Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Jamie gets to road test Daddies cushion.Then it was on to the cushion. I had chosen quite a bold fabric as I was going to make a cushion for the sofa in my son's room. He is still in his cot so we have enough room for a sofa in his room. I chose the turtle fabric as it is a nice strong theme and the blue would liven up the sofa.
The cushion was made up of three panels, one 16 inch square and two 16 x 12 inch panels for the backing. I tried marking out the fabric as correctly as I could and then cut it with scissors. Now I had not appreciated how hard this was going to be to follow a straight line with scissors. I can see the advantage of a rotary cutter to get nice straight lines. After putting a tidy seam on each of the back panels, the three pieces were pinned together. I can't say that I found this supposedly simple task too easy either and I think there must be some tips that I can glean from the shop.
Anyway we were away and stitching round all sides of the square to make my cushion. I was pretty pleased as I came to the end and then turned it inside out to reveal... Yep I hadn't put all the front sides together and now the front of my cushion was the wrong side. I wasn't the only one to make this basic but really annoying mistake. We had run out of time at the class so I would have to unpick at home and do it again.
At home I was using an old Bernina sewing machine of my mums. It had lots more buttons to press, an LCD screen but after a bit of work I had the bobbin loaded, straight stitch selected and was ready to go. Things did not go well, I could not follow a straight line and the stitching was going off all the time. I had to unpick three or four times, until I marked the straight lines on the fabric and then I could follow that. I think I might not have been going fast enough and wasn't letting the machine do the work. Eventually though it was done, I turned it inside out, pushed out the corners and loaded a cushion inside. Despite all the errors I am pleased with the result.
The finished cushion in place.
Pinning is harder than it looks to make sure the fabrics don't pucker up.
Sewing in a straight line and following a guide isn't that easy and needs practice.
Double and then triple check that you are sewing your fabric pieces the right way round!!
Cutting a straight line with scissors takes practice and a rotary cutter goes faster.
Next week is a door-stop!!
Saturday, 3 October 2009
There are about eight of us in the class, all with slightly varying expectations but it seemed that I wasn't out of my depth and didn't need the class on sewing for 'real complete absolute novices who haven't a clue'. Our teacher leapt straight in and showed us the sewing machines we would be using, basic but good quality Bernina Bernette machines, showed us how to put thread on the bobbin, how to load the bobbin, how to thread the needle and then said off you go!!
We had a machine each and after a few false starts and conferrings between us after twenty minutes bobbins were loaded and we were ready to sew. Now I am sure this seems very basic stuff for many of you. But I have to admit that a sewing machine is quite a daunting beast and I have never known how they work. Then with a scrap piece of fabric we were off and trying to sew. First off was a straight stitch, then lifting the foot and turning corners, fancy stitches and varying stitch width and length. You can see my first trial piece below. I have to admit it was really good fun.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Because I also get to see all the patchwork and quilting books that we sell, I can only marvel at the fantastic designs and creations that are on display. I also get an opportunity to see them up close as we attend two quilt shows a year, at Malvern and the Festival of Quilts at the NEC. We set up our stands for these shows the day before they open to the public and whilst unloading the vans of stock, I try and take the opportunity to look at the quilts on display. At the Festival of Quilts this year the detailed quilting work of Sandie Lush and the art quilts of Ferret stood out for me. We are also fortunate that on our stand we had examples of the quilts from Kaffe Fassett's new book Quilt Romance on display. Kaffe's fabrics are always bright and bold and the combination of intricate designs and vivid colouration works really well.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Anna is sitting on her new Gum Drop Cushion with Oscar the black lab puppy in the foreground the day before she went off to University. Stuffed with polystyrene balls it makes a great extra seat for a student's room.
Made from Amy Butler's fabrics from the August Fields range the furnishing fabric weight fabric with a sateen finish is perfect for the Cushion where a bit more strength is needed.
And....it only takes a couple of hours to make!
I am a teacher, and have just left my full-time job to concentrate more on my textile work, having reached a point where even an 8 to 6 day, plus work at the weekend and in the holidays still weren't enough to keep up with the ever-increasing demands for paperwork - and I was only teaching four and five year-olds! I'll miss the children, having seen whole families through their Reception years in the 12 years I was at the school. However, my own children are grown up and nearly independent (never speak too soon!), and I thought that if I didn't make the jump now I would always regret it. Money is going to be tighter, but the mortgage is paid, and my husband loves his teaching job (PE) and also the increased availability of clean socks and good cooking that comes from having a wife on the premises for a greater proportion of the day. I'm going to look out for a part-time teaching post during the year, but I'm not rushing into anything at the moment.
