Thursday, 29 October 2015

October's Mini Mania

I have just completed my 'Mini Mania for October and I feel rejuvenated!!  Whether it is being creative for this challenge or whether it is my new Studio but I suddenly realised that I had got into a rut .

I started Patchwork and Quilting when I was living in Chepstow, back in the late 1980s (goodness 30 years ago) in the days when you could go to an evening class, for a nominal amount of money, and providing there were enough people learnt a great deal from inspired teachers.  Nowadays you have to pay a lot of money if you wish to take a course, even if you can find one within reach!

Our teacher Maureen, taught us the basics, and I mean the basics.  We started off making American blocks, using huge sheets of graph paper, drawing lines, measuring angles and then cutting out and gluing to card.
All cut to the right size
We also had a lovely little fabric shop down by the river where I became a regular shopper buying fabric for my blocks and starting my still extensive stash.  All the blocks were hand sewn and I now I know that I made one big mistake - see if you can spot it!!

Apart from the fact that some of them are different sizes because the pieces don't fit there is absolutely  no colour co-ordination!!  I discovered this when we finished all our blocks (only a small sample here!) and had to make this:-

3' square and the centre of the quilt
to try and bring all the colours together.  It didn't work and I discovered this squashed in a cupboard when I was setting up the Studio!!  Definitely a UFO and never likely to be finished.

We had to provide a portfolio of work at the end of each year in order to get further funding and here are some of the techniques that I learnt -
The colour circle and shades and tones of blue
Chromatic changes
Printing with leaves
The Christmas trees were cut from potatoes!!
We tried Markal which I still love because you can get so many different effects and shades on fabric.

I made up my own designs using different appliqué methods,

Very childish but I love it!!
I learnt free machine quilting using my own design (and doesn't it show!!)
Sewn from the back and using Madeira in the bobbin
The front - simply awful!!!
I must have been dragging it around because all the threads are pulled, there are knots and I prefer the back!!

Finally we did Silk Fabric Painting that I took to like a duck to water.  I cannot draw so had to draw my pictures onto the silk.
My first attempt and a very difficult design
A scarf using colour and salt thrown onto it, dried and then the design is drawn on
My own design but note the 'bleed' from the let hand leaf
All my nearest and dearest got scarves for Christmas that year!!!

Oh those were happy days, but like all good things came to an end when Maureen retired, the Local Council put there costs up and we no longer learnt but just did our own projects.  When I moved to my present house I did find an evening class to join, but after a few weeks I realised that I knew more than the teacher and left; I wasn't stretched at all.  However I did find Higham Piecemakers and have been a member ever since and I think I have found my niche.

Oh,  and I cannot show you my finished Mini Mania - it isn't the end of October so wait and see!  However I now have an idea for another 'Mini' if the group want it.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, back in the day we did start at the beginning with samples, but folk now want a finished item in a few hours and therefore don't always learn the basics. I am sure your mojo will come back soon and look fir ward yo seeing the October mini mania.