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Saturday, 30 October 2010

vintage bazaar

I spend a pleasant Saturday morning with my friend at Vintage Bazaar in Frome. It was the first one held here and it certainly was very busy and there was lots to see and buy.

The nicest stand in my opinion was that of Niki from Nostalgia at the Stonehouse, who has a shop in Shepton Mallet. No picture of her stand, I could not get a clear shot! But I will definitively visit her shop.
Have a look at Niki's blog for much better pictures.

I was very controlled in my purchases, but picking up a lot of ideas.

My friend and I bougth a box of threads to share (just liked the colour)

and some costume jewellery for my stash and possible future embellishments, or just to wear!


Sunday, 24 October 2010

UFO - korak

I am currently in the process of sorting out my room, which, I am afraid, could take some time. I have come across some UFO's, which I am sure many of you have too.
The most interesting of all my UFO's is my Korak sampler.
The first time I came across Korak, was when one of the Guild members brought in a patchwork she was working on, but I was intrigued by the method she was using to stitch what looked like a quilt top.
She was working from a book by a Swiss author Ruth Tschudy, which she came across on her holidays in Germany. Eventually I managed to find this book on  Amazon. It is a very interesting book, showing some old Koraks, and also some of Ruth's own work and projects to make with instructions.
The text inside the book is in both German and English.

Korak is thought to be one of the most ancient form of patchwork in the world. They were produced in the areas along the Silk Route, mainly in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Koraks were used mainly as floor and wall coverings by the nomads living in the area, sometimes pressed into still soft mud walls of their new huts. Because they were made along the Silk Route, where the caravans were bringing fabrics from different parts of the world, Koraks were made with all sorts of fabrics, cottons, silks, brocade, velvet ...
Ruth Tschudy's book explains the significance of shapes and colours used, mainly the triangle.
The Koraks are stitched onto a foundation fabric like old cottons, linen etc. I used a piece of calico. A lot of work goes into the preparation, making templates and cutting out the fabric shapes.
You start with drawing a grid onto the foundation fabric, whatever design you want to stitch. Then you lay and pin on the shapes, starting at the bottom, working upwards, overlapping the raw edges as you go along.
All the stitching is done by hand, on the right side, using the straight hem stitch, again starting from the bottom, removing the pins as you sew. Koraks are not backed or quilted.
My sampler is about 40 x 36 cm. I made it only as an exercise, not really thinking ahead what I am going to do with it. Later I decided it could be made into a wall hanging, so I stared to embellish it. I think that at that point I did run out of ideas and it ended up in the draw. May be it is time to resurrect it!

Friday, 22 October 2010

post number 100

It is hard to believe that I have arrived to number 100 since March. Back then, when I started this blog, little did I know that it will become such an important part of my life. More to the point, that so many people will want to read it!

After some thought I decided to dedicate this post to those closest to me, my family:
my friend and husband of nearly 40 years, who has always supported me in anything I wanted to do;
my daughter (who patiently reads my blog) and son in law who, like many, juggle their jobs with bringing up their young family and making a good job of it;
my son, who today started his climb of  Mount Kilimanjaro, as a personal challenge and to raise money for "Greenhouse" kids and Marie Curie Cancer Care;
and last but by no means least, our two small grandchildren, who brought so much light and joy into all our lives.

I also want to thank to all of you who read and comment on my blog, without you it would not be what it is.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

american museum in bath

Claverton Manor on the outskirts of Bath is the home of  The American Museum, the only museum of Americana outside of the USA. The grounds, in which The Manor stands, totals 120 acres, with large part of it opened to public, with fantastic views over the valley of river Avon. On a good day it is a pleasure just to walk around, visiting the replica of George Washington's garden, an arboretum with Lewis and Clark trail, containing trees which have been discovered during their expedition across the States some 200 year ago, etc.
 I visited here first time over a year ago, on a beautiful summer day. I came with a friend to an antique textile fair, which was held here. We also had a good look around the museum, including the "quilt" room, with some of the museum's collection. Later we sat on a terrace overlooking the valley, enjoying a light lunch. Oh, joy.
Please click on the link above to learn more about the museum.

