Monday 26 September 2016

Bloggers' Quilt Festival: Anemones

Every year I really love working my way through all the entries in the festival which Amy puts so much work into.  As usual there are many beautiful quilts on show here and some amazing talent.   I hadn't planned on entering anything this year but I love Amy's encouragement that "Whatever you do, don't let the beauty of what someone else has created keep you from sharing your own project" so now at the last minute I'm entering this in the Art Quilt category.

There seems to be a number of different opinions on what an art quilt is - does anyone agree?! - and I hope that this qualifies simply by not being abstract and/or geometrical.  This quilt was made for the blogging quilt group Four in Art - we post quilts quarterly which we have made to a theme chosen by members. The theme for the quarter in which I made this quilt was 'purple passion' and was part of this year's concentration on the wider theme of 'colour'.  I chose to make a quilt representing anemones in shot cottons in the red/blue/purple spectrum.

The background is made of tiny pieces of different low volume fabrics quilted into place with close lines, the jug is pieced, and the anemones and leaves are appliqued.

The centres and stamens of the flowers are embroidered with french knots.

If you want to, you can read more about this quilt (and see more pictures) here.

I'm grateful that we have this chance to join in and to visit and enjoy so many different makers' works. Thank you Amy!

Stitch Gathering: Warning - long post with an overload of superlatives

Yesterday was spent at Stitch Gathering. As usual Jo Avery and her helpers made it a fantastic day.

It started with handing in our 'tickets'.  Each year, the 'ticket' has actually been a project to complete and bring along with you - for example one year it was a tote bag to be decorated and given to a partner.  This year it involved taking some special fancy Stitch Gathering fabric which Jo had had printed and using it in a 12.5 inch block showing your ideal house.   Kind volunteers are taking these blocks home to make quilts for the charity Siblings Together.  There were some absolute beauties, some of which you can see here

My ideal house is probably a late Georgian rectory with a walled kitchen garden, preferably in a nice village with a friendly pub, but that was a bit ambitious for a 12.5 inch block so my second choice would be a little timber framed Tudor cottage.  So here is my block complete with cat waiting to be let in.  It was fun improvising the wonky beams.

I posted a couple of rather scruffy pictures of it on Instagram but this is it after the POWER OF STARCH.  I have never used starch before and now I am an instant convert, even though I suspect inhaling it can't be good for you.

Next up was the optional name-tag swap, for a secret partner.

I made it for Kim @kmj_creations who brought along her stunning Passacaglia work in progress for show and tell.  I had a lot of fun making this, and put a little pocket on the back to keep safe scissors and seam ripper, because these are things I always lose under piles of scraps when I'm sewing.

Here is my nametag I received from Catriona @cat2832 .  Catherine is a long name to fit on a name tag and this was such an original and ingenious way to handle it.  It got so much admiration decorating my bosom from one side to the other with its rainbow gorgeousness.  I really love it!  This is its temporary home on the Stitch Gathering goody bag but as soon as I tidy my shelves it is going to hang over my sewing table.

My morning class was in learning to draft patterns for paper piecing with Juliet @Tartankiwi who brought along some of her amazing quilts to inspire us.  It was such a pleasure to meet her - she is a great teacher and her work is just amazing.

Three works by @Tartankiwi, and my attempt to draft a bird pattern

At lunch we found our partners for the optional potholder swap. This is the one I made for my partner.

and her is the one I received from Sarah, with its great vintage cutlery and kitchen implements, which is just in my taste!  It was so nice chatting away with Sarah I forgot to ask her if she is on social media so if anyone knows how to find her please let me know.

In the afternoon I joined @trudi_wood for a class on free-motion quilting.  I'm too ashamed to show you my disastrous efforts but she was lovely and made the class a lot of fun and it has really inspired me to want to be more adventurous in quilting.

And finally, here's the awesome goody bag we received!

Thank you generous sponsors @aurifilthread and @dmccreativeworld (lovely thread), @mybearpaw (beads), @dearstellafab @michaelmillerfabrics @cloud9fabrics @blendfabrics @windhamfabrics (enviable collection of fabric), @duckeggthreads (lovely Liberty scraps), @lovequiltingmag (quilty porn) and @nairnsoatcakes (sustenance)!

By the end of the day I was completely knackered but I had a great time and it was so nice to get the chance to meet blogging and instagram people in the flesh. Thanks Jo Avery and her helpers and the teachers who made Stitch Gathering 2016 so much fun.


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