Wednesday 31 August 2011

Staffordshire Patchwork & Quilters Meeting

Today is the very last day of August... which means that tomorrow will be the 1st of September....
Falling on a Thursday, the very first Thursday in the month, means that it's an SPQ meeting day.
I thought I would remind you.
This month the guest speaker will be Ferret so we're in for a proper treat.
It will also be your last chance to book up for the Dawn Cameron Dick workshop in October, there are 4 placed left. If you have already booked your spot, please remember to take your final payment so you can have the requirements list and start gathering your 'stuff'.
The doors open at 6:45pm, and I have been invited to take a small part of my Table Top Shop, wadding in the van... so I will, the problem though... is deciding which bit to take...

See you there?

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Quilty Quarters

This quilt is full of liberated piecing, no doubt about that. The fabric choice and the colour placement was very carefully planned... The free motion quilting was very carefully planned, the thread colour was carefully planned too...
BUT... as usual, I was struck with the urge to "Please My Self"... good old PMS!!! I decided to play with free motion quilting, only to use red thread and to 'go for it'... Free Motion Ditch Hopping... wooohooo. Random squiggles going 'outside the lines' wooohooo. Wonky flowery things, square spirals, wonky straight lines galore, woooohoooo!! I've stopped to take a breath now. Walking foot is on and I'm taking great care to stitch 'in the ditch' on both seams of the tiny purple inner border... that leaves only the borders... Hmmm... wonder what I will do with the borders....

Monday 29 August 2011

Something Good To Know...

Do you have quilt tops 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 Village Hall (post code - ST11 9ED) 
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????

Sunday 28 August 2011

Quilty Quarters

Quilting's finished and the binding's on. This quilt is really soft to touch. The Moda fabrics feel quite silky and I used the £6 per metre wadding from Table Top Shop. It's 100% cotton with no scrim. It actually feels a little rough on the roll but it quilts up lovely and phooofs up very nicely around the quilting stitches. It's a little bit whiter than the 80/20 stuff too, which was my main reason for choosing it in the first place. I wanted the whites to stay very white, sometimes a more creamy coloured wadding will show through and spoil the crisp-ness.
There are now two quilts in my binding pile. I have another sandwich ready, the wonky redish, blackish and yellowy one, so I might just start quilting that now and save the binding for my Mum... oooops I mean for later, yes, I'll save the binding for later! ha ha ha

Saturday 27 August 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Only a small group of us in the Quilt Cave but very productive. It seems to be the season of the sandwich in Caverswall Village Hall at the moment. This spectacular door hanging quilt top belongs to Dotty Maureen. She had originally started to make the Bargello that the other ladies have been making... but in true Dotty style, she changed hers, taking out one row of the design and flipping half of it upside down... Easy eh! She had wanted to make her sandwich too but just the night before had decided to add those lovely leaves in the bottom left corner, so... as they were only stuck on she had to forfeit making a sandwich in order to satin stitch them. She used Madeira rayon threads, beautiful and shiny. She had begun to wish she hadn't added the leaves but, I think you will agree, they are fabulous and have been well worth the extra work. Maureen can start her Wednesday meeting with a sandwich now.
Lovely Lyn pieced her backing and made her Log Cabin quilt sandwich. This is Lyn's second quilt, the biggest to date. She's going to quilt it with a simple design to stabilize it then we'll see how she feels about a little more quilting. She's made a few bags over the weeks too, which turned out great and she is now the proud owner of a stylish Mat & Ruler Bag which she's made in only two classes, in between working on this quilt.
Another sandwich... Lynda this time. Oh she is proud of her quilt, and rightly so, it's just fabulous. The last quilt she made, the black and white one which was also her first, had taken over two years to make, the majority of the time spent on the piecing... that was before she joined us in the Quilt Cave, she's very inspired now though and has a growing list of quilts she wants to make, so I think she's in her patchwork groove...

