1 hour ago
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Sylvia has finished her sampler quilt top, started on my sampler quilt course at The Royal, Bridlington, last October/November. It looks gorgeous, and the warm/dark taupes really work well. Thanks for the photo! They've got a course with Jennie Rayment running at the moment, and there are more patchwork and quilting courses for later in the year - check their website (link above) for more info.
I'm looking forward to seeing a photo of this one quilted. Has anyone else completed a quilt top from that course yet?
Sunday, 4 November 2012
These blocks were coordinated around a Kona Bay panel. It will be sashed in pink (the mottled pink on the left) and bordered with the gold Japanese print. To make full use of the panel, column of the blocks on the left will have a little patchwork insert at the top and bottom. Little touches of yellow brought out the moon image. Just spotted that we had the bottom right block on it's side :-)
Fiona added to her block collection in black, white and green. She's going to use the striped print fabric at the top as her border, so it became the starting point for this colour scheme. I love the fresh, modern colours - reminds me of Sweetwater's 'Authentic' range for Moda.
Gillian used greens too, but more natural colours.
Margaret made her blocks in sophisticated blues, blending one of my tsumugi cotton stripes with tiny antique prints.
This set is beautifully pieced and includes some of the same blocks in the two sets above. The block at the top centre uses the part sewn seam, as well as the bottom right and centre blocks - quite as tricky block to assemble, but it looks great with the woven effect achieved with the 'interlocked' squares. The top left block is also a challenging one to make, with 1/2in finished strips and squares that need to line up accurately to complete the illusion.
Sylvia's applique blocks are fused and machine appliqued, rather than needleturned. For a fused version of block 111 from the taupes book (at the bottom), I cut a template for the whole central piece in one, rather than piecing the centre and hand appliqueing it to the background. This means the strips are also appliqued rather than being pieced as they were in the original. After folding a piece of paper into 12 segments, I cut the wavy edged motif in one. These are going to become a wallhanging.
Maggie's blocks are in lovely autumn colours, combining lots of gold prints. She didn't think the fabric in the centre of the bottom row worked very well (the peacock feather design), but I think it does - hope she includes it when she makes her sampler quilt.
This set was made with cream and white tone-on-tone prints, so it is very subtle - not easy working with very low value contrasts. However, they will be thrown into relief by the quilting, because that's going to be in silver metallic thread! I'm looking forward to seeing some photos of these blocks finished.
Heather also used autumnal colours for her blocks, with a very seasonal miniature chrysanthemum print for the uchiwa fan block in the centre.
I think the autumn golds and rusts were the most popular colour combination - these are definitely the colours of the season right now.
Subtle taupes combined nicely with more traditional Japanese prints, with natural Osnaburg cotton making an excellent background for the applique blocks.
Having the same background fabric throughout makes arranging the applique blocks much easier. I finally worked out a good arrangement for my floral applique blocks form 'Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks', by removing four blocks that had greyish backgrounds. These had been almost impossible to place so the other blocks looked balanced, both in terms of the background fabrics and the 'weight' of the applique motif. I'll use them in a small wallhanging.
The first layout I tried is shown below - spot the blocks with the 'wrong' backgrounds. With all the other blocks having warm toned backgrounds, the grey plaid ones didn't look right.
Changing the position of colours/values in a quilt can make such a difference. Here are two quilts finished after my Time and Time Again workshop at The Royal in February last year. The first has a symmetrical arrangement, with the stronger colour contrasts towards the centre while the second has a side to side grading effect. So many possibilities with this design.
This Super Strips was made after last January's workshops too. The suble taupes Jelly Roll was one from Moda.
We had a very enjoyable and productive three days, with the residential quilters stitching away in the evenings as well - of course, that is one of the advantages about doing these courses on a residential basis. It is also lovely to be able to have time to concentrate on your patchwork without having to think about things like preparing meals, as The Royal do an excellent buffet lunch for these courses, plus morning coffee & biscuits and afternoon tea & cakes, so there's no need for a packed lunch. Not sure what I'll be doing there next, but the courses for after the new year are booking up fast - with tutors including Lilian Hedley, Jennie Rayment and Katherine Gurrier.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
At the end of the second day of our three day block course at The Royal, Bridlington, where we have been making blocks selected from both 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' and ' Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks'. There will be a lot more photos to follow in a day or two :-) Some of these are photos snapped by Fiona during class, some are mine.
As usual, we have taken over the hotel's large dining room as a well appointed sewing space!
