Sunday, 29 May 2011

Nearly the end of May

How time flies when you are having fun!

It is nearly two weeks since I last posted and I haven't finished much in that time. I have been getting on with a lot of different projects.... but not really finishing any.

The Vignette quilt continues. I have done over half of the embroidery on the first block and it is looking gorgeous and I have started piecing the second and third blocks - I have another 6 Shoo Fly blocks to make, then it will be fully pieced, ready for transferring the embroidery designs. I hope to get it ready for the embroidery this weekend, as it will be ideal for my holiday stitching.

I have embroidered all of the June Calendar Girls and mostly made up the mini quilts, but I still have the hand finishing to go.

Last weekend we were back at the Fat Quarters for out Nikki Tikler sampler quilt class: we made up the Wedding Ring design. I decided to stitch mine together backwards (it was choice not mistake!) and the end result looks like a flower. I have also started the Dresden Plate design, which I will stitch by hand.

Last Friday, Jane announced that she would like an "intimate island blanket" - she works in a nursery and wants a blanket that she can use when she is having one-to-one time with a child. She picked out some kiddy fabric and Linda and I bought some more fabric, then we stitched together 8 1/2inch blocks in a five by five grid. We added a border of blue, then a border of yellow with green corner blocks, embroidered the words "intimate island blanket". We then backed it with a fleece blanket and I quilted it: we decided on quilting 1/4 inch away from each seam line on each side. The end result was lovely. It's still not finished - we have to bind it.

In doing the quilting of the intimate island blanket I had an idea about the quilting of mum's yellow tablecloth. Instead of using zig-zag along the seams, we could quilt 1/4" inside each block. I made up a three by three block as a sample and tried it out. I'll send it down to Mum and see what she thinks.

And Jane would like three pink and black stuffed elephants for her birthday. At least tomorrow is a bank holiday - may be I'll have more to show for myself by the end fo it!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Jennie Rayment

I did something completely different this weekend. Linda and Aunty Barbara and I spent Saturday and Sunday doing two day-long workshops with Jennie Rayment (the Calico Queen) at the Fat Quarters.

The first day was three blocks from Jennie's new book called Roman Candle, Girandole and Trumpet Cracker. Jennie's technique is different from anything I've tried before, though similar in theory to traditional Cathedral Window Patchwork. The basis of the technique is that a square of fabric, folded on the diagonal, then the raw edges sewn into seams, results in a shape of fabric that can be manipulated and rolled - and the folded edge, being on the bias, will roll into a curve. It was absolutely fascinating to see the blocks come together. I have finished piecing the blocks, but haven't finished rolling and curving yet - here are some photos so far:

This is the Roman Candle (above). The central red area is made up on eight separate pieces and you roll back the edges to create petal shapes, exposing the yellow fabric underneath.

This is Trumpet Cracker (above) and just needs some rolling round the edges.

And this is Girandole, also without much more to do to complete it. I'll post some more photos when they are rolled and finished. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them, so any suggestions would be gratefully received. One of the other ideas for these designs is to do them entirely in calico, which looked very elegant and emphasizes the different textures, rather than the colours. I'd love to try this at some point in the future - along with all of the other projects....

The second day was a class using the same techniques, but creating one large piece:
It uses the same idea of folding a triangle then rolling back the edges. It's fully pieced as you see it above and the third and fourth triangles from the bottom have had their edges rolled (but it doesn't show very well in the photo. I have a better idea of what I'm going to do with this one. Once I've rolled all my edges, I'm going to embroider "Count you Rainbows not you Thunder Stoms" around the edge, the quilt it and make it into a wall hanging.

Last weekend I finally finished my log cabin cutting mat bag: the red centres were two inches square and the strips were 1 and a half inch wide. I stitched 12 blocks for each side of the bag, then pieced them together. I quilted down the seams then lined the bag with calico with a black strip round the top. I then top-stitched round the top of the bag and added handles in the red fabric I'd used for the log cabin centres.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I Love Vignette

I just can't control myself and have to tell you all how gorgeous the Vignette quilt is. I started the embroidery yesterday and it is fabulous. I was stitching all afternoon and into the evening and only got as far as the first butterfly so I think it's going to take some time to get it done, but I am enjoying stitching it: I've swapped the tiny chain stitch on the butterfly for a line of light brown backstitch with a line of pale pink backstith right next to it (the pale pink on it's own is too light on the calico - it needs the brown to contrast against it). I think I now need to order some more embroidery thread as I'm getting through it pretty quickly! Happy stitching.