Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Well I know where 'Winter Star' has been most recently. It was on display at the Ammersbeker festival last weekend. I'm going to have to improve my German before I can be sure whether people loved it or hated it, but I hope from the number of hits to my site this week it is the latter. So hello to all my quilts new friends in Germany. I guess I will have to try and find out a bit more about this show and see if there is a way to enter it next year. If anyone in Europe (or indeed further afield) has seen this quilt out and about over the last year I would love to know where it has been and what it has been up to. Of course if it has been misbehaving perhaps I don't need to know, but I think that is fairly unlikely.
Now back to my troublesome wholecloth for the NEC this year. I have worker out the new design, and hopefully it will play a bit better. Who knows? Still I have a couple of nice easy quilts I can do while I finish off the design, and several other tops I need to piece. I am starting to think that going to the Festival of Quilts will be a good chance to get some piecing done!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I don't know quite where it has been, but it seems safe to assume it's last stop was Germany. If I had known it was on it's way back I would have entered it into Houston, but you can't win them all. I think it will be just young enough to try next year. I'd like to give it a go as several people have said they think it is the best quilt I have made. For now it is on display at Patchwork Corner, trying to get the creases out. I do find that my whole cloth quilts seem very prone to picking up creases. I will have to go over to wool wadding as soon as possible.
My final NEC piece is giving me trouble. I am especially upset by it as I actually made a prototype of this one. A first for me. It didn't help, I don't like the real thing at all. I think my main issue is the trapunto just isn't as crisp and even as I would like. So I have redesigned my quilt and will start again in a couple of days. I have some customer work I can be doing in the mean time.
and 4pm Sunday the 6 Next weekend is the Project Linus Quiltathon at Patchwork Corner. We have a good number of helpers signed up already but more would be good. If you can spare any time between 10am Saturday the 5thth we would love to see you. There will be plenty of sewing cutting and pressing to be done. Also if you would like to donate any fabric we would be happy to have more. We are especially looking for more fabrics for boys. I know they are trickier to find, but we must try to help both sexes evenly. As well as showing you some techniques for very quick quilts we will have a machine quilting frame set up. Perhaps this would be a good time for you to get some practice at using it.
Monday, June 23, 2008
My quilts seem to have enjoyed their stay with Sally. Most of them have never tried a bed and seem much better for the experience. I suspect I am somewhat in disgrace with Sinclair (Sally's cat, or her feline owner depending on your perspective) as I caused him to be shut out of a room. Cats hate being refused access to anything and knowing there were some perfectly decent quilts to be claimed must have made it even worse. still I fussed him a lot today so I might be forgiven.
Despite the lack of awards, I might have to admit that was probably my most successful quilt show. I met so many lovely people, and got to catch up with many more. I got to see a quilt from one of my workshops and hear about several others. I've already had bookings for talks and a couple of enquiries about the quilting system, so from that point of view alone I would have to consider it a success. One of my most memorable conversations, and probably most interesting was with a lady who doesn't like raw edge applique. I am really pleased she had the confidence to actually say so, as really I don't either. I do use it a lot as it is the only way I have found to get the look I want, but I still don't really like it. Sadly as soon as I turn under even a very small edge I find it adds very distracting edges and shadows. Personally I quite like hearing other peoples opinions. Some I will never understand, but it is still fascinating to know how my work is seen.
Finally, for now at least, thank you Kate for the nicest complement I've had. Now I had better get back to my quilting. I need as much practice time as I can get if I am going to try and out do Mandy next year. I wonder if I will need to wait for her to retire before I get this one though :)
It was a good show. I met so many wonderful people. A very special hello to the Russian quilters. It's so rare to find people who understand why I am careful about people photographing my work. Also a huge thank you to everyone who helped in collecting my quilts. I hear it was quite a team effort. People think I am crazy when I say quilting is a very physical sport. I suspect those collecting my work would agree with me. It is really appreciated. Now I am on my way to the RA to collect the piece that didn't get in, it is the same size as "Nude with Rope" but mounted on a rigid frame. I have to get it home on the tube, so wish me luck.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Well the car is packed and now I am at a bit of a loss. I am normally panicking right now. I guess this is the advantage of entering quilts you've already made. I have five quilts going into Sandown this year.(Why is it quilt shows are more often known by their location than their name?) 'Guide me' will be making it's last UK appearance before it heads off to the World Quilt Show. Perttu, the cellist has only been seen at my gallery show so this is his first competitive outing. I hope he will go down well, he does at least have some clothes on.
