Tuesday 29 June 2010

Quilty Quarters

I'm happy to say that I am all caught up on my household duties, finally! It only takes a few busy days out to upset the balance.....most importantly, I tidied my Quilty Quarters, serviced all the Berninas, which I do every weekend anyway and polished the table tops. I re-covered two old ironing boards that had been given to me by the very kind caretaker of Caverswall Village Hall and they look like new again now.
Of course my clean and tidy Quilty Quarters called out to me " I'm feeling too clean and tidy, won't you come in and sew?'.... he he he.... Ta daaaaa... Another 9" block towards the border of my Portuguese tiles... table is happy, covered in dog-ears, trimmings and tossed unfolded fabric!!! perfect.....

Labels..... not my favourite thing to do, it has to be said.... this time, I stitched words onto the binding... well I have to use the alphabet on my Bernina baby some how! I will use this method again in future, that's if the quilt is to stay with me (and lets face it, most of them do!) these few words are quite sufficient. I know it's not very level, that's because I'd already stitched the binding onto the quilt before I remembered to do it... duh! next time, it will be level-er!!! ha ha ha

Sunday 27 June 2010

A Brilliant Idea?

OK, I have a brilliant idea that you might be happy to know about....
Do you have UFO's at home waiting to be made into sandwiches?
Do you often wish you didn't have to make your quilt sandwich by crawling round on the floor?
Do you put off quilting your project because you don't have space to make your sandwich?
Angie to the rescue...well sort of.... don't get too excited!!!
I'm not suggesting that I do it for you but what I can offer is the table top space.... If you don't want to come to spend a day having fun, stitching with fellow quilters but you would love to use our tables to make a sandwich... do it! !.....Come make your sandwiches at Caverswall Quilt Cave.
All you have to do is email, or call me, to tell me you how many tables you need so I can put them ready for you.
Is this not a brilliant idea????

"Quilt Cave Fun Days"... have been soooooo popular and very successful on Fridays.... I'm now able to offer ALL DAY SEWING on Wednesdays too. 10am - 3pm.
You bring whatever project you want to work on and if you need help I will try my very best to help you. Beginners are welcome, I'll always teach beginners.... we can never have too many quilters now can we!!!

Back to my chores now, I am feeling very proud of myself for coming up with such a brilliant idea, he he he

Saturday 26 June 2010

Promoting Quilting

With blazing sun and humidity, the temperature exceeded 30 degrees... and we were standing out in it!! Are we not wonderful people???
Oh how we suffer for our art!!! ha ha ha
We were promoting SPQ, (Staffordshire Patchwork & Quilting) and the Quilt Guild of the British Isles (such a long title?) ... oh, and beginner classes starting up in Eccleshall very soon.
We sold 101 flags attempting to pin-point buried treasure on a quilt, we sold many quilts and fabric goodies... total for our efforts so far is....£255.85.. brilliant! this money will go to the quilt Museum in York... have you been there?....

It's is so much fun talking to people all day.... I asked many ladies if they had ever tried, or wanted to try, patchwork... lots of them had you know.... they told me that it used to be thought of as ... dare I say it??? "Old Fashioned!!!!" but it is so "IN" now... it could be the first time ever in my very own life that I have been " fashionabubble" ( I argue with my 'spell check' all the time, for goodness sakes it questions the word 'Bernina').......
I caught Dotty trying to get into the Mayors posh car!!!! OK, this is a set up but I do declare that she would have taken it for a spin had it not been locked!

Friday 25 June 2010

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Shirley Lerly and Brenda Barbara made my morning. They both came swanning into the room with their lovely bags full of quilty supplies.... With huge smiles... perfect for a quilty meeting!!

Dotty Maureen proudly showed off the two quilts that we had been working on with the Rocheberie quilters last week, the ones for the injured servicemen/women... remember? And the ladies looking on were so impressed by how fabulous a few shirt squares look once stitched together..... We were 12 again this time, such a fun, party-like atmosphere!

