Monday, 22 September 2014

pincushion fest

Best friend made the mistake of asking me to make her a pincushion for Christmas
So, permission to search the web for all sorts of lovely tutorials and patterns all day long
The US sites mention crushed walnut shells as best for stuffing  ( heavy )
I first used quinoa ( surprisingly untouched in my cupboard), then steam ironed the cushion which I think was risky as cooking may have started;  so then blasted it with the hairdryer 


Next tried pudding rice , this time without steam or nutmeg


Hmmm, off to Pets at Home looking for crushed walnut shells
No luck, it seems we use crushed oyster shells for chickens and birdies, but was vaguely worried that it may smell fishy....but no way to find out ......

Made a few with soft toy stuffing, but although they look OK, I think they will scoot around the workspace too much



Also had a go at a bracelet version, and yes, I did put a piece of cardboard in to stop the inevitable stabbing accident. After I unpicked the finished item.



Now ordered some crushed walnut shells on amazon. Made me laugh as the positive review came from another sewer 
( not a reptile keeper as it is designed for, ha)

Final selection for present



Thursday, 11 September 2014

double wedding ring and macaroons

Always wanted to give DWR a go
Still using up my scraps to make a lap quilt for a wedding present,  cannot face trying to make a bed quilt. Going OK at the moment, but have ordered templates to trim more accurately, also tempted to get the accuquilt die, although thats a smaller diameter than my current block.



Today was a  good day
doggie off to daycare 0730
2 hours cleaning + washing
high speed train to London  to Waitrose cookery school to make  macaroons
 brilliant value
warm pastries and fresh coffee  and fruit on arrival, glass of cava to celebrate a staff members birthday ( hurray! ), lovely demo with handsome chef and great fun making them with an old friend
BUT feel I cannot live now without a professional cooking thermometer




Wandered into Finchley Road Habitat and was taken by the number of quilty inspired items there





Thursday, 14 August 2014

post festival

inspired again to get going,  finished my hole in the wall quilt from workshop with Sue Bouchard




the fabrics were in a kit at the show, so not my first choice...but meant I could get on and sew straight away
took the opportunity to really try and improve some techniques, squaring off and binding with mitres.
I had a go at some matchstick quilting, just in the cornerstones, but that was enough! Used a variegated thread which did not really contrast or completley disappear, so WRONG choice.... lesson learned.

Also converting my workshop samples to cushions as Ted the dog has chewed my last lot of cushions and they need to be replaced....
This one was from a workshop on reverse machine applique with Abbie Anne Searle


Flicking through Kaffe's latest, so pretty..........


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Festival Of Quilts 2014

OMG, what a great time I've had. Exhausted, but SO inspired to get on and make some new  work.
This is the the first time our london modern quilt guild  has exhibited, and very exciting it was.
I had the pleasure of manning  our  exhibit on Sat morning  with Shevvy and Claire, we had a great time. Most common question....what IS modern then? why is it different from contemporary etc.
We were determined not to be drawn into an argument.......... I think we felt that you know something is modern when you see it and that technique is not the be all and end all, its the impact  and the enjoyment of making the  quilt that matters to us. ......which is just as well as my amaranth july quilt was very wonky with crap techinique  when hung, and the guild members tactfully pushed up a table of cushions to hide the wonkiness....hurray! Thats my quilt peeking out  of the  exhibit.


Also had a fantastic time at workshops
Doodle piecing with Patricia Belyea



Had  to buy some delicious yukata cottons that Pat imports from Japan



Then hole in the wall with Sue Bouchard from California


Do you like me toes? Had a pedicure  before the show!!. I think this block is a great one to showcase fabrics, and I want to do an indian sari silk and an african print  version.......
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 Then a very interetsting lecture by Mike Fitchett who is a designer by trade, married to a quilter. He described this process of   him seeing a scene that he felt could be transformed into a quilt...how he sketches  on a concertina sketch notebook (  I want one now) then how he transfers to 'sum' paper, and scales up on dot and cross paper...then they decide on underlying pieced structure, then applique...all brilliant, to echo the wonderful railway poster vibe of 30s  to 50s. 
I think this technique could translate into modern style well, with jewel like solids and strong graphic mode... I am looking forward to giving it a go! I LOVE hearing talented people talk about what they do, and learning how a  commercial designer works was amazing. His day job is designing  contemporary wall clocks and time pieces.



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Then a fun workshop with Jennie Rayment who I had been keen to meet hearing  about her persona. She was the sort of  woman I admire...just dig in and GET ON with things, no messing! She had been on the go at the show since early morning and still had the pizazz for an evening workshop, GO Jennie!


I guess her work is origami in fabric, not sure how I would use it, but very glad to give it a go , think 3D is a bit scary for me at the moment.She is very entertaining at telling stories against herself which is always a good sign I think
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Today ,  a lovely enjoyable laid back final workshop with Abbie Anne Searle, on reverse machine applique


Had to photograph Abbie's hair as my daughter is really into colouring her hair and will be jealous of Abbie's I'm sure. 
This is my first effort........ think I will use this maybe trying out  geometric shapes with solids.....


Home at last with a suitcase full of fabric and LOADS of inspiration, mission accomplished....best thing was hearing my aunt will be coming over from the US to teach next year, hurrah!


Monday, 12 May 2014

work bags etc

Found a good pattern for cross body work bags, big enough  to hold stethoscope, purse, lipstick, timesheets, pens , glasses and small ( sadly) bar of chocolate

its called the two zip hipster by erin erickson

I do find the zip insertion a bit complex, so may try some modifications on the next one I make

I did a trial one in lovely Tula Pink meteor fabric. Strap needed some extra holes, so great excuse for buying another gadget, Draper pro rotatable punch. Goes through leather really easily.



Had a request to make one for night sister at work, she loves teal, so used my bluey/green batiks for that one. Now another nurse has asked for one "with cherries". Nice to be asked, but now got to go on hunt for suitable cherry fabric, order more leather straps etc.Previous bags were made with my scraps, as I need to continue to keep digging away at scrap mountain.


So back to my EQ7 quilt, have paper pieced  top row today 



Friday, 2 May 2014

EQ7

Yay, finally got the Mac version of EQ7
Took an eternity to download with our rubbish broadband, but eventually managed it
Wasting many happy hours fiddling around, even watching the idiots guide videos, although can't seem to restart the videos once I pause them which is a wee bit trying.

This is my first design, trying for something simple that I can do 



I love the way red and pink glow together 
Foundation pieced blocks, however the fabric yardage estimations do not take account of my way of foundation piecing which is to use huge fabric pieces to make sure I  fill each space

Made 3 blocks so far 






Had  a small drama today when my quilting ruler fell off the top of the sewing machine ( why was it there I ask myself) and managed to get underneath and break the needle mid seam, whooa. 

Monday, 28 April 2014

Spring !

New enthusiasm with the advent of Spring
Gone a bit mad
Most excited as have booked up for festival of Quilts, the whole festival
whoooo hoooo

Makes this month include these addictive little pattern weights






Also got a bias tape maker as felt the need for a new gadget
got a 2 inch quilt tip for it too, it only folds it in half but its so much  fun running it through the machine




last meeting of London Modern Quilt Guild the challenge set was to do some curved piecing. One of our members demo'ed  for us, and I found the tip of starting in the middle rather than at one end essential



Bag making again, not perfect but OK for me to use


And trying some Tula Pink blocks from her book
 '100 modern quilt blocks'




To  give you a laugh, look at my first try at a top with my own bias binding, spot the mistake?



Found something on my quilt border