Athens time

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Lila Tueller Giveaway

A wonderful giveaway from Lila Tueller on her blog. This is a beautiful new fabric line in lovely soft colours. Lila is giving away a jellyroll and layercake but she would like you to both comment and blog about it...

No problem with lovely fabric like this! Good luck guys!

But what about the sewing??

have many of you been asking me.... I have told you about sailing, holidays, outings and now workspace... but what about the sewing?

Well...... it has been a question of life taking over for a while... flu in the house, migraines for me, with a dollop of school related taxi service thrown in! So not a lot of major sewing going on...

I have managed to re-arrange my workspace. Coincidentally just finished when the studios challenge came up for saturday! Been sewing a little thank you gift for someone but won't blog about it (of course) not to spoil the surprise..

What I should have done is doing the Old Red Barn Co sew along ... I finished Dana's quilt totally and am so chuffed with it!! Then Amy (Park City Girl) led us through a zigzag (which I so totally haven't done yet) and now John (Quilt Dad) is our sensei on a wonky journey! I must say I am shamefully behind on both quilts 2 and 3 and wonder if there is hope for me yet... (would think not with Christmas coming up!)

Funnily enough there was some wonky involved lately and thanks to Quilt Dad's wonderful tutorial I actually managed to do some wonky blocks!! I have recently joined the Eurovision Quilting Bee. 18 of us girls, all within Europe (to make posting quicker). Every month we all make a block (or maybe two) for one of us with the fabric we get sent. It is great fun! Both getting to know everyone in the group (Hi y'all!) and have a new technique and set of colours and fabrics to work with each month. I can't wait to see all the quilts we are going to make together!

So I was doing this month's block. A wonky logcabin. I tried to follow John's tutorial and cut a little off on one side (a subtle wonker, he calls it... am sure I could not be persuaded to be a severe wonker!). Working along I realized I subconsciously had cut a little off the other side too to even it up! I tried hard not to do that... and eventually managed to get some wonkiness going....
Last month we did a lovely Katy Jump Rope series of blocks in Dutch Man's Puzzle. I just realized I have not shown you those ones either! Here they are;

They are going to be lovely quilts when all put together! So you see, I have been doing some sewing, if not achieving whole quilts in one go....

I have also been putting together some babyballs for the charity 'Babies in Prison'. When a mother is expecting and either gets her baby in prison or has a very young baby, the baby stays with her in the prison until (I believe) the baby is 18 months old. Then, regardless whether the mum still has to stay to serve out her sentence or not, baby gets 'out' and is cared for in the real world. Now it has been noticed that these babies are very far behind their contemporaries in the outside world in terms of their development. Just think, they won't have seen things like dogs, cats, cows, cars, buses, roads, etc etc. and most of all, the prison environment being very bland colourwise (greys mostly) no colours! They come out in the world and suddenly this overload!

So for quite a few years, our local Guild has been making babyquilts in bright colours with pictures of things on like farm animals, cars etc etc. The babies can then take these with them when they leave, a little bit of comfort taking their familiar 'blankie' with them, when having to miss mum. The quilts have been received with much happiness and the scheme has now been expanded with toys made of fabric. I have been making these baby gripper balls. Some of them are going straight to the Guild to be passed on to the charity. Others are going to be sold to buy more fabric to make some more! These are a few that are either finished or nearly finished at the moment.

Last but not least, I am working on a lapquilt for my mum's birthday in November. She doesn't read this blog, so I am safe in revealing the quilt so far.. This is also the main reason I have not been able to do the Old Red Barn Co quilts yet... November is rapidly coming up!

The quilt is a medallion quilt. I have had a real trying time doing the applique in the middle and made a real hash up of it. Mainly because I just gave it a try without knowing how to do it! But you learn from your mistakes... Since then I have seen the wonderful tutorial on Cabbage quilts and am hopeful that the rest of the applique will go a little better... Thanks Cathy for putting that on!!

The geese have come off ok.. (phew) and the borders have been added (double phew... who would have thought it was so hard for those blue lines to look continuous and line up??). Now there is going to come a small celtic applique on the four corners and bigger flowers on the outside border. Then a lot of quilting..... Hawaian in the centre (going to be first time also) and a lot of in the ditch first and filling in borders for afters.... It is supposed to be handquilted I think but wonder whether I will have the time.... We will see! I will keep you up to date... promise... (I realize I have been a bit lacking in showing some actual sewing... hope this post has made up for it!!)

So there you go... all up to date ... For the coming weeks I am hoping to press on with the applique and then quilting of this quilt. Keep fingers crossed for me everyone... it is not as easy as it looks!!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Open Studios Event coming to a blog near you ...

Surfing along as I do, I came across this promising publication on Studios and Storage solutions. (or actually, I allready follow Quilting Arts closely, such lovely work on there.... and they sent me a mail... but close...)

Bingo! I thought, as I have been struggling with the question of how to appropriately house my growing 'stuff' to do with the quilting and sewing... (My lovely fabrics have got to be happy there and I have to have at least some oversight... sigh...).

Quilting Arts are hosting an open Studio event on October 3rd and everyone taking part can hop along and have a look at everyone's little space.

