Thursday, 28 June 2007

Slow times....

I don't feel like I've really accomplished much recently - but when I thought a bit harder - I had.
One of the things I would really like to be to do is draw. Nothing fancy - just what I see and ideas in my head onto paper. I've always felt I couldn't. So, on one of my trips to Borders I had a look at the 'how to draw' books and bought 'The complete idiot's guide to drawing'. I started off and thought this is OK. Then I had to draw my hand - hmm I thought, this is where it all starts to go wrong - but it didn't - it actually looks like a hand. I was euphoric. Now - I'm not saying it's the best hand ever drawn - but it does look like a hand and is in proportion (ish). So I think there might be hope for me yet.
What I realised was all the time I was telling myself I couldn't draw, I didn't even try - when I tried I wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought I'd be. So for all of you out there with things you want to do but have convinced yourself you can't - give it a go. I'm sure you won't be anywhere as bad as you thought you'd be. I may brave later on and post some of the exercises but I'm still at the very early stages.
The other thing I want to improve is my machine quilting - ideally I'd like to wake up one morning, go on the machine and find I'm fantastic at it. However, I know what I need to do is do a bit each day, do the exercises and I will improve.
I've also been trying to sort out my craft room - it really is a mess and has lots of things in it that I haven't used for years - so there are some donations to friends being made - and lots more for the bin / recycling.
I'll have to go - the clutter calls.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

The festival.....


Hello - sorry that I haven't blogged much this week - just a bit busy. Anyway at last we've had the festival and I think it went rather well. The first photo is of our raffle quilt. The second one is of the raffle cushions -the idea was you paid £1 and could pick 2 cushions as the ones you wanted to win and put your ticket in that bag. The final one is of Linda's quilt that won 3rd prize at Trentham.
I was really pleased that Jane (Sew create it) made the effort to come along and have a look. It was so nice to meet her at last.
I'll be able to update you all soon with how much we raised and where it's going to and why soon. But now I'm rather tired and also starving - we've succumbed to an Indian takeaway - naughty but nice.

Ohhh - just to let you all know Maggie Grey now has a blog - please have a look and keep an eye on it - I'm sure it'll be really good.


Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Quilting Open Day - coffee and cake

Get your diaries out.... we're having an open day.

On Saturday 8th September 2007 from 10 - 4 we're having an informal open day at St Peter's Village Hall, Park Street, Market Bosworth, Leicestershire. Coffee and cake will be available and it's an opportunity for us to meet other quilters in the area and for you to see what we do and the type of group we are. We're looking for more people to join our group - so come along and see how lovely we all are ;-)

It's also Heritage Weekend - so there are lots of other venues open on the day. When I have more information I'll post it.

I do hope you'll be able to come along - for a chat if nothing else. Please do drop me a line if you need any more information.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

A few days away .....


A few days away. Spent the first afternoon on the beech at Brancaster, Norfolk. It was really hot - honest.


Even had a paddle - yes those are my very white legs.
We stayed at the Hoste Arms, Burham Market.


And this is the room we stayed in.


This is DH on the next afternoon at Wells by the Sea. Typical couple if days at the seaside - one days it's hot - the next rather cool and raining. The weather is my excuse for why I have to take so many clothes as you never know what the weather will do.

On the way home we stopped at the Norfolk Lavender fields for lunch . The site is covered with a huge variety of lavender plants - it smelt beautiful.

Humid days


Well - we're on about our third unbearable humid day. It's really hot, close and cloudy. However the plants don't seem to mind; although I think they could use some rain. Above are the geraniums in our front garden and below are my fantastic poppies - the are big and blousey.


And this lunch time in the village the garden of Michaelmas House was open - it's beautiful; very cottage garden. They also have a studio at the bottom of the garden where they display sculpture and paintings during the summer. The shop is great - a really good range of items and something to suit everones pocket.


Thanks again to those of you who are sending comments - it's so nice to hear from you all out there.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Stepping Out


Another day out today to Northampton and the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. They currently have an exhibition by Contemporary expressions, called 'Stepping Out'. As usual I didn't really know what to expect was I must say I really enjoyed it.
The detail above is from a quilt called 'Turkish Bathhouse Blues' by Ann Beech. The idea is that each of the exhibits was inspired by a shoe from their collection - Northampton was the centre of the shoe manufacture in the UK. You can see from the case below they included all of the inspirational shoes in the exhibition too. I thought this was a great idea - I sometimes don't quite get how an inspirational item has resulted in a piece of work. The exhibition was made up of 27 items - not all quilts, some were bowls, handbags, books, scarves. All were very interesting and the price list included a description of both the techniques used e.g printing onto pelmet vilene, photo transfer etc and also how the inspiration developed. If you live nearby it's worth a visit.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Sewing in the village hall

