Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I have a fantastic GP who has provided the inevitable herbal remedy glucosamine on prescription to save me some cash. (The thought that I am actually getting somthing back for my tax pounds for once is a little bit of pain relief itself). I am also about to order some wheatgerm packs but nothing I do is ever simple and they all seem to be made for necks or backs. My worst joints are my elbows and the base of my thumbs so I'm going to have to tie these packs on with ribbon or somthing. Oh well at least there is haberdashery shopping involved!
If I can locate a source of buckwheat hulls I can even make my own with patchwork covers to match my outfits!
I did wonder though if any readers suffer similarly and have any helpful tips for quilting. I have already found that shear scissors rather than the normal dressmaking scissors help a great deal.
The GP (a very knowlegable Indian man who is also a surgeon) also told me about yoga. As a lapsed yogini ( for fear that I might be making my also dodgy knees worse) I was not suprised to hear that lapsing had not been a good idea and that I should get back on my mat and stretch those joints. However, I was really surprised when he told me that just the yogic breathing (pranayama) can cure arthritis. Now that really is amazing. I never really focused on the breathing before but I've checked out the western medical research in the online medical journals and it stacks up. The eastern wisdom is that certain methdos of breathing heat the body. Like internal wheat bags I suppose.
So I am off to stand on one leg and fire breath through one nostril in the hope that I can make a bag later withit having to hold the ruler down with my fist rather than my fingers!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
A bag with my fabric swap from Lazylol. This is going to my wonderful cleaner as I have been promising her I'd do one for ages and my husband said she saw this fabric and admired it.
And there is some of this gorgeous stuff left for me as Lazylol was very generous!
A block using a template from the book Quilt Africa for the centre image. The colours in this are much stronger - beautiful earthy reds and ochres in among darker browns and golds. My friend Lesley and I are planning a collaborative quilt using freedom log cabin blocks, applique and and African themes. The plan is that we do one block each then take it and our stash to the class in Penrith in February and see where we get to. Even if she hates mine I can't wait to make a whole quilt using these fabrics and theme!
The front for one of the bags I am knocking up out of scraps/stash to hold other projects in.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Why is it that I am brilliant at assessing just how long a court case needs to be listed for or how long it will take me to do an advice, but am hoplessly optimistic in how much hobby stuff can be done in the time available?
(I got the bath, the thriller on TV, the phone call two binding strips on the bag and the transcribing of one set of instructions done. I resisted sewing in the bath but did read some of the crime novel in there!)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Guilty because being a newbie I didn't really get the full delight of swapping and just sent my partners the required three strips of fabric each with a nice letter in an envelope. Delighted because from my 2 partners I got parcels wrapped in handstamped tissue paper and handmade paper containing nine strips of delightful fabric, two cards of buttons, a small packet of beads with a charm in for good measure, a small bar of Green and Blacks chocolate, a diary with beautiful pictures and a yummy chocolate fondant mouse. I am going to have to send a supplementary package with the by-no-means-obligatory-but-kind-of the best- bit-of the swap-goodies. In my defence I did buy Kaffee Fasset fabrics, especially and didn't send out my unwanted strips! But still, no mousey treats... what a bad girl I am.
Dennis doesn't really get it but I love both getting mail and knowing that (when I get the mouse treat thing right) I will have made a stranger's day happy. Swapbot has some really cheap swaps on - one I signed up for today just requires you to write a poem on a postcard so I'm looking forward to reading some new stuff soon. Ther are lots of ATC and craft related swaps. The first one I joined requires the swap of teabags/ coffee sachets etc and a magazine article. My partner who is sending to me emailed to say she'd read my profile and she was a quilter too and would send a fat quarter. I love the co-incidences, love the getting to know a bit about people all over the world. And I love that I have an excuse to go to that forbidden place called Thorntons chocolate shop and buy a mouse or two ( or three .. no one says you have to swap everything you buy).
Sunday, January 21, 2007
How excited does this photo make you?!
