Monday, 8 October 2012

Roll up bag

The next class will be on November 3rd - sorry I had to change it from the original date as my husband has decided to have his 60th birthday party on that day, and I think I'll be needed at home!  Here is a photo of the roll up bag.  I used a nice border print for the outside.
Here it is unrolled, so you can see the zipped plastic pockets, the little pocket with a tab and the needle case.

And here is a close up of the top, to show the inner pocket, and the reason you need Velcro (or some sort of fastening) to keep things from falling out!

I haven't yet finalised the dates for next year, but the classes will be, free machine quilting and quilt as you go (11 votes), improvised pieced houses (11 votes), magic tile (11 votes), using a jelly roll (9 votes), granny squares (8 votes) and turning leaves (8 votes).  Sounds like a great plan!

Monday, 17 September 2012

All plated up

What a lovely day we had this time.  All good days start with show and tell, and Rosemary kicked us off with her beautiful applique which she had made into a folk art wall hanging.
Paula had made hers into a cushion - I love the green border!  It sets off the blues in the design perfectly.

Kate had blanket stitched round her shapes on a recent journey to New Zealand.  (I was lucky enough to see the fabrics she bought while she was there - delectable!)  She hasn't quite decided what to make it into yet.

And now onto the task in hand.  Everyone enjoyed this easy block and the colours chosen were all gorgeous.  Hazel chose a lovely purple palette and a lilac background.

Martin had some lovely fabrics with sewing equipment on it.

Emily got on swimmingly - was it anything to do with the swish new machine she had had for her birthday?  That certainly helped, but she made a lovely block.

Here is Kate's bright block in progress.  She's going to put all the blocks she's made recently into a sampler quilt.  Great idea!

Here is Emily's completed block.  The orange background really sets if off, and apart from the egg shaped centre (cut out by yours truly!)  it's perfect!

Kate chose a turquoise centre - an ideal foil for the bright colours of the petals.

Look at Sue's fun licorice allsorts fabric!  She sewed her plate down by stitching a quarter of an inch inside the edge of the petals.  What a clever idea, as it emphasises the shape beautifully and is quick and easy!

Martin cut the petals for all his plates at the start of the day, then zoomed along chain-piecing them.  They'll look great on the pink spotty background.

This plate with autumn colours looks stunning - I especially like the checked centre.  People often shy away from checks, but they really can add a folksy touch. 

Betty couldn't join us till lunchtime (lots of important things to do!) but she had already made some Dresden Plates on this quilt for a twin boy.   Betty's needleturned applique is second to none!

I don't know why Sue's examining her block so quizzically - it's lovely.

Pauline chose a delicate palette which looks crisp and fresh.  We auditioned various centres and decided that white was probably the best choice.  She didn't have any, so we'll see the finished result next time.

Rachel isn't afraid of colour, and her bright pink plate will look wonderful on the black background.

 As usual, despite my best efforts, I didn't get photos of all the blocks.  If I've left you out, it isn't personal, just typical of my poor organisation!  Make sure you bring your blocks for show and tell, and I'll be certain to include them next time.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dresden plate

September's class will soon be upon us, so I'll put the requirements for anyone who didn't get them or has lost theirs. For each block you will need a 12.5" square of background fabric, 12 strips for the petals measuring 3.5" by 4.5" and a piece for the centre about 3" square. 

Here is the finished block.  I used scraps, but you could use one colour, two colours or whatever you like!

Here is my completed top.  It measures about 44" square.  I used 70cm of background fabric and half a metre of floral fabric.  The first border is 1.5" cut and the second 4.5" cut.  Can't wait to see the colours you all choose!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Applique experts!

The session started with show and tell - and what a lot there was!  Betty set the tone by showing her sampler using blocks from the last three sessions.  The centre is bargello, each end is made of Scrappy Triangle blocks and the borders are curves.  The controlled colour palette makes it all go together well.  Fantastic!

