Thursday, 31 May 2012

798 miles

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I said I'd let you know about Mr Pheasant, I'm pleased to report that he's in good health with no sign of any lasting effects to his poorly foot.

Now, its been a bit hectic here, we spent the weekend travelling. Our niece invited us to Norfolk to their second son's Christening. We went via London to visit our girls who are both at uni there and stayed the night with them. On Sunday we drove to Norfolk for the Christening, which was very lovely and very hot.
I made each of the boys a quilt as a Christening gift, the one above I made two years ago for their first son's christening and the quilt below is the one I made this time.
On the label I put their photo, date of birth and Christening date. Quilts are such a personal gift and always much appreciated.
After a lovely day meeting family we drove back to London for a second night, then drove back to Cornwall on Monday.

Our 'turtle' day on Tuesday was spent making sample blocks for our 'Begin Patchwork' course in September. We've chosen some old favourites such as the Log Cabin block above, and some new ones which, once learnt will make beautiful quilts on their own.
The quilt will be constructed using the Quilt-As-You-Go method, so no massive amounts of quilting at the end.
We are going to open our course to day students, by making a weekly programme it will be possible to choose a particular block or method. We think this will be an excellent opportunity for experience patchworkers to expand on their existing skills.

Finally, Carolyn, her three and a half month old grandson and myself went to Bude today to see the Parkhouse Patchwork exhibition, which was as always a lovely show.

Hope you enjoy the long weekend, if possible I will be in the garden and of course make time for a little sewing.

Speak soon, Sue


Friday, 25 May 2012

The other man in my life.....

I would like to share with you the very handsome Mr Pheasant.......

Mr Pheasant had been visiting my garden for at least six years.We've watched him grow, sometimes looking very dishevelled. As with most men he's quite demanding, he shouts for me to go out and feed him and  has been known, as with one Christmas a few years ago, when we heard a tapping on the window, only to look out and see Mr Pheasant standing on a flower pot knocking on the patio door. He comes when I call him and will happily allow me to stand close by while he feeds.
He walks up the pavement and in through the gate quite nonchalantly. I mentioned it at our quilting group, the next time we met Jacqui said, "I've just seen your pheasant walking up the pavement", luckily I had put his food out.

Needless to say he is very welcome in my garden, I don't mind the odd hollow he makes himself to sit in or the scratched lawn under the bird feeder, although my husband doesn't share my thoughts on that, we had a new lawn put down last year, whoops! I don't even mind going out clad in my dressing gown to clear away the snow so he can feed, or donning a rain coat when it's pouring down or letting my meal go cold if he calls at dinner time.
Because of the new lawn I tried to stop feeding the birds for a while, but the garden was lifeless without them. And a special treat this year we've had black birds nesting in the honeysuckle and a second brood in the conifer.

I felt very privileged recently, Mr Pheasant brought his lady friend with him, (only the once, I think she ate too much) so watch this space I may have pheasent-lings (poult) to show you!
He has given me cause for concern today, when I went out to him this morning he could only pitch on one foot, fingers crossed next time he calls he will have recovered, I'll let you know.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed meeting the very handsome Mr Pheasant.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Embellished Books

We showed you recently the results of a 'turtle' day, which involved changing the surface of  fabric, so just to prove we put these fabrics to good use, here are some books covered and stitched ready for sale at our workshops.
If you're interest in making sketch books or journals we are running two workshops later this year. The first is on the 25th October, we will be making fabric paper as the base for the cover, ready for stitch and embellishment. On the 1st November we are making the book itself, with an option to try a variety of techniques to paint the papers.
This a great way to personalize your book, either for you own use or as a lovely gift.
If you fancy one or both of these workshops the details will be on our web site soon.

Speak soon

Friday, 18 May 2012

Short post

Oh dear, it has been a while since our last blog. Sorry we haven't been here, we have been keeping busy though, taking workshops and arranging new courses for Sept onwards, which will be on our web site soon.

Our 'turtle' day this week was a shopping trip to buy fabric for our 'Begin Patchwork' course in Sept, hope to post some photo's of work in progress.

We took a lovely Sail Boat workshop yesterday with our Trelyn Quilters group, the side panel is a freecut piece which is a liberating method and the ladies made a wonderful job of it. Most of them got the quilting done and will bring them back at the next meeting so we'll take some photo's and put onto our flickr page.

This has been a short post but just wanted to keep you up-to-date, I have some very welcome visitors staying at the moment and they need lunch, so bye for now.


Monday, 7 May 2012

Exhibition Day Out

Hope you've enjoyed the long weekend. We've been expecting a downpour this weekend, but thankfully nothing has arrived, which has meant we could continue to tidy up the garden. I love this time of year when old favorites start to poke their heads up through the soil.
We found time from gardening on Saturday to visit an art exhibition by two cornish artists, Michael Praed and Terry Whybrow at Trebehor, near Sennen. A while ago I started working in my sketchbook using Michael as my inspiration, which I hope to turn into textiles at some point in the future. While I was studying my City and Guilds course I was drawn to cubism, overlapping shapes and transparency, all of which Michael depicts beautifully in his sail paintings.
These are some pages from my sketchbook, I'm not someone who has ever been able to draw, but we must start somewhere.
Down the right hand side is a print taken from a hand carved lino block.

The exhibition is on until the 11th May if you're down that way take a look, the details can be found on the Eleven and a Half web site.
Hope you enjoyed a peep into my sketchbook, maybe I should join an art class!
See you soon

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Catching up with our 'turtle' day

As Carolyn mentioned in her blog this week, after a little admin we got down to business and worked on some new designs for a workshop at the end of this month (more of that later).
As our name suggests we like to take patchwork 'beyond' sometimes and dissolvables are a great way to add embellishments to projects, this time we worked onto Vanishing Muslin.

