Thursday, 30 June 2011

Hot Pants

If you need a good idea for using up those leftover pinwheel blocks or indeed any other blocks for that matter then check out what the best dressed legs are wearing. I spotted this in a magazine whilst waiting for an appointment and just had to bring the page home with me. Of course you will then need a matching jacket and bag.

Kate is in finishing off mode ready for her up and coming exhibition in September and behind her is a quilt based on a Navajo Blanket. It comes complete with a dream catcher.

Yesterday at sewing we had a new recruit in the form of little Raya seen here with doting mum Wendy.

On Sunday we decided to take a trip and headed for Woolacombe on the North Devon Coast. The sand there is lovely and soft and it has good surfing waves. On the way there part of the road had been closed for maintenance and we were diverted through the country roads. The scenery was spectacular and well worth the detour but on route we passed a village that was holding some sort of fun day - The Rackenford Scarecrow Olympics. Various scarecrows were placed around on seats and in gardens and then we spotted one running, one hurdling, swimming and even one pole vaulting over a hedge. That in itsself was funny but just as we were leaving the village and it never entered my head to get my camera out of my bag ,doh!there was a pole dancing scarecrow clad in leopard print lycra. My husband piped up with the comment - "now that would be worth watching". Tickets anyone?!!!

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Keeping Records

Some time ago I was given a lovely little folder as a gift from the secret santa at my sewing group. It is a thimbleberries book and inside it has pages in which you can record the details of the quilts you make with a space on the opposite page for a photograph. I know with digital technology it is easy to store these things on computers but this is just such a lovely idea. There are pictures of quilts throughout the pages and at the back there are plastic pockets for storing bits of fabric etc.

In this photo you can see Sarah holding a little baby quilt. All the details are recorded on the page and is a great reminder of something made and given away as a gift. It is easy to forget dates gone by and as you can see this one was made in June 2003. It is also a visual reminder of what you have made and how your work has progressed over time.

My secret sister Nicky (we have so many quilty things in common that I think we must be related) asked me about quilt labels this week and I thought I would show you this lovely book that I have. It is by Barbara Baatz and is an American School of Needlework publication. It is full of lovely iron on transfers suitable for a variety of quilts. The transfers can be cut out and are meant to be ironed on to polyester or poly/cotton mix fabrics to make them colourfast and washable. What I tend to do is iron them lightly onto cotton fabric and then go over the outline with a permanent pigma pen and even do a bit of colouring in. You could of course embroider over the lines or add applique. There is plenty of space to record the essential details that are a must for future posterity. Think of how we long to know more details of who made those antique quilts and your ancestors or future custodians will be very glad that you gave them that information. You can of course make labels lots of other ways and keep it all very simple, after all, it is the information that is the important bit. All that work on the front surely warrants something interesting on the back too.

Camelot Block 10. The perfect piece of fabric for some lovely fussy cutting. The template was a perfect fit for this fabric and pattern.

Block 11. It looks very pale but isn't as pale as the photo. This means that there are 5 left to go.

My mum gave us two lovely rose bushes called Silver Wedding 5 years ago and they were duly planted. One flourished and the other became quite sad looking. My husband lifted it and replanted it and we thought that it wouldn't survive but the other day I suddenly realised that this lovely flower had appeared. I am so pleased. The other bush is much bigger and has produced a huge amount of fabulous, delicate scented flowers.

This beautiful chaffinch has been nesting in the hedge by the window and it has been a pleasure watching it flit in and out with tasty morsels for the baby. One evening I heard a thud against the window and stealed myself to look expecting to see a dead baby bird but no, it was just sitting on the window ledge looking at me as if to say "what happened". By the time I grabbed my camera it had recovered and flown off.

Happy Stitching

Love Shirley.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Thou Shalt Not Covet......

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours fabric, particularly when she is wearing it. This is Pat's shirt (yes, she is wearing it) and she is very lucky that I have not cut a square out as in the patchwork adverts, you know the one. Husband is asleep in the chair and wife has cut out bits of his shirt and is quilting them whilst her friend looks on. I adore this fabric.

We have been to St Ives this weekend for a little bit of rest and recuperation. It would be churlish of me not to call in the bead shop and buy one or two or three, ok, more than a few things. Someone has to keep them going. Well, I wasn't alone in there and that shop is really an Aladdin's Cave of sparkly bits and pieces and I would like to challenge anyone to come out empty handed. The woman before me at the till said to the assistant " when I come in again later don't say - back again?, you haven't seen me before, right!".

The weather on Saturday was lovely and hot and we sat in our deck chairs watching these Cornish Luggers or fishing boats. This one just let down its sail as I clicked the camera, the sails are traditionally a reddish canvas. The bead shop is just behind those boats on the opposite side of the harbour. Honestly, I WAS watching the boats.

Progress on Camelot means that I have passed the halfway stage now. All the templates are ready and waiting. The pieces for block 10 have been prepped. It takes me so long to decide on colour combinations and even then when I have cut them out I make changes.

Block 7

Block 8

Block 9

A bit of a finish in the knitting department. Remember the yarn I bought at the Quilt Show at Malvern? well, it has become a very colourful shawl. Beads have been added at the edge and are knitted in. I was told that the ball of wool would knit the shawl and I ran out before the end. Rather than buy another ball I just undid a few rows and added the beads and held my breath that there would be enough to finish it. I finished with about 6"s of yarn to spare. I am not that fond of the colours but wanted to see how it knitted up and the pattern was very easy. The pattern came free with the yarn and is Noro Kureyon. ( Details in previous post). I am sure that I have something more suited to my taste in my stash and will definitely make another one.

My niece Megan has taken up patchwork and is busy making hexagons for a quilt for her new bed. She is well and truly hooked. As we live so far apart lessons have been conducted by email and phone and I am impressed with her keenness. According to Meg, today's Daily Mail newspaper says that quilting makes you happy. Now we already knew that didn't we. You can see a bit more on her blog. When her exams are finished then hopefully she will post a bit more.

Sorry, for the long post. I must blog more often and then I won't need to write such an essay.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.x