I thnk this was Betty's too.  She couldn't make the middle match, so cleverly added a strip to match the border.  

This one is Julie's, with the beautiful waterfall colours.
 Rachel used a jelly roll, and has made it into this single bed quilt.  She has wadded it already so is ready to quilt!

Julie brought her curves made into this lovely cushion - beauty and utility combined!
 Debbie finished her bargello and has made another!  The fabrics are very muted and suitable for a baby quilt.  She used a variety of fabrics, including some white satin, which she said was very tricky to work with!  (That's why we like working with 100% cotton!)

Here is the back of the quilt - beautifully crocheted.

Hazel is so innovative, and has made her bargello into a Trip Round the World!  She didn't want it square, so added strips at either end to make it rectangular.  Stunning!

Now for the business of the day.  I showed how to use fusible web and anchor it with a close zigzag.  I encouraged everyone to try the technique (especially innies and corners) by appliqueing a heart.  One or two sensible people made a couple - good to get the technique firmly under your belt!  Julie and Rachel decided that they wanted to make small designs for bag pockets.  Aren't they sweet? 

Kate went for the whole design.  What fabulous colours!  She is off to New Zealand for a holiday this weekend, and has decided to blanket stitch round the edges while on her journey.  Good use of time.

Rosemary has used colours which remind me of spring - very fresh and bright.

Margaret had a Teflon presser sheet and was laying her pieces onto it.  She was kind enough to let everyone have a good look at it, and wish they had one too!  The design was rather complicated, but hopefully will give a good result.

Debbie designed her own design with these lovely hearts and flowers.  Beautiful.

I'm so annoyed with myself that I don't have more photos.  Pauline and Emily chose the basket design and nearly got it completed; Hazel used Laura Ashley fabrics for a claasic look; Sian had background fabric which was hot orange - fabulous; Aimee changed the design to holly leaves, poinsettias and a robin.  Such creative people!  Can't wait for show and tell in September.

Monday, 11 June 2012

July class - applique with fusible web

In July we will tackle applique using fusible web.  This means that the design is stuck onto the background, but as the edges are all raw, and the glue isn't totally permanent, we will need to stitch round the shapes to secure them.  For this class I will teach a close zigzag, so you need to make sure your machine has a zigzag stitch and an appropriate foot.
I have chosen this lovely design from 'Creative Patchwork' as it is very simple, with hardly any points or tricky shapes - just a few so you get the technique.  I know there's quite a lot to it, but believe me, it's very straightforward but looks really impressive when complete.
For this you will need:
1 yard of fusible web. Brands are Heat and Bond or Bondaweb. Make sure you buy the sewable not the ultra. If you can't get any, or aren't sure, I will bring some on the day and you can buy it from me at £3.25 per yard.
A piece of background fabric 16½”square. Make sure this is good quality, as flimsy fabric will pucker when you sew it.
Small amounts of fabric (about 9” square) for leaves and stems, flowers, a bird, a flowerpot.
Threads to closely match the fabrics you have chosen.
A sewing machine with a zigzag stitch, paper and fabric scissors, a pencil and usual sewing kit.
If you have a table ironing board and iron, it would be very useful.

If you are feeling really daunted by the design above, I will include the pattern for this alternative design, a basket of flowers.  This is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, as there are no points or tricky bits at all, just straightforward sewing.  For this you will need half a yard of fusible web (as above), an 11.5" piece of background fabric, again, make sure it's good quality or you will be disappointed.  Then a piece of fabric for your basket about 9" square, five small pieces (say 4" square) of fabric for the flowers, and one or more pieces of green for the leaves. Threads to closely match the fabrics you have chosen, sewing machine, fabric and paper scissors and a pencil..   
See you in July!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Bargellos in progress

On Saturday, the weather was hot and sunny, but everyone was keen to spend the day inside  sewing!  The hall is cold in the winter, and was lovely and cool, especially when the front and back doors were opened.  (The only snag with having all the doors open was that a bird flew in, and spent a while perching on the bunting!  Luckily Debbie caught it and returned it to the fresh air outside.)
We started with show and tell, and Hazel showed this gorgeous Mount Hood quilt she had finished.  She has reversed alternate rows and this creates a fabulous secondary zigzag pattern.  This and the vibrant reds make a stunning quilt. 

