Tuesday, 23 June 2015

For want of a cutter the flow was lost!

Oh, I was going great guns yesterday, sewing up a storm with my Wonky Stars - Bonnie Hunter style.  A pile of 2.5" scrap squares and pre-cut neutral triangles by my side, feeding them through the machine at a rate of knots. Then off to the ironing board, press, trim and assemble into Wonky Star parts for the 4 required for each completed block.

I really had a great time, lots of sewing, but I had a good system going and managed to sew up 22 Wonky Star parts before I took a break to make a meal for my husband and me. 

I used Bonnie's 'webbing system" again which works brilliantly. 
First of all I laid out as many stars as I could on the floor of my sewing room, then transferred them two at a time onto a tray which I had beside me on my sewing desk. 

Then I got into a great routine:
* Sew up the first 2 squares in each row in a chain
* Do the same with the first 2 squares in the 2nd block laid out on the tray
* Cut off the 3 partly finished bits of the 1st Block (in one string, joined by the threads) & add
   the 3rd square to each row
* Repeat with 2nd block
* Start to sew up the rows of each block.
   Due to the webbing of threads being in place there is NO need to pin (and I ALWAYS pin),  
   the rows nest beautifully and come out well every time!
   Such a quick process.

Then I just continued this pattern, topping up my tray with the next 2 sets of parts from the floor.
It was so enjoyable! 

After dinner I decided I needed a greater variety of scraps, so I hunted out some difference scrap pieces and cut quite a lot of 2.5" squares and then..........................  my rotary cutter literally fell to bits in my hand........................  completely broken.  It obviously couldn't stand the strain of all this cutting and trimming.  It was so frustrating as I had plenty of time last night to cut loads of extra squares and then today I could have rattled through the last 14 Wonky Star parts I need for the Girl Baby Quilt I have planned in my head.

As I didn't want to waste any time tracking down a new Rotary Cutter I grabbed my iPad and ordered a new one from Amazon which should arrive tomorrow, with a bit of luck. This morning I did sew up  the star points for all

 the remaining stars I need, they are pressed but now sitting forlornly on my cutting mat waiting for the new rotary cutter to join the party.

So, just to keep me motivated by looking at the Wonky Stars I have made so far, here they are:

 
The pattern I followed is from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog.  At the top there are lots of tabs. Click on the one for Free patterns and scroll down to Wonky Stars.  All her free patterns are listed alphabetically so it's easy to find.


I've just checked my emails and found one from Amazon - my order has been despatched and it is on its way. Hurrah!

PS.  The instructions in Blue Type are for my benefit so that when I get back to finishing the blocks I can remember the system I had going yesterday!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Hurrah! I finished my WIP!

Earlier in the year I decided to use up some of the MANY 4" square Crumb Blocks that had been accumulating in my tin.  There were so many I couldn't fit any more in.
So I created a quilt top by sewing four Crumb Blocks together and decided to use sashing and corner stones to complete the top. All the fabrics came from stash: a lilac Kona Cotton for the sashing and two fabrics for alternating corner stones.

Recently I decided it was time to turn this WIP into a quilt, thinking it needed a couple of borders to finish it.  Then I decided to just go with one lilac Kona border and get it finished.

I machine quilted in the ditch and then hand stitched in a variegated pink Perle cotton to add more interest and stability. I also did a few stitches in the centre of the Crumb Blocks to make sure the quilt top was well anchored.  This is a baby quilt which will get lots of washing so it needs to be firmly quilted.  It's a good size for a baby quilt, measuring 40" x 48" so it's big enough for the cot when she is older and can even be used as a top on a single bed.

And, here it is!
Jazzy Squares: showing the backing
 



Jazzy Squares, resting on the sheep we have in our garden!

 
This quilt is going to live in Leeds, as a gift for Rebecca, born in March. Her older brothers Robert and James already have quilts from me so Rebecca had to have one too.
 
I am really pleased with this quilt.  It is bright and pretty and girly.  Lots of interesting snippets for Rebecca to find as she gets older: there's a tiny rabbit, a cat's face, a rhinoceros, an elephant, flowers, stars, hearts etc for her to find.
 
I made Jazzy Squares completely from stash - including the backing and binding which had been given to me by Sue, one of my patchwork group friends.
 
When we went to New Zealand I took some white acrylic yarn (which had been hanging around for too long) and a pretty woven basket style baby blanket pattern I had found on the internet.  I almost finished it before we came home but I ran out of yarn.  I knew I had more at home so when we came back I finished the blanket and put it away.  I now have a recipient, our step Granddaughter is expecting a baby and has a Baby Shower in August so I will gift the knitted blanket then.
 
