31 July 2014

A Selection of Holiday Pics

(Sit down with a cup of tea for this one, its a bit long)

I won't bore you with masses of blog posts about our recent holiday but I've just uploaded photos so I'll do a quick round up.

These are photos of Brussels.  We never got to the Grande Place and David discovered that where we were we missed quite a bit, but I think it was down to the lack of information and also the hot weather made us hot and bothered too.  So maybe worth another visit in cooler weather.

We did manage to see some sights so wasn't all wasted though.

Our trip to Maastricht for the Andre Rieu concert. Quite a show too, considering the orchestra and singers were performing in sweltering conditions, it was quite a humid night (at least it wasn't raining!).

I really liked the people dressed as going to the Masked Ball in Vienna and they came on stage before the performers and had some wonderful costumes.  There was also a brass band that played around the square before the performers arrived, but there were just too many people around so couldn't take many photos, which was a shame.

Our return on Eurostar to St Pancras in London we came across this enormous statue of a couple hugging each other called The Meeting Place, which is the collage below. Top left is a lovely bit of art which could almost be patchwork

Last week David and I went to Bristol and on the way stopped at the American Museum in Britain

We hadn't been here for a while and went to the Kaffe Fassett exhibition and were greeted with yarn bombed pieces outside the museum and a large tree decorated in plant pots covered in fabric and the lower branches had woollen pompoms. A few pics in the middle row above were just some of the quilts on display in the museum. A few Kaffe Fassett quilts were hanging in the stairwell and outside the exhibition hall were mosaic plant pots.  The American Museum has lovely gardens too and managed a short wander just before closing time.

Thursday saw us in Bristol along the waterfront to visit the M-Shed, a fascinating view of the city, its industry, history and people.  There was an addition exhibition of Wallace and Gromit, produced in Bristol by Aardman Animations.  It was a story of how the films are made, from ideas and storyboards up to the final film. Well worth seeing if you are in the area.  The waterfront too has some interesting sights around @ Bristol (the sphere is a Planetarium and nearby are water features) and also statues of famous people from Bristol dotted around.

I've given this next photo a collage of its own, the SS Great Britain, which returned to its home port of Bristol in 1970 and has undergone quite a lot of restoration.  We haven't seen this for years and were surprised by what we saw

It is in dry dock and one can go underneath the ship as there is a glass roof and a thin layer of water above which gave really interesting views of the ship, as you can see in the central picture looking up from the rudder to the back of the ship.  As you can see from the middle right it looks as though the anchor is taken under water, but in fact its the ripples of the water on the glass up above us.

We also took in a couple of railway trips too with a short visit to the East Somerset Railway before going to the American Museum and after our Bristol trip before heading home visited the diesel gala at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire railway, but I haven't put any of those in this post unless its demanded by popular request!

Whoa, after all that we need a holiday to get over the holiday!  We seem to have fitted a lot in.

This week has been busy with agency interviews though if it leads to anything remains to be seen.  I've also caught up with friends so maybe as well I've not been working.  Tomorrow will see if I've caught up with my post earlier this month of the finishes I wanted to get done and my aims for August too.

Just a week to the Festival of Quilts - I'll be going next Friday and Saturday - anyone else going?

26 July 2014


The past few days have seen us in Bristol, where my daughter, Sarah, lives. David and I first went to Bath and visited the American Museum in Britain on our way there on Wednesday, where there have been a lot of changes within the museum itself. But also in the exhibition building there is the Kaffe Fassett exhibits of his textile art, which included knitting, tapestries and patchwork.  This exhibition is on until the beginning of November.

The outside of the exhibition had a tree decorated with pots with fabric on them and pom-poms.
This was one of the mosaic decorated pots outside the door
All that colour gives you a clue to the colour overload in the hall.

There was more colour outside in the gardens.

This photo was taken just before the museum closed for the day. It took us all afternoon to see everything. 

Thursday we went into Bristol City centre and the waterfront to visit M Shed.  It is free and gives a lot of insight into the history, it's industries, about the communities and people.  There is an additional exhibition (that's not free, but not expensive) to the Wallace and Gromit exhibition.  The makers of the films, Aardman Animations, are based in Bristol and the exhibition shows how the ideas are formed from storyboard pictures to the final result.  Their attention yo detail is fascinating and how much can be fitted into a scene of probably 24" wide and about 15" high.  But there was the chance to have my photo taken with my new friends, courtesy of David

But a joint selfie didn't work out too well!

After all that excitement, further along the waterfront was the SS Great Britain. The first iron ship designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Not terribly brilliant photos from my iPhone.  I've taken camera pictures too (I must upload all those pics, haven't done last weeks either).  This has also changed a lot from when we visited a long time ago.  It is kept in dry dock as the hull is badly rusted and there is an opportunity to see the underneath of the ship which is kept in dehumidifying conditions. Absolutely amazing.  Inside the ship one could she how the different classes of passengers travelled.

Yesterday we spent time with Sarah, mainly shopping and eating!  A chance to see the city in the evening after eating at Jamie's Italian.

Today before leaving for home, David wanted to go to Cheltenham to visit the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway (GWR), which happened to have a Diesel engine gala day. A railway has to be done on our trips but then the American Museum was for me and he did also drive me to Poppy Patchwork shop in Westbury on Trym, so I don't mind a railway. Here's some of my iPhone pics

Just to finish off, this is what we saw in Cribbs Causeway shop with Shaun the Sheep (s).

