Monday 31 October 2011

Quilty Quarters, The Commission Quilt

The top and bottom borders are on. The quilt is so big now that I couldn't get a picture of the whole thing... but most of it is here. The colours show up really well with good light, which you're not having in this picture because Mike's holding the quilt up touching the ceiling and it drapes over the floor, so the light is blocked out... still, you get the general idea don't ya!
The side borders haven't been started yet, I've cut a few of the squares but life keeps getting in my way. I'm thinking it might be finished over this next weekend... that's if the bolt of black fabric arrives in time... I ran out of plain black but it's on it's way... There are 5 metres in this backing so far and I need 5 more to complete, plus the best part of one metre for the three miles of binding.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Quilty Quarters, The Commission Quilt

The centre panel is complete, the bottom panel is too, ready to be added to the main bit... It's getting very big now.
 Here I am sandwiching the top panel. I know we normally pin from the centre outwards but this fabric doesn't like it done that way. I started at one end, making sure I keep things square and level, pushing and holding the excess silky slide-y fabric tight as I pin, because if I don't it springs back up. A blooming job it is! Can you tell it doesn't interest Molly at all! ha ha ha.
This panel is about half quilted at this point, lunch break!
Hoping to piece the other two side panels this weekend, I will be happy to finish the whole thing as soon as I can, it doesn't half make a mess with all the fraying.

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Barbie's Pineapple Blossom quilt top is almost complete... complete as in finished and complete as in completely fabulous. All of the bonus HST's (Half Square Triangles) are going to be used in the Saw Tooth borders. It's a rather stunning quilt, don't you think? There's going to be a little 'Mathemizing' to calculate those coping strips, you know how I love 'Mathemisms'!! ha ha ha

Late Sue has been working on this project over the last few meetings. It's a Jelly Roll pattern, which means it could be done with any 2 1/2" strips really. Sue did use a Jelly Roll and, as I usually find, the Jelly Roll wasn't very accurate so there has been a lot of necessary fudging... by the time it's finished, no-one will ever know, one good thing though, Sue learned lots of helpful fudging tricks along the way.
Brenda Barbara decided to put her Jenny Rayment quilt on one side for a little while because she just realised that she's on a "Time Budget" for making Christmas projects. She wants to make two tree skirts first of all. This one will be made using Court House Step, Log Cabin blocks, 24 of each... one done, 23 to go! The great thing about Christmassy fabrics is that you can put any of them together...
and no matter how busy it looks, the project will be perfect for Christmas...
Maid Marion was worried that her fabrics were too busy when she started this Quick Table Topper... as you can see though... it's just fabulous. Marion almost finished the runner in one day. Once you know how the pattern works, it is possible to make these table toppers in only one hour, including the quilting but not including the binding.... hmmm hand stitching, that can take weeks eh! I must admit the faux piped binding is my very favourite way at the moment, all done by machine, wonderful, fast, effective... perfect! Marion is going to quilt her topper with gold metallic thread.
That's it, four ladies in total, a quiet yet highly productive day.
My Mum (Gwynneth) made a sandwich with her Wimbledon quilt, so she can count as lady number 5, ha ha ha. We meet again on Wednesday 2nd and Friday 4th November, 10am - 3pm, as usual.

Friday 28 October 2011

My Mum, Gwynneth's 'Nother Quilt

After borrowing one of my brand new books, that I haven't even looked at yet!  My Mum (Gwynneth) started a new project... first off she needed to cut an assortment of 8 1/2" squares. Each one then gets cut into strips, something like 3", 2 1/2", 2" & 1 1/2"... I can't remember exactly, I can see that doesn't add up, but you get the idea. Next she mixed them up, following the pattern instructions, of course and eventually stitched them together in rows... as you see here, then she added the wide sashings and borders. She's very happy with the way it turned out.
My Mum (Gwynneth) doesn't make scrappy quilts, she says she doesn't 'get' them... that's fine, it can take a little time... and it doesn't matter if she never 'gets' it, cause she's making em anyway, it's a posher version, 'A Multi-fabric Quilt', ha ha ha... this design has been a scrap users' favourite for many, many years...
 So, that's another top ready to be sandwiched... guess I know what she'll be doing today!

