Monday, 29 September 2008

Christmas Wreath

I have been working on a small Christmas project. I found the pattern on the internet quite a while ago and it looked like a good one to teach to the ladies. It turned out to be a little complex so I am working on simplifying the instructions.
First I had to draw the wreath and colour it in so that I could use it as a guide.
All the fabrics chosen from my small but ample stash!!!! tee hee ... I cut everything as the instructions have them written..... which is a challange in itself as I am not good at sticking to patterns.. but this was a trial run so I did as I was instructed..
Each little triangle is cut from a 3 1/4" square cut diagonally twice, so they are very small.... and stretchy!!!
I made as many as I could the fast way, ie draw diagonals and sew BEFORE cutting... so you see, I stopped following the pattern at step 2.... tut tut.

I think you can see the wreath shape coming together here.
This is the original pattern if you want to try it.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Quilt Class

We started Quilt Class with a little 'show & tell'. Magda was lucky enough to get a new sewing machine during the summer break and has wasted no time since then.
Armed with only a few pictures from the internet, her own creative talent and some gorgeous fabrics, she created this design. She now has the border fabric so we should see it finished for the next Saturday class (what do you think Magda?)

This is another of Magda's. Clever placing of the floral focus fabric gives the illusion of flowing roses and trellis
I should not laugh when a new student brings along her pride and joy machine, but I just couldn't help myself yesterday.
Actually, I jest.... Eunice has her own "real" machine but it was too heavy to bring to class. She had a very kind friend lend her this one and it wasn't until Eunice took it from the box that she realised what she had. She did try to use it, much to my amusement....

Luckily one of the class machines was free so she was able to continue in 'style'.

By the end of class Eunice had lots of rail fence blocks ready to piece together for homework.

Benvinda is hand piecing her project, after making the templates, here she is marking the sewing lines before cutting the pieces. White marking pencils are a great help on darker fabrics.

Magda finished this table runner too, all hand pieced. Obviously she is making the quilt sandwich here, with pins because it will be machine quilted! he he he, well, who wouldn't with a new Bernina to play with!

Wednesday classes at Arco Iris A Metro are so busy now that we are starting another regular class on Tuesday afternoons.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Quilt Class

Lots of cutting practice at quilt class yesterday (Wednesday).

As I predicted, Clementine finished her first hand pieced quilt and has decided to try machine work.
Here she is learning how to use the rotary cutter, mat and ruler.
She is making log cabin blocks to start with.

Rosario also got her strip set cut and then cut more strips to make a bigger project.

Anita continues to work on her sampler project, she cuts very accurately... she has had a lot of practice already.
Anita, multi-tasking.... sewing and chatting with Ann, it is great to find new quilting friends.....

With 3 strip sets all sewn and pressed, Ann was determined to keep everything precise and took great care to cut accurately....

Nothing sewn yet but these sexy colours show off the rail fence design very well....

This is Katja. She hasn't been able to come to class for a while. She is making half square triangles using this brilliant method where you mark the fat quarters with lines in pencil then sew either side of the diagonals before cutting anything....

You can see the drawn and sewn lines better here....

Perfect Half Square Triangles, very clever and much faster than cutting them individually.

This is the result.
This quilt will be full of pinwheels all made from these colours but lots of different prints.

There was a box hiding under one of the tables... I took a peek.... MORE NEW FABRICS!!!!!
This is a few of them... lovely!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Home again

I'm back from my trip to England...
In Manchester one day, I visited a textile exhibition. I was thrilled to find quilts and quilty stuff...... These photos aren't brilliant as most are taken through glass.

This quilt, as you can see from the description, was made in 1811.

This wasn't really a quilt so much as a quilted picture. On the label it said that the lady was a quilter though.... who could have guessed?
This was done all in black and white fabrics, very clever.
This is a floor exhibit, there were several leaves all made from different coloured buttons.

