Tuesday, 18 October 2016


I have been pondering for a while as to whether I can continue making pieces for the group.  I feel that it has lost momentum again, despite having 15 members.  I put a great deal of effort into getting it restarted and it appears to have been in vain..

I hope to remain a member, if the group continues, but will not be doing any more new work at this stage.  It doess disappoint me as I have enjoyed responding to the challenges but there comes a time.....

With regrets and best wishes to you all.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Under the Sea - Irene MacWilliam

As I had recently completed a number of sea/fish pieces I was a bit stuck on this theme so I took the angle of pollution. 
I made a printing plate (see second image) from foam scraps that a friend was discarding. The grey shapes as printed represent all the bits and pieces that float around our oceans.
 I used a lino cutter and a school rubber to make the fish skeleton stamp. The letter stamps for 'Pollution'  were made from a wooden alphabet bought on ebay several years ago. The fabrics are all scraps or a

recycled old sheet, dyed or in some cases paint dyed. Free machine quilting.
I have had another idea so I might be contributing another piece, who knows.

Signing off

Dear bloggers I am sorry but I will not be able to continue with this. In fact i never really gor started. Unfortunately my primary breast cancer has spread which means that I will not be cured. However with new treatments and some luck I will be continiung to make quilts but I don't want to committ to any deadlines and let anyone down. I hope your group thrives. Please take my name off your membership lists. Best Wishes Tricia

Friday, 29 July 2016

Long Walk Home Tricia Revest

I'm sorry if this is a bit late but I am emerging from a bit of a bad patch and only just getting back into the studio. My offering for Long Walk Home is entitled "Imagining Walkabout" and was inspired by the landscapes and art works of Australia which we visited last year. Driving along the west coast from Albany to Darwin it seemed that we were so far from home both physically and culturally. The landscape even in the deserts was never entirely brown and there were many different types of vegetation hanging on in nooks and crannies. We visited a number of sites where rock art showed how the local have used the land for 40,000 years. I wanted to include the idea of walking across the landscape from place to place but these are not towns or villages in European sense but resources for life, waterholes, caves and food sources. Truely a long way from our home.

I am not happy with the piece, it seems bitty and uncoordinated and I would do it differently if I were to do it again. View it as a preliminary sketch in fabric. I just felt it was important to get going again.

Monday, 25 July 2016


This was a fun piece which is unusual for me.  It was before a certain date so future work is likely to return to my usual dystopian outlook.  I am sorry it is late but the design and printing were done ages ago - it just never got quilted.

I was stuck, initially, for a suitable idea until we came home from an exhibition on the train.  The 'Evening Standard' carried an advertisement for a Fendi shoe and this was combined with an exotic dress I found.  These set me wondering what it would be like to walk this eight mile journey in such gear.  I added one of my 'Ascot hats' and the trainers on the left-hand side to the mix.  The background is meant to reflect a spiral type route from the centre to the destination.  I cannot remember now how the background was compiled except that it came from earlier design work.

The quilting is intended to reflect the longest possible route from the centre to the outside.  I do not use much green usually but I just went with the flow as it developed.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

New theme and poll result

Our coming theme is: Under the sea and is due October 1. The result of the poll is that a majority of 88% wants to continue with the present situation: using the master list. So if you have any suggestions for a theme, email them to me and I will put them on the list. Every 3 months I use a random number generator to pick a theme.
Sorry that I am late, but I was abroad and could not access the yahoo group.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Long Walk Home

It has given me a great deal of pleasure to take part in this challenge even though it took a while for an idea to take shape.

This quilt was inspired by a photograph of my Granddaughter taken when she was not quite two years old.  Having grown up in Leeds, my lovely daughter and her partner decided  to move to live in the countryside and found a cottage completely surrounded by farmland.. Long walks along extremely muddy paths followed and having been a city girl all her life, my daughter suddenly discovered nature! The countryside where they live is very flat and featureless, but ideal territory for a toddler learning to find her feet. Isobel is now eleven and will be going to high school in September, but to us she is still that little girl starting on a long journey.

I used my own handdyed fabrics and all the quilting and embroidery were done on my sewing machine.

