Festival of Quilts and Modern Quilt/quilting

finished boxes quiltOh what joy The Festival of Quilts was!  I was so glad I went on Saturday.  It was a lovely day. I drove over to Birmingham with my daughter-in-law, Nicola from Market Harborough – and easy drive.  So many gorgeous quilts – although by the time we left and now that I have had a chance to see some coment about it, I obviously missed some super ones that were in special areas.  Not good news for the punters but it didn’t seem that busy, either.  I came across some of my previous students.  What did I like best?  The Tentmakers of Cairo – such gorgeous work and so meticulously done and a delight to speak with the men making them.

Some months/a year ago I wrote about What is Modern Quilting and did struggle a bit to define it – other than saying that is an approach to quilting that includes traditional blocks but maybe with tweeks to them (improv); often using solid fabrics; simple approaches; not necessarily symmetrical; and in some way easier without the discipline traditional patchwork/quilting requires.  Many would argue with me on that but the British is what I know – Many of the quilts at the Festival, I felt were modern or/and arty.  There were fewer traditionally blocked quilts but many with gorgeous free-motion quilting.  Most of them I really enjoyed.

I thought you would be interested in the comments by Luana Lubin – who is a well-known fabric designer and quilt shop owner (www.equilter.com).  I find her newsletter really informative when it comes to discussions about fabric and  like their sales as well.  Sign up for a newsletter and you also will be bitten.  In any event, she came to The Festival of Quilts last week and here is what she said about modern quilting!

“Tonight I am at a hotel near the Birmingham UK airport, and when you read this I’ll be flying home after my week as a sponsor and speaker at the Festival of Quilts. I am thinking about trends in quilting – UK/Europe compared to the US.

When I speak to quilters here, most of them really don’t understand the Modern Quilt movement yet. The few that have seen the modern quilts – mostly in magazines – are interested but not clear what it’s all about. In the exhibit there were lots of traditional quilts, lots of embellished quilts, and several with 3-dimensional elements or painterly treatments pointing toward more of a fine arts perspective.

susanafterwright

In the image above I’ve created a collage, with Susan Atkinson’s graphic “After Wright” quilt (from the Festival of Quilts) which is obviously inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, with several modern geometric fabrics that we have in stock right now. In case you have a hard time distinguishing the difference – her quilt detail photo is in the lower right hand corner of the collage above.

Although I did not see a clear quilt design trend emerging from this show, I did get a sense that it was a boiling pot of energy, looking for a new direction. Maybe a European version of modern quilting will emerge. Perhaps the painterly/abstract/geometric contemporary fiber arts will develop more and emerge as more of a mainstream quilt trend. There was a lot of interest in Luke Haynes giant portrait quilts, and Lea McComas’ threadpainting techniques. Whatever happens, I would say that it is a very pregnant time for the creative quilters of the UK and European quilt scene! I can’t wait to see what happens next! (Photos coming in the next week.) ”

But I would like to know what she thinks Modern Quilting is – her link sends us to geometrically designed fabrics, not to quilts but they are asmall part of what Modern Quilting is.

Below is what the Modern Quilt Guild, U.S. says they are:

“We define modern quilts as quilts that are functional, include bold colors, and are inspired by modern design. Minimalism, asymmetry expansive negative space, and alternate grid work are often a part of modern quilt compositions, as are improvisational piecing and solid fabrics.”

But I really think they are more than that!

Here is a quote from Angela Pingel who went through a similar questioning about Modern Quilting two years ago (I’m a slow learner):

Modern quilting is a new twist on the traditional art of quilting. This may mean something as simple as using a traditional quilt block and updating it in a fresh, fun new way. That includes using modern fabrics, modifying the block arrangement or even the scale of the block. The piecing could be improvisational and wonky, or it could be very exact and measured, following a pattern or creating your won. The quilting could be traditional stippling, clean straight lines, or a very “free” have fun and quilt-as-you-go style. Fabrics could be upcycled vintage sheets, custom digital printed fabric, a yummy selection from one of the new modern fabric designers, or an old fabric from an ever growing stash.

Modern quilting is sometimes difficult to define because in many ways the definition is as individual as the quilter – changing from quilter to quilter. In addition to reflecting the individual personality and personal style of the quilter, it also reflects the current aesthetic of the day. 

Modern quilting is also about the attitude and the approach that modern quilters take. It respects the amazing artistry and talent of the tradition of quilting, while allowing the quilter to challenge the “rules”. In fact, if there were one rule in modern quilting, it would be that there are no rules.

The concept of modern quilting is not meant to divide or segregate. It is meant to welcome new quilters, of all ages, to the world of quilting in a style that they can relate to. In many ways, modern quilting takes us back to the basics of the early quilters, when women of the day used the colors and styles of their time to express themselves creatively”

So I can feel comfortable about the above but it is Not the official definition – it is an old definition from 2011.  So where do we go from here?  Your turn:

 

 

So many things going on in my head!

