Friday, 29 June 2012

Another top!

I have finally finished my medallion quilt, and am very pleased with it.  The red triangle border was fine, although I struggled a bit with the corners.  I didn't need to triangles to be exactly the right measurement, but wasn't sure what to do to make the turn.  I'm happy with the solid (ish) corner squares and a few chopped off triangles. 
DD said how clever I was to choose a border fabric with brown in it, so the brown bird wasn't left looking a bit odd.   Sorry, I'm not as clever as that, or maybe I have an instinctive colour sense.

Or maybe I don't.  I took a colour challenge at this site and was disappointed to find that while my colour sense is better than average, it's not that much better!  How will you do?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Class samples

It has been football-tastic here in the UK as England has been playing in some sort of international competition.  Personally I hate football, but DH loves it, which has meant several evenings of him glued to the tv and me free to sew away to my heart's content!  That's what I call a result!  Unfortunately England were so pathetic, they were beaten by Italy and now are out of the running (no pun intended).  However, I've managed to use the sewing time fruitfully to get some class samples done.  For my Saturday class, I have decided to teach Dresden Plate. 


This design has lots of appeal, and if the curved edges are changed to points, is simple to sew.  I plan to make five flowers and then make them into a big nine-patch with some pretty pink floral fabric.
Eunice, over at The Quarter Inch in Market Harborough has asked me whether I would teach a beginners' class for her.  I agreed to do it and decided that a four-patch was probably the easiest way to start.  I chose some beautiful Debbie Bliss fabrics by Need'l Love from her shop and got to work.

This photo doesn't do the fabrics justice at all, but shows clearly my stupid mistake.  Because I am so unused to choosing fabric all at one go, I didn't make sure I had a dark, a medium and a light.  I took the lovely floral fabric as my base, and added two fabrics from the same range for the four-patches.  They looked good close to in the shop, but don't really provide enough contrast to make this a great quilt. 
This is a better photo to show the design and lovely fabrics.  Never mind, it's fine as a sample and will give people an idea of what they will get from the class. 
By the way, it was a real treat to work with such quality fabrics.  I'm so used to scraps that I was delighted at how well it went together, how square it was and how flat it was to quilt.  Perhaps I'll change from a scrap quilter and just buy from one range at a time.  What do you think?! 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Old ladies

At a recent quilt group meeting, someone asked, 'I don't think I know Anne. What does she look like?' The answer was, 'Oh, she's grey haired, wears glasses and is a bit dumpy.' That certainly narrowed it down to a good three quarters of the assembly!   It's a fact that the majority of quilters tend to be mature ladies, and a visit to any quilt shop or exhibition will yield more walking sticks and wheelchairs than prams!  Here is a photo taken at Piecemakers recently, and there's only one person who doesn't need to resort to a blue rinse!

Given the fact that sooner or later we will all drop off the perch and the ranks of quilters will be severely depleted, how can we encourage younger people to join us? I have just been surfing the internet and came across this amazing post!  Krista has written about the advantages which we old ladies bring to the quilting world (and the world in general) in a very uplifting way. You have to read it, as I couldn't put it all as well. 
But given the fact that we old ladies are wonderful and heading for sainthood (I'm paraphrasing Krista slightly you understand!) how can we encourage younger people (by which I mean those still in employment!) to join us?  Any ideas gratefully received.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Some sewing

Although I didn't get much sewing done last week, as DH had taken the week off and wanted to make the best of his time away from work, I have done some this week.  I've managed to get the Crumb-along blocks together, and I think they look fabulous!

The addition of the blue heart, flying geese and star blocks, not to mention the four and nine patches, really give the quilt lots of oomph - besides being really fun to make.

I also couldn't resist putting some love into it!  Originally I had planned to put a narrow blue border then more scrappy blocks, with stars in each corner, but in the event decided that enough was enough, and it would be a devil to quilt as it was, never mind if it had extra borders!

 So I just added one blue border and now it's a finished top!  Hooray!  Now I need to get some backing and wadding, and then I can get it finished.  So then my conscience was clear enough for me to continue to work on my medallion quilt. 

Sawtooth borders (a la Gwen Marston's method) have been completed for top and bottom, and will be made for the sides.  Then, decisions, decisions, what next?!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee

Here in the UK we have been celebrating our queen's diamond jubilee.  That means that Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 60 years!  That's a very long time to be in a job, and the country is pretty much in agreement that she has done us proud!  The celebrations started last Saturday when the queen went to see the Epsom Derby - a famous horse race.  DH put some money on one of the horses and lost it all!  Oh well, at least he had a couple of minutes of excitement.

On Sunday there was a Pageant of Ships on the River Thames.  A thousand boats and ships of all kinds, from kayaks to motor launches, from gondolas to cruisers and from survivers of the Dunkirk evacuation to narrowboats, with lots of other types of craft as well, all processing down the river.

DH and I decided to join in the fun, and went down to London for the day. Here is DH, and the triangular thing behind him is The Shard.  You can tell the weather wasn't very good, as you can't even see the top of it!

We had decided before we had left home, that we would be sure to see lots of people, and not very many boats!  There were certainly lots of people (1.2 million apparently), and the city was well prepared for them!  Necessity drove me to use one of the portaloos once - not a pleasant experience!

 And here is a view of some of the man powered crafts.  What an amazing sight!  We had a fabulous expereince being part of this great celebration - although we were glad to get home and get warm!

 On Monday there was a spectacular concert outside Buckingham Palace.  We watched it on tv and then went to our local park for our town's concert and celebrations.  The acts weren't as famous, but we had a good time!
Then on Tuesday, the queen drove through the streets of London and with her immediate family appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.  For those of you who aren't up on the royal family, we have (left to right) Camilla (Prince Charles' wife), Prince Charles (heir to the throne), the queen, Prince William (son of Prince Charles and the late Diana), Kate Middleton as was (Prince William's wife) and Prince Harry (younger son of Charles and Diana).  The Duke of Edinburgh (the queen's husband) should have been there but he was in hospital with a urine infection.  DH and I had a family day of our own and visited our parents. 
 So there hasn't been much time for sewing, but I have sneeked a little time to put a couple of borders on my medallion quilt. 

So far, so good.  But what next?!  Any suggestions?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

It's Challenge 12 - but I'm a bit busy!

I am really pleased that I signed up for Judy's UFO Challenge, as so far there are five quilts finished which almost certainly wouldn't be!  I'm determined to keep up with it, so eagerly visited her site to see what this month's UFO would be.

It's number 12, my Crumb Quilt, which is still short some blocks.  I love Mile a Minute blocks, and would normally dive into this with gusto, but I'm a bit busy with something else.  Not really linked with my purchase of Gwen Marston's medallion quilts book - I'd buy anything written by Gwen, sight unseen! - I've started to put my applique of flowerpot with bird into a medallion. 

The next round will be a narrow red border, and then I'm hoping to use up some of my orphan hourglass blocks (with appropriate additions) to make the next border.  After that, who knows!

I originally made the applique as a class sample, but have had another thought.  I have designed this simpler basket of flowers, in case anyone wants to do something really easy.  There are no points or tricky shapes in this, just gentle curves.  I'll leave it up to the individuals which one they'd rather do.  Right, back to the sewing machine!