Thursday 30 June 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Let's talk about ironing...
This is one of Lizi's Log Cabin blocks, stunning isn't it?
She spent the day learning a lot about 'fudging' to get the blocks perfect, as you see here...
'Fudging'? for example... Many, many people, Iron their blocks to death... (especially if, like most beginners, they don't know any different) "seam only" prrrressing is quite sufficient in truth... if you are ironing your blocks 'to death' STOP IT!! ha ha ha, yes I am shouting!... "Prrrrress them", (roll those r's)... stop moving the iron whilst it's got pressure on your block... save that stuff for shirts!! So, when making up Log Cabin blocks, for example, if you can't help yourself and you feel the need to do "Shirt Ironing" and not gentle "prrrrressing"... your 'Logs' will, more than likely, be bowed or wonky. Prrress, prrrress, prrrress, please.
Shirley Lerly is getting on very well with her blocks, quite complex in cutting and piecing they are too... but, oh how beautiful this quilt will be, don't you think?.. She's not ironing or prrrressing with an iron... she's finger pressing, which could be called 'nail pressing', there are tools out there on the expensive quilting gadget market, but a nail will do the job... Tiny bits are better not being touched by an iron at all, they warp easily you see, a light pressing of the seams with only a finger nail, does the job perfectly... you can prrrress each block when it's completed, they will turn out very straight and square, I promise!
Arty Beryl had us all lost for words.. she's making the most beautiful Crazy pieced blocks now... oh soooo beauuuuuutiful. This is only one of many, embelished, trimmed, stitched so freely... we just stand by her table looking, quietly... you know how you do when you're thinking "Oh I wish I was more arty, I wouldn't even know where to start..." You know what I mean? You ever think that? I know I do... actually, I do know where to start... with the first piece , of course! ha ha ha.
Helen is also getting very creative. If the instructions in her book say to do or use one thing, and she either doesn't have it or doesn't like the idea... she plays, she does her own thing... PMS (Please My Self) This block, for example, should have embroidered motifs in each piece, they're expensive you know, plus the fuel to get to a shop, parking to go in etc... improvising not only saves lots of cash... it looks pretty cool too, are ya nodding in agreement?
My Mum (Gwynneth) is back from her holidays. She's making a fun pieced backing for her green and cream quilt. We had to calculate the setting triangles... I am a visual person... couldn't quite get it right with my maths so, I made a template... did you know that ironing two pieced of freezer paper, shiny sides facing, will make a rather marvelous and quite stiff template? You do now!

Not too many pictures this time... once again, we were too busy with stitchy fun and 'prrrressing' to take photos for you... that and I don't want to use my blurred ones, he he he.
We meet again tomorrow, Friday 1st July. 10am - 3pm. Table Top Shop, wadding under the table will be in full bloom!
See you there?

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Quilty Quarters

All blocks, eventually, got stitched together. (the weeding took me to 3pm, for goodness sakes... hot weather and rain, that's what's to blame!!)... I've decided to finish each edge star and call it done, no border so to speak... which means that it will remain a lovely lap size. It was/is really hard (for me) to get a good photo that shows the true colours of the fabrics in this quilt, it's kind of, sort of... camouflage-y but not too masculine green-ish with not too girly pinky-pink, with a splash of scrumptious, aubergine-y plum for the stars, and right now, I am tittering but the description is spot on!... I'm thinking it's a perfect combination for a young lady who might be deciding that black isn't the only cool colour she likes... getting 'in touch' with her feminine side, you know what I mean? a bit like growing up!... and yes, the spell check thing is giving me warnings! 
Uttoxeter Quilt Class today. Jenni should be making a large sandwich and our new lady, Marisabel, should be making two small ones, sandwiches that is. Lovely Lyn... I expect she'll be making binding and, possibly, starting a new project? 
Oooooh the suspense eh!

Sunday 26 June 2011

Quilty Quarters

New batiks from Moda. Delivered to me on Thursday actually, so I had been thinking about them for only two days really, one and a half days if we are wanting exact details... 
The quilt that Messy Maureen has been making is from a Woman's Weekly  magazine, a special craft edition which Maureen, very kindly, lent to me. So I had been thinking about that too... for a few weeks actually. It's a nice easy one. Obviously, thinking about such wonderful things can be dangerous... oh yes! in the end, I treated myself from my "Table Top Shop, wadding in the spare room", to a small quantity of the new and rather gorgeous batik fabric. .
 I love the smell of a Batik when it's ironed.. is that weird?  I cut it all up, mostly into 5" squares with loads of 2 3/4" squares and played stitchy patchwork... for the whole day, yes you heard me correctly the WHOLE DAY yesterday, Saturday!! I started cutting at approximately 8am and finished at 6pm, of course there was a tea break, a coffee break or two and a rather rapid lunch break... Is it possible to have tooooooo much fun??
I've been weeding my blooming garden since 7:30am this morning, it's now 10am, coffee break.... two more hours should see me done, weeded, tidied, swept up and.... back in my wonderful Quilty Quarters!! yeeeeha!

