Sunday, 7 February 2016

BLOG 286

BLOG 286

Another marathon ironing and cutting session produced an empty basket and fuller bags of strips, graded according to value. I just can’t explain how therapeutic this process was. These scraps have been accumulating in the drawer for years and to have made them into something useable now is like getting something for nothing! (In a small way, this may have been akin to how the early quilters felt, making a quilt from left over scraps!) But I jump the gun; the scraps have yet to be made into a quilt so there is more hard work ahead!

                 Empty basket

            Discarded bits

I settled at the sewing machine with a bag on my lap and a pile of 7” squares of wadding. I string-pieced the strips straight onto the wadding using a sew-and-flip method.

             String piecing

On the cutting board, I reduced the squares to 6 ½”.

            The squares

I wasn’t fussy about the strips being at right angles to the edge, I wanted them to look haphazard. All I needed was one straight edge per strip; the next strip sewn on tidied up the other edge.

             Building block

I sewed two squares of each value at a time so I had the full range of values to play with. The first decision was to place one square at right angles to the next for the ease of construction.

              Rotated squares

Apart from that I know not where I am going with this project.  On the design wall, I started to play around with placement.

             Darks to light

             Dark to light, light to dark

On Wednesday this week, I will be the Artist in Residence at the Royal Pavilion in Llangollen, 10am to 4pm. I will be demonstrating my free-form method of applique ….. And that reminds me that some preparation needs to be done! …… I look forward perhaps to seeing you there.


Sunday, 31 January 2016

BLOG 285

BLOG 285

Let me get the felting phase out of my system first. A couple of blogs ago, the little house tiles (3-4” square) were waiting some stitch detail. I have completed them now and the black thread work has enhanced them well in my opinion.

           Felted house 1

           Felted house 2

And what did I do with them? First, I stuck them onto smaller pieces of mount board to give them rigidity and then I stuck them onto the bedroom wall above the wooden cladding. They complement the colourful quilt on the bed and the pictures above the bed. I am well satisfied with this project.

               Tiles in situ

 This is what I habitually use to attach light-weight textiles to the wall. It’s a Velcro-like product and it does the job brilliantly!

               Hanging product

I was so taken with the tiles that I made a series of fishy bricks for my daughter. She has my colourful turtle (appliqued onto a black background) on her wall and so I felt that she needed some fish to go with it too.

           Felted fish

 And now, what to do, what to do, what to do? I know that life for me and those around me is always better when I am busy. When I have my head down, I don’t want to move the house 3” to the left (my husband says that I am always looking for projects for him to do!) or go off to the shops aimlessly and spend money or waste time playing Spider Solitaire and Majong on the computer. So I am determined to get stuck into something. Just what, I’m not sure yet.

…. That was a couple of days ago and now I am stuck into something! I pulled out my drawer of discarded bits and I started to sort them out.

           Discarded bits

This led me into an ironing and cutting frenzy, (2 hours of it!) during which time any bits of fabric that would yield strips of any size and length were cut and smaller odds and ends were discarded. Very satisfying for the soul …. As long as you can give yourself permission to throw the smaller bits away and not try to persuade yourself that you are going into miniature quilts eventually! You have to draw the line somewhere.

               Ironing frenzy

Once cut and ironed, the strips were sorted into value bags for convenience: very light, light, medium, medium dark and dark.

            Value bags

                 Wadding off-cuts

All that lengthy time I was doing the ironing and cutting, I was thinking what I could do with the randomly-cut strips of fabric. To that fabric, add a drawer full of wadding off-cuts that also needed using and that adds up to a project. More next time.






Sunday, 24 January 2016

BLOG 284

BLOG 284

Right, brace yourselves for desperate creativity!!!  I needed to do something quickly to enter into an exhibition in the Royal Pavilion in Llangollen as part of QUILTFEST this year. I have known about this for some time but, as I always need the fear of a last minute dash to heighten my creative juices, I have left it to the last minute again.  On exhibition is ‘The Nineties Collection’ from the Quilters’ Guild, a series of quilts (24” square) made by invited quilters commissioned to represent their Region.  I was one of the lucky quilters selected to make one for Region 13 when I was but a few years along my quilting journey. To enhance this show of quilts, the organiser of the exhibition, Val Shields, has invited the makers to produce another quilt of the same size to hang alongside. What to do? What to do? ….. In pictures, starting with the usual tidying of the studio, this is what I did.

          Jan 2nd 2016

            Jan 2nd … A little later

             Fusible onto fabric RS

            Fusible onto fabric WS

             Paper off fabric

           Separating the fabric

              A vase

           Vase onto background

         Dahlia 1

            Dahlia 2

           Dahlia 3

              Sunflower 1

              Sunflower 2

              Sunflower 3

           Sunflower 4


             Flower arranging

              More flowers


             Final arrangement

 Phew!! It is finished today and will be delivered to Val this Tuesday; it is a total contrast to my quilt in the Nineties. I have come a long way! I will be there demonstrating on the first day of the exhibition (Wed 10th 10am to 4pm) so if you are around, drop in for a chat and demo. Here’s all the information that you will need:-

Royal International Pavilion,
Abbey Road, Llangollen
 LL20 8SW

The Nineties Collection. .........
........and More
Exhibition of quilts commissioned from  Quilters' Guild Members working during the nineteen nineties

Wednesday 10th - Sunday 21st February 2016
Open Daily 10am - 4pm
Free entry and free parking
 Museum and Art Gallery, Parade Street, Llangollen LL20 8PW

Wrexham Quilting Circle


Tuesday 2nd February - Tuesday 1st March

Open Daily 10am - 4pm
Free entry
Royal International Pavilion,
Abbey Road, Llangollen
 LL20 8PW

Trading Day

Sunday 14th February
Open  10am - 4pm
Admission £3 - light refreshments available

Click here to see invited Traders




Sunday, 17 January 2016

BLOG 283

BLOG 283


Amaryllis wars: Finale

            Me: The Uglyrilluses, the morning after the Ball

             Gwenda: Cinderyllis horizontalus: the morning after the Ball

                  Gwenda: Cinderyllis’s shameful moment of realisation

              Gwenda: Conception!

            Me: Uglyrillus auditions for Sound of Music

               Gwenda: Cinderyllis gives herself an up-do

                Gwenda: Cinderyllis gives the baby a dummy

                Gwenda: Cinderyllis decides to go back to the balls …. And they all lived happily ever after!

               The faces of R Maryllis 1: I’m here, I’ve arrived!

               Me: 2 Appreciate my ‘in your face’ beauty

             Me: 3 it’s soon over. Just be your own kind of beautiful …. And live happily ever after!

And now we have got that madness out of our system, I will start to share my latest creative endeavours with you all again, which is essentially what this blog is all about. At Suzette’s a couple of weeks ago, I started to mash woollen fibres together with my embellisher. I so enjoyed making the robin tiles for my special Christmas cards that I wanted to make more tiles, this time with colourful houses on, to go alongside some more bird ones. I started with a wide selection of colours and just played, making them roughly 4” square.

                 A palette of fibres

                  A colourful start

              A quirky house

               Tiles awaiting stitch detail.