Saturday, 30 May 2009

My apologies,

I've nothing to blog about or to post photos about, spreading organic compost isn't very photogenic is it?
Hopefully things will improve.....
I am turning back the binding on the Evolon quilt however and have decided although this looks good double folded binding is easier to stitch down. It is going into the National Quilt Show at Sandown next month. (I might have told you that already, brain befuddled by heat and lack of sleep)

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Colours and contrasts

I've not been doing much in the way of stitching over the last few days (but I will be finishing off the quilt I gave you a sneak preview, if your interested it will be at the National Quilt Show at Sandown next month). This doesn't mean I stop thinking quilts, when I'm doing other stuff. Here's tonight's dinner. I don't like tomatoes he doesn't like beetroot. His looks so much better than mine........ I think adding the potato salad either side of the hot smoked salmon made mine look better but we'd eaten them before I had a chance to take another photo.
I've been planting out Cosmos and it's been upsetting me I have no idea which colour which colours will be where. I just hope there will be enough different colours spread out randomly to not offend my eye.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Igoogle theme

If you use iGoogle like I do as my homepage, for the international version or for the UK version, you'll know you can choose a theme at the top of the page.
Well now you can choose one the same as my masthead on this blog. You can find it here and then just click on 'add theme' then when you go back to your home page it will be there. If you decide you don't like it, no problem, just click on 'undo theme'

Sunday, 24 May 2009

New baby

Yesterday was one of those days which come round far too frequently. Steph made me a cake, Colin bought my new camera, some champagne chocolate truffles, cooked our dinner, nice wine, kir, smoked salmon, leg of lamb and chocolate torte (plus he vacuumed, laid the table nicely etc) and this morning even bought me home made pancakes with fresh slices of lemon in bed. I love this man!!!
Fliss bought me the prettiest little silver bracelet with a frog bead on it (toads for us at Toad Hall are hard to find). I suspect more beads will come at different events in future (good thinking Flissy). Colin bought me red roses, Steph arrived with peonies and another friend arrived with a bunch of red roses as well. Lucky lucky me.
And in our effort to be more green we bought me a little Smart car. (not a birthday present just a coincidence it happened yesterday). It's so very dinky on the outside but inside it feels like a real car. I think it's because they've only put two seats in so there's room in the cabin. Really it's going to be a big shopping cart for all my little local errands for longer drives we'll still use the other car. I was surprised how comfortable it is, air con, leather seats etc. And joy of joys a doddle to park....

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Sneak Peek

Marion Barnett's new book "Exquisite Evolon" is coming out at the Festival of Quilts, at the NEC, UK later in the year she asked me to make a quilt using the product and this is the result. I don't know why the first picture looks like it has a blue background, it's a pure matt white. I love working on this fabric, it feels like the skin of a 10 day old baby. It's a non woven microfibre.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Strange things happening in garden

Whilst planting out yesterday I felt the trowel hit something and then suddenly there was egg yolk and white. Fresh, very fresh and about ½" below the surface. It was a brown hens egg. We have no hens.

Then about a foot further over I came across a small lizard. This is England, we don't have lizards. We do have newts (sort of water lizards) so I took him (it) over to the pond but it wasn't interested.... On the other hand it didn't run very fast so perhaps it was just an odd water phobic newt?

I found more into here on the spec for the new Bernina.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Bernina 830 playtime

