Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A Heady Trip

 The quilt that I am making for Makower fabric is from the new

Downton Abbey

"Downstairs"range.  They are pretty vintage designs and the quilt top is now complete ready for quilting. These fabrics are not in the shops until next month, so I get to play early!

 We had a trip to the big city with Son and his lovely wife, and of course the gorgeous "O"

The day started with a bit of a hiatus as Bedford station had no systems working so were unable to take payment for tickets by card.  I had a nice bunch of cash in my purse (well - I was hoping to do a bit of shopping) so I strode past the long queue waving notes at the nice young gentleman and purchased my tickets and hopped onto the next train

 We agreed to meet at the entrance to Tower Hill tube station as we arrive in London at different main line stations.
A call when we arrived found the other party already in the little park outside the station entrance.
So out we went - and no family?
 Another call. "right outside the entrance MOTHER!"
But so am I?
"Look MOTHER - can you see the Tower?" (getting frustrated with me)
"Which side of the road are you on"
 Station side
"Well, we are in the park!"
Not the park I am looking at...... Lets both go across the road to the tower and we will meet where the poppies are flowing down the wall. (trying to keep him calm)

"So meet there NOW?!" (calm not working - he must be hungry)

Well, I will get there when your Dad gets back - he's wandered off and he has no phone.

Hang Up....

Did we all know that there are THREE entrances to Tower Hill Station?   We do now.

But we did find them and the Poppies are a lovely sight
 The queue to go into the Tower was HUGE!  Remember not to do "the sights" when it is still school holidays.

We wandered across Tower Bridge

 and had a bite to eat
 before we made the trip up The Shard (we had been given the tickets at Christmas by some very good friends)

It was worth the wait
 The views are spectacular
though it made my knees a bit shaky 


And embarrassed myself just a little bit when listening to a man try to tell his wife where to spot Buckingham Palace

"see the London Eye?"
"well 10 o'clock from the Eye "
 "no still cant see it " 

"10 O'clock" 
'...eer no"  

"10 O'clock - 10 O'clock!! It's there!"

At this point I had to join in  - I cant see it either!!!

"10 O'clock like on the face of the clock!!" (he's getting cross... and we had drawn a crowd)

Oooooh! 10 O'clock (me) I was looking at 10 past!!!

(Wife) Oh yes! So was I!
we then had to listen to a short(ish) lecture on spacial awareness. 
He wasn't happy that we both couldn't stop giggling

can you spot it?

We spent a couple of hours spotting landmarks and trying to find all of the London football stadiums and trying not to show the family up.

And being entertained by a very cuddly little one

After which, we stopped here for a spot of shopping

it really is a beautiful building

even the entrance is impressive
 I bought a small gift for my new Son in Law (feels funny to call him that)

 then strolled down here before heady for home.
A long and tiring but really good day out

I have also started on a project which will be a gift.
 It is beautiful wool (Alpaca and silk) and was a silly price but I think the
recipient is worth it
 And I did get a shiny bag to carry it home in......

Have a great weekend

Monday, 11 August 2014

Flippin Tired!

After a really busy few days at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham
It was packed!
People were spending money like there was no tomorrow.

It was great!

 I spent most of the time helping friends from New Zealand on their stand. They have the most beautiful selection of patterns for making quilts for children.
 I did get to have a bit of a look around at the Quilts.

But... I was disappointed at the lack of traditional pieced quilts that had been entered and on display, compared to the "art" style quilts.

It's not that I don't appreciate the work that goes into any piece, but I really do wonder "Why?" at some of the entries.
I didn't take pics of those

Here is a selection of some that caught my eye
 There was a lovely selection of miniature quilts

 And some clever ideas too

 This one was very effective
 And a close up

 Simple, but lovely

 A pixelated portrait
 More traditional pieces
 A very nice beach scene, the hand stitching brings this to life
Philipa Naylor won the Traditional category
 which had some exquisite free motion quilting.

This was my favourite
and it has given me an idea...

The rest - well - maybe you saw them for yourself.

 Anyway - that's all for another year and a quick recovery before the next exhibition - a MUCH smaller one - at the beginning of September in the village.

The quilt blocks that I started in the previous post are all done and are ready to join together but I have more important things on my mind...

Tomorrow I am of to catch up on MANY hugs and kisses from this little squidgy thing, who has been in France for three weeks and MUST be missing me!! 

Off to prime my lips now. Poor little thing.....

Monday, 4 August 2014

A Bit Like Buses!

When you are happily playing with one project and then more come along that have a timetable with them.

You may remember that a friend and I have a bit of a Miniature Challenge theme going on
 We are using this design, the miniature in this pattern finishes at 25" -- but we didn't want to do that....we decided to do the bed size quilt (68" square) but in miniature. So we started out something like this

each square finishes at half an inch!
a bit of progress
 Et Voilà
After much stitching - and unpicking - We have finished the top!
 Now it just goes to show what a difference the seam allowance makes!  Mine is a full 1 1/2" bigger than "J's"

how did that happen?
 Mine was a shy 1/4" seam allowance "J's" was a full 1/4" . All those seams make such a difference.
But the top is done and just the quilting to go.

Meanwhile a call from my friend who works for Makower asking if I had time to make up one of their samples. Me -- Time -- Of course I would love to do it! (what am I saying!!!)

This is the quilt
 It is using the new Downstairs collection from the Downton Abbey 2 series of fabrics.
So after cutting 300 x 2" squares, 100 x 1 1/2" squares and goodness knows how many one and a half inch strips, I got down to sewing them all together.

working till way past daylight

neat little prints

strip piecing the little beauties
 And we have ended with lots of these blocks.
block measures 6 1/2"

 Off to put the borders on them in a bit.

 AND sorting out a request from a dear friend who wants a baby quilt with a Police theme for a new baby due to be born in a couple of weeks. ( They know for nine months! how come the request comes with a close deadline!!)

BUT -- I have had quite a bit of fun sorting out some appliqué images and designing this quilt. I will show the progress once I have got past the paper stage.

 Back to The Confetti Garden quilt. Only today to get on with it this week as we have an Australian group visiting the shop on Wednesday, and I am working at the NEC on this stand  on Thursday Friday and Sunday - in the shop Saturday so not much spare time this week

Hey Ho - It's good to be busy - Yes???

Friday, 25 July 2014

My New Best Friends!

I have used this lot more over the past couple of days than I have all year!

 The layout of this Mini is pinned up in front of my machine. I followed it religiously. And yet I still had to use Miss Snippy - several times - because I had managed to get one of the little HST's the wrong way round! How did that happen?

I pinned each seam (its a good job I have many pins) when sewing the rows together as there is no room to 'ease' things in. Each square  measure 1/2" .

BUT ---

Its coming on nicely.

 Am off to sew the centre row blocks now.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Slow Progress

But progress has been made.

They mini is not made from straightforward blocks, they are sort of interlinked, so lots of strips made to be joined together over the next couple of days.

I just hope that they are in the right order !

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Thunder and Lightning! We all experienced the storms at some point last night. I sat indoors watching for a while, then ventured outside to try to get some fresh air.

Now some of you may know that I received a very nice new camera for my birthday, and I am really pleased, if somewhat baffled by what the little gadget will do.

Anyway, the camera was in the kitchen, but I did have a shiny new phone in my hand, so I snapped these pics with that.
Just caught that one

getting better
MUCH better!

At this point, I admit that I got just a bit scared! So stepped back into the conservatory JUST as the heavens opened.

You may notice some lines on the photos - that was because the phone was so new that I hadn't even taken the cover off the camera lens! Duh!!!

My kids would be so proud......