30 December 2012

Post Christmas

Hello and I hope that Christmas went well and that you had all you wished for.  It is nice to have the break and it's that I look forward to after the build up and the pressure that goes with it.

The car has been repaired and returned to me on Friday, a much better state than when I left it after the accident.  Apart from the slight difference in shade of red  on the bonnet to the rest of the car (being a difficult colour than most to match) it looks really good.  Pleased to get it back after driving in the small hire car.

My daughter Sarah went back home to Bristol the day after Boxing Day and it was lovely to have her staying with us.  We were hoping to stop in Bristol or Bath after leaving her at the Royal Infirmary where she works, but seeing how bad the traffic was and how manic the shops looked in Bristol City centre we decided to give it a miss and head for home taking things at a leisurely pace.  The sales were certainly in full swing!

We also caught up with other relatives, my brother-in-law and his wife.   Alex and family came to see us, during the Xmas break, but with going back to work tomorrow David and I took time out today for him to work on his railway and for me to get sewing again.

As Christmas is over and my sister has her present I can now show what I made her.  A Union Jack cushion from the trimmings of the quilt I made for her birthday back in September

I had a rectangular cushion pattern not a square one, so took a bit of working out to get the proportions of the strips correct, but really pleased how it turned out and Wendy was thrilled with it too.

Alex's girls have played with my door handle cat that "guards" the door to my sewing room.  It had this for some time and asked some time ago if they wanted one, so I made them one each.  Sophie has a stripey one
Isobel has the spotty one

 And here are all three together

I had a little bit of time this week to make a postcard for the last birthday girl this year, Rosemary, who requested Earth.  Being a bit stuck on this one I opted for Earthy tones with a brown background with other earthy fabrics in strips on top, held down with plain brown and variegated brown thread in fancy machine stitches and couched embroidery thread.  I edged with brown metallic thread couched in variegated thread to give a bit of sparkle.  I hope it does speak "earth" to her.

Today I have been working on another hanging back.  The last one to hold calico pieces.  I tried out a block some time ago from a book by Karin Hellaby of Quilters Haven called Pineapple Plus
 so used this as the bag front and bordered it in purple.

 The photo above showed how the block was this morning, I quilted using some fancy machine stitches to take the plainness of the cream fabric.

And above is the completed bag.  So all four bags that I've made have helped towards organising my wardrobe store.

Looking forward to postcard swaps in the coming year, I have signed up to another birthday swap which next year doesn't have the recipient's theme, so the cards they get will be a complete surprise.  I won't take part in as many swaps next year as I did this.  However I did take a bit of time to get my postcard making box organised with pelmet Vilene and fusible web cut to size and printing off "Postcard" and return address labels using T-shirt Transfer Paper.  I have had the transfer paper for a long time (probably more than 10 years) and found to my horror I'm down to the last sheet in the pack - dear me! I'm shocked that I'll have to buy more ;o) !

This is probably the last post for 2012, so wishing the very best for 2013


24 December 2012

Christmas Disaster and Christmas Cheer

The last Wednesday off before Christmas I had some last minute things to do and I was out and about in my car.  Traffic was busy and the weather was very wet and I had an accident.  I braked but it was not enough to stop the car sliding into the rear of the one in front.  I was OK, a bit shaken, but my car was not. 

So it was on to insurers and a flurry of phone calls from the car repairers, transportation of the car from Poole to Chichester. arranging car hire while my car was being repaired.  The front left headlight was broken, the bonnet and bumper.  Of course in modern cars the front is designed to crumple so it looked much worse that it actually was.  I quite thought that the repair would not be finished this side of Christmas, but I had a phone call to say it was ready late Friday afternoon and on Saturday the repairers phoned to arrange delivery.  Wow, that was really quick.  Unfortunately because of the Christmas holidays I won't see my car until this Friday, but at least its repaired.

I finished work on Friday and go back the Monday after Christmas so nice to have a week long break.  On Saturday, my daughter Sarah, arrived from Bristol, laden with 2 big bags and she is staying until the day after Boxing Day when return her back home so she has a few days off the enjoy the holidays. 

Yesterday we headed for West Sussex, to meet up with sons Alex and his family and Jamie with his family at a garden centre in Pulborough, where the miniature railway was running Santa Specials, so all 11 of us (7 adults and 4 children) visited Father Christmas. 

After then it was back to Alex's for a Christmas party so we could gather and exchange presents.  It was a way of spreading the number of presents that the children get over the holidays and a chance for us all to catch up.  We had a lovely afternoon, very ably catered by Mary and we opened some lovely presents.

 A Christmas card drawn by Sophie and a teatowel with Isobel's drawing
 Their school and pre-school photos
And from Jamie and Carly was a canvas of all the grandchildren. 

Have a lovely Christmas, Wild or otherwise!!

18 December 2012

Getting Christmassy

The present shopping the nearly done, the cards have been sent, just a small amount of food shopping to do and we're nearly there!

