker background and chose a small b & w spot. My other fabrics started off from a fat 1/8 bundle of Kate Spain Cuzco and I went from there, using my stash if I could.

The quilt was constructed in four panels and then joined with wide strips, using QAYG techniques, this was the basis of the course for 2014/15 and if you are interested in seeing some of the others you can view a slideshow of my end of term show HERE

But today is all about me, ha!

The quilt measures 72" x 84" and I quilted it at home using black Aurifil #50 which, stitching black on black nearly did for my eyesight! Wadding/batting was Hobbs 80/20 in black and the backing was Ikea cheapo black & white alphabet fabric. (actually a duvet cover)

It's always nice to have your work appreciated.

I think I shall enter this into the Large Quilts category.
If you have popped over to have a look, thank you, and for those of you who are regular readers, why don't you visit the main site for a wonderful array of quilts, with more being added all the time.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

From Virtual to Reality


So, in my last post I just showed details of the super online Quilt Festival coming up later this month.

Today I want to remind you all about the fabulous Festival of Quilts, "Europe's leading patchwork and quilting show".
I think it might now be in its 13th or 14th year and I still remember the excitement of flying down to Birmingham for that first show and being overwhelmed by the volume of eye candy quilts to look at.
Then there was the year we had to hang about Glasgow airport for most of the day whilst Flybe got their planes in the right place......we missed a whole day at the show - boo!
There really is something for everyone from traditional to modern through quilt art and mixed media. Not forgetting the traders - we always like to think of it as a holiday where you spend mad money!

So this year my friend Janet and I had not made any plans to go - and then we heard that the local Quilters' Guild coach trip had spaces needing filled. What could we do but rise to the occasion and so we are off on our "old lady" bus tour, accommodation, lunch stops and entry to the Festival all included, feels good not to be organising for a change.

For those of you still thinking, still planning, I have been given 3 pairs of complimentary tickets for the Show to giveaway to 3 lucky readers of this blog.

To be in with a chance of winning just leave me a comment - now I always answer blog comments so if you have in the past commented and not had a reply it means you are probably a no-reply blogger. If you are not sure I suggest you include your email address in your comment e.g. joeblogsatgmaildotcom.
I shall draw the winners on Sunday evening. (17th May)

In other news, it's been busy around here despite having no classes. But I might just leave all that for my next post.

Good luck!! 

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Friday, 1 May 2015


Since I posted some of my April projects here, I don't want to repeat too much. I do have a couple of updates which has resulted in April not being too shabby.

My biggest project was Lucy's row for her quilt in the Bee a Brit Stingy row by row Bee. Lots and lots of foundation pieced geese.

I very much wanted to make something for a friend's birthday this month and woke up one day knowing exactly what would fit the bill - a 241 Tote using Noodlehead's pattern.

 Here it is ready with its Denise Schmidt lining ready to go in. The outer bag is a linen look cotton with a sweet design.

and the finished bag..............

I made a very large Granny, (24")

and then last week, I was reading a past copy of Love P & Q and was interested in Julie's take on Disappearing Nine Patch. You know that way, when you see something, and you just have to try it ?

I had a go, using some of my pre cut 2.5" scraps and added in a few newly cut ones too. Most of the fabrics used are pretty old and traditional but many hold memories of where and when previously used. I loved the random placement and direction of the blocks. The finished cushion fits in nicely with some of my other scrappy cushions.

I always quilt the backs of my cushions, joining them first of all to the front before actually quilting - I raked about in my stash for something suitable and found a linen look tea towel and instantly recalled buying it in Cairns, Oz, back in 2012. There's a memory in everything it seems.

Linking up for the first time in ages, to Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Blocks, blocks, blocks.

I thought March was busy but April has proved to be pretty hectic too, mainly to do with home improvements but thankfully the workmen have now all departed and there is just the cleaning still to be done as the dust settles.......oh joy!

