Thursday, 26 February 2015

Well where does the time go to? Poor little blog has been totally ignored for six months at least. So I will forget about the remainder of 2014 and start off afresh for 2015. Things have been fairly quiet recently. I went to Exeter at the beginning of February and met up with my two daughters which was lovely and we had a huge lunch at the Rusty Bike pub. I have been trying to lose weight since January and had lost eight pounds up till last weekend when I sabotaged all my efforts and put three back on. I am off to the US in April and it would be good to shed some pounds so that my back ache doesn't get too bad with all the walking around at quilt shows etc so from now on I need to get a huge injection of self control ....
I have been knitting more than quilting recently and have knitted some mittens and am half way through a pair of gloves. My hunter star quilt has the binding on and just needs finishing off and then there's the challenge for Westbury Park Quilters which has to be finished for the 9 March. Oh and there's also the hungry caterpillar quilt I am making for my cousin's little girl who will be 3 in August, that needs a couple of borders.  Last week saw me going to the Bristol Embroiderers exhibition at Stoke Lodge with Rosemary and we had a lovely time there, and I bought a small picture called Summer seed heads which is a mixture of hand and machine embroidery on a painted background. Another fairly recent purchase was a lovely little quilt from the Midsomer Quilting 12" x 12" exhibition. The theme was music and I bid on a quilt entitled Symphonia Antartica by Vaughan Williams. The quilt was made by Roz Burt who lives in Canada and is just lovely and so beautifully made. It looks like a photo by Ponting of Capt Scott's ship the Terra Nova taken from an ice grotto but in fact is based on a photo taken by Roz's husband when he visited Antarctica. I couldn't believe my luck when I got a call from Chris at MQ to say my bid had won! All the money raised from the exhibition goes to Dorothy House, a local hospice so good to have helped a good cause.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

I don't know where the time goes to but if I spent less time on the computer I might be more productive! Since my last post, the house in North Wales has been emptied and cleaned, the japanese knotweed dealt with (that was a nasty surprise) and even better, SOLD! and I didn't even have to put it on the market through an estate agent. A lovely neighbour (she actually lives at the bottom of the garden where the dreaded knotweed is) contacted me and asked if I was going to sell it as she was very interested. So after she had a survey done we had a chat and she made me an offer which I accepted. SO fingers crossed that it all goes through smoothly!
I was back up in London on the Bank Holiday Monday as it was Catrin's birthday on the Sunday. It poured with rain all day long, a really miserable day. But we went out for lunch, at the same mexican place we went to last year which gave me tummy ache, and then we set off to see Churchill's war rooms which are just off Whitehall. I thought they might be a bit on the dry and boring side but in fact they were anything but and there was tons to see there.
The first Saturday in September saw me and Lorraine head off for the very first Bristol Woolfair. This was held on the Downs so easy to get to from Thornbury, though we did go by bus. I wasn't sure what to expect but boy what a surprise! Such gorgeous yarn in fantastic colours, and all different sorts of yarn and thickness. I could have bought something from every stall but didn't. Here are one or two of the things that had to come home with me

 This was described as a pot stand but is far too nice for that so it will have pride of place on the oak chest. I love the muted colours of the felted wools - and I just happen to be starting a felt making class this coming Friday.
 This was a kit to knit a reindeer which I have done but just need to sew and stuff it. I even learnt something new which was how to make an i-cord for the antlers.
This was just lovely, it has lots of flecks in it and the colours are fantastic. I hope to make myself a cowl with it but it nearly ended up in the bin! I decided to wind it into a ball on the Monday morning and put the hank over the back of a dining chair and started winding. All went well until about half way when it started to get tangled and then ended up in the most amazing mess of a  birds nest that I have ever seen. It took me all day to get it untangled. I've since been told to use all four legs on an upended chair and that does work!

I am hoping that there will be another woolfair in Bristol in 2015 - start saving Carys!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

I keep thinking I am going to have a quiet week and then it turns into the exact opposite! Last week saw me driving back from Harlech on Monday which just about finished me off. I shall be very glad when the house is finally cleared and on the market for sale but it is taking a lot of time. I actually had quite a good visit last weekend and ended up socialising more than clearing which made for a very pleasant change!
The last U3A church visits group outings have been lovely. In June we went to Northleach and Burford, both in the Cotswolds so very pretty villages and towns and last Thursday we went to Bibury and Cirencester. As these were all wool towns in the 15th and 16th centuries, the churches were very well off with rich patrons. I loved the wool sack gravestones

What is even more amazing is that a lot of these churches still have traces of  the Saxon buildings which dates their foundations back to pre Norman conquest.
Cirencester is having a march hare trail this summer but they were fairly difficult to find - the hare is based on a roman mosaic in the Corinium museum. There were two in the church, and one at the trout farm in Bibury

