Festival of Quilts

I am excited!  I have just booked to go to a 3 day Masterclass at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August!  It is with Erika Carter and it is called Personal Imagery in Art Quilts.  I hadn’t come across Erika before but I googled her name and love her work!  It looks as though she is exhibiting at the FOQ as well as teaching.    Here is a page with lots of pictures of her work.

The kids will be at camp that week so instead of sitting at home moping I will be able to have an interesting time too… it looks as though it could be just what I need.  I feel as though I’ve got so many ideas but can’t pick on one of them to develop fully. 

It is on from the Tuesday to Thursday so I am going to make a week of it and book a hotel from the Monday night and spend Friday looking at the show.

Anyone else planning to be there?!

Marlborough (3) – Creative Papercraft

cards, boxes etc

This is what we made on the Creative Papercraft course. Making things like this isn’t really my style (I like messier things har har!!) but I enjoyed learning the tips about making cards, envelopes, etc, so that they come out nice and smart and not battered and messy. James Skinner, the tutor, was amazingly generous with his handouts and the use of his tools and materials and very free with hints about how to do things, and very humorous with it! (He also had a shop where I was parted from some of my cash and bought, amongst other things, some paints for marbling so look out for the results of that experimentation in the future). We couldn’t do marbling, which I was disappointed about, because the college couldn’t give us a suitable ‘messy’ room for the purpose but James demonstrated it so now I’m keen to try it.

We did paperweaving – the one on the right was how he showed us to do it, but I decided to bring my own style into it and did a (much quicker) but – inevitably – wackier one on the left…

cards created by weaving paper and sticking it into an aperture card

We also did iris folding, which struck me as being a bit like foundation piecing except with paper and sellotape:

green card with red and green tornado in the middle of it

This is another card we made:

card with silhouette of robin

We made some little boxes. This one was made just by folding paper, and then securing the middle bits with glue.

small blue box with lid

Here are a couple of other boxes which I made in the last lesson when I had finished off everything else I was doing but there wasn’t much time to start anything else! The little cats were punched out of card with a punch.

three boxes, one with flower decoration and one with cats

We also made envelopes and I have come away with templates for other boxes and envelopes, which I can use as a base for my own designs, so this was a very useful course for me to do.


I finally got round to washing the shells I picked up on the beach a couple of Saturdays ago. They were starting to smell nasty – I think there were a couple of dead shellfish in the snail-like ones so I threw those away – ugh!

Here they are, waiting to be used:

lots of shells sitting on newspaper
As you can see, there are lots of shells with tiny holes already bored in them by the action of the sea. And a piece of driftwood.

When I go out on daytrips and holidays, I always mean to do a sort of scrapbook journal page/sketchbook page about it. Well, I finally managed it for this one! The colour printer was out of ink so I printed the photos with the black and white laser printer and watercoloured over them. I made a backing of tissue paper stained with tea to make it look like the seashore and stuck these over with the receipt from the country park car park. I also stuck on some sand and shells to add to the texture.

Here are pictures of the two pages:

journal page with pictures of day out

another journal page

I had an exciting letter this morning! Do you remember the Transporter Bridge postcard which I made in March? I entered it into the Newport in Bloom art competition… and I won second prize!!! Fun, fun, fun, especially since it’s the Transporter Bridge’s centenary year – I’d forgotten that when I decided to make the postcard.

Half an owl sock finished…

It is the middle of the Easter holidays and I haven’t been doing much except stuff on the computer and knitting. It is Barnabas’ birthday soon and he wants these socks to be ready for it. This is what I’ve done in 2 days, which isn’t bad considering it took a year to get this far on the last pair! This is Opal ‘rainforest’ yarn in Owl. So he will have owl socks.

half a sock in shades of brown and cream

To encourage me in my knitting, I’ve been listening to various podcasts. I’ve decided to start a podcast roll like my blogroll on my sidebar.

This is a wonderful one featuring a fellow Quiltart member and blogger, Melanie Testa. The podcast is called Craftsanity. This is what it says about the podcast featuring Melanie:

Textile designer and fiber artist Melanie Testa struggled at first to find her true calling. But on this episode of CraftSanity she’s going to inspire us with the story of how she crafted her way out of a bad situation.

There is a knitting podcast which I really like, too, called Knitcast. I have knitted my way through all 23 episodes of that one! Marie Irshad, who incidentally lives in Cardiff, interviews a prominent person in the knitting world for each episode so it was a good way of finding out what is going on in knitting and where to buy lots of yummy yarn!! She also interviewed various people during the Knitting and Stitching Show in London last year, run by Twisted Thread, who also run the Festival of Quilts which I spent two days at last year. One of them was Andrew Salmon, the Managing Director, where he spoke about future plans for the various shows, among other things (If you want to listen to this podcast it is here).

Over the next few weeks, I have decided to do a sort of series featuring online classes. If you run one of these, or have taken one and would like me to mention it, email me with a bit of blurb and maybe some photos and I will talk about it!