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

You're going to have to trust me, we had another great day, busy and productive. We had visitors popping in for Table Top Shop shopping too...
I don't have many photos to share with you in this post... silly camera must have been feeling a little off colour today... it made the pictures all blurred.. silly camera! ha ha ha. Here's a little of what happened today...
Shirley Lerly finished another of her gift quilt tops. She has three, all being made at the same time, all are made with the same design yet they look completely different because of the colour scheme Shirley used. The backing for this particular one is pink with tiny little daisies all over it, very sweet indeed.
Jolly Jo had many jobs on the go... she was adding the calico borders to this diamond quilt top, choosing fabrics for her hen quilt borders... which sounds easy but it was quite a challenge. She was also adding quilts to her list of things she wants to make and at the same time... She made a statement... it went something exactly like this
"I am going to finish all of these quilts BEFORE Christmas" brave lady eh... though she didn't actually say which Christmas!
Chris The Foot's been having fun with her BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) She's done tiny meandering stitching over all the background fabric and on the centre fabrics. Then she changed to her walking foot in order to shadow quilt the pin-wheels in a gorgeous ginger-y brown thread. The inner border of forest green has been 'ditch hopped' on both sides too. Chris will bind this wall hanging with the faux piped binding.... boy do we love this binding! easy... very easy!
Chatty Cathy arrived with a big smile on her face... I guess it's hard not to smile when you're carrying such a fun Mat & Ruler Bag. It certainly turns a few heads.
Another reason for Cathy to be so happy... she's finished her Railfence table runner. She made it extra long to suit her table which is great, there are no rules on sizes after all. Now Cathy has started to make a 10 Minute Block quilt... she's had her eye on them for a few weeks now. Cathy's will be blue-y fabrics, recycled bedding actually.
I saw a You Tube video with the 10 Minute block done with Railfence blocks... very, very cool I thought. have a look won't you?
We meet again on Friday 28th October. 10am - 3pm as usual. Come along if you like... see all the projects for your very own self... I'm sure we can tempt you with something...

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

In the blog post before this one you will see that Lovely Lyn wrote an Ode To yours truly... she says that she doesn't write poetry normally, she just felt inspired to do it this one time, which she should reconsider... This lady has talent, don't you think... with such interesting subject matter to help her of course!!! ha ha ha... seriously, I think it's brilliant, Thank You Lovely Lyn.

This is what Lyn made today, a Quick Table Topper, with rather stunning fabrics... ooooh those blacks are very chic! all purchased from Table Top Shop, wadding in the van. Lyn was very surprised to have completed the quilt top in one lesson, she trimmed the edges and got it ready for sandwich making too... and went home very satisfied with her achievement.
Messy Maureen placed a bag of small pieces on the table stating that she too wanted to make a Quick Table Topper. I wish now that I had taken a picture of the ingredients we had to work with. After much fudging and careful cutting we (I) found just enough bits to actually make a runner... this is the progress by lunchtime... Messy Maureen had an afternoon of volunteering to do at the charity shop and had to leave early, so we'll get this project finished next time.

Giggly Gillian is still making 6" HST's (Half Square Triangles). She's sewn them into Pin-wheels several times only to unpick them when she gets home. She adds new fabrics and swaps things around.. this project has been requested by a family member so Gillian feels a little pressure to get it just right... Hopefully, this time she will be happy with the fruits from her day... she says she's happy with it all now... we'll have to wait and see.

Marisabel made binding for her Quick Table Topper and stitched it on. The hand sewing can be done at home so it was folded up and put away. Can you guess what Marisabel is making next? The Christmas Wreath is proving to be so popular, easy, fast and fun.. always a winner. Lovely Lyn will make one too....

We meet again next month, Tuesday 8th November 10am - 3pm and it looks like we will have a full house again... a sign winter is creeping in and the gardens don't need titivating ha ha ha.

An Ode To Angela, Written By Lovely Lyn

She wears a patchwork apron and drives a big white van,
Her sunny disposition hides her cunning plan.
To lure you into quilting and all that it entails
Angie won’t give up on you - she never ever fails!

