Monday, 24 August 2009

National Quilt Exhibition

On Friday, my friend Vicky and I booked the day off, jumped into a car and headed to the NEC in Birmingham to visit the National Quilt Exhibition. As new converts to quilting, we were interested to have a look at the work on display and check out what was going on in the world of quilts. And boy were we impressed!! The work on display was amazing. Some of the quilts gave us confidence that we could produce something similar in quality, and then some were so out of this world that you felt you should throw your needles down this instance because you would never produce anything like it in your life. However, on the whole I came back inspired, and with a bag of sumptuous fabrics to start on my next project project which will be a wall hanging for the hallway of my new house.

I find that this is one of the problems with these shows. You begin to suffer from sensory overload by halfway through the afternoon because there is just too much to see. I swear that I was colour blind by 4.30pm!

Here are some of the highlights that I managed to get pics of! I loved this Scottie quilt - so much personality and humour:

This face was amazing - it must have taken some planning! I am not sure I would have had the patience:
I really liked some of the miniature quilts, and I will be saving ALL of my off cuts from now on - no matter how small!

This was one of my favourites from the show - simply because the colours were so vibrant and the piece i so 'mad'. It is similar in concept to a wall hanging that I am working on now (update to follow soon - I promise):
Just so wonderfully complex and well executed:
It was a great day and I came home buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm - so off to the sewing machine I shall go! See you at Christmas :)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

recent projects

I have been a bit lax with my blog over the last month, but only because I have been so busy. The lovely weather has dragged me away from the PC and into the sunny studio at the top of the house. I have been working on a sampler quilt for the spare room (with the help of my quilt teacher Ann Stacey) and it is coming along - 12 squares out of 16 completed. This is it laid out on it's eventual home so I can get an idea how it will look. Besides, it is very satisfying to see it laid out on the bed rather than piled up on my desk!It is quite a traditional pattern, with flying geese, Dresden plate and four card trick squares making an appearance. But as this is my first attempt at quilting it is a great way to be introduced to the techniques. I am loving quilting, though the thought of getting the whole thing through my sewing machine is a little scary.

This has been today's project:
Her name is Milly and is from a pattern I bought yesterday at the National Quilt Festival in Birmingham. She is destined to be my gift to my beautiful niece Jade who is 7 today. I will be delivering it tomorrow and I really hope she likes it.

The rest of my time has been taken up with planning the teaching of my first course; Beaded Button Fancies at Art and Stitch in October. I have been working on the supplies list and producing more samples. I have 7 in total now, and I plan to have a few more done by the class so that people can see what the possibilities are. I am very excited about this new departure. As a software trainer I teach all the time, but never anything quite so personal as this. I hope that people will take away a new skill that they can apply to different areas of their work. That is the joy of buttons - you can use them anywhere!