Saturday 25 June 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

As you can see, Toot Toot Toot!!! Chris The Very Good Foot,  finished all of her blocks and joined them all into rows, carefully matching up all the pointy points and corners. She laid them out so that we could all WOW over it, and wow we did! My goodness this is a stunning design, two very simple blocks laid alternately to produce such a stunning pattern, oooooo it's lovely
Maid Marion spent a lot of quality time matching her pointy points and other seams and it all paid off. She's very proud of all her centres and matching points and so she should be. Toot Toot Toot Marion! Matching things is only important if it's what you want... as you know we don't let the quilt police near our work! Setting triangles had all been added by the end of the day, she went home in a very good mood.
Gilly's working on her second motor cycle helmet bag. This one is made with the 10-minute block and Gilly is just hand stitching the Cathedral window-y bits. There's going to be appliqué and 3D butterflies added. Gilly's thinking about quilting designs, so many to choose from. Remember, if you want one, she'll make one for you, just ask.

Barbie had finished her Log Cabin quilt last week so it was time to start a new project. I think she's going to try Quiltville's Pineapple Blossom, we'll see next time as this week, Barbie wanted to make a toy bag. A quiet bag to keep quiet toys in, he he he. Dotty Maureen was called over to help Barbie as she is our bag lady! ha ha ha, of course I mean a bag expert, not the other kind. This one is being made without a pattern, Dotty is looking at another bag and inventing Barbie's as they go, very clever!
Messy Maureen came to use our tables. This is the biggest quilt she's made so far so it's going to be quite a challenge for her. Again the very useful Dotty Maureen was on hand to help with the pinning, thanks Dotty... She, Messy Maureen (can you keep up with all the Maureens??) did make a start on the quilting, she was following the star lines with crosses passing through the 4-patch blocks... she got quite a lot done by home time actually.
Helen continues to work on her Heirloom quilt. I'm afraid I'm not much use to Helen with this one, again it's Dotty Maureen offering guidance... which means that she is trying to stay one step ahead of both Helen and Maid Marion. Well, Helen is getting on very well with hers, improvising where necessary, such patience she has... actually, she loves playing with all the fancy stitches on her Baby "Nina". Helen asked me to mention that she has great plans to make more than one quilt with the blocks you all sent to her a few weeks ago, she's planning how to join them all and as soon as there is progress, we will see pictures... does anyone out there sell spare time???  There's a few of us looking for some...

Shirley Lerly 's just starting her new project... It will be another big bed size quilt. It's needing a little more complex piecing than she's tried before so, we decided it might be best to make up a sample block, Toot, Toot, Toot Shirley Lerly!! exact and perfect pointy points and stunning colour choices!! I think she only needs about 80 or 90 of these blocks, it will be absolutely beautiful, I'm sure.

Dotty Maureen brought her finished scrappy quilt to show us, quilted and labelled... it's called Wimbledon 2011 as she actually quilted it whilst listening to a tennis match on her TV. She says she was whoooshing round and round with her free motion loopy-loops and curves, keeping time with the tennis players bashing balls and serving, that's a novel new idea eh, me... I'll stick to my Led Zeppelin CDs!! ha ha ha

We meet again next Wednesday, 29th of June, 10am - 3pm, for more stitchy fun. Refreshments provided by Kettle Corner which is just past my Table Top Shop, wadding under the table with more bolts of fabric as there are now too many to fit them all on top!!
See you there???

Friday 24 June 2011

Joan The Shop

Yesterday I went to visit Joan The Shop in hospital, you'll be pleased to know that she has been promoted to the "probably going home soon, maybe next week" ward, she was in the high dependency ward before. We spent a couple of hours chatting, giggling, catching up, cutting, pinning, stitching, deciding and 'rooting' through Joan's box of fabrics' ... all good for the inner spirit. Joan's hexagon quilt is making good progress, if the nurses and doctors would stop interrupting her, she would have finished it by now, he he he. 

