Monday, 20 October 2014

Needle Stars with Paula

I recently took a trip over the border into England for Regional Day for the North East branch of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, Region 15E.

It was a fun filled weekend, speakers for the day were Paula Nadelstern and Margaret Boe.

I just made it to the hall in time to here Paula tell her stories and show us her quilts too...what an interesting day, two very different styles but equally compelling.

Paula has been a long time piecing hero of mine, her quilts are intricate manipulations of fabric, even though we were told that it's the fabrics that make them look difficult...don't believe it....

Margaret too had travelled over the border from Edinburgh and took the afternoon slot and entertained us with her numerous tales of her quilting life.

Margaret chatting after her talk...
I was totally spoiled and had the pleasure of dinner out with Paula, Liz (our wonderful hostess) and Gillian on Saturday night.

Liz, Paula and Myself

On the Sunday I was lucky enough to take a class with Paula, I was so engrossed that we didn't take many treasured photos, most of my other class mates were already packing up or gone by the time I thought to find my phone....but this one is special.....

I did manage to finish my first home....

Looks impressive, I'm not totally happy with it so my next block is cut out and ready to sew....need to get the technique down while it's still in my mind. Wish I had more time to spend on this but somehow my customers seem to think Christmas is coming, I have a few quilts to get on with....

I promise to show some customer quilts in my next post....

Thursday, 2 October 2014

1514 aka The Horse wins Best of Show

 I was totally blown away last week when Grosvenor Shows phoned to tell me my quilt 1514 aka The Horse had won Best in Show and Best large wall hanging. I'm always a bit stunned to get a phone call like that, I still can hardly get my head around the fact that I am an award winning quilter.You can see some of the process of making this quilt in this post 1514 aka The Horse....

Me and my Mum with my award winning quilt... 

Best Large Wall Hanging Award
I also won a Jugdes Choice award from Merrilyn Orr

Best of Show Award from David Drummond Sewing Machines.... David was actually born in Hawick

My Friend and customer Liz Villalobos also won Best Bed Quilt and I won Best Longarm Quilter for her quilt Astrum Pennequae

My quilt Strip Polka won a 3rd Prize ribbon in the theme category 'diamonds'.

My quilt Portland Points won a 3rd prize too in the large wall hanging category.

I had tough competition from Birgit Shueller from Germany who won runner Up Champion with her quilt Shooting Stars.

Hand Quilting from Andrea Stracke also from Germany

Andrea's Ribbons

My friend Rhianons quilt 'Fruit Salad' on the left with her ribbons

Rhianon's Tropical Fish

Rhianon with our quilts, you can visit Rhianons blog here

Loved this African themed quilt by Freda Oxnam

Fabulous Quilt commemorating  100 years since the 1st World War.... if any one can give me the name of the maker I'd be grateful and pleased to include it....

I finished off with a little retail therapy by adding to my collection of Bonnie Hunter books with Susan at the Kaleidoscope Books stand...

All in all a very enjoyable if not tiring weekend....

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Quilters Retreat at Rydal Hall...

Feeling ill prepared, I stayed up until the early hours updating my PowerPoint presentation last Saturday night ready for my talk at Rydal Hall. I was still up early packing quilts and sundries last Sunday morning and as Linzi was delayed thought I would clean the car hoping that the Swallows would soon leave for warmer climates.  I love to see the swallows arrive early summer but am so pleased to see them leave, they make so much mess on my house, car and windows.

As usual I probably took too much 'stuff' but with Linzi's help we managed to pack it all into Linzi's Landrover and left my home for the short two hour journey to the Lake District. We had supper of fish, chips and mushy peas by Lake Windermere before arriving at our hotel for our six night stay.

The Hall was dimly lit and quiet with a skeleton staff, luckily we were escorted to our room by one of the groundsmen else I'm sure we would never have found it, we did find an easier route ourselves the next morning. I admit to feeling a little uneasy on our first night, I did wonder why when morning broke as I found my bearings and realised that Rydal Hall is so peaceful and picturesque.  The views from the house are stunning, the weather for the whole week could not have been better, we slept with the windows wide open every night.

