Monday, 26 July 2010

More quilting yesterday

Not the best quilting in the world but is does feel good to be back behind the machine again.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A little more done, but it takes time.

I thought I'd try to do things the Patsy Thompson way rather than the normal faux trapunto. With this method instead of using invisible thread round the outside of each motif and then cutting away, you just quilt each motif in the final thread, then cut away the excess batting.

Cutting away is hard on the hands and takes ages to do it carefully. As this trapunto work will be heavily quilted close to the feathers I didn't have to be too exact, but you still have to be careful not to cut the top fabric. (I did this on my first two faux trapunto quilts, it is recoverable but makes you feel sick to your stomache).

I did this little sample first, mainly to see which background to use. In the sample I stitched one echo row outside the feather and cut round that. I thought that didn't give a clean enough line to the motif so in the quilt itself, I shall stitch this echo line later.

As you can see, when it's finished you can only see the outline of the feather on the back. As I like my quilts to look as good on the back as the front, I probably won't use this method again (but never say never). Another problem is the areas can be quite large in these feathers to have no quilting on them so I shall prabably restitch their spines to secure more fully to the main batting and the backing fabric.

Cover Girl

Marion Barnett's new book Exquisite Evolon has just been released and my Exquisite Feathers quilt (see my show quilt page above) is on the cover.
The book will be for sale at the Festival of Quilts and no doubt shortly available from Amazon and her own site.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Although I haven't been stitching over the last few weeks, I have been buying books (poor bank balance, and on one book in particular but more of that in a later post). I'm planning on giving a personal review of each of these books, one by one over the next few weeks. Some I have been delighted by, others have been a disappointment to a greater or lesser extent. My views are personal and subjective. So I can show the covers of the books I have linked the blog to Amazon marketing. Please don't think I have done this to make mega bucks out of you guys, not going to happen as they pay in dollar cheques (checks for those of you in the US) and as my bank charges so highly, cheques for $1 or so at a time would cost more to process than they would be worth. Mainly it gives me a means of showing the covers without any copyright infringements.

I did try to start sewing my quilt on Wednesday before we left but the machine I tried to use threw a tantrum. I will try and sort it out today and if that doesn't work, go onto the other machine which is waiting patiently for me to get it serviced.

Colin has gone down to Exeter to pick up Fliss and the rest of her stuff. It seems she only left home to start university a couple of months ago and now she's coming back home again. Where shall all her belongings go? Steph is here tomorrow afternoon. She is the world's best organiser, but can she fit a gallon into a pint pot? I think there might be tears before bedtime.....

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Now a fully fledged Graduate

It was really quite emotional. And we thought they might have forgotten her. She was the very last person in her ceremony to receive her degree.
A little bit of fun watching Nigel Farage (right wing offensive British politician), watching his son receive his degree from the Chancellor Floella Benjamin, now Baroness Benjamin. Pure joy.

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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

DD just after she got her degree results

And if this photo leaves you in any doubt, she did well.
Actually the reason for this post is just testing sending posts to blogger from my replacement phone. (The previous one died in a cup of tea)

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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

New meds and I'm back in action

As it's one of the simplest forms of a quilt I decided to do a Square within a Square. (the purple is much brighter than the photo shows and the green is a real peppermint green). Patsy Thompson uses this simple pattern to show off her fabulous quilting, so if it's good enough for her then it's good enough for me.

Cutting proved to be extremely painful. I should perhaps have got out my ergonomic cutter but you know what we're like, we just want to get on with it. Things are just taking longer, but they are happening so I'm pleased. I started cutting and stitching yesterday but only got two of the triangles stitched to the centre square. The threads are the possible choices. I shall quilt with the purple on the green and the green thread on the purple.

It took until gone 5pm to finish drawing these feathers (click on the image to see the feathers in detail). I probably won't do any more until the weekend or even next week.
Fliss's graduation ceremony is on Thursday so I'll need to conserve my energy (and spoons).

Monday, 5 July 2010

Exciting stuff with Blogger.

Can you see above this post is a bar saying Home and Gallery1? Blogger have a new thing where we can add pages, so I'm making mine a Gallery of my quilts. Only one page so far but much more to come.
A little corner of our patio.

A couple of years ago I sprinkled some double poppy seeds, this is the third year they have come up.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Can it really be nearly a month?

I haven't been posting because I haven't been stitching and after all this is what this blog should be about. However this week I did get into my sewing room and do a tiny bit. This piece was the sample feather I did for a little quilt. I almost always do a sample because it's somewhere to get my 'hand' in before going to do a piece and somewhere I can sort out tension issues when changing threads (if there are any) on something which doesn't matter. It isn't wonderful the stitches are a little 'jerky' and the stitch lengths leave a lot to be desired. Half of the problem was not having done any stitching for a while, the other half was not putting the slider underneath. If you haven't used one of these get one. They make so much difference!

I haven't been stitching as the pain (which has now been firmly diagnosed as fibromyalgia) was so intense I couldn't concentrate on anything else. Ferret gave me a good talking to on Wednesday and basically told me to get one with it. Well the magic worked and on Thursday I got into my sewing room, did the stitching you see above, went to a doctor's appointment, went to the pharmacy, whilst waiting for them to fill the prescription I browsed the book store and the newsagents, back to the pharmacy to pick up the drugs, then onto Waitrose to stock up on food. This might not seem much but this is huge, I haven't done this much in ages. But, there is always a but isn't there? I'd been feeling so good, I forgot to take my 2pm painkillers (normally the pain tells me when it's time). By about the sixth aisle I suddenly felt dreadful. I was stuck there with a full trolley of food. Nothing to do but carry on. I got it in the car, drove home and took just the cold stuff out of the car and collapsed. I've learnt the big lesson, take the pills before the pain takes you.
Yesterday I started the new meds. I felt high as a kite and in no pain, I could move like I used to be able. Yay! Today the effect is not nearly as strong, just a little pain but no high. Still good though. It's one of those drugs you build up slowly. I double the dose next week and add more the week after etc.

I didn't manage to get a photo of the oriental poppy when it was all open. It's going to be moved (with any luck it might survive apparently they don't take to moving very well), as the red is just too harsh for the pinky reds and purples arround it.
And the woodpecker. He visits daily but is very nervous and just the action of picking up the camera inside the house spooks him. One day I managed to catch him.