Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Festival of Quilts

Here I am in front of our fabulous group quilt, hanging beautifully flat in the exhibition.  

It didn't win any prizes, but with over thirty contributors, we didn't think it would.  It was sufficient that everyone had fun creating their blocks then pleasure seeing the final result entered in a prestigious international competition, to be enjoyed by thousands of people.  Not to mention the delight of some lucky children who will get to drive their cars up and down the streets and enjoy looking at all the different buildings. 
Many thanks to all who contributed a block, and especially Maria, Di, Maggie, Vicki, Ann A, Lynda for putting it together, and Liz, who quilted it so beautifully.  

Friday, 17 June 2016

June meeting

This month was a busy meeting.  We had our brown bag challenge, sign ups for our zip workshops next month, and Gwyneth kindly brought along bargain zips from Bloodwise to sell, apart from all the usual activities of raffle, show and tell and a very interesting speaker. 

Ruth Singer is a local textile artist, who has come to her present position through the museum service! She is particularly interested in making exhibitions, especially using historical starting points.  She will be exhibiting at the Festival of Quilts with some of her work in response to photos of women criminals, and will have a workshop there too.  She is holding up a piece which consists of an 18th century silk waistcoat which she has unpicked and then conserved by trapping it between two layers of organza.  The pocket flaps, which have survived surprisingly well, are on the outside!  We enjoyed her slides, but we especially enjoyed being able to examine her work.  

Even though the weather wasn't in full summer mode, June's raffle prizes were!  Ice creams with flakes - what could be more representative of the British summer! 

The show and tell started with this gorgeous medallion quilt.  Apparently it's not perfect (according to the maker!) who knew?  First picture is the front, and second the back.  Great way to use up extra fabric. 

Ann made this hexagon bag.  It looks lovely, but she said it was very tricky to make and she wouldn't make another! 

Nik made this lovely heart quilt for Linus.  A great use of scraps. 

This piece was made at the recent Jenny Raiment workshop.  Good use of a sample. 

And here is the other side - the other workshop sample! Very clever. 

This sample has been made into a cushion. 

And this one! 

Although Maria wasn't able to be at the meeting, she sent this lovely quilt which she has made as a present.  It will soon be off to its lucky recipient.  The prairie points are a super touch. 

And lastly, Gaynor showed this bag she made from a pattern she bought at Malvern.  She likes the bag, but found the top was a bit narrow for getting her purse in and out.  She'd definitely make another, but widen the top slightly. 
In case anyone wasn't at the meeting, but will be at the July meeting, there is still space on all the zip workshops.  They are an integral zip with Lynda, a simple make up bag with Maggie, a zipped cushion with Di and an easy quilted zipped bag with Liz.  If you want to join one of the workshops, just email me and I'll add you to the list and let you have the requirements. 
See you in July! 

Friday, 27 May 2016

Jenny Raiment!

The highlight of the year was the talk by Jenny Raiment.  She is an amazing lady, and didn't disappoint.  She started off with an anacdote about going the the airport with her husband.  She explained that in her carry on she always has toothbrush, toothpaste and a bottle labelled shampoo. 'It doesn't have shampoo in it, it's full of brandy!' she confessed!  And then it went on from there!  She was outrageous (as usual) but also generous in showing her techniques and work.  Her demonstration of how to make a Fabulous Fandango was in French, but completely understandable and hilarious!  Jenny, we love you!  Here she is at the end of her talk, in her underwear (as usual). 

She gave us fabulous tips, like how going to the loo in high heeled thigh boots can be a shock, as you're higher from the seat than you think!  And also quilting tips! 

June was in spring mode with her flower show.  Gorgeous. 

Show and tell started with my new holiday bag.  It has an inside zipped pocket and replaces a similar one which has worn out. 

Liz brought her bag she will be teaching at our zip evening in July.  Very useful. 

Here is another bag which looks as if it's been made from leather.  Very clever. 

This quilt is very attractive in its coordinated colours.  

Here is a stunning study in black and white. Exquisite. 

This is a way of using up curved blocks made at a workshop. They make a lovely bed topper. 

This is a first quilt.  I wish my first quilt looked like this! Fabulous. 

Some people went to a workshop recently where they explored prairie points and other ways of finishing quilts.  This is a sampler of different interesting techniques.  Looks very clever. 

This is a sampler of New Zealand fabrics.  Looks like a great souvenir. 

Paula has been using up her 2.5" strips.  And here is one of her lovely quilts.  The appliqué in the corners adds a fun touch. 

What a riot of colour! 

This is a simple block which looks really complicated.  It's just placed horizontally then vertically.  A great way of using scraps. 

Paula took this unfinished hexagon top and made it up into a lovely Linus quilt.  I love seeing unfinished tops being completed.  Perfect. 

