Tuesday, 10 October 2017

No means no in any language

I know, I know!  I haven't done part deux of my Festival of Quilts round up yet!  It is imminent I promise.

I just wanted to share with you the article I wrote for regarding our Instagram group quilt, "No means No in any language".

You can find it here at the Rape Crisis Scotland blog and it will be featured in The Quilter quarterly magazine of The Quilter's Guild of the British Isles.

Please have a read at the Rape Crisis Scotland link and please feel free to share the article in on social media.


Oh and a huge thank you to Aurifil  and Simply Solids for supporting this quilt with thread and batting donations.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Festival of Quilts 2017 round up (part one)

So in August this year I attended my first ever Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham. I have wanted to attend for so long but there had always been a reason for me not to be able to go to it. I travelled alone in a toy plane to Birmingham airport and then onto the Premier Inn next to the NEC for 2 nights. 

Tiny, propeller plane! Glasgow Airport

I arrived late on Friday afternoon and had dinner with 3 other lovely fellow quilters who were staying in the same hotel.  Julie, gave me her program as she was leaving the next day.  So I spent the rest of my evening planning my must sees.  I was like a child at Christmas that night trying to sleep. 

I had a 2 day ticket for the Saturday and Sunday.  Day 1 was overwhelming.  I couldn't believe the sheer size of the event.  It filled 3 halls of the NEC.  I decided to get some photos of our Instagram group quilt," No means No in any language",(more on this soon),  first of all before it got really busy.  This quilt will be exhibited next year by Rape Crisis Scotland as part of a campaign.  
No means No in any language
I then decided to try and meet some people I have known for a long while in the online world.  Firstly I headed to the wonderful and inspiring Victoria Findlay Wolfe and her gallery.  Her quilts are awesome and she even knew who I was !! I got a dorky photo with her and everything!  She is a lovely, warm and friendly soul. 
I then managed to find the Simply Solids ladies.  However, just before that I bumped into the lovely Trudi Wood.  We both stopped and said, "don't I know you from somewhere?".  It was a funny moment! 
I met Katy, Justine and Lisa who were all busy as little bees on their shop stand.  Not long after that I hunted down Lucy ( Charm about You) who I have been online friends with for years.  I also met Claire from Self Sewn.  I made one of my very early english paper pieced projects using one of her tutorials for a Rose Star.  It was awesome to meet them both.  I also visited Deborah O'Hare who makes the most beautiful art quilts at her stand.  I have long admired her work and it was a real pleasure to finally meet her in the flesh! I met fellow quilters and Instagram chums, Catrin and Sonia for lunch too which was fantastic!  

So the first day was all about meeting lots of lovely people and the amazing array of shopping stalls.  The next day was to be all about the quilts I had decided!  I was so glad I had booked the 2 days as there really was no way I could have happily done all I wanted to in one visit. 

As you can imagine, there were SO MANY QUILTS.  There were quilts everywhere.  From competition quilts to galleries and exhibitions.  One of the first things I done on the Sunday morning was head along to the creative studio section.  Here artists were demonstrating their techniques for dying fabric, printing textitles and curved piecing. I loved being able to see the process and being able to ask questions up close. 

So "what about the quilts?" I hear you cry!  There were hundreds on display.  Here are a few of my favourites.
credit in photo

HMP Bullingdon boys group quilt
Part two and more quilts to show follows soon!! 
Collette x

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Secret sewing finally revealed!

So this month has been really exciting for me quilting wise.  I was very fortunate to have been given a great chance work with the lovely people at Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine last year.

They produced a beautiful booklet using my projects and patterns all about the wonderful technique of Quilt As You Go!

This was such a fun booklet to work on.  I love the colours and all the fabrics.  I especially loved making and quilting those chevron cushions.

The booklet is free with the current issue (47) of Love Patchwork and Quilting and is well worth the read.

Here are a few of the wonderful shots the team produced of my items.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Busy as a bee!

The last month has been busy!  Magazine commissions, patchwork classes, school holidays and general family duties have meant I have not had much time to update my blog at all.  By way of an apology I am planning on making my most recent little house and tree pattern free to use on my blog.  Bear with me and I will have it up and available as soon as I get my butt into gear!

This cute mini was recently returned to me and I am pleased to say it was featured in the latest issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.  It is foundation paper pieced mainly and was fun to make.

The whole family went bowling and Emma tested out my new work stool while I got on with some secret sewing!
ten pin bowling

secret quilting

Friday, 3 March 2017

Some new news

Well last week our quilting class moved to a brand new venue.  It is a beautiful, large room which you can hire in the lovely Kilmarnock train station.   Here are some photos of the ladies in action.  The local sewing shop is sadly closing down in May.  The owner is taking her well deserved retirement.  She has actually joined the quilting class too!

ladies hard at work 
beautiful little teapots
I have also been busy with magazine commissions.  I am very pleased to say that I had my first commission published in the wonderful Love Patchwork & Quilting
 magazine.  A cute, inspiring Spring mini quilt for your wall.

