Tag Archive | Arts

Mystery quilt

I am relatively new to the craft of patchwork quilting and the more I find out about this fascinating pastime, the more I realise I don’t know much!

Today I went to a local quilt exhibition and discovered yet more quilting delights and surprises. The exhibition was hosted by the Lutterworth Piecemakers, a quilting club based in South Leicestershire. There was a number of standalone designs, beautiful quilts clearly made with love and so much patience, but what really caught my imagination were the “mystery” quilts.

The idea of a mystery quilt is that a person designs the eventual finished quilt, then month by month, provides the group with a panel to complete based on given instructions. Each individual quilter can choose their own colourway and add their own embellishments and interpretation of the instructions so that at the end of the given period, when all the panels are finally put together, bordered, quilted and bound, you get a series of “same but different” finished results.

It is amazing how different the same design can look in different colours so that there can be no two quilts the same. Incredible. Here are some examples of the finished quilts and the individual panels which make up the whole.

The mystery quilt is called “House and Home”

It was a lovely couple of hours wandering around admiring the details and hard work which has gone in to making these heirlooms. One lady had taken 6 years to complete hers.

We even had time for two cups of tea and a piece of cake whilst talking to some quilting afficianados who could have been talking a different language….jelly rolls, fat quarters, layer cakes, in the ditch, long-arm quilter…..etc etc. As a novice, I could have been quite overwhelmed, but as I keep telling everyone. How difficult can it be? It’s only sewing in straight lines!

I may have to change my opinion!


One Happy Hooker

After “Stitch & Bitch” (knitting) and “Scrap ‘n’ Yap” (scrapbooking) and some inspiration from Clothmonkey and Stitchthis, I am now a “Happy Hooker”.

In other words I went shopping yesterday and bought myself a crochet hook and a book in the hope that I can add crochet to my list of “yes, I can do that”.

Learning a new skill is frustrating and slow-going and I will need to be very patient if I am to produce anything of merit (refer to aforementioned Clothmonkey and Stitchthis for some lovely examples of what can be done) and as yet, I’m not sure whether I have enough patience to continue. It’s a good hobby to take on the train as it is compact and portable and a big advantage is that I can sit next to someone and not disturb them with flaying elbows. With all the travelling that I do, this should be enough incentive but we will see. I must persevere.

Happy Scrapping!

Well, such a lot can happen in a short time and it only takes a few nudges from the right people at the right time to kick ass into gear.

I’m talking about my new-found passion for scrapbooking which started last year when I decided to make a keepsake for my teenage son making sure that his family history and childhood memories are there at his fingertips should he ever be interested enough to enquire. I just wish I had been more inquisitive about my family whilst my parents and grandparents were still alive as lots of interesting stories are now lost. As a result of outside interest in my passion, I have set up a website The Scrapbook Fairy where you can view my gallery of pages I’ve created, register for scrapbook workshops or, if you have a special family event approaching, think about ordering a personal, bespoke scrapbook as a wonderful gift. Or, even better, treat yourself!

Scrapbooking family photos, history, and memories is a creative and interesting way to display keepsakes and whilst looking through endless pages of photos  in a boring album and which all look the same can be rather tedious, the same cannot be said of looking through pages of photos and journalling which have had the scrapbook treatment.

You may be sitting there thinking “I can’t do this”, “I’m not at all creative” and “Where do I start?” but there is plenty of guidance available on the internet as well as scrapbooking workshops and friendly craft shop owners who will give you a friendly welcome and help you on your way. In the meantime, here are a few basics to allay common fears!

  •  Don’t be scared! Enjoy experimenting with colours and paper and ideas. There is not a right way or wrong way to scrapbook. Everyone has their personal style and what suits some, doesn’t suit others but that’s ok.
  • Keep it simple. Sometimes less is more and although some scrapbook pages you may see done by others are beautiful, they can also be expensive and time-consuming to produce. Practice on simple designs first.
  • “If you never make mistakes, you’ve never made anything”………is the sign posted in my local craft shop and how right Sandra is! Since making my scrapbooks I have made many many mistakes and as a result I have found more amazing ways to use the stuff I have. 
  • Never throw anything away! Football programmes, tickets, newspaper cuttings, even old lace, buttons and ribbon can be used to embellish your pages.
  • Don’t stick to the same colours and themes. This is hard to fight against if you have a natural preferenece towards vintage colours, modern patterns or shabby-chic designs but make yourself think outside your comfort zone and make your scrapbook more varied and appealing to everyone. Try using a colour wheel and you may be surprised at the combinations of colours you never considered.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help. The crafting community is a very friendly and helpful one and you will be made to feel very welcome. You learn a lot by talking to other scrapbookers and you will have a constant flow of ideas once you develop even the smallest network of like-minded crafters.

So, what are you waiting for? If you need an outlet for your creative tendencies try scrapbooking. But beware, it may take over your life!