Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Karen Styles

 During the summer I had the great fortune of meeting Karen Styles and attending her workshop at Cowslip Workshops in Cornwall.

It was great fun and Karen is a lovely person, generous with her knowledge. We are photographed in front of this magnificent quilt which Karen named Okehampton.




This is the centre of my effort using a fabric from Karen's range called Devon County and going with the colours I was wearing that day. Always the biggest dilemma for me choosing the fabric but I love where this is heading. I know my quilts all end up looking pink but this might be more plum coloured. We shall see in time.


Day 2 was about clamshells and how to get them to line up. Here they are just placed and not stitched down yet. Loving this and could easily see myself making a whole quilt in clamshells. Best do the borders first.



These hexagon rosettes are 3/8" and tiny but they give such amazing results in fussy cutting. My granddaughter thinks they are flowers and asks if she can play with them. I need to frisk her before she goes home as my sewing things often end up in her toy box at her home.

 

As ever at Cowslip whatever the time of year there are flowers on the table.



Safe to say that I had a truly lovely time and met up with equally lovely ladies who I hope will be there next time for another sewing adventure.

Happy Stitching

Shirley.x

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Discovery

It has been a long time in the making of this quilt top and indeed a long time since my last post. I promised myself more blog posts but something went off course a little. Well, here I am. I made it.

Discovery by Petra Prins and Nel Kooiman. A project with Quiltmania Magazine.

Do you know how much I love this quilt top? I have enjoyed every single stitch. Even the ones that had to be undone and done again.

If there is a stitching version of dyslexia then I think I have it. So many silly things that I did wrong. 

Last round. Sewed two sides on to discover that one of the star blocks was the wrong way round. Unpicked it and put it right.  Got the third side on only to discover that I had sewn them upside down. All three sides came off. Now back in their correct place. Fourth side, cracked it. Yay!


Think this is the first time I have ever finished and reasonably kept up with a mystery quilt or block of the month. These Dutch Heritage fabrics are a pleasure to stitch with. Of course it has to be quilted but I am still thinkng about that one. 


Getting a full picture is not easy and this was taken in Kate's sewing studio. Cute little Daisy getting in on the act too.


I have included a couple of photo's of a day out wandering around the grounds of Dunster Castle. It was a perfectly lovely summer's day that has since eluded us. Today was a day of heavy downpours and it felt cold. 


Hydrangeas are beautiful here and this one was one of my favourites.



We had a lovely chat today at my sewing group about life, stitching, blogging. I was inspired to write this post because of it. If you are reading please leave a comment. I could do with a like button such as the one on Instagram. Do you blog? Do you prefer Instagram? Do you read or just look at photo's. I would love to know your thoughts.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Tulipa

This is the year of the Aussie Quilter at Cowslip Workshops and in the middle of May it was the turn of Irene Blanck.  I have been a fan of Irene's for quite a few years  and was so looking forward to this fabulous opportunity of classes. I chose to make Tulipa. This pattern is in Irene's book Focus on Applique, published by Quiltmania.

As you would expect mine has to look pink. Making it completely scrappy and so far there are 72 different fabrics. Think up to date I have three tulips left to stitch.  Really love this design.

 

Think you can tell we had a bit of fun going on. Irene's gorgeous quilt in the background. As you can see there is quite a way to go yet. Irene called me Stitcherydo throughout the weekend.

 

I wish this app would allow more than 5 photo's but here are a few more versions. Wish I could remember the lady's name who is making this.

 

This beauty belongs to my friend Marie. Mostly Liberty fabrics and looking like her wonderful garden. Soft and gentle and I love it. The stars are cut out ready to go but just placed for show. Love the lavenders.

 

These blocks belong to a lady named Sue who popped in to show everyone her work in progress. This is going to be a wonderful quilt.

 

The weekend went far too quickly but the good news is that Irene is coming back in two years to teach and to hold an exhibition in the barn. That will be one for the diary and one not to miss. Had better get stitching.

Happy Stitching

Shirley.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Di and Petra


The exhibition at Cowslip Workshops of Di Ford Hall and Petra Prins was something not to be missed. Something here for everyone and each one a work of art. Also included in the exhibition were quilts made by students. All beautifully displayed in this fabulous gallery space. A great meeting place too with so many familiar faces.

 
On my wish list to make is the gorgeous quilt on the wagon, one from Petra. Beautiful Dutch fabrics and big blocks.

