Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Young Quilters problems

Back again and so soon! I hear you say, but following a comment on my last post I thought I should let you know that there is a problem with the link to the YQ site (I'm probably still getting it wrong somewhere -thanks to Clare from 'A Home in the Highlands' blog for letting me know), however if you type the address I gave into your search engine you should find it her site easily, it's called 'Quilt & Stitch'. Hope this points you in the right direction.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Young Quilters

Yesterday evening I was checking around the blogs I follow when I stumbled across a site for Young Quilters, gotta have a look at that I thought, then I thought WOW!!!! what a great site, its about time someone did something like this. I have been in contact and have permission and encouragement to put a link to here. See www.pippawardman.weebly.com 
I have long thought that perhaps the Quilters Guild would do something like this, after all they are always encouraging us to get young people sewing! You may remember that in April I took my eldest GD along with my friend H and her daughter L, to a YQ day near here - we had a great time! to the point we all cannot wait to go again. Sadly The lady teaching that day was due to retire from the post and a replacement needed to be found , well I heard today that someone has taken over and will be setting something up real soon. meanwhile i will be using a couple of ideas for DGD to use when she comes to stay later this holiday, as we are sure to be having some sewing time. If you have children or older teenagers check out this site, it even has a section for GCSE/A level students. Let me know what you think and if you let Pippa know as well I'm sure she would appreciate it.
Today was CTQ and we got quite a bit of sewing done between all of us, I will show some pictures in a later post, I just dropped by today to let you know about this 'new blog' - but as there are no pictures from today here are a couple from the Show and Tell at Last Wednesdays SVQ meeting.
Wendy with her 'Sunbonnet Sue' Quilt

Pat with 2 Pennants for 2012

See you all later

Friday, 29 July 2011

There was not much sewing going on last Saturday at Clock Tower Quilters monthly meeting once we were joined by our newest member George, he was born on 10th July (3 weeks early!!) to one of our members who is so organized she managed to call by for a cuppa!! Of course once they arrived everyone went into overdrive as we queued up for cuddles to the accompaniment of loud Oooh's & Aah's. Well he was gorgeous! Some of us are meeting again tomorrow to get some sewing done but more about that in a future post...
On Wednesday it was the monthly meeting of Severn Valley Quilters, there was a good turn out to hear our speaker Jane Grendon, who told us about trips to Mongolia with her sister Lesley Coles Lesleycolespatchwork@hotmai1.com They have been traveling to Ulaanbatar (the Capitol City) for several years, teaching women patchwork and quilting techniques, the women and girls then make items to sell which in turn helps them to generate some extra income and improve the quality of life for their families. Her stories had us all laughing and her slides were lovely, giving a real feel not only for the poor conditions the people live in but also for the stunning scenery of this huge landlocked country - based around the culture of the country, the Mongolian Knot features prominently in most of their work, all the women  have always sewn and despite their low incomes many have hand sewing machines, the work they have been producing since learning patchwork is wonderful and they are all eager students despite language barriers. Lesley and  Jane's efforts along with Selenge Tserendash (a young lawyer) and Maggie Ball  Dragonfly Quilts helped to set up The Mongolian Quilting and Patchwork Centre in Ullaanbatar in 2003. They have also trained local teachers who continue this work and go out into  rural areas to teach the women there.
Jane also brought along a selection of items for sale, which had been made by the women and I treated myself  to a little purse, a bag and a couple of 'Be Happy Bags' which I have included pictures of, all of  these items are sold to raise funds to continue supporting the work in Ulaanbatar.
Silk knot-work quilt
Knot work quilt made from cotton


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Two Weeks Already!

I can hardly believe that it's 2 weeks tomorrow that my darling GD was born, we have received many, many messages of congratulations as have the proud parents. Last Friday 15th we had our first 'official visit by DD, DSIL and new GD plus our boys of course, while they were here I brought my Mum round to see her great Granddaughter for the first time also DH's sister (now a Great Aunt) called in for a cuddle. DSIL took this picture of 4 Generations. On Tuesday (19th)  H.G. became an 'official little person' when she was registered and now has her birth certificate.
4 Generations July 2011
 Unfortunately I don't have many pictures of my Mum, and at 85 years old in September I wanted an excuse to take some,  this was one of those perfect opportunities.  I should also include a picture of 'the boys' so they won't feel left out.

