Sunday, 30 May 2010

Off to new homes

Too many completed items are sitting in my sewing bags, giving no pleasure to anyone, and blocking me from getting on with anything new.

So last week, all of these went to new homes with the members of our book groups . Hope you are all enjoying them.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Hexagons are sucking me into the handsewing vortex

I have not handsewn any hexagons for over 30 years, after a hideous attempt with Laura Ashley needlecord in sludgey green, maroon and dark blue. I have stated on several occasions " that there's more to patchwork than hexagons, paper piecing and hand-stitching".

So why, when reviewing my recent photos of other people's quilts , do I find the series below and then find myself searching for Jackie Wills paper templates on ebay? Is it the new, gigantic telly that means I need a portable project, rather than seeking refuge at my sewing machine? Where will it lead?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Just a perfect day....................

Starting with a visit to Wimbledon International Quilters' Exhibition to see some lovely work, and astonishing pieces, particualrly "Hibiscus" by Maggie Barber. Great so see so many friends from Region 1 and to pick up tips about the use of Tearaway Magic fusible for applique.

Then off to Wagamama on the South Bank, elephant spotting on the way.

Finishing the day with a performance of "The Merchants of Bollywood" at Sadlers Wells. This is such a fun show, superb dancing, wonderful costumes and action packed stage settings. The CD came home with us and we're all now pracrising our " Shava, shava........" chants.

Sadlers Wells is a great venue and they are really family friendly as children up to 16 are half-price. Our next tickets are to " Insane in the Brain" already booked,

Friday, 21 May 2010

Charity sewing - wiggly bags

Not a lot of sewing inspiration going on, but I have learned how to compress photos, so should be loading more photos to the blog.

Mindless sewing to make wiggly bags for the Liberty Rose Trust who then distribute them to children with central lines. Trains, snakes and platypuses hopefully make these suitable for boys.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Exhibition inspiration: fabric+thread+discipline = beauty

Our group's challenge for the exhibition was 4, A4 quilts on the theme of the 4 seasons. Several of our members interpreted this in beautifully themed sets, changing on element of the design to show the relevant season. Two of the sets I found most inspirational are here.

My set was a mismatched group of 4 different techniques, because when I am working with fabric and stitch, my mind doesn't do restraint, consistency, discipline or control.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Birthday gloves- matchy matchy mother and...son?

My younger son requested a pair of fingerless gloves. Happy to oblige, especially as it is his birthday this week. With no daughters, I can't do the "matchy- matchy" mother and daughter outfit thing, but at least there is a little bit of accessory matchy-matchy here.

Same pattern as before, but without the cabling at the top.

Charity shop haul today, 3 pairs of knitting neeedles, is a new phase in handcraft coming on?

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Exhibition inspiration

Few words needed, just photos of beautiful work by members of Richmond and Kew quilters.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

.....and then collapse

Over 500 people came to see the exhibition, over 130 quilts were shown, over £1,000 was made for our charities, and this beautiful and intricate quilt was the overall visitors' choice.

Lots more pics to follow, but today I need to catch up with the abandoned family ( quote from Philippa Naylor) and the discarded chores.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Go...........but forget to take your camera!

Over 150 visitors yesterday, and lots more today.

This quilt is on display, but unfortunately in the rush of the morning ( dog walked, younger son given breakfast, washing on, son and husband taken to the Bushy Park run ( new PB for elder son, yay!), mother-in-law visited, gym kit got ready ) I forgot my camera.

Hopefully tomorrow's start will be more relaxed so the camera will make it to the bag.

Lovely to meet the BQL members who made it there.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Ready, steady...........

It' s all coming together...............


It is our exhibition this weekend at the Landmark Centre in Teddington. If you want to see these and over 100 other quilts, do come along and say hello.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

What to do when you don't feel like sewing - pick up a bigger needle

I haven't felt like sewing anything major for a few weeks, but did want to do something with my hands. A couple of my neighbours have started knitting, so when I found 8 hanks of this 100% cashmere yarn in a charity shop for an unbelievable £2.00, I had to buy it.

In the eighties ( yes, I am that age) I used to knit a lot, and loved the challenge of the patterns by Patricia Roberts . As I was a student, there was no way I could afford to buy the finished jumpers. I was then a bench scientist, and my experiments needed me to to a very repetitive task every 4 minutes, for up to 4h, so there was lots of time in between to knit. This was before the days of ipods, Nintendo DS, itouch phones and the like, remember. I also loved patterns by Sasha Kagan and Christian de Falbe.

So when I decided to knit this yarn, I wanted a bit of a challenge. I found it in this pattern from Cheryl Niamath in Knitty. I've never done a thumb shaping, although have knitted in the round. Lovely beechwood needles from Mrs Moon set me off on the right track.

I knitted these on 3.5 mm needles as I have quite small hands, and also lengthened the main section to 24 rows, rather than 18, as I wanted these to extend up my wrists. The thumb was certainly a challenge, but good photos on cheryl's blog show helped me to understand how to do this.

These fit beautifully, so I think I'll be running up some more in the indigo and cream yarn that were part of the original bargain. What next - a Hanne Falkenberg mermaid jacket perhaps?