Friday, 29 February 2008

Quilt designs are everywhere

Including the fork marks on a shepherd's pie
It shows up even more when it's cooked (grin)

My friend Lyn came with me when I gave my talk last week. When ever I went into town to buy some flowers she was out. When I went in yesterday I bought these as a small 'thank you', yesterday she was out and today I've been feeling just too rough to go out. They're mine now and I'll try and get Lyn another floral something next week.

And this is what I've been working on for the book. It's a learning curve finding out what works and what doesn't. It has to be done as I don't want the book going out without finding out all the pitfalls first.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

New Book on order

I've just pre-ordered Irena Bluhm's Quilts of a Different Color from
You can see where my search for how to colour quilts began here
Her work is very different from other longarm quilters.
Although I've moved on to a different method, hers is wonderful. I don't know how long it will take Amazon to ship the book but I can wait.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Silly silly Sally

Despite only having 4 hours sleep, I decided I just had to vacuum the floors (the 2nd generation of dust bunnies were just about to hit puberty and yield the 3rd generation).
OK that's enough to do when you've been ill isn't it? But no this mad woman invaded my body and I've washed all the downstairs floors as well. The stone and the terracotta looks really good but I'm totally wiped out, what was I thinking? Bionic woman? Superwoman?

The earth moved for me

In the North of England there was an earthquake last night. Not big in global terms but big for us, 5.3.

Lying in bed, I first felt the bed move a little, then the tray with my tea making stuff and the chandelier rattled for a few seconds. That was it. I don't know that I could live in California.

Once in Peurto Vallarta on the Pacific coast of Mexico we experienced a quake/tremor and got out of bed, climbed down the emergency stairs of the hotel, saw the water in the swimming pools doing strange stuff and watched the early morning pool staff ignore it totally! Californians staying in the hotel told us later that they only worried when furniture fell over and things started falling off the walls.

I like the ground beneath me to remain still.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Give us this day our daily bread

Given I'm laid up feeling rough, I've ended up doing a lot of thinking and listening to the radio.

Crops are failing throughout the world. There is a huge shortage of wheat and rice. We in the first world will pay the extra, those in the third world are not able.

Twice I caught Bob Geldof on the radio saying we are the first generation who cannot say we 'didn't know' because we have television and the internet.We might not be seeing trains going past our windows full of people being taken to the concentration camps, but we are seeing our fellow humans and their children dying from lack of water, food and medical care and we do nothing or very little.

What would we think if we knew there were people with so very much who did nothing to stop us or our children dying?

I'm trying to find a way to do my bit to redress the balance. I cannot sort out the world and the corruption therein.

I can do something to affect climate change. I can turn off lights, I can keep doors closed and only warm the room I'm in. I can only use my car for essentials. And all the other things we know we can do.

I can find the best way to support those in the third world. I'm not sure how, I'm investigating various organisations and charities.

I can write to my MP (or Congressman)and say I don't want to see the odd 'Fair Trade' product in clothes shops and supermarkets, I want to see my country just refusing to import those items which rely on unfair trade.

If you care, listen to Something Understood a BBC radio program, 17th February edition. Although the BBC has this under religious programming, it is a program about morals more than faith.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

I wish I could stitch them as fast as I can draw them

This feather will be rotated 16 times round the centre of a quilt.It took about 5 minutes maximum to draw and a further few hours to mark up just half the quilt centre. I had planned to do the rest today but....

I still haven't found a new ironing lady. Up until this week, it wasn't too bad. I recorded Mistresses and ironed whilst watching. If Mistresses makes it over to your country, it's like a cross between Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City without the 'glow in the dark' teeth. Perfect for doing the ironing.

I'm going to treat myself to a nap. It's official having a nap increases your brain power 100%, it must be true they said it on the BBC this morning. However they also mentioned another study which showed that people who have a sleep in the afternoon die sooner.
So it looks like I shall go to an early grave with a brain the size of a planet.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

I hate shopping

Having loads of vouchers sent me off on a shopping trip yesterday. When I say loads, I had about £250 worth ($500). Anybody who has travelled to Britain knows about Marks and Spencer stores. They are a chain known for their quality, selling mainly clothes but also up market food and household items.
We have a huge one only about a 10 minute drive away. I parked up, grabbed a trolley prepared to blow the lot in one go. Didn't happen. Yes they had clothes I sort of liked but not in my size, or if in my size not in my length or in a good colour. The spaces between the clothes, bedding etc did not accommodate two trolleys passing each other so the whole time was spent backtracking to let someone through. After two hours I'd had more than enough and thought I should buy some flowers and food instead. I found a super bunch of roses (the last one) and some lovely tulips. Could I have a bag to stop them dripping? NO. Apparently giving me a bag could only happen when I paid. So I carried my dripping flowers round the food hall. My trousers got wet and I slipped on the wet floor as I was behind my dripping trolley.
I gave up, paid and came away after two and a half hours with two bunches of flowers, one pair of jogging pants and a couple of bits of fun jewellery. GRRRRRR!
I'm still left with vouchers and I really am not looking forward to a repeat performance. I wonder if I can sell them on Ebay?
I did however go on to a new Waitrose supermarket. It is lovely, not like my local one. We had a wonderful mid week meal of smoked haddock and salmon tians followed by dressed lobster. A huge extravagance for no good reason but it was lovely.
I did manage a little work on my latest quilt but you'll have to wait a little to see that.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Last night's talk

