Friday, 26 July 2013

How not to make a baby quilt - Kickback Friday

OK, what have I been up to this week? Well since Monday anyway.

I've got on with a baby quilt I'm making.
It's not my best work - I'm not totally happy with it, but I think it's looking better than it did on Monday.
That's not a compliment mind!

How not to make a baby quilt.
Now don't get me wrong.
I like all the fabrics in it.
But I realize now that I should have put something plainer in between the strips.
Or done something entirely different with them.

The multicoloured strips were bought as a  pack of two and a half inch cut strips.
Each of them is quite beautiful - but stitched together it's just too much.

I put the green strips in to calm the quilt down a bit - and it did to a degree(ish).

I then added the baby's name - but that looked too much on it's own.
So I appliqued little motifs from the strips onto the green to balance it out.
By this time I didn't know if I was making things better or worse!

I bought all this fabric a couple of weeks ago especially for this baby quilt and as you know my quilty friends
it's quite an expense. Not that I mind the expense if the quilt looks beautiful.

Sew my question is.
Where do I go from here?

Do I take it apart and try to make it into a better quilt?
If so how?  Any suggestions will be gratefully received.
Do I carry on regardless?
Or do I bin it and start over?
Here is a close-up of the quilt. See what I mean - why couldn't I see this was a bad idea to begin with?

Just because I bought the strips as a pack and all the colours co-ordinated. Doesn't mean they would work well just stitched together.

The only part I'm truly happy with is the fabric I bought for the back of the quilt.

Do any of you remember the song 'A froggie went a courting and he did ride, a sword and a pistol by his side.....

Anyways, over to you now my quilty friends. Please help.

And now for this weeks music video. Well, I had a wander through youtube...

I looked at the obvious - A froggie went a courting, High Hopes (because I had high hopes when I started this quilt), I looked at George Michael, (you gotta have) Faith. The Beatles, Help.

Nothing was grabbing me.

And then I just happened upon this.....Cat Stevens now know as Yusuf Islam, singing Father and Son.
I love this song.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with today's post....
I played it, all the way through, and thoroughly enjoyed it, it calmed me down and made me forget about 'the baby quilt'. And at the end I wanted to clap - always a good sign I think.
I hadn't seen this version before so it was a real treat.

I just loved Cat Stevens.
And now I'm thinking about Teaser and the Firecat. Did any of you have that album?  Back in the day.
I played that album 'till it wore out.

So, click here, sit back, listen and enjoy.

This week the computer says we have to click on this link and then click on the link that comes up below it.....Don't ask me how these computer things decide how they are going to work. All I know is that once you get used to using the computer it changes something - ah well, I suppose it keeps my brain cell busy.
(yes my quilty friends, I think I'm down to one brain cell now.)
Update....just click on the link and it went straight to the video this time......whatever

'till next week,
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Monday, 22 July 2013

Strippy scraps - Monday Group Quilty Friends - it's still hot, hot, hot here.

A few of us managed to go to a local quilt groups exhibition last Thursday.
Penarth Quilters. We had a lovely day. There were a few quilts that took our fancy.
Which included these strippy quilts.

The one second from the left and the larger version on the far right. 
Below is a 'poor' close-up of the smaller one.

I knew I'd seen this somewhere in a book I had. And yes, a version of it is in
A passion for Patchwork' by Lise Bergene.  
The one in this book is made from 1930's reproduction fabrics.

It's such a simple idea - and the quilts were really eyecatching.
We thought it a good idea for using up scraps.

The strips on the smaller one were five and a half inches and the width on the strips varied
from 2" to 3".

We thought it would make a lovely baby quilt if made in 'baby' scraps.
It's quite wonderful how the sashing brought all the pieces together.

Sew, that's another project to get started on - we'll see......

Now onto our ongoing logcabin quilts.
Peggy had decided that she needed some more hand quilting on hers.
So she has made a start....
Doesn't it make 'all the difference'
Beautiful work Peggy.
And here is a close up of Peggy's hand quilting

As I read somewhere,
A quilt is not a quilt until it's quilted

I'm sat in the garden writing this. But I think I had better go in now.
The wind has changed.
The clouds are moving in.
It looks like the thunder storm we were promised is moving in.

Bye for now,
Yours in Stitches, Joy 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Daisy stitches – Kickback Friday

Well my Quilty Friends, it's still hot, hot, hot in Wales.

So I was up, dressed and down the beach nice and early this morning before the day had a chance to heat up.

And it was glorious down there this morning.

