This is the stack of quilts I took to Leicestershire and Rutland Guild, where I was invited to give a talk and teach a workshop. It's always exciting and slightly nerve wracking for me to visit somewhere new. All the ladies that weekend were so welcoming and it was great to arrive on their Area Day at the end of last month. It began with everyone working on their own projects and there was a wonderful show and tell. I really enjoy seeing peoples creations and hearing stories of how it was made. Sadly I didn't take pictures but it was a lovely mix of quilts, bags and more. All quite different and all beautiful! Later I did manage to snap this gorgeous pincushion, I would like to try the technique used on the top here as it's so pretty (sorry the lady's name who made this escapes me, please leave a comment if you know or if it was you and I will add credit).

There was a delicious shared lunch and in the afternoon I gave a talk about my journey and experience as a quilter. I have had nice feedback, it was fun for me looking back over some early makes!

On the Sunday it was time to teach my Crossed Orange Peel pattern and it was so awesome to see everyone creating beautiful blocks sewn by hand. It's lovely to teach a class where people can sit and chat without noise from the machines, there's a certain calm that washes over as people hand stitch.

It's hard not to admire all the fab notions, storage and bits that everyone has with them, not to mention the fabric! I like seeing what things people find useful and the handmade items they use while sewing. this clever thumb pincushion is one, with the bonus of a bobbin of thread and a cutter!

There was never going to be a complete quilt in a day, though the progress was really impressive and all the blocks looked fabulous and very neat. Classic William Morris, Japanese woven fabric and an array of modern prints, they are all unique and wonderful.

You can really get a sense of how fabric placement can change the design. Fussy cuts work beautifully and using bright, dark or tonal shades can easily make different parts of the block stand out.

Imagine these blocks repeated, mixed with similar variations or contrasting joining blocks to make the quilt pattern. Beautiful!

If you'd like to make your own Crossed Orange Peel blocks or quilt, you can find the pattern - with a free hand piecing guide - HERE.  

It was a scorching hot weekend (similar to the current heatwave) so thank you to everyone that attended! Thank you all for being so welcoming, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. Special thanks to Sarah for organising my visit and for being such fun company.