A Happy New Year!! I hope that 2018 is a happy and creative year for you all.
On the making front December was a quiet month. Once the classes were over, I did finish a bright, colourful quilt made from batiks, that has been sitting around for years, it was just what I needed on the cold grey days of early December, to cheer me up!
Don’t get me wrong, I have been sewing and knitting but not as much, Christmas and New Year have taken priority, its been a family time.
I keep a note of all the work I have finished through the year, and in 2017, I made 82 quilted postcards, this is less than 2016! Must be not making the duck ones for Laura, but her 18th birthday was the right time to stop – I couldn’t think of any more ideas! I completed 19.75 quilts. You might wonder about the 0.75, well it’s the one I am working on now. All nine pieces are made and quilted, but I just haven’t had the time to put it together – that’s the first job for January. I did make a lot of clothes, 22 different things!! I don’t think I will be doing as much in 2018, the wardrobe is rather full!
I have written myself a couple of lists for 2018, the things I have got to create and finish and then the other list is the ‘want to’ list. This is fairly long!!
So, I am going to be busy!!!!
One whole month already gone!!! The pile of ‘stuff’ in the workroom hasn’t gone down at all this month, in fact I think it has got bigger.
I finished the Hexagon Star quilt at the beginning of January and that has moved out of the workroom and gone to join the other quilts that are over the banisters!!! There is a ‘Friendship quilt’ in Tilda fabric, the Hexagon Rainbow quilt, a Dresden plate quilt in greys and now the Hexagon Star quilt. The banisters won’t get cold!
On Dresden plate design, its one I really like but there seems to be a sudden explosion of quilts around made from this pattern. The one made with the new fabric range Katie Jayne by Makower is particularly pretty. (the pattern is free to download from the Makower website). The other quilt that I have finished is the Cross Roads quilt, the pattern is available on the Members section and you can read more about the design and completing the quilt there. The box of unfinished pieces is getting slowly emptied.
Back to the pile of ‘stuff’ that has got higher, rather than smaller. There are the pieces for three quilts – a hand applique Rose of Sharon quilt in blacks and greys. Ten squares of a HST quilt – nine of them I have been teaching in class, but I am making sixteen in all for the finished quilt for myself, this is in Tilda fabric and then there is a hexagon quilt!! I had some leftover hexagon flowers that I am appliqueing on 8” square to create a quilt.
Also, on the pile are working drawings and fabric for some ‘art’ quilt ideas for teaching in the morning class!! And pieces that are waiting to be finished in the next few classes. From Cathedral Window bag to quilted postcards created by colouring in designs with crayons to pieces framed on canvas stretcher bars!!
I have a lot to get through during February to clear the pile before it topples over!!
Well February goes out with a cold snowy end!! The best place in cold snowy weather is indoors – creating and that’s what I have been doing.
I have completed the HST Sampler quilt in the Tilda fabric and that has joined all the others hanging over the bannisters, I will have to try and find another place for a few of them!
As soon as I had finished the HST Sampler quilt, I started on another new one, Daisy, Daisy!! This quilt is bright and cheerful, my sister mentioned that it was a lovely quilt for Spring, whereas I thought it was a great quilt for brightening up the last few days… weeks of winter! I ‘dived’ into my stash of fabrics and I am using, yellows, oranges, pink and mauves to make it and a splash of green for the binding strips. The main motif is a daisy flower and I have designed three different squares using it.
The rest of February has been creating smaller projects, finishing the Cathedral Window bag I was using for demonstration in class and small fabric art pictures. Plus making postcards and readying others for hand embroidery as Mother’s Day isn’t far away (11th March) and Easter is only at the end of the month!!
Well, it’s the start of another month, this year is going so quickly!!!
March was all about postcards for me…. First Mother’s Day ones, then ‘playing’ with crayons and Derwent Inktense pencils.
I have used Inktense pencils for a number of years but have found that they bleed on fabric, as you need water to set them. They are great for watercolour type skies and misty backgrounds. I did some research and discovered that you can also use them with textile medium and so I have been ‘playing’. I drew a whole scene and painted over with medium and it didn’t run!!! Then I tried doing a watercolour sky, letting it dry, appliqueing the landscape and painting in a tree, setting it with the textile medium, letting it dry and pressing it before, layering and hand embroidering it. It worked really well and has opened up so many possibilities and ideas… just need the time.
After all of those I then made the Easter postcards and a couple of birthday ones – just had a count up and I made twenty two postcards in all!!!
On the quilt side of things, I have finished the Courtroom Steps one and I am almost there with the Daisy, Daisy! one; wanted to finish it by the end of March but didn’t quite get there!!!
