10 August 2014

Back From Festival of Quilts

I came back last night from a couple of days away at the Festival of Quilts.  Although I enjoy my time there it can be overwhelming, where do you go, what to look at, so has to be done in chunks which usually works for me.

I went on the train with a some friends from Sewing Saturday - Brenda, Donna and Grace, which made a change from how I've travelled before and stayed overnight in a Travelodge near Birmingham. Previous years I've gone by car with David coming to Birmingham with me, but David felt he'd had enough of finding places to go while I was at the Festival.  It was a great time with Brenda meeting up and staying at the hotel with her sister and her friends so we had a lovely time of show and tell on the Friday evening. Made on occasion of the stay up there.

On Friday afternoon I met up with Benta, her friend Jackie and also Margaret, all bloggers and lovely to see them all.  I didn't bump into anyone I knew on Saturday, but I think I just wanted to fit in as much as I could, that I probably didn't look!

I had booked a couple of quick and easy workshops, on Friday afternoon was the Sumptuous Surfaces one run by Laura from Colourcraft.  Here are my samples

The top sample used 3d fabric medium on bubble wrap pressed onto Lutrador which had some spray paints and distressed with a heat gun. Below those pieces the fabric medium was painted onto Evolon and wooden stamps pressed into the medium, spray painted and dried with heat gun.

The bottom sample was a piece of Evolon with Markel Sticks rubbed over rubbing plates. The spray paint was sprayed on the reverse side and shows through the fabric. Underneath that was the state of a piece of kitchen towel after all that.  It was great fun and influenced my purchases yesterday.

The workshop I did yesterday was Layered Landscapes with Catherine Lawes, a member of the Contemporary Quilters.  

Her photo is on the right with my sample on the left. Using some base fabric and layers of chiffons/organzas to make a sunrise landscape to fit a small frame/card, which would need a bit of a finish off, but enjoyable.

This wasn't really a workshop but a little have a go session by the Guild of Silk Painters to paint a card.  One small girl enjoyed the painting so much she went back to do another painting.

That was quite relaxing at nearly the end of a tiring day.

Some freebies

Some books (and a calendar)

More purchases

And a. It more
A bit nondescript looking but is a tiny yellow print on a bolt end for backing the Tubix quilt.  I did want something bolder but couldn't see what I wanted.  With 5 metres there's plenty with at least a metre to spare, which lol come in useful.

So Festival done and dusted for another year.  I'll get my camera photos uploaded and share more later this week.

03 August 2014

So I Made a Bag

Can someone have too many bags? I have decided to give some away that I've never used, but that's beside the point.

I had a couple of orphan blocks dating from I'm not sure when, but an article in Popular Patchwork in 2000 probably dates these at least 10 - 14 years old and it shows how much my fabric taste has changed.  I probably wouldn't use the dark greens and there was also a lot of Debbie Mumm fabrics around at the time I made this block and she hasn't designed fabric for years as well as the Rose and Hubble fabrics that haven't been around for a long time too. So here it is the bag

The pattern is a type of stained glass patchwork called "Trad Jazz" the pattern is by Sharon Garrick.  I added a green/red batik border around these blocks to make the bag pieces.

Here are both sides below

The blocks were about 8.75" square which I think were due to the strips joining the 4 small blocks together. From what I remember the pattern was drawn onto freezer paper and 6 squares of fabric were layered on top of each other with the freezer paper ironed onto the top fabric and cut through all the layers through the pattern lines.  The fabrics were then juggled around so there was a different fabric in each piece and ironed onto Vilene to (sort of) hold in place. Bias strips were sewn on to hide the raw edges and hold down the pieces and lastly the squares joined together by the straight strips.

I had a small square 6.5" of wonky log cabin, which judging by the fabric was made around a similar time to which I added a batik fabric to make a slightly bigger square to make a pocket. A bag has to have a pocket.

And here it is inside the bag
Last night I finished off the thread ends, just have to close up the bag lining and done. That only took Friday afternoon and Saturday morning to do. Nice to do something quick and easy.  This will go towards the charity stall later this month, so it won't be adding to my bag collection, but to someone else's.

01 August 2014


I've managed to meet my targets set earlier this month in my post here, so a round up of what I've done

1. Landscape picture.  Sewing stuff done, just has to be framed. I'm going to class on Friday, so should be finished.   -  DONE! It was the first thing to finish off and I posted about it here

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.  - DONE!  I finished the second block and now on the third, but also have a fourth one with wadding and backing ready to sew

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. - DONE!  I started on the quilting on Monday this week, kept to simple machine quilting and folded over the backing to the front to bind, finishing that on Wednesday.

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. - DONE! I had a session one day to sew them together and also this week got the biscornu pincushions for the Love Hearts tombola done.

I addition I also managed to make a couple of cushion covers for the charity stall with a spare Scrappy Trip block and a pinwheel block that I tried out after watching a Missouri Star You Tube video. With a couple of bags that I made but never use from the BQL bag challenge of 4 years ago I think that will make a decent contribution.
So that's my round up for July makes.  It was good to have targets, this will continue for August too.

August's targets will be

1    While at Festival of Quilts I will get some backing fabric for my Tubix Quilt top, see my post about it here.  I have the wadding for this already and hope to see if I can bag a bargain at the Festival which will go nicely with it and think about the quilting. See if I can make progress on this.

2    Have a sort out of my fabric and a good old tidy up.  I've got a lot of children's novelty prints so see if I can utilise them in any way.  There will be a table top sale towards the end of September (seems a long way away, but I'm sure that will come around soon enough).

3    I've joined Diane's (The Cheshire Quilter) daughter's Mixed Media Challenge on Facebook, which starts today.  See what the challenge is and have a go at that.