She knows that once you’ve tried it, you’ll never be the same.
Like her and many others, a quilter you’ll remain.
This hobby is addictive, it will not let you go -
There’s always a new fabric that you just have to sew.
Until the scraps of cotton that you have cut and sewn,
Into a lovely pattern have miraculously grown.
She stops and checks and has a look to see you’ve done it right

“Its all so very easy” she quips with great delight!

But now I want to warn you before you get involved,
Be wary of the dangers this hobby will unfold.
Your housework gets neglected - the gardening forgotten -
While you in frantic panic search for the right cotton.

And what of all those funny names Angela has created?
I’ll name a few and you will see our future now is fated!
There’s Dotty Maureen, Early Sue, Chris the Foot and Jolly Joe,
Krafty Karen, Joan the Shop, Annie Pie - there’s more to go -
Brenda Barbara, Messy Maureen, Shirley Lerley and Giggly Gill
Arty Beryl, Marisabel, and now I’ve nearly had my fill
Of trying to remember names and getting them to rhyme
It has become impossible to fit them all in line.

So remember what I’ve told you - be sure you cannot win,
Once hooked you’re hooked for ever - from one called Lovely Lyn!

Monday 24 October 2011

My Mum, Gwynneth's Quilt

What a difference a border fabric can make... I saw the beginnings of a quilt on a blog a while ago, by that I mean that I saw a few blocks, ha ha ha... As per usual, I couldn't remember where I had seen it. I told My Mum (Gwynneth) about it and, as she was available to start yet another quilt, she decided to have a go...
Mum... "What do I need?"
Me... "2 colours that contrast well, as many fabrics as you like, but just 2 colours"
Mum chose the one green and the one purple, only one of each colour... she doesn't get the scrappy thing, YET!
Doesn't matter, they contrast well, the pattern shows up really well so they will look great.... but she started to call it her 'Wimbledon Quilt' once she realised that she had used Wimbledon colours, ha ha ha
When it came to borders, nothing looked good.... until we draped the quilt top over 'Table Top Shop, wadding on the side'... this leafy fabric was a perfect match... throwing in the inner border of Moda Swirl in Christmas red set it off a treat, don't you think? No more Wimbledon Quilt, we're thinking of something else to call it now...

Sunday 23 October 2011

Quilty Quarters, The Commission Quilt

"They" decided that the 'Wall Hanging' should be 10ft wide with an 8ft drop... 10 and 8 are small numbers until you multiply by 12!...
120" x 96"... the size of a huge bed quilt, but slippy, slidey, silky fabrics with a mind of their own... I came up with a seriously cunning plan that should help me manage this.
In the photo you will see I have the centre done and sandwiched. 14 x 10 of 6" blocks. It took me 3 hours to make the sandwich as it had to be very well pinned to give me maximum stability. I've started quilting this bit. Once it's done I'll make the 3 block wide, 18" borders, quilt them and add them to the main centre with 1/2" sashing... apartment quilting... thank goodness for It at times like this!!!

Saturday 22 October 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Dotty Maureen has finally cut into her very special fabric, the centres of these blocks... she bought it as soon as it came to Table Top Shop because she 'Loved it'... now who would do that? As usual Dotty is workin on more than one project... She spent her Quilt Cave day quilting, ditch-hopping black lines with black thread... Dotty has a lot of patience, this is a monotonous job!
Gilly was piecing borders for three tree skirts. She had started making them with 'Quilt As You Go' (QAYG) as suggested in the magazine but it was distorting as she stitched, making the pattern fall away from it's intended shape. We had a little chat and decided it would be more accurate to piece the whole border before quilting it... it worked!!
Brenda Barbara finished all of her border blocks... here they are in place with the coping strips... doesn't it look fabulous! We played about auditioning corner stone ideas and decided on half square triangles of the bright paperweight fabric and that lovely delicate pink one. Brenda has decided this will be a wall hanging... she has a bit more hand stitching to do on the twiddly fiddly bits but this project could be ready to sandwich next week
Barbie had unfortunately misplaced a few important fabrics for her Pineapple Blossom project making it difficult to finish all of the blocks... she doesn't worry though, the quilt will be one row shorter and she's perfectly happy about it... PMS (Pleasing My Self)  Sashing and corner stones were added to much of the quilt during our day. Looking good Barbie!
Maid Marion was very happy to be able to make a Caterpillar sandwich... ha ha ha. This quilt is a commissioned project and she would love to have it finished as she has so many other things on her list of things she would love to make... she's a very inspired lady!! Every new project she sees adds to her ever growing list, don't tell me that doesn't happen to you!
Jenny Barlaston popped in to use our tables to make a quilt sandwich. Sandwiches are much easier to make on tables... there's still a little back ache but no where near as much as you get making floor sandwiches, oh and the kneeeees.... ooooh it helps a lot with knees too. This is Jenny's Christmas Wreath... this isn't what she was sandwiching though, these projects are small enough for a kitchen counter sandwich.

