Thursday, 25 November 2010

Christmas meeting

Piecemakers rounded off the year nicely with a social evening of demos, gifts, food and drink - perfection! Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but suffice it to say that the demos were very well received. Di showed her cute Santa bottle bag - perfect for making a gift of wine extra special. June had made some gorgeous felt Christmas trees which could be decorated using beads and sequins. Lynda showed an easy gift apron, which could be used for gardening, pegs or craft activities.
The members were provided with a free raffle, and the gift of a mini fabric panel with either Christmas or sewing designs on it. This could be made into a gift card, pin cushion, needle case or whatever their imagination could devise!
Show and tell was appropriately festive, and as people left, to say 'Merry Christmas' to friends you will not see until 2011 seemed a bit strange. Nevertheless, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers, a super Christmas and happy new year. And may all your Christmas presents be soft and squishy!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

November meeting

After a very pleasant day out at the St Ives Lace and Craft Fair, Lynda, Paula, Di and Gill were inspired to buy a little gift for each member of Piecemakers. I won't say what it is, but there will be a kit available at the next meeting, and if you bring along a sewing kit, you'll be able to make something lovely on the night!
A few beads or little buttons might be an idea too!

Thursday, 21 October 2010


AGMs aren't usually a popular event on the calendar, but this one was a bit special. It was the 10th anniversary of Piecemakers! Piecemakers started in 2000, when Lynda Hill volunteered as part of Lutterworth's millennium celebrations, to set up a patchwork and quilting exhibition with four friends, Beverley Clare, Brenda Lincoln, Sylvia Palmer and Jane Payne. The exhibition in the Town Hall was a success, raising funds for Lutterworth Museum, and there were so many enquiries about a patchwork group, that a meeting was held to determine interest, and Piecemakers was born! Several founder members were invited along, and they all received a gift of a lovely rose plant.

Andrew Carpenter, the photographer from the 'Lutterworth mail' came and took a photo, so look out for it in next week's copy. The AGM itself was ably conducted by Paula, and since there were no contentious issues, was over in a short time. Then it was a chance to eat, drink, look and spend!

Everyone admired the cupcakes and cards which had been made for a raffle. All the cupcakes were different and all looked scrumptious! There was no difficulty finding homes for these delights.

The committee had provided refreshments, including beautiful edible cup cakes and lots of fruit for those of us who like to keep a balanced diet - cupcake in one hand, strawberry in the other : that's a balance, isn't it?Apart from the Linus rummage box and sales table, we were lucky to have local trader Ruth who brught some of her stock with her. She has lots of lovely Christmas and children's fabrics, which most people couldn't resist. Then onto the show and tell.

Di had bought this advent calendar cheaply, as it had a fault on it - would you believe there were two 9s! She was able to remedy this by a bit of creative applique, and now it's perfect!
Di was obviously in Christmas mood, as she had made all these Santas, most of them bottle bags for a charity sale.Bunty was also in Christmas mood, with this attractive hanging with little bells on it. very sophisticated colours there.
And what about this Santa hanging? He's wonderful!Bunty had been to a workshop with Ferret, which was optimistically titled 'quilt in a day'. She managed to make this quilt in the day, only having the binding to sew on at home! And it's fully reversable! Two different looks for the price (and time) of one!Doreen had been tempted by these cute farm motifs, and cleverly used them for a quilt border. How good is that? She was (justifyably) very proud of this little quilt. She calls it 'Man' and is the first completely original design she has ever made. She said it came to her one night when she couldn't sleep. Can you see the one with the heart? He's the one for her!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Beginners' workshop

The beginners'workshop I lead last Saturday was lovely! Eight people came along (I know there were more people interested, but the date clashed with other things) and they were all very hardworking. We made the components for a quilt from 'Nickel Quilts' by Charlene Speth and Pat Spode, and it was a hard slog. First there was the cutting,

then there was the deciding on colour combinations,

then there was the sewing of a quarter inch seam,

not to mention the times when you forgot what you were doing and had to have a little prompt!

Then there was the puzzling, at why, when you had cut and sewn accurately, the blocks don't fit together. Poor Rosemary discovered that her needle was in the zigzag rather than straight sewing position, and she had been inadvertantly been sewing seams which were three eighths rather than a quarter! I blame the teacher, who should have checked everyone's sewing machine first off! Sorry, Rosemary.

Everyone made some beautiful fabric choices. There was the sophisticated, pastel pink and soft green,

the dynamic, in browns and oranges,

the carefully considered, with green for the fields and blues and browns for the mountains,

the co-ordinated, in pinks and burgundies,

the reproduction, in pinks, browns and creams,

and the scrappy, in 'I need to use up these fabrics'!

I'm sorry, I didn't manage to get a photo of Rosemary or Paula's finished blocks. I can assure you they were gorgeous - especially Paula's, who has created her own wonderful variation on the pattern. We are planning to have another session to learn about layering up, quilting and binding, so look out for details of this!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Margaret Shah

Despite the poor weather (wind and heavy rain showers) lots of people were keen to get back into routine by attending the September meeting, hear Margaret Shah and most importantly, see her fabulous quilts. Margaret proved to be a very amusing speaker, and was also very honest. She actually confessed to using a black marker pen to disguise the missewn edges of Bondaweb (oh, come on, we've all done it!) She was exactly the kind of speaker we in Piecemakers like best, and her quilts were something else altogether!