the top one was designed by Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen, the interior designer, and the second was a pharoah done by some primary school children. The bottom picture was taken in Bibury and was too far away to find out who had decorated it.
Saturday saw me going up to London and meeting up with Catrin and Paul. The original plan was to go to Kew Gardens and have a picnic but Catrin thought it was going to rain (it didn't) so we went and had lunch at a Portugese restaurant by Vauxhall Bridge and then we walked over the bridge to Millbank and went to see the Folk Art Britain exhibition at Tate Britain. Wow, I got very excited when I saw that they had the Wrexham tailor's quilt there! Nearly set the alarm off, oops! This quilt is made of wool and has all sorts of things on it, from the Menai Suspension Bridge to a chinese pagoda and a viaduct, all built while the quilt was being made. The quilt has quite a sad history. It was passed on through the Williams family until the depression hit and they were short of funds. They offered the quilt to the Museum of Wales for the benefit of the Welsh people and asked £75.00 for it. The Museum refused and offered £25. The quilt is now the jewel in the crown of the collection held at St Fagans and obviously worth an awful lot more than £25. There were other quilts there, including a lovely red and white strippy quilt with gorgeous hand quilting, and lots of quirky objects such as god-in-a-bottle, pub signs, shop signs and a fabulous cockerel made of bone. Worth another visit I think. But I was glad to get back to the peace and calm of Thornbury, London was manic with lots and lots of tourists but then I suppose it is tourist season there!

Monday, 26 May 2014

I forgot to mention yesterday that I lost my lovely old puss Smudge back in February but she was nearly 19 and a half so she had a good long life.
Now I'm down to one cat, Tigger (or Tigger the Terrible). I did think of getting another kitten when Smudge had gone but I decided to wait and see how Tiggywinks and I got on on our own, and we are OK. We get on fairly well, she can be a demanding little so and so, especially where food is concerned and it can be a battle of wills to see who gives in first - no need to say that it's usually me!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Well after Lorraine said she had been blogging, I thought oops I have not been anywhere near my blog for ages! What have I been up to since the last time? Lots, biggest thing was going to the US at the beginning of March for a two week holiday. I went with Sheila on a P&Q Tour to Washington DC, Philadelphia and the AQS show in Lancaster. It was pouring with rain when we arrived in Washington and the weather forecasted for the next day was snow. It won't snow after all this rain I thought to myself - how wrong could I be? It snowed non stop all morning, at one point you could hardly see a thing. What surprised me was that Washington DC ground to a halt. So we had a day in the hotel which actually worked out OK as it allowed the group to get to know one another. Sheila and I put our thermals and boots on in the afternoon and went out for a walk, talk about cold! We found a Safeway supermarket and went in to get some fruit and yogurt and rushed back to the warmth of the hotel. Of course this put the itinerary up the creek but we managed to get to the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg and then Jinny Beyer's shop the next day. The day after that we had a tour of Washington and also went to see a quilt exhibition at the women's art museum Workt by hand or something it was called, and very good too. But the service in the museum cafe was not so hot!
After Washington we went to Philadelphia where we went to the flower show, went to see the Liberty Bell,
Liberty Bell, Philadelphia
also went to see the Harlem Globetrotters which was an experience! Then on to Lancaster but unfortunately I came down with a lovely virus infection which had me in bed for the first day there. I wasn't the only one in the group that got it so poor Judi was backwards and forwards to Walmart to get various medicines to keep us all going. We had a conducted tour around the area which was good and I got to see the Amish farms plus some Amish quilt shops!

Recently I have been to the American Museum in Bath. When the museum is open during the summer, local quilt groups are invited to go to there for a sewing bee and we sit in the textile room doing some hand sewing. It was very busy there, probably because of the Kaffe Fassett exhibition that is one - definitely worth a visit. It is very colourful with his quilts, tapestries and knitting

yarn bombed light

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

It's amazing what you see! I was really surprised to see this car on my way to the High Street on Monday. How on earth did it get there? It  is more or less right in the centre of a small clump of trees but was it pushed there to keep it off the road or what? The police have cordoned it off with tape. It is still there today so I decided, as it was a reasonably sunny day, to walk over and take a photo.

The sad thing is that it is crushing all the beautiful snowdrops that open there at this time of year. But for the first time ever I have snowdrops flowering in my front garden, a sure sign spring is on the way.
I have managed to piece all the blocks for the Hunter's Star quilt, so now it just needs borders. I hope I have enough fabric!! The sashiko class last Saturday was good and I now have a large noshi design to stitch. My class at Busy Bees will go ahead on the 1st Feb, many thanks to Sue and Sandra for sorting things out through what must have been an incredibly difficult time for both of them. Just very sorry and sad that I won't be able to get my class supplies from them so a trip to Creativity in Bristol is on the cards for tomorrow.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Ok so I haven't posted anything here for 12 months! It annoys me when I come across a blog that has been abandoned and this is exactly what I have done. So 2014 will see more posts - whether they will be interesting or not remains to be seen! I have decided not to start making any new quilts in 2014 - I have one definite class at Midsomer Q in January which is sashiko and I had booked a hand sewing class at Busy Bees for the 1st Feb but I have no idea whether that will happen after the dreadful fire a couple of weeks ago. Such a shame as Busy Bees was a lovely shop and place to visit, and both Sue and Sandra had worked so hard to set it all up and keep it going with their lovely fabrics and workshop programmes. I will definitely miss it and hope that it will manage to resurrect itself one day.
Went to see the second part of The Hobbit yesterday. I do think it would have been better if this film had been made before The Lord of the Rings, and why did Legolas appear in it? He wasn't in The Hobbit, or at least I don't think so - I shall have to read it again. But stunning scenery, and the second part much livelier than the first, even if the orcs did get their heads chopped off. Will have to wait another 12 months to see the final instalment.