Friday, 22 August 2014

Book Review and a giveaway

(This book is published by Martingale Publications, and all the photography shown is by Brent Kane.)

As its title suggests, this book contains quilts designed by well known bloggers from around the world.  There are 19 stunning quilts included, all with very clear instructions, plenty of diagrams and templates where necessary.
The book starts off by stating the main rule about modern quilting, which is that “there are no rules”.  So, anything goes really in terms of shapes, colours, designs and quilting, and this is certainly borne out by the quilts which vary from minimalist, such as Petal Pod to quite the opposite, like Scattered and from a modern take on a traditional quilt such as Rainbow Stashbuster to improv piecing seen in Improv Color Blocks.

When I read the book, I loved the tips that are often included such as how to sew a smooth curve.  I also like the fact that many of the quilts also show suggestions for optional, pieced backings.  This is not something I’ve ever done before, but I can definitely see myself trying them in the future.

You will also learn something about each of the contributors, as they have all written a little about themselves and you can visit their blogs to see more of their work.

Which are my favourite quilts?  That’s not easy to answer as I really love Trees, which I could see in all sorts of Christmas prints and Starflower, which I think would look great in plain colours.  Then there’s Petal Pods which I’d love to make in shades of orange and raspberry, and Knots, which is calling (actually it’s shouting) out to me to make it in aquas and blues.

Now all I need is a magic wand to make my days longer so I can make them all.

As a reward for reading all this, Martingale Publications are offering an e-book version of this book to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what colours you would choose to make one of the quilts from this book. If you are a member of the Yorkshire Modern Quilt Group, leave another comment telling me so for an additional entry into the giveaway.

The giveaway small print:
1.     This giveaway is open to everybody, wherever you live, BUT please remember to make sure I can contact you if you are the winner.
2.     If you are a no-reply person, you will not be entered unless you leave an email address in your comment as I will not be able to get in touch with you.  (Note, if you are a Google+ person, you will be no-reply).
3.     This giveaway will also be available on my blog QuiltTimes
4.     The giveaway will close next Saturday, 30 August.
5.     The winner will be selected using Mr Random Generator.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Sit & Sew, Saturday 16 August

There was a full house for our meeting, and lots of chat, fun and laughter.  Oh yes, there was some sewing going on too.

Sheila did a superb demonstration on reverse applique, and afterwards quite a few members had a go at it.  I am ashamed to admit that I did not get any photos of Sheila's examples (I specially loved her book covers) and nor did I take photos of some great work done afterwards by some of the group.  I am sorry about that, and if anyone has any photos and would like to share them, please just leave a comment below this post, and I'll get back to you.

We also had our usual show and tell session, so grab yourself a coffee/tea/wine/whatever and sit back and enjoy the show.
 
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Thursday, 14 August 2014

In The Spotlight

In The Spotlight today is Hazel, one of the founders of our group. Hazel is an inspirational teacher and also runs regular pop-up shops offering us all the chance to feed our quilty habit.  If you visit her website, Cotton Cocktails, you can find out about the courses and workshops Hazel is holding, and you can also find the date of the next shop day, and even download price lists.  I hope you enjoy reading Hazel's answers to my questions and maybe learning something new about her.

Who/what inspired you to start quilting? 
I’d done lots of sewing, knitting, crochet, cross stitch etc and I bought a few quilting magazines but never had a go until I saw a beginner class advertised at Samuel Taylors which used to be on Meanwood Road. I made my first quilt and was hooked!

What do you love most about quilting?
I like everything about it! I love playing with colour and shapes and the actual process of sewing a quilt and seeing it develop. It’s brilliant because there is always something new to try.

Of the quilts you have made, which is your favourite, and why?
My favourite is a very classic looking blue and white 2 block quilt with Ohio stars and a chain block. It’s special because I made it for my dear departed brother who loved it.

What is your favourite technique, ie hand or machine sewing, appliqué, quilting, etc?
It’s hard to choose! I like easy piecing because it grows quickly, machine appliqué with blanket stitch edges but my favourite is probably free motion quilting because it can transform a quilt.

What new techniques do you hope to conquer in the future?
I haven’t anything in particular in mind at the moment but there’s always something new around the corner. That’s the brilliant thing about quilting.

Do you use patterns or make it up as you go along?
I sometimes start with a pattern but often change it in some way. I use Electric Quilt to plan most of my quilts and can’t imagine how I’d manage without it.

Would you describe your quilting style as scrappy or controlled?
I like to be in control! Scrappy quilts don’t really appeal to me as much as ones with a definite colour scheme. I like bright clear colours with lots of contrast to show up the designs.

When you’re starting a new project, do you have the design all worked out (on computer/paper/in your mind) before you start?
I do pretty much have the design worked out but will often leave decisions about the fabrics for the sashing, borders, and binding until I get to that stage. I can then try out what looks good before I cut and sew them in place.

