Thursday, 17 November 2016

IPS Gallery at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2016

So the Christmas demos in the local fabric shop went well (post here) and since all that crazy busy-ness right up to last Saturday, I took my foot off the brake this week and got on with celebrating my birthday and getting the boring housework done! As such, the WIP's are still at the same stage, so I thought I'd share with you, photos from the Knitting and Stitching show in Dublin last month. I had the honour of curating the Modern Gallery of the Irish Patchwork Society's display. My booth was 3 walls of 3 to 3.5m wide so I had to seek 5-6 quilts to fill the space.

Not all the quilts submitted to me for consideration, were what I would call modern in the sense of the MQG definition, but they had modern elements.  In the end, it was choosing quilts big enough for the space and what would hang well together.  It was hard saying no but really lovely saying yes and I have to give a big thanks to Paula Rafferty for the hanging which made the booth look so well!

The modern gallery was 1 of 6 in the display with other categories being Young Quilters (18 and less), Traditional, Art, Bags, and a Christmas display by the South Eastern branch.  I was delighted to see a Rainbow Rose in the submissions and this lovely version is by Imelda O'Grady from Limerick!

Aine Lecky made this lovely modern quilt and had it long arm quilted by the Quilt Shop Tuam. 

The centre piece of the booth was The Aviatrix Medallion made by Erin Case.  The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman and it is just a beautiful celebration of colour! 

A passerby to the booth commented that you would need sunglasses for our section and his companion said "yes, isn't it wonderful".  Not sure that was what he meant, but it put a big smile on my face!  This gorgeous scrappy colour quilt was made by Sharon Hughes.

Next to Sharon's was Tomomi McElwee's colour play, with Red and White the colours of the Japanese flag, and my quilt idol (see earlier blog post here!)  Ethelda Ellis' gorgeous sunset. 

As always I am in awe of Tomomi's quilting! 

This was the young quilters gallery...

and the bags...

and an early Christmas!

I don't have too many photos of the traditional quilts but I was delighted to see Paula Rafferty's Share Jane.  Over 100 quilters made blocks for this and 2 other colour versions for the Dear Jane anniversary exhibitions this year.  I made 2 of the white blocks in this version based on the colours of the Irish Flag.

One of my favourite pieces was Valerie Mulally's quilt from a block of the month.

I think my favourite block in this quilt is the rabbit - can you spot him?

Of all the quilts in the show though, this was the one that made me smile!  A Zebra made by Elizabeth Brennan for the Art Quilts section.  I would have had this in modern in a heartbeat!

That's the lovely thing about quilting - lots of genres, crossover of styles and opportunities to play!  It was brilliant to be a part of the exhibition and thank you to all the quilt makers who contributed and made our jobs curating such a success.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Small Christmas makes - Fabric Wreath's and Dresden Cushions!

Our branch of the Irish Patchwork Society usually has a demo or two before our meeting officially starts and from time to time I make up a project with step outs to share with the group. In order to try and recruit new members some of us are also doing demonstrations in a local haberdashery shop in town, so I have been making Christmas cushions, table runners and fabric wreaths and step by step bits to show how to put them together!

Last year, it was all hexagons (trees and snowflakes); this year it’s all about the Dresden Plate! Hickeys allowed me to chose a fat quarter selection of 6 prints with a Scandinavian feel and some background fabric to make up a Dresden plate cushion for the demo.  The template is here if you want it and for this 18" finished cushion I used the 5" sized wedge.  If you haven't made a Dresden Plate block before, it is way easier than it looks and gives such nice impact it's perfect for Christmas makes!  Missouri Star Quilt has some great video tutorials on how to make Dresden blocks on their You Tube Channel here.

Using quilting cotton, for a cushion, requires a bit of wadding or fusible batting to give the cushion cover a bit of substance. So, I straight line quilted the front and back and appliqued the Dresden plate and centre circle on top of the quilted surface with just a straight line stitch.

I like a cushion with binding to frame the front sometimes, if the cushion colours are quite light, so I used double fold binding strips made from 2 1/2" wide x length and attached with a 3/8" seam on the back first,  then folded over to the front and machine sticthed in place.  Keeping it simple with a envelope backing, (see tutorial I wrote for the Modern Quilters Ireland Group here if you want to make one too!)

I really like how it turned out and the Scandi style colours are lovely to work with.  The Dresden block is so versatile, you can adapt it to anything really.  I used a red/green traditional colouring on a silver background for the table runner and had fun using up scraps for the 1/4 circles at the corners.

I left the binding open so I can show how to close it at the demo.  Wool wadding has given the Dresdens a lovely puffy feel!

Figuring they make nice cushions and Christmas makes don't have to be out of Christmas fabrics, I tried a summery version, with some fussy cut musical fabric too. 

I am liking this one a lot!

The Dresden plates don't take a lot of fabric, so using the fat quarters I made a Christmas wreath too!

During the Knitting & Stitching Show in Dublin, the South Eastern branch had a Christmas display and lots of people admired the fabric wreath hanging on the wall.  The lady who made it advised the invigilators to use a tube made from 5" to 6 1/2" x length of fabric, sew the strips together at the top, stuff with toy stuffing, plait and hide the join with a bow. 

So for our branch November meeting, we normally have just a demo night of Christmas makes. I thought I'd have a go at making a wreath or two, following these general instructions and I wrote up a step by step pattern that you can download here if you like!

 I tired the 5" and 6" widths using fat quarters and prefer the 5" ones over the 6" wreath shown here in the bottom photo.  Because I was using fat quarters I felt that when stuffed they made a circle easier.

I had fun playing with a ribbons, and a bow tie and much prefer the look of the fabric ties so it is worth making your own.  When looking for bow tie widths online I found this tutorial that shows how to make the wreath step by step with a fabric ribbon so maybe this was the post that started the whole thing!

I have to leave you with this photo of Maggie and Wilbur.  While I was busy making for Christmas they were busy dreaming!  Don't worry guys Santa is going to be good to you both!

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