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Hello everyone.

Remember when I posted about the Festival of Quilts and Gillian Travis’s prize-winning Nordic Jumpers Quilt and said I would love to go on one of her courses but they were usually in term time?

Quilt show - jumpers quilt

Well I found one that wasn’t and had the very best kind of day in a beautiful quilt shop, The Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge with Gillian and a small group of other textile enthusiasts.

The course was called, ‘ Take a Simple Shape’,  and was based on the idea of, ‘counterchange’, using one or two simple shapes, cutting them out of fabric and swapping the cut pieces to create different combinations of colour.

We started with Gillian showing us some of her work which is amazing, I lost count of the number of times I said, ‘wow’. The shapes she uses are not complex but the use of colour and machine stitching and in some cases printing combines to give stunning effects. Go and look at her blog  for more of the stunning inspiration.

This is one of her recent pieces, beautiful trees with outline stitching and printing using a stencil over each tree.

Quilt course - Gilian's trees

Gillian was a really good tutor, she showed us all her original designs as well as the finished products and took us stage by stage through the design process. The nice thing was that she encouraged us to use images from all sorts of sources so you don’t have to be a great artist to do this

My inspiration was all my lovely flowery Liberty fabric, I wanted to make a wall hanging for the craft room.

Quilt course - flower inspiration

I started with drawing different types of flowers until I decided on the shape I liked best. I want to use some of my flower buttons to embellish the finished product so thought this shape would work well.

Quilt course - flower drawings

The next step is to trace the flower onto fusible web and put onto fabric then you cut it out carefully so that you have a shape and the border to use.

Quilt course - flowers on bondaweb

Quilt course - flowers cut out

The clever bit is putting it onto different background fabrics doing a little mix and match until you are happy and can fuse everything together. Apologies for the upside down picture above – have misplaced my camera :-( so am back to phone with limited editing!

Quilt course - flowers on fabric

You then add your backing and wadding and zig zag between the squares before embellishing and binding.

Quilt course - flower hanging

Mine is at this stage at the moment, I have chosen the buttons but need to do some more machine stitching to secure the flowers and some hand stitching as well, have just taken delivery of the most gorgeous Cottage Garden hand dyed variegated thread from this site so will be using some of that.

Here I am stitching at the workshop – action shot by Elaine from the quilt shop.

Quilt course - me machining

These were two of the others that were made by people on my course, I love the beetroot one and the bauble one might just have to used as inspiration for one of my own, I do have a bit of Christmas fabric to choose from ;-)

Quilt course - other quilts

Quilt course - beetroot hanging

Looking forward to using my new machine for finishing this project, it has made such a difference having a good machine to work with, I finished the toile of the wedding jacket in 2 and a half hours with no problems with tension or jamming, it was a really pleasurable experience.

We are off to Lincoln Bishop’s Palace this weekend to do our last show with our group, hopefully there will be lots of sunshine and happy visitors!

Hope that you have a lovely weekend as well, take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello again, today I wanted to share the rest of the pictures from the Festival of Quilts, these are mainly the modern and art quilts.

Unlike the traditional ones where the inspiration are blocks or wholecloth patterns that have been taken from lots of different published sources these really showcase the very wide and varied arts of quilting and the different inspirations that people use.

I love both types of quilting, I think traditional ones are my favourite just because I favour traditional things more but these examples below are stunning in their execution and really show some serious quilting skills as well as design skills.

This first quilt is called, ‘Marshwood Vale’, by Kate Dowty and was one of the most popular on display. A really unusual quilt with amazing quilted trees on top of the fabric landscape.

Quilt Show trees quilt

I think this one below was my personal favourite from the non-traditional quilts, this is , ‘Wish You Were Here’, by Tracy Aplin.

It still has some traditional elements like the hexi pieced centre and border but I love the quirky touches such as the appliqued sayings, (one of which is ‘it is Pimm’s o’clock?’ ), mini bunting and washing lines.

Quilt show 12

Quilt show 13

You can’t see in my picture but each corner is finished with a little caravan as well, a really unusual edging.

I have just found her Pinterest Boards and will be going back to them – so many pretty pictures and some of caravans! Especially this board her, ‘My Quilts’  , one – go and have a look at her, ‘Love of Liberty’ quilt – divine!

I love caravans, spent many very happy holidays in them as a child and am hoping to buy one myself when I retire and this quilt is a wonderful representation of that very British holiday!

Sharon has been on few quilting courses and one of her tutors is Gillian Travis who won second prize with this very unusual machine embroidered wool quilt called, ‘Jumpers’. This is beautifully executed and very original.

