Friday, 29 July 2011

Sewing Day

I've had a lovely day today at my Norfolk quilt group.  I was in my wheelchair and I was so grateful (and I must confess, a little surprised) that so many people made a special effort and came over to speak to me as I wasn't able to get around the room easily, I really, really appreciated it.  Quilters are such nice people.  We weren't in our usual hall and so it was a handsewing-only meeting.  I finished my fabric postcards for the BQLPC swap except for zigzagging the edges and then did lots of EPP clamshells, while chatting and drinking the tea that people kindly made for me. 
Do you like the little Aurifil button I've added to the righthand column?  I love these threads and highly recommend them.  They are especially low lint in machines and beautiful to hand sew with too.

Monday, 25 July 2011


Friday, 22 July 2011

Friday Night Sew-In: Report, July 2011

I'm still sitting all day with my knee splinted so I actually had an All Friday Sew-In apart from a couple of hours out to pick up a wheelchair on loan from the Red Cross and to see my GP about the drama queen fainting fits I keep having (the last one leading to a series of obs inside an Italian ambulance).
I did some more EPP clamshells
and then made a start on my fabric postcards for the latest swap I've signed up for at BQLPC.  The theme is "oriental" so, of course, I headed to Japan for my inspiration.  I've had this lovely pattern for a kimono for a long time, it's by Ursula Riegel at Designs to Share and is called "Monoki".  (clever eh?)  I had to do all the sewing by hand and the kimono will look better with a bit of a press and with a decorative button on the front but I think they're rather neat.

I'm trying to decide whether to attach them permanently to the fabric postcards, or just add them with stitch or two so that they can be removed and used as hanging decorations.  What do you think?  Either way they won't be going through the post naked, I'm popping them into transparent envelopes for safety.
I had a good read through the latest issue of British Patchwork and Quilting and entered their giveaways and then decided to add the gorgeous quilt by Lynne Edwards that is featured on the cover to my to do list.
DH brought me my lunch and then it was time for some more stitching.  He was dispatched to my "atelier" to find my Storm at Sea miniature quilt (do you remember this one from a million years ago?!) and that's what I worked on during the afternoon.  I'm too weary to stitch all evening but I hope you all have a great FNSI, I'll be thinking of you.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Anglo-Japanese Paper Piecing

Here are some of my EPP clamshells.  I use any pieces of Japanese fabrics I have left from other projects to make these little pieces and (eventually) they will become a large quilt.  I haven't joined any together so far as my thinking is that they will be stitched to a background of indigo fabric and then outlined with sashiko stitches that will graduate to fade away (if you know what I'm visualising).  It's a lovely little project to grab and go and one that will probably run for years.  My first ever EPP was a hexie bed quilt that became a cushion when I got bored.  Since then I've done EPP blocks for my sampler quilts but nothing big.  I now appreciate that there isn't a time limit - which is probably why quilt groups inherit bags and bags of hexagons from members who have gone to the great quilting bee in heaven!
Thank you for all your good wishes, my knee is less painful today and I think it is less swollen too, I'm resisting the temptation to try a step or two.
Finally today, some bad news.  This beautiful A4 quilt
was stolen from a quilt show in Lincolnshire recently.  If you know anything about it please get in touch and I'll pass the information on.  I hope somebody has an attack of guilty conscience and says they've "found" it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

English Paper Piecing Project

I've been to the hospital today and I'm to have a week without using my knee and then a week trying to walk and seeing how I get on and then I go back to the hospital to have the progress or damage assessed! 
Hmm.  So I'm sitting on the sofa with my knee splinted and feeling pretty useless.  I could do loads of online shopping, or I could join in a Hexalong!
Lynne and Gayle have started a Hexalong for the summer, the post with all the information is here.  There are opportunities to share what you do on Lily's Quilts' Flickr group and lots of help, support and tutorials.  Today Lynne has posted about the basics of English Paper Piecing here
This doesn't have to be a new project, I'm sure most of us have some hexagons (or other tessellating shapes) sitting in a bag or drawer somewhere.  Pull them out, they're the ideal project for taking out and about this summer, pop a few in your handbag, have some in the car, do a few when you have a few minutes to yourself....
I already have an ongoing EPP project, my Japanese clamshells.  I've asked DH to find them and bring them to me, along with a nice cup of tea and a bowl of fresh cherries and my afternoon is sorted!  Photo tomorrow (I couldn't push my luck and ask for the camera and computer lead too now could I?)

