Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A quilt for the Festival of Quilts

In my last post I said I was making a Quilt for the 'Festival of Quilts' and I'm happy to say that I have just finished making it - phew! What a relief!  The design was 'Reflecting Pools' and its from the Quilts in Sweden book which is one of my favourites.  Although a lot of the designs are by Kaffe this particular quilt is by Sally Davies.

So the fabric arived and the main metreage was on the 'Japanese Chrysanthemum' fabric which I had to 'fussy cut' to get 18 Chrysanthemums - this really started to gobble the fabric up and I still needed some very long borders.
So the Chrysanthemums were then log cabinned.
And I then started to work on the 3 x 4 blocks using Millefiore Blue and the Chrysanthemum fabric.
There was 9 of these....
Meanwhile, I was waiting for my new favourite fabric -Bekah - from Cotton Patch who supplied me with all the fabric.
Which I then had to make into 3x4 blocks with the Chrysanthemum fabric again - 8 of these.
So when they were finished I started to plot my Quilt and realised that my sitting room, or any room, was big enough for this.
Then I pieced it together and displayed it at school to take a photograph.
Here are some close up pics of this gorgeous Quilt, I can truly say its exquisite it is so yummy I could eat it.  It's been sent back down to Cotton Patch for long arm quilting and I'm really looking forward to seeing it at The Festival of Quilts.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Butterick B6182 and Tennis Elbow!

Yes, bit of an odd title! I have had 'Tennis Elbow' since early March this year, it started as a gentle nagging pain in the elbow that developed into a really painful injury.  I went to the docs who said what the condition was and advised me to take anti- inflammatories and if it didn't improve I would be referred for Physio.  What I didn't realise was that Knitting and Crochet would aggravate the condition and make it worse.
My current knitting project that is going nowhere.

And it was getting worse so I decided that I would visit a Physio privately as the NHS was going to take over 3 months for a referral - I'm still waiting for that appointment.  I also had suggestions of a Cortisone injection but decided I would try Physio first.
On my first visit I was given a thorough examination and I was told the condition was now 'chronic' - so was the pain - and you may be relieved to hear that I did it in the Gymn using a piece of equipment I shouldn't have been using,this is fairly typical according to the Physio but I have since met another lady who did hers while trying to do an internet knit-a-long with Rowan!
Anyway, the major outcome was that I was advised to stop Knitting and Crocheting and I haven't done any for 2 months now: which is not good but then again neither is Tennis Elbow.  So with treatment, exercises and ice I am now 2 months in and in the past 2 weeks I can definitely say it is getting better.  But what can a girl do when she can't knit or crochet ......she can sew!

So, very steadily I have been doing some projects and I thought I would do a little report on my favourite pattern this Summer which is Butterick B6182.  As a Rowan tutor I have a stock of Rowan fabric and I decided to make a top and then a dress using this pattern, a lot of their designs tend to be bold colourful prints and I feel that they do the 'work' for you and you do not need fancy styled garment for them and this pattern really fitted the bill.

That's not a bracelet on my right arm, it's my tennis elbow support!

So, as a trial run I made the top first using the 'Thistle' fabric - well, I had to have it being Scottish.  What I love about this pattern is that it makes up so easily, the shaping in the garment is made by the darts in the central seam at the front and that's it, no fastenings to think about, just straight over your head to put it on.  However, from my trial run and measuring up, I thought the top wasn't long enough for me and I am actually a 'short bodied' person. I added length to the garment and I was glad I did. 

So, carried away with enthusiasm and desperately wanting to do something else - and there is only so much TV I can watch without my knitting - I then decided to do the dress.  I had enough of Millefiore Dark fabric and had been looking out to use it in a dress, this design is one of my Rowan favourites as I already have a skirt in it in the blue colourway. Again, with the size of the print and being a 'little person', a simple pattern was needed for this gorgeous fabric and this pattern certainly worked well. The cutting out of it probably took longer than it's making as I was really careful to match the pattern and again I added extra length to it.
I have worn it a couple of times now for Rowan workshops and it has been complemented which is nice.
I'm still not over Tennis Elbow yet but I am being allowed to do some of my favourite things: but only a little.  I've started knitting for 5 minutes and I'm allowed to increase it by 5 mins each time just so long as its not aggravating it.  Bliss!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Rowan 'Quilt in a Day' @ John Lewis, Cheadle

Last Saturday I ran my first Quilting workshop @ John Lewis, Cheadle.  It was my 'Quilt in a Day' workshop and it was the first time that all of the ladies had quilted, I warned them it was hard work but they were up to the challenge and with me 'jollying' them along and helping them out I assured them they would be leaving with a Quilt at the end of the class.

So we immediately got started and into the workshop and I could see the ladies a bit taken aback with the speed of it all and all the information but time is of the essence in the workshop and so we didn't 'hang about'.  When the ladies started to cut their fabric I could see it all starting to make sense to them and they got off to a really good start.

I continually say it but I love to see the fabric combinations and the ladies always say that this is one of the hardest parts for them but I reassure them that I have not seen a bad Quilt yet.  So these photos were taken when we started to lay out the fabric order of the central panel.  I love this fabric, the main feature is the 'tents' so we chose to put one in the centre and in the four corners.  The grey and black fabric particularly highlights the tents, this fabric was butterflies and the co-ordinating fabric had bees on it - so it truly was a camping Quilt.  But the lady did not camp!!!

'Piecing' their central blocks of their Quilts.

The weather was really lovely on Saturday, our workspace was really cool but when we had lunch we were able to dine outside in this gorgeous setting.

But we had work to do so after a spell in the sun it was back to it and the ladies started to add their border fabrics.

The Quilts are really coming together now .....

And here we have the completed 6 Quilts.

Finally, I am making a Quilt for the Festival of Quilts!  I am very excited about it and I have started to prep my fabric, the design is by Sally Davies, is called 'Reflecting Pool' and is from Quilts in Sweden publication which happens to be one of my favourite Rowan Quilting Magazines.

This is the design on the right.

And these are the very yummy fabrics I am using, full report to follow!

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