Artnextdoor's Blog

My place to be creative

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Quilt and Craft Show Calendar


7th – 10th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft


8th – 10th

Spring Quilt Show


14th – 17th

Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

Olympia London

21st – 24th

Sewing for Pleasure: Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch/Hobbycraft

NEC Birmingham


4th – 6th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft

Excel London

5th – 7th

Spring Quilt Festival


12th – 14th

Spring Quilt Festival


26th – 28th

British Quilt and Stitch



16th – 19th

Quilts UK



7th – 8th

Springfields Quilt Show

Spalding Lincs

21st – 23rd

National Quilt Championships

Sandown, Esher


8th – 11th

Festival of Quilts

NEC Birmingham


30th August – 1 September

Great Northern Quilt Show



12th – 14th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft


20th – 22nd

Scottish Quilt Championships


26th – 29th

Creative Stitches/Hobbycraft



10th – 13th

Knitting and Stitching Show

Alexandra Palace, London

24th – 27th

Crafts for Christmas


25th – 27th

Autumn Quilt Festival



31st October – 3rd November

Knitting and Stitching Show



1st – 3rd

Autumn Quilt Festival


7th – 10th November

Crafts for Christmas

NEC Birmingham

21st – 24th

Knitting and Stitching Show


28th – 30th

West Country Quilt Show

Shepton Mallet

I am lucky (not that my husband thinks so), to live very close to one of the best quilt shops in the UK – The Cotton Patch they have one of the best selections of products I have ever seen, (browse their website to see for yourself) if they haven’t got it is it worth having? Denise and Nadine are always very patient with my sons when they do their annual Christmas shopping trip. They attend many of the shows including the Festival of Quilts in August, last year they seemed to transport the entire shop to the NEC.

This year Liz at the Cotton Patch has let me know they will be demonstrating a number of patchwork and quilting tools including the True Cut Rulers, Sizzix Cutting Machines and Dies, Antex Mini Iron, Gem master and Fabric Master, Rowan Fabrics, Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen and HQ18 Avante as well as Grace Frames at Sewing for Pleasure (March, NEC), Quilts UK (May, Malvern), Knitting and Stitching (October, Alexandra Palace), West Country Quilt Show (Shepton Mallet, November) and the Festival of Quilts (August, NEC) where Marti Mitchell will also be on the stand demonstrating her templates.

Creative Grids are also in attendance at the shows in Duxford (March and November), Malvern, and of course the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham, offering a vast array of ‘I didn’t think of that’ tools, rotary cutters, mats, basic rulers and their specialist rulers.

I hope my calendar of events is helpful, if I have forgotten any shows please let me know so I can update my list. Oh don’t forget the website links give all the info on competition deadlines, ticket prices, locations and workshops etc., some give trader info too.


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Kaffe Fassett Quilt finally completely finished!

Hurray, it has taken me nearly a year to do but it is finally completely finished, although not to the size it was originally designed to be.  I am really pleased that I have made this quilt, it took me out of my comfort zone by forcing me to work with pastel colours and floral fabric both of which are not in my usual range (this choice was my own, I decided to work with these parameters).  I just hope the recipient loves it as much as I do.


Would I follow a pattern from Kaffe Fassett again?  Hmmm……..probably not, but what I would do, would be to read the pattern through thoroughly then work out how I would put it together rather than follow the instructions given.

Will I re-create this quilt in the future? ……….. Maybe because I like the idea of framing a larger scale pattern within the smaller scale print framing fabrics.

Would I use striped fabric again?…… Yes, of course but with thought this time rather than doing as I was told!  I’m not sure I like the higgledy piggledy way the stripes lay within the borders.  I don’t know whether I would piece the borders again either, I think I would applique the on-point squares to the sashing fabrics for speed rather than anything else.

If I’d had more time, this is a present for a really lovely, bubbly person, I would have quilted by hand around the blooms within the frames to give them more definition. 

The back was made from all the little left over bits and the sashing fabric, I did enjoy making the back and although the fabrics are pastel they do have a vibrancy that I hadn’t expected! 

Will I use pastels again?…….. Yes, certainly.

