Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Bit of a Dark Horse!

I've often thought Mr QuiltmeHappy is a bit of a dark horse. He hides his light under a bushel and all that and swears he is not creative. Well I beg to differ.  He has taken some stunning photographs recently. This one for example. Taken on his phone when we went walking over christmas.  I think it's just stunningly simple and elegant and really quite inspirational. 

 Its not your usual New Years Eve bottle popping kind of photo but I thought it set the tone for my new year quite well. I want a more chilled and relaxed  2012. One where I can take pleasure from the simplest of things.. even a dew drop on a berry!

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2012.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


I got up this morning feeling more relaxed than I have for quite a few weeks.
It's my husbands birthday and I had resolved that he should not wake up to the slings and arrows of a stressed out wife.  

As a professional quilter I do love what I do but this last few months have been manic with requests for work and in true Tracey fashion I haven't learnt to say no yet.  

Am I complaining,  no no not at all!  How could I? I spent the first part of 2011 wondering if I was actually going to get any work at all. 

Then something happened. 

The wind blew in my direction and I set sail - fast and furious and that wind blew me in so many interesting directions.  Teaching, lecturing, making full commissions, finishing quilts, working with marketing companies and lingerie designers.

 Who'd have thought quilting could be so interesting?  

But it is. 

  It's amazing that a humble stitch in a piece of fabric could take me all over the world, meet people from all walks of life, rich and poor, young and old, hip and square.   For the most part the jobs and the people are nice. Occasionally,  not so nice - but thats life .. right?   Ying and yang and all that. 

Yesterday I finished my last commission before Christmas. 

Today I woke up relaxed.  Today life is good. 
Yesterday was good and I have every reason to believe tomorrow will be good too. 

Happy christmas everyone.  

Hope you all have a stressless christmas and that the new year brings you a fresh wind to blow you in new directions too. 

See you in 2012.

Happy Quilting !

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Another thread sketch

Just found this lurking under a pile of forgotten projects. Another thread sketch practice session.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 31 October 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Amy over at Amy's Creative Side  is hosting a bloggers quilt festival for us poor folk that haven't been able to get to Houston this year.  I have been to Quilt Market but that was a decade ago and no doubt the event looks somewhat different to when I was there last but I did get to MQX in April this year so I can't feel to hard done by.  


For Amy's festival I have decided to show something a little different. Its a small postcard I made for my cousin Emma back in Feb 2010. 

Now first up I need to explain something ... I am a longarm quilter and without being too "up myself"  I'm an OK longarmer.   BUT I brought a longarm because I could't machine quilt on a domestic machine.  I tried and failed miserably time and time again. But as soon as I had my hands on my LA it was a different matter. It was like coming home and I felt very very comfortable.  So I left domestic machine quilting well alone  ...for over 10 years in fact. But you see  I am also a Scorpio and I don't accept defeat well, so last year I decided to put things right and teach myself to machine quilt on a domestic machine.  

This small postcard was a small exercise I did to help me practice. It's NOT good but its not too shabby either and I was very happy enough  to make it into a postcard AND pop it in the post for all the world to see.

. More importantly though, this tiny 4" x 6" quilt  gave me the confidence to know that with practice you can achieve anything you want to.  It took me years to build up the courage to tackle domestic machine quilting again but I did tackle it !  

 With a  little determination, perseverance AND most important of all ability to laugh off some pretty awful attempts ....I came out feeling a huge sense of accomplishment. 

 I haven't done too much quilting on my domestic machine since but at least I know I can if I have too!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

It's my birthday!

How happy am I ... Birthday ATCs from around the world. Thankyou girls!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The world in your pocket!

At the beginning of October I quoted for a job to make a Map Quilt for a marketing agency.
 I won the job and got some very late nights in return as
 I made a 1m x 1.5m map of 6 of the 7 continents. 

The quilt is scheduled for use in around 20 exhibition venues starting in Glasgow this weekend.  I've no idea where it goes after that but I hope it get well used and 
enjoyed by many visitors.

Each of the continents has a concealed pocket in it for visitors to place notes and messages. This was quite a challenge for the smaller continents but I think they have worked out ok. 

All of the continents were machine buttonhole appliqued to a single background fabric and then lightly quilted around each shape with a simple medium sized  background meander. The concealed pockets were made using a concealed zipper pocket technique ..minus zipper of course before I layered up and quilted.   

To hang the quilt I added a sleeve and ties to give more than one method of fixing 
depending on the venue. 

All in all I really enjoyed making this quilt and asides from the practical challenge
 of making it I learnt a few things about our world too.  

So do you know what the continents are and which is which?  

I was quite surprised looking at the relative size of them. 
I knew Asia was big but it's vast by comparison to Europe and Australia. 
And I didn't know North America had quite so many islands ( and no I didn't include them all, although I did try to include as many of the larger land masses as I could.)   

The buttonhole applique took ages and gave me 'googly' eyes from concentrating so much but I did have a  laugh with my husband who phoned regularly to ask which country I was now in and recommended I give up for the day when I had a thread break in the Urals !

Here are some pics of the quilt in progress

Thursday, 29 September 2011

More Photos from the Kuwait Friday Market

More photos of the Kuwait Friday market!

....the carpet aisle

I've never seen such huge carpets!  
I see a quilting design in the purple one too.

(These were my hosts LeAnn and Cecilia btw)



.. a fire extinguisher?

...and a few bikes!

and ooh .....a trio of disc drives - bet they dont work!