This quilt is Spanish and dated 1650 - 1750

Another day we went to Buxton in Derbyshire. There was a little 'junk' shop selling this machine for £38.00, it's a Fister Rossman hand crank machine. It has a shuttle shaped bobbin.

I have never seen this type of bobbin before.

I couldn't buy it, even though it was in full working order, it was too darn heavy and bulky in it's beautiful box!

Friday, 12 September 2008

IWP Quilt Group

Anneliese bought in a lovely apple pie to accompany our coffee... it was delicious!
It was Therese's day for 'show and tell', she has finished many projects over the summer. The Chunky Churdash now has pride of place on Therese's bed, she says it is perfect...
This is the label, evidence that this quilt reeeeeally is finished!

This is one of her three table runners. Therese used the 'cheats method' for these quilts... someone bought her this fabric with a patchwork design printed on it, Therese only had to do a little block piecing, the quilting and binding! sometimes it's fun to cheat....
Caught on film.... ladies in a shopping huddle, Anneliese bought in a fabric catalogue that the ladies couldn't resist. (She also had a new Bernina sewing machine over the summer!!)
I explained how to make a scrappy bargello quilt.... but these ladies were still trying to figure it out a while after! In my opinion... It is one of the patchwork methods that sounds very complicated, but once you make one, it is probably one of the easiest... Bette and Cathy will be making one soon... though they are still a little puzzled, I think the expression is... "as clear as mud!"

Some ladies who were gathered around looking at Therese's quilts, on the table.

This week I named my new sewing place...
Cave is the portuguese word for the basement layer of a house, my room is in the basement so....
from this day forward it shall be called "The Quilt Cave"

The next IWP Quilters meeting in The Quilt Cave will be on Thursday 2nd October as the 25th September is our IWP Activity Fair.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Quilt Class

Clementine came to class with all 3 of her blocks finished. During class she sewed all the setting triangles in place, she does lovely hand work. I did hear her make enquiries about learning to piece by machine though... he he he

This is one of 4 new ladies that came to class this week. Her name is Amalia and this picture shows her singer sewing machine, it is from 1929 and is very heavy. It is a real treat to see older machines working alongside the modern ones... generally, not a lot has changed really...

Paula's oldest daughter, Sofia, was making a block today she did very well with her tiny machine.
Sofia was struggling with her piecing, her regular computerised sewing machine is poorley so she had to downgrade for this class. But those babies won't wait and the quilts need to be finished!

Anita finished three blocks for her sampler quilt. She is not finding it easy to choose the fabrics for each block, this comes with more experience... looking good so far though.

Ann has decided to go back to basics and so started a new Rail Fence quilt. She wants to iron out her doubts before continuing her Bento Box style quilt. This is Ann & Anita working.

This is Clementine, hand stitching. Ines, in the background, is learning to hand quilt and was teaching Sofia how to piece at the same time... multi-tasking!
It was a very busy morning. I didn't get pictures of everyone as I was busy busy busy....
Next quilt class will be on 24th September because I will be taking my home leave trip to the UK soon.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Big Stitch Quilting

A while ago I made this lap quilt, I called it "Tutti Fruitti". It is hand quilted in the 'big stitch style'. I used perle cotton thread and a good sized needle. This style of hand quilting is very fast to do and gives, I think, a great, fun look to quilts. All of the coloured fabrics are hand dyed.
For this quilt I used varigated threads. I started the centre circle by drawing round my tea cup and just went round increasing each time by one inch, it took me approximately one week to quilt... like I said, it is fast hand stitching this way.

Friday, 5 September 2008

A Janela

Our Thursday quilt group falls under the umbrella of the IWP (International Women in Portugal) It is a social group with many activities, trips and the like... a lifeline to any newcomers to Portugal. They produce an amazing magazine each month and the September issue features pictures of our quilts from the quilt show/ coffee morning in May. Hundreds of people read this magazine... we quilters in Portugal are famous!!!