Thursday, 20 September 2018

Silk evening

Our September talk was by the lovely Teresinha Roberts and all about silk.  I have heard this talk before, but thoroughly enjoyed hearing it again.  She told us all about the different kinds of natural fibres and how silk is completely different to the plant fibres of cotton, flax and wool.  She told us about her own experiences rearing silkworms and showed lots of different types of silk.  Who knew that it was possible to make garments from spider silk?  

Here she is in her beautiful silk blouse (she let us into the secrets of washing silk items too) and with a silk moth.  

She brought lots of different silk items to illustrate her talk, and it was fascinating to be able to examine them at close quarters afterwards. 

June was in September mood, not with The Last Night of the Proms, but Proms Last Night.  If you couldn't make it to the Albert Hall, you have your own instruments and flags! 

Show and tell was very varied.  Here is a seasonal wall hanging made in a recent workshop.  Beautiful. 

Denise was inspired by a recent talk she attended by John Cole-Morgan (look out for him on next year's programme!).  He encouraged us all to enjoy our wonderful hobby and not to stress about perfection.  Denise says she did just that at a recent workshop, although it looks pretty perfect to me! 

Pat had attended a felting workshop and made this amazing coat!  This is the front. 

And this is the back.  Absolutely fabulous! 

This quilt has been quilted with big stitch quilting.  Unfortunately my photo isn't clear enough to show it!  Big stitch quilting is a great way to add decoration to a quilt, plus to hold the layers together. 

These elephants are lovely, and in little families. 

Here is a quilted mat.  It's hard wearing, durable, washable and double sided. 

Here is the other side - just as good! 

Paula is ahead of the game and has made these two bags as Christmas presents for two friends.  Lucky friends. 

Here is a Linus quilt made by various people and assembled by Julie.  It is a Bonnie Hunter design, Grand Illusion. Bonnie gives instructions for a mystery quilt every November.  Look on her website for details. 

I have completed my Sarah Fielke BOM 'Down the Rabbit Hole'.  I loved doing it, but when I got to the penultimate border (the rabbits) I just ran out of steam.  Not a problem with Sarah's design, just with my short attention span!  So I just put a border round the edge, and I love it! 

I had appliqu├ęd all the rabbits, and have decided to make them up into baby quilts.  Here is the first top, ready to be quilted.  

Jill had been given a bag full of hexagons.  She made a quilt for her daughter in law and this Linus quilt, and still has quite a lot left.  She has donated them to Project Linus, so they will be put to more good use! 

Julie was tempted by ruler quilting and is already a master of it!  She is delighted with this technique and is making this quilt in the quilt as you go method.  Fabulous! 

Here is another of the pieces of the quilt.  I can't wait to see the finished items! 

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Sewing time

Our August meeting was a sit and sew, a new venture for Piecemakers.  August can be a tricky month for groups, as its prime holiday season, and usually leads to poor attendance figures.  Although quite a few people were obviously away, there were plenty of members to make for a very enjoyable evening.  

June had gone with a pink theme for her raffle prizes, and Paula, while supporting June, wasn't letting the grass grow under her feet (quilting wise) and had brought a project to keep her out of mischief!  

Here you can see the prizes, with the theme of 'tickled pink'!  Perfect. 

People sat round tables, either sewing or chatting.  Jan and Nik seem to be doing neither! 

There's a confab going on here, with Julie and Caroline putting blocks together. 

Another advice session.  Well, four heads are always better than one!  This is one of the benefits of getting together with other quilters - you can always get guidance and opinion from like minded friends. 

 Lots of hexagons being joined together here.  

Chris had brought some items from the Bloodwise shop which might be interesting for us.  Thank you Chris. 

Show and tell started with this gorgeous cushion. 

Here is. Work in progress.  Looking good. 

Jan made two Linus quilts.  Thank you very much Jan! 

This is a scrappy pineapple quilt I made.  It's a good use of scraps. 

This one is mine too.  A baby quilt using the chicken block from 'Today's Quilter'. 

