Saturday, 28 August 2010

FoQ Postscript

Well, a visit to Festival of Quilts wouldn't be complete without a little shopping would it?  Before I get to my confessions I should just mention a workshop I did with Janice Gunner.  This was a 3 hour workshop and it centred on the embellisher machine (needle felting machine).  I have owned an embellisher for two or three years but lately it has been languishing and lonely so I thought this workshop might get me going again.  

Janice provided us all with a pack containing pre-felt which was gorgeously soft and a pleasure to work with and a selection of fibres and she demonstrated various ways of combining the fabrics to differing effects.  The results above aren't wonderfully beautiful but they did remind me that this is a fun machine to work with and gave me lots of ideas to play with.  I just need to get my embellisher out now!

My shopping form the Show is more utilitarian than exciting although I did allow myself a special treat.  

As you can see I had to buy some pre-felt in the hope that that would get me working (not so far).  The palette of paints is a wonderfully portable pack of Koh-I-Noor paints that I keep reading about.

The colours are beautifully vibrant and they will be easy to pop in my case to use on holiday.

My special treat was this beautiful book by Jan Messent which is sumptuously illustrated and that I know will bring all kinds of inspiration.

In addition to the shopping I won a couple of pennants on the Pennants for Patchworkers stand which was a fundraiser for the Quilters Guild.

Last but not least, she doesn't know it yet because she's on her way home from the States, but I've decided to join with Kate North's Stay at Home Round Robin.  Each month Kate is issuing instructions for a section of a quilt so that, instead of the quilt moving on from person to person it stays in one place and we add to our own quilt each month.  It has an element of mystery quilt to it.

This is my effort for July and August.  July on the left is a 6 and a half inch (6" when finished) square which I chose to do in my version of crazy-ish log cabin and august is on the right, a 4" x 6" rectangle.  It all started from the small square of practice applique with the flower.  I'm looking forward to September's task :)

Today has been a lovely day for me, I spent a few hours in the company of my beautiful (step)daughter who I haven't seen for ages.  She is as lovely as ever and the time passed all too quickly.

Yesterday I went to see my friend who is still in hospital but who is still moving in the right direction.  Bless her, she's very frustrated by all this inactivity but hopefully she will soon have a change of scenery and either be home or in interim care.  For a 99 year old I can only marvel at her fortitude!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend (a holiday weekend in the UK).  I think the sun is going to shine!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 3

Before I start on a rather picture heavy post I am delighted to say that my Quilt has returned home safely this morning!  I'm impressed with how quickly it has been returned.  You can imagine my excitement, tearing off the packaging to see my baby again and to look for the judge's comments!  Then my dismay when I couldn't find them!  Fortunately I had a flash of inspiration and found the judge's envelope underneath the address label. Phew!  

Trepidation as I opened the envelope turned to a warm glow as I read the comments and found that apart from one "satisfactory" from one judge regarding the quilting (justified I thought) both judges gave either good or excellent!!!! Yay!!!!  I got an 'excellent' for "Edge treatment, hangs well'.  Yes!  I was desperate that my quilt should hang well so I am delighted that it did.  Ok, at the risk of blowing my own trumpet here are the actual comments:

Judge One:  Sand and Sea are clearly the message. Love the touches of frayed to denote sea spray.

Judge Two:  Your choice of fabrics and technique has brought this simple idea to life.

Happy me!

OK back to the Show.

This large traditional quilt, which is absolutely beautiful is by Cathi Smith O'Neill who I know through Kate North's blog and who I bumped into at the Show, twice!  I am in awe of the amount of work in this quilt, which is called "Frugal Jane".  

This is a detail of a large quilt by Louise Jessup entitled "Going Solo".  I was impressed by the many embroidered seagulls.  

This beautiful quilt "Letting Go" is by Nicola Kimber and recalls the tranquility of New Zealand.  This quilt won a Highly Commended.

Sarah Welsby's very subtle quilt which incorporates laminated paper.

This prize-winning quilt is by Luke Daymond in the Young Quilter group.  Luke won third prize for this quilt which was all his own work and incorporates a paper map.

