28 June 2015

When your Sewing Room Looks as Good as This....

....who needs to sew? ��

Seriously, there's not been a lot going on this week on the sewing front and I must have a jolly good sort out during the evenings this week.

So yesterday, taking advantage of summer weather, David and I went to Stourhead, NT property in Wiltshire, just an hour's drive from home.  We went via Wimborne and saw Quarterjack Quilters excellent exhibition.  David took some photos

Some individual and group quilts. The one in the big picture are images of Wimborne, each members made a block. I also liked the Christmas items in the top right, large Christmas puddings made of Somerset. Folded Patchwork.

They'd also made some small picture quilts on the theme of 'The World is my Garden' challenge.

That's just fourth of, I think, about a dozen quilts, with descriptions but nothing to reveal the maker and the visitors had to vote for their favourite. Funnily enough there were two of Colmers Hill, just outside Bridport. must be a welcome sign that ones in Dorset.

We went on to Stourhead but on the way stopped at a village, Tollard Royal, that was holding a Scarcrow Festival. We had to stop to investigate further and finish our trail around the village with a cup of tea and piece of cake.

The villagers did do rather well, don't you think?

On to Stourhead at last, got there about lunchtime and the afternoon saw us walking around the large lake there and admiring the landscaped gardens.  Lovely architecture too, with the grotto, Parthenon and Aphrodite's Temple

Here's a pic of David, trying out his new camera. 
Just a lovely place to visit.

23 June 2015

Sandown and Other Bits

On Saturday I went with the Bourne Quilters to The National Quilt Championships at Sandown Racecourse in Surrey.  It's nothing like the size of Festival of Quilts so is quite manageable to get around to see the competition quilts and displays by quilt artists, as well as exchange quilts between groups in Germany and UK.  Together with traders, both the usual ones, such as Doughty's and Kaleidoscope, to newer traders, there was quite a variety of things to buy.

I enjoy the break for lunch, where one can sit on the grandstand and enjoy seeing the things going on in the area, the nearby railway, planes heading for Heathrow, and if the sky was a little clearer you can see the tall buildings in London.  I could just about see the Shard.

Here are my purchases.  Quite modest as I didn't need a lot, managed to avoid buying books, nothing jumped out as a must have.

I was intrigued by some of these fancy zips, so as I've taken to sewing zips into things I'd give these a go.  A purse frame, see if I can make another purse without pulling the clip apart! Calico  - 5 metres should last me  - I think I might use some as a toile for dressmaking.  Underneath is a panel of Advent Christmas stockings, don't know why I needed to get this Christmas still 6 months away, but the way this year is going.....

When I got home this lovely package was waiting for me from Benta

Some Sweet Sixteen blocks. Lovely!

Here they are with my blocks

I was just going make a cushion, but I can see me making more of them, with some large squares in between.  I'll have a look through the stash and see what will go well with them.

19 June 2015

Been a While

Since I last posted. Things have been busy but not a lot of sewing done. The beginning of this month saw the hall, stairs and landing being decorated.  We've owned the house for over 16 years now and this is the last area to be decorated. It was a difficult place to choose the right wallpaper and because of the long drop in the stair well David organised a decorator to to the wallpapering. The White and silver paper was used in the downstairs hall and part way up the stairs.  The top stairs and landing in a light cream textured paper with self coloured leaves (you might just be able to make out in the light.

Here's a pic of the hallway, yes it is rather small.
Last weekend David and I had a break in North Devon, that was cancelled from last month due to David's illness. With a day's holiday on Friday we set off early morning to get to Barnstaple by lunchtime and had an explore of the town.

In spite of the grey day on Saturday with the threat of rain we got to Lynton and Lynmouth, two towns on the coast linked by a water powered funicular railway, which was really steep. If you don't know what the railway is, it has two carriages one at the top of a cliff another at the bottom as in the picture and they counterbalance so as the one goes down the other goes up
At the bottom of the cliff is Lynmouth and a charity classic car show was taking place. I took photos with my camera which died on me, so these are the few I took with my phone. So when I load up my camera photos I will share these later.
The bottom picture was a former Bournemouth Transport coach now used as a heritage bus service between Minehead and Lynmouth.

We went from there back towards Barnstaple on the rather twisty road to Arlington Court, where we found the Woolly Woodland, a delightful piece of woodland in the grounds with knitted, crochet or felted creatures or flowers 
By the middle of the afternoon it was drizzly and horrible so returning to the hotel we were able to enjoy a swim before going out to dinner in town in the evening (by which time the weather improved).

Sunday we didn't have to rush back so before going home we took a trip to Rosemoor RHS garden near Torrington.  This is our second visit there, but last time was in the autumn year before last.  Early summer looked so different.

A collage of a few of my photos taken with my phone, it doesn't do too bad a job. This is a delightful place to visit if you are in the area and I'm glad we stopped there on our way home. It is Rose Weekend this weekend and as you can see the roses in my photos were really stunning.

So a hectic week back at work this week and an early start tomorrow going on a trip to Sandown, near Esher, Surrey, for the National Patchwork Championships. But as you can see there hasn't been much sewing time lately, hopefully share some pics of Sandown in the next few days.

01 June 2015

Flaming June!

I might wonder what I meant by the title later. Lets just say it's the first day of summer, so the weather is cold, wet and windy. Welcome to summer.

May was a manic month, not all of it in a bad way, though. Having visitors come to stay, being out and about was nice.  I had the opportunity of taking one of our visitors to Sewing Saturday afternoon earlier this month. Also a brief visit to relatives in Guernsey and a day out in Somerset.  Not so good was David's stay in hospital so having booked to go away on the last Bank Holiday weekend, it had to be un-booked, but we're going away weekend after next instead to Devon.