Will I use floral fabrics again?………..Hmmm………Perhaps, but they would have to be really special or different from the normal.  Stylised floral, yes definitely.

I really enjoyed the workshop at the Festival of Quilts last Year, where this quilt was started.  As I probably said at the time, it was amazing to see how many different interpretations of the same pattern came be produced just by using fabrics chosen by personal choice, rather than slavishly following the design.

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Batik Quilt finished and Kaffe Fassett top done

I can’t quite believe how productive I have been since my return from America.  I have started and finished 3 quilts, finished another quilt top that will be layered up early next week and quilted, bound and label attached before the end of next week; I have also knitted two jackets and a scarf, designed, cut out ready to sew at least 12 creature bag tags – only another 18 to go to complete the set.


Kaffe Fasset top 1Kaffe Fasset top close up

The above quilt top has only been on the go for 12 months since last years festival of quilts.

I have had fabric printed ready to make into scarves, that’s another job for next week as this weekend is DD 21st birthday, so party time!  The garden is tidy and cleaned up the lawn needs mowing and the edges clipped but that will get done this evening.  Sunday garden party here we come.  Tomorrow I will be making a tiered death by chocolate cake covered in chocolate fudge sauce, chocolate and then just to add something more sweets – smarties, minstrels, chocolate buttons, jelly beans, marshmallows, glitter anything I can find oh and of course 21 candles!

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Kaffe Fassett workshop quilt

I thought you might like an update on the quilt I started during a workshop at the Festival of Quilts back in August.  I have started work on the sashing. Originally, I had intended to fuse the on-point squares to the striped fabric but decided to piece them instead, a slow process!  I have enough fabric to enlarge the starter quilt or even make two smaller ones.  I really don’t know which way I’ll take this yet.

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More from the Festival of Quilts 2011

I have now had time to down load the photo’s of the quilts at the Festival of Quilts last weekend.  Below are just a few of those I took.

FoQ 2011-1

Made by Jane Appelbee from Milltimer(?) called ‘Turbulance’.  The inspiration for the piece came from ‘Fast flowing streams,twinkling in the sun, the sound of rippled water and my love of curves!’  Includes :- Cotton, Artic wool, recycled plastic and boning inclusions. Machine stitched.  Angelina, beading, Markel. Hand-dyed.

FoQ 2011-2 By Helen Hay from Aberdeen entitled ‘Barcelona Bonanza’ .  The inspiration came from ‘Antoni Gaudi’s work in Barcelona left a lasting impression on me.  I wanted to make a small tribute’.  Includes:- All machine stitched.  Mostly machine appliquéd using Gloria Loughman technique.  The rest applied to that and machine embroidered.

FoQ 2011-3

Sadly I didn’t get the name or artist statement for this one.

FoQ 2011-4

Once again my powers of observation and recording let me down as I don’t know the name of the maker.

FoQ 2011-5

Again I failed to record the maker. Sorry.

FoQ 2011-6

As the last three sadly I didn’t record the name of the maker. If you know any of the names and or titles of the pieces above please could you let me know so I can give credit where it is due. Thanks for your help with this.

FoQ 2011-7

Gillian Travis of Ripponden made the ‘Impressions of Romania Hanging on a Line’.  Paint, print and applique with machine stitch. Inspiration:- Rugs hanging on washing lines in Northern Romania.

FoQ 2011-9

Janet van der Colff of Keyworth.  “Curvy Doodle” Machine pieced using freezer paper pattern, free motion quilted.  Inspiratio:- I have always doodled in meetings, watching tv, etc and thought I would use one to make a quilt.

FoQ 2011-10

Catherine Lawes from Marlborough New Zealand. ‘“Wai Nag Awa” – River of Many Channels’.  Batiks and other cottons, free cut and pieced on cotton wadding.  Machine stitched.  Inspiration:- Wairau River, Marlborough, NZ meanders past a series of vineyards and fields on the plain blue hued richmond ranges to North.

FoQ 2011-11

I am hoping that I have the right makers name and details Yvonne Potter, Okehampton “Echo Deco”.  Strip piecing, stained glass applique, curved seams and foundation piecing with echo and outline machine quilting.  Inspiration:- Echoes of the art deco period, strong lines, stepped pediments and curves widely used in architecture and interiors so inspiring.

