Sunday, 24 August 2008


Very quick post tonight, it's late and I'm sleepy. It was the Torbay Royal Regatta 10K today, I was hoping to get close to 1:10, and a good friend offered to pace me back for the second half. Anyway, I managed not only to run the whole way including the bastard hills that got the best of me in June, but smashed my PB by almost 5 minutes.

Happy happy happy :-D

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Playtime for quilters

Who can blame me for playing with some of my new goodies? First of all, I dyed some small pieces of fabric. I wanted to get a feel for the techniques and see how the dyes reacted together. I've noted exactly how much dye, salt, mixer and water I used in these samples, and just squirted pipettes full onto the fabric. The golden yellow seemed to develop in the minutes after I put it on the fabric. My favourite pieces fromthis selection are the green and the multicoloured yellow-magenta-blue which I made by drizzling lines of each colour onto the fabric and letting them blur and mix together.
So what could I possible make with these small pieces of fabric. I didn't want them to end up in my scrap box! Fabric postcards of course...and the chance to play with some more new stuff. This time I used some of the Madeira thread, and a piece of pelmet vilene I'd bought on Sunday and of course one of my favourite pieces of hand dyed fabric:

Best bit of this? Even the applique flowers are leftovers from another project. Next time I do one, I'll use thicker wadding, and remember to bond the vilene to the upper of the postcard rather than the back, as the guidelines can still be seen through the white backing. Still, live and learn!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

FoQ woop woop!!!

I arrived bang on time, met sis, and then spent the next 6 1/2 hours in quilter's heaven! My main priority was to get to as many sewing machine manufacturers as possible to have a play. Of the 4 I visited, Husqvarna Viking were the most helpful, and I'm expecting to buy the 870 in November. The lovely lady showing the machines looked after me for 40 minutes while I tried stitches, buttons, FMQ, embroiery etc etc. Then she showed my the quilt moving thing which I found would make FMQ-ing a large quilt much easier...£250 easier I hope ;-).

We didn't spend as much time as I would have liked looking at the quilts on show, but I was still able to get inspired. One of the quilts literally took my breath away. It was one I'd seen featured in a magazine, and I believe won Best in Show in Paducah this year. I glimpsed it from the far end of a line of quilts, and nearly ran to see it. It's truly a masterpiece! The winning Large Traditional was truly inspiring too, it was like flipping a coin to decide between the two. I'm so glad I'm not a quilt judge. I adored the celtic bias applique...not a stitch in sight to my amateur eyes :-O

If I'm being brutally honest, and whyever not? I wasn't overly impressed by the winner of Quilt 2008. It was Union Flags made from Liberty lawn prints. The construction was good, but the design wasn't as inspiring as I thought some of those in the open category were. The quilting seemed to me to be utilitarian...purely to hold the layers together. In a grid pattern, and (can I be honest) I saw lots of puckers. Now I know my quilts are puckered where lines intersect, but I'm not an award winning quilter :-/

So on to the best!!! I took my budget and spent most of it. Treated sis to a beginners rotary set of mat 2 rulers and a rotary cutter, then bought myself this little stash of goodies:
From the left: a book on quilted postcards, one on scrap quilts and Carol Doak's 50 Paper Pieced Stars. Then the before I start, I know I was only buying fabric for specific quilts, but FoQ doesn't count right??

Here we have a 6m piece of green good for backing fabric, pink and purple batik from Doughty's for H's quilt. See that gorgeous pack of hand dyes in the front? That's from Heide Stoll Weber and is adorable. I don't know what I'll use it in, or maybe I'll just stroke it! Next is the Christmas prints I needed for this year's festive quilt and on the right is some plain white which is PFD fabric. That stone coloured wheel is some Japanese taupe wovens which I've already sliced into 1 1/4" strips ready for September's Bag of the Month.

See the white with all those threads on, the scissors and the purple pen? That's all Madeira goodies I got as a freebie as a subscription gift for British P&Q. The white is called Avalon and dissolves in water to leave a filigree effect with the thread FMQ-ed on it. Also there are some applique pins schmetz needles and a pair of bag handles also for the September BOTM. Finally there's a 24" ruler as my old 18" one was getting a bit faded in the middle and I was having to guess where the marks were.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Festival of Quilts

I'm off there in the morning!! Can't wait. I'll be meeting up with my (non quilting) sister, but hopefully we'll be going round separately and meeting up for lunch. I need to look at new sewing machines, DH has promised me one at the end of the year. I'm also going to be hunting for books on dying fabrics, along with the fabric to dye and the dye.

I did have a list somewhere but can't find it now!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Here it is!!

All that's left not is to make a label and a hanging sleeve.

First I'm off to see Kung Fu Panda with the children.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

all done!!!

Post of triumph! All finished except the hand stitching the binding down. I@m having a break then I'll do that after a shower. I need to get it round to P's house tomorrow afternoon, so lots of time now to do the hanging sleeve and label.

I'm so relieved I've done it, but a bit sad at the same time that it won't be mine for long. I'm really pleased with how it looks, the red thread was a great choice, and although, like many quilters I can point to every wobble and wrongly sewn section, I'm determined not to.

getting closer...

This is the current position on the night garden quilt. I've got all the main cabling done now, just 3 short ones and 4 Vs to do. Should be no reason why I can't get them finished today. I'm still not sure whether or not to go round each section again as an echo. DH thinks it's fine as is, but I'm not convinced. I think what I'll do is get it finished for the show and see what happens there, then once I get it back I can make a decision before I get it to its final destination.

Back off to the sewing room as soon as I've finished my drink.