Friday, 20 November 2015

November meeting

Although it's only November, as it is our last meeting of the year, this had a Christmas theme. 

June's raffle was beautifully decorated Christmas parcels. I don't know what was in them, as I didn't win one, and every one who did seemed to be saving it for Christmas Day. What self-restraint! 

We had a fabulous array of treats to taste, both sweet and savoury.  Luckily some people had brought fruits, so we could kid ourselves that it was all healthy food! 

And we all had an activity of making a clever Christmas decoration from some felt shapes and some beads.  It was very easy, but produced an impressive result. 

Here is Beth's finished heart design.  Pretty. 
Unfortunately I completely forgot to take any photos of the 'Fifteen' challenge.  The entries varied from a teddy bear to a waistcoat garland, through quilts and wall hangings.  The winner was Gwyneth with her festive tree skirt decorated with appliquéd characters and scenes from the book 'The Snowman'.  A very worthy winner!  (And would you believe that fifteen people voted for her quilt?  Amazing!) 

Luckily Gwyneth's husband took a photo for us.  There are 15 snowmen, 15 trees and 15 different border fabrics.  She says she had lots of fun making it, and I'm sure that's true! 

Show and tell was kicked off by Paula's Jack in the box quilt.  She used a fat quarter pack of blues and creams which had been donated to Project Linus.  It looks stunning! 

A good use of the leftovers from the pack, with a hint of yellow. 

Here is a great way of using feature fabrics in a strippy arrangement.  I love the pale blue background. 

This is a panel which Paula has quilted for a friend's new grandson.  I'm sure it will be a huge hit. 

Maria made this quilt at a workshop, although she hadn't realised how big it was going to turn out!  The thought of quilting it wasn't an attractive one, so she asked Liz to oblige.  Good decision. 

Here is a glimpse of the back, where you can see the beautiful design.  

Liz herself brought this cute baby quilt.  Apparently a friend of hers was on the loo, when she noticed a lovely clamshell design on her loo paper.  She asked Liz if she could make a quilt using this theme.  Liz wasn't to keen on making a whole quilt of clamshells, so came up with the clever idea of using the shapes for feathers.  Lovely. 

And to finish on a festive note, here is Gaynor's offering.  This will either become a wall-hanging or a cushion, or maybe a wall-hanging with an envelope back!  
I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year. 
See you in January! 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Another fabulous exhibition!

Last weekend was our exhibition 'Sew Beautiful' in the Walcote Memorial Hall in Walcote.  Ruth, Judy and Rebecca organised it (with a little help from everyone else!) and did a wonderful job.  

Here is the sign outside the hall to welcome everyone.  The hall is a little difficult to find, but we put lots of signs and an A board up to direct people.  I think it must have worked as we had about 275 visitors in all!  

Inside the door was the welcoming committee, giving out Visitors' Choice slips and selling raffle tickets for our splendid celebration cake. 

Here it is - completely inedible!  Twelve lucky people won a slice. 

For those who didn't want to win fabric, Holłie was asking how many cotton reels were in the jar, and raffling a lovely pink cushion too. 

There were also prizes to be won on the tombola, bags, pouches, purses, toys, patterns and all manner of goodies. 

We were very lucky to have 'Hannah's Room' as our trader, and Roxana did us proud with her lovely display.  Her batik fabrics are beautiful, and I think she tempted lots of us to take some home. 

The members sales table was in the same room, and was groaning with fabric, books and home made items.  Di and Gill worked hard to try and keep everything under control.  

And here are some of the 100 quilts.  They ranged from small to giant, and everything inbetween.  

Another section of the display. 

So much to see. 

The variety was amazing. 

We struggled to display all the quilts, but did our very best.  

And we made sure our charity and community activities were represented, with Project Linus quilts, quilts for the elderly and fiddle cushions all displayed.  Several people were interested in the fiddle cushions, and thought they would be very useful for either relatives or friends.

The refreshments area was moved into the main hall, so that there was easy access to the kitchen.  This seemed to work well.  We decorated the screens with some of our bobbin bunting - very suitable. The cakes were a particular draw, as you can't beat a home made cake! 
Everyone who visited was complimentary about the show and well they might be.  The organisers had put lots of effort into making sure the weekend ran smoothly, and the group pulled together to welcome, share and encourage.  
But what of the Visitors' Choice?  
First prize went to Liz for her fabulously constructed and quilted design. 

Second prize to Hazel for her quilt made by several generations of her family and incorporating old lace and tatting completed by family members.  It doesn't show up very well on this photo, sorry. 

And third prize for Chris for both her quilts.  Would you believe that both of the quilts she had entered tied for third prize?  What are the odds of that happening!  She looks quite pleased. 

For the smaller items, Ann got first prize with her 'Oh to be tall and thin', Out of Africa, Pam second prize with her springtime wall hanging, 

And Maria was awarded third prize with her chickens.  Worthy winners.  Although every item in the show was chosen by someone, as the standards were very high.  Many thanks to all who helped make our exhibition so successful and so enjoyable, and here's to 2017! 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Exhibition sneak peek

We are all getting very excited about our forthcoming exhibition!  It will be on next weekend, Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th October at the Walcote Memorial Hall from 10 till 4, admission £2 with accompanied children free.  There will be quilts galore hanging on our newly purchased stands, sales table, trader Roxana from Hannah's Room in Coalville, teas, coffees, home made cakes, Project Linus stand and another of June's fabulous raffles.  Here is the sneak peek. 

