Thursday, 24 July 2014

Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014

Last weekend was the 3rd Fat Quarterly Retreat. Now like a muppet I didn't take many photos and still haven't sorted out my goodies or anything.

Thankfully others are a lot more organised than I am and if you check out the linky party you will be able to read a lot more about it.

I had an absolutely wonderful time over the whole weekend.

I did two different classes with Jen Kingwell. One on hand quilting and the other on hand piecing and appliqué based on her Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern. She was a great teacher and I learned loads as well as being down to earth and just plain lovely. Having her on our quiz team was very amusing when her shop was an answer.

Jen also provided all the attendees to her classes with a finger pin cushion.


I also did two classes with Karen Lewis of Blueberry Park. The first was on screen printing and I had great fun and left with lots of ideas.


The second class was one where she stepped in at the last minute as the planned tutor wasn't well. I've always wanted to make one of Charlotte's fracture quilts and now I have finally started it. All the fabric for this class was very generously provided by Oakshott and it was great fun working out a colour palette.

My last class was with Lynne herself and was a great little class on the app Touchdraw. I've been using this for a while but I was hoping to get some hints and tips and boy did I! I've been squealing ever since over one particular feature which I will explore in more detail later on.

For me though as great as the classes were, it's all about the people. Spending time with old friends, getting to know some better and making new ones. I loved it. The energy helped reinvigorate me as I have been running on empty for some time, laughter really is the best therapy.

And talking of therapy, the main reason I have been so depleted is that after two years I completed my HPD in counselling and psychotherapy, I am now a qualified counsellor. Over the last term the stress and anxiety had been really getting to me and although my course ended the week before the retreat I hadn't been able to unwind until the retreat. That's when I was able to finally relax.

I'll post later on the goodies I came away with.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Quarter 3 finish a long

It's time to make my declaration on what I hope to achieve over the next quarter.

I'm going to be a bit naughty as some of my projects are nearly finished and just waiting for binding or having a hanging sleeve added.

First - Ice-cream parlour. Yes it has a name. It is now decided that it will be in our guild show at festival of quilts, so it needs a hanging sleeve as well as binding. I want to get it done with a week so I can also take it to FQR next weekend.


Next is Migraine. This isn't going in the show so only needs binding.


Neon. This little mini is going in the show so needs a hanging sleeve.


Geese - also just needs binding. ( I had a quilting binge this quarter can you tell?)


4 boxy pouches. 3 are for swaps at the retreat and the 4th a belated birthday pressie.


This quilt needs some unpicking as I had tension issues. It then needs finishing off.


I'm also going to throw into the ring an older UFO top.


I'm really hopeful for this quarter as my course has finished, I'm now a qualified counsellor and I don't have to feel guilty anymore about time I spend sewing instead of studying!

Check out others targets at Katy's blog.



Thursday, 3 July 2014

Finish along round up quarter 2

After my complete failure in quarter 1 I decided to be a little bit more realistic in quarter 2 and posted my list here.

Thankfully half term was in this quarter and I got completely inspired so drum roll please I finished everything.

Firstly my secret sewing which was for the LMQG presidents new baby. Here he is enjoying his new quilt.

Then Jim's quilt which went down a treat with the new owner.

And I completed both charity quilts I had in progress.

For loads more finishes, check out the linky party


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Secret sewing

I did some secret sewing a while ago.

Details of it can be found over at the guild blog but below is the end result. And remember I was sewing, not baby making!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Quilting mojo - I love you

I've been quilting up a storm this week. It's half term and most of my course work is finished so I have been able to completely relax and spend lots of time with the frame.

First up was my tumbling blocks. I love making this, it was the first top I use my design wall for and I also got over my fear of y seams making it. I have been pondering ideas for ages and finally got a chance to play.

I used white aurifil and tried all sorts of feathers and then had a few of the blocks quilted more simply as a place to rest the eye.

Here is the best I could do of the whole quilt after it came of the frame.


And some detail pics.


It isn't bound yet, I am saving that for a few weeks. My guild is having an exhibition space at the festival of quilts this year and we need to pick entries soon. If this gets selected it will need a sleeve so I am waiting to bind until I know.

It's roughly 56x76 inches but I imagine it will shrink when it is completed.

And to see the quilting in more detail this is the back.


Next I loafed up my migraine top. I hardly ever name quilts but I had this named when I was designing it. I spotted this two colours together and just had to use them.


It is supposed to hurt your eyes, that's the look I was going for and so I quilted it in a simple zigzag to add to the effect. After the hours spent on the tumbling blocks, this was a doddle.

I have now got my third quilt of the week on the frame. This was from a bee I was in a couple of years ago. It's about halfway done now.


And the great thing is I have reduced my pile of tops waiting to quilt to just 4.

I've had a great week, hope you have as well.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

MQG challenge

Now that the London Modern Quilt Guild has joined up officially, I got to take part in their latest fabric challenge using Michael Miller fabric. Full details of the challenge can be found at their blog.

I really didn't know what I wanted to do with it but I was inspire by Susan's wonderful quilt as you go cushion. It's a technique I've always wanted to try so why not now?

I pieced a few strips together and then used the QAYG method to do a very wonky log cabin type of arrangement. I also went for wonky matchstick quilting which again is something I hardly ever do but wanted to give it a go.

Slowly but surely it grew but I didn't know what it was growing into.

Eventually I had a big enough piece and I was contemplating a tote bag, then the idea of adding words popped into my head. Now I have only recently finished my first quilt with words and swore to myself never again. I don't enjoy appliqué techniques. But the idea stuck and over a couple of days the words I wanted came to me.

They are all related to the work I've been doing on myself during my counselling course.

LOVE - love myself, something I haven't always been able to do

LIVE - live in the moment, the past is over and it can only hurt me if I let it

DREAM - I suffered insomnia for years, I cherish it now when I sleep well and have lots of dreams

With those thoughts in mind I have named this piece "Remember" and it is going to hang in my stairwell so I see if every day when I get up in the morning. To remember how important these things are for me and how hard I've had to work to experience them.

It's finished at 26x38 inches and I added some kona white for the words and the binding.


Sunday, 11 May 2014

More finishes

I have been attempting to take control of my stash and stop buying new stuff when I have so much in the house I can't even remember where it came from.

Using up some bits for charity quilts also gives me the opportunity to practice quilting on the frame.

I gathered a couple of mini charm packs I received in the goody bags at the last two fat quarterly retreats and sewed them together, I then found a jelly roll that I had absolutely no memory of and added all the pink strips from it to make this top.

When I quilted it I wanted to try feathers for the first time on the frame and just used the strips for guides. It's simple but effective. I added a stripes binding also from stash and it was done.

With the remaining strips from the jelly roll I went even simpler and came up with this.

I wanted to try large pebbles for the quilting. I've always found them awkward and thought the frame might help. It did a bit, but it still didn't feel very comfortable for me so I might not bother with them again. They do give a nice texture though.

I used the same binding, it was still out so why pack it away?

Both this quilts ended up at around 30x40 inches and are being donated to charity.

Both were on my finishalong list for this quarter so I feel very good at having finished them.