Wednesday 19 June 2013

Of rotary cutters and patchwork

Have just delivered a crash course in machine patchworking at the WI's Denman College. It's a lovely place to teach and Hope sets up the textiles room beautifully with all the equipment that my students will need and a laptop linked to a large screen, so that I show them useful and inspiring sites and links.
There were only three in the group which meant that they got lots of advice, top tips and hands on help from yours truly. Discovering the joy and ease of using a rotary cutter and quilting ruler is something of a transformative moment, both in terms of accuracy of cutting and also speed.
It was a very relaxed but highly productive course, which is the perfect combination, and the other course that was running in the teaching centre, commented on the amount of giggling and laughter coming from our room - and that's a good thing as far as I am concerned!
So here are some pics of what we got up to....

Gill made a cover for a large floor cushion/bean bag
that is going to be used in a children's library - lucky children!
Leanne with lovely bird motif cushion cover
Vicky's colour combinations are so fresh and summery
Careful pressing of seams is a key part of
machine patchwork

Getting to grips with newly acquired sewing machine
Table full of inspirational items

Thursday 6 June 2013

Of quilts and the quilting process

So ArtWeeks has been and gone, I managed to finish my quilt and it attracted some lovely comments.
I am pleased with it and miss the making of it, the playing with fabrics, mixing and matching my eclectic finds, velvets with ticking and vintage linens with traditional Sanderson prints. I was going to say that that is the part of the creative process I enjoy most, but stopped myself because actually I love the whole design and make 'event'; the scribbled idea, the trawling through fabrics for the initial selection, the fine tuning of that choice, the cutting and stitching and assembly of the elements in to something new and original and beautiful. Then there's the final stages of backing and wadding and button quilting - not so creative more process but it finishes the quilt off and stops it from becoming an ongoing never to be completed assemblage.
So what next, I would like to do a blue themed one, but the idea of the dining room disappearing under fabric again is stalling me, meanwhile I think about it and it forms itself as a 'virtual' quilt somewhere in my mental ether  where it lurks until I raid my stash and resign myself to domestic quilting chaos once more.

The back showing the vintage Marks and Spencer sheet I found on Ebay,
love those fresh yellow and white stripes
Detail showing corner which I mitred properly and the
double rows of top stitching, one hidden in the seam between the edging
and the quilt and one half way between that seam and the edge 

Detail showing some of the different block designs and
fabric combinations, love the velvet with the Sanderson
Another detail
The finished piece, it covers the top of a king sized bed and
you can clearly see the five large squares that form the basis
for the design

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