Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas... you all in blogland.
for those already celebrating - Good Cheer
and for those awaiting Santa - I hope you've been good and get what you deserve.

Best wishes to you all

Monday, 1 December 2008

"Cat amongst the Pigeon's"

Well I said that I would reveal what DH has done and he has done it with my blessing. BUT even so the actual thought of DH leaving his job of nineteen years after the company offered severance is daunting to say the least!

We are now counting down the days like an advent calendar and as the 31st of December creeps ever closer I wonder will 2009 be as exciting as this one?

Having said all this, DH has hit the ground running and has had a number of interviews with other companies in his field and is also looking at consultancy work and he is very positive about the future - Credit Crunch! What credit crunch??

Tomorrow the postman should be posting an offer through the door, which will hopefully give the wolf that is hovering by it a good seeing to!

DH has a full social diary at the moment - "Your first Christmas Party tonight, Dad?" asked Son as DH came home and changed. "No, Son. Just the first of many leaving do's I am invited to". As there's 450 leaving these parties might end in March!!!!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Saturday with Ferret

Please note that this is not a tutorial but a selection of photographs showing stages of the making of my quilt on Saturday. Should you wish to make a quilt like this please go to Ferret's website for details of patterns and workshops.

My Leafy Quilt

My chosen colours, bright yellow for the front and the rich red leaf print for the backing, I also chose a lovely turquoise for the thin border.
The leaves I found on my breezy walk the day before.

I brought the "wrong" wadding, but define "wrong", yes it was thicker than recommended but when you see the final piece I am glad that I did what I did. The leaves that are quilted here all stand out in a rich 3D sculpted form.

To make the leaves stand out I quilted inbetween them with lots and lots of swirly free motion machine stitching.

And I didn't stop until it looked like this!

Here is Ferret taming a sewing machine, they all seemed to try our patience at one time during the day! No matter, Ferret had them sorted.

The background with border and binding, done the Ferret way.

I would try and describe this but, not only would it infringe on Ferret's workshop, it's also too hard to begin to describe and the quilt was nearly thrown through the window in frustration. Fortunately I won in the end, just don't take a close look at the stitching!

Sunday and last night was spent cutting out leaves that will be sewn onto the top...once this has been done I shall post a photo of the completed quilt.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

So have you missed me? Four weeks with no posts, did you wonder why?

Thanks Sara for your email, yes, I'm still alive and nothing onerous has happened to stop the postings.

Since Alexander Palace I have been rather busy putting a stop to the nagging I have received from the family since the summer holidays, "Now we're all at big school will you be getting a job?" - see previous post 28th August for my angst ridden plea, details of how I have found an answer to follow soon...

DH has, in the nicest sort of way, put "the cat amongst the pigeons" with a major life decision, again details to follow soon...

I do have coursework to download, but the computer has only just come back from the menders and everyone has been using it for homework, revision and stuff. I know I am on it now while everyone is at work and school, but I really should be elsewhere doing other things, as usual!

I am on a quilting workshop on Saturday with Ferret. We will be creating quilts similar to "Storm" - lots of leaves - must remember to get down the park for some templates!
So hopefully I shall be blogging Sunday with the results of that.

I promise to blog, with full glorious technicolor, all what has been going on very, very soon!
Bye for now

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Cathy Miller - The Singing Quilter

Last evening at the Quilting Group we had a visit from the Singing Quilter, Cathy Miller. We had a fun time with Cathy singing some rather apt songs regarding the life of a Quilter, Her Husband even joined in with a ditty about "Quilting Widowers"!

Catch a snippet of Cathy's style of songs on You Tube.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Shopping, Maggie Grey and Some London Sites

Daughter and I had a great day out at Alexander Palace, spending the usual too much on lots of goodies. I definitely know I will use them as I gave myself the rule of "IT CAN ONLY BE BOUGHT IF IT HAS USE IN THE MODULE". But I did break the rule by buying Maggie Grey's new book, then again it will contain ideas with could be incorporated in the coursework!

While at Maggie's stall I showed her photographs of the catalogues disintregrating in my garden, I'm sure I wasn't the first and not the last to do this over the week-end!

Clive said we will need to leave them out until November and then they will be used in the online course connected with the new book. Something to look forward to...

At Ario I purchased some Moon Shadow walnut ink sprays something Maggie suggested was a good idea to have when she taught at the Summer School in 2007, luckally this pack contains the colours being used in my module (remember the rule?) so I can spray the wet paper pulp to give it an interesting tint. Whilst checking through the workroom drawers last week I rediscovered some luster powders which suggested on the packaging that usuing Arabic gum would be a good way to use the luster powders - so I got some, again another way to make the handmade paper interesting. The third item is 3D medium - the stuff that expands when heated with a heat gun - more texture to the handmade paper.

These interesting goodies were found on Craftynotions stall. The moulding mesh with do what it says on the packaging! Thought this would be good for the grids I need to make, add pulp and stitching then carefully heat and see what happens - I have great hopes for this. Wiggle Mesh is a similar product with heat it - mold it - distress it - stitch it on the lable so that is what I'll do! The other package is grunge board, I'm intending to pop all the circles out and weave into it, add pulp and see what happens...

