Monday, 23 March 2009

Sizzling Strips!

On Saturday I ran a workshop for 12 people based on the techniques Margaret Miller outlines in her book 'Strips That Sizzle!'. Margaret is an inspirational teacher whose main area of interest is colour - a vital part of a successful quilt. The technique involves cutting lots of strips from two colours, making sure you have dark, medium and light in each hue.

June hadn't managed to cut her strips before she came to the workshop (which may be why she is hiding behind her machine!), but quickly cut a selection of green and yellow strips. Betty chose blue and yellow - a classic combination.
Muriel chose purple and green, and had a selection of wonderful green batiks (many of which were lime green and much admired by myself!). Carole's choice was blue and green, which will make for a fabulous shimmer.Carolyn was busy sewing her green and yellow strips together, while Ruth had another set of blue and green.Vicki also chose to use yellow, and was amazed at how many different yellows she actually had in her stash - 'I never use yellow!' she protested. I don't know whether Ann benefited from some of the same yellows, but her selection was gorgeous.Ginny and Alison were quite nervous, as they are both fairly new to quilting. Ginny found it hard to assemble a variety of shades, but people were very generous at sharing their fabrics.

Nik and Sue worked very hard all day, Nik with some lovely African fabrics and Sue being the only one to choose a scheme of red/purple and brown.Here are the fruits of her labours, in a pinwheel arrangement. Nik suggested that it should be called 'Fry's Turkish Delight' as the colours reminded her of the wrapper and contents of this delectable confection!Ginny decided to put her 16 blocks together and intends to border them to make a Linus quilt. They look lovely. Thank you for that.I'm really sorry, but I can't remember who made these next two arrangements. They are both beautiful though and showcase the technique splendidly.I can hardy wait to see the finished quilts which will be coming to show and tell!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

March meeting

March's meeting was lovely and relaxed. All there was on offer was a mug bag demo, the sales table and a display of the balloons which have been made for the group quilt (apart from show and tell, of course!) However the highlight of the evening was the presentation of a cheque for £200 to the Air Ambulance and a visit from the local press photographer, more of which later. A quiet meeting in comparison with some, but the chance to chat and catch up with the latest happenings -and gossip- were very welcome.

Carolyn showed how to make an attractive yet practical bag to carry your mug to meetings.

Paula was demonstrating too, so that everyone had a chance to see the method easily.

Sylvia manned the sales table, which appears to have been stripped by now, giving her time to joke with Nik.

Everyone taking part in the group quilt had returned their balloons - what a lovely variety there is. (The duck one is Stephanie's - what a clever idea!)

At the beginning of the meeting, we had all been given a slip of paper with the name of a season on it, and before show and tell, Di announced what it was all about. The committee had decided to give a small gift to all the members to say thankyou for all their support over the last year. Everyone was able to take a bundle of four fat quarters and some toning thread! What a lovely idea! And was I pleased that my 'Summer' bundle contained a piece of beautiful lime green fabric! Ruth had a summer bundle too, but chose one without lime green; why would she do that?! Thank you committee.

Show and tell had the usual variety of treats. Three people had completed their Jennie Rayment Sudoku quilts. All very quick workers!

Fran had been on a workshop which needed a Layer Cake as supplies and found this pile of co-ordinating squares made a very attractive quilt.This whimsical Hen House is a Mary Mayne design and make a perfect Easter (or spring) hanging.Paula is tireless in her work for Project Linus. She made two Mile A Minute quilts with cream sashing. They look fresh and clean in this arrangement.One of Nik's friends has had a baby in the ICU and was pictured lying on a quilt. Nik thought it must be a Linus quilt, but now the baby is safely home, the quilt stayed in the hospital. Obviously not a Linus quilt, as they belong to the child, not the institution. So the family didn't feel deprived, Nik made this jaunty sailing boats quilt, and called it 'Your not-Linus quilt'! Fabulous!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Jennie Raiment's 'Sudoku quilt' workshop

Some people might think of Lutterworth as a bit of a backwater, but that's not at all true when you find out all the things that go off in the town. Many people would give their eye teeth to attend a workshop by an internationally renowned artist, but that's exactly what lucky Piecemaker members got to do when Jennie Raiment taught her 'Sudoku quilt' class.

When I arrived at the hall, I thought it was the Marie Celeste over again (without the sea, of course!) as the room appeared deserted!

I soon found everyone, clustered round Jennie as she gave them instructions for a Fancy Fandango - this time in English!

Everyone quickly went back to their tables, while the instructions were fresh in their minds. Bunty and Andrea look as if they are expecting me to test them on the blocks so far (and find them wanting) at any moment!

Muriel and Chris were busy, busy, and Carol was obviously enjoying herself immensely!
Jennie was continually checking that everyone was happy and knew what to do - the mark of an excellent teacher.

Here is a bright pink Fancy Fandango under construction,

and here are Chris's blocks so far. Good progress to say it wasn't even lunchtime!
Everyone was happy that the workshop instructions had been clear, the teaching was superb and new techniques had been made very accessible. Now all that remains is to make up the quilts!