Helen finished quilting her cushion front. She used the stitching to embellish this fat cat then trimmed him up and made the back of the cushion... we ran out of time to completely finish him though......

This is Lauren quilting her very own Rail Fence table runner with Maid Marion studying intensely over her shoulder.... she wants to learn everything that anyone knows about quilting, she has been quilting for 4 years already and is still hungry for more! wooohooo.

You must have noticed that I have very few pictures to show to you, I do apologise, we have so much fun in our new quilt cave and I flit about all over the place helping and talking and, and, and... I forget to take pictures.... My Mum came to play and picked up the camera which is a good thing otherwise this post would have been far too wordy! Anyway, this is Shirley Lerly and me myself, discussing our plan for her borders, don't tell me you didn't spot that she matched her quilt perfectly.... !

We had visits during the day from many ladies making enquiries about Caverswall Quilt Cave Quilty days.... It looks like they will be joining us in the near future.... so, I have decided to organise Wednesday meetings, very soon, I have been asked to do an alternate day to Fridays before, but now, tis a plan!
Let me know if you would be interested in patchwork & quilting on Wednesdays, same formula... 10am - 3pm, fun, fun, fun.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Lizzie stitched the binding onto her Pineapple Blossom quilt, this is one of my personal favourite designs from Quiltville. It looks complicated but is really very easy, Lizzie will stitch the back of the binding at home
So... she was able to move on to her next project. She dug deep into her shop/bag and pulled out these greens saying that she didn't really like them any more... so, I partnered them up with a few cream fabrics, showed Lizzie how to make an Ohio Star block... hey ho... a happy customer, she is going to make a whole quilt with green Ohio Stars now, he he he.
Giggly Gillian worked non-stop. She added the two borders to her Chunky Churndash quilt top then we 'invented' a backing. Gillian had made too many hour glass blocks so we wanted to use them up, added to this awful cat fabric ( her words, don't worry! ha ha ha) it was just about enough.....
In no time at all we had a quilt sandwich... homework for Gillian, she can quilt it on her new very own Bernina baby... with the lovely creamy walking foot. She's going to quilt with diagonal lines and then the straight lines... easy for this design.
One of the Dotty mysteries solved, remember last week she was sewing the yellow stripes? Did you guess correctly?? They were the window shutters... A cactus in a window, fabulous... this quilt will be hung for you to see at the NEC quilt show in August, one of three quilts done by Dotty.

Lizzie made this bag using my tutorial, she used smaller panel pieces, to make a smaller bag... of course it would be smaller with smaller pieces, ha ha ha. She's off to Canada next week and this is a gift for a friend there.

We will be taking a little break from our meetings for two weeks. What with holidays and Wimbledon on the TV and the Hotel double booking our room... we will meet again on Tuesday 13th July, 10am - 3pm.

Monday 21 June 2010

Summer Garden

I put a piece of paper over one of the kaleidoscope blocks so that I could draw the right shape and size, like a template, then I put tracing paper over the top of that and doodled away... once the tracing paper was full I changed it and doodled some more, until I was content. You can see how the final shape evolved... the 12 o'clock position was the first squiggle then go round anti-clockwise... the scribble on the right is practicing to get hand/eye co-ordination sorted out before I started the actual stitching.
Which colour thread to use... I almost went with mono filament.... but green won..... I'm quite chuffed, 'cause the quilting is done.... quilt's almost finished... I'll take the job of hand stitching my binding to the Alton Quilt group today, not that I get much done there, he he he.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Rocheberie Quilting Day

It's a 2 hour drive for us to get to the school in Rugby where the quilters were. Dotty was navigating... she wasn't sure of one roundabout... highly embarrassing as it had about 20 guys resurfacing the road and Dotty kept waving to them! They politely waved the second time we went round it and had huge smiles when we returned for the third time..... she was still waving.... I had very red cheeks from the embarrassment!
We were last to arrive and the ladies were all working hard. By the time we sorted ourselves out... it was coffee break time, perfect! ha ha ha.
We made two quilt sandwiches and set to on the quilting.