And finally my Bonnie Hunter's 'On Ringo Lake' her 2017 mystery quilt.  I made it half size, as Bonnie's quilts are always huge. 
Next month we will have a talk on the Silk Road by Terashina Roberts.  See you there! 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A hot evening

The weather here has been very hot, leading to lethargy and a tendency to flop in the shade of the garden with a cool drink, but Piecemakers members are made of strong stuff, and don't let a little heatwave get in the way of quilting enjoyment!  Plenty of people turned out to see Deborah O'Hare speak about using scraps. 

Here she is with a few of her pieces.  Most of them were small and exquisite, but she had some 'proper' quilts too! 

She had a lovely bunting quilt and other improv quilts in great colour combinations.  

June has family problems so wasn't able to come and run the raffle.  Luckily Paula stepped into the breech and had a selection of cool and tasty ice creams on offer!  Shame I didn't win one. 

Jan had been busy making Linus quilts.  She's so creative and talented.  This one is bright and cheerful! 

This one is lovely too. 

This one has a gorgeous vintage feel and will be very snugly. 

I made a Linus quilt too.  The chickens were made by people at Knit and Stitch from a pattern in Today's Quilter.  I love them! 

This doggy quilt was made by Chris for a dog!  She used the Accuquilt cutter to cut out the dogs.  Don't they look cute? 

This quilt was made to order.  The maker was given a few fat quarters and asked to make a blue quilt.  This is a fabulous way of making a few fabrics go a long way!  Beautiful! 

This is Maria's 'Happy Days' from a Sarah Fielke BOM from 2016.  It's beautifully pieced and completely hand quilted.  A masterpiece.  

Di bought this fabric printed with London scenes, and has used it to make two cushions and a bag.  She has just a small piece of the fabric left and plans to make a little pouch with that!  Way to go, Di! 

Ten years ago Beverley howled how to make these quilted hexagons.  Paula started making them, and has just finished putting them together in this unique jacket.  She'll certainly turn some heads wearing this! 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Linus evening

As the Leicester coordinator for Project Linus, I'm always delighted to organise a sewing evening.  I try to find a simple yet effective technique which people may not have tried before, and I think I succeeded this time! 
We made strippy snowball blocks (an idea taken from Styart Hillard's recent book '100 scrap quilts').  Strips are joined together and then cut into a 10.5" square.  Corners are added using a stitch and flip technique, and that's all there is to it!  

This table had blue strips, and we're aiming for something like the 'Blue Peter hanging from the notice board. 

This group also had blue strips, and worked very hard. 

This is the pink table.  You can see that the corners were alternately bright pink and white, forming a pinwheel where the blocks meet. Stuart had sashed his blocks, but I liked the pinwheels to stand alone. 

Last table had red, grey and black.  This colour combination is great for an older child. 

At the same time, there was a table top sale. Lots of bargains to be had here! 

Of course, the whole evening was a great chance for socialising and catching up with the latest gossip! 

It was lovely to see June up and about, albeit quite slowly! 

The raffle was pin striped fabric and pins!  Great fun! 

Here are the evenings results.  I reckon sixteen blocks are enough for a Linus quilt, and this group are only two short!  The black and white pinwheels will really add pizzazz! 

The pink group managed enough blocks for a quilt. Looking good! 

The two blue groups made enough blocks for one and a half quilts.  There were plenty of strips left over, so we'll finish both soon. 

Show and tell started with my rainbow quilt. This is another good use of scraps. 

Another one of my Linus quilts, this time using small scraps! 

This is a Mile A Minute quilt with added hearts.  I think the hearts add a whimsical touch. 

Here are some of the quilts made at the recent Pat Archibald workshop.  Don't they look fabulous!

And here is another quilt made at Textend's Pat Archibald workshop.  What beautiful colours! 

Paula has been using the Accuquilt cutter to make some cute Linus quilts. Here are lions. 

Here are cars, big and small. 

And here are giraffes with other animals.  These will certainly be appreciated by their future owners. 

Chris had also been making Linus quilts.  Sorry this is a bit fuzzy. 

This one is Chris's too, made from leftovers from a quilt she made for her grandson.  Such a clever arrangement of different elements which all work so well together! 
I would like to say a big thank you to all those who helped made the evening such a success.  I hope everyone enjoyed the evening, and look forward to putting the blocks together!