Monday, 30 June 2014

Folded Dreams Quilt, Hexies and Clam Shells.

Whilst I love to machine-stitch patchwork I am so thrilled and satisfied that I have finished my very first, completely hand stitched, quilt. 
 "Folded Dreams" 
and here it is in all it's glory. 
Inside one of the Japanese Folded squares I have hidden a tiny note from me for my family. 
I love the way this technique provides the wadding, and backing too, all in one process.
It was so therapeutic to stitch and the squares have been made in so many places on my travels, over the last few months since I started.
 Travelling to Brighton, on the plane to Germany, trips to the supermarket, days out, dodging World Cup TV, all produced squares and the end result is this quilt.
It has taken me slightly less than three months to complete, during time which I would otherwise have been twiddling my thumbs or scratching my head for something to do, so, that's a worthwhile result!
Now I think I will start another one soon in fabrics of a brighter colours.
This colour palette was joined at random apart from selecting darker shades for the outer edge.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Patchwork Note Book

A while ago, I offered to make a hand stitched patchwork item as a Blog Candy prize for whoever guessed how many squares I had completed towards my Japanese folded patchwork quilt. At that time I'd only made just over 100 and I'm so thrilled that I've now finished 180m squares and stitched them together so the quilt is complete. Watch out for the pics on my next post.
Sam (Samski) was the first to enter for the blog candy prize and the only person who guessed correctly and, as she isn't a sewer, she chose a covered notebook in preference to a needle case.
 She received it last week so now I can safely show it here without spoiling her surprise.

I used Batik fabric for the paper pieced diamonds ... big mistake as it is so hard to push a needle through but once prepped I plodded on and ended up with a painful hole in my finger as I hate to use a thimble.
Front View
Sam chose shades of green but I added a few contrast segments.
Back View
Inside there are handy pockets to slip things in but it also means the cover can easily be slipped off and onto another note book once this one is full. 
The beaded cords are elastic and provide decorative place markers.
I'm so pleased Sam liked her prize as much as I enjoyed making it.

Here's a great idea that my DD2 sent me recently as a birthday greeting. I forgot to post it when I posted my hand crafted cards, last week, because I had hung it up on the wall. I love it and, as I am totally off making paper cards, this will be a great idea for me to poach to make for friend's birthdays.
DD2 isn't an ardent crafter but everything she does make is quite individual and she always has good ideas.
Now I must find another project to stitch "on the go" or I'll be wasting too much precious time! 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

70 !!!

Last week my 70th Birthday came and went and, whilst I had tried to keep it low key, I was treated to such lovely cards and gifts from those crafty friends who already knew and from some sleuths who found out.
Heartfelt thanks for all these beautiful handmade items and for making me feel so special.
This wonderful album was made by Neet (Hickydorums) and inspired by the recent Finnabair course she attended.
I'll show more detail later in this post.
Special cards from Dolores (Cardarian) and Sandra Grimes OSA

from Helen (Above) Vicky Stampers and Janet, Katy's Corner

Enid,Vicky Stampers and Neet 

from Mo, Vicky Stampers

My family gave me some lovely gifts, including an amazing vintage patchwork quilt from DD1 and Kaffe Fassett fabric from DD2 so I can enjoy making myself a special quilt.
My grandees also created special cards for me, leaving no doubt to how old I am!
Don't you agree that these are so special?
I love that they all have navels!
More views of Neet's fabulous album and if you pop over to Hickydorums she has lots more pics and a previous post will show all she made on the Finnabair course.
Lots of texture
There were photos of my family on pages with super backgrounds

I met up with Neet on Saturday at Boundary Mill in Lancashire and her lovely fella Chas very generously treated us to the most fabulous quality fish & chips in the famous Banny's Restaurant. Not just a chippy! Take a look and pay a visit if you can for 5 star fish and chips.
Here I am with my super album
 but there was also a purple gift bag of goodies all wrapped in purple tissue
and amongst all this birthday stash that Neet hatched up for me was this crazy fun gift.....
Thanks so much to Neet and Chas for a wonderful unexpected birthday treat.

Later we went on to visit a fabric shop in Nelson as I was looking for the perfect material to make my grandees fancy dresses from the Disney film "Frozen".
We ended up in the Asian Bazaar in Nelson which was a fascinating market full of saris and Indian outfits, trimmings and jewellery. Chas spotted a shop nearby selling fabric and I was thrilled to get exactly what I need there for only £1.50 and £2.00 per (very generous) yard.
Neet bought an embroidered Indian dress for herself and when she arrived home there were trousers and a stole in the packet with it. 
I bought these fabulous buttons which I can forsee being used as fasteners for bags and notebooks.
It was such a good day and I think we'll pay another visit there one day.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Gresford 34th Festival of Textile Crafts

This week, I part made two of these simple bags. So easy to do as they are merely strips sewn together into a straight panel then folded to create this bag. I will post instructions as soon as I have finished the handles.
I saw one displayed at the patchwork and quilting show I attended in Germany, in May, but there were no instructions so I did my usual and improvised to make this similar one below. 
It's shown here showing the fold and before the panel is stitched together or the handles attached. 
I finished my windmill bag and I love using it. I added huge eyelets and knotted the handles through them but I discretely added a few safety stitches to secure the knots.
I had a super day on Thursday at 
the Festival of Textile Crafts 
in Gresford Village, North Wales.
I bought a stash of super fabric, on sale in the Memorial Hall at bargain prices.....
We enjoyed delicious fish and chips in the sunshine....
Later we managed tea and home made cakes (don't count those the calories) in the old school house...
Such an amazing amount of beautiful crafts to view. 
Patchwork and quilting, embroidery, beadwork, weaving, knitting and crochet amongst other skills. 
This, following, is merely a small cross section but still lots of pics from me!
 Exquisite beading...
 The main displays were in the wonderful old church and the stained glass windows provided a perfect back cloth to all the quilts.

 Close up of the beaded lantern hanging in the previous picture.

 These tiny beaded boxes were only a couple of inches in diameter.

 The hundreds of hexagons for this huge Granny's Garden quilt were made as a group project to raise funds for charity.
 Dozens of quilts of different styles...
 Here's just a part of the "Big Knit" display of over 1,000 tiny knitted hats which will raise funds for Age Concern when they are sold in supermarkets on top of Innocent Smoothie bottles.  

We sat beside the duck pond for a while before we took the bus and train home and we had to hold up the traffic to allow this brood to cross safely.
 A super crafty day was really enjoyed by my quilting group. 
This was my first visit but the other members have attended for several years and say that it is amazing how much excellent work is produced each year.
Last year the exhibition raised a staggering £6244.60 and most of it was donated to several charities.
If you are close enough to get there, be sure to attend next year when it will be held from Tues 16th to Fri 19th June 2015