Friday, 30 August 2013

New Ideas - Kickback Friday

Hello there my Quilty Friends,
My D.H. had a few days off this week.
This picture of my D.H. and Daisy was taken at Kenffig Pool
The most surprising part is that this was my first ever visit to Kenffig  Nature Reserve 
and it's only four or five miles from our house!
Well it certainly won't be my last visit that's for sure - absolutely stunning scenery.

 And, after the beautiful summer we have had here in Wales, the days are now getting shorter and my thoughts are turning towards Monday class next projects.

All these ideas are very much still in my head at the moment.

I know we said we would start the landscape quilt in September so that's a start for us.

Also there was a quilt a few of us took a fancy to when we visited Penarth Quilters Exhibition.

This pictures not very good quality - but you can get the idea(ish).
It's a simple strippy quilt. Like the ones on either end of this picture taken at Penarth. But they are very effective. Maybe we'll start one of those with our scraps.

And I bought a lovely patchwork book cover somewhere this year - can't think where at the moment.
Anyway,
I thought we could make something similar  in class/here. Whether we choose to cover a book, diary, phone, tab...possibilities are endless.  I'll get working on a sample one very soon.

And now this weeks video - Retro meets Bang up to date with Will.i.am and Leah - Bang Bang

Enjoy
Click on the little square at bottom right of video screen to make it full screen
'till next time
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Friday, 23 August 2013

Millenium Quilt Swap - Y2K

Good morning my Quilty Friends.
Todays post is about the Millenium Quilt or Y2K Swap.


Do you remember back in 1999, when we were all so excited about reaching our 2000th year.
There was much speculation about it’s effects on the world in general and computer systems in particular.
There was a school of thought that felt many computer systems would be unable to cope with the change from 1999 to 2000.
Well, happily we reach the end of 1999 and burst into 2000 without a hitch. Happy days.
Anyways, over the weekend I was taking my ‘Millenium quilt’ off my bed and thought, um…..my quilty friends might like to know about this.
Back in the day, before laptops, tabs and very cleaver mobile phones. I was sat (as many of us did back then) in the little bedroom where our computer was housed, wandering slowly (dail up) thru the web when I came across something called the Y2K swap.
Basically you put your email address and where you were from onto the Y2K website to join in with the swap. Once you were on the swap list you could either email others on the list or others would email you asking you to swap with them.
In fact this is when I got my first email address. I’d been using my hubby’s. But realised I’d need my own doing this swap. And so that’s when I became Joy.wales – I wanted other swappers to easily see where I was from.
The idea was to swap 2000 either two and a half inch or three inch squares (I chose the three inch swap) so you could make a Millenium quilt containing said 2000 squares.


Each swap was for 25 squares, so you needed to swap with 80 people to get your 2000 squares – with me so far…….
Yes, good.
I didn’t have to contact many people at all. I was inundated with requests.
What I didn’t realize when I started was there were very few people in Wales UK doing the swap. And lots of swappers were looking for one swap from each country. With many  Americans wanting one swap from each of the American States and then spreading out into the rest of the world.
Within a short time I had my 80 swaps.
BUT
I received so many more emails begging me to swap with them as they couldn’t find another Welsh swap.  I felt so sorry for them that I started a second time.
So I ended up with over 4000 squares – I couldn’t turn anyone away which is why I ended up with a little over 4000.
This was a very exciting time. As the ‘squishies’ as they were called started dropping through my letter box.
Each squishy was a small envelope with 25 different squares of fabric inside along with a siggie which was a square with the swappers signature on.





And also a bio, which was a page of information about the swapper.
It was wonderful to learn about the swappers lives, and I put the bios in  files to go with each quilt.

Of course this also meant that I had to cut sort and mail 4000 squares myself – a job which kept me out of mischief for quite some time.

I ended up making my own Millenium quilt with 2000 squares in.

Two Millenium quilts with 1000 squares in each – one for my daughter and one for my son.

And with the odds left over I made three throw sized quilts for my two sisters and my brother so we all had a Millenium Quilt.

There were times when I wished I had never started the swap – but I am so glad I did it now.

In the summer when it is hot we use my Millenium quilt on the bed with just a sheet. It’s lovely and cool.
And if you lift the quilt up when it’s on the bed in summer you can see the colours showing thru at the back of the quilt. It always reminds me of a stain glass window from the back.

And in the winter when it is at it’s coldest my Millenium quilt sits on top of our bed quilt for extra warmth.
I absolutely love my Millenium Quilt and intend to use it until it falls apart at the seams.
It hardly seems possible it was 13 years ago. And of course over time some of the ‘siggys’ signature squares have faded considerably, but that just adds to it's charm I think.

OK only one choice of music video today - The shy and retiring Mr. Robbie Williams - Millenium of course.
click on the little square, bottom right of video above to show it full screen.
Have a great weekend,
Yours in stitches, Joy

Friday, 16 August 2013

My little 'Wedding handbag' & Alphabet Jungle

Well, I've finally put away all my goodies from The Festival of Quilts last weekend. AND made a start on my next project.

It's a baby quilt for my third grandchild - due early January next year.

Congratulations to Craig and Hayley.

The pattern is called Alphabet Jungle by Kids Quilts who come all the way from New Zealand to trade at the Festival of Quilts. - I wonder if they have family in the U.K. they visit at the same time.
Anyway, I bought last weekend at the Festival.

All the fabrics were bought from a very helpful lady on the Doughty's fabric stand. 




So far I've ironed on most of the jungle animals.
Still got the garaffe to do.
Next comes the stitching. I'll be machine appliqueing these little beauties.

My favorite is ze monkey. He looks such a cheeky little monkey even without his features.
You'll be pleased to know they are all happy little jungle friends who will eventually have smiles to match.