I wanted to introduce Daisy to the beach.

At first she was afraid.
She was pretrified
And after ten minutes of trying, I had to pick her up and carry her onto the beach.

At first she stuck by me like glue.
But then she thought the wet sand was pretty cool to lay in.

What, me roll around in the wet sand.
No it wasn't me - I'm not sure I like the beach.

Stay with me this does involve stitching - eventually.
Now she's getting into it - ears all akimbo -
She looks a bit like a gremlin - maybe that's what happens to her for ten minutes every evening when she goes wild. Um.. must remember not to get her wet.


Ah yes, this is the life - just call me
Daisy Digger or Digger Daisy

Using camera timer now - quick Daisy, we have 10 seconds to strike a pose.
The eagle eyed among you may have noticed the railings in the sand. - yes the sand has completely covered the steps and most of the railings too!

SAM_2172After her first visit to the beach this morning Daisy has spent the rest of the day like this - with occasional re-positioning for comfort.

I think it's what you call 'Dog Tired'.


Here are some shells we collected this morning for future inspiration.

And finally, here comes the stitching bit.
Do you remember in my last post I showed you my work in progress.

Well, here it is all finished, except for the edging - not sure what I'm going to do there.
Any suggestions?
Above the original picture with my interpratation.
And this is a close up of Daisy all finished.

I'm absolutely thrilled with it - I had a few wobbles along the way, wasn't sure it was going to turn out how I envisaged it.
But the finished piece is just how I wanted it to look. Yippy!

Might try another one soon - watch this space. for today's song.  What to choose, I'm off for a play on youtube, I'll be back now, in a minute....
Here I am back - I've found a lovely video for you all - Paul Simon - Here Comes the Sun a tribute to George Harrison

Which makes me fancy listening to the original too...
so here it is
Just click on the pink link and enjoy.

So, that's it from me today,
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Monday, 15 July 2013

Getting the paints out - Monday Group

Well my Quilty Friends as this hot weather continues here in Wales my stitching has almost ground to a halt.

It's just too hot to be indoors sewing. So it's hand stitching in the garden for me.

Mind you even that's not easy with Daisy (my new puppy) wanting to help all the time.

Once the weather cools down the and normal sewing resumes, the next part on my log cabin is the binding.

 I'm going to show you a little piece I'm currently working on.

As a backdrop to this story. Me and a few of my quilty friends have recently joined the Contemporary Section of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles.

I've been a 'Guild' member for years, but this May decided to join the Contemporary Section.

Well, we all went to a Guild Area Day last month and the speaker was Gillian Travis. She is also a member of the Contemporary section. And she was showing amongst other things, some of the pieces she had made for the Contemporary challenge this year, Journal Quilts.

We would have like to join in, with the Journal Quilts challenge, but as we joined in May we were too late to join in this challenge.

 So between us we devised a quilty plan.

We would have our own little contemporary challenge. We choose memories of each month, so our first month would be Memories of June which we would each have to bring along and show at our monthly Swansea Quilters meeting.

Sew, this is mine, a work in progress at the moment. But it has to be finished for Saturday so I'd better get a move on.  
 I have chosen a picture of Daisy take just a few days after we had her.
I took lots of photos that day and as she raced around the house and garden,
most of my pictures were of a blur of black, a black tail or even some with no Daisy in at all.
This was one of my better ones - she's almost all in it - it's just her head disappeared as I took the photo.

Anyways, I had the photo printed out. Then I took a piece of thinish calico, laid it on the top of the photo
the simply traced the outlines of the photo onto the calico.
Next - very brave of me
I got out some of the fabric paints I'd bought over the last few years.
You know,
The kind of quilty thing you buy intending to try straight away
Which then sits in a draw for the foreseeable future
mainly due to your being too scared/not having the confidence to try whatever it is out.

Feeling enthused and fearless after Gillian Travis talk - 'just do it' she said.
'Use these little quilts to try out different ideas', she said
'Don't procrastinate', she said  
I got out my paints, sat out the garden and painted the photo  
And you can see the result in the picture above, above the actual picture.
And I'm very pleased with it for a first attempt.
Now even I can see that the wall is a bit wonky
That's where I didn't follow the lines and added some of my own
Leason learnt there.

This picture has some machine stitching on it.
You can probably make out the stands of cotton that need to be cut off
These are from where I've 'jumped' from one section of stitching to another.

Next I plan to start hand stitching Daisy in.

