Thursday, 15 August 2013

Starting a Modern Guild

Out in the wilds of the Cotwolds in Gloucestershire there is very little Modern Quilt Guild action!

Whilst I was in London at the Fat Quarterly Retreat, Sonia from Fabric and Flowers had a chat about getting together regularly to chat, swap tips and share our creations... then life took over and the idea has been floating around in my head...

So I thought I would get the ball rolling!

Thinking about a group that gets together once a month for coffee (herbal tea for me) and cake, friendship and sewing...

Are you in the area?

Would you like to meet up with other modern quilters?

It doesn't matter where you are in you quilting journey, you just need an interest in quilting and like eating cake!

Let me know in comments - make sure you include an email address!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Summer Juggle

My poor blog has been really neglected over the last 2 weeks!

A combination of 3 active boys at home all day, work deadlines and a decision to do something about my health (read addiction to coffee) has resulted in not much time for anything else!

It is now 2 weeks without caffeine and I finally feel much better, most of the time!

I did manage to get the Festival of Quilts last week, which was amazing!

This is an action shot of the queue outside the halls! It was a very long queue!

I didn't take any photos in the show, I was too busy admiring and gossiping with my lovely friend Liz who doesn't quilt, but loved the show. My interest has definitely changed to a fascination of the texture and design process of the Art quilts and the amazing works of art they create from seemingly humble inspiration. It fitted perfectly with the design part of the City and Guilds of my module that I am working through at the moment. It was good to see other people working on the path I want to take.

I only took a small budget and came away with 2 books about design and textile art, thread and needles. The only fabric I bought was from Simply Solids to finish my book shelf quilt - bit of a shock to my system!

I did get to try out a Sizzix Big Shot and it is amazing! I need one of them in my life! It will work perfectly with some of the groups I work with you struggle to use a rotary cutter or scissors. It's on my list from Santa this year!

I was slightly naughty when I got home and ordered this entire collection from M is For Make:

This is just 3 of the Just for Fun Collection from Birch Fabrics!

I fell in love with it and thought I would put it into my stash for a later date, but midi has seen it and we have started designing a new quilt for his 8th birthday in November - at this rate they will each leave home with 20 quilts each!

Hope you are enjoying your summer and managing to get some sewing done!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Q3 Progress and 2 winners!

On my Q3 list a quilt for my dad that I started 7 ish years ago.

It has been sat bundled up in cupboards in 3 different houses waiting to be loved!

Finally it has been basted and made it to the sewing machine for some Free Motion Magic!

I love the pin wheels and decided to quilt swirls in the spaces around the stars, swirls remind me of wind blowing the pin wheels.

There are some spaces between the pin wheels that are trapped in so I have been putting parallel lines into the triangles. I am using variegated Aurifil thread number 3320. It is perfect for this quilt!

It is a massive under taking to get this quilt done, but I plan to finish it as soon as possible - I think my dad has waiting long enough!

Now to the winners!

Sorry has been a couple of days - time seems to slip past me in the summer holidays!

So the two winners are: Hannah and Helen Lay!


Can you email me so I can send you a copy of the pattern each?

Off to Festival of Quilts on Thursday - I can't wait!!!!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Making a Start... City and Guild

So the email arrived delivering my first 3 modules of the City and Guild course... it kinda scared the pants off me!

It is really in depth and full of information!

After glancing through it and freaking out, I gave myself a stern talking to!

Take a step at a time like I do everything in life..

So yesterday I spent a small fortune on:

It is 20+ years since I bought artist equipment - I dropped art GCSE for biology.... So I panicked about even having to draw!

You start with simple line drawings:

Than add some structure, I cut into mine:

Peppers are pretty beautiful things! I do remember spending hours in art at school cutting fruit and vegetables to draw in the internal structure.... Not too shabby, given a total lack of drawing for 20 years!

Then create a window using card to focus on a section:

Take a section and enlarge it. Then fill with design - like you are doodling:

And there it is!

The first 2 exercises nearly done got to copy this and colour it in with 2 different colours. Then repeat the selection of a window to enlarge.

It has been fun and I am not feeling so freaked out - so slow, steady and one chunk at a time is the way to go!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Splitting Squares!

After a couple of months of working away my first pattern is ready!

Splitting Squares is the perfect pattern for beginner quilters.

I wanted to take some of the skills I teach in my patchwork classes and put them into a pattern so people who can't make my classes would be able to learn the skills in the comfort of their own sewing room.

The design is simple, but beautiful and gives you a perfect baby/toddler quilt.

The pattern has in depth cutting and piecing instructions to help complete beginners to learn how to piece patchwork confidently.

The finished quilt size is 42" by 42".

I couldn't have made this pattern without the help of 4 lovely pattern testers: Lisa, Emma, Sarah and Sherry. They found the mistakes, suggested great additions and gave me a beginners perspective on the pattern. They made awesome quilts with the pattern, which I am going to show you tomorrow. Thank you so much guys!

You can grab a copy over at my Etsy shop.

To celebrate the launch of the pattern I am giving away 2 copies of the pattern!.

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me which fabric you would use to make the quilt. Simples!

The giveaway will finish on Sunday 4th August at 12pm GMT.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Improv Patchwork!

A couple of weeks ago I had a fabulous weekend in London on Fat Quarterly Retreat.

I met so many lovely people and had time to enjoy London without kids attached - eating dinner out at 10pm was amazing!

As part of the weekend I took a class in EPP, learnt how to use Touch Draw and took a hand quilting class.

I also took a class with the wonderful Lu Summers of Summersville. It was all about portholes, which are really fun to make!

 I chose Comma for the focus fabric and then went crazy with matching Kona solids!

I love the explosion of colour!

I wasn't lucky enough to get into Lu's class on Improv quilts, but I was able to buy her new book:

It has Portholes as well as loads of patchwork techniques to try out. I am planning on using a few of them to turn the blocks into a small quilt.

Lu even signed it for me... I think the 'crazy lady' description is pretty accurate!

I loved my weekend making new friends and taking Lu's class - my first patchwork class in 17 years of quilting!