This picture shows you the pieced backing Lynda made, all by her very own self! She says she thoroughly enjoyed making it too... what a great idea to piece the striped fabric the way she has... adds a Wow factor, don't you think? very funky... She's going to quilt through the diagonal small squares to start with, the rest will be decided as she goes PMS time (Please My Self)

Kate had started to quilt her gorgeous appliqué quilt with free motion stitching and has now moved on to her walking foot. Some of the tiny shapes were proving too difficult to keep accurate with free motion because of the size of the quilt. She had more control with the walking foot and, so long as she's happy, that's just great! Such a lovely quilt.

We meet again next Wednesday 31st August. 10am - 3pm. Folks are starting to return from their holidays now so we might have quite a party going on... then again... it's a Bank Holiday weekend so, maybe we'll be few in numbers... we can't really predict, hey... it's not important... no matter how many people come, we always have loads of fun!

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

As I predicted, Wendy arrived with a big smile on her face... the Bargello table runner top is done... I bet you're not surprised at all! Today Wendy made a sandwich, which didn't take long with it being a small project. She's not sure what she's going to do with it though as it turned out too big for her table, hey ho, I'm sure it will be someone's birthday soon...
For the rest of the day, apart from shopping in my Table Top Shop, Wadding on the side, Wendy was finishing off her set of very posh cushions, oooooh with zips!!! I suffer from "Zip-fobia" so I was very impressed. Did you know that I have "Bag-lexia" too? he he he These have been made with the 10-Minute blocks... very posh cushions indeed.
Irene made this quilt from a pattern in one of the new UK quilt magazines, it's perfect for showing of that gorgeous floral fabric, that's from Table Top Shop too, but it was sold out very quickly... no wonder, it's gorgeous... Irene picked great colour fabrics to set it off, don't you think? This is one of three Lap quilts that Irene plans to make. She also made a sandwich with the quilt top she completed last week, it will be quilted with lovely King Tut Variegated thread.
Annie Pie finished the centre of her Bargello, stunning! She cut fabrics for the borders, 1" brown inner border with a 1/2" cream one followed by the 3" of the lovely floral fabric... beautiful, you know, I think of Neapolitan Ice Cream when I see these colours, can we still buy it these days? The vanilla always got left to last in our house... funny that because vanilla is my first choice these days... I know you don't need to know this... I was down memory lane you see.. tee hee
 Annie Pie also made two sandwiches, here's one, Square Dance, and the other was the large scrappy one she started with Katharine Guerrier... remember last week we were choosing block placement and Annie Pie labeled each one to keep them in order? Well she had a stroke of PMS (Please My Self) when she got home, took one row of blocks out and made an additional red block... hooray for Annie! PMS is good for your sole!!!!

Arty Beryl has no problem at all in pleasing her very own self... she sews up bits and chops them up again to make strips, then she sews them together with a bit of this and a bit of that, she decorated some other fabric with her fancy stitches ready to melt it with her heat gun when she gets home.... like I said PMS full on!
Barbie can't come to play on Friday... something important cropped up. Horrified at the thought of missing her Quilty Fun day, she came today instead... it's easy enough to chop and change days with us. She quickly stitched her backing fabrics together and was able to make a sandwich, she even made a good start on the quilting.

We had 19 bright new fabrics for the Table Top Shop, all at bargain prices for a limited period... until Friday October 14th , if they last that long... after that they'lle go back to the warehouse.
We meet again on Friday, 26th of August, 10am - 3pm and that will be the last Friday of August, September is just around the corner... 'drat and double drat'... the nights are already drawing in... aren't I the bundle of joy? ha ha ha

