Sunday, July 31, 2011

Carnation hall - wholecloths

Yesterdays workshop was wholecloths based on traditional blocks.. This is a good way to get people to start applying thier machine quilting skills hopefully without being too intimidating. As you can see pretty much any method of getting thread onto fabric works. We had bobbin quilting, decoratve machine stitches, plain machine stitches and free motion quilting. Some of the ladies even got on to their second wholecloth during the class! Otheres went with bigger and more ornate designs, learnig to draft their own compasses and other blocks. For me it was very exciting watching these quilts come to life. I'm guessing I wasn't the only one having fan as no one wanted to stop for lunch. Eventually we did have to pause and just as well , lunch here is great. Thank you all so much. I've loved sharing my machine quilting tips with you and I can't wait to come back for the insane wholecloth class and the large one :)

Carnation hall - machine quilting 1 and 2

I fogrot to take any decent pictures of previous vists so on my third trip to these ladies I took the oportunity to photograph the work they did in the first 2 sessions. I've been seeing them about once a month for machine quilting classes and as you can see they've achieved a lot. They are also a great bunch to teach very friendly and enthusiastic which makes things so much easier. I think people learn more (and more easily) then they are happy and having fun.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Failed to visit, but not on purpose.

A few students on recent workshops have mentioned that there are areas of the country I haven't visited. This has meant they needed to travel quite some distance to do the classes they wanted (and I am deeply flattered they made the effort).  I had thought I had got pretty much everywhere but after checking I see they are indeed right. The places marked in green are the counties I have already visited, those in blue I have been booked to go to in the next few months. The ones I haven't visited yet are in pink, they are in no particular order
  • Cornwall
  • Rutland
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • Derbyshire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire
  • The East Riding Of Yorkshire
  • County Durham
  • Northumberland
I'm really not ignoring any of you. I have half a plan to try and get to Cornwall next summer as it looks like I will be making another tour of Dorset and Devon then so it makes sense to try and add in Cornwall to keep the costs down. In a similar vein a lot of the area I haven't been to is in one lump so if you do want me to come to your area it might be worth seeing if we can get together a tour to fill in other areas near by. Now people have got me thinking about this I really want to collect the set :) I wonder if there are any quilt groups in Rutland, it's a small area so I am guessing it is likely to be the last place I get to visit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Advanced? Machine quilting and home

Apparently I need to rename this class (hence the question mark above) the word is too scary for the actual class. I guess it will become machine quilting 2. I've only posted the clearest of the photos so you will just have to believe me the rest are great too. Some beginners weren't put off by the title and they did well. Often the less people know about the subject the better they get on. It probably means they have less to unlearn. I didn't take an overview picture but when all the samples were spread out on the floor there was an impressive amount of quilting. Bear in mind there is also a lot of talking (and time for another very nice lunch) and you will appreciate how much everyone got done within the class. A couple of students fount that the 1m square sample piece wasn't really quite big enough for them. I had a great time with this group over the weekend and I hope I will get to meet up with them again soon.

Today it turns out I have a bonus day at home, well at least in theory. I thought I would start by going to the storage unit to unload the van. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately by the time I got home the world and his wife had filled not only my road but all the surrounding ones, so it feels very much like I am still on the road. I've ended up at shopping center with free parking and I'm sitting in a burger bar. Nothing new there. Hopefully I will get home at a civilised time and be able to check my phone messages and answer email, but I'm not going to count on it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wholecloth workshop

Well here are some pictures of how far people got with their wholecloths in the workshop today. I hope the quilting will show up and I am sorry if I've missed anyone, it's hard to see exactly what I am doing on my phone. A couple of these little quilts are actually finished which is great and several more are very close to completion. As you can see there were many different approaches used during the day and some very impressive quilting. One of the purple quilts has feathers quilted in metalic thread on it. Imressive? Very, but more so when you find out it was her first attempt at feathers! Just goes to show what can be achieved if you just got for it, I don't know if she believes how cool that is yet.

I guess it's time for bed for me as tomorrow I am back with Oast Quilters teaching advanced machine quilting. Night night.

Wholecloth class in progress

We have just stopped for lunch but I felt I had to share. Aren't they all doing well? I just hope the quilting shows.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Rain rain Canterbury rain rain talk

This weekend I am back in Canterbury. Back as this is where I went to university and as it turns out today is the university open day and we were invited to visit and catch up with some of the lecturers. Of course on an open day there are lots of visitors and not much parking but we got lucky and got the penultimate space. It was good to see some familiar faces and to see what had changed.

