Thursday, 20 March 2008

Group quilt evening

Bunty and Andrea were waiting with some trepidation to see how many people had managed to complete their blocks for the group quilt which will be displayed at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in August. 25 people had taken kits (which would make a lovely 5x5 block quilt) so they were hoping for 25 blocks back - or at the least 24, no less! They need not have worried, all the blocks bar one returned (and that one is promised asap) and they were magnificent!

Every one was individual, with applique, beads, sequins, embroidery, embellishments, buttons and lots of other clever ideas too. It was easy to identify each season, even if you couldn't spot the labels, as eveyone had worked so hard at interpreting their theme. Now Bunty and Andrea have the difficult job of putting them together. They haven't exactly decided how to do this, and there will be a lot of playing, rearranging and auditioning of sashing fabrics to be done before they make a final decision.

They have decided to put them together using 'quilt as you go'. This is a great method for those not confident enough to machine quilt a whole quilt, as each section is quilted individually and then the blocks are joined together afterwards, making the whole process much simpler - especially if it's Bunty and Andrea who are doing it!

Andrea gave a demonstration for those who didn't know the technique, or those like me, who had forgotten how to do it!

There were two more demonstrations. Jill showed how to do trapunto, a method which stuffs extra wadding into certain areas, to give them an extra defined look. Why did it look so easy when she showed us how to do it?

Sharon showed easy crazy pieceing. She used a piece of fabric as a foundation, and sewed the scraps onto the backing. What a clever idea! It makes the whole block easy to handle, and ensures that it lies flat when completed. She brought some beautifully embellished examples for all to drool over.

A very popular feature of this meeting was the sales table (or tables). This photo shows one of the tables after the mass had descended! There were lots of goodies for all - fabric, books, patterns, kits, gadgets, bags, bowls, notebooks and for those who could really smell a bargain, I had brought a rummage box of bits and bobs, hoping to get donations for Project Linus.

Paula, Jill and I were so busy with the sales table that I completely forgot to take any photos of the show and tell (which was fantastic as usual and included all the beautiful boxes and stunning Tiny Treasures). When we came to count up the money, and then had taken off 10% for our charity, the Air Ambulance, we found that we didn't have enough money to pay everyone, never mind have anything over for the charity! Back to the drawing board, and much scratching of heads, as we recalculated all the sales labels. Hooray! We found a mistake. We owed Bunty another £1, which made the situation even worse! We were beginning to despair, and Paula even took her shoes and socks off to help with the mathematics, when we discovered a £20 note which had managed to hide itself under the chair. Phew, the relief was palpable! That meant that everyone got their money, and we made 17.60 for the charity. The Project Linus box made £10. 35, so everyone, buyers and sellers, went home happy!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Tiny Treasures Workshop

On National Quilting Day, March 15th, what better thing to do than spend the day with friends learning new quilting and embroidery techniques? Jenny Rolfe led a workshop with 16 participants making 'Tiny Treasures'. These were exquisite little embroidered and embellished panels which could be used to make book covers, boxes, cards or just enjoyed in their own right.

Here is Jenny cutting some wire for June to use to decorate her work.

Bunty and Andrea looked very serious, but it was the strain of trying to dodge the camera rather than any problems which the workshop posed them which has resulted in such worried faces!

Jill looks a bit happier - maybe it's because she has chosen such beautiful, rich colours for her design.

Paula is very sociable (and tidy - look at her lovely uncluttered workspace!)

Beverley was having a little trouble with her machine. I thought we were pretty good friends, so was a bit surprised when she managed to get the end of her shuttle to shoot me on the cheek. Good shot, Bev! Sylvia had chosen the other design (ie. not the one nearly everyone else was doing). What a surprise, as she is not known for her independent mind!

Stephanie takes a moment to ponder the next step.

Ann and Sue are struggling a bit with invisible thread. It's nearly impossible to see!

Merleen is another one doing the alternative shape - another free thinker! Both she and Doreen are engrossed in the task.

Sharon and Eunice were concentrating so hard, they didn't even realise I was taking their photo!

Everyone was really enjoying the workshop, and fully absorbed in the task. Most people had arrived at the embellishing stage (the best bit!) well before 3 o'clock, so we look forward to seeing the fruits of their labours at the next meeting.