New Year Nod

I would write something about New Year here, however it is the 13th, and the atmosphere in Brighton seems to have settled into the January dark evenings and skint wallet effect, so just take this as a new year nod!

If you follow me on social media, you will know that the last 6 weeks have been a bit of a sewing/working issue as my son has been very poorly, and we have stayed in hospital for a while, so things were up in the air.  He is doing well now, back to school so normal service has resumed. A little bit of sewing got done – I always keep a box of fabric, templates, thread and scissors that I take around with me when I travel and my husband popped it up the hospital.  Hand sewing is my therapy, so did lots of sewing at his bedside.
The piece I was working on currently looks like this…

Hexie work in progress
Hexie work in progress
Close up - hexie wip
Close up – hexie wip

and will not be much larger so I will start filling in the edges.  It started as I had about five rosettes from class samples, and wanted to do something with them.  I have lots of hexie samples, so elongated these, and turned them into a grandmothers flower garden.

We also got a day out in London last week, and got to the Knitwear exhibition at the Fashion and Textile museum in Bermondsey.  Really enjoyed it, lots to see, but as the exhibits were grouped by theme it flowed really well.  It was amusing explaining to my daughter what I had heard about knitted swimsuits on Brighton beach when my mum was a child!  It closes this weekend.

No photos allowed (unfortunately) but took a photo outside – amuses me how the road sign points to the banner.

Fashion Textile Museum - Knitwear
Fashion Textile Museum – Knitwear

To round off my new year nod, my things (not using the r word here) this year are a sketchbook project I am working on from a history book, to work on my range of patterns, and to be a little bit more experimental in my quilting.  I plan to share the work here over the year, so keep your eyes peeled.

Sewgirl Quilt

When Fiona at Sewgirl asked if I would like to play around with some of her screen printed squares I jumped at the chance!  She quickly dispatched 3 sets…  

Exciting Post!
Exciting Post!

Here they are…nicely presented.

Panels just asking to be sewn!
Panels just asking to be sewn!

I decided to keep the fabrics toned down, not easy for a print addict like me, but I thought it was a way of respecting the screen printed squares.  I only used the pink and the blue packs, and matched plains to the prints.   I had in stock a pink bella solid that was perfect, and got a blue kona cotton from Brighton Sewing Centre.  For the third fabric I was umming and ahhing, and in the end went with a black and white Sketch from Timeless Treasures.  This is such a good blender!

I decided to sew an off centre log cabin.  The squares are the stars of the show so I just wanted to frame them, but I still wanted to make it quirky, so played around with scale and colour placement.  

Here is the top finished…

Finished Quilt Top
Finished Quilt Top

I then decided to hand quilt, with the trusty perle 8.  I used a pale grey, which shows on the solids, but blends into the background on the sketch.  

IMG_3056
Quilting

  

I decided to bind the quilt using the single fold lapped method and used a different colour for the sides and bottom.  

Cheeky Binding!
Cheeky Binding!

The combination of hand quilting and single fold binding has made the quilt feel really soft and light. It is interesting how different the method of quilting and binding can make a quilt feel.

…and here is the top finished and hanging in the studio.

IMG_3344 

If you like the look of the panels, Fiona sells them online here, and has some free patterns available to use them to make bunting, cushions, lavender bags and pockets.
I got the opportunity to interview Fiona earlier this year, so if you want to find out more about Sewgirl pop back to the blog later on this week…

 

A tale of dogs and fabric…

Prairie by Rebecca Stoner for Dashwood Studios
Prairie by Rebecca Stoner for Dashwood Studios

Oh the internet – you make the world seem so much smaller.  When I was young I would never have believed that with the use of a machine that I can fit in my hand, I could have sent a message direct to Paul Young or have seen a pic of what Bros were having for their tea.
Thankfully, I use the internet for better things than what my 10 year old self would have, and one of these is to stalk anyone/thing textiley.

On Twitter a couple of months ago I put up a photo of my Dusty and then got chatting to others (as you do, nothing like photos of pets on Twitter to start a conversation!).  The designer Rebecca Stoner then tweeted a photo of Bertie, her lovely lurcher so lots of mutual hound appreciation went on.  I should mention I have two hounds, a 2 year old whippet, and a 14 year old greyhound, and think I am slightly addicted to them.  Toby our old boy cannot handle the car anymore, so has lead walks and stays at home with his slippers and smoking pipe, but mini hound comes out and about with me.  When I next saw my Dashwood rep I straight away pounced on Rebecca’s work, then noticed who had designed it and said “ooh, you should see her lovely dog, I must order this”.  My rep was a little bit taken aback by this, not really the reaction usually given to a fabric range!  Anyway, I chose 5 bolts, and have made a metre square quick strip quilt from them.  The bolts are photographed at the top of this post, and available here my my website.  I will post the pattern on Monday, but here is some hound eye candy for you.  Rebecca kindly emailed me a picture of Bertie, who I think should be given the role of head of marketing!

Here’s Dusty, doing her catalogue pose, with the quilt behind her…

Dusty Posing with Prairie
Dusty Posing with Prairie

..and Bertie modelling a Prairie bandana.  Isn’t he gorgeous..?!  Such a handsome face.

Rebecca Stoners Bertie modelling Prairie
Bertie modelling Prairie

 

Duck Quilt

My one to one teaching slots are always interesting as each session is so different.  Usually the project is something quite simple – most often help with quilting or binding, but every session is an absolute gem as I get to hear all about the story behind the quilt.  A project I have been working on recently has been especially interesting, and now it is finished and with the recipient(s) I asked the maker if I could share it here…

N booked in as she wanted to make a replica quilt of one that was made for her, by her mums friend, when she was a child a couple of decades ago.  This quilt was quickly snapped up by her sister, and ended up being something that went with her everywhere even into adulthood when travelling.  It is still just about a quilt!  Very worn, but very loved and really that is what a quilt is about – regardless of condition.  The sister was expecting (and has just had a very lovely baby girl – I have seen photos!) and living abroad so the gift had additional meaning to remind her of home.  The original quilt was designed by N’s mum, and I like the duck family motif – a nurturing image for a baby quilt.

Duck Quilt 1 and 2
Duck Quilt 1 and 2

The original quilt is on the left, and this is what we had to work with.  You can still see the stitching is yellow, but that was about it.The colours were a bit of a memory exercise, which the maker and her mum recalled what they were before the the fading.

N is really creative so drawing the templates was no problem, we then fused fabric ducks and satin stitched round the edges (as they were before), using a narrower stitch width for the smaller ducks.  Being addicted to old sewing books I knew satin stitched appliqué was a widely used technique back then, but not seen so much now, so it was interesting to see it come together.  We stayed true to the original and satin stitched through the layers.  The binding is slightly wider – again true to how the original was.

Here is the finished quilt – isn’t it cute?!

Mummy Duck Quilt
Mummy Duck Quilt

The quilt is now in situe in the USA where is looks fantastic in the nursery.  A great job was done, and maybe, perhaps…  in 20 years time another replica of the quilt will be made.

Duck quilt in nursery
Duck quilt in nursery

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!