Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Festival of Quilts, Birmingham

I'm back home in England, busy with some new projects to show you shortly. I just need to take some pictures.

But I wanted to tell you about the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, which I attended last Saturday. It is only the second time I can visit since it began, mainly because I am usually on holidays in France.

This year I went with Kandy Newton, who is running the internet group British Quilters List (BQL) and whose challenges I have been making for the last 18 months. When I started I thought nobody would know if I messed around with a pattern, until I realised the designer wasn't far, and I could cross her in the street.

We hadn't really met before Saturday, but I felt really happy to know her. She is full of energy, and talent, ... and quite tall, lucky her. We didn't stop chatting and it was very interesting.

Back to the show and I must confess that I forgot a camera, but I took some notes of the kind of things I liked in the quilts I saw. Of course I didn't see all of them as I only went for the day, and was taken by all the shops and the nice people I met.

So my favourites fabric associations were, in no particular order :
- pink, green with dark blue,
- white monochrome,
- red embroidery on white,
- dark blue fabric with orange quilting,
- some beige, green plants, yellow, and water flowing,
- cream background with orange-red, brown-grey,
- japanese: cream background with light touches of colour,
- some simple background that shows well the quilting.

And I loved all the bags and little projects offered by the shops. I resisted all the books and magazines, but not the fabrics. Only one ruler bought, and no thread although I wanted to buy some.
I'm also tempted to buy a roll of wadding, and a bag with wheels to carry my sewing machine. I'll think about it until the next show, Malvern in the autumn.

As a final note I must say that the weather is very grey here in England at the moment, and it feels like autumn, Not perfect at all.

Enjoy your sewing.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Baby quilt

I started this project a few months ago, and finished it when my niece was born. I saw her last week, and of course she is gorgeous at a month and a half.
Her mother received my present with great joy but the weather is so hot at the moment and the baby so small, she will have to wait to use it properly.

I opted for a big quilt, not single bed size but bigger than a cot, and am hoping she will use it for longer.
As I said to my sister in law, it's only now that I have more time because my children are older. Before I couldn't make such presents, even for my own girls. In fact 2 of them are still waiting for a quilt on their beds...

The blocks are made of 8 triangles. Their size will determine the size of your block. And then you add the 4 triangles in the corner.

It is easy to draw, 2 crosses meeting in the middle, and then you draw and extend the side lines to find the corners.

I started sewing my triangles 2 by 2, joined them, then 4 to 4. My seam allowances are all turning in the same direction, so that they match when I assemble my blocks together.

I chose a selection of pale pink and green fabrics as soon as I knew it was going to be a little girl. They seem much paller on the photos than in reality, the light was too strong outside.

For the back, as I didn't have a single piece big enough, I used fat quarters and lengths of fabric that I had left. In fact my sister in law thought it was the quilt !

I quilted in the ditch. You might remember I have some tension problems with my sewing machine when I am free machine quilting. I didn't want to risk having balls of thread at the back on this quilt.

I stitched the label on the back, with the date of birth as I finished the binding after she was born.

The result is a quilt in muted colours, very pretty, to be used everyday I hope.
Enjoy and have a nice summer.


Sorry to keep so quiet, but I'm on holidays.
The sun, the swimming's difficult to do anything in a way. Too hot.

I will post next a baby quilt I made for my niece, but in the meantime, please accept my apologies for not posting much in August.