The museum has a collection of around  240 American quilts, ranging from eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, most of them rarely seen.
This year, as a special exhibition, the museum is showing a selection of quilts from their archives and this was the main reason I visited this week.
 The exhibition has been open since spring, due to close 31 October.
Unfortunately I can't share the pictures with you, as cameras are not allowed. I can only refer to book below, which I have been given as a present earlier this year. The book contains 55 quilts from the museum's collection. The most unusual quilt of the exhibition is a small quilt made from cigar silk ribbons. During the late 1800s, the cigars were tied into bundles with silk ribbons, which had the name of manufacturer stamped or woven into them. The most common colour for ribbons was yellow, but also red, blue and pink were used, according to the grades of the cigars. The seams in the quilt have been decorated with feather stitches. Most of the silk ribbons were of low quality, so not many of the quilts made this way have survived. This quilt is in very good condition and retained its rich colours.

I can only share with you some of the pictures from the grounds of the museum.

While I was browsing and enjoying the quilt exhibition, I also talked to one of the ladies, a volunteer guide at the museum. She asked me if I knew of Lucy Boston. I have not heard the name before, but some of you might know her already. She was an author of quite a few books, including children's books.
I was told, that she started quilting in her eighties, when she could not manage her four acres of garden any more! The house she lived in is one of the oldest continuously lived in houses in England. Her daughter in law looks after the house and the quilt collection now, and it can be visited by appointment. You can read more about Lucy Boston here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

new tree

Today was another glorious day, sunny with wall to wall blue sky. I am still picking flowers from the garden, even roses are still showing off, specially the red "Dublin Bay". But even the less robust, pink "Queen of Sweden" still has a lot of promise.

We drove to the garden centre to buy a new tree for our garden, a crab apple. We had seen one not long ago, Malus "Pink Glow", and felt that we just have to have on in our garden. The fruit is a beautiful red, larger then most crab apples, with a very strong fragrance. It should be delivered in next couple of days.

Later the postman brought the latest issue of my patchwork & quilting magazine. 

All in all, not a bad day!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Tail Feathers - nearly

The wet weekend away last week was followed by a busy week. Even being retired, I miss the time if I am not at home over the weekend. Or just stuck in my ways?

This weekend turned out to be just as busy, because we had visitors. Our son brought his lovely new girlfriend to stay.

As they decided to leave late this morning, to beat the M3 traffic back to London, I used the afternoon to carry on with the quilt. I didn't need to spend too much time at the machine, as the only thing remained was adding of the border.

After that I was working at the table downstairs, tacking all 3 layers together.
I was working with the back door to the garden wide open, as the summer seemed to have returned.
It was gloriously warm and sunny day.

The quilt is now ready for quilting. I will keep this to minimum, because there is enough stitching on already and too much quilting would be lost.

I wish you all a very good week!

Monday, 4 October 2010

wet and windy weekend away

We wanted to have a weekend away, before the cold wintry weather arrives.After considering various places, we decided to visit Cotswolds, which is only 2 1/2 hours and a pleasant drive away.
We usually have a good weather this time of year, well not this year! But the B&B was booked and the weather man promised a better weather for Saturday.
The first stop of our trip was Burford, on a nice day a very pretty small town, not so very pretty on a wet and windy Friday.

But even on a day like this there is a lot of shops to browse in and plenty of establishments to hide in from the rain and take refreshments.

 And then there is Burford Needlecraft Shop, which is packed with everything a needleworker might need. It was very quiet in the shop that day, all the local needleworkers were probably indoors stitching away.
It is the kind of a shop where I forget the time!


And there is the sweet shop, and what a sweet shop!

From Burford we drove to Bourton on the Water, another one of Cotswolds towns very popular with tourists. We have visited here several times, it used to be one of our places to escape to when we used to live in London area, and we also brought our overseas friends here.

We were booked in at the Holly House, a lovely B&B owned by Paula and James Lyons.We stayed with the Lyons family before and it was a pleasure to return here. Paula, with her cheerful personality, is a very good host and James cooks a great breakfast. The rooms are very clean and comfortable.
I would recommend Holly House to anyone visiting the area.

Saturday turned out to be much better day for sightseeing. Some more pictures from the area.

Sunday was again grey and wet. After a substantial "Lyons" breakfast we packed our bags and a jar of greengage jam made by Paula's mum, and headed for home. On the way the weather improved well enough to be able to stop and visit the  Lacock Abbey and the Village.


Lacock Abbey and the Village has been used as a location for many films and television productions: Cranford, Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Emma, Moll Flanders,
The Other Boleyn Girl, Robin of Sherwood.....................


After a light refreshments at the "King John Hunting Lodge" Tea Room it was time to drive home.

P.S. Only after my return home and publishing this post, I found out from Sue, who lives in the area, that a new patchwork/quilting shop opened in Burford two days before our visit, see Cupcake Cottons.
Unfortunately, due to the weather, we never found it! It could had been a lot more expensive weekend!

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