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

Here you go.... As expected, Lovely Lyn has been stitching at home and has finished her Log Cabin quilt top. Lots of ladies have made this design and, I have to say, every one is as good as the next... every colour way is stunning. It's a quilt with WOW factor and I think that is helped a lot by the Saw Tooth border blocks. All blocks are 9". Lyn will be going to Caverswall on Friday to make her sandwich and to start quilting it. Today though, she was making her quilted Mat & Ruler Bag, the tutorial for which... should you want to make one of your very own... is on the right side bar.
Marisabel had been stitching at home too and had all three of her strip sets completed. Next step was to join all three strips together, make a loop by joining the two ends together, press the whole thing very carefully then cut wide strips and little strips, unpick a seam, in the right order of moving them up or down... it's very easy!! ha ha ha Come on over and I will help you!
Messy Maureen made a few practice blocks for her charity project. The first block was a little too complicated with too many triangles of different sizes, just keeping track of the cutting was enough. The second block was a keeper, a good sized square for the centre which was framed by triangles, but much easier triangles. Maureen purchased two fat quarters to give her the Red,White and Blue theme and cut out all the necessary bits. She's going to need 4 of these blocks for the table runner.
Giggly Gillian has made about a thousand of these large HST's (Half Square Triangles) all will be 6" finished. I exaggerate, I know, but the table was covered in them... looked like thousands to me! She's going to introduce a couple more fabrics yet, she says it needs 'brightening up'. We'll lay them out next time to get a better idea where she's up to. It's difficult to decide what's needed with them all in little piles.

I showed the ladies a few of My Mum's (Gwynneth's) quilts and they put  a few of then on their "I want to make one of those" list, other peoples work is so very inspiring, that's one of the the best things about working with a group of quilty chums I guess.
Holiday and weddings, visitors and workmen, day trips and gardens... all have to be attended to, so... we won't meet again in Uttoxeter until Tuesday 13th September, three weeks from now. There's always a table spare at Caverswall though, should you want to come over to play!!

Monday 22 August 2011

Quilty Quarters

My Fishy Bubbles quilt is almost finished, well... the quilting is done. I decided to make a line of random bubbles all round the border, hope you can see them to get the idea... it was an easy decision, I doodled round the appliqué bubbles... and it just came to me, genius? The binding is on and is slowly being stitched, by hand. This will take ages as I can only hold the needle for 5 mins at a time... but it will get done.
I've been noticing that binding done by machine doesn't lie as flat as when it is hand stitched. My Mum (Gwynneth) offered to hand stitch for me, so there is a plan 'B'... lets see how it goes.
I've also done the majority of the 'Ditch Hopping' on this quilt, I might call it 'Star Light, Star Bright, nothing like quilting into the night'... ha ha ha... it went dark while I was quilting... funny how I don't notice the time slipping away whilst playing in my Quilty Quarters. I'm doing this one with the walking foot, the patchwork says it all!

Saturday 20 August 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Barbie used her bonus Half Square Triangles (HST's) to make a rather stunning border. She had to do quite a bit of fiddling to get it to fit as the calculation formula for coping strips indicated that we didn't need to add one. Barbie discovered that her machine needle had been in the wrong position so all the seams were a tiny-weeny bit too small... how irritating eh... just a tiny bit over 28 seams adds up to a lot though. At least she didn't need to unpick anything, she was able to go over each seam with a second line of stitching and the problem was solved! She's going to make a pieced backing next week and, hopefully, a sandwich.
Maid Marion is determined not to start another project until this one is totally finished. She's hand stitching the binding and says it's a long way round a double quilt... actually, she's a little chatterbox who stops sewing while she listens and chatters... that's why it's taking her ages, there's no rush though eh... chatting and giggling is too much fun not to participate!... not long now, she's planning to buy the fabric next week for her new project.
Dotty Maureen bought some beautiful fabrics from the NEC last weekend, perfect for the Stained Glass type quilt she's been wanting to make. She had seen Ruth struggle a bit making hers so Dotty decided to do a sample set of blocks with yukky fabrics, just to get the method sorted out. I say yukky fabrics because the dye from them was all over Dotty's hands when she had finished. She's ironed out the problems she encountered and so can make another start using the good fabrics... next time.
Gilly still has not found the other half to her quilt, she looks like she's getting rather cross with herself now. She's going to go through all the bags she ever brought to class, the car boot and even coat pockets until she finds it. Meanwhile... these tiny HST's (Half Square Triangles) that measure only 1 1/4" are Gilly's 'Leaders and Enders' inspired by Bonnie at Quiltville. That means they will be 3/4" finished making... ooo heck, 3" star blocks!!! remember, this is curtain fabric so it's quite a bit thicker that our normal fabrics for patchwork!
We only had a small group so there was time for me to make a sandwich of my very own. It can be hanging over the banister until I decide how I want to quilt it... each time I pass by it I'll doodle my finger across hoping for inspiration.

