31 August 2017

August Treats and Another Exhibition

The last day of August ought to finish with a blog post.  Following the Festival of Quilts one thing about the Festival is that there was only one book seller whereas in years past there would have been 3 or 4, so they were quite busy.  So following FoQ I went onto Amazon to buy 3 books that I wanted. At the same time I found on Facebook that Truly Hooked was selling some of her yarn boxes from a subscription club that she runs.  So a few clicks and a skein of yarn was bought too, oops.

I have wound this into a ball now and thinking about what to knit.  In with the yarn were three darning needles from HiyaHiya, which Ive started using for weaving in ends and they are so smooth.

 The first of my books, Stitched, by Aneela Hoey, with stitched pouches and containers.

The second and third books came later.  I liked Beth Studley's patterns so bought her book.  The magnetic bunting would be really useful.  I also had to buy a textile art book Layer, Paint and Stitch and when I (ahem!) get time I'd like to investigate further.  Recently I've not had anytime to do any arty stuff so paints and stuff have been sitting idle in the cupboard or drawers, so it would be good to have a decent amount of time to 'play'.

I subscribe to Crochet Now magazine and the latest magazine came with a a hedgehog kit, which looked most odd as it was vacuum packed.

Looks sad, doesn't it, but it came out ok once I cut the pack open!

At the end of last week on Saturday I visited the Church House in Wimborne to visit the Happy Patcher's exhibition.  A small exhibition, but very well presented, so here are a few pics of some of the things I saw.

There were some themed quilts as there were group challenges, one being Under The Sea which produced several fishy quilts. Another, in the second pic, was Sew a Row, making a rows of blocks with different techniques.

Apart from a couple of secret makes and a sneak peek of a mini quilt that I'm working on for a swap.

That's it for August.  A reveal will come when the swap is done.

September will be a busy month with my daughter's wedding coming up on the 9th, but hope a little time out in September too.

22 August 2017

The Third Half

It was only going to be two posts about my visit to Birmingham and Festival of Quilts but this has gone onto a third post!

I thought I would share more pics of the quilts that I liked from the Festival.

A couple of quilts in the Modern Category
 Above is The World is your Oyster! by Tatiana Duffie.  I really liked the texture of the quilting in the grey fabric.
This is Mod Strawberries by Margaret Lehmann, again it was the texture that drew me to this quilt.

On the Modern theme there was a gallery of quilts from Quilt Con 2017, which was held in the US earlier this year and these were the winners.

This is Lincoln, by Kim Soper.  The quilt was on the outside wall of the gallery and he really made a statement.

 This quilt is called Bling and made by Katherine Jones and shows the Princess cut of a diamond

This one is Cursive by Paige Alexander.  In the background you can see the lines of handwriting practice one used to do at school to perfect handwriting skills.

There are more modern quilts from QuiltCon that can be seen here.

I'm a member of a Facebook group call UK Quilters United (UKQU) and if you were at FoQ you may have seen ladies with small square badges with those initials!  There are a few sub groups one of which was the 365 quilt group.  I was unaware of this and later discovered there's a postcard group which I've since joined!  Anyway the 365 group had a gallery of their rather large quilts and lots of small quilt block bunting in a rather small space so it was difficult to take photos.  However one of the quilts was hanging on the outside wall

 And a view inside.
The blocks in the quilts were 3.5"or 6.5" square, quite a feat to design and put together!

In the South West Textiles Group was something I could not resist taking a photo of.  These two ladies relishing the sight of an afternoon tea, with chocolate cake, which I thought was really clever.  Its called Layers of Temptation by Lydie Gardner.

Some more quilt creations that I took photos of

This was the Tapestry of Life by Mavis Walker

They look a bit odd but look again, fabric, buttons, measuring tape, skeins of embroidery thread, really fascinating.

Unfortunately I didn't photograph the number of this and I can't seen to find the description that matches this in the catalogue, but if I do will edit this post.  I can only describe this as a hamster wheel, albeit that its a beautifully colourful and quilted one and it fascinated me.

There was a gallery of picture on A5 canvas called Portrait Shuffle, which I'd only read about a few weeks before.  People were invited to buy a canvas to decorate how they wished and the canvas would be swapped with someone else's.  This was a fundraiser for Save the Children.  One artist who was showing what she made with her canvases was Sue Stone (I think - I didn't take a photo of the description beside the exhibit) who made several variations of her face.  I like the one on the top left with the glamorous Grace Kelly look but they were all interesting.

Lastly I took a few photos of a gallery of Kumiko Frydl's work.  She has made miniature quilts that have been winners in previous years at the Festival.  Just amazing work.

That's just a little of what I saw at the Festival of Quilts and hope you found my exploration enjoyable.

20 August 2017

The Second Half - Festival of Quilts 2017

A lot of people have said this was a really good show this year.  Quite a variety of quilts and quilted items some of them really stunning. There was a lot more seating around and more catering facilities so queuing wasn't too much of an issue in spite of the number of people there.  Traders seemed to be busy, though I couldn't get near some of them so may have a trawl of the internet find out a bit more later.

On Friday I did two stints of stewarding which meant that I saw more of the Traditional and Two person quilts and later the Contemporary Quilts and My First Quilt sections but it was keeping an eye on the time but I managed some photos.

Saturday I took more and was able to relax a bit and take my time a bit more, though having been tired after two busy days before I was ready to finish by mid afternoon when we made out way home.

