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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

this week's progress

I have taken this picture of sunset after a day of rain.

The weather is very changeable now, we have even had some night frosts. But the garden continues to flower.

 I have now finished the embroidered part of BOM no1 and nearly finished no2. I will start on the patchwork part, as soon as I decide which fabrics to use!

I have made a lot of progress with the Tail Feather quilt. All of the 24 log cabin blocks for the border are now done, as well as the 4 corner blocks.  It is all ready to be put together and the top will be done.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts

I have just returned from a round trip of about 130 miles to Westpoint in Exeter in Devon, which hosts an annual show of textile crafts and hobby supplies, organised by  ICHF Ltd. It is possibly the largest show in South West of England, and judging by the overflow car park, very popular.

I wasn't looking for anything in particular, I just went to browse and look for some new ideas. The stands are very varied, as the name of the show suggests. There are some exhibitors and suppliers I have seen at other shows, others are new.

I have met  Sue Hawkins, embroiderer and designer new to me. She is a lovely lady, who specialises in crewel embroidery. Her stand was very nice, full of finished  projects she sells in kit form. I wanted to share this with you, unfortunately she would not let me take a picture of her stand.
I did resist buying any of her kits, knowing how much unfinished work is lurking in my room!
Luckily she has a very good catalogue and in the end I just could not resist her beautiful book.

But the most interesting of the whole show for me was en exhibition
It is a project to help Afghan women, very often widowed by the conflict in their country, to financially help themselves and their families. You can read all about the project on the above website.
It was explained to me that the women are contracted to make a small embroidered square every 3 months, which they get immediately paid for. The squares are then sold in Europe to textile groups, at shows and exhibitions.
The exhibition at today's show was work of UK textile artists, who incorporated the squares into their work,
and so making the connection with Afghan women.
Theme for UK being "tea pots".

These are just some of them. You can see the little square in every picture and if you click on them, you will be able to see the details.

The exhibition will travel to other shows, list of which is on their website.

From the squares on sale today I chose this one. It is one woman's dream of future, a house with television,
something we so much take for granted.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


If this picture looks familiar, you probably have seen it before. This view has been photographed many times,
but also, like many properties owned and managed by National Trust, Stourhead house and gardens have been used as a film set on more then one occasion, mainly for making of period films.

It is just some 15 minutes drive from our house and on a day like this it is a pleasure to take a walk around the lake and let the grandchildren explore.

Just some of the view from around the estate.

Spread Eagle Inn

St.Peter's Church

Gothic Cottage


Friday, 17 September 2010

where has the week gone?

I have taken this picture of a Red Admiral this week. There have been quite a few of them in the garden, feeding on the last fruits left on the plum tree. Eventually one of them settled on the fence to sun himself. Isn't he beautiful?

I have also stitched together all the main blocks of the Tail Feathers quilt.

I am now working on the border, which is made out of 24 log cabin mini blocks, with 4 stitcheries, one in each corner.

We are slowly getting ready for the autumn and the winter. The boiler has been serviced this week and we have filled the tank with heating oil, ready for the central heating to be switched on. The coal also arrived and logs are stacked, both ready for our multi fuel stove, which can keep all of downstairs warm and cosy, when there is no need for having to heat the rest of the house. The days are still beautiful and sunny, but the warmth has gone out of them and the night are getting colder, so the change of the quilt was required.

We are still making most of the weather, with regular trips to the forest.

We have not been picking as many edible mushrooms this week, but this morning's find was enough for our breakfast and to fill up a tray for drying. It is still relatively early, we normally pick well into a late October,
so there is hope yet.

I have also made another bird for the Textile group's Christmas project.

The postman was really good to me this week.

 Two new books from Amazon.

                                                                    Fabric and Tilda stitchery from Tikki.

Moda fabric from Puddleducks.
Aurifil quilting thread from The Tabbycat.                  

And an Australian magazine and Tilda fabric from Coast & Country Crafts & Quilts.

I should have enough faric to choose from to start my "Scandinavian Christmas Hearts" BOM!

And to finnish the week, Workbox magazine arrived this morning.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

7.15 for Paddington

Let me say right at the beginning, that I am not an official train enthusiast. But I am old enough to remember travelling by steam trains and like many feel nostalgic about the time of steam, not forgetting the old black and white films with scenes from train stations, shrouded in steam and smoke ( and of course I have forgotten the dirt and soot which got in your eyes, but at least you could open the windows and look out ).
So when we were told that last night Bittern was making one his rare journeys through our part of the world, we could not resist to go and see it passing via our small local station on his return trip, from Plymouth to London.
The time was not precise, as the train had to slot into a regular time table, but we were not the only people waiting patiently on the platform, cameras ready. My little camera could not really cope with the speed (yes, speed) of the train passing through, but I got couple of pictures at least. Just look at the length of the train, 12 carriages; we were told by our brother in law, who was lucky enough to be travelling on it, that the train was completely full. Today's trains would have 7 carriages at most. The power of steam!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Christmas project

Well, it must be true, Christmas is coming! It started with the Christmas fabric birds. Today the postman brought a packet from Northern Quilts in Norway, a pattern for a Christmas tablecloth "Scandinavian Christmas Hearts". It is BOM, in 4 parts and this is part 1. With it I also ordered Aurifil thread in Christmas red. It is an Italian thread, new to me, so I am quite curious about it.

I do have another two quilts on the go at the moment, but I am getting on with the "Tail Feathers", I am now stitching the last block.

I must admit that it is a bit difficult to seriously think about Christmas, when outside it looks like summer and the garden is still full of colour.

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