It was fun, they were a lovely bunch of quilters (of course they were, how could quilters be otherwise?)
I think they liked the talk and the quilts, they said they did. And they were keen for me to go over time so they could see the antique quilts as well.
I was asked to do it again for other groups. I still thinking about that. If I had somewhere I could safely store my quilts which was also easily accessible I would, but I have to find that place and system first.

One word challenge from the Isle of Man

This little challenge is Manx Girl's.
This little list is harder than you think it will be, have a go, it's a gentle bit of fun.
1. Where is your cell phone? bedroom
2. Your significant other? Beloved
3. Your hair? Fine
4. Your mother? Dead
5. Your father? Dead
6. Your favorite thing? Daughter
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favorite drink? Tea
9. Your dream/goal? perfection
10. The room you’re in? Sitting
11. Your ex? Lovely
12. Your fear? blindness
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Staunton
14. Where were you last night? Speaking
15. What you’re not? Shy
16. Muffins? Nope
17. One of your wish list items? Studio
18. Where you grew up? everywhere
19. The last thing you did? Showered
20. What are you wearing? silk
21. Your TV? Off
22. Your pet(s)? Sinclair
23. Your computer? Friend
24. Your life? Content
25. Your mood? Glowing
26. Missing someone? Daughter
27. Your car? Merc
28. Something you’re not wearing? Lipstick
29. Favorite store? HamsteadBazaar
30. Your summer? Cool
31. Like someone? husband
32. Your favorite color? Blue
33. When is the last time you laughed? now
34. Last time you cried? January
35. Who will/would re-post this? ????

Ok I had to 'cheat' on Hamstead Bazaar my favourite shop, no way of putting that into one word.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Ready for tonight's talk

Aren't these double tulips lovely. I had thought they would open up into the parrot type, but these are almost like peonies.
These photos show what DD's bedroom looked like this morning. Antique quilts, contemporary quilts, traditional quilts, winning quilts, (and losing quilts) They are now loaded in the car in 8 overflowing Ikea bags. I am talking for just an hour but I have no idea how many quilts I shall go through so I've packed loads. The last photo shows the sample pieces which I've edged so people can really get up close and personal with the stitching.

Tagged again

I've been tagged again by Stephanie . I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with 7 new interesting new 'facts' about me. But here goes

1. I used to be an antique dealer.

2. I drink red wine and/or vodka and lime (the lime juice has to be Rose's and the vodka Smirnoff Blue label or Black label) but not to excess . I can happily go days or even weeks without a drop touching my lips.

3. I don't like cheap chocolate and most expensive ones don't rock my boat either.

4. I learnt to machine quilt when I was recovering from an operation for carpel tunnel syndrome.

5. I would NEVER use canned soup in my cooking.

6. I used to have a Jersey cow named Lily.

7. I have no dogs at the moment, but I adore them. The most common breed I've owned and loved have been Great Danes but the love of my life was a black Labrador, Tess followed by another black Labrador, Tom.

Now I'm supposed to tag another 7 of you guys, but like me you've all been 'done' before, so if you can come up with another 7 things about yourself, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sally Bramald graffiti artist?!?

Our bedroom is next in line for redecoration and I wondered what it would look like if I did some feathers behind the bed.
Sorry the bed is unmade and the feathers are not completed, but I just wanted to see what the effect would be. I used a Sharpie pen. The new colours of the bedroom will be raspberry and ivory white so I will do it in red Sharpie if I decide to run with it.
The paint samples have been there absolutely ages.
It will be a mammoth task decorating this room. Firstly the wall paper shall have to been stripped off and that will be a real pain. It is a Laura Ashley paper and I hadn't realised until the time came to remove it that it has a layer of vinyl and worse than that it has a layer of paint on top. And the bedroom is large (about 20 foot square). A journey of a 1,000 miles starts with one wall at a time?

Friday, 15 February 2008

Sometimes it doesn't work

Same technique as the one the other day but on cotton sateen. Obviously this is fabric type sensitive. It just doesn't have the same intensity of colour. Better to learn this on a small sample than on a whole quilt.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

A lovely day out in the South of England Part 6

The Brighton Pavilion, to find out more click here . It's a wonderful example of fabulous decadence. It also suffered huge damage by fire a few years ago but thankfully it has been restored.

