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J-Quilts

Longarm quilting service

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Best in Show Festival of Quilts 2015 (I am still dreaming)

Posted on August 9, 2015 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (3)
This post is definitely the most proud post that I will ever be likely to make.  My quilt "Kaleidoscope" has just won not only a 1st prize in "Traditional Quilts" category at The Festival of Quilts 2015 but also the prestigious "Best in Show" award.

I had been notified the night before the show started that I had won the 1st prize for Traditional quilts ...  you should have seen me literally jumping up and down (my poor back) in my studio which is where I was when I heard.  So I was asked to go to the awards ceremony taking place the next day. 

This being my first time entry into The Festival of Quilts I had no clue where I needed to be and what to expect,  and after driving up to Birmingham NEC on the morning of the ceremony I arrived with only about half an hour to spare before the awards started.

So off I toddled to accept my award for First place in Traditional quilts and being handed my certificate and prize cheque.  I went back to sit down.

There are 18 categories in this show and over 1800 quilts were entered this year.  A panel of experts then chooses the Best in show from all of the first prize winners.  I was up against some big names in the quilting industry at this point and really thought there was no chance I was going to stand a chance.  Mind you I had not even thought that I would place in Traditional quilts as I have seen some stunning quilts lately being created for entry into this category.

Therefore when my name was read out as Best in show, to say that I was stunned was a complete understatement, so off I went shaking to collect my certificate and prize cheque.  Walking off the stage after photographs I was in a state of shock, I could feel my chin beginning to wobble, so head down so people would not notice I was starting to cry...  but I couldn't control my emotion, and was completely overcome in the moment. 

Since winning I have had some lovely emails, texts, and personal congratulations from many of my friends and customers, which means so much to me.  Thank you all.

If I had known that I would win like this I would have insisted that my family come with me to see me.  They thought I was kidding them when I rang them.  Thankfully I had friends in the audience to comfort me.

Anyway enough of me blowing my own trumpet.  This is my winning quilt.  It is called Kaleidoscope and is a pattern by an American pattern and fabric designer Vanessa Christenson at V&Co. 

I used moda fabrics called Chantilly, and a solid cream by Art Gallery fabrics.  I have used two layers of wadding, Hobbs 80/20 and Hobbs Wool to give it the trapuntoed effect. 

I longarm quilted it on my APQS Lucey with entirely freehand techniques, including the use of rulers.  NO COMPUTER (I was asked that a lot at the show)  I have used straight lines and dense quilting certain areas to make areas appear puffed up to give it texture and dimension.

I am so glad that the Judges liked my quilt the best this time around.  Beginners luck with my first entry, that's for sure.

I have been asked a lot how I created the scalloped binding, so time permitting, please do watch my website for some workshops in the future on how this is achieved.  (Ring me if you are interested in maybe attending)

I did enter another couple of little quilts, but that's a story for another day soon.

Love to all of my loyal customers without whom, I would not be here.




IN THE WINNERS GALLERY


WINNERS GALLERY



IN PROGRESS


ON OUR BED (INTENDED USE)


REVERSE OF QUILT




REVERSE OF QUILT



IN PROGRESS




IN PROGRESS


SCALLOPPED BINDING


CLOSE UPS (CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE)





Happy New Year (oh and by the way Merry Christmas too!)

Posted on January 3, 2015 at 7:52 PM Comments comments (0)
I really cannot believe how quickly these last few months have flown by, time seems to move too fast in my world at the moment.

I wish all of my customers, family and friends a very Happy New Year for 2015, and a belated Happy Christmas too.

I have had a lovely week break at home with my own family, and visiting my brother and sisters little families who live a fair distance from me, I have not seen them all in over a year ..  How on earth did that happen?  All of my little nieces and nephews are growing up so fast I am missing it!

The only sewing that I have managed to fit in this holiday was on Christmas Eve when I quilted my Christmas table runner with snowflakes and bound it too..  having pieced it earlier in the month.  I had high hopes to get some piecing in and maybe a sneak to the studio for some quilting for a couple of days on my own quilts, but it wasn't to be, maybe in evenings and weekends to come very soon.

I have lots of customer quilts to share very soon.  I have been reorganising my photograph files into a better filing system on my pc.  So watch this space...  have I said that before?












Interlocking stars and lots of pebbles

Posted on August 30, 2014 at 7:31 PM Comments comments (1)
Its been a while..  where has two months flown to?  After spending the evening reading other quilty blogs that I follow, I decided it was about time I concentrated on my own !!

