quilt shows

Scary Saturday

Bit of a change from last week. Chris got back from Festival and remarked to her husband that she maybe needed a new sewing machine, hers was sounding very rough. Not a wise comment to make to an engineer who enjoys a challenge. This was the result.

Hopefully by tomorrow it will be in one piece again ready to stitch back together all the lovely fabric that just somehow fell into the shopping bag!  (AaghBarbara has just found out what has happened and is trying to persuade Chris to go back to Festival of Quilts tomorrow and buy a new machine- we’ve got LOTS of stitching planned!)

But the good news is – (cue trumpet fanfare)

Our new book is out! We found it on the Traplet stand. So it is a ‘secret project’ no longer.

Inspiration, quilt shows, Travel

Welsh quilts and kites

To Llanidloes with friends to catch the exhibition of antique Welsh quilts at the Minerva Arts Gallery. The exhibition closes Bank Holiday weekend, but if you can squeeze in a visit before that then do, it’s well worth it. We started with a coffee (as you do), went and looked round the quilts and took a few photos. Then back to the vegetarian cafe (The Oak Tree – highly recommended) for lunch, back to the quilts via the second-hand book shop and the antique shop, more quilt photos and back to the cafe for more coffee and cake – the most enormous slices you’ve ever seen – some of us admitted defeat and requested a ‘doggy bag’, others of us were enjoying our slices too much and ate it all (but strangely, didn’t feel like eating much later that evening!). Then from Llanidloes to Rhayader to see the kites. We’d seen one on our journey across the top of Wales (somewhere between Welshpool and Newtown I think we were), but the kite feeding station at Rhayader gives you the opportunity to see them close up. And they are magnificent birds – to see them swooping and diving only a few feet from you as they dodge the ravens to get at the food is amazing. They move so quickly and the camera takes photos so slowly that most of the photos taken were of empty sky or field with maybe a small black blob in the distance. We could have stayed for hours, but needed to wend our way home. We went the ‘scenic’ route – a tad more scenic than we originally intended when we missed a turning, but we got to see some beautiful countryside and lovely little towns and villages along the borders.

Back to reality today – preparing Blue Peters for tomorrow’s jelly roll class. What do you mean – they should have been done earlier?!

Electric Quilt, Inspiration, possibilities, Teaching

Electric Quilt

By popular demand …. the next EQ6 class will be on Saturday 27th November at Stone Station. This time we’ll be looking at Creating Quilts with EQ6. Further details and a booking form are on the website. Sadly, its not the first Saturday of the month, so no Farmers’ Market but that near to Christmas there will be some form of entertainment in the town – we’ll keep you posted nearer the time. Places limited to 8, so ‘book early to avoid disappointment’! In the meantime, here’s a couple of quilts (no borders yet) conjured from the last class –

See you at Malvern …

quilt shows

Quilts in the Garden

…. or at the Racecourse. Just been up to Uttoxeter Racecourse to deliver quilts ready for hanging. It’s very easy to find – just follow the signs for ‘Racecourse’ (but not the ones for Racecourse Parking). There’s loads of parking around the venue – follow the signs once you’re on site. There are two interlinked large rooms with quilts and demonstrators in one and traders and exhibition in the other. We’ll be back there tomorrow to set up our demonstration stand – today they are hanging the quilts. The loos are in the same building (!) and there are caterers on site too. And it won’t blow away! What more could we want.  Look forward to seeing you over the weekend; do come by and say ‘hello’.

quilt shows, Travel

Quilts in the Garden – Trentham

Or, as we hope everyone knows by now, not at Trentham but at Uttoxeter. The Events Pavilion at Trentham Gardens was badly damaged by a snowfall and there was no certainty that it would be repaired/replaced by April 9th so Margaret took the decision to relocate to Uttoxeter Racecourse. A wise move as the Pavilion site is still a fenced off hole in the ground. The Racecourse is really easy to get to from both the M1 and M6 – you need the A50, which is dual carriageway all the way to Uttoxeter and the Racecourse is clearly signposted. As its only about a 25 minute drive from Trentham  you can still drop the family off there and come to the quilt show (or vice versa – they drop you off first). The Racecourse has caterers onsite and it’s a ‘proper’ building (this means it should be warm and will not blow away! B).

We will be there demonstrating and are busy trying to decide just what we will be demonstrating (apart from our skill at procrastination). We’re finishing off quilts both for the Show and to ‘dress’ our stand with – making sleeves and finding labels (I know Margaret sent me some, just which safe place did I put them in??), making binding….

We hope to see many of you over the 3 days (April 9th – 11th) – do drop by to say ‘hello’. And please let everyone know the venue has changed.

quilt shows, quilting

Filling in (quilt show) forms

Virtue is our middle name!   We’ve both managed to fill out (and mail) our entry forms for the Quilts in the Garden show at Trentham in April – so we’ll have clear consciences with regard to supporting our local quilt show.  We’ve mustered a grand total of 6 quilts, 3 each, and it has to be said that they are being entered strictly to support the show rather than to display our skills.  Whoever  first coined the timeless phrase “Finished is better than perfect” is most definitely our sort of quilter!  Closing date for entry forms (if anyone needs a gentle reminder) is the end of this month and forms can be downloaded from www.mqexhibitions.co.uk .

Barbara is busy rummaging and sorting through her magazine mountain – it’s a fit of tidying that happens every year at this time and results in many smaller mountains of magazines being put into a box to take to class and recycle. Once upon a time it was possible to subscribe to (nearly) all the quilting magazines – there were about 8 titles – but now the list is almost endless. Here are the main ones we both see on a regular basis – thanks to the excellent service from The Contented Cat (www.contentedcat.co.uk)

So now we know where some of that elusive and precious stitching time went last year – just a little too much browsing and reading ………

quilt shows

Quilts in the Garden

The conversation over coffee yesterday turned to the topic of quilt shows and the reluctance of lots of folks to enter their work into the larger commercial (and judged) shows.  

We are really lucky here in Staffordshire – we’re within comfortable travelling distance of Quilts UK and the Autumn Quilt Fair at Malvern, the Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate, the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham and now we have Quilts in the Garden at Trentham and the Quilters one day Sale at Nantwich.  The Trentham show is outrageously close for both of us and we’ll be taking our usual demonstration space again in 2010.  But, quilt shows need quilts,  so we’re going to be doing some “persuading” of students (and, of course, ourselves!)  to enter their quilts for Quilts in the Garden (closing date 31 January 2010 ladies) so that we can support our local show in an appropriate way. 

Quilt shows are about far more than the winners and retail therapy.  Of course, winning quilts are inspirational and to be admired and aspired to, but more often than not it’s the non-winning quilts that are thought-provoking and of great interest to the viewing public – different colour and pattern combinations, different skill levels, different reasons for making, but all combining to provide a feast for the eyes and food for thought.  So, although we’re not going to do anything rash like make New Year’s Resolutions, we are going to be campaigning in 2010 for more of us to enter shows, local or national … we’d love to hear your opinions!

And here are a couple of tops from our Grow Your Own Quilt class earlier this year – wonder if these might be hanging at Trentham in April??