Do you like using pre-cuts such as FQ bundles, jelly rolls, layer cakes or charm packs?
I do like pre-cuts as they’re a quick way to get started on a project and a good way to buy lots of coordinating fabrics in one go. I do think it’s a good idea to buy one or two of the fabrics in a larger amount at the same time to put aside for borders etc  as they often aren’t easy to find at a later date.

Do you have any advice for someone just starting out on their quilting adventure?
Join a class so you can learn the basics from someone who has previously made all the mistakes for you! Quilters love to share their hints and tips so quilting in a group is the best way to go.

Do you have a favourite quilt book?  If so, why is it your favourite?
I have a very large collection of quilting books which I add to all the time and I don’t really have one particular favourite.

In the quilt world, who do you find is a real inspiration to you?
I really admire Philippa Naylor's work and she is an inspirational teacher.

Can we see photos of three of your quilts, one early, one recent and one somewhere in the middle?                      

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hello

Hello everyone. The other day I was talking to Hazel and she was saying that she is very busy, andstruggling to find time to keep our bog up to date. Well, before I knew what was happening, the words just popped out of my mouth and I offered to take over writing the blog for a while.  I hope you're all OK with this, but if not, or if you would like to share the writing, do let me know.

I have one or two ideas in mind for regular posts, but if there's anything else you think could be included, just shout. You'll need to shout quite loudly though, cos I've got a problem with one ear at the moment.

One of my bright ideas, which I am starting straight away is a regular "In the Spotlight" feature,where I will ask a willing volunteer to answer some questions for me, and I'll then write a blog post with their replies.








Another thing I'm going to be doing regularly is a book review.  I have persuaded several publishers (Martingale, CT Publications and American Quilters' Society so far) to send me e-books which I will then review here.  Some of these reviews will also include a giveaway of an e-copy of the book. I have a great list of books so far, some brand new out, some slightly older, but all with a modern theme (obviously) so I hope you enjoy this.




I also wondered if there is any interest in a Buy/Sell/Swap article from time to time?  This could be fabric, books, tools, finished quilts, UFOs, anything really with a quilt-related theme.  What is the general feeling about that?







One last thing (for now), if you write a blog and would like to be listed on the sidebar, please let me know the blog address and I'll add it straight away.

OK, well that's enough of my witterings for now, come back in a couple of days to see who is "In the Spotlight" this month.

Monday, 24 March 2014

A New Challenge


On Saturday we had another enjoyable Sit and Sew Day with many people making Sewing Caddy bags, an inspirational Show and Tell and we set our first challenge! I'll start with the challenge then share photos of the bags and quilts.

Wheels Challenge

As I'm sure you know, the Tour de France will be starting in Yorkshire this year! To celebrate 'Le Grand Depart' a friend of mine is organising a quilt show in Harrogate and is on the lookout for quilts to display. I thought it would be great to promote Modern Quilts by encouraging you to provide some for the show and also to enter for the Great Northern Quilt Show in Harrogate at the end of August. There are four rules for our challenge:

1. The theme is 'Wheels' - this can be interpreted in any way you choose and can be made using any technique.
2. The colour scheme is bright colours with a white or other light neutral background.
3. The item should be of a size to be eligible for one of the  categories for the Great Northern Quilt Show and have a hanging sleeve, if appropriate.
4. The deadline is  June 21st which is the date of our June meeting.

That's it! You don't have to make a large item as anything from a cushion size upwards is eligible and it doesn't have to be your own design provided you acknowledge any pattern you use. Follow this link for the entry form for the Great Northern Quilt Show to read the rules for the show which we will encourage you to submit your quilt for. 

Coincidently on  Saturday Helen had a quilt for show and tell which was perfect for the challenge!


Helen used a pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew called Spin Cycle. She was worried that the free motion quilting wouldn't be good enough for the shows but your entries do not have to be perfect. In fact we want to encourage visitors to have a go at quilting and not make them think it is too hard. We will allow the quilt police to deter our enthusiasm!   This quilt also proves you don't have to sew curved seams to interpret our theme. The bag front design at the top of our post would also make a lovely Wheels entry. For more inspiration visit our 'Wheels' collection of photos on Pinterest

We plan to collect the quilts from you at the June meeting for display at the Tour de Yorkshire exhibition and then take them to the Harrogate Quilt Show if you are willing to enter them for that too. Of course your quilts will be returned to you. If you have any questions or suggestions about the challenge please leave a comment below.

Now on to the bags and quilts from Saturday. We were using a free pattern for the sewing caddy from Gina Bean Quilts. Linda and Sandra have been making these for a while and provided invaluable help and advice to everyone working on these - thank you both for that. Here are a few photos of the caddies, some finished, some work in progress!





Aren't they lovely? Well done to everyone who had a go at this project!

Now on to show and tell. Again we had a huge variety of quilts, some in a modern style, some not so much but we love seeing everything our members make!