I have had an exceptionally busy few months with my full time job quilting for my customers, made busier by taking a couple of weeks off in August (holidays are very inconvenient - but oh so needed)

Although it seems like yesterday, back in July I gave a talk on Longarm Quilting to a group of quilters over towards Chelmsford way.  It amazes me that people request that I show my work to them, as to me I am just a normal quilter, with nothing really special to share, so I thought I would try and quilt something a bit more interesting.

I had pieced this quilt a few months back after seeing a few interlocking star designs on a few American blogs that I follow.    I kind of winged it and just made up blocks to the size that I felt lent itself well to the design, and to most effectively use my fat eighth bundle of "Daydreams" fabric by Moda.

I really love white backgrounds as they are great for some background quilting.  I kept the quilting fairly simple, but fairly dense in the white areas, just pebbles and swirls with a few straight lines created with some ruler work.  I used an offwhite thread by Glide, (my favourite).  Although my straight lines didn't quite create the effect I thought they would due to the interlocking nature of the design, I decided I liked it enough to continue on with it.. 

Anyway, I don't normally write this much in my posts so onto some photos..

Apologies for so many...  to see a large image just click on each image.  Most were captured on my ipad, but just yesterday I invested in a much better camera, I even bought a tripod too !!  So I need to up my photography skills now..  not to mention refiling all of my photos on my laptop...  I have tons of quilts that I have not shared this year, custom and allovers...

I was really pleased with the overall effect.



The holiday is over...

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM Comments comments (0)
Our holiday at the end of May seems like a VERY long time ago now, and we had such terrible wet weather, its hard to believe the difference a month makes, and now at least we are having a bit of summer finally.

We went away in our motorhome for a few days and stayed in a lovely site at Chertsey, close to the train station to London, where we spent a day at the Sealife centre and shopping,  although we did get completely washed out in London.  It was the worst rain in a while...  typical for the half term week.  The week we got back I was sweltering hot in my studio...  its just the way it goes.

I bought some lovely fabric in Liberty to add to my Liberty fabric stash, now I have more than enough to make a quilt (or two !)

I took my Singer featherweight sewing machine with me for the first time along with an applique project too, for those cooler wetter nights cozying up in the van.  Most of my project was cutting and fusing and cutting again ....  no noise in that, but one day when the boys went on a bike ride, I had a few hours to myself on my sewing machine...  I managed to get all of my dresden blades done which have a folded 3D insert between the blades, which add another dimension to it..  its going to be a while til this one is finished, but I am already thinking of ways to quilt it....  custom of course for this one.

After making over 400 blades and drawing and cutting countless applique pieces, my husband finally conceded that he wouldn't have the patience to make one let alone 400!  I will take it as a rare compliment about my quilting.


When we got home (a day early due to the washout weather) I machine appliqued the centre block.  I am using the blanket stitch on my pfaff creative 2.0 on this project, and was pretty pleased with the finish. 





Now I just need to get on and finish the machine stitching on the four large setting triangles and four little ones... I only really do my own piecing of quilt tops on the weekends these days so it was nice to get a bit of a head start on holiday when I had a few hours to myself.



Hugs and kisses quilt

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 5:37 PM Comments comments (3)
This quilt is one of my own that I pieced last June...  it has just taken me this long to quilt it...  I quilted it last Saturday ...  Ian and the boys were off at a bike show if I remember rightly,  so off I trekked to my studio and finished my quilt.

 I did a talk for the womens institute last Wednesday, and I felt I needed another quilt to show (I didn't actually as I had four full large bags - its amazing how many I have once you bag them all up from home and studio!!!)  Oh well - at least it is nice and quilted now..  This is a quilt by Jaybird quilts, and I made it from a layer cake called "Tradewinds" by Kate Spain and some white solid fabric.

It is entirely quilted freehand...  no rulers - no patterns, even the centre circles of the flowers are completely freehand...  although I did roughly draw the flowers with chalk before stitching them.   I am never using that brand of chalk again though as it would not come out with just water and I had to wash my quilt e machine.  Lucky for me I love that wrinkled effect, but I would have liked to see the new look for a while longer...  I used a cotton wadding, and that has wrinkled beautifully...   I used a yellow leafy backing fabric which seemed like a good idea at the time, seeing the quilting though now, I wish I had used a solid colour to really show off those feathers and pebbles...



Tilda fabric addiction...

