Sunday, 31 May 2009

BQL Challenge - April

Have just spent most of today watching tennis (Big surprise that Nadal has been knocked out!) and working against the clock to finish my BQL challenge for May. When I took the photos I realised that I had never shown my little challenge quilt from April. Anyway here it is now just to keep things in the correct order!
The theme was handbags - the sample had 9 different handbags but I decided to go with the same design for all 9 but just change the fabrics. I was really pleased with the result - this is a fun little quilt. The bag flaps are loose and each one is fastened with a button.

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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Feed Sack Blocks

I found these feedsack blocks in an antique mall in Indiana - it was the day before we flew home. They are handpieced but not very expertly and the centre crosses are made from plain cotton of various weights and qualities. As usual they were also quite grubby. At first I rejected them but as I walked around the mall my brain began to work. So I decided to buy them, take them apart and make my own feedsack quilt using some of the plain white feedsack fabric I had bought earlier on my trip.

Here are some of the blocks I have taken apart ready for washing - each square is approx 5 inches. I will have around 60 squares, although some have little holes, stains etc. These blocks cost me $7.50 which I think is a pretty good price.

The photos give you a pretty good idea of the fabric patterns I have and together they will make a lovely pastel quilt. I have not decided what blocks I will make yet but it will be something simple perhaps making the squares into HSTs to make the patterned fabric go further.
I don't know what the original maker was thinking of when she used this red fabric - but it does hold with the philosophy that fabric was too precious to waste so you used what you had available!

This morning I found this package of cat food which I had forgot to put away in the cupboard. Patches has a habit of helping herself to food even though there was plenty in the dish!
Today is wonderfully sunny here in England - we are having a dry sunny spell which has been good because the schools are all on holiday this week. This afternoon is the FA Cup Final (soccer) which I don't watch but at least they have a good day for it. I will be watching the French Open tennis and waiting for a deluge of teenagers to arrive. Today is my youngest son's 15th birthday and he has decided to have a BBQ in the garden!

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Antique Mall Quilts

Not too much to report on my own quilting recently as I am still working hard to finish my City & Guilds pieces. I will report on them soon.
I am very aware that I still have loads to show on a quilting theme from our USA trip. This post is dedicated to quilts that I viewed in several antique malls while travelling through the state of Missouri.
I absolutely LOVE the antique malls in the USA because they contain so many quilts, feedsacks etc. All the photos are taken of quilts I did not buy either because they were too expensive, damaged or both. Also I always have to be mindful of my baggage allowance!
The photos were taken to remind me of the blocks because I am very interested in making reproductions of antique quilts.

This is just one block of a large quilt - I loved the piecing.

I love diamond piecing and I liked this layout. Also the green background fabric which makes me think it is 1920s or 30s?

A close up of the same quilt.

I also really like these scrap quilts with the fans. Not sure of the pattern name but I suppose they are quarter dresden plates!

I think this pattern is called Ocean Waves and I love the piecing of the tiny triangles. Although this quilt was in quite bad repair - the colours were so striking with that bright orange background. I kept going back to look at it as did another lady in the mall but the $100 price tag was too much due to its condition.

Another fan quilt - so fresh looking and I presume again from the 1930s.
I was lucky enough to buy some of these fan blocks later in the holiday which I would be able to put together in this pattern.

This double wedding ring looked stunning in pink and white - all hand quilted.

The blocks on this quilt were quite worn as you can see but I loved the block.
Hope you have enjoyed this small antique quilt show - I hope to bring you more soon!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

An evening with Gemma - vintage textile designer.

On Wednesday it was the main monthly meeting of my embroidery group. Following a recommendation from one of our members I had invited Gemma Nemer to do a workshop with us. Gemma is a lovely girl who is just starting out on a vintage jewellery design career after completing an art degree. She does not have a website but you can contact her here. If you have a group within travelling distance of South Yorkshire I would urge you to book her for a workshop.

One of the things I loved about her was her passion for vintage textiles and how she is trying to keep traditional craft skills alive.

This is a photo of Gemma with Cynthia, one of our members. Cynthia is on the left wearing the fabric flower brooch she made during the evening.