Here she is, with a few of her quilts in front of her. She mainly uses silk for her piecing, with the majority of her fabric coming from silk ties which she buys from charity shops. She started piecing over papers, and fussy cuts the fabric to make intricate, tesellating shapes, reminiscent of the kaleidoscopes we all had as children.

Once she had finished speaking, everyone was eager to examine her work more closely. It certainly repaid close scrutiny!

This yellowy quilt made me think of Victorian fireplace tiles. Since the fabrics were all silk, the colours were glorious and jewel-like.
Show and tell wasn't quite up to this standard, but still inspiring. Gwyneth had designed and made this charming quilt for a friend's expected first grandchild. A sampler quilt with a difference.
Di had made this lovely banner as an accompaniment to the story of the creation. Apparently, children today don't know their Bible stories (or fairy tales and nursery rhymes, I'll add!) and Di is part of a group of volunteers going round to schools to remedy this sorry state of affairs. Lots of the shapes are attached by Velcro, so the story can be interactive. What a clever idea.
Gaynor had been to a summer school and come back with lots of lovely things. This mini-quilt was made in some of the V&A fabrics, and while I think it's gorgeous, she thinks it's too busy.

This simple design was made from leftover jelly roll strips. Simple but effective!

One day they were asked to bring a panel or piece of scenis fabric, and then had to design a black frame for it. Gaynor says this is the scene she wishes she could see out of her window!

Her last item was a bag. It was a useful size and she had enjoyed embellishing it with buttons from her collection.

Elaine had also made a bag, hers in batik fabrics. The black always makes batiks sing.

Bags are obviously very popular, as Tilly had brought hers too! This one was also in rectangles, and embellished suitably.Tilly had also made this lovely seaside inspired landscape. She had even added a real pearl caught in a net! Paula has had a busy summer finishing quilts for Project Linus. First this cute cot quilt with cheerful ducks on it. Then she managed to get a couple of panels in a sale.

This one is Dresden Plate, and looks fresh and pretty.This one is Double Wedding Ring, another traditional design. Paula's final quilt had been made from orphan stack and whack blocks, put together with a stunning centrepiece.

The last quilt in the show is another Linus, beautifully made and machine embroidered. A perfect cot quilt for a baby. many thanks for your hard work and imagination, ladies.

Next month will be the AGM and 10th anniversary celebrations. To contribute to the party atmosphere, members are invited to make a cup cake (for inspiration seee below)

or a birthday card. After being admired, the items will be ditributed tombola style, as a momento of the evening. Make sure you have a go, and let your imagination run riot!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

July meeting

I was really sorry to miss this meeting, but luckily Di managed to take some photos of Ferret and her quilts. Apparently, Ferret was like 'a breath of fresh air' as she was so down to earth and full of common sense. My kind of quilter!

Here she is, displaying one of her fabulous quilts (with others in the background!) Don't worry if you think your eyes need testing since the photos look a bit blurred, because the photos are a little fuzzy. Di obviously hasn't got an anti-shake device on her camera! Never mind, at least it gives an idea of the goodies which were on show. (Also, it means that Ferret doesn't have to worry. When Di asked her permission to photo her quilts and put them on the blog, she asked whether it was possible to click on the photos and enlarge them. Di was able to reassure her that I'm not clever enough to have worked out how to do that yet! Ferret was pleased, as apparently some Japanese quilters have been finding her designs on the net, enlarging them and stealing her patterns! I can hardly believe that quilters would stoop so low! Still it's reassuring that not only can you not enlarge these photos, but the details are also fuzzy! Sleep easy, Ferret!)
This is Ferret's latest quilt - absolutely fabulous, and well worth a close scrutiny!
The group quilt is looking splendid, and was presented to the Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance as a fund-raiser. Can you spot your blocks?
Doreen is not only talented, but prolific. Here is a beautiful wall hanging which reminds me of a sunset. (I'd like to see it unfuzzy some time!)
Sue had made her Jennie Rayment tucked and twiddled pieces into lovely cushions.

Elaine showed this bag which has lots of useful pockets.

Last year's theme at Flutterwheels was curves, and Stephanie has made up these striking red, black and white curves into this sophistciated Linus quilt. Thank you Stephanie.

The year before last's theme at Flutterwheels was stars, and Bunty has made an excellent job of assembling these gorgeous Mariner's Compass blocks into a fabulous quilt. The orange background really sets the compasses off to perfection!

Gaynor had made this lovely poppies wall hanging. The blue border sets it off well.

This quilt, made by Liz, was from a pattern in MacCall's Quilting magazine. Liz had seen it and fallen in love with it, and knew it would be perfect for her Dad. It's turned out perfectly, and I'm sure he'll treasure it.

No more meetings now until September, so I wish everyone a good summer, and look forward to the show and tell in the autumn!