Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Sorry, but where has time gone .....

Sorry folks that I've been AWOL for so long.  So many things just kept creeping out of the 'woodwork' to knock me off course and put a spanner onto the quilting mojo.

It's not that I haven't been creating in one way or another - but I haven't taken photos and got organised enough to share with you all.

One thing that has taken up both time and energy has been my final year as President of the Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Guild.  I'm now into the final stretch of 3 years and we now have the big Triennial Exhibition completed.

Here are some photographs or our Guild section of the Exhibition (unfortunately I didn't get any photos of the naturals room as my camera battery died - you'd think that having been there almost every day I'd have got photos over the course of the exhibition, but no I left it to the last day - typical)

Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 

that's my felted seascape panel laying in the cornerDumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015 Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015
you can just see my short row working hat popping of the basket on the wall here (the autumnal shades are beautiful)Dumfries Triennial Exhibition 2015

I'm still spinning fibre and was lucky enough to be gifted a loom (in need of TLC) some time back.  I hope to get this loom cleaned and refurbished towards the autumn so that I can weave with some of my handspun fibres.

I've also just purchased 2kg of Egyptian cotton fabric for dyeing.  Yes the quilting mojo is blossoming      ;-)  and though I've got existing quilting projects to finish off I've joined in Lyndsey's PIPtesting Group on Flickr, which should be an interesting and relaxed Improv Round Robin Bee.  So bear with me there will be quilting project projects to blog about (and I've taken the precaution of buying a new camera battery charger, so hopefully there will be lots of photos).

Thank you for your patience whilst I wasn't blogging but hopefully things will pick up soon.
Take care.

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Triennial Exhibition 2015

As I've mentioned before our SWD Guild is one of three local Guilds / Groups that every three years combine to exhibit at the local Arts Centre - Gracefield (link to current programme).

The other Guild / Groups are - the Embroiders Guild and Solway Quilters.  Unfortunately being President of the SWD Guild has meant that I've temporarily set aside my membership of Solway Quilters to devote attention to the SWD's, but hopefully that will change come 2016.

The exhibition is a display of textiles, of various disciplines and shown over two buildings on the premises.  There are also raffles for each of the Guilds / Groups available to all who visit the exhibition.  

One project I'm currently working on is a baby quilt using hand dyed fabrics.  A series of 4 1/2" squares with improve triangles across two corners, which are randomly placed to create wonky squares.

Baby QuiltBaby QuiltBaby QuiltBaby Quilt
Here's the progress so far and I'm hoping to get it finished to display, tease folk at our corner at the Dumfries Agricultural show at Park Farm in August.

The is however another project I need to get finished for August too ..... a 21st birthday quilt for a lovely lassie.   More on that soon, (I hope).
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Monday, 16 June 2014

Yarn spinning

I've been swinging back between the SWD Guild activities and becoming involved in the first steps of organising the big three guild Triennial Exhibition in our local Arts Centre (Gracefield) next year.  So that has meant that crafting playtime has taken a bit of a back seat.

I do try to lift something small most evenings - currently I'm trying to knit two bias scarfs 

This one is with some merino / silk yarn I spun 2 years ago and I'm knitting it from the centre out and adding beads to the ends - a lovely fine yarn, knit on 6mm needles
merino / silk hand spun 
 Whereas this one is knit using some yarn scraps using linen stitch - these scraps have been through various trial projects and who's to say they will even last out this one, time will tell.

At our last Guild meeting I picked up 3x100g of BFL hand dyed tops and within 2 days had these two hanks of singles yarn spun - the third is well underway ......  a nice break from that fine spinning I seem to now do without thinking.  I'm intending using these singles for weaving.  Will I do some scarfs / shawls or maybe make some wide strips and make them into a blanket - time and mojo will tell.

BFL hand dyed/hand spun topsBFL hand dyed/hand spun tops

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Friday, 16 May 2014

Spring Quilt Festival

It's that time of year again - Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2014

We get the chance to surf around the world via the internet, viewing and admiring Bloggers Quilts of every style and size you can imagine.  So, without further ado, welcome all in blog land visiting my scribbles about patchwork, quilts, quilting, dyeing, spinning and general craftyness.

I missed out posting a quilt in the Autumn Festival last year - well basically because I didn't have one finished - home improvements and general life got in the road of quilting and crafting, but this year there is one finish already ......

So thanks Amy for holding the festival again and here's my contribution

A mini charm pack challenge for Fat Quarterly e-magazine - Feather Falls Quilt
the quilt measures 72" x 69" - ie:  Large Quilt Category 
is reverse applique - Applique Quilts Category
Quilted on a domestic machine - Home Machine Quilted Category
Modern / Contemporary - Modern Quilts Category
Designed by me - Original Design Quilts Category (but now available in Spring 2014 magazine)
Though a mini charm pack was used here it could be made using scraps -Scrappy Quilts  the large feather made using 1 charm pack
Another thing you'll notice if you look closely at the photos is that this quilt was made using a Quilt as You Go panel technique - making it easier to quilt on a domestic sewing machine - but that's not to say you can't make one using one large panel of background fabric, because you could.
The beauty about this quilt is that no matter how hard you try to create an identical copy it will always be different, and you don't have to stick with the feather shape you can do a leaf, a heart, a flower,an animal - well basically anything that takes your fancy.
With me when quilting, or crafting in general I love to 'play'.  I like to push the boundaries of my comfort zone and try new things.  More and more I love take the concept or idea of a quilt and try to create it.  Yes, sometimes it works and sometimes I have to adapt and rethink what I'm doing, or wanting to achieve, but more often than not the journey is fun and well worth it.

