Saturday, 26 April 2008

Curved flying geese workshop

On Thursday 15 happy people gathered at the hall for a day workshop with Pat Deacon. Pat had already wowed us with her fabulous quilts and we were ready to find out how she managed to piece such complicated geometric shapes and sweeping curves and still have a quilt which hangs flat at the end of it all! (I'm sure I'm not the only one who has done some fancy piecing, only to end up with one of Madonna's bra cups, instead of the quilt block I had been expecting!)

Here is Pat, all ready to start us off. She was an excellent teacher, breaking all the work down into easily achievable steps and being very encouraging and inspirational all day.

She started us off with a mini workshop on foundation piecing curved shapes. We each drew a small teardrop shape and used her fantastic no-fail freezer paper foundation method for making it in fabric. That was the easy bit!

Next we had to draw our own patterns onto freezer paper (a choice of an easy one and a harder one), cut them into parts and then piece them.

Pat gave us some useful workshop advice. No matter what fabric you take to a workshop, the person sitting next to you has much nicer colours than you, and is producing better work. But remember, she is also thinking the same about you! It certainly is interesting looking at people's colour choices - all of which were fabulous.

Here is June proudly showing her first pieced goose, and her choice of fabrics - black and white! This is going to be stunning, especially if she follows her plan of adding a few red accents.

The first few geese were a bit tricky, but everyone persevered (although several people were glad they had brought their unpickers!) and gradually it all became much easier.

And then, as we became more confident, mistakes crept in. Jill was not the only person to carefully sew another goose, flip, press and then cut it right off! Some people thought it might make a design feature, but no, after a good laugh, off it came.

By the time four o'clock came, we were all well on the way to finishing our pieces.

Pat showed us a way of putting the parts together using 'invisible' tape, which certainly eliminates the distortion which pins can sometimes introduce.

The only question now is, will they actually sew together to make a flat block, or will it be another pop star's undergarment?

Friday, 18 April 2008

Group quilt revealed!

After all our hard work designing the blocks for the group quilt, Andrea has put in even more hard work in assembling the blocks. They look fabulous, and the free quilted border she has added (which unfortunately you can't see in the photo!) is first rate! I'm sure this is a winner, but in any event we have had great fun making it.

You may notice the posh stand which the quilt is hanging on. It is actually a photographic stand, but is so light, stores well and collapses easily that we decided to buy two for the group. This will make displaying quilts so much easier at meetings.

This month's meeting was very informal and enjoyable. Apart from the group quilt's unveiling, we had Jeanne and Vicky from Chaos Traders to tempt us with their merchandise and to stimulate us with two demos.

Jeanne was demonstrating an easy way to make accurate prairie points, for the edge or embellishment of a quilt. She had plenty of paper so people could practise.

Vicky was demonstrating Thangles, a way of making accurate half square triangles. They are foundation pieced, but mean you never have to trim a half square triangle again, as they are all perfectly formed! The downside is that each packet has only one size, but you can't have everything!

Their stall attracted a lot of attention, and I don't think anyone went home without something gorgeous tucked away in their bag, whether it was fabric, threads, needles, rulers or one of a myriad of other quilting 'essentials'.

Lots of people were tempted by the fabric (myself included), while Ruth was happy to be snapped looking for needles. Incidentally, where do needles go? I buy packets and packets, but rarely throw one away!

Sharon was perusing the excellent selection of rulers and templates. I wonder if she actually purchased anything?

This time I made sure I got photos of the show and tell. This was an example of holiday photos printed onto fabric and made into a beautiful wall hanging. What a special way to remember a holiday.Carolyn had made this attractive quilt which was made from a very simple four patch block. I have made a note of this pattern for future reference.

Jane made yet another Mile a Minute variation, with alternate white and coloured rounds. It looks fresh and vibrant. I never cease to be amazed at the versatility of this block.

Stephanie showed this lovely flower quilt in some of her trademark colours.

It's a shame this photo is a bit blurred, but you can get the general idea of this gorgeous quilt which Bunty made at a workshop with Jenny Almond. I think it's the fabulous red fabric she choose which really makes this quilt zing.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Mary Mayne workshop

Mary Mayne has sent some images of the kinds of things people will be making with her when she holds her workshop in June.
There will be a variation of the beautiful snow scene which several people in the group have already made, called spring. If anyone feels adventurous, they could make Rainforest, which is the same basic technique, but obviously more exotic!
If you want to book a place on this workshop, please speak to any member of the committee.