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

Friday, 15 November 2013

Hello my Friends

Well  I have received the details of my swap partner and this time I've gone 'international' and the lovely Beverly has contacted me all the way from Oz, she apparently has no particular leaning toward any specific colour so I am free to 'do my own thing'. I have selected some fabrics that caught my eye in 'the stash' and suffice to say that construction is under way. Of course I can't show anyone yet but I really like what I have chosen so watch this space as they say.
Wednesday was spent (Shhhhh) Shopping as I went of on a jolly trip with Wesbury Park Quilters to the lovely Lady Sew & Sew in Henley on Thames, who had an open day at their warehouse, we were warmly welcomed with tea or coffee then had a talk about 'gadgets & gizmos', then it was time to shop. I set off with really good intentions NOT TO BUY FABRIC... I even had a list but somewhere along the way the fabric elves gremlins got me and instead of getting only the 3 small items on my list I came home with a carrier bag full of goodies. First up this was the bag
 not too big I agree and when you look inside there are these
the original 3 items on my list, 3 metres of Vilene iron on stabilizer, a new fabric marker pen and some new blades for the rotary cutter all of which were bought by the time we had lunch, following lunch we had another talk this time about waddings and believe me when I tell you the Lovely Vanessa really knew her wadding, so if you are in any doubt about which to use give her a call and she will help you out. There was enough time for some more browsing before we headed back to the coach and I think it must have been while I was relaxing and listening to the talk that they got to me (the gremlins I mean) and by the time they had finished their work my bag contained these....
A selection of blues (I had to have these for my new bag Honest!)
Oh and this one!!!
Some yarn (well I do need a new scarf for winter!)
a couple of journals (they were in the sale and such a bargain!)
Then... just as I thought I really had spent more than enough, this simply jumped out on me and I had to have 1/2 mtr of each for Little H who is completely dotty about Maisie Mouse, so she will be getting a cushion for her playroom and a little dolly's quilt for the new 'baby' she's getting at Christmas (but that's all a secret so don't tell will you!)
Well I guess that all for this time so I'll be off.
See you soon

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Another swap joined and an Invitation.

It must be addictive - joining in swaps I mean! as you will all know I have done two this year, not as many as most and probably more than others but no one warned me they are habit forming. Still it's not a dangerous activity and it is VERY enjoyable- all the anticipation of waiting for your partners details to arrive, then visiting their blog to see preferences for fabric and colour etc. This one is a Christmas stocking swap via the Quilting Gallery and I have my pattern ready and waiting, my partners details are due on the 7th  Nov. then I can start to sew.
I spent a day at Malvern quilt show, I went on my own this year as Sheila couldn't go at the last minute so I planned to spend most of the time doing some workshops. I arrived early and got signed up to 3 from my list. Then off for a cuppa and a quick look round at the quilts. The first workshop was with the lovely Sadie Yeomans for some Christmas Redwork, a very good workshop with everything supplied to complete a small wall hanging.

Next it was off to try my hand at Image Transfer with Ruth Brown which I found great fun if a little messy but managed to produce this, though I'm not sure what I shall use it for!
After a quick bite of lunch I was off again this time to an intriguing workshop called 'Striptease' with Jane Davies. I was not sure what to expect but we had great fun layering all sorts of fabrics onto a curtain fabric base then securing it with lots of random embroidery stitches.

 I also bought this kit from her which looks fun to do
by then it was 3.30 so another cuppa was enjoyed before a final walk around the traders before heading off for home.
In the last couple of weeks I got fired up about using teeny scraps while reading a post at 15 Minutes of Play , now I have always said I don't 'do small', I love miniature quilts and really admire and appreciate all the work that goes into making one but it has never occurred to me to try it out for myself. However the idea set out by Victoria just seemed to appeal, so I set to at the machine with some reeeeeally small bits of fabric and tried it out. Within about 20 minutes I had produced these,

 now I was really fired up and decided to try to use them to make a mini quilt and in the course of last Tuesday afternoon I had produced 9 little blocks. Then using some leftover 1.5" strips as sashing I put together this little project

The whole thing is 8" square and it needs to be 12" to comply with the challenge, so now I have until the
end of the month to make it a bit larger. My first thought is to try to make a really tiny Prairie Braid border then bind it but I'm not sure yet as I have never done Prairie Braid before. All suggestions be considered!!