The inspiration for this piece was taken from a drawing of the pattern on my bedroom chair using variegated thread.

Carolyn stitching a dissolved piece onto transfer dyed fabric.

Vanishing Muslin is dissolved with the heat of an iron, it goes brown and crusty which is then rubbed away, this is before and after the ironing process.

Now for our workshops this month, we are holding two at Fraddon Village Hall. The first one on Tuesday 8th is a Finishing Off day, by that we mean anything that you may need a little help or inspiration with to take to the next stage and closer to finishing. If you let us know in advance we are happy to bring along mixed media products, such as paints and markel paint sticks etc to enable you to add stencils or printing.
Then on Tuesday 22nd we are doing our Dissolvables Workshop, hopefully you can see from the photo's above it's a lovely workshop.
The hall is very spacious with good parking, disable access and facilities. So if you fancy coming along you can find all the datails on our web site.

Finally, I love Carolyn's Fun-Bug Wigwam, my girls would have loved to have that in the garden.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Fun-Bug Wigwam

The Fun-Bug Wigwam - Carolyn

Something else that I have been working on recently is a 'Wigwam' for my Grand-daughters.  Several years ago, when my son was little, my mum made one for him for Christmas.

Now I have Grandchildren, it has fallen to me to make them for the next generation and this is the 4th one that I have made.

Generally I use plain fabric and make them look more authentic, but this Bug panel caught my eye and I am really rather please with the finished effect.  The girls love it and hopefully they will have hours of fun.
Like Sue, I have been busy doing monthly Journal Quilts for the Quilters Guild - Contemporay Groups challenge.  

I have wanted for a long time, to explore different textures and mixed media in the safety of a small quilt, so the Journal Quilt Challenge was, I thought an ideal opportunity.  I have played with mixed media before, but thought that I would be able to indulge myself more if I gave myself only a few boundaries. So there will be a theme to each JQ, in so much as I will predominately use only the colour of the month for the fabrics, threads and notions. 

Also the base fabric will be constructed using the same technique, for example; for the RED months I used variations on the “Cut & Sew” method, and for the YELLOW months I will use the ”Whole Cloth” method. I have yet to decide on the BLUE months. 

Martian Threads - Carolyn

January                Martian Threads
I started by using the basic Cut & Sew method to make this base fabric, and gradually altered the cutting to make larger and smaller sections.  Layers of Angelina fibres, voile and netting where added before I embellished with straight machine quilting and hand-stitching.  The name for the quilt comes from the darker thread that I have couched onto the piece; it reminds me of a thread that I saw covering plants on the coastal path in Cornwall, which, as a family, we named Martian Threads.  The base fabric is made from a selection of cotton, vintage ticking, suedette and linen.
Red Fusion - Carolyn

February              Red Fusion
While making the January JQ I fused together, threads, snippets of ribbon and shavings of wax crayons in a laminated pouch.  I liked the finish effect but didn’t think that it was applicable for that JQ, so I saved it for later.   After making the base fabric again using mainly vintage ticking, velvet, cotton and fabric paper, I burnt away parts of the laminate sheet and attached it to the top of the piece.  I have used small paper fasteners, free machining and hand-stitching, including French knots and seed stitches.  I am pleased with the overall effect of this JQ and the way that the plastic mixes with the natural.   
Sand-Scapes - Carolyn

March                  Sand-Scapes
I used mainly vintage ticking and cotton on this JQ which I free-cut and pieced together before attacking with the rotary cutter for the Cut & Sew effect.  I overlaid with voile before cutting again and the effect adds another texture to the piece.  I have used fine wire and wire mesh to add more texture which I have free machined and couched into place.  I highlighted areas with acrylic paint and seed stitching.  .  I have several photos taken on our local beach of patterns in the sand; one in particular has very similar movement, waves and variety of colour, which is why I named this JQ “Sand-scapes”.

Blooming Red - Carolyn

April                      Blooming Red
I have used a selection of linen, cotton, flannel, velvet and vintage ticking to make the Cut & Sew base fabric for this JQ. I randomly pieced some of the fabrics together before bonding on to a piece of calico and starting the Cut & Sew process.  I like the variation in smooth and rough that is achieved by this method.   Using dissolvable fabric I free machined the rosette which I then couched
onto the backing fabric.  The rest of the piece is free machined and hand-stitched, painted with red fabric paint and over painted with gold acrylic.  Although I really like the background fabric I am not so happy with the finished JQ – hence its title! 

I'm rather looking forward to doing the Yellow months now and may use the fabric that I made on our first Turtle Day last week!!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Latest News

Well, Sue has eventually got me blogging!!!  She had to wait until she had my un-divided attention and then sat me down in front of the computer.....aaaaargh!!

So here goes;  we are about to start another Turtle Day but first want to let you know about our new courses in September - Begin Patchwork with Beyond Patchwork!

Over the course of a 6 week programme we will take you through the basics of Patchwork.  This will include rotary cutting, making a selection of blocks, machine piecing and finishing; along with many more tips to enable you to make your first beautiful lap quilt.  The course will be held on Tuesday’s between 10:00am and 4:00pm at Fraddon Village Hall, just off the A30 near Kingsley Village, starting on 4 September 2012.

(Workshop dates are: 4 Sept, 25 Sept, 16 Oct, 13 Nov, 27 Nov & 4 Dec 2012).

Please contact us by email on for further information.

Now to start playing - see you  later. Carolyn