Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Great Northern Quilt Show again!

The Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate opens on Friday for three days.  We will be in the brand new hall at the showground, so it will be interesting to see what it is like!

Like last year, I had a demo stand and a sales stand together, so we have brought lots of lovely Japanese silks, wools and cottons, including some new narrow width plain fabrics that are perfect for sashiko, the fine Yuza Sashiko thread, needles, marking pens etc.  Unfortunately, due to the fall in the exchange rate against the Yen, I had quite a shock when I ordered pens and needles today, and the prices have had to go up a bit.  However, I managed to place a big order for fabrics just before the referendum, so while prices per metre have gone up a little, it isn't as much as might be expected, given that the £GBP is now around only two thirds of what it was this time last year.

I remade Fanoe in blue and white yukata fabrics earlier in the year and I have restocked with lots of these wonderful vintage blues. I also have a big selection of more colourful chusen stencilled yukata cottons with larger patterns, which I am selling in 1m increments.  They make excellent panels for Japanese style 'scroll' wallhangings.  The one I'm making, with the noshi (ribbon bundle) motif on an indigo background, is hanging on the far right in this photo.

Sidmouth Revisited - ready for Today's Quilter

The quilt is waiting to be collected by the courier now...

I will add some more quilting when it comes back to me - like square diamonds (cross hatching) between the feather wreath and the circle segments, and some other details in the borders, radiating lines around the centre rosette etc.  I wish I knew what time the courier would be here, because I could have added a bit more quilting this morning!

A tip on how to mark a fan when the paper isn't big enough for the template size you want...

It is going to be in the Christmas issue.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Sidmouth Revisited - feather wreath

I finished hand quilting the feather wreath and the central rosette on Sidmouth Revisited yesterday.  If I have time, I will add another line half an inch inside the feather wreath.  When I get the quilt back from photography (it is going into Today's Quilter's Christmas edition), I will add lines radiating from the centre to link the outside of the rosette to the inside of the feather wreath.

These photos show the quilting towards the outside edges, on the larger X round and the square on point round, where I have done double lines of quilting echoing the piecing.  When the quilt returns to me, I want to add small beech leaves in the squares on the squares on point and cross hatching in the X squares, with a gentle swag running along the setting triangle bases each time.  I will do large beech leaves in the outer border (over 2 rounds of squares and rectangles) and hearts in the corners.

I seriously underestimated the quilting time for this one, but it is 96in square!  Today I will add fans in quadrants to the corners of the centre (the point of the fans will be in the orange squares) and semicircles half way along each side, with a small eight petal rosette in each.  All the quilting is based on the original Sidmouth quilt, but taking the motifs used and rearranging them to fit better with the patchwork frames, simplifying them if necessary.  I am hand quilting with Wonderfil 12wt Fruitti col. FT25, which shades from cream to light grey, which gives a rather nice antique effect.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

V & A checkerboard quilt top

Mary Jenkins (author of the Little Welsh Quilts blog) posted on Facebook about the original checkerboard quilt in the V & A's collection, which is featured in this video of author Tracey Chevalier looking at quilts as part of research for a novel.  It reminded me that, although  pink and green modern update of this quilt was finished in 2012 (quilted by Ferret), I haven't yet quilted the one above.  There's always a few tops waiting to be done!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A knot garden, not a mandala

We have had a lot of people coming and going at my parents' home over the last few weeks - carers, doctors, nurses - and a lot of them have been drawn to my the abstract embroidered panel hanging up in the hall.  Most people think it is some kind of mandala but it is actually inspired by an aerial view of a formal garden in winter.

I used a lot of silver metallic prints for the bordered beds and the main one, with the rosette design in the middle, was one of the Hoffman prints chosen for their 1999 'Millenium' challenge.  I had fat quarters of all the challenge fabrics and used the gold metallics for my quilt entry, but the silver didn't really work with the others - it was much more sparkly and the blue didn't coordinate with the more antique colourways.  It seemed to work much better with other silver metallics.

I made the panel for the 'Silver' challenge for Gresford Craft Group's 25th anniversary and I think we had that show around about 2001 or 2002.  I am sure I made the panel before I got the Bernina 153 QE because there are only quite basic stitches on it.  It is embellished with beads, sequins and metallic nets.  The centre is supposed to look like a Victorian fountain that has frozen.

Quilting Sidmouth Revisited

I am hand quilting Sidmouth Revisited at the moment.  A big job - it is 96in square.  The photo above was taken several days ago.  Although I've taken inspiration from the original quilt for the designs, I have resized the quilting frames that don't quite match up with the piecing on the original so they have a more sympathetic relationship to the patchwork frames. Most of the quilting motifs are Welsh and will include beech leaves, hearts etc.

The centre will feature a feather circle which is more typical of North Country designs, although used in the manner of the 'coin' circle centre seen on Welsh quilts.  Lilian Hedley drafted it for me on last autumn's course at The Royal, Bridlington.  This is a 24in square quilt she made with a smaller version of the feather circle in the centre.

The circle in the middle of the original coverlet is more like a chevron pattern than feathers, but nevertheless has a rather Neo Classical look.