Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Welcome to 2018!

OIt was a cold and miserable evening, but there was a bumper turn out for the first meeting of 2018.  We were delighted to welcome quite a few new members - I hope they had a good evening.  The speaker was our own Maria Thompson, who had brought lots and lots of wonderful quilts.  She said it was less a talk, and more a show, and there was certainly plenty to look and wonder at. 

Here she is in front of a mountain of quilts. 

And here is the interest her work inspired.  In the front of the photo is her 'Down the Rabbit hole ' BOM, which is all ready to be hand quilted.  Most of her quilts are hand quilted, because, she says, she can't do machine quilting!  I'm sure that's not true, but her hand quilting is gorgeous!  On the right of the photo you can see the bags and boxes which were all full of her work at the beginning of the evening!  Lots of treats! 

June had provided us with delectable raffle prizes, as usual, and had bundled them up so beautifully.

It's a bit late, but Anne had brought the Christmas tree we entered in the Misterton Church Festival, so we could admire it, and people could take their own doves home.  It looks fabulous, and apparently won second place!  Well deserved. 

Some people had brought their four seasons challenge hangings.  I have photos of some, but not all unfortunately.  This is Maria's.  Lots of stitchery here. 

Gwyneth's children's literature is on the left, and some real beauties on the right. 

A clever idea to integrate all the seasons in one hanging. 

Here is a child's view of the seasons. 

Is this Sunbonnet Sue, or just one of her relatives?  Such fun. 

Next came show and tell.  Here is a handy bag, which was first made for a present, but then quickly repeated as its so useful. 

Di made this quilt from a panel, which she cut up.  It's a perfect child's quilt. 

This is a lovely Linus quilt using squares,  the red is a clever addition. 

You know how at shows, some stalls ask you to fill out your details and promise a prize draw?  Well, Chris filled out one of these cards and won this kit made from beautiful Oakshot fabrics.  Fabulous! 

Madeline made this quilt for her granddaughter from a Stuart Hillard pattern.  It's all foundation pieced, and has a lovely snugly fleece backing.  Perfect! 

Stuart Hillard's book '100 scrap quilts' has made quite an impact, as Paula made this striking design from it too.  It's a great way to use up scrap squares, and the white adds extra pizzaz. 

Paula has used the recent poor weather to make more Linus quilts.  Pink and green windmills, what's not to like? 

Paula also made this stunner.  Some while ago we had a pack of navy and white fabrics donated to Linus, and Paula has made good use of them, adding red to make the colours pop.  Lovely. 

And finally here is a quilt made by Rose from a bag of Linus squares.  Rose is a new quilter and has made a great job of this.  Keep up the good work! 
Next meeting will be a sit and sew where we all make name badges.  What a great idea, especially for those (like me) whose memory is getting increasingly dicey! See you then. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Christmas meeting

I know it's a bit early to have a Christmas meeting, but since Piecemakers doesn't meet in December, this was it!  And a lovely meeting it was!  There were lots of people there, including several new people who had come along after the exhibition.  I hope they enjoyed the meeting as much as I did. 

First of all we had a workshop to make some scrappy Christmas trees.  Vicki and Ann lead on this. 

This was an easy and effective technique of sewing strips onto pelmet Vilene. 

Some people just went for it and sewed merrily away. 

Others needed to plan, and make sure the finished tree was balanced in tones. 

It didn't really matter, as all the trees looked gorgeous! 

Vicki's husband kindly made all the pots and trunks.  Thanks, Ken! 

June made the raffle very attractive, as usual.  The baubles have chocolate inside them ! 

The food table was filled with delicious morsels, and provided us with a little sustenance before the rigours of show and tell! 

Here is one of the Rocheberie challenge quilts, where participants were given half yards of the same fabric and had to use their imagination. 

This is Gaynor's quilt which won her second prize.  Well done! 

Here is another quilt using these fabrics.  They were an amazing collection! 

I brought my quilt which was inspired by old quilts in a Sarah Fielke book.  I love the setting on this. 

Here is a small hanging which Denise made before going on a Christine Porter workshop.  Sorry it's a bit dark, it looked lovely. 

And finally, here are the doves which are going to be used to decorate a Christmas tree for the Misterton Christmas tree festival in December.  I love how they are all subtly different! 
Nothing more remains but to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!  See you in 2018. 