I took along a little sandwich to Malvern specifically to play with the new big beast of the Bernina 830. And it is big and it is very heavy but this isn't the machine you would take along to workshops is it? DH and I had spent Saturday looking at little Smart cars so we can be a bit greener for most of our journeys. I only mention this because this little car with heated seats and air-conditioning is a similar price. However come the summer a version is to be released without all the embroidery stuff which I am not interested in the least and it seems this will be considerably less expensive, not cheap but a lot less than this machine.
I'm going to have a little moan now. I have never managed to test drive a machine with a chair with adjustable height. It isn't rocket science to provide a cheap office chair with gas lift so people can actually work at the machine in the correct position for them. I find it very hard to do a good stitch if I am too low down. (which I was)
OK, on to what I think of this machine. I did this sample in a hurry because they were calling for the winners to go and get our prizes. Having said that, I was pleased given the surface of the very large work table it comes with was not at all slippery (it had just come out of the box and a little silicon would gone a long way). Ignore the red stitching as that was done on another machine which shall remain nameless. The green thread is what was done on the 830 (another little niggle, as numbers are unlimited, why name it the 830 when there is another workhorse out there with the same name, OK it's much older but it is still a dream machine). This little sample was done with me at the wrong height, without adjusting the tension at all and not ever even seen the machine before. Am I impressed? Oh yes! Not only with the huge throat but also with the stitch quality, the bobbin size (oh how I want those bobbins), and the speed of stitch. I know there are loads of people out there who machine quilt slowly and I do as well but only when I'm coming up to a point where extra accuracy is essential. Like driving a car, it's good to have the extra power under the pedal when you need it.

For some reason the camera wouldn't show the back as black fabric. But take my word for it, it's lovely. Can you see my uneven stitching? That's purely down to getting used to the pedal and the unpolished surface. At home on my 440s I use a silicon sheet under the fabric. and if I get another chance to play with one, I'll take it along with me.
Susan Briscoe managed to get a resonable photo of Fiona from the American Quilt Store presently my award. BTW the fabrics I showed yesterday were not from them but from Fabrics Galore. Correction Susan's friend Debbie Gordon of Wrexham Quilting Circle took the photo, thank you Debbie.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Malvern, Quilts UK

Of course I bought some fabric, more of the lovely stripe, another red and white stripe and these lovely dots.
And these zingy flowers!

And threads!

How lovely to receive this shield. And even nicer to receive vouchers for loads of lovely fabrics. I have a fun time coming up. The voucher is from the American Quilt Store who sell loads of reproduction fabrics at very good prices (so my voucher will go a long way, bonus!)

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Remember that top

I marked up on Wednesday? Well the outline of the feathers are quilted and I've started on the background. If you click on the photo you should be able to see the background is in a very pretty, very pale variegated thread. The feathers are in a deep purple and will be overquilted in red but I think I'll wash it first to remove all the inked registration and quilting lines.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Thursday, 14 May 2009


In the middle of trying to find out what on earth had happened to my sister after she was taken away by ambulance from the airport, I got a call saying this quilt had won the Stars and Stripes theme at Quilts UK. I collect my award on Sunday.
My sister is not well but OK having slept after being on oxygen over night. (perhaps I should let you know it's not swine flu, she has a long-standing condition, sarcoidosis)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Designing Day

Finally got round to marking this quilt up. (and I just got some good news which I'll share tomorrow)

Useful Symbols

If you want any of the following hold down you Alt key whilst keying in the numbers below

0188 =¼
0189 =½
0190 =¾
0176 =°
0169 =©

Print them off and stick them on your screen and if anyone knows how to get 7/8s, please let me know.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

OK, so I lied

It wasn't 12" across only 10"

Although they are called tree peonies, shrub peonies would be more apt. (perhaps if they live to 100 years they might make trees?)

Yesterday I was asked if they were perfumed, well the pale pink ones are, the darker ones not. They come in yellows as well but I don't have those in my garden so I don't know.
It's no wonder these fabulous plants were reserved for the Japanese Emperors.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

What a difference a day makes

Tree Peonies might not flower for very long but when they do, wow! The before photos are good, but scroll down to today's ones. We had terrible winds yesterday and last night and feared they would be shredded before they opened. Each bloom is nearly 12" across.
The normal peonies won't flower for another couple of weeks at least. I've uploaded the large versions to fill your screen if you care to click on them.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Two photos of one quilt, two cameras, same conditions

Not a lot done this week except this piece with which I'm very pleased. (ignore the white lines, they'll be washed out).
Both these photos were taken on Auto with flash, the first with the Fuji, the second with the Olympus.

Last Friday a new quilter came to the house, she said she couldn't do all the changing of threads involved in this piece. Then I showed her the variegated spool of thread and her eyes lit up.
All I need to do is stitch the binding down, bury the threads , wash it and then it's done!