Anyway, enough said, lets get onto the quilts

This was the Best in Show, Measure for Measure by Philippa Naylor.  A miniature quilt that was difficult to photo (got there in the end as you can see!) as people wanted a close up look at it. Just 12" of perfection.

Another stunning winner in its category, Contemporary Quilts was one by Linzi Upton, called Beelzebub, which although a whole cloth quilt had a pieced backing to make it double sided, so a steward was on hand to lift the corner of the quilt to reveal the back.

Talking of stewards lifting the back of the quilt here is a quilt below that shows just that! Very clever.

I found that by accident at the end of a  row! It's called A Thank You to All the Quilt Angels and it's by Constanze Botel.

In the Pictorial Quilts category was this one called African Village by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga

Another Winner, in Quilt Creations was this waistcoat by Jacqui Harvey called Silvery Threads

Some other quilts I like, have to be choosy, can't pick them all 

While stewarding in the Contemporary Quilts section I was drawn to this quilt which looks dimensional, I loved the texture in this. It's by Jill Johnston called A Box In a Box In a Box

Nearby was this quilt, Copper Beech (though it was spelt Beach) by Mary McIntosh

In the Quilted Creations were a lot of amazing pieces, like this Violin, by Sue Trevor

This Beach Scene by Members 13, but was big that I couldn't really get one photo!

A Modern Quilt, Margaret's Modern Heaxies by Margaret Ager, I liked the quilting echoed in this quilt.

I've not yet uploaded pics of the galleries so I think I shall leave it here and will put together another posting soon.  Meanwhile I will leave you with a selfie of a t-shirt that I bought at the show.

Had to be done.  

Birmingham 2017 - A Post of Two Halves

Since updating my blog on the computer instead of my iPad posts its a bit more of a faff so I haven't caught up with a post about the Festival of Quilts so far even though it was over a week a go since I was there.

David travelled with me to Birmingham and since there are some significant changes to the city centre since we were last there two years ago we wanted to go and visit before going to the Festival.

What has changed is the refurbishment of New Street Station which has a new shopping and eating are above the concourse called Grand Central, which includes a John Lewis store.  Outside is a viewing area to see the trains running in and out of the station underneath.

Above is one of the Sleuth of Bears trail around Birmingham which shows the large 'eye' screen behind, which was advertising the test cricket match at Edgbaston cricket ground. More about the bears later.

We also took the opportunity to visit the Library of Birmingham which we also visited last time in the city.  The architecture of the tiered building with its interlocking circles is pretty amazing and we found out that people can go outside one of the levels onto a roof guarding with views over the city.  There is still a lot of construction work going on.  Inside the building going up the escalator one can see shelves of books arranged in a circle and each floor had reading areas and tables with screens on.  A fascinating place. I tried to find a good angle to take a photo from the roof terrace so sorry if the pic looks odd. This is the view out to the war memorial building which is currently surrounded by hoardings as building work continues around it.

And a view down a travelator to the book shelves on one floor and this goes out to the outside roof area.

As we were close to the canal basin we walked there and found a pub to have a relaxing drink and watch the boats along the canals that junction there.

Now I'm coming to the Bears. It's usually by chance that we come across artwork trails usually with animals or characters whose identities are interpreted by the artists commissioned to decorate them.  There is usually a map to seek the characters out for people to enjoy and take photos and they are later auctioned to raise money for charity. In previous years we've seen Gromits and Shaun the Sheep(s) in Bristol, Flocks of Sheep in Skipton, Herdies in the Lake District last year.  Two years ago in Birmingham were Owls.  This is called The Big Sleuth (that's the collective noun for the bears) and details can be found here

After getting off the bus near Selfridges we were wandering around the store and found a bear in the audio department.  When asked about it the assistant gave me a map. So our wander around Birmingham became a Bear Hunt.  We found a few more between The Bullring and New Street inside Grand Central, quite a few were found around the Cathedral.

Instead of posting a lot of photos I have done a couple of collages which I've earlier posted on Instagram.

I was taken with one which has a mosaic decoration and not only took the front but also back and close up, called Sweet William

Pretty amazing, isn't it.  If you're in and around Birmingham do go and see them!

Part two will follow soon about the Festival of Quilts.

09 August 2017

Soggy Swanage

Two posts in one day!  I'd almost forgotten about this exploration.

David is a volunteer with Swanage Railway, our local heritage railway which runs a mixture of diesel and steam engines through the Purbeck countryside from Nordern, near Wareham to Swanage.  He works as a signalman at either Harman's Cross or Corfe Castle stations as rostered.

In June the railway started a connecting service from the main line at Wareham station taking passengers from the main South West trains route through to Swanage.  We have been meaning to go on the service for a few weeks now but demands on our time on Wednesdays made it difficult.  So we went last week.  Being optimistic we thought the weather would not be as bad as it was, but it was really bad!

The Swanage service even appeared on the station's destination board

Here's a pic of the train hired for the service (as Swanage Railway don't have their own diesel unit for main line operation) with some London Transport coaches.  There is another diesel at the rear of this train which then becomes the front once it goes back out of the station.

There is a junction about a mile from the station where it splits from the mainline which carries on to Dorchester and Weymouth.

When we got the Swanage we didn't hang around and went straight to a cafe for lunch, we were lucky  as a lot of people were trying to get somewhere dry to get something to eat!  This was the view from the corner of the High Street, looking out to sea - it certainly wasn't beach weather!

Open top bus ride to Bournemouth anyone!!