We meet again on Wednesday 26th and Friday 28th October, 10am to 3pm, as usual... be careful if you come though.... there are lots of inspiring projects in our Quilt Cave... you might go home with your very own Long List!!!!

Harvey's Quilt

Helen, very kindly, offered to do the quilting on this project for Joan The Shop, her Mum. The quilt is being made for Harvey, Helen's son... Joan's grandson... are you keeping up? It turned out to be a very heavy quilt which, we can only presume, is because of all the seams on the back. Joan used a cross-stitch pattern to piece the winner cup...  It's turning out to be a spectacular quilt... don't you think? What a lot of work involved in it, I bet Harvey will love it!

Thursday 20 October 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Hiding behind her latest project is our Annie Pie. This is Annie's second Bargello quilt, it's a commission for a guy she knows... he's bound to be chuffed to bits with this quilt... boy are those colours stunning. The fabrics are very difficult to work with, cutting soft, open weave fabrics is hard enough without it being necessary to cut 1" strips and sew them without distortion... Annie's doing it though.
Here's a snippet for you... Annie has been coming to Quilt Cave pretty regularly since May 2010 when we first moved to this hall actually, she made 21 quilts already!!! woooohhoooo!
Helen wanted to try free motion quilting an all over design for this second fund raising quilt. We had a little chat, I shared a few top secret tips (so don't ask! ha ha ha) She practised a bit on paper then made a Fat Quarter sandwich... practised on that until there wasn't any space left on the Fat Quarter then plunged in on the actual quilt... she loved doing it... I think she may even have been singing!! She finished it in about an hour! Good Job Helen... Just binding now... and a label, don't forget the label... there's a queue of ladies waiting to buy a raffle ticket now.
Wendy made millions of tiny Split 4-patch blocks in neutral colours, not at all her usual 'cup o tea'... once the blocks were sewn together, Wendy didn't like the project at all... so she unpicked.... hmmm what to do with them? I 'interfered a bit'... I had seen a rather cool picture on t'Internet... I sort of drew the design and Wendy agreed to have a go... can you see it taking shape in the picture? Scrappy stuff might not be something you enjoy... but if you do, your sure to like this, I know I do... Wendy hasn't made her mind up yet... Hey ho... let's see what happens eh...
Lovely Lyn has done all the basic stitching on her 10 Minute Block quilt... That's me holding the quilt for the photo... I could have tucked myself carefully behind the quilt for the shot but hey... That's my new super posh apron there, it's made with the same fabrics as Lyn's quilt top... why would I hide me? ha ha ha. Lyn's going to do the Cathedral-ly Window-y thing with those centre squares and that's all hand work so it should keep her good for a week.
Chris (The Foot) made a sandwich with her Autumnal wreath wall hanging and set up her machine with the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) She tested out the tension of the stitching and started the quilting... simple meandering, fun to do... I've heard some professional free motion quilting teachers say that meandering is dated and boring... well... we don't care, we LOVE it!!! Chris has another wall hanging almost complete made with Christmassy fabrics this time. The wreath wall hanging is a fast fun project... perfect for presents!

Look... Wendy made one too... also in traditional Christmassy fabrics. They really are lovely aren't they, these small wall hangings finish up a lovely size, perfect for hanging on an internal door... not outside, that would be silly... or would it... such temptation... do you trust your postman? I have received many emails asking about them, the wreath not the postman, ha ha ha... stunning and simple.. seems people love that idea.
Early Sue couldn't stay to play with us but she's been stitching at home. She popped in for a few essential things she needed from "Table Top Shop, wadding on the side and in the van"
This lovely quilt started out as a Railfence table runner, Sue's turned it into quite a funky lap quilt. The centre is quilted so she's only the top and bottom segments to quilt now. Next project for Sue is a Mat & Ruler bag in gorgeous fabrics... I'll show them to you next time.