As a result from the 'journey' in making this quilt I've pulled out some batik charms and sewn them together for another reverse applique project - it's a smaller quilt but a larger design which is a bit more intricate which hopefully I'll have ready for the Autumn Bloggers Quilt Festival if I can get some of my other quilts finished (these include finishing an old UFO for a 21st birthday present in August).

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this springs festival.

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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Out today ...

The spring issue of Fat Quarterly is out and its all about mini charm packs.  

Towards the end of last year Lynne put a 'call' out to anyone interested in making something with some mini charm squares and I ended up being one of those who commented who was selected to create a pattern for the Spring Fat Quarterly issue, which is out today.

So here is Feather Falls Quilt:-
I want to thank all at Fat Quarterly, (especially Lynne), for trusting me to create something, as well as delivering the pattern, photos etc on time to the incredible Tacha, who pulled my scribbles and photos together to create an understandable article for this quarters issue of the Fat Quarterly e-magazine.

After mulling over various design ideas for the mini charm packs, I did the usual and jumped in with both feet flying and created a double bed quilt (approximately 70x70").

This ended up being a lovely fun and relatively quick project, (probably as I kept the FMQ into simple wandering lines).

I created it using reverse applique and QSYG panels, which also helped limit the usual FMQ problems of quilt bulk through a small 'harp' space on the sewing machine.  Something I will be doing again.

I hope you like it ...

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Monday, 14 April 2014

Where to go next?

So, following on from yesterday's 'How come' post, this is a list of items I want to complete for the SWD Guild challenges / exhibition with 'final' deadline months .......

  • Crib Quilt - March 2015 (want to have at the Guild to spur on others to make things), so working towards May 2014 
  • Soft sculpture spider - March 2015
  • Lichen scarf/shawl - hand spun fibre, felted panels - March 2015
  • Teal / batik quilt (because the back panels are hand dyed fabric) - March 2015
  • Raffle scarfs / shawls - something for the teens - March 2015
Here's a little insight into my warped way of planning:-

Crib Quilt -
Two cotton pillow cases - tea dye these a nice soft tone - secondary fabric another hand dyed fabric or use hand dyed fabric scraps?
Design - something along the improv format with a fleece backing - time to visit my improv Pinterest board
These designs jumped out at me

Now my dilemma is my current stash of hand dyed fabrics - as you may remember I'm using them on the back of the Batik / Teal curve quilt
Teal / batik QAYG Teal / batik curves quilt
So it looks like I'd best stick with fabric scraps if wanting to use fabric from my stash.  Of course I could dye more fabric but for that I'd best consider a colour palette.  Something non gender specific to go with a pale beige or do I play safe and stick with white?
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Sunday, 13 April 2014

How come .....

How come, she we are busy and have a pile of UFO' s waiting to be worked on,or better still completed, we end up considering something new that needs to be given priority ....

I must learn to think before I speak poor before I suggest something ... you see, in being the current president of the Dumfries SWD Guild I've been thinking about the various challenges and exhibitions that we will be having over the next year to 18 months.

It's also had me thinking about stretching ourselves a little, in trying new things and thinking'outside the box'.  In mentioning it at our last meeting I suggested that we group items together for the raffle prizes, and making them more enticing and specific for folk to be able to select which prize they'd love to win - eg:  adult female, adult male, baby layette items, crafters supplies etc.

So now I'm thinking what can I shop to help inspire other members into making?  A scarf, a shawl, a crib quilt or a patchwork bib ..... And, this is in addition to trying to create a fabric sculpture (or two).

The simple fact is I must be nuts, but in all honesty I'm loving the challenge.  So who knows which item will be completed first, but I promise to share the journey with you - see you all soon.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

More news .....

I spent last night - ripping out and rewinding up the hand spun yarn from the shawl I shared with you yesterday.  

The closer to completion, the more I became unsure of the shape and how it would sit.  So I'm off to see what 'pattern' I'd like to try.

As I mentioned yesterday, it's that time of year again - for the SWD National Exhibition.  This year the exhibition will be at Hostry at Norwich Cathedral and the crypt of Norwich School (which is in the grounds of the Cathedral) from 15th May until 1st June 2014.

Last year I was amazed when my Jacaranda Dreams quilt was selected for the exhibition and this year another quilted project - a work bag - has been selected.  

Work BagWork BagWork Bag

I think next year I'll maybe submit the cushion I did for Fat Quarterly Aurifil tester, 

finished cushion
hopefully along with another hand dyed quilt project, (which has yet to be conceived and fabricated).

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A little play time .....

Last week I decided to make a little 8" bag for the open selection at the Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Guild National Exhibition.  I wanted something quick and easy to do that I could take to our Guild on the 12th April.

Inspired by Wings quilts by Kathleen Probst  - I came up with this sketch design

8" bag for SWD National Exhibition
and in a few hours had made this ......

8" bag for SWD National Exhibition 8" bag for SWD National Exhibition
Another last minute 'make' last week was to start a hand knit shawl.  I'd doodled a shawl shape towards the end of last year on some scrap paper at work and have periodically mulling over the how to's etc on how it could be made.  But last Thursday night I just hunted out the beautiful merino/silk yarn I'd spun up from Limegreenjelly. 

Shawl Shawl
Great progress so far.  I just hope it looks good - shape wise - when it's pressed .....

An, I've been doing a few sketches

Quilt design sketches Quilt design sketches Quilt design sketches

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