This next photo shows some of Gemma's vintage textile collection. The quilt is a yo-yo quilt which Gemma bought in a charity shop for £4.

Some more vintage textiles including the obligatory patchwork hexagons - which Gemma really loves!

Some of the fabric brooches made during the evening.

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Sunday, 17 May 2009

College Weekend

This weekend I have been on my City & Guilds course at Skipton. I missed last month because we were on holiday so it has been lovely to see everyone again.
Saturday was a special day as it was Mary's 50th Birthday and we went out to lunch. This photos shows my 5 patchwork colleagues and Eileen who is an embroidery C&G student. Mary is the one with the badge!
This is the project that Mary has been working on this weekend - a miniature tumbling blocks quilt. That girl certainly has patience!
I am pleased to report that I have finished my 3rd piece (out of 5) I need to finish before the end of June. This was my quilted sewing machine cover on the theme of chickens. I don't have any photos to share as my tutor has taken it home for assessment but I did take photos of these cute paper applique chickens I put on the front of my display box.

I think I may do more paper applique!
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Friday, 15 May 2009

Birthday Treats!

Sorry for the blogging silence - these photos were going to be blogged last weekend.
The reason for the delay is a family crisis - my Mum has been very poorly and in hospital. We are hopeful that things are starting to improve and that she will be coming home today.

Even though it seems like ages ago, last Thursday was my Birthday and we had a trip to York. The other reason for our visit was my favourite shop where I wanted to spend my birthday money.

I decided to treat myself to this wallet.
I had set my heart on some of this new patchwork fabric. At £14 per metre it is really far too expensive but what are birthdays for if not to indulge in purchases you would not normally allow?
I think I will combine the fabrics with plain white to make a baby quilt - perhaps stars in each pattern in a random arrangement. I have tried to pick 4 designs that are classic 'Cath Kidston'. Don't expect a quilt made of this fabric to appear on the blog too soon - it will probably have to be a summer holiday project although we do have a new baby coming into the family next month.

Because of my Mum's illness I have fallen even more behind with my City & Guilds course work. I have college this weekend so I will have a chat to my tutors about it. I do still have until the end of June to finish but it will be very hectic trying to get it finished but at least I always work well under pressure and need deadlines to keep me motivated.
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Friday, 8 May 2009

Pearls Pearls Pearls Exhibition at the Quilt Museum York

Yesterday was my birthday and Geoff and I went to York for the day.
First stop was the Quilt Museum which has the 30th Anniversary of the Quilters Guild Exhibition - Pearls Pearls Pearls, and a wholecloth quilt exhibition with pieces by Amy Emms.

This was a juried exhibition and there were lots of excellent pieces on display - mostly what I would call art quilts or wallhangings, no bed quilts. There were pieces from well known quilters such as Sandie Lush, June Barnes and Janice Gunner. The photos I will share are from the Patron of the Quilters Guild, Kaffe Fassett.

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Sunday, 3 May 2009

Birthday Block Swap April

These blocks were actually made at the beginning of the month and sent off to Ann in Brittany France before we went away. Never got round to 'blogging' them before and I would like to have the complete set of blocks on my blog when the swap finishes in June.
Ann asked for 9 inch shoofly blocks in blue and cream. Now the swap is for one block only but as you can see I made (and sent) three. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly this was such a simple block to make I thought it was not fair to make only one as I had spent a lot of time on some of the previous blocks. Second I was not sure which fabric would work best for Ann so if I made three if she didn't like one or it did not fit with the others she could reject it.

This first one is made with a Rowan fabric - this one I liked best!
This is just an ordinary floral fabric I had in my stash.
This one is using some of my hand dyed blue fabric.
I was disappointed to read on the swap forum this morning that Ann has only received blocks from 3 swappers so far. I hope that this changes soon - I know I have been late with some of mine but am all up to date now.
May is my birthday month (it is my real birthday on the 7th) so hopefully some blocks will arrive for me soon! I have asked for black and white log cabins with red centres.

I am itching to get started on some of the projets that I brought back from America with me but I am not allowing myself to touch anything until I have completed my City & Guilds pieces. I have college again in 2 weeks and I must make some serious progress by then.
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