Alison's Bargello Quilt

Andrea's Zebra Bag - other side below
 

Anne's Lattice Quilt front and back
 

Davina's Zig Zag Quilt front and back


Jane's 'Stupendous Stitching' panels above and runner below.
 

Janette's Crosses Quilt made for a friend in South Africa

June's Table Runner above and Art Bag below
 

Sheila's Squares Quilt

Sue's Hand Pieced Stars Quilt


Sue A's new quilt design

Thank you to all our members for sharing. If you have a photo to share with us please use Instagram with #yorkshiremodernquilters or if you have a blog share it by leaving a comment below.

There is no Sit and Sew in April so our next meeting will be on May 17 and I'll post details on here nearer the time. Happy Stitching!

Hazel

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sit and Sew 22 March


This coming Saturday is our next Sit and Sew Day and it's time to book your place! You must email me if you want to join us as we have been getting very busy lately and places are limited. Please don't just turn up on the day as you may be disappointed. Here are the important details:

Date: Saturday 22 March
Time: 10am to 4 pm (arrive from 9.40 onwards)
Place: Deepdale Community Centre, Boston Spa, LS23 6EH
Cost: Around £3 depending on number of people attending
Tea and coffee provided


This time our project is a lovely Sewing Caddy (as in the photo) which Sandra and Linda introduced to us a couple of months ago. Click on this link for the free pattern by Gina Bean Quilts. You will need to click on the link in the post to open the instructions and then click on 'File' then 'Print PDF' or 'Download' to save it to your computer first before printing it. You must print your own copy to bring to the SASD as it is lots of pages so we will not be printing these for you! You may want to cut out the pieces before the day so you can get on quickly with the sewing.

 I'll bring some fabulous stiffening 'Decovil Light' (£8 per m) and thin Fusible Fleece (£6 per m) in case you want to use them to make your bag nice and firm, plus the usual fabrics, threads and notions for those who want to browse the portable shop with absolutely no pressure to buy.

Of course you don't have to make the caddy, you could work on any project of your choice. Don't forget to bring your lunch and something for show and tell as well as all your sewing stuff!

To get you in the mood here are some photos from last month's Show-n-Tell:



















Sunday, 9 February 2014

Hello ....

Hello Everybody.

At the last meeting I was the idiot who suggested it might be fun to have a series of posts here introducing ourselves, so here I am writing the first one.
 

My name is Sue and I am a quiltaholic.  That covers it really, but just in case you’re interested, I think a little more information might be in order.

I certainly did not grow up surrounded by craft, and my first project was an apron, started during needlework lessons at school, which I never even managed to finish.  I have dabbled in knitting from time to time, and used to enjoy doing crochet, but I don’t do either of them nowadays.

I used to like traditional styles of quilts and fabrics, such as this one, which is my first ever quilt
  


or this, which is my version of a Braid quilt

but over the past year or so I have changed and now I love the same type of designs but made in modern colours.
 
         
  
  

I’m very lucky because I don’t work so I can play with my sewing machine(s) almost every day.  I have three machines, Baby Brother who comes to meetings, workshops, etc with me; Big Brother who is a straight stitch semi-industrial machine with a larger throat and Big Bertha, my longarm machine.

I was once asked what my most invaluable quilting tool was and why.  I think they expected me to say it was my sewing machine or my rotary cutter, but actually I think it’s probably my computer.  I use the computer to design quilts, write patterns and also to drive my robotic longarm machine. 

I am lucky to have my robot by the way, since I am totally unable to do freemotion quilting.  There are not many of these systems in the UK, so here is a picture of Big Bertha,

and if you visit this post on my blog you can see a very short video of her at work, 

I love designing quilts and I have had designs published in patchwork and quilting magazines,
  

and have also had a book called Pick Four published.

I had no background in writing or publishing, (other than writing my blog,) when I got this crazy idea that I could write a book, but luckily for me the publishers Martingale & Co seemed to think I could do it.

I have also been asked where I get my inspiration.  That’s an interesting question, and I wish I had an interesting answer, but the truth is that I don’t know, ideas just seem to pop into my head from nowhere.

I blog at Quilt Times, and I would love for you to come and visit me over there.  I try to have some fun there, and for a few years I ran a Christmas Quiltalong 


with virtual friends (and some real ones too) all sitting down and sewing on Christmas projects.  One year I also ran a mystery quilt, and another year I issued a Christmas challenge to every one.  I also ran a year long quiltalong where participants were all making Lone Star quilts (a sneaky way of getting myself to start and actually finish one).
  

I really must get that quilted now.

My perfect day would be to quilt all day, with someone in the background doing all the housework, cooking etc for me.  It’d be good if they could also bring me coffee and chocolate at regular intervals.  Well, I can dream, can’t I?

Thanks for reading this.  I'll see you next Saturday at our Sew-In.