Monday, 27 August 2012

Bank holiday weekend

I hope you all had a good Bank holiday weekend.  True to form, the weather here in Yorkshire was PANTS!!  We had a lot of this...



But, we still had a lovely relaxing weekend.  It started with going to the theatre to see this...


(The Phantom of the Opera - absolutely amazing.  Fantastic music.  If you ever get the chance, go see it)

I did some piecing on these ...



Relaxed watching some of these ...


whilst having a glass or two of this ...


I even managed to get some time in the kitchen making some of these ...



then had to run a few miles in these!!!!! ...


And my husband made me this hanging 'batterie de cuisine' to go over my island in the kitchen because I wanted some better 'task' lighting for whilst I am preparing and cooking food.  I now have great downlights over my work area and can put my Moroccan tagine and Spanish bowls on top.  How great is that?!




He even managed to service this...


This is my second machine that I use in the house (my Bernina is used all the time in my studio) but it just decided to stop stitching.  Anyway, all is well now.

Quite a productive weekend I'd say!

The holiday weekends go too fast but we enjoy them all the same.  Hope you all had a good one too.

Chris



Monday, 20 August 2012

Maggie's quilts

I have a customer called Maggie and she has only been quilting for about 3 years.  I was working on one of her quilts last week.  Apparently the block is called 'alternative drunkards path'  I have never seen this block before.  The quilt was big and she just wanted an allover pattern on it.  It was so big I had nowhere to lay it out to get a full photo.  It was a rainy day and the only space large enough to get a flat photo was on the lawn and the grass was wet.  So here are just a few snippets of her quilt.





 I've just realised that these photos are before I started to stitch on it but I did a panto called 'swirling'.


The previous quilt I did for her was this one - AMAZING!!!!

I don't think I could make one of these after 23 years of quilting, never mind 3!!!!




Once I had closed my mouth, we decided that it really needed to be custom quilted.  I stitched in the ditch round all the applique - must have been miles of thread not to mention hours of time!


I did a feather wreath in the centre of the stars and continuous curve in and around the points.  I then spent hours doing a pebble and peacock meander all over the background.





She is so modest about her talent that it took a couple of good friends to persuade her to enter it into one of our quilt show and guess what.... She won a ribbon, YAY!!!!  Well done Maggie.

I've looked at this pattern for the quilt many times and wondered if I should make one but Maggie has set the bar too high.

Another quilt I was working on last week was for Philippa.  It was a huge one made of 'Blueberry Crumbcake' fabric.  It measured 100 x 118 inches so again I could only get a photo of it draped over the machine.  Philippa likes an allover pattern in the centre of her quilts with a separate design in the border.



I did a pattern called 'pretty posises' in the centre and a swirling feather in the border.  I think you can just about see the stitching.

Any bloggers out there that can give me some tips on getting the stitching to show up better on photos, please feel free to impart your wisdom!!

Happy Quilting

Chris

Sunday, 19 August 2012

How it all began

I just thought you might like to see some of my older quilts, ones I made pre-Gammill days.  When the boys were younger, I only ever had time to make small quilts.  (I am always in awe of all you young mums out there making the most awesome quilts on a regular basis - I don't know how you do it!)  These were made and quilted with an allover meander on my Bernina sewing machine.





This is how most of those small quilts have ended up!  As a very comfy place to have a nap - better still when the lamp at the side is switched on, as then it is even cosier!



Then they started to get a little bigger....

Looking at this quilt, I notice that the borders are obviously too small for the quilt so it doesn't lie flat, but I don't care.  It has been washed many times and is so soft and snuggly and sits on the arm of my sofa for days when all you want to do is light the log burner, watch a film and snuggle down (We get a lot of those days here in England!!)





Then the boys got their first set of bunk beds and these two quilts were made using similar fabrics but different blocks.  You can tell that I like scrap quilts.  Again these have been washed and washed and are sooooo soft.