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Foxy Margaret continued to add the sashing and corner stone bits to her Log Cabin quilt. She wasn't sure whether she actually liked the colours until I took a photo and showed it too her..  isn't it funny how we see things differently on a photograph... she was pleasantly surprised and decided it was perfect for her old antique chair, what do you think? I think it's fabulous... it might need a small border, Foxy Margaret will try it for size on her chair and then decide what to do, good idea.

Chris The Good Foot... we could give her a very loud "Toot Toot" you know as she has finished all of her Tennessee Waltz blocks and all of her Snowball blocks... not only that... she's ahead of schedule!! She's coming to Caverswall Quilt Cave on Friday to start putting the rows together.. how exciting. See her notes on the paper, that's from when she was totting up to see exactly how far she still had to go.
Arty Janet knew what she wanted to make. She had in idea of how to do it and how it would work. We had a little 'conflab' (that's 'discussion' in gobble-de-gook and spell check doesn't like it!!) at the last meeting and the cutting all went exactly as we had predicted... wonderful, the piecing is way more complicated though, the long, thin pointy bits on the stars and all the bias edges, then there's the quarter inches to calculate... this is going to be stunning.. as soon as the easy way is figured out!
Maggie's quilt, all ready for pinning. She made a fabulous backing using up loads of little squares that she had left over from making the borders and one spare pieced block... I'll get a picture of the back for you next time... I should tell you that this picture is terrible, the quilt top is made with coffee browns and creams with hints of gorgeous orange... not yellow-y at all, it's the lights in the hall playing havoc with my camera, which I use on automatic, he he he.
Wendy's project looks a little too yellow also, but it is anything but yellow-y in real life... it's very bright and happy... this is only one of the quilts Wendy's made since the Katharine Guerrier workshop. She made this sandwich in preparation for the quilting... she might have sandwiched both quilt tops if her quilters safety pins were not all used up in two other project sandwiches... also waiting to be quilted!! How unusual is that? tee hee
Remember this? 'Sunny Side up', Beryl only made the sandwich last time she came and today she brought it in to our Quilt Cave, as she put it... "to prove that she does finish stuff". She quilted with wavy lines which are perfect for the top... it has a very cool 3D label, so you see, it really, really is finished... we can't consider our work finished until it has a label now, can we? hey, I always add labels to my quilts, eventually, but I won't tell if you choose not to, I might just mention it on my little blog though, ha ha ha! 
Arty Beryl has actually finished two quilts, both have labels.

 I hope you can see that Berly used the Faux Piped Binding I was showing to the ladies a few days ago, tutorial here if you missed it. For this quilt I've taken photos of both back and front so as to, hopefully, show you her quilting... we had the idea, obviously I was inspired by a blog somewhere, now forgotten, anyway, I was trying to describe it to Beryl and she, being a member of the very arty people group... ran with the idea... like ordinance survey maps.. that's how I described it to her actually... isn't it wonderful, so liberated!... ooooh... fun, fun, fun.

We meet again on Friday 24th June, 10am - 3pm, as usual. We have bookings for our tables so there will likely be more sandwiches to show to you... I'll try to do something about the yellow-y-ness (spell check, hello!)

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Jenni had her very own, very proud "Toot, Toot" moment... her quilt top is finished!! woohoooo, what an achievement it is too. Those tiny little Flying Geese blocks that make the pin-wheels in the centre of the stars were so fiddly and troublesome... but, I'm sure you will all agree that all the trouble has paid off... this one is spectacular and, for sure, has the WOW factor. 
The reds Jenni's used (from my Table Top Shop) are so much more "red and scrumptious" than they look in this picture... Next Tuesday the plan is to make a sandwich. Jenni has decided she'll use a cream fabric for the backing, that should only need one seam sewn so, pins and masking tape permitting, she'll be quilting it next time too.
At home Gillian had stitched all the tiny little bits she had left over from piecing the top and made a fabulous backing, I will have to show you next time... so, good and early in our day, she was able to make her sandwich. Gillian started the quilting using our "points & bellies" method... to make a lovely flowery shapes for the centre. This design will be repeated in the four corner blocks and each of the other pieced blocks will have individual treatment... looking good eh...
Lovely Lyn came with her brand new Janome sewing machine, which she says she's loving. First job was to attach the walking foot so as to join two pieces of wadding together, a handy thing to know about, then we moved on to make her sandwich and start the quilting. Lyn did a great job with the quilting too.. nice straight lines shadowing the zig-zag pattern of the Railfence design, next time she'll have a go at ditch hopping on those borders.
We had another new lady join us, Marisabel. She's had a go at patchwork in the past but she's decided to go "back to basics". She was very interested in every aspect of the day, pressing, cutting sewing... chatting & lunch!!  At The Bank House we can take a packed lunch or choose to order something wonderful from the hotel kitchen, it's very reasonable and tasty to boot. Marisabel's strips were cut at 1 3/4", they will be turned into place mats so the wider strips we normally use would have made the mats altogether too big... great fabrics from Moda!