And then later buildings by others thought they could catch the essence by adding these to the roof. They just look silly so close to the Pavilion.

A lovely day out in the South of England Part 5

This old House of Correction was undergoing a refurbishment.
This is the Palace Pier and Victorian relic of entertainment. It has new attractions at the end but basically it remains the same. It was a way for people who couldn't afford to go out on a boat or to travel to get 'out to sea'.

The sea was amazingly calm and the weather unseasonally warm and bright.

This is what remains of the most beautiful of Birghton's piers, the West Pier. I remember it being a confection of white painted lace like steel. It suffered fires and storms whilst they were trying to raise the money to rebuilt disaster struck again. I thin now if they did repair it, there is so little of the original left, it hardly seems worthwhile.

A lovely day out in the South of England Part 4

I haven't found this little fabric shop befor eand was astounded to find it closed on Mondays.
Through the windows I could see fabrics I'd never seen before.

At one point in the afternoon we needed to sit down and have a cup of tea (of coffee for DH). We ordered a cream tea. The restaurant had big lovely squishy sofas which were very welcome. The music was gentle and the waitress charming.
The cream tea however was dire. The scones though warm tasted like heated up tough bread, the jam was lovely but so tart it didn't do the bad scones any favour and the clotted cream tasted for all the world like marscapone and no 'clots' to be seen anywhere. Perhaps as the restaurant was named Havana, we shouldn't have expected anything different. Cuban cream tea perhaps?

Brighton has an area know as the Lanes. Narrow little streets near the sea.
It used to be full of antique shops, now a few antique jewellers remain and the rest are little gift boutiques and a few galleries.

A lovely day out in the South of England Part 3

Another quaint little house. It looks as though it was a shop at some time in it's life. It looks like it needs a bit of attention. Not only are these old houses expensive but the maintenance costs are very very high. I'm surprised they have been allowed to put in such ugly modern windows.
This is the north side of the South Downs, a stretch of rolling hills just north of the south coast of England.

We stopped for lunch in a pub in a little village, I think it is Faulking. This spring is just near the entrance to the car park.

I love this little door on the other side of the building. The door is about 4' high.

And although the water looks lovely, the water board have put up a little sign telling you not to drink it. I suppose all the sheep further up the Downs have done their thing.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Alovely day out in the South of England part 2

I've always loved this little cottages from the outside, though perhaps living in it would not be so much fun. I've stayed in many quaint cottages and house which are this distorted and the sloping floors in the end are just a problem not a novelty. The sign told me it was up for sale so I've found the estate agents details and you can have peak indoors here. If it does seem like your dream home, it's for sale at £395,000 (a tad short of $800,000US), quaint does not come cheaply for this small two bedroomed home.
This is at the other end of Steyning.

And these are in Bramber, the closest one is probably only about 5 foot high to the eaves. You have to be short to live in some of these.
This house is St Marys in Bramber, it is open to the public and is available for small weddings. You can see the inside here.

St Marys again from the other side.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

As a prototype, I'm very pleased with this

A lovely day out in the South of England

Yesterday was our aniversary and DH and I drove down to Brighton on the back roads, much much prettier than going on the Motorways. I took my little handbag camera with me with varying results through the car windows.
This is NOT normal for early February, blossom.
The centre of an English village, a pub and a church.

One of the hazzards of taking photos through the window, but the time the auto focus has done it's thing you are past what you wanted to include. This pond has old farm buildings round it, but all you get to see is the pond.

Another old pub. This one is the 6 Bells in Billingshurst. I used to live just a couple of miles from here and remember this pub being flooded quite regularly. It must be the lowest place in the town.

This is one of OUR Washingtons, I think we have a few villages carrying the name. You can see the South Downs up ahead.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Super Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday

Well here in England it was Shrove Tuesday marking the begining of lent. All sort of food traditions are found around Europe for Shrove Tuesday. For us it's also known as Pancake Day. There are races held in different parts of the country where traditionally women raced with a frying pan, running the course whilst at the same time tossing a pancake in a frying pan.
Our pancakes are make of eggs, milk and plain flour (and a pinch of salt) .
When I was a child we always had them with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a little sugar. Lovely.
As a child visiting France I discovered the joy of having them with sugar and Grand Marnier. I'm easy.

Another food associated with Easter is a Hot Cross bun. When a child we only ate these on Good Friday and no other day of the year, now in some supermarkets they are available all year round. They have have also come out with non traditional fruit and spices. Give me the original ones, toasted and dripping with butter. Heaven. I had one for breakfast this morning. It was a tiny bit burnt, but hey, it was still wonderful