New Workshops / New Ideas

I make lots of small quilts, these are often journal quilts and sometimes they are just me experimenting with new ideas. Some take only a couple of hours to make whilst others I have been thinking about for ages and seem to take many hours of experimenting to get it right.

I am always being asked to offer new workshops – half day classes up to a weeks residential. So what makes a good workshop?

Everyone loved my jumpers quilts and the books and kits have sold well but this week one of my new Jumper Quilt classes has had to be cancelled due to lack of interest…why? They are so easy to do and so effective. You would learn how to free machine, learn a new and innovative method of applique and use some of those fabulous automatic patterns on the sewing machine.

Elaine at the Quilt cabin in Hebden Bridge said it was because it looks too scarily complicated? Maybe it is just too new and maybe too contemporary?

I made my silly little penguin quilt in less than 2 hours from thinking to making, and I have loads of messages saying what a good workshop it would make. I think it is too easy for a workshop but it has got me thinking….it would make a very, easy to make kit.

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I have been thinking about the photos I took whilst in South Africa of the beach huts at St James and have been wanting to make a beach hut panel so when i walked into the Quilt Cabin on Wednesday to do some teaching and saw some of the new fabrics I knew they were just right, so with the idea of making a kit decided to make some patterns, write up the instructions and check how much fabric it would take.

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Here is the quilt and the fabric and pattern will be available from next week from the Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge.

It is about 30cm height and about a metre wide. I didnt actually measure it and now it is on the wall in the shop.

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I am continuing to work on my South African women images and my Sri Lankan people images, have designed a screen, had it made up, printed them, added some colour etc but so far have not come up with anything that I think will made a good workshop. Hours of time and thought – not wasted but not resolved as yet.

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I have finally added some images of my new quilts to my gallery section of my, in need of updating website. I still have to add my new book and new Indian Ladies kits to the shop. I just need more than 24 hours in every day.

I also added a bit more to my Tea Pickers Quilt. I am pleased with the way the 2 quilts will look together. I still need to paint the faces. I used almost all commercial fabrics – you might be able to recognise some of the fabrics.

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Lots of new work

There is always so much that I could write about….my new quilts, where I have been etc, what I learnt this week  and the long list of things i would like to do.

I’ll start with where I have been. Last week i walked the Dales Way, from Ilkley to the Lake District. We actually only walked to Oxenholme station as we needed to be able to get the train home. We were lucky with the weather and apart from the last afternoon managed to stay dry. It is a beautiful route through Yorkshire and an easy walk.

This is the Ribblehead hut where we stayed one night. I stay here regularly and it is very special – quite remote, gas lights and a compost toilet – I love it!

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Walking over the tops from Ribblehead

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It soon cleared

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And we walked into Dent- a walk we have done many times

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Back home i have been working on the quilts for Stitched Exhibition going to Holland in October

These are all 30cm x 60cm

The photos are all taken with my phone so really low resolution

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There is one more to make up the set of 4

The other set that will be going to Holland are a set of 4 similar to the ones I made a couple of months ago but these are smaller.

They are not finished yet, as they need to have more paint applied to the faces, bananas etc

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I photographed one of the quilts I finished just before the Festival of Quilts. I love the simple cream background and the bright colours of the clothes. I photographed these fishermen on the beach in the mornings in Sri Lanka

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August Journal Quilt

The deadline for getting the next 4 Journal Quilts is fast approaching so this morning I made this little quilt. It’s only 6″ x 12″

When i was teaching in South Africa we had a weekend in Cape Town, I really wanted to see the penguins at Boulder Beach, Rayna wasn’t so keen so I dragged her there, no, she’ll tell you that I made her walk all the way there. We did get a local bus back. The taxi driver wanted to charge us a vast amount – the bus was 30p each.

Here are some pictures of the penguins

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Just applique and some machine stitch on a painted calico background.

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Voyage Quilts Finished

Today i finished my last 2 voyage art textiles quilts that are due to be displayed in Prague in April

They are a series of nature abstracted counterchange quilts

They show dark on a light background and light on a dark background

The first 2 are 2 different quilts and the last 2 the light and dark are on the same quilt.

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I was inspired to make this next quilt as there are guinea fowl images all over South Africa.

I printed the guinea fowl shapes but also printed the negative backgrounds

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I used several different tree shapes for this quilt and used fabric I bought in South Africa – I love the colours.

