Thursday, 25 August 2011

Giveaway and Exciting News

The lovely people at British Patchwork and Quilting magazine have sent me two copies of the latest issue for me to giveaway to you.  They have also sent me a copy of their latest "Inspirational" magazine which is filled with Strippy Quilts and I'll be giving this away, with some other goodies when I reach my 500th blog post, which won't be very long so keep checking back.
The September issue of P&Q magazine has some great articles and projects including lots about the QGBI Unfolding the Quilts project (voting for the finals of the National Lottery Awards begins on 2nd September, I'll add a button soon).
What do you have to do to get your hands on a copy of September's P&Q magazine?  No hoops to jump through just leave a comment to make me smile (and if you're a follower leave me a comment saying you are one for an extra entry).  That's it, I'll choose the two winners next weekend - 3rd September.  Good luck (and make sure I can contact you if you're a winner, no-reply comments will be excluded).

Some exciting news...I've just booked my flights to Japan!  I'll be joining Nat and Bryan on their Japanese Textile Study Tour.  I think there are some places still available, anyone fancy coming along?  By the way, BA have an air ticket sale on, that might tempt you, I saved loads (which I'll be spending on fabric!!)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Friday Night Sew-In: Saturday Report, August 2011

Last night was Friday Night Sew-In for August and I got rather waylaid by climbing French beans!  We've been (ha ha) away for a few days and so DH went to the garden and picked all the beans that had grown while we were away.  It was rather too many for dinner last night so before I started sewing I blanched the beans and got them safely into the freezer.
While in the kitchen I thought I'd do a very experimental piece of natural dyeing.  When we were in Norfolk earlier this week the beach was covered by the most amazingly pink seaweed.
I gathered some up and tied it into a piece of cotton which I've left to brew.  I'll post the results when I unwrap the parcel.  I read Fiona's post on dyeing with seaweed which was very helpful.
I then got started on Operation Cardigan.  DD and I both bought some cardigans from H&M and decided we would jazz them up and make them look less like £10 cardis and (hopefully) more like designer numbers by adding some goodies from the haberdashery department.  This navy one now has pearl buttons and little bows and ribbon on the pockets.  What do you think?

Finally last night I made a start on my Southern Belle bag which I bought from Chilford last year.  All's going well so far but I got tired and as I know that the later at night I sew the more I have to unpick in the morning I called it a night and finished off the limoncello nougat that I brought back from Italy, mmmm.

Monday, 15 August 2011


My little quilting retreat at the bach is over as DH arrived back after lunch yesterday to surprise me and make the most of the sunshine.  I am very pleased with what I achieved and now I have a pile of finishes I can start thinking about new projects!
 This is "Picnic in a Meadow", a picnic blanket made with the charm squares sent to me by Susan, thanks Susan.
This is a little lap quilt I made from the Moda scrap bag I bought recently, I've called it "Autumn Breezes" and it's for Al.
This is me wrapped in "Round and Round the Nara Gardens" which is finally finished!  So Teresa, Ros and Terry, next time you come to stay you'll actually have this quilt on your bed!
This is the "Essence of Claire" table runner made with fabric I bought in NZ from Claire's lovely shop, Cinnamon Patch.  She chose the fabrics for me to represent her and to remind me of my visit there with Michelle.
 Finally, I made myself a bag with some remnants of upholstery fabric.  It turned out smaller than I planned (hmm, maybe I didn't actually plan that well) but it will hold a portable quilting project so I'm happy with it.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Meeting a Lovely Lady, thanks to blogging!

What a great day I had yesterday when blogging and quilting came together again and led me to meeting a very lovely lady.  The connections were all very convoluted and show how small our world is and I had such a good time meeting Carin who is visiting UK from Japan.  We chatted, exchanged quilty gifts, had a drink and, of course, visited the fabric shop.  Thank you to Sylvia who made it happen.  When I met Carin I didn't know anything about the quilts she makes although we chatted about her love of stumpwork and about quilting in Japan in general.  She is one very modest lady.  When I got to a computer I checked out her website!  I suggest you do the same, she has done some amazing, amazing things.  The miniature quilt she has entered in Festival of Quilts this year is tiny and beautiful, like a jewel. 
Here we are at Wroxham Barns with all our empty plates!
Sylvia (on the right) used to own Sew Creative but has now retired and I understand might even have time to do some sewing soon!  She was very generous having learned that DD is starting to sew and gave her a big bag of gorgeous fabric pieces.  Saz couldn't wait until we got back to the bach, she attacked the bag in the car.
After DGS had gone to bed she spread them out all over the floor and starting planning some great little projects!
Oh and Sam and Al didn't miss out, here they are enjoying themselves and avoiding all things fabricy!
I hope everybody who is attending the Festival of Quilts is having a great time, I look forward to seeing all your photos and reports on your blogs.  I've had a good sewing afternoon, quite productive.  The Moda scrap bag is now a lap quilt top and all ready to quilt and I've tie-quilted the Round and Round the Nara Gardens quilt this afternoon so that just needs binding and a label and it'll be a finish and heading for my guest bed (at long last!)  I'm having a few days at the bach on my own now.  Al is doing hedge cutting and other manly things at home and Saz and Sam went home after lunch today.  The plan for tomorrow is to score a few more finishes and maybe treat myself by starting a new project - a table runner.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Roses from the Heart Update

