Monday, 30 June 2014

The Derwent Block

It has been an interesting week. Another learning curve in producing PDF's I have designed so many patterns over the years and I am now getting the chance to publish them.

This is the first pattern to go live on my Etsy Shop The Derwent Block named after Lake Derwentwater in the English Lake District. 
I have been experimenting with mirroring and rotating the block to produce different patterns and designs.

And have made a lap quilt to test the pattern.

Sorry about the poor photography. I am hoping that my husband will take this up as a hobby. 


Friday, 27 June 2014

A Colourful Week

Well again it is Friday and the week has flown by. 

I did graded dyeing with the level 1 City & Guilds students which makes me want to do more and more. I love the different shades that can be achieved with just one dye bath. 

This is this weeks results and I already have itchy fingers to print, stencil or screen print. 

At the Beginners patchwork class at Tudor Rose, several students had finished their quilt tops. This meant a busy day layering up, pinning and basting 5 quilts. It is great to see so many reaching this stage. 

The level 1 City & Guilds class also came to and end and I now look forward to getting these students through the final stage to completion. The new course will be starting in September.

Along with changes planned in my studio space it looks like it will be a busy summer and I will share the developments with you over the next few months. Getting quotes from builders is taking more time than I thought it would though.

Now, with such a rainy day and listening to the thunder rolling round, it is back to the sketchbook as I am working on a series of foundation pieced patterns. All will be revealed soon.


Monday, 16 June 2014

A mini Sewing Bee

Two of my friends, Sue D & Sue W, have made heart applique panels at a day school, and on Saturday they dropped in for a bit of help with them. 

With a little help in layering and quilting they were soon into machine quilting with a walking foot.

They have sent me photos of their lovely quilting so far.

Sue W has outlined the heart and will be free motion quilting the corners.

And with a little explaination about how a sprung darning foot works, Sue D had a go at free motion quilting too. I think it adds a wonderful texture to the panel.

I think they have done a wonderful job with their first patchwork & quilting project.


Friday, 13 June 2014

Kaleidoscope Quilting Week

This froggy fabric (by Freedom Fabric) has been sitting in my studio for quite a while now, waiting for me to find some time for it. I enjoy this type of patchwork as I don't have to start to design until I choose how to make the hexagons. It is great fun. 

I started it as a demonstration for my Beginners class at Tudor Rose on Tuesday. The pattern repeat is quite large, and I have managed to get 7 strips from each repeat. This is providing a huge amount of hexagons to play with.

Once the hexagons are made it is time to start to design the quilt. I love putting them up on my design wall to get a feel for the overall look.

 But it is not going to be big enough as I still have 2 strips to make into hexagons. That's another 34 hexagons. Where are they all going to go?
Perhaps I should make 2 single bed sized quilts?


Friday, 6 June 2014

A Nice Surprise

What I like most about teaching is the unexpected surprises my students give me.

I had given each of my machine embroidery students a small pack of textured fabric samples and asked them to produce a fabric  'texture collage'.

Barbara took her inspiration from one of the fabrics and created this wonderful rose embellished with machine embroidery stitches. 

I felt as if I had been given a whole big bunch of roses. I can't wait to see what my other students do over the summer break, it will be a nice surprise in the autumn.


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Keswick trip and the Derwent Block

Gosh where is the year going. 
The month has flown by with lots of teaching, sorting rooms in preparation for a new studio space and a small amount of stitching. 

I did manage to get up to the Lakes to see my Mum who is in the process of making her first quilt.

Using the Moda Wintrgreen fabric she has made lovely log cabin blocks with a rail fence border. There is also going to be a flying geese border, and this week she told me she had made all those blocks. I think she has made a wonderful start and am so proud of her. She is putting me to shame as I am not being very productive at the moment. 

So I decided to take some time to finish the Derwent Quilt, a foundation pieced pattern. It is now ready for quilting. Which is the part I find most challenging. What pattern to use? Should it be quilted all over? What thread, variegated or not? Too many choices. I am suffering with quilting block. Perhaps like writers block, if I leave it alone for a while the answer will magically appear?
What do you think?