2015

So much has happened and as technology moves on I have decided to not update this NEWS site anymore. Using a rather complicated administrator programme to edit my website and the additional problem of moving pictures between devices, changing their size to fit the webpage etc. I decided to use my iPad more than my PC. As I take most Patchwork related pictures on the iPad it makes sense to upload them there and then so now all the news are on my facebook page "PatchworkQuiltsAndMore" and you can find patternd, kits and ready made items in my ETSY shop, called "SizzixFanShop".

I hope you will find me there and read up on all the news which will be updated much quicker and more frequently than in the past.

 

facebook: PatchworkQuiltsAndMore

ETSY: SizzixFanShop

 

August2014

I thought I could catch up with so many unfinished sewing projects but nothing so far. I spent a wonderful week with my friend Dido from Germany, and ever since the boys are off school normal summer holiday chaos has taken over. It will be quieter when they fly to Germany next week to spend some time with Granny and Grandad. In the meantime I'm looking forward to spend a weekend with friends and fellow Quirky Quilters in Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts. This year (second time after 2012) I have a piece in the exhibition. It's part of the 3D creations and it's a bench. So there, I've said it. It's not a quilt, it's a bench and I can't wait to bring it back home with me on Sunday and sit on it for the rest of the Summer. What would fit this year's motto "In My Garden" better than a fabric covered bench featuring flowers (of the very colourful kind...), strawberries and peas? I can't wait to see it at the Festival of Quilts, I hope it survived being moved from the drop-off point to the NEC.... Fingers crossed!

 

 

End of July 2014

Now the Summer Term is ending I just have to share the pictures of our bird boxes with you. Some got finished, some still need a few finishing touches but how lovely are they!

 

 

April 2014

Another term comes to an end, both my classes still full and fully booked for the Summer Term.

 

End of March

Two consequetive days with days at Quilters Haven with Philippa Naylor - what could be better. The first day was free motion quilting the next her way of doing applique. Both days were well organised and time went past very quickly. If Philippa is giving a workshop near you at any time, book a place.

Here a picture of the applique sample quilt she brought:

 

 

 

Early March 2014

2014 started quite abruptly. After having spent Christmas with my parents in Germany the Quirky Quilters started on January 6th, embarking on a term of all things Japanese. First up on the programme was a japanese draw string bag using handstitched sashiko hexagons. The results were both stunning and very individual.

 

The Sewing Club also made a Japanese bag using a "windmill" pattern, which comes together as a cube and this way can be finished as a bag or a box!

All finfished bags and boxes were again brilliant.

 

I in the meantime started sewing a quilt for my OWN bedroom, plus blinds, two foam headboard cushions, two floor mats etc... needless to say I am not finished yet.

What is finished now though is the quilt I promised my friend to make. Here is a little glimps of it. As it is going to be raffled or auctioned off in aid of a memorial bench and I don't want to show too much yet.

 

 

 

End of February 2014

I attended a weekend course in Ipswich with Annette Morgan. How lovely to pack my bag, sewing machine and about 100 other things and disappear off into the distance (well about 45 minutes drive...) from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening and do what I like: sewing!

 

 

 

Saturday the 14th of December 2013

Today the last quilt for this year has been collected and I think by a very happy customer! Just in time for the quilt to travel to it's new home in France for Christmas! I really hope it will be a success.

It ended up being a bright, colourful and very modern quilt. As one of my friends noted when visiting me studio: I thought all quilts where made from blocks... No, not all of them are!

 

Early December 2013

Coggeshall Christmas Market was a success again. We made £130 net for our group which we will - as usual - spent on an external tutor next year.

On Monday the 9th of December I took the remaining Christmas decorations to the Griffin in Halsted, the pub we had our Christmas do. Gilli, the lovely land lady there said she would sell any left over decorations for us. So far we got an amazing £82 from those sales! Thank you Gilli!

 

The quilt made slow progress in the first week of December and it wasn't the only thing I was working on. I also made this as an entry into a local competition:

 

November 2013

Already in October I was contacted by a lady who wanted a bed quilt made for her mum in France. About a year ago I made a baby quilt for her new born daughter and when her mum saw it she said that she wanted one too!

So a triangular discussion, daughter, mum in France and me started about what should be done. I think my client and me where quite surprised at mum's modern taste and choice of colours! I promised to try and finisht the quilt in time for Christmas despite all the other things that have to be done, finished and organised at this time of year.

 

As usual our Quirky Quilter meetings and the Sewing Club come to an end and with both groups I spent one lovely morning and lunch and one evening in the Griffin in Halstead. As both groups often ask about eachother... perhaps we should have a joined Christmas party next year?

All that was left to do afterwards was to get sorted for the last event of the year: Coggeshall Christmas Market. The Quirky Quilters always have a stand there (have done so for the last three years), selling our hand made Christmas decorations.

The date is Saturday, December 7th from 1 - 5 pm.

 

September/October 2013

These two months were dominated by a commission to make a double bed quilt and the decision to finally give up the City & Guilds course.

 

A decision I should have made after the first year (and having not learned anything new) but then I was still waiting for exciting new things to happen in year two. After having spent one year of making paper collages in primary colours and sewing 1001 samples in different techniques and filing and labelling them all I thought perhaps all the exciting stuff in coming in the second year. I mean - this is a level 3! What do they make the poor souls do that start in level 2 or 1 (if they really sign up people for a level 1 this is the biggest money making machine ever!).