I used to write for Patchwork & Quilting magazine, quite a few years ago, but had to stop when my late mother became ill, and I had to spend a lot of time looking after her. Writing got put on hold, and I haven't had time to think about it again until now. I'm hoping that articles, or even a book may emerge over time."
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
So, we would like to share with you the latest witticism to hit the Cotton Patch. A customer who is a member of a group that has just restarted classes was asked by the teacher if they were all members of SABLE. Blank looks were cast around the room. The teacher announced that she felt quite confident that unwittingly there would be more than a few Sable members in the class. Recognition of membership might be considered a badge of honour for some quilters. So, if you think you are a member of SABLE just consider whether you would classify -
Please share with your quilting friends!
Friday, 4 September 2009
All photos courtesy of Liz Hingley.
Amy and David Butler, Marti and Richard Michell and Kaffe Fassett signing his latest book "Kaffe Fassett's quilt romance".
There are a few blog posts around the net you might like to check out on the Festival of Quilts - one I loved is the Henhouse Blog Great photos and what a fantastic collection of fabrics and goodies to drool over - her choice of book "Material Obsession" seems particularly apt!
Having fun at Amy's class..
All those lovely Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler packets, fat quarters and packs...!
Sandy Chandler going non-stop with curved piecing! She could have made a large King-sized quilt with all those pieces!
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Here are some more images from the show that we thought we should share.
All photos were taken by Liz Hingley.
Sandy Chandler demonstrated her Curvemaster Patchwork foot to hundreds of people during the four days of the show - showing that no one need be afraid of curved piecing - you just need the Curvemaster, long tweezers and seam roller for perfect results!
Sandy's entertaining and informative style drew the crowds...
Friday, 28 August 2009
Accents from all over Europe and North America could be heard every day. So thank you to everyone who visited The Cotton Patch stands - we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and we look forward to seeing you again next year!
We were fortunate to have the photographer Liz Hingley on the stand on Friday to capture some of the essence of the atmosphere of the show. It was Liz's first Festival and like so many first-time visitors was amazed and inspired by it. Over the next few days we'll be posting some of her images... For those of you unable to make it we hope it gives you the motivation to join us next year!
More photos will follow. For those of you into social networking you might like to join the Festival of Quilts Facebook group - just follow this link.
Monday, 10 August 2009
Joy has been collecting blocks and the latest update at the Quilt Block Orphanage is as follows:
Blocks received as at 31.7.09 is 3,672.
The number of quilts completed is 162 (a lovely example is shown right).
There are then another 37 quilt tops made ready for the next stage.
She has also now set up a photo site so that people can see the quilts that have been made from the orphan blocks. If they look closely they may even recognise some of the blocks that they sent in!! Joy would love to hear from you - you can post a comment there or contact her at the email address on the newsletter which you can view using the link below.
The address for the photo gallery is http://www.flickr.com/photos/orphan_block/
To view the latest Project Linus newsletter please click the link below.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Thursday 10:30 - 12:00 and 4:45 - 5:15
Friday 10:30 - 12:00 and 4:45 - 5:15
Saturday 10:30 - 12:30 and 2:00 - 3:00
Sunday 10.00 - 11.00
Thursday 11:00 - 1:00 and 2:30 - 4:00.
Friday 11:00 - 1:00 and 2:30 - 4:00.
This Rowan Patchwork & Quilting book is styled by Kaffe Fassett and photographed by Debbie Patterson in the dramatic Pennine landscape of Yorkshire, amongst the barns and lichen encrusted mossy dry-stone walls that are so characteristic of the roadside scene in this part of Northern England.
We hope you can visit the NEC in August and if you do, we look forward to seeing you there!
Thursday, 28 May 2009
More photos to follow...
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Georgina said ...
"Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the ring binder kit I bought at Malvern. Got one for my DIL's b'day and thought I'd better get one to check it worked okay. I used up a bit of embroidery I have had hanging around waiting for a home for 10 years!I had such fun and can't wait until payday so I can order more kits!!!
For a bigger picture you can view it the pic on Flickr!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/35769193@N02/3554475796/
Thursday, 21 May 2009
All this creativity will be happening in Stone, Staffordshire which is easily accessible from the M6 and A34 - just one hour from Birmingham, Manchester, Chester, Shrewsbury, Worcester and Leicester.
The workshop is on Saturday 12th September 2009 and will run from 10am to 4pm. Places are limited to 12 students and the cost is a bargain at £40 - just think about how much fun you'll have designing quilts, playing with colour and enjoying their famous chocolate biscuits throughout the day!Further details and for how to book - visit their website - http://www.chrisandbarbara.co.uk/