And now for that invitiation. Several weeks ago while catching up on some of the Blogs I follow I read a post from Dianne over at The Cheshire Quilter who posted about a Pay it Forward idea currently doing the rounds and soo... I joined in, I think this is a great idea and a lovely way to give someone a nice surprise. So how does it work? Well, sometime in the next year she makes a small gift for me and in return I do the same for 3 of my followers who want to take part so if  you are interested in taking part leave me a comment and I will get back to you, I promise not to forget, I will write down your names and put them in a prominent place to keep reminding me.
So as they say that's all for now folks, I'm off for my tea!!


Saturday, 12 October 2013

A 'quilty' day out and a finish!

Tuesday was the day, the American Museum was the destination, I was picked up by Carys to travel via Bath to the Museum arriving around 11.45, after following some tricky road closure diversions.
Covered Wagon at the entrance 
We started in the Terrace restaurant with a nice cuppa and some 'heavenly' cookies, and met up with the others before heading off to the Quilt Room to sew. Once settled we all produced our sewing, all but 2 of us were working on our 'Sheep' pictures, with Carys hand quilting and Gaynor who was stitching some Sashiko panels. One of the Guides informed us that a coach party from Bridgewater was due in later so we quickly worked out a lunch rota to ensure there would be someone stitching when they arrived. 
The view from the quilt room is lovely.
and after admiring the view we quickly fell to stitching and chatting with visitors (I was very impressed with the number of Menfolk who popped in!) Later in the day we spoke with a lovely lady all the way from Melbourne, Australia who said she had just begun quilting.
I got all of my sheep onto the background and think they look quite cute... 
I now have to embroider all the features like legs, ears, eyes, some flowers on the grass plus some quilted clouds.
When I got home I came to the workroom to stow away my bits and bobs, the sun was just beginning to set over the houses at the back of the house, I love sunsets and they are just as beautiful at this time of year as any other what do you think? I like the way It forms a silhouette of the houses as it dips lower in the sky
around 6pm
15 minutes later
Other news on the sewing front, the Crazy panel is done, I decided that less is probably more in this instant, I added some French knots to the Pistil stitch,                               

 decided to leave the larger white flower on the Blue Brocade                                                            

and tried my hand at some freestyle embroidery with a tree on the solid blue patch in the centre                                                                

so now it looks like this,                               

Just the edges to trim but I'm still undecided what to use it for though.  
Well that's enough from me for today, I'll be back soon with an invitiation....
Bye for now

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Phwewww!!! what a fortnight!

Hello All!
I have finally surfaced from all the jollities over at Severn Valley HQ, and what a time we had, Saturday 21st September saw 23 members attending an all day workshop and dinner at Thornbury Golf Centre, I forgot my camera so I 'borrowed' these pictures from their website. 
The approach to the Golf centre, which is situated in an old farm and its buildings
The room used for the workshop
You can get an idea of the beautiful views we had all day and into the evening. We ate dinner in this room you can see it at the very end of the first photo.
Where we ate dinner
The workshop was led by the wonderful Clare Kingslake who gently led us through making either sheep pictures (excuse the threads they are the tacking threads around the sheep shapes)

or a Woven basket cushion front, 
Taken from a larger project in the book.
I succumbed and bought a copy of her book which she very kindly signed for me.

The dedication
I had chosen 'the sheep'! I love the way they take on character depending on the position of the heads etc,
'Ooh! What's that?'
or  'Quick look up there!'

On Wednesday 25th September we held a Members Past & Present social event as our monthly meeting , we were delighted to welcome more than 20 past members some from way back in the early days (including the lovely (and famous) Sandie Lush) and around the same number of present members, among the visitors there were 2 founder members and no less than 8 previous chairpersons at the gathering. The cake was amazing (again my camera was obvious by it's absence!!- Doh! must try harder) but as soon as I can get my hands on some 'piccy's' you will be the first to see them.
In the 2 weeks since all this happened I have sort of 'crashed' apart from some knitting and some hand sewing, (of course)  I've done most of the embroidery on the Victorian piece I started at WPQ
A spider's web for luck

The old lace is attached with single lazy daisy stitches and flowers made using straight stitch and French knots, plus some lazy daisy flowers and stem stitch as a filler on the solid fabric
Then today I learned a new stitch by adding some Pistil stitch flowers, I quite like the way they look.

So now it's almost complete, I will decide whether or not to leave on the 3D flower bits (White lacy one top left & small roses near Pistil stitch) as I'm not too sure about them, and find a filler for the dark blue bit in the centre. 

