Friday, July 16, 2010

Thank you Vicki

Quilt Camp on July 15th and 16th

While having holiday in Portugal, Vicki decided to meet her old quilting buddies to have a quilt camp. For two days the quilt bar was full of busy bees and laughters. Back in the States Vicki learned how to make hexagonal spiral quilts from precut kit by John Flynn. She brought for us ready laser cut kits to do during the camp. It was great that we did not need to stand for ages with cutters and rulers.

The first day of the camp nine of us were spinning a lot because quilt's name is a spiral.

After spinning for couple of hours and just managing the centres of our quilts, it was time for lunch. Before moving back to the States Vicki loved having potluck lunches during camps and we decided to follow the tradition. I think everyone loves having potluck lunches anyway. We had on the table Arabic, English, German and Portuguese food. Everything was delicious.
Lunching, from left Anabela, Ann, Helen, Vicki, Alda, Ursula, Therese, Patricia and Javhlan behind the camera.

Alda's famour arroz doce - rice pudding. Maybe three years ago she brought her pudding to one of the quilt camps and we all loved it. When she comes she is always asked to bring it. We like to be selfish.

Ann made this chocolate cake from maiones

After lunch almost everyone picked up her picker and unpicked some seams. I gues we had too much too good food and lost our brain in our tummies. Personally, I have to pick one row in my seven circles. Alda at one point said that we need "unpicking machine". She wanted to call Mário, our Bernina dealer, to get one for us. I think no one yet made such a machine. Especially, when you pick all stitches from your twenty blocks, like Ursula did once.
If something similar is invented we might be first customers.

Ursula brought her "embroidery project" that she started at Doris Teixeira's workshop in Caldas da Rainha. It is nearly finished, only the binding is missing.

The second day we started to learn a new method of paper piercing. I did not do it but it was easier than the old method. It was strip paper piecing of a star, following a pattern of Peggy Martin.

Second day lunch, from left Anabela, Ann, Alda, Vicki, Ursula, Therese, Patricia, Cinzia. Javhlan is taking the photo.
Theres had been our mummy for two days serving our dishes. And a big thank you to her for washing up afterwards too.
Therese was also working on her spiral quilt.

After lunch Patricia, Ursula, Alda and after many frustrations Anabela finished their first block. All of them looked great and I liked all their fabric choices.

Patricia and her star. She bought the fabrics in Edinburgh.

Alda's star

Anabela's star

Ursula's star

text: Javhlan and Ursula
photos: Javhlan

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vicki's visit

After many hours of delayed planes at American and French airports Vicki arrived back to Portugal. She will be here for a month and spending first week with her friend Pam, who is her quilting buddy too. It was a very nice to see Vicki after two years.

Ursula showed her work for us, which she started making at Doris Teixeira's workshop in Caldas da Rainha. As she said that she was lost at the workshop but looking at her work she is making really good progress.

Today we had a show case. As we know that Americans lead the world with its patchwork and quilting inventions. Vicki brought for us to experiment a magic fabric.

Between magic fabric and cotton fabric she put batting. You can follow fabric pattern or just use straight or fancy stitch to sew. After sewing she used steam iron but did not touch the fabric.
It all shrunk about 30% and made a magical texture and it could be used for anything and everything.
Another great tip from her. A simple tape measure from hardware store can save you lot of money if you make bags. It has to be good quality and quite wide. If you make a big bag just double them.

While cutting a tape measure please careful, cut edges round and duck tape them in order to not to cut your bag. You bag is ready to be used and nobody will know that you used your broken tape measure or raided your husband's one.

Here is another tip from her. Ann asked how to make different binding. Measure your quilt and leave plenty of extra fabric on edges, leave 1/4" from edges and stitch binding to a quilt. Match seams and draw a line.

Sew over the line.

Open it and you will see your nice frame.

After all tips we lunched. Ann brought chicken salad with an Asian touch, Ursula cooked chicken pasta on her slow cooker, Alda made arroz doce - rice pudding. All was delicious and we had a great time on this July day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Embroidered bag

Last couple of days I have been in front of my sewing machine a lot using its full capacity. In couple of weeks I am going to Mongolia to visit my family. There I will meet my mother, two sisters and a brother and their families and children - altogether 17. First time cousins will meet each other. However, for this visit I made for my mum a bag using my machine embroidery attachment. I embroidered two sides of this bag.

On the other side of the bag I embroidered my mum's initial letter. When you use any metal frame you have to just make your own design and glue.

A big thank you to Alda, who is a very experienced Bernina embroidery machine user. Her tips and experience helped me to finish this bag and use my machine's full capacity.
I made this lovely red bag using Uhandbag's pattern. Some years ago I bought the fabric in France with Japanese crane origami. So far it is for sale, if you are interested in contact me at patchworkpt[at]


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