Friday, 15 May 2015

February, March, April and May all thrown into one!

Honestly, I do try to update my blog at least once a month! So what happened over the last 4 months?

Whistler: Fire and Ice
I finished all the quilting on Whistler, it took a while as every time I thought I had finished, I spotted another quilting opportunity. I have loved quilting Whistler and really did not want to stop. I was so sad when finally it came off the frame but I knew it was time to do another one.
I have entered Whistler into Malvern, Quilts UK and have just heard the news that I have won awards for longarm machine quilting, piecing (YAY!!!) as well as winner of bedquilts category. It is also overall runner up! I feel so honoured, having seen photos of some of the other quilts.

Whistler: Fire and Ice
Work in progress: detail of flying geese

Detail of feathered border

Swarovski crystals added

Back of Whistler: Fire and Ice

When rainbows dance

I have also finished piecing my Jack's Chain quilt and has named it When Rainbows Dance. The quilting on this one took forever!  Now that it is finished, I can spot loads of different ways that I could have quilted it, none of which would have been so repetitive and would have given a  more pleasing result, but I am happy with the overall finish. I have entered When Rainbows Dance into the theme category at Malvern Quilts UK,  A Symphony of Colour and it has won!
 By the response I have received on my Facebook page, most people prefer this quilt to Whistler. From the results at Malvern, I can only assume that the judges agreed with my view that Whistler was better executed. I have used hand dyed fabrics for all the 1" squares as well as for the 1/2" hexagons, which I have bought from Farne Designs at Malvern last year.  The design of When Rainbows Dance is called Jack's Chain and the designer is not known. I have used a pattern by Lessa Siegele from Australia known as Ring Cycles for my version but substituted the appliquéd flowers with my little hexagons.

When rainbows dance

Detail of border and quilting designs

The trophies for 'Whistler:Fire and Ice' and 'When rainbows dance' 

 Maddy's retirement quilt
I have not been able to post anything here before because it was supposed to be a total surprise for Maddy. Maddy retired recently after many years working with British Patchwork and Quilting Tours and Magazine and lots of friends have all made her a surprise quilt, which I was honoured to quilt for her. This was presented to Maddy at the end of February at a lovely lunch in Pershore.

Maddy's quilt

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Two quilts for Una
Una is just the most amazing piecer I have ever come across. Her work is just outstanding! I have quilted two of Una's quilts recently, the first one made from tiny little Liberty prints and the second a log cabin. The next one is an appliqué quilt and I am already planning the designs.

Una's Liberty Prints quilt

Una's log cabin

Detail of Una's log cabin quilt

In April, I visited my son in Cairns in Australia with my youngest daughter and did some pretty amazing things, although I drew the line at going on a night time walk in the forest looking for snakes in the pitch dark! Son thinks I am a total wimp but I think I was pretty brave doing the day time walks in the forest! Of course I had to visit Kay's Fabric Shop in Cairns where, after buying some lovely Australian fabrics, I was presented with a special T-shirt. A delightful shop and I will be making return visits on my next trip!

Later on in April, I did a workshop with Hilde van Schaardenburg. This is a totally new venture for me, not having done much art quilting. My piece is unfinished at the moment, but I will post a photo as soon as it is done.

Then, on to Salt Lake City for HMQS, where I have signed up to do classes from 8am every day to 10pm every night, with just enough time between classes to have a quick snack. I did leave Saturday afternoon free though, to see all the wonderful quilts in the show and support some of the vendors and had a lovely evening with friends in The Cheesecake Factory. I also met up with a friend that I met 3 years ago at a Handiquilter Academy and we spent time together shopping, lunching,  talking and having lots of fun. Then made some new friends too! Major issues with my phone and internet, so will have to sort this out before I next travel!

I did classes with Laurie Tigner, Claudia Pfeil, Judy Woodworth, Karen Sievert, Lisa Calle, Judi Madsen, Dustin Farrell, Linda Taylor, Suzanne Hyland and Bobbie Bergquist and watched a trunk show and talk by Angela Walters and came home with so many new ideas. I might even get time to execute some of these ideas in the next few months, keeping all my fingers crossed.

Gabi's quilt

I had promised to post a photo of Gabi's quilt when it is finished, she has taken it to school with her, but I am going to need to borrow it back as I have entered it into National Quilt Championship in Sandown in June in the theme category "Learn, create, inspire"

Gabi's Quilt
Some close ups of Gabi's quilt:


Just for fun, I have changed my ruler foot for a couching foot and did a bit of doodling in wool. I have never used up a ball of wool so quick! Note to self... buy more than what you think you need next time!

Just for fun


This was pieced from Jinny Beyer strip pieces, I was hoping to get it quilted before my trip to Australia, but this will have to wait a little while longer

The Trouble with Magenta, Hot Or Not
I have started designing my first wholecloth quilt with the intention of entering it into Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August and finally finished it last night. I have used Robert Kaufman's Radiance fabrics and tried to use as many rulers as I can.

Design for Magenta

"The trouble with magenta, hot or not"

Detail of "The trouble with magenta, hot or not"

Radiance Challenge 2015

My sketch for the Radiance challenge this year. My fabrics are chosen, I just need to buy my threads at Malvern and then I can hopefully start stitching it out next week.

Design for Radiance Challenge 2015

I did my first "talk" to a group of lovely quilters in Farnham, made it just in time as my flight from Salt Lake City was delayed. On the plus side, that gave me something other than the talk to worry about. I now have a few more "talks" booked and am really looking forward to meeting some more quilting ladies. 

I am off to Malvern tomorrow morning, where I am meeting up with some quilting friends. What goodies will I come home with?