Tuesday 31 August 2010

I give up

I thought when I bought the roses fabric I could use broderie perse to add them to that applique quilt I started earlier in the year. They are just too small and fiddly. I'm not happy with these and they took forever to do each one. So I'll find a larger print.
I can still use this fabric elsewhere.
And my plan for the millennium quilt? I like to do foundation piecing on freezer paper as I like the way it holds each piece flat when you add another one. Two rounds of 80 points will take forever. The points are too fine to go through a few layers at a time with an unthreaded needle in the machine. I'll print them out from the computer but because I don't have a super large printer, I shall have to print the outer round of points in quarters rather than one piece.
My admiration for the winner of Best of Show at the Festival of Quilts has got up even further.
So I suppose I haven't really given up, just finding other ways to reach the same ends.

Monday 30 August 2010

Marking finished (and some gore)

I got it marked up today and yesterday. It took the best part of 9 or 10 hours. And well not gore, but a little blood. I tried the 'use your own spit method' and it didn't work. It did however make the ink run near the blood. I'm not worried blood always washes out for me (that tells you something about how careless I can be). If you click on the photo you might just see it near the top of the photo.
As always, if you want to find what I use for marking put 'perfect marking' in the little search box at the top.

Sunday 29 August 2010

Only ten years late

I've been tidying up my sewing room and found my Y2K patches. For those of you not into quilting way back then, loads of quilters all over the world swapped out 2½" or 3" packets of different fabrics (called squishies) with other quilters. The aim was to get 2,000 different fabrics to make a quilt to celebrate the millennium. I never got round to using mine, mainly because I like to mull over things. I think this could be my block pattern. It uses 80 different fabrics.
So laid out 5 blocks by 5 blocks gives me 2,000. We all know it's one thing having a plan, it's a whole other thing acting on said plan...
What's ten years or 20 years late in the grand scheme of things?

Saturday 28 August 2010

My light table

This is my wondrous light table. OK it isn't a pukka light table, it's bigger and better. It my sewing table too. In reality it's a glass garden table (see the hole for the parasol?). I could have found one without the struts across but these had bars along the sides to strengthen the structure and those would have got in the way of my knees whilst sewing. In this photo I have two lamps under it. One with an 18 watt low energy bulb (these are good because you can get higher light levels without the heat) on the floor and one clip on one with an 8 watt bulb to the bottom of the right of the photo.

These photos were taken with my phone so you might need to click on them to see more detail but you can see the feathers quite easily through the paper. They show up even more so when your hand is holding them down.

And an hour or so later, I'd copied it out so I have a full sized half pattern. I laid the wonderful satin I'd bought at the Festival of Quilts over it to see if it would trace through easily and it does!

But, it turns out although the satin is supposed to be 60" wide, it's more like 58" and has very wide selvedges so probably has about 54" of usable width. This design is just a little too wide. So I shall go with plan a and use cotton sateen.
Sort of boo but it will look good anyway!

Monday 23 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 2010

My haul (more than I thought...)
1 is Heide Stoll Weber's fabulous hand dye
2 some super shot fabrics (wholecloths in my mind)
3 some Kaffe Fasset (I've finally given in and started a collection)
4 some Indonesian hand dyes
5 incredibly shiny satin (see 2 above)
6 fabric with roses (I see these roses cut out and used broderie perse style)
7 Stunningly printed fabric ( I can see these roses cut out as well but truly I fancy some summer trousers, which idea will win?)
8 Some wonderful creamy marble fabric from the American Quilt Store (they are going to get more for me so I can use it as background)
9 Tana lawn type cotton to make another very light weight 100% cotton night dress which I don't seem able to buy.
10, 11 and 12 Are thick shiny threads (for wholecloths), gold and copper fabric paint with brush (given to me by some super Dutch people) and a gold pen and gold and silver pencils from Art Van Gogh
13 'Real' thread charts as opposed to printed ones. I wish the thread people would have more of these. I order the threads I have 'real' samples of and don't order the ones which I can only see a printed impression.

This was the first year the Best of Show winner was agreed with every one who saw it. Totally amazing. This quilt is about 8" square and all those little points are perfect. Just awesome work and style. I'd tell you the Japanese lady's name but my show guide is upstairs. She said it took her three months working full time to complete. I think this is amazingly quick as working small can often take longer than full size. I would be delighted to have made this quilt at any size. I am in awe.

My drive to the show involved two road closures and detours where the detour signs ran out.  I got lost big time on both routes. On the way home on Sunday I chose a different route avoiding these closures only to find another road closed. All I had in my head for the last half hour was a cup of tea.
I'm telling you this by way of explaining how when presented with the above, I did the most horrible thing ever. I am a terrible person. I rejected the champagne and put the kettle on. We did have the champagne in the afternoon but I know I spoiled the effort of my husband to celebrate my win at the World Quilt Show. I cannot tell you how guilty I feel.

Friday 20 August 2010


I'm having a little touch of insomnia. It's 3.30am and I want to share my good news. I just found out Old Gold has won Best Machine Workmanship at the World Quilt Show. I'm so pleased the quilt which gave me the most pain and suffering did so well! It makes the inasomnia worth while.
This does mean I have more to spend at the Festival of Quilts today......

Tuesday 17 August 2010

I've got a new camera

My husband offered me a deal, he'd buy me a super new camera but it would be my early Christmas present. I went with buying a cheaper model for now. I know I hate Christmas without something to open. I'm such a child.
Anyway at least I can show you what I've been up to. This took a day to design one eighth of the quilt with loads of rubbing out along the way. It took another day to go over the design in black pen and then to trace through to get the ¼ quilt you see here. I think I might even trace it through again so I have a ½ quilt drawn out. I find some cottons stretch so much it makes it hard to marry it all up in quarters. I'm quite pleased how the twisted spine has turned out in the border feather.
  Sorry about the mess in the bedroom in this photo. I lay on the bed figuring how it was different from the previous one and took this shot. You've seen photos of our bed before and know that the posts are vertical (as are the wardrobe doors). I'm not sure this is acceptable even on a base model camera. I feel quite drunk looking at these curves.
 It is too late to do anything about it now, I'm going to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham on Thursday. I have a plan so I don't run out of spoons. I shall drive up Thursday and probably not go to the show but just rest in my room for the afternoon. I'll visit the show on Friday and Saturday and drive myself home on the Sunday. Worse case scenario is my husband will have to come up on the train and drive me home. This will be the 2nd year I don't enter the show. Next year I will try harder.

Sunday 8 August 2010


Sadly my camera has died. It takes great photos from about 12" but doesn't focus properly at any other distance. So I have included these two pictures of the quilt pinned to a board to block it. The first is the best focus to see the quilting and the 2nd to see the colours.

To prove it can focus when it wants to, a few photos from the garden.