Knitted blanket:
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Kaffe Fassett - Part II - eventually!

No chance to write the second part of my visit to the Kaffe Fassett Exhibition until yesterday as we had friends staying until Monday.

Then I spent ages yesterday evening trying to open my blog account with no success and much frustration on my part. It kept coming up with error messages.

I had not had a good day with "things"! First of all my iPad would open my Google mail  emails but not my Yahoo ones.  Eventually I asked my husband to help and he managed to sort out the problem.
Then I went to my granddaughter's school to yarn bomb another tree.  That was done and I enjoyed it except for the temperatures which were more like winter, not nice for working outside. I tried to photograph all three yarn bombed trees and the camera didn't work again.  DH had sorted it from last week when it failed whilst I was trying to photograph the first two trees but it appears he had slid across some button which didn't allow the camara to work AGAIN yesterday.  So then when I couldn't get into my blog last night I was completely fed up with all things technical.

However, here are the rest of my photos from last week's visit to York:

Firstly a close up of KF's Organic Radiation: based on Hearts and Crosses 



Then 2 corners of KF's Trip around the World: based on Diamond Medallion Top 1790 - 1860




A rather blurred close up of KF's Hot Wheels: based on Wheels Quilt 1850 - 1900

 
Close up of the centre of KF's Diamond Jubilee Quilt: 

 
which was based on this quilt: Cartwright Hexagon Coverlet 1865



And two close ups of KF's Autumn Crosses: based on a log cabin called the
Elderton Log Cabin Coverlet c. 1890



 
The original Log Cabin was red, white and cream, the blocks arranged in groups of four with the cream logs to the centre.
This was what Kaffe had honed in on, as the creams said "crosses" to him, hence the crosses.
His quilt was so effective in those delicious citrus colours. Interestingly once I had looked at his "Crosses" version and then looked back at the original quilt, the cream "crosses" jumped out at me too.


And finally, a close up of the centre of the quilt I began this post with, KF's Organic Radiation.


 
So, to sum up, some gorgeous KF quilts, in his signature bright glowing strong colours side by side with the original historical quilts which had inspired him.  It was very interesting to see which element of the original quilt he had made the focus for his version. Of course the sewing skills in the old quilts were amazing, tiny tiny hand stitches were unbelievable.
 
My favourite KF quilt was Hot Wheels, followed closely by Autumn Crosses.  Both of my friends chose the same ones as favourite - Diamond Jubilee followed by Trip around the World.
 
So do go to York if you can, you will not be disappointed.
 
Ancestral Gifts
15 May - 12 September 2015
Quilt Museum and Gallery, York
 
Reduced admission price for Quilters' Guild members so remember to take your card.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Kaffe Fassett Exhibition in York

What a wonderful day I had yesterday!

Two very dear quilting friends and I travelled up to York by train. Almost 3 hour journey on the way up, a little less on the way home. Both journeys very easy and pleasant and passed quickly as we chatted to each other and read.

I hadn't been to York for some years so it was lovely to be walking along such old streets (some pavements are still cobbled), looking at interesting shops, finding places to eat lunch and have tea before we came home.

El Piano was a most eclectic restaurant suggested by the lady in the Information Office. On the way we discovered a great shop Maude and Tommy which we returned to after our Exhibition trip.
All the food in El Piano was vegetarian which all three of us enjoy and we were not disappointed! I had a lovely veggie burger with a deliciously spicy tomato and coriander salad, couscous and "mathematical chips - square roots" which turned out to be square cut roasted potatoes in their skins with chunks of baked carrot.  All quite delicious, reasonably priced and a good sized portion - I couldn't finish it all.

Then re-fuelled, off we went to find The Quilters' Guild  QUILT MUSEUM AND GALLERY  housed in the delightful medieval St Anthony's Hall. I had seen pictures of the hall in the Quilter's Guild magazine but hadn't realised the beamed domed gallery was on the first floor.

Kaffe Fassett, Patron of the Quilters' Guild had worked with the Gallery, exploring their historic collection of quilts. He chose 15 quilts, dating from 1790 - 1940 which called out to him for various reasons and then used each quilt as inspiration for his modern 'take", using his own beautiful brightly coloured fabrics to create 15 new quilts.