Anyway in year two I spent most of my time working on my own on the three assessment pieces that needed to be finished that year, slowly but steadily loosing the will to live and just not seeing the point of paying in access of £250 every term. For what, I asked myself. Having decided that I don't want to go into teaching patchwork as a carreer, what was the point? So in early October, having finished my fifth and last assessment piece I quit and what a liberation that was!!!

Finally free again to do what I do best: designing and making quilts and all the other stuff I so love and almost lost all interest in.

 

So on a much happier note... back to commission...

Having had photograph as a starting point I worked out the layout of the blocks and started cutting, piecing and using different techniques I finished 21 intricate patchwork blocks. Before sewing them together my client visited my studio to make a final decision about the four centre blocks. A 50 piece appliqued flower block was her choice and they took more than a day each to make. The blocks were on point and the setting triangles pieced just as intricately as the rest (the quilt contains of more than 950 1" squares) so getting the edges straight and making sure the overall size didn't change was quite a challenge. Several carefully measured strips and a pieced border were added to reach the final size of 100" square. A big quilt! Long arm quilted on my big machine and finished with a traditional hand binding this quilt is a real gem.

And here it is:

 

 

 

 

August 2013

Clare Priory Craft Fair was business as usual, not much sold but lots and lots of interest and chats with interested as well as interesting people. Judging by the amount of business cards given out during that weekend it was very successful!

Coming back from there I tidied up my workshop again and did something I do very very rarely: I took my sewing machine off the table and put it in it's bag. For the next job I wasn't going to need it!

It was finally time to restore the Altar Frontal of Colne Engaine Church which has been in my house since before Christmas. It has alternating silk and velvet panels, the silk panels being the ones that needed to be replaced and is over 100 years old. After having spent months on and off finding a suitable replacement for the old red silk used for the frontal we finally found the solution by having it woven specially by the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company in Sudbury. The fabric was ready at the end of June and I promised to start working on it the week beginning July 15th. So a lot of careful unpicking, tacking, replacing and hand sewing were required over the next couple of weeks. In total it took me 24 hours to do it all. Unlike sewing by machine I could only handsew for a couple of hours at at time as most of the stitches had to go through several layers of fabric, one of them being a linen cloth that serves as the base for the whole frontal. The size of it (185 x 80 cm) meant it was quite difficult to get to the bits that needed sewing, careful folding was necessary and I still managed to end up in strange poses to do the job. But it has been done: every new panel is now tacked in place, attached to it's velvet neighbours again, all trims and ribbons have been sewn on again and it's ready to go back to it's home, Colne Engaine Church.

 

 

In the last week I quilted two quilts and gathered information for a quote which will hopefully end in a quilt commission.

I really thought that with the quilting group and the Sewing Club going into the summer break I would have time to concentrate on my fifth assessment piece but so far I had no chance and my due date, October 1st, seems terribly close already!

 

July 2013

Finally I find the time to update my website! It has been exceptionally busy for me in the last few months. I had several quilting and some other commissions as well as working on my fourth assessment piece for my City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting.

Right now I am preparing (as frantically as ever) for the two upcoming Craft Events:

Clare Priory Craft Fair in Suffolk, 13./14. July and then

Cressing Temple Barns in Essex 25./26. August, the annual flagship show of the Guild of Essex Craftsmen.

Inbetween the shows I won't have much time to prepare anything as the summer holidays are coming up and my parents are visiting. So I will take three weeks off in August.

But before my "holiday" I still have one commission to finish and one quilt to quilt and work on my fifth and last assessment piece has to be continued...

So despite the lovely sunshine I'm in my studio - not compaining, though...

 

P.S. The more regular visitors to my website might have noticed the absence of the shop. I took the link off as I haven't sold a single quilt via my website. I think people like to touch and feel before they buy. So now you have to all come to one of the above events or visit my studio!

 

March 2013

The whole first quarter of 2013 is gone and here I am finally updating my website. It was a busy start into 2013 with lots of quilting commissions and quilts to make. So much to do and never enough time.

At least I should let you know the next dates for the classes:

 

Quirky Quilters

April 15, 22 adn 29

May 13 and 20

June 3, 10 and 24

July 1, 15 and 22

 

Sewing Club

April 17 and 24

May 1, 8 and 15

June 5, 12, 19 and 26

July 10, 17 and 24

 

Another date for your diaries is May 12th, the Textile Fair in Braintree. It's held in the Warner Textile Archive and the Town Hall and well worth a visit.

I will have a stall there as last year and I'm looking forward to it.

 

On Thursday the 23rd of May I will teach a hand quilting workshop and on June 4th a machine quilting workshop, both at the Warner Textile Archive. If you are interested you can book via their website www.warnertextilearchive.co.uk.

 

DECEMBER 2012

2012 is coming to an end. At the time of writing Christmas is behind us and I am looking forward to getting back into my workshop for a few hours of sewing. I think my machines have missed me over the last few weeks. It was busy at Christmas with all grandparents being with us, every bed was being used and we had plenty of food and drink and presents for everyone. But now it's time to look forward and the next term with the Quirky Quilters and the Sewing Club will start soon. For those of you who don't have the new dates yet but are interested in joining us, here they are:

 

Quirky Quilters 10:30 - 14:30 on the following Mondays:

January 14, 21 and 28

February 04, 11 and 25

March 04, 11, 18 and 25

 

Sewing Club 18:30 - 20:30 on the following Wednesdays:

January 16, 23 and 30

February 06, 13 and 27

March 06, 13, 20 and 27

 

I wish you all a Happy New Year and I'm looking forward to seeing you all again soon!