I've also put in "Where is the North Star?". This is a quilt I made for the theme category at Malvern a couple of years ago, and it hasn't been out since. I show it as my talks and it is a very popular quilt, so I decided I aught to put it in another quilt show. If It hadn't had such an amazing response in talks I would still be sitting in the storage unit.
This is "My Fat Quarter of Paradise" It is one of the quilts DHL failed to deliver to a show. It is HUGE. I have no way of getting a good picture of it at home, this is it in a Hotel room. I love the quilting on it but I don't like paying postage to send it to shows. So as I can deliver it to this one, it's going. The hanging sleeve isn't at the top of this quilt to keep the bottom of it off the floor. Hopefully this will work at Sandown.
My last entry is "Lily". This is another quilt I have entered because of other peoples reaction to it. I can't say I like this quilt, but I have to accept a lot of other people do. I would say it was the second most popular quilt in my solo show. I don't get it but I figure it has earned it's place in shows. If you are in Region 1 of the Quilters Guild you will have seen it in your regional magazine recently. Here is your chance to see it in the flesh. It will be interesting to see it the judges agree with my visitors, if they do I will be checking with more people before spending money on entering quilt shows :)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I got home to an email telling me that both of my quilts made it into the World Quilt Show. Just as well I didn't manage to enter 'Guide Me' into Houston as well. One of the really nice things about this show, is that you send the quilts to a local coordinator so you don't have to worry about international postage. No customs forms, no couriers. Just a very reasonable fee and Christine Porter deals with all the tricky bit for you. If you are looking for an easy way into showing quilts in the US do consider this show next year. I would have given you a heads up this year, but I nearly missed it myself.
Before running we do a burnout. This is spinning the rear (our driven wheels) wheels to heat up the tyres, to help them stick. We do this by sitting the wheels in water so the lose grip then pulling the car forward a little. I was worried, the water was minimal and I've not had a lot of practice, but I thought I had done OK. The tyres spun a little then the car pulled forward and stopped. Did I miss? I wish it had been that simple, the throttle cable had broken and we had to push the car back. Our competitior obviously took the win and is through to the next round.
We managed to drive back to the pit by raising the idle speed (how fast the engine runs when you don't press the throttle pedal). On the way a lot of concerned racers came to see us. This is what I love about this sport. Most racers want to win on the track, not with a mechanical failure. So down to Halfords to look for a spare, without joy. They do have bycycle spares though, so we are using a bycycle brake cable instead. It might hold to get us home and if it brakes we will come to a graceful halt. I like things that fail safe. Even better I will be the car behind and I know it might happen. In case you hadn't gathered the race car is street legal and drives to and from the track. One of the race cars I have just seen leaving goes one better. It tows it's support caravan as well. How cool is that, a race car that can drag it's pit with it.
I guess it's time to watch some racing and take some photos before we head home.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
On a quilting note, I've designed a new class quilt today. My Thursday regulars have asked for a new quilt as you go project, which rukes out my second sampler quilt which is almost ready to run. So yet again I needed to come up with something special for them. It has to include some piecing and some applique. That's tricky as I don't normally do functional applique, but I think I have come up with a good solution. In between runs I've even managed to start writing it up.
Trogdor, the Capri has not run a 13 second quarter mile at any of the other events, but it has run very low 14s so a conservative 13.97 second seemed a good bet. The track is good and a lot of big cars ran before us (which helps). So a nice launch, a good reaction time, and by half track I was worried. This was looking good, possibly too good. Indeed 9.92 came up on the end board. So this is the fastest run yet, which is great, but a lousy qualifier. Let's hope we get another run today.
On the other hand they have sorted out the supplier of electricity. Cables are being supplied and the staff are working their socks off to make sure everyone has power. I wasn't here for the other events but I can tell it's a huge deal for those who were.
