12 August 2013

Holiday Week 2

Last week combined a visit to the Festival of Quilts, the big event in the UK's quilting calendar, held at the NEC in Birmingham where I went on Thursday and Friday

Had a quietish start to the week, playing around on the trial version of the embroidery software, Embird and trying out a couple of designs, one a freebie another came as a free download when I purchased another design.  Getting on a bit better with the embroidery unit on the machine, but still fascinated by the machine working on its own!

While at the Festival I also wanted to see the Pfaff dealers so that I could get some machine feet - a quarter inch seam foot and a free machining foot too.  Also asked about some stabiliser to use under to embroideries, which Barnyarns didn't have on their stall but could order from them.  Surprisingly I didn't buy any fabric as I have a fair bit to use at home and don't have a project to get started on at the moment.

Aside from all the wonderful quilts on display, I also enjoyed the galleries from professional quilters, especially work from Annabel Rainbow, Lynne Edwards, the International Quilt Block Swap.  I like seeing the work of the Virtual Workshop with members of Committed to Cloth painting and printing their fabrics.  I also liked the work of Hilary Beattie, who also demonstrated her method of working with crayons, print blocks, masks and using dye as paint, really fascinating.

I've put photos on my Flickr site temporarily so you can link here to see my photos

I took a couple of Quick and Easy workshops one with Alicia Merrett about her map fragments technique which I finished yesterday

Another workshop was called An Apple a Day by Catherine Nicholls about free machining, especially writing (the apple shapes were already printed).  Now that I have a free machine foot I could have a practice at that too yesterday.

As we were away (David came with me to Birmingham, but didn't go to the exhbitions) we went out and about and the first evening had dinner at The Boot, in the village of Lapworth.  We since found at the lock on the canal near to the pub is part of a flight of locks (which we found on this site here after we were at home!).

On our way home on Saturday, bearing in mind the time of year and how busy the traffic would be as get nearer to Dorset because of the holidaymakers, we took our time and visited a couple of places on the way down South to get home a little later in the day.

First off was a stop at Bramble Patch.  It is surprising that with the Festival of Quilts, how many people stop off there, not just us!  Spent a little time looking at their long arm machine in action, quilting a quilt sample for the shop, I also had a look at the summer exhibition with work from Jan Hassard, Stephanie Redfearn and Hilary Beattie and also a few purchases too. 

Not too far away from there was a National Trust house called Canons Ashby, a place we've often passed by on our trips to and from the North of England and had lunch there and enjoyed the gardens and house.  A visit around the house revealed a quilt "opportunity" with quilts on the beds of Alice Dryden the daughter of the last Baronet (sorry I hadn't rotated the photo below).  The quilt is a wholecloth one.
 The housekeeper's bed with patchwork diamonds on.  It appears to be attached onto a bedcover and the tacking stitches had never been removed so I'm wondering if this quilt was found like that.

And one in the parlour maid's room.
All the above photos were taken without flash so that's why look a bit drab.

The gardens were lovely with views across the Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire countryside and

The lavender bushes were amazing, just buzzing with bees and the white flecks? Well they are butterflies, so many of them.

So a lovely end to a few days away. 

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