Quilt show - jumpers quilt

The lovely thing was that Gillian was wearing a shirt made from a print of a photo of the quilt as well. Here she is in that in this photo taken from the Facebook page of the Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge where she regularly teaches. Really wish that I could go on one of her courses but they are usually in term time.

Jumpers quilt and Gillian Travis

I was also very impressed by the Tent Makers of Cairo exhibition – not modern in the designs or the beautiful applique that makes up each pattern but in the sense of it being good to see men quilting.

These wonderful quilts are based on the traditional embroidery done for the inners of tents and were really stunning.

Quilt show 18 tent

Quilt show 19 tent

Quilt show 20 tent

Quilt show tent quilts

There were a few men at the show – Luke Haynes was exhibiting and we spotted Kaffe Fasset wandering about but the festival stats page shows that 97% of the visitors are women.

Come on boys get quilting, this is an amazingly versatile and relaxing hobby and it would be great to see more men doing it and crafting in general. Far more interesting than football ;-)

My stitching is going well, just adding beads and doing the finishing touches and then can reveal all. Am sorely tempted to keep this one for me but will see, really need to build up the pile of Xmas pressies and though I have lots of WIPs have very little finished.

Of course if I spent less time blogging and reading blogs and Pinterest boards and going, ‘ooh how lovely’, I would get more done lol. My excuse is that my wrist is still a bit painful and needs rest.

Are you like me, lots of projects on the go? Trouble is I keep seeing new stuff I want to do and thinking I have far more time than I really do. Apparently it is only 19 more Fridays until Christmas!

Take care, keep busy and thanks for visiting.

‘Than buy a bit of fabric or two… ‘, apologies to the Grease songwriters for my shameless adaptation of their classic sung by Rizzo, (one of my favourite characters from a movie ever, I so wanted to be that cool!).

Anyway I did buy a little bit and some fantastic accessories for crafting and my spending this event really emphasised what I say to the children about supporting small businesses.

I know that they think that is an excuse but in truth a large amount of my crafting money each year goes to small businesses set up by women like me who are crafting and selling whatever they create or source so as far as I am concerned I am supporting the sisterhood!

The fact that I get lovely things in return is a bonus ;-)

One of my best purchases was this set of papers from the lovely Jesse of the Messy Jesse blog. I would not have found this stall but for my friend Helen who was very excited that she had found her.

Quilt Show papers

Helen reads her blog and had met her in person for the first time that day and introduced me to the joys of lots and lots of pre-cut papers for all sorts of English Paper Piecing.

Jesse has just set up this side of the business, Sew and Quilt , and it was a real delight to talk to her, about how this was all part of the maths topic of tessellation and technically to do with the angles at a point, while patchworking we are all actually applying rules about the interior angles of regular polygons don’t you know! As well as some irregular ones like apple cores and clamshells, two patterns I have wanted to try for ages.

Having taught Maths for a long time I am always trying to find ways of getting people interested in it and have used quilts as examples before.

The back of her show leaflet was this really useful cutting guide which will go up on my craft room notice board. Another practical application of Maths.

Quilt Show purchases  - cutting guide 2

I also bought some more Liberty from Alice Caroline. Much as I am enjoying piecing the blocks for the Block of the Month Challenge my real passion is English Paper Piecing so with this lovely rainbow and the extra papers from Jesse I can patchwork to my heart’s content!

Quilt Show Liberty

She also had these cute handbag mirrors so I can see a few matching make up bags being made as presents. Isn’t this the prettiest business card ever?

I find it so relaxing sitting watching TV and piecing, whereas using my machine always gets frustrating when the points don’t match. Will persevere as love the end results but will mix and match techniques.

I love reading magazines for inspiration and have just changed my subscription as I like to vary them every couple of years. With the new Fabrications Quilting one I got this set of threads for free – how shiny! I had this magazine a few years ago and like the inclusion of embroidery projects as well.

Quilt Show purchases  - Fabrications

And another new one, Today’s Quilter  , was giving away this tote bag as well as first 3 issues for £3 , this sums up my idea of a perfect weekend and I am seriously considering stitching this saying and framing it.

Quilt Show purchases

I also picked up a copy of Australian Homespun, I like this magazine and was especially loving this quilt design on the front cover, what a great idea for using my vintage embroideries.

Quilt Show purchases  - Homespun 2

There was a little bit of Christmas fabric that snuck its way in as well from the lovely Sue at Springwood House Designs. She has a new design called Fun with Leaves, beautiful hand-made leaves which would look great in wreaths.

