I recently received my new sewing machine, a Q'nique 14 " mid arm quilter. This has been very exciting and I have been trying it out and getting used to it every spare moment for the last week.
However today I seem to have spent as much time creating a video of my first attempts at quilting a small childs quilt as I did actually quilting it. If you would like to see my progress I have added the video and link here.
It is always a shame when a course comes to an end and yesterday was no exception. I have had a lovely group of students on the Machine Embroidery course and each month I looked forward to seeing what they had done with the starting point ideas and techniques.
They surprised me with this lovely card at the end of the day which Mark had made and they had all signed. It is now in pride of place on my ideas board in my studio.
Although the Level 1 Machine Embroidery has finished for this year, the Patchwork & Quilting will be starting on 20th October. There are still a couple of places on the course, please email me at email@example.com if you would like details.
Mark also entered his first quilt into The Festival of Quilts this year.
Called The Festival of the Dead it certainly lives upto its name.
With lots of wonderful embellishments it reminds me of the Mexican Dia de Muertos celebrations.
A great first quilt - congratulations Mark
The quilt room is slowly taking shape.
I have put some quilt tops which are waiting to be finished on the wall behind the quilt table, and will start to fill the shelves with lots of quilting things.
I am eager to get started and hopefully it wont be too long now before everything is up and running.
You may remember this photo of a tapestry I saw in the Real Alcazar, Seville earlier this year. It was the inspiration for a stained glass window patchwork panel.
Yesterday I had a lovely day with six ladies at Tudor Rose Patchwork, and these are the results of a very productive day.
Cherry used some lovely batiks and great fussy cutting for her parrots
Margaret has used exciting patterned fabrics to great effect
Liz made a pair of bold parrots and started making her own bias binding for the 'leading'
Pat's fun pair of parrots are really taking shape. The colours work beautifully and the black outline highlights and makes them pop!
Anne's parrots are on a darker background which works very well. She has used the patterned fabric beautifully.
And Denise's parrots are a real fun pair which make me smile every time I look at them. The cloud patterned background is a good choice of fabric too.
Altogether they a wonderful fun flock of parrots and it was a pleasure teaching the class.
The surprise of the day was Pats crazy patchwork panel. She came to her first workshop with me last year and admitted that she hasn't stopped going to classes since.
This was a real treat for me to see. When you only get one day with students you are not sure if things will be finished. Pat has made a beautiful jewel of a embroidery and everytime you look at it you see something new. I am sure you will agree that it is a wonderful piece.
Although this post is called dog sitting part 2 there will be little mention of the lovable Toby from the last post.
We spent a lovely couple of weeks in the Lake District and I am still catching up with things. Funny how a holiday can really throw things. So this is a quick round up of the holiday and then I will get back to all things textile related.
One of the things we did was to visit the new Lakes Distillery. As you can see it has not been open long so it will be a few years for their own whisky to be produced ( for those who like whisky I have to say I am not fond )
However I was taken with the wonderful iron gates and the Victorian model farm buildings.
They also had llamas but I couldn't see the connection (but they were cute)
We had wonderful weather and took the opportunity practice with the panoramic setting on the camera. Unfortunately I was wearing my sunglasses and didn't quite match it up. I added in more mountains on most of them.
This is a better photo my husband took from Whinlatter looking down at Bassenthwaite Lake
And of Derwentwater
I also said in the last post that I was expecting a new sewing machine. Unfortunately it has been delayed and is still in America. This is not the totally bad news you might expect, as we fell behind with the new quilting room. We managed to complete the new floor this weekend so the quilt table still needs to be reassembled. Hope fully it won't be too long before everything is done as I am itching to get going.
My new floor
On another happy note, three of my students came to my studio for a coffee and cake celebration.
Congratulations to them all.
And now with new courses starting this month it is back to work.
Level 1 Patchwork & Quilting will be starting at Tudor Rose Patchwork, Oakley on Tuesday 22nd September.
It has been a busy couple of weeks and I am just starting to get myself back into gear. I thought that not having an internet connection would be good for a couple of weeks, but I was starting to get a bit twitchy after a couple of days. Shows how dependent I have become to stay in touch. Anyway more of that later.
We started our dog sitting break with a quick visit to the Festival of Quilts. It was a whistle stop tour and I missed so much. When we left I turned to my husband and said " Well, I was good this time. I have only spent £2.40" He turned and gave me a look I know only too well and replied. "Have you just forgotten the sewing machine you bought in the first half an hour?" Whoops!
Something I didn't miss though was my mothers quilt. Everytime we walked near it I lurked to hear what people were saying and was very pleased with the comments it was getting. Wonderful to be able to report back to her with such kind and supportive words. This is me hogging her limelight, although I think the quilt is outshining me
Back to my new sewing machine. It will be arriving next Friday so Alan has his work cut out to get the room finished. Only a small matter of finishing the attic and putting everything back, redecorating, laying new floor and putting up new blinds. Then he can reassemble the grace quilt frame and we can await the Q'nique Quilting machine. I am so excited and he will be able to have a rest.
Then it was off to the Lake District to dog sit for my sister.
He's a real sweety. More of our trip in the next post but now it's back to preparation for the courses starting in September.
There are so many Patchwork & Quilting techniques that I feel I will need two life times to fully explore them all.
Watercolour quilting is one that I recently came across. And having now heard of it I needed to have a go.
I had some Liberty Cotton Tana Lawn fabric, which is not very good for patchwork as it is so fine. However as this method uses Pellon Quilters Grid to stabilise the fabric, I thought that it would be a good test.
I separated the fabric into light, medium and dark, and then had a play on my design wall.
Having decided on this arrangement I ironed it to the Pellon Quilters Grid to stabilise all the fabrics.
As I was ironing a fusible fabric I used some baking parchment over the top to prevent any of the glue messing up my iron.
Now for the sewing. Firstly I sewed alternate vertical seams all in the same direction ( from the top to the bottom )
I then stitched the rest of the vertical seams in the opposite direction to prevent any distortion
Before I stitched the horizontal seams I clipped all the joints making sure I cut the stitching too. This allowed me to lock the seams together and get great matching points
Now that I have had a go at this technique I will start to save small squares of fabric (2 1/2" ) and start planning another one. I think I will try to get a better tone difference between the fabrics, but I think for a scrappy quilt it has worked out quite well.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been experimenting with a product called "shrink".
I have used solufleece before, where you bond the solufleece to the wrong side of the fabric using bondaweb or heat and bond. It shrinks away from heat in a similar way to tyvek. Make sure you use an iron cloth of baking parchment to prevent any residue being deposited on your iron. Also do not press with the iron, it is the heat not pressure which allows the fibres to shrink. If you press the fabric the fibres have nowhere to go and the result is not satisfactory.
The difference with "shrink" is that it is not bonded to the fabric.
Stitch it in place and then apply heat from the reverse side as described above.
All the samples have been stitched using a normal presser foot and with cotton thread.
All the samples started as 6" squares and finished at 4.5"