23 July 2014

London and Brussels

Last Wednesday David and I went to London for a very early start on the Eurostar train on Thursday morning to Brussels.  The weather was stiflingly hot which made it difficult to get around and made us feel like not wanting to explore much.  We dropped our case off at the b&b where we were staying nearby St Pancras station.  I took photos of the station, which has such impressive Victorian Gothic A

That's only a bit of it.  I took more pics with the camera which I've yet to upload.  We headed over to Covent Garden for a while to take in a few of the shops and entertainment.  I had to marvel at Yoda 
How on earth did he keep himself off the ground?

Next day was our trip on the Eurostar train and can say that we've tried it and although just over 2 hours for the journey to Brussels we won't be in a hurry to use again. We were taken to by the tour company to our hotel in the city, but unfortunately not given a lot of info as to where to go, what to do for the afternoon and next morning we had available to explore. Again the weather was so hot but there were plenty of shops to go into just for a browse and take advantage of their air conditioning!

While at a museum in the museum quarter of the city we found this plaque.  When David started work in Bournemouth way back in 1986 he worked for an insurance company, no longer existing, which had offices in this building. Looks pretty magnificent doesn't it.
Some lovely stained glass in the same building.

Next day we walked to an old tower, the Halle Gate, which is the last remaining gate in what was once the city walls. Having such thick stone walls, this was a lovely cool building

You can go to the top to see views of the city, which was pretty amazing.

In the afternoon we went on the coach to Maastricht and the Andre Rieu Concert in the evening.  Being so hot, we did have a brief wander around the town, then settled under shade of a cafe enjoying a few drinks.  In the evening while heading to the concert we came by this bookshop and could not resist taking photos of the shop window

I took most of the photos with my camera but here are a few iPhone shots
Ok not brilliant, but will update in another post with the camera pics. The concert was really well organised and it was enjoyable.  Not all my taste in music, but it was something that David wanted to see and glad we went. To have to chance to go to an open air concert in a lovely setting, even though it was a hot sticky evening.

Anyway more about this soon, but today going to Bristol to spend a few days there.

13 July 2014

One Down, Three to Go.

The landscape picture is now finished and framed. I'm really please how it's turned out.
Now hung in our living room.  This is the second frame this has gone into as the first one, was too shallow and the corners of the frame did not fit well in spite of extra gluing.  We found the second one today in Hobbycraft which is a much better quality and deeper too.  

So this started in January with a photo that I took last year at Tintagel.  The path leading from the village to the visitor centre at the castle suddenly opens out which a view to the sea.

The pictures main shapes are made of silk paper bonded onto a canvas base. There is free machine embroidery and also some free machining on water soluble fabric. After the fabric was dissolved from the stitching was pulled apart and applied to the picture, which are the grey bits on the top of the hill and also green bits on the grassy foreground.

This is the early stages, when I just started the stitching to anchor things and detail on the path.

I realised that I needed to add more fabric to the landscape to comfortable fit the mount so added onto the top. You can see there's more stitching.

Almost there, I placed the double mount frame to get some idea of how it would look.

10 July 2014

A Lovely Month of Finishes?

Earlier this month some of the blogs that I follow have taken part in "A Lovely Year of Finishes" hosted by Sew Bitter Sweet Designs and Fiber Of All Sorts.  The year is split into quarters and they have set their aims for the quarter and published blogs about the progress of their projects.  Ok, so I am half a year late to join this, so I will be a party on my own and set my own aims and objectives, but see if what I need to get done and achieve this month.

It's the 10th today, so 21 days to go and we are on holiday for the next fortnight, but have some at home days, doesn't leave that many days this month to get things done but here goes.

1. Landscape picture.  Sewing stuff done, just has to be framed. I'm going to class on Friday, so should be finished. (There, that was easy).

2. Dolly Dress Up Block (2 of 6). This is a hand sewing project, which I will take to a Sewing Saturday session this Saturday so this may get done this month. The first block was finished while watching the Tour de France last weekend. Aim would be to make a start on block 3.

3. Trip Around the World quilt. I've made a second top, like the first one pictured below. I've got wadding and backing, so no excuses.

4. Coupon wallets. Three I've done pictured below. I've cut out and got 8 sets of fronts and backs ready to sew for a charity stall for August and also for the Tombola at Festival of Quilts (not long to go!). I've also got 3 biscornu pincushions to make for the Tombola too.

I think that might do for now.  Let's see how I get on.  To have objectives might stop some aimless wanderings into the sewing room and thinking what to do next and clear the mind a bit.  I've managed to get the Tubix quilt top done within the deadline set, so the goals should be achieveable.

08 July 2014

Romsey Quilt Exhibition

This was a spur of the moment thing, when my friend asked if I would join them on a coach trip, which stopped to pick up at Wimborne, going to Romsey.  The Romsey Quilters is quite a large group and have an exhibition every three years in Romsey Abbey and King John's House, the historic building opposite the Abbey (more info about it here).

First off was our visit to King John's house, where there is a small tea room, with an the quilt exhibits on ground and first floor.  On the ground floor were quilts by one of their members, June Thorpe, who died earlier this year and some Christmas quilts.

 An etched window, which looked really pretty with the roses in the garden outside.
Upstairs were small 12.5" quilts for a challenge based on poems or songs, just a small selection as there were five boards with the themed quilts
 Below is one of my favourites.
And another collection of small quilts made by members to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group
Above is just a selection, below I managed to get a description on the back of one of the quilts, which is  the green one with the XXX on.

Out to the lovely cottage gardens before going to the Abbey

Its such an idyllic little cottage garden, right in the middle of the town.

Onto Romsey Abbey, were some quilts were hung between arches, some on quilt stands, but all in the beautiful setting. Here are just a few of them

Some of the church vestments at the altar

A big thanks to the ladies who organised this.  As always it is a really brilliant exhibition and we had a lovely day out.

The exhibition is on from 5th to 20th July 2014. More information here.