This is one I made just because I wanted to!  Another scrap quilt.


Like most quilters, we have run out of beds to put quilts on, so now they start appearing on the wall!  This one I made using some lovely plaid fabrics and decided that if I was going to be a 'proper' quilter, I was going to have to hand quilt at least one.  This is it!!




Just look at those HUGE stitches!  Oh well, at least I can say I have done it.  It's machine stitching all the way from here on in.

Hope you are not getting bored - there are plenty more where they came from!!  Stay tuned.

Happy Quilting

Chris

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Finished!!

This is a really short post just to show you my 2 quilts for our local show that I finally finished.  All I have to do now is sew a hanging sleeve on the back and they are ready to be dropped off at the showground.




I was really happy with the curved binding on this one.  I managed to curve around each feather in the border and I made a multicoloured binding using the plain fabrics in the Circa 1934 fat quarter bundle that I had. I don't want to be doing any pebble background fill for a while but I do like how it makes the feathers stand out.



 I made a scrappy binding for this using offcuts of the Fandango fabric that I had.


Again. I apologise for the quality of the photos!  The colours all seem rather washed out.  Must do better!



I have really fallen in love with the urban 9 patch block and have started another one!  I've only made 4 blocks so far, but I have 36 cut out waiting to be sewn together.  What do you think?




I was wondering whether to add further borders and make it into an Urban Deco block, like this

This was my 'try out' block.  Before getting stuck in with the rotary cutter when making a new quilt that I am not sure how easy it will be to piece, I make a practice block using scraps.  This one will be made into a cushion one fine day.

I've had a really busy week and quilted 6 quilts so far but they were all brought in before I had my blog so didn't ask if I could photograph and blog about them.  I have taken photos of some and when they are collected, I will ask their owners.  If they say yes, I will post some pictures of them.

Hope you are all managing to get some quality quilting time in.

Chris


Friday, 10 August 2012

Thank you, thank you!

I just want to say a big thank you to Katy for tweeting and blogging about my new blog.  I also want to say another big thank you to all of you that took the time to post such lovely comments.  I am very touched.  I know that some of you asked me questions and I will endeavour to reply to you as soon as possible.

As Katy so rightly says, I am very new to this technology stuff so you will have to be patient with me if I post photos upside down, forget to add links and generally make the odd booboo!!  You may find it hard to believe but I didn't have a proper mobile phone till last weekend - hands up you in the back row having a good laugh!!!  I had an old pay as you go phone that still had the original £20 credit on it when it finally died! (5 years after purchase!)  I'm the sort of girl that if she wants a chat, makes a cup of tea then sits down in an armchair to have a good chinwag on the house phone.  I now have a brand spanking new Samsung Galaxy Note to play with so there is plenty of potential for mishaps.  Scary!!

Enough of that.  I just thought I would post some pictures of a quilt I made over 2 years ago.  The story behind it goes like this.......

My Dad died 3 years ago this November and for the final month of his life he was cared for in a wonderful Hospice in West Worthing, Sussex called St Barnabas Hospice.  He had Alzheimer's and cancer and that last month in the hospice was a real blessing.  It allowed my mum, who had been his carer for over 7 years, to just spend time with him, talking and sitting with him without having to worry about all the physical aspects of careing for a very confused sick man.  Likewise my sister and I were able to visit freely and spend time with him, even though, at times, he didn't know who we were!!

When he died, I wanted to make a quilt in his memory and then give it to the hospice to use for fundraising.  This is the quilt I made.




