Tuesday 26 August 2014

I don't know why...... but I am having so much difficulty

It makes no sense. I have measured each side umpteen times, I have measured each border umpteen times plus one, I have pinned, I have used the dual feed on my machine, yet each time I sew it together it is out. I don't want to fudge it, for it will have to hang straight and it has to be precise as the corners are mitred.
I put this out of sight a few months ago but the time has come to face my fears and deal with it. This will make a lovely quilt....... it will...... it will...... it will.....

As Frank is no longer with us, my DH has joined a gym. Not to get a body beautiful, after all there is a limit what can be achieved at a gym after a certain age but just to keep moving. This is when you find out how far out in the sticks you live. Today is a holiday in the UK, a day for following leisure activities, but not apparently for going to the gym. It is shut. There are not many gyms to chose from. I have just about got used to not being able to go out for a meal after 8pm because this is the end of service. We have no cinema, except an old theatre which runs films and other entertainments, forget about watching in 3D. We have supermarkets, my preferred one for fish is about 20 minutes away. Or it was 20 minutes away until a landslip blocked the road six or more months ago and it still remains blocked, now it is about 35 minutes away.
BUT I wouldn't go back to the land of restaurants selling food until 1am or 3d cinemas with couch seating. I would miss the wonderful views, the ancient castles, the neolithic stones, I would just miss the magic of here too much.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Yesterday we went out again and stumbled on another castle

We went for a lovely lunch at the The Hart Inn in he village of Llangybi (and no I have no idea how to pronounce it either, I have asked and still cannot get my tongue round it) near Usk in Wales. What is there not to love about somewhere which brings little rolls still too hot from the oven to eat immediately whilst you decide on the menu? The crab starter was fabulous and memorable.

Even before Frank was ill, I was loathe to leave him for too long but now he has gone we had time to wander round Usk. We went into a chapel converted into a gallery and I fell in love with a pre-Raphaelite style painting of Ellen Terry.  Find her here, she is still haunting me.  The gallery's website is here.

Usk is a pretty village/town and it pulls out all the stops with flowers everywhere. Unfortunately it has a busy road running through it with quite heavy traffic. Even worse was a pub in the middle of the town having a band, so loud the windows over the road were visibly shaking. I assume this is not a regular feature.

I noticed a sign to Usk Castle, not one I had heard of before. This castle is also privately owned but not by a rich American able to put in the millions needed to restore it or even keep it from crumbling even further like Hampton Court Castle we visited last week. Signs everywhere remind you to enter at your own risk. Once you climb the very steep, very crumbling pathway, it is quite magical.

We had the place to ourselves with the exception of a couple laying tables in a marquee for their wedding today.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Out and about. (loads of photos)

I have been doing a little sewing but still will need twice as many as these for the border on the hexagon project. I find them quite soothing to pick up, prepare a few and stitch them together. I should start appliquéing some down or that will become a boring project in itself.
I don't know why the colours are so washed out in this photo but if I go away and edit them to adjust it, then this post will not get done. They look prettier than this photo suggests.

On Friday we had a day out, something we couldn't do with Frank and went to Hampton Court Castle north of Hereford. Not a defensive castle but a house which was castellated afterwards. It is slightly earlier in age to the more famous Hampton Court Palace just on the outskirts of London.  It has been laid derelict in it's past so it isn't full of wondrous antiquities but nonetheless is very much worth a visit.
The gardens are a delight. You enter first into a walled vegetable garden. I wish the technology allowed me to give the smells along with the photos. There was lots of dill and a few lavender and other smelly herbs. The whole scent mingled was fabulous.

I suspect like a lot of people do, these were grown for their colour.

 Does anyone know the name of this flower with the lime green star at it's centre?
 I loved the wicker 'drums' a lot of the vegetables were grown in. A lovely pretty idea and I imagine they help keep the slugs off.
I used to have pears espaliered against the wall when I lived in West Sussex. They remind me of elaborate earrings.

Then you go into the next walled garden with a formal layout.
 Through the tunnel at the end of this path it is overhung with wisteria. Next year we shall have to come back when it is in bloom.
 There pergolas had seats in the shade, I imagine they are lovely on a warmer day than we visited. We played 'guess the date'. DH thought they were older than I did. I thought they were less than 15 years old, he thought more.
 Rills, I love rills and bubbling pools.
There were two of these blue and yellow flowered borders either side of the central path.  Both were lovely but perhaps one side could have been a different colour combination, particularly as it is almost impossible to have both in the same field of vision. This is truly nitpicking as this garden is lovely.
 Through from the 2nd walled garden and under the wisteria tunnel, you end up round the side of the castle into parkland. Over the river was a handsome herd with a fabulous bull. I only had my phone for photos, so there is no closeup of the magnificent beast.
 So much thought has gone into the details. I love this hedge.
 I have know clue as to who this chap is, he was just there.
As was this fox or perhaps even a wolf?

Friday 15 August 2014

Two women went to the Festival of Quilts.

I didn't think it would ever happen but my daughter came with me. I loved her being there. We stayed at the Hilton on the NEC grounds. We will not be doing that again.... But it was amusing having a Transformer conference staying at the same time.

 Even my car got in on the act. I know nothing about Transformers but apparently these are the cars from the film.

 You cannot go to a quilt show without adding to your stash.

 This was my haul from Day 1. Sorry about the blur, taken with my phone. Most of these were from Petra Prins stand.
 And this lot from Day 2.

Then just when I was all spent up, I saw these. They are quite large and printed on very heavy cotton.

I could make quilted frames, or perhaps the most wonderful bags ever..... I don't know yet.

Friday 8 August 2014

Selling my Bernina 440

This is a bit of a last minute idea, but I thought it would be good to offer it as I am going to the Festival of Quilts for Saturday and Sunday this week and could bring it with me.
The details of the machine can be found here. It doesn't have the embroidery module but it does have the BSR and all the other things it came with (except the oil, I used the oil, lols). It has been fully serviced since new.  Google Bernina 440 to see pictures. It does not come with an embroidery module. She has been very well looked after.
I would like £800 for her.
These are a few examples of what I have produced with it.

You can find a review of the machine here.http://www.makingrebeccalynne.com/2013/08/sewing-machine-adultery-bernina-aurora.html

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Return to machine quilting.

It has been a while and my hand is definitely not back in. I have a Christmas tree panel and thought I would quilt it up just to get back to some machine work. Because it is over a year since I have done any, I needed a warm up piece. I am so glad I did.
It isn't as bad as I thought it was whilst stitching yesterday but I do need more practice. I also need to be able to relax again whilst stitching. I could feel my shoulders tighten up.

I have also been making some more little hexagons for a border for the hexagon star.

Thank you for all your kind comments about my lovely Frank. I found it too hard to write thank you mails individually.
I have been cleaning off his wall art off the walls, well every surface really. And vacuuming up his hair. Every time I think I have got every last hair more comes back to haunt me. I don't mind being haunted by his gentle soul, it is indeed a little comforting.

Monday 4 August 2014

RIP my darling boy.

Frank went to the great dog walk in the sky last Thursday. He was the gentlest, most gentlemanly dog ever to walk the earth.
He was diagnosed last New Years Eve with a heart condition. There was no cure. The vet was reluctant to give a life expectancy but when pushed said, six to eight weeks. He made seven months to the day.

When a dog weighs in at 150 pounds (70kg), it is like having another adult human male in the house. When that dog is always with you, at the sewing machine, by the sofa, by the sink, in the garden, then when they are no longer there, you miss their physical presence as much as them.

My beautiful boy might have known how to growl but I never heard it. Loved him so much and this hurts.