I love the way they have photographed this cute mini.  The magazine is available now and it is issue 45 if you want to check out the pattern with the fancy flange binding tutorial too.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Showing off their work

I am still teaching patchwork in my local sewing and knitting shop.  The students in my class have been busy on all kinds of projects since before Christmas.  On Wednesday I got to see some beautiful works in progress by them, which I would love to share with you!

Sandra is just finishing off the binding on her wonderful Kaleidoscope quilt.  Isnt' it gorgeous?  It is huge and heavy but I just love the monochrome colour choice and the effect it gives. (sorry the photo was taken on my mobile so is a little blurry).

Sandra's Kaleidoscope quilt 

Jenny brought in her take on a Bargello quilt to show everyone.  Sandra and Jenny got together outwith class and helped each other with this technique.(isn't that wonderful? Friendships made through a love of quilting!)  I adore Jenny's fabric choices and colours.  She gets to keep this one all for herself! 
Gorgeous pinks, greens and blues - love it!

Mandy has actually finished her Kaleidoscope quilt.  I just haven't managed to get a good of photo of it yet!  Here is a photo of one of her little dogs making itself quite at home on it!  Mandy made this amazing quilt for her boy and is finding it hard to part with.

look at that dug! 

Last but by no means least is Elizabeth.  I am really looking forward to seeing her finished Kaleidoscope quilt.  The fabrics are gorgeous greens and citrus greens and I am sure it is going to look stunning.  In the meantime here is a lovely quilted panel she is working on.  Elizabeth is turning these panels into a patchwork bag.  I will update you on the progress next week. 
loooooove these fabrics!

I really can't tell you how proud I am of these students.  They are challenging themselves with their quilting and trying new techniques, fabrics, colours and patterns all the time.  They have made quilts for themselves and ones which have been gifted to others.  It really is such a pleasure to be among these quilters and talk about all things patchwork each week.  It is my little sewing and quilting sanctuary! 

Where is your sewing sanctuary?  Who do you quilt or sew with?  Tell me about it! 

Collette x

Sunday, 15 January 2017

keeping it real - where I have been.....

I am currently sitting here contemplating what to write for a blog post.  Throughout my whole blogging journey, I have always sought to establish genuine relationships with my followers.  My blog is by no means a numbers or stats game.  I do not really track how many people read this little corner of my world or how many hits, conversions etc I get.  Maybe some people may view that as foolish and not very good business sense at all?  I really don't care though, because I am all about keeping my love and passion for quilting real. Showing the good quilting with the bad.  Sharing the good times and the bad times.

So this brings me onto sharing why I haven't been around much lately.  My husband, Colin has been experiencing some scary severe anxiety and episodes of derealization.  This seemed to get a little better with medication, however, it wasn't long until he was heading down into the abyss again soon after New Year.  Fortunately he has been referred to the appropriate care team and will soon be receiving appropriate treatment and talking therapies.  This has meant a huge change in circumstances for us as a family.  He is unable to work at the moment, and anyone who is self employed, knows this can be very tricky indeed.

I stopped quilting for a few weeks there, hence the lack of quilty posts.  Times like these really put the world in perspective!  Thankfully we are beginning to see light at the end of the dark tunnel.  I am beginning to get back into my commissioned projects this week and may even use Colin's photography skills to take some good photos of a few of my quilts for pdf patterns I hope to publish soon!

I just wanted to update everyone and be open about this time in our lives.  One in four of us in the UK will suffer a mental health problem at some stage in our lives.  I had post natal depression just 3 months after Jacob was born.  Quilting is my personal therapy and meditation.  I don't share this information about our situation for sympathy or to be doom or gloom.   Quite the contrary!  I want you to know that from terrible suffering of the mind can come great things.  I discovered quilting as a result of suffering from post natal illness.  Our family has become so much closer over these last few weeks of Colin's illness.  As have Colin and I.  Sadly there is still a huge amount of stigma around the issue of mental health and wellbeing.  Colin and I have both suffered this kind of stigma first hand.  This is why I feel it is vital I share this story here on my blog.  The world of quilting can be very positive and viewed through rose tinted spectacles at times.  This is a good thing but life isn't always like that.  The discovery of quilting was a positive thing to come out of my illness.  Now quilting is something that helps maintain good mental health in me.  If more people are open about these benefits personally or for those around them, then perhaps we can help break down the stigma and encourage more people to take up quilting or share with those around us who are maybe finding life a little hard and could do with a distraction from their problems.

So even although it is still very, very early days for him, I just wanted to share that out of these horrid situations can come better things.  Things you never knew would be around the corner.  I never knew I would be a quilter all those years ago when ill.  Who knows what is around that corner for Colin?  I am thankful for every reader or follower I have here.  I can only hope that my sharing of our lives can maybe encourage or help someone out there today.