Monday, 30 October 2017

The Big Textile Show

It's busy, busy, busy for Piecemakers at the moment.  No sooner is one display taken down than its time to put up another!  
We were delighted to be offered a stand at The Big Textile Show in Leicester, and had a great time meeting friends, old and new and talking patchwork! 

We started off the weekend with the PIECEMAKERS sign along the edge of the table, clearly showing who we are.  However as the quilts were admired, stroked and revealed, things got a bit muddled and the sign is hardly visible!  Never mind, we had a lovely time, and even got a chance to have a look round the show, which was even better than last year!  Roll on next year! 

Sunday, 22 October 2017


This weekend saw the return of our popular bi-annual exhibition at Walcote Village Hall.  We had a special exhibition committee who had tried very hard to plan everything in advance so it would run smoothly.  Every year we tweak the organisation to try and get everything to be as good as we can make it, and this year (apart from a Saturday morning cake crisis!) think it all went very well indeed. 

Here are Di and Gill ready to welcome people in and hopefully to sell them some raffle tickets. 

June had worked hard to make the raffle lots of fun.  No chocs, bath salts or potted plants here, just fabric, fabric, fabric and a few little surprises!  Each little bag held fabric themed round a month, eg. for September, fruit and pie fabric, with a bonus sachet of Bird's custard!  Perfect! 

An important feature of the the show is the refreshments, which proved very popular! 

The tombola of handmade items was very popular too.  There were all kinds of prizes, from bags to coasters, table runners to tea cosies, sewing baskets to purses.  Every single item was won by the end of the show. 

There was a sales table too, with lots of items for sale, some handmade, some second hand plus books and fabric.  This had so many bargains, it had to be replenished by Sunday morning.  Bargains are always popular. 

We were very pleased to welcome our trader Roxanna from 'Hannah's Room' with her delectable selection of batik fabrics.  Few of us managed to resist the temptation of these gorgeous fabrics.  Plus Roxanna is always full of inspiration and fun.  Thank you so much for coming. 

Lots of people were fascinated by the demonstrations.  Lynda showed a jelly roll quilt pattern, Pam how to appliqué using fusible web, Julie the Accuquilt cutter, Gwyneth English paper piecing and Julie foundation piecing.  No matter how much you know about patchwork, there is always more to find out. 

Here is the Project Linus table, with donated quilts and tops, and some of the heart warming thank you letters and cards from lucky children who have received 'a hug you can keep'. 

And now for the quilts.  I haven't got photos of them all, and the section I have is pretty random.  It clearly shows the wide variety of styles, skill levels and colour choices. The two quilts in this picture were actually made from the same pattern - the colour choices make them look very different. 

The brown quilt at the back is a 365 challenge quilt - the challenge was to make a block every day for a year! 

Pink confetti at the back and cute dogs at the front. 

An alphabet memory quilt with photos printed onto the fabric on the left and a replica quilt on the right. 

There were also smaller quilts, wall hangings and bags.m

We had lots of visitors who were fascinated by the variety. 

The quilt at the back is a golden wedding quilt.  It was made quilt as you go. 

A gorgeous traditional quilt in the background, with something a bit more modern in the foreground. 

We had a lovely surprise when someone brought in an old quilt which had been found in her great aunt's effects.  It was a Grandmother's Flower Garden top made over papers in silks and satins.  Some of the papers were still in the patches and had been made from letters, envelopes and household stationery. We were thrilled to find a written date of 1876 and a postmark of 1880.  The top was complete, but had not been finished, which was a shame.  Some of the silk patches had frayed and split, but most were beautiful and vibrantly coloured.  The owner was delighted to find out so much about this item, and vowed to do some more research into her family tree and see if she could identify the maker of this special heirloom. 
Every visitor was given to slips to vote for their favourite small and large quilt.  Here are the winners. 

Vicki won the small quilt category with her fabulous giraffe quilt.  This was an original design.  She is proudly holding her prize donated by 'Hannah's Room'. 

Di won second prize with this innovative country scene.  The stepped bottom edge really sets it off. 

Maria wasn't around to pose in front of her cockerels, unfortunately.  These are all so much fun and so deserving of first prize for a large quilt. 

And second prize for a large quilt goes to Madeline with her patchwork of the crosses.  At the moment this is still a top - I can't wait till it's finished! 
Thank you to all those who displayed quilts and especially those who helped set up and take down the show.  It was a huge success from every point of view and we can't wait to repeat it in 2019!