It's no masterpiece - but I'm quite thrilled with my first attempt
I particularly like the cartoon feel to it - it wasn't something I was aiming for but I like it.

Well that's me done for today,
remember you can click on the 'pink links' to find out more. 
Speak to you all again soon,
Yours in Stitches, Joy 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Insights - Kickback Friday

Insights, we've all had them - but I've been waiting ages for mine......

I'm quite thrilled that I now have access to my Insights on my Joyofquilting Facebook Page - this doesn't mean I can suddenly see into the future, or that I even have any idea of what you are all thinking - but it has been quite a revelation to me.

I needed 30 likes on my Joyofquilting Facebook Page to gain access to my Insights and I had been on 29 for weeks, maybe even a month or so.

It was so tempting to ask one of my friends to go and do the dirty deed and click that 30th 'like'.

But I wanted to earn my 'likes' good and proper, and last night it happened.

I had ordered a customized set of crochet hooks from Nicola at Unique Handmade Crafts. And in response to my email and comment thanking her for the beautiful hooks Nicola took a look at my Joyofquilting Facebook page -AND SHE LIKED IT!

And as a fellow Facebook page owner she knew that her like had taken me into the heady stratosphere.... that magic Facebook page number of 30, and into Insights.

Well, I was so excited that I was going to look at my insights (figures on how many people looked at, liked, shared, etc my posts.)
And truth be know, they weren't brilliant - single figures lots of 0 and 1's nothing over 9.
I had a bit of a 'lightbulb' moment when I did the tour of Insights.

I suddenly realised how important 'Likes'  'Comment' and 'Share' are.

Now don't get me wrong, I do my share of Comments, Likes and Shares, and I follow quite a few blogs.
And I know from experience that 'comments' are a joy to receive.

Then Ping, it suddenly hit me, that clicking Like, Share, Commenting, Following etc. are the very lifeblood of this cyber community.

I think in a way I kind of knew this but perhaps hadn't thought about it much.

I suppose it's like being in a room full of people who are quietly listening and watching what one or two people are doing, but not joining in  - as opposed to a room full of people who are sharing experiences, chatting and becoming a group of friends.

It suddenly became very clear to me that as we Comment, Like, Share, Follow etc. on 'tinternet we join other like minded people and start to grow our own little Patch.
Pretty much like a good Quilt Group really.

So I suppose my message today to myself really, is - join in more often.

So if I have a question or an opinion - I'll comment
If I like something - I'll say so (like) it.
If I really like something - I'll share it or start following it.
And if I don't like something, I'll simply move on and find something I do like.

And remember you can click on my 'pink links'

And now for something completely different.

We had a rush of blood to the head on Sunday and 'impulse' bought a Trailer Tent.
So todays Music Video is......Trailer for sale of Rent (King of the Road)

Josh Turner and Randy Travis 

Yours in Stitches, Joy

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Hand Quilting & Pieced Backs - Monday Group

Hello there my Quilty friends from a hot South Wales, where I am sat in the garden writing this post.

We did some hand and machine stitching in class today.

Firstly here is picture of Judith's baby logcabin quilt all finished.
 Isn't it just adorable and suitable for a Bouncing Boy or a Bonny Girl.

  This is Judith's second logcabin this year. The first one isn't quite finished yet. The top is complete but Judith didn't have quite enough of her backing fabric - so we improvised, and she now plans to add another fabric down the middle of her backing fabric to make it large enough. There is an excellent free class on Craftsy called Creative Quilt Backs which shows you how get around this problem in a very creative way.  And it's well worth a watch, so click on the 'Pink Link' above and enjoy.  

Peggy brought in her logcabin quilt which is almost complete now - she's just sewing the binding on.
And these are close-ups of Peggy's hand quilting on her log cabin quilt.
This one is of the border.
And this one shows one of her quilted flowers.

And just to remind you this is Peggy's logcabin quilt.

I need to go and get on with my logcabins now.
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Friday, 5 July 2013

Kickback Friday -

Hello there my Quilty friends. We have a multitude of pictures today.

First I'd like to share with you a couple of pictures of our new puppy - Daisy.
She obviously heard the weather forecast for a sunny weekend
So she's picked the best seat in the garden to enjoy it - the garden swing.  

She's also been enjoying the flowers.

 What have I been up to this week - well I made this photo album cover for a friend.

Hang on I'll just get the actual picture up for you to see....there it is
 This was actually last year in Zante (same people though). There was a slight shower so we girls sheltered in the beach huts. I love this photo - and think it looks supper in sepia tone too.

