Sunday, 30 September 2012

End of the Month

We had a coffee morning craft sale with my Ladies on Wednesday where we made the wonderful sum of £1420 for our local Macmillan unit.  Fantastic!  Of course we had pot holders and were being asked for oven gloves.  We had blue cot quilts and pink cot quilts and were being asked for neutral ones as they hadn't been told the sex of baby yet.  And we didn't have enough larger play quilts!  All info taken on board for next time.

Wednesday evening I went to Aquafit with a friend.  Elsa was supposed to come along too, it was all her idea after all, but was knocked a bit sideways by a cold bug.  Sensibly she stayed at home and just about managed to shake it of in pretty quick time.

Lucky really as yesterday we drove down to Westpoint, Exeter for the Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft show.  We'd never been before and we were very impressed.  It wasn't overly huge but there was plenty to see and we had just about finished all the stalls at the right time.  Neither of us came away thinking we had missed anything which is always a nice thought! We didn't over spend, there were lots of crafting stalls and not too many fabric ones, but were more than pleased with the purchases we did make.

Not really a place for taking photos but I did manage to have a sneaky of this fabulous little number by Maggi which she blogged about here but has since moved to To Dream To Stitch so she can sell all her gorgeous hand dyed fabric and threads.  Maggi and I did the C&G in parallel and we managed to lean on each other once or twice! It was truly wonderful to see this piece for real and if you are going to any of the other shows she lists I would highly recommend looking for it!

And finally I've have a little clear out of excess magazines, most have gone to my ladies as they a stitching ones, but these two are on offer to whomever would like them.  They are issue 3 and 4 of the new Fibre Art Now.  If only one person wants then, you can have both, if two of you want them I will send one each.  Just leave a message here and the first who asks for them can have them. I will have a look on Wednesday and post on Thursday 4th. 


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Being a Duck

I recently bought a book by Marion Barnett of Artmixter. It's called Finding Your Focus and very much worth a read!

Anyway, I have worked my way through it and taken on board quite a lot of the information and decided that, no matter how beautiful dragonflies are, I'd rather be a duck!  

I've dug deep and tried to make order out of the 101 things on my todo list.  Surprising what comes to the top using Marion's method! 

In my best duck outfit (!) I pieced this entire top on Thursday.  It is now layered and basted ready for quilting which I am going to do on the little machine rather than the longarm.

It's 45 inches square, fabrics and pattern by Jinny Beyer.

I carried on with the duckish momentum and also made another quilt of 48 x 64 inches yesterday but I can't show it yet and that one is completely finished, now in the washing machine.

Oh how smug I feel.  Thank you Marion!!!! (Any confusion over references to ducks and dragonflies can be resolved within the pages of the above book! lol)


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Car Club Recce

We've had a bit of time away with friends.  Mind you it wasn't all play as we were doing a recce for the car club to visit Northern Spain next year.  We had some fabulous weather and there's nothing quite like being on the beach for pre dinner drinks and a bit of sun set watching.

I even spotted this little machine in one of the hotels.

But, being drivers, there has to be roads and the more exciting ones are in the mountains like the Picos de Europa.

We were smelling smoke for one of the trips and then this flew towards us.  There wasn't much water in the river though.

Or this one at Cangas de Onis.

And further south on the other side there was none at all in this reservoir.

And the bottom of the chain was rather low too.  The communities that had been built around them to take advantage of all the water were very much suffering from the economy and the lack of water.  Beautiful roads down to them, plenty of bikes loving the ride too, but nothing to see but partially deserted villages and inaccessible marinas.

We moved on down to the Rioja region with vast views and endless bodegas.  All those grape vines must look pretty spectacular when they change colour in the Autumn. 

The odd quirky piece of architecture like the City of Wine hotel by Frank Gehry (Guggenheim architect) on the Marques de Riscal winery.

And the more traditional in the beautiful, car-less, walled town of Laguardia.

And to finish a rather strange cloud formation that sat heavily on the mountains.

I'm looking forward to going back and not have to figure out roads, directions, distances and places to visit, and  I certainly don't envy our friends who now have to make sense of it all so others can know where they are going!! 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A Couple of Hidden Makes

Well now the wedding is over there are a couple of things I can show you!! You may remember the Guest Book I made here well Elsa also made a ring cushion to match.  I only managed to photograph this after the wedding, it's about 8 inches square, and it did it's job superbly.  It was great knowing the rings were secure and if dropped attached to something that wouldn't roll away! 

I also stitched this sampler over Easter.  I picked out several types and styles and John chose this one as he liked the traditional, (I have dragged him around to see a few and there was even one in our hotel room at the wedding too).  It was quite a challenge to make sure everything was hidden when Elsa kept coming round to play in the studio but we managed. 

To hat or not to hat.  That was a hard question!!

I know I don't do hats.  I also know that this wedding was going to be a lovely, relaxed, and intimate one, not a full blown out there in society one so I knew that a hat may have been a bit OTT.  A facinator didn't look right either but I did want something.  I looked and looked on line but nothing seem right so one day I woke up with the, 'don't be so blooming stupid and make something!' thought. And so I did.

This was beaded onto ultrasuede and glued onto a slide base before finishing with extra beads and dangles.

Better view of the dangles.

I made it the size I wanted to wear and it went with my outfit perfectly.  Having conviction that things I make are actually good enough to wear is another hurdle I think I am just about over.  Let's just hope I don't put another hurdle up in front of myself!

I had a play day the other day and made this journal cover while John and I were listening to an audiobook.  Scraps and leftovers on a calico base with sari pieces and fibres overlayed with a black sheer.  Machine stitched threads with a little hand stitch and beading.

Tie strip is just the leftover threads over stitched and wrapped around.  The main thing is the pockets for the cover of the journal also keep my pencil from constantly being lost too.

And finally if you are interested in UK Art Quilts, there is a new group just starting both on Facebook here and as a blog here.  Still baby steps but something that has been needed for a long time and there are some big hitting UK art quilters in there already!!  Come and join in.