Sunday, 26 June 2016

BLOG 305


BLOG 305
I have just got back from a weekend away so this will be a rapid blog. This weekend has been my sister’s Golden Wedding Anniversary so a super family gathering and a ‘Do’ was organised. Here’s what I found when I got back; Willow had made herself at home on my new table runner. Is that disrespect or what?!

 
              Sitting comfortably

 For an original gift for this wedding anniversary, I sprayed a box with gold paint.

             Gold box

I used rainbow colours to line the interior of the box.

                    Interior

I then sprayed a small pottery vase with gold paint.

                Golden pot

The pot was filled with £50 in one pound coins. Chocolate coins and Ferrero Roche chocolates were used to top up the pot and fill the box. It was labelled as Gwyn and Pete’s pot of gold.

                 Chocolate coins

I always like to make a card too and this one utilised the decorative stitches on my sewing machine. I sewed through a layer of fabric and wadding, trimmed the edge with a pinked rotary cutter and stuck it on a piece of card.

                 Card
I haven’t been idle after the Gresford show as I have to have a project on the go. Here is a sneak preview.

                Untitled as yet

Sunday, 19 June 2016

BLOG 304


BLOG 304
What a difference a week makes. The Gresford exhibition has been and gone and such a lot of effort was invested in it by so many different people. It took us most of Monday to put up the exhibition carefully and thoughtfully but it took all of half an hour to take it down! I am responsible for hanging the quilts and this is an important job because it is the quilts that fill the vertical space inside the church; without them the space would look bare. So it is with apprehension that I observe the quilts arriving, hoping that there will be sufficient to hang on the 8 sets of frames. I needn’t have worried as sufficient quilts, large and small, were handed in. Here are my exhibits in situ.



         Whirligig quilt

            Sunshine and Shadow quilt

              Multi-coloured Dream quilt

                 Thread flowers

              Table runner

                 General view

               Xmas display

               More quilts 1

               More quilts 2

I put a price on my Multi-coloured Dream quilt and the Sunshine and Shadow quilt and I am delighted to say that I sold them both. This was bitter/sweet in many ways as I loved both of these quilts. I actually had to physically restrain myself from starting another Multi-coloured Dream quilt as soon as I got home. I rarely make the same quilt twice so I will just have to find another way of using my colourful fabrics; that will be a joy to come.

Once the exhibition was put up there was a big gap in my life, the calm after the creative storm so to speak so I turned to my Brusho paints which I have had for 3 years and started to play with them. These paints are small tubs of powdered watercolour pigment and I started by finding out how to use them. I first prepared a chart of all the individual colours, and then I tried two different experiments: I sprinkled the paint onto paper and then sprayed water across the page and then I wetted the paper and sprinkled the paint across it. The colours were amazing. I can see lots of scope here!

              Brusho

           Palette

                 Sprinkle and wet

I will be able to give a fuller report on the success of Gresford next week when we find out what moneys we have raised for our nominated charities.


           Wet and sprinkle

               Masking on paper

            Masking on fabric

               Sprinkling onto wet fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

BLOG 303


BLOG 303
These last few days all my energies have been directed towards finishing off my exhibits for the Gresford show which opens on Tuesday. And here are the finished ones.

              Sunflowers

                  Tessellated lap quilt

                Tessellated single qult

                   Sunshine and Shadow

                Multi-coloured dream quilt

             Thread flowers
Can you guess which the odd one out is on this pile?

              The pile

What I need to get on with now is the long table runner. Made out of synthetics, pattern and detail has been sewn with black cotton thread and is now in need of some rapid soldering! This is a very satisfying thing to do, smelly though and for safety reasons, I wear a mask and work in short doses. It is not yet finished but it will be by tomorrow. Here is some progress.

