Thursday, 26 August 2010

Its beginning to feel a bit like Autumn

Here in my little part of the UK, right on the east coast it is cold and rainy today. All the water butts are overflowing and the goats are sulking in their shed. I have just had a serious hunt for logs for the wood burner. It led me to think about the good times/weather I have had this Summer (?) holiday.

Before FoQ I spent a relaxing time in Shaldon, Devon waking up to this every day. Living in the flat Fens the perspective was very different for me and the different roof tops intrigued me. DS2 finds change very hard to cope with so we are very lucky to be able to stay in a cottage owned by my parents-in-law. We managed to have a typical beach holiday and dodge the rain showers. I was excited though because in the village and 2 minutes from the cottage was a new yarn shop

There was a lovely lady inside and I bought some lace wight baby alpaca for a simple shawl I saw in the Yarn Forward magazine I had for the car journey. It will be my treat after my C&G is completed.

On the first Saturday in August Shaldon has a water carnival and one element is a decorated boat parade round the harbour. I was amazed that all kinds of boats (please