 

SEPTEMBER 2012

The Quirky Quilter's Meetings resumed after the long summer break and for the first time with full house. We have reached the maximum of 12 quilters now, a number that can easily be accomodated by our lovely hall and by me! On the 24th we had Victoria Hease coming to our group, showing us how to make "Japanese Folded Flowers". It was a lovely workshop, lots of laughs and wonderful flowers were the result. I'm sure we will make some more (perhaps in Christmas fabrics for our little stall this year). The Sewing Club has also started again and right now is full too! I have to have a think about what to do now, as requests to join one or the other group keep coming in. If you are interested.... watch this space.

My City & Guilds course has restarted as well and so after a rather lazy summer life is getting busy again.

Commissioned quilts have to be finished and the one that was due in the beginning of September almost drove me mad! Not the quilt (that turned out to be lovely!) but the mainly technical problems involved in making it. I just say "printers".

 

AUGUST 2012

Did I say July was busy? It was nothing compared to August!

My tutor at City & Guilds, Janice Gunner, asked me at the end of last term if I would like to give her my third assessment piece (at that time still called "the football" and despite the fact that I had exactly 5 pieces of it finished) to be included in her and June Barnes Exhibition at the Festival of Quilts. The Exhibition had the title "Unexpected Pleasures" and showcased all the pieces June Barnes did for her new book "Exploring dimension in quilt art" and lots of other "hands-on" exhibits, even some that changed colour when touched.

Did I want to? of course! Small problem was: it had to be finished by August 13th. So for the next three weeks or so I did nothing else but work on "the football". My children got bored with it and - to be honest - after having told them on four consequtive days: "today it will be finished" and it wasn't - I was disappointed too. But, as all things, it did came to an end eventually and I was very proud and happy to see it exhibited with so many other wonderful things at the Festival of Quilts this year. And here is a picture of it. The final title was OWN GOAL.

 

 

The rest of the Festival was wonderful as ususal. I met lots of lovely people (special greetings to the Danish group that stayed with us at the Novotel), spoke to so many exhibitors (Jenny Barlow and Pauline Burbridge were particularly lovely) and I was very impressed with the "virtual studio" set up near the workshop area. This time for the first time I booked myself into a little workshop, a bit of a last minute decision, booked Saturday for Sunday and saw Dawn Cameron-Dick talk about her "invisible machine applique". Not a hands on workshop (we had no sewing machines...) but still an informative hour. I think when I go next time I will have a look at the workshop schedule earlier and try and book some more.

 

I finally met Kevin Mead from Art van Go, someone I heard a lot about but had never met. My husband knows him from working with him but that's a long story.

 

Just before I left for Birmingham I got a phone call and an enquirey about another commission, so that's shat I'm working on now. It's and album quilt with photographs, using a mixture of old and new fabrics but that's all I'm allowed to say here at the moment. It's a surprise...

 

JULY 2012

This month was the busiest month yet. Customer quilts to quilt, a City & Guilds Assessment piece to finish, the final stages of the sampler block quilt with the Quirky Quilters and of course organising everything for the next term. On Monday we had the last Quirky Quilter Meeting including a fantastic picnic lunch and a glass of bubbly and tonight the Sewing Club meets for a social evening and a bit of handsewing. But of course we carry on after the holidays...

 

These are the dates for the Autumn Term 2012:

 

The Sewing Club

Wednesdays from 6.30 - 8.30 pm at the White Colne Village Hall

September 12, 19 and 26, October 03, 10, 17 and 24, November 07, 14 and 21 = 10 sessions @ £7.50/each

 

The Quirky Quilters

Mondays from 10.30 am - 2.30 pm at the Quaker Meeting House, Earls Colne

September 10, 17 and 24, October 01, 08, 15 and 22, November 05, 12 and 26 = 10 sessions @ £12.00/each (£3.00/hour)

 

The Quirky Quilter's Group is now full but if you are interested in being a part of a patchwork and quilting group in this area do please contact me. I will keep a waiting list and if the response is as good as it has been for the Quirkies I might start a second group on a different morning.

So ring or email me if you would like to join!

 

 

mAY!!! 2012

Where has April gone? I can't believe I haven't found the time to write anything since March and now it's already mid May. I was so busy I didn't notice. So what has happened? I became a member of the CTDG (Computer Textile Design Group) in Essex which very conveniently meets in Earls Colne. So I'm now struggling through lots of design projects using Paintshop Pro.

My City & Guilds course is of course ongoing with slightly less "homework" but therefore more work on assessment pieces. And one of them is not going smoothly right now...

The Quirky Quilters and the Sewing Club could both welcome new members and both groups are working busily on their projects. The Quirkies are making more and more 12" blocks for the sampler quilt whilst learning new techniques and in the Sewing Club we've been making owls and bowles. A little "holiday" from quiltmaking. Everyone there has now finfished their first quilt, some of course are unstoppable and have made several by now!

Tomorrow is my websites 1st birthday. I hope there will be many more!

 

End of March 2012

For those of you who are thinking about taking up our lovely hobby of patchworking and quilting, here are the dates for the Summer Term 2012:

 

The Sewing Club

Wednesdays from 6.30 - 8.30 pm at the White Colne Village Hall

April 18 and 25, May 2, 9, 23 and 30, June 13, 20 and 27, July 4, 11 and 18 = 12 sessions @ £7.50/each

 

The Quirky Quilters

Mondays from 10.30 am - 2.30 pm at the Quaker Meeting House, Earls Colne

April 23 and 30, May 14 and 21, June 11, 18 and 25, July 2, 9 and 16 = 10 sessions @ £12.00/each (£3.00/hour)

 

If you are interested in either group ring or text my mobile 07766 54 78 14 or email me.

