Last week I popped into one of my local Patchwork & Quilting shops, Bee Crafty at Ellington. I have not been there since the lockdown in March so it was lovely to catch up with Maddie and Polly. They have moved things around in the shop and made it safe for small workshops and shoppers alike. As usual when I am confronted with an array of beautiful fabrics I cannot stop myself from purchasing a few, even if I don’t have a specific project in mind.
The first is a lovely fabric collection by Annie Brady for Moda called Big Sky. I have added a Bumbleberries fabric by Lewis & Irene in Mustard to this set. This will brighten up the dark winter months.
The second group is “Rainbow Colours” by Stoffabrics.com, in a vibrant purple and pink colour way. Along with a textured pink from their “Brighton” Range it will be fun set to work with.
I also couldn’t resist a charm pack ” Confetti” by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda.
It is certainly a bright mixture of colours and patterns, and it has started the creative juices flowing this weekend. How many blocks can I make from one charm pack plus a plain white fabric? I have been busy playing around with the 5″ squares and will post the results of my experimentations next week.
Hope you are having a creative weekend – Happy Quilting – Bev
It is not long until Christmas and gifts will have to be posted by the end of November to make sure they arrive in time. Cushion covers make a unique and personal gift and are always welcome. In keeping with the time of year, I have added another workshop to the Christmas programme – Cushions for Christmas on Saturday 14th November.
Following on from the very enjoyable folded log cabin workshop I have extended the technique to make these wonderful textured cushions, Christmas fabrics add a touch of luxury to any chair or sofa.
If you would like to join me in the online class you can book a place at Craft Courses
This weekend I am preparing fabric for the folded patchwork bag zoom class. I have chosen to use the beautiful butterfly printed ‘Spirit of Flight’ I love the autumnal colours of the leaves print and the beautiful ombre butterflies. It is wonderful to work with such lovely fabrics.
All the block swap block are finished and I am still clearing out the studio. Things always seem to get more messy before they get better but now it is time to turn my attention to this years Christmas Gifts. Each year I give hand made gifts to my family. Table runners, sculptures, jams and chutney, raspberry gin and hand knitted socks are just some of the things made over the years.
This year I decided to learn how to crochet, so initially I thought that the gifts would show my progress. I started by making some little toys for Robyn and then tried to make a dress for her, but she grew too quickly for my efforts. Luckily, I thought, the Christmas gifts are not size dependent. Unfortunately my idea is something with a bit of weight and this year has not gone to plan to say the least. It looks as if all the gifts will have to be posted and so weight becomes a big factor.
So back to the drawing board. I looked through my stash of Christmas fabrics and have found that I have enough fabric left over from all the table runners I made ( using the Greta Table Runner pattern ) to make placemats. Using quilt as you go and stitch and flip methods these are quick and easy to make.
I also had a vey enjoyable zoom session with a friend this week, teaching her how to make a table mat using these methods. Although we can’t be together at the moment we can quilt together. She has sent me this photo of the lovely placemat she made with me. Many thanks to Sue for allowing me to share it with everyone.
This year has been strange to say the least. Not being able to teach in person for most of the year has been difficult. A workshop or class is much more than just learning a new technique. There is the chance to meet others with a shared interest and form new friendships and to catch up with old friends. It was wonderful to get back into the classroom at Tudor Rose Patchwork. They have worked very hard on making their shop and classrooms CV19 safe and making everyone welcome. It was the first time I had been back into a fabric shop all summer and I couldn’t resist buying some new fabrics.
As well as being back to teaching in the classroom, this week I held an online in person workshop for the Folded Log Cabin patchwork technique. Even though we were separated geographically, the online class brought together some old friends and we made new ones. For me as a tutor it felt very similar to the in person classroom setting. I spent time talking, demonstrating and making sure everyone was ok, and then all my students went quiet as they busily tackled the patchwork blocks.
It was a very productive day for everyone and here are some of the beautiful blocks produced.
For me, as a tutor, embracing new technology to help pass knowledge and skills on, is going to be more and more important. I like the interaction of the classroom and teaching small groups online keeps this interaction going. It was a pleasure to teach this class and even more rewarding when I was sent pictures of the blocks produced. I want to thank Sally, Sara and Liz for allowing me to share their blocks here.
The next online class is the patchwork bag on Thursday 29th October. You can book a place here
It’s now time to get back into the studio to set up for this afternoons Modern and Art Quilt Group online meeting.
The autumn clean is coming on with books and fabrics identified for sale. They have been put in the corner and are waiting for photographing and listing. This will have to wait now until next week as I have a busy few days, teaching. I have prepared the studio for the Folded Log Cabin patchwork lesson on Thursday. This is an online class and the tech has been tested and everything performed beautifully. My sister has actually ordered a log cabin, which she is going to use as a craft room for our mum and herself. I am looking forward to being able to have online crafting sessions with both of them soon. I hope that I haven’t jinxed it now, and that our Wi-Fi doesn’t glitch.
