Sunday, 16 July 2017

Stitching on a Sunday

As always I start by wondering how it could possibly be 10 days since my last post... but it is and clearly we've been up to tricks! Today was an extra special day of stitching for me....but more of that shortly. Our state Guild had their annual Quilt Exhibition this weekend but I was unable to go as it clashed with another special event and the only day that I could go I was otherwise occupied. Some of that included a sleep over with Beau including some adventures on the cockle train and joining in some school holiday activities at the Whale Centre......






 During the week I also met up with Judy to pick up Maisie's quilt that is now all covered in quilted circles (thanks Jude x). It seems just right to snuggle under a quilt stitching the binding while hearing on the news that we now officially pay the highest prices for electricity in the entire world!!! If you don't believe me you can read it all HERE and ironically it is because we rely so heavily on renewable energy in the way of solar and wind power......crackers! So if that isn't enough we are now going to build the biggest lithium battery in the world as you can see on the front page of our newspaper! I wonder what William Morris would have thought of all of this .......
So while this is going on behind the scenes I've been sharing our love of quilting these past days at our annual week long quilting retreat that is now in its 25th year - Quilt Encounter. There are over 220 participants and 20 tutors and this is the last time I will be teaching here at home. Yesterday I shared a one day workshop on designing and there was a full class of budding designers that I hope will one day turn their drawings into amazing quilts. Sadly I didn't get very many photos.......


 But today I was on the other side of the fence as a student and what bliss that was! Our project was a Japanese style sewing bag under the guidance of Sue Megaw. It was such a treat to have a day with friends who have often been students and of course I just had to use Morris fabrics........
 But there is always an overachiever (!!)......this time from lovely Kells with her pre-prepared panel all hand appliquéd and embroidered from a Yoko Saito pattern...........





 My lid looked so clumsy and plain after seeing hers.........
 and a little large as well next to one of our tutor's samples.........
But I had a wonderful day and I am looking forward to completing mine. These are some of the tutor samples and one bag has a scissor holder and needlecase attached inside with clever stitched on magnetic clasps (I so need some of these.....they would have been perfect for the Peter Rabbit bed runner).................


I also get to be a student again on Thursday hand appliquéing with the Tentmaker's of Cairo and that will be an enormous and long awaited treat! Sharon from Jamestown brought in one of her completed William Morris inspired quilts today in class and how lovely it is........thanks Sharon x
 I was also delighted to receive some more show and tell by the way of emails and this time it was very exciting as both makers had also just received awards.....and both these quilters are men as well.........wonderful! First of all Eddie sent me a picture of his version of "Friends" from the first Morris book but with his own wonderful outer border design....and best of all.....he won BEST of SHOW at the Hot Springs Area Quilt Guild  show in Arkansas! I am so thrilled for him and I am kind of chuffed a bit too! Well done Eddie! .......
And then earlier in the week I had an email from Clint to say his version of "Morris Magic"" (also from the first Morris book), had received an Excellence for the Group Quilt category in the Canadian Quilters National Juried Quilt Show. Clint did the appliqué and his wife the quilting.....how wonderful is that? Well done to you both and so well deserved like Eddie's quilt..........

 I am so thrilled to receive photos and stories....it really means a lot, so thankyou. We are well and truly in the depths of Winter right now. It was 5C as I drove to class this morning and it topped only 11C on the way home. The garden is dull and the trees are leafless but there are still little signs of joyful colour peeking through........



But the biggest joy for us will be tomorrow when we celebrate this dear little girl's 3rd birthday......the one and only Miss Maisie! So until next time I wish you joyful days too x

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The joy of special people

I feel very blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people and this week has been no exception. My late parent's airforce friends are now my own friends and every few months we get together. It is such a warm and joyous occasion and I feel so very close to my departed parents in their company and yesterday at lunch we were once again reminded of how special it is to stay in touch. There is now only one Bomber Command Pathfinder Force member left to join us, along with special widows and special memories of those gone. Dave always raises a toast to absent friends and we also celebrate recent birthdays ranging from an 87th to a 93rd........and we have another birthday lunch with one of them on Sunday.......


Another special person (Judy) had a house full this past week but she still made time to quilt Maisie's birthday quilt and then only tonight I sent her an email with a scan of a quilt I had drawn up roughly on graph paper. I am trying to put more piecing in my Morris inspired quilts so on Tuesday night Faye and I decided what might work. Well 30 minutes later Judy had it all drawn up in her quilt program on the computer.......
There will be a Tree of Life in the centre (not that one), so now we can see how it might look - thank you Jude x The fabrics we are using are mostly Morris prints (of course!) but these are from a previous range. I would love to get my hands on some of the new Moda range but they didn't take me up on that when I asked (which I have never done before!)....unlike Mr Tim from Curzon Fabrics who would have sent me a truck load!  Instead I indulged in the purchase of a jelly roll and others from lovely Penny at PennyLane Patchwork (and she was so very generous with some discount too)......


I had a lovely lunch with three special people on Tuesday and then again with others on Tuesday night. Faye is one of the Tuesday night girls and she jumped right in when I said I might need help with some of the new projects for the next William Morris book!  Faye loves piecing (unlike me!), but I've worked out there are 68 hourglass blocks, 216 flying geese and 148 other blocks....and all just 4 inches - now that is pretty special if she gets through all that!  So things are falling into place and I am even using up some of my stash........
 some appliqué will be on snowball blocks........

 and some more piecing........very simple as I like it!.......
So it has not just been at the design desk this week. I spent five hours out in the garden last Saturday so all the roses have been pruned and there were still some blooms.......
 We transplanted three roses to the front garden as it was starting to get very difficult climbing up this wall! The previous lady of the house was quite tiny so I am not sure what she was thinking planting them there! So now we have three ornamental pear trees in their place and we are looking forward to seeing them grow.....
 I must also share the exciting news of the quilt arriving in the UK and beautifully displayed here in the northern hemisphere sunshine in Helen's garden......

During the week I was hunting for something and came across some of my past including my pianoforte exam papers.........

 And these manuscripts that certainly show one's age!!.......
Then I discovered some of my senior high school art work....I had quite forgotten about these pieces and perhaps some of it was grounding for my adult creating.......

and yes I did Mick Jagger in 1973!
 I also discovered a Patchwork book of my late Mum's. She always named her books and there is even an inscription inside reminding her of where it came from.....wish I would remember to do that! Such fun to see these vintage creations alive and well today...well some of them (!!)........




 So it would seem another week has almost passed us by so thankyou once again for visiting the blog. I will leave you with this delightful image of Larry tonight. I heard him exclaim "Oh No" and when I went in all was revealed.....he had stitched his jumper to his tapestry!......
 And finally these two lovely and extra special people........