Quilt Show purchases - Xmas fabric

Am still working on the scissors stitching from Jenny of Elefantz  – have enjoyed it so much that I have subscribed to her Stitchery Club, it has been a long time since I have done any stitching and just love her work.

Would have had that completed but spent 4 hours on one quilt block over this weekend. I am so slow at this and am in awe of people who can piece a quilt in a weekend.

I got such a nice e-mail from her as well about my subscription and again am very pleased to be able to support a small business. I am eagerly waiting the 17th when I get my patterns, there is Christmas stitchery in this month’s set so I will be able to do a little bit of Christmas in August :-)

Right sadly the day job is calling so I had better go now. I love these summer mornings, I have been awake since 6.30 having a few cups of tea and bogging and it is so nice to have more time and feel like doing things, sunshine makes such a difference.

Thanks for visiting and have a nice week.

Hello everyone, hope that you have had a nice weekend. We have had a wonderful trip to this year’s Festival of Quilts, Sharon, Helen, Emily and I from knitting group enjoyed a very lovely girl’s day out, it was their first trip to this show and my second.

The quilts, as always, were amazing and I took so many pictures I have split them into two posts.

I love traditional quilts and there were some exceptional examples on show. This was the first one that we saw when we went in and I love the unusual appliqued blocks.

This is, ‘Stonefields’, by Coriene de Has and Kay Bell.

Quilt show - Stonefields

Quilt show 3

Quilt show 4

It has given me some ideas for other things to do with hexis – love this hexi in a square in a square idea.

Quilt show 2

I also really liked this hexi quilt – called, ‘The Joy of Hex!’, by Penny Chattey. As well as some brilliant quilting there were three panels at the bottom explaining the technique.

Quilt show 10 Joy of Hex

Quilt show  Joy of Hex

Some fabulous examples of wholecloth quilting as well, this first one by Ximo Navarro from Spain, entitled, ‘This is not a Dream, this quilt is real’.

Quilt show wholecloth

Quilt show 6

And this from Sandy Chandler, ‘Juno’, this is just the centre of a double bed sized quilt, a beautiful piece which must have taken hours to do.

Quilt show Juno

My favourite quilt in the whole show was this one by Liz Jones, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’. I love the combination of the Elizabethan style design with modern fabrics and the machine applique is perfect.

Quilt show Liz Jones

Quilt show 23 tent

Quilt show 24

Quilt show 25

Quilt show 26

I have been looking at some of her other work, this is her Pinterest page where I found this earlier Tudor Rose quilt.

Liz Jones Tudor Rose quilt

The other thing I like about quilt shows is the range of work as well, there are quilts from all levels of skills including some lovely quilts by children, including school groups.

This one was really nice from the, ‘First Quilt Category’, ‘Everything she does is Magic’, by Lucy Currie. I really like the colours and the wonky Sudoku blog.

This looks like my level of quilting and is similar to the Stained Glass Window pattern  I used some years ago for my Christmas throw and cushions.

Quilt show first quilt

There were also some historic quilts from the Quilt Museum in York, a quilt pieced from printed handkerchiefs and a bible quotes quilt.

Quilt show historic quilts

Quilt show 8 bible block quilt

There was also some retail therapy of course ;-) I had been reading some statistics about visitors from the Festival web site and it said that the average age of visitors was 57, (so we brought that down a bit as our average age is in the early forties), and the average spend was £197!

I am pleased to say that we were very restrained despite all the temptations and it was nowhere near that much.We did go and say hello to Lisa and Justine from our local quilt shop Simply Solids, here they are with Helen.

Quilt show  Simply Solids

I will post pictures of my new stuff once I have stopped admiring it and stroking the large pile of Liberty scraps I now have :-)

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and enjoying the prospect of your weekend.I have had a pretty productive few days even with still being on light duties.

Have cut back on my planned sewing and knitting for the time being to give my wrist a rest and have been enjoying the delights of the Liberty stash packs that Kerry and Ellie bought me for Christmas from Very Berry fabrics.

I have nearly run out of some of the prints so will be looking to restock when we go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham next week. We have a girly trip planned with some of the knitting group, I have give them strict instructions to them to restrain my fabric buying though ;-)

I was very late to the love of Liberty party, it was only really when I went to the brooch making workshop last year that I realised how useful the little prints could be and since then have been inspired by blogs like Nana Company.

So here is the fruit of my labours, have still to put together the needlebooks as I am busy making more pretty hexagons for these which it is a little bit addictive.