Hmmm rain... That wasn't supposed to happen yet.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I am now sitting in our pit while the car goes through scrutineering. Aparently they are being more strict than usual, and I know I don't deal well with authority so the most useful thing I can do is keep out of it. It's a shame I was quite looking forward to seeing what goes on, but it's more important that the car gets through. Our main concerns are all wheel related. Whether there is enough stud length coming out of the hubs and whether our wheel nuts are 'right'. Both have been fine so far, but others have been turned back, so we are worried. Watch this space for the result.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Strangely I was just putting the binding on this quilt when I got an email asking for a picture of it. I figured I may as well finish before posting. So here is Speed Quilt 2. I guess I would call it a large single, and most people should be able to pretty much complete the sewing in one day. It is a reversible quilt as you go project, and being quick is ideal for those people you aught to give a quilt to but you know they won't really get it. As you can see mine is quite soft colours on the front and something a bit more striking on the back.
If you would like to have a go at making one there are still a couple of places on my class on the 24th June. Call Patchwork Corner to book a place as they are running the class. Alternatively you could ask your local quilt group or shop to book me to teach it there. Sorry, but if you are not in the UK you will either have a large travel bill or need to find some other groups who will also book me.
For those of you booked already, I hope this will help with picking your fabrics, the quilt will be at Patchwork Corner as of tomorrow.
I normally keep pretty good records of where my quilts are when. yesterday I dutifully updated it and checked which quilts I could enter into the Houston show. Then this morning I spoke to Sally who happened to mention the World Quilt Show. Abut and hour later my brain finally kicked in and pondered what I had entered into that show. According to my records nothing! OK I know that is wrong and I have that sinking feeling. One of the quilts I had planned to put into Houston might already be committed. Fortunately Christine Porter, and her lovely husband are more organized than I am and confirmed my fears. "Guide Me" is trying for the world show so cannot be entered into Houston. The upshot is I remembered just in time to avoid committing a cardinal sin in the quilting world. Don't you just know it would have got into both shows if I hadn't spotted it. Of course I have probably jinxed the world show now but I think that is better than the alternative. I have just couriered my entry of "Herd Mentality" to Houston. Wish it luck.
I finally got a decent picture of this quilt. I did get one of it straight on but it didn't show as well. So here it is lying down.
It is almost exactly 1m square (which I am finding stupidly satisfying). All the threads used are essentially purple. The lightest in the middle is a very soft lilac and the swirls at the outer edge are a dark purple. This quilt will be on display at the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham NEC in August.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
You've probably never taken the petrol tank off your car, so trust me when I say the fuel takes what seems like an eternity to reach the engine. We have, and we knew this, but boy this particular eternity was getting to be a long one. Then it dawned on me, I couldn't hear the fuel pump. They are pretty loud on the 2.8i Capris you do normally notice them. After double checking and comparing with the other car we realised that the pump wasn't pumping and it did have power. I know we should have checked it before fitting it, at least before putting the petrol back in the tank,- but we didn't. So now we have to swap th pumps over. So right there in the picture you see the non working pump. We have decided a new piece of hose is in order so I am sitting looking after the car and tools while the hose is fetched. Some much welcome downtime in which I can blog.
I have also been doing a lot of sewing, and some designing. It seems ideas come more freely when I spend time under cars, which is great. Sadly I don't have time to make use of them right now, but I will get to them eventually. I currently have a long awaited quilt on the frame. It is for a customer I have come to know quite well over the months we tried to schedule this quilt. It started to seem that everytime we set a date some misfortune would strike. It really was getting rather disturbing. It's a great relief to have it on the frame. It's quite a tricky quilt to work on. Being both busy and plain at the same time. I had a few ideas but knew they weren't quite right, I asked a non quilter for a second opinion. The solution is very strange, but is working well. I look forward to being able to show you it soon.
I've had a lot of questions about my latest black wholecloth. It will be at the NEC this year and is about 1m square. It is a pig to photograph, which is why I haven't posted one yet. I've got several shots that look like I left the lens cap on. I guess this isn't going to be a famous quilt. I really should consider how easy a quilt will be to photograph before I make it. My other entries for the NEC are largely ready. herd Mentality has a facing rather than a binding, it was the best of a lot of bad options. I am going to try it in the Houston competition too. I an hoping it will be less challenging and more striking than the work I've tried before. Yes I know the deadline is looming. Couriers are at times very handy. I guess my hose should be almost here so I will sign off and be ready to get back to the car.