Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A new start, a WIP and some purchases...

As I am on annual leave, I have taken advantage between the housework - a sort of reward system (!) to complete some blocks and prepare and bag blocks for September which is looking to be a very busy month.

Maltaville Quilt
I have finally begun this quilt, after months of prevaricating about the background fabric, I have finally decided to go with what I originally intended, a Moda marble. I am still not very happy with my choice as the weave is very close and is taking some needling which has me worried when it comes to the quilting, which I do by hand. In the original quilt, each block was quilted differently (see previous postings for a full picture of the quilt) and I would like to eventually replicate this.
Maltaville Quilt - block F8
Here is my first block - F8 - a simple stem with leaves, although with my fabric choice, the stem reminds me somewhat of a worm! I have kept quite close to the colourings of the original fabric. This is the only block in the quilt with this fabric, even the background fabric was a lighter colour than the remainder of the quilt. Unfortunately, my original photograph of the block is a little too fuzzy, so I cannot tell who the original maker was, but I have wondered whether she was from out of the area. Many thanks to Margaret Mew over at Quilt Station for reproducing the blocks of this quilt. I am looking forward to this new journey, which will become my commuting project.

Everything old is new again quilt

Another block completed. I cannot help but think that the two flowers should have a centre, but the pattern did not show this so... ?Maybe at a later date.

Some purchases...
From the Festival of Quilts - I am sure I bought more than this?

Petra Prins' new book. Full of beautiful quilts to inspire, many of which use Dutch chintz fabrics. The book has very clear instructions, but at first takes some getting used to, as they are printed both in French and English. The Quilt Studies book has a very good paper by Caroline Ducey from the International Quilt Study Centre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Chintz Quilts, which are one of my quilting interests.

Talking of which, I could not resist... Some Dutch chintz fabrics from Den Haan and Wagenmakers in Amsterdam, Netherlands. These are sitting in a little basket on my sideboard, so I can just enjoy the colours. Better than flowers they do not fade and die!

Some quarters for various projects including from left to right, the Sundial Quilt, the Phoebe Quilt and along the bottom for the Maltaville Quilt.

This is a bit of a departure for me - some Umanji fabric from South Africa. I loved the bright, vibrant colours and did think about using them as an applique project set against a black background. This fabric (cotton) and the designs have been around since the 18th century, but maybe they are too, too bright.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Festival of Quilts - part 4!

I thought I would give a flavour of what it was like to be there...

The relative peace and quiet at the entrance to the show halls belies what is actually happening inside!

Shopping in one of the merchant's lanes. It is usually at this point that I give up and go back to my hotel for a couple of hours to let the melee die down and the coaches leave for home!

Bep from Petra Prins' shop, takes advantage of a lull in sales, to tidy up the display.

 Lunch time in the Quilter's Cafe - is there a spare seat anywhere?

A little oasis of calm in one of the picnic areas! I became a regular feature!

As well as masterclasses and half day and twilight classes and talks, there are 1 hour workshops run throughout the day. Unusually for me I did not take any classes this year.

Most of the sewing machine suppliers were there giving lessons on how to use your machine. I steered well away from the Brother stand, I have come too, too close to purchasing a new machine in the past!

This was on the Cotton Patch stand advertising and show casing Rowan fabrics by Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at some of my photographs. Until next year...

Festival of Quilts - part 3

Some more quilts that took my eye!

Add caption

"The Fun of the Fair"
School Quilt Club, Cottingham

"Harvest Festival"

"Polly's Quilt"
Tracy Aplin and Polly Aplin, Deal

Judge's Choice

"Mexican Sunset"
Maggi Schwimmer & Claudia Pfel(Longarm), Germany

2nd prize - 2 persons quilt

"Sweet Undoing"
Greta Fitchett, Derby

Add caption

"Flying Goslings" (Miniature)
Dorian Walton, Stevenage

"Ring of Roses" (Miniature)
Jacquie Harvey, Holt

Highly Commended

"Seaside" (Miniatrue)
Julia Gahagan, Camberley

"Corse" (Miniatrure)
Jenny Rolfe, North Kilworth

"Whig Rose"

Region 2 Banner

The Quilter's Guild of the British Isles is divided into regions and this is my region - Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The banner depicts the Oast Houses - a distinctive building of the region in which hops, for beer making, were dried, before being taken to the brewery

"Melinda's Zinnias"
Robyn Fahy, Drumquin, Northern Ireland

3rd Prize Pictorial

Monday, 15 August 2011

Festival of Quilts - part 2

These are photographs that were either a favourite or took my eye!

