Saturday, 22 November 2014

Hilary's Quilts on Show


Last week I had a trip out to the West Country Quilt Show, held in Bristol.  Very handy for me, but not for Hilary, who couldn't get there.  I went with my friend Jo, her mum and her gorgeous little niece, who is posing so nicely in front of Cosmic Split.

Three of Hilary's quilts were on show, and the great excitement on arriving was finding the rosette for Best Machine Quilting pinned next to her quilt Going Round the Bend.

Congratulations Hilary!

Hilary's quilting is truly superb, to be seen to be believed.  The Judges must have had a job deciding which of her three quilts should have the ribbon.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 22 - Stitching by Numbers


Yes, I know, it has the look of early to mid 1960s wallpaper.  I can just imagine my mum and dad chatting with the decorator circa 1966.. "Oh yes, it would be ideal for the chimney breast above the gas fire, with the rest of the room done in magnolia emulsion..."

This is the sum total of my free motion quilting this week - an A4 sized sampler for my own reference.  Having enjoyed doing landscapes with variegated thread, I decided I needed something like a colour chart.  I have been using Gutermann Sulky Cotton 30 and building up the colour by quilting close parallel lines. The effect when working with variegated colours on undyed calico is fascinating, but sometimes it is hard to predict exactly how a particular shade will look once it is stitched.  Filling in rectangles would have been too boring for words - I wanted to do something that would serve its purpose as a colour reference and as a miniature wall hanging.


So I did leaves against a changing background.  The leaf on the left is very close in colour...



... to the leaf on the right.  On the reel it is hard to tell which one would look darker when stitched.  Once stitched the difference between the two shades is more apparent.



I love this fresh aqua green...



... and this green with russet has a definite autumnal feel.



It is very handy to have 11 shades stitched in a sampler already - especially at this time of year, when the subtler shades all fade into insignificance under the electric light in the evening.  If I know in advance which colours to use, I could get on with a landscape in the evenings.

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

Here goes for week 22...

Last week's participants showed a fascinating collection of projects.

First, a big welcome to Jen, the first person to link up from New Zealand.  Not only did she show us a lovely quilt, but also her peonies in her garden.  It is hard for us in the northern hemisphere to imagine spring coming in November!

Next, a special mention for Janine, who quilts on her Singer 115-1 treadle.  Truly a girl after my own heart!

And congratulations to Hilary who has some rather exciting news this week...

Also, many thanks to  CaroleMaartjeGwyned and Linda  for linking up last time  - a great collection of projects.  

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  .
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland and New Zealand have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Twelve Leaves Done...


... and six in place ready for the hand stitching around the edge.

It is a while since I did any appliqué, and I had forgotten how time consuming it can be.  The fiddliest part of the process is sorting out the tiny scraps to make the leaves, but I am enjoying all the different colours, trying to make each leaf slightly different.

Linking up with Esther's blog for WOW = WIPs on Wednesday

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - A Turquoise Lake


This is a glimpse of a corner of an enormous reservoir in the valley of the Rio Cinca in Aragon.  The rivers flowing down from the Pyrenees have the most astonishingly clear turquoise water.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 21 - The Solent


Here is the second 12 x 12 quilt that I have made for the forthcoming show at Midsomer Quilting, because I enjoyed making the first one, In the Fen Country so much.  This seascape is also based on a piece by Vaughan Williams.

I spent a considerable amount of time watching this video on Youtube (which for some reason I cannot get to embed in this post) enjoying the music and the paintings.  The image that really caught my eye was this painting of The Needles on the Isle of Wight by Norman Wilkinson



Rather than doing fluffy summery clouds this time, I decided to have a go at glowering low grey clouds, complete with downpour.  The cloud on the left is perhaps a little too heavy...





... and I prefer this one.





The trickiest part of the whole picture was the distant grey coastline.  I had to go over it several times, piling one layer of thread over another to get the colours right.  Also, when I started work on the cliffs I had no white thread, only variegated neutrals, so I did an extra layer of white at the headland to give better contrast with the pale grey of the distant shoreline.  While I was busy piling on the colour I forgot about the back, which has such a stack of bobbin thread concentrated in one small area that this quilt could be turned over to double up as a relief map of the foothills of the Andes.




Adding the hand stitched detail at the end was far less of a tussle.  The white sails of the yachts have enough layers of stitches to give them a slight 3D effect...




... and the three birds in the sky took only a matter of minutes to sew.




So here it is hanging on the wall above the 1934 Singer 128K, which is the machine I used to put on the binding.  All the free motion quilting was done on the 1945 Singer 15K treadle.


blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

Here goes for week 21...

Firstly, many thanks to  MaartjeHilaryGwyned and Mardi for linking up last time  - a great collection of projects.  

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  .
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far bloggers from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany and Holland have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Welcome to Grit, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday
and Lorna's blog Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social
and Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Machine Stitched Detail


Today I feel as though I have spent a long time doing not very much.  Adding machine stitched detail to appliqué leaves should be a quick job.  The problem was the tension with the machine I was using, the Singer 128K.  No matter what I did, the bobbin tension was loose.  In the end I decided to try another shuttle, so I hauled one of my other Singers off its shelf and swapped shuttles.  Problem solved.


The first lot of stitching I did on this leaf had the bobbin thread showing in places, so I unpicked it and did it again once I had changed the shuttle.  I am so glad I did.

Linking up today with Esther's blog for WOW-WIPs on Wednesday.

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