Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2012

I have been reading some great blog posts about the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2012.  Enjoy lots of quilting eye candy and read about the crowds:

I love Bryan's account here: 

Julie has shared four posts and lots of pictures here, here, here and here.

Carin has shared some of her photographs, Framed Quilts here and some highlights here and here

Jessica shared her experiences and some great quilts here:

I really appreciate bloggers taking the time to post about these international events, it means we can all share them in a little way.  Thank you for a little piece of Japan.

Lynette Anderson has been blogging about her visit to Japan and her experience at the Tokyo festival.  She also met up with our man in Japan, Bryan.  Read about her trip and enjoy lots of photos on her website here:  http://lynetteandersondesigns.typepad.com/lynette_anderson_designs/
and enjoy Bryan's report on their meeting here.  I can just picture the scene!

I have been reading my Tokyo Lonely Planet and surfing the net and making copious lists in preparation for the few days I will have in Tokyo in April before I join the Japanese Textile Study Tour.  It's getting very exciting.  I am aiming for a mix of textiles, history and culture, gardens, food and shopping and will try to share it via this blog.  I think I may need to sleep for the whole month of March in preparation.  I have also spent a long time today, while waiting for the snow to start and throwing logs on the fire, reading your wonderful blog posts and I hope I have now caught up with all the lovely comments you leave me, I appreciate them massively.  I must now away to rest, Sam's party has left me rather weary - maybe I'm too old for ball pools and padded activity centres!  (Just after this photo I crashed to the floor on my derriere by the way!)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Happy Birthday Sam

My DGS Sam is four years old today!  Al and I went to his party and then back at his house I tried to take a photo of the young family.  It was a nightmare to get all four people looking good, especially as they were all so tired but here we have birthday boy, Sam; my DD, Saz; her lovely BF, Rick and his DD, Ezri.
I have failed completely with my TAST2012 stitch for the week.  It was Cretan Stitch and as tomorrow there will be a new stitch I think I'll try to combine the two in a little project this week. 
Al is having a little op. on Wednesday (on his toe) and we don't know how he'll be afterwards, I might be on nursing duty!!  Hopefully I'll still have time and energy to sew.
We've had a little snow today and the forecast for the week is cold, brrrr, winter is back.  Tomorrow there is a blank in the diary so my plan is to catch up with blogs and emails, if I've seemed to be ignoring you I hope to be in touch tomorrow, watch this space as they say.
I've been doing a lot of reading and research into places to visit in Tokyo while I'm there in April.  Carin sent me this link:http://www.amusemuseum.com/english/index.html It's definitely on my must-do list, enjoy.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Amazing What Spiders Can Do



The first link is to more pictures, the second link is to an article from the Guardian newspaper about this amazing cape that is on exhibition at the V&A Museum in London.   Enjoy.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Still Waters Run Deep and FNSI morning report

Quite a productive evening and a very enjoyable one too as DH didn't go out after all and so we both sat by the fire while I stitched and he read, very companionable.  This followed a lovely lunch with DD, DGS and DSiL to be!!!  It was only my second meeting with DSiL to be but it was apparent that things are going well and moving quickly, good for them I say. 
Back to FNSI.  I did some Feather Stitch for the TAST2012 project but, rather than a new piece this week I added the stitch to my existing Malta cloth (a piece I started after doing Jude Hill's cloth weaving course several moons ago).  I think it works well, evoking the patterns in the stone of Malta's buildings.
 I finished my "fat quarter frenzy" quilt which has now been christened "Still Waters Run Deep" and is destined for one of the guest beds at the bach in Norfolk.  I'll take it with me when we open up at the beginning of March and hopefully we'll soon have family and friends joining us and sleeping beneath it.

The rest of FNSI was spent knitting and that's what I'm going to do now.  DH has just made a pot of coffee, it's raining outside and blowing a hoolie, there's a casserole in the slow cooker and at 1.20 this afternoon they're showing Breakfast at Tiffany's on television so that sounds like a plan to me.  Have a good one whatever you are doing.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Wait For Me Please

2012 is going too quickly already.  I haven't posted for ages, I haven't done my TAST2012 stitch for this week (it's feather stitch and I'm looking forward to doing it, just haven't found time), I haven't done most of the things that were on my list for this week.
What have I achieved?  Well I've had two stitchy meetings. 
On Tuesday it was the first meeting of the year for Country Roads Quilters and we had a good day.  Our theme for the beginning of the year is to be Log Cabin, with some people making quilts, some doing smaller projects and some not doing it at all (nothing is compulsory).  We did a lot of chatting, drunk a lot of tea and coffee and one lady brought in a box of chocolates to share - and we didn't get chocolate on our work.  I stitched down the binding of my "fat quarter frenzy" quilt and so now that is finished except for the addition of a few paua shell buttons which I shall do this evening during FNSI.  I could say that these are to add surface texture and interest but really they're to hide the most wobbly bits of FMQ!!  I'll share it tomorrow in my FNSI report.
On Wednesday morning we had the first meeting of Crafty Time Out.  More chatting, more chocolate and very little stitching!  I did a little knitting (the slippers, still) but we mainly chatted which I really enjoyed.
The rest of the week seems to have been spent at the local hospital, nothing serious, don't panic, but both DH and I have had several routine appointments and they've all taken ages.  You need to allow extra time to travel in case the traffic is bad.  Then parking is a nightmare.  Then you have a several stage check-in.  Eventually you reach the waiting area where your doctor is and settle down to wait (the clue's in the name I guess).  Lots of hours spent waiting this week.  I have started a new book though, Japan through the looking glass by Alan MacFarlane, an interesting read so far.
Good grief, I'm becoming a grumpy old woman.
I'm looking forward to today.  We're having lunch with DD Saz, DGS Sam and ..... Saz' boyfriend, Rick.  He's been on the scene for a while but now it's serious.....might even be a new hat job!!  Aaagh, an another Double Wedding Ring Quilt?  He's a nice guy and excellent with Sam and I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.  Then this evening is Friday Night Sew In, it'll be those buttons, the quilt label and then feather stitch I think. 
Wishing you a great weekend whatever you are doing.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Blue and White: Amy Sylvester Katoh

