Monday, 31 May 2010

Charter Fair 805 years on!

Up bright and early this morning to see the proclamation of our town Charter at 0600, given to the town by King John in 1205, the roads are closed to traffic, the local come out in force and the procession is led by a band followed by the local dignitaries and the key man on his horse surrounded by his halbadere(sp) men! The Charter is read at key points round the town centre - mostly the pubs! Its great to think that the much the same things have happened over all those hundreds of years.
The morning was overcast and gloomy so photographs are not that interesting, but I was interested in the reflections of the proceedings in the rims of the brass instrument's trumpets!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Day-a-month with Angie Hughes - 2

We were asked to produce a sampler of the stitches we had been practicing, preferring to have items that are usable rather than items for an already bulging sketchbook, I decided to use silk and create a cushion which will fit with my sister's colour scheme. She gets alot of the small try-outs in the form of cushions!
Writing on quilts is a skill I really want to improve, as I find the idea of including words and phrases with quilts really exiting.
The pictures show what I've done with this crop of samples.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Day-a-month with Angie Hughes

This has been an interesting programme for me as I had done very little Machine Embroidery before signing up. My motivation was more about getting more into my machine quilting than become an embroiderer, and I am delighted with the progress my machine quilting has made, I am much more confident, enjoy the challenge even if my stitch work is still a little basic and my control a little wonky!
On Wednesday we spent the day block printing, including making our own blocks from plastazote blocks and pressing objects into the preheated block. This is a technique I will definitely use again and although I set out only to make samples to see what could be done, I have actually made a simple needle case from one piece, an idea Angie came up with.
Foiling the fabric prior to printing worked very well ands I can see this being really useful when starting my next new work - which I already know will have an African feel.
A couple of photos of these samples above.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

May JQ

This month's JQ is a little bit serendipitous, I found the background fabric and then it was easy to cut and applique the cogs, quilting at the same time. I then used the lines on the background to quilt on.
I think I have one more Cogs JQ left in me and then I'll look for a different theme for the last 6 months. Its been a useful discipline for me and I think I've learned alot about how I think up ideas -

Saturday, 22 May 2010


A whole week has gone by and I really haven't managed to make any real progress! Its much harder to shut oneself away when the weather is sunny, the outdoors calls.
We have had 2 lovely days in London, Somerset House and the Courtauld Collection took us a whole afternoon, followed by dinner on a boat on the Thames, blue sky and a good sunset made it more special, a lovely Christmas present! We stayed on Northumberland Avenue, right in the thick of it but our room at the back was amazingly quiet for central London. Next day it was up on the London Eye, amazing and then to The British Library to see their Maps exhibition - quite fascinating especially as I have been really into maps since a small girl when I used to draw my own and pour over an ancient Times Atlas largely pink with countries and areas with names no longer in use, it seemed quite magical! I sort have an idea that I'd like to produce a map in the form of a quilt!!!!! We'll see where that idea goes.
The sad think about the trip was that we both forgot to take our cameras, memories only in the brain.
I still have some UFOs to finish, some of which I'll take away when we go to Wales for John's Diptera Group field trip - I'll sew while they collect flies!! it takes all sorts. I'm hoping that it will mean I can start something new very soon.

Saturday, 15 May 2010


I spent a day this week on a digital photography course, based at a nature reserve and using natural forms. Really interesting when you have the time to see what your camera can really do! Digital is so liberating, you can click all day, take hundreds of shots and then cull them down to a manageable number - and I certainly had to cull mine!
I've ended up with a few images which may well end up as a piece of work. I loved the image taken from the underside of a leaf, found a derelict barn with broken windows and an old piece of bark which reminded me of the El Anatsui work I had liked so much in the British Museum.I must remember to take my camera out with me more often so that I can "catch" the odd interesting image.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Margaret Every Challenge - 3

Its finished!
I'm not that happy with it as I think I missed out a step before I added the borders and its a little wonky!!! 1cm out but it shows. I can't take the border off now so will have to live with it and put it down to experience.
It has definitely improved my quilting skills and I won't baulk at machine quilting again, but I may adopt a quilt as you go method to reduce the size of the quilt that I have to manipulate.
Now its back to the UFOs so that I can eventually begin some new work! The only thing I now need to do is think about what I'll do with all these newly finished pieces! I think I'll donate this challenge quilt, but I'm not sure how useful it will be to them with such alot of black in it!!!
The photos show some close ups of the quilting.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Margaret Every Challenge - 2

There is nothing like some cold weather to keep one inside when you have a deadline to meet! So, thanks to the weather I've made really good progress.
I've pieced the backing for this quilt using some of the same fabrics and made a couple of little blocks as a part of it. Its layered and now mostly quilted, my machine, using threads to match the fabrics in each section, again letting the fabrics do the talking.
I have tried to use the knowledge I'm learning on the Machine Embroidery course to liven up my quilting and I've used one stitch on the tiny pieced sections to ape tieing - a modern equivalent! I think it works quite well - will be interested in comments from others over that.
Just the borders left to do now and the binding so I'm on course to finish in time!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Margaret Every Challenge

This challenge has been taking place each summer for a while now, with The Bramblepatch selecting a fabric which must be incorporated within a quilt. Up to now I have never been inspired by the fabric, so haven't bothered. This year 2 fabrics were offered, one which was covered in words! I love lettering in quilts and made a snap decision to "have a go". I bought 4 other related fat quarters and reckoned that I had enough fabric at home to complete a quilt.
With the other things I'm doing, the challenge fabric languished until this week when I realised that I only had a month left to do it! I found in my stash several toning fabrics and then had to think about the design. With a month only to make it it had to be a simple design, looking at the words, "real simple" shone out so my design is called "Real Simple" and so is the quilt! I've let the fabrics do the talking!
The top is now done!