Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

Whilst I am like everyone, a little sad that summer seems to be coming to an end, it has been a good one.

I have been busy working and finishing a couple more quilts which is why I have been a bit quiet. This includes the 2CV quilt depicting a summer holiday in beautiful France. The panels were bought last autumn at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexander Palace. I loved them and particularly the little 2CV car that features throughout. You can get this fabric from http://www.boutis.com/ or they quite often visit the UK’s biggest quilt shows such as Ally Pally and the Festival of quilts.

2CV  Quilt Completed

I decided to embroider details on the panels to make features stand out for example the sun, trees, flowers and of course the Eiffel Tower that features in the middle panel. To finish I machine quilted, I’m getting better at it, which means there is fractionally less swearing that goes on!

Eiffel Tower and 2CV

I won’t lie the millions of French knots used for flower details drove me nuts! But think it was worth it in the end. I also ‘drove’ my husband nuts by calling the quilt my CV2 quilt 🙂 I know what it is really called but didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to annoy!

Cows and 2CV

 

We both love the finish article and will be keeping it to display in our house.

Another project I have been working on is a baby quilt for good friends of ours who had their first baby recently. The gender was to be kept a surprise until the birth, so I chose neutral green colours with some funky fabrics in between. My favourite is the sheep fabric! It is awesome.

If you look closely you’ll see windmill shapes in the quilt.

Baby Quilt with sheep!

Now we are entering autumn I am hoping my productivity levels might go up. Not least because quilting when it is cold is an added bonus as it keeps you warm 🙂

I am sure I don’t need to tell you that no sooner were the two quilts finished, I was straight onto my next projects. On involving thousands of tiny squares and my first paper pieced hexagon number… Watch this space!

Onwards Autumn…. May you contain many more quilting antics!

Festival of Quilts 2013 – A quilters paradise!

Every year quilters from all over the world descend on the NEC Birmingham for days of fabric, quilts, demonstrations and shopping! And this year was my turn!

Festival of Quilts 2013

I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised.

We arrived on Thursday lunchtime and decided to look at all the amazing quilts submitted for various competitions as well as some the exhibitions by some of various guilds around the world. The quilts were inspirational and awe inspiring!

The show displays hundreds of quilts but also gives quilters the opportunity to see their favourite artists in the flesh. I got to see and meet some quilting legends including Tula Pink, who was as lovely as you’d expect her to be. I am currently working on a Tula Pink quilt using blocks from her latest book ‘100 modern Quilt Blocks’

As well as seeing quilts in the flesh, the festival gives attendees the opportunity to sign up for courses, some run for the duration of the festival whilst others are taster sessions lasting only one hour. We were slow off the pace this year and only managed to book onto one course, ‘Reverse Applique’ with Ruth Singer. In this session we learnt how do make shadow designs. Here is my finished piece, I am thinking of adding it into a journal quilt to capture my two days at the festival.

Ruth Singer workshop

That just leaves one more thing to talk about… the shopping! There are what feels like hundreds of stalls selling fabrics, quilting tools and books. I would be lying if I said I didn’t come back with some goodies!

Shopping at the Festival

We could resist buying a new quilting ruler. I looked like a Quilting Ninja with the rulers sticking out of my backpack, I got some strange looks on the train on the way home but one should never underestimate the power of a Rachel Cross Creative Grid on making quilting awesome and easy!!

In summary the Festival of Quilts was AWESOME!!! and we are already planning our trip next year with military precision!

In the meantime, I have hundreds of new ideas so watch this space!!!

Making mistakes, after all nobody should be perfect!

They say that the Amish deliberately make mistakes when creating their quilts because only God should be perfect. Now if I was being honest I would have to say that the mistakes I make are not deliberate, but are mostly accidents when either not playing attention or through some annoying interference from unknown forces!

I always start out with good intentions, meticulously cutting the fabric, blocking my blocks and then carefully piecing and ‘easing’ pieces in to position. But sometimes (most of the time) something goes ever so slightly wrong.

This is where you get ‘Character’, ‘uniqueness’ and anything else that means there is no way you could repeat the mistake again! Even if you wanted to, that is the law of quilting mistakes.

Now I am not sure I should be pointing out some of these but just to make you feel better, here are some of my ‘interesting characteristic’ parts of my quilts made to date!

Those ships…

Ships going their own way

are supposed to be sailing the same direction, but they decided not to, some were on the side of the Spanish Armada it seems….

Not to mention I accidentally used wadding intended for oven gloves to make this, mmmm toasty!! And ridiculously hard to quilt!

The elephants that despite spending ages laying out the blocks…

Big CircusCircus Quilt

still ended up on the same row!

And the age old quilting issue, those patterns or colours that congregate together somehow…

Light Blues play together

even thought you tried to make sure they didn’t! All the light blue fabrics are at the top of the quilt.

I know some of this is nit picking but that is the way of quilting, perfect quilters (if such a thing exists) will get these things right, but I know my limitations! And sometimes its the quirks that really make a quilt.

My Dad loves his ships quilt despite the chaos that would ensue in the shipping lanes at Dover if ships behaved as they do on my quilt! And it is extra warm on those cold winter nights!!

The circus quilt proved popular last year when I submitted it to a local quilt exhibition despite the elephants going along two by two and who notices the light blue issue when something has been lovingly made and is fundamentally unique!

After all its not like I’ll make the same mistakes again… well maybe not…

One in… One Out

I think I may have mentioned before that I have quite a lot of projects on the go. Well, where possible I try to stick to the one in one out rule, which means I roughly only ever have 4 quilts on the go at any one time! (of course we don’t count little side projects like the journal quilts or postcards!)

Well this week I finally finished the quilt I have been working on since Christmas (I can’t show you pictures yet as the recipient hasn’t received it yet!). Which means I have given myself permission to start a new quilt 🙂

Sometimes I buy fabric randomly with no clue as to what project they might form… well okay about 90% of the time this is how I buy fabric! Last year at the Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, my friend and I came across a French stall selling fabric with story scenes on them. Their website can be found at http://www.boutis.com, they have lots of different fabrics including Ladybirds, Princesses and Cats!

Paris

I fell in love with the 2CV car fabric, not least because whenever I see a real one I inevitably get all the letters and numbers mixed up, winding up my long suffering husband by calling them CV2’s or R2D2’s if I am in a cheeky mood.

I had no plan for them, I just neeeeeeded them

I bought four panels and when I got home I thought I really needed five to create an even design! So that was that! They sat in the basket for a while until the Spring show, where luckily they were there again so I bought two more panels (and this time they had different ones, with cows on, so totally worth the wait!)

Cows

Now I am able to construct the additional panels using the amazing triangle ruler I bought at a the Detling Showground Quilt show!

See it’s all coming together so well!

Layout

I am thinking wall hanging with blue borders around the pictures and edges!

This should take no time at all but this is me and no doubt I’ll be distracted again some how!!