It is a Dresden plate quilt made of all the brightest, most cheerful scraps I could find in my scrapbag.  I quilted it with an allover pattern called 'bubbles'.  I presented it to the hospice and hoped they could use it to make a good sum of money to use for their good work.  18 months later, I got a phone call to say that they had no idea of its intrinsic worth and didn't know how to use it to raise funds.  Long story short, I said  would take it back and use it to raise funds for them myself and then just send them the cheque.  I had almost forgotten what it looked like but when I collected it, I fell in love with it all over again.  Therefore, I just thought I would share some photo's of it with you.  I am still trying to figure how I can raise funds with it but when I do, I will give you an update on what I managed to make for the hospice.  Our hospices here in the UK are totally free (you may have them in the USA too?) and they do a marvelous job careing for the terminally ill and they rely heavily on fundraising to keep going.  Making a quilt to raise funds was certainly less painful than running a marathon to do likewise!!!

This was not meant to be a sad post.  I just did it because I have been moved reading many blogs which have shown how quilters have responded to family crisis, environmental disasters, war hero's, sick and needy children and babies etc.  by making a quilt from the heart and using it for good.  After all, a quilt is a big fat fabric hug!!

Happy quilting

Chris

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Quilting in a hurry!!



Just thought you would like a sneaky peek at 2 quilts of mine that I am trying to get quilted to go in our local quilt show.  As usual, it is an 11th hour job.  I usually have about 30 customer quilts waiting on my rail to be quilted so my quilts have to sit lonely and unquilted in a corner until some deadline looms (show, birthday etc) and I have to get a move on.  Fortunately for me, my husband was away working in Singapore all last week so I was able to do some late nights

The first one is a Dresden plate quilt made using 'Fandango' by Kate Spain and a Moda Bella solid called 'mist'.  I outlined all the plates and the flying geese and then filled in with a mixture of pebbles and peacock swirls.  Once I had done 1 block I was committed!!  There are 24 more to do.  I was staring so hard, and obviously not blinking much, that my contact lenses we sticking to my eyeballs!!  YUK - I also have a feeling that I stick my tongue out whilst concentrating on all the small pebbles too - not a pretty sight!  I think it will look nice once it is done but it is going to take quite some time to finish all that filler.  Pity there are only 24 hours in a day and I need to sleep for some of them!

I have taken this off the machine now and will put it back on at the weekend to do some more.





The next quilt is an 'urban 9 patch' made using the Quick Curve Ruler by Jenny Pedigo of Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I used some Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket for Moda and a Bella solid in Etchings Charcoal.  Again I have committed to lots of pebbling - more fool me!  My eyeballs won't know what has hit them.  Might need to wear my glasses to sew over the weekend.




I apologise for the poor quality of the photo's.  My camera is not very good.  Now I am officially a 'Blogger'! I will have to put a nice camera on my Christmas/birthday wish list.  I will take some better ones later and also of them finished but just thought you might like to see what I have been up to.  There are some pretty awesome longarm quilter bloggers our there, as well as patchworkers, so if you are reading this - please be gentle with me!!  Most of my work is sewing pantograph patterns so I don't get much time to practice custom work.

Happy Quilting

Chris




Monday, 6 August 2012

Welcome to my blog and my first post!

Hello!  Let me introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me.  I've been a patchwork quilter for over 20 years and a longarm quilter for the last 8.  I have just quilted my 1000th quilt (not all mine, Ha Ha !!) so you can probably guess that my longarm quilting business is more or less full time.  I feel really blessed to have been able to turn my passion into a business and I am continually inspired by the quilts that cross my path. I work from a purpose built studio at the bottom of our garden so the daily commute is a breeze!!
My studio peeking through the trees at the bottom of the garden
My trusty Gammill
My sewing and cutting corner

As well as quilting quilts for customers, I try to do a little piecing for myself each day, even if only half an hour or so,  and so this blog will be featuring quilts I am working on for customers (with their permission, of course) and projects I am working on for myself.  I hope you enjoy my posts and I will try to keep them 'picture heavy', because if you are anything like me, you really enjoy looking at all the photos.

I hope you like the name of my blog!  I have to give credit to my friend and fantastic blogger Katy as she is the one who christened me 'longarm Chris'!!  So, as they say - if the name fits!!