Baby shower quilt, inspiration and open house panic!

Hello!

First party quilt of the season, and how lovely is this quilt?  Lots of personal motifs and fabric from wedding bunting were incorporated into this quilt, and lucky me I have now met the baby it was made for!

Baby Shower Quilt

Baby Shower Quilt

The second recent finish is a quilt to go with my squares quilt courses, but also to sit on the back of our sofa when not being used at work.  I bought the vintage floral print to make curtains for our bedroom, but they looked a bit sad when I hung them up – as if they had been hanging there unloved for 30 years.  Now, if we had a lovely minimal bedroom with white painted floorboards etc I am sure they would have look great, but I actually sew in front of my window upstairs, and what with my husbands decks and records in the room as well, it just looked a bit, meh!  Sooo, I have quite a lot to use up so you will be seeing more of it.

It is quite a large quilt, and I did straight line quilting, but only 3 lines next to each seam as I wanted it to stay soft.  The other fabrics were from stash (aren’t I good!), selected to match the vintage floral.

Binding Ready

Binding Ready

Here’s a really quick photo before it got too used.  I quite like the effect of the plains and prints from my stash as they are graphic, so it has kept it from looking too sweetly vintage floral.

Squares Quilt - inc vintage floral

Squares Quilt – inc vintage floral

Last week I had a day in London, and one of the places I went to visit was the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey.  They currently have an exhibition called Artists Textiles which is a must if you are into your prints.  Below are some photos I took.  One of the things I really liked was seeing the fabrics displayed on the wall, as if they were a canvas, but then also in use, such as the skirts.  The button print below was designed by Warhol.  My husband loved the display of trainers and literature from the company  Norman Walsh.  If you’ve never heard of them take a look at their website – UK made trainers, what’s not to like?!  The last photo below is of a quilted coat from the seventies designed by Zandra Rhodes.  Loved the fabric and the stitching – does anyone else feel quilted clothing may be making a come back?

Fashion and Textile Museum

Fashion and Textile Museum

Right, I am off to make stitched cards for the artists open houses next month.  Not getting into too much of a panic about it, but boy has it has crept up..!

 

 

Weekend in London

Well, it kind of was, I commuted up from Brighton Thursday to Sunday.  The reason for this was that the lovely people at Twisted Thread asked me if I would like to do some talks on quilt making in their Lifestyle Theatre and the Knitting and Stitching show.  Always one to try something just a little outside my comfort zone I said yes, then spent a month fretting about it, not helped by an article in The Guardian on how the majority of people would do anything (and absolutely anything) to avoid public speaking!  It all went fine, and I actually LOVED doing it.  There were some really positive comments from people who watched my demos, and it inspired people to have a go at quilting which is just fab.  The talks were based on projects from the book.
Here are a couple of photos…

Image

Image

Of course one of the best things was to be able to spend 4 days at the knitting and stitching show, and I did do a bit of shopping…  I added a couple of fat quarters to my Liberty stash.  Really must start the snowball quilt I have been planning for all my Liberty scraps…  I also bought a lampshade kit which I have some patchwork plans for.  The stalls with lovely yarn so nearly hooked me in, but I have so much sewing on my list that I resisted – but maybe in the autumn.  I have never been to the Olympia show before and thought it really good, nice venue and so much easier to get to from Brighton than Ally Pally.

Being in London means I had an excuse to slope off on Saturday afternoon to the V&A, one of my favourite places in the capital.

V & A

V & A

Spent a lot of time in the ceramics galleries, inspiring colours and prints.

Ceramics V & A

Ceramics V & A

They have a wedding dresses exhibition starting soon, so I will be back there again before the summer…

Well, hello there Feburary

Whoosh! Did you hear that?  It was December and January have flying by.  Here is some of what went on at QP last month…

Here is a Christmas make.  A quick cushion for my son who loves our local football team.  Football merchandise is never the, err, most contemporary thing so I made a quick quilted cushion from a Brighton and Hove Albion pillow case.

