#htmlcaption1 #htmlcaption2 #htmlcaption3 #htmlcaption4 #htmlcaption5
Camera Challenge 9 - Using Artificial Light Indoors

It's that time of year in the northern hemisphere, the nights are drawing in, and if you happen to have one of those day job things, the chances of you seeing much daylight to take photos in are limited.  So now it's time to embrace artificial lighting to see you through the winter months.  If you're in the southern hemisphere, happy summer, you'll have to do this at night ;o)

Your challenge for this month is to investigate different artificial light sources you may have available to you, and the affect they have on your photos.  This includes overhead lights, desk lamps and also, if it has one, your camera flash.  Find an object and photograph it on a plain white background under different lighting conditions to see how the different light sources behave (a sheet of paper should work for this)

As a second challenge, see if you have anything that can affect one or more of your direct light sources to alter its behaviour, either by reflecting it or filtering it.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!
Buy British

I just discovered that today was Buy British day, so it seemed like the perfect time to remind you that tickets are now available for the Sew Brit Bag Camp:

And just in case you were wavering a bit about the idea of attending, my partner in crime, Mrs H, has listed 10 good reasons why you really ought to come and join us, check them out over here :o)
no image

So as predicted, not a stitch was sewn since last week, but I did have a fab time in London, and took my gran out to lunch down to a lovely wee place down the Clyde estuary yesterday to enjoy the sunshine before we came home and I pulled up some perfectly good flowers for her (it was something to do with drying them out for winter?  I don't know, I can't keep a pot plant alive!)

I have seen some potential quilt patterns as I've been out and about recently though, if that appeases you all ;o)

Flying geese at the Tate Britain:

Anyone up for a spiral of geese?  Stairs up The Lighthouse tower in Glasgow:

Bit of improv perhaps?  Painting at the Argyll Arcade, Glasgow:

Something a little more traditional in the ceiling at the City Chambers, Glasgow:

And finally, from a friend's feed of a series of artworks in Paris, a bit of  supersized clamshell fun:

Finishes This Week:


In Progress This Week:


To Be Worked On This Week:

Sew Brit Bag Camp bags
First night of my new class - yay!
Quilt Now Issue 15

This month in Quilt Now I ventured into quilting territory for a change, with a portable design board.  Many of us attend classes and retreats and don't finish what we're working on, and I thought it would be really handy if we could just lay all the pieces out on a design board while in class, and then roll up and take home what's left at the end.

So here you have it, using fabric from Sweetwater, available from Remnant Kings, one rolled up portable design board:

They tie bows much better than me BTW ;o)
Remnant Kings Press Night

I was lucky enough to be invited along to Remnant Kings' press night on Wednesday in Glasgow (so funny, I was worried they were inviting me because I appear in Quilt Now, but apparently it's because of this here blog!)  Anywho, they were launching a whole new range of fabrics for autumn/winter, so we got a chance to wander around, look at the new offerings, down a cupcake, and attend one or two of the demos.

The event was held in the Argyle Street branch, which tends towards fashion fabrics, but they had some great wool and faux wool offerings (for those of us wot are allergic to the real itchy stuff) which got my little bag making heart go all pitter patter, and although they weren't promoting the quilting fabric, I happened to spy the new Heather Ross kitties and ballerinas frollicking around on the shelves.  Talking to some of the staff members (Hi Hazel!), they mentioned that they have even more of their brand new own brand faux wool over the river in Clyde Place, so I'm looking forward to going over there and checking it out soon.

Highlights of the evening were, the goodie bags - spotty red scissors being the most fun part:

Giving everyone a good laugh as I quite inadvertently found myself standing beside the bolt of this gorgeous Fryett Balmoral fabric clutching my Rainy Days & Mondays bag, while listening to the opening speeches:

And finally we got to have a wee play with the leatherette and make a pouch in their newly opened Sewing Hub.  I may, or may not have been a smart arse and boxed my corners too ;o)

It's been lovely to see Remnant Kings coming into its own in the last couple of years, and I really enjoy coming up with new projects for them when I can.
Work In Progress Wednesday