I decided to do large free motion meandering as it's faster than using the walking foot, no quilt turning or stopping and starting, except for the bobbin running out! Armed with my trusty Portuguese Galp gloves, I wandered over the very phooofy quilt, I don't like phooofy polyester batting! Dotty and I just about managed to quilt one complete quilt each before it was time to pack up and head home.
The other ladies have been making these injured servicemen/women quilts for a long time, they have made hundreds of them. They are always in need of wadding/batting, threads and fabrics and money to buy the supplies. They do great work.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Caverswall Quilt Cave

A very very proud lady! ... and rightly so... Shirley Lerly has finished her Chunky Churndash quilt....Congratulations are in order, don't you think? Absolutely Fabulous... this is Lerly's first finish, if you click on it and take a closer look you will see the lovely quilting in the borders....

This is quilt number two, all Log Cabin blocks finished, design chosen by her daughter, which is very cool, haven't seen this done before. Shirley got all the rows stitched together, decided which fabric will be the border.. may be another sandwich for next week? Now that she has finished one, she is getting very excited to make one for every one in the world! ha ha ha... you know that feeling?? "I want to make this one and this one and this one next"!!!
AJ (Angela that's not me) finished all of the blocks for her Log Cabin quilt centre that she started on Tuesday at Uttoxeter. She's chosen a different layout which looks great, I wish I had a picture to show you, it had a secondary pattern emerging. Anyhow, the borders will be Flying Geese...AJ thinks they are a bit fiddly as they need to be cut very accurately.... (I thought we were cutting everything very accurately though?) but she did a great job and these blocks will look stunning on the quilt.
Joan The Shop has also done a lot of sewing this week... The top is finished, it's a 100"+ x 108" , hope I've remembered it properly. The requested colour scheme had been 'olive greens and mucky browns'... not what Joan had wanted to work with at all, she loves bright batiks! She threw in the batiks anyway, good for her I say! Stunning quilt eh? 'Twill be a formidable task to quilt it (... now I wanted to write ... 'it'll be a bugger to quilt'... but I don't want you all thinking I'm a 'potty mouth'...he he he, so I got out the thesaurus, formidable?... you decide, bugger fits though eh! forgive me, he he he)

It was noticed by some ladies, that my camera was not being clicked enough, so it got hijacked! This is me, myself talking (for a change!) about making sandwiches, masking tape and level edges on tiles! ha ha ha.... We covered everything from getting the quilt backing "straight, taught not tight".......
... to where to put pins, more or less, and how much fabric to catch on the pins... all very important if you want a flat quilt with no puckers, at least , that's how I do it, you can do it your way, no quilt police here....., (see my shiny hair in the photo?)

Barbie Bunny made a start on her shadow quilting, she sewed fine but the sewing machine wasn't playing nice with the walking foot... it's very frustrating when this happens, she will buy a 'proper walking foot' for next time... have you noticed the Galp gloves, free with fuel in Portugal you know!

Anne (but we like the sound of Annie) also completed her quilt top, made a sandwich and started the quilting, on a Bernina baby with a Bernina walking foot... oh so creamy and accurate... he he he (did I mention that I love Bernina??? ha ha ha).
Annie did tell me that she couldn't quite get 'why' we do things the way we do... but during the last week she has had several "moments" you know the ones.... for example... "ahhh, that's why we use 100% cotton"..." ahhh, that's what the pins are for" , "ahhh, that's why they need to be thinner pins", "ah, that's what Angie meant about the pressing & cutting, I see it now"... you following me? I love it when it clicks!!!

There were 12 of us in Caverswall Quilt Cave... Dotty has almost finished piecing the top of her stunning exhibit quilt, Brenda Barbara made 10 more Chunkies for her Churndash sofa throw, Helen made a good start on the quilting of her Fat Cat, Lauren and Gloria finished the top of their joint Rail Fence table runner, and..... we had another new lady, already a quilter, who shall be known from this day forward as... "Maid Marrion"! I love that.... he he he, She was making fabulous aprons to sell at a charity event coming up soon.