 
Everywhere you looked there was a visual feast.

The quilt shown at the bottom left is one of Jo's.


This one is Pendle Hill by Di, looking magnificent after only seeing it in various stages of its creation at workshops. Think this one is my favourite but then I move on to the next quilt and change my mind.  Exquisite workmanship. 

  
There was also a talk with a show and tell of antique quilts belonging to Petra and both Di and Petra talking about their own quilts. There were so many quilts and this new app will only allow me five photo's. Nowhere near enough.

With hexagons now being popular virtually everywhere it was good to see these old ones from the 1800's. the one on the left was made of 1/2" hexagons and a quilt top. Disintegrated in places, wear and tear and stress from dye still did not detract from this beautiful piece of work. There is hope when seeing this that maybe not all our quilts have to be made up. Many were not quilted and simply left as they were or had a plain calico back and used as a coverlet.

 

I wonder what is next from this gorgeously talented and awesome duo. 

Happy Stitching.

Shirley.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Petra and China Blue

This gorgeous quilt is from Petra Prins's new book and all the stars are fussy cut from the Dutch Heritage fabrics. Right up my street. Petra was teaching this class at Cowslip Workshops and so I booked it. Petra's classes are always a delight.

 

Of course my version had to be pink. I changed the background fabric from the one in the kit and I am pleased with it.

 

It is not a big quilt, more cot sized I would say but these are 2" diamonds and hexagons so it will grow quickly.

 

In class, as we finished one star it had to be pinned to the wall and as you can see they all look amazing. My suggestion was that this would make a fabulous group quilt for charity.

 

At my sewing group Margaret's daughter has ventured into a cake making business and one of her products are these gorgeous quilt block inspired biscuits. Thought it went rather well with my not so mystery mystery quilt blocks. What is more, it was delicious. You can check out




 

Happy Stitching

Shirley.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Our Ancient Mariners

It is hard to believe that a whole twelve months has flown by since our last workshop with the ever talented Di Ford Hall. In that time Di has had her 2nd book published by Quiltmania for which she made 14 quilts. Think she did it in two years but even so, how many of us can lay claim to completing them many quilts in that time? During this time she had a nasty altercation with one of her horses resulting in surgery on her shoulder. I think she is Wonder Woman.

This year I had two days with Di. This one was at Cheltenham with Sue Watters. As always it is a fabulous day. Sue is a great hostess.

I started this project from Di's new book and it is called Our Ancient Mariners. I used some of Di's fabrics and some from my stash.


 

I stitched like a demon in an effort to get the centre assembled for the next class which was at Cowslip Workshops in Cornwall. Di's classes are always relaxing and fun and made even more so by such a lovely group of people.

 

By the end of the day my centre was set into a square and some fussy cutting begun. Still to make progress on this but I am pleased with it.

 

At Sue's we bring food to share and it is always a wonderful feast.. we even managed enough sunshine to sit out and eat. 

 

I have just noticed in this photo that the door handles in the background look like they spell Di. How strange is that?

Lots more to show and tell coming up.

Happy Stitching.

Shirley.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Making Progress

Someone asked me the other day if I was still making hexagons. The answer. Yes, I am. I cannot imagine a life now where these shapes did not feature somwhere in it. Even my three year old granddaughter knows what hexagons are and how to make them. She sits on my knee and pulls the needle through for me. She is happy for a few minutes. So am I because it means I have made a few more.

My beautiful gifted box for a birthday present that contained toiletries has been and still is much used. It is the perfect box with a pull out tray to stash away bigger pieces. I could have sworn I had blogged about this box and project but think it was mainly on Instagram. If you follow Instagram then I am on there under stitcherydo.

 

I had this idea in my head of using low volume fabrics and my ever growing scraps and of course my beloved pinks and this beautiful charcoal grey print.

Lots of cutting and prepping.

All sections now constructed and ready to have their plainer counterparts stitched in. Plenty more of them to keep me busy.

 

Assembling has begun. One day all will be revealed. It took me quite some time drawing and redesigning the outer border to make it all fit. The middle bit was easy. I can also say that using up the scraps for the colourful hexagons did not leave much of a dent nor to my pile of low volume fabrics. 

 

Better get stitching. Lots more to do yet but, progress has definitely been made.

Happy Stitching.

Shirley.