Monday, 30 August 2010

Festival of Quilts

I was lucky to be able to be there for 2 days this year. What a fantastic collection of work, materials and inspiration. I am always blown away by the variety of the work on show and the quite exquisite workmanship that is apparent on so may pieces. This year I thought that there were fewer beautifully made quilts that left me cold - more contemporary pieces and certainly more experimental works.
The retail opportunities were legion and I certainly made my purse lighter! I actually think the hall is now too small for the number of exhibitors/traders not enough room to get a good look at the work and the scrummage round the stalls was too much.
I enjoyed two excellent lectures: Sandra Meech on the process of turning drawings and observations into textiles and Sara Impey on her wonderful textural quilts, especially on the importance of the message in each of her pieces.
Contemporary Quilt put on an excellent Saturday Coffee Morning with 6 demonstrators sharing the secrets of their beautiful work, which was very well received.
I admired Uta Lenk's "Play of Lines" quilt, as I'm interested in exploring the use of curves in my work. I'd have chosen to use more colour, but the technique was interesting.
My favourite piece this year was "February Catkins - February light" by Catherine Brierley - images of the patterns made by twigs against the sky, beautifully thought out and executed. I also likes Ineke Berlyn's piece on the theme "Summer in the City" - bright, graphic images appealed to me alot.
I must try to complete a piece for next year's show.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

August JQ

I got a bit carried away when doing Angie's homework and made my sample too big to be used as a JQ! So I have had to think up something different. In the July JQ I used black voille to subdue some areas of the work. It was effective but the burning away of areas of the voile did not work so well, as it slightly damaged the surface of the velvet and meant that the quilting thread, Madeira, melted too!
So I thought about other ways in which one could "knock back" areas of a design. I've experimented with very close quilting in a brighter colour and then looked at whether hand stitching would do the same job. As an experiment its been worth while, but there is limited artistic merit in the outcome!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Big Six O!

Now we don't have to go away in August, we choose not to - and just potter in the UK until all the children have back to school when its then OK to travel! So we went up to Berwick upon Tweed and the Borders for a few days - new territory for us and some quite stunning places to visit and wild scenery. We stayed in a lovely, restaurant with rooms / boutique hotel in Berwick called 1 SallyPort. Very well appointed rooms and a stunning menu, friendly and in the middle of town. A faded Georgian garrison town with walls to walk and some of the best castles and beaches within a short distance.
We visited Lindisfarne - very evocative and quite humbling when you think of its long history - small scale castle and lovely gardens. Then drove down to Bamburgh with its magnificent castle.
Next we went up to St Abbs Head, over the border. Wonderful cliffs and coastal paths now that the gannets have flown! Stunning rugged coast and interesting little village.
3 brilliant meals - Oblo in Eyemouth - and Sally Port. where the figs in palma ham then the halibut and finally the lemon posset were some of the best dishes I have had in a long while. To be recommended.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Jan's Quilt

Its been great fun experimenting with the stash of fabrics to try out some blocks for the quilt. I've 1 each of the 3 styles I thought I'd use, in the full quilt the fabrics will be different in each block although the basic block shape will stay the same.
Then I stitched them together and had a go at different ways to quilt each block. I really like the close quilting and the machine equivalent of tieing which I've used on the random strip pieced block.
Jan will see them next week and then I can get started for real!
Sadly I still have some UFO's to finish, but I really can't wait any longer to be creative!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

A new beginning - Jan's Quilt

My sister-in-law has asked if I'll make her a quilt. Her colour scheme suites me and I've got free rein over designs and fabrics within the palette - joy! I was surprised by the number of fabrics I have already, and can probably make the whole thing with perhaps 3 or 4 fat quarters to add to the stash, that seems a very good deal.
The photo is of the stash and one of my initial design ideas. Next week I can show these to Jan and get started. I'll make some sample block next week and try some quilting designs on them as its quite hard for a non quilter to be able to visualise the finished effect from a drawing.
I've got EQ7 as a present, and I'm really pleased with the improved functionality over EQ5 and think it will make the sort of work I'm doing a great deal easier. I can so well remember the days of multiple sheets of graph paper and colouring pencils which took forever and the effort of having to draw out each new idea in full, thank goodness for modern technology!