Saturday, 31 December 2011

Size is not everything-at least not in dress sizes!!

Iv'e finally made it, sorry to be so late but have been with family in Liverpool and have only just returned and found the time to load this up!
The differences from one country to another in women's shapes and dress sizes sprang to mind as an ideal topic for this very challenging topic when I had to do a dress size conversion for a friend who was buying dresses in Japan, their sizes are all odd numbers, this led me to look at other countries as well. Shapes are usually, apple, hourglass, pear(that's me) and banana. The shapes have been made using my dyed fabrics and bonded onto the numerical base, don't we all wish we were a size 10??
Happy New Year to everyone
Ann Beech

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


Apparently Hilary and I were thinking along the same line for this theme :-). I decided to work with flowers as well. A couple of big tulips and a small one. Both the big ones and the small ones are pretty, so size is not important.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Size is not everything

This is Hilary's quilt. Unable to get her work onto the site, she asked me to do it for her.

Inspired by a Van Gogh exhibition poster, the stricken sunflower touched by the frost leans over whilst the daisy remains unaffected.

The fabrics used include net which has been machine embroidered.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Size Is Not Everything, Small Is Sweeter

I have been harvesting the remainder of our carrots. Hence the idea, not a very good one but it fits the theme.

I again used the cut, stich, cut, stitch technique for the background. Unfortunately because I was desperate to get on with the challenge I made the division between sky and soil at the half way mark, not a good idea design wise. Typical of me not thinking things out. I realised this early on but decided just to continue.

I used fabric paints to create the fluffy leaves and give character to the carrots. I then free machined with green variegated thread to give more texture to the leaves.

To my surprise I am reasonably happy with the result considering it was made so quickly and without much planning.

Plus Point -----I will be able to use it in the crafts section of our local Annual Show, where hopefully it will make the entrants to the vegetable sections smile.

Irene MacWilliam

Panic. Diary of today

I have to report negative progress. I got a shock to see that our challenge piece has to be in by 1st Jan.

I was away in England for over 5 weeks due to a death in the family. It was a shock when we came home to find how close we were to Christmas. I have returned to a sitting room full of furniture to be shared round our family but none of them want to take their pieces at this time.

I am now trying to juggle life, Christmas with all that involves and getting on with my 25th Events of the Year Quilt. It has to be finished by end of January as all 25are going on exhibition in early Feb.

Will see what happens.....

5.10 pm
Husband has been away all day so I decided to spend the day sewing the challenge piece and ignore everything else and hurray, I have finished my piece.

I will photograph it and post it on site tomorrow.

Irene MacWilliam

Friday, 16 December 2011

How is everybody doing?

The present theme is a difficult one, but I managed to find something and I even have it completed :-). The week after Christmas I will put a picture on the blog. How are you all doing? Struggling with the theme? Busy with holiday preparations?
As we are getting close to the due date, I want to ask Ann to start thinking about the new theme.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Size theme

Indeed this is a difficult theme. The first thoughts I had I can not use as they are way too sexually tinted LOL.
But stretching our imagination is not a bad thing. Okay, I have not found anything yet I can use, but it is possible. Back to googling for inspiration.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Double getting nowhere!!

I too am having trouble getting to grips with this Irene, it just isn't ringing any bells with me, it will I am sure but just not yet!! I think I might approach it from an idea perspective and try a mind map with the work "Size" on it's own in the middle of a blank piece of paper and see where that takes me; fancy a go as well any one?
Ann Beech

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Getting nowhere

Hi, when I suggestedthe title, "Size is not everything" I had been involved with an exhibition with our embroidery group and that was the chosen theme. We had to produce a piece to cover or mount on a prebought canvas 20 x 20 cms. When Wil asked me to think of a title I was stumped and then I thought having already worked on the theme I might use some of the ideas I had had but I am not getting anywhere. Would you like to see a picture of the piece I did which is all machine embroidery or is that wrong on this site to show something not related to our challenge? Over to you Wil on that as you have worked with an online group before.

Has anyone started their piece.

I thoughtI would jump in with some chat to try and get responses on how it is going with you all. I do not have a blog so am using this instead.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hot politics

Anne is moving house from France to England and has forwarded me the picture of her quilt. I have to admit I forgot to post it to the blog when she did this, but better late than never. For more information about this quilt you have to wait till Anne is online again as I don't have this.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


This is Hilary's wonderful quilt - full of words using hot. See if you can spot them. I had a lot of fun finding them all when I was lucky enough to see this quilt some days ago.

As Wil mentioned in the last post, Hilary has had problems posting her quilt to the Blog, so I offered to do it for her.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Hot Air Balloon

Two more quilts have been completed and both Hilary and Kelly have problems with uploading. Here is the picture and information Kelly send me:

While looking around on Google Images with my granddaughter one afternoon, we came across the page full of hot air balloons. That is when the inspiration hit me (finally!) I loved the colorful balloons and set about to design one for the quilt.  I found this piece of black netting with colorful metallic dots on it.  And I happened to have hand dyed fabrics to go with the colors of the dots.  Then drew the whole balloon on paper and cut out the pieces to use as a pattern. I tried to keep as many of the dots on the alternate pieces the colors of the fabrics on either side.  The balloon is all raw edged applique. Painted very faint clouds in the sky with Lumiere Pearl White paint. The "ropes" on the balloon are from my collection of speciality yarns.  I didn't include the basket because the balloon would have had to be smaller and I wanted it quite prominent.  All fabrics except the black net w/dots are my own hand dyed cottons.


