Monday 31 August 2009

Sorry, more kittens and a ship

We went to an Ikea on Sunday, perhaps not the best place to go on a holiday weekend but I realised I needed more of the fabric I bought the other week.
It was win win, not only did they have the last couple of bolts as it's about to be discontinued, but they'd reduced it from £5.99/metre to £3.99 a metre, it was incredibly well priced before but this was wonderful.
From the roof of the car park we saw this liner. When I was young I travelled on what was then amongst the largest passenger ships on the seas, but these new ships are like apartment blocks. The photo doesn't really convey the size. Truly huge. There was another, even larger, further down the docks but my camera phone isn't good enough to take photos from a moving car.
These were the kittens we didn't choose. The larger one at the front wasn't available nor the one on the lid of the cat box with nearly the same colouring as Millicent. It was very very hard to choose but we're delighted with our two. Both of them are very clever, heaps of fun and learn quickly what is and is not acceptable.

Sunday 30 August 2009

Just a quickie

The show you the breeders website and her boys and girls, Porteous

Saturday 29 August 2009

They have names!

Though the whole family nearly fell apart in the process..
Not sure how they ended up looking like one two headed cat

Friday 28 August 2009

The naming of cats is a difficult matter.

So far Napoleon and Josephine, Plato or Zeus for him, Davina for her or maybe Aphrodite and Apollo? She's the one with the ticked coat, he's with the spots. I can't write more, he's all over the keyboard..... but see the TS Elliot verse at the bottom.

Pepper Cory found this for me
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
T S Elliot

Monday 24 August 2009

The haul from the FOQ, Birmingham

In the background, loads of Heide Stoll Weber fabrics (yummy), then left to right, Ferreting Around, Ferret's new book, the instructions are just so clear and it's so good to see how different the quilt can look in other colourways. Then six separate yards of repro Turkey red from the American Quilt Store
(they really need to update their site as they have many more fabrics than they are showing). A metre of pink with roses to go with my 40's collection. Loads of cotton lawn (and more upstairs of an even finer one, two different fine shirtings under the 505 spray, more of that wild black and white stripe, (I have a plan), all from the very nice guy at Fabrics Galore, and a fab little stencil for marking spinning curves for background work (they call it spirals but they aren't really) and the blue Caryl Bryer Fallert fabric. I nearly forgot, I have some very nice YLI silk threads and some Mettler embroidery threads as well.
Did I tell you I managed to top up the diesel car with petrol as I left home? Somehow the car managed not to break down until I reached the hotel. Someone, other than I was not best pleased.... But it was all fixed by Friday night.

Sinclair went downhill whilst I was away, I came home early, Fliss came back from France so we were all there when the end came. Much faster than expected.

Please don't leave nice sympathetic comments about this, I can't hold myself together when people are nice at the moment.

My beautiful boy, rest in peace.

Saturday 22 August 2009

Festival of Quilts, NEC, Birmingham

Because they're changed the sizes here, I couldn't enter Exquisite Feathers as it is a couple of inches smaller than required. Spunart the Evolon and Lutradur people, however had no problem having it on their stand (Mr Spunart, who's name escapes me, Mervin?) is in the foreground.

Remember last year when Heide Stoll Weber asked me to make her this quilt? It's a funny thing when you are up close and personal for a period of time with a work, you 2nd guess yourself over and over. Seeing it hanging after a year was great!It looks lovely against the navy background of her stand and judging by the comments of people seeing it, they think so too. Heide was over generous giving me far more fabric than we had agreed.

For me though the best part of the show was Ferret's Gallery and my huge surprise. Last year we had agreed a small quilt swap. We were each going to make the other a quilt in our own style but in the others colours. They were to be finished in January. January turned to February.... Mine for her was finished in time for the National Quilting Show at Sandown in the summer but hers for me would have to wait. Then on Thursday, there she was! My own daughter Fliss in my colours blue and white! I bubbled up. It's stunning!!! Thank you Ferret!!!! Thank you. Fliss and DH had known about it for months.

Sinclair's behaviour yesterday was a little odd, no obvious distress but DH is ringing the vet today to hear what she thinks. I might have to leave and go home.

