Thursday, 16 November 2017

Christmas meeting

I know it's a bit early to have a Christmas meeting, but since Piecemakers doesn't meet in December, this was it!  And a lovely meeting it was!  There were lots of people there, including several new people who had come along after the exhibition.  I hope they enjoyed the meeting as much as I did. 

First of all we had a workshop to make some scrappy Christmas trees.  Vicki and Ann lead on this. 

This was an easy and effective technique of sewing strips onto pelmet Vilene. 

Some people just went for it and sewed merrily away. 

Others needed to plan, and make sure the finished tree was balanced in tones. 

It didn't really matter, as all the trees looked gorgeous! 

Vicki's husband kindly made all the pots and trunks.  Thanks, Ken! 

June made the raffle very attractive, as usual.  The baubles have chocolate inside them ! 

The food table was filled with delicious morsels, and provided us with a little sustenance before the rigours of show and tell! 

Here is one of the Rocheberie challenge quilts, where participants were given half yards of the same fabric and had to use their imagination. 

This is Gaynor's quilt which won her second prize.  Well done! 

Here is another quilt using these fabrics.  They were an amazing collection! 

I brought my quilt which was inspired by old quilts in a Sarah Fielke book.  I love the setting on this. 

Here is a small hanging which Denise made before going on a Christine Porter workshop.  Sorry it's a bit dark, it looked lovely. 

And finally, here are the doves which are going to be used to decorate a Christmas tree for the Misterton Christmas tree festival in December.  I love how they are all subtly different! 
Nothing more remains but to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!  See you in 2018. 


Monday, 30 October 2017

The Big Textile Show

It's busy, busy, busy for Piecemakers at the moment.  No sooner is one display taken down than its time to put up another!  
We were delighted to be offered a stand at The Big Textile Show in Leicester, and had a great time meeting friends, old and new and talking patchwork! 

We started off the weekend with the PIECEMAKERS sign along the edge of the table, clearly showing who we are.  However as the quilts were admired, stroked and revealed, things got a bit muddled and the sign is hardly visible!  Never mind, we had a lovely time, and even got a chance to have a look round the show, which was even better than last year!  Roll on next year! 

Sunday, 22 October 2017


This weekend saw the return of our popular bi-annual exhibition at Walcote Village Hall.  We had a special exhibition committee who had tried very hard to plan everything in advance so it would run smoothly.  Every year we tweak the organisation to try and get everything to be as good as we can make it, and this year (apart from a Saturday morning cake crisis!) think it all went very well indeed. 

Here are Di and Gill ready to welcome people in and hopefully to sell them some raffle tickets. 

June had worked hard to make the raffle lots of fun.  No chocs, bath salts or potted plants here, just fabric, fabric, fabric and a few little surprises!  Each little bag held fabric themed round a month, eg. for September, fruit and pie fabric, with a bonus sachet of Bird's custard!  Perfect! 

An important feature of the the show is the refreshments, which proved very popular! 

The tombola of handmade items was very popular too.  There were all kinds of prizes, from bags to coasters, table runners to tea cosies, sewing baskets to purses.  Every single item was won by the end of the show. 

There was a sales table too, with lots of items for sale, some handmade, some second hand plus books and fabric.  This had so many bargains, it had to be replenished by Sunday morning.  Bargains are always popular. 

We were very pleased to welcome our trader Roxanna from 'Hannah's Room' with her delectable selection of batik fabrics.  Few of us managed to resist the temptation of these gorgeous fabrics.  Plus Roxanna is always full of inspiration and fun.  Thank you so much for coming. 

Lots of people were fascinated by the demonstrations.  Lynda showed a jelly roll quilt pattern, Pam how to appliqué using fusible web, Julie the Accuquilt cutter, Gwyneth English paper piecing and Julie foundation piecing.  No matter how much you know about patchwork, there is always more to find out. 

Here is the Project Linus table, with donated quilts and tops, and some of the heart warming thank you letters and cards from lucky children who have received 'a hug you can keep'. 

And now for the quilts.  I haven't got photos of them all, and the section I have is pretty random.  It clearly shows the wide variety of styles, skill levels and colour choices. The two quilts in this picture were actually made from the same pattern - the colour choices make them look very different. 

The brown quilt at the back is a 365 challenge quilt - the challenge was to make a block every day for a year! 

Pink confetti at the back and cute dogs at the front. 

An alphabet memory quilt with photos printed onto the fabric on the left and a replica quilt on the right. 