That and a boxed set on Sky and I am very happily entertained! Am currently avidly watching Falling Skies, a series set after an alien invasion which is very edge of your seat stuff.

Liberty pincushions 1

Liberty Pincushions 2

Liberty Pincushions 3

Liberty Pincushions 4

I have given each pincushion some little coordinated pins, these were recently obtained from EBay, don’t know which I like best, flowers, hearts, drops or leaves as they are all so pretty.

Liberty Pincushions 5

I have also been finishing off the little knitted pincushions, have added charms and altered the one I made earlier using ribbons to do the divisions rather than thread which I think makes it look very cute.

Knitted Pincushions July

Knitted Pincushions July 2

Well I shall love you and leave you now and get back to the hard slog of television and stitching!
Thanks, as always, for visiting.

I do love history – you may have guessed if you have been reading this blog for any length of time so I have had a wonderful weekend and little holiday being part of a re-enactment event and then spending three days visiting National Trust properties.

The event was in Templecombe in Somerset, a long trip down for us so we took advantage of being in a part of the country we haven’t spent much time in.

We always have living history encampments at shows and these pictures are of the lovely tents that were on display there this weekend.

Templecombe

Templecombe 2

Templecombe 6

There was also a new addition to the site, this beer barn has been built by the site owners and volunteers and the money for it has been raised by the re-enactors who use it, through auctions last year and on the Saturday night of the event this year and by an online donation appeal.

Templecombe 3

Templecombe 4

I pledged a custom – made shirt for the auction so am going to be making that this weekend for the re-enactor that won it.

It is a beautiful building and has been made with such attention to detail. The piece over the bar was carved by the owner of the site.

Templecombe 5

Driving around after the event we saw so many cute little villages as well as the amazing Trust properties. Lots of pictures of those to follow once I sort them out!

There was great excitement at one of the properties, Barrington Court, while we were on our way to visit the second-hand bookshop that we always love at these places, (yes I bought more books!), we discovered a patchwork shop in the artisan workshops. They have a website as well at Barrington Patchworks.

Templecombe 9 - Barrington Patchwork

Barrington patchwork

Templecombe 8 - Barrington patchwork

It had an amazing array of fabric but I was very restrained, Ellie persuaded me to buy this very cute print featuring a cross stitch alphabet motif which I thought would be good for the pincushions I will be making for craft fairs later in the year.

sampler fabric

sampler fabric

Now back to work for two days until the weekend, got lots of kit to make before the next event in 8 days time!

Thanks as always for visiting.

Hello everyone and I hope that you are looking forward to a lovely weekend.

I have lots of me time planned and some finishing of kit which I shall be able to show you next week. Things have been going very well with the surcoat that I am making which is a relief as it is quite a complex make and it is always a bit nerve-wracking when you are making things for someone else.

I have also managed to whip up a new linen shift for me in an afternoon, that just needs the hand stitching on the hems finishing which will be done tonight.

My lovely friend Helen from knitting group has just gifted me these hexis, she was having a de-stash and decided that she was never going to finish the rainbow quilt she had been planning to make with them so they are now mine! They are fabulous and such pretty fabric.

gift hexis 1

I can’t decide which one I like best but this might just be my favourite.

gift hexis 2

Although these ones are pretty lovely as well.

gift hexis 3

gift hexis 4

gift hexis 5

I think they would look very nice as part of a small lap/cuddle quilt for one of my younger relatives and again hexis are a great travel project for the many trips I have planned over the next few months!

In other exciting news it is the end of teaching for me, yippee :-) and my students very kindly bought me these gorgeous flowers. Aren’t they so beautiful?

flowers and hexis

I love having flowers in the house and I am particularly fond of gerberas as they just look so perfect, almost too good to be real, and it is rare to be able to buy them on their own.

So the summer stretches ahead, lots of marking to do along with working on my doctorate and planning for next year but I am feeling very relaxed and happy.

Ofsted, (the government education inspectors for those of you outside the UK), have not arrived so far this term and probably won’t come now which lessens the pressure on everyone.

I will have much more time for crafting as now do not have to work until stupid o clock on teaching days and with the lighter evenings I feel I am able to get so much more done.

Life is very lovely at the moment and I hope that you are all having a good time too.

Thanks for visiting.

I really enjoy making stitching gifts and have just finished a set for a special little girl, the eldest daughter of my very talented friend Kat, the women who makes the gorgeous medieval and Tudor clothes and is a fabulous embroider as well.

If you have not seen her creations please look at her website Kats Hats and her Facebook page which also has loads of research such as manuscripts, effigies etc. She has also started running courses as well, details on the page.