Dennis drove me there and when we arrived declined my offer that we should do the only bit he is vaguely interested in - look at the display of quilts - saying, 'No, thats not going anywhere but the fabric might. Go and shop first."
So I did and he sat quite happily reading his book. Or at least he wasn't weeping when I got back so I'll take it he was quite happy. I arived with the first three bags full and said, "You might want to control me." He looked up from his Ruth Rendell and said "Control yourself." Ha. Like that works. So I went and bought a few more bags. With almost all fabric at £4 per meter or less this was backing heaven so they were quite heavy bags. I returned, he took all the bags out to the car for me, we looked at the quilts - two of my favourites are posted below both by Dot Sherlock if I recall correctly - and then he came with me for another round of the stalls.
"Should I buy this?" I say fingering yet more fabric. "And I like this one and this would look great with that fabric you bought me for christmas. Shall I get them all?"
You've got to love this man!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
And aren't quilters nice people? When we got to talking stashes I confessed to the purchase or '43.5 metres of fabric I don't need yet' and asked ' Do I need therapy?' Immediately two replies bounced back from the States:
"Of course you NEED it."
"What do you mean? Buying fabric IS therapy."
I like being understood and colluded with!
Which is why - so long as the gales have subsided enough to allow us to drive safely over the fells at Shap I am going up for a sneaked extra day at Morceau in Penrith tomorrow. I was going to the Saturday class anyway so I will have a gluttonous 2 whole days, then on Sunday there is a show and sale at Nantwich in Cheshire which is an hour from my house in the oposite direction from Penrith! So no blog probably for a few days as I'll be at my parents who have an interminably slow dial up connection still
My mother commented today that she thought I had rejigged ny schedule so that there was less travel in it. Which I have done workwise but seem to have replaced it all with quilting travel. I suppose I could stay at home and quilt alone - I am capable of teaching myself from books, but the company is too good to miss. And the class is above a shop.......
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
2. Working from home. All those interested in what Brenda said recently on her blog about being at home may want to check out the BBC site and listen online to a programme called Working fron Home - five daily 15 minute segments on the experience available on their Listen Back Facility. But be quick because it's only kept available for seven days and the first one was on 8th January.
3. Talking of working from home the great advantage of being self employed is that I can do just that or not as the case may be ... which means I actually 'worked' from a dressmaking class today. I guess my psychologist friend is right when she says I have an addictive personality. In my first class in December I rather doubtfully started making a skirt and was delighted to finish it. In my second lesson today we cut out all the pieces for , and started pinning, a matching dress, jacket and skirt in black wool ( boring but essential for work and jazzed up with a funky cerise paisley lining for the jacket and a seriously cool button) and bought enough stash fabric to make a trouser suit with matching skirt and dress in a blue pinstripe. In my defence ( there's always a defence!) there was a sale on ( of course) and the pinstripe cost me £18 (Convert that here and be amazed).
4. I have via Erica's site found out about a fabric swap and through one of my swap partners I have been led to www.swap-bot.com which currently has a pincushion swap and one for beads and buttons swap on if anyone is interested. Once I have participated in a swap I can host my own so if anyone has any good ideas let me know ( or host them yourself!!)
5. How do you peel a butternut squash wthout making your wrist ache? Does anyone know? ( I told you these were unconnected thoughts today!)
Friday, January 12, 2007
The colours all togther just make my head go zingy!! ( they, as ever, are much brighter than the photo)
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
However, the more positive consumer report for today is that in the end I sourced the fabric from Glorious Colour which stocks all Kaffe's fabrics and is run by the woman who works with him on his books, Lisa Prior. They also do kits for some of the quilts in his books and say on the site that they can custom make kits on request.
If you wish, we can send a partial kit. I believe we are missing only the Cloisonne in black. Let us know if you want to do that, and I will tell you how to place the order."
The background is that I have made three mail orders with this one UK shop all of which have taken a long time to arrive. On one day I bought charm packs from them and from a shop in Texas one immediately after the other and the UK order arrived 4 days after the ones from the States! Not impressed.
