Monday, 19 September 2011

So Lucky

Just a few weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Kathleen Loomis's blog and was amazed and delighted to find I had won!  My prize is a stunning book published by Lark Crafts.

The book has arrived really quickly direct from the publishers and it cost them a fortune to send so I am really grateful. 

As you can see from the back cover the book includes work from forty leading contemporary international quilters.  I have only had time to dip into the book but it looks very exciting and I can't wait to relax and have a really good browse.  Kathleen will eventually be writing a review of the book.  I hope she's received her copy by now!

Here's a little glimpse at some of the inside pages.  I've kept the images small to respect the artists' copyright.

This is such a beautiful book that I may have to buy Volume 1!

Kathleen runs a very interesting, inspiring and thought provoking blog so do pop over and visit.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Ok So Who Stole September?

There was I saying we're suddenly in September and before I can look round we're nearly through it!  I have been very remiss in not blogging but I have several excuses/reasons which I won't bore you with.  The main reason is that I have been having very aggravating problems with my internet connection and also with Firefox.  I have now resorted to Internet Explorer so let's see if I can get a post up on that.

Where to begin?  I have been trying manically to catch up on two projects that I should have been well on with by now.  The first is the Journal Quilts for June to September for the Contemporary Quilt Group which is part of the Quilters Guild of Great Britain.  (Have you voted yet for them in the Lottery Awards?)  I have kept going round in circles trying to decide what to do and made a start on some pieced letters but found it took an awful lot of time.  for what it's worth I'll show you my effort.

I used some randomly pieced squares that I had made previouls but found it taxed my little brain to devise the letters.  In case it's not clear to you the quilt above should spell out 'Barcelona'.

Having decided this was going to take too long I got a sudden flash of inspiration after reading Quilting Arts for August/September and this article by Jennifer Solon.

Jennifer's method is to make collages from paper and fabric onto a felt base.  Collage I can do so I set to and had a play.

Sadly I forgot to take any photos before I cut my base up (I started with a 20"ish square and made 4 separate collages over a bondaweb surface.  Above is one of the collages before I trimmed it down with some of the adjacent collage to the left.

This is the JQ for June and apart form satin stitching the edge it is finished.

This one is centred around a fabric postcard that I received in a swap and I am just going to satin stitch this one too (after adding a backing).

The two final quilts shown above need further work and I am planning to add some paint and maybe some printing.  I have to have them finished by the end of this week as I won't have full computer access next week and the deadline is the end of the month.

I have really enjoyed making these collages and have Jennifer Solon to thank for getting my creativity moving again.  I did say after FOQ that I was going to make a collage a day but I haven't even managed one a week since then!

As well as leaving my JQs till the last minute (no change there then) I have to complete a challenge piece for a new group I have joined.  The theme is 'Light and Shadow' and while I had plenty of ideas written on a mind map my first effort has had to be shelved as it involved a lot of hand stitching and my hands complained.  That piece will now have to be a long term, sew for half an hour every day or so, project.  Instead I have decided to work with my embellisher which is much easier on the hands and I am making progress.  Fingers crossed I may just be ready for the reveal on Friday.

The trouble with not blogging for a fortnight is you forget what you've been doing (it's my age!)  I did have a very sweet surprise though on Saturday.  The very lovely Dilly sent me a funny card to cheer me up.  How did she know?

Dilly is a very speshol wagon (dragon) and lives in Colchester with Bob T Bear Esq.   Don't you love the magic of blogland with friends who think of you when they have their own worries to contend with?  Thank you Dilly :-) Mweah!

I have been spending quite a bit of time trying to sort out the chaos that is my home and workroom and I think I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel.  I had great plans to spend the summer dyeing and printing but the transfer of Mum's belongings and Mum herself put those plans on the 'back burner'.  There's nothing like clearing out someone's house for making you look at your own quagmire and we have been ridding out cupboards and shelves to try and create some more usable storage space.  I doubt I will get it sorted completely this month but I'm getting there. 

Well, while I'm winning I'll hit the publish button and hope Blogger doesn't eat this post.  If you are waiting to receive some lace doillies from me I haven't forgotten, I will be getting them in the post soon.  I have been having trouble getting my comments posted on your blogs so apologies for that.    Apparently Blogger thinks I'm not qualified to log in even though I already am and have been reading the blogs.  Go figure!

PS Downton Abbey is back! Yay!!!

PPS By the way, did you see the Lottery show last night?  In case you didn't and in case you haven't voted yet would you please go here and vote for the Folding the Quilts Project in the Final of the National Lottery Awards.  The Quilt Museum in York is through to the final and is in the running to win funds to promote its educational and volunteer project.  This is not just a project for quilters but can have far reaching benefits in the wider community.  If you've already voted, thank you!  The vote closes midday on 26 September so click here and vote! 

Friday, 2 September 2011

OMG It's September Already!

One minute we're enjoying Festival of Quilts in August and the next time you look round it's September!  Mind you, it has been ushered in with some very pleasant warm temperatures here in the Eastern half of England.  

When I last blogged over a fortnight ago (!) I hadn't quite finished  writing about the Festival of Quilts I still had one or two things more to say about the exhibits at the exhibition and of course about shopping!  Alongside the quilts that are the main feature of the exhibition there was a section dedicated to Quilt Creations.  This amazing cabinet was attracting a lot of attention.

Entitled 'Box of Delights' the cabinet was made by Kate Crossley who comes from Oxford.

The cabinet is made of paper and fabric mache with hand and machine quilting and includes found objects (innumerable), beads, wire acid etching and printing.

If you click on the photos you should be able to see just some of the amazing work that has gone into this work.  Sadly I have not been able to find any online presence for Kate.  As I've been scouring the catalogue looking for the artist of my next photo I've discovered that Kate entered at least three other pieces.  Busy girl!

Other quilts I enjoyed were

'Rock Face' by Patricia A'Bear from South Africa.  This is two quilts, one hanging in front of the other and comes from studying rock paintings and looking beyond them to the rock formations beneath.

This lively quilt featuring African fabrics, I think by Helen Conway.  (Forgive me if I'm wrong).

Cute cats!  Sadly I can't find the maker's name.

You may have noticed in an earlier photo I was wearing this name badge.  Laura and Linda Kemshall challenged people to make a name badge and in return, on turning up at their stand with said badge, they were giving out a small gift.  I was lucky enough to receive these beautiful hand dyed threads which are now waiting for a project, something watery comes to mind.

I didn't do a huge amount of shopping but I did treat myself to the ironing pad/cutting board that the other items are sitting on.  The board is a birthday gift from my stepmum :-)

I did succumb to some fabric including some lovely silk noil to print on and dye when I can find the time and energy.

I had a fantastic time at FOQ and as usual I cannot wiat for next year to do it all again.  I won't have to wait too long for another quilt show though as I've just booked onto a coach going to the Grosvenor Show at Chilford Hall in November.

Before I go can I just ask you to click on the logo in the right hand sidebar and vote once more for the Folding the Quilts Project which is in the Final of the National Lottery Awards.  Thank you so much ♥