And here is the last of Paula's 2.5" Linus quilts.  Great for a boy!  Thank you Paula.  
The following day, we were lucky enough to have Jenny teach her workshop, Wiggle and Weave.  

Here are people hard at work. 

Jenny was a very good teacher and everyone enjoyed the day, 

Her instructions were very clear and her Blue Peters were all excellent. 

This is the kind of thing people made.  Intriguing.  

And the impressive fruits of the day!  Wow! 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

April meeting

We were all looking forward to the April meeting.  We were starting our new Brown Bag Challenge, and had Gilli Theokritoff booked as a speaker (and the word on the street is that when she came to a local group, they said she was the best speaker they had heard in a long time!).  We set up the tables ready for Gilli, and waited.  When it got to 7.30 and she hadn't arrived, we thought there had been problems on the M1, and pulled forward to show and tell. Eventually we managed to ring her, to find she had had such a hectic week that she had completely forgotten about us!  She was mortified, and promised to come and speak next year.  We are all human and fallible, so we understood, and enjoyed the chance to have a nice long tea break and natter! 

Show and tell was the highlight of the evening, and I brought the string blocks we had made last meeting, made into three Linus quilts.  First was this pink one, sashed with white.  Pretty. 

This rainbow quilt,

and this fun baby quilt. String blocks are very versatile! 

This quilt was made from left overs. Mi love the turquoise and pink.

This is Vicki's Sashiko cushion.  She's not usually a hand sewer, but found this really relaxing and satisfying. 

Here is another lovely Claice Cliffe wall hanging.  Gorgeous. 

The browns and golds in this quilt play beautifully with the white frames.  Rich and sophisticated. 

Debbie has made herself a blocksaver book.  It has a stiff cover and wadding pages, and she's using it to keep blocks flat and organised.  

Can you see what is written on the central panel?  Piecemakers!  Great use of it in a beautiful bag. 

And last but not least, here is Paula's lovely bag.  The embroidery is lovely, and the colours of the bag complement it perfectly - I love the touch of red amongst the blue.  
Despite having no speaker, we had a very pleasant evening, and look forward to hearing Gilłi's talk next year. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Charity sewing

'The March meeting was a hands on session, making blocks for Project Linus.  I know that not everyone wants to drag their sewing machine out on a cold March evening, but there were plenty who did, and I'm very grateful to them for their hard work.  We made string blocks on a Vilene foundation, and I gave each table a bag of coloured strings. 

This table had red (and some blue too!) 

This one is purple.  Gloria was working so fast, she's just a blur!  Go, Gloria, go! 

Here is the main blue table, with Maria sewing and Gaynor and Ann passing her strings, ironing and trimming.  Such great teamwork! 

Julie and Paula worked with yellow - their finished blocks were good enough to eat! 

Here is the pink table. They were delighted to find some completed blocks in their bag of strings.  This is such a great technique, it's not the first time I've used it!

And last but by no means least, the greens. 

Over 70 blocks were made in total, and here are just 49 of them joined into a rainbow!  They look so good.  Thank you to all. 

As usual, June's raffle was a delight. 
Easter chicks, chocolate eggs and egg and birdhouse fabric.  Perfect! 

We had more blocks for the group quilt.  Here are just this month's.  We have 30 blocks in total, so will start to think about how they go together.  We plan to work on them at the next sewing day on 23rd April, so if you'd like to come along, you'd be very welcome. 

Show and tell started with some of the work done in last month's workshop with Gail Lawther.  Here are Pam's topiary trees.  Stunning against the black background. 

Here is a Clarice Cliffe wall hanging.  The colours look wonderful. 

Another one, Di's I think, so gorgeous. 

And my Clarice Cliffe, which I have made into a Linus quilt.  Not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm sure a child will like it. 

This is. Linus top which was finished by.Jill.  She moved out of her comfort zone to quilt some curves in the sashing.  Good job! 

Maria made some of the blocks for this block of the month when she had some long plane journeys recently.  I particularly like the houses. M

Jan has completed this small quilt in red, black and white for the traditional quilt display at the NEC.  It's perfect. 

This is a Linus top I made from a LeMoyne star made by Liz, and some other blocks.  Not a show winner but bright and cheerful. 

Ann made this quilt from a jelly roll. She said it wasn't difficult to make, but you had to concentrate to keep the colours in the right sections.  

Two small Linus quilts made by Di. Mi love the clever way she's offset the blocks. It gives more interest to the arrangement (and eliminates tricky matching!  Clever.) 

Gaynor made this lunch bag as part of a challenge.  She had several different fabrics to use, including the one with the tape measures you can see.  She wanted to make something useful, and I think she's succeeded admirably. 

Lastly, this is a baby quilt made by Di.  She had a charm pack of flannels, framed and sashed them to make this beauty.  
Next month we will be starting our brown bag challenge.  This is open to everyone, whatever their skill level. Looking forward to it!