I don’t have a lot to tell about April, I finished the Daisy, Daisy! quilt on the 2nd but I still haven’t got round to doing all the instructions and other notes, just haven’t got my mind in the right gear to do them!!!
I then started on another quilt, this one is using a pre-cut – 5” Charm squares, we all see a lot of pre-cuts around and buy them but don’t know what to create with them. The pack I am using is The Harvest Collection from Tilda, I have cut 4½” circles from the squares, appliqued them onto the middle of a 9½” square – that is the easy bit!! Then I designed a quilting pattern inspired by the fabric, that was the more complicated and time-consuming part!! I have finished creating the thirty-six squares and am now putting them together, then I will work on the borders.
The other project I am working on with Laura is a wall hanging that we are entering into The National Quilt Championships in the special themed category ‘Remembrance’. It has embroidered quotes – Laura is working on them at the moment and then vignettes – we have both been making them, I am just completing the four trees, one for each season. Autumn – the sadness and knowing that life is passing, Winter – the grief of loss, Spring – the start of new life and hope and Summer – living life. Trees are very strong images for both Laura and I. Laura jokes that she could write a dissertation on all the meanings we have used in our wall hanging!!
Well, its already June, the sixth month of the year, half way through!!! I will have to start thinking, I said thinking!!! About Christmas makes – Quilted Postcards, decorative gift hangers and gift ideas to teach. I have already been asked if I can come up with some ideas for quilted hot water bottle covers. It is just thinking at the moment, I won’t actually start creating Christmas ideas till September – towards the end!!!
I have only finished eleven Quilted postcards in May, all inspired by Jacobean Crewelwork embroidery. Other than that, I have been working on the Circles quilt, just a couple of borders to finish and put on and then the binding. As I have been using it to demonstrate different bits in class, I needed it only partly done for the last morning class before half term and then I haven’t had a chance over to get it completely as we have been away for a few days….
And I am working madly on finishing the wall hanging for the National Quilt Championship, I need to get it completed and then send it off, to be there for the 13th June!!
I have also been working on Drunkards path blocks, both the classic piecing and the modern way of making for the classes.
As well as needlework, the garden has been taking up my time!!! it’s a really lovely source of inspiration for some of my Quilted Postcards!!!
Well, that’s another month gone!!! And it was a busy one! We completed the wall hanging for the National Quilt Championships and got it sent off in time – its back now and we got a Judges Merit. I am really pleased it got something, not for me but for Laura, this is the first piece that we have worked on together. A lot of thought and planning went into all the quotes and vignettes and Laura spent a lot of time hand embroidering all the letters and creating some of the vignettes. Hopefully we will work on other projects together.
I actually completed three quilts this month!!! The Circles quilt had its final borders and binding put on. Then I completed the Modern version of the Drunkard’s Path and turned it into a quillow. And finally, I completed the Spider’s Web quilt (read all about it in the Member’s section!)
I also managed to create seven quilted postcards and complete the tapestry that I started before Christmas – I just need to find the right colour fabric to make the back and I will turn it into a cushion. You would think with all the fabric that I have in my cupboard that I would have something that would work? But no!! actually, I do have a piece that goes but it isn’t big enough!!! So, I will have to buy something that to create the back.
The classes are over for the summer and I have a couple of months off to create stuff for me and also start on all the ideas for the Autumn term and Christmas ……..
Hello, so far its been a lovely hot summer, we had nine days away and beautiful hot weather, this is really unusual for us.
We had a week in Croyde, Devon and it was lovely and relaxing, lots of walks, a couple of trips to National Trust places and masses of photos taken. A lot of the photos I took are for inspiration for postcards and journal quilts, just need to find the time to create some!!
I did take six postcards on holiday to hand embroidery and also my tapestry cushion to stitch!! I can’t be without something to create.
We had a slow drive home, going to more National Trust places and staying in Portishead and Wells. More inspirational photos!
Over the whole month I finished nine quilted postcard and the rest of the month I have been working on a quilt project – more about that next month.
I have also been planning the quilts and projects for teaching in September. It feels like a long way off but it will soon be here. And I have been ‘playing’ with Scarpie marker pens to see how they work on fabric and I can use them on quilted postcards and wall hangings – for more on my ‘experiments’ then have a look at my Facebook page as I have and will be posting about them on there.
Where did the summer go? Its start of the new school year, my classes start again on the 18th September and I am just finishing off a new quilt to demonstrate in the morning class – its all about quilting!
