Sunday, 17 January 2016

A change in circumstance

It has been a while since I last  updated my blog. This was not intentional, there has just been some major changes in my life.
I have separated from my husband early in November,after 27 years together, very unexpectedly, and we are now getting a divorce. Things are very complicated and has affected my health and well being. I am not able to quilt at the moment although I have managed to do some sewing (some less successful than others) and even a bit of painting. I am hoping to get my desire to quilt back and will keep updating my blog if and when I am able to.

These are some of my projects I have been working on in the last 2 weeks:

"Lords and their ladies"
I had done all the blocks before my trip to Houston and just needed to sew them together. I had planned which order they were going to be, but made a mistake somewhere, I have not yet figured out where, but decided to leave it as is. More colour will be introduced during the quilting stage. I have used Oakshott fabrics and a fabric called "Mugungalyi - Circle" by Nutex, which I had bought in Cairns in April, when I visited my son. The design is my own. I have found a pattern for Curved Nine patch blocks and used the Quick Curved Ruler to achieve this. I then added some appliqu├ęs to the "ladies" blocks to make them more pretty (note there are many more ladies than lords!) and added some 3D corner blocks, which will be curved back once I get round to it.

Quilt for name yet
Marike had chosen the colours that she would like me to use in her quilt and I had chosen the design. All of the fabrics were bought in Houston and I have decided to personalise some of the fabrics for her. So, I have used a Thermofax screen to add a bicycle motif to some of the blocks. The intention is to get her to write a piece in Latin in her own handwriting, I will then have a Thermofax screen made up with this, and this will be added to the remaining blocks.

My hexies quilt
I have not really done any work on this since the summer, but as I now have so much free time in the evenings, I have taken it up again. I still have many many more hexies to sew together, so far I have done approximately 1300. Each hex is only 1/2" so to get to the size I want, I will need approximately 12000. I am patient.

I have taken some classes using Tsukineko inks when abroad and wanted to try it, before I forgot how to do it. I needed something that would keep me busy when I was not able to sew and hoped that this will take care of a few days. In the event, the whole picture only took 3 days to sketch out and paint. I guess I will just have to make some more or do some larger pictures. It will eventually be quilted, maybe even thread painted. I enjoyed the process enormously and can see that I will be doing many more in the future.
The outline is drawn with pencil onto paper backed fabric and I have then used the Tsukineko inks with Fantastix's to fill in with colour. The paint dry really quickly, so on large areas you have to work really quickly in order to avoid getting 'water' lines. Of course, when filling in smaller areas and wanting to work with lots of colours, it is a huge advantage that the ink dries so quickly.

I had some good news yesterday. I had made a quilt for the "Moving On" challenge for the Quilter's Guild exhibition at the Knit & Stitch show in Olympia, London, and was told yesterday that my quilt "When purple is the favourite no more" has been accepted for the exhibition. It was the last quilt I had made before my trip to Houston, I am so pleased that I had finished it as I would not have been able to finish it now. I cannot post photos of this yet, I hope to do so once the show is on, between 3rd March and 6th March.  Here is a small teaser though:

I can not promise to be any more regular in my updates, too many things need sorting out in my life. All I can say is that I turned to quilting 16 years ago after a great tragedy in my life. It has seen me through then. I know that if I can overcome the current block, that it will become my therapy again. And I need that, so I do hope I can come back to it.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

International Quilt Festival, Houston 2015

I meant to post this as soon as I got back from Houston.  Unfortunately I never got around to posting them due to events that happened just after I uploaded these photos. I am sorry they are so long after the event, but hope that you will enjoy them nonetheless. I am sorry I have no captions to the photos, if you know whose they are and would like me to add the details, please contact me and I will be very happy to do so. I did take a note of all the quilt names and makers, but unfortunately these were lost in my recent house move.

Quilt Festival
This was my second year at Houston and it was a great feeling knowing what to expect and how it all works. I was a bit worried when I saw some photos posted on the internet about the roadworks just outside the exhibition hall and then read the instructions for parking! Lots of people saying they are glad they are not going this year and flood warnings. Torrential rain as a result of hurricane Patricia. But the weather was fine and the flight on time. Not joking though! I had to stand in a queue for over an hour and a half to get through immigration and then in another queue to get through customs! Really???? And then another half-hour before my shuttle turned up!

I had signed up for classes from 9am to 5pm every day from Monday to Saturday, which left me with shopping opportunities in my lunch break every day from 12 to 2pm and again from 5pm to 7pm. On Wednesday night, there was preview night and the vendors remained open until 10pm. I had planned not to do any classes on the Sunday, so that I could at my leisure look at all the quilts on display and then go back to take photos of all the quilts that I liked. This worked perfectly and I actually had time to go look around the vendor's stalls for one more time late Sunday afternoon. By then I could not have fitted anything else in my cases though, so shopping was minimal.
Despite so little time free, I met up with lots of friends and had some lovely meals with some of them. I did not get to see all my friends, but I do hope if I have not met up with you at Houston, that I will see you again in next year for a catch up.

I loved all my classes, I did thread painting with Nancy Prince, Woven watercolours with Pam Holland, ink painting and ink techniques with Judy Coates Perez and paper pieced pojagi with Katrina Walker, but I am not posting these on this post. In stead I am posting photos of some of the wonderful quilts I have seen this year at Houston. There is no way I can post every photo I took, so I am just posting the ones I liked the most. I do hope if you could not get to Houston, that you will enjoy the photos or if you did go, that the photos will be a good reminder of the quilts on display this year. In no particular order:

Magna Carta quilts on display in Houston