A fun filled, action packed day for everyone me thinks. By the amount of writing I have done here, you're probabubbly thinking I'm in a very chatty mood!! woooohoooo, we're going to a quilting day with the Rocheberie Quilters to work on quilts for injured servicemen and women, I hope they don't mind me talking...... he he he, for sure I just can't stop today wooohooo.

Friday 18 June 2010

Jennie Rayment Workshop

Jennie Rayment workshop Twitch, Twiddle & Tweak on Friday 3rd September.... She has very kindly agreed to include one of her fabulous, side-splitting lectures at the end of our fun workshop hours, FANTASTIC eh! We get to see her stunning quilts!
This is a picture of the workshop project. It can be made from muslin or with coloured fabrics, it's your choice. The finished project size is approximately 28" square so it could be a cushion or a wall hanging... mine will be a wall hanging! I want to look at it and smile every day, he he he.
Jennie has complete muslin kits should you like to have everything prepared for you, they will need to be ordered in advance and cost £7 each.
Just e-mail me and I can order those for you, no problem.
I have 30 tables to play with, 21 are already booked. The cost will be £15 each.
To book just e-mail me. I will send you the requirements list and my phone number so you can call me if you want to, '(tis a scary world out there so I am afraid to post my number on t'internet! he he he) Have I missed anything.......?

Thursday 17 June 2010

Quilty Quarters

One more 9 1/2" block towards the borders of my Portuguese Tiles quilt... Cutting and piecing all done traditionally, by that I mean 'no tricks'. There are several techniques and rulers for making flying geese blocks and half square triangles these days, I didn't use them, just triangles stitched on to triangles... doesn't sound very exciting does it... hey ho.... It excites me though... when I get the ruler on top to see I've done a brilliant job of my pointy points!! I know... blowing my very own trumpet, again eh....

After culling my scraps very well in Portugal last year, they seem to have multiplied again. So I spent a few hours tidying them up. This is just a few sewn together in random order, I completed 7 more crumb blocks and have about 16 in the process, though there are only 6 of those in this photo....

A very tidy tray of scraps isn't it..... well, I must agree but....

look at this lot, it's a very deep drawer and I had it empty last year!!! I'm not going to worry about it, I shall carry on piecing... ooooh that could be a film title "Carry On Piecing" do you think Barbara Windsor would be interested?

Molly was wondering what I was rooting for and wanted to help, it made me smile so I took the picture, cute eh!....

Then my 20 year old, 13 year old son decided it was time to torment poor Molly and persuaded her to jump in!!!... squashed my scraps with the weight of her. I stepped in and got her out immediately... I do not want doggy smells on my lovely treasure of scraps!!!!

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Decisions, decisions... AJ (Angela that's not me) has been asked to make a Log Cabin quilt... for her Mum! She only just finished the last one, what a compliment. These are the fabrics AJ's mum likes being auditioned for their layout.....
Giggly Gillian (proud new mother of a Bernina baby) trimmed up her blocks ready for the 'togethering' of them (I really must write a new dictionary eh, he he he) She had sewn very accurately so not much was trimmed off, mainly the 'dogs ears'.... 36 blocks needed so Gillian had way too many hour glass blocks... she says she got carried away! No worries, we shall make Ohio Stars to put on the back.... she doesn't know that yet though .....
Dotty Maureen is being very creative of late. First the secret project that I've been avoiding posting about, now this.... yellow and grey.. what could it be? I am not going to tell you!
AJ made the final decision about the block layout, made a test block, loved it, cut loads of strips and proceeded to chain piece the 24 blocks. I would put money on it that they will be finished by now... she doesn't mess about once she's decided what to do!
Gillian's blocks, 18 hour glass and 18 chunkies, all 'togethered' (my spell check doesn't get it! ha ha ha). We ran up to The Craft Locker to choose great border fabric, Simone gives discount to my students, what a lovely lady she is! Inspired by this quilt, Jenni also started making chunky blocks, I'll get pictures next week....
This is what Dotty Maureen was making, can you see what it is yet? I'll give you a clue, it is going to be used to make a picture quilt bigger, she laid them out and we thought it looked wonderful. You will be able to see it at the NEC show in August!