 

March 2012

This month has been particularly busy with basting and quilting king size quilts and some smaller ones, a Guild Fair weeken in Hylands House in Chelmsford and the Textile Fair in Braintree last weekend.

On Monday the Quirky Quilter had their last meeting this term but we will restart on April 23rd. This time with a "group project": we are going to make a sampler quilt. I chose 24 blocks (don't worry Quirkies, you don't have to make all of them...) some traditional, some introducing new techniques, some quirky and a bit unusual. I'm now busy sewing samples, writing instructions and tips for each one so we can start promptly after the break.

I will also use the Easter Break to work on my City & Guilds stuff and as I have entered the Hoffman Challenge 2012 I better start on that as well. I entered a quilt in 2010 and it travelled the US for a year as part of their travelling exhibition and it was great fun tracing it's journey. Let's see what happens this year...

 

February 2012

One of the new techniques the Quirky Quilters wanted to try this term was "whack'n stack". So cushion cover fabrics were layered carefully to match the pattern, then cut into 60 degree triangles and arranged into half-hexagons. The half-hexagons were then sewn into rows and in the end the the rows joined for the centre of the quilt. This quilt was going to be our contribution to the fundraising event in aid of the British Heart Foundation, taking place on February 11th at the Essex Golf & Country Club.

So after working on it together for two Mondays I took it home and finished it by adding the borders, long-arm quilting it and binding it.

And here is what it looks like:

 

 

Let's hope the organizers of the event can raise a good amount during their auction! Good luck!

 

January 2012

Ok, the SHOP is now officially up and running. I emailed the link to some of my friends, family and customers and the feedback has been very positive. Some people asked me to put some of my bags and smaller items on as well... It takes so long to take photographs, edit them, publish them on the web etc. I will certainly add more items but I think it will mainly be quilts.

Anyway... The Sewing Club has restarted last Wednesday and for the first time tried some foundation piecing. Look at those lovely cottages:

 

 

 

30th of December 2011

As you might have noticed this website is currently under construction. I'm in the process of adding a "shop", something I wanted to do for a long time. So please have patience, it will probably take me till the end of January to get it sorted. But it's all really exciting!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!

 

4th of December 2011

Today I moved out of the Dedham Art & Craft Centre. A bit sad but also a relief. It was just too much of a hussle for not much return. If you have been to my unit there in the last months and you have seen something that caught your eye just contact me anytime. Otherwise watch this space. I will put pictures of all available quilts on this website...

 

3th of December 2011

The Quirky Quilters and the Sewing Club have come to an end for this year. Yesterday afternoon the Quirky Quilters met at Coggeshall Christmas Market to set up and man our stall to sell the Christmas decorations we have been making for the last two weeks and we were quite successfull, I might say.

Our stall before it all started...

We had a lot of fun and a drink in the pub afterwards. What a lovely end to a fantastic year of sewing, patching and quilting. And so much planned for 2012!

The Sewing Club's last meeting is yet to come on the 7th. We meet for Mulled wine, spiced apple and some handsewing, chatting and nibbling. If you would like to join either... just contact me.

The dates for the Spring term are as follows:

 

Quirky Quilters - Mondays 10.30am-2.30pm - Quaker's Meeting Hall

January 9, 16, 23 and 30

February 20, 27

March 5, 12, 19, 26

 

Sewing Club - Wednesdays 6.30pm-8.30pm - White Colne Village Hall

January 4, 11, 18, 25

February 1, 8, 22, 28

March 7, 14, 21, 28

 

6th of November 2011

I can't believe it's been two months since my last update! The main reason for the lack of news was my laptop. I had to replace it after several attemts to have it repaired and the data saved. Luckily most of it could be saved but some programmes took longer to reinstall than others and I'm not completely done yet! But at least I can update my website again - it's a start. All the lovely pictures I took in the meantime will be posted as soon as possible.

 

6th of September 2011

Tonight the Wednesday Sewing Club starts into the Autumn Term and I can't wait to see everybody - and those lovely quilts that were started before the summer holidays! Don't forget we are meeting now in the White Colne Village Hall, same time as ever 6.30 - 8.30 pm.

 

On Monday 12th of September the Quirky Quilters will meet again, welcoming FIVE new members! How exciting is that? I'm sure we will have a lovely time and I have so many new fabrics for them to choose from for their first projects with the group.

If you are interested to join us during Autumn Term, here are the dates again: September 12 and 19, October 3, 10, 17 and 31, November 7, 21 and 28.

 

31st of August 2011

Where has that month gone? At the beginning of the month I got a big commission, ordered the required fabrics needed - and left. We went on a three week holiday in Germany and France (I brought back some typical fabrics from Provence, showing olives and lavender...) and when I came back with suitcases full of washing, bags of cards and tickets and other mementos it was straight back to work.

I had to finish an embroidered ring cushion for a friend of mine, of course by then the fabric for the commission had arrived, my little shop in Dedham needed attention and on top of that the bank holiday weekend in August is our annual trade fair of the Guild of Essex Craftsmen in Cressing Temple, near Braintree. As last year I met lots of interested people and had so many interesting conversations. If you were there I would like to say "thank you" for showing an interest in geniune crafts and if you weren't I hope you can make it next year.

In less than a week my boys will go back to school and "normal" life will be resumed. I will spend most of my time in my workshop sewing and of course the Wednesday Sewing Club and the Quirky Quilters Group on a Monday morning will restart! I'm looking forward to seeing everybody again after the long break and we can also welcome some new members to our group!

