20 August 2017

The Second Half - Festival of Quilts 2017

A lot of people have said this was a really good show this year.  Quite a variety of quilts and quilted items some of them really stunning. There was a lot more seating around and more catering facilities so queuing wasn't too much of an issue in spite of the number of people there.  Traders seemed to be busy, though I couldn't get near some of them so may have a trawl of the internet find out a bit more later.

On Friday I did two stints of stewarding which meant that I saw more of the Traditional and Two person quilts and later the Contemporary Quilts and My First Quilt sections but it was keeping an eye on the time but I managed some photos.

Saturday I took more and was able to relax a bit and take my time a bit more, though having been tired after two busy days before I was ready to finish by mid afternoon when we made out way home.

Anyway, enough said, lets get onto the quilts

This was the Best in Show, Measure for Measure by Philippa Naylor.  A miniature quilt that was difficult to photo (got there in the end as you can see!) as people wanted a close up look at it. Just 12" of perfection.


Another stunning winner in its category, Contemporary Quilts was one by Linzi Upton, called Beelzebub, which although a whole cloth quilt had a pieced backing to make it double sided, so a steward was on hand to lift the corner of the quilt to reveal the back.


Talking of stewards lifting the back of the quilt here is a quilt below that shows just that! Very clever.

I found that by accident at the end of a  row! It's called A Thank You to All the Quilt Angels and it's by Constanze Botel.

In the Pictorial Quilts category was this one called African Village by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga


Another Winner, in Quilt Creations was this waistcoat by Jacqui Harvey called Silvery Threads


Some other quilts I like, have to be choosy, can't pick them all 

While stewarding in the Contemporary Quilts section I was drawn to this quilt which looks dimensional, I loved the texture in this. It's by Jill Johnston called A Box In a Box In a Box


Nearby was this quilt, Copper Beech (though it was spelt Beach) by Mary McIntosh


In the Quilted Creations were a lot of amazing pieces, like this Violin, by Sue Trevor


This Beach Scene by Members 13, but was big that I couldn't really get one photo!


A Modern Quilt, Margaret's Modern Heaxies by Margaret Ager, I liked the quilting echoed in this quilt.

I've not yet uploaded pics of the galleries so I think I shall leave it here and will put together another posting soon.  Meanwhile I will leave you with a selfie of a t-shirt that I bought at the show.


Had to be done.  

Birmingham 2017 - A Post of Two Halves

Since updating my blog on the computer instead of my iPad posts its a bit more of a faff so I haven't caught up with a post about the Festival of Quilts so far even though it was over a week a go since I was there.

David travelled with me to Birmingham and since there are some significant changes to the city centre since we were last there two years ago we wanted to go and visit before going to the Festival.

What has changed is the refurbishment of New Street Station which has a new shopping and eating are above the concourse called Grand Central, which includes a John Lewis store.  Outside is a viewing area to see the trains running in and out of the station underneath.


Above is one of the Sleuth of Bears trail around Birmingham which shows the large 'eye' screen behind, which was advertising the test cricket match at Edgbaston cricket ground. More about the bears later.

We also took the opportunity to visit the Library of Birmingham which we also visited last time in the city.  The architecture of the tiered building with its interlocking circles is pretty amazing and we found out that people can go outside one of the levels onto a roof guarding with views over the city.  There is still a lot of construction work going on.  Inside the building going up the escalator one can see shelves of books arranged in a circle and each floor had reading areas and tables with screens on.  A fascinating place. I tried to find a good angle to take a photo from the roof terrace so sorry if the pic looks odd. This is the view out to the war memorial building which is currently surrounded by hoardings as building work continues around it.


And a view down a travelator to the book shelves on one floor and this goes out to the outside roof area.

As we were close to the canal basin we walked there and found a pub to have a relaxing drink and watch the boats along the canals that junction there.

Now I'm coming to the Bears. It's usually by chance that we come across artwork trails usually with animals or characters whose identities are interpreted by the artists commissioned to decorate them.  There is usually a map to seek the characters out for people to enjoy and take photos and they are later auctioned to raise money for charity. In previous years we've seen Gromits and Shaun the Sheep(s) in Bristol, Flocks of Sheep in Skipton, Herdies in the Lake District last year.  Two years ago in Birmingham were Owls.  This is called The Big Sleuth (that's the collective noun for the bears) and details can be found here

After getting off the bus near Selfridges we were wandering around the store and found a bear in the audio department.  When asked about it the assistant gave me a map. So our wander around Birmingham became a Bear Hunt.  We found a few more between The Bullring and New Street inside Grand Central, quite a few were found around the Cathedral.