Do you have that problem – I really do have a butterfly mind – I sit down at the computer – to check emails, or surf for something specific and something catches my eye and away I go.  Tutorials, bags, lessons – I belong to several sites which require payment – The Quilt Show and QNTTV or something like that.  I love watching and learning AND stretching myself and my knowledge. I keep learning new things AND keep buying things as well.  My friend from the U.S brought me so many goodies that I had bought and sent to her to bring over here.  – oh such a wonderful mixture of everything!! The best – a bag of 1 pound of hand dyed scraps from Ricky Timms and the fabrics are so beautiful – a total of 3 yards of fabric strips – minimum 4.5″ x WOF.  Any suggestions as to what I could make with it?  I will come up with something.

It has been a while since I wrote and really life has been hectic.  I have been trying to decide if I am a Modern Quilter or a Traditional Quilter.  Between my teaching and my quilting – I really love spreading the word about the joys of quilting.  Therapeutic is the word for quilting.  Recently read on Missouri Star of a woman who was born with a serious birth defect which required her to spend 2 months in hospital every year for her whole life, which was predicted to be early 20s.  She learned to sew as a teenager and started around 17 to sew while she was in hospital.  Well she has been making quilts ever since – particularly in the hospital – the sewing distracts from the pain she suffers – but she is now 62 – what a star – and she blames the quilting and the joy of both distracting but also so much happiness in what she is doing.

Back to my subject —

  • Well I prefer quilts which are NOT regimented into the same block in the same colours across the entire  quilt.
  • I prefer patterned fabrics – traditional or modern or reproduction or whatever – all fabrics attract me –
  • I think I prefer blenders which have been printed in a tone on tone way to solid colours – but also
  • I see the virtue in the dullness of solid colours to liven up the other fabrics in a print.
  • I have the feeling that modern quilting seems to choose the easy patterns BUT
  • I really enjoy some of the short cuts to make life easier – and different – well you know – nine patch to disappearing nine-patch and so on.
  • Other than matching point detail and my strict quarter-inch seam, I tend to do my own thing but still follow either a pattern or an idea. – Is that modern or me?

Over to you –

Ann

New classes for spring – let’s make a quilt!

Spring quilt classes – bookings now open!

2015 Southdown’s Quilter Workshops
Patchwork/Quilting Classes

 

Beginner Patchwork & Quilting class*

kaf fas beg

Fridays, 8th/ 15th/ 22nd May; 5th/ 12th/19th June; 3rd/ 17th July. 8 x 3 hour sessions 9.30 – 12.30 pm £140

In this class you learn the relevant and necessary skills for you to begin your journey into quilt making.  Check out the course description to the right.
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Skill Builder Courses

meeting the last Friday of every month except August – finishing 30th October 2015.

A challenging group of classes covering a technique each month. Each block challenges you. – £25 per class. 3 classes for £70. Intermediate level

27th Mar – Bargello                               24th April – Lone Star
29th May – Sashiko                                26th June – New York Beauty
31st July – Friendship Bouquet            25th Sept – Applique

30th Oct – Butterfly box

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One day classes!
Monday, 11th May 2015  – Getting to know your sewing machine.
1 – 5 pm – £30
Tuesday, 5th May – Fusible applique: make a wall hanging 1 – 5 pm. £30
Saturday, 16th May– Make a quilt in a day!* –using pre-cut fabric! You supply the fabric. (advice given)9.30–4.30pm £40
Wednesday, 3rd June – Storrington Quilters’ Bag Day* – choose one of our patterns and your fabrics, make a bag in a day! – 9.30 – 4 pm. £15 for visitors who are welcome.- places limited!
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Venue: All courses are delivered at The Old School, School Lane, Storrington RH20 4LL.
Tutor: Ann Till, 01903 745625; Email: anntill2@tiscali.co.uk.
Blog: http://www.southdownsquilter.wordpress.com for detailed information about the courses.
All courses require sewing machines.
*Suitable for beginners to quilting.
Date for September classes will be announced shortly. Interested?, please let me know.

Sorted – Intermediate Quilting Class 2015

Well I really have to get better at WordPress – but it takes so much time to make a page – I know, if I were better, gosh, I could do a class – I would be faster at page making.  So I haven’t cracked how to text wrap around photos – or for that matter how to make a gallery, yet, because that would be really useful when it comes to my classes:  just open a gallery and put their work in- how super would that be?