That's it for this time... we meet again next Wednesday 24th and on Friday 26th August. 10am to 3pm as usual and there is a fabric order of 19 bolts on it's way which should be in the Table Top Shop just in time for your next visit.

Friday 19 August 2011

My Mum (Gwynneth)

My Mum (Gwynneth) only started to come to Quilt Cave meetings so that she could help me out with the Table Top Shop. At the time, June last year, she was not and had never wanted to be, "A Quilter". She was happy knitting and making gorgeous lace things with millions of bobbins, look here. On her first day, at my suggestion, she bought her lace making pillow, with millions of bobbins of course, to do a bit of bobbin work in between selling things and taking money from the ladies.
 I don't think she even got it out of her bag... Second day she came to play, she chose a few fabrics and over the next few weeks, she made a Railfence table runner... as most beginners do, but she added Churndash blocks and a few other changes, to make it original,... after that she made two Bento Box quilts, I had used the fabrics to demonstrate how to make the Bento Box block and Mum continued and finished them..
See the quilts in the picture above... they're some of the quilts My Mum has made over the year... yes... one year!... 
There were others and they have been given as gifts, 4 I think. There were table runners made for Christmas presents and raffle prizes too and a few bags made and sold. She's working on quilting the Pineapple Blossom now and binding her Friendship Star quilt at the same time. 
You know she still denies being "A Quilter.. what do you think?

Thursday 18 August 2011

Free Motion Quilting

I'm sure we all have our own ways to do free-motion quilting. I  like to quilt with all over patterns, ignoring the patchwork and covering a quilt in doodle-y, curly, zoopy-loopy designs, they're very much fun to do... But...
If I've taken the trouble to piece something fabulous, like the more traditional blocks, I often prefer to use the patchwork design and play with it for quilting, either free motion or with a walking foot. As most of the ladies who come to Caverswall Quilt Cave were complete beginners when they first started coming, they are bound to be influenced by the way I do things. There is ABSOLUTELY NO PRESSURE to do things the way I do, you know I encourage PMS (Pleasing My Self!) but they ask, so I show 'em how I do it.... nothing I do is prize winning standard, I know that but boy do I love doing it.
So, yesterday Helen asked for suggestions on quilting designs for the Charity quilt she's making... but this time she said she was ready for something a little more challenging.
Tracing paper time! Place a piece of tracing paper over the block and begin to doodle possible designs on it, while looking through the paper at the block you've got... as simple as that. Start by following the patchwork until your pencil/eye sees an opportunity to wander off doing it's own thing... when an idea pops up.. change the piece of tracing paper, roughly draw the 'idea lines' again and continue to work with them. This method is not foolproof, there will be over quilting, wonky quilting and wobbly quilting but it is such good practice... Helen is a convert, once she 'got it' she doodled zoopy loopy, swirly twirly lines everywhere, each block gets better and better, because 'Practice Makes Perfect'

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

This is Annie Pie's Bargello, wow these ladies are turning out some lovely Bargellos... every one looks completely different with every one just as stunning as the next. Annie has already chosen fabrics to make a second one, rich plums and blues... can't wait to see how that turns out. I heard whisper that she might even attempt the Scrappy Bargello with the pattern over on Quiltville... one of my most favourite scrappy quilts to make.
Marisabel and lovely Lyn joined us at the Quilt Cave because there wasn't a class at Uttoxeter this week... These ladies have fallen for Patchwork and Quilting, Hook, Line & Sinker ( another strange saying eh!)... Lyn continued to work on her Log Cabin quilt, it's almost ready to be sandwiched. Marisabel chose fabrics to make a Bargello of her own, she brought in a few fabrics and she found the rest on my Table Top Shop, wadding on the side... with the help of yours truly.