On a more somber note,
I have also been putting together this morning a batch of 16 baby quilts for the Berievment Midwife who will be calling in today to collect them for Sands memory boxes they give out at our local hospital.
So thank you to my Quilty friends who made them. I know it's a very sad subject, but the feedback let's us know that these quilts have been a great comfort to the mothers.

 Back to Zante 2013 now.
Here we are, all 12 of us on the road train around our resort.
 This one looks like I'm skinnydipping!
But as you can see - I wasn't
Mind you it looks like I'm just about to be run over by a boat!
And can you see how near I am to the beach.
The sea was this deep within two or three steps off the beach.

The front of our hotel

 And saving the best bit for last
This picture as taken about 15 minutes after
our son Craig had proposed to his girlfriend Hayley
on the beach at sunset.
Congratulations Craig & Hayley

Lots of you have enjoyed reading about Win's mother's 100 year old quilt in Monday's post. And if you haven't seen it, it's well worth you scrolling down to the next post to see.

And as it was Glastonbury music festival last week here in the UK, I'll leave you with a performance from that:  I give you The Lumineers with Hey Ho.
I love the girl in the crowd with a daisy head wear - very Hippy

Well that's it from me today,
wherever you in the Quilting world enjoy your weekend.
Speak to you all again on Monday.
Yours in Stitches, Joy 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Monday Group - Win's 100 year old Quilt

Hello there my Quilty Friends, here I am back and rested and relaxed after my two week holiday.
I spent one week in Zante (Greek Island) and the second very lazy week at home.
I’ll sort through some pictures for Kickback Friday.

But as today is Monday we will get on with Monday Group activities.
In July and August we intend to finish off our log cabin quilts. I have three – in various stages of their quilt growth. I’m going to dig them out and finish them over the summer.
And then as lots of you hare on holidays/vacation or engaged in grandparent duties, we shall simply coast along and perhaps finish off a U.F.O. or two over the next couple of months.

In actual class today our most Senior Member, Win, brought in one of her mothers quilts. Obviously being in Wales this is a Welsh Quilt.  It is about 100 years old.
Above, Win with her mum's Welsh Quilt
Below showing both sides of the quilt.
The plain side shows off the quilting beautifully
While the patterned side has some wonderfully colourful flowers on it.

 Above and below are close-ups of the lovely quilting patterns.

I was tempted to record her telling the story behind the quilt. But she was half way through when I thought of it and I didn’t like to ask her to start again.

Anyways. As I said this quilt belonged to Win’s mother. And in typical Welsh fashion, the quilt was made by the village quilter/sewing lady.
Win was brought up on a farm. And sadly her mother died when Win was very young.  But she knows the story of her mums quilts very well.

I’ll try and tell you the story as best I can.
This story is set in Pontrhydyfen in South Wales in the U.K.  One thing they had plenty of on the farm was sheep – no surprise there – if you come to Wales – your gonna see sheep.

And after sheering, their wool was taken to a wollen mill in Neath Abbey where Win’s mum would insist that   A, the wool she took in was used for her blankets (she insisted that her wool was of the best quality and very clean going in and she didn’t want anyone elses wool in her blankets) and B, that only the best, most skillful girls worked on her wool to make her blankets. 

Win has previously brought in one of her mothers blankets which had a beautiful woven design.
However, they also got plain white blankets and these were used as the ‘wadding’ in their quilts.

I have been teasing Win, that her family must have been well off to afford a Wholeclothquilt – and when I heard the wadding was a brand new blanket – they must have been very rich indeed! As the more lowly people would have used old bankets, wornout clothes, an old worn out quilt, or even paper,  as their quilt wadding. But Win assures me that they were not rich – they just had lots of wool.

We then had a discussion about how the quiltmaker may have been paid. I thought maybe a barter system – with woolen blankets as payment  - but who knows.
Anyway this quilt was kept for best (Doctors visits etc).  Which is why it has survived all this time in such a good condition.

We marveled at the quilting designs used and sat and stroked the quilt for ages. I just love, love, love the texture that quilting makes on fabric.
We noticed that the valance had been stitched on by machine. And thought most probably at the time the quiltmaker would have been the only person in the village to own such a modern invention.
 Above the central Medallion pattern 
such a tradition feature in a Welsh Quilt
 Above is a laughing Win
and below is
a concentrating Win.

So, can I say thank you, thank you, thank you Win for bring your quilt in to share with us all today.
And of course I must mention that Win herself has made many a beautiful quilt over the years.
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