The result is superb! beautifully hung in this lofty gallery, each new quilt beside or hung across or above the original quilt which Kaffe had used as his inspiration.  As a longtime Kaffe Fassett fan the exhibition just sang to me.

Photographs were very generously allowed as long as flash was not used.  this presented a difficulty for me as I didn't know how to turn off the flash.  One of the attendants helped me, managed to trick the camera for a couple of shots and then the wretched automatic flash returned.  A phone call to my husband who initially couldn't remember what to do, then he rang me back with an idea. it worked but it was almost closing time so a few very hurried snaps were taken!

So, a few photos to give you an idea of what we saw:

KF's BRIGHT SQUARES based on Small Squares Top c 1930

 
 

Ridehalgh Quilt 1860_1890

 
Paired with KF's SNOWBALL CRISSCROSS:
 
 
 
Hearts and crosses coverlet 1875 - 1900
 
 
 
 
Help!  Running out of time. Have to get going to my Patchwork Group meeting.  Will come back later today with the rest of my post about this wonderful exhibition.
 
 
 
 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Yarn bombing!

My granddaughter's Infants School is having an Arts Week starting today.  As part of the planning for the event,  the call went out for knitters to create 8" squares to use in a Tree Yarn Bombing Project.

Granny was asked to knit some squares and I managed to make 8 before this morning's deadline.

Here they are:

 
I started with the plain deep blue one then realised the scraps of yarn I wanted to use up would not be enough to make all plain squares and anyway, stripes would be much more fun to knit.  So, I made 8 striped ones, including the last one which really WAS scrappy!
 


As our family live just around the corner I was able to pop round before school this morning to give them to Annalise. She was so pleased, and looked carefully at each one.  She was really interested when she saw me knitting the other day and was keen to learn.  So, that's the next project!  I want to buy some small child-sized knitting needles and will have a look in our knitting shop when I am in town this afternoon.

I am looking forward to seeing the Yarn bombed tree. The school has beautiful grounds with plenty of lovely trees to choose from.  Will post photos later in the week.

Happy knitting!
 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

It's my birthday!

It's my birthday today and I have had a really lovely day.

Early this morning my husband appeared with a beautiful bouquet of 12 deep red roses, such long stems I felt compelled to measure them! 26" tall!

 
 
He then disappeared downstairs, only to appear a moment later with a tray bearing two glasses and a small bottle of champagne! I hasten to say we didn't drink it then, rather too early at 5.30am but tomorrow evening we certainly will.  Then tea and cereals in bed.
 
 
I then opened lots of cards that had arrived before my birthday and made a pleasing arrangement in our bay window.
 





 
The roses were extra special as when I celebrated my 60th birthday in Venice a few years ago the hotel arranged 12 long stemmed deep red roses in our bedroom along with a bottle of champagne. So my dear husband decided to do the same this year - especially as we had just returned from a five day trip to Venice.  He is very romantic.
 
Off to my regular Patchwork Group's Thursday meeting - more good wishes, cards and gifts!  I really feel spoilt.  Then off to lunch with my husband, daughter and granddaughter and my dear niece who was born on my birthday and amazingly is 50 today!
 


And here we are!

What a lovely day spent with close family and friends. I am a very lucky girl.
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Another entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival

I make a lot of Baby Quilts and the one I have chosen to enter Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival is a quilt I completed last October.  Our cousin's daughter was pregnant and I was quite convinced the baby would be a boy, so I made this quilt:



I had previously bought some "Boy" fabrics and used them in this quilt.
The pattern I chose was Fairy Lights by Ruth Buchanan, published in a magazine in 2007.
 
The selection of fabrics were perfect for this pattern as I wanted to showcase the lovely fabrics: gorgeous elephants, trains, cars and rows of fairy mushrooms.
 
I loved making the blocks as I always enjoy the process of making HSTs.  When I came to lay out the blocks I discovered that Ruth had used non-directional fabrics whereas mine were directional ones!  No problem - I just added an extra strip of HSTs to the fourth side of each block. More sewing but I had enough fabric and it made the quilt a good size, 42" square, which I think is a useful size for a Baby Quilt.
 
Here's a close up of those lovely fabrics and the HST borders around the blocks.

 
 
The quilt is still with me as my baby prediction was wrong! Helen had a little girl so a very different quilt was gifted.  I still haven't thought of a suitable name for this quilt but I am sure a baby boy will come along and that this quilt will be a perfect gift and the perfect quilt name will come to me.
 
I would like to enter this quilt in Amy's Festival in the Small Quilt Category.