 

still July

Finally, after a long wait new fabric is arriving soon. This is what I'm waiting for: moda's Grand Finale!

 

 

I hope these fabrics will arrive before we break up for the summer holidays.

 

July

So much is happening just before the summer holidays!

I have now officially started to take commissions for LONG ARM QUILTING. I delivered quilts to my first happy customers and I hope there will be many more in the future. Just to explain what I do: I have a HandiQuilter Avante quilting machine, mounted on the studio frame, set up at 12' in my studio. I do NOT have a computer attached to it that runs over the quilt while I do something else. I believe that a carefully hand cut and (machine-) pieced quilt deserves a "hand" finish, executed by a skilled craftsman (or craftsWOman, in my case) and not a computer programmer. Neither am I a friend of pantographs or groovy boards so every quilt I quilt will be different and therfore unique. Just as it should be.

I charge £10.00/hour for preparation/finishing (ironing, if necessary and pinning the quilt layers to the frame and squaring it up after quilting) and £20.00/hour for the quilting itself. A quilt measuring 1.5m x 1.7m took me 2 hours of quilting time and 1.25 hours for preparation/finishing. In addition to my time I charge for the threads used (King Tut or YLI quitling threads on the top and Guetermann cottons in the bobbin).

So if you have a quilt at home that needs quilting and you are interested in my services please contact me.

 

I designed flower bags, again using up old CD's

 

 

and just last weekend I designed a bag using only 8 Jelly Roll strips plus lining fabric. (Imagine: out of one Jelly Roll you could make 5 bags..) The design is simple, yet elegant and gives a most wonderful effect. The same design can be finished in at least three different ways: with a zip, a flap with button or as a draw string bag. The finished size is 8 1/2" square or better cubed!

Here are some pictures of two of the bags:

 

 

The QUIRKY QUILTERS will continue to meet in the Autumn Term and we have a lot planned for the rest of this year. We will enter a competition, have a stall at a local Christmas Market and sell Christmas decorations and a lot more to help fundraise a trip to Birmingham's Festival of Quilts in 2012, we plan bag workshops and if we still have some time I think some foundation piecing work might be in order. As you can see we are not only quirky but busy and still looking for new members.

The dates for the new term are: September 12 and 19, October 3, 10, 17 and 31, November 7, 14 and 28. Nine meetings in total.

Place and time are the same: Quaker Meeting House in Earls Colne, on those Mondays from 10.30 - 2.30pm.

Price per 4-hour session is now £14.00 (used to be £16.00) and you pay for the number of sessions you can do in that term. So if you could only do 6 out of the 9 sessions the total would be £84.00.

In case you are interested contact me either by phone or email, latest by the end of August.

 

June

End of May was yet another school holiday but as we had to go and see the family in Germany for a wedding and a very special birthday time flew past again. Of course I couldn't come back from there without some fabrics. This time I bought some "nicki" fabrics from Westfalenstoffe, something difficult to impossible to get hold of in England. They are 100% cotton but with a pile. These fabrics are the softest you will have ever felt. No wonder they are used to make baby clothes and toys.

Just a week ago a magic piece of new technology arrived in our house (via my husband...): the new iPad2.

My boys were very excited and it seems to be the absolute flavour of the month for them but when I saw it first I didn't want to play with it I wanted to protect it... So it needed a bag... or two... or three... You did know I am crazy?!

 

 

My sons love the "Angry Bird" bag the most, whereas I like the flowery one.

So if you know someone with and iPad and you are looking for a useful and funny present, ring me or send me an email!

 

And here are some of the other pieces I'm working on at the moment ...

 

"Storm at Sea" Pattern in blues and 3D cubes.

 

 

It's May!

The Quirky Quilters are meeting again, the Wednesday Sewing Club has restarted and both could welcome new members! How exciting. With the Quirky Quilters we started "curvy". Over the Easter Holidays we all worked on designs of small wall hangings (four A4 pieces of paper joined together) with only curvy lines. No straight seams! That was the objective and what wonderful designs there were. I will try and take some pictures of the finished works but right now we are still sewing...

The Sewing Club started with something practical: we made pincushions recycling old CD's and experimented with reverse applique. How clever is that?

The results are again wonderful and - ever so useful. In my mind pincushions need to be big (I always have lots of pins and needles), have a flat base and they have to have a hard "bottom" so needles and pins can't disappear if pushed in too far. So these ones are just perfect.

Should you be interested in a PIN CUSHION WORKSHOP contact me. I'm happy to show you how to make these little fellows. They can easily be sewn by hand, no machines necessary.

 

 

Still April and yet more Bank Holidays to come

Last year I spent some time "fiddeling" with different materials, trying to sew plastic shapes between layers of fabric, covering different things with fabric and so on. In the end I covered card board squares with different fabrics. I just kept coming back to the regular shape of a square, to me it looks the most pleasing. After playing with the mosaic like pieces for ages I finally decided what to do with them: arrange 100 of them in a square and frame them. It took ages to find the right frame and to decide on a background colour. Whilst arranging, rearranging and discarding some of the squares to end up with the right 100 I found there was always one that looked different, out of place or just not right. After resigning to the fact that I could be rearranging these squares for the rest of my life I decided on two things: I let my husband arrange the pieces in their final order and on the name of the picture.

It's called the "Odd One Out" and here is a picture. The Original is now in Dedham.

 

 

It was very hard to fotograph the picture (reflections and so on) and the colours are not given justice. Looking at the original picture is a feast for the eyes. So much to see, patterns, colours and yet it seems to be one picture rather than 100, or not?

And of course there is the question of which one is the odd one out for you?

