Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (288)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your projects, share in the inspiration and generosity of our Worldwide Quilting Community.

I’ve had an enjoyably eventful week. A sewing day on Thursday: I took hand binding to do so no sewing machine required. I made the most of the opportunity to walk to and from our meeting place, the local Scout Hut. There was lots of chat and sharing of projects going on but I did mange to stitch down about three quarters of the binding on my Trip Around the Stars quilt. One recurring subject of conversation was the upcoming Sandown Quilt Show. Several members of the group, including myself, were planning to travel up the M3 to London the following day. Others would be making the hour long journey on Saturday.

I completed the Trip Around the Stars quilt at home a couple of days later whilst listening to a course all about live-streaming* (I know get me moving into the modern world! 😁).

My Trip Around the Stars pattern is available for £7.00 as a PDF instant download from my new Payhip store – PayPal and card friendly 🙂

On Friday I went to the Quilt Show at Sandown: Was a good day as usual. Before Covid struck the annual event had begun to wane in popularity with fewer vendors, fewer exhibition quilts and smaller numbers of visitors. Although it’s sad to see this show, along with others, decreasing in size, post-Covid it’s quite a blessing to be able to move freely and not be concerned about over-crowding. The venue (the airy ground floor of the main stand of Sandown Racecourse) is spacious but not too big. On a warmer day it would have been possible to take our refreshments up on the Stands and enjoy the view across the green racecourse with it’s panoramic view of central London but it was a bit too breezy to be outside!

I came home with a little collection of low-volume fabrics to top up my stash (I’m running out of these for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Court House Step Blocks) and some landscape prints. Impulse purchasing of the prints followed an inspiring Gail Lawther workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed her fused applique class and now I’m full of ideas for making little pictorial wall hangings.

Saturday, A walk through the Bluebells: The rising sun woke us around 6am so we went with it, had an early breakfast and then drove the short distance to Micheldever Woods. It really was a magical sight with the morning sun filtered through the partially open, bright green leaves of the stately Beech trees giving dappled light and shade the acres of deep blue flowers.

*Live Streaming? What’s this old girl up to? 👵 Well! I’m getting over my tech phobia in order to pursue two of my patchwork quilting passions: One, building community around our wonderful craft; two, teaching the basics to beginners and then helping them and others to enhance our skills together. To these ends I’m going to launch a new private membership group on my Facebook Page called ‘Patchwork Beginners’ Learning Hub’. Thankfully excitement about this venture is outweighing my tech-nerves and I’m keen to get the group up and running this coming week 🥳 If you’d like to keep up to date with the launch schedule I invite you to follow my Facebook Page, NewEveryMorningPQ, and/or sign up to my newsletter:

 

Here is a short list of links to some of the patchwork quilting posts that have caught my interest over the past week:

I recommend using Myra’s Busy Hands quilt patterns. She has designed so many quilts, nearly all are pre-cut friendly and use quick piecing techniques. This post about her Flying Geese ‘Formation’ pattern is a good example of her work and the lovely fabrics she chooses to showcase her designs.

Nancy’s post ‘The Most Fun I Ever Had Making a Quilt‘ is a heart-warming read for anyone who has experienced the challenges of making a multi-block quilt, grappling with unfamiliar techniques, having to rip out fabrics that turned out not to be in keeping…. After all the ups and downs spread over several years Nancy has completed the quilt and can honestly say it’s the quilt that’s given her the most fun!

I found this tutorial about trimming Half Square Triangles really useful! Suzy demonstrates trimming HST blocks BEFORE opening them out to press the seam. She shares two methods, one using a special ruler (Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer) and the second using a standard square ruler. Very interesting – I will be giving this technique a go next time I’m faced with a pile of HSTs 🙂

Yvonne has been applying her scientific experience to curved piecing. Specifically whether cutting pieces across the grain to save fabric affects the piecing and final outcome of Drunkards Path blocks. She’s created a video as well as a comprehensive blog post to explain her method and the results of her investigation.

Linking my finished quilt with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant and Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Both have been enjoying making quick projects.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Local Quilt Guilds – changed by lockdown?

I wonder if you belonged to a quilt guild/group before Covid struck? I belonged to Roundabout Quilters, Basingstoke. We had fewer than fifty members, meeting twice a month – one evening to share a sewing social, the other to listen to a speaker (usually someone from outside the group). Attendance and membership were in a bit of a decline, enthusiasm for holding the biennial quilt show was getting harder to muster and then meetings suddenly stopped as social restrictions and lockdowns came into force. A year later and, having consulted the membership via email, the Committee came to the difficult conclusion that Roundabout Quilters should be permanently wound down, it’s financial assets being donated to a local charity.

Sandown 2019 Group Quilt (1) by Allison Reid
Roundabout Quilters group quilt hanging at the National Quilt Championships, Sandown exhibition in 2019. Later in the year the quilt was the main raffle prize in the Roundabout Quilters local exhibition.

Another, larger, quilt group in the area is in consultation with it’s members about how to proceed once social distancing restrictions in the UK come to an end.

How has Covid affected your local quilt group? I wonder if your group managed to make the move to meeting on-line for socials and talks during lockdown? Is it emerging stronger? Will it go back to it’s pre-pandemic format or have some of the changes made during lockdowns become the new normal? What do you see happening to quilt guilds in your area over the next 6 to 12 months?