This is Monty, a pure breed Golden Retriever who is eating a green apple that has fallen from our tree YUK!! he's always eating something - sticks, soil plus a few things too disgusting to mention, but we love him anyway! His favorite pastimes are eating, sleeping and playing the fool! Last year he won a certificate in the 'Sofa Surfing' contest organized by Many Tears Animal Rescue in South wales
This fellow is Ted, a rescued (from Many Tears) Springer Spaniel X with attitude and we love him too, he's very loyal and lots of fun, he loves Grandad's garden and helps him a lot by digging large holes - usually in secret places so that we humans have fun trying to find them! He enjoys eating, sleeping and long walks with lots of holes to push his head into.
Things are getting back to normal here and I am beginning to start thinking about sewing matters, it's Clock Tower Quilters on Saturday - Yay!!! and Severn Valley meet next Wednesday - Double Yay!!
As I haven't made much progress with my UFO's lately I thought I would share a few pictures with you of some original pieces I made as part of 'Challenges' at SVQ. Each January at the A.G.M. the Chairperson sets us a challenge, the first one I took part in was a Nautical theme, we could make anything as long as it was 3 layers with some quilting, this was my entry..
The title is 'Moonlight Journey' it's based on a memory of watching a large yacht enter Fowey harbour  in bright moonlight late one evening when we were on holiday in Cornwall. I 'crazy' pieced  the sea using bridal fabric scraps to get a shiny surface on the water, the Sky was a scrap of 'starry' fabric and the yacht and moon were some sheers from my stash, which I machine appliqued on, its machine embroidered and quilted. Approximately 12" x 15"
This one is 'Broken Dishes & Batiks' the challenge was to use a Fat 8th of fabric chosen and supplied by the Chairperson, we could use it in any way we liked. I saw this pattern in a magazine some 13 years previously. It was originally a miniature quilt by Katherine Guerrier but I chose to enlarge it to 28" x 28" in order to use all of the challenge fabric. You can see bits of the challenge fabric in the four corners to which I have added Batik scraps from my stash and some Cream background, the binding is made using an oddment of Batik fabric. Machine pieced and quilted.
The theme of 'China'  was chosen for our Group's 20th Anniversary, I saw the centre design on a Cookie Jar and made a drawing, enlarged it on the PSC, before tracing it onto the central cream fabric, I then hand embroidered the design using 6 strand cottons and some silver Lame thread for the spoon, for the borders I used a decorative font from the computer to print off names of some famous 'china' brands these were then traced onto some medium blue print and hand embroidered in red thread to match the centre before hand quilting it and binding it with plain blue fabric, approx. 12 "x 10". I was delighted to take first prize with this one at our 20th birthday party and won a super book by Susan Brisco called 'Japanese Sashiko Inspirations' which Susan kindly signed for me later that year when I took a workshop with her.
Well that's all folks as they say in the movies (well in cartoons anyway)
See you all soon.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Home again!