Alison brought her Curves quilt from last time.  The colours are muted and subtle - perfect for this technique.   I love the flashes of orange and yellow which set off the blues and greens perfectly.  She is yet to bind it, but this will be in the same dark grey of the border.  It will be ideal.

 And then to work.  Debbie taxed my brain by wanting to make the design to finish as a backing for a pink cot quilt measuring about 14"x18".  We decided that 5 rows of 2" squares would do the trick.
 Hazel had all her strips organised - all different shades of blue.
 Sian and Aimee got straight to work - no slackers here!
 Alison spent ages cutting, cutting, cutting, so that all her strips were ready and organised.  Wish I could do that, instead of leaping straight in!  Emily had a limited number of fabrics, but she had one gorgeous one with babushkas on it, which she'd brought back from Russia.  That's the mark of a true textile fanatic, bringing fabric back as a holiday souvenir!  Kate has had a rather hectic time recently, so hadn't managed to get suitable fabrics.  This meant she was happy to use Project Linus fabrics, which will eventually be made up into a quilt for a child in need of a hug.  Way to go, Kate!
 The table at the back were very well behaved.  Liz and Betty sewed and sewed, and Rachel and friend decided to sew strips across the width of the fabric, rather than cutting shrter strips.  Luckily Rachel's Maths skills are better than mine and she was able to calculate how to cut these strips to make the same kind of result.  I'm looking forward to seeing the quilt.
 June was cutting some 4" strips down (she'll have plenty of 1.5" strips for another project) and Margaret very sensibly decided that she didn't want to start another quilt (I wish I was as sensible!) and was finishing her scrappy triangles quilt.  Paula and Rosemary were very hard-working, and I think Rosemary won the prize for most strips joined - two sections finished!
 Here is Debbie's little top finished. I was relieved that it came up to the required measurements!
 Here is Liz's completed panel - like a cool waterfall!
 Kate is putting the last row on hers.  Lots of interesting feature fabrics in this quilt.
I think this is paula's strip, but am not 100% sure.  In any event it's lovely and bright and cheerful, and will make a wonderful quilt.  I can't wait to see the finished quilts, and hope to see some in tje next class in July.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Scrappy bargello

May's class is Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy bargello, a dream of a quilt, which nearly everyone I know has fallen in love with, even people who don't like scrappy quilts. 

This is my version of it, and you can see what a dramatic quilt it is, with a strong zigzag design.  To make a 48" x 48" top you will need 96 strips measuring 2.5" x 16".  The more variety you have in fabrics the better.  If you don't have variety I'm happy to swap strips with you on the day.  This is a chance to use up any ugly fabrics you have, those 'bargain' fabrics you can't remember why you bought, but try and balance them with nice/bright fabrics, so it's not all horrid.  You will need the equivalent of 12 fat quarters.  (If you want to make it bigger, bring more fabric!)
If you really can't face scrappy, buy three quarters of a metre of five fabrics: this can be yardage or fat quarters.  Have a good range of shades, from dark to light for a good result.  Each fabric will need to be cut into 20 strips measuring 2.5" by 16".

Just to inspire you, here is another version of the same design, which makes a Scrappy Trip Round the World.  Looking good!  Have a look on Bonnie's site for more inspiration.
Also, some people wanted to see how to do quilt as you go, so if you can bring a couple of 'sandwiches' (6" squares wadded, backed and quilted), a strip of fabric 1.5" x 6" and one 1" x 6", then you can do it on the day and have a visible reminder of the technique.