Then yesterday I realised I didn't have a bag to match my outfit for a wedding I'm going to.
Sew I quickly made up this little darling.
 And here it is with my outfit.
It was a small piece of silk (10" square) I had in my stash. I used every inch of it. And edged it with a cream shot linen edging and 'clasp'.  I used Empress Mills 'superlining' on the inside which is a combined lining and wadding. It's the first time I've used it and it was brilliant, I was very impressed with it.
Remember you can click on the 'Pink Links'

OK todays song,
Well, I've been reading a few blogs about the Festival of Quilts last weekend.
And one thing that stood out to me was how many of us Quilters got ourselves confused
finding our way around the show - with quite a few people saying they kept walking around in Circles.
I know me and my friends also felt we were going around in Circles at the show.
So
Today I give you
You've got me running round in
This is one of their own songs, 
this is the band by son Craig is in.
OK the sound isn't brilliant - it was taken live at Oakwood Park last Saturday.
And
I can confirm that they are full sized people (Kriss, Luke and Craig)
they just look like lego men in this video;)  
Enjoy,
and have a great weekend.
Yours in stitches, Joy

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Festival of Quilts N.E.C. - Spotlight Wednesday

Hello there my Quilty Friends, I'm back from my break at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK.

And I thought today I'd share with you some of the quilts on display that took my fancy...


These three pictures were all the same quilt.
Unfortunately, I didn't think to jot down the names of the quilts or the makers - note to self for next year - take a pic of the quilt details.


These three were of one quilt - I thought as we have been  making log cabin quilts you might like this veriation on the theme, with pieced blocks at the centre of each log cabin.
A close up of a Spools Quilt which is on my 'to do' list. I even started saving scraps for it somewhere in amongst my fabric stash.

  I loved these hexegons with applique.
More hexegons - I think there is a theme going on here.
But I do remember that this quilt was in the European section - just don't recall which European country it represented. Jean, help on this one please.

Now I do know this one it was part of the Kaffe Fassett exhibition called I think Spots and Stripes.
Please correct me if I'm wrong. Karen you'll know this.

And this rather dashing quilt is David Tennant (Dr. Who)



And yet another hexegon quilt. This one won the contemporary section I think.
I saw it just as I was leaving the show. I was running late but felt I had to stop and take a quick pic.

If any of you know any names of these quilts or their makers - please let me know as I'd like to credit their work.

Oh, and there is one more I wanted to show you -
And I have the details of this quilt - it's on the picture I took.
It was a miniature called Narracott Snow by Penny Armitage.
Hope you enjoyed a taste of my choice at The Festival of Quilts
The N.E.C. Birmingham, UK

Speak to you all again on Friday,
Yours in Stitches, Joy



Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Baby quilt no. two - Spotlight Wednesday.

Ah, I'm feeling much better this week.
After binning baby quilt number one.

I attacked Baby Quilt number two with renewed energy.

And I am pleased to say.
1. I have loved making this quilt.
2 .It is completed.
3 .It has gone to it's new home.

Hooray!


Isn't if funny how different you can feel about a quilt.
The first one was hard work - Did I mention I hated it!
This one however has been a pleasure to work on.
Oh, that reminds me.
I made some videos on 'How I machine applique with blanket stitch'
Above is part one. Click on the arrow to play.
This is part two. Looking at me machine appliqueing 'a birds eye view'.
And this one is me showing you how to use a 'knee lifter' if you have one for your machine and have never tried it or got the hang of it.


Last Friday we went to Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition.
I've posted a few pictures on my Joyofquilting Face Book page if you fancy looking at his wonderful work.

That's it from me today. I'm all packed and ready to go to the Festival of Quilts in Birminham U.K. for a couple of nights. We are off first thing in the morning. So I'll tell you all about that next week.

Yours in Stitches,
Joy

Saturday, 3 August 2013

When is it ok to bin a project - Kickback Friday.

Or is it ok to ever bin a project?

Sorry ladies, I seem to have upset some of you.

I did what for some of you is unthinkable - I binned the baby quilt top I was making.

I posted about it last week - I was not happy with the way it was going together and ask you for help.
One good suggestion was to stitch a machine embroidery stitch around the offending quilt patches.
    



I did that and it did indeed make the block look better.
BUT
I still didn't like the quilt. I started unpicking the borders. Hating every second of working on this quilt.
Then I thought I've spent too much of my time working and re-working this quilt top, and I still don't like it.
It was to be a present and I felt I didn't want anyone saying 'Joy made me this quilt'.

SEW

I put the quilt top in the bin.
Instantly I felt relieved. I didn't have to think about this quilt anymore.
In fact about an hour later I took it out of my workroom bin and put it in the outside bin - so there was no going back.
I enjoyed the sound of the bin men emptying my bins early the next morning.
It was gone - I could move on.

BUT

News of my actions was met with mixed reactions. Some were supportive and happy for me.
But more were shocked  and dismayed that I could do such a thing. Feeling that I should have carried on with the quilt even if it didn't go to the intended recipient (someone knew of a dog called Millie).
Some thought I should have passed it onto another quilter to finish.

My question this week is. Do/Have you ever binned a project and how did you justify it to yourself.

I have only binned a few over the years possibly three or four. And I don't regret binning any of them. I think if you have no intention of finishing a project it's better to get rid of it than have it constantly niggling your mind feeling guilty you haven't finished it.

I do have lots of U.F.O.'s that I have every intention of finishing some day, but for the few I have hated, I have felt better for binning them.

In the few days since I have completed a new top for the baby in question (Millie) and enjoyed every minute of the process.  




And this is my hobby, I'm supposed to enjoy it.
I'm so glad to be back on track enjoying my stitching.
Yours in Stitches, Joy

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