 

April

I did find some time for sewing since my last blog so here are the first "shoppers". I made up a pattern to fit the plastic bases I wanted to use, the finished bags measure roughly 45 cm up and across and they are good 10 cm deep. You can fit a lot in a bag that size! Quilted in different patterns on my big machine and lined with fabulous dotty fabrics they look very smart. I hope you like them.

Of course they are going to Dedham this week, ready for the weekend, together with my latest little quilt (one I started earlier, then put aside because I wasn't entirely happy with the way I arranged it the first time...). Now I am happy with the design and funny enough it's made from the "Happy" fabrics from moda. The bags are fore sale for £24.00, the little quilt for £84.00.

 

 

April 11th, 2011

Today is the first day of the Easter Holidays. With my two boys at home sewing and quilting time will be a bit less than usual. The good weather that makes us go out will hopefully inspire lots of people to go to places like Dedham Art & Craft Centre.

In the meantime I put another quilt together, this time with the "Happy" fabrics from moda. It gave me a bit of trouble and after a serious "quilting accident" I had to redo the borders but now it's coming together nicely.

 

I was asked to do two things: Give an indication of prices for my quilts and make some quilted shopping bags.

The quilt in the pictures below was sold for £95.00, the lap quilts (slightly smaller than this one) that are in Dedham at the moment are around £85.00, my big green and red quilt "Formal Garden" costs £138.00 and the queen/double bed quilt "Pinwheels" is for sale for £480.00.

Also for sale at Dedham is the "Patriotic Star Quilt" (£95.00) and my reversible Spring Quilt (£86.00).

 

 

Childrens quilts up to 1m square vary from £45.00 to £60.00 and can be embroidered with names, (birth) dates etc. to make them really special.

Right now there is a gorgeous baby set for sale for £120.00 consisting of quilt, toy box, snuggle, cushion and bunting. Colours are pastels in green, yellow, pink and blue with white and cute farm animals in the prints. A perfect present for a new born baby boy or girl!

 

The quilt prices depend on the cost of materials used and my time. All quilts are designed, cut and pieced by me, quilted either by machine or on my long arm quilted and finished off with a traditional hand sewn binding. So if you are thinking of commissioning a quilt please remember they take time to make.

And as for the second request: I'm working on it!

 

April, End of Term for wednesday Sewing club

In our last weeks of this term leading up to the Easter Holidays we tried our hands at some handsome chickens, an adaptation of the Christmas Decorations we made a few months back, just bigger. Two quilt as you go squares are the basis for this. Made from lovely Easter fabrics and with a zip on the back they are ready to be filled with treats for the Holidays!

 

 

April 5th, 2011

I just finished quilting my second quilt on the new HQ Avante and it was bought on the spot. A friend came to have a cup of tea and she loved the colours and the "random" pattern of that quilt so much that she said she had to have it. It doesn't get much better than that!

The quilt used one moda Jelly Roll and one Charm Pack of "Bliss" and some "sweet pink" fabric in the borders. The back is red with white dots and I free motion quilted it with my swirly flowers. What a feel good quilt. The colours shout "spring" and just make you smile. I still have to straighten it up and bind it so I better get on. But here are some pictures for you to look at.

 

 

End of March 2011

This is the really big news: After selling my Grace Frame earlier this year I went to Birmingham to the Cotton Patch on Patrick's Day and bought a HandiQuilter 18" Avante Long Arm Quilter! Tried and ordered on Thursday, delivered and set up on Wednesday the week after. Doesn't leave you time to think "have I done the right thing?" Well, it's here now, tried and tested on the weekend and over the last few days and it's wonderful. Everything I ever wanted from a machine like this. The 18" throat gives you a stunning 15" quilting space and set up at 12 feet in my workshop it sure does keep you on your feet!

The stitch regulator is brilliant and actually lives up to it's name! You can choose from 4 stitches per inch (for tacking, basting) to 18 stitches per inch for the detail quilting. This piece of kit comes at a premium price but as my friend put it: It's worth every penny.

Have a look at this, this was my first doodle...

 

 

March 2011

With my Wednesday Sewing Club group we had a go at making our first bags. For that purpose I designed a bag using one Charm Pack (with a few bits left over for embellishments). It was a real challenge but what a result. Here is a picture of the four bags we could actually get together one evening, but believe me the others are just as beautiful!

 

 

March 2011

BIG NEWS: Patchwork, Quilts & More has now got a shop! You can find my hand made items from March 1st, 2011 at the Dedham Art & Craft Centre.

My little "box", as I lovingly call it, is on the second floor, on the left. When you come up the stairs you can see it already.

The Centre is open every day from 10 am - 5 pm, in the summer sometimes longer.

 

If you belong to that small group of people that have never been, go and have a look, it's worth it. The Art Centre is located in an old Methodist Church at the end of the main street in Dedham and full of the interesting and beautiful, a paradise for gift hunters and do stop at the tearoom. It's a really nice day out, only 20 mins from Earls Colne and in the summer take the children for a boat trip on the river or a walk across the fields to Stratford St. Mary and cross the Essex/Suffolk border on foot.

 

And when you have been to my little shop I would love to hear what you think of it. Tell me what you liked and what you didn't like. Give me a ring or drop me a line so I can work on it. It's my first time to display my items in a public place so I do need as much feedback as I can get to get it right. Please help!

 

 

February 2011

The WEDNESDAY GROUP is finishing their first bigger project: a bag made of 5" squares and the excitement grew last week as one by one could turn out the bag for the first time and have a look at the (almost) finished item! I will post a picture of the results of all that hard work as soon as possible. Watch this space...