Thanks to Nat and Jean this book arrived from good old Amazon yesterday afternoon.  I controlled myself and finished my TAST2012 piece for this week, a buttonhole stitch snowflake, and then settled down in front of the fire with a nice cup of tea to absorb the wonder of Amy Sylvester Katoh's ideas and Yutaka Satoh's beautiful photographs.
I am still in my blue period, in fact I even seem to head for navy, blue and white in clothing as well as fabric and am itching to redecorate our guest room properly in blue and white.  Maybe I'll be able to buy one or two things for it when I'm in Japan - I use the term "one or two" quite loosely by the way!

TAST2012 - Buttonhole Stitch

After I shared last week's fly stitch project Benta suggested I could hang it on the Christmas tree.  This sparked the idea of doing all the TAST2012 projects in festive colours and fabrics and creating a selection of decorations and baubles for Christmas 2012.  I may not always stick to this you understand but it is my plan at the moment, so thank you to Benta and also to Carin who endorsed the idea.
So, buttonhole stitch, also know as blanket stitch.....
This is a stitch I have used before, both by hand and on the machine, mainly to edge pieces of applique, so in a very straightforward way.  I like Sharon's beaded versions and the way she has built up a textured surface using the stitch and couching other threads. 
This is what I've done:
Considering that snowflakes are symmetrical I suppose my stitching should have been more regular but I like this and it's unique, as all snowflakes are.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

TAST2012 - No Reply?

There have been some wonderful examples of fly stitch posted on blogs since we all began TAST2012 last week and Sharon has celebrated her own blogiversary with an interesting post about how she started Pin Tangle in 2004 and how it has developed.  She mentioned the joy of receiving a comment on a post and I would certainly agree with that, it is wonderful to know somebody has not only read what you've written but has taken the time to write a comment.  I find it sad therefore when I have no way of contacting the commentor and thanking them, or answering their query.  I appreciate some people wish to remain anonymous but I wonder if many others know they are showing as a "noreply-comment@blogger.com", especially people who maybe new to blogging having got started when they signed up for TAST.  Jodi at Pleasant Home has written a brilliant guide to finding out, and fixing it.  Click on her red button on the right of my blog and next time you are kind enough to comment on my blog I shall be able to thank you properly.  In the meantime, thank you for all the lovely comments I received after sharing my fly stitch project and here we go with week two of TAST2012 and it's.....buttonhole stitch.


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

TAST2012 - Fly Stitch

Yesterday Sharon B at Pin Tangle posted the first embroidery stitch in this year's Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge. 
It's Fly Stitch. 
I started off with a nice piece of Aida, thinking it would enable me to get neat, regular stitches, which it did, but they were pretty boring.  So I abandoned the Aida and headed for the scraps basket.  I machined some fabric pieces together and then used the Fly Stitch in various ways to create a crazy quilt style heart.
It was good to experiment with using the stitch and vary the size and I'm pleased with the result, for a beginner.  So, week one and I'm still on target with TAST, I wonder how long that will last?!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Starting the New Year

Wow, what a wild and windy day I woke up to here in Lincolnshire and it seems to be even worse in Scotland and Wales, not a day to leave the house unless it was absolutely necessary.  The sky is a sort of grey/green tinge, really weird.
We made a good start to 2012 with a lovely walk at Gibraltar Point, it was windy then too but not cold or threatening.  Sam loved having the wind blow through his hair:
I went to visit GS Wills yesterday and he got a corn snake for Christmas.  He's called Speedy (I would have got a female and called her Maisie but that's a little corny, ouch).  He was quite lively and really beautifully patterned.  DH was happy to take a photo from a safe distance!
Today I can share the production line project that I teased you with before Christmas.  I must credit two people with the inspiration for this little shopping list holder.  Melanie Plummer taught a workshop on beach huts which I really enjoyed - it was when I used Angelina fibres for the first time.  Village Fabrics kindly allowed the pattern for an apron shaped list holder to be copied for the Dayspring Quilters' Day for International Quilt Day last year.  My little pieces have developed from these starting points.
Today I am looking at two exciting new projects.  The QGBI Region 9 BOM designed by Jacquie Harvey started on 1st January with the first block being emailed to members.  It's not to late to sign up, look at the QGBI website or Jacquie's own website. I have joined but I'm not going to start this project immediately, I have one or two (ha ha) other things to finish first!  Sharon B's TAST2012 project started on PinTangle yesterday, click on the button on the right to see what it's all about.  I'm hoping to build up a library of embroidery stitches to use in my quilting projects, this week's stitch is Fly Stitch and Sharon has lots of embroidered eye candy to inspire us.
Of course I also have a pile of works in progress....but let's be positive, I've tidied my sewing room so I can at least see what I'm doing and, drum roll, it's 2012 and this is the year I go to Japan with Nat and Bryan on the inaugural Japanese Textile Study Tour and I'm very excited about it.  What are your textile plans for 2012?