Create a quilt with fabric scraps…..

At the beginning of the Summer members of the Cranwell Group were all asked to submit ideas for future quilt challenges. Although not exactly in sync with the current season, the theme to be drawn out the hat for our latest challenge was “Summer Garden” and for this quilt we were asked to create a quilt with fabric scraps no larger than 3″.

I recently discovered Wendy Dolan’s book Layer, Paint and Stitch and particularly liked the heavily textured project that features on the front cover. I decided to use a similar method to create my Summer Garden quilt.

Layer Paint and Stitch by Wendy Dolan

Layer Paint and Stitch by Wendy Dolan

I sketched out a rough design for the foreground on tracing paper before making a start on the base layer.



The base layer consists of forty eight 3″ squares of cotton fabric which I pinned to a thin vilene ground and roughly machined in place.


Next I added small pieces of different natural fabrics and some flower heads cut from lace and free machined these in place.


Create a quilt with fabric scraps

The scraps of fabric that make up the background of the quilt.

More texture was built up by adding flower stems, using a thick thread such as crochet cotton in the bobbin and sewing from the reverse side of the fabric.  I found this a particularly useful tip as in the past if I have needed thick stitching I’ve either hand sewn or couched……this method is so much quicker and easier!

I began colouring the fabric with blue acrylic paint but wasn’t happy with the result so changed to procion dye for the grass and gave the sky a once over with the green to dull it down.  When it had dried I began building up the foreground using sheers for the flower heads and wool for the stems.

I’ve done a lot more work to it since this last photo so will post an update within a couple of days once it’s completely finished.


Three Tall Trees Update…..

Three Tall Trees

Three Tall Trees 30″ x 40″

My Three Tall Trees quilt is finally finished……I think.  I haven’t put as much detail into this 30″ x 40″ quilt as I did the smaller 30cm x 40cm version, however there is the possibility that at some point before this is handed in for the David Hockney Challenge I just might add to it.

30cm x 40cm version

30cm x 40cm version

Second LINQS Meeting…..

Last weekend saw the second meeting of the LINQS group at The Coach and Horses in Billinghay. It was a very good turn out with 25 ladies attending the meeting, most of whom arrived early to take advantage of the delicious lunch time menu.


Sheila chaired the meeting and it was great to hear that, as well as now having 39 members, we also have a number of venues showing an interest in exhibiting our DH quilts when they go on the road next year.

Several of the ladies brought along the quilts they have started, while others were keen to show which of the DH paintings they are intending to use for inspiration for their work.

Jean's quilt is inspired by Hockney's Woldgate Woods.

Jean’s quilt is inspired by Hockney’s Woldgate Woods.

Jean took her inspiration from Hockney’s paintings of “Woldgate Woods”. This beautiful, hand sewn quilt has been created using a jelly roll for the background and appliqué for the foreground.

Karin's quilt inspired by Hockney's painting of Garrowby Hill.

Karin’s quilt inspired by Hockney’s painting of Garrowby Hill.

The shapes and colours in Karin’s quilt have been influenced by Hockney’s landscape painting “Garrowby Hill” with its winding road and patchwork fields.

Rosie shows the fabrics she will use for her quilt.

Rosie shows the fabrics she will use for her quilt.

Rosie is also taking Garrowby Hill as her starting point. It’s all in her head at the moment but her fabrics have been selected and are ready for the cutting mat!

Sandra's choice is Hockney's "Three Green Waves with Orange Sand".

Sandra’s choice is Hockney’s “Three Green Waves with Orange Sand”.

Sandra’s choice is a little known image entitled “Three Green Waves with Orange Sand” which features in the book “Hockney’s Pictures: The Definitive Retrospective”.

Molly and her quilt.

Molly and her quilt.

Molly designed her quilt after seeing the Hockney collection on a visit to Salts Mill Gallery.

The red background for Carole's quilt.

The red background for Carole’s quilt.

Carole has created a background for her quilt using curved strips of fabric in various shades of red. The foreground will feature a wine glass with a reflection of Hockney’s face. Carole told me she is experimenting with a new technique for creating the wine glass. Once it’s finished we will show a photograph and get Carole to explain in her own words how she created it.

The next meeting was scheduled for March.

LINQS…our first meeting

A selection of David Hockney books displayed on a table.

A selection of David Hockney books were available to browse.

Yesterday saw the first meeting of LINQS, the Lincolnshire Quilters group which is responsible for the David Hockney Challenge.  The challenge is open to anyone living in Lincolnshire.

15 ladies turned up for our first get together at The Coach and Horses in Billinghay  and to quote Mary “there were no shrinking violets”!  It was a lively session with lots of ideas, enthusiasm and encouragement.

Work in's easy to see the Hockney influence in this colourful mini quilt.

Work in progress….it’s easy to see the Hockney influence in this colourful mini quilt.

Several of us took along quilts we have already started, while others were keen to talk through the ideas that they have in mind.  Some of the members also brought their copies of various David Hockney books for the rest of us to browse.

Unfortunately the photograph below doesn’t do justice to the wonderful piece of work this lady is creating.  The influence here is the colour and movement that Hockney displays in his work as the small, individual pieces of layered fabric gently ripple.

Work in progress....the influence here is the colour and movement that Hockney puts into his work.

Work in progress….the influence here is the colour and movement that Hockney puts into his work.

An open sketchbook showing photographs of the countryside on the right and hand written notes on the left.

Fiona’s sketchbook ideas

Fiona has been taking photographs of the local landscape while out walking her dog.  She has pasted these into her sketch book with notes of how Hockney might interpret these scenes if he were to make a quilt.  This is the sort of thing I always tell myself I should be doing…..I just need to start doing it!



The Sitting Ducks…..

