Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Stitch Gathering - Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about the Modern Quilt Exhibition in Edinburgh and The Stitch Gathering event (click on the link and see some videos and photos of the day).
Today I want to share the two classes I took and the Goody bag we received.

Morning Workshop

My morning class was with the talented and organiser-extraordinaire Jo Avery to learn how to hand sew a cathedral window pin cushion.  It was lovely to see the variety of fabrics people had chosen!  Some people started on the embroidery panel whilst others started on the fabric folding and ironing.  It was so nice to be in a room full of women of all ages, chatting as though they'd been friends for years - and all of us hand sewing.  I live in a rural part of Scotland and have no sewing friends nearby so this was a real treat for me, and I loved taking it all in.  The classroom was spread out really well with lots of irons and ironing boards and a stunning view of Edinburgh castle and the city.
I didn't finish my pin cushion on the day, but I got as far as stitching a few of the curved fabric lips and Jo came around to make sure everybody was confident with the final steps so that we could finish at home.

And here it is, all finished.
I had never used this kind of embroidery thread before = perle 8 and learnt a tip from Jo about choosing needles with a rounded eye.  She always uses Milward #4 sharps for a successful result.


We stopped for a delicious lunch of sandwiches, mini rolls, wraps, fruit and baked tasty treats.  Then some people took part in a Show and Tell.  It was lovely to see the handiwork of some of the ladies I had met that morning.  Seeing a person's creative work really helps you get to know them.  Sally (not a blogger) showed us some stunning hand stitching and Lynz spoke about a wonderful round-robin quilt.  I had heard of these Round Robin ideas before so was thrilled to actually see one in real life.  There was one young lady, Emily who showed her first ever WIP quilt - Beautiful english paper piecing hexagon flowers.
After the show and tell there was a Lucky Dip - I rummaged around the bottom of the mystery bin to score a roll of green washi tape.  Then we had a Fat Quarter swap - we brought along a fabric 1/4 and placed it onto a table.  Then upon the "ready set SWAP" call we grabbed one to take home.  Here's a pic.

Afternoon Workshop

The afternoon session was longer to include a tea and coffee break.  I went to Fiona Calvert's Quilt making with a Jelly roll class.  (click on the link to see her lovely example of the quilt we were starting)  She recently had her beginner-friendly pattern published in a magazine - I even met a friendly lady named Jane who works on this magazine in this class!  
I took along some chicken-themed fabric that I had collected that didn't have a project, but after seeing the amazing choices I wish I had chosen something new.  Catherine made hers out of some lovely green Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and JB chose a rainbow of plain strips by Robert Kaufmann.  I'll be keeping an eye on their blogs to see them when they're finished.
The beginnings of my quilt - pattern by Fiona Calvert
Fiona did a great job teaching us about sewing bias cut triangles together and there seemed to be two of her, she was so busy getting around to all of us with patient help and assistance.

The Goody Bag

Now this was just surprising!  The sponsors of Stitch Gathering were so generous - we were given a HUGE bag of goodies - and some brands I have never used before - so it is going to be fun to try new things.
Inside there was a bottle of Highland Spring water and 3 individually wrapped oat cakes from Nairn's - both of which I was very glad to have by 11am.  The bag itself was from Liberty and inside was a fat quarter of Liberty Lawn too - I got a floral blue one (seen below, top left) and I love it.
There was also a Frixon pen from Pilot that goes invisible when you iron it - and would you believe that if you want the pen lines back you just pop it into the freezer!  A box of ten threads from sewing machines direct, a spool of aurifil thread, an amazing thread snipper that hangs on a lanyard - this has already come in handy!  And a little fabric pack with perfectly cut out paper hexagons from webfabrics - and the owner of this shop Dolores came all the way over from America to join in the classes.
This group of goodies were from Coats Crafts.  Inside their tote bag was an Opti zip bow brooch, some red quilting thread, two bright fat quarters, some Anchor embroidery floss and Milward between needles and a pen!  This was so generous - the bag just kept going and going with goodies.
 In this photo you can see the water and the two remaining biscuits.  There was also a lovely empty button tin, some liberty scraps from Very Berry fabrics.  I recently read about Ali and her perfectly cut hexagons and papers kits so have purchased some - I shall share soon - but it was really quick service and although there were 70 hexagons in the little kit, NONE were repeats!  Amazing.  The thread and button collection at the back, left of the photo are from The Button Company and we received a bundle of bright fat quarters from Jo's shop Avery Homestore.  There was also a pamphlet reminding us of a place where you can have your patchwork quilted for you  OR they can teach you how to use a long-arm quilting machine and you can do it yourself!  After my last quilting dramas I will definitely be using Beechwood Quilting services in Stirling.

All the goodies!