We meet again next Tuesday, 22nd June, 10am to 3pm, and there is a table availabubble!, you want to come?

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Looking Back...

Yesterday evening I did my quilt presentation. It went very well, none of the ladies were quilters so there were only a few questions, they asked what I put inside the quilts, he he he..... but there were plenty of 'oooohs and ahhhhhs' which I was quite chuffed about.
I'd like to show you this quilt, it makes me smile to look at it, proudly, of course. It s a very early project, 1999 though not 1990. An American lady named Robin, took me under her wing to show me how to make a kaleidoscope quilt, not the Stack 'n' Whack way, the holey fabric way!
I did do a good job of getting the seams lined up, says I proudly, blowing my own trumpet!! See how much effort I put into the mitred borders? That bit was done all by my very own self, I quilted it with fishing twine, he he he, a cheap version of invisible thread that you can buy in Brazil, not at all fine like you can buy here. Anyway, I had been advised to machine quilt with this thread to make the stitches invisible. Being rather 'green' (which could be mistaken for 'thick!) I hand quilted with the fishing twine too, he he he... I Know!!! you think I am nuts eh! I didn't know I was goofing, did I. If you look closely you will see exactly how much hand quilting I did too... loads, mainly in the borders. When I was all done quilting, I cut out the elephants and hand appliqued them on and quilted round them, with fishing twine! raw edge applique with no 'sticky stuff'... because I didn't know, I didn't care either, ha ha ha
OK, now look at these corners... because I mitred them without knowing the rules, I hadn't enough fabric, but I patched up and continued. You can see I chose my patches quite carefully to disguise them, genius!!! Oh and I didn't know how to mitre my binding either, ha ha ha , aren't they just sweet... again, I don't care, done is better than perfect! I was destined to be a quilting addict from day one eh....Even though I didn't know how to do stuff "properly", it didn't stop me trying! I hope these pictures make you smile too, we were all beginners though weren't we, we should remember that.

Sunday 13 June 2010

We Road Tripped!

4 of us set of bright and early this morning to go to the Fabric Guild in Leicester. It's a blooming long drive from here. Dotty Maureen was our chauffeur for the day, she's a very good chauffeur you know. I bought a few necessary notions to add to my ever increasing 'Traveling Shop' and then a few choice fabrics, he he he. This pack was on special offer, 6 fat quarters for £6, lovely. I don't do fat quarters as a general rule.... but I made an exception for these.

I bought one metre of each of these lovelies, £3 per metre, they will be perfect for binding, I like patterned binding alot-a-lot.
This is one of the reasons I wanted to go all the way to the Fabric Guild in the first place, Clarice Cliff inspired fabrics... oooooooh. I'm from 'The Potteries' in Stoke-On-Trent so I had to buy this.

I didn't pick these fabrics to go together but when I was putting them on my table to check on what I had bought, with Dotty and her bag of goodies, I noticed that they look great together, the perfect mustardy yellow and very pleasing mucky green dots... maybe I will , maybe I won't... they're my fabrics... I can do whatever pleases me, can't I!

And this!!!! Ooooohhhh this, this is my most wanted fabric of the day/year. I have seen sneak previews of it on t'internet.... This is the reason I talked everyone into going to Leicester today... I LOVE IT..... love the colours, love the design, love the fact that the inspiration came from a local lady... love it totally!.... I bought the very last-est piece, the very last yard of it.... lucky eh? They can't get more. I wanted a few other Clarice Cliff inspired designs in this colourway.... alas, none left by the time we got there... shame, anyhow, I don't do 'matchy-matchy' so it doesn't matter to me. I might never ever, ever cut into this fabric and I am happy about that too! I might frame it and put it on my wall... I might snuggle it in bed.... did I tell you that I love it! ha ha ha

Saturday 12 June 2010

I Washed The Lot!

