23 June 2012

Sandown and other bits

Yesterday a group of us Bourne Quilters went by minibus to the National Quilt Championship show at Sandown.  Always quite a good day with lots of chatter on the journey to and from the venue and lots of quilts to see.  Unfortunately I can't show photos of the quilts as organisers state that photos are for personal use only and can't be shown on websites.  What I can say though is the Champion Quilt this year is by Ferrett with a really large wholecloth quilt.  Some purchases were made of course but I didn't spend very much, even though I'd won £48 earlier this week on the Bonus Ball draw at work.

I was taken with the exhibition of Gail Lawther's quilt collection following her New Zealand collection of Glimpses of New Zealand, she now has a new book called Glimpses of Britain celebrating places and people of what Britain means to her (this is accompanied in the photo with a bag pattern from Monkey Buttons).

There are also fabric opportunities with bargain fat quarters and at the bottom of the photo is a hand dyed piece from Farne Designs in a colorway that I could not resist.
Another postcard swap is in the making.  This time it's fabric manipulation and I thought I would come up with inspiration for this but I have found this a bit challenging, not sure why.  Here is my progress so far, I decided to sew tucks and have them going in opposing directions.  I've used a space dyed commercial fabric which I've had for quite a while.

 I liked the look of the back too...

So far it's made two whole postcards and a couple of small pieces (because I didn't cut the piece wide enough to get another whole one out) and joined with other strips of the same fabric.  I'll progress this further this weekend and get the postcards in the post.

Meanwhile all the others in the same swap have sent theirs, so this is what I've received.
From the top - Annette, Janet, Irene, Jan and Alice.  They're all lovely cards so I'd better get sewing!

21 June 2012


Seeing what a contrast the weather is today (cold and wet) and what it was like yesterday (warm and sunny) I'm glad that I made the most of yesterday.  Continuing from Durlston I went into Swanage and parked up to enjoy some time at the seaside. I enjoyed seaside-y things like having a paddle (I took a small towel with me just in case) and had ice cream (locally made, just had to).  I took a meander through the town to Swanage Railway station and this just came in.

 A Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) like the type I used to see in Slough in the 60's and 70's running a service between Swanage and Norden, just outside Corfe Castle.  It was alternating with a steam train, but I wouldn't be in Swanage for long enough to see it.

I went back along the main street to the beach again and went towards the pier.  I'd never been on the pier and it has been recently restored.  It's quite unusual that it doesn't go straight out into the sea but it has a bend in it. 

Here's a view from the pier to beach

Above is a view towards Old Harry Rocks and in the background are the tower block flats in Poole.

Walking back into town and to where the car was parked I saw this on the pavement in the square just outside the town museum.  There were a lot of people in the square eating fish and chips from the nearby chip shop and the air smelt of salt and vinegar!
And nearby was a cafe next to an abandoned building with a bit of artwork on it on painting behind the car and another where the steps are.  The car in the pic is real not art!
So that was my day out yesterday!

Today I was back at work for one day, but tomorrow I will be off with the Bourne Quilters to Sandown and the quilt show there.

20 June 2012

Durlston Country Park

My day off today was just too nice to stay at home.  So on the rare occasions when I get my legs out as the weather looked summer-like and after doing the supermarket shopping early this morning I went to Sandbanks to go on the chain ferry.  I drove through the Purbecks and Swanage to go to Durlston Country Park. I hadn't been here since the children were small and I came with a school party as a parent helper - that was a long time ago. It has a "castle" though it is a Victorian building which houses the information centre, coffee shop and rather lovely view points.
The front of the castle
Tower at the end of the castle with steps going down to the garden
Looking to the back of the castle
View from the tower looking across to Swanage bay
There's a walkway that leads to a tower with steps down to the garden and from there more steps to the globe.
This stone globe looks towards the sea with steps from there lead to part of the South West Coast Path.

There are plaques with facts and poems to the side and behind the globe.  The corner of a stone in front is one of two purposely left for people to add their graffiti on rather than to deface the globe. The bench on the grass bank is to mark the compass points and they surround the globe.
Here's one of the plaques.

After that I made my way along the coastal path to Anvil Point lighthouse, which doesn't seem far away but there is a dip down and a climb back up. There were fabulous views out to sea. The above photo shows the entrance to a cave from where Purbeck stone was mined. Later along a route above the lighthouse there was the remains of another mine.

The lamp in the lighthouse is no longer used.  There is a strobe light that flashes from it instead.  Apparently the buildings are now used a holiday cottages.
I headed back by a footpath above the lighthouse towards the castle and found this on a side wall, a sundial, with world time differences and tide times.
 More interesting things to see a map of the Purbecks
 This shows the distances from the south coast (at the bottom) to northern France (at the top)
Trying to show that I don't just take photos of scenes, I took a photo of my windswept self!

12 June 2012

Dusting off the embellisher

On Sunday I'd decided to give my machines (2 sewing, 1 embellisher) a bit of a clean, oil and change of needle (I do change the needles more often thank just getting around to it).  As I received and ATC from a swap partner, Jenny, on the UK Embellisher swap I used this time to get an ATC to my partner to send, Jean.  This was the theme of favourite colour.  As you may have guessed it's purple!

So here's what I received. A green felted card with fancy variegated yarn and a photo to show the inspiration for her card, which came wrapped in a piece of Vilene - very handy.

And this was what I made
Mine was on purple felt with purple scrim and roving on top.  When all needled together I used variegated purple thread for the embroidery.  I hope Jean likes it.

Uploading the photos I've remembered that I hadn't posted photos from last Wednesday, the last day of my holiday.  I'd already put this on my facebook page with some mobile phone pics.  David phoned me first thing in the morning (he was on the train to Worthing) to say that there was a steam excursion going from Poole, so I trundled down to Poole station in time to see this

 The magnificent Duke of Gloucester which was running the Diamond Jubilee Express from Poole to Windsor. Want to see a few more pics?

Fantastic, it was worth getting out of bed early for!

10 June 2012


On Bank Holiday Monday David and I took ourselves out from the decorating and other bits around the house.  The weather wasn't spectacular but at least it was dry.  I used the Tesco Clubcard tokens for a day out here and visited the Swannery and the Subtropical Gardens.  This time of year baby swans (cygnets) are hatching so there are some cute pics of cygnets.

At 12 midday it was feeding time

Never seen so many swans gathered in one place.

Most of the swans were born and bred at the swannery, but there are some incomers coming from as far as Christchurch. The lake is not really a lake at all it drains into Portland and is called the Fleet, and area of water which is fresh and salt water. In the photo above the last one shows Chesil Beach, a long shingle beach that runs from Weymouth.

After seeing the feeding we walked around and found a nest with swans hatching

And also some swans eggs.

We then went on to the Subtropical Gardens.  David and I have visited there before but it was good to go back to and explore again.  There was one area that we hadn't seen before and that was a walk from the Secret Garden which goes uphill (quite steep, really) to a viewpoint over the coast and Chesil Beach and the Fleet behind it can be seen more clearly. The land behind that is Portland, a peninsula reaching out from Weymouth.  The second inlet of water from the bottom is where the Swannery is.
This is looking the other way, towards Lyme Bay in the distance.

Lots of rhododendrons and azaleas still in flower.

 Large Gunnera leaves and tree ferns in the valley where the stream runs through

David standing by the carved tree trunk
Look very closely at the photo above and just behind the  leave in the centre of the photo is a pheasant (female, her colouring seems to merge with the background).

And lastly another birdie pic.  This time as we were enjoying an ice cream this little one was sitting on the chair back eyeing up the tea things to see if there was anything to eat.

All in all a lovely day out.