Saturday, 30 March 2013

Log Cabin Quilt

Although pompoms have almost totally taken over my life at the moment, I am still trying to work away at other things too.  I bought some lovely Oakshott cotton last summer with the intention of making a log cabin quilt.  The red fat eighths were for the centres and then the blues were to be the ‘logs’.  The quilt would have been finished now, but I decided that plain centres were not as interesting as I wanted, so I decided to make little 36 patches to go in the middle.  I must be mad!  The centres of course took ages and are slightly less than 100% accurate, but I think it will all add to the final feeling of the quilt. 

I wanted 20 blocks for the quilt, and due to a miscalculation (I forgot seam allowances for some silly reason), I ended up with twelve centres from my first batch.  I thought I had made the other eight, but last time I counted, I was only up to 17 blocks in total.  Since then, I have not dared count as it would be rather depressing to think I still have three more full blocks to make.  The blocks are at various stages, which I like as it fools me in to believing there is slightly less work than I was expecting to be done...

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Different types of PomPom

For our PomPom BlossomFestival, we are going to need over 1,000 pompoms for it to have a real impact.  Whilst I’m not intending to make all 1,000 myself and am putting most of my efforts into recruiting others to help (have you made one yet?), I’m making my contribution. 

Rather than just keep making traditional wool pompoms, I’ve been experimenting, trying out different types.  Plastic bag strips make really nice pompoms, though you shouldn’t use biodegradable bags as they can make a real mess as they disintegrate. 

Fabric strips are lovely and soft and give a lovely shape when finished.  I’ve also tried out wool dipped in PVA glue and wrapped round a balloon as a mould, which I’ve then popped.  This was successful on my second attempt; the first time all the wool just slid off the balloon. 

I’m hoping to try some giant ones once I’ve worked out how to stop the middle falling out and have sufficient wool to do them.

Do you have any other suggestions for unusual pompoms?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A Quilt for Malawi

A few weeks ago, I was contacted about a special quilt for a special cause.  The quilt is inspired by the children’s book When the Rains Come, published by Polygon and written by award-winning author Tom Pow. When the Rains Come weaves together a folk tale from Malawi and the story of three young children who must be looked after by their Grandmother. The story is beautifully illustrated by Malika Favre and depicts both the joys and hardships of daily life in Malawi.
Rachel Edwards (left) and Julie Julie van den Driesche  (right) with their quilt “When the Rains Come”
Inspired by Malika’s vibrant illustrations, two Edinburgh based quilters, Julie van den Driesche and Rachel Edwards decided to make a quilt to raise funds for MUMs (Malawi Underprivileged Mothers).

It is made from fabrics from Malawi and will be on display in Purely Patchwork in Linlithgow in April and at other venues throughout Scotland from April to September. The quilt will be raffled at £1 a ticket, to raise money to support the MUMs feeding programme. Apparently, a single pound will provide a daily meal for two children, five days a week, for an entire month.

If you can help this worthy cause, please contact Linda McDonald ( to arrange for ticket books and further information to be sent out. Although sometimes the difficulties of the world can seem overwhelming and that there is little we can do about them, occasionally, just having a vision and getting on with things can make a big difference to other people’s lives.  MUMs is one of these inspirational stories.  It was set up in October 2005 by Linda McDonald after hearing and seeing photographs of a government run maternity hospital in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Since then she and her team have been instrumental in raising over £500,000 through sales of the MUMs recipe book series and private donations.   Please help if you can.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Festival of Quilts Competition Update

Having created a bit of a storm last year by publishing my thoughts on the Festival of Quilts judging and categories, it is only fair to update you on what has been happening. 

I am really impressed that both Twisted Thread and the Quilters’ Guild have been listening to what we were saying and have changed the competitions for this year’s FoQ.  There is a brand new category of Fine Art Quilt Masters and the brief reads a bit like an update from the old ‘Quilt of the Year’ competition.  They have also tweaked the definitions of art quilt and contemporary.  You can find out more here, along with the entry forms.

I urge you to enter, take part and visit the Festival of Quilts, because whatever you think of the competition, it is the best chance in the UK to see high quality quilts and to meet up with the quilters who make them.

Friday, 15 March 2013

More PomPoms

Unsurprisingly I’ve been making lots of pompoms! I’m not intending making all the 1,000+ pompoms needed for the Balfron PomPom Blossom Festival myself, as I’m trying to involve as many people as possible, I feel I should lead by example and make some.  Besides it’s fun!  I’m experimenting with different ways and sizes.  The fabric one was really nice to make and has fluffed up beautifully.

My other challenge at the moment is finding greenery to photograph the pompoms on or besides. We are still very much at the end of winter here and there are not many green sprouts yet! I can’t wait until the pompoms are all hanging on the trees in June against a fresh green background.

If you’d like to make a pompom or five for the Balfron PomPom Blossom Festival, please do!

Friday, 1 March 2013

PomPom exhibition opportunity

And finally I can tell you what I have really been working on over the past few months... my next big project is to turn Balfron into an open-air art gallery for the month of June, by hanging PomPoms with words attached from as many trees as possible. 
forgotten how to make a PomPom?  Instructions are available on

I know most people have better things to do with their lives than to organise a PomPoms exhibition, but to me it seems like a fantastic opportunity I’ve created.  I get to make lots of textile hangings to display outdoors and share them with a wider audience than would normally see them in an art gallery AND even better, I get to ask people around the world to help me and make their own interpretation of PomPoms and send them to me to be included in the exhibition.  I can’t wait to see what arrives and what gets made.

When I say ‘people’ I mean you! To make this exhibition a resounding success I need thousands of PomPoms, both traditional and contemporary interpretations.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make me a PomPom to be included in the exhibition.  Big or small, wool or plastic or patchwork or whatever, I need them all.  I’ll include them on the special PomPom blog and if you want them back, send a SAE and I’ll do my best (no guarantees given it is an outdoor exhibition).  Also, could you ask your friends to make one or two too?  I promise to post loads of pictures so you can see what they look like, or better still come and visit them! Please help me make this a huge success and create a fabulous PomPom exhibition and international PomPom community!

We also have a special facebook page   Please like us and raise awareness of the project!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts