June round-up

A busy month filled with lots of good intentions to post, so this is really a case of better late than never.  At the start of the month I packed The Tank and went down to The Bramble Patch to teach the follow-on to my Essentials of Hand Quilting class.  This follow-on class is something I have neatly avoided doing for the past 20 years – despite many requests, I always felt that, when it came to the crunch, there would be insufficient demand to make it viable.  Amazing the places your mind can take you!  It was a great day and we had a lot of fun, too busy to remember to take pictures during class – but I did take a couple of shots of the newly-extended premises, which are packed with excellent quilty stuff

This pilot version of “Essentials of Hand Quilting – Part II” went so well that I have been persuaded to put it on my official workshop list for future bookings.  Sally White over at Threads & Patches has already picked it up and put it on their class schedule for September, and that’s before I teach the first class there next week …  And a Thank You to Jan, who signed up for the Essentials Part II class and brought along just a few of the lovely things she had made ( based on the “The Essential Quilter Project Book” ) since she took the first class last year.

A small non-quilting diversion at the beginning of the month – a terrific concert in Cork and a warm weekend strolling around the city

Back home there was lots of that familiar packing and unpacking to do.  A selection of Tentmaker hangings  taken down to Denman College to adorn the main staircase until August,

a visit first to Mead Quilters and then Lutterworth Piecemakers to give talks on Tentmaker applique followed by a workshop.  We managed to bring a little Eastern atmosphere to the lovely hall the Lutterworth group use for their meetings –

I promised to keep identities secret, but here are some busy hands hard at work during the workshop

Packing and unpacking for a Chris and Barbara class – it may be “local” but the volume of stuff that needs to be taken isn’t any less.

Still carrying around the Jubilee version of a Whigs Defeat block that is now reasonably close to a finish – or closer than it was anyway

Just as an aside, it’s been really fascinating seeing how much interest there is in this block – lots and lots of “Whigs Defeat” searches showing up on the stats pages.  The pattern I am using is an adaptation of one I found online, designed by Cate Tallman-Evans in Quilters World magazine, January 2008.  There’s a growing feeling that I should add a handpiecing class, featuring this block,  to my list  … Hmmm.

This last week I needed to send pictures to accompany requirements lists for next year’s  classes so I thought I’d finish up with a couple of those, just to remind myself that hand quilting is my main focus … you’ve probably seen the Celebrate Hand Quilting buttons on various blogs – all very well worth investigating, I haven’t got around to joining up yet!

Two more classes on hand quilting will finish off this week and then it will be July – how did that happen?  Time to start thinking about Festival of Quilts ….

happy stitching!

Quilting class – reunion report

Back to Denman College again this week for a reunion class that was open to students who had already suffered survived any of my Denman classes over the past five years.  Being Easter week and school holidays many would-be attendees were on family duty, but six hardy souls produced a very happy class atmosphere with much mirth and merriment and plenty of stitching.  I had promised an “exclusive design” for the reunion and this proved quite a hit – we’ve planned a whole series from the design, using redwork, applique, shadow quilting, as well as the more traditional cording and stuffing that was the original intention.  And, being a reunion class, there was no need or expectation of sticking to a fixed agenda – so we had a good time looking at a few vintage quilts as well as trying some simple design work with papercutting, and looking at traditional patterns and motifs.  We’re hoping that it might be possible to arrange another reunion class next year – or maybe I’ll just organise one myself somewhere!!

Have a look at some of the work in progress – I promised that some of these images would probably show up again in a Powerpoint presentation for the classes I’m teaching at the Open European Quilt Championships next month, so this is almost (but not quite) a trial run …

Where there’s quilting there’s often inspiration and other lovely things to look at – jackets, pincushions etc ..


So, it’s back to bags and boxes, packing and unpacking as always – this next week is Quilts in the Garden at Uttoxeter, demonstrating and classes, and a hand piecing class for Pollyanna Patchwork.

Happy stitching!

Quilting class

Returned from teaching at Denman College  and getting ready for the Staffs Patchworkers Celebration of their 30th anniversary – boxes, bags and quilts in (almost)  every room in the house and all  in different stages of disarray.  The Denman experience is always good and this was no exception.  Twelve eager students who remained cheerful throughout and the peaceful setting of the college made for a very pleasant three days.  We got to grips with the essentials of hand quilting and even had time for a quick look at how many traditional patterns were constructed with papercutting techniques –

One of the delights of Denman is that there is always something fresh to see – this time there was a display of traditional smocks which offered a lot of design inspiration –

The engraved design on a dish in one room also had a lot of quilting potential

– and we had the opportunity to inspect a particularly handsome piece of embroidered feltwork which had been the emblem of an earlier WI Treasures exhibit

I’m looking forward to meeting up with students from previous Denman quilting courses next month at the Reunion class, and then a new set of students for the Stitch it and Stuff it class in June.  Meanwhile here’s this happy group gathered up on the last morning – looks like they had a good time!

More creeping

Way back at the beginning of July I was at Denman College to give a three day course on quilting, cording and stuffing.  It’s always a pleasure to be at Denman (not least because I can also visit friends who live nearby) and the students were a delight – lots of fun was had by all as you can see from the pics below …

Next year I’m signed up to teach three sessions at Denman – one on Hand Quilting, one on Cording, Stuffing & Quilting and the third is a Reunion Invitational class for anyone who has survived attended one or more of my Denman classes.  I will be designing an exclusive project for the Reunion Class which promises to be very interesting (the class rather than the project!)  And, in case you’re reading this ladies, I do know I need to get that darn pattern book finished up….  but, in my defence, I  now find that there may be another pattern book in the offing as well, thus doubling the potential procrastination time.  What I really should do is take the phone off the hook, switch off the computer and sewing machine, put away the guitar and get down to the proverbial drawing board.  Seems like I might have said this before…………

From deepest Oxfordshire over the water to Jersey for three days with Caesarea Quilters.  Beginning Machine Quilting and Fast Quilts from Fat Quarters were the classes they had requested and we really had a lot of fun amongst all the hard work.

No pressure, but I have high hopes of seeing some rather fetching quilts made after this class …

and just to round things off for this post here’s a quick look at a finish from a Mystery class last year – well done Vivian, it looked really great at Festival of Quilts!

Return from Denman

Classes all done, car unloaded for the last time this week and a whole day tomorrow to catch up with those domestic matters such as laundry and general chores.  All the classes have seemed to go well, but the Denman class has left me with some magnificent memories – an apple for the teacher and lovely daffodils for St David’s Day, a beautifully presented Bromelia houseplant from The Needle Nutters, an exceptionally happy class atmosphere and some great work.  


Several of the ladies  threatened promised that they would be keeping an eye on this blog from time to time, so if you are reading this Needle Nutters, leave a comment to let me know!  There’s also talk of a Reunion Class sometime in 2011 or 2012 for this and previous Denman quilting courses I’ve done, which is something that would be great fun.  Must remember to relay this to the Programme Organiser and see what can be done.

Classes to come

A busy week ahead on both domestic and teaching fronts – tomorrow sees the Return of the Vans for delivery and fitting of bathrooms, and I need to finish preparation for Wednesday’s class, Thursday’s meeting, Saturday’s class and a residential course almost immediately afterwards.  The residential course is at Denman College – lovely setting and surroundings, it’s always a pleasure to teach there.

The last time I taught handquilting here was great fun – we were very lucky to have a keen harpist in the class and we had a private recital during the final session!  

Hexagons, hand piecing and Log Cabin for Wednesday, quilt-as-you-go for Saturday and hand quilting for the following week – at least four different heaps of samples and books and handouts to check through and sort out.   Better get started.