Then I'll have to decide if I want to stick pins in it, at 8 1/2" x 6 1/2" approx finished size it seems a bit big for that or find another use, I did think of adding some borders so I could perhaps make a Cushion Front, but I'm still thinking about it! All/any suggestions will be considered!!

Well I guess that's it for this time

Friday, 20 September 2013

Big week ahead

Well it's finally time for the celebrations to start.. Severn Valley Quilters will celebrate 25 years this coming week, with not one but 2 celebrations, tomorrow 23 members are attending a workshop to be held at the local Golf club (the room we are booked into has stunning views across the course!) with the lovely Clare Kingslake who will be teaching us how to appliqué in her own Folk Art style, most of us including me will be making a 'sheep' wall hanging/picture which looks like great fun, others will be working on one of her 'basket' projects, while 1 or 2 will be working on their own projects. The day kicks off at 9.30 with coffee before the workshop, a buffet lunch is too be served at around 12.15 pm then we will sew again till 4pm. when tea and cupcakes (made by the lovely Anne) will be served, after tea we can sew for a bit longer if we fancy it, or just chill out in the bar before a 3 course evening dinner at 7 pm.
Next on 25th (our usual meeting night) we are hosting a Members Past and Present social evening with light refreshments (YES! including cake!!) quite a few past members are joining us which includes a few founder members. There will be a display of work by the current members plus the unveiling of the entries for the 'Silver Challenge' set by me in January, our photographic archive will also be on show. Following this all the committee will collapse in a big heap to regain our breath before we hold our Exhibition in February 2014.
I have assembled my requirements for the project, it was good fun finding some 'woolly' fabrics plus some sky and grass fabric as you can see my sheep will be varied including a proverbial 'black sheep' or maybe a brown one.
 I'm not sure yet which 'sky' fabric I shall use but will decide when I get there! I have also included some embroidery threads to work some embellishment in the form of flowers/birds etc.
Over the past few evenings I have been busy working on the Victorian Crazy piece I started at WPQ last week (see previous post) and this is what I've done so far
General view
narrow ribbon couched down 
Wider ribbon held in place with Fly stitch and Herringbone stitch
Narrow ribbon threaded through the braid which is held down by 2 styles of buttonhole stitch
I now have to decide how to attach the old narrow lace (top right in first picture) I found in the drawer and which stitches to use on the rest of the seams, but so far I'm quite pleased with it and as French knots are a particular favourite of mine I'll throw a few of those in somewhere too. Now all I have left to do tonight is finish packing and make sure I have all I need to take with me, and get a good nights sleep (as long as the anticipation doesn't get to me first)
So its goodbye from me as I head off of to pack my bag(s)!!!Whooo Hooo!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Another day, another finish!!!

Yes folks, I seem to be churning em out of late! perhaps the 'sewing drought' is over. You may remember I was making a needle case from a freebie download  over at Flossies Teacakes well she's all done, I put the final few stitches in on Tuesday so what do you think
Matrosyska Doll needle-case
and inside!
all ready for a few pins and needles, I may give her away as a gift then make some more. I'm now busy trying to get the Victorian Crazy pin cushion done which was started at Westbury park quilter's meeting on Monday, the tutor was very good and showed the members how to piece Victorian Crazy Ptachwork in the Traditional way, I usually use the stitch & flip method round a central 5 sided piece (sort of log cabin style) but this was sooo much fun I may do more of this method, as its all hand sewn and would be easy to carry around.
Now for some embroidery!
Saturday - Back again!
Clock Tower Quilters today, so.... I determined to cut out the dressing gown to which I pinned the pattern last month ... DONE then it was on with the alphabet wall-hanging for Little H. I bought the pattern at Malvern when she was 'still a bump' the fabrics were bought in New England in 2011 and to date I have only done 7 of the blocks which I am very pleased with so far except for the letter G which I bonded BEFORE I worked out where the letter would go so it don't fit Oh damn!!! still with a bit more careful planning I could possibly put the tail of the 'G' down into the sashing as long as I remember to do the same on a couple of other letters to balance it out - probably the 'Q' & 'Y'.So this is where I am at so far

There will be quite a bit of detail to be added and they will all need blanket stitching round the edges but I think I will do that during the evenings. Anyhow the plan is to give it too her at Christmas (but I'm not saying which one with my track record LOL)
Other projects finished by our members today are these beauties
Carol has been working on this bag for ages but it's done at last
Mollie's Flying Geese lap quilt.
Ably shown by Laura as poor Mollie broke her shoulder during the summer and still does not have the full movement back in the joint.
Well it's off for tea and perhaps a spot of sewing.
See you all soon