We quickly set up the sewing room ready for our guests who arrived on Monday afternoon. After our first dinner together we drifted into the sewing room and started on our projects that very night.

Linzi doing a demo for the Rev...erand
Sewers admiring Ani's special quilts
My small Demo piece just needing some binding
Ani, Linzi and I gave demonstrations and then evening talks to 'sewers', visitors and hotel guests. We left a wonderful display of quilts hanging in the drawing room all week, we could often see hotel staff and guests wandering in to admire our handy work.

Linzi admiring felted jewellery

The Art Yurt was a must see, where the Resident Artist was spinning Hedrwick fleece straight from the sheep.

A trip to Derwent Pencils and the Pencil Museum could not be missed as it was only a few miles away, so along with seven of our sewers we excitedly drove along the edge of the Rydal Water, Grasmere and Derwent Water on our way to Keswick.
We toured the small museum and were told about graphite, black gold and how indeed graphite was worth more than gold at one point. There were displays of nibs and pencils which reminded of quilts, it's a wonderful place to visit, I'm sure I'll be back again soon.

Our Ladies worked really hard on there personal projects, some Husbands went off walking in the hills and who could blame them, this is a stunning part of the country. I've been here many times as a child and many times with my young family, it's been a while and I had forgotten how beautiful the Lake District is!

A group photo on our last morning in the drawing room....

After our guests had left we packed everything into the vehicles and drove to Townend Farm, a National Trust Property

Lots of intricately carved furniture

Before we knew it it was Saturday and time to leave, time flies when your having fun!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hi, it's Monday and it's my turn to share on the Around the World Blog Hop. 

My very dear friend Michelle 0f MMMQuilts  invited me to join the Hop last week. Every Monday, a new group of bloggers will share a little about themselves, and feature a few other bloggers who will post the following Monday. 

Although Michelle and I live many miles apart, Michelle in Canada and myself in Scotland we have been internet friends for many years. Michelle and I both started our quilting lives using 9" machines then progressed onto true longarms. We followed each others progress for a long time until in October 2013 we actually met at a quilt show in the USA, MQX, (Machine Quilter Exposition), Portland, Oregon. That was a fun trip!

Well, this week I'm getting organised for a Quilting Retreat in The Lake District in, fun, fun....

This is the gang...

This will be our venue for the week....

It's a tough life huh????

1. What am I working on? 
I have scheduled this blog post beforehand, next week I hope to work on a bed quilt using retro fabrics so this week, I am cutting fabric,  it remains to be seen if that comes to fruition, best laid plans and all that...

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
Although this week I am preparing for a retreat my usual work is longarm quilting. I love, love, love custom quilting and am lucky enough to have a few customers who allow me free rein on their quilts. It's sometimes hard to give back a quilt to it's true owner but the pleasure I see in their faces is wonderful.

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

Although I work for customers as a longarm quilter, I do this work as I am passionate about quilting......

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I do have customers who require edge to edge or pantograph designs on their quilt tops but my passion is custom quilting.  When I load a custom quilt onto my longarm machine I never really know how I am going to quilt it, it's fun to follow this esoteric process.  The quilt just finished is always my favourite.....

Before I go, I want to let you know of two other bloggers who will be sharing their posts next Monday. 

Julie of  Heritage Keepsakes ....Julie is a longarm quilter living and working in Australia, we have been internet friends for a while using the same APQS longarm machines. We are lucky to have met each other twice, once in Portland, Oregon and then just a few weeks ago here in the UK at Festival of Quilts, in Birmingham, UK.

Lynette of What a Hoot blogspot.....Lynette is a prolific quilter, can you believe that Lynette sent a quilt top all the way from Colarado, US to me here in Scotland, UK for me to quilt for her Dragonfly Party 2 .....