Three of the ladies busy at their machines.

Three of the ladies busy at their machines.

This week my friend Molly and I spent a day sewing with the ladies at ‘The Sitting Ducks’ quilting group.  The group meet once a month in the Village Hall in Branston Booths.

The Sitting Ducks Quilt Group

The Sitting Ducks Quilt Group

This months session began with one of the ladies demonstrating how to make a reversible ‘thread catcher’.  It was a very simple design, made from eight strips of fabric, with endless possibilities for embellishing.  Although intended for holding scraps of fabric or threads they could be used for holding all sorts of different things.  These are cute little things to make and a great way to use up any scraps you have.

The basic shape of the thread catchers starts as four double sided strips of fabric.

The basic shape of the thread catchers starts as four double sided strips of fabric.

There is a very good tutorial here which I am guessing is the one that Margaret based her workshop on.

Small square shaped container made from four different patterned fabrics

My finished thread catcher.

Sue with her finished thread catcher

Sue with her finished thread catcher

Using the same pattern and technique, Denise chose to make a larger version, adding straps, and made hers into an attractive tote bag.

One of the ladies at The Sitting Ducks quilters group showing her handmade blue tote bag.

Denise with her Bag.

Some of the ladies chose to continue with their own projects, including Fiona seen here with the striking zigzag quilt she is currently working on.

A bold patterned 'Zigzag, quilt in white, red, green and grey fabrics.

Fiona and her zigzag quilt.

All in all it was a great day and I am planning to set aside the first Thursday in the month to return to The Sitting Ducks on a regular basis.  Many thanks to all of you for making Molly and I feel so welcome.

Delft Quilt….


Hand embroidered Delph Quilt designed and made by Liz Hands

Delft Quilt by Liz Hands

I first saw a version of this Delft quilt a few months ago at a show in Woodhall Spa.  There were lots of quilts on display but this one really caught my eye as it was so dramatic and fresh and the hand embroidered detailing was fabulous.  I immediately fell in love with it and, after talking to its owner, I discovered that she had made it during a series of workshops run by Liz Hands at Stitchcraft in Grantham.  The next day I called Stitchcraft and booked straight onto the next “Delft Quilt” course which is being held one day a month and started this Wednesday.

Although I love the traditional blue Delft shades I chose to make my quilt using these gorgeous, fresh teals with matching embroidery threads.  For the background fabric I am using a delicate ivory patterned cotton.

First of 25 blocks

First of 25 blocks

There are ten of us on the course and it’s a very friendly bunch.  Liz has a relaxed style of teaching and is very approachable, which is great for someone like me who hasn’t made a quilt before.  This week I almost completed my first block during the class (just got to finish the 2nd leaf) and I now have the next three blocks cut out and bonded to the background fabric ready to embroider at home.   All I need now is time……..

Four quilt blocks.

The first four blocks cut out and bonded to the background fabric.


LINQS David Hockney Challenge…..


Are you living in Lincolnshire? Do you enjoy quilting and fancy a challenge? If you can answer yes to both these questions you might like to join the ladies in LINQS (Lincolnshire Quilters) and create a quilt inspired by any work of David Hockney’s, past or present. Quilts can be made by an individual or a group and the work can feature any technique or style, including traditional.
The criteria we have to adhere to is…..

1. To be a quilt it must have 3 layers

2. The size must be either 30″x40″ or 30cm x 40cm portrait or landscape. If you want to make a larger size quilt you can hang several smaller ones together.

3. No matter what style we use we must be able to link the finished piece back to DH’s work.

For more information or to register your interest click here.

I didn’t really know Hockney’s work before signing up for the challenge but, after talking to one of the members of LINQS, I took a ride up to Salts Mill to see it for myself. Salts Mill is in Saltaire, West Yorkshire, a few miles from Bradford and it houses a permanent display of Hockney’s work. It also has a terrific book shop and a restaurant serving delicious food on the top floor.

The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate

The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate


Background of my monotone quilt.

Background of my monotone quilt.

Trees are added to stand away from the background.

Trees are added to stand away from the background.

Detail of foliage at base of trees.

Detail of foliage at base of trees.

I’ve started work on two ‘mini size, quilts, the first is based on The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate. I decided to strip it back to a monotone colour scheme and started off in a fairly traditional way using machine and hand stitching on the background. I wanted the trees to stand out so I used black acrylic paint on vilene, backed with black felt and attached them with my glue gun. The foliage at the base of the trees was cut from a piece of lace which has also been painted with acrylic. I’m not sure how I am going to finish this one… I add the large leaves and the vines? I’ll sleep on it a bit longer before deciding my next step.

The second piece I’m doing is based on Hockney’s early self portrait collage. This is going to be a mixed media quilt using paper, paint and fabric. The background is the ‘Newsprint’ wallpaper from my last post. I have stuck it onto cream netting using PVA. Once it was dry I turned it over, soaked it with water and gently rubbed the backing paper off until the image was showing through. This has created a nice thin layer which I can quilt at a later stage.

Hockney 1954 Self Portrait

Hockney 1954 Self Portrait

Starting work on DH's face.

Starting work on Hockney’s face.

More shading added to the face....the glasses are tried on for positioning.

More shading added to the face….the glasses are tried on for positioning.

Rather than copying Hockney’s 1954 self portrait I have chosen to show him as he styled himself in the 60’s with his trademark dyed blond hair and thick black round specs. After drawing the features onto cotton fabric I am trying a new (to me) technique for colouring the face, using a soldering iron to fuse layers of organza. I got the idea after buying the Margaret Beal book New Ideas in Fusing Fabric. The work in this book is so inspirational I had to buy the iron and have a go! I’m hoping to get some more of this quilt done this week so will post an update when I do.