Thursday, 31 May 2012

Life and Art

Earlier this month, Karen from the Selvage blog asked her readers to share about idea sources.  It got me thinking about where I get my inspiration from. I get ideas from so many different places, daily life, poignant memories, seasonal images like flowers in my garden, family celebrations, graphic designs, fine art, blog posts, google photos, as well as other quilts at shows and exhibitions. Inspiration is everywhere. My problem has been how to store and retrieve it. 

Source: via Martha on Pinterest

My camera helps me to capture these fleeting images and hold them steady so that I can ponder them. The limited frame helps me focus, often allowing me to see things that I missed the first time. But I found it difficult to keep track of all the digital photos. Usually my ideas need to percolate. I like to compare the natural images with art and see how other people in different times and places have responded to similar themes. For years I've struggled to collect all these scattered images in one easy to find place. What I really needed was a virtual design board. 

Then I discovered pinterest. At first it was fun just collecting and sorting images. Then I realised that my pinterest boards had become, in actual fact, my quilt design boards, the perfect place to group all sorts of images around common themes. Everything was coming together in one accessible place on the pinterest design boards. Some of my pinterest boards are just for fun but many of them are quilts waiting to happen. Now my ideas have a home.
"There's no place like home!"

Sunday, 27 May 2012


Life is like a camera. 
Focus on what's important.
Capture the good times.
Develop from the negatives.
And if things don't work out
Take another shot.
Words of wisdom gleaned from pinterest:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

First Time

Here's Veta's Bunting quilt on the frame. It was her very first time machine quilting so we used a pattern that is easy to move around the quilt with. Veta used this mussel shell and scallop design as an over all pattern. 

First she doodled the design on paper. Once she was comfortable doodling the design, we moved to the frame. We chose a pale blue from the Masterpiece range of Superior Threads. 

Against the stripy background fabric, the pale blue thread 'read' white and just blended in creating a subtle texture.

Once all the background was quilted, we went back and quilted lots of different designs in the bunting flags. This gave Veta the chance to try out different designs and threads. It was almost like a machine quilting sampler.

Not bad for a first try!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Veta's Bunting Quilt

Source: via Martha on Pinterest

  Emily and I gave a machine quilting seminar using  JUKI sewing machines on our Art Quilter frames. There was so much interest and enthusiasm for quilting in Moscow.  I wanted to bring out a Russian version of our Line Dancing  DVDs so that Russian quilters would have some help getting started with their new machine quilting frames.Linda knew just the right person to help with the project. Veta! Veta lives in our village with her English husband and two small children. Fluent in English and Russian with a background in textiles Veta is just perfect! We decided to make a quilt together. Veta likes bunting so we designed a bunting quilt. We wanted to keep the piecing simple so we used a raw edged appliqué technique to make a bunting quilt for Veta's little son.

All I needed was a translator.  Who would have guessed that I'd find a Russian translator just around the corner. We live in Martin a little village in Lincolnshire on the edge of the fens. A few weeks ago I was talking to Linda (who supplies me with gorgeous plants for my garden)about our Moscow trip.

We used my deck chair stripe bunting to get an idea of the layout and to get a template.

Veta used the rotary cutter to cut out the flags. The colour theme is red, white and blue.  Interesting that Russia, England and America all have red, white and blue flags.

We used this Appli-Glue to get the flags in place.

We wanted the bunting to look like it was hanging so we used some piping chord to get a natural curve.

Once all the bunting flags were in place we stitched round the edges. Then it was all ready to put on the frame,

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

When I was a little girl, my mom had a special box that she kept in the linen closet at the top of the stairs. Inside the box was a 
1930’s Dresden Plate quilt made by her grandmother. From time to time I would rummage around under the stacks of sheets and towels to find that box, get it down and carefully unfold that beautiful old quilt. I loved it. It captured my imagination. I loved to pore over the vintage fabric and trace the stitching with my fingers. I used to picture my great great grandmother stitching it and when I grew up I knew that I wanted to make a quilt just like it.

 Years later, living in England with 3 children under three, my mom treated me to an Adult Education course on Patchwork and Quilting. The course kept me sane and I became well and truly hooked. Over the next 10 years we had 3 more children and I managed to make lots and lots of tops. I loved collecting fabric and playing with colour and pattern. But I struggled with the quilting. Life was busy. I felt guilty about rarely finishing my projects. Quilting by hand was not remotely possible. I was bored with stitch-in-the-ditch but found free-motion quilting a pain the neck. My collection of un-finished-objects grew and grew and I felt stuck. In 2003 my mom gave me a table top quilting frame for Christmas, probably the best Christmas present ever, and I’ve been happily free-motion quilting ever since. 

Looking back at my first ever blog post I realize that most of my quilting milestones were instigated by my mother.  My mom is an amazing woman and I have lots to be grateful for. 
So thanks mom! Thanks for all you are and all you do! I wouldn’t be happy or here without you. 
Happy Mother’s Day!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Jubilee Celebration

Source: via Martha on Pinterest

Celebrate the Queen's Jubilee in stitches at our machine quilting workshop.

The theme is all things British we'll be creating art postcards on the frame with bunting, union jack and seaside themes. Learn new appliqué and embellishing techniques machine quilting on our Art Quilter frames. All levels welcome.

Date: Tuesday 12 June
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Place: the historic Petwood Hotel
Super discount cost: £75 per person
includes: Morning coffee. Lunch in the garden weather permitting. Cream tea!

 All materials are provided. Bring your sewing machine. All participants will go home with your very own Jubilee celebrations and lots of new skills!

Email or ring Martha with any questions. A deposit of £20 reserves your place. Do come and bring a friend.
There's more information on the website:
Tel: 01526 378057