Friday, 21 February 2014


Where did February go?  Three quarters over and some of the worst winter weather in centuries.  I started the shudio clearing with enthusiasm but am ashamed to admit that I havn't touched it since my last post.  Life has been busy, what can I say?

Mary Sleigh's workshop continued to be very enjoyable and I have amassed an encouraging set of samples.  The workshops culminated in the making of a book to hold the samples.

We explored complementary colours and analagous colours. (Excuse the tackings)

 We explored creating drama with cretan stitch.

Seed sttich was used to create a sense of movement.
All of the samples were fun to make but I really enjoyed the square above with suffolk puffs and french knots.  French knots are one of my most favourite stitches.  I need to photograph the book and the signatures that I've made to carry the samples and will blog that later.  Life has been so hectic that on the days when the light has been good I have been busy with classes or out and about and have missed taking photographs.

Earlier this month I did a workshop with Trudi Wood making a Take 20 quilt using fabrics from clothing belonging to my mum, our friend Grace, Stewart, another friend and some handdyes.  The quilt top went together surprisingly quickly but I still have a border to add and then Trudi is going to quilt it for me.

The hardest part of the Take 20 is arranging the blocks.  It doesn't seem to matter which way you place them you always get portions of the same fabrics in close proximity.  Both my mum's and my friend Grace's pinnies are in this top so it feels very special.  When I look at the strawberry fabric and the red fabric with the red and white trim on it I can smell scones cooking and see my mum making cream horns and trifle for Sunday tea and visitors.  Sadly Mum does not even recognise the fabrics anymore or even remember that she used to wear aprons.

Yesterday we had a play day and some discharging and printing was attempted but I havn't had chance to take any photos of that yet so remind me to show you later.

Today I have done a thoroughly enjoyable workshop with Sarah Edwards who I know from the Contemporary Quilt Group.  (I didn't realise I knew her till I walked in the class and recognised her).  Sarah loves creating surface texture on her quilts and we played the whole day, manipulating fabrics and creating new ones.  This was a technique based workshop and there was no expectation to leave with a finished product.  Sarah used many different techniques to create her quilts and I particularly wanted to explore slashing and tucks.

This is a sample piece, unfinished, and needs further exploration but basically it is several layers of fabric with rows of stitching and then chenille style slashing made to reveal  varying lower layers.  I love that the fabrics fray and indeed, the top cotton layer frayed with abandon!

This piece started out as two pieces of fabric with pintucks stitched in and then the fun commenced!  Fabrics were joined and cut and turned and joined and cut and inserted and had Somerset points added.  I had so much fun and from the squeals going on around me so did everyone else!  The day shot past and left me wanting to do more, the sign of an excellent workshop.  I have another piece of the blue fabric with pintucks in and I want to combine that with layers and slashing so I hope I get chance to do that soon.  Sarah was a great tutor.  She shared her processes and then left us to play giving help and advice as we required it.  I learnt to make Somerset points too.  Who knew they were so straightforward?  It's all in the folding.

Tomorrow, glutton for punishment, I have another workshop (I know!) with Wendy my partner in adventures who has moved her blog to Wordpress.  We will be making a cutting mat bag so I hope I can stay awake all day.  I am still on a high from today's excitement so I may hit the wall rather early tomorrow.  Watch this space!

Sunday is the last day of Snowdrop week at Easton Walled Garden near Grantham so if you live near enough you might fancy making the trip to enjoy them and the other Spring flowers that are raising their heads.  The weather forecast isn't too bad for Sunday so we may see you there.  After slaving over fabric and sewing machines all week I think some fresh air is in order.

PS While I think of it, if you live within reach of Grantham, the Embroiderers Guild are thinking of encouraging a group to start for local people.  There will be an introductory meeting at Stitchcraft Studio on 6 March.  I will try and remember to come back and post the times up but you can ring Stitchcraft for details on 01476 512790.


Peneller said...

My word aren't you busy having fun! Lovely to see the hand stitching samples. I've been doing some hand stitching too and have discovered colonial knots are much easier to do than French ones! Cretan stitch is one that defeats me, but yours looks great! Enjoy, you can always have a lie in tomorrow! xxxx

pam said...

Oh Julie you have been busy. I love the quilt with all those memories!

Emma said...

What wonderful creative stitches, I've been longing to make a sample book (that will be some sample book you have there!)but keep doing the work instead of the samples, the ones for meee! Who needs a tidy studio when you've got all those opportunities going on? you'll get to a quieter time & once you've caught up sleep you have a tidier workplace.
lovely memories quilt top & I love the cut up pintuck quilt & adore the fraying slashing!

Gina said...

Missed you Julie but good to know you've been busy enjoying yourself!

Linda said... wonder you've been ignoring your art room Julie!
You must have so many ideas and so much knowledge going round in your brain.....however do you decide what to do next :-D
Love all your samples .....especially the puffs and knots. XX

Corrine at said...

Wonderful stitches Julie...that quilt using old clothes is such a great idea, looks confusing to put together. xox

Amanda said...

My goodness! Don't forget to breathe sometime!! Nice to see you enjoying your classes.

Jackie said...

What a busy lady you are!
And that makes me happy....because I know that you love what you are doing.
The weather here has been brutal, too, Julie. We had a tornado here yesterday.
Spring is on the way, though.
YES! It is.
I will have to look up the word "pinnies" to see what you were referring to regarding that beautiful quilt top. I love the differences in language...even though we both speak English.
Love you, my friend.
Hugs to your Mother from me, please.

Heather said...

I love your samples and can remember making a book of stitch samples when I was doing my C&G course. I still have it somewhere. Enjoy your other workshop - you can always have a lie down next week!

Clare Wassermann said...

Wow Julie I'm breathless!!!

Maggi said...

Love the embroidery samples and the quilt you made with Trudy.

Glad you had a good time with Sarah.