I cut out the shapes, stitched the whole quilt and then stencilled the foliage once the quilt was made. I guess this was quite a brave thing to do, as I could have made a mess of it but I am happy with the results

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It feels good to have them finished, I can now work on my August Journal Quilt that has to be finished for the end of August and start on a new set of South African women quilts.

Back from Festival of Quilts

So I am back from Festival of Quilts and as is usually the case, on the Monday i am unable to do much! I am trying to put away some of my things but the whole event is so exhausting that I am not doing very well.

I am sure that many will have already seen that my Jumper quilt won a 2nd prize in the Art Quilts Category which is very nice as it comes with a very nice cheque.

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I think it is the biggest category at the show and there were more than 190 entries. I had some lovely comments on my judges sheet.

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My new top made from fabric printed by Woven Monkey was also very much admired

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Here are some photos of my stand

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I met lots of lovely people, ex students, friends from all over the World and had a lot of fun!

I sold lots of my new book and lots of kits. I have been asked to teach at a few new venues and now I have to look carefully at my diary and see which ones I can fit in.

One of the first things I need to do is get fit again, I have been working so hard I have not had a chance to do much exercise and I haven’t really been out on my bike much.

I also have my new Sweet 16 in a an unopened box and it is time to get that out and play, but first there is one very messy studio to tidy up, and to actually have some time to look through my South African things.

Festival of Quilts and New Book

Any spare time that I have had in the last few weeks (no months) has been taken up with getting ready for tomorrow. The Festival of Quilts starts on Thursday.

It is always good to catch up with quilting friends from abroad and to say hello to lots of students.

More than anything, for me, it is chance for everyone to see all my new work and to see (and hopefully buy) my new kits and projects.

150 copies of my new book arrived at 20 to 6 tonight! FullSizeRender

Here are some sample pages

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It is a scary time for me – Is anyone going to like it? Are there any mistakes?

Will anyone buy it?

It has loads more images than the last ones – and no white pages – so it busy or rather has a lively presentation style

Here are more pages

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My aim was to inspire, and give students ideas for making new quilts.

I have included full instructions as to how to make my latest jumper quilts.

Last night and today I have packed 1000 new cards

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Come past and say hello!

Updates

Since arriving back from South Africa, everything seems to have been non stop. I arrived back on the Tuesday afternoon and then left the next day for Munich. We (my husband came with me) went to visit my German friend and Quilter Uta Lenk and her husband Michael.

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So it was a little bit of quilting talk and lots of this

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it is a beautiful part of Germany and the weather was fabulous

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Uta thought Mark might like to visit a shop near her home, and she was right. Here are just a few of the photos I took there

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I have started to read up a bit more about the Shwe Shwe fabric I bought in South Africa, the designs originated from fabric brought from Germany Austria and Hungary, so it great to see similar fabric in the shops in Bavaria made into the national costume of the Dirnhl

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We then went on to do some walking in the mountains near Salzburg

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We had a morning in Salzburg

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And then on to see Barbara Lange, where we met up again with Uta and had a very productive International threads Committee meeting.

Barbara showed me how to make a dirnhl

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I returned on the Tuesday and then left on the Wednesday to drive to Northampton to teach on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Bramble Patch.

We had 3 good days – thanks to some good fun (especially Pam, Sarah and Susan who came all 3 days) and talented students.

Here are just some pictures of their work

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Sorry some of the photos have uploaded sideways.

And here is one of the early Morning Swim pieces of work

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Back at home for a couple of days and I have taught at the Quilt Cabin for 2 days. It has been good to teach felt making and another Early Morning Swim class.

My couple of days at home have been spent visiting the Graphic designers and my new book has finally gone to press so it will be ready for the Festival of Quilts – Phew! so will my new Indian Ladies Kits

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and the Jumper kits, plus 1000 cards!

My head is bursting with ideas for new pieces of work, and being in a hotel in Weeden Bec came me a chance to start sketching for a couple of new pieces. I did some drawings in Bavaria to start.

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I have a piece of work to do as part of a South African Challenge, and started some sampling

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and here are some drawings and some sampling for a piece of work that is due to go to Prague in April

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It has been an exhausting few weeks, after Festival of Quilts I have a quiet few weeks and time to tidy my studio – there are kits, samples, half finished quilts, piles of fabric all over the floor – it is such a mess!