Tuesday, 28 August 2007


As you can see I did have some 'help' with my 'Sunburst' quilt. Fluff decided one evening that it was hers and no-one else was going to get near it.

As you can see it's done - and I feel a bit sad because I thought it would take longer and I've got nothing to hand quilt. But unlike the last HUGE one this one measure approximately 61 x 50 inches. It was machine pieced and hand quilted in the ditch with YLI variegated thread - called Sunset...

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

Thanks to all of you for the good wishes you sent for both my birthday and anniversary. DH is now very keen to read any comments on the blog as he seems to think they're all going to be about him. LOL.


Thursday, 23 August 2007

Anniversary surprise

Well I knew we were going away for a night at a very nice hotel in Newmarket, Bedford Lodge Hotel. I also knew my husband had a surprise in store for me - but I had no idea what it was. It was so lovely to find out he's arranged for us to have our wedding vows affirmed at our local church. He's such a romantic at heart. All I was told was he would be wearing a suit and I should dress smart. As the day approached I realised it didn't involve food ( as we'd be eating a nice meal at the hotel that night). It was lovely - just the two of us and I had the biggest grin on my face during the proceedings. I still can't stop grinning when I think about it. I know I'm a very lucky girl. The hotel was fantastic - we stayed there last year for a night to celebrate his 40th.

I also meant to say who I met at the NEC FoQ. I went with some of the Market Bosworth Quilters and we met another member there too. I also bumped into a few people from the Brenda Boardman class I attend at the Bramble Patch. But I also had the good fortune to meet Liz - Florence's Attic - and a fellow blogger. It's always so nice to meet the person behind the blog (as it were). We had a great chat and I hope we'll be able to meet up again.

I promise I'll post some photos soon of the quilts at the NEC FoQ. I've got rather a lot - so they need some sorting.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Festival of Quilts - shopping

Well - I did buy quite a bit.
My excuse (DH if you're reading this) is that it was my birthday the day before and it's when I make most of my purchases.
So first off - 'The painted quilt' by Laura and Linda Kemshall is a great book - well worth the money. And Linda and Laura were there demonstrating most of the time. As usual they were very generous with sharing their techniques.
Next are a couple of books I've been after for a while. 'The beginners guide to machine embroidery' by Pam Watts is only a slim publication - but is really great.
The 'Art quilt workbook' will be very useful - the idea is that you work through the exercises and produce work as you go along. I'm sure this will help in conjunction with my class at The Bramble Patch.

I then got rather carried away at the Art Van Go stand. So we've got another lot of Koh I Noor watercolour paints, foils that can be added to fabric with PVA, Markel sticks and finally some metallic rubs (they aren't to be used if you're going to wash the fabric).

Janome bobbins - the cheaper version never seem to work as well.
A small pack of 3 eighths from Oakshott - their fabrics are so beautiful.
And finally some thread that I'm sure I can use as bookbinding thread - I think I bought it from Empress Mills.

Now a few bits for dying - scrim and muslin from Art Van Go. Plus some soda ash.
Silk threads and cocoons from Stef Fabrics.
Some beads for embellishment from Kate's Kloths.

I can't remember where I bought the braid maker from.
'The Little Book of machine quilt patterns' by Ineke Berlyn - I know I need to practise.

I managed to get this catalogue from the 3rd Annual European Triennial exhibition for half price - my only deal on the last day. I'll try to show you more of their work on a future blog.

My free gifts from renewing my British Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
I also started a subscription with the Quilting Arts magazine - I got a great bag. The subscription was a great saving on the standard price.

The top card is from an exhibition of Jenni Lewis's work - she was very chatty and the work was very good.
The bottom postcard is of a piece worked in both glass and textiles inspired the The Gherkin - it was great to see both next to each other.

And finally (honest) some buttons.
As you can see the Festival of Quilts is a great opportunity to see traders you just can't get round to visiting. I promise on the next few blogs I'll share some photos of the quilts - there was over 1000.
But tomorrow it's my 20th Wedding Anniversary (yes I was a child bride ;-)) so I'll be out and about.
Hope those of you who visited the NEC had a great time - I'd love to hear what the highlight was for you.

Friday, 17 August 2007

It's my birthday...

Yes - it seems to come around so quickly these days - I'm 39 today.
So it started with lovely cards and great pressies (plus DH has paid some drawing classes at a local college for me)
Thank you everyone.

And then we went out for the day at Hoar Park Craft Centre , and we drove past lots of fields like this:

And then I fed the baby goats

And then the deer

And the chickens didn't want to be left out either...

Lunch and we drove home.

We then had a lovely walk around The Park and somehow we ended up in the pub garden for a drink. The Italian was shouting - so we had a pizza and then off home we went. I've watched 'Layer Cake' (with Daniel Craig - very good) and had just a couple of glasses of wine and now I'm shattered and off to bed.

I've had a really great day.