It is Kat’s daughter’s birthday in a couple of weeks and she is following in her mother’s footsteps and started sewing a while ago so I have made her this pincushion and needle case set out of some fabric from my Simply Solids scrap stash.

Izzys pincushion 1

Izzys pincushion 2

I made a similar set for Rachel, my most prolific blog commenter and these were again from the Simply Solids scrap stash.

Hexi gift stitching 1

Hexi gift stitching 2

Hexi gift stitching 3

English Paper Piecing is great for this kind of small scale fabric stash and I am currently working on a similar item from my New Hexagon book that I posted about previously using my lovely Christmas present Liberty Lawn from Very Berry Fabrics.

I do particularly love making (and owning) pincushions and stitching pillows with space for needles in the back as well and these are the, mainly, stitched ones that I have made on the past, lots of these were for exchanges.

Kerry's pincushion

Summer Exchange by me - front

exchange embroidery lisa 2

Denise pincushion 1

Spring Ornie 2

Spring bird ornie 2

Summer Exchange piece front

Spring Exchange for Lei

Hexi pincushions

Autumn Exchange

Spring Exchange

Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom has a lovely idea of making pincushions regularly out of her scrap pile and keeping them in a basket for when stitching friends come round to give as gifts, isn’t that a great thing to do.

There are just a few more (595 pins!) ideas on this lovely Pinterest Board – do you think we might actually make more stuff if someone hadn’t invented Pinterest, not that I am complaining, I love it!

Right back to my hexis and a Game of Thrones marathon, am trying to catch up with the rest of Season 4 before Season 5 starts mid April or I will spend the entire re-enactment season having to try to avoid spoilers from all my friends who are avid fans!

Have a lovely rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.

Well hello there, back in lovely Marsden now having had a very nice time and got lots of work done! Just thought I would share with you the fruits of my labour last weekend.

This month’s block did look like a bit of a challenge when Helen originally posted it – a Nine Patch Frame so she had the first go and very kindly supplied the measurements.

BOM March

It turned out to be not too bad, as you can see I have not really got my frame far enough out as it was a tricky devil to sew with those corners so my outer white triangles are not as good as they could be and have lost some of the points on the inner square but I like the fabric combinations.

BOM March 2

BOM March 3

Here is the Jan block Dutchman’s Puzzle which uses most of the same fabric. I am trying to vary each one a little due to running out of large pieces of stash and hoping that April is going to be a scrappy block :-)

BOM JAN 15 Dutchman's puzzle block

Here is the Feb block Union Squares – the right sized one!

Feb BOM Union Square 3

Will probably try and get the next 3 in these fabrics and make this into a small quilt, each block is 12 inches so will be cot sized with borders and can go to local hospice or Project Linus. Then do the next 6 in different fabrics.

Sharon jokingly suggested this might be our next block challenge. This is work by Danny Amazonas using fabrics from the Kaffe Fassett Collective – wow, just wow!

Danny Amazonas Kaffe Fassett Collective

Can’t believe it is nearly the weekend already – how exciting! It is very lovely and sunny here today so hope that continues and I can get some walking done as well as stitching.

Hope you have a nice time planned and thanks for visiting.

I am having a lovely week so far mainly working from home which was fortuitous as a long-awaited Amazon order arrived today and I was in to sign for it :-)

Hexalicious book

I ordered this title, The New Hexagon by Katja Marek, as I saw a review of it in one of my quilting magazines and am very excited. I love the fabric choices which make the front cover blocks look like one of those kaleidoscope toys I had as a kid.

Regular readers will know that I have a bit of a hexagon addiction going on at the moment and have done lots of things with ordinary hexagons.

I am now experimenting with diamonds making some little pin cushions and needlebook gifts and was looking for more things to do now that I am more confident with this English Paper Piecing lark!

I bought this other book below, Quilting on the Go by Jessica Alexandrakis,   for my Mum as a Mother’s Day present and it is a very good basic introduction to the craft with lots of useful templates and ideas for small and large projects.

Quilting on the Go

However I wanted something a bit more challenging for me, well just look at all this deliciousness ;-)

Hexalicious book 5

Hexalicious book 2

This is actually called the Hexalicious Wall Quilt hence the post title and I love the bright colours and the border fabric!

Hexalicious book 3

The patterns work equally well with more subtle fabric though as in this example.

Hexalicious book 4

So happy! Am taking this to knitting group tonight to share with my friends, I am sure Helen the premier quilter amongst us will be very impressed.

Right back to work now, coffee break over ;-)

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

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