Monday, 29 June 2009

City & Guilds completed!

On Saturday I completed my City & Guilds Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting!
Two years of hard but enjoyable study is over and I have achieved my goal of obtaining a patchwork and quilting qualification. The course was the reason this blog was set up and I am so pleased to be able to report my completion.
The Laura Ashley quilt was completed at 2am on Saturday morning and our exhibition started at 10am - I really wished I hadn't cut it so fine but at least I finished.

Here are some pictures of my pieces in the exhibition.

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Piecing closeups!

My Laura Ashley quilt has been my greatest achievement in my quilting journey so far. I am most proud of the central medallion which was entirely handpieced. It was one of those projects you start without being sure if it will work. Because I found it quite 'scary' I kept putting it off but as the end of my course approached I knew I had to 'just do it!'
So here are some close up photos of my hand piecing.
All the pieces had to be fussy cut to get the kaleidoscope effect I wanted.

As always the most scary thing about piecing is matching points, especially where 6 meet together.

And of course the ultimate challenge is the centre where 12 points meet.
This was the greatest challenge of all!

I have already started on another, more traditional welsh quilt using these Laura Ashley squares and after a very successful fabric swap with Mary I have enough for another red, white and blue Laura Ashley quilt.

However I also have loads of scraps from this first quilt due to the fussy cutting so my next Laura Ashley project will be crumb blocks.

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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Next border on Laura Ashley Quilt

Over the weekend and yesterday I have been working on the next border. I have used the 'floribunda' fabric to make this zigzag border. As you know mwesurements have to be very precise to get this to fit properly so this took time to get just right. Also the pieced blue border was a pain but I am pleased with it.

The quilt is now 43 inches square.
Last week I bought some more Laura Ashley fabric on ebay and that is what I am going to use for the final border and binding.
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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Final College Weekend

It has been a beautiful weekend here in Yorkshire and I have spent it in the best possible way - at college quilting with my fellow students. (Well not that much quilting actually but enjoying the company of fellow quilters and embroiderers)
I have made some more progress on the Laura Ashley quilt and after some input from my tutor the end is in sight, I will post progress soon.
I just have a few random photos to share. The full time students are in the process of putting together their end of term show and I could not resist taking some photos.

As you may know I love using recycled fabrics but this dress made of capri sun drinks containers was stunning - beautifully designed and made.
Also the lovely shopping bag - I loved it!
Also a fan of Andy Warhol art - this artwork also caught my eye - stunning!
Finally, one of my fellow students, Judith, brought in a wonderful sampler quilt to show us but this block was the highlight for me. I hated doing clamshells but clamshell cats! - how cute are they? Thanks Judith for allowing me to share this on my blog.
Technically college is over for this year, I have four of my five pieces signed off. Only my quilt needs to be finished. In two weeks we have our end of term exhibition and I aim to have everything finished by then.
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Thursday, 11 June 2009

Laura Ashley Medallian Quilt Update.

If you were reading my blog in October you may remember this quilt. It is my main City & Guilds piece and I never really seemed to get on with it. However the end of term is now looming so I have got to get it done. If you read the two previous posts about this quilt you will get all the background info.
I did decide to hand piece it and to be honest that has taken far too long and has not been as enjoyable as I was hoping. The hand piecing is now finished and I am putting the borders on by machine.

This first photo shows all six segments completed before they are stitched together (by hand of course!)

Now it is all stitched together and I had to decide on the fabric to frame the central hexagon. After much deliberation I chose the plain red - but of course this is in 4.5 inch squares that I had to piece together! I am going to machine quilt this red area quite heavily to try to disguise the seam lines.
The first border print is called harebell and it is the only yardage I have got for the quilt top. I bought it on ebay for a couple of pounds earlier this year - it is reclaimed fabric as it used to be a curtain!
Here is the quilt with the harebell border - don't forget you can click on the photos for more detail.

The next border is blue and I think this really works well - only problem is I had to piece it out of the little squares. There are 4 more borders to go on and then the finished size should be 54 inches square. The central medallion is 26 inches square. I don't have enough fabric for binding so I am going to make butted edges as in the Welsh Quilt book I have. Luckily I have been able to buy some of the red and green flower fabric on ebay for the backing which should arrive in the next couple of days.

Still a lot of work to be done - this quilt needs to be finished for June 27th but hopefully I can do it!
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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Skull Cushions

This is my final City & Guilds piece - a cushion.
My theme was human skulls - following on from the work I did on Jamie's Gears of War quilt which I showed in a previous post.

The skull shape has been bondawebbed onto the background fabric. I have zigzagged around it and then free machine quilted the background.

Click on the photos if you want to see more detail.

I was inspired by skulls in popular culture and also these pieces of clothing.
This is a Billabong hoodie - the red stitching around the skull inspired my zigzag applique.

This is a T shirt design - this inspired my fabric choice for the skull.

This is my alternative design which has already been shown but is now made up into a cushion.

I am now concentrating all my efforts on my last piece,my quilt which was the first one I started! I have finished the centre piecing and hope to start on my borders today.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Anyone interested in a swap?

For the last couple of weeks we have been trying to clear our loft! It is a big loft and it is very full! We remove as much as we can and sort it into items to dump and items to go to the charity shop. Today I threw out all my old school books and University folders. Don't really know why I even kept them in the first place!

Anyway, I have also started to find craft items which I bought a long time ago. Two such items are shown in the photos below.So I was wondering if anyone would be interested in swapping with me. I will send these embroidery kits anywhere in the world and in return you send me fabric! (100% cotton for patchwork of course) So if you like the look of either of the kits and you have a few fat quarters you don't want or even some vintage cotton fabric we could have a deal.

So what is up for grabs?
First this is an embroidery or stitchery kit printed onto linen. It makes a finger plate which is the old fashioned plate you attach above the handle on old wooden doors. The perspex plate is also included as is the thread. This would also make a lovely redwork design and of course you can just use it as a small picture or even as a panel in a patchwork item.

Second is a picture with a wooden frame also printed onto linen. Again threads are included.It is a very attractive design with the words 'You are nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth'. Click on the photo if you want a closer look. Size is 8 x 10 inches.
So is anyone interested?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

BQL Challenge May

This is actually a sample piece for my City & Guilds but fitted perfectly with the BQL theme of machine trapunto and free motion quilting.
My final C&G piece is a cushion for Robert and the theme is skulls. The cushion is almost finished and I will post about it soon.

The FMQ on this piece took hours because the quilting was so dense. I have used a variegated grey cotton thread which I think works well however cotton does tend to break on my machine when I use it for FMQ which is annoying to say the least!
As well as working on the skull cushion I still have to finish my biggest piece which is the Laura Ashley Quilt I started before Christmas. The centre of this is all hand pieced and it is much more time consuming and difficult than I thought. I still have quite a bit of hand piecing left to do, so this is going to have to take all my quilting time for the rest of this month.
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Monday, 1 June 2009

Birthday Party in the Garden.

On Saturday my youngest son, Robert was 15. The weather was glorious and he had a party for a few friends in our back garden.
Here he is with Harriet.

A wider view - note the patchwork quilt! This is made from fleece and was very quick and easy to make.
They are actually playing with Yu-Gi-Oh cards! Some of them have been friends since they started school when they were 4 years old.
A great afternoon and evening was had by all!
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