4    (This is a difficult one) Get a job!!!  I am signed up to local agencies and keep looking around, someone out there will want my amazing talents!!! I'm sure that will come right eventually.

31 July 2014

A Selection of Holiday Pics

(Sit down with a cup of tea for this one, its a bit long)

I won't bore you with masses of blog posts about our recent holiday but I've just uploaded photos so I'll do a quick round up.

These are photos of Brussels.  We never got to the Grande Place and David discovered that where we were we missed quite a bit, but I think it was down to the lack of information and also the hot weather made us hot and bothered too.  So maybe worth another visit in cooler weather.

We did manage to see some sights so wasn't all wasted though.

Our trip to Maastricht for the Andre Rieu concert. Quite a show too, considering the orchestra and singers were performing in sweltering conditions, it was quite a humid night (at least it wasn't raining!).

I really liked the people dressed as going to the Masked Ball in Vienna and they came on stage before the performers and had some wonderful costumes.  There was also a brass band that played around the square before the performers arrived, but there were just too many people around so couldn't take many photos, which was a shame.

Our return on Eurostar to St Pancras in London we came across this enormous statue of a couple hugging each other called The Meeting Place, which is the collage below. Top left is a lovely bit of art which could almost be patchwork

Last week David and I went to Bristol and on the way stopped at the American Museum in Britain

We hadn't been here for a while and went to the Kaffe Fassett exhibition and were greeted with yarn bombed pieces outside the museum and a large tree decorated in plant pots covered in fabric and the lower branches had woollen pompoms. A few pics in the middle row above were just some of the quilts on display in the museum. A few Kaffe Fassett quilts were hanging in the stairwell and outside the exhibition hall were mosaic plant pots.  The American Museum has lovely gardens too and managed a short wander just before closing time.

Thursday saw us in Bristol along the waterfront to visit the M-Shed, a fascinating view of the city, its industry, history and people.  There was an addition exhibition of Wallace and Gromit, produced in Bristol by Aardman Animations.  It was a story of how the films are made, from ideas and storyboards up to the final film. Well worth seeing if you are in the area.  The waterfront too has some interesting sights around @ Bristol (the sphere is a Planetarium and nearby are water features) and also statues of famous people from Bristol dotted around.

I've given this next photo a collage of its own, the SS Great Britain, which returned to its home port of Bristol in 1970 and has undergone quite a lot of restoration.  We haven't seen this for years and were surprised by what we saw

It is in dry dock and one can go underneath the ship as there is a glass roof and a thin layer of water above which gave really interesting views of the ship, as you can see in the central picture looking up from the rudder to the back of the ship.  As you can see from the middle right it looks as though the anchor is taken under water, but in fact its the ripples of the water on the glass up above us.

We also took in a couple of railway trips too with a short visit to the East Somerset Railway before going to the American Museum and after our Bristol trip before heading home visited the diesel gala at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire railway, but I haven't put any of those in this post unless its demanded by popular request!

Whoa, after all that we need a holiday to get over the holiday!  We seem to have fitted a lot in.

This week has been busy with agency interviews though if it leads to anything remains to be seen.  I've also caught up with friends so maybe as well I've not been working.  Tomorrow will see if I've caught up with my post earlier this month of the finishes I wanted to get done and my aims for August too.

Just a week to the Festival of Quilts - I'll be going next Friday and Saturday - anyone else going?

26 July 2014


The past few days have seen us in Bristol, where my daughter, Sarah, lives. David and I first went to Bath and visited the American Museum in Britain on our way there on Wednesday, where there have been a lot of changes within the museum itself. But also in the exhibition building there is the Kaffe Fassett exhibits of his textile art, which included knitting, tapestries and patchwork.  This exhibition is on until the beginning of November.

The outside of the exhibition had a tree decorated with pots with fabric on them and pom-poms.
This was one of the mosaic decorated pots outside the door
All that colour gives you a clue to the colour overload in the hall.

There was more colour outside in the gardens.

This photo was taken just before the museum closed for the day. It took us all afternoon to see everything. 

Thursday we went into Bristol City centre and the waterfront to visit M Shed.  It is free and gives a lot of insight into the history, it's industries, about the communities and people.  There is an additional exhibition (that's not free, but not expensive) to the Wallace and Gromit exhibition.  The makers of the films, Aardman Animations, are based in Bristol and the exhibition shows how the ideas are formed from storyboard pictures to the final result.  Their attention yo detail is fascinating and how much can be fitted into a scene of probably 24" wide and about 15" high.  But there was the chance to have my photo taken with my new friends, courtesy of David

But a joint selfie didn't work out too well!

After all that excitement, further along the waterfront was the SS Great Britain. The first iron ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Not terribly brilliant photos from my iPhone.  I've taken camera pictures too (I must upload all those pics, haven't done last weeks either).  This has also changed a lot from when we visited a long time ago.  It is kept in dry dock as the hull is badly rusted and there is an opportunity to see the underneath of the ship which is kept in dehumidifying conditions. Absolutely amazing.  Inside the ship one could she how the different classes of passengers travelled.

Yesterday we spent time with Sarah, mainly shopping and eating!  A chance to see the city in the evening after eating at Jamie's Italian.

Today before leaving for home, David wanted to go to Cheltenham to visit the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway (GWR), which happened to have a Diesel engine gala day. A railway has to be done on our trips but then the American Museum was for me and he did also drive me to Poppy Patchwork shop in Westbury on Trym, so I don't mind a railway. Here's some of my iPhone pics

Just to finish off, this is what we saw in Cribbs Causeway shop with Shaun the Sheep (s).

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

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.