Archive for August, 2011

August 25, 2011

Sewing Group

Every couple of weeks or so, I get together with a few other ladies for sewing group.  It’s very informal; about seven or eight of us gather at someone’s house and each bring our own projects to work on.  This week we had: baby mitten knitting, felt needle case making, card making, bags and bunting, cardigan knitting and bandanas for dogs!  So its really more of a craft group than a sewing group.

Spot the Royal Wedding mug!

 

We are a real mix from beginners to the more experienced; the focused and the chatty; the perfectionists and laid back (who can knock up two or three cushion covers in an evening!).  But we all enjoy it and it’s great to get together, have a natter, help each other out and share tips and ideas.  Sewing can be a bit of an isolated hobby so its good to do it with others and it makes you put time aside to do it.

Having dutifully washed and ironed the fabric I got at the quilt festival, I spent the evening cutting squares for my baby blankets.  I think I’m going to use fleece as the backing for the blankets to make them nice and cozy.  Trip to the fabric shop required to get some fleece.

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August 23, 2011

Trip to the seaside!

No making at the weekend because I had a trip to the seaside!  I went to Cromer, a medium sized town on the north coast of Norfolk; famous for its crab, the only remaining end of the pier show in the UK, and now home to my sister and brother-in-law.

They have a flat overlooking the pier which is just an amazing spot; I could sit and look out of the window all day.

View of the pier from the living room

But, alas, there was shopping and eating to be done.  After breakfast…

Breakfast

… we headed out to explore the shops and food of Cromer and the near-by town of Holt.  Here is some of what we found…

Lots of independent shops, many specialising in one thing such as books, sweets, hardware and this one selling, well, all things cake!

Had to try Cromer crab. I had it in a sandwich

A nice interiors shop with lovely fabric for curtains and upholstery

A cream tea (with ginger beer) in Holt

A little bit of rainbow in the sky

The sunset from the pier

Sunday was church, a stroll back along the seafront, lovely dinner cooked by Amanda and more staring out the window watching the world go by.

It really was like a little holiday and I will definitely be back for more.  I just wish it wasn’t 270 miles away from Cardiff!!

August 15, 2011

Festival of Quilts 2011

Last weekend was the Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC.  I’ve been to the festival the last three years, the last two with my friend Ayla and we’ve had a great day out.  The quilts on display are amazing; each one a work of art that must have taken goodness knows how many hours.  Here is a selection of some that caught my eye:

 

Miniature snippets of Liberty make up a miniature quilt

 

Great colour in this sunflower quilt

 

A knitted quilt

 

This quilt was made up of hundreds of tiny hexagons of different black and white fabrics!

Of course the other amazing thing about the festival is the shopping! Hundreds of stalls selling beautiful fabrics, yarns, threads and all sorts of other materials.  It’s like being in a sweet shop!

An array of fibres

 

Lots of fat quarters to choose from

 

This was really the focus of our visit; to stock up on materials that you just can’t get locally.  There are some good fabric shops in Cardiff but they tend to focus on dress and soft furnishing fabrics so aren’t great for quilting and craft fabrics.

Here is what I came home with:

A bright selection of fabrics which I plan to make into a baby blanket or two

 

Some blues which will be a gift for a friend

 

And a selection of green/blue/greys for my next quilt project

 

I’m very happy with my purchases; now I just need need to use them!

August 14, 2011

First Quilt Creation

My first blog, about my first quilt!  Well, the first quilt I started anyway, not the first I have completed.  But it is now finished, two years after I first ventured into the world of quilts, and what an amazing world it is!

The idea of making a quilt arose when I was in a homeware and gift shop in Spain and my mum was looking for something to buy me for my birthday.  They had some lovely quilts but none of them were quite the right colours for what I wanted.  So I thought why not make my own?  My birthday present that year was then money towards the materials I needed to make my quilt.

A trip to the Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC a couple of weeks later (more on the festival to follow) and I had most of my fabric.  I didn’t follow a pattern but I did find ‘The Compendium of Quilting Techniques’ by Susan Brisco very useful as a guide to each stage of the process.  I’ve worked on it in fits and starts over the last two years, sometimes waiting because I needed to find more fabric (one of the down sides of making it up as you go along) and sometimes because I was working on other things.  I was put off by the thought of the binding so it has sat in an almost finished state waiting to be bound for a number of months.  But actually, when I got on to it the binding came together fairly quickly and it was soon done.

I am very happy with the result.  I like the mix of fabrics and the pattern.  It’s not perfect and there are definitely things I have learnt and would do differently if I was doing it again but overall I love it and have loved working on it!

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