Further south

On from Nynehead Court to the delights of Exeter for two high temperature days with South West Quilters – most appropriate to be presenting the talk on Tentmaker applique and a class based on Tentmaker applique. ( As a quick aside, those of you who are Facebook people may know that there is a page for the Tentmakers (try The Tentmakers of Chareh El Khaimaya) which will give you the latest news and updates on their current situation. )  Before the talk I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing a finished project from a previous Tentmaker class


a very large Tentmaker piece, commissioned back in the 80s from one of the studios in Cairo

commissioned Tentmaker piece

commissioned work

and a super quilt based on the blocks in my Egyptian Treasure pattern book – (still available via www.barbarachainey.com)

the maker

quilt section

quilt section

I think everyone who teaches and/or designs will say the same – it’s a unique thrill to see finished work that is based on your ideas and patterns, and seeing these pieces was a real highlight of the day for me.

The class on Sunday was held in one of the most perfect village halls – exactly the right size for the number of students, with windows and doors open to the equally perfect weather.  Everyone was most industrious and soon had the design marked onto the background fabric ready to begin placing the bias tape and building up the lotus flowers point by point.

part of the class

bias in placeDSCN4142bias and points

stitching in placestitching in placepreview

setting out the work

There were some seriously covetable hand-dyed fabrics in the room – here’s just one set –

selection of hand dyes

Here’s a tiny section of one of my class samples –

section of sample

and a reference picture of the full-size, real thing covering a space on the street in Cairo. A timely reminder of the original scale of these amazing textiles –

Tentmaker hanging in Cairo

Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers who made the weekend such a success – hope it’s not too long before we meet again.

More pictures

Still catching up, but I’m determined to load up some more pictures from my quilt-hauling last week.  There really wasn’t time to look at each quilt carefully, take good pictures and write out the basic details of size, age, provenance etc – Pat already had all of that information in several hefty files.  We were more concerned with selecting quilts she wanted to keep, then sorting through quilts to pass on to family and friends and making neat(ish) stacks of quilts that will ultimately be sold on.  So, my pictures are really about eye candy rather than serious documentation and detail, but I think you may find something to enjoy nonetheless … and you should know that there are still plenty more to come!  Before we get started on today’s batch, I just wanted to welcome all new friends and followers – I really appreciate your company.

and, for everyone who enjoys “small” …  (Lori, I think this may include you!)

Domestic chores await, more pictures soon – happy quilting!

Books and a blog

I’m still trying to push myself to do the almost laughably small amount of work needed to finish a pattern book – probably only five pages plus tips, cover and back text.  This is the project I was working on back in February and it really should have been finished by May and here we are, in June and it’s no further forward.  It seems to be one of those projects that is so close to being finished that it keeps being put aside in favour of other things.   So, in the interests of naming and shaming myself,  here are a couple of rough drawings that need to be cleaned up as part of the finishing process  –

One feeble excuse for getting sidetracked on this project today was pulling this book off the shelf and being inspired all over again for classic quilting designs –

Published by University Press of New England in 2009, edited by Lynne Zacek Bassett, beautifully produced with fabulous drawings of wholecloth quilts and much more besides.

Another “sidetracked again” topic has been the imminent ChrisandBarbara class on “Free & Easy Applique” and it’s been a lot of fun making samples –

The class will focus on using and fusing simple shapes and machine applique. This sample shows the importance of using the correct size needle and a dark neutral thread in the bobbin – needle holes are very visible as is the black bobbin thread!   My good friend Patricia Cox will hoot with laughter if she sees this – Pat does exquisite needleturn applique and has been teaching and designing applique in a wide range of styles from Oriental to Baltimore and beyond for many years.  If applique interests you at all do take a look at the patterns on her website (the resolution of the pictures may be a little grainy). 

Even more sidetracking occurred after the arrival of a lovely package containing a cross stitch pattern I had coveted from afar (or at least across the blogosphere).  Kate posted pictures of her progress with this pattern on her blog and, now that she has finished,  she has been kind enough to send the pattern on to me.  So far I have marshalled the fabric, threads and needle and put everything into a bag to carry around and, just like Eeyore and his balloon, taken everything out and put everything back in the bag several times.  (Memo to self – must get out more!) 

Kate has also come up with a great idea for stay-at-home Round Robins – do visit her blog to get the details, it sounds like a lot of fun! 

So it’s time to put aside the sidetracking, back to the drawing board.  But first I must just check out a few more blogs, and there’s the batty Border Collie needing a walk  ….