Thursday, February 28, 2008
I drew up this non exclusive list of factors which apply to blogs I like:
1. Good writing
2. Blogs where the personalities of the owners stand out and I like the people.
3. Pictures of quilts that are to my taste.
4. Practical information given (e.g tutorials or links to good sites) or details about life in a place which to me is foreign and exotic.
5. Posts on grandchildren and dogs kept to a minimum. Good writing about either allows more leeway because the writing is then the attraction to the subject matter (Yes, Jennifer you and the puppy come in that category!) but I switch off with endless posts on how cute a strange baby is!
6. Interactive features like tagging games or post which ask for specific opinions
So, if you have blogger friends - or if you yourself are lurking around my blog and I don't list your blog on my sidebar but you think I'd like the blog leave me a comment with the link as I am always open to working less and reading more!
A good example of a great recent find (which made it onto my feeds list on ground one before I'd got past the byline and the most recent post) is Kills Houseplants ( just the name....!!) Two non-quilting sites you may not have found which fascinate me for writing quality and insights into different lives are Orthomom and Renegade Rebetizin
And then we come to interactivity ... I was tagged both as me (by Sara ) and as my Quiltland Queen alter ego ( really BIG ego in that case!) ( By Quilter in Paradise) to list 7 weird/ random things about myself. Here are my real life ones.
1. My little toes curl inwards.
2. I mix up left and right. This makes me a nightmare passenger to take driving directions from. Except if the driver is my Dad because he does the same thing, but we instinctively know when the other has got it wrong and go the direction they meant to say without any oral comunication. In heavy traffic, on a deadline, this can drive other passengers frantic.
3. My Mum taught me to read when I was only eighteen months old. Apparently, when I was two, I was really, really excited when in the car one day because I thought that the lorry ahead advertising Lyons cakes had large and dangerous cats inside. My spelling is still dodgy.
4. I cannot swallow the skin around orange segments.
5. I arrive everywhere either early or bang on time. Even at my wedding I got to the church before the guests, had to have the driver do a circuit of the village and park up at the top for ten minutes and then walked down the aisle exactly as the clock bells pealed 12 noon.
6. I don't know how to rewire a plug. I keep meaning to learn, but....!
7. I once smuggled illegal goods across an international border. ( My husband bought turkish coffee in Northern Cyprus when we are staying at Southern Cyprus, at a time when you were not supposed to shop in the North and import the goods to the South. He thought the price quoted was for one bag but it was for ten. Refusing to leave any of the stinky stuff behind, he persuaded me to stuff it up my jumper! The smell lingered for weeks!)
Now, I tag Jennifer (in confidence that she will continue to obey the puppy rule!), Diane ( for being a nice stand out personality!), Brenda ( even though I get the impression tags are not her favourite thing becuase hands down her blog wins for information and after all no-one acually has to respond to a tag!), Tundra Threads for exotic location information, Flibbertygibbet for good writing ( she is a professional at it you know!), Quilterin for the dual language trick and Nikki for the pictures and still getting art done in the midst of so much domestic responsibilty.
I also have to list the tag rules so here they are:
1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you2. Post THE RULES on your blog ( this be them! )3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog4. Tag 7 people and link to them5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
(a) you have a trip up and down to London in a day to speak at a conference and your brief case containes three quilt books for the train and Bonnie McCafferey's vid-casts on your Mp4 player
(b) you are speaking to several hundred people in Kensington Townhall on the relevance of Capital Gains tax hold over relief as applied to the transfer of business assets on divorce when, mid-sentence you think, "Oh wow, look at the pattern the lights and tiles make on that ceiling."
(c) you spend the break between sessions on Kensington High Street sketching the applique-inspiring wrought iron work on the M&S building.
(d) you are delighted when you take a side road and find, on the corner of a quiet square a mosaic shop with the most quilty of designs which you photo on your mobile phone bitterly regretting not bringing te proper digital camera
(e) there is a problem with the points at Tamworth and your train is 35 minutes delayed on teh return journey but you are actually quite happy because it gives you more time to work on handpiecing the Katherine Guerrier scrap quilt pattern you just happen to have with you.
Incidentally for those who do not know London, Kensington is a world apart from where I live. I stopped to window shop in the estate agents and picked out a two bedroom flat for £1,850,000 ( thats US$ 3,597,625 , Euro 2,379, 691 or AUS $3,824, 646... I like this currency converter!) I was a little worried about the fact that the living room windows looked onto a car park though. I went into the Oxfam charity shop (Thrift shop, op shop and whatever you call in in European countries!) and all the clothes were designer gear, on wooden hangers, with identical gaps between the hangers like in a proper boutique. The second hand books section had a shelf of Christie's Fine Art Auction catalogues! I had a quick squint at the street parking sign near the mosaic shop to see how long you could pay and display and it said 'Diplomatic parking only at all times'.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
However, this does not mean a quilting hiatus. Coming with me to Leeds is:
1 sewing machine
1 large box containing coat pieces and african fabric from appliqueing to same ( coat to be constructed under supervision at class on Saturday)
1 bag containing Kaffe Fasset quilt to go to longarmer who is in Bradford and sort of on the way betwen Leeds and Penrith
1 large box containing the jungle quilt for embroidering in the hotel room
1 smaller box with bits of the water quit for piecing in said hotel room
1 cloth bag containing a collaboration quilt with Lesley in case I still need things to do in the evening in the hotel or after I do the coat in class
1 book on fabric journals
1 pile of old Quilting Art magazine both for inspiring a half thought through City and Guilds wall hanging that needs designing.
