Saturday, December 16, 2017

Solway Quilters' Christmas Tea and Mini Quilt Reveal

Friend, Margaret, and I attended the Solway Quilters' Christmas Tea on Thursday evening at Islesteps Village Hall near Dumfries.

The event was well-attended, and was catered for by Café Hubbub from The Gracefield Arts Centre. I was one of several attendees requiring specialist diet options and they had catered very well for everyone with delicious, filled rolls for me with mozzarella and salad in one and roasted vegetables and spicy hummus in the other. There was even a plate of cakes for afterwards, but I didn't quite manage to eat them: I took a coconut macaroon home for Rob. With plenty of hot tea and coffee available, it was a pleasant meal in good company.

A quiz featuring anagrams of different blocks was passed around - our little team of three managed a measly 7 points, however Margaret's team got 12 points and the winning team, 13. After the meal, there was a show and tell of items made by members of the group, and the mini quilt challenge was displayed on the wall. Each participating member had made two 9-patch blocks: one to act as the 'before' example, and one to be randomly assigned to another group member, who would transform it into a mini quilt using any method and materials they chose. Here they are (apologies for the poor lighting and images from my mobile!).

Lots of different styles and approaches, and some stunning results! It was very hard to pick a favourite as there were so many that I liked. I may have missed a couple out, as there was quite a crowd gathered round admiring them.

A game of "pass the parcel" with a difference was played at the end, with the four parcels going one step right, one step left or being thrown to the opposite side of the circle depending on a story being read out, which included the words 'left', 'right' or 'across'. The winner received a pack of Christmas-themed fabrics, and three runners-up took home a bag of chocolate coins each.

If anyone out there is thinking of joining The Solway Quilters, (Dumfries and Galloway area), please take a look at their website for contact details.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Folksy Friday - Party Season Ideas!

Some ideas from my Pinterest Board for Christmas and New Year's parties... Please click on the link below the picture to go to the listing for sale.

Invitations (other styles available)

10 x Police Party Invitations from Diggle Diggle, £4

'Partay' card from my own shop, Fire Horse Textiles, £2 each in green or violet.

Sparkly Clothing, Jewellery and Accessories

Black Lace Masquerade Mask from Talulahblue, £15

Brass and Resin Glitter Stud Earrings in Sherbet from myBearHands, £18

Robin 60s Style Dress from Diva Bara, £116

Gold Faux Leather Clutch Bag With Flowers and Bee from Made in the Temple, £27

Food and Drink Preparation and Serving

Grilla Apron from Bird Brain London, £27.99

Spiced Rum Botanicals Kit from Gin Wizard, £6.49

Chip & Dip Server Set from Caractacus Pots, £33.99

Ceramic Leaf Serving Platter from Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics, £25


Three Foxes At The Disco Lino Cut Print from Melanie Wickham Lino Prints, £20

15cm Scandinavian Eco Torch from Ruby UK, £9.70

Party Decorations from Bookity, £14.95

Fun & Games

Alice In Wonderland Bingo Cards x10 from Cush-n-Craft, £4.99

"Camden Quilles" Skittles Set from Camdenshed, £65

Heart Pinata from Tata Pinata, £35

Stocking Fillers and Party Favours

Owl Felt Key Ring/Bag Charm from The Big Forest, £8 each

5 x Miniature Unicorn Notebooks from Paper, Chains & Beads, £13.75

10 x Pick & Mix Kawaii Badges from Asking For Trouble, £7

To see the rest of the Board with 74 pins, please click here.

Monday, December 04, 2017

A Short Visit to Keswick

We had a couple of hours in Keswick today: walking down to the lake and through the town; stopping off for lunch in Abraham's Cafe in George Fisher (jacket potatoes with salad and cheese with excellent Americano coffees, and now dog-friendly like the rest of the shop, so Brock was pleased); a quick browse in the Oxfam, where I bought some embroidery threads; and food shopping in Booths.

Here are some of the photos that I took on my mobile (I forgot my camera :o/). The light was very atmospheric, with low cloud, but bright sun.