These are the stunning Iraq Marriage blankets which have some beautiful motifs in them.  You can see some close up details of them on Margaret Cooter's blog for 24 August.

This beautiful floaty quilt is by Molly Bullick and is titled "South Asian Studies".  It arose from a Pojagi workshop at the 2009 FOQ.

Lastly, but very definitely not least, is the Roses From The Heart display which several people in blogland have been talking about.  I have blogged about this project before but I can't find where so I shall repeat the details, which are worthy of repeat. Each bonnet carries the name of a woman convict and people have been able to include the name of someone in their family or from their home town so that the project becomes more personal. 

  Christina Henri is amassing 25,266 bonnets made by women all over the world to commemorate the women who were transported to Australia, usually for the pettiest of transgressions.  Once assembled the bonnets will form a permanent installation.  Christina still need about 6000 bonnets for this project and you can download a pattern here.

The most moving sight of the exhibition was the sea of bonnets laid out on the exhibition floor.

A moving, emotional sight to consider all these lives torn out from everything they knew and to be sent thousands of miles away. 

On a  lighter note, I went to see my friend in hospital yesterday and she is doing well.  I was pleased to see her sitting out of bed.  Today I have heard that she has had her first walk on her newly mended leg and she is understandably delighted! :-)) 

Monday, 23 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 2

Friday night was Party Night in Birmingham and I had decided to join in, not knowing quite what to expect. The theme of the party was Fashion Sans Frontieres, a light-hearted but equally serious tussle between Russian and British designers and textile artists to design outfits within four criteria: Day Wear, Evening Wear, Accessories and Wearable Art. I only snapped a few of the outfits as Sandra and I were sitting quite a long way back but you should be able to see the very high standard of the clothes. Ferret had designed and made some fantastic outfits and the star of the evening was Tec (?) in a suit of armour, the bravest man in a sea of women!

After some rather complicated marking which appeared to say that Britain won but ended up with Russia in front (I think!) all the participants received a beautiful bouquet and a box of Coats threads. It was good to see some very talented young designers taking part and they made very expert models too.

The following morning all the outfits were on display at the Festival and I grabbed a few quick photos as I was about to leave.  I now wish I had captured more!

One of the Russian designs, a felted waistcoat.

I loved this Russian woven dress and hat which I think is based on a traditional style.

I love the waistcoat on the right.  I think the bloomers in the middle were sported by Jennie Rayment!  Along with 8" heels!  What a girl!

Helen Deighan made and modelled this amazing coiled dress above and had a nest of baskets to match (a play on the Russian Babooshka Dolls).

Lastly but decidedly not least is this unbelievable leather coat designed, made and modelled by Ferret which you can see in progress on her blog.  The phoenix comes from her astonishing quilt 'Phoenix Rising' which was also in the Show.  (You will need to look in Ferret's art gallery as I couldn't get a direct link).

Returning to the show, here's a few more images and links (hopefully!).

Beth Wheeler's 'Whisper on the Wind' for rust-Tex.

Jane F Ogren 'Rusted Geometry' for Rust-Tex.

Jean Cheszek 'Moonstruck' also for Rust-Tex.

Grietje Van Der Veen's beautiful quilt.

'Say Yes to Carrots' by Linda Robinson which gave me a big lift!

The fabulous Kemshall Chair.  This was the closest I got to Linda and Laura Kemshall's stand so I didn't manage to get their latest 'thr3fold' magazine.

As well as enjoying the Show I did a three hour workshop with Janice Gunner which I enjoyed and I'll show you that next time.

(I apologise for the quality of some of the images.  I am a bit disappointed that my new camera did not cope as well as I had anticipated with low light and no flash.  Maybe I expected too much).

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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Festival of Quilts

First of all, the good news!  Our friend G had her operation on Friday and is making good progress so far.  I was astounded when her neighbour phoned me to say g was on her way to theatre as I had been assured  the op was unlikely for a few days but, whatever, it is now done and G is happy.  She is now chomping at the bit to get the Physios working with her!  What is she like?  Her spirit and strength are indomitable.  DH has been to see her again today (as I am germ laden and daren't go) and she is looking forward to hearing all about my trip.

