Blogs I follow

Working on through

I am trying to be self-disciplined and keep up to date with my blog and also to master the new technology (to me!) that is Apple.  There is a lot to like about it all. I have taken a photo of my on-going project which was a result of taking a class with Jan Hassard at the Festival of Quilts.  She is a fantastic teacher - well prepared, generous of her time to each and everyone of her students and always keen to find positives in everything.

Here then is my effort as it is nearing the end of being quilted:

(Please click on the Thumbnail to see a larger photo - still working on some skills!!)


I have learnt a lot of things from doing it.  The main one being about sewing in the ends of the quilting threads.  I did not think too much about it when I started but as each bar has three lines of quilting (both with a start and a finish!) i soon ended up with thousands of ends which needed sewing in - and that was after only the first row of blocks had been quilted!  So I broke the rules and started and ended each line of quilting with the knot that Bernina's create when asked to.  I do know that it isn't a perfect solution but decided that as it is to be hung on a wall, it will not be scrutinized too carefully and also it will not be subjected to stressed as a normal quilt would. My hands have arthritis in them and I find threading needles difficult.  However, I have now discovered self-threading needles! (Yay!!) and also bought new glasses.  Life has improved significantly.

Still much to be done but I think I have broken the back of it all.



Days of sewing and learning

I am just over half-way through my week's retreat in the lovely Somerset countryside although it is true to say that I am seeing very little of it!  My days are spent happily toiling over my sewing machine and  learning new techniques as well as pushing through with a couple of projects which have been lingering for some time.

We are being taught by Dawn Cameron Dick.  It has been a great few days as I am happily sewing away independently on many occasions as my fellow students are very new to quilting and are learning techniques while I want to get on with work which I often don't make time for.  However, yesterday I was full-on in learning modes while we learnt from Dawn about Invisible Machine Applique.  Dawn created this technique to try to provide a way of creating the appearance of hand-turned applique without having satin stitches or blanket stitches around the pieces being appliqued - and very successful it is too!

Funnily enough I am making an appliqued Christmas quilt as part of the on-going work and I am using machine blanket stitch around the pieces as I wanted a slightly more rustic look but in future, I think I shall use the technique I was taught yesterday.

Here is a picture of what can be achieved with the technique.  Click on this link to take you to Dawn's website for more information and projects using IMA

What I am really enjoying is the focus on accuracy of stitching and qualilty of workmanship.  It is something I think I have missed a little and it really is inspiring to see what can be achieved with time and effort.

Sadly tomorrow is the last day but I shall return home with lots of ideas about what to make and how.


Pencils, sketchbooks and downloads

Today the first Module of Creative Sketchbooks arrived.  It is beautifully presented with lots of videos embedded into the instructions and some really good hints and tips for the numpties such as me who have no confidence in drawing.  It isn't a good day to start.  I have a cold, am packing for a retreat and have lost my umph!  Singing for two hours with a sore throat is not a good thing to do!

But my hopes are high. I have several tasks to complete and tomorrow, weather permitting I am going to go outside with my camera and take some photos of my house ready to start my book. I also need to pack food, quilting projects and supplies, clothes and of course, my sewing machines.


Look what arrived today!


Looks like I am almost up and rrunning. Hooray!


The Final Piece in the Plan

This morning I booked the a course for two days in April with the wonderful Stephanie Redfern. Stephanie won the Festival of Quilts 2012 with her quilted and embroidered book Stone Bird. Her work is very ethereal in its presentation and drawns from her experience as a ceramicist. I adore it so much that I have three of her pieces at home - two of which she made for me and which, each day, I look at and love.

The course focuses on sketchbooks and painting on fabric then quilting and embellishing it. Together with the sketchbook course which I am about to start with Design Matters, I hope to develop my confidence in using sketchbooks to move my quilting forward.

Finally I am hoping to book a place on the Ineke Berlyn Summer School in August. This is about sketchbooks as well and also develops the work into Journal Quilts.

What a lovely year in prospect. I shall enjoy the commitment and also the lack of exam presence!

Here for you to enjoy is a picture of one of my lovely pieces by Stephanie Redfern.



Midnight Frost


Morning Frost