Tuesday 29 April 2014

Slowly, slowly

Thank you for the encouraging words after my last post which were so appreciated.   Progress is creeping on so I'm feeling a bit more cheerful, and after the good luck in scoring a bargain piece of batting in just the size needed, I also discovered that without any planning whatsoever the quilt is exactly as wide as the beloved Ikea nummer fabric.  Hooray.

I have managed to get it basted, and after a few false starts with machine quilting which just didn't give the sort of organic effect I want as background to the leaves I'm laboriously hand quilting it.

This is being done in fits and starts between work and as usual any attempt at domesticity has fallen by the wayside.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

WIP Wednesday

Leaves quilt is coming along, but I have realised several things:

1.  It would have been very good if I had had a proper plan instead of winging it all the way.
2.  I am using black linen as the background for my Oakshott leaves and it is lovely, but picks up a massive amount of lint.  I have lint rolled the right hand column, but when I squint at the quilt I like the linty bit best!  I think that's a sign that I should have gone for a yarn dyed linen, which wouldn't look quite so flat.
3.  Working as slowly as I do means that about half way through a project I am already very boooored with it and spending far too much time thinking about the next thing I want to do.

Still, one day this b**** thing will be finished, and I will have learned a lot doing it!

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Happiness is...

running out of batting, and finding that the fabric shop has sold out but happens to have a funny old bit under the counter which is exactly the right amount, with a little Frankenbatting from the offcuts bin.  It's just for this that I keep all the offcuts from quiltmaking.  You never know when they will come in handy  - quite often because of my incompetence: those skinny strips are fantastically useful if quilt creep has left your batting shy of your top.

It doesn't pay to get smug though, and quilt your work to itself.  Doh.

Friday 18 April 2014

Town and country

So I've finally caught up on all my favourite blogs.  In fact I spent so long reading through them that my foot, which was tucked underneath me, went to sleep.  When I stood up it was like having an uncooked sausage for a leg with the result that I just fell over sideways and my husband had to run downstairs and pick me up off the floor.

I've also edited the holiday pics and thought I would show a bit of what North East England is like.  I really love the little glimpses of round the world that you get from blogs, so hope you won't mind lots of pics which of course you will skip if you do, so that's okay too.

Anyway, first we had some culture. An English museum in the French style:

This is the Bowes Museum, built by the illegitimate son of an English aristocrat, and his wife, a French actress.   They spent their life together making a wonderfully idiosyncratic collection of objects and paintings, possibly as a kind of 'up yours' to the society which wouldn't accept him, and had this built to house them.  Tragically neither of them lived to see it finished.

The building below, also in the town of Barnard Castle, served a variety of functions, including butter market, fire station and court house.  It also had two bullet holes in the golden weather vane as a souvenir of a target shooting competition between two chaps in the early 1800s.

This sign was high up on the wall, so I had to look up Corn Returns on the internet.  Apparently each town had to declare the amount of grains sold in the local market, and the selling price.

In total contrast this was a typical local stone barn with slit windows and dovecot in the eves.  Although it has a corrugated iron roof some of them were tiled with massive split stone slabs (rather than slate). I think they are beautiful.

Being Britain the weather was variable. We walked to the waterfall with the longest uninterrupted drop in England on a very cold and wet day: photo taken in the two seconds we took to make the most of waterfall before turning back and does not show grumpy children. It was worth it though!

There was a lot of lovely sunshine however and the countryside was full of blossom.

How can anything as energetic and characterful as a lamb turn into something as stolid as a sheep?

I was so excited to see a hare - they are not a common sight in urban Scotland:-):

This is the kind of scenery lower in the valleys.

Higher up, it's much wilder.

Lots of beautiful walls.  I think I have a bit of a trainspottery nature, but I think the variety of styles of dry-stone dyke work is totally fascinating.

There's also something completely awe-inspiring about a dam - I suppose it's partly to do with controlling the natural environment, but there's also something surreal about them.  We walked across one:

and drove across another to reach one of the houses we stayed in.  That drop to the left was quite hair-raising.

A lapwing.  Love the fascinator.

Back to reality, and school, after Easter.  Then perhaps some quilting!

Toads amazeballs

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Slow Blog Linky

Just back after a foray over the border, and sorting out loads of pictures of walls...


and wildlife...

What have you been up to? Link up a post about your creative endeavours or other distractions - I'm looking forward to catching up!

Friday 4 April 2014

Bloggy break

Taking some time out to bond with the sprogs over the holidays, but back soon.

I have had some lovely comments recently from no-reply bloggers.   I try to hunt you down and find you (insert crazy voice) but if not I generally reply (though sometimes forget, sorry) in the comments section.

Some people are no-reply by choice I know, but you can also be a no-reply blogger if:
  • you have a Wordpress blog as Wordpress and Blogger don't seem to talk to each other.
  • you have not added an email address to your Blogger profile.  Good tutorial here
  • you have recently switched to Google plus.   There is a post on this here and here 
Don't forget the Slow Blog Linky on the 15th of the month!

Knotted Cotton

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Not Fresh Sewing Day!

Stuck in a bit of a creative swamp at the moment.  Came across this the other day.  I think this is the original source.        

Yes, yes, yes:-)

I have more than one reason for not being very productive in the quilting sense.     As well as the creative swamp I'm occupied with this one.

I'm digging out the unsuccessful lawn in order to put down pebbles.  Now that I've excavated nearly 60 sacks of mud, I think I'm at stage 5.  Onwards and upwards!


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