Penny Leonard

Friday, 17 June 2016

Long Walk Home - Irene MacWilliam

I had so many ideas for this but none of them seemed goers when I got down to thinking about them in terms of fabric. I found I had changed the title in my mind to Long Way Home so this is a combination of the titles.

 Bird migration is one of the great wonders. I often think where is home to a bird, they do not all return to the nest area where they were born, though some species do. So where is home?

 I thought of when my children were young and how after a fun day out at the local park they had no energy and wanted to be carried. home. However as soon as they got back into the house they were full of energy where I might just have wanted to sit down with a cup of tea before cooking and the evening routine.

White cotton from the Empress Mills bargain bundles, sun printed and then free machine work. I do not particularly like this piece, it was not challenging and is very mediocre. The one thing that I do feel proud about is that when dye painting the fabric I completely forgot about allowing extra for binding so I had to be careful not to quilt into the narrow edges that were
needed to finish it. I had just a 2 x 1 inch strip left at the end.

Monday, 13 June 2016

help requests and chat

Various postings have been made re needing help.

For new members some of the requests and chat can be found in the comments under people's posts. I have tried to help by responding through the comments. It is difficult to find ones way around the technical bits of posting photos and text.

Wil who set up the group said in one of the comments that she was abroad and could not access the Poll results through her ipad or whatever it is she has, I can not remember that detail.

I also read on another group that she had had a thrombosis and had been taken to hospital.

I hope the above is helpful.

I am working to the theme, LONG WAY HOME to have it up by the end of July. I say working, well just tonight I got out  paper and pencil to see if any of my vague ideas might possibly work. I am planning to do some of the fabric painting for it tomorrow. Sometimes I find it very easy to come up with a few ideas but this to me is very difficult. I have also been working flat out on a piece for an exhibition, see my facebook page (spelling of surname is MacWilliam..... no s at the end of surname). I also am a fanatical vegetable grower so been busy there.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

whats it all about?

Hello All, I am not sure I understand this group? I noticed Millie asked for some help on the 30th May, I posted for some help on June 1st and to date seemingly no one has responded. Is this just not a very chatty group, do you simply get together once in a blue moon to set a new task/subject? I have no idea what "title" we should/may be working on at present. PLEASE someone let me know, thanking you in advance for your time. Take care Ann in sunny Brecon.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Long Walk Home

My fabric is all my own dyed fabric. I have used markel for my sky with appropriate shaped cardboard. Then I have stitched with various colours in an endeavour to get the effect of hedges and fields I wanted. I am a 'cat' person, hence the paws bottom right hand corner. I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and am looking forward to the next. Thank you for the opportunity to join you.

help needed please

Hello, I downloaded my photograph of my little quilt this afternoon. However it is not now showing! I put it on the blog as I have no knowledge as to how to put it anywhere else. Also I got no information as to the final result of the poll, despite voting ? Have I done something else wrong?
Coast to Coast - Lesley Brankin
I live almost as far from the coast as it is possible to be so when on occasion I find myself by the sea it is most definately a very long walk home. My quilt represents a theoretical coast to coast walk - the backdrop of the hills in the middle (where I live) and seascapes at top and bottom. I say theoretical as although my mind thinks it would be fantastic to undertake such a walk, I know my body would think otherwise!

I had great fun making this quilt - starting off with an old pillowcase which I ripped into strips. Each strip was tied/stitched and then dyed in strong tea. Using the resultant stitch resist patterns to dictate the my hand stitching I let the form of each landscape evolve as I worked.  Finally I made a little print block and printed a trail of footprints to represent the walk.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Millie Thomas - Long Walk Home

I used some jam jar dyed fabric for the background and some bucket dyed textured fabric for the women.  I drew freehand the shapes for the burkas.

Using variegated thread I stitched it, leaving a lot unquilted to give a sense of distance and a mountainous background.  

The plight of those women really touches me to the core, more so than the children and men for they are the ones trying to hold it all together in diabolical and risky  situations.

Whoever wants to leave the country of their birth?  Not many of us. But to have control over their futures stolen by war, to the extent that they must save their children's lives by becoming refugees, leaving their patents, or struggling to carry them too,  how must that feel? 

I know I feel helpless and hopeless just thinking about it.  How about you?