As for sewing I've said hello to a new machine and goodbye to an old one in my post here. I've had a play of the new one and the Juki is brilliant, there doesn't seem to be anything it can't handle. I still have the Pfaff, which I will have to sort out. The large Janome now has a lovely new home.

I have made some other things too this month
Just little things, but it all counts.  A pouch made from the You Tube video instruction from the Gourmet Quilter, a cushion made from bow tie squares that my Mum made, a pincushion from a tutorial on The Chain Piecer's blog and some Sweet Sixteen blogs which I will swap with Benta.  (I will when I get around to posting!).

If you look on yesterday's post I've also had a lovely workshop day and it was a pity to go back to work today without another opportunity to play.

Not photographed but in progress is machine quilting my deconstructed quilt from last year. I've also found a couple of orphan blocks which might to be made into cushions.  So enough to keep me busy in June.

I will also be going to the National Quilt Championships on 20 June in Sandown, Surrey, so looking forward to visiting that.

31 May 2015

Workshop Play

Today I went to a workshop at Pauline's Patchwork in Dorchester, which was tutored by Gillian Travis from Yorkshire.  I've admired her work for sometime and she's well known for the Indian Ladies pictures and fabric flowers. It was a toss up between the Indian Ladies workshop held yesterday and the Teasels, Seedheads and Cow Parsley one as I couldn't do both, so opted for today's and I've bought a kit for the other.

This was using various paint techniques on heavy weight calico using a wash of a colour mix to make up green, rather than green itself. This was followed by stencilling using stencil masks and also stamping.  

Later, using newspaper, and Echinacea flower was bonded and this was coloured with Inktense pencils.

The second piece was also colour washed and splattered paint around the middle of the piece.  This time screen printed with different coloured paints with the poppy seed heads, teasels and cow parsley. I think I'd like to do more screen printing, I quite enjoyed this.

Here's a photo of what others made taken at the end of the class.

They are so different!

There will be stitching to add to the pieces, which I'll do with my little Janome, it'll love the challenge!

25 May 2015

Quilt at Lytes Cary Manor

A couple of days since our visit to Lytes Cary Manor and we've uploaded the camera photos.  David has a camcorder that takes very good stills pictures without flash so have used this to take photos of the quilt in the Great Chamber.  At first glance it looks an ordinary hexagon bed cover (I'm not sure if it was a quilt or coverlet and I'm not sure of the date of this).  A closer look has found some unusual things about it.

The maker wanted to make good use of the patterns in the fabric and so made shapes of multiple hexagons instead of making several hexagon shapes to achieve this.
In the photo above (if you can close in on it) the maker made the shape of 3 or 4 hexagon sized pieces instead of separate ones (on the bottom left and left of the picture.  At the top of the picture (the pink swirly patterns) the separate hexagons have been fussy cut. Even the middles of the Grandma's garden blocks have a fussy cut individual flower hexagon within it.

In the photo above is another 4 hexagon shape with red leaves in. Interestingly the 4 hexagon shape next to it has a vertical seam in the middle of it.

Here are the last two photos that David took of the quilt.  The last one has a row of 3 hexagon shapes.
I hadn't seen anything quite like it and it couldn't have been easy to piece those shapes so it wasn't the easy option when making it.

As English Paper Piecing is quite popular at present I thought I would share these photos of this unusual quilt.

24 May 2015

This Week Has Been Eventful

We started this week ordinarily enough. David went to the office at Southampton for this weekly 'Day out' as he normally works at home, however he complained of a tummy ache after getting back, which during the course of the evening got worse and worse so by just before 11.00 I took him to A&E at Poole Hospital.  No waiting around, he was seen straight away and taken to a cubicle and Sarah and I were able to see him an hour later after he was violently sick. After being observed and having X-ray and other tests he was admitted and we left hospital at 3 am on Wednesday morning.  

Wednesday was taken up in phone calls to our managers, visits to him in hospital (he was left with just a hospital gown) and catching up with sleep! Suffice to say, my head wasn't where it should be and although I took clothes in for him, I realised he had no reading glasses, no money, a phone which I hadn't charged up. By the time he left hospital on Thursday there was something else I'd forgotten, shoes!  The conclusion was he'd suffered gastro enteritis but there would be further follow up tests.

So after that kerfuffle we cancelled a weekend break we were going to take in Devon and we decided to take things easy this weekend. So yesterday, with David feeling very much better and raring to go, we went to just outside Yeovil, about an hour's drive from home, where there are several National Trust places to visit in a few miles of each other. I've been having trouble with my camera and I took the memory card out and forgot to put it back in, so the photos taken have been with my phone. Being a nice sunny day  I couldn't see the screen so had to take a chance with what I was taking.

We went to Lytes Cary Manor, with a Tudor Manor House owned by a family for many generations, left neglected before being lived in again from the early 20 th century which was kept in moreorless the same style it was previously in, not much sign of more modern things.  But the gardens there were pretty amazing and very peaceful apart from the birdsong.

Not far away was Tintinhull Garden. A small house there but that was used as the visitor centre and small tearoom but as the name suggests, the garden was the main feature, and it didn't disappoint.  Lovely and peaceful, with had garden 'rooms' and just masses of flowers and a large vegetable plot. 
The photo above was a picture of the water in the pond, on which the clouds above were reflected, but look closely and the grey bits in the water are tadpoles, seemed like millions of the things. The White spots might have been the water boatmen there were loads of those just below the water surface.

We.then went onto Barrington Court, which we visited last year, but was nice to make a return visit and have a wander around the gardens there too. There was temptation in the form of a patchwork shop there but I'm saving myself for a visit to Sandown exhibition next month. No photos here from the phone, but David took several so I will share those in a later post.

We finished our day out going back to Dorchester on our way home and having a meal at Carluccio's restaurant there, very nice.