I saw this lovely silk thread and had to limit myself to the module colours - blue, yellow and brown - and that was difficult as they came in a miriad of shades!


More bobins for my machines - I never seem to have an empty one when I need one!

The other bobbins are for my Lucet, I don't want to take off the thread that are on the two bobins that came with it, so got three more to put on the module 4 colours to make cord to weave into the grids.

Now when I said that I had set myself rules regarding the shopping list...well I broke them!
Shock, horror!

I saw some thread nets - the net covers that hold the threads on the bobbin to stop them tangling and some gold Maderia thread for a sample I am hoping to make.

I would like to do more goldwork since completing the banner so I bought a kit which I thought was a suitable subject to begin with.

With the Church Bazaar in November I bought this ribbon to make Christmas ornaments with. There will be a stall having a "bauble raffle"

And finally I had to buy something quilty, so bought this Japanese preprinted block which I will work in red thread and edge with the patterned and little rabbit print fabric to make a cushion cover for my lounge.

Shopping over by 4.50pm -this was a first as we are usually kicked out on the 5.30pm closing call! We left to have a closer look around the foyer.

At the entrance Tetley Tea were celebrating their anniversary with a huge tea bag.

And this "Coral Reef" was being added to by the visitors

Have a close look at the photos to see if you can find Nemo!

We headed by tube to the Sushi restaurant by St. Paul's Cathedral, only to find at Chancery Lane an announcement saying St. Paul's tube station was shut for maintenance so we jumped off the tube and walked!

And we discovered this charming sculpture on Shoe Lane

Walking up Fleet Street St. Paul's glowed in the evening sun

Once we had finished our lovely meal at Yo!Sushi we found St. Paul's glowing in lamp light!

We crossed the Millennium Bridge and sauntered down the South Bank on the way to Waterloo.

Lasers were being projected cross the river where a bridge once stood, it was very effective and had gathered a crowd! We carried on in the fresh Autumn air...and captured the London Eye.

This could be inspiration for a project!

At Waterloo whilst waiting for the train, we people watched and were impressed with this jacket!

Not a great photograph, but you get the feel of it!

Then it was home to bed and dreams of what to do with the goodies...

Friday, 10 October 2008

Knitting and Stitch Show - Alexander Palace

Just putting the final touches to the Ally Pally shopping list. Daughter and I will be having our annual jaunt, watching the Ice Skaters whilst we eat our lunch and having a thoroughly good time incorporating two of the best things to do on a Saturday - Crafts and Shopping!

I'm so ready for this that I have already cooked the stew for DH and Son's Saturday evening meal so all they have to do is buy some crusty bread tomorrow and heat up the stew. Daughter and I will probably be found somewhere in London eating Sushi, or break our journey home and call in at Richmond for our favourite Pizza Express. Either way it's nice to have a special time together and at 14 yrs old I very much doubt she will be joining me for much longer.

Is anyone else venturing to Ally Pally tomorrow?

If there are any Distant Stitchers going, would you like to meet up for a coffee?

I shall definitely be calling in on Maggie Grey for her new book and to show her the photos of my sodden catalogues!!!!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Back on track

So for the last two days I have been re reading and going over what I have done for Module 4 so far. It was pleasing to see that there was more work completed than I had thought. So I have made more notes - very good at this! - and begun at the beginning by playing with envelopes and stamps. I have three sketchbooks on the go with Media Research, Lettering Research and Grid Research all are in the process of being filled and the results will be posted on the Module 4 blog very, very soon.

After a busy September of organising the Children back into school routine, Church Flower rota - will have to tell the Lady who organises this that September is not a good month for me - and the renovating of the Banner. I was hoping for the first Thursday of October to be the first whole day I could devote to Coursework BUT OH NO... School decided that today would be an INSET day as the Children had been busy helping at the Open Evening until 8.30pm last night and they needed a rest day. Inbetween helping Daughter to pack her rucksack for her Duke of Edinburgh experdition this weekend - she goes tomorrow after school - and helping Son with homework I just managed some time this afternoon to play with the Photoshop Pro. I am a complete novice and should have some lessons, but I did get some interesting images for the sketchbook.

Blue Stamps with topography and eroded Edges

Orange/Gold Stamps with Contour

I like the Contour effect and I hope this piece will be inspire some interesting paper designs. The ideas are busy running through my mind with awhole lot of other personal stuff at the moment, but that's another blog for another day...

Monday, 29 September 2008

Take a Deep Breath and...


Well, that was a challenge! At 3pm yesterday I walked the MU banner to the altar for a rededication blessing to begin the 80th anniversary of my branch of the Mothers' Union. It had been quite a fortnight and I hope I have done a good job. The leather work now sparkles instead of crumbling to pieces. To try to stop this happening again - age not withstanding - I now have to create a travelling bag similar to a suit bag, as previously it was rolled and put in a bag with the poles.

So here are photos of some of the restoration stages...