So today I have re-written the Intermediate class description – yet again and this time I managed to get photos of all nine blocks they make in the class downloaded – but text wrap – no;  gallery – no; same size – no – but at least they are there and look almost decent – don’t you think?    So check out the description of the Intermediate quilt under my workshops and tell me what you think!  Here is the best photo of four of the blocks:

Four Intermediate blocks

Four Intermediate blocks

These are the Bouquet block, Lone star block, my applique block(unfinished as yet) and the New York Beauty block.  I love my fabrics – Australian (and by the way, it is an Australian turtle as well);  They are all 12 1/2″ blocks and we will be assembling the quilt after the October class.  I think I will keep to the same techniques/blocks  – strip piecing; foundation piecing; inset seams; applique; stars and circles, etc. unless at the end, the present students recommend otherwise!    Each one of the class, is using such fun fabrics and taking advantage of them as well.

Busy week – madly trying to finish my Becolourful quilt by Jacqueline De Jonge,How To Make A Becolourful Quilt and it is coming along but not fast enough.

I have also been getting ready for two classes – Beyond Beginners and particularly the Beginner class that started on Tuesday – they have so much to learn in that first session, it is amazing they can stay the 3 hour pace.  In Storrington Quilters we are making a Winter quilt with penguin appliques – and real penguin appligues, not childish ones – there are 17 different kinds of penguins, and we hope to include them all.

I am off to Cyprus for a week for sun, swimming, reading and relaxation. I will need it since the week I get back is just as busy.

Happy quilting

Ann

 

Autumn Classes have begun and some new ones planned!

Oh it is such fun starting up new classes.  The Beyond Beginners class started, almost 2 weeks ago – a new student among some of the previous ones.  What fun it is as well.  BUT FIRST = let me tell you about two classes I am planning with people already scheduled to attend.

1 Make a Quilt in a Day = 7th November – 9.30 – 4.00

Take a pre-cut – charm squares, layer cake or jelly roll and make a quilt – see the description under workshops!

2 Wall hanging with machine applique – for Christmas or other subject – 14th November – 9.30 – 4.00

Learn applique while making a jolly Christmas wall hanging to help decorate your home!  Or chose another pattern – no Christmas involved.  See description under workshops.

Back to my Beyond Beginners Class.  The quilt they make is quite a challenge.  I just love the fabrics they have chosen.  In Lesson 1 we spend much of the time, identifying which fabric will fit where.  There are five blocks which are pieced normally or by foundation piecing as well as at least 4 applique blocks (created in four different ways).  However, within each of these blocks the student has to make a secondary pattern, which when the quilt is assembled, forms an important part of the quilt design.  This secondary pattern has to be made from the same pieced construction for each of the blocks.  The problem lies in that the students are not experienced enough at first to understand the structure of the quilt – so much explanation and looking at a already made quilt, needs to happen, before they decide which fabric, they have already chosen for the quilt, will to where.

Got that?  Doubt it – but I guess I am getting better at explaining it after 4 courses,delivered – since this group caught on quite quickly.  Well done, you lot!  Here is the quilt they are makingBeyond Beginners quilt

I start a Beginner class on the 14th October and have a nice group of students for that.  Still room for more!  Can’t wait.

Today in the Intermediate class, they all did applique.  They are a talented lot these students. I challenged them to not only create a pattern, but also to applique, in the manner they wished too – BUT also using wonderful threads, and their sewing machine, decorate the applique with stitches and improve the design. Jill is making a super whale in navy blue and white and used silver thread to create motion on the whale itself;  Sarah had challenged herself to applique an elephant and I further challenged her to make it brighter and colourful than when she started out;  Heather has the colourways in her quilt of Clarice Cliff – so is making an applique Clarice Cliff plate and Viv is doing a Baltimore Applique by machine and have a centre word applique around which the applique is designed.  Such talent.

When finished, will add photos of appliques. Enjoy –

New class schedule for the Autumn!

So there is lots happening in the Autumn and I hope you have checked with my class schedule.

What a summer – now that I am back into September I can catch my breath!

First off – I have some major interest in the Tuesday, October 14th class – but would really like more bookings.  It’s a Beginner Patchwork and Quilting class which meets alternate Tuesday afternoons with a break over Christmas and finally finishing on February 3rd 2015!  So if you want to join up, just drop me an email to let me know.

Also, my Saturday class will not run unless I get 3 more people!  Pity since in the past, the Saturday class has always been popular.  Everyone is too busy I suppose.

As well someone mentioned the possibility of an evening class.  I am happy to run one – but I need more people to show interest!  Unfortunately, I don’t have the room at home to run  a class – so need to have enough people to hire a hall.  I will keep you posted if you will do your turn and let me know if you are interested!

Suggest you check out this wonderful crazy quilt I saw today on the International Study Centre email.  http://www.quiltstudy.org/collections/quilt_of_the_month/current.html

My Beyond Beginner Class is filling up nicely.  It is a second level Beginner Class which starts on the 15th September meeting alternate Mondays.  One of the blocks we make is a foundation pieced crazy block – the gals all enjoy it.

