Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Last Stitch

It has been a long time coming but today I finally put in the last stitch. I came to call this quilt top Blood, Sweat and Tears as it knows my innermost thoughts,  great sadness, anger, sleeplessness to name but a few emotions, even laughter. If I left the house the box of tricks came with me and I have stitched them almost everywhere. The truth is though that I can look at this quilt top and enjoy it for something  that is in my mind's eye truly beautiful. It pleases me and is a thing of joy inspite of everything. I have made it for myself because I can.
 At no time have I pressed anything and the whole thing was appliqued on to wide borders. I used countless reels of thread in the construction and it weighs a ton and measures around 88inches at its longest side. I used a jelly roll bought from the Quilt Room when jelly rolls were the new thing and I saved it having no idea what it would become.  I had a Eureka moment when I realised that I would get 120 flowers from said jelly roll. The hexagons are 1inch.  Now for a big dilemma. How do I quilt it? By hand? By machine? I have a few ideas forming but nothing set in stone yet.
Wrapped in  love.

Laid out on the lawn , had to be quick as it kept blowing away.

I need to give it a happy name, what would you call it?
Happy Stitching.
Love Shirley.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Prize Winner.

The last few posts have been about our annual Apple County Quilters trip to Launceston to see the exhibitions and this post is a direct result of those exhibitions. I mentioned the work of the very talented Sandy Chandler of The Quilting Company and her exquisite machine quilting and how she should be winning prizes.

I had an email last Wednesday from Maggi (another talented bloggy friend) who informed me that she had been helping set up at Festival of Quilts and she had just hung a quilt as a group entry by Cowslip Quilters. Amazing in itsself as I wouldn't have known about it. Due to the time allocated at the show I had very little time to properly look at the quilts but the first quilt I stopped at, I looked at it and thought it very nice, beautifully pieced, soft colours and the machine quilting was to die for. As I looked closer, I thought hmm, I wonder. Out came my show guide and number 534 said Cowslip Quilters. There! Just knew it!

The above photo is one that Sandy herself sent to me and with her permission I can show it to you. Team Cowslip won a very respectable Bronze - Third Prize. Sandy is shown with her prize certificate on behalf of Cowslip who consist of Sandy, Jo and Jan Whitehouse.

The close up photo is one I took so that you can see the wonderful feather quilting shown to great advantage by the use of Jo's own organic wool wadding made from her own sheep. Sandy tells me it is wonderful to work on as it gives a high loft and a trapunto effect. The quilt was made for Jo's niece who lives in Norway and is titled Scandinavian Journey. I think we can safely say that we shall be hearing much more about the skills of this fabulous quilter. Well done Team Cowslip for a fabulous quilt. Remember you heard it from me first.

Happy Stitching.


EDIT : Please note the comment from Maggi that she didn't hang the quilt as I thought but she did tell me about it  so credit where credit is due.. I also had the chance to finally meet with Maggi on Thursday albeit a very brief  pleasure.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Flowerpatch - Part 2

This was the theme in the upstairs room at  the Flowerpatch Quilters exhibition.  It was so beautifully done that it brought tears to my eyes. It was a feast of red, white and blue.

Floral displays

Fabric feast fit for a Queen

Even the tea is fabric

Quilts and teddies

The quilt on the table was old

This quilt on the table - a new reproduction

Bunting everywhere

I think you will agree that this group of ladies are extremely talented. It was a superb day and a great atmosphere. Thank you all. Hope you enjoyed the tour too.

Happy stitching.


Monday, 13 August 2012

Flowerpatch Quilters, 2012

After lunch at Cowslip we head off into Launceston town centre where we make a visit to the exhibition by the Flowerpatch Quilters. Again this exhibition never disappoints. It is always colourful, with beautiful quilts and floral displays. It has a strong membership where all levels of skill are welcomed. This is just a selection of the displays.

