Saturday, 27 September 2008


The design source for this sample was these mountains which form part of the Painted Desert National Park in Arizona USA. The one I have used is in the background. The next photo shows my drawing next to a close up photo of the mountain.
In the sample I tried to show the different colours and use the tucks to show how the contours of the mountain changed direction.
I painted the background using transfer paints - I had loads of trouble with this because I think my background fabric had too much cotton in it. Anyway after lots of ironing I got it to show clouds very nicely. The suffolk puffs don't perhaps quite work - but we had to include them in the piece and they cover the edges quite well!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

So what have I been up to lately?

Last weekend I started the second year of my City & Guilds Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting so it was lovely to catch up with all my fellow students and meet some new ones. The course at Craven College Skipton is going from strength to strength with 13 new enrolments this year for both embroidery and patchwork. So I think that makes over 15 patchwork students altogether which is great.

I know that I still have some of my first year work to post up but I also promise to try and keep you up to date with this years progress.

Basically the first year consists of 5 modules, line, colour, texture, form and shape. Each one consists of lots of artwork and samples.

The second year consists of making 5 pieces - a quilt, wallhanging, box, accessory and item of interior decor. I have decided to start with the most time consuming two - the quilt and the wallhanging. My wallhanging will be on the theme of cupcakes (!) and the quilt will be a medallion quilt with a modern twist using vintage Laura Ashley fabrics.

Anyway now an update on two quilts I have been working on over the summer. This first one is a hexagon quilt made from vintage fabrics - but only from the 1970s and 1980s. A few years ago our group made a charity quilt to be raffled for Barnsley Hospice and there was an article in the local paper. I received a phone call from a lady who wanted to give me a quilt that her elderly aunt had been making before she had sadly passed away. When it arrived it turned out to be two partially completed hexagon quilts! Aunt Bertha had been adding on the hexagons in such a way that the quilts were more of a diamond shape than a rectangle. So I took one of them apart and used the pieces to add to the other to make one large rectangle. The top is now completed and measures 72inches x 92 inches. Some of the original sewing is a bit rough but I have left it as I feel that it is an integral part of the quilt. I found a vintage sheet in a charity shop which is an exact match of one of the fabrics so that is what I am going to use as a backing. It is large enough as it is a double - and it cost me all of 50p! Of course the great thing about these hexagon quilts are the papers which help us to date them. Bertha had used lots of bank statements on hers so I know her full name and address and most seem to be dated between 1979 and 1984. I am just in the process of removing them and will be storing them safely with the quilt when it is finished.

Progress is bound to be slow on this quilt but as Maisy decided to nest in it the other day I decided to take a photo to share with you. It is not a very attractive quilt but I love the fact that it is at least 20 years old and the fabrics are very much of that era! I will post some better photos of it later.

The Halloween quilt is now all joined with sashings and corner posts and has turned out quite well. Borders are next - I will be using the striped pumpkin fabric first and then some more black. Striped fabric is not the easiest to use for borders so I am thinking about how I can do it - perhaps I will add some central squares to each side to break it up.

Finally a shot of all four of my cats enjoying a tuna supper - their favourite!

Maisy who is the mother of the other three is bottom right - she is also the smallest of the four of them! Please excuse my grotty garden shoes!

September Birthday Block Swap

September has been a very busy month for me - I have been teaching most days so it has been difficult to keep up to date.
Anyway I have now finished Stacy's September block. It is called Florida Star. I'm afraid the photo is not great as the background fabric is much creamier than it looks - it is Hoffman cream batik. I am actually quite pleased with the result so hope Stacy likes it!

Monday, 15 September 2008


I decided to base this entire unit on my visit to the USA in March this year. More specifically they are inspired by my visits to the National Parks in Arizona. These first samples are based on petrified wood from the Petrified Forest National Park. The first photo shows examples of the petrified tree trunks.

This photo is the one I used for inspiration for my artwork.

My drawing done with water colour pencils.
This first sample is done using cut back applique. There are 6 layers of fabrics including sheers and net along with marbled fabric. The design is drawn onto the backing fabric and stitched using a narrow zigzag stitch. Then it is cut to reveal different fabrics in the different sections of the design. Quite a simple technique which gives great results!

I used the same artwork for the second sample but this time produced a foam stamp from the drawing. I practised first by stamping onto black card and then onto fabric, using metallic fabric paints.
This sample is supposed to be an example of Kantha Quilting but I am not sure that it really should be quilted in squares like this. However I do like the overall effect - I have used a metallic thread for the quilting and that gives a jewel like effect.
I actually missed the class that went with these samples so I was not quite as confident with them as I could have been.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

The Halloween Quilt

Over the summer I decided to try and finish some UFOs and this is one of my oldest! I started it about 3 or 4 years ago. The stars are made from a bag of scraps I bought from a LQS. I bought the pumpkin fabric as yardage to go with it and the black was purchased at the FOQ. The blocks were all cut out but not all pieced - so now they're are all pieced and the first black sashing added to one side. As I have said before I do not have a design wall and use our lounge carpet which usually means that I get some 'help'!
With Gizmo's help I laid out the 20 blocks to try to decide the finished layout. It was then that I noticed the mistake in one of the blocks. Can you spot it? Clue - it is the block to the right of Gizmo's back paw!
Here are some close ups of the blocks.
I have now unpicked and redone the rogue block, cut out all the sashing and corner posts and am now ready to join all the blocks. Perhaps it will be done for Halloween 2008?
This is the only photo I am going to share from the Harrogate quilt show - it was from one of the challenges. The cats face is awesome - I want to learn how to do this technique so I can do all of my 4 cats faces.

Friday, 12 September 2008

A Busy Week (or two!)!!

This week has been very busy as I have been teaching 4 days at College. So I have been neglecting my patchwork and my blog!
However this lovely parcel arrived during the week from Anina as I had recently won the giveaway on her Dear Baby Jane Blog. Now I have a tiny cutting mat and ruler to use on the ironing board when I am making my DJ blocks and a lovely pack of Laura Ashley post-its. Also one of those great Moo cards of some of Anina's work. Thank you Anina! I am just in the process of enroling for year 2 of my Patchwork and Quilting City & Guilds. This book I ordered arrived yesterday - it looks really useful but I suspect it would have been much more use if I had had it at the beginning of my course!