BHAFC Cushion

BHAFC Cushion

I did my first baby shower of the year.  Took a photo when all tidy and ready to stitch…

Baby Shower - all set up

Baby Shower – all set up

and another during the stitching!  As you can see a good time was had.

Baby Shower - during the sewing!

Baby Shower – during the sewing!

Was chuffed to see the team at Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine show my project on instagram.  It was the table set from issue 3 that is currently hanging in the studio window.

Love Patchwork and Quilting

Love Patchwork and Quilting

..and they gave me some magazines to give way, so here is one of my children picking the winners – Amanda and Linz.

Picking 2 winners...

Picking 2 winners…

…and the biggie of the month was the Ardingly quilt show.  Thanks for coming to see us if you were there, it was great to see so many familiar faces.  Here is a photo of the QP stand.

Quilty Pleasures Stand

Quilty Pleasures Stand

Courses are underway for the Spring, and we have some lovely new stock in see below.  To keep up to date with QP news visit the website and sign up to our newsletter via the link on the front page.

New fabrics - still in the box

New fabrics – still in the box

Happy Sewing!

Recent happenings…

Been busy busy busy, so haven’t posted here for a couple of weeks.  Lets bring you up to date…

My next online course is now open for registration and if you fancy joining me more details can be found here.  

We had a successful introduction to patchwork course – a really friendly group all now addicted to quilting…

Image

Helped a student with the most lovely hand pieced patchwork at my sewing Sundays Brighton Sewing Centre.  Based on a heirloom piece

Image

We have been stitching and flipping festive table runners – we are binding them next week.Image

I decorated the loo.  A job I have been putting off as it really is as glamourous as it sounds!  I chose some of my favourite Golden Hands covers copied and framed them, then hung them up…

Image

Image

We had our charity coffee morning.  In total £105 was raised for Maternity Worldwide – was delighted with this.  Nicky and Lynne helped make the morning a success (thanks!) and we will hold another one next year. (Photo take while setting up – even more cakes arrived!)

Image

…and  getting ready for the open studio.  I finally bound this poor quilt.  I think I made it about 3 years ago, and it has waited oh so patiently on the wip pile.  Do you know what, it was even quilted, just needed its sorry edges prettied up!  I wanted to have a Christmassy feel to the quilts I had hanging up, and although this isn’t a full on festive quilt it has the right colours and prints.  In case you are interested it is a disappearing nine patch made from a couple of charm packs from the Hideaway collection by Lauren and Jessi Jung.  I am hoping once it is hung up for a few days the big crease down the centre will become less obvious.  This will be coming home with me over the Christmas break.

Image

 

Image

I will do a separate post full of the lovely things we have at the the open studio.  It is on the next 2 weekends, 11 till 5. Lots of other things to mention, new course list out, new fabrics in…but will leave them for another time.  
Happy Quilting
Liz
x

 

 

Retro Sewing Sunday – Machine Embroidery by Dorothy Benson

Visiting the 1950s in todays post.

Machine Embroidery - Cover

Machine Embroidery – Cover

I bought this book, well more of a soft cover 79 page pamphlet, for £1.50 a couple of years ago.  The 1950s style cover appealed to me – I like the colours and that it is an illustration, not a photograph.  There isn’t a publication date printed, but according to the internet it was first published in 1952.

I didn’t know anything about the author, however a quick 10 minutes on the internet has revealed a small amount of information (see links below).  Dorothy Benson worked for the Singer sewing machine company from 1916 to 1960 in their embroidery department.  She also stitched designs for the embroiderer Rebecca Crompton.  I was quite surprised to find the book seems to be going for quite high prices on the internet at the moment, one went on ebay earlier this year for £41, and there is one on there at the moment for £19.99, and one currently for sale on Etsy for £54.15.