This is my version of "Hot". As inspiration, I used some of the lovely photos which have been taken of the activity taking place on the surface of the Sun.

I started with a black piece of fabric which was then painted using Setacolor opaque fabric paints - using various shades of yellows and reds. Over this I have laid scraps of sheer fabrics and netting from fruit bags. Free machine embroidery has then been used over the entire surface, holding the sheers in place. A few beads have also been added.

It seemed appropriate to use the sun as inspiration especially since we are going through an unseasonal heatwave in this part of the UK.


My 'Hot' piece is completed just in time. Well completed, that is to say, the binding, sleeve and label still has to be attached but for the picture that does not make any difference. This piece started out as a plain black Kona on which I used metallic Lumiere paint with a textured gel print. I quilted flames on it and the words hot using a variegated red thread. Hmmm, not impressive enough so I added lots and lots of  beads in gold, yellow, orange and reds to finish it. The stitching of the beads followed the quilting lines. This proved to be more time consuming as I had expected/hoped.  But anyway, I managed to complete it just in time.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

HI everyone, I'm back on board now thank goodness!
Red Hot Gibson was inspired by my son's 1977 Les Paul Gibson guitar which he plays in his group"So '77". It's a retro punk group and not my taste but he is very good indeed!
The background is uneven strips of my hand dyed silks and cottons ironed onto self bonding Vilene G405 and held down with layers of stitching. The guitar is a lamination made by using paper and polyester organza with Matt medium glue; the piece once dry is ironed and ironed and then washed to remove all the surplus paper before being attached to the fabrics with Misty Fuse.
Looking forward to the next challenge Irene, have you made a decision yet??
Best regards

Friday, 23 September 2011

New Theme

I suspect you asked me to come up with the Oct Challenge theme as I had been first to post an image. I was a bit thrown by this request as I am in the middle of getting ready to go to England for a week so have been trying hard to think of something.

How about 'Size is not everything'.

Irene MacWilliam

new theme

We are getting close to our due date of October 1 and although not everybody has posted her work, it is time to start thinking about the new theme. Irene, please put on your thinking cap and let us know by the end of this month what our new theme is.

Red Hot Gibson

Ann Beech is having problems logging in on the blog, so I am posting the picture for her. Inspiration for this quilt was her son's guitar. I cannot say more about this piece, simply because I do not know more :-). Ann will post later more information.

Monday, 19 September 2011

October challenge HOT

Here is the second attempt at this challenge.

We recently had Edwina McKinnon to the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild and among her pieces she showed one where she had joined pieces by zig zag stitch and then turned and cut, stitched and turned and cut. It struck me this would be a quick way to get lots of hot coloured pieces quickly assembled for the background to my piece.

I then came up with the idea of hot springs. I downloaded a tiny image of springs and spent an evening copying it, I kept getting lost in all the coils. When I had my drawing I stitched the outline of the springs and the letters and then filled them with old silver paint by Hobbytex. It must be about 20 years old. I have never used either gold or silver paint in my work so it was wonderful to finally use it. Of course it has evaporated somewhat but was fine. I liked the way it did not totally cover the area so makes the springs look a bit aged.
Irene MacWilliam

Monday, 12 September 2011

I think I've finally done it Wil!! Fingers crossed

Our second challenge

Now that hopefully we are well on with our Hot pieces to be finished by October presumably Wil you have thought out who or what is our next challenge.

Will you be sticking to the 12 x 12 size? It is quite nice to have a number of pieces of equal dimensions if one ever wishes to display them.

I have finished my piece for HOT so will need to check it out for focus and colour etc before I post it.

Irene MacWilliam

Pictures on our blog

I think it is nice in this sort of group if images are posted along with whatever members wish to write.

I much prefer it to going looking at a further file to see images that match text.

Once we have all dipped our toe in the water by posting thoughts and either our finished pieces or work in progress hopefully it will be a more active blog. It took me long enough and help from Wil to get myself sorted.

Irene MacWilliam

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

This is my first piece i have worked on to the theme of Hot.

I painted the fabric then did some screen printing and some transfer printing and finally some free machine work. I left the threads loose.

A not very inspiring piece and am now trying something else. I am using this challenge to work out some techniques rather than trying to produce a really resolved piece.

If all else fails this will be my piece for the challenge.

How is everyone else getting on.

Irene MacWilliam

Thursday, 25 August 2011

putting pictures on blog


I think i have started dyeing and painting a background for my piece.

When i am ready to post an image how do we go about it?


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Logging in

The same I haven't got a blog and just testing to see if it all works, also its coming through in french which doesn't help
Anne Riches

Monday, 22 August 2011

I have been doing a lot of thinking about this Hot challenge. I am playing with lots of new media I have bought so perhaps this is the time to try something new as opposed to playing round making samples.
I like to know what I am doing so have been spending a lot of time trawling round the net to find out what are the differences in them and their capabilities. I have also viewed a lot of youtube videos about them.
Perhaps all this quest for information is really me putting off actually producing something as i am a bit devoid of ideas.
I am just testing that i am actually logged into this blog. It is my first experience of being a member of a blog group. Used to reading other peoples though.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Our present theme is HOT. There are lots of things you can connect with this theme. Are you thinking of the HOT centre of the earth with magma or lava? Are you wishing that the temperature was higher, you are fed up with the cold and the rain and wishing for HOT and dry weather? You love HOT, spicy food? Or do you hate those HOT flashes you get at inconvenient moments? I did not check a dictionary or Wikipedia, but no doubt there are other connections to make as well.