Sunday, 24 June 2018

BLOG 401

BLOG 401
 
This week I have chosen a personal selection of favourites from the Gresford show. The church was absolutely full of crafts of all description; this is what makes it such an interesting event. There is something for everyone. Next week I will hopefully be able to tell you how many people attended and what sort of money we raised for charity. Enjoy!
                 Embroidered cushions
 
 
 


           Quilt for Tess
 
 

           Positive/negative
  
 
 

           Knitting
 
 
 

             Teddy bears’ picnic
 
 
 

          Crochet dogs
 
 
 

            Quilts and clothes
 
 

           Toys
 
 


           Toys
 
 


             Structure
 
 

 

             Miniature teaset
 
 

          Recycling
 
 
 

            Exquisite beading
 
 
 

          Quilting: Guest quilter Sandra Weir
 
 

         Quilting: Guest quilter Sandra Weir
 
 

           Cake making
 
 

         Crochet
 
 
 

           Crochet
 
 

      Challenge: ‘Under ground’
 
 

          Challenge: ‘Under ground’ (sink hole)
 
 

          Beloved toys
 
 
 


         Quilt (won in a raffle)
 
 
 

          Tessilated quilt
 
 

         Embroidery
 
 

         Cross stitch
 
 

             Embroidery
 
 

        Fall of poppies ‘We will remember them’
 
 
And finally, I walked/ran in the ‘Pretty Muddy’ 5k at Tatton Park again yesterday for cancer research. It was a lovely day for it, sunny and bright, but the organisers made an extra special effort to make sure that there was as much wet mud as possible throughout the obstacle course! Here’s my daughter in the middle, with me on the right and Jackie (the sharer of the grandchildren) on the left. When I have collected in all my sponsorship money, I will let you know how much we have raised as a group of 8, but many thanks for all those who have donated; you are all very generous.
 
 
 
 Pretty Muddy 2018

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

BLOG 400

BLOG 400
Fancy missing my 400th posting!! I had imagined a drum roll and trumpets blasting but alas, there was nothing much to say after an exceptionally busy week of sewing! How can that be? you might ask. Well, most of what I sewed was repetitive and didn’t bear repeating for my blog. I was trying to catch-up on my Gresford exhibits and to do that, I had to concentrate on finishing off items, working to the last minute to get them done. Phew! On Monday, a dedicated group of stalwarts spent most of the day from 8:30 am onwards preparing the church, receiving exhibits, labelling them all and then arranging them into pleasing displays; that’s what takes the time. At the end of the show on Friday, it will take us less than an hour to dismantle it all, ready to be collected!!
 
The 4 colourful cushions did materialise (excuse the pun) by the end of the week, taking lots of patience and application! Rather than bind them, I zipped the backs and turned them through.


            Decorative stitches
 

             Construction
 

                  Completed cushion
 

The other preparation I needed to do was add temporary sleeves to the backs of the quilts. These I just tacked into place for easy removal after the show. Next week there will be a quilt show to report on!
 

            Hanging strip
 

This Saturday, I am doing the ‘Pretty Muddy 5km run’ at Tatton Park for breast cancer. Now the word ‘run’ is a bit misleading, we tend to wind up to a jog when we see members of the public but mainly we walk around chatting and getting filthy! It is great fun and this year we are’ running’ for my daughter Tess, pictured below with me and (the sharer of the grandchildren) Jackie. It took ages to get the mud out of all the crevices!!!!
                 Mud run 2017
 

 

 

 

Sunday, 10 June 2018

BLOG 399

Blog 399
The rush continues for the Gresford show! It happens every year and it focuses my mind and my energies to get things (started and!!) finished. About a month before the show, we have to write a list of items that we are going to put in, so they can be included in the catalogue. I put items on my list optimistically and usually have to burn the midnight oil to get them done. This year I wrote: Scrap quilt (done), Wedding signature quilt (done), 259 squares for Tessa (display only, done) and 4 colourful cushions (not yet started!) aaaarrrrggggghhhhh! So there is a bit of ground to cover. I also like to make things for the sales table too so it was head down last week and it will be more of the same this week.
I added the back to the Wedding Signature quilt and sewed on the binding. All I need to do now with that one is add a label (and perhaps show it to the recipients and as permission to display it!)

            Quilting
 


                 Binding
 


               Gresford pile
 


 
The colourful cushions needed to be tackled next and for this I turned for inspiration to the work of Carol Ann Waugh. I have plenty of colourful fabric for backgrounds, lots of machine threads and a great choice of stitches on my machine! I added wadding and a sheet of stabiliser behind the fabric and just sewed. These don’t take much creative zeal (apart from colour choices I suppose), just the application and effort of manoeuvring the fabric under the sewing machine.
 


