Wednesday, 11 December 2019

12 x 12 Exhibition at Midsomer Quilting - One Day...


Now running at Midsomer Quilting, the annual 12 x 12 show is an absolute delight.  This year's theme was "One day...", which could be interpreted however you liked.  Here, in no particular order, are just a few of the quilts.

First, by Chris Bussell, a gorgeous orange day lily, in exactly the right shade of orange, just like the ones we have in our front garden.



I loved the 3D flower, complete with stamens.



Another 3D quilt, by Debbie Halfhide, recalls the day she saw a weasel popping out from the greenery.  Lucky Debbie.  I have only ever seen a weasel scampering quickly out of sight.



Katherine Vaughan's quilt summed up the frustrations and joys of gardening.  The caption below it reads "One day the sun shone.  A day for gardening!"  The expression on her face (I really hope it is a self portrait) is priceless, the combination of panic and bewilderment when weeds seem to grow by the hour and you don't know where to start.



Alison Boswell took a similar theme and came up with something completely different.  "one day.... oh how it rained!"



All these tiny triangles are an ingenious representation of an absolute drencher.



This quilt is by De Pickford, and I have to confess that I didn't take a photo of the caption.  To the best of my recollection, this landscape looks forward to the day when there will be more trees on the hill.  In the meantime, the copse at the top of the hill is a beautiful focal point.



Maria Capper takes us on a flight of fancy with "One day... fly me to the moon!"  At first sight I wondered why the sand was grey and the sky so dark.  Seen from a distance, the colours of the deck chairs really stand out.



This whimsical quilt by Valerie tells us that "One day my dream is to live in the country."  The colours are very realistic - no idealised blue sky and fluffy clouds, but the uncompromising grey we are so used to, muted greens for the foliage, and dark muddy brown.  I really hope Valerie's dream comes true.



Gillian Ashby's quilt shows just one day, a typical day, starting with tea, featuring one job after another...  



… pausing for more tea (I recognise that teapot, and the mugs)...



… and winding down later with a spot of knitting.  This quilt is a social documentary.



Finally, George Korn would have us believe that one day he will finish this quilt.  How can you finish a finished quilt of an unfinished quilt?  In fact, how can you even start one with hexagons that tiny?



Just incredible.  Perfect for a pixie's bed.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 257 - Better Late Than Never





Of all my projects ever, I can safely say that this landscape has been the most frustrating, daunting, terrifying, and in the end, most satisfying, that I have ever undertaken.  This is where I was at on Monday, putting the finishing touches to the hedges and trees in the distance

The annual 12 x 12 Exhibition at Midsomer Quilting takes place every year during December.  This year I thought I would get off to an early start, so as to avoid a last minute rush.  So back in May I chose the photo to work from, and made plans.  Then I had to rethink my plans.  When I finally started sewing, it was to put the focal point into position, namely the view of the hill beyond: three horizontal lines didn't look much at the time, but in the end they formed the foundation of one of my favourite parts of the picture. 

The next lines to plot were outlines of the path and hedges on either side.  With hindsight, I can see I haven't plotted a particular line because I couldn't make it out on the original photo.  There is so much green blending from one shade to another, that I couldn't tell where the foreground ended and the middle distance started.  In fact, it was only last week that I finally worked out what I was seeing on the photo, which seems pretty daft, because this is a path I regularly walk along.

Then I was ready to stitch the houses, or rather two houses and two roofs, and start filling in the fields.  

The next stage was the start of the battle against rumpling.  Frankly, this is where I look at the work I have in front of me and wonder why I bother.  The bin is very tempting.  So then I put in a few horizontal lines of colour and kidded myself I was making serious progress.  A few weeks later I took the machine for a walk up the path.

The wooded hill in the distance gave me a little trouble.  I needed to use a dark green, but make sure it wasn't so dark that it formed a heavy block of colour, especially as there would be a tree in the foreground that needed to stand out against it.

The grass alongside and down the middle of the path gave me a bit of a headache because the glorious May green seen in Spring doesn't exist as a thread colour.

By October I hadn't got very far, and felt like a lump of rubbish.  This was when I was hoping to get to grips with this project, but a wretched virus had other plans.  Then I had technical problems.  Why is it that needles that have been fine for previous projects suddenly rebel?  So I bought the fattest needles that I could find, put them through their paces, and got to work.

