Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Christmas from Sam

 We've been celebrating an early Christmas with Sam, Saz, David and Jessica. I thought you would enjoy a few pictures. Happy Christmas to you all. 
Christmas cooking with Mummy and Nanny. 
Opening stocking presents in a reindeer onesie. 
Sam's new guitar, he loves this present and sang and played to us. 
Pulling crackers with a little help from Grandad. 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Happy Christmas Everyone

have been a hopeless blogger recently. I haven't done much in the way of stitching, although I am continuing to work through the design book by Sandra Meech. This is going to be an extended study I think. 
I had a great holiday in Malta, so relaxing.   I didn't sew while I was away but did buy thread and do some sketchbook work.  Now we're into preparations for Christmas so there's definitely no sewing time. 
I thought I would share pictures of the various stitched Christmas items that decorate my home, including this lovely mug rug from my Global Piecers partner, Teresa. 
You will have seen these other pieces in progress in past posts but here they are together to wish all my followers and blogging friends a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and stitch-filled 2014. 
My Christmas door wreath, inside this year as I have some lovely berry covered holly for the front door. 
My festive table runner, made up of blocks from my Global Piecers friends. 
A small table runner made of fabric I bought with blogging friend, Michelle. 
Advent calendar. 
Spirit of Christmas quilt, made in 2009. 
Christmas decorations. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

More Maltese Texture

Some more textural inspiration and yours truly enjoying the sunshine on Dingli Cliffs. 

Monday, 2 December 2013


Today I am thinking about texture. I don't know whether anything here will ever be translated into something in textiles but I have had fun looking. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Country Roads Christmas

What a lovely meeting of Country Roads Quilters we had today. It was our Christmas meeting as we do not meet in December when things tend to get rather frantic.
We had a selection of special items for the day. Two members led mini workshops. Before lunch, Tess led us in making bags for Beads of Courage. This is a wonderful project that supports children with serious illnesses. Several ladies are going to make more bags before our next meeting when we will photograph everything we have made before getting them to the project's co-ordinator. 
After lunch, Trish led us in a book wrap mini workshop. She had found a good pattern here:
Thank you Tess and Trish.
NB In looking for the tutorial for Lyric Kinard's book wrap I found her website where there are lots of other great looking tutorials:  http://lyrickinard.com
I skipped over lunch there but must tell you that we had a feast of a lunch. It was a "faith" or bring and share lunch and the ladies had pulled out all the stops. There were savouries and chocolatey sweets, all homemade and the ladies had brought plates, napkins, doilies, everything necessary for a festive buffet.
We even had pressies. We had agreed on a lucky dip: put a fabricy gift in and take one out. Again the ladies had put a lot of thought and effort into this and we all got wonderful pre-Christmas gifts. Sandra read us a wonderful poem: The Quilter's Lament: Just One More
I had to leave our meeting early to look after bigger grandson but I look forward to seeing the finished bead bags and book wraps in January and think I will suggest we have a "secret Easter bunny" present lucky dip!
Happy Christmas to all the Country Roads Quilters.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Frayed Again

Here are two more pieces from the Frayed exhibition currently on at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth (see my last post for links).  Again I have included pictures of the information boards.  I went to the exhibition with my friend Ros and she is trying to arrange a visit to the museum for Norfolk quilters which will include a talk by the exhibition curator, Ruth Battersby Tooke.
Ros also forwarded a pdf from the V&A museum about the Elizabeth Parker sampler (previous post) which you can read here:  sampler
and reminded me about the exhibition blog which will continue to be updated:  blog
The exhibit which affected me the most were the Lorina Bulwer embroidered letters.  I have spent several sleepless nights composing and "stitching" letters and am inspired, as several others have been, including textile artist, Sara Impey:
to embroider a letter.  Fortunately, my subjects would not be as distressing as Lorina's.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Frayed - an extraordinary textile exhibition

Yesterday I visited a textile exhibition in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.  I didn't know what to expect as I hadn't read any "blurb", in fact, from the title, "Frayed" I suppose I was expecting some modern textile art pieces!
The exhibition is in the Time and Tide Museum, an amazing building that, in Victorian times, was a herring curing works.  All the textiles on display had been thoroughly researched and so I photographed the information boards.  I hope you can read them.  There were also files of additional information available to read, if the museum/curator had published a book I think they would have sold many copies.
All the textiles were related to lives damaged in some way, through bereavement, poverty, criminality, mental illness...  I think we all know how therapeutic stitching and working with textiles can be, this exhibition reinforced that it has always been so.
Sorry that I have no close-up of the patchwork and broderie perse in these bed hangings, I set an alarm off just getting this photograph!
I did take a picture of the space above the bed in the exhibition though, this is where the fish would have been hanging to cure.
Hanging alongside each other were contemporary pieces by prisoners in the Fine Cell Work scheme and a quilt made by the female inmates of Newgate Prison in 1817 under the direction of Elizabeth Fry.
The exhibition was rather emotionally draining and so I shall spread it over a couple of posts and finish for today with this sampler in cross stitch:
The exhibition continues until March 2014, I urge you to see it if you are in Norfolk and also recommend the curator's blog for lots more information.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Monday, 21 October 2013

