Friday, 27 November 2009

Sabine Hodgkinson

I know the quilters in Germany have learnt of the very sad passing of my friend Sabine. She was the International Rep for the German Quilters Guild.
I first met Sabine at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. We seemed to always be having a coffee or a drink at the same time and place. At first by accident and then we planned our time out from the FOQ. In 2008 Sabine was not around as she was too ill to come to the FOQ and she was missed. From then on we stayed in contact through phone and email.

Sabine, I'll miss you. I always felt when I write my blog, I was writing to you. So my friend, this entry is for you as well.
Much Love,

Slowly but surely

I lost yesterday with a couple of friends round in the morning and the afternoon at the hairdressers (do people actually enjoy wasting time at the hairdressers?)
Lost this morning to Doctors, pharmacy, cell phone repairs etc etc...
But this afternoon I'll try and get more these 3 round feathers done. If I do say so myself, it's looking very good.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Progress report and my lovely quilt by Ferret

So I've finished the 2nd round of feathers and have done the background on half of them. The journey is long but worthwhile.

And remember my surprise at the Festival of Quilts when Ferret revealed the quilt she'd made for me (we had done a swap)? Well I met her in a dark car park a couple of weeks ago and she handed it over. (we wondered what some undercover cops would have thought if they'd been watching). I've pinned on the quilt hanging in Fliss's bedroom until I find a place to hang it safely out of reach of the kittens.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Slow, but it is progress

A view of the back again. It's hard to show you progress on the front as the marking hid what's done and what's not.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Quite pleased

Apologies for the yellow tone of this photo, it seems to happen when I take photos indoors at night without flash. What I want you to see is the difference between the trapunto on the left (Done the normal way with water soluble thread and then the excess cut away) and the two layered batting on the right. There is almost no difference!!
This quilt is just under 80" square if it were any bigger I would have to go back to the cutting away method as it just wouldn't fit under the harp of my machines but next time for a quilt this size or smaller, this works for me. Also be warned, I don't think with a cotton batt or a heavier weight poly, I still would have found it impossible to fit under. So the Quilter's Dream Request Poly and the Hobbs wool combination works for me.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Hello, I'm still here

So I've finished this one for the sofa at the cottage all but washing it and burying the threads.

Then I've gone back to the dreaded wholecloth. The one which has given me more problems than most of my quilts put together which is going some when you think there is no piecing an no appliqué.
For those of you not with me at the time, it was going to be a whole cloth with white batting under the trapunto areas and wool batting under the background. It was to be quilted in very fine YLI silk, white thread on the motifs and cream in the background, a sort of soft coloured trapunto.
So I did a quarter sized trial to test various stitching effects. It was looking good. It had diamond grid between the central motifs and the borders. These diamonds were to alternately trapuntoed and background quilted. I prepared all the trapunto round the motifs and worked at cutting out half of the diamonds when I discovered the alternate diamonds had swapped places when I got back round the circle.

Plan 2 was to gently disolve the water soluble thread so I could remove the diamonds and re-mark the grid. So far so good (Ferret helped me). Except some bits of the motifs broke away and some bit s of wetted water soluble thread had dried in hard lumps which were capable of breaking needles. grrrr.

Plan 3 was to start again. I cut out a piece the same length of more cotton sateen to discover it wasn't wide enough, nor was any I had in the house. So I washed everything out of the original top and remarked it. I planned to use a glue stick to stick the already cut out motifs of the white batting and stick them to the back. It was fine for the very central motifs but as I worked round the top the glue came unstuck. Then I used 505 spray. It worked fine until it came to the very fine ¼" lines of trapunto work. This is when I started screaming, rolled it up and put it away.

Until yesterday.
Ferret had mentioned the longarmers faux trapunto method. The longarmers use two layers of batting and heavily quilt between motifs to increase the loft. I used the lightest weight Quilter's Dream polyester, Request with Hobbs Wool on top.
So today I started to quilt it. And found how hard it was to stuff a quilt with two layers of batting into the harp of a normal domestic machine. Is it possible?
Read on....

Meanwhile the kittens disappeared, I searched the house and eventually found them hidden half way up the shelving of fabric about three foot above the floor.

Yes you can!!!! It wasn't easy but I slowly, slowly I've managed to quilt the middle. I still have to go back into the middle to do the background and that will probably take a few more hours as I have to reposition it so often.

This is the back, it isn't bright yellow (that's the camera), it's off white but it does show up how great the loft looks.

This is nothing like the original plan with the white and cream but the basic design is very good so I can save that technique for another day.