Saturday, 7 May 2016


I am writing this in the hope of enlightenment!  Could anyone help me with the following?

1)  Where IS the poll & the Yahoo group?  I thought that the blog was the only place for posting observations?

2)  Has it been decided that 'The Long Walk Home ' is the subject & July the deadline?  I know that Irene proposed it & it suits me as I am halfway home already!  However, I have not seen a definite deadline or any mention of ideas for future work.  Perhaps we could have the themes for the year so we can get ahead of the game if that suits us.

3) Have the people who made contact via my message on the CQ site been contacted & what is the result?  Do I need to do a follow-up message as I have a feeling that some may have fallen by the wayside?  I do feel a bit responsible for their participation & enjoyment.

4) Could you do a post,Will, letting us know where we stand?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

At last I have managed to get there with the help of John.  Google makes things so complicated,  lets hope its all sorted.
Back to 'Conquered'.  I was really stuck for an idea for the current topic and I saw a picture of Everest.  I am of an age I can remember the thrill of the announcement that Hillary and Tensing had reached the summit.  I'm not good at figures but I think the distant shapes convey they have a long walk down!  It was good to work on something quickly as soon as the idea came.  I usually take ages to decide.
Thank you Will for your patience and help.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Deadline check

Just checking (as newbie). So the present theme is "A long walk home" and they have to be posted by July 1st. Is that right? Tricia

Friday, 22 April 2016

Hi Everyone

Hi Everyone

Apologies for not posting before but I did just want to say hello to everyone and to briefly introduce myself.

My name is Lesley Brankin and I live in the pretty town of Malvern, Worcestershire. Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by all things arty and crafty, perhaps this was something to do with my Mum being a Primary School teacher and their generally being materials around the house? I love art and textiles of all forms and am always keen to try out new ideas and techniques that I might be able to incorporate into my own work.

Challenges are always good to get the old brain cells ticking over and the creative juices flowing so I am looking forward to being a member of this group and tackling the idea of 'A Long Walk Home' - thank you for letting me join.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A long walk home

My original idea for this theme was a maze, but I was not really happy with it. Then one night when I could not fall asleep, I knew that I wanted to something with a sign post. Remember MASH? In the centre of their camp they had a sign post with the towns which were important to them and being in Korea they were a long walk away from home. Here is my interpretation:

Sunday, 17 April 2016


even if you as a group decide not to run with the theme above I am making a posting of what I am up to. Actually I had an idea when writing my post of welcoming you all. So here goes.

For the last few days I have been doing some tie dyeing and thought I could use a piece of it for the Long Walk Home theme. I seldom do pretty pieces and yet I just love this fabric so maybe!!!. Anyway here is a sample of one of my 5 fabric pieces I have made. I plan to do 2 more today. The input for doing these came from http://carolreatondesigns.blogspot.co.uk/

How About..... and theme LONG WALK HOME

Wow great to have so many people wishing to join Sky is the Limit group. Welcome to you all. I was worried the group was going to collapse as we were reduced to about 3 people posting regularly.

As a long time member of the group, actually with it from its formation a very big welcome to all of you. It looks like we will live on. Wil Opio Oguta has been the mainstay of the group.

We were running it with members having posted themes to Wil and she picked them out of the hat every month but our numbers dwindled as people found they could not keep up with a monthly challenge.

The group more of less collapsed and I think only about 3 people were posting work so how about us taking up the February theme of LONG WALK HOME and setting our goal as 4 pieces each 12 x 12 inches per year. If we start as if at beginning of May then our posting dates for our pieces would be JULY, OCTOBER, JANUARY, APRIL. This avoids the Christmas business for people.

How about we take in turns to suggest a theme? As you can see I have jumped in taking the theme that was already running in the group but had no postings of work.

Work can be anything you want to do. It would be lovely if we got into the way of posting our thoughts progress etc during the making time. rather than just posting images of a finished piece.

It is up to us how we organise the group so lets have your views and we can work from there.

Everyone please feel free to respond to this so we get going.

Irene MacWilliam in a lovely sunny day in Northern Ireland.... I live outside Belfast.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Hello everyone. As another newbie I thought I would introduce myself.

