Warm colours in February

This week, in the studio, I have been working hard on a lap-sized quilt in warm colours of peach, orange and aqua to off-set the grey February weather outside. The quilt will use all those colours as solids, plus the four colourways of my ‘Flowers from Kirkcudbright’ print collection (click here to go to my Spoonflower studio where you can find these fabrics). I used the dark version of this print in the bag I blogged about previously (click here to see).

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I have made the quilt in response to a Mystery Quilt Sudoku Challenge designed by Lesley Coles which appeared in four successive issues of the magazine ‘The Quilter’, which is the members’ magazine of the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles. Lesley devised a complex quilt based on the sudoku number puzzle. It proved quite as challenging as one of the paper-based sudokus I have occasionally attempted in the newspaper! Here’s the first row, comprising three complete sudoku puzzle grids.

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The quilt, which is a largish lap-sized quilt is now finished and bound. These mystery Sudoku quilts will be shown at the Quilters’ Guild conference and Annual General Meeting at Torquay at the end of March, so I’m looking forward to seeing the other quilts.

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I have been a member of the Quilters’ Guild for several years and can really recommend this. The QGBI has a number of ‘Special Interest’ groups too, such as the newly-formed ‘Modern’ group that you can add on to your general membership, so there really is something for everyone.

QGBI is divided into regions, each of which has a regional magazine.

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Living in Durham, I am part of Region 15E, the North-East, and our region is very active with two regional days a year, several workshops and other ‘quilty’ activities. If you would like to join the Quilters’ Guild,or to find out more, click here .

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More quilting in Llandudno

During my short visit to the ‘Queen of Welsh Resorts’, I stayed in a hotel looking out onto the promenade and beyond that to the sea. There were some over-eager morning visitors:DSC_0007The conference centre (where the Quilters’ Guild conference and AGM took place) is also placed in prime position looking out to the sea. So nice to step outside between sessions onto the wide promenade and breathe in the sea air. So nice to step outside between sessions onto the wide promenade and breathe in the sea air.DSC_0054The town was ‘dressed to impress’ for visitors. I liked the horticultural displays, like this:DSC_0035Meanwhile, inside the conference centre, there was so much to enjoy. Each conference is run by one particular region of the Quilters’ Guild, in this case Region 13. The conference had a particularly Welsh flavour, never more than with the appearance on Friday evening of a sixty-strong Welsh choir, who sang in both languages and proved that it was not necessary to understand the words, to take in the emotional impact of a particular piece.DSC_0032In one session, Diane Gaffney of Textile Traders gave an interesting presentation about the hand-made textiles she and her husband bring in from many parts of the world. Click here to find out more. There were examples to see after the talk, like this Hill Tribe skirt:DSC_0026.JPGI also learned from the Modern Quilt Group (a special interest group of the Quilters’ Guild) how to put a binding with a contrasting flange around a quilt, like the one below. Very useful. Click here for more about the Modern Quilt Group.DSC_0019.JPGI spent a very pleasurable hour watching a demonstration of hand-quilting by Jean Jeffery, an expert practitioner. She marks her designs in pencil (and the quilt is washed at the end of the quilting process). Marking-out takes a considerable time; Jean uses traditional motifs, partly drawn using templates and also including some elements drawn  free-hand.DSC_0018.JPGJean showed us how she hand-quilts with the work held in a frame on her lap. She gave us numerous hints and tips garnered during a quilting lifetime to help us with this kind of stitching. Such skill! I am determined to try and include this traditional stitching in one of my upcoming projects. Practice is everything it seems, so I shall have to start somewhere. Watch this space.DSC_0015.JPG