After 2 good nights sleep (I sure forgot how crying babies can drain you of sleep, and I was not the one out of bed!) However I am feeling refreshed. I have just spoken to DSIL and things are not really getting better yet :-(( though little one has managed to put on some of the weight she lost at the beginning of the week :-)). DH and I are planning to go visit tomorrow if DD is feeling brighter.
On my last post I promised to show you my 'other new baby' which arrived a week ago, I was just getting to know her when 'the call' arrived from DD so I'm afraid she has been left resting on the ironing board all this time.
1922 Singer sewing mach
1922 Singer in original wooden case
So here she is and isn't she great? I or rather DH saw her at a local Charity fund raising event he was helping set up in the village, he came home for lunch and told me about her so..... I just had to go take a look - big mistake - HUGE! having seen the little beauty I just had to have her, so I made an offer a little above Charity Shop prices and the deal was done and home she came,. She's in very good condition though not pristine, the previous owners did not know anything about her except she came from an Elderly Aunt and had been in their garage for years following the Aunts death, as they did not know what to do with her, (shame on them) they decided to donate her to this event.  I will do my best to look after her and keep her safe. This now brings my machine collection up to 9 and counting, they are not ALL Antique exactly, but range in date from this one (1922) up to the present day with my everyday Elna being made around 2003.
What with all the excitement around the birth of H and getting a 'new' old machine I have not done any sewing this week (and not much last week either:-( but hopefully I will get back to it real soon, I have gotten the knitting bug since little one came and have now made 4 little jackets to keep her going and now I have started on some slightly bigger ones. Here's one I made earlier but I'm afraid in my excitement I forgot too take photos of the others, this is my favorite pattern, I first made this in 1970 when my DS was expected and have been using and adapting the basic garment ever since, I have made it with cables, lacy patterns, sized it  down to fit 'premmy' babies and sized it up to fit larger babies as well as using alternative yarns by adjusting the gauge/needles.
Lemon/White stripe cardigan
Right now I am making a cardigan for a little boy - this time for a friend and member of Clock Tower Quilters whose due date was 5th August, Mum had only just given up work to await his arrival and had been planning lots of coffee/lunch dates before the due date but, G had other ideas arriving last Sunday (10th) afternoon.
On a slightly different note an event is planned... Clock Tower Quilters have been invited to exhibit their work at the local church, (near to where CTQ meet) as part of a Banner/Flower Festival (2 of CTQ members are part of the banner Group, I have no idea how to publish an event on my blog so have taken a picture of the poster so I can let you all know, if anyone is near enough it would be great to meet you there on the Saturday when I will be helping with the stewarding for part of the day at least. If you would like directions 'Google' St Mary's Church, Church Road, Almondsbury. Bristol for directions/map   

Well it's 10.30pm already- how time flies when you are having fun? I will sign off for now and go to bed.
See you all again soon.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Here she is!

Hi All,
Here are the debut photos for H as promised last post. I just popped home to A) Get some clean Knickers! and B) Get a full nights sleep :-( so couldn't resist posting these pics. Will be going back to them tomorrow to give more moral support and when I return home next time I will show you my other 'New Baby' who is approximately 89 years old and arrived on Thursday, but has had to take a back seat since I got the call to go to DD's.
Granddad's first cuddle (1 Day old)

Granny's 1st Cuddle (7 Hours Old)

The Star of the Show (1 Day Old)

Saturday, 9 July 2011

At Last!

Morning to all my friends out there in blog-land, at last I have GREAT EXCITING FABULOUS WONDERFUL (can't think of any more words to describe the feelings) NEWS to share with you all, My beautiful Gorgeous Heavenly Granddaughter has arrived safe and sound and Mother and baby are doing fine! :-))))
'H' (Yes I know! that's going to be confusing for all concerned -(2 Granddaughters with the same initial!!) decided on Thursday evening around 5pm that the time was right and dashed into life on Friday 8th July at 9.45am weighing 7lbs.2oz. exactly one week late. I do have a couple of pictures but, on DSIL's computer I haven't a clue how to get them outta my camera, so I'm afraid you will have to wait till I get home to see them, by which time I will have a few nay many more to share. There was a little teeny scare towards the end of the birth when they realised she had the cord round her neck resulting in a forceps delivery (OUCH!!) but ultimately all was well. Her paternal Grandparents rushed here by train yesterday morning and stayed over night, but have now returned home, Dad (AKA DSIL) has gone off to the hospital and I have a couple of hours to myself to get in here and pass on the good news. All Grandparents went along yesterday afternoon for our first glimpse of H and by doing a fair amount of shuffling around - only 2 visitors at a time allowed - we all managed to get in and have our first cuddles, but of course the Star of the Show didn't even bother to wake up! (But then she had been on a long journey all night) but it was amazing to just sit and hold her in my arms watching funny little expressions coming and going on her face. They may come home today if all is well with them both but it's all a bit wait and see right now. DH has yet to see her as he had to attend a funeral at mid-day yesterday, I will send more news as it arrives. Then once they are home I will make myself scarce so that they all have time to become a family unit without feeling I am looking over their shoulders all the time (Oh boy! do I remember that feeling from way back when my own first born came along :-(()
Well my friends I will sign off and do a few chores while the house is quiet, will be back real soon with some pictures.
Lorraine (AKA Granny!!)

