Saturday, 28 July 2012

Loving Queenie

I have to say that despite being and old cynic, I ended up really enjoying last nights opening ceremony and thought Queenie and Bond was brilliant. I could stop laughing when I realised it wasn't a look alike.

I thought the whole thing was spot on and really reflected what Britain, and especially London is all about. I hope they release the soundtrack as the music was great.

For anyone who didn't get it, I think the message was "tough". If you really know us and understand us you will have got it and if you don't, they we don't care!!!!

I still can't believe Queenie did it! Bless her!

Anyway, I have been doing a bit of sewing and got my EPP bee blocks done.

I'm also trying to blog from the iPhone for the first time, so if it looks pants I'm sorry.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bits and bobs

Its been nearly two weeks since I last blogged. Isn't it funny how sometimes it just drops off your radar as something to do. I didn't consciously leave it so long, it just happens.

Because I'm working again I see that as justification to feed my fabric addiction. My newest find is a range that is simply beautiful, more so than in the pictures. Its called LillyBelle and I got mine from Annie.

I also won a prize in the Finish a Long. I have to admit, I passed on Rhonda's needleturn kit, it just wasn't something I would ever do so I ended up with a $10 voucher from and used it to buy this Anthology fabric. I really like the firework effect.

Last week Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably were at Tricolette for a book signing of their new knitting book. I got inspired to do some more knitting and have started a scarf using Rowans Kidsilk Haze. Its so fine and very delicate but it makes up wonderfully. I'll post pics soon. They also brought along a few of their quilts so we had a good look at those.

And amazingly I've even done some sewing. I finally took the plunge and joined not one but two Bees. The first is the FQR Kinky Bee which came out of the Fat Quarterly Retreat. These are my first blocks for it.

The second one is more of a challenge as it is an English Paper Piecing Bee so all hand work. I've only finished one of this months so far, but the other is underway.

I also finished off this little quilt. When the London Modern Quilt Guild pick a charity (we've had a few problems with the first option) this is for that. I used bits of Central Park along with Kona White in the blocks. I tried to do freeform wavy lines for the quilting, something I'm still not comfortable with so wanted to practice it.

I used four fat quarters from Lizzie Houses Hello Pilgrim for the backing and another one for the binding. Its only little, after washing it's ended up at 35x35inches. A nice easy size to manage.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

FAL 3rd Quarter

The Finish A Long hosted by Rhonda certainly gets me focused on what I want to achieve in the next 3 months even if I don't always make it happen.

This quilt top was on the list from last month and didn't even see the light of day, maybe this is its quarter to become a quilt.

I also have this top I pieced for our LMQG charity sewing, it too needs some love to make it a proper quilt.

These blocks I started working on a few weeks ago. I made a jelly roll race quilt at the FQRetreat and like the process but wanted to mix it up a bit. I took a Summersville jelly roll and got it to the point where it was eight strips wide. I then chopped it into squares. I managed to get 13 out of it, so I will undo one of blocks and use it for binding. I have an idea of how I want to layout the blocks, but as always it keeps changing. One of these days I will fix on one of the layouts long enough to get it made!

For more pledges, check out the linky party at FAL 3rd Qtr

The generosity of designers

I, along with some other members of the LMQG met up with the designer Thomas Knauer this weekend to discuss quilting and designs and what modern quilting means to different people.

It was a very thought provoking talk but being a bit shallow and covetous, I was very distracted when this bundle appeared.

Thomas' first collection Pear Tree,

then Flock,

and finally Savannah Bop.

In the end we decided to use them for some charity sewing and we will be meeting in a couple of weeks to crack on with it.

But in the meantime, all these goodies are staying with me.... I promise not to loose any.... honestly!!!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Challenge Sandown

Does the thought of entering a quilt into a show excite you? Or instead are you like me and get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach at the thought of some unknown quilt police person judging you and pointing out all the flaws you already know about?

Either way I'm taking a pledge to enter the national quilt show at sandown next year and am putting it out here so I don't chicken out.
Why if it makes me feel so bad would I do something like this?

After my visit the other week I ended up having a long email conversation with Ferret. The upshot was that if I was a bit disappointed in some of the styles of quilts and vendors then I should try to change it!

That was a shock to my system I can tell you. Me, contribute? The thought brought me out in a sweat. But I thought about it a lot and realised Ferret was right. If I want the quilts on display to reflect my style and interests then I have to let people see what they are.

Those of us who use the internet a lot for our quilt inspiration forget that not everyone does that. Some people only get it from shows, and if they see the same styles year after year then that is all they know. During our discussion, we covered what was modern quilting and I came to the conclusion that it wasn't the quilts that were modern, but the quilters. We are modern women and some men who are seeing new (to us) techniques and sharing them around the world at the click of a few buttons, a lot of us have been taught to quilt by the internet and we don't fit into any particular demographic.

Because I came to quilting by this route and not traditional classes I have been removed from the mainstream quilting movement. The more I think about it, the more I think that is a shame. One of the best things thats happened to me this year is getting involved with the LMQG and spending time with other quilters. Its been thrilling to have our work on display at John Lewis.

But I still hate the thought of being judged by the quilt police. I can't help myself. So I am going to spend the next year telling myself over and over it doesn't matter what they say. Its all about sharing a mutual passion for quilting and if one person visits and likes what I have made great.

And if a few of us enter and start showing that there are more people involved in quilting than has previously been seen, then all the better. Oh, didn't I mention, I don't want to do it alone.
Is anyone with me? Am I going to be shevvy no mates?

Ferret is sponsoring a prize for people entering for the first time as she is very keen to get more people involved and she recommends the "touch of yellow" category as it is for charity. Entry forms can be found

Modern Art

The last challenge set by the LMQG was to make a piece inspire by modern art using solids.

Straight away I thought of an artist, Bridget Riley. When I first started working full time I ended up at Sainsburys Head Office and the directors floor had loads of modern art. It took me a lot of visits to really start to appreciate it (I use to deliver a daily report, not actually go and see the directors) and slowly Bridget Riley grew on me.

So I went to the fantastic Tate Online for inspiration. I originally earmarked these Elongated Triangles but never got the mojo to get on with it. I think because I wanted to finally break into my Oakshott Colourbox and this piece wouldn't have showed them off enough so I went back to the Tate and looked again and found Fete.

So I messed up my oh so pretty colourbox

and came up with a mini, 14.5x 14.5.

The mauve binding was my freebie from the Fat Quarter Retreat, as it was the biggest piece I had I thought it was best to use it in the binding and dotted throughout the piece. It doesn't look like it but there is more of that in there than any other colour.

It did go a bit wobbly in some places and I have my diagonals going in the opposite direction from the original piece but I'm really happy with it. Because I was using the mauve I went with a lot of blue, purple, pink and red wich aren't in my comfort zone but they worked. Its not possible to see how lovely the Oakshott is in the picture but it really does shine.

I went for straight line quilting on the opposite diagonal, it took me longer to decide that than anything. Does everyone else struggle with knowing how to quilt a piece?