Well, I made it, despite a grotty cough and cold.  I'm sure the Festival was much busier this year, it seemed a lot harder to get photos of the quilts with all the people standing looking.  Needless to say my first stop was to have a look at my own quilt on display.

Here it is alongside a quilt by Marianne Bender entitled 'The Queens' .  I was very excited to see that someone was taking a photograph of my quilt! 

It felt very good and a bit flattering to think that someone wanted to take a little bit of my quilt home just like I like to photograph quilts that strike a chord with me.   I only noticed when I was loading the photos that the quilt in the bottom right corner is by Nina Lise Moen who blogs as Mrs Moen .

You may be aware that I have had support during my journey towards having a quilt at the Festival of Quilts by a group of like-minded quilters and their help has been invaluable, especially Annabel's.  After I found my quilt I rushed off to find everyone else's.

First of all was Carolyn's wonderful, beautiful quilt inspired by her home in St Ives.  I had been itching to see this quilt in real life and I was not disappointed.  The fabrics give it a wonderful glow and Carolyn's use of embellishments and stitching is inpired.  The surface has beautiful found objects from the beach and some lovely pieces of bead and what I think may be pieces of recycled jewellery (correct me if I'm wrong Carolyn).  Carolyn's quilt was attracting lots of attention while I was looking at it and people were looking closely at all the surface detail.

This stunning quilt is entitled "And Yet a Rose Full Blown" and is by Elma It is even more impressive in real life and the stitching is beautiful.

Lisette's quilt is entitled 'Jealousy' and speaks eloquently of the turmoil invoked by that emotion.  Unfortunately my camera didn't capture a good image of the whole quilt but I have shown a detail above.  The surface has been distressed with a heat gun.  I saw lots of people looking closely at Lisette's quilt too.

Last, but nowhere near least, is the very talented Sandra Wyman who had 3 entries in the competition.

The quilt above is called 'Nature's Blueprints - With Improvisations'.

This second quilt is called 'Survival of the Fittest' and the quilting is stunning.  The fern is fabulous when you see the actual quilt.  Well done Sandra!

The two photos above are two sides of a coin, so to speak.  This was a miniature quilt and is entitled 'Wildwood: Spring and Autumn'.  I was looking forward to seeing this piece and although Sandra calls it pretty I think it is beautiful.  

So, what else did I see?  Not enough!  I missed no end, trying to cram as much in as I could in the time.   First of all, Quilt Creations:

Time for Tea by Greta Fitchett

Tudor Threads by Pamela Bowles

A Walk in the Forest with Mary by Bette Tasker

A general view of the Quilt Creations area.

Winter Puzzle by Frauke Schramm which was a prizewinner, I believe, and which wafted and turned gently in the breeze to reveal all sides.

Ok.  I am going to pause there and post some more tomorrow as you are probably losing interest by now and I am getting tired.  Sandra wore me out partying all Friday night ;o)  Only joking Sandra, but it was fun wasn't it?  See you soon.  Oh, and thank you to everyone who took photos for me in case I couldn't get to Birmingham and most especially to Gina who not only took photos for me but took the trouble to put them on a disc and have them at my house by Saturday morning together with a lovely gift of one of her pincushions.  I am humbled and deeply moved by the kindness and generosity that I have been shown by so many people over the last few days while I have been so worried about my friend G.  Not forgetting the ladies who covered for me on the Contemporary Quilt Group stand on Saturday afternoon.  Thank you everyone. xx

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Journal Quilt August

I have been panicking a bit about getting my Journal Quilts for the four months up to the end of August completed on time but today, having torn the fabrics and arranged them yesterday, I have completed another version of Across the Bay.  When I was making the quilt for Festival of Quilts I felt I wanted to explore working in finer fabrics and this is a step in that direction.  I have used silks, silk dupion, voile, scrim, satin, sari silk ribbon and a crumpled chiffon scarf together with a sarongy-type-shawl-thing (technical term!).  Some of the fabrics were ready dyed and some I had painted for another project which I cut up!  