The talk today was in a school, which meant a lovely big stage and a large hall. Just as well as there was a very good turn out. Unusually for an afternoon talk I managed to keep most of them awake. I came to the conclusion the afternoon slot is the hardest as everyone tends to be warm comfortable and well fed. So congratulations to the Canterbury ladies. Following my talk we had a huge show and tell with a great selection of quilts. I can't wait to see what is achieved tomorrow in the wholecloth class. There is so much potential here, I think we will have a lot of fun.

Now to the bar, and catch up with the reunion.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Better late than never.

Since I last blogged I've managed a fair amount of milage, but no photos sorry. The evening after the museum I spoke to Somerset Quilters in Taunton. Taunton is a tight place to get a van into, but with a bit of wriggling you can park pretty close to the door of the hall. The caretaker was fantastic there, and by the time the audience were arriving I was pretty much ready for them. I do love it when I can get set up am organized before the hall fills. The group were very appreciative and with the aid of the caretakers trolley packing was really quick.

The drive from there towards Chilcompton was interesting. I should have worked out the Mendip hills might have hills in them. My van is great but it isn't quick up hills. Still we made it and I got parked up before midnight.

The plus point of doing the driving the night before is a little more sleep in the morning and a shorter commute. Midsomer Quilting was only a 20 minute drive in the morning. MQ is at a garden center in what looks like a converted barn, with a workshop separate to the shop. Plenty of parking and despite their appologies the toilets are fine ;) Tuesday we were working on Autumn Leaves, my class based on the quilt 'Golden Storm'. Everyone progressed well leaving with their bindings at least partialy on and some of their leaves done. It sounded like a few of them were planning on carrying on as soon as they got home.

Wednesday was advanced machine quilting. Wow what a day. I was so impressed with how well the students progressed. Most were already accomplished quilters but even those who weren't managed very well. I think everyone went home with at least one new pattern they could not only do, but enjoy. It really is a lot of fun when people grab the ideas you give them and run with it. Several students came up with new and interesting variations of the patterns I was teaching and were happy to help each other, a good day to be teaching.

If you are part of a group in the area it does look like I will be back in the region next year so if you would like to add your group to the booking to save on milage please get in touch.

Now I am in Nottingham. Tonight I am speaking to West Bridgeford Embroiderers Guild. It looks like a good venue from outside so hopefully this is going to be another good night.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Haynes motor museum

Today I had some time to kill between bookings and after some reseach at motorway services I settled on the Haynes Motor Museum. It was a great choice. If nothing else it is related to the Haynes of vehicle manual fame and I loved shopping in the museum shop. They have 11 halls filled with vehicles (2 are filled with motorbikes). Outside they have a few military vehicles too.

As promised the red room is impressive. No they aren't all Ferraris but they are all red. Personally I found the motorsport hall a little disapointing but everything else was better than I expected, so I have no complaints.

From the museum I went to the Haynes publishing company, it seemed rude not to given I was in the area. I've now driven past the workshops which have benn the brunt of much swering when following their manuals. I know they do their best but they do make a lot of errors. Now I am back on route to Taunton for tonights talk to Somerset quilters. I hope it cools down a bit right now it is far too hot to be unloading a van.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

South West Quilters - speed 4

While I queue for a coffee in Taunton services I thought I would share some photos from South West Quilters who have been hosting me the last two days. Yesterday I was the afternoon speaker at their meeting. They had a great venue with very easy loading and unloading, and despite the microphone not working for me every seemed to hear most of the talk. The scrum after that talk was amazing. It's been a while since we have been that mobbed. Thank you all for the warm welcome, I hope I can encourage more people to come and visit.

Today I was teaching a workshop, Speed 4. As you can see a lot of work was done and the quilts are all well on their way. I always love seeing the different colour combinations people come up with. The smallest quilt isn't as far behind the others as you might think. She has scaled the pattern down to make a smaller quilt without missing any of the borders. However that means you get less quilt for the same amount of work.

After class we even had time for a bit of sight seeing. The views around here are amazing. I also have to mention the catering. It was great both days. This group is very lucky to have so many talented cooks. If you are in this area it is well worth seeing if you can get to one of these events.