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments on my posts and photographs from Italy.  It was a wonderful holiday and nice to be able to share a little of it with you. 
Here's an "arty" shot that I took from my laying on the beach in the sun position on Capri -
I was fairly exhausted when we got back, the heat plus the excursions was rather too much but both were also wonderful!  I am now having enforced rest as I managed to fall down the stairs this afternoon and, after three hours in A&E now have a splint on my knee and my very first zimmer frame as I'm not allowed to put any weight on my leg!  There's nothing broken according to the x-ray but a lot of swelling and a lot of pain so it's R&R and then back to the hospital on Tuesday for a scan!  I sure know how to get out of doing the holiday washing and ironing and I'll be able to catch up with the blog posts I've missed while away. :)
Saz and I did a little evaluation of our holiday on the way back and have decided that we love Italy and were impressed with our tour company but wouldn't return to the hotel we stayed in.  We'd love to return to the Campania region and spend more time, maybe at a cooler time of year.  I have quite a lot of quilt inspiration and Saz is very keen to get stitiching.  She used the lovely bag she made all week while we were out and about, it's covered in the dust of Pompeii and Vesuvius, I wonder whether she'll want to wash it.
Vesuvius has got to feature in a quilt, it dominates the whole place, you can see it from wherever you are and it is both benevolent and malevolent, a sleeping dragon.
A lot of the ceramic plaques that are made in the area would translate well into a stained glass window style quilt panel -
Sadly I didn't find a shop selling Aurifil thread and we didn't buy any fabric but there's always next time.  It's time for arrivederci, thank you for joining our trip

OMG my grandson's cute!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

La Dolce Vita

Finding time and energy to blog was quite difficult but we are home now and it is pouring with rain and so it's lovely to sit and look through some of these pictures of lovely Italy.  I hope you have been enjoying them too.  We were on holiday with the Riviera company and certainly got good value as far as activities, it's been a constant whirl.  With the heat reaching 38C it was a bit too much for me at times.  On Thursday Saz and Sam went into Naples, I had breakfast and went back to bed! At about 11 a.m. I surfaced and sat on the balcony and sorted out some photos, gosh, it's amazing what we've done and seen! 
Today I'm sharing our visit to the island of Capri.  This is famous as a very glamorous place but since it has become accessible to the ordinary person it has become rather touristy.  We managed to find a lovely quiet cove, however, where we spent the morning swimming and then had a picnic lunch before getting the funicular up to Capri town for the afternoon - very hot and busy!   Back down at the harbourside we found a great ice cream shop and enjoyed lemon ice cream, very tasty and refreshing.  The whole of this area is big on lemons, it is where limoncello is made and they grow massive fruits, amazing.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Herculaneum, what a wonderful place, far better than the much more famous Pompeii imho.  While Pompeii was buried under volcanic ash after the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, nearby Herculaneum was sealed in volcanic mud and is much better preserved.  It was a settlement of about 5 000 inhabitants and not so big that it was overwhelming.  We had a guided tour and were able to see all of the town in half a day, another time it would be lovely to spend even longer.  It amazes me that were were able to walk on the mosiac floors and that the site is open to the elements.  I wonder how long it will survive in the blistering heat and winter wet and with the many visitors that it gets.  Again, I'm just going to post a series of pictures, without any more words, they speak for themselves, enjoy....

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Picture Tour of the Amalfi Coast

No need for many words today, just a lot of photographs that I took as we explored the Amalfi Coast.  We stopped in Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, all pretty towns.  We were particularly keen on Amalfi and Saz bought some veggie seeds for her garden.  So, here we go, enjoy.....