This quilt is called Lady Marmalade and is really fun up close. Most of the circles in the borders feature fun fussy cut and novelty prints, often with animals. Did you know that there's almost always at least one animal in each of Sarah's quilts? I didn't, and I thought that was such a lovely idea.
This quilt is called Bangles and every time I've seen it made up in different colourways it looks awesome. One of my favourites is this version made by my friend Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting. I bought the templates to make this quilt from Sarah and it's on my to do list - possibly using a jelly roll of Oh Deer! fabric I've got hanging around.
This quilt is truly stunning in real life. The hand quilting adds so much texture which was quite hard to photograph inside. I also really love the little tabs around the edge - so much, in fact, that I used similar tabs on this pillow.
This is one of my most favourite quilts in all of Sarahs's books - it's called In the Night Garden. All those shot cottons are amazing - and look at that gorgeous hand quilting. I bought the templates for this one too!
This quilt is called Millefiori and is such a happy quilt. There are lots of shapes I love in here - probably too much appliqué for it to go on my to do list though.
This quilt is really amazing in real life. This picture doesn't capture it but careful colour placement means there is a secondary pattern which becomes clear when you step back from the quilt. There's plenty of interest up close too. I'd love to play around with this kind of strip piecing/fussy cutting idea - I think there's a lot of potential for really interesting quilts there.
This quilt doesn't normally travel, but Sarah brought it along because she wasn't able to bring her Fancy That quilt (it's huge and really heavy with all the linen used in it). This quilt is called On a Wing and Prayer and it is really really gorgeous. It includes Oakshotts (love) and text prints (more love) and I can see why Sarah likes to keep it at home safe and sound. Yeah, I wanted to steal all of these quilts.
Going back to the workshop, Sunday was reserved for people to work on whatever quilt they liked from any of Sarah's books. I continued to work on my Fancy That quilt, but I also took the opportunity to learn Sarah's method of hand quilting (you can watch for yourself in this free video tutorial).
I'd actually watched the tutorial before and given this method a go, but it helped so much to watch Sarah in person and to have her there to give me advice as I clumsily tried her technique. It took me a little while to get the hang of it (especially since I've barely used a thimble before) but I did, and once I got going I found that it's really rather addictive.
One thing that Sarah covered in person but not so much in the video is the type of hoop to use. I have a really large oval hand quilting hoop that I bought second-hand (I thought it would be better quality than a cheap new one and I didn't want to invest lots of money before I knew whether I'd enjoy hand quilting or not). It was really a bit big to travel with so I was lucky that Sarah let me use her hoop in class. Her recommendation was not to use a really big hoop - you should be able to hold it so it sits comfortably along your forearm between your bicep and your hand. For most people a 14" hoop or a 16" hoop will work well. I found that really interesting - I don't think I've heard or read advice on what size hoop to use for hand quilting anywhere else.
Sarah was using a 14" hoop and I found that comfortable, so I've ordered one of my own. I've done a little bit of hand quilting at home so I don't completely lose the muscle memory of how to do it, and it really is awkward using my giant hoop! I can't wait for my new hoop to arrive so I can keep quilting.
I'm very new and to be honest I never thought I'd be a hand quilter, but it's surprisingly enjoyable. So, any other hand quilters out there? Maybe you're just starting out, like me, or maybe you have been hand quilting for ages and have some wisdom you'd love to pass on. Let me know!