Sunday, 3 July 2011

D Day +2 and counting!

Back again with nothing to report re Baby... though I did have a mad dash to DD's on Friday (D Day) as she got sent to the hospital again :-( Blood pressure up! swollen feet!! baby in strange position!!! difficult to hear heartbeat!!!! may need to induce immediately!!!!!!)
 So off I went with knitting in hand - could be a long wait I thought! (actually my knitting was in a knitting bag as I was driving!!) arrived at DD's house, to be greeted by 2 very excited Grand-dogs and guess what? Granny forgot to bring doggie treats and she ALWAYS has some in her pocket :-(((( Many barks and much licking later found the ones in the Treat jar and Grand Dogs calmed down so, made some tea (Well this was a 'crisis' and that's what we Brits do in a Crisis eh! LOL) Had not been there any more than an hour when DD arrived home, panic over Phew!!! Dr. NOT too worried - swollen feet - fairly normal in this heat and at this stage of pregnancy, BP normal, Baby IS in odd position - after ultrasound scan all was revealed - Babe is back to front! head down but facing forward which explains 'funny position', and why heart beat is difficult to hear and WHY DD is being kicked in the Boobs! (I remember that feeling, that's exactly how DD was pre -birth though we didn't know this till she was being delivered :-O ) and he (the Dr.) wouldn't think of inducing DD till at LEAST 2 weeks overdue. SO.... we made a cup of tea (relief this time) had a snack and I came home. I'm putting it all down to a good practice run. LOL
Yesterday was spent in the workroom, I finished another Sunflower Pin Cushion, this one started by a friend who is moving away and she thought I would like to finish it to sell at the Group Exhibition in October.

Then I did a bit of work on my current UFO, Hand Applique this time, I took it to the caravan with me last week and got quite a bit done so thought to continue. This was 1 of 2 Hawaiian Applique Cushion Kits bought from Maggie Davis at Quilts UK (Malvern Show) several years ago. At first I did not get the hang of her technique at all, despite very clear instructions at the show so, when she came to talk to us at WPQ about a year later, I asked her again and she very patiently explained and showed me the technique again but.... so around another year later she came to talk at SVQ and... by then the look on her face said it all - Oh No! here comes that  '......' woman again! However she once more patiently explained and demonstrated and guess what? I GOT IT!!!! I was so delighted I bought her book 'Perfect Points' which she signed for me and I came home and finished the applique on the first piece in no time and quickly set about starting the other one, then it got put aside for another more urgent interesting project and came to life about 2 weeks ago on the BOOKSHELF???? Quite how it got there one wonders, but anyway that's the next project and this is it along with the first one... they are are original traditional designs by Maggie and her choice of fabrics are lovely, even though I've had them a few years I still love the fabrics but wish I had not chosen black backgrounds!!

  Here is Maggie's book, published by Team Works Craftbooks (ISBN 0 9532590 7 2) it's very good at explaining her techniques for hand applique with lots of easy to follow diagrams and tips for both left and right handers and has some super projects to whet your appetite for this type of work.

I will Echo Quilt them when the applique is done in variegated/ toning thread, similar to this one made at an SVQ workshop many years ago when I was a Newbie Quilter.. It's not finished (no surprise there then! LOL) I use it as as an Hawaiian Applique sample when I give my talk entitled 'A Trip Around The World' as I do like to be able to show the workings of certain pieces. In my ignorance at the time I use some Poly cotton with a piece of hand dyed fabric for the motif, after quilting it, it was fairly grubby so I popped it in the washer with some towels, where-on the Hand dyed fabric bled like there was no tomorrow, the towels did not take the colour (well! not so you would notice) :-0 but the poly cotton went kinda blotchy pink, I had used a variegated thread so that was OK and the piece is now know as 'Hawiian Sunrise' as you can see I have not quilted the centre (which always done in traditional pieces) but I will do so on the 2 cushions.
What am I reading right now? Well I found a very good book, which is a fascinating read, about the lives, times and living conditions of  Diplomatic Wives in their supporting roles for husbands in foreign postings. Written by the daughter of a diplomatic family it gives a really good insight of what these women put up with throughout history and even today during many years spent in service to this Country.

Well I'm signing off now but will be back if there's anything to report.