23 July 2014

London and Brussels

Last Wednesday David and I went to London for a very early start on the Eurostar train on Thursday morning to Brussels.  The weather was stiflingly hot which made it difficult to get around and made us feel like not wanting to explore much.  We dropped our case off at the b&b where we were staying nearby St Pancras station.  I took photos of the station, which has such impressive Victorian Gothic A
architecture.

That's only a bit of it.  I took more pics with the camera which I've yet to upload.  We headed over to Covent Garden for a while to take in a few of the shops and entertainment.  I had to marvel at Yoda 
How on earth did he keep himself off the ground?

Next day was our trip on the Eurostar train and can say that we've tried it and although just over 2 hours for the journey to Brussels we won't be in a hurry to use again. We were taken to by the tour company to our hotel in the city, but unfortunately not given a lot of info as to where to go, what to do for the afternoon and next morning we had available to explore. Again the weather was so hot but there were plenty of shops to go into just for a browse and take advantage of their air conditioning!

While at a museum in the museum quarter of the city we found this plaque.  When David started work in Bournemouth way back in 1986 he worked for an insurance company, no longer existing, which had offices in this building. Looks pretty magnificent doesn't it.
Some lovely stained glass in the same building.

Next day we walked to an old tower, the Halle Gate, which is the last remaining gate in what was once the city walls. Having such thick stone walls, this was a lovely cool building

You can go to the top to see views of the city, which was pretty amazing.

In the afternoon we went on the coach to Maastricht and the Andre Rieu Concert in the evening.  Being so hot, we did have a brief wander around the town, then settled under shade of a cafe enjoying a few drinks.  In the evening while heading to the concert we came by this bookshop and could not resist taking photos of the shop window

I took most of the photos with my camera but here are a few iPhone shots
Ok not brilliant, but will update in another post with the camera pics. The concert was really well organised and it was enjoyable.  Not all my taste in music, but it was something that David wanted to see and glad we went. To have to chance to go to an open air concert in a lovely setting, even though it was a hot sticky evening.

Anyway more about this soon, but today going to Bristol to spend a few days there.

13 July 2014

One Down, Three to Go.

The landscape picture is now finished and framed. I'm really please how it's turned out.
Now hung in our living room.  This is the second frame this has gone into as the first one, was too shallow and the corners of the frame did not fit well in spite of extra gluing.  We found the second one today in Hobbycraft which is a much better quality and deeper too.  

So this started in January with a photo that I took last year at Tintagel.  The path leading from the village to the visitor centre at the castle suddenly opens out which a view to the sea.

The pictures main shapes are made of silk paper bonded onto a canvas base. There is free machine embroidery and also some free machining on water soluble fabric. After the fabric was dissolved from the stitching was pulled apart and applied to the picture, which are the grey bits on the top of the hill and also green bits on the grassy foreground.

This is the early stages, when I just started the stitching to anchor things and detail on the path.

I realised that I needed to add more fabric to the landscape to comfortable fit the mount so added onto the top. You can see there's more stitching.

Almost there, I placed the double mount frame to get some idea of how it would look.

10 July 2014

A Lovely Month of Finishes?

Earlier this month some of the blogs that I follow have taken part in "A Lovely Year of Finishes" hosted by Sew Bitter Sweet Designs and Fiber Of All Sorts.  The year is split into quarters and they have set their aims for the quarter and published blogs about the progress of their projects.  Ok, so I am half a year late to join this, so I will be a party on my own and set my own aims and objectives, but see if what I need to get done and achieve this month.

It's the 10th today, so 21 days to go and we are on holiday for the next fortnight, but have some at home days, doesn't leave that many days this month to get things done but here goes.

1. Landscape picture.  Sewing stuff done, just has to be framed. I'm going to class on Friday, so should be finished. (There, that was easy).


2. Dolly Dress Up Block (2 of 6). This is a hand sewing project, which I will take to a Sewing Saturday session this Saturday so this may get done this month. The first block was finished while watching the Tour de France last weekend. Aim would be to make a start on block 3.

3. Trip Around the World quilt. I've made a second top, like the first one pictured below. I've got wadding and backing, so no excuses.

4. Coupon wallets. Three I've done pictured below. I've cut out and got 8 sets of fronts and backs ready to sew for a charity stall for August and also for the Tombola at Festival of Quilts (not long to go!). I've also got 3 biscornu pincushions to make for the Tombola too.

I think that might do for now.  Let's see how I get on.  To have objectives might stop some aimless wanderings into the sewing room and thinking what to do next and clear the mind a bit.  I've managed to get the Tubix quilt top done within the deadline set, so the goals should be achieveable.

08 July 2014

Romsey Quilt Exhibition

This was a spur of the moment thing, when my friend asked if I would join them on a coach trip, which stopped to pick up at Wimborne, going to Romsey.  The Romsey Quilters is quite a large group and have an exhibition every three years in Romsey Abbey and King John's House, the historic building opposite the Abbey (more info about it here).

First off was our visit to King John's house, where there is a small tea room, with an the quilt exhibits on ground and first floor.  On the ground floor were quilts by one of their members, June Thorpe, who died earlier this year and some Christmas quilts.

 An etched window, which looked really pretty with the roses in the garden outside.
Upstairs were small 12.5" quilts for a challenge based on poems or songs, just a small selection as there were five boards with the themed quilts
 Below is one of my favourites.
And another collection of small quilts made by members to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group
 
Above is just a selection, below I managed to get a description on the back of one of the quilts, which is  the green one with the XXX on.

Out to the lovely cottage gardens before going to the Abbey



Its such an idyllic little cottage garden, right in the middle of the town.

Onto Romsey Abbey, were some quilts were hung between arches, some on quilt stands, but all in the beautiful setting. Here are just a few of them










Some of the church vestments at the altar


A big thanks to the ladies who organised this.  As always it is a really brilliant exhibition and we had a lovely day out.

The exhibition is on from 5th to 20th July 2014. More information here.


06 July 2014

Bennetts Water Garden

I've been waiting a while to post this as David, Sarah and I visited the garden last Sunday, but I'd taken camera photos and this week we've had a bit of faffing around with computers, so it's taken until today.

Bennetts Water Garden is in Chickerell, near Weymouth and it holds the national collection of waterlilies  which grow in the ponds that were created from former clay works.  

Does that look familiar? The bridge was built to recreate Monet's garden at Giverny. Doesn't it look lovely?

And a gorgeous Japanese bridge and a lovely landscape.  Get ready for lots of waterlily pics
Some ducks and ducklings
The gardens are also a venue for weddings and there is a lovely summerhouse where the ceremonies take place. Sorry about the wonky picture.
Here's a pic of David and me on the Monet bridge