As requested, we will start to meet weekly for a while, when the hotter weather arrives we might go back to alternate Tuesdays, so, for now, you'll need to watch the side bar for the dates and available places as this class is rather full at at he moment. We meet again next week Tuesday 28th June, 10am to 3pm.

Sunday 19 June 2011

Quilty Quarters

Not a great lot achieved on this quilt... but progress, all the same. I finished each of the setting triangles, and pretty much decided on the block placement. I will have to be careful with the edges as they are all on the bias. I spent a lot of time rooting, you know how I love rooting! searching for the perfect sashing fabric, I was quite surprised how great this green looks as sashing.. it seems to calm down all the brightness... a little bit? I have stitchy time planned for today... maybe I can get it all sewn together... then I can root some more while I decide what to put in my borders... 
I'll be visiting Joan The Shop this afternoon, poor thing is still in hospital, bored stiff. I wonder how many hexagons she's made... best take my camera... just in case there's a quilt to blog about! he he he

Saturday 18 June 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Barbie's blue Log Cabin quilt is finished all but the binding and a label. I think you will agree, that this design is stunning, every quilt in every colour way that the ladies have made has been fabulous. It's all about the contrast, don't you think. The Saw Tooth border adds to the "Wow"... Barbie is very happy with the fruits of her labour. The binding will be done with the denim-ish blue, Barbie's favourite of all the blues used. Time to start a new project... exciting.

Lynda has been stitching at home! not a huge statement I know, but... you have to remember that Lynda told us that she only worked on her projects at our meetings... she's coming over to the 'dark side'... he he he... she only started these blocks last time she was with us and already we are discussing the sashing and corner stones and her next two quilt projects have been chosen... welcome to our world Lynda!!! ha ha ha 

Maid Marion was very quiet, all day... very unusual. She wanted to concentrate on getting all her points pointy and her joins perfectly lined up. She made so many hour glass blocks that she was able to move on to joining them up to complete 8 of her pin wheels. Here we laid out the blocks with border and sashing fabrics, to get a better idea how it will look...

Dotty Maureen stitched all of her Katharine Guerrier blocks together, as you can see. She's still not sold on working with so many different fabrics. The centre bit is not in the 'centre', all the little squares that I'm sure you can see, this continues to bother Dotty actually as she wanted them in the middle. The only way to do that is to make more scrappy half square triangle blocks... lets see what she decides... Dotty can practice PMS (Pleasing My Self)... I think it's fabulous as it is.

We meet again next Wednesday, 22nd June. 10am - 3pm. We're going to learn about machine appliqué... that's the theory. There will be a short demonstration 'how to' done by me myself, then we will fly from there with whatever happens... one thing I have learned in my time with these lovely ladies is not to plan too much, he he he, we take it as it happens. One thing never changes though... we always have fun!