FoQ 2011-8

And lastly Kate Dowty of Bridport made “Rape Fields”.  Painted, dyed and some commercial fabrics, heavily machine stitched, with additional embellishments.  Inspiration:- The colours of spring when the fields turn all shades of green interspersed with the vibrant yellow of oilseed rape.

I hope I have given credit where credit is due, if not please let me know and I’ll rectify any errors.  All artist statements taken from the Competition Catalogue of The Festival of Quilts 2011 published by twisted thread. organizers of the festival.  Roll on 2012.

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Festival of Quilts 2011- Kaffe Fassett Workshop

The above photo’s are of some of the quilt tops produced during the workshop I attended at the Festival of Quilts on Saturday.

Many thanks to Miss Road-Kill(Donna), Miss Doll’s House(Jane from Torbay),Miss Blue and Yellow (Pam), Miss Thinker(Jane from Australia), Elaine and Olivia(from France now of Leicester), without you all the day wouldn’t have been the same and those of you with additional names will understand.  I am sure we had more fun and laughed much more than we were supposed too, but hey-ho we did manage to get the work done regardless.  I must also thank Brandon for turning the fabric over to mute the colour.

Large floral prints or floral prints in general are never my thing; to go this far then decide to step even further from my comfort zone by using a pastel colourway as well was a big move for me.  I usually go for bright zingy, or bright jewel colours, I have never worked with such muted, pastel colours although I have included a bright orange based print, a bright lime green batik and a darker red patterned fabric.  I am surprised at how pleased I am with the whole effect even down to the pastel striped fabric I have chosen for the sashing background.  I have also not used a design wall before usually relying on the floor or table to try to see what is going on.  The construction of a design wall will be on my to do list, at the very top this week.  I regularly change the blade in my rotary cutter and am surprised at how infrequently others change theirs and it was a joy to help Elaine change her blade and vicariously enjoy the pleasure she gleaned once she had started cutting with the new blade, no drag, no need for added pressure thus reducing stress to her wrist; she has agreed to change her blade more often now.

See you all next year, perhaps we will include something a bit stronger than double espresso coffee – no on second thoughts maybe not!


Blocks 3 and 4 for DD’s quilt.

Block 3Block 4

I have completed all 12 blocks for dear daughters new quilt.  I now have to cut the sashing and stitch the blocks together.  I also have to consider the quilting pattern, as there is such a large area in the centre of each block I have endless possibilities – mmm which to choose?

I have to put things on the back burner for a few days as I am off to the Festival of Quilts which is being held at the NEC outside Birmingham, just 11 miles from my home.  I will, if you remember, be attending two workshops this year.  The first on Friday is with Sandra Meech entitled Digital Imagery in Stitched Textiles and on Saturday, Colour in Design with Kaffe Fassett.

I am very interested in using images in my work, having done so recently whilst working towards my City & Guilds qualification although that experiment did not make it to the final piece of work.

Whilst studying at what was then the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, now part of Birmingham City University, back in the 1990’s I was awarded a prize for my use of colour, so Saturdays workshop should be interesting.  I have the fabrics (please see previous post) to which I have added a couple more as I felt I needed a dark fabric.  I now just need to pack up everything else.

On Friday, after my workshop, I have arranged to meet one of my fellow distance learning colleges for coffee and a chat about our experiences, something I am very much looking forward to.

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Fabrics for Kaffe Fassett Workshop at The Festival of Quilts.

I went to see my mum for the first time since the beginning of May yesterday.  With me being ill, fetching Dear Daughter from university, getting her off to work in France, Dear Husbands work schedule, Number two son’s school schedule it has been difficult.  Mum doesn’t like us to go if we are in anyway ill as she doesn’t want to catch it – which is fair enough but it is sad that I haven’t seen her for such a long time.  Her next door neighbour is a bit of a ‘You can’t do that’, ‘I’ll make your life a misery if you do’ sort of person has complained that mum’s attempt at saving water by installing a water butt has blighted the area as this woman can see the butt from her front door!  To keep the peace mum has had to part with money to screen it off from this person’s view.  Yet this woman has left an unsightly wheelie bin parked in the centre of her drive right outside mum’s front door, smelling away in this hot weather whilst she’s away on holiday. Unbelievable!