Since non-essential retailers re-opened in April I’ve enjoyed working a few hours a week in my local quilt shop. It’s been good to have that little return to normality; social interaction with other people interested in similar things is healthy isn’t it? From conversations I’ve had with customers (some known to me through local guilds or workshops) I can see the pattern of guild membership and attendance is shifting in our area. Anecdotal evidence of course, but here is what I’ve gleaned:

  • There are still a lot of people wanting to learn patchwork quilting – there’s certainly no shortage of enquiries for a beginners course at the shop.
  • People seem much more keen to be doing workshops (on-line or in person) than to be going out in the evenings to a meeting about patchwork quilting.
  • Many friendship groups formed within guilds have remained strong. In-person small gatherings to chat and sew are thriving and privately organised sewing retreats are happening.
  • Lot’s of learning is going on on-line and there is interest in attending workshops to develop skills – I have seen that many quilt shops already have a busy programme of classes underway.

Do any of these observations resonate with you? Guilds have certainly been a great way to bring like-minded people together, developing friendships that then foster sewing socials and retreats beyond the bounds of the guild. I wonder about the consequences for our quilting community if traditional guilds offering a formal programme of lecture-type evenings are indeed in decline?

  • Where will people who are new to patchwork quilting discover more about the craft, be integrated into friendship groups or create their own circle of sewing friends?
  • What will become of those who regularly give talks at guilds?
  • Will new guilds emerge with a different way of doing things – less focussed on formal meetings with guest speakers, more orientated to sewing socials or workshop style gatherings?
  • If guilds are in decline will local quilt exhibitions become a thing of the past?
  • What effect could this decline have on local quilt shops which gain income by regularly having ‘pitches’ at guild meetings and exhibitions?

As we stumble our way out of lockdowns and social restrictions are you experiencing a shift in what is expected of or required from a local quilt guild? Please do share your thoughts and perspective on ‘What’s Happening to Quilt Guilds in 2021?’ Thank you!

Allison

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (101)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Has time been moving slowly for you or racing by? We are aiming to make the weekend feel different from the week days we’ve been spending together in our household of three. I’m especially glad to have the routine of publishing SQBS to remind me it really is Saturday. This is an opportunity to bring along your project(s), share in the varied and inspiring information being circulated around the Worldwide Quilting Community and just BE for a little while 🙂

I’m in need of a fanfare… I actually have a FINISHED project to bring along and share. I completed hand quilting the applique cushion front and made an envelope back (with buttons!). I am so happy with this little step into the world of needle turned applique. The fabric colours actually reflect the current season more closely than the Spring Color Quest Bear Paw block I shared in my previous blog post!

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (78)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. So lovely to have join this virtual sewing day. Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the conversations and inspiration being discussed in the Worldwide Quilting Community. Please do leave your thoughts and links in the comments box at the end of this page. Thank you!

This weekend I shall be out of my sewing room for much of the time as we have a Church family event to celebrate and this is the weekend of my local quilt group’s show. We set up the quilts yesterday and are hoping for many visitors to come gaze at the quilts, sample the homemade refreshments and enjoy a bit of retail therapy at the trader stalls. More details here.

Square in a Square ready for quilting by Allison Reid

When I do get a few minutes at my sewing machine I will be starting to quilt the second Square-in-a-Square quilt. I made the binding some time ago, the label is part of the pieced back so everything is in place for a smooth finish 😉 I’ll be posting progress pics on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning

And so to the links into the Worldwide Quilting Community… You can find more links to useful patchwork quilting tips and tutorials by clicking onto my regularly updated Pinterest board, Pins of the Week.

Do you have ‘orphan blocks’ hanging around in your sewing space or buried in your scrap baskets? Orphan blocks = those blocks left over when projects finish, test blocks and the like. Cynthia takes us through her method for rescuing her orphans, bringing them together and lovingly adding a few new fabrics to make a little quilt. 🙂

Amy’s use of co-ordinated fabric scraps in this version of her Dart quilt pattern really appeals to me. The use of black & white fabrics in each of the 6″ blocks makes for an eye catching patchwork.

Stephanie is giving us the heads up re. a Quilt-A-Long to accompany the release of Lori Holt’s latest book ‘Farm Girl Vintage 2’. The picture blocks in the book look great, all around the theme of countryside and farming. See a video featuring the blocks and quilts here: https://youtu.be/STndcqJzrwE

Carole Lyles Shaw’s improvised curves technique looks like a lot of fun and she shares her students work to illustrate that curved piecing can be a stress-free experience. I want to have a go…

Suzy initiated a thought provoking discussion on Instagram under the title ‘I can’t Even Tell It’s Handmade!” – A Makers Dilemma’. The comments she received in response to publishing this reaction to a piece of her work form an interesting discussion. In her blog post Suzy generously concludes ‘As makers, we must forgive our awkward fellow humans with questionable craft education and forge on, bringing more and more beauty into the world! But when in doubt, even if it’s hard, take it as a compliment!’

Shannon Brinkley is sharing her thoughts on creativity in a series of articles, ‘Awaken Your Creativity’, published in her email newsletter. The first in the series is entitled ‘Inspiration for Creative Work’. These words got me thinking:

“When you’re putting yourself in the way of beauty– when you’re seeking out inspiration, try to do this regularly outside of the quilt industry. 

The quickest way for your quilts to look like everyone else’s quilts is to only draw inspiration from other quilts.” 

To read the whole of Shannon’s email subscribe here.

I linked yesterdays post about my finished quilt ‘Coral Sea’ to Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty for her regular Friday link up celebrating finished projects. Her post was about her love of creating pieced backs for quilts. I received several comments about the pieced back I made for Coral Sea so thought those of you who missed the link might like to click over to Michelle’s post today 🙂

To keep with the pieced back theme here’s a sneak peak of a back I’ve made for a cot quilt. I’ll post more about the quilt once it has been gifted.

Snoopy Baby Quilt finished back by Allison Reid

Happy Stitching!

Allison