 

January 2011

The first QUILTING GROUP in Earls Colne, THE QUIRKY QUILTERS, is up and running. We meet for four-hour-sessions on selected Mondays. We start at 10.30 am and finish at 2.30 pm and meet at the Quaker Meeting House in Burrows Road in Earls Colne. So if you live locally and you are interested in joining, just give me a ring, find out when the next meeting is and come along. Cost for the tutored quilting group is £4.00/hour. Have a go and join in the fun!

 

 

Wednesday, December 1st

I can't believe that tonight is our last evening of this term's sewing class. Cushion covers have been made, tree wall hangings, we cut fabrics using our new rotary cutters and mats, we measured and fused, we pressed and sewed and since last week everybody seems to be making Christmas buntings!

My box of christmas fabrics has been welcome alround but I do need to stock up again for next year...

The decision has already been made to carry on on a Wednesday night and we will restart on January 12th and have 11 meetings until Easter 2011.

Come along if you can, we have two spaces.

 

Also starting is now a new 4-hour-morning-class on a MONDAY. The new group will meet about twice a month in the Quaker Meeting House in Earls Colne.

 

Mid October

We are now four weeks into our patchwork class and everybody has something to show for it! We made nine-patch cushion covers, tree wall hangings and the more advanced students finished quilt tops. We tried the traditional piecing of pre-cut squares as well as the "bonded" method. We learned how to use bondaweb and had a go a applique and we had a look at Christmas projects that we will start after half term.

 

On top of that one lady in the group and I are looking into starting a quilting group in Earls Colne, running fortnightly on a Wednesday morning in the local Village Hall. The times we have in mind are 10.30 - 2.30 pm to make it worthwile. The advantages being that we could all benefit from cheaper prices for materials and exchange ideas and get inspired by eachother. We hope the turnout for the new group will be as good as it was for the patchwork class, so ring me or email me if you are interested.

Even though the details are not finalised it looks like the contribution towards the hall hire will be £10.00 per session which makes it £2.50 per hour. Not bad, we think...

But of course: the more people join the lower the cost for everyone! If you have a passion for patchwork and a sewing machine join us!

 

Tuesday, September 1st

Having come back from our holidays, I was supprised by finding a copy of the latest issue of FABRICATIONS magazine in my post. It was kindly sent to me by Grosvenor Exhibitions because it actually features one of my quilts. It is the landscape quilt I entered into their competition at Sandown this year. Very exciting.

 

August Bank Holiday Weekend

This weekend is the annual trade fair of the Essex Guild of Craftsmen in Cressing Temple Barns. It was my first time to have a stall there and I have to say it was very successful. I enjoyed every minute of it, meeting my fellow craftsmen as well as all the encouraging comments and lovely chats I had with some of the visitors. I met so many interested people and so many interesting ones I can't wait to do it again. It was fun all round. Thank you to all the people that considered my hand crafted things worth buying, I hope to hear from you again or see you next year at Cressing Temple Barns.

 

 

Sunday, August 8th

Hurray, my entry "Blue Lemons" for the Hofmann Challenge 2010 was chosen for the travelling Quilt exhibition and will go on tour through the US. It will be sent back to me in the Summer of 2011. How exciting! I now ordered the Catalogue 2010 which contains pictures of all travelling quilts and of course the winners of this years challenge.

 

 

Early August

NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWNEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS

 

It is confirmed! I will start a QUILTING CLASS in September! So if you always wanted to get your sewing machine out but didn't really know what to make or how to use it properly - this is your chance. If you have already tried patchwork and/or quilting but would like to do it together with some friends then come along too.

Classes will be held in the Child Centre at Earls Colne Primary School, Wednesday evenings from 6pm - 8 pm, starting on the 22nd of September, running for 10 weeks.

That means there will be 5 weeks before the half term break at the end of October, and five weeks after, so the last lesson will be on December 1st.

Cost for the 10 weeks will be £80.00, all you need to bring is a working sewing machine.

We will start with an autumn project, some easy nine patch blocks that can be assembled into a table runner, wall hanging etc. and of course we will make some lovely christmas stuff too. So if you would like to give it a go or you have any questions, please contact me by phone or email.

 

 

still July

The quilt I'm working on at the moment came to a halt because I had to reorder some fabric and whilst waiting for it I had to do something else... I just couldn't help it.

 

 

 

Friday, 09.07.2010

This morning I coudn't wait to open the first bags, starting with the yellows to see what the fabrics would look like. So I started rinsing in cold water until it runs clear, then washing in hot water with soap, then rinsing again in cold water, then wringing out and hanging out to dry. How exciting that was, doing it for the first time. Then I repeated the process with the oranges, the reds, the purples, the blues and the greens. By then it was three hours later, not to mention the amount of water I must have used and my poor hands. Now I know what washer women in the olden days must have felt like. But have a look at the results of all that work:

 

 

Thursday, 08.07.2010

I'm off to Wickham Market again. This time I try fabric dyeing with Theresa. It's something I've never done before but always wanted to do. I think a bit of tuition and some tips and tricks before I go out and buy the necessary stuff might be in order. So let's see... The day was FUN! Lots of different fabrics stuffed into freezer bags filled with different coloured dyes. And then the suspense - what will it look like when it comes out?

Unfortunately for me (I can be very impatient) we had to take the dyed fabrics home in the bags and leave them over night.

 

Saturday, 06.07.2010

Wonderful day, driving to Wickham Market to a quilt shop called Quilter’s Haven to attend a machine quilting course led by Pippa Moss. I met a lot of nice fellow quilters, spent a day quilting different patterns and as usual when quilters get together I came home with some useful tips and tricks.