My name is Tricia Revest and quilting has been my serious hobby for over 20 years ever since I saw the Contemporary American Quilts exhibition at the Crafts Council in 1993 and met Nancy Crow before I'd heard of her. From that day I knew I wanted to quilt. I joined London Quilters the following week and an obsession was born.

In October 2014 I retired from a career in teaching medical sciences and now spend quite a lot of time in my studio. I have tried lots of styles over the years but now seem to concentrate on free-form strip piecing, often using hand dyed fabrics, but want to start stretching myself more into surface design (and better free motion quilting).

I love music, especially opera and choral, walking, gardening and travelling. I am also a bit of an IT geek. I recently learnt to scuba dive, although I only like warm water like the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer so joining an online group can help me get my quilting fix whilst being at home under treatment. I am a member of both the Contemporary and Modern groups of the Quilters Guild and love doing journal quilts, although I've yet to make a proper modern quilt (whatever that is). I look forward to being a part of this group too.

Best wishes


Friday, 8 April 2016

About me

Hi all sky members. My name is Ann Pullen and I am joining you all as a result of a contemporary quilt member posting about you. I live in Pembrokeshire so a  bit remote from much of the quilting world but I have sewn and quilted all my life.  As much of my quilting has been about making large traditional quilts I am quite new to so called 'art' quilts but that is my current Interest.  I am currently doing the monthly journal quilts with cq which are proving very good experience in design and processes and I am finding the small format perfect for experiment.   I look forward to trying my first sky challenge.  Ta ra for now.  Ann

Another newbie

Hello from another Newbie! My name is Penny and I live in Mullion on the beautiful Lizard peninsula in Cornwall. I am also a member of the QGBI and CQ and I love working with all kinds of textiles. At the moment I am concentrating on quilting and embroidery and I am hoping that I will be able to rise to the challenge of belonging to this group.

Current theme

i have just joined this group.  Please can someone tell me the title of the current theme and its due date.  Thank you.  Millie

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Newbie, just to explain where I come from!

I studied C& G in Cheltenham, but now I live in Wales. I have a super cat, who tries to use the sewing machine or the computer, whichever I'm trying to use. I belong to the Quilters guild and the contemporary quilt group within. I belong to a group that has an biannual exhibition in Brecon Cathedral. I really love dyeing fabric and 'patterning' it. I am still struggling with precision when I am sewing blocks! I prefer machine quilting and embroidery on my work. Looking forward to the new challenge.Ann in sunny Brecon!!!!

Monday, 14 March 2016


Are we going to continue as I have not heard anything?  If so, I shall make the effort to finish my two pieces quickly. If not, I shall take my time.

I am enjoying coping & thinking about different subjects as well as liking to work small.  I, for one, would miss the challenges a lot.

Sunday, 6 March 2016


The ocean is really a great big fish tank so it is apposite to site my fish in an open space.  My fish are not happy with conditions in the sea and express their displeasure. They complain, plan to revolt or get out if they can.  One manages it but the old one cannot go.  The noise mentioned at the bottom refers to the disruption caused by submarine noise which confuses small marine life.  The rest is self-explanatory.  I imagined what the fishes would say and expressed it in a fun way but I hope that the serious point contained there will be obvious.  In some ways it is also a metaphor for the human situation at the moment.

The background was based on my own pictures of reflections and the fish adapted from other work.  I used photo transfer and free-machining.

(I have two more pieces ready to quilt and I shall try to work these up as soon as time allows.

Monday, 29 February 2016

February Challenge

I have not completed the February challenge, I have not even started it. I just could not come up with an idea that fired me. I read the lyrics and they did nothing for me. I am feeling guilty as I do want this group to continue. I will see if I can come up with anything in the next few days.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Theme for February

The random number generator picked this as theme for the coming month: A long walk home. Good luck every one.

To bite or not to bite

Here is my version of the fishtank. The picture is not really very good, in reality the quilt is square :-).

I used a combination of hand dyed and commercial fabrics with some added beads, sequins and yarn. Title of this one is: To bite or not to bite.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Fish Tank

This is my piece to the December theme of Fish Tank, hence my title. Sadly it looks like the group is not going to be a viable group unless we get some new members.
Having used the same technique in my December piece I have repeated it. I love doing these simple colourful pieces, they are so relaxing to do.