WIP - Wall In Progress

A short post from me today in wild, wet and windy Lincolnshire.
Firstly, I had a great workshop with Angela Daymond on Saturday, learning how to use the iPad for design. Lots of wonderful techniques and ideas. 
I'll be doing more of that so "watch this space"!
Secondly, today is definitely a stay in and sew today. I've been sitting in front of a lovely log fire and cutting up bits of fabric so that I can stitch them all together again. This is what I've done so far...
Lots to be done on this piece!!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Bad Weather = Lots of Stitching

Today it is cold, windy and wet;  an ideal day for staying in and stitching.  I was very good and helped DH tidying the utility room this morning (we still have a lot to do, this is the room that is the place to dump everything that hasn't got a proper home in our house) so this afternoon I escaped to my sewing room.  DH has also given up on the sorting and tidying.  He "discovered" his guitars and also his gramophone player during the tidy up and so I can hear ancient ditties floating up the stairs, getting slower and slower as the gramophone runs down!  Technology eh?
Back to the stitching.  I've prepped three more pages for my Hadrian's Wall book.  One is a simple Bondaweb landscape that needs some quilting, another is the same landscape but created with oil pastels, ditto the stitching, and, finally, I've gathered fabrics and thread together for a texture/shades of the Fells piece.  I'll work on the handstitching on Tuesday at Country Roads Quilters.
I also made an "infinity scarf".  This is a pattern I admired on quilting friend, Fenella, a few months ago and I have finally created my own.
I wouldn't suggest using chiffon as I did, it was a bit of a nightmare to keep under control, but I like the drape of it and the contrast of both the styles and textures of the fabric I chose.  Since taking the photograph I have top stitched the scarf as I thought the edges looked rather too soft when I saw the picture. I was given the pink/indigo print by lovely Carin, in Japan and bought the pink chiffon from Images of Egypt at the Springfields Quilt Show.  Of course it is a complete Japanese fashion faux pas to be wearing cherry blossoms in Autumn but they brightened my day so I hope I'm forgiven!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A Project

Many years ago DD bought me a lovely vanity case which did great service until finally giving up the ghost.  I replaced it with a "free" cosmetics case that came as part of a set from The Body Shop and which has caused frustration ever since as it is not rigid and does not close properly, simply having overlapping flaps on top.
I decided to buy a new, proper, vanity case.  Big problem, I just couldn't find one, "There's no call for them".  I decided it would have to be vintage and searched all the usual suspects, finally finding what looked like an ideal purchase on Etsy, a Samsonite case at £22.  The only problem, it was in America and postage would be £38, hmm.
Last week DH and I decided to go on a jolly to a local antiques centre and I spied this beauty:
It's a good make, Antler, in good condition and doesn't have any "aroma" of past use.  It even has the key for the lock. The case was marked at £12 and I cheekily asked if that was the best price, and got a discount to £11.  Happy bunny.
So, the project I mentioned last week is to "up cycle" my vanity case.  At that price I don't feel obliged to retain the original lining (although it is in good condition, with just the glue becoming brittle and discoloured and the ruching needing re-sticking)
and I am auditioning fabrics to line the case.  I'm considering using Lamifix that I saw demonstrated at FoQ by Empress Mills.   I'll share my progress.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Quick Make for Sam

This is not the project I mentioned yesterday but a quick post about something I have finally got around to doing.
When I went to Japan last year I bought some "ready quilted" fabric featuring Anpan Man with the intention of using it to make something for Sam. When he got his iPad I decided a carrying bag would be good use of the fabric. Today I made it. I think I have been having a Japanese day, salmon for lunch and watching NHK World which Saz can receive on her television. As well as the news I have enjoyed programmes about Autumn in Tohuku and a programme about artisans using tatami in new and innovative ways.
I have been reading one of the new books I mentioned a few days ago, 'Colour - a journey' by Victoria Alexander. I haven't got to the chapters on individual colours but the introduction, about colour itself, is thought provoking:
"Colour affects us emotionally and informs us intellectually."
Today it has been raining all day so we won't be going to the park this afternoon, it's as well we had fun there yesterday.