Monday, 31 October 2011

Pumpkin Light

Pumpkins & power tools!

Father and son.

All Hallows Eve!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Just in time

Sunday, I finished sewing the binding on the flag quilt, just in time for our trip to the Houston show. I'm thrilled to be taking it with us to put up in our booth! If you're at the Festival please stop by - we're at Booth 726 -728!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Anne Smithies

Anne Smithies has just come out with a new DVD! I posted about Anne earlier this year. While Anne was acting as our resident 'Art Quilter' on our last machine quilter retreat, she came up with this really fun beach hut project. We were so impressed that we suggested (read 'begged!) that Anne make a DVD to show her technique. Anne is a liberating person to be around. When I watch her work I realize that I can do this too. I am empowered to incorporate new ways of quilting in my own projects.

Ann has bags of talent; beading, glass work, felting, all manner of arts and crafts. I'm grateful that she is currently focusing on machine quilting!! Anne also has a uniquely talented family. Among other things, they sing, dance, play instruments, produce multimedia projects... So they put their collective talents together and came up with a DVD that features Anne's Beach Hut project. Best of all they completed it in time for us to take to Houston! Don't worry - you don't have to go to Houston to get a copy. The Beach Hut DVD can be purchased directly from Anne's website: We can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Houston Show Goodies

We've been collecting goodies to give away at our stand at the Houston Quilt Festival next week. Today before we packed them for the shippers, I took some photos. The canvas leaders on our new 4 foot Art Quilter frame come in gorgeous stripy deck chair fabric. It's hard to get more English than deck chairs! So we're bringing some colourful cushions made from deck chair fabric.

And lots of lovely aprons made from deck chair fabric too, modelled here by Ellie

...and Katie. There are so many pretty patterns to choose from! We'll be wearing them at the Houston show. And they'll be part of the 'goodie bags' for the first 20 frame sales.

You can find us under Machine Quilter Company in the Catalogue we're at booth 726, 728. Come visit and see how a new JUKI 2010 glides on one of our New English Quilter frames.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Getting ready

It's been an epic couple of weeks. Last week I travelled from the 'back of beyond' in Lincolnshire to London via car, train and tube to get to the American Embassy to renew my passport. After filling out all the forms I went back home to wait a week for the delivery. London is exciting but I am always happy to get back to the 'shire'. The passport was due to be delivered Wednesday, which meant that I needed to be at home all day. So I decided to use the time to finish an English Flags quilt top, which gave me another opportunity to play with the JUKI Exceed 600.

The industrial type box feed makes this JUKI such a dream to piece with! This English Flag quilt top has been 'resting' for the past couple of months. A fresh look this week made me think that it needed another row of flags. We want to have it at our booth at the Houston show next week. Fortunately, thanks to the JUKI Exceed, the blocks came together quickly and now I'm working on a fun back. I often use fleece but sometimes I really enjoy finding just the right fabric for the backing. More about that tomorrow.

Monday, 17 October 2011

If the shoe fits

It's just been too busy to blog. I've been wanting to get a post up about Jan McNally. Jan's a textile artist we met at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last August. Jan has come up with a unique and quirky method for creating her projects and she wanted to see if our JUKI/Art Quilter combination could handle it.

Jan pulls fibres through bubble wrap and irons it for an initial seal. Then she pops it under her sewing machine and uses a 'Big Foot' presser foot to sew down the fibres. Jan has been doing this sitting down at the sewing machine but it was taking a long time and giving her a pain in the neck. So Jan stopped by for a visit last weekend to give it a try and see if our frame could make the process quicker and easier.

This 'Big Foot' comes in a variety of models to fit most sewing machines. Jan had a high shank and a low shank version with her. The high shank Big Foot fit just fine on my JUKI TL-98-P.

I was really excited to see how this was going to turn out! We put a 100/16 Topstitch needle in the sewing machine and popped on this high shank 'Big Foot' onto my JUKI. The shape of the foot helped to hold down the fibres so they didn't get caught in the foot. Amazingly, the sewing machine was able to glide over this bubble wrap base with the fibres all pushed through it.This was really cool!

We picked some pretty thread from the Rainbows range of Superior Threads and drew loops and swirls and leaves. Jan was delighted at how easy it was to guide the machine and how quickly she was able to cover the ground. So Jan went home the proud owner of a new 4 foot Art Quilter. I'm thrilled to see our Art Quilter put to such good use! I will keep you posted about Jan's future projects. Meanwhile, Jan let me keep the practice piece. I love it! And I'll be bringing it to our stand in Houston so anyone who visits can see it in person. We'll be at Booth 726-728 - right in the middle of the Hall on one of the center isles. I'll post a map soon.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Houston Quilt Festival 2011

We're going to the 2011 Houston Quilt Festival! The dates are Thursday - Sunday, November 3-6 with a preview on Wednesday night from 5 to 10pm. We're listed under Machine Quilter Company Ltd and the Booth numbers are 726, 728. We're sharing the stand with Les Raichert. Les Raichert has been supplying American Quilters with JUKI sewing machines since the 1970s.This year we're bringing the Art Quilter and NEQ2 New English Quilter frames and Nifty Grip ergonomically designed speed control handles. We'll also have our Line Dancing DVD's; La Mer and Beyond the Sea.

Come visit and test drive the new JUKI TL2010Q on the New English Quilter frames. We'll be at Booth 726 and 728. We'll see you there!