           Background
 


                Embroidery lines 1
 


                Embroidery lines 2
 


 
This week I was able to sit and sew for the day with friends and here are Pat’s grebes, completed at long last. I love the thread blending and the textured background.

              Pat’s Grebes 1
 


               Pat’s Grebes 2
 


And I managed to prepare the label for the signature quilt and I will sew it in place tonight. Phew!

                Label
 

Sunday, 3 June 2018

BLOG 398

Blog 398
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of variety to share this week but, believe you me, there has been loads of ground covered. When you look at the first picture you are bound to think it is a mistake! And yes it is a picture of nothingness but I have included it because that wall is a vital part of my quilt construction and I wouldn’t be without it. Mine is made up of a flannelette sheet stapled onto a cork background which is just soft enough to push pins into. It is a godsend and has been used relentlessly over the years.            
     
                  Blank design wall
 
 
 


A few minutes later, the wall looked like this. All the squares for the wedding signature quilt have now been completed and I needed to start arranging them so I could get an impression of how it was going to look from a distance. I was also able to arrange the names to make sure that the main players in the ceremony were clustered around the centre, and all the support players were randomly placed around them. And in the true tradition of the quilt makers of old, there is a contrived and deliberate mistake; the idea being that only God is perfect.
            96 Stars
 

The squares were joined into rows and the rows joined together to make the quilt top. This was put onto cotton wadding and safety-pinned in place. At this stage I didn’t have enough of the backing fabric to include it, so the first lines have been sewn with a walking foot through just the two layers. As I was sewing with a cream thread this has worked well and the cream thread on the bobbin is not going to be seen on the backing fabric. When I eventually add the backing fabric, I will sew further lines in the ditch between the squares thus holding all three layers together and giving a quilted grid on the back.
              Batting
 

           Backing fabric
 

 
I think that I also need to do something to hold the cream signature strip to the wadding on each of the squares or else it may not lie flat. I will decide on that this week as I am hoping to enter this into the Gresford show this month and need to get a wriggle on!
             Quilting lines
 
 
I really adore this year’s scrap quilt and haven’t decided whether to sell it or not. The binding is almost finished now and it looks deliciously vibrant!


            Scrap quilt
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 27 May 2018

BLOG 397

Blog 397
 
I have returned mentally refreshed and physically fit after our week’s break in Poland. I don’t know about you and your holidays, but we seem to pack an awful lot into ours and cover a lot of ground. (I swear I am 2” shorter after all the pavement pounding!) We have walked around the sights of Krakow amongst the thousands of other tourists who were there doing the same thing. It was heaving with humanity and the good weather made it all the more enjoyable. There were lots of things to see and to enjoy including the Wawel Castle, Krakow Cathedral, the Market Square and the Cloth Hall, Baroque and Romanesque facades and river walks along the Vistula.
The quilt show turned out to be an evening event on Saturday night, with a buffet supper and wine. It was a happy occasion celebrating the diligence of the teacher (Julie) and the creativity of her students and I was delighted to be part of it. After a formal welcome and introduction, of which I understood not a word, the garden gate quilters were invited on stage and given a peony (such a luscious and extravagant bloom!). Julie and I were presented with a bunch of peonies each and I also received fabric flowers (tulips) as a lasting reminder of the event. I was thrilled! Here are some pictures of the event and garden gate quilts.
           Opening
 

                General view
 

               Spectators 1
 

             Spectators 2
 

            1 Gate A
 

             2 Gate A
 

           3 Gate A
 

            1 Gate B
 

             2 Gate B
 

                3 Gate B
 

            Original design
 

               In progress 1
 

             In progress 2
 

                 Fabric flowers
 
 
 
We then hired a car and drove to the ski town of Zakopane, settling into our hotel before visiting a nephew and his family. (It does help to have inside information about a place when you are a tourist and we greatly appreciated the advice given to us in both Kracow and Zakopane!) After a couple of days exploring, we came back via Auschwitz and Birkenau. The tour with an English speaking guide lasted about 4 hours and nothing but nothing was left unsaid. Our feelings were very raw and it was a grim and often uncomfortable visit through very recent European history. I shall never forget it. As this is a quilting log, I will just post one relevant picture with the hope that these quilts warmed and comforted those who were fortunate enough to own them.



               Auschwitz quilts