The merry month of May

Well it may not have been merry all of the time, but May has certainly been an action-packed month – starting with the great trip to the Open European Quilt Championships as described in my last post, continuing with 4 days of quilting fun and friends at Quilts UK, Malvern, various one-day classes and Chris&Barbara work and then last, but by no means least, the safe arrival of The Grandson (weighing in at 9lbs 9oz, mother and son doing fine).  Quite a rollercoaster!

Just before Quilts UK the postman delivered a most interesting parcel full of good things from my Aussie pal Lee Cleland.  Lee and I are working on a constantly-changing number of collaborative and individual quilting and writing projects (last count was around 9) and I have fallen behind in my timetable – but things have been really moving along Down Under.  One of the projects we planned last year involved Lee interpreting some of my new designs using Oakshott fabrics from one of their Charm packs.  In the parcel were the results – here’s a quick glimpse –

Lee only had my tiny little start-up scribbles to work with and it was really interesting to see how close they all came to my final versions which are in the new pattern book “Top Twenty”.  (Shameless plug, the pattern book is now available for purchase on my website )  And, of course some of these were developed into patterns that the amazing Volunteer Team worked on at the end of last year –

It was great to have a chance to show some of both sets of samples at Quilts UK and I’m planning on doing something similar for my space at Festival of Quilts in August, so thanks again to Lee and the Volunteer Team for their excellent work.

Sometimes it feels like the only time I sit down and make time to quilt is when I’m demonstrating at shows – ok, it isn’t really the only time I quilt, but it’s certainly less often than I should.  A couple of years ago at Festival of Quilts I started on this silk piece and got a whole motif stitched while doing a lot of talking –

– this was just one motif from the Hearts & Ribbons pattern book that was new for that show.  Great plans to finish the sample off into something quite delicious – but, as is so often the case, no further action.  Rescued from the back of The Cupboard, this was a good piece to demonstrate on at the Malvern show and, who knows? – maybe it will be much further along by the time August and Festival of Quilts come around…. there is some progress

and a quick close-up

Intriguing how much difference even light marking can make to the stitching – you can see here the main lines appear darker/yellower than the second or double line around the outside.  It’s the same thread both times, but the second line is stitched “by eye” (also known as guesswork) rather than over markings.

In rummaging through The Cupboard I came across a silk sample I stitched in the early 1990s – or was it late 1980s?  anyway, it’s a long time ago.  This was a sample for one of my first set of quilting designs and you can see how much things have changed and moved on – look at the feather loops and notice how they are opposite each other and quite chunky and squat compared to the more elongated loops we like today.

As well as a lovely day at Cupcake Cottons in Burford teaching Essentials of Hand Quilting I had a very sunny day with Brockhampton Quilters, teaching them not to be Defeated by Whigs.  Foolishly last year I had shown them my sample block of Whigs Defeat – Fine, they said, come back and show us how its done!  And, as you can see, they all got a great start on those pieced arcs …

A quick reminder of what a completed Whigs Defeat block might look like –

At one point during the day I think I heard myself saying something REALLY silly like “Oh wouldn’t it be great to do a Jubilee version in red, white and blue?” – !!  Wonder if anyone heard me – or should I just mark out some pieces and get going …

Next class is at that favourite haunt of mine The Bramble Patch – and as that is scheduled for tomorrow I’d better get going on the all-important task of packing everything into the car.

Happy stitching!

3 thoughts on “The merry month of May”

  1. Congratulations on the birth of your (not so little) grandson!
    And a belated thank you for passing on my cushions.

  2. Lovely work as usual Barbara. Many congratulations on becoming a grandma. What a whopper. You will have even less time for quilting if your new grandson lives anywhere near.

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