Friday, 22 May 2015

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Quilts UK 2015

We had four days at Quilts UK last weekend.  The photo above is from Friday.  On Thursday, it rained all day and was really miserable, but after that the weekend improved.

The main hall has had quite a makeover since we were last there in 2013, with a new glossy rubberised floor that is much nicer to walk on and also brightens up the quilt displays considerably.

There is a full list of the show winners here

Liz Jones was show champion, with another of her signature applique quilts.  She has certainly found a winning formula.

Annelize Littlefair came second, with "Whistler: Fire and Ice", which also won the the piecing award.  You can see it in progress on her blog.  The pattern is "Glacier Star" by Judy Niemeyer.

"Cappucino" by Gwenfai Rees Griffiths won second in the bed quilt section. Beautifully quilted, as usual!

Andrea Stracke's entry for bed quilts was another with lovely quilting.  As well as very high standards for longarm and machine quilting, there were several really excellent pieces of hand quilting in the show this time.

Some more views of the hall.

The miniature category was won by Jane Wheble, with a very detailed Mariners Compass design.

I chose Maggie Farmer's quilt for my Judge's Choice award.  Beautiful work and fantastic minimalist design.  I thought it might have won another award though.

"Full Circle" by Terry Donaldson was my favourite section out of the special exhibitions.

The theme was 'A Celebration of Colour' and it was certainly colourful.

We were back in our usual spot in the marquee.

With June Fitzgerald, over from Australia.  We saw a lot of friends at the show.

We'll be back next year with Yuza Sashiko Guild.  More details soon!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Sashiko in Perth - forthcoming workshops

I have two sashiko workshops coming up at The Peacock and the Tortoise in Perth soon - Sashiko for Summer (above) on Friday 12th June and Introduction to Shonai Sashiko (below) on Saturday 23rd May.  Both are suitable for beginners and I teach two different kinds of sashiko.  Sashiko for Summer has four panels (three are shown in the photo - the other is 'raimon', a square spiral) and the other workshop has four samples, including a flower diamond (see last photo for detail).

The flower diamond pattern is the small centre square in the second row from the top.  These sample squares were made by one of the students on my Loch Lomond Sashiko course this year.

Places are still available on both courses and you will need to book direct with the shop.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Return to Quilts UK

We will be back at Quilts UK at Malvern from Thursday to Sunday this week, in my usual spot in the marquee, near the bottom of the ramp.  I wasn't there last year because I was invited to the Loch Lomond Quilt Show instead.  I can't believe the last time I was at Malvern was two years ago!

My stand will be in the usual place, but this year I am taking a lot more Japanese fabrics on the bolt and as precuts rather than taking a kimono sale rail, including these, as well as some that we have been taking to recent World Textile Day events.

I will be teaching a sashiko workshop every day at Malvern, so please book for that at the workshop booking stand asap when you arrive.

If you can't come to Malvern, we will also be at World Textile Day near Stirling (June) and near Bristol (October), at the Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate (September) and the Scottish Quilt Championships (September).  I won't be at Festival of Quilts this year.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Summerhouse and web domains

Photos from Sunday evening, when the rain stopped and Glyn managed to get the barge boards onto the back of the summerhouse.  He had a little toast to celebrate.

No more progress to report at the moment, as we have had torrential rain.  Tuesday was the worst, when it absolutely poured down.  I have quite enjoyed watching the rain drip off the ends of the barge boards.

My second web domain,, has been linked to my main web domain this morning,, and my old site is only available at for a short time now.

I heard about the earthquakes at Mount Hakone this morning too.  We were there in January.

The car park at Owakudani station is deserted now.  I hope people nearby are safe and there is no major eruption.  We felt very aware of the tragedy at Mount Ontake while we were at Owakudani.

You can see the steam vents in the background.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Summerhouse - cutting the barge boards 2

The barge board design still needed some tweaking, as it didn't look detailed enough after the first few cuts.  So I added some more tomoe commas to the design and some small circles to fill up some of the empty space without cutting too high up towards the top of the board.  I thought about the way water droplets are shown on this sashiko kamon crest I stitched for 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' and adapted the idea from that.  The comma cut outs make the curves look like simplified waves.  Glyn also cut a few more curves and swags into the edge, as it looked a little too plain before.  It has been easier to let this design develop organically as we went along, looking at the boards and seeing if they needed a little extra work at each stage.

Glyn measuring to drill and countersink the screw holes.

The first board nearly up...

... and the second.

Glyn tries out the onigawara for fit.

The overall effect!  The dramatic sky hinted at the rain starting soon after we took this photo.  It is raining again this morning, with high winds, and the forecast is for heavy rain all day, so I don't think we'll get much done outside today.  We made good progress yesterday, thanks to Glyn's skill with a drill bit and a jigsaw.