Thursday, 27 August 2009

Festival of Quilts 2009

Amy Butler Pillow Class, originally uploaded by teepeequilts.

I really enjoyed the 2 days I managed to get away to this years FOQ in Birmingham last week BUT ... and I hate to say it there wasn't a great deal that excited me this year and I feel so guilty for saying this outloud, but its true I'm afraid. Without exception Helen Godden's fantastic bleach painted piece piece - "Mother Earth" was the out and out winner for me and should really have taken best in show in my view.Quite rightly though it did win the Art section. It was incredibly well executed. Her control of the bleaching process to create light and shadow is masterly and her machine quilting adds great texture and definition. I loved this piece and would have spent a long long time looking at it if crowd control were to have allowed me. Unfortunately it didn't so I was pressed to move on ...but I have photos! I saw Helen at work with 2 other Australian ladies - calling themselves The Three Sisters on The Quilt Show some while back and admired there collaborative work then - but flying solo she really excels! If only I could paint with ordinary paint let alone bleach! Getting back to reality though I did enjoy the Amy Butler class I took on Friday afternoon. It was relaxed and very undemanding and I really enjoyed sharing a couple of hours sewing with my mate Emma. We were also lucky enough to have the run of a whole house for our 2 night stay while the owners were away on vacation so as a massive thankyou we left out spoils from the day on her armchairs in the conservatory. I hope our absent host likes them.

Today is GCSE results day here in the UK and I am so thrilled that DD has done well with 4 A stars and 3 A's in the mix. Well done Rowey!! But I am sad too - next week she leaves home to start the next chapter in her education. But we have a BBQ for 30 odd mates and a couple of parents before she goes - yikes!

The summer has been a long a lovely one with everyone at home -
even DH has been around! In fact its the first summer he has been in the UK for 3 years. So I am at least happy for this! So I wont mope for too long! In fact to celebrate what has been a very good summer I have made my binding booklet free to download for the whole of September. So tell your mates! Click on the link at the side of the blog and download it free from Lulu. Let me know what you think when you've had chance to review it.

Right I need to do some more prep for Saturdays street market. Keep your fingers crossed it doesn't rain!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Do you flitter?

I read an article recently by the editor of the
Professional Quilter, Morna McEver Gollet asking the question of Who are you being? I don't normally go with all this psycho-analysis stuff but I do think its worth while asking yourself what you are about every now and again IF for no other reason than to keep youself focused. I am quite happy to tell everyone that I am a 'flitterer'. I go from this to that and back again every few months and my flittering cuts across many aspects of my life from food to family. For the most part I think this is normal human behavior - some days we want to eat salad instead of chocolate, some days we are happy to to leave the housework undone, some days we want to walk instead of drive etc... but in crafting terms I am a serious flitterer and in quilting terms my flittering severity is off the scale. I like soo many styles, soo many fabrics,so many colours, soo many techniques and I flitter in and out of them all to a point that I cannot define my own 'style'. Of course I suppose I could say my style is 'eclectic' and let that cover it but is that a cop out? Probably. But then does it matter what our style is anyway? Do we need to confine ourselves to just one box ? Well I don't really think we do BUT I do know that you cannot flitter if you want to run a business. Customers need to be able to define who you are and what you do. They like, indeed need, to place you in a pigeon-hole. For me though just one pigeon-hole is too small .. I need the whole dove-cote!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Summer Projects

(Click on the photo to make a bigger image)

There is something very nice about a British summer. I really quite like the mix of sunshine and rain, howling winds and humid weather ... and quite often all in on one week. Well that was this week. Hot and humid on Wednesday, cold and windy on Thursday, balmy and beautiful today. Infact today was very very beautiful and made even better by the absence of any noise in the house. With only one small body to look after I was able to potter around and take a few photos of some of my summer projects.

I've been busy making bunting and bags, cushions and pillow protectors and lots of other 'things' in the hope that I might sell a few bits at an upcoming craft market at the end of the month, but I'm not so fussed if they don't sell. Its been fun making things that I like and I will be more than happy to hang on to them. In all honesty I'm really not sure why I said I would take a table at the fair. Its not something I've done before so its new territory for me ...which is probably why I thought I should 'have a go'. But its not easy knowing what to make, how many to make or what price to sell it for! Then what happens if it rains? (The tables are outside). What if no one likes what I make? What if too many people like what I make? How much float do I take? What do I keep the float in? What about carrier bags ? Business cards, labels ... agh!!! Is it worth it? (Don't answer that question ...please!)

On the upside the latest issue of Sew Hip is out and my patchwork Summer Bag project is included. I made 2 bags for the project - one in turquoise/blue Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabrics and the other in yellow toned Heather Bailey Pop Garden. I like both fabric ranges but the yellow is so bright and sunny. I really liked the way the magazine styled the bag for the photograph too. I was in good company too this month with dear friend Emma Armstrong who has a table runner in the same issue.

I've got a bit of a crochet bug going on too ... Lucy over at Attic 24 is responsible for that. I'm doing granny squares at the moment with bright Australian wools. My tension isn't so good yet but its so lovely to be able to do something while sitting watching TV with dh. Its also quite restful on my ever failing eyes too. Mind you getting into bed earlier than I have been lately would go a long way to helping them too!

What summer projects are you working on?