Thursday 16 June 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave, more

Foxy Margaret's Log Cabin blocks have turned out great... they are a little uneven and some bits are a little wonky... but that's exactly what we wanted. This quilt will be placed with a very, very old chair, antique in fact... so the little inaccuracies will make the quilt look older too... a modern, super accurate quilt might well look out of place. These blocks will have the red leafy fabric as sashing, some bits are already stitched on, you can see the way it brightens up the other colours... clever how some fabrics can do that, don't you think?
Gilly is on a roll with the helmet bags, yes, this is another one, there's probably a big gap in the market for quilted helmet bags... I see bikers world wide all carrying their their patchwork numbers on their backs, ha ha ha. The bag Gilly is making now uses the "10 Minute Block" tutorial and she tells me that the colours are perfect to match the helmet it's intended for.
Lizi decided that she wanted to start a new project, another large quilt, with new fabrics, very exciting! Inspired by my new Judy Martin "Log Cabin" book, she carefully chose her fabrics and set about cutting lots of 1 1/2" strips. She pondered over placement of colours and, by the end of the day she had it sorted.. you can clearly see that it's going to be stunning! Can you see at the top of this photo, that's Chris's table, she continued to work with her Tennessee Waltz blocks,
Chris The Good Foot  is actually ahead of schedule now, only by a couple of blocks but any amount of 'ahead of schedule' is brilliant. She has to do a lot of trimming with this Eleanor Burns method, but it all brings great accuracy so it's worth all the fiddle. I placed these few blocks just to show you how fabulous it's going to look, I sell the perfect rulers in my "Table Top Shop, wadding's over there"
Linda finished the last bit of quilting, straight lines in the borders, on her beginner project, Rail Fence. She trimmed up the edges good and straight with top tips that we all learn at Caverswall Quilt Cave. She made binding and stitched it on with the brilliant binding instructions and turned all corners as in this brilliant tutorial. ... wooops, I think I'm doing a little "toot toot toot" sorry. Next Linda would like to try some applique.
Gilly finished her yellow and black chevron helmet back pack and even brought in a helmet to show us how cool it looks, very practical to have a padded back pack for transporting helmets in, we don't like them to get scratched! You want Gilly to make a special one for you? e-mail me and I will put in a special request with Gilly! ha ha

We meet again on Friday 17th, that's tomorrow. I did mention that Table Top Shop, wadding on the side" might not be complete, but Dotty Maureen is going to help me take the whole lot to Caverswall Village Hall, so no need to worry, if you need anything, I probably have it for you... lovely, fresh, new fabrics just arrived from Moda too!!

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave, Katharine Guerrier cont'd

Lots of ladies have continued to make blocks after our wonderful workshop with Katharine Guerrier the other Friday, all were so inspired you see. Even Dotty Maureen, who doesn't like working with scraps and certainly not with radical designs, so she says, has actually produced some amazing blocks.. look at the picture, fabulous colours... I know it's a funny angle... there were too many to get in the picture really, please take note of how many tables she used, hmmmm.

Lacey Anne joined us this afternoon. She told us how she had thoroughly enjoyed our workshop too, and had continued working on the blocks at home. Obviously she has been busy, look how fabulous, completely different colours, a unique design, I guess most are unique though...
Wendy made / is making both of the quilt tops in the next two picture, she has made gaziiiiiiiillions of half square triangles, fully inspired by Katharine Guerrier. The tops are still works in progress, I have to tell you... I'm loving them... aren't you? Wendy says she will probably continue to make this kind of quilt ... in-between all of her other fansastic, often more complex quilts...
... it's the making of the Half Square Triangles that's great... not too much thinking about them... just steady production... mindless sewing... Sometimes (lots of times I'm thinking) we just need to produce things, to clear our mind and sort out bothering thoughts and stuff... and... oh, yes, let's not forget..., making them to avoid the chores, of course!! ha ha ha

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Angie's First Workshop

I've taught many people to do patchwork and quilting over the years. I love showing people how to do it, especially beginners,... there's such a special 'clonk' when the penny drops, he he he. Today though, I had been booked to do a "workshop", a real one, for ladies who already know a thing or two about the process.
They requested that I take my Table Top Shop, wadding on the side, I wasn't sure they had realised quite how much stuff I have these days, but I took it all anyway... good idea! 
'Pineapple Blossom', that was the subject of the workshop. I did my talking, with a little demonstration showing how to make one block, then came the part where you make the bonus triangles, very cool!... I shared several of my little piecing tips... This all went down very well actually, especially the pressing of seams, top tips there... soon it was time to get cracking and have a go at making one block, just to try as a sample... no pressure to make a whole quilt, a cushion maybe?
There was a beginner, my favourite... she thought it might be difficult... don't worry I'll help you!... (being helpful is my most favourite thing to do, well for quilting it is.. don't ask me to help with your chores!) ha ha ha.  This lovely lady chose to put animal pictures in her centres, well... I had never thought to do that before... fussy cutting centre bits and carrying the colours through the pineapple-y bits... absolutely fabulous!... it's on my "to-do" list!
I think it was a good day... most of the ladies learned a thing or two, lots of ladies went home with the intention of making more Pineapple Blossom blocks... some ladies shopped, some ladies just ooo-d and ahhhh-d.  I enjoyed it actually, maybe I will do it again, if I'm invited.

Two of the first blocks to be finished.

For now it's preparation time for Caverswall Quilt Cave tomorrow, Wednesday 15th June 10am - 3pm, as usual, you are very welcome to come over to spend your day stitching or to shop, just visit if you like.