Fiona has made some gorgeous blocks, with a modern twist -
I think I've sorted out the blocks for my next sampler quilt. Rather than trying to combine all the applique kamon crests, I've taken out the ones on the grey plaid backgrounds to make another version of the table runner, and will add one block remade from a workshop sample.
More updates with more photos after the final session tomorrow - it's time for dinner now.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
I haven't been blogging quite as often recently because, in between doing talks & workshops & events like trading at Region 13's Quilters' Guild Regional Day last Saturday, I've been moving more of my things up to Scotland. For the last three weeks, we have had a transit van, so the bigger pieces of furniture, like my antique wardrobe (where I store a lot of my quilts) and my sewing room table, could be moved up to Kettins. I feel like I'm having to become an expert in logistics, making sure the correct quilts etc. are in the right place for the various workshops I'm teaching, so most of my Japanese quilts are back in Wales at the moment.
I haven't been including the 'Taisho Variations' quilt (above) in my talks for a while, as it was hiding under some other pieces in my workroom ;-), but I'll be taking it out this Friday and, of course, I'll be including it when I do my three day residential course in Bridlington at the end of the month. It isn't a sampler quilt, because some of the blocks are duplicates - some blocks are more economical made in pairs, like the kimono blocks. The sophisticated colours and patterns of Taisho (1912 - 1926) era kimono and obi were an inspiration for this, but all the fabrics are modern patchwork fabrics, so no antique kimono were cut up to make it! The sashing is only on two sides of each block and reintroduces some of the bolder colours used in them.
Speaking of sampler quilts, at the Guild Regional Day on Saturday, I found the perfect fabric for sashing a sampler quilt using the paler applique blocks from 'Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks' - thanks to Dot Sherlock's Quilter's Needs once again for coming up with just the right thing! It is an ombre print in shades of light dusty pink through to a very greyed out rose pink. Originally, I planned to set the blocks square, something like the arrangements above.
Now I think I would prefer to make two smaller quilts, separating the blocks that have an obvious direction (like those shown above) from those which can be turned through 45-degrees (below). One quilt would have the blocks set square, the other on point, perhaps with a big stitch quilted motif based on one of the appliques in each 'plain' square.
Thursday, 2 August 2012
If you're looking for even more alternative inspirations for colour schemes and block settings for blocks from 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' and ' Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks', perhaps for the sampler quilt course I am teaching at The Royal, Bridlington, at the end of October, here are some links from around the web. The lovely sampler quilt above was made by Pauline Jennings (thanks for the photo!)
Robyn Burgess owner of Patchwork Passion, New Zealand made the gorgeous sampler below - thanks for permission to feature your quilt Robyn! There's some block details too- here, here and here - all looking lovely with vintage kimono fabrics. She writes -
I have used old kimono fabrics It all started with a roll of kimono fabric that I picked
up in the Flea Market in Japan several years ago. This roll had never been made into a
kimono but had been around for a while. This is how you buy fabric for a new kimono -
in a 13" - 15" wide roll of about 13 metres. All through the project I wondered if I was
going to have enough and look plenty left over - thank goodness.
Clauia aka Armchair Quilter
Sakura block on Flickr
Enlarged block, Igeta variation on Flickr
New Pieces BOM course (scroll down link) - image below -
Friday, 20 July 2012
In anticipation of the course I'm teaching at the Royal, Bridlington, at the end of October, I've been planning how I might set some of the remaining blocks from the 'Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks' book. Apart from making some lovely quilt tops, there's the added advantage that I can display the blocks more easily in the workshop. I'm planning to add sashing and a border to the blocks set out above, but I haven't decided on a final setting for the applique blocks below yet.
Here are some reader's ideas for using blocks from both 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match' and the taupes book. Perhaps they will give you some inspiration!
Pauline Jennings has put blocks on point in this quilt - an idea I'm considering for most of the light coloured applique blocks above, perhaps with 'plain' blocks in between, where I can add quilting motifs based on other applique designs.
Incorporating a panel is another option, as Carol Floyd has done. I think coordinating the other fabrics using the panel as a starting point is the best way to go for this though, and I don't have any taupe panels (I think!). I'd like to remake some blocks and do a version like this though. The panel is by Kona Bay.
The dark cornerstones in the sashing on Linda Harroun's quilt are a very effective way to introduce a bit of rythym when there are lots of different fabrics in the blocks (these are all from 'Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match'). I might do this on the darker quilt at the top of this post.
You can change the colourschemes to whatever you like of course - Pat Morris made a fantastic bright version of the taupes table runner -
- and it's beautifully quilted too -
If you would like to join us for either the three day course at Bridlington (single day workshop options are available, but of course you won't get as much done), click here for the full course details and links to The Royal's website for booking.