Some of us from the quilting group met yesterday to sew in the village hall. The idea was we would start on the charity quilt we'll raffle in 2008. I know this makes us sound very organised, and we did make great progess; but we still seem to end up finishing them in May when the raffle is in June. We've made up lots of blocks and the idea is that we'll have a sticky sheet up dyuring the festival so visitors can arrange them.
We also got all the cushions together for the raffle. In spite of taking photos of all of these I forgot to take a picture of us all hard at work in the hall.
I also fioud a great buy in WH Smiths - Faber Castell PITT artists pens. WH Smiths is a very strange shop these days (neither one thing nor another) but their craft section sometimes has a few good finds.
Today I'm going to have a lazy day and try to tidy up - a never ending task. I think, like yesterday, it's going to be rather warm so I'd be best to stay in and not get sun burnt.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

More from Malvern.....


I thought I'd share some more of the fantastic quilts I saw at Malvern.
The first one (above) is detail from a quilt made by Mary Kent - Distant Horizon. The embellishment on this quilt was of a very high quality and was diverse. I think you could have stood and examined it for hours - it must have been very labour intensive.
'Diamond Ring' by Carole Galbraith was expertly pieced. A traditional design but used with very strong colours and just a delight to see.

Deja Vu by Mary Cunningsworth and Judy Laquidara was really well pieced. A simple design but the way fabrics were used was really impressive. They also entered another quilt called Light and Dark. Both quilts really needed to be viewed from a distance to see the effect of shading.

Memories of Japan by Barbara Keen was another example of fabrics well used and a simple design expertly pieced.

Ollie's Quilt by Kate Elgood. A funny quilt - which sometimes result in not being put together very well; this is an exception. There is lots of detail and need to be looked at closely to really appreciate it.

And finally (you'll be pleased to hear) is M&M's Sunbeam Spectacular by Barbara Webber and Amanda Hall. What a great quilt to end on. Great use of fabrics and the piecing was amazing. It really had lots to look at.
So - that's the last of the Malvern Photos for you all. I'll be taking lots at the NEC Festival of Quilts and hopefully they'll be better quality - I'll practise lots in the meantime.
I'm still plodding on with my huge quilt - I'm on the second border - which shouldn't take too long. And then the final border will take a while - but the end is in sight. I can't wait to put the binding on.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Thr3fold - what a great day


Well what a great day I had yesterday at the launch of the thr3fold magazine. This is a photo of the room where the event was held at Ironbridge. The room was very light and airy and drinks were provided on arrival.
The day was made up of demonstrations and then a lecture explaining the works of Linda, Laura and Catherine (who form half of SIX).
I can't say how generous the hosts were with their explanations of the techniques they used within their art. Looking at the quilts after these explanations really added another dimension of appreciation of their work.
I was also really impressed with their sketchbooks - I've included a photo below of one of the pages(this is one of Catherine's). They had so much detail and really gave ideas about what you could do - really anything goes - you've just got to do it.


The next two photos show a quilt and the detail of one of Linda's quilts. I love how she has extended the photo transfer of the tree with painting the branches and trunk across the quilt. Also photo transfer has been used as the central blocks of the log cabins.


Within the lecture I noted a few interesting aspects of how they each approached their work, for example start with a title and set yourself or a group of you challenges. You may choose to chronicle a trip - which was another series of examples on display.
The magazine isn't cheap at £17.50 per edition but it is a quality publication and does include a CD which has high quality video clips, copyright free images and about another 50 pages of text. So really you're getting a book - which is the price you're paying with more immediate access than waiting for a book to come out. Please do have a look if you get the opportunity.
Apologies I didn't get to post last night but I was shattered and my head was buzzing with ideas. I hope the photos and description give you an idea of the day.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Day out tomorrow

Tomorrow I'm off for a special day out. It's the launch of Thefold magazine at Ironbridge. The day comprises of both an exhibition and a lecture by Laura and Linda Kemshall and Catherine Nicholls. I think it's going to be a great event and I hope it'll help me with trying to grasp the concept of sketchbooks which I seem to have a bit of a block with. So I hope you'll have a look tomorrow and see what it's been like - I'll do my very best to get some better photos this time.
I also should add a bit more about the Linus Day - can you tell I was a bit tired when I was blogging that evening? The day is really good. You can just potter along at yourv own pace and have a good gossip. The fabrics are provided - or you can always bring along your own. You are also more than welcome to take some home and carry on with a top or quilt one or bind it - whatever you'd like to do. There's no whip cracking about what you've got to have finished at the end.
Can I also tell you about how freaky the weather is today - after it being torrentail rain on the Bank Holiday Monday and about 8 degress - today it's been bright sunshine and about 23. It's no wonder the British are obsessed with the weather.