Irene's been working on these wonderful blocks for only a couple of weeks... what a clever design. It's a sort of Log Cabin, a square wrapped only on two sides, but has the look of a rather special Rail Fence. Irene chose great colours to show off this design... don't ya think?
Wendy found a book with more Bargello patterns in it. One of which is a table runner, you can just see it in the picture I think. She cut out loads of strips and stitched them together, got in a little pickle as the design didn't work so she unpicked them all and started again. Once they were re-arranged everything worked out great, I bet it will be finished for next week.

See, I demonstrated the Bargello a few weeks ago... only Wendy wanted to make one, so she did, but the others were keeping an eye on her... Once the ladies saw how lovely Wendy's quilt was, more wanted to have a go... and so it goes... even Dotty Maureen couldn't resist. She's tried them before with written instructions, and got in a muddle... it's a very visual thing really, much easier to 'watch How to make Bargello' than to read it, even with pictures... You can see that Dotty's will look very luscious indeed!
Annie Pie is still making blocks for her Katharine Guerrier quilt, not a quilt for Katharine, he he he... one she started at the workshop at the beginning of June. We played with block placement, shuffled and switched them round until we came up with this... well, I did, Annie watched as she felt rather 'baffled by it! he he he. She then used masking tape to number all the blocks keeping them in order and requested a table be ready for next week... sandwich time!

Foxy Margaret brought this quilt in to show us that it was finished. If you remember... it started off as a table runner, you can tell by the centre eh... she wanted it a bit bigger, so added wide borders. Then she found she had lots of small pieces of orange fabric that co-ordinated well... so she went for another border.... and another. It's a lovely lap size now... Margaret is having a little dilemma, this quilt was made as a gift... but she loves it... "will it go or will it stay with Margaret?" watch this space! ha ha ha Soap Opera suspense ending for this post... da da daaaaaaaaaaa!

We meet again on Friday 19th August, 10am - 3pm as usual. More fabrics arrived for my Table Top Shop, wadding on the side... I'll have muscles like Popeye if the shop gets any bigger! See you there?

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Quilty Quarters

All the 'ditch hopping' is done and all the kaleidoscope block backgrounds have meandering free motion quilting. Now I'll go back and quilt the kaleidoscope spinning fishy bits... don't bother contacting the 'quilt police'... I know it's the wrong order... doing the middles last thing, tut tut tut... PMS... I'm Pleasing My Self... this is how I wanted to do it... besides I still haven't decided what design I'd like to stitch...
you know what... I might even do the borders before the block centres... ooooooooooer... I think I can hear the sirens aproaching... ha ha ha. Don't worry, I will pretend I'm not home.
This picture shows part of the quilt back, you can see the progress so far better from the back, for sure you can see the centres still have a safety pin!.

Monday 15 August 2011

Festival Of Quilts, NEC

Did you go to The Festival Of Quilts in Birmingham? What did you think about it? There were some very inspiring quilts to see, as always of course. I picked out only a few quilts that could be of interest to you.
The patchwork in this quilt had all been knitted. I bet it's very snuggly and warm... love the colours, love the scrappy-ness of all the colours... love the wool-y-ness, he he he, Generally... loved it
This wasn't an exhibition quilt, it was on a shop display but it caught my eye because it is the same design as my 'Pink But Not Too Pinky Pink' quilt. This one has a large fabric square in each centre where mine has a 4-patch  block... what a great way to use the big prints that we don't like to cut up! It's on my 'need to make' list... I have loads of fabric I can't bring myself to chop up. There are some beauties in my Table Top Shop too
My Mum (Gwynneth) wasn't able to go to the show this year and, as she is working on a Hexagon quilt, I thought she might like to see this one. They are very small hexagons... lovely isn't it. A simple design in the fresh, bright colours... loved it.
This pineapple quilt wasn't in the competition either, I think it was in one of those special booth display bits, if my memory serves me correctly (and it rarely does!) I think it was a display of American quilts... anyway, that bit isn't important for now... I just thought it was extremely clever how it worked, I was very impressed... click on it and you'll see what I mean...
This quilt reminded me of Obidos in Portugal, at the right time of the year there's Wisteria hanging all over the walls there, so pretty! This quilt had people getting in good and close to see how it was made... each of the little flowers is a tiny appliquéd hexagon... really stunning. This is definitely NOT on my to do list but boy was it beautiful... again click on the picture, any of the pictures actually... have a good look at the details if you like... if the pictures aren't too blurred for ya...