I have heard today from Christina Henri about the Roses from the Heart project.  As she has her thesis for her PhD to write and is examined in November she will be unable to attend Festival of Quilts this year but is concerned that people may bring bonnets to the event.  This is what she's arranged:

"I am sure there will be people expecting that I will be there with Roses from the Heart(R) this year and I hate to think they will be bringing a bonnet/s along only to find I have no Stand, no presence.  So this is the plan…..
Andrew Salmon, the Festival of Quilts director, is arranging a collection bin at the show for the bonnets.  
It will be at the Registration Point.  
When you go in to the Festival of Quilts turn right and it is in the far corner.  I still need 5,000 bonnets. I had a wonderful response from the Festival of Quilts last year."

Christina sent me some links about an annual 'Blessing of the Bonnets' event in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland. 101 convict transportation ships left from the port of Cobh in Ireland, shipping the convicts to Australia. So she felt it was very important to have a ceremony from there each year in memory of this exiling of people to far off lands.

Saturday, 6 August 2011


From grubs to kimono | The Japan Times Online

Here's some temptation for a wet Saturday! Read the article above. Then have a look at Nat and Bryan's blog
I am hoping to join the trip next to save the pennies and the yen but what a fantastic opportunity, priceless really.

Here's another opportunity of a very different kind...
Jacquie Harvey has designed a wonderful BOM which shares her wonderful handstitching techniques. It's open to everybody, worldwide, and starts in January 2012. The best way to join in is to be a Quilters' Guild member and join by email as it will only cost £10, that's in total, for the whole year's patterns and support from Jacquie. Non-members and those without email can also join but it will cost a little more. Application forms and more details are on Jacquie's website,  where you can also see more of her stunning work.  You can also contact Ros Peedle at QGBI Region 9
for more information.
That's enough temptation for one post.  My DH is on a jolly with his brother, it's raining and I've had to put the splint back on my knee after seeing the doctor yesterday - torn ligaments!  So, all things considered, I think it's a sewing day.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Boy Are We In Trouble

While staying with DD I have been having a great time helping to look after DGS Sam.  This afternoon Saz was making cakes and Sam and I were in the garden.  I took my eye off the ball for a moment, heard a splash and a giggle and then looked up to see this:
One very soggy but cute looking grandson.  Got to love him haven't you?!
Another eye off the ball moment today was suggesting that we got to a local pizza place for lunch.  Hmm, bad mistake.  It's the school holidays, it was raining and for some unknown reason there were only two members of staff on duty.  The bill made me laugh, it stated "Service Not Included", yeah, you can say that again!! We decided to forgo desserts and coffee and have them elsewhere - hence Saz baking cakes this afternoon. 

We had a great time at Wisteria Patchwork yesterday.  Sam sat outside in the sunshine talking to three lovely black labradors and listening out for cockerels and tractors while Saz and I had a good browse and made some yummy purchases.  Saz now has three new projects, boy is she smitten with this sewing lark.  My purchases were less exciting in the main - needles, a thimble....but I did buy some spotty fabric to send to a friend (so can't show you it here) and also a Moda scrap bag.  I've never been tempted by these before but the colours of this one caught Saz' eye first as being ideal for my sitting room.  The fabric pieces are equivalent to jelly roll strips but have a selvedge too and at 1/2lb of fabric I think I've got enough for a lap quilt for the bargain price of £12.
I'm thinking something straightforward like "Rail Fence" to maximise the fabric I've got and make it a quick quilt to complete.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Three for the Price of One

Three posts in one today as I've been without decent internet access for a while.  All we've been able to get is something that seemed even slower than dial-up.  DH was on the phone with our provider for hours last night and pushing all sorts of buttons and inputting various codes....still no better so I've left him and come to stay with DD and DGS for a few days (not really because of the internet thing but it is much quicker here!!)
So, firstly I finished my kimono fabric postcards and got them sent off:

Thank you for your suggestions, I went for adding a brooch pin to the back of the little kimono and then just attaching it to the postcard with five small stitches, enough to hold it but easy to remove should the recipients want to wear their kimono.
Secondly, a great haul at an antique/secondhand clothing stall at a local fair on Sunday.  These were the treasures I really couldn't resist:  two lovely silk scarves,

 some gorgeous lace hankerchiefs (think I'm having a blue and white phase),

 and finally this gorgeous litte butterfly brooch in purple shiny things (glass I guess!),

Thirdly, I've had a lovely day out at the local farm park with DH, his brother, Terry, who's visiting from NZ, DD and both GSs. 
 These goats would be in trouble in my house!
 Big GS helped Little GS ride on a tractor.
Little GS was very good at pushing my wheelchair - until we got to a downhill slope and I nearly rolled into a pen of lambs!
We discovered that Sam can climb farm gates!
 After a lot of patience on DD's part Sam finally overcame his fear of this guinea pig and stroked it.  We don't know why he's scared of guinea pigs but not of massive cows, horses and donkeys!
Feeding the ducks with the remains of our picnic.
Tomorrow we're off to Wisteria Patchwork, a quilt shop near Lincoln that I've never visited this space!