                Designs in cotton thread

                 Soldering detail
My blog next week will show my exhibits in the church. If you are able to come to the exhibition it will be well worth it. We can promise you lots of colour and plenty of inspiration. With refreshments, a plants stall, Tombola, crafts sales stall and Dot Sherlock of Quilter’s Needs, what more could a girl want? Why, the Wrexham quilting circle exhibition of course and the Malpas Fabric art and Penrhos needlelace and a sugar craft display: they will all be there! Put ‘Gresford Craft Group’ into your search bar and when you get to the home page, click on Exhibition 2016. You will find all the information that you need there. Come and say hello and help us raise lots of money for local charities.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

BLOG 302

BLOG 302

Gresford quilt show is at the very top of my list now and I need to get quilts finished this week and the display items ready. My list reads as follows:
Dilys’s multi-coloured dream quilt (finished and needs sleeve)

Whirligig quilt (now quilted by cheque book, needs collecting, binding and a sleeve)
Sunshine and Shadow (constructed, needs double binding and sleeve)

Lap quilt (finished and needs sleeve)
Thread flower hanging (needs hanging arrangement)

Table runner(barely started! Gulp)

No pressure there then, especially as we are having an overnight stay this week with friends in Abersoch and there is some child-minding at the end of the week. Panic aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

For sewing the seams by hand on the back, I like to work on a lap tray. It takes the weight of the quilt evenly across my lap and by re-arranging the beads in the cushion, it can be set at an angle to suit my sewing style.


                 Lap tray

             Seam detail

After many hours in front of the TV (what a lot of mindless programmes there are!) I have managed to complete the quilt and the best part of this method is that I don’t have to quilt it. That has already been done, hence the name ‘quilt-as--you-go method.

             Front

             Back

As it is a reversible quilt, I wanted to make the binding compatible with each of the quilt sides so I used both of the joining fabrics to make it. I cut a 1” strips for the front and a 1¼”” strip for the back and joined them together along their length.

.              Dual binding

The front binding was sewn onto the RS of the quilt with a ¼” seam.

                Seam allowance

The mitred corners were sewn in the same way as normal by making a tuck on the corner.

                 Mitred corner

The binding is pressed to that the seam that joins both fabrics lies along the very edge of the quilt. The back strip is folded and hand sewn onto the back. The corners will have a mitre on both sides. And that reminds me that I need to go and sew them!!!!!

                Front mitre

               Back mitre

 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

BLOG 301


BLOG 301
SUNSHINE AND SHADOW

When it is sunny outside, it is very difficult to concentrate the mind on indoor pursuits; that then is why we have evenings! So after our evening meal, I scurry up to my room and slump in front of my machine to sew the many seams that make up a quilt. Gresford is the main focus now and there is a lot of slog between now and then. I have optimistically entered this Sunshine and Shadow scrap quilt so I have to get on with it. This is what it looks like with the squares for almost 9 rows on the design wall. Squares in the middle section only have been joined together.

                Scrap quilt

I use the floor an awful lot whilst sewing. Here my threads land after I have cut them (I can’t think why I don’t place my litter bin there; it would save an awful lot of clearing up!!), and I pile my blocks there for ease of access. (Note for the exercise conscious readers: picking them up requires plenty of reaching, bending and stretching!!)

              Making rows

I need to construct the rows by joining the ready-quilted squares and this I do with 2 strips. I have covered this procedure before but it always worth a second mention. The squares are 6 ½” so the strips are cut to this length. The top strip measure 1” x 6 ½” and the back strip measures 1 ½” x 6 ½”.

                  Top and bottom joining strips

Place the front joining strip RS together on the lower edge of the square and, at the same time, place the back joining strip RS together along the same edge on the back.

                Sewing the joining strips

              Detail

Use a ¼” foot to sew an accurate ¼” seam to attach the strips through all the layers.

             Seam
Attach the next square in sequence to the top joining strip with RS together. Sew an accurate ¼” seam and make sure that the edges of the blocks are level with one another.

                Joining squares

And back to floor again where you can see considerable progress has been made.

             Work in progress

Part of this process has to be done by hand for a neat finish. The edges of the seams attached with the 1” strip butt up to one another. (Too small a seam allowance would leave a gap; too large a seam allowance would cause the edges overlap)

               Butting edges
Press and fold the edge of the back joining strip so that is rests along the first line of stitches.

             First fold
Press the folded edge over so that it covers the raw edges and finishes just beyond the second line of stitches. Pin and sew it down with a matching thread and concealed stitch.

                Second fold
The story so far: I still have to join the vertical lines and I need to make some dark squares to go all the way round the edge!

                Vertical rows

                Dark squares
The squares of floral fabrics on the back make this a reversible quilt.

              WS squares