June always puts lots of thought into her raffle prizes, and this is no exception.  It's a celebration cake for our fifteenth anniversary!  June, you've excelled yourself.  Just make sure I get one of the winning tickets! 
Make a note in your diary to come along and get inspired!  See you there! 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Quilting with young people

A couple of years ago, we bid for some money from Waitrose, and decided to use it to encourage young people to do patchwork.  We were lucky to find a fabulous pattern from 'Quiltmaker' magazine which was very forgiving, and made a cushion or bag with all the 10 and 11 year olds in Lutterworth schools, that was about 120 children. It was delightful for us to work with these enthusiastic young people, and as organiser, I thank all the people who gave up their time to help with this.  We have recently been to Bitteswell School and worked with 31 pupils. 

Here is Di, working with some youngsters.  They were very interested in her machine, and all the different stitches it could make.   She kindly offered to show some of them if there was time, and ended up using the alphabet stitches to sew each pupils' initials on each finished cushion!  How generous is that! 

Liz always clears her calendar to help young people.  She has a wonderful rapport with them, and handles the most difficult child very sensitively.  You missed your vocation, Liz. 

Gwyneth is another stalwart for sewing with young people.  She is patient and kind, and encourages children who struggle.  Thank you. 

Madeleine came every session, and was unflappable, even when her machine malfunctioned and decided to go on strike.  Luckily it was sortable, but she kept calm. 

Here are some of the finished products.  Thé children's fabric choices always impress me.  They have their own ideas, and it fills them with pleasure.  
Many thanks to Liz D, Liz I, Gwyneth, Maria (the flattening lady!), Madeleine, Di, Ruth and Lorraine for giving so generously of their time and skills to give good experiences to the possible future sewers.  Well done! 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Yvonne Brown

In September we were pleased to welcome Yvonne Brown for a return visit.  She had a new talk about her recent visit to New Zealand.  The first part was inspiring photos.  Lovely views of sand patterns, flowers, foliage, rocks, water, mountains and townscapes.  We were looking forward to seeing how she had used this inspiration in her work.  Well, apparently she only has 24 hours in her day like the rest of us, and hasn't had time to use the images!  She had plenty of other work to share with us, including some lovely pieces with flowers and see through panels. 

Here is Yvonne, with some of her work.  Unfortunately I couldn't go to the workshop, but I have heard good reports of what a lovely teacher she is, and how pleased people were with the pieces they produced.  

Here you can see the Celtic samples for the class.  Gorgeous. 

June couldn't make the meeting, but her lovely husband, Ed, came along in her stead with a selection of baked goods.  They all looked scrummy, but I didn't manage to take one home with me. 

The photo doesn't do justice to this quilt.  It had been donated to the Bloodwise Charity shop, and was instantly recognised by Chris as a Durham strippy quilt from the late 19th century.  It was all beautifully hand quilted with patterns of fans and ropes.  A real treat for us all. 

This beautiful quilt had been made by Hollie.  She used a jelly roll, and while it looks great to me, she said it hadn't turned out to give her as much satisfaction as she had thought it might.  Sometimes jelly rolls can be very coordinated, and while they are very satisfying, don't always have that zing.  Perhaps that was what she meant. 

Here is another of Hollie's quilts.  (She is a teacher, so has had chance to do some finishes over e summer)  a gorgeous set of colours.  

A hearts quilt in blue and yellow - always a good colour combination. 

The back of the quilt, with a very interesting and creative back!  Nothing like using it up! 

This is a purple quilt made by Liz and donated to Project Linus.  Super. 

This is Liz's quilt too.  It's a one patch quilt, and you can see the fabulous way the blocks extend into the border.  What is more difficult to see is the way the quilting has extended some of the blocks into the border by echoing their shape.  Beautiful.  

This is a heart quilt made by the Linus ladies at Knit and Stitch.  It's actually a big nine patch, and despite its many makers, went together very well. 

This is another quilt made by the Linus ladies.  It's a no strip nine patch, and for those people going to The Big Textile Show this weekend, we will be demonstrating the technique.  Looking good. 

This is my Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion.  It was a mystery quilt for 2014, and while I thoroughly enjoyed making it, I think it is my least favourite of Bonnie's designs.  It is very, very busy, although I tried to quilt it so that the Stars stood out.  Not sure if I succeeded! 

This is a stunning quilt with spirals and circles.  The central dahlia is fabulous, and the colour scheme is beautiful. 

This fiddle quilt is absolutely beautiful. The colours are so pretty and I love the inclusion of the knitted purse at the top right.  So clever. 

This quilt was made by Ann for a rented property, and has seen its best days.  It has now been retired and replaced by another of Ann's beautiful quilts.  

This is an old quilt, probably 1930s or 40s from the fabrics.  The hexagons have been assembled into lozenge shapes.  Fascinating. 

Here is another of Ann's beautiful quilts.  It is hexagons and half hexagons, made up as a kind of strippy.  She has donated this to Project Linus.  Thank you, Ann.