The back of the banner

The Front of the banner,
striped of the leather work
and Madonna and Child

While removing the old lettering I discovered that the Ladies who had made it had glued down the leather before stitching around it, this caused some colouration of the fabric which fortunately would be covered up by the new lettering!

Crouching down the thread
around the letter

A photograph of the two Ladies
who orginally made the banner

More leather work on the Front

Lettering complete!

The Madonna and Child

I have often looked at this and thought how clever

and talented the Ladies who made this banner were...

So it was with a bit of disappointment I found it had been made elsewhere and had cost £32 (1975 prices)

I have placed this information on the back of the Madonna so when it is next restored - 33 years later - the information will be found!

The Completed Banner

I hope I look less formidable than the original photograph of the two Ladies!

The Service

Six other branches from our Diocese joined us and brought their own banners

So that was what I have been up to while I have been blogquiet.

Now I must get on with the Coursework!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

So why the break in blogging?

Yes, I know I have posted alot this evening, but I haven't been blogging for a while. Reason is I have a deadline of the shortest time. I am repairing the Mothers' Union banner ready for the 80th anniversary a week today! It is in pieces at the moment and the top fabric at the drycleaners. I am currently removing the old leather letters and replacing with new silver kid.

Here is the new letter L inplace for crouching down

Look at the "F" to see how worn the leather has got. It is crumbling as I remove it. Amazingly the Ladies who made the banner atleast 40 years ago glued down the leather before sewing which is adding to the work as I need to remove the glue spots before replacing the letters.

So this is the final post tonight as I need to get atleast two more letters done before bedtime!

Workshop 2

Today I was lucky to have a place on my quilting groups' workshop making a Double Wedding Ring quilt with Dawn Cameron-Dick. I and another member were the class swots by having aleast 9 rings either pinned or baste glued down ready for invisible machine appliquing. The method of making the rings was very theraputic and once you had a rhythm I found I got through the fabric squares quite quickly.

Dawn was a good teacher and moved around the group all day - helping members out with machine problems and advising with choices of colours. The photo abouve shows Dawn explaing how to place the rings using my colourway.

This photo shows the rings all plaited together. I really am amazed by how the fabrics go together although I'm not convinced about the background. I was having an economy drive and was not prepared to go and spend a huge amount of money on a technique I was unsure I would like. So I raided the stash! Well, I do like the technique and may make a "proper" quilt next time. This top needs sewing down and quilting - off to the WIPS pile it goes!!!!!

Another book to water!

Whilst at Sandown I was given a catalogue - very thick! - to carry around. I was about to decline the offer but thought no I shall suffer for my art! Once home I set to with knife and shredded said catelogue - after reading to see if it was of use in it's present useage (no) - placed in a bucket of water as we have not had much rain recently and it is now on the patio.

The Argos book is still under the Quince bush and will probably get a watering tomorrow as there as been no rain since the last time I watered it!

I am looking forward to going to Ally Pally so I can see Maggie Grey and show her the photos of the books in the garden - I doubt that I shall be the only one!!!

Workshop 1

Yesterday I went to Sandown Racecourse for the Stitch and Craft Show. I have been attending this show for some years now, my friend makes cards and like to go to this one as there are alot of stockists she uses. I usually go for the day out and end up purchasing fabulous beads and ribbons and maybe some fabric from the few patchwork stalls, oh and maybe a gadget I haven't got that after a demonstration I know I must have! So I was disappointed to find that this year only the ground floor was in use. In the past all three floors have been utilised. My friend noticed some of her sduppliers hadn't turned up this year. "Has the bubble burst on crafting?" she asked "Or is this the result of the credit crunch?" We usually arrive by 10am and leave reluctantly at 2.45pm to collect our school children. Yesterday we were done by 12.15. After lunch my friend wished to look over a few more stalls so I kicked my heels until hearing there were places still available on the Lucet Workshop - something else that wouldn't usually happen! So I had a fun hour mastering the Lucet, I had bought a Lucet two years previously in readiness for the braiding section of Module 3 but found it hard.

Now I can Lucet away til my hearst content! All thanks to Ziggy. All of you who visit Ally Pally in October will proably know who I mean, he is usually in the knitting area where the fashion shows take place, tuck around the edges with the Guilds and Societies - he is usually with the Braid Society, or is that Guild?

Monday, 15 September 2008

Argos Mystery Continued...

I have just been out to water the book!!!!!!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Argos Mystery - or any other well known catalogue will do!

I like a challenge and all the better when Nature is going to be involved.

So when Maggie Grey threw down the challenge to slash a thick catalogue and leave it outside in the garden to see what happens, and asks us to come back later to see what we can do with it, is too intriguing to miss.

I came to this idea through Lynda Monk who has placed her book in the middle of the lawn. I have put mine under the Quince shrub near my shed in hope that the snails and slugs that are around at the moment will do their bit!

I have warned DH that the Argos book has not "blown in" from an untidy neighbour's garden, but has been placed with due care for textile purposes! I'm wondering what Maggie has got us all involved in, but having had her as a tutor at the Distant Stitch Summer School last year one thing I know it will be fun and creative!

I am now not allowed to bring it in until Maggie says so, so watch this space for updates!