Friday, 26 June 2009

Chester Ps & Qs UFO day and more Sandown Park pictures

The UFO day was organised by Krysia and co. from Chester Ps & Qs, at one of our regular meeting venues at Burley Hall, Waverton, near Chester.

In case you are asking, "What is a UFO?", in quilting terms it is an UnFinished Object, also sometimes described as a WIP (Work In Progress). Mine didn't quite qualify as the longest-running UFO there, as it was narrowly beaten by a sampler quilt.

I started this quilt in 2001, as a 70th birthday present for my mum. My dad got a double bed quilt for his 70th birthday, so she suggested a single - to go in my old room. Before I could get it finished, they moved another bed in there... so I now had the problem of really having to make TWO quilts. As I'd made this from the contents of our 1970s/1980s scrap bag (lots of Laura Ashley, Liberty, Viyella etc.) there was the slight snag of finding enough similar fabrics NOW! Over the last few years, I've checked out sales tables when I visited quilt groups and Guild events, and bought up as many similar fabrics as I could find. I was even lucky enough to find the same border fabric in another colourway. So this autumn I'll start the other quilt (but won't take too long to get it finished).

The inspirations are in Åsa Wettre's "Old Swedish Quilts", a great book for all vintage quilt fans (looks like it may be out of print now). The busy, scrappy centre combined with a wide but fairly plain border is typical. I had to resist the temptation to add pattern to the border and it will be quilted with parallel lines, 1 1/2in apart. I'm using perle thread and quilting in big stitch, which isn't really traditional (now I've got to hunt out enough thread for that border - 80 metres minimum!*) The wadding (batting) is "Matilda's Own", a lovely 80% wool, 20% polyester from Australia and it so nice to stitch through.

Now I'm pushing to finish the quilt, as I've entered it in the "Traditional" category at Festival of Quilts at the NEC in August. Compared with the other UFOs today, it seemed huge, but it is only a standard single bed quilt - 92in x 72in approx.

It is called "Luleå Blockhus" (Luleå Log Cabin), although it will probably be written in the programme as "Lulea", as it is on the quilt label I've been sent. Seems Creative Exhibition's word processing can't cope with some letter accents.

Continuing the scrappy look, here's my Scrappy Pinwheel hanging at Sandown Park. Blocking it did improve the quilt.

The Kona Bay Challenge quilts were displayed where I could get a better photo of "Butterfly Dance". It will also be shown at all the Grosvenor Exhibitions Autumn Quilt Shows in 2009.

* I sorted out my perle no.12 threads... including some Valdani perle, with beautiful shaded effects. Turns out there is an amazing 100 metres in each of these tightly wound balls of thread, so I should be OK! I have a choice of two different shaded golds or a red/burgundy varigated thread, which I bought several years ago to finish the scrap quilt project - luckily I haven't started using them for anything else. By compairson, the Anchor no. 12 perle I've been using in the central patchwork have only 60 metres per ball.

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