Monday, 31 March 2014

"On the Border"

With a nod to Al Stewart, I'm continuing the song theme, and have added a border to "Old Friend".  It is now about 48" square.



This could be one of those projects that just grows and grows as I am now planning a 6 inch deep border of striped triangles round the whole thing.  True to form, those points in the middle did not meet up accurately enough, so there is a bit of appliqué slapped on top.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

London - signs and quilts

We have a German orchestral exchange student with us for a week, so my sewing room has to become a girl's bedroom for now.  As the sewing machine packs away in to a Horn cabinet, it was quite quick, but i needed a textile fix somehow.  The contemporary Quilt Group AGM  was at the right time.

On the way there, a selection of London signs, old and new, with some intriguing spelling of foreign food

London signs two

Then, at the meeting,  a chance to see some of the journal quilts in the flesh.  These did not disappoint.  Ninety six of last year's journals will be on display at the Creative Stitches event at Excel next week, and I will be there stewarding on Saturday 5th April.





The speaker was an intriguing artist, Elizabeth Tarr, who was a new name to me.  Elizabeth works with indigo and stitch on brown paper, taking her inspiration from her travels and from favourite paintings, including a long series based on Las Meninas.



Thursday, 20 March 2014

" Old friend, why are you so shy? Ain't like you to hold back or hide from the light…..

…with apologies to Adele, one of my old friends came with me to Morley this week, on the portable design wall.


I needed some mindless sewing together, and this was just the right project with a good combination of precision and mindlessness.


Whether those points at the middle will need to be covered with a bit of appliqué remains to be seen.

My trees / First World War piece has been chosen for display at the Made at Morley exhibition.  I will blog about that in another post, but if you are passing, there is some very interesting textile work on display until 3rd April.  Many textile disciplines are represented: quilting, printed textile, stitched textile, felting, tapestry, machine knitting, hand knitting.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


….is the theme for the Contemporary Quilt Group challenge this year.  I have never entered before, and as I am not doing the journals this year, have decided to have a go at this.  Several notes to self already:

  • read the size requirements before cutting out the piece ( 120cm x 50cm)
  • read the size requirements again before planning the design
  • was all applique fabrics before using, even if you think you have washed them before
  • Markal paintsticks get very soggy if you leave them in the sun
  • size 60 machine needles are very fragile
  • Glue sticks get even more soggy that Markal paintsticks in the sun
  • Applique pins are very small, and even if they are embedded in a carpet, can still damage the feet of family
  • there will always, eventually be a use for tools that  are bought at quilt shows

Still, getting the size wrong meant that I had a ready-made "handling piece" that needs to accompany the finished quilt.  

I have always fancied making a Baltimore album quilt in a contemporary way, but know I won't have the patience, so this is a take on contemporary Baltimore, in a size I know I will finish.

Glimpses are here:

Paintstick stencil, this is about 8cm long


Hand and machine appliqué ( using a combination of methods from Beth Ferrier and Sew Much like Mom)  Circle is about 2.5cm diameter - this is the best one!


Applique pièces ready to stitch down.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Beware the Ides of March……

…because it is World Quilting Day, although there seems to be some uncertainty about that on the web, as some countries seem to be celebrating tomorrow.  I have some horrendous intestinal lurgy, so am celebrating the day at home, and during the times when I'm feeling OK, I am experimenting with Markal Paintsticks.    This is in preparation for a challenge piece on the theme of "Dislocate" for the Contemporary Quilt Group.


A vague enquiry about how waterproof these are, revealed the multitude of uses of these, what a revelation.  I think they will withstand a wash through with Synthrapol if they can withstand all of that.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The perfect tool makes a difference

I am doing a major piece of appliqué, involving a lot of stretchy edges, therefore needed the perfect pin.  I found these in my supplies, a purchase from the bric a brace stall at a quilters' event.


They are helping me out with all of this lot.



and helping me head towards the design wall with vigour.


The Morley piece has gone in for adjudication, and I will know next week if it has been accepted for display.  The "Made at Morley" exhibition starts next Tuesday at Motley College - well worth a visit.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Trees and feathers

The deadline for the textile piece to be submitted to the Made at Morley exhibition is next Tuesday, therefore yesterday was the last full day in the studio to get the pieces of cloth ready.  I thnk it is there, but the final reveal needs to wait a bit yet.

Tree textile mosaic

I am really pleased with the colours, shapes and patterns on these fabrics.

I have also been practising quilted, freehand feathers, using two different methods.  This is the back of the quilt, about 42 x 50 inches I think.


Bump back method - needs more practice


Double-tracking - is that the right term?


and feather of a different kind to be attracted to these new bird houses near Morley.




Saturday, 1 March 2014

Morley - textile printing development

More testing this week of different finishes between sections of the cloth, different colours - not so much red and contemplating the overlaid shapes.

Discharged papers

IMG 0239

Detail from papers printed on to cloth

IMG 0240

Whole test piece

IMG 0238

Now I need to consider the proportions of each shape, the degree of overlay and the different colours to be sued - all before next Tuesday as that is the last whole day in the studio before the deadline.