The colours in this floral display were truly astounding and matched the quilt perfectly.

This quilt was made by Jo Colwill who is also a member of this group. It was machine quilted by Sandy from The Quilting Company using a Gammill Long Arm machine.

A close up of the quilting. Sandy tells me she has had a year to perfect her skills and I think that she should be winning some awards with skills such as this.

This beautiful Union Flag was made for Arnolda Kinvig as a retirement gift  from teaching at Cowslip and machine quilted by Sandy. Beautiful quilt.

Lovely display to compliment the fabulous apple quilt. 

I am not sure who made this lovely quilt but I do know that it was quilted by Sandy.

 Fabulous floral display in the window recess reminded me of a quilt or more to the point it would make a fabulous wall hanging if anyone feels the urge to make one.

  Another Union Flag with bunting.

In the upstairs room they had gone for a Jubilee theme and like our own exhibition back in June the table was laden with a feast  and who could resist a proper Cornish pasty.

Maybe you would prefer a slice of Pork Pie.

A selection of tasty teatime treats. Love the scone complete with clotted cream.

There are many more things to show you but for some reason my camera has decided to have a malfunction and give up the will to live. This time it could not be blamed on blogger.

I think you will agree that these ladies are a super talented bunch and I can only apologise once again for not getting any names. I have their catalogue in front of me but with no photographic evidence of a number I cannot match up the description to the quilts.

Note to self - must try harder to get names.

Happy Stitching.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Cowslip Exhibition 2012

Tuesday was the day for  Apple County Quilters annual trip to Cowslip Workshops Summer Exhibition at Launceston, Cornwall. We have been going there for quite a few years now and as usual it did not disappoint. We arrive en masse and Jo and her staff always make us most welcome.  It is a visual treat. Everyone works so hard to make it so.

First stop has to be the cafe where you can get yummy cakes and a good pot of tea/coffee or a delicious home cooked lunch and sit surrounded by quilts and patchwork cushions on the chairs and benches.

In the porch we all had to admire these little visitors. Swallows nesting up in the eaves.

Anyone who has been following me for a while will know that I love this place and everywhere you look is oozing with inspiration. Don't take my word for it, go and see it for yourself.

This quilt was a very simple four patch, large blocks with beautiful handquilting with a simple floral motif. I think most of us came away with suitable thread to try this out. I apologise as I have no names or other details other than  photographs.

I adore this one and I know that I have to make something like this. It is simply beautiful and again had  lovely handquilting.

Complete change in colours and stunning applique.

Based on the book Little Brown Bird by Margaret Docherty. Again I have no name but a stunning quilt.

This one satisfied my red fix.

Very pretty and what a great idea to set the applique into a heart.

Traditional and perfectly done. Beautiful.

Loved the colours in this one and it would be right at home on my bed. No red or pink here but, oh! I love it. Such fabulous quilts and cushions everywhere. The Union flag to the right is charting the progress of the Olympic Torch around the British Isles. Great Quilt.

Jo is well known for her applique and quilting and her use of pretty fabrics. Her students make stunning quilts. They reflect the peace and tranquility of the surroundings. Jo did joke that she would need a very large gin and tonic at the end of the day as she was frazzled but it didn't show.

This one made me smile. It was titled Because We Can. It has nine patch tumbling block mountains with silhouetted people climbing up them.  Notice the British flag as victor on the top.  Obviously an Olympic gold medal winner.

Every corner of the barn was packed with beautiful quilts. Something for everyone to enjoy.

The opposite corner with a lovely bed loaned from a local shop.

There. I knew there would be a hexagon quilt somewhere and it was red. Double bonus.

Packed to the rafters.

I will leave you with the view from Cowslip looking towards Launceston with the castle  perched on the hill top. As you can see, the weather was wet and dismal and didn't let up at all but it didn't dampen our spirits and I for one came away full of ideas. If only my hands can keep up with the activity going on in my brain.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.