I mentioned in last month’s diary that I was working on a ‘special’ quilt and I would tell you more about it this month. The quilt or rather Quillow was for my Best friend, Rachel’s special birthday present.
We have been friends since we meet at College. I wanted to create something special, Rachel had given me for my big birthday earlier in the year, a lovely cross stitch picture. Which I treasure not only for the image but also I know the amount of time that went into making it and time is always hard to find when working full time and running a home.
Rachel has always loved the Sunbonnet Sue design and so, I decided to play around with the design and change it, to create us, carrying a ‘bag for life’, surrounded with flowers for the central panel. The other eight panels were covered with appliqued flowers, all made in her favourite colours. And if Rachel doesn’t want the full quilt out, she can fold it up into the cushion.
We a lovely day out with Rachel and her husband, Steve at Anglesey Abbey, wandering around the grounds – I love the grove of Himalayan silver birch, as part of her birthday celebrations.
We also did three other National Trust properties in August – the other three were Calke Abbey, Keddleston Hall and Bolton House, while we were up in Derbyshire visiting family. As usual Tony took some great photos – so more inspiration for postcards and journal quilts.
On postcards, I created eleven during the month, many of them using Scarpie Pens and rubbing alcohol!! These are great fun and I think I have finally worked out the best way to work with them, the thing is you never quiet now how they are going to turn out!!!
I don’t know what happened to September! In my notebook of completed work for the month I have only got 5 things listed: one postcard; Quilted Stripy Quilt; two fabric Shoppers with quilted pocket; two Sharpies pen art pictures and a crushed velvet wrap dress!!
And yet I have been doing lots of stuff but not actually finished anything. I have begun two more Stripy quilts as part of the morning class. One is in Makower Scandi Christmas fabric that I bought this time last year, this will be for us. And the other is a bigger version of the quilt, to fit a double bed and is made from whatever fabric is in my stash, the only fabric I have bought for it is Makower Essentials in white for the borders. This quilt is for my niece.
The fabric shopper with quilted pocket is to use up samples of the quilt patterns and ideas for the Stripy quilt. I hate not using up samples, such a waste of time and fabric and so when I do need to do samples I always try to find a way of making them into something useful – I this case, pockets on bags that I will use as gift bags at Christmas!
I have spent quite a bit of time in developing ideas and writing up class notes and preparing lessons for the rest of this half term. As well as starting on Christmas.
Welcome to November!! After a beautiful warm sunny October (well most of it!) November has arrived with wind and rain.
For me, November is the month of really working on all the pieces from tree hangers, Quilted Postcards, quilts and other gifts for Christmas. I like to get most of the smaller bits done by the end of the month. Usually I make a start in October, but most of the work is done in November, but all I managed to do in October was design a few things!! I just haven’t had the spare time.
We had a great five-day cruise in October, we stopped in Zeebrugge and went for the day to Bruges. Everybody kept telling me to get the Belgian chocolate, but the day was so hot, if I had it would have melted as we walked around the town and out to the edge and back past the windmills, before heading back to the ship.
We then sailed to Amsterdam for a few days. It was incredible weather for October, we took a boat trip round the canals, went to the museum, walked miles and took hundreds of photos. There were so many great photo opportunities. I have so many ideas for quilts and wall hangings and postcards from the trip – the houses, windmills, canals and tulips!!
I am still working on the Stripy quilts and the different techniques that you can use. Linked to this I have created a few more bags and Hot water Bottle Covers (great Christmas gifts!!).
I have also been knitting, a pair of lacy wrist warmers for me and now a pair of mittens/wrist warmers for Laura, I am having to play with the pattern and sizing to get the fit she wants – she has long slim hands and fingers!!
I have also been weaving, I finished a scarf for me and have started another for Laura and then I want to weave a couple of Christmas gifts!! There are some lovely yarns available, at the moment I am using Stylecraft Batiks and Batik Swirl...
I am sorry this is late but the last month, in fact since the beginning of August have been a bit hectic.
My elderly Aunt who lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire has been very ill and in and out of hospital. I have been spending a lot of time phoning, emailing and going up to both Ely and Addenbrookes hospital trying to sort out so many things. She is finally home with 24 hour live in Care and fingers crossed that once everything has settled down, things will be simpler and I will have more time to create!
Most of what I have managed to create during November was for presents for Christmas, more hot water bottle covers, tree hangers and the postcards. But I still have several things to finish – a quilt and a couple of scarves! All in the next week!!!
I have also got to finish of the quilts I started during the term as demonstration piecing!!! And start thinking about what I will be demonstrating next term.
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a creative New Year.