Friday 21 August 2009

Before I even left home for the show

more fabric entered the house. Firstly this wonderful 120" wide toile de jouye was on ebay at a ridiculous price. I'm thinking curtains and a duvet cover and quilt backing...

Then a trip to Ikea and I saw this fabric. I'd seen it about a year ago and regretted not buying it but it has never showed up on the website so I didn't go back. I was so pleased to see they still had it and now I have a 25m bolt (about 27.5 yards). I will love this in the new kitchen which has 3 very large windows.

Sinclair in his normal daytime place under the bamboo.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Lady Ga Ga

It's official, I thought it would never happen but it has.
Deborah Roberts is in England for the FOQ this week and she has kindly agreed to appraise my quilts. Each quilt has to have a list of where it's been shown and what it has won. I thought each and every one was etched on my brain, apparently not. I have the ribbons, I have the labels on the quilts which tell me which year they were completed. Can I put the two together for it to make sense? No o o o! I will go through my blog to aid the memory. And I've just read the form and I also have to say which publications they've been in...... My head hurts..
So if any of you have any photos of any of my quilts with a ribbon bedside it at a show and you know the name and year of the show, please help me out! I have over 20 ribbons and can assign about half to any particular quilt.....
Meanwhile I have come to terms with Sinclair's imminent demise, well almost. He's learnt very quickly that a quick meow will get me running and will result in the offer of prawns at the very least. He's still healthy and eating well.

Thursday 13 August 2009

Very sad news

A routine trip to the vets has revealed our darling Sinclair has only weeks to live. He doesn't know it and nor shall he. We will spoil him rotten (think prawns, haddock etc) until such time as he becomes aware of his illness and is no longer enjoying his life. It's very odd as he is as well as he ever has been, still hunting field mice in the garden. I've come to terms with it and now realise this isn't a bad way for his life to end. He's thirteen, not a huge age but he won't suffer the aches and pains of old age, and the last weeks of his life could well be the best ever.

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Leeds Castle

We'd always meant to go and see Leeds Castle in Kent in the South of England, (no where near Leeds in Yorkshire) but head never got round to it. We postponed Father's Day this year as Fliss was still down in Exeter. This Sunday, the sun shone so we had Fathers Day and made the trip. These photos are in reverse order. I kept seeing men dressed like Edwardian Maharajahs and thought some acting was going on somewhere in the grounds. No, it was an Indian wedding in a marquee across from the castle. The photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful saris, these women (and some of the men) looked like so many exotic butterflies.
The abundance of black swans in England offends my eyes. I love them in Australia but over here, I just want to see the white ones. There were one or two odd white peacocks as well. (Though I have very happy memories of these on our honeymoon at Amberley Castle. (this little castle is now a hotel so somehow it didn't seem to matter too much). Perhaps I'm just turning into a grumpy old woman...
Whilst the grounds and the outside of the castle were stunning (if somewhat crowded) the interior left a lot to be desired. It had been refurbished in the early years of the 20th century and it showed. To me it felt like hotels we stayed in when I was a child. Very sad.
Having said that, some super things were bought into the castle at this time and I've added some photos of the Flemish tapestries, some deftware and one of the fabulous Aubussons on the wall.

Monday 10 August 2009


In the post this morning was a copy of Fabrications. They'd kindly sent me a copy as a photo of Exquisite Feathers was in their report from the National Quilt Championships. At the show I'd bought a copy of American Quilter to see the Paducah winners and someone had written an article about using 1/8" ribbon inside the binding to stabilize the outside edge of quilts. In the photo I could see what the handling by curious hands had done to edges of my quilt. The two things came together and right in front of me was an advert for Fantastic Ribbons . I rang them as all their ribbons are sized in metric and I thought 3mm might be about 1/8" but could be sure. They will be at the FOQ next week so I can see them in person.
And they have lovely gross grain ribbons which will come in handy for another quilt which is planned in my head though not yet on paper let alone fabric.

Friday 7 August 2009


This is just laying on top at the moment. I don't know why the red is so very bright and the green looks so very dark and dull...

Go see this quilt

the next time you see it, it will surely be dripping with ribbons. Longarm quilted.

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Not a lot

I haven't got a lot done, one of these 'tails' are stitched down but three more to go. I've been battling with insomnia for a few weeks and it's winning big time.