Friday, 16 March 2012

The Cotton Patch

Firstly I must apologise for such a long delay since my last post.  Lots of things have been happening here and I'll fill you in over the next few days. 

Since I began quilting six years ago, the shop that I have used most on the internet is The Cotton Patch in Birmingham.  They have a great website.  I used to spend hours browsing through their pages to see what was available for quilters, as at the beginning I didn't have a clue.  Their notions list alone is amazing.  I then was able to visit their stand at the NEC at The Festival of Quilts.  It was one of the biggest there, really impressive and they always had visiting designers such as Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler.

Now, as free motion quickly became my favourite part of patchwork and quilting, it was amazing to be able to visit their stand each time I visited the show and be able to try out various quilt frames that they were selling, myself.  I dreamt of how much freedom using one of these frames would give whilst quilting, the sky was the limit.  Even though it was at the top of my wish list, I never realistically thought that I would be able to get one myself.  My friend Ann already has a Gracie and has let me try it out. It was great.

Well last week, Ann, myself and another quilting friend Jean, travelled over to The Cotton Patch. 

The Three of Us
A small selection of the fabric and thread
That would have been a treat in itself.  But whilst there, Geoff took us to their studio to try out the Gracie Queen Frame.  It was amazing.  Liz had already answered all my questions by phone, so going to see the frame was really only a formality.  As I'm sure you've worked out by now, I bought a Gracie Frame and a Janome 1600P.
I hope they won't mind me using their photograph. 

I have just completed my first practice piece on the frame and I think it is wonderful.  I will have many happy hours now spent quilting and the sky really is the limit.  Don't get me wrong, I have a lot to learn and I daresay when I put an actual quilt on the frame it will take a lot of getting used to. 

Here are some images of my first practice with the frame using calico.

I used Aurifil 40w green and 50w cream thread whilst quilting and both weights worked beautifully.

The Gracie frame and bigger Janome 1600P both make free motion quilting so much easier as I am no longer trying to shove my quilt through a tiny opening in my machine.  I am no longer trying to keep a four inch by four inch piece of fabric flat so that I can quilt.  It is amazing!!!

I almost forgot to show you the lovely fabric that I bought at The Cotton Patch.  I can't wait to use it.  By the way, I would like to thank Liz, Geoff and Denise for all their help.  We all had a lovely day at the shop.

Next time, I'll let you see the new quilt that I'm working on for classes next term.  Again it's from the book 'Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts' which seems to be a favourite among class goers.  There are only a couple of weeks of the present classes left, so I hope to have pictures of everyone's quilts to show you.  We're also working on the new timetable which will be available soon.  I'll keep you posted.

Bye for now.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely quilting! You've done some great practice pieces in such a short time!

    best wishes