Night all.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

What a day...

Well, what a day. And boy was it busy - I'm hoping Sunday may be a little quieter. No photos at the mo - I'm intending to take more on Sunday.

I have bought rather alot - but I may have to show you a few things at a time as DH does read my blog.

Hope all you who attended had a great day too. I'm going to have a nice tea and then start looking at the catalogue and see what to concentrate on Sunday.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

So excited....

Yes - I'm really excited about the Festival of Quilts - only 2 more sleeps......
I'm really lucky as I live relatively near so I'm able to go on 2 days. This is really useful as I usually end up rather frazzled after a day and when I get home I realise, after looking at the programme, I've missed a whole chunk of the show out. I also need a bit more time as I've promised to write a review for a new zine - The Quarter Inch. So although I'm going to post some things on my blog I'll be saving some bits for the zine.

I've got a few tips for first timers going to the Festival of Quilts.
  • Make sure you note which car park your car is in. I know it sounds really obvious but honestly, in the excitement, it's easy to forget.
  • Buy your car park ticket on the way in - the queues on the way out are always worse.
  • If you decide to drag DH along as your official purchases carrier - don't forget you can always drop stuff off at the car during the day - the coaches run all the time.
  • The seating area for eating last year was a great improvement on the year before - I only hope it's as good again this year.
  • Bags - try to have your bags crossed over you - it leaves hands free for having a good old riffle through things. And I've also heard a number of stall holders comment that a bag on their fabrics isn't appreciated - you may have already put it on the floor and it may mark the fabric.
  • There are cash points at the NEC but as the day goes on, the queues do get longer - there's always more to buy than you think.
  • I tend to take a shopping list as I get overwhelmed with the choice - I always buy more, but at least I get what I really need.
  • Also if you have some cards with your details on they can be useful as you're likely to bump into people you know or you may want to leave your details with someone so they can post details onto you later.

I hope that helps - I'm sure I'll think of more when I've been on Thursday - I'll let you know what it's like.

I'll be meeting up with a few other bloggers and quilting friends so hopefully between us we should be able to pick out the best bits of the show. For the zine I'd love to hear what you think of the show - you might even get quoted in the zine.......

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Pass it foward

I think I may have scared a few of you off with my pass it forward post - go one be brave and give it a go. You never know what you might receive..... it'll be nice - honest.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Sunburst and arty farty....

I hope you like the photos I've included today.
The first two are of my Sunburst quilt. At sewing camp I did add the borders and make the back - both of which I'm really pleased with. Unfortunately my machine quilting skills weren't up to the mark so I decided to hand quilt it. Luckily it's no where near as big as the last one I hand quilted and the quilting isn't as dense so it shouldn't take as long. However before I started I was warned about a potential 'challenge'. As I'm quilting in the ditch you do occasionally get a bit where lots of seams have met and it's a bit difficult to get the needle through - in addition the backing is pieced - so this adds another potential seam. Guess what? - they were right. It has been a bit awkward at times but I'm pleased with the result both front and back. As the quilt is very vibrant (otherwise known as you need your sunglasses to look at it) I didn't really want the quilting to be anymore than functional - and I think it works. What do you think? I know the stitching isn't that obvious but if you click on the photos I'm sure the larger version will show the stitching better.

The next photos are for my 'arty farty' architectural quilt for the Malvern Show next year and the exhibition our group is putting on at the Bramble Patch next year.
The first photo shows a photo transfer that I printed and then fussy cut and tacked onto a more textured fabric. It looked a bit harsh so I tea dyed it and it's much more toned now.

This block started out as the rust dyed fabric, then Pitt Artist pens were used with freezer paper to produce brick shapes. I then cut out brick shapes in various fabrics. Again it looked a bit harsh - so tea dyed it again. As it had already been rust dyed the calico took on a very different colour than expected and is more marbled. Again I'm pleased with both blocks.
The blocks will be machine embroidered so the edges again won't look too harsh I'm a bit nervous about putting all the blocks together and then working on the whole piece (18 x 52 inches). It's just got to work. If any of you have any other ideas - do let me know.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Sewing camp - show and tell

Just a few photos from the sewing camp show and tell. As you cab see there's a huge variety. I didn't take any photos of the one's people from our group made as I'm sure we'll see them at exhibitions next year.
Hope you like them.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Pass it forward

Well I've added my name to Karol-Ann's page and I've agreed to join in the PIF movement. You can see what happens below:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I hope you'll join in this - there's nothing like getting pressies in the post.
I thought some of you might like to see a quaint village photo - the Market Bosworth bowling club - I hope this will prove that not all of England is flooded and that we have had some sunshine (I even managed to go a bit pink in the sun yesterday).

I'll post some more photos tomorrow of the quilts shown in the Show and Tell at sewing camp. Thanks for all the comments on it - I know I'm realy lucky to be able to go there and I had a great time.