"Sweet Dreams"
Gill Hollingsworth & Linda Paris(Longarm), Marden

"My Baltimore Baskets"
Rosalind Sutton, Nottingham

"Whig Rose"
Margaret Hamilton, Porthmadog

"Practise... Practise... Practise"
Helen Worwood, Epsom

Hanne Asbey, Aberdeen

2nd prize - Traditional Quilts

Elke Voelker-Kobusch & Manuela Schaenke(Longarm), Meerbusch, Germany

3rd prize - Two person quilts

"Flowers of Kalosca"
Ilona Szabone-Tornyai, Hungary


From France

Bernadette Mayr, Kempton, Germany

"Heartache and Hope"
Jackie Smith, Hertford

The last two photographs were inspired by a visit to the Foundling Hospital in London, which held a major exhibition last year, which was extended into this year. The Foundling Hospital was where you could hand over your child to be cared for in difficult times. As many of the mothers could not read or write, they left one half of a piece of fabric or a ribbon etc with their child, whilst the mother kept the other by means of identifying their child later, in the hopes of being reunited. Consequently, and very sadly, there are books and books full of entries for each child who was never reunited and attached to the entry is the child's identification fabric, ribbon etc.

Part 3 to come

Festival of Quilts - part 1

This year's Festival of Quilts at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham has drawn to an end. I have just spent three very busy and somewhat tiring days there and I thought I would share some photographs of the winners and some of the quilts that caught my eye.

General impressions this year was that there were fewer quilts on display, particularly full bed quilts. I think this has much to do with the competition categories of which there are very few when compared to other international quilt shows, therefore not encouraging a greater breadth of entries, but I will not harp on about this...  Where possible I have added the quilter's name and title of their quilt and whilst I made sure I kept a check on this, it is apparent from my notations in the catalogue that I did not document some. My apologies therefore to the quilter. If anyone can fill the gaps for me I would be grateful!

I have started with some of the winners and will continue with some of the quilts that I enjoyed in another post (or two!). Enjoy the photographs!

Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga, Kollumerzwaag, The Netherlands

Best in Show
1st Art Quilt, Best Amateur Quilt

Close-up of Best in Show

"Hot Africa"
Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga, Kollumerzwaag, The Netherlands

1st Pictorial

"Heart's Desire"
Deborah Kemball, London

1st Traditional Quilt

Close-up of 1st Traditional

"Dear Jane, it's the 21st century"
Valerie Mullally, Kells, Ireland

1st Contemporary

Margaret McDonald & Susan Campbell (Longarm), Victoria, Australia

1st  Two Person Quilts

"Blue like a Wedgwood"
Kumiko Frydl, Texas, USA

1st Miniature

Mere Kats, Chester

1st Group
This group piece caused much amusement and I would not mind betting that it may have won Viewer's Choice. We in Britain have a fascination for Meerkats - they are not native to Britain but live in the desert of Namibia and other parts of Africa and have strong family relationships. Ever since a wildlife documentary about meerkats and a couple of "soap" series called Meerkat Manor, meerkats have been appearing in many guises, including a highly successful advertising campaign for an on-line motor insurance company. As a result, there are now meerkat toys representing some of the characters and a new word has entered the English vocabulary "Simples!" Now the meerkats have been immortalised as quilters at a quilt show!
Close-up 1

Close-up 2

Close-up 3

 More photographs to come in Part 2!