Many more things I could show you but that's enough excitement for one post I think.
'Table Top Shop, wadding on the side' had another 30 new bolts of fabric added after my big shopping spree over the weekend... wooohoooo so much lovely fabric!!!
For those of you waiting... the Freezer Paper and Sewers Aid came along with more notions. The ladies who ordered starch from Dawn can pick it up when they are ready, she sent it to me.
We meet again on Friday, 21st October. 10am - 3pm, see you there?

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Marisabel's Bargello Wall Hanging

Marisabel finished her Bargello Wall Hanging, rather stunning isn't it!
Click in and have a closer look won't you... can you see any evidence that she's a beginner?
NO... I will answer for you, because you won't find anything.
Of course... Marisabel doesn't think it's very good, she points out an odd little thing that isn't quite as accurate as she would like... she doesn't feel like she can Toot Toot Toot, so I am doing it for her!

Here's a picture of the back, this is a great way to use up any of the strip set that you have left over. You can see the lovely quilting better from the back, very easy to do, the Bargello doesn't need anything complicated... it's simply stunning enough...
Come on ladies... shout with me...
IT'S FANTASTIC MARISABEL!!!!!... Toot, Toot, Toot... You did a brilliant job.
What's next?

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Presenting My Quilts

Today I will be presenting and talking about some of my quilts to the Ladies Friendship Group at Caverswall Village Hall, a small group of lovely ladies. I call my talk "Quilting The Alternative Sandwich"... only because when people call to book ME (toot toot toot) they ask "What's the talk called?" The fun starts at 2pm, if you would like to see it, come on over... I think there'll be tea/coffee and biscuits afterwards.
I can't take all of my quilts, I tried that a few times and, even if I rush through the piles as fast as I can and talk so fast that you miss stuff... it still takes at least one and a half hours. I have so many and I love to show them all... I've decided to take only the quilts that I made while living in other countries. That should trim the talk down to just about an hour. What it also means is that there will be enough quilts to make a second presentation of quilts that I could call "Sandwiches Made In The UK" ha ha ha
The photo you see above is the one I used in this post ... I'm happy to report that things have progressed!

Sunday 16 October 2011

Quilty Quarters, A New Commission Quilt

Last week I was invited to a meeting, a very important meeting... There was talk of them wanting me to make a wall hanging using tie fabrics. They requested that I take in a few quilts to the meeting to show my work... "How many would you like me to bring? I have about 60!"... I took 10 wall hangings with me... some traditional, some a bit more wacky but all fabulous and lots of different colour combinations. They loved them, they could see I am good at what I do (Toot, Toot, Toot!!) 
The conversation after loving my quilts....
Them... Yes, we would like you to make our wall hanging...
Me... Do you have an idea about the design?
Them.. Oh yes, 6" squares.
Me.. That shouldn't be too difficult (thinking I could have it finished within a week)
Them... We would like a black border too.
Me... Piped with yellow maybe? or just plain black?
Them... Plain black, not too wide.
Me... OK, I'll do it... (thinking 'piece of cake really')
Them... Right, we want it 8 ft square, though we may increase that to 8ft x 10 ft after we've measured the wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here's the box of fabrics... now, how long do you need to do it?....

Holy Moly.... How long do I need to complete this wall hanging???  More than the week I had mentally planned during the meeting, that's for sure!
They need it ASAP. We (they) suggested a target of the end of November... I can only try.
Yesterday it took me 6 hours to tame, sort and fussy cut 3 x 6" blocks of each of the 92 soft, stretchy, silky tie fabrics... luckily they're all new tie fabrics... thank goodness I don't have to unpick and sort out worn ties... so 18 x 6" blocks wide by 18 x 6" blocks long, 324 blocks... I'll keep you informed of my progress, if you're interested.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave

Another very busy, fun day. It felt like we were only there for an hour,... woooosssh the day flew by.
Barbie continued making blocks for her Pineapple Blossom Quilt, it's her second one... this pattern is great fun to make, she enjoyed making the first one... so she's making another with different fabrics. Barbie needs 24 of the Pineapple blocks, she must be almost done because she was choosing sashing fabrics later on.
Brenda Barbara's project... PMS (Pleasing My Self) and making it up as she goes along... 4 more of these 4" blocks are needed to complete each side border... once they're done Brenda can decide whether to make 4 more for the corners or whether to do something else, quite different in the corners... no decision has been made... she'll just 'go with it' next time!
We had a sandwich marathon at the start of the day. 1 large one for Joan The Shop, 3 tree skirts for Gilly, 1 lap quilt for Shirley Lerly, 1 medium sandwich for Little Treasure Ann, probably more... I can't remember... Dotty Maureen always lends a hand when someone is sandwiching/pinning but once she was dismissed she cracked on with her own work... the black ditch hopping! Looks like she's been purchasing more Patchwork & Quilting books too eh!
Jenny Barlaston couldn't resist coming to see how to make the Wreath wall hanging, it's proving very popular. As you can see Jenny's using traditional Christmas fabrics. by the end of the day she had all the blocks cut out, pinned in place and ready to sew... it goes together very easily, you just have to be careful as all the edges are bias... oooooher!
Shirley Lerly started the day at Table Top Shop, 4 different waddings on the side... choosing border fabrics for her second lap quilt, we tried all the obvious choices, blues and pinks, greens etc but nothing was perfect until we almost gave up and placed the top centre next to purple oooooh, very nice! How about a stipe? Peeeeerrrfect! Looks fabulous eh!
Helen brought in a second pile of blocks that were donated for the fund raising thing she's doing soon. There were enough blocks for two lap quilts and there's still enough for a very small one or a cushion cover, no decision there yet, anyway... by the end of the day it was finished and, yet another sandwich was made. Quilting time.. Helen love's to do the quilting, whether it be ditch hopping or free motion... loves it far more than piecing.
Little Treasure Ann (She's the treasurer of the SPQ!) had her sandwich ready good and early in the day so was able to make a good start on her quilting. She's shadow quilting just inside the hearts, it makes them puff up lovely. Once the hearts are all done, Ann will decide whether to do more quilting or not... decisions, decisions

Of course there was a lot more stuff going on... this is only a little taster of it all... We meet again next Wednesday 19th and Friday 21st October, 10am to 3pm, as usual you are most welcome to join us... that way you won't miss anything at all!

Thursday 13 October 2011

Caverswall Quilt Cave, part 2

After my demonstrations making this wreath style quilt, we have a few ladies making them now.
This one, in Autumnal colours, belongs to Chris (The Foot)... First of all, the squares are cut to 5" each then joined together as you see here.. you can add as many fabrics as you like keeping the background squares the same... The centre 5 squares also need to be the same as they form the centre of the wreath... add a 3" wide border strip.
...from here the template is needed. You have to draw round it placing the wonky diagonal cross exactly over each junction...... then you have to cut out each little block and place it on something to secure the order. Chris pinned hers to a piece of fabric to keep them safe...
 It would only take one whoooosh of a lady passing by or the flip of a quilt being folded, to have the whole thing turn into a puzzle... Are you following all this?
By the end of the day she was at this stage. She will stitch them together at home... at least that's the plan!
We had a new lady join us, she's already an experienced quilter. She's passed by the village hall many times and seen us having fun but could no longer resist the temptation to spend a fun day we welcomed Sheila.
With her already knowing the basics Sheila was able to jump straight in without making a Railfence quilt, he he he. These are her wreath squares all stitched together,
Christmas designs in traditional reds and greens with lots of glittery gold. Doesn't it look great?
Sheila pinned her blocks to a piece of felt, normally it would be enough to place the blocks onto the felt as they stick quite well but for the journey home....better to pin them. Sheila enjoyed our company and says she'll be back for sure. Actually, most people say that, wooohooo!

New and rather gorgeous fabrics have just been delivered for "Table Top Shop, 4 different types of wadding on the side"... Do ya think I can add any more words to this travelling shop?? he he he
For shopping... pop in to Caverswall Village Hall Wednesday or Friday, or both!
Every week between 10am and 3pm if you want to see what we have to tempt you.