Lots of wildfowl, as usual, attracted by the people feeding them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Misty Day

Brock was reluctant to go for his walk today: the road was half running water, mud and twigs and the weather was very misty and damp. Still, the exercise did us all good and the landscape has added mystery in the mist.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Have a Very Folksy Christmas

Why not cut out the queuing in the shops for mass produced gifts, and buy something handmade by a British-based maker and designer this Christmas?

I've made a head-start on my shopping already, and here are some of the other things you can find at Many pieces are one of a kind, so you need to buy it when you see it, to make sure of getting the item you want. [Please click on the link beneath the image to go to the listing for sale].

Hand knitted, Scandinavian-style stocks from Fir Tree Knitwear, £29

Screen printed cat doorstop from Mandy Hills, £12

Men's t-shirt with Pi spiral from uchi limited editions, £20

Santa Claus tree decoration from ndm handmade, £5

Driftwood boat Christmas decoration from Nicely Made By Natalie, £8.50

5 pack of squirrels riding a tandem Christmas cards from Dog As Pony, £5

Christmas snowflake earrings by Tanith Rouse Jewellery, £14

To see some more ideas on my Pinterest Page, Folksy Christmas 2017, please click here, and by double clicking on any image, you will be taken to the item for sale.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Recommended Book For Quilters: Wollquilts by Edda Gehrmann

I just received a second-hand copy of this wonderful book in the post today.

It is called "Wollquilts: von Glencheck bis Kaschmir" by Edda Gehrmann, published by Herausgeber und Lektorat in 2002. ISBN 3-9806815-4-8 [I use for finding out-of-print books such as this one].

Since it is a German book, I was expecting the text to be only in German, but was pleasantly surprised to find that there is an English translation throughout.

Here were some of my favourite quilts from the book:-

The quilts were mainly made from bags of assorted wool fabric scraps which were passed around the members of a Berlin patchwork group (mixing knitted with woven and felted wools in different weights, and sometimes other fabrics such as cotton, velvet or wool mixes). There is often a commentary by the maker discussing what they thought of the scraps (usually disappointment at the dull assortment!), followed by how inspiration hit them, and how they made such beautiful pieces from the remnants.

Several makers commented on the problems with cutting tiny pieces or trying to iron flat seams. The most successful pieces seemed to use very simple shapes - squares or rectangles, but with thought given to the placing of the different tones and colours of the fabrics.

The book has a section of tips for sewing with wool fabrics at the back, and patterns for six of the quilts found in the book, but it is more of a gallery of inspirational images than a 'how-to' book.

I can tell that this will become one of my favourite books, and it has inspired me to have a go with some of the wool and wool mix fabrics in my collection - maybe just a wall hanging to begin with.

Initial gleanings from the book are that:-
  • anything goes with regard to mixing weights and types of fabric
  • simple shapes will probably be easiest to work with
  • focusing on colour and tone placement is important for a successful design
  • tying is an easier option than trying to quilt very thick fabrics
  • larger seam allowances are best to stop fraying (1 - 1.5 cm)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Couple of Pages From My Sketchbook

Following a talk last week (about giving talks!) by Joanna O'Neill at the Embroiderers' Guild in Dumfries, Margaret and I were discussing her wonderful sketchbooks, which were on display at the end of the lecture. There were also examples of her quilt work and small journal quilts, images of which can be seen on her website. I bought two printed cards of her work (scanned image below).

Having learned the importance of keeping a sketchbook on an OCA textiles course, and having observed the way in which textile artists such as Joanna use them (she keeps a mixture of representational drawings, jottings and notes, quick sketches etc - a visual journal/diary), it has encouraged me to make an effort to keep using mine.

We agreed that the only way to do it was to set aside a regular time in the day for drawing, otherwise 'life' takes precedence.

Here are a couple of my recent pages...

Drawing of a print seen on a wall in an artist's studio, in a book called "Maker Spaces" by Emily Quinton, which Rob bought for my birthday. I thought that this sort of design could work well as a patchwork textile wall hanging, or a cut paper collage.

"Change Something" - a collage of found images and mixed media. I am always cutting odd phrases and pictures of objects and human features and body parts out of magazines. These strange creatures occasionally emerge from the cuttings.


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