Despite the mayhem I did manage a couple of sewing sessions and am thrilled to have finished the first Bee a Brit Stingy row, for Lucy. Her plan is a quilt for her wee boy which will look like a forest, she asked for Flying Geese and I came up with this. It measures 12.5 x 48.5. I do enjoy foundation piecing but oh, not the ripping out of the paper..............

One of my planned workshops for next year is called Going Large. On the day we will construct a block, a big one, like this - this measures 24" (finished). My aim is for students to use it as a jumping off point to explore other big block options with a view to making nine of them, enough really for a double quilt. This year my students made their quilts using QAYG techniques and using this new skill on these blocks would be a doddle.

My own intention is to slowly work through my scraps & stash making blocks as the fancy takes me. I think for a link I will use white in every block.This next one won't be universally liked but I made it for several reasons.
Say hello to my Big Granny.

This will not appeal on several fronts - the use of BROWN, the inclusion of batik fabric etc.
But here's the thing - I have boxes of precut scraps from last summer when I went through my organisational period (!!) The granny patches were 4.75" square so I pulled ready cut charms from these boxes. I don't have many batiks left, I don't hate batiks like mostly everyone in blogland, but, I do think they are tricky to marry with other fabrics. The other obvious fabrics in this big block are the Aboriginal prints. Now these bring back my wonderful holiday to Oz in 2012 where despite our best attempts, my friend and I were unable to find any Aboriginal fabric. Despite our not brilliant attempts, we were also unable to make contact with blog pal, Salley. On our return to the UK a package arrived from Salley containing the above fabrics. One of the things I love about quilting is looking back and enjoying the memories that different fabrics evoke. So for the above block, not even in a quilt yet, I will always think of my UK pal and my Aussie pal, all of us Grannies, and smile.
And to make you smile, here is a gratuitous pic of my lodger cat, Colin. He has learned to appreciate quilts in a very short time.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Open Day 2015

So despite rain, hailstones and computer problems, the Open Day happened, it was a great day and for those of you unable to come along or those blog followers who live far away, here is my annual slideshow. Fortunately, I managed to photograph many of the quilts prior to Sunday which was just as well as despite making sure that my camera battery was well charged, my memory card filled up rather quickly!!

Edit - when you hover over the play button, the big P for Pinterest appears, click just outside the P to be taken to the slideshow!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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In excess of 100 lovely people braved the foul weather to come and see this year's quilts. 30 of our "Modern Samplers" were on display - I really think my students have excelled themselves this year, the standard of work was just so high.
The Viewers' Choice this year was a lovely quilt made by Ann MacNeill - what viewers didn't realise was that Ann has actually made two identical quilts for a pair of single beds. You will have seen one the slideshow, Ann quilted her quilt using a twin needle and I suspect this tipped everyone's vote - it looked stunning. This year I asked my ladies to give me a maker's statement and this added an extra point of interest. Here is what Ann said on hers -

This quilt was inspired by the material which a friend of mine presented me with on her return from a holiday in the USA.
This made me think of American blocks such as Bears Paw, Underground Railroad and Crossroads. I thought the material and these blocks would go well together. With a few other blocks here is the result.

So, interestingly, the most popular quilt leaned towards the traditional and another that wasn't too far behind was the Underground Railroad sampler, by Amanda, a beauty, made with Downton Abbey fabrics.

The main feature of my course was for the blocks to be floated on a bigger than usual expanse of background fabric which I think leads to a more contemporary look, and of course all but two students used quilt as you go to assemble three or four quilted panels into one quilt. The two student rebels chose to hand quilt
As usual, we had our Bring and Buy Stall selling donated books, quilting magazines and this year, several large donations of fabric - sales from all of this plus teas & coffees gave us a grand total of £630 which today, I have handed over to Ayrshire Carers.

All that's left for me to say is a huge THANK YOU to all my students for continuing to support my classes, and to my lovely volunteers who helped organise and make Sunday such a successful day.


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