Of course, as the class room is next to the shop I bought something as well. I found a copy of a book I wanted for some time: Laurie Aaron Hird’s THE FARMER’S WIFE QUILT. It’s a very different quilt book. It contains letters from American farmers wives from 1922 to the editor of the then popular magazine “Farmers wife”, answering the question whether they would recommend for their daughters to marry a farmer - or not. With every letter though you are introduced to a new 6” block which can be combined with any other of the 111 blocks in the book or can be used to make up a fantastic sampler quilt. And finally it’s a book that doesn’t bore you with all the basics of how to measure, cut and piece.

 

18.05.2010

A few days ago the nursery teacher of Earls Colne Nursery asked me if I could make a quilt for the children there. Over the last weeks they had been collecting fabrics to study colours and textures. So when I collected the box of fabrics I chose about 100 of the most suitable ones (upholstery fabrics and cut up t-shirts are not so good…), cut them accurately into 5” squares and started sewing. It only took one day to sew them all together and another morning to quilt it – thanks to the new machine.

So today I delivered it to the nursery and this is what it looks like:

 

 

 

Tuesday, 11th of May

As Ferret and I found out yesterday the sewing machine that I used on top of my Grace quilting frame is not fast enough. So today I bought a quicker one. 1600 stitches per minute should do it. Can't wait, it will come tomorrow! It's a Janome P1600 (basically the same as the Husqvarna Megaquilter) and I found it as an ex-display model so reasonably cheap. Should you be hunting for sewing machines always include www.sewingmachines.co.uk in your search. This is actually the second machine I've ordered from them and I can't wait to try it out. They do extend the manufacturers warranty, will service or the change the machines if problems occur and delivery is free. Ask for Russel. Another place to look is www.thesewingstudio.co.uk. They also sell all major brands and are absolutely lovely to talk to. Unfortunately today they did not quite have what I was after. Maybe next time...

 

 

Monday, 10th of May

FerretToday is a special day for me. I'm going to have a visitor: Ferret. You don't know her? Well, have a look at www.ferfab.co.uk and you will see.

 

Finally today I will learn how to use my Grace quilting frame. I had it for more than two years and built it up and took it down but I never actually got as far as quilting on it. Sometimes you buy things with the best intentions but you need that particular kick (literally) to get your act together.

 

Well, having booked that day with Ferret for a while now my husband and I took to building the frame up again on Saturday. This time we even had to go as far as loading fabric, batting and backing on it. I never got so far before. What can I tell you. It was an eye opening experience and I thing this time I will not take it down again. I don't know exactly how to fix the small problem of space at the moment but I will work on that. Perhaps something else will have to leave? What about the drum kit?

 

Ferret was as I remembered her form Birmingham last year and the day went really quickly. So much to remember, to learn, to try and so much fun. If you want to book her for your group go to her website or if you are closer to North London than me keep an eye open for the regular workshops she does at www.patchworkcorner.co.uk.

 

 

 

Rest of April

Getting paperwork sorted and business cards printed with the proper logo and all that stuff all cost so much time! Not enough time for sewing at the moment. Still I was able to finish three commissions.

 

Worth mentioning is the fact that I finished - yes finished - my Pinwheel quilt! I started it last year at the end of November by sewing the first squares together, which subsequently got cut up again and rejoined as pinwheels. The quilt top was finished earlier this year but as I decided to only machine quilt the border around the flying geese and quilt the pinwheels themselves with buttons it took me a while. 304 buttons are a lot to sew on by hand but an enjoyable work, something you can do whilst watching tv over an evening.

 

Thursday, 15th of April 2010

I just received a letter from the Guild. I'm in! Cause for celebrations! If you want to know what it's all about have a look at www.thewillows12.fsnet.co.uk. They have about 180 members now and represent almost 40 different crafts in Essex. Their shows are absolute highlights for everyone interested in arts and crafts. A complete directory of all members is available from most Essex libraries and directly from the Guild. Their Flagship Show is every year on the last August Bank Holiday weekend in the most wonderful Cressing Temple Barns. Come and have a look. I will be there for the first time too.

 

Monday, 12th of April, 2010

I am invited to the Guild of Essex Craftsmen Selection Evening at Cressing Temple Barns. My quilts will be viewed by a panel of judges who will then decide if I can be a member of the guild. Very exciting! Fingers crossed.

 

Saturday, 10th of April

Pinwheel QuiltSunset Wall HangingRegional day of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, Region 8 in the Marks Tey Parish Hall. It was my first time and I took a friend along to see what it's all about. Particularly interested I was in the afternoon talk, given by Lynn Edwards! She is an internationally known quilt designer and teacher. Her books are fantastic. Have a look on www.amazon.co.uk and search for her Cathedral Window or Stash Buster books or visit www.creativegrids.com. They always sell Lynn's books and often in combination with the rulers specially designed for them.

 

The Guild organised a Show & Tell for it's members and the quilts we saw were wonderful. Some were Show quality and I hope to see some of them in the Quilt shows up and down the country.

 

 

My contribution were my pinwheel quilt and my "Sunset" wallhanging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning of April

I am happy to announce that I will from now on use moda fabrics to create my quilts. That is not exclusively the case but I have their catalogue at home and can order every range of fabric they offer for whatever project you would like me to do. If you prefer to have a look at their wonderful fabrics online go to www.unitednotions.com. Moda also offers a wide range of basics, blenders, and marbles which are just indispensable for quilters. Have a look and ring me if you find something you think could work in your home.