Machine Embroidery Inside Cover

Machine Embroidery
Inside Cover

There is a well written introduction – my favourite paragraph is:

“Our hope is that no longer will the family sewing machine be regarded merely as the household drudge for sewing long seams, but the means for enjoyment in producing beautiful, decorative needlework”.
I wondered if this was a hint to the crafters of the second world war  to get making for pleasure, not necessity?  Also, with the book being from the Singer brand, perhaps there was a commercial aspect to it.  Trying to get people to look at their machines for far more than making clothes would appeal to a wider audience.

Each project/technique is numbered in the book, and referred to as a lesson. There are 25 in total with lots of photographs.  The lessons include cording, wool embroidery and granite stitch.  I thought this piece of work below was exquisite, an interesting design and the stitching is fabulous.  The note underneath says it uses techniques from three of the lessons.

Machine Embroidery

Machine Embroidery

Being a quilter I liked seeing the lesson on quilting, and the further on in the book there is a lesson on free quilting.  Most quilters see to think of this as a recent technique, but heres the proof it’s not.

Free Quilting

Free Quilting

I used a few webpages to collect information for this post – links are…herehere and here.

(Oh, and husband, if you are reading this and noticing the prices at the top, the book is not to go on ebay.  It is lovely to look at and is an excellent design and embroidery technique resource.  If this disappears, so will one of your records..!) x

Seaside Hen Quilt

Urgh, it is so grey, rainy, dark outside…it is good to have memories of bright days and sunshine!

This hen quilt was made in August, and is the first one I have ever done with a group the night before the wedding.  I was slightly nervous that things might be fraught – nail varnish disasters , guests missing trains etc, but I encountered a lovely group of very relaxed (and creative) ladies ready for an evening of wine, nibbles and sewing.
The wedding was beach themed (what a great idea!), so the quilt was designed to fit in with this.  I love the variety of motifs in the squares…

Seaside Hen Quilt

Seaside Hen Quilt

Love the cloud on this one

Love the cloud on this one

Postcard - Wish you were here?

Postcard – Wish you were here?

Love Fish

Love Fish

Recent QP Studio Quilts

Wow, how time flies!  Looking through my photos, I have realised there are quite a few quilts that I haven’t shared here recently.  So a little re-cap…

I have made several baby quilts for customers lately.  I get quite a few queries about quilts, but tend to refer any commission work larger than a baby/toddler/lap quilt onto other local quilters.  However, if I have the time, then I do like to make up smaller quilts for clients, especially when they have seen fabric online they want to use.

The first one used a couple of Posy charm packs to make a toddler size quilt.  I love the colours in this range.  The stipple quilting was done by Carolyn Clark, my local long arm quilter.

Posy Quilt

Posy Quilt

I like to use larger prints on the back, and this one from the range was perfect.  It features a girl reading, and I ordered it in as it reminded me of my daughter.  The binding is a co-ordinating mint green floral.

Posy - back

Posy – back

This quilt was commissioned for a baby boy by a customer who loved the Mod Century prints.

Grey/Green Quilt

Grey/Green Quilt

Again, using the big print on the back works well – makes it reversible.  Straight line quilting was requested, and I did it in a grey.

Mod Century Back

Mod Century Back

…and this one was for a customer who wanted a baby quilt for a girl, that wasn’t pink.  As with the grey/green one, she chose the backing fabric first, then matched the prints for the patchwork.

Pretty Floral Baby Quilt

Pretty Floral Baby Quilt

We chose a stripy binding on this one.

Yellow Stripy Binding

Yellow Stripy Binding

…and finally.  I was asked to design an appliqué cushion for a couple getting married.  The groom works within the mountain biking industry, so we came up with the idea of a tandem.  It is fusible appliqué, edged with a zig zag stitch in a toning thread.  I felt pressure to get the scale of the bike correct!

Mr and Mrs cushion

Mr and Mrs cushion

The photo has been taken before it was quilted, and their name at the bottom has been cropped off – I do like to respect privacy and all that, hence I also never show the stitched labels I put on.

So, I have been a little busy!

Hope you have enjoyed the photos. x