I had already made one false start on this quilt which I abandoned but once I started on this version it all fell into place so I'm really pleased.  Maybe the next step would be to make a larger, more floaty version.

On the subject of Festival of Quilts, I'm going tomorrow!  I've seen my friend today and she is stable and the hospital don't see anything happening for a few days so I have decided to take the chance and go.  G. really wants me to go so I will go and then I can tell her all about it and take her mind off her situation.. DH is on visiting duties in my absence and I can get back fairly quickly if I need to.

Thank you for all the offers of photos of my quilt and also a big thank you to Gina who cheered me up this morning with a text message from the Show.

Early night tonight.  Early start tomorrow to get the train and I think I've got DH's cold! Grrrrrr!  But never mind I'm going to Birmingham! Yay!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Festival of Quilts

is looking less likely by the day.  I should have been going across today to stay till the weekend but my friend is still very poorly and still waiting for surgery.  I am hanging on to the hope that I may be able to get there on Saturday by coach just for the day.  Who knows?  If anyone is going and can photograph my quilt for me I would be really grateful.  It is number 381.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Journal Quilt July

Striking while the iron is hot I have worked on my July Journal Quilt today (having been banned by G from visiting her, she said I have to rest. What's she like?!) and practised some more free machining. 

The Applique/bonded flower arose out of a mini workshop at my Quilting group on Monday (thanks Frankie) and I used a fancy stitch on my machine to stitch round the larger flower and stems.  The top was made up first backed with wadding and then I added the backing and free machine quilted with a meandering stitch with leaves and loops.  I am quietly chuffed with my efforts, especially as I was beginning to despair of meeting the deadline at the end of the month.  I still have one more to do by Bank Holiday weekend.  The background and stems are my hand dyes and the flowers are batik.

DH is suffering today.  He started with a yucky cold and cough yesterday so we both had a bad night.  I left him to sleep this morning and had a quiet start to the day and then got on with the JQ. Fingers crossed he doesn't pass it on to me!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Gill Theokritoff Workshop

Back in March this year I went along to the Fashion Stitch embroidery Show at the NEC in Birmingham where I was fascinated by this quilt entitled  'Karma'.  

At the time I blogged about it here and I kept going back to it at the Show.  Today I have been to a workshop at the Husqvarna Studio in Nottingham and guess who the tutor was?  Yep!  Got it in one.  Gilli Theokritoff, the maker of this stunning quilt.  Gilli is part of a group called Contemporary Expressions , a very talented group of ladies who support each other and exhibit together.  I was thoroughly delighted to meet her and the workshop was excellent.

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As you can see from the collage above Gilli put us through our paces with free machining.  (Excuse the yellow thread on cream fabric, not the best colour to choose).  I have done previous workshops with Gina Ferrari which have been equally as informative and enjoyable and this was a chance to brush up on the skills that I should be using regularly but haven't been.  Bad girl!  Anyway, I made a bit of a hesitant start but with Gilli's guidance and a very relaxed atmosphere my confidence started to grow and I really enjoyed the day and learned some new things too.  The workshop came at just the right time as I have recently acquired a much more sophisticated machine with all the whistles and bells and I've been a bit scared of it but I feel ready to tackle a bit more now.  I have to say that we worked so hard that I had to wimp out before the allotted time was up and retire home exhausted but it was worth it!

Thank you all for your words of support for my friend.  Her leg is broken and she should have had an operation yesterday but at the last moment it was called off as her bloods were wrong.  She now has to wait a few days while they treat her so that she is as strong as she can be before they give her a new ball joint.  G is so strong, she is just  accepting the delay and getting on with it.  I'm sure being confined to bed will pall in a day or two though.  It was G who insisted that I attend the workshop today even though I wanted to visit her.  A special lady.! I told her she is in good company, Zsa Zsa Gabor and the Queen Mother both had hip replacements very late in life (Zsa Zsa Gabor has of course only just had hers done).

Enjoy your weekend wherever you are.