Monday, 25 February 2013

Out of Africa

Three postcards

The postcard swap I intermittently join in had "Out of Africa" as a theme for this month, giving me a great excuse to use some of my collection of African fabric from The African Fabric shop. (This is where I got my beautiful basket the other day.)

The postcards are strips patch-worked together and the lovely hand block printed Guinea fowl added as appliquéd patches.
Note the two tone one made from two half birds cut from the end of the strip that I didn't like to throw away!

The girls at the Creative Machine Embroidery class in Norwich have done a great job and between us we have 50 Bookwraps to send in on Thursday. Yee Hah!
Check out the Bookwrap gems site here

Friday, 22 February 2013

Peaceful Hours

Peaceful Hours now the children have gone home... but also the name of this beautiful block that Ruth made for me, all hand stitched English paper piecing style, with incredibly tiny stitches.

I have been looking at ways to simplify some of the blocks as the more seams you have the more difficult they are to get the right size.
Marti Michell has some good tips for this and I have cut this Weathervane using some of her suggestions.I photographed the layout as it's a bit tricky. The only thing I would change is to remember to cut the outer light triangles the other way so that there are no bias edges on the outside of the block. However these were cut from small scraps of fabric and that was how they fitted on this time!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Beautiful Birds

 Too cold to go to the beach...

Half term so the small people are here and today we made these beautiful dangly birds:
Ellen's on the left and George's on the right.
Both children did their own cutting out and machining on the electric sewing machine, and then stuffed them. Good result!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cottenham Textile Fair

I found this beautiful hand made basket from Northern Ghana at the African Fabric shop at Cottenham. Visit Magie and Bob's online shop here. I wanted beads that were weighty and had large holes and I got some beautiful pale turquoise blue ones made from Gin bottle glass! I also had to have some fabric and this lovely small Bolgatanga basket, just right for filling with my machine threads. It had a wonderful handle and cost around £20 - bargain. I have two others, both large and full of fabric and threads, but a girl can never have too many baskets.
I have also completed another couple of bookwraps but will post the pictures on the bookwrap page.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Creating interest in tiny blocks

I went to quilt group today and took my Farmer's wife blocks as one member had asked to see them. They liked the look of them and the book, but most people are trying to get work done for the exhibition in April. Some are very busy knitting small teddy bears for an African charity that gives them to children in hospital as they make a faster recovery. A good idea, but Bears?? not an African animal surely!
Here are two embellished blanket bookwraps. the blanket is dyed and felted in a hotwash then run under the embellisher machine with scrims and woollen threads for decoration.

And here's a use for those lovely African beads I keep buying from Magie Relph!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A good week so far.

The Purple one

Spotty Bookwrap opened out flat
Essential Dots by Moda!
So far this week I have been to the Norwich Creative Embroiderers and collected 30 Bookwraps that they've made for me with more to come.then today I went to Winterton Quilters and gave out instructions sheets and notebooks to the girls there and made two Bookwraps as demo pieces so they can see how easy it is. I made the purple one and was given a lovely purple button to go on it, then after lunch (jacket potatoes cooked in the kitchen to warm us up) I made the spotty one for fun.
This evening I made a Modern quilted cushion (picture on my other blog, here) as a raffle prize for the group I go to tomorrow - The Pennyloaf Patchers and hope to get some of them into Bookwrap manufacture...

Monday, 11 February 2013

Paper Bookwrap Gems

Newsprint Bookwrap front
Newsprint Bookwrap back
Paper bag Bookwrap 1

Paper bag Bookwrap 2

Here are the bookwraps made from the paper experiments.
I went to the Norwich Embroiderers class today run by Sheila Ford and they had made some lovely Bookwraps Gems for me. I will have a boxful to send to Conference!
Fortunately Pat Lowe has said she'll take them for me as the postage would be impossible!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Star Gardener Block

Star Gardener block
Wow... finally got this together and the little block took nearly an hour, juggling with seam allowances to get it to press reasonably flat - I used so much steam I fogged up my glasses! Mind you I did stop for coffee half way through.

Here is the felt bookwrap I made on Monday, now completed. Mostly hand stitch as that was the day I took my Embellisher machine but not the lead.
This is made with some lovely wool felt given to me by Jean who had found a huge piece at a car boot sale. I put it through a hot wash and it felted up nicely, but wasn't quite wide enough so the lining was cut wider to act as a binding to control the slightly frilly edges.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Fame at Last!

They've put up my pic and instructions for making a Bookwrap on the wordpress bookwraps site here!
version 1
Playing with tiny triangles today, just trimmed 50 of the little blighters, put in a new blade halfway through and wondered why I didn't do it sooner... I am planning to make Farmer's Wife Star Gardener block.  
I laid it out on the table and it didn't look right:
I realised I had the half square triangles rotated so the dark was where the light should be.
I started to turn them round, then found another interesting combination before arriving at the correct layout.

version 2
I just hope they don't all get mixed up again when I sew them together or I'll have yet another version...
version 3

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Just needs Binding!

Had a good morning so far, stitched a grid to make a quantity of about 50 half square triangles for the little blocks, made two Hovering Hawks blocks, one for me and one for Michelle, got the washing on and postman came with my Pineapple quilt! all by 10am...

Hovering Hawks
Heartsease Quilt
 I'm sure I made this block into a quilt once before, it's an asymmetric block and you get different pattern developing where the blocks join.

Found it in my Flickr photostream
here, but you can see that the lights and darks are reversed.
I really must update my photos there...
Pineapple ready for binding
Just have to get on and put on the binding and it will be ready for the Pennyloaf Patchers quilt exhibition at Fleggburgh in April, . Now I have to make them a cushion and a bag for the raffles they have each day.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

No Longer Clutching at Straws!

I have, after about a week of frantic searching, finally found the power cable and foot control for my Embellisher machine. I had tidied everything away for Christmas visitors and then not been able to find it when I next needed the machine. But there it was, hiding in a bag of felted blanket, just as my dear husband predicted...

I've finished more bookwraps, here is one with a different angle on the stitch-and-flip and quilt-as-you-go technique that has kept me busy lately.

 The farmers round here are trying to get the Sugar Beet in and I saw this huge machine trundling along the field with scores of seagulls hunting among the soil but didn't have my camera. When I came back half an hour later the lads had stopped for lunch!
They gave me a friendly wave as I snapped them from the car.

I am planning some paper-fabric bookwraps and today prepared the paper. The light one is newsprint, saved from a previous paint session as it was part coloured already having been underneath.
I attached it to some lightweight felt (cleaning cloths) with Bondaweb and added some more paint.
The red ones are a red paper bag from the local quilt shop Sew Creative at Wroxham Barns, crumpled and straightened out then stuck to the felt with Bondaweb and added decoration with some print blocks and metallic paint.

They now need stitch to hold the layers together and acrylic wax to give it strength and a nice soft surface sheen. Hopefully they will look like leather.

I like the idea of something from nothing, if you don't think about the cost of the Bondaweb!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Patchwork Journals

I've had a nice day making more Bookwraps. These are two more stitch and flip covers, and I have written up the instructions for them, partly so I can remember! No hand sewing except for the button and using left-overs from the quilt I made for my daughter's friend Jacky.