Instead of posting a lot of photos I have done a couple of collages which I've earlier posted on Instagram.

I was taken with one which has a mosaic decoration and not only took the front but also back and close up, called Sweet William



Pretty amazing, isn't it.  If you're in and around Birmingham do go and see them!

Part two will follow soon about the Festival of Quilts.

09 August 2017

Soggy Swanage

Two posts in one day!  I'd almost forgotten about this exploration.

David is a volunteer with Swanage Railway, our local heritage railway which runs a mixture of diesel and steam engines through the Purbeck countryside from Nordern, near Wareham to Swanage.  He works as a signalman at either Harman's Cross or Corfe Castle stations as rostered.

In June the railway started a connecting service from the main line at Wareham station taking passengers from the main South West trains route through to Swanage.  We have been meaning to go on the service for a few weeks now but demands on our time on Wednesdays made it difficult.  So we went last week.  Being optimistic we thought the weather would not be as bad as it was, but it was really bad!

The Swanage service even appeared on the station's destination board


Here's a pic of the train hired for the service (as Swanage Railway don't have their own diesel unit for main line operation) with some London Transport coaches.  There is another diesel at the rear of this train which then becomes the front once it goes back out of the station.

There is a junction about a mile from the station where it splits from the mainline which carries on to Dorchester and Weymouth.

When we got the Swanage we didn't hang around and went straight to a cafe for lunch, we were lucky  as a lot of people were trying to get somewhere dry to get something to eat!  This was the view from the corner of the High Street, looking out to sea - it certainly wasn't beach weather!


Open top bus ride to Bournemouth anyone!!

Busy Week

I've taken all this week off as holiday from work, it was only meant to be Wednesday (my day off) through to Friday, but we had my sister and her husband to stay with us while house hunting in Bournemouth.  They have got a buyer for their house in Burnham, near Slough, but need confirmation that their buyer will have a mortgage offer, so watch this space.   It was lovely to have them stay with us for a few days.

David and I are getting ready for a trip to Birmingham as it's the Festival of Quilts time.  I will be there on Friday and will be stewarding for the first time.  I will also be there on Saturday but as a visitor.  We also wanted to go into the city centre so we'll be travelling tomorrow and spending time in the city.  After a break from the Festival last year I'm really looking forward to going.

Not much on the creative front has been happening - a bit of secret knitting for Christmas, catching up with the Vintage Sweetheart Crochet A Long.  Here's a few blocks

I have done a few more since then, but these were the last of the blocks from the third part of this CAL.

David likes driving so I'm happy to be in the passenger seat and doing some knitting and this is what I'm taking with me - a bit of sock knitting.


This is Hermione's Everyday socks, a pattern by Eric Lueder, on Ravelry here. It has a deeper cuff than I'm used to but I'm sure once there is a bit more length to the sock it won't look too bad.  Its knitted in Stylecraft Head Over Heels sock yarn in Olympus in shades of pink, orange and beige. I keep my sock knitting in a little Japanese bag so this is nice and compact of a long journey.

01 August 2017

One Month, Two Exhibitions

Earlier this month I wanted to go to Romsey Quilters' exhibition, but the cold/flu virus stopped me from travelling out to Romsey with a friend, so when I felt better I went with David and it was worth going to.  Knitters got involved by yarn bombing the bollards in the streets around the town, like this.




Really colourful additions to the town.

The exhibition was held in Romsey Abbey, a large imposing church in the town and when we arrived there was a lunchtime music concert with a violinist and pianist playing.


I love to take photos taking in the architecture around the Abbey along with the quilts.


Above are just a few of my favourites.

Just last weekend was Quarterjack Quilters' exhibition at Merley House near Wimborne, almost literally up the road from where I live.  Saturdays in my neck of the woods here in Dorset are usually busy traffic wise this time of year with holidaymakers coming to/going from their destinations, but managed to get there relatively easily.  A nice small exhibition and as I used to belong to Quarterjack Quilts some years ago it was nice to catch up with some people too.  They do quite a few group projects and workshops from these door themed mini block which hung from the ends of the quilt hangers
To the stitch and cut pieces


Some workshop painted and quilted pieces made at a workshop


And one of several Turning Twenty quilts

So that was two exhibitions last month and of course this month sees Festival of Quilts.  I will be going there this year (I didn't last year) on Friday and Saturday.  Really looking forward to that.