Monday, 2 November 2009

Autumn quilt festival at Malvern

The whole weekend has been full of autumnal colours and imagery, from the fantastic foliage colours on the drive down to the leaves that were blown into the hall by the high winds on Sunday morning, scattered all over the carpet! This Fabric Freedom "Noodle" (their Jelly Roll equivalent), from Quilting Madness, was the perfect weekend souvenir. It is destined to become another workshop sample for Super Strips, although I don't think there will be time to assemble it before the next workshop on November 22nd at Gresford. Fabric Freedom rolls have been used many times at my Super Strips workshops. Overall, they often have lower contrasts than some of the other strip cuts and they are the ones that most quilters are holding when they ask, "Will this roll be OK?", but that simply makes for a very harmonious quilt top. A similar roll was used when I taught on Jersey in June - it is easy to spot among all the other tops. The blue and yellow one below it (in the linked blog entry) is another Fabric Freedom roll.

My workshops went well, with Saturday being the quietest day at this show, rather than Sunday. Perhaps people looked at the weather forecast and decided to make Sunday their indoor day. I almost forgot to photograph my demo stand just for the record - if I'm looking a bit worn out (below), we had just begun breaking down the stand and had packed up a couple of boxes when I remembered there wasn't a photo of it.

I eventually started demoing on "Tennyo" on Saturday, as the A0 pattern was too large to manage easily on the central area of my demo table, and I transferred it onto the fabric using Chaco paper on Friday evening instead. Travelodge rooms usually have a long built-in desk, which means I have somewhere to work and an ideal cutting table for narrow width kimono fabrics. It turned out to be a good marking area too. At the show on Friday, I marked and began stitching another version of the "Kiri" crest on a smaller square, the design I was using in the sashiko marking workshop, which will become the centre of a cushion panel when I bring it out as a kit next spring. Every year since about 2004, I've brought out the Grosvenor quilt shows' sashiko workshop project in kit form, so if you missed the workshop, there's still a chance to make the project.

The lights from the carpark lights at Frankley Services (M5) made a great gobo effect through the trees, straight onto the wall in the motel room!

My demo stand was next to Ineke Berlyn's, and she had some of her beautiful hand dyed fabric for sale. This piece was irresistable. Not quite strictly autumnal colours, but the yellow/orange/flame red end caught my eye. Next door to Ineke, Lousie Mabbs, known for her rainbows of colour and exploration of mathematical theories via patchwork, had her demo display, although most of her work is currently in an individual exhibition in the main quilt section. There is one more chance to see it all together at Chilford next weekend. Pat Archibald also has a selection of her quilts touring with Grosvenor this autumn, including many of the pieces in her online gallery. "Moonshadows and Sundown", "Celtic Moon" and "Sunshine and Shadow Days" are among my favourites. These will also be touring to Chilford.

I might combine Ineke's panel with some of these fabrics, for next year's Oriental Fabrics challenge (formerly the Kona Bay Challenge), "Cherry Blossoms and Maple Leaves", sponsored by Step-by-Step Patchwork Centre. The cherry blossom and gingko leaf fabrics in the top row are from their gorgeous selection of oriental fabrics. The fabrics across the bottom are from The Contented Cat (it turned out they also have the cherry blossom fabrics). Joyce Dawe of The Contented Cat has many of her quilts in a special section at this year's autumn quilt shows, including her striking red and blue version of the Dear Jane quilt and a quilt commemorating one of her cats, Sheba. I might think I have a handful with Fluff and Takenoko, but they have three Siamese!

Speaking of cats, "Fish and Chips" was on display again, as part of the Batik Beauties challenge. Next year's theme is "A Batik Landscape". Entry forms for all the Grosvenor quilt shows are available if you contact them through their website.

The Contented Cat also came up with the two paw print fabrics (on the left below), which I wanted for a challenge project for next year. They have a great selection of paw print fabrics and the only difficulty is deciding which ones to include. I bought a couple of cat panels from Robert Kaufman's "Curious Kitties" range last summer and the challenge is between myself and a quilting friend. I can't write too much more here because Debbie is probably going to read this sometime! I think she already knows that my challenge is going to involve a lot of red fabric, some Log Cabin blocks and quilt-as-you go...

The brown paisley print on the right is from Rustic Angel. I am collecting repro fabrics for a quilt inspired by an antique Turkey Red quilt in Pippa Moss's collection and this will subsitute quite well for one of the non-red fabrics in the quilt top. Finding just the right fabrics is a slow process, as many repro ranges dull down the reds a little (100 year old Turkey Red quilts are still as bright as new) or focus mainly on smaller scale prints.

Debbie spotted a Moda Arcadia Jelly Roll for me in a bargain basket! I bought one recently with a matching charm pack for a new Jelly Roll quilt design I'm working on. However, I ended up using the roll for another new design (a variation on my "Masu" quilt - blocks shown below). Only then did I find out that these rolls were fast disappearing off the shelves! I spotted one on Kaleidoscope's fabric stand at Malvern, but by the time I'd returned to buy it, it had been sold! Now I've got it again, the charm pack won't go to waste...

Taupes were very much in evidence on many trading stands. As I'm working on a taupes block book at the moment, I already have a lot of taupes in my workroom. Woven taupes are my favourites and the two on the right below look just like miniature Welsh double weave wool blankets.

And finally, at Quilts UK back in May 2008, visitors were impressed with a new piece of work at the showground. These fabrics are going to be used for a small wallhanging inspired by its colours, patterns and textures. The fabric at the top is metallic silver. Suffice to say the title might be "The Ladies at Malvern"...

Although there are lots of places where you can buy fabric online, there's really no substitute for a good quilt show, where you can see and touch the fabrics for real, and combine fabrics from different traders to get exactly what you need for a particular project.

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