Well back to the fabrics for the workshop.  On the way home from my mum’s I called into the Cotton Patch in Hall Green.  My husband and little son went to do the shopping and take it home before returning for me.  I spent an enjoyable hour and a half with Denise playing with bolts of fabric, even snatching some from under the nose’s of the chaps trying fulfil the mail order requests.  Eventually I managed to gather all that I need (I hope!).  I had gone in there with an idea of a colour scheme but that was completely abandoned within minutes of starting.  Below are the fabrics I have chosen, please let me know what you think.  The instructions were for low contrast I think I have achieved that.

Fabrics 1Fabrics 3

Today I have scanned and photographed each individual fabric, resized and up loaded each to EQ7 for designing with – a mammoth task on one of the hottest days of the year.  I even ironed some of them – mad of what – I like to call it dedicated.  I had to get at least 9 large scale prints (done – just) and at least 15 small to medium scale prints (done with 3 to spare).  Now for a cup of tea.

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New Designs In Progress

I thought I would update you on what I have been up to since returning from holiday, apart from the washing and ironing of course.

I am thinking I might make this into a quilt measuring about 40″ by 30″, to hang on the wall in the lounge of our house, as we have a large empty, blank wall.  The colour way has yet to be determined, but I am thinking purples through reds and oranges to yellow, possibly, I still need to play – it could end up a completely different colour scheme.  It also depends on DH and his thoughts on what colour/s we will be using when we decorate this room.

Another area I am experimenting with is a square design based on the basic pinwheel.

Again I have not thought of colours yet but that will come at some point.  I might have to look to nature again for inspiration, we’ll see.

I also have to prep for the two workshops I am taking at this years Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham in a couple of weeks.  I am  taking Digital Imagery in Stitched Textiles with Sandra Meech on Friday 12th and Colour in Design with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably the following day.  Perhaps the colours for the above design will make itself known during this workshop.


Things to be done this year and those I would like to do!

I have decided to take part in 2011 Journal Quilt Challenge set by the Contemporary Quilt Special Interest Group of the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles.  This is something I have never done before, I have to commit to making a 10″ square quilt a month for the next 12 months starting in February.  The challenge has been split into three parts with each part having a different element that has to be included within the quilt – the first element is circle.  I won’t say ‘that should be easy’ as I know this will come back to bite me, we’ll just see how I go.

Along with that decision I have to finish my C&G in Patchwork and Quilting by May at the latest as my registration runs out then and cannot be renewed.  I have taken so long doing this course as life in general has been a bit of a pig over the last few years but that’s the past.  I only have the wall hanging and the quilt to do along with the associated work, although the wall hanging is well on its way (I say that with my fingers crossed behind my back!) I do have an idea for the quilt which I will for now keep under my hat.

I would also like to make mantle runners, tables runners and placemats for each of the seasons and I also need to replace my christmas set as it is falling apart having been well used over the years.

I have to finish a quilt for my daughters’ boyfriend’s 21st birthday, he has been nagging me for one since she went to Cambridge taking hers with her.  He wanted to keep hers but as it depicts fairies he changed his mind and she wasn’t having any of it.  This has to be done by the middle of February.

Both my sons need new quilts, one of which is under way, the other is still in my head. My daughter could do with a new one as she is a bit old for fairies now, I do have the fabric but not the idea yet!

I have promised myself that I will use up all my beads, silk waste, embroidery bits stash, in embroideries over the year with the hope of selling them to raise funds for a new stash.  I also have to set up an Ebay selling account to sell some of my magazines as I need the shelf space.  I have lots of Quilting Arts magazines and all the cloth,paper,scissors magazines since the first issue.  I am seriously considering selling my considerable library of art books too.

I am considering entering some competitions this year too, perhaps one at the Festival of Quilts and one of those run by Grosvenor.

But first of all the Wall hanging has to be done, I need to get the samples and design work to my tutor by the end of January at the very latest.

So to work.