All the fabric has been prepared and sorted for the blocks. I am using layer cakes from Moda. The collection is called Winterlude by Three Sisters. I bought them a few years ago and have been adding blocks to the quilt each time I do a workshop. I think though that this will be the last workshop for this collection. I will have to look out for another collection for next years classes.
I have also been exploring different shapes and the Folded Log Cabin technique and made a fun sampler cushion. This was with William Morris inspired fabrics.
Tomorrow I am back to teaching in person at Tudor Rose Patchwork near Bedford. I have to admit to slight trepidation but I am looking forward to catching up with my students. It will be good to see everyone again. I think a mix of online classes and in person lessons are going to be here for the foreseeable future.
The main thing is to keep on enjoying our patchwork & quilting and any other crafts we do.
Now that all the Block Swap Blocks are complete it is time to give the studio a good clean before starting anything new. There are piles of fabric to put away, the scraps to sort and notes to file. It is also a good time to have a look through all the things that I collected when I taught City & Guilds classes. Many techniques I am not going to be using in the near future so it is time to let things go. I have to admit to being a bit of a squirrel and a hoarder, Does anyone else find it hard to let go of things?
I have to say that the cutting table is looking much better now though. My problem is that I get to this stage with a tidy up and get itchy fingers to get started on a new project. I need to stay focused over the weekend and by Monday everything will look a lot better.
I have added a Studio Clearance page where you can find books, fabric remnants, and more.
As you can see I have started clearing the purple fabrics but more colours will be added over the next few days. If you have any questions regarding the clearance items please message me.
Do you ever have those nights when you wake up and are raring to go – even though it is 4.30am. Well today was one of those days and I am in my studio sewing and cutting out fabric. There is always something to do. Flying geese to make, Half square triangles to trim. and patterns to write. No two days are the same.
I have concentrated today on completing the instructions for the Tropical Bear Block and have added the download here.
It is slightly more complicated than the Twisting Bears Block so have tried to break it down into easily managed sections with pressing instructions to help lock seams together. I would love to hear what you think. Tag me on Instagram Bev-Mayo Quilts
Now onto another pressing project. Our granddaughter is growing fast and it is time to move up to the next size playsuit. I purchased this lovey Botanica Dandelions fabric by Quilting Treasures in the Rust colour way from Tudor Rose Patchwork Perfect colour for the Autumn and am raring to get started.
When I design a new block I initially don’t take into account how it will be made, the sizing or any other minor detail. That comes when I attempt to make it and write instructions, and this is one block that’s come back to bite me. I really don’t want to use templates and so the maths are tricky. There are going to be triangles at the edge of the block or lots of seams. To prevent the edges having unstable bias cut edges, I have used setting quarter square triangles at the edge of the block. Back to the paper pattern to work out the size of the starting square. I think that it is important to have a block with straight of grain and cross grain edges. Lots of decisions to make as how to piece it together. There are more than one way to make the block and it is now time to try the one which I think will work the best.
My sister phoned me whilst I was in the middle of the math puzzle, and so got me in full twittering mode about eighth of an inch v’s quarter inch. She didn’t see the problem until I pointed out that forget an eighth of an inch, if you are a sixteenth of an inch out on your seams ( most quilts have at least 16 seams across ) you can add or loose and inch to the overall size. She decided to leave me to my twittering. I have decided to build in wriggle room on the block and will explain this in the instructions which I will post next week.
Now that I have written a cutting list I need to choose the fabrics. As this is a block swap block I can use the same fabric choices as the Twisting Bears blocks. These are the colour schemes chosen by the block swap members.
The Twisting Bear blocks look so different in each of the colour schemes. It is going to be very exiting to see the finished quilts.
Are you involved in a Block Swap? It is a great group project.
Usually I don’t get time to spend Monday in my studio as there is always lots of other things which need my attention. However today was an exception. I got up early and was determined to complete the last Twisted Bear block for the group block swap. I had cut out the pieces last night and, as there are no elves in my neighbourhood, they were still waiting for me this morning. Needless to say, yesterday there was a lot of fabric auditioning going on, and because choosing the fabric can take me a long time getting it this was a good way to start the day.
I completed the block by lunch so had the afternoon to play around with more scraps. At the back of my cutting table is a rack for my patchwork rulers. I thought that making a basket for the rack would give the area a new look. I chose the same fabric to match the scissor caddy.
I am pleased at how it has turned out and has now made me look at the rest of the area. I have lots of scraps at the back of my cutting table in baskets according to their colour. I think I may replace these plastic baskets with new patchwork ones, so watch this space for more ideas.
Do you start a project and find that it leads on to more and more ideas?