There were also smaller quilts, wall hangings and bags.m

We had lots of visitors who were fascinated by the variety. 

The quilt at the back is a golden wedding quilt.  It was made quilt as you go. 

A gorgeous traditional quilt in the background, with something a bit more modern in the foreground. 

We had a lovely surprise when someone brought in an old quilt which had been found in her great aunt's effects.  It was a Grandmother's Flower Garden top made over papers in silks and satins.  Some of the papers were still in the patches and had been made from letters, envelopes and household stationery. We were thrilled to find a written date of 1876 and a postmark of 1880.  The top was complete, but had not been finished, which was a shame.  Some of the silk patches had frayed and split, but most were beautiful and vibrantly coloured.  The owner was delighted to find out so much about this item, and vowed to do some more research into her family tree and see if she could identify the maker of this special heirloom. 
Every visitor was given to slips to vote for their favourite small and large quilt.  Here are the winners. 

Vicki won the small quilt category with her fabulous giraffe quilt.  This was an original design.  She is proudly holding her prize donated by 'Hannah's Room'. 

Di won second prize with this innovative country scene.  The stepped bottom edge really sets it off. 

Maria wasn't around to pose in front of her cockerels, unfortunately.  These are all so much fun and so deserving of first prize for a large quilt. 

And second prize for a large quilt goes to Madeline with her patchwork of the crosses.  At the moment this is still a top - I can't wait till it's finished! 
Thank you to all those who displayed quilts and especially those who helped set up and take down the show.  It was a huge success from every point of view and we can't wait to repeat it in 2019! 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Usually groups have to bribe their members to come to their AGM, with cheese and wine or other attractions, but that's not so at Piecemakers.  Our AGM is a chance to review all the things we have done in the year, and for the members to voice any concerns or ideas they have.  This year was the same as usual.  There were nearly 50 people present, and we had covered everything in less than half an hour! Perfect!  Then it was on to the fun part of the evening, making doves for our entry to the Misterton Church Christmas Tree Festival. 

People were very diligent in cutting out and sewing the felt, 

and it was all eyes down here! 

Some people used the time to chat; it's great to catch up on the gossip. 

I don't know what piece of gossip Vicki is imparting here, but Ruth looks pretty shocked! 

This table managed well despite the lights not working in this corner of the room.  Good job they were sewing white fabric! 

June had pulled out all the stops (as usual) and had Halloween fabric with some rather funky flashing ghosts.  They looked very cute. 

Everyone must have been very busy finishing their exhibition entries, as there was very little show and tell.  This is a lovely cushion made by Di.  

This is a scrappy Linus quilt made by me.  It's a Bonnie Hunter pattern which uses up lots of 2.5" strips and squares.  I think the turquoise binding pulls it nicely together. 

Janet had made this splendid wall hanging.  The fruit looks luscious. 

And lastly, here is a gorgeous Christmas wall hanging made by Gaynor.  She said her favourite part is the penguins.  I like everything about it! 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Workshop evening

The September meeting was four different workshops to make sewing accessories.  Vicki was demonstrating a clips holder, Gwyneth a thread carrier, Janet a bag with see through front and Ann a rotary cutter pouch.

Vicki is showing how to make the clip holder here. 

Here is the rotary cutter holder group. 

Gwyneth is making sure everyone is on task with the thread carrier. 

This group was making the bag with see through front.  Everyone enjoyed their evening and most people finished their item.  I know I was very pleased with mine! 

June was bang on trend with her raffle theme - autumn baking! 

Show and tell started with these beauties.  The one on the left was made at a workshop at the FOQ, and the other one followed from That!  Gorgeous! 

Vicki made this quilt for Project Linus using leftovers from another quilt.  Great colours. 

This is a very clever use of charm squares.  The off set arrangement looks really effective. 

This is a Linus quilt made from a half jelly roll.  Well, it should have been but this one was made of the equivalent in 2.5" strips, plus a 9.5" square.  It's really quick and easy to make and looks very 

This is a BOM quilt in gorgeous colours.  The books are named for the books on the maker's granddaughter's book shelf.  Great idea. 
We are looking forward to our next meeting, when we will be making doves to decorate a tree at the Misterton Church Christmas tree festival.  You will need to bring white thread, a small piece of freezer paper if you have it, a small amount of stuffing and your usual sewing kit. 
Don't forget your exhibition entries and sales table or tombola items.