Oh, and of course the Journey

Whilst we were all making our tickets and nametags there was a flickr group where we could share our creations.  On one of the discussion boards I was able to offer a lift to anyone attending from my area and the lovely Claire took me up on my offer!  We both come from different areas and so met up at a central spot in Perth then drove down together to Edinburgh.  Lucky for me Claire was very familiar with the beautiful residential streets of Edinburgh and we got there on time for all the good fun to start.
Claire and I went halves in petrol but she also very kindly gave me a sweet thank you gift for taking her.  I've never bought a charm pack before, so I am looking forward to lots of pattern researching and idea gathering.
A handmade sewing-themed card and
a pack of pretty 5" coordinating fabric squares!

Of course it was a pleasure and a joy to have company on the journey and to get to know a fellow stitcher.  Plus, it meant I had someone friendly to walk into the building with and to chat with - just in case I felt nervous or shy.

 Thank you to Jo and her wonderful team of teachers and helpers, and to the Sponsors for such generous goodies.
I had a great day out and met some very friendly and creative people.  Thanks to all who attended and made it such a warm and positive day!

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Stitch Gathering - Part One

Yesterday was a big day that I had been looking forward to for quite a while. The Modern Quilt Exhibition in Edinburgh was one of hundreds of events held all over the city of Edinburgh during August, as part of an annual International Arts and Culture Festival.  Many people from all around the world have visited the Modern Quilt exhibition throughout the month at Avery Homestore and yesterday we got to meet many of the fabric artists over bubbly and canapes and to hear the winners of the the People's Choice as voted by the many visitors to the Edinburgh Festival.
Self embellished fabric tickets, one created by each attendee
 - they will be made into a quilt to be auctioned for charity in the future.

This quilt was voted as number one favourite by the visitors to the exhibition and it truly is stunning.  It was made by Katy from The Littlest Thistle as part of a block swap.  It is striking yet thoughtful and just beautiful.

Two other personal favourites

Here are some detailed snaps of a lovely Hexie quilt that I have often admired online and got to see up close and in person for the first time.  It is by Sheila at bluepatch quilter and I find it very inspiring. 

It was the bold, vibrant colours that drew me to this next quilt, a tumbling logs quilt.  I could happily stare and wonder at this quilt for hours.  It is by Jo at myBearpaw and is more dramatic than words can express.

However most of the day was spent participating in two workshops at:

The Stitch Gathering

When a group of women arrive from all over Scotland on an early Sunday morning, they of course need a cup of tea (or coffee) and a sit down.  We soon got to chatting with newly met people before we handed in our self-embellished fabric tickets (displayed altogether in the photo at the top of this post).
Then we had to find the person for whom we had created a nametag.  I made a nametag for Lorna Pascall - and it brought a little tear to her eye when she saw how personal it was, reminding her of a wonderful day she had had climbing the mountain Beinn a'Chlachair, which I had appliqued onto her nametag.  And this is the nametag that she made for me: I truly LOVE IT!!!!  A number of people throughout the day commented on just how beautiful it was.
My actual name
the detailed back - and the lanyard was a tape measure - so sweet.

Here are some close-up photos all of the embellished tickets displayed together.  It is beautiful to see such a variety of creative ideas all together - what an artistic collection of women!  I wonder which block you are most drawn towards?


This post has many photographs already, so I shall write another post about the lovely ladies I met, the workshops and the heaving goody bag that we received!
The next installment can be found here.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Simplicity 2444 - A Toile

I have bought the most lovely fabric to make Simplicity 2444.  (I won't share the fabric just yet but the pattern is 1/2 price in the UK at the moment)
It took me a long time to decide exactly which pattern my cherished fabric should be made into, and the ever popular 2444 seemed to fit the bill the best.  There is enough plain space in the bodice to let the fabric 'sing' and enough pleating in the skirt so as not to let the fabric 'scream.'
To ensure that I get a good fit before cutting into my special fabric, I have made a toile, which is a rare thing at Nessa's Place.  I bought a duvet cover from the local charity shop for £1, washed and ironed it ready to sew this weekend.
Taking photos of the toile has really helped.  At first I thought I may need to lengthen the waist but seeing it here I think I shall leave it as it is.  The neckline is too wide so I will need to bring it in so that the bra straps are covered.  The shoulders are too wide as well.  I intend to make the version with the small sleeves and I would like the seam not to be falling down my arm.  In fact, looking at the bunching fabric at the arm scythe I would say that I may even need to do a smaller size for the entire bodice above the bust.  Or is there something else I could do to alter that bunching out?
As for the back, there is plenty of seam allowance for the zip above the bust but not at the waist - here the fabric only just meets.  Option 1) loose weight.  Option 2) wear spandex/lycra shapewear Option 3) add an extra 5/8 to the waistline by grading out from the bust to the hip on the side seams.  I think I'll go with option 3.
I am not 100% sure but I do think that this may be my first ever pocket and they were very easy to install.
After I have made the real dress, I think I may finish this one off and make it wearable.  I really love this duvet fabric.
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