I must start my new quilt I finally have the fabrics for:  Be Colourful by Jacqueline de Jonge.  This is being offered by The Quilt Show, which I follow regularly.  If you haven’t looked in on it, you should – full of lots of wonderful information.  They are having a special offer now for $15 or so to get to December membership.  That is about a third of the normal cost for a third of a year.  – dip your toe in and enjoy – $15 is £10 or so – a bargain for what you get, that’s for sure.

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann

 

 

 

 

Stained Glass, fabric boxes and mug rugs

Gosh I have had a really busy time – last time I wrote was for the twins’ birthday –                        IMG_2179

The piggy and horse were a great success – my grand-daughter said – “My Piggy!”.  She was delighted and Robin, my grandson, really loved the hobby-horse.  The stick came out very soon of the piggy (it was so big) and I haven’t been back to fix it yet.

Storrington Quilters has had a super busy time – made useful fabric boxes in early May 

fabric boxes

  and Stained glass blocks later:

JV and AT stained glass

We have a stand at St Mary’s Sullington Flower Festival and hope to show and sell some quilts, as well demonstrate some quilting and appliqueing.

I signed up for a mug rug swap with Quilters Gallery and have swapped mine for Sally’s in Alabama.  Really pleased – fun to do and I have a new friend.  Can’t be bad!  Both Sally and I have made the same pattern :  First is Sally’s – love the pinkness and quilting, her butterfly and boat

Sally's mugrugs

and now mine:  Same pattern plus the two coasters I made for her.

Ann's mugrug!

I really must work on my photography – she took the photos of mine and I took the photos of hers. Her photo is so much clearer than mine!

I have drawn up a new Workshop schedule for the summer/autumn and have posted it here – I already have people interested in the Beginners and Beyond Beginners course – I plan also to offer another Intermediate class.

I have been thinking about offering a Wadding/Batting workshop – a couple hours or so, to discuss which wadding is which and what each is best for.  I hope to be able to make some quilt examples to be able to demonstrate this better. Anyone interested, let me know!

Enjoy the weather.

 

 

Piggy and horsey

IMG_2178 IMG_2179Well I have been busy – here are the two polled animals that I made for my dear grandchildren – I had decided to make a hobby horse for each of the twins – but then found out that my grand-daughter really wanted a Peppa Pig.  Well what was I to do?  So made one of each – thank you madmin.com for the horse pattern  _ I couldn’t have made it without it.

 

The Pig was a different problem – Peppa pig is 2-dimensional – and I needed her to be 3 dimensional.  She is not that far away from being similar to the horse pattern but I took a colouring book Peppa pig picture and blew it up to A3 – and then tried to make her from that – adding a strip from the snout to the top of the head and then across down the back.  It looked like a rhino rather than a pig so then went on line to find a pattern and ended up one from China for a small pig which had no resemblance to Peppa Pig but on, which by blowing up, I could make!!  She is much too big and her head is at least half again what my grand-daughter’s head is.  Still – both are  a tremendous success.  The family is coming down for the weekend from Market Harborough so I will be able to put the pig’s head back on as it has fallen off in the meantime.

Speak to you soon.

 

 

New Beginners’ Patchwork and Quilting Course starting soon

A New Beginner’s Patchwork and Quilting  Course

kaf fas beg

Starting:

Monday, 24th February 2014

9.30 – 12.30 pm

The Old School, School Lane

Storrington RH20 4LL

See the course descriptions under Workshop heading.  You will learn the terminology and the techniques that you need to know, to start on the road to quilting.  At the end of the course, you will be comfortable with cutting fabrics, piecing them together into blocks by using your sewing machine in class.

You will make a Sampler quilt and learn how to put a quilt together.  8 sessions of 3 hours on alternate Monday mornings.

Contact me on anntill2@tiscali.co.uk for further information.

Skill Builder Classes

Before I started the Intermediate Quilting Class,

several of you suggested you would love to do the course, but couldn’t commit for various reasons.  So I have opened the individual sessions to those of you who may be interested in joining a one off session on say, Sashiko or Bargello.  I expect it will be popular so will send out an email to tell people and hope that it brings results.

In the meantime I have been working on my Wedding Ring Block and have several bits ready to put together.  The Intermediate Quilting Class is working on the basis of making 12″ blocks and some of the instructions about do not work on that scale – say if they are making a whole quilt.  Thank you Anja Townrow for your tutorial in the British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine. It  is proving very useful.

I must be getting on with my own Celtic Knot block so it is ready for the class on the 28th February.  Will put some photos in as soon as I have them.  If you are interested in any of the techniques I am offering – keep a watch on my blog for when I advertise the dates.

Take care – Ann