I must admit I first read it wrong and ran upstairs, took the photographs and enthousiastically started writing this post! When I went back and discovered the actual studio photos are only supposed to be up on October 3rd..... Serves me right for being enthousiastic!

So you are not going to see my "Studio" just yet (read studio, think little space in corner of the room, but I am not knocking it! compared to a lot of people, I have a sea of space and I am so, so fortunate to be able to leave my work where it is if I have to go and do something else).

I have been thinking about this a lot lately and.... as it happens, I have just rearrranged my little corner with the sewingtable to put the table not along the wall, but into the room with some set of drawers on the other side, thereby doubling the space.

Also have had some shelves put up on which live some magazines and books and various wicker baskets and lovely gorgeous boxes I can never leave in the shop and that have now found a use!

But you will have to come back on October 3rd to see the pics and of course go to the Studios Event page and/or get the magazine here!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

I am featured on the Fabric Shopper!

Melanie on The Fabric Shopper, has chosen my quilt to be featured on her Fabulous Use of Fabric choice.

My regular readers know how much I agonised over which fabric and colours to use (to the ripping out colours after the top was put together...) and I am thrilled to see it so well received!

Thanks Melanie!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Where have I been ?

Is it really more than a week allready since my last post? Amazing how time flies.... But that is how it goes when you are busy!

Let's see, what have I done... Well... firstly back to school, which as we all know takes some organising... Then loads of admin backlog... you all know that one... bills to pay, companies to phone (press 6, press 3, press 1, press 5, we now cannot direct you to an adviser, please consult our website.. grrrr.....), know that one?

Luckily also got some more enjoyable things in. In the weekend I went to a charming little village near Dover, Church Hougham, where they were holding their tri-annual village fete and craft fair. It was lovely, the church itself full of quilts;
The organist (sitting amongst the quilts) did a marathon of fantastic playing whilst we meandered along the aisles. It was beautiful and whilst he might not read this, any quilter who does and knows him, please tell him how much I appreciated it. It made for a perfect atmosphere and the playing was just lovely!

There were quilts in every nook and cranny....

even up at the altar was a yesteryear display;

The entire village took part and there were many houses who had things going on in their gardens. There were bookstalls, cakestalls, bric a brac, an archery range, dog displays and many more demonstrations like the morris dancing here;

In the art and craft village (lots of roomy marquees next to the vicarage) lots of yumminess was to be found...

I especially liked this range of these wonderful reds

.....mmmmm..... I can see a quilt in that wonderful warm colour for the wintermonths... can just feel myself wrapped up cozily when the wind blows outside.....

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Look at what I have won!

I was a very lucky girl and have won a prize on Deborah's blog "Once Aponce a Time"

She has a lovely blog with very interesting posts and has recently done some extensive travelling in Europe visiting Britain and France with some wonderful pictures of Monet's Garden. Do hop along and visit and tell her what you think!

Deborah had a competition a while ago which centered onto art journals and she was wondering whether any of us is keeping a journal. I haven't up till now, but I do photograph things I see that inspire me and keep a digital image with plans to print it, put it into a journal and subsequently maybe draw, colour or use... but.... haven't got round to it!

Do any of my readers have an art journal? Deborah (and I!) would certainly be interested to hear about it!

Deborah sent me this wonderful book.
It is the story of an art project. Several artists started an art journal. Each adopted a colour and started the journal off. (the next photo being 'white')

Then the journals were passed on to another artist, who then had the challenge to continue this, resulting in them having to go out of their comfort zone and producing something new, often experimenting with new materials.

The book is the story of these journals and the thoughts the artists had about them, with lots of pictures from the journals to illustrate the text. It is a beautiful book and so inspiring!

Thank you Deborah, for sending me this wonderful book. Very much appreciated!

So come on everyone.... anyone really using a journal? It would be awesome to hear about it!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Rescue in the Solent

One day, we were quietly sailing along. Conditions were very calm with a lovely sunshine and most boats were ambling along, enjoying the sunshine....

Suddenly..... What is that? 3 fast moving speedboats.. Is it James Bond??
Aha, coming closer... a speedboat, two support ribs and a helicopter... Is it a film?
The helicopter now hovering closely over the speedboat whilst the speedboat maintains even speed and the heli matches it...
Wait... a man appears on the side... (double click if you can't see it..)
He is being winched up to the helicopter!
Aha!! It is the HMS Coastguard on an exercise rescue mission!!
They are being waved off from the speedboat and are soon on their way with the "casualty"...
What fantastic work they are doing to keep us all safe. A privilege to be there and see this exercise.
God speed and keep safe. Thanks for watching over us all on the water!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Another Giveaway (at Jodi's New Blog!)

Go to Jodi's blog (when you have some spare time....). She has a fabulous new blog, "Needle Little Inspiration" and to celebrate is hosting a fabulous Open House with lots of giveaways.

Including this fantastic set of Michael Miller Christmas Fabrics. All half yds, yumm !

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway

The Fat Quarter Shop is drawing attention to their various Block of the Month opportunities. They have a fair few and they are all lovely!

This what they are giving away:

A Wiscasset Charming Jelly Cake (a Jelly Roll + Layercake + Charm Pack).

Isn't it fantastic? Here is their link to the giveaway and here the link to their BOM pages.

I love this quilt and if I hadn't got so much on already..... mmmmm...... :-)