Saturday, 29 October 2011

Bowes Challenge

Our very small textile art group has challenged each other to create a piece of work based on photos we took of the outside of Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.  I missed the joint photo day out we had arranged but went along earlier this week to take my photos and get the creative juices flowing.  I've been concentrating recently on quilting projects, mainly Christmas presents and now feel the need to do something else.

I've played a bit in Photoshop with this one, thinking of doing something on the embellisher and hand stitching.

Part of the gate ironwork

 It was difficult to get a clear picture of the formal garden at the front because of the different levels.

When we set off the day was sunny but by the time we got to Bowes it was threatening rain so everything looked a bit dull.

One other piece of news, I'm about to become a great grandmother next year.
My grandson Matthew and his girlfriend Siobhan are to be the proud parents.   I'm trying not to become too excited at the moment as its still a long way off but I am looking at baby quilts.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Jelly Roll Quilts

I saw this on You Tube and was amazed at the speed these ladies can create a quilt top.  I thought I'd have a go too.

I searched through my jelly rolls and decided to use one that seemed to have been hanging around for a while.  It's a variety of batiks but when I unrolled it I I wasn't too keen on several lengths.

Thirtyfive minutes it took the winner of the Jelly Roll Race to complete her top.  As for me - well it took me 3.5 hours just to piece all the lengths together and sew the first row.....   and another 2 hours to finish the quilt top!!  Guess no prizes there then.  I think the race must have started once all the strips were sewn together as it was this stage that took up most of my time. I also made lots of  mistakes at this stage.  First once was not to sew them together one after the other.  Instead I sewed them in pairs and then the pairs to each other.   I found I had to repeatedly check where my seams were lying and I spent a lot of time unpicking them because they were on the wrong side.   But eventually I finished it and here it is (sorry about the pegs the wind kept blowing it backwards).   I must say I quite like it. All I have to do now is figure out what to do next. It turned out bigger than I expected at 64" x 60" so I might add borders and put it on the bottom of our bed.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Drunkards Path

Sy and Julie bought me the Drunkards Path die  for the Accuquilt last Christmas, so I thought it only fair that I make them a lap quilt using this block.  They have decorated their living room in chocolate and lime so those are the colours I've used in their quilt.   I bought 14 differing shades of browns and lime/greens and set off to cut out the pieces.  I happily spent a couple of hours cutting all 104 pairs for the quilt (with some extra) then sewed them all into blocks of 4.  The Accuquilt really comes into its own I think when cutting pieces that are more difficult to do than straight rotary cut pieces.

Once I got them to this stage the fun began.  I had enough for 7 rows of 8 blocks but ended up making the quilt 7 rows of 6 blocks in a sort of sudoko pattern.   Sewing these blocks together gave me a real headache much more difficult than sewing them all together.  I used our bed to lay them all out and get the pattern correct.   Then took each pair into my sewing room and sewed them together.  Easy yes....  Well I put them down in the order I thought I'd picked them up but I'd actually put them down upside down - you following me?   I'd lost the plot and a hour later and several unpickings I finally asked Keith to give me a hand to sort out the pattern again.  Then I did the sensible thing and pinned the pairs together with a label (t for top).

This is the result:
I could only get part of the quilt in the photo but you get the idea.   There were several blocks left over so
I made Buster a matching quilt to go on top of his new bed but I'll keep it until Christmas or Sy and Julie might guess what they are getting.
I've basted both tops onto fleece and hope to get one of them quilted before the weekend.

I've been chuntering on about the Big Shot machine for some time now as a complimentary machine to the Accuquilt.   I must have gone on a bit more than I thought for when we were in Embsay Mills on Sunday Keith bought me one!!!!  He also bought me a couple of dies and embossing folders.  I've been watching videos on Youtube as well as Patsy Thompson's videos on using the Big Shot with fabric and am keen to play with it.  However I want to quilt at least one of the drunkard path quilts before I start or they may never get done.

Almost forgot - Henny Penny has been refurbished, doesn't she look regal.  I almost think if I added a whip she could become a dominachick.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Foundation quilting

I've finished my second foundation pattern mini quilt I printed the pattern out onto tracing paper but I've just seen a method I'd love to try.   It's here on Sewwequilt blog.  Elaine is the lady doing the tutorial and she uses freezer paper.  I've not tried that method but think I'm definitely going to give it a go.

And now for my not so masterful mini quilt, but I like it.

As for Henny Penny shown in my last post, well she's in pieces.  In fact several of her pieces have been recut in a more suitable fabric.   All she needs now is the quilt fairy to come along and sew her back together.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Come on now own up....

How many of you have gone to a workshop only to find you have brought totally unsuitable fabrics?
My friend and I decided at the last minute to join a workshop to make a hen.   The list of requirements was emailed to us but no image of what we were making.  A hen, well how difficult can that be to decided on fabrics.

This was my selection of fabrics, I thought the leaf pattern could represent feathers and the other two contrasts.

This is Ann Bull our lady tutor for the day.  She was very good and helped all of us even to sewing some of our pieces when we got behind.

Joyce Smith was our host and supplied us with tea, coffee and delicious cakes and acted as our goffor for the day.  She is a long arm quilter and her Quilt Barn can be found here

Inside the Quilt Barn, small, cosy but light and airy.  The lady in the purple tshirt is my friend Pat.  She likes purple as you can see from her hen.
We didn't get round to finishing our hens but one or two did.

A previous project had been this splendid cockerell
And this was as far as I got before going home.  My hen was becoming blurred in the fabrics.  I had forgotten that random dyed fabrics would not easily allow identical parts to be cut out.  My hen has jester legs, a hood that is green on one side and reddish on the other and merges with the body fabric.

And now this is the state of my hen - the sum of all its parts....

Ann glued the thighs onto the body but I prefer to sew pieces together.  My legs looked like Nora Batty stockings so I've decided to recut some pieces.   Watch this space.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Cooling down

Go on throw it.......

Go on throw it , pleeeease....
There it is ........

 I'm bringing it back for you to play with....
I'll just have a quick chew....

And a good shake...   Oh sorry Mum.