Wednesday 29 February 2012

An Extra Day.....Ingliston Show...Edinburgh 2012

Wow, every four years we are given an extra day to catch up, isn't that great except I could do with an extra catch up day every week.... I am a little behind with my blog posting so Feb 29th came around just in time!

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Edinburgh Spring Quilt Festival, here are a few of the quilts that caught my eye, they were all beautiful but these are some of my better photographs from that day.  I did ask permission to show you a few photos but it's not always possible to get a good shot when there are so many visitors.

This was mostly an exhibition rather than a judged show. Some of the exhibitors were Anja Townrow, Rebecca Collins, Judith Wilson, Lesley Brankin, Patricia Archibald, Dilys Fonks and Jan Hassard.  Sorry if I missed anyone.

Of course there were also many shopping attractions too, I managed to resist fabric apart from a couple of Luna Notte FQ's to match my current piecing project.  Among other things I bought quick thread sewing needles (for tying off and burying while quilting), freezer paper, marking pencils and a couple of fabric stamps for some fun projects.

Sunday 26 February 2012

I like to be up front!

The front of my longarm that is!

My first machine had a panto shelf so I was used to the front of the machine right from the start.
Usually if you are quilting following a pantograph (paper pattern) you have to be at the back of the machine, that's why longarms usually have another set of handles with controls at the back so when you are quilting a pantograph you watch the lazer and not the machine. I have always hated being at the back of my machine! In my room with low coombed ceilings it's awkward and claustrophobic, I have to pull my machine and frame out from the wall, having a slipped disk problem that is sometimes impossible, that frame is big and heavy and can't stay out in the room permanently!

Now that I am doing some quilting for customers I am doing a few pantographs rather than all custom work. I was not a happy quilter, I like to be up front where you can see what is happening with the fabric and thread.

So, with the encouragement of my friend Kath this is what I came up with, a Panto Cam/Tension other words two mini surveillance cameras connected to a monitor so I can do a panto from the front and check on my tension right from the monitor....don't be fooled it's not a computer system but will be a great help until I win the lottery and can afford!

There's a bit of a learning curve hand and eye co-ordination wise so I had a practice on some fleece before going for the real thing on a customer quilt.

I am not the first to do this there are a few different systems out there in longarm land but none designed for our power supply here in the UK so I just collected up one or two things and put it together!


Wednesday 22 February 2012

Swoon #7

Here's number 7 not many more to go now!

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Have a Heart.....

Remember this?

My jewel box quilt designed in EQ .....

After loading this quilt before Christmas and doing the ditch work, I had to take this one off the frame to do more pressing quilting. I've eventually got it quilted, with hearts...I never intended that...go figure.... but just in time for Valentines Day.

Terry Twists in the 'jewels' and whymsical hearts Jamie Wallen style in the 'boxes'....that's freehand marking...every which way?  With a longarm you can't turn your fabric so you have to learn to quilt your design from all angles so when us longarmers say we are practicing that's what we got to lean to do everything from different angles. I did roughly draw out the hearts in the green border though and they got a bit of McTavishing in the middles! The white background fabric has mini feathered curls and the green background has'll never believe that's the first time I ever used stipple in a quilt.  I left that green border till last and by the time I got to it I needed this quilt finished so I used stipple for speed but I do like the different texture it gives. The little white boxes in the border have more freemotion hearts. There's a scallopy curve with even more hearts in the red border with piano keys.....there's a lot of work in that quilt.

I really like the size of this quilt, it's 90" x 90", it's a great size on that queen/double size bed with a little room for shrinkage when washed....I recently said I don't like square quilts, well, this one is square and I like it.
I used Glide thread top and bottom and Hobbs poly as my roll was big enough but also because it's white and I wanted to keep the white fabric looking bright white.

By the time you reach the end of this post I think you will realise that I also like to take photographs...lots and lots of photographs.....

I've had a love/hate relationship with this quilt right from the beginning, then I doubted my decision to use that strange coloured batik backing but in the end it does add another dimension to the quilt and it matches my duvet and pillow cases perfectly, I'm going to keep this one for myself for a change for summer, well, my first freemotioned quilt has been on our bed for a long time, so a change is in order but I'll never get rid of my first real quilt, it will be back on the bed again soon!

Updated 15/02/2012...

My Quilt made 'Quilt of the Week' on MQResource....Thanks so much Suzanne and Jo Ann.

Saturday 11 February 2012

Lily's Quilty Giveaway!

Lynne over at Lily's Quilts is having a fantastic giveaway of Oakshot cottons, why don't you go on over and take a look?

Thursday 9 February 2012

Swoon Blocks #5 & #6

Another two blocks done, that's past half way right, or half done depending on how you look at it, I managed to find and order more background fabric to match too so that's great!

Tuesday 7 February 2012

We had Snow!

We had a little snow as you could see, it's mostly gone now but I made use of it while it was here to try out Kathy's snow dying technique again. On my part it's nothing scientific, I'm just using up these old Procion MX dyes that I inherited in a round about way, they have been hanging around for a long time now, I think some of the mixes may be dis-continued so it's fun to see how they turn out???

I soaked my fabric in Soda Ash solution for 2/3 hours and gathered some snow but left it outside fabric measures approximately 1 1/2 yards in each tray.

I got my dye solutions ready, in the first tray I used:
1 tsp Purple, 1 tsp sodium sulphate, 1 cup water
1 tsp Wine, 1 tsp sodium sulphate, 1 cup water

And in the second tray I used:
1 tsp Chestnut, 1 tsp sodium sulphate, 1 cup water
1 tsp Ultramarine, 1 tsp sodium sulphate, 1 cup water

I piled the snow on top of the fabrics and added the dyes... they looked good enough to eat!

That's when I left and went to's what it looked like in the this point I brought the trays into my warm kitchen to help warm the fabrics and set the dye.

Around lunchtime I rinsed the fabric until the water ran clear, then added detergent and very hot water and left the fabrics to soak out any unspent dye, Mid afternoon I popped the faric into the washing machine with a little synthrapol..... 

and 'Voila'!

Love these Raspbery and Magenta ice crystals!

I didn't exactly expect the Chesnut and Ultramarine to turn out so light but there are some very interesting textures there so I'm please with the results. My snow was a little heavy and wet, maybe one day I'll get to try out some of that light dry snow like Kathy gets in Northern Manitoba!