I have managed to fit it a small amount of sewing, not a lot.  The weekend before last I found on my facebook page that Quilting Bloggers linked to a Christmas Mug Rug make on The Crafty Blogger here, though I have found there is a correction to the original instructions here.  I found this quite quick to make, just taking up an afternoon then adding the binding on the next morning.  Here is my rug

That Sunday also involved a going to the Quarterjack's Christmas speaker afternoon, for which I was lucky to get a ticket.  The speaker was Christine Porter, from Bristol, who has is a quilt teacher and writer and once was one of the editors of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  Quite an entertaining speaker with a lot of quilts to show, many of which had to be produced for her books.

I succumbed and bought her Tessellated Quilts book, but didn't buy any fabric!

Idly reading the e-mail messages from BQL Yahoo group, I noticed a recurring theme on the subject of owls.  There were several suggestions of sites which has instructions on how to make owls, and came across this site which had some really sweet and simple owls, called Efemera Ink.  Like the Sunday before, this last Sunday I went and had a go, this is the result.  Following the instructions this little guy only took over an hour to make
 And here he is on the Christmas tree
 In today's post I had a surprise belated birthday postcard, in purple with some brown and gold lace, trimmed with gold coloured thread, very lush.
 To go with it came a lovely machine embroidered Christmas stocking, thanks to Marion for the surprise!

10 December 2012

Trip to London

I don't like London that much as I find things too hectic there.  Being in a tube station is like being in a movie where you stand still and everyone whizzes around you, a bit scary when you are trying to find your way around (and making sure you're on the right line to where you want to go).  When a coach trip to London just happened to be on my day off I thought it would be something different to do.  I decided I would go to the Victoria and Albert Museum  as this was one London museum I hadn't visited and it was fascinating.

There was a couple of extra exhibitions there - one of ballgowns and another of Hollywood costumes - but decided not to see these and it was just as well as I think I walked my socks off wandering around the general exhibits.  Here are some pics of the things I liked there.  The Middle Eastern art, which included this lovely tiled panel.
And bowl (I think both the items came from Iran)
These Indian carved wall decorations - there were lovely patterns - I was fascinated by them

 In another part of the museum there were lovely mosaic floors, sorry but I had to take photos

That's just 3 of the photos that I took of the floors

I was amazed by the large columns in the Cast Courts, this was an Italian one

And found some of these from Salisbury Cathedral on the wall of one of the Renaissance galleries

I could show more pics! I quite enjoyed being there and would not rule out another trip there, some fascinating things.

Onward to the tube station to make my way to the meeting place I stopped at Picadilly Circus and went along Regent Street to see the lights (it was nearly 4 o'clock and getting dark by now), the theme being the Twelve Days of Christmas
I walked up to Libertys to have a meander, hoping to buy something from their haberdashery but things were so expensive, but lovely to look at.  I went to look at the Christmas decs and bought a small reindeer to add to our Christmas tree.

Walking towards the meeting place I diverted down to Carnaby Street with their alternive decorations

Because it's dark its probably difficult to see that they are records arranged in a large ball strung from the walls of the buildings.

A good but tiring day and something different on my day off!

07 December 2012

Giveaway winner

A quick post as I've come home from work and will be out later for a Christmas do, so a chance to get glammed up a bit.

David has picked out a winner for me for the Giveaway and its....


I'll be emailing you soon Sue with the gift certificate for the Quilt Show, enjoy.

02 December 2012

West Country Quilt Show

Here are some photos of our visit there yesterday.

There were quilts by Long Arm Machine Quilters
Damson Jam by Jan Chandler

Lovely limey green stars (didn't make a note of the quilter)

Pink floral quilt by Sue Sapsed of Quitessence

Swoon stars by Janie Rawthorn

A few quilts from some quilters in Bristol, viewers had to choose a favourite, here were some of my favourites here

Some quilts by Alicia Merrett, who also has an exhibition in Glastonbury

And some by Kaffe Fassett, who was doing a book signing of his latest book.

So this was a small selection of the quilts I photographed - the lighting was quite good at the venue.  Traders found this show a bit quiet, but as this was the first show I thought that it was quite good, no pressure to get to get to see all the quilts and traders.  Journey was a bit difficult through foggy country roads, but much better going back when the fog had lifted. 

No trip to a quilt show is complete without purchases, though and I bought fabric and a few other bits.

The shrink polyester looked really interesting, I think I'll have a go at that soon and let you know how I get on.

Don't forget my GIVEAWAY to win a series Gift Certificate to The Quilt Show, details here.

Just leave a comment!

01 December 2012

Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet

Being the first of the month, Lily's Quilts hosts the Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet.
I'm typing from my iPad and it won't copy the badges, so here the link to the post on the blog.

November's make have included a cushion cover (a bit secret, it's a Christmas make) postcards and finishing of my green and grey quilt.  I've also made some bags for the wardrobe in my room to store wadding, white fabric and vilene pieces. One more to make for storing calico and things should look more organised.

Today I went with friends to the West Country Quilt show, a new show and found it really enjoyable. Took photos, saw demos and did some shopping. Not too far to get to so a nice day out.