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Saturday
Mar162013

Winter Pineapple Warmer 2

I am very pleased with myself. Why? Because the first of my UFOs has been completed to the quilting stage and I am delighted to have worked through the week to put smashing,and borders on it. This quilt is destined to be a workhorse. By that I mean that it is to be used to keep people warm in the chill of winter and not a work of art to be admired and cherished.

I intend to use Perle thread No 2 to hand quilt and have yet to design the quilting pattern but that will be so ething to be done in the next few days. Hopefully I shall be able to work on this through the next couple of months until it is completed. I am using 100% cotton as a wadding. It is easy to hand quilt and will not give much loft which with flannel is better I think.

The next quilt to be pieced is the Kaffe Fasset one which will be a wall hanging. Exciting!

 

 

Sunday
Mar102013

Winter pineapple warmer

Since starting these blocks at Stitchtopia I have worked to complete them so that I can cross off at least one of the WIPs in my pile!  The blocks are Exploding Pineapple blocks as taught by Karin Hellaby and made of Flannel. They use fabrics from the Christmas Spirit range and my intention when making them was to produce a genuinely warm quilt which would allow some of my older visitors to feel a little more of the Christmas cheer.  I didn't want anything which was too overtly Christmas as the cold season can go on for a lot longer than the couple of weeks which we really celebrate, so I have kept it rather subdued.

I am now debating about how to bring it all together.  I have tan fabric and will do sashing with red cornerstones. I want to make a border of the off-cuts and am thinking half square triangles of tan and the various fabrics.  Any thoughts?

We had a great day yesterday.  Cherry and Jackie came for the day and there was a hive of activity in the studio.  Jackie is doing battle with an apple-core quilt - rather her than me!!!! - Cherry was doing battle with jumbo decorative cord and a cushion for Mothers Day. I sorted stash and did helpful things like make lists of outstanding projects. 

I am hoping to have this quilt top finished before the end of the week.  Let's see if I make it!

Thursday
Mar072013

Committed to Cloth

I am feeling a little bereft. I SHOULD have been at C2C today but because of the foot I am confined to quarters! Today they are overdyeing the fabrics we dyed last month. I sent mine to the barn and they have been over dyed for me. Leslie and Claire have kindly organised an extra day in April for me to catch up with the work I have missed so it will be a busy month next month while I try to do the normal visit and then the extra one too. The journey takes almost 2 hours each way, so it is a long day. But the processes are fascinating and I am intending to try to talk more about my thoughts in the creative processes of the work which I am doing rather than just showing finished blocks or finished items.  I think it will be helpful to try and record my thought processes about the decisions which I am making and how I arrive at the final outcome.

 

Back again soon.

Thursday
Mar072013

Studio finished and ready to roll

The building of my studio has been a real joy.  The company I used to build it - The Cottage Workshop - were a joy to have on-site and worked in all weathers.  The finished article is lovely and almost ready.  I did a quick trip to Ikea last week to buy storage but my recent hospital trip has mean that I can't return and buy more as I can't drive till the end of the month.

Anyway, here are a few photos of the studio in all its glory.

It really is a good size room.  The ceiling is not full height which would be a problem if you are over 6 foot but I am not so it doesn't make any difference to me.

I intend to buy more of these lovely storage units to house stash and projects. They are prefect for a quilter!

So I'm off to quilt, knit and chill! (By the way it is centrally heated so no real chill!!!)

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Mar072013

Oops - loads to catch up on

Well, I have been very poor at keeping up to date with this given that I actually have loads to share. However as I am now sitting with my foot elevated and unable to drive, I am forced into facing all the unfinished tasks which I need to complete and my blog comes high on that list.

So the first thing for me to do is to give you some feed-back about Stitchtopia.  What a great event! It is held at Wyboston Lakes near Milton Keynes and the setting is just perfect for the activities which Stitchtopia offers.  The event intself started on Monday lunchtime and finished on Thursday lunchtime and throughout those times, we were offered a selection of classes which included stitching, quilting, knitting and crocheting.  As the event was sponsored by Rowan yarns, some of the top names in knitting and crocheting were there and on the quilting side we had Janice Gunner and Karin Hellaby.

I decided to take classes entirely in quilting.  Most of them were led by Karin Hellaby and it was fun to explore various blocks or techniques which I had already met but to find different ways of doing them.

My first class was "Exploding Pineapples" - an interesting concept(!).  I had decided to make these blocks in flannel and use Christmas fabrics to that I would have a lap quilt which could be brought out at Christmas and provide a bit of extra warmth if required.

They are quite dark with the chocolate inserts but with a bright coloured sashing and cornerstones, I think they could look good.

Here is a photo of the same block in bright coloured fabric which has been fussy-cut.

I would like to credit the lady who made it but I don't have a note of her name but I think it shows the variety of what can be achieved.

 

I also started to make a very interesting Mariners Compass which does not use protractors or any specialist equipment to produce it. I have only completed the first half of the block as it is time-consuming and it will be completed and used - possibly to make a tote bag with!

I am very pleased with how fine the points are and can see lots of potential for developing this on.

Every evening we were given either a talk - from Rowan one evening and Kaffe Fassett on another - or even a fashion show of the new garments in the latest Rowan Magazine. All very inspiring.

I spent a whole day with Kaffee Fassett working with colour and now have the beginnings of a wall-hanging to complete. I loved the day.  No talking from me, just head down and concentrating - such a lovely way to work.  As always Kaffe gave a great round-up of the quilts produced.  We were lucky to be given vouchers for £36 to use for the work and the lovely Lady Sew and Sew on hand with a great selection of fabrics which we could choose from to aplify our own stash which we had brought with us.

Here is my wall hanging which remains to be stitched together to make a wall hanging for my new studio - more of which later.

I think it will bring the much needed colour which I want into the room and also inspire me when I am working on other things.

It was an excellent event.  I was very drawn to the knitting and when the event takes places next year I shall undoubtedly spread my wings a little and do a class or two on knitting.  Debbie Abrahams and Jane Crowfoot were both teaching classes and I love their work.  It was strange to go to the coffee areas and find hoards of ladies all clicking away with their needles and I have to say that some of the scarves/shawls that were worn were stunning.  I have started knitting a lovely jacket because I can't get around much and knitting fills the time when a trip to the sewing machine is a little more than I can manage.

It is certainly keeping me on my toes as reading that chart is a challenge!