Back to normal today, chores and duties... fast as I can... then Quilty Quarters here I come!

Friday 12 August 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Brenda Barbara's 10 Minute Block quilt. This is proving to be a very popular quilt design, click here if you haven't found it yet, and please remember that it works with any size squares, you do not have to use those Layer Cake things. Every one of my ladies has made theirs with different sizes and every one looks fabulous. Brenda's blocks are 8inches. Choosing a strong fabric for those centre Cathedral-ly Window-y bits was a good plan eh! Brenda worked on the borders today, first a thin inner one then irregular rectangles for the main part.

Helen's been quilting all day. First, after coffee of course, she finished all the walking foot stuff, Ditch Hopping! Then was able to start with her very favourite, free-motion quilting. Each block can be done with different designs so Helen was very happy, she loves playing with her Bernina Baby. Most of the designs followed the Patchwork piecing within the block with an arty touch added here and there, and meandering, there has to be a little bit of meandering
Kate has also finished the Ditch Hopping with her walking foot so, she too was free-motion quilting. The appliqué is so pretty that we decided not to spoil it by over quilting. Kate is shadowing the appliqué first of all, then we will review things to see whether more quilting will be a good idea. There are some areas that will look good with a little blue stitching but, for the main part white is just perfect.
Ann had made good progress at home so was much further into her project than when she left us last time. I had some brilliant ideas (I thought) that confused Ann a little, I tell you... if there was an "Ology" you could get for talking and confusing, I would have one, all to my very own self!! She did get loads done today, even though things had been thrown a little by the inaccurately cut Jelly Roll... which didn't help matters at all... it's a good job we allow 'quilty fudge' in the Quilt Cave eh!

Oh, look at this... Lynda is so happy with this quilt. She's working on the borders now. Colourful 'bricks' framed with black... like you can just see there at the top of the picture, they will go all round the quilt top. Each corner will have a yellow square to enhance the yellow centres in the blocks and the whole thing is looking soooo good.

Dotty Maureen, very proudly held up her baby play mat quilt. Each patchwork piece has been traced with a template, even though there are rulers to make these shapes. She wanted to test her accuracy. What a lovely bright quilt it is too, much brighter than my picture I promise you. She chose a fabulous backing so there will probably be a sandwich in the making next time we meet.
A disaster for Gilly.. She has put so much effort into making this Flower Garden Twist quilt... every bit has been very carefully fussy cut, each junction very carefully matched to the next... see how there's half a quilt top here, the disaster? Gilly put the other half in a safe place at home while she went on holiday and now she can't find it anywhere... see, disaster of magnitude!! She has homework you know... find the other blooming half of the lovely quilt or you'll be doing lines Gilly!!!
Barbie brought the centre of this Pineapple Blossom quilt in today, finished. We pondered over the borders, decided on two of them. Barbie cut and sewed the two inner borders and as we laid it out to decide how wide to make the last border, I remembered all the  Bonus HST (Half Square Triangles) that she had, we laid them out in a few different ways and decided on this way, Saw Tooth style, fabulous isn't it!!

We meet again next Wednesday 17th and on Friday 19th August. 10am - 3pm as usual. More new fabrics have arrived, they were waiting for me when I got home.
I doubt I will be able to blog now until Monday. Festival of Quilts has my full attention, you just know that I will be having fun and maybe I will meet you there... I'll be the one with the shiny halo!! ha ha ha... a quilt angel needs a halo!