I had a little fun this weekend.  My back still isn't 100%, but I decided I'd just head out and explore Glasgow's Doors Open Day on either side of getting my hair cut.  Doors Open Day is a fantastic invention, whereby you get to go in and poke about in buildings that you would never normally get to set foot inside, or at least to see whole different aspects from the normal way the building is used.  I saw the City Chambers (so much marble and tile and hideous excess.  My Auntie Girlie would have been thrilled - she had no taste whatsoever ;o) ), then had a brief jaunt into the newly opened Anchor Line restaurant (seriously crowded, and heaven help the poor people actually trying to eat there as the world and his wife peered over their tables to examine the art and memorabilia on the walls!) and my last stop before the hairdressers was to the Argyll Arcade, and an art exhibition on the very top floor where you could get out onto the roof and see the city centre laid out below.  After a bit of a cut and colour, it was round to the Briggait to see all their art studios (so many fabulous jewellers and painters, oh, and a circus school) and finally up to the Lighthouse to get up an even higher tower to peer around the city (and encounter little old ladies with no sense of direction).  I was planning to head out on the Sunday as well, but my neighbour downstairs has taken to playing execrable music horrendously loudly til gone 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays, so I was a bit too knackered and stayed in to sew...

Finishes This Week:

Quilt Now Issue 17 project completed.  It all came from some of this Christmas Dreams fabric by Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studios.  Guess when it will be out ;o):

I also got my start block done for the next round of Brit Bee.  I'm planning to use all solids for this quilt:

We launched a new bag camp, does that count as a finish?  Or only when it's over?  We've certainly been working on it a while!

In Progress This Week:

This landed on my doorstep from Poppies And Polka Dots and after a bit of fondling, I've started to chop it up in order to turn it into a wee tutorial for their blog (apparently it's a Dashwood Studios kind of a week!):

To Be Worked On This Week:

I probably won't get much done this week as I'm off to the Rugby World Cup, and a wee jaunt round London Town for a long weekend, but you never know, next Tuesday might be really prolific ;o)

Hope you all have a great week!  Linking up with Lee and the gang:

Machine Quilting With Style Blog Hop

Recently I was lucky to get the chance to review Christa Watson of Christa Quilts' new book, Machine Quilting With Style, which you can pick up here.  Today, as part of the blog hop, I'm going to gush enthusiastically about the book, which has given me so many new quilting ideas!

So first a little background about the book, which is designed to guide you through quilting on your domestic machine.  The introduction chapter has a number of great tips, including sections on thread and batting choice, and advice on how to set up your workspace.  One of the most interesting things in this section was how to deal with the bit of the quilt that goes between the needle and the machine body, no more rolling for me, scrunch and smoosh all the way now!

The actual quilting is divided into two sections, the first on quilting with a walking foot, and the second on free motion quilting.  Unlike many other quilting technique books I have seen, the different quilting patterns are not show on whole cloth backgrounds, but on pieced quilt tops that give you an idea of how you might actually tackle something similar.  One thing I struggle with is envisaging how a quilting pattern will go on my pieced tops, so I end up resorting to boring grids, echoes or lurking in the ditch, but this book has definitely given me some ideas, and I hope it will give my students some ideas in a few weeks too!

As well as the quilting patterns, there are also patterns for the quilts they are demonstrated on.  Here are some of my favourites from the book, with thanks to Brent Kane at Martingale for the photos:

This wonky log cabin has fun, serpentine stitch quilting on it to give it a wavy texture.  Instead of going from left to right, the quilting actually follows the lines of colour from the point in the lower right.

I can see the 'Shattered Lines' quilting used in this baby quilt as the perfect option for the Charm Box Quilt being done in my upcoming class.  I also liked the fact that there were several layout options for this giant block baby quilt.

Spirals galore!  One of the fantastic quilting techniques in this book shows you how to create a spiral both square and circular without having to change feet part way through.  This square one is especially appealing since it's wonky and doesn't require you to follow any particular lines!

In the full quilt, you can actually see how the different boxes all have different spirals.  It also show how you can mix walking foot and free motion quilting, since the background is made of FMQ 'boxes'.

This is the circular spiral quilt - I love how the centre is offset, and I would never in a million years have thought to put circular quilting on a top with so many angles, but it works brilliantly:
In the FMQ section we start to explore mixing different FMQ patterns within one top.  I do rather love these scrappy diamonds!

This might be another contender for the Charm Box quilt, the string of pearls option.  I love how the quilting is a play on the patterned fabrics being used here, but it would be perfectly usable elsewhere:

I do hope you enjoyed this review.  If you head over to Christa's site you can see more hoppers, find out a bit more about the provenance of each of the quilts and even take part in a giveaway or two!

Also, please check out the survey on Christa's site to vote for your favourite quilt for a sew along starting in January.