Saturday, 30 April 2011

Not as easy as I thought!

I have been looking forward to using the BSR foot on my machine because I thought it was the answer to my rather uneven machine quilting....... It's not that easy at all!
So far I have tried to machine quilt the May JQ and it was slightly disastrous, I'd no real control and the stitching was even worse than when I used an ordinary embroidery foot. A new new May JQ now needs to be made! I nearly put the BSR away for good, but curiosity got the better of me and I knew I wanted to fathom out how on earth you make it work for you.
So now I'm working on calico that can be binned and just trying out all the things I can think of and trying to get the feel of how to make the stitching much less jerky.
The photo below gives you an idea of how much more practice I still need before I can use the foot on a real piece of work. A bit disappointing as I was hoping the quilt "Strata" while up in Scotland catering for a wildlife group on a self catering holiday (the things I sign up to doing!!!)
Still my mother always told that practice makes perfect!

Monday, 25 April 2011


Its been a bit like having Christmas and Easter all rolled into one - my new machine arrived - a Bernina Artista 630 with an embroidery unit and the BSR foot - so it is literally my Christmas presents for the next couple of years!
"Sew Northampton" and Andy gave a wonderful tutorial before sending me home to play, which I have been doing since. Good job we were staying home for Easter.
I have been a good girl and have done things step by step, reading the manual (unheard of normally) and trying out stitches, techniques and suggestions to get the feel of the beast. Amazingly its turning out my quilt label as I write this!
I'm very exited about the chance to use writing in my quilts and once I've really got the hang of this amazingly powerful machine I'll look at a design interface so I can put in my own drawn designs.

Friday, 22 April 2011

May JQ

I have started to think about how to move these 'strata' quilts on. Looking at the photos of the exposed rocks they were often displaying evidence of fault lines in the rock, created when folding and mountain building occurred. The fault lines create different rock patterns adjacent to one another, and thus interesting patterns.
So.... this morning I have been playing with ideas and have worked a sample to see whether I like the effects I have drawn. The direction of the rock folds needs to vary more than my sample and I can make better use of colour variation. The Clover, Quick Bias works well but the black may be too stark to use in the final piece.
I have used similar quilting stitches as before as they seem to lend themselves to the theme. I have really enjoyed this morning, working in free fall - no firm ideas just picking

up fabrics and cutting!
I think I can now draw out a full size May pattern and start work.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

'Strata' quilt - continued

I have been away, celebrating my Dad's 92nd birthday and using the time to think about what I've been doing and how I want to move on. I've made a few changes to the quilt, adding a border and extending some of the shapes into the border, I think I will also use the same quilting pattern from the strata blocks on into the border to create a bit more continuity.
I have a little bit of block printing to add to the plain horizontal section which will provide the shapes to quilt. I am going to use the ideas I had for the very small strata piece shown in my previous post for some of the sections of this quilt. I am quite tempted to create an asymmetric lower edge and sides by cutting around the shapes I quilt in the border.
I'm going to try a sample of that next.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

'Strata' quilt

I have been using my Journal Quilts to experiment with ideas for a series of quilts based on the rock strata in Petra. Now I have put these together to get the beginnings of a final design. I needed to get an idea of what it might look like so have had it pinned to my design wall, every time I change anything I take a new photograph so that I can compare the different effects. I also took it to the ISG and from their comments and my experiments I think I now have it!
I took 3 small strata sections and played with machine quilting them and liked it so much that that I have finished it properly and entered it for the Easter exhibition at The Bramblepatch! I've included a photo of it and the basic shape of the quilt.
This week will have me stitch all the Strata components together and to piece a back for it and them I can begin the exiting bit of decorating the surface.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

New creative stimulus!

My recent trip to Botswana and the Okavango Delta has provided some lovely images to start me off down a slightly different road. A combination of amazing sunsets and the watery vegetation will give me a direction to go in once I have exhausted my Jordan ideas. How lovely when these ideas just fall into place.
I now have to make decisions about FoQ 2011 and what, if anything, I want to exhibit. I have just finished one piece, not from the Jordan stable and will have a piece from the that stable finished by July. So..... problem being I think both fit into the contemporary class and one can only submit one per class!!
A picture of the finished one - Navaho - suggested by Navaho flags and blankets - is below. More later about the new "Strata" quilt.