Saturday, 17 September 2016

Ancient Trinitarian church at Ingham

There is an amazing 14th century church at Ingham, near where I live, with a wonderful tomb of a knight and his lady. Although it has been vandalised since 1380, and their arms have been broken off it is thought that they were lying hand in hand. There are very faint coloured lines just visible on the side of her dress. They would have represented the rich embroidery that would have decorated her dresses in life and there are good explanations of how beautiful the tomb would have been when first made and newly painted.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Contemporary v Modern part two

Generally speaking I believe Contemporary work is made as an emotional response to something - the environment, illness, struggles against adversity, close observation of something, historical events, and the like. Whereas Modern quilts are more playful, with an exploration of colour, line, pattern, scale, and made without any  deeper meaning attached... Just because I enjoy doing them!

My Quilt Eccentric Crosses was made because I had become interested in Modern Quiltmaking and saw lots of different Crosses quilts on line. I had a pack of Oakshott eighths and cut them into squares using the strips left over at the ends to make the crosses. They are free cut in slight curves, through both layers of fabrics RS up. I was playing with the colours so that each square had a different colour in the cross. I laid them out and only felt the need to move one square before I was happy with the layout.

Adding wide borders of uneven widths completed the modern look 

and super quilting by Mandy Parks helped us to a 
Judges Choice at this year's Festival of Quilts.

Below is another of my Modern quilts, Modern Wheels. Again, beautifully quilted by Mandy Parks in an interesting modern pattern. This came about because a group of local quilters wanted to do a block of the month in one of the new patchwork magazines, designed by Lynn Goldworthy of Lily's Quilts. I liked the wheel block but thought the rest uninteresting, so I just worked on that. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Modern versus Contemporary Quiltmaking

I've belonged to the Quilters Guild Contemporary Group for a long time, and have been part of the setup of the new Modern Group.

I would class my Contemporary work as Art. It involves a great deal of mind as well as method.
I made a piece for the Stretching Art Challenge in America called Illuminated Letters and this is what I wrote about it for the submission.

Stretching Art Challenge 16 Illuminated Letters

SAT16: Hidden by Heather Hasthorpe 
Artist: Heather Hasthorpe, Norfolk, UK  

Letter H Half-Understood
I made a sketchbook based on books and writing for The Sketchbook Challenge and spent a lot of time considering how meaning is conveyed through text and imagery. I have now collected a variety of printed text in different languages, most of which I cannot read! I am using these partly for their value as pattern, but also holding in mind that the meaning is obscured both by my lack of knowledge, and the fracturing that the technique produces.

Technique explored
I am using an image transfer method I first saw at Houston being demonstrated by Claire Benn, which I have further explored and developed following workshops with Christine Chester. I have screen printed medium to attach papers to fabric, using thermofax screens.

Techniques used
Image transfer, layering, machine quilting, facing, appliqué 
This is the quilt

More on this in the next post..

Sunday, 11 September 2016

More from Hever Quilt Show

Jackie Norris Who is the Contemporary Quilt
Coordinator came with me and found herself
looking after the CQ Journal Quilts.

I sent a picture of the stall to my husband who responded with, "Nice pic, here's one of me"
And there he is in all his shooting kit...
Well you do need to keep occupied when retired!

And I've taken up dressmaking again, lovely pattern seen at the Festival of quilts, and some nice stripey linen from Wightmans in Bungay which cost less than the pattern!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Hever Quilt Show

I spent a happy three days at the Hever Quilt show demonstrating and showing the Modern Quilt Group sixty degree challenge from last year.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

New Work

At quilt retreat.
I've been attaching bindings, sleeves, and sewing on labels.
I've now got four quilts ready to take to the Quilters Guild Conference next week.
Modern Sampler, designed by Helen Butcher and Helen Howes with one or two additions of my own, also quilted for me by Mandy Parks.
Arrowtail, quilted with an amazing leaf pattern by Mandy Parks.
Modern Improv, that I wrote about in my previous post.
Quartered Moons, nicely quilted for me by Julie Barnes of Quilters Friend.
Now to get on with my Modern Challenge piece.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Making of a Modern Quilt

More scrappiness and leftovers-using-up.

I was anxious to make a quilt that I could enter in the new Modern Category this August at the Festival of Quilts, and picked up a link online to Jenifer Dick who blogs as 42 Quilts. she had run a sewalong on modern Improv blocks called Modern Monday, so I started to play with the idea.

My first block was quite big so I trimmed to finish at 7" rather than 6" which caused some difficulties later! 

I really enjoyed making these however and using up some of the fabrics left over from the Modern Sampler Quilt I'd just finished. See that one here.

Adding in a dark pinky red for contrast helped to spark up the design and a few of my own blocks began to appear... here is a wonky tree, and my version of the winged square.

I made a tall ship, and an improv Oho Star to steer her by. I enjoyed making the oriental lantern, the hashtag,
the apron and Jenifer's lovely original block that she called Santa's Belly! My last block was the improv basket - more of these wil be appearing soon, they are such fun to make.

It isn't very big, as it has to be at least a metre long, and will be about 42". I'm not going to attempt quilting anything bigger.

The next problem is how to quilt it. I haven't quilted anything bigger than a cushion for at least 15 years....

Because the piecing is quite complicated I decided to completely ignore it and go for simple diagonal lines, using masking tape as a guide.After layering the top over the wadding and backing, having pressed everying very well, I pinned across the centre of the join around each block with straight pins. My hands are weak and find safety pins difficult to manage.

I made sure that I started from the same edge each time and stitched down each side of the masking tape. I stabbed myself on the pins a few times and ended up with plastered fingers, but no blood on the quilt! It certainly isn't perfect, but it was manageable and has given a very nice soft drapey finish.

The binding was the next hurdle. I made a flange binding with one-and-a-half inch coloured strip and one-and-a-quarter inch white strip sewn together along their length and pressed in half to make a two inch strip with a small flange of colour just showing. It is attached to the back of the quilt in a continuous strip and I like to join it on the bias. I managed a perfct join but somehow twisted the strip and had to undo... It is then brought to the front and machine stitched down neatly on the coloured flange, mitreing the corners as you go.

And here is the finished quilt. Blocks worked on over three weeks, light relief sewing, and quilted one afternoon, bound the following morning.
A quilt I can enter... and hopefully one that people may think, "I could do that!"