1 basket made by Berber ladies in Marrakech containng quiting journal, ottlight, smaller basket of threads , scissors, cutter, board, pincusion and machine leads.
All packed and then Dennis says, " Would there be room for me in the hotel if I came over on evening?" Ermmm.....!
Friday, February 15, 2008
reconstuted after war - different, but healing into something new.
If any of these photos on this post inspire you to design, feel free to copy them onto your computer for your personal quilting use only.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
(a) Button making
(b) hanging tabs and loops for wall hangings
(c) decorative edges for quilts
(d) fastenings - zips, buttonholes, button loops etc.
Brenda has recently posted a great list of tutorials for quilt facings so I am sorted for that!
I was amused that this quilter who has been exhibited in museums and has her quilts in publish books confessed that she had never made a 'proper quilt'! (She meant a traditional pieced quilt.) She was of the view that others could do it better than she so why bother trying. I agree to a point - I think you mayb ehave to try once to know that others are better but then yes, focus on what comes naturally to you rather than trying to follow the crowd
In celebration of its completion, despite the fact that I told myself I was not starting any more quilts until I had finished up the major projects on hand I started these blocks ( using the preferred method in 3 above).... nominally they are my samples of fabric manipulation for my City and Guilds ( and therefore I did not cheat) but I think you can see that they are intended to end up as a quilt when the course is over.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Well I feel it is a bit like that with me and this quilt, only I am not sure who is the nanny and who is the child but sometime soon one of us is going to win the battle! I have now done row 13. Jubilant because it was the first one where I didn't get a seam wrong I took it over to the design board to meet the others.... perfectly sewn... but with a patch missing. Grrrrr!!
Now let me say that I really love comments on my blog but I have to put Qult Pixie right on her last comment. This quilt cannot be used for applique background. It is 108 by 93.5 inches finished and if you think I am going to be covereing up even a quarter of that with more work you need your head feeling! The good thing about the quilt though is that the gift includes the costs of getting a longarm quilter to quilt and bind it so the piecing really will be the end for me. Or the end of me maybe... :)
I have to do 31 rows. I have done 10 and every single one has required unpicking. Sometimes I have had to unpick the resewns stuff. Grrr. One problem is keeping track of what goes where even though I have just spread all the pieces over the table in order and numbered with a scrap of paper. It is a Kaffe Fasset quilt and the fabrics are cut so that they blend which is great overall but when you are trying to get a horizontal pattern to be constructed in diagonal rows with blending fabrics - OY!!
Dennis wondered through when I was re-unpicking. This is a kit he bought me at great expense to him so I want to do it well but asked,
"Which do you want: perfect or finished?"
"Its meant to be fun for you."
"it would be if these f.....ing points would ever match."
He peers. No doubt he remembers that this was the kit from the shop that only sent half of it and we had to complain about their service.
"Well, then," he says in his best encouraging voice, "it must be cut badly."
Deep breath, "I CUT IT!"
He slunk out and is now watching rugby well out of shouting range.
Oh well, back to work. I'm having a break at 3.30 though.
25 min sprawled on floor unpicking
5 mins runing around house shouting 'Can't find my glasses'
2 episodes of Annie Sm'ths podcast
1 cup earl grey tea
15 mins cleaning machine and swapping needles etc ( it was filthy)
15 mins piecing.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The bad news is that just before I left work a fellow Judge was chatting to me about his holiday home and wanted to show me some photos on his laptop. So there I am politely looking at his shots of pool, beach and his rather stunnng wife holding up a plate of ginormous king prawns when I spot the tiles on the Portugese table top. The photo is on its side so I am there head on one side, finger on the screen going, "Oh fantastic pattern, look a bit of hand applique and you could piece the stars and....." and then I remember where I am and who I am talking to.....!!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
This 'nee-naw'quilt was started in Bath in October 2007 because Dennis saw the fabric on a trip to Midsomer Quilting and said that the little boy inside him was excited by it. I pieced it and fused the letters whilst on holiday but didn't have my machine. (Got talked into that one - never again!) so it remains unfinished. It needs applique stitches, quilting and binding.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
4 then, I pinched the fabric so that there was a ridge in line with the seam line. Either side of the ridge the fabric then lay flat. I pinned along the bottom on this ridge.
5 Then I sewed in line with the pins creating a permanent ridge. Most of mine were in fact a quarter inch seam but one or two were less. Sew the actual width of the ridge.
6. The effect is that some of my pink triangles now have a seam down them as if they were pieced and the borders now fit.
7. The borders make all the difference to the quilt and I am so glad I persevered . And it was so quick - less time than the Ireland - v - Italy match which was on at the time. This is the top hung over my bookcases - I really do need a place where I can put larger tops to photograph well!
Much better!I can't take it further yet because I don't have any suitable fabric for backing but I am sure that can be recitfied sometime!!