By n
ow it was late November and I seemed to be making reasonable progress.  I decided that perhaps this landscape wasn't going to end up in the bin after all and I might actually finish it.  So last week I rang Chris at Midsomer Quilting.

"Hello Chris.  When does the exhibition start?"
"The 29th."
"When do the quilts need to be in?"
"The 3rd."

So I'm nearly three weeks late, and I haven't even finished.  Embarrassing, especially as I had resolved to start way back in June to avoid a last minute rush.

Chris agreed to leave a gap on the wall, and I sent him a photo of what I had done so far.



Here it is.  I think he was underwhelmed.

I had about a week at the most to finish, and we had a visitor with us.  Fortunately our visitor is an old friend, extremely easy going, so hours of furious treadling wasn't a problem.




Last weekend the picture was fairly clear, but still had plenty of work to go.  A tree, the greater part of a hedge, masses of greenery, including great clouds of hedge parsley...

Yes, I finished it.  By lunchtime yesterday I was pressing out the rumples and trimming it to size, before jumping into the car to drive to Chilcompton to deliver it to Chris just in time to fill the gap on the wall before the exhibition opens this morning.  

For now I have no decent pictures of the finished work, just a hastily taken photo taken on my mobile phone to send to a couple of friends who were encouraging me from a distance through the last few frantic days.  Expect pictures in January.  In the meantime, the 12 x 12 Exhibition runs until 21st December, and from the sneak preview I had yesterday, I can tell you there are some really fabulous quilts on display.

Finally, I have to thank Chris, De and everyone at Midsomer Quilting for their kindness and patience.  It was a close shave.











Here goes for week 257:-


Many thanks to Gretchen for posting her City View quilt last time.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.





If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

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.

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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

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

Linking up to Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and the Kathleen McMusing blog for TGIFF
and Alycia Quilts - Quiltygirl for Finished or Not Friday 
and Denise's blog For the Love of Geese for Put Your Foot Down
and Sherry's blog Powered by Quilting for Friday Foto Fun.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

A Picture for Sunday - Green November


How can I complain about rain, when it gives us landscapes like this?

This is just a short walk from our house, and when seen in misty winter sunshine, the green just glows.  My son and his wife (who is Irish) have frequent banter as the which country is greener, England or Ireland.  I'll always put in a shout for England's green and pleasant land.  There's a tune that goes with that.

Tiny Size Baby Cardigan


This is the tiny version of the baby cardigan that I have made in several sizes.  This should fit a newborn.

This isn't exactly my favourite shade of blue, probably because it is the colour of my primary school uniform.  It's not that I didn't like school, but seeing royal blue day in day out from the ages of five to eleven was enough to last me a lifetime.  This blue yarn was in with a reduced pack that included some rather more interesting colours that I have already used up.

The random orange was a tiny oddment left over from the orange and green cardy I finished in the summer.  It was just enough for four stripes across the chest and over the shoulders.



As for the buttons, I already had these orange and blue butterflies, which I had put aside waiting for the right project.  They liven up the plain blue button band, and look really sweet.

I had a real doughnut moment making this one.  It wasn't until finishing the raglan shaping that I realised that the sleeves have a different number of stitches to each other.  Also, the back of the neck dips a little too far down for my liking.  I shall have to rethink the pattern for this size, and perhaps I should force myself to plan ahead on paper once in a while.  Not that the future owner of this little cardy will care, nor his mum. 

Talking of owners, my niece has sent me a picture of her little baby girl in the Little Miss Marple cardigan.  It was lovely to see such a snug and happy baby!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 255 - Fat Needles


New needles, and I'm back in action.  After making short work of two needles within 20 minutes last time I tried to make headway on this project, I ordered some needles online.  They are size 120/19, the thickest I could get, and so far the first needle is still in one piece.  I can't believe I have never tried this size needle before.  After a very hesitant start today, I think I can finally get to grips with this project, which has been the biggest creative headache I have ever given myself.

Talking of headaches... the virus I had last month, which left me feeling like a lump of rubbish for weeks after the main symptoms cleared up, finally seems to have left me.  After a five day stay in Spain, in a warm dry climate, all the cobwebs have been blown away, and coming home to damp, rainy, muddy, windy England hasn't knocked me backwards.  Hooray!






Here goes for week 255:-


Many thanks to Vasudha for linking up with her Diwali quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.




If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

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.

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 five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

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



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