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 7:38 PM Comments comments (0)

Well things have been a bit hectic of late... with one thing or another...  mainly busy with customer quilting, but I lost a few days having some nerves in my facet joints in my back burned a couple of weeks ago now ... which was the most excruciatingly painful procedure ever...  they certainly didn't warn me it would be that severe..  but it is easing up a bit...  although as I have been in pain for over three years now, it is not much different at the moment, but it should take a couple of months to give relief (if it works...  )  but enough of my aches and pains...  lucky for me quilting really eases the pain and keeps me moving... its the sitting that I find so hard to deal with...

Well I really have to stop myself buying some more of this gorgeous Tilda fabric (mainly because of the cost !!) but it is the softest fabric ever and I can't help stroking it, and although I didn't want to cut into it, I decided that at least if I could look at it made up in my studio as a sewing machine cover then I would enjoy the view... and it was excellent freehand practice as small pieces don't take too long and you can get them finished on a weekend... 

The thing is once I used my fabric I really felt the need to go buy some more ....

Of course I couldn't just stop at one ...  I do have a sewing machine at home too which needed a cover...  and the leftovers make great cases too.

Just four fat quarters in each cover...  I covered them in swirls, pebbles and feathers...





Friendship stars for a new baby

Posted on September 18, 2013 at 8:08 PM Comments comments (0)
I finally met my new niece last weekend, and surprised my sister with a new quilt for her new baby girl.  Isla is gorgeous - so sweet and cuddly.

My sister loved the quilt too, and I even managed to psycically match it to her new curtains too....  and there I was worried that she wouldn't like the green.....  things are just meant to be...  She was secretly hoping that I would have made a new quilt for her.

It has a lovely flannel backing, so soft and snuggly, and I quilted it fairly open so that it is nice and soft.  I used a gorgeous variegated thread by Superior threads called "Seashell" and it looks really lovely on the white fabric.

And as I didn't make it up to Lincolnshire last weekend (a little lady called Lucey got in the way !!)  I even got to show it at show and tell at quilt group on Thursday evening too....




Happy holidays and hexies....

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM Comments comments (1)
After relaxing on our family holiday for a couple of weeks in Brittany France, I am now back and raring to go again....  lots of customer quilting to get caught up on...  I took some hand piecing with me and managed to finish about 40 little hexagon flowers...  most whilst travelling... I managed to engross myself in a couple of good books too, and time by the pool and the beach with the boys and hubby... not much time left to sew.

Just before going away, I treated myself to a Sizziz Big Shot and hexagon die, so was happily cutting away for perfect hexies..

I also took a selection of just in Art Gallery fabrics called Reminisce along with which are lovely shades of green, red, blue, cream, yellow...   (by the way which are available at £11/m from my studio in 20 x fat quarter bundle, fat eighths or jelly roll cut strips)

It may be quite some time before this one is large enough for a quilt..  maybe it may become a bag instead...







Our holiday seems like a distant memory already....   lol

I have a new niece....

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (1)
Congratulations to my sister Sally who has had her baby girl last night....  a big one too at 8 pounds 5 !!!  

I have to crack on with this.....  I started this a few weekends back now for my sisters little girl, but have been side tracked ever since....  we live a distance apart (worst luck) as it would be lovely to just pop over to see her and her new baby....   I will get this finished before we meet our new niece..  I've only had nine months !!!!


Poppies

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)
This lovely fresh coloured quilt was made by Annie, and she chose the "poppies" design, and a sandy gold coloured thread.  It looks very pretty, I love the fabrics in this quilt too, some dusky mauves and pinks really look great with the yellows and greens. 




I love seeing what other quilters come up with colourwise,  actually I think I made a mistake with a colour choice on a personal project, and the quilt I have been piecing is turning out to be way too green (which isn't even actually my colour !!! )  it was just the only solid colour fabric I had to hand in two shades of a similar colour which is what the pattern called for...  maybe I can add some different colour quilting theads when I finally get around to quilting it in the future, although I fear it may sit for a long time in my UFO pile....  LOL..  I am sure it will look a whole lot different once quilted.

Actually the whole process of making this one has been disappointing, as the pattern from one of my longarm quilting idols in the states, was a bit sparce on instructions I felt,  the fabric requirements were wrong, and the diagrams misleading, leading to a couple of mistakes early on, but now I have adapted it and ironed out the pitfalls and square up etc, I will probably make another one in the future - but not green !!!





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