I'm going to do a quilt presentation for a group of local ladies on Monday evening. It's been booked for quite a few months now, since I did the one at Uttoxeter last September actually. So, today I washed all of my older quilts, dating back to my beginning in 1999... my very own antiques, he he he.
I bundled the quilts in to the washing machine with regular washing powder and crossed my fingers, 5 times! They're dry now and are all lovely and phooofy again. In between washes and quilt turning, I made two more blocks for the Portuguese Tiles. A very productive day all round, fabulous!

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Woooohoooo, 10 ladies! We are so happy in our new Quilt Cave. The room buzzing with chatter, revving machines, rotary slicing and clicking (I love the clicketty bumps, you know, when the blade is closed and the cutter is laid down on the table!... is it weird to like sounds like that?) tea spoons clinking on cups etc. love it, love it, love it! Next week I'll put out extra tables, extra electric extensions, extra chairs, extra cups..... it's a big quilty party!
Joan The Shop is working on this king size quilt for a family member. It's going to be 100" x 108". Joan has used Quiltville's Chunky Churndash blocks with a setting from Katherine Guerrier book, Scrap Quilt Sensations. We measured up only to find that more blocks are needed to get up to the right size, which was a little disappointing as Joan thought she had finished the centre..... I bet they are done by next week!
Barbie completed her Rail Fence quilt centre and added borders. A lovely rich red to highlight some of the main fabric colours which was followed by a 4" border of the playful cat fabric. I showed Barbie that we measure for borders through the centre of the quilt and not along the edges, here she is "testing my point" ha ha ha, the edges were a little longer than the centre you see.
Brenda Barbara is back from her holidays. She got on very well making all of these Chunky Chrurndash blocks during the day... this is the most production we ever saw from our Brenda!.. so that holiday has done her good..... She even managed to use only ONE table for the whole day... plus most of the stage! ha ha ha
Helen, who is Joan The Shop's daughter, used one of the Bernina Aurora babies to applique this Fat Cat. Never having used a machine before, Helen did a great job. The machine was set for blanket stitch on super slow, which helps her to get it all accurate, there's no point in rushing these things, it's all about the pleasure of the making! She is going to use the left over fabric to piece an interesting backing ready for next time... a sandwich and the quilting!
4 new ladies arrived unexpectedly... after a little rushing round on my part, organising more tables, sockets and machines, borrowing equipment setting them up, they soon settled in. Lauren and Gloria, another mother and daughter team, decided to work on a joint Rail Fence project, they did very well, everything pieced together lovely. They completed the top center together... borders next time.
Rachel on the left and her daughter, right obviously,... completed their Rail Fence quilt tops. This is also a mother and daughter team, it's so cool to have mothers and daughters playing together and being creative. That's Rachel's second quilt, she made a blue one last week, I do declare that she could possibly be addicted! he he he
Dotty Maureen worked on this bag.... I will try to cut a long story short now.... Messy Maureen had rather a lot of this blue fabric given to her. All of her projects have this fabric in them and she is tired of seeing it, so... Dotty Maureen bought a big piece from her, to help use it up. This thrilled Messy Maureen, who had been heard saying... "I'll use another piece of this 'bloody' blue" ha ha ha. Dotty has decided to make this bag in 'that bloody blue' as a gift for Messy Maureen! ha ha ha, I can't wait to see her face when she sees it!
Joan The Shop brought in this Log Cabin top that she was working on last week. She has added sashing and corner stones, doesn't it look fabulous! I want to remind you that Joan has only been a patchwork and quilting addict since January this year!! There is no stopping this lady, a real "one woman" production line, ha ha ha

There was another lovely new lady, Ann, she did lovely cutting and piecing too but I didn't get a photo of her work, next time I will.
The pictures are not brilliant, I know, but they were snapped in such a hurry as I was busy, busy... helping all the lovely ladies..... there is such a lot to learn in the first week or two.

I might have to promote someone to Camera monitor if we continue to have this much fun eh!