The current beef is that my husband splashed out on a rather expensive (to him - we quilters would easily justify it!) kit for a king sized Kaffee Fassett quilt from this shop. When I opened it and eagerly started to make it just after we returned from our Christmas travels I realised one piece of fabric was missing and of course it wasn't the binding but one right from the middle of the quilt. Dennis was really disappointed as was I.
He contacted them only to be told that they didn't have the fabric and hadn't at the time they sent the kit and that the best they can say is that it should be on a boat which docks sometime towards the end of Januray but they can't guarantee a date. I then emailed and pointed out (with lawyer hat on) that the website says that the kit 'contains all you need to make this quilt' and that they should not have sold it if it was incomplete or at the best rung to ask if it was Ok or if he wanted to choose a complete one - especially as it was being sold around christmas time. ( I refrained from actually using the term' breach of express term of the contact' but that was the gist!) I pointed out that many other shops - like the one in Texas have a feature on their webiste asking you what to do if the order is not available straight away.
Their reply was, and I quote,
"In September the manufacturer, Rowan, for economic reasons switched deliveries so that fabrics now come by ship from the States. Fabric that we anticipated receiving at the end of October finally arrived in mid December. Some fabrics that were not on that shipment have now been out of stock for over three months and we hope(!) will be on an end of January delivery. Therefore the best answer I give for you (although unsatisfactory) is that your fabric is on backorder and that a ship should dock sometime before the end of the month. If we had known at the outset that this would be the case we would have removed affected fabrics from the website. Unfortunately we are in a situation where Rowan has adopted a wholly inadequate stock policy for the Kaffe Fassett fabrics, one of our most popular fabric lines. We have already made representations to Rowan and we are currently looking at how we can reflect the stock situation as accurately as possible on the website. "
Peronally I don't think that answers the question as they clearly knew when they sent the kit that the material was not there yet did not phone us, or even put an explanation or expected delivery date in the package.
After a day or two steaming and having told them that I was not renewing my membership in their discount club which expires on 19 Jan, and that I would stick with other UK mail order services I had found more reliable, ( I can recommend The Tabbycat for example) I realised that I needed to order backing for the quilt which is not in the kit and we decided to stick with the original and get the recommended Kaffee Fassett fabric. Guess which was the only UK shop I could find who stocked the right one..... yup!
I swallowed my pride, hoped they wouldn't remember my name from the email and rang to check that the fabric showing on the website was actually in the shop. Three times. They never answered the phone.
I bought it from the States.
I am all for supporting local shops (and I spent a fortune everytime I go to Just Sew in Penrith or Country Threads and Midsomer Quilting when we are down in Bath) but I do expect a certain level of service back. Do you agree or I am just a grumpy old woman?
Monday, January 08, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
One thing I said at the begining of this year is that my resolution was not to do anything new (the opposite of most years) and to concentrate on the hobbies I already had. Only the thing is..... I really enjoyed having a go at this. I did it at the kitchen worktop ( the only room I dare play around with paint in) and started at 7pm and didn't surface until gone half-past midnight. Trouble is I was standing on stone tiles in stockinged feet all that time and didn't realise how much my feet and calves hurt until I got up this moring and could barely walk!
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I am at home writing lecture notes on the interplay between immigration law and family law and you can bet that is not what I am so excited about.
I flicked on to Alex Andersons site for a 5 min tea break to look at some of the pictures that go with her podcast to find that she is launching a new TV show with Ricky Timms and unlike her previous rather famous TV shows, it is not just in the US, it is online. All you need is the (free) Flash player and broadband
Ooooh, oooh, oooh!!
You can subscribe now to the 13 shows of the first series that start in April 2007 and that allows you to watch them whenever you like until December 2008. There will be a second series in 2008. There is also going to be a daily blog by them ( already up and running) and a forum and chat room. Plus you can post pictures of your quilts to your gallery.
If you subscribe before it starts its just $16.95 which with the dollar rate the way it is is really cheap in sterling.
Ooooh, Oooh etc.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
Oh - I also wrote a first draft of a novel.....