New Kit and new Quilts

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I have spent the last couple of days catching up with essential admin, preparing for new classes and getting a couple of quilts finished. It seems to take so long to put sleeves and labels on quilts.

My new Penguin kit is now on the Quilt Cabin website

http://www.quiltcabin.co.uk

My smiley South African lady is finished

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This one looks like it will go into an exhibition at Cowslip in Cornwall in 2017

and so is the Afghan panel – so glad to have got this one finished.

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and this one will go to St Marie in 2017 and also to Maastricht in 2017 – i think.

I have a few quilts that I need to finish for various challenges so decided to start this one. The challenge – Signs and Symbols.

The English biscuit is a sign for “Time to stop for Tea”

Lots more stitching to do on this one – plus some printing.

It is always good to see it up on the screen – it helps to see whether the balance of light and dark is right.

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Now I need to finish packing for an exciting teaching weekend trip

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I’m sure I am not the only one that finds it difficult when there is an update on your computer and then everything works differently.

Now I seem to have lost the drag and drop facility on my iphoto, and now I have moments instead of events.

I had a gruelling but very enjoyable teaching week last week, going from Leicester to Northampton, then on to Wellingborough, Bury St Edmunds and finally Woodbridge in Suffolk.

I managed in between to meet up with friends, go out on my bike, go shopping and walk along the coast. I wonder how many other quilt teachers have their bike in the car when they teach. It just about fits in around all my teaching materials, I love to have it with me as after teaching i get to go to explore.

I love it when students bring in their completed work from previous workshops. Here is a wallhanging made by Helen.

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and the detail

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Helen used one of my patterns/designs and has made a fabulous choice of fabrics and the stitching beautifully done.

One of the students brought something for me to look at. This is a Pachini game she made many years ago.

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I still need to write the instructions for my version of Pachini that if you buy a kit you would be able to make.I just need more hours in every day.

I met up with Carole near Northampton, and spent an evening playing with her Sweet 16 machine. I bought mine a few weeks ago and have not been able to use it as it did not work. It has now been fixed and thanks to Carole’s help and advice I have managed to get it set up at home now and have now got it working very well.

I cycled to Hobbycraft and bought a few more dies for my Sizzix machine. I have been cutting hexagons out of felt with some great results. I need to do more experimenting but I think it will make a good new workshop. Watch this space!

I make so many new friends when I teach, I then went to teach a lovely group of women near Bury St Edmunds that I have taught before. I received this email from one of the students.

“Just a quick thank you for such an interesting and enjoyable day on Monday.

As a teacher myself I know there is no greater pleasure or reward than feeling you have inspired a student, adult or child  – making them want to learn more and progress! Your ‘can do’ approach is inspiring and infectious leaving me with renewed determination to get on with my many projects!

Hopefully there will be other opportunities for more workshops.

Thanks again,

Best wishes and safe travel back to Yorks”

This sort of feedback is very much appreciated – Thanks

I then went on to meet up with a friend Anne in Suffolk and we had a lovely walk along the beach in the sunshine.

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I had a quick visit to Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge. It is somewhere I have wanted to go to for a while but the weather was not very good so it was a bit disappointing.

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I have a lively day with Cotton Club Quilters making flowers, and thanks to Val and Tina ( from the Cosy Cabin in Bury St Edmunds http://www.thecosycabin.co.uk)  for a fun evening

It is such a long drive back home to Yorkshire I called in to see some friends in Cambridge. I am so lucky to have friends up and down the country!

Back home I have been working on a new quilt for another challenge – I’ll post some photos soon.

Teaching weeks

During the last few years I have had the opportunity to make lots of new friends when I travel up and down the country teaching.

This week I had the chance to meet up with some friends in Leicester on my way to the Bramble Patch who took me to see some of the sights in the centre of the city.

I love the design of the new John Lewis building, after a good curry lunch, we went to the Cathedral to see the pall

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http://kingrichardinleicester.com/king-richards-pall-a-work-of-art-and-history/ and to the Jain temple

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Anne and Steve have carried out extensive research into Portugese textiles and they got out  some of their pieces for me to see as I will be visiting Portugal soon.

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Beautiful.

I went on to the Bramble Patch to teach there for a few days.

I guess there are several reasons why the work produced on the classes at the Bramble Patch is always good. Students this time took my techniques and really “ran” with it. I am very impressed with these examples of my “interchange applique” course. I am really looked forward to see them finished especially Hilary’s fish hanging and Sarah’s skulls.

I had a morning off and cycled to Hobbycraft to buy some Sizzix dies. I have bought a machine and am really enjoying using it. I have some exciting samples that should develop into some teaching workshops.

Then on to some lovely hospitality at Carole’s house, and more teaching in the area.

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Patterns

I am away again soon so this week I have been stitching and designing.

I have had the challenge of making the latest International threads piece at the back of my mind for several weeks so decided to just get on and make it.

The challenge was to include this piece of Afghan embroidery (approx 10cm square) into a quilt that should be 50cm x 100cm

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It lends itself to traditional patchwork but I have never been able to do traditional patchwork very well.

So here is what I have done. I painted a little of the background and stitched the square into the background. Then bonded some fabric to the background in the same patterns and shapes as the square

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I made a couple of foam printing blocks

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And printed more of the background, adding some blue stars, and some Afghan women images

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I then added lots of stitching and a binding

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Its not finished as I still need to paint the faces to give a bit more detail, one of the ladies still has only half a face!

I taught how to stitch sheep this week but have also made a stitched hare sample on a piece of beautiful avoca scarf fabric

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Here are some students work

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I had a lovely email from someone who bought an Indian lady Kit at the Festival of Quilts and lives in Spain. Here is her finished piece

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Some more thoughts on this week….

When I am asked what I do for a living, what do I say? I often dither…I am a Textile Artist but am I a teacher, a stitcher, or a designer? I think I am first and for most a designer, second a teacher, and third a stitcher.

This week I seem to have been doing quite a bit of designing of kits

I have redone the penguin quilt using fabric available from the Quilt Cabin.

So if anyone wants to make the Penguin quilt the patterns are available from the Quilt cabin. Look on their website! It might take a few days to get them up on the website

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and the same for the St James Beach Huts Quilt

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and here will be the next kit but the fabric isn’t quite right. So more experimenting required

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I had a lovely visit from Jenni Smith today, who came to collect some of my quilts that will be shown in Ilkley next weekend

http://www.sewwiththeflow.co.uk

Have a look at her website!

So another very productive week!