Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Learn how to knit socks!

The weather is getting cooler and its time to start thinking about keeping warm and time to think about Socks!

I will be running a sock workshop at Black Sheep Wools on Saturday October 3rd, the class will run from 10 until 4 and will include lunch.  Black Sheep has a lovely workspace called 'The Craft Barn' and I have taught previous workshops there - more information on it here.   

In my class you will learn how to knit on 4 needles, how a sock is constructed, you will knit a sock in class, pick up lots of knitting tips and hopefully also be bitten by the 'Sock bug'. The class is suitable for experienced knitters.
Whenever I teach this class it always fascinates me how somebody sat down and thought through how to construct a sock: I love it!  My friend will only knit socks and nothing else: it satisfies her deep devotion to 'socks'. 

So if you fancy finding out what it's all about do come and join me on October 3rd, hope to see you there!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Festival of Quilts: Part 2

This year at the Festival of Quilts I saw a lot of memory quilts but the Quilt which 'moved' me most was the 'Sleep' Quilt' produced at Wandsworth Prison with the novelist Tracey Chevalier.  The Quilt conveyed the difficulty the inmates have in getting a good nights sleep, the thoughts that are in their minds whilst trying to sleep of which most of them were about their partners and family.  The blocks in this Quilt were really meaningful and moving.  I like it when a Quilt can give you an insight into something that I have little knowledge or concept of.

Tracey began to quilt when she was researching The Last Runaway about the underground railroad in the USA during the American Civil War and the importance of Quilting during this time - its a fantastic read and I really recommend it to Quilters.

Here is the ' Sleep Quilt'...

I'm not really into 'Art Quilts' but I can appreciate the work involved in them and I though this example was really amazing.
 The free machine embroidery detailing on the facial features is extraordinary.
I really liked this Quilt it actually reminded me of our countryside which was looking very green back in August.
This Quilt reminded me - and I'm sure was based on - Hockney's paintings.

Again, not my scene but I kept thinking of '50 Shades of Grey' when I saw this quilt.
Although this Quilt was a 'winner' I cant say it was one of my favourites, but I love a bit of log cabinning and I thought the pattern and detailing was good. 
I usually see a log cabinned Liberty Quilt at the exhibition but I saw very little Liberty at the Fest.

Lovely blocks!
This reminded me of the Worn and Washed fabric stand - another favourite of mine - I have a stash of Liberty worn and washed fabric which will hopefully see the daylight one day.
Loved this, it was a 'winner,' its traditional and ticking a lot of boxes for me.
  Loved this with a bit of 'stab stitch'

and loved this...

This is a bit of a 'guilty pleasure', I thought it was fab.  It's called '10 Tiny Teddies' of which you can see one of them in the first photo. I really liked the originality of this Quilt, there was nothing else like it in the show and I loved the fact that it is 3 dimensional, the planning and combination of fabrics in the design was so unusual and it was so cool!

And finally, here is the Quilt that I made and I have to admit I was disappointed in seeing how much the 'long arm' quilting had taken the vibrancy away from the fabric.  I have since made a 4 foot square Quilt with the fabric scraps working with the same design but I have chosen to 'stitch in the ditch' and it has not taken away any of the fabric features.
Hope you enjoyed looking at my favourite Quilts from the 'Fest', I've now started saving for 2016.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Festival of Quilts highlights: Part 1

It was the Festival of Quilts a couple of weeks ago and I thought I would show you my highlights of the show, obviously this is what caught my eye and they may not be 'Winners' at the show but I liked them.
So lets start with the miniatures...

Adore the colour combination on this Miniature Quilt.

This really appealed to me, was really impressed by the level of detail.

I think this would have been a potential winner, it was made by Phillipa Naylor who has won in the past but this quilt was too large for the 'miniature' category.  Again, fantastic delicate detailing. 

Love this for its level of accuracy

I liked this for its originality and again for its outstanding accuracy on such a small piece of work!

Every time I see the miniature Quilts I think 'How did they manage to do that?'

So, miniatures always impress me but I'm a traditional girl at heart and my favourite Quilt - and also voted the best Quilt by visitors to the Festival - was called 'Stonefield' and was made by 2 people.  If you type in 'Stonefield' you'll get lots of links concerning this Quilt, ironically, I saw the kit for the Quilt -retailing at £110 ish and that's not including fabric- on a Dutch stand Petra Pins and I had holidayed a few miles away from them this Summer! I was very tempted by to make it, however common sense got in the way and I decided that once I finish my other 2 pieces of WIP's then I may make it or a
Quilt like it.

I loved the individual blocks on this Quilt .....

The 'Stonefield' Quilt really reminded me of an old traditional Quilt that I saw on the Quilter's Guild stand and I thought it was rather lovely..........

it was made in 1872 by children in an infant school where needlework was part of their education and also reinforced their learning with regard to 'morality'.  How times have changed.

Hope you like these Quilts, if not there's more to come....

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A quilt for the Festival of Quilts

In my last post I said I was making a Quilt for the 'Festival of Quilts' and I'm happy to say that I have just finished making it - phew! What a relief!  The design was 'Reflecting Pools' and its from the Quilts in Sweden book which is one of my favourites.  Although a lot of the designs are by Kaffe this particular quilt is by Sally Davies.

So the fabric arived and the main metreage was on the 'Japanese Chrysanthemum' fabric which I had to 'fussy cut' to get 18 Chrysanthemums - this really started to gobble the fabric up and I still needed some very long borders.
So the Chrysanthemums were then log cabinned.
And I then started to work on the 3 x 4 blocks using Millefiore Blue and the Chrysanthemum fabric.
There was 9 of these....
Meanwhile, I was waiting for my new favourite fabric -Bekah - from Cotton Patch who supplied me with all the fabric.
Which I then had to make into 3x4 blocks with the Chrysanthemum fabric again - 8 of these.
So when they were finished I started to plot my Quilt and realised that my sitting room, or any room, was big enough for this.
Then I pieced it together and displayed it at school to take a photograph.
Here are some close up pics of this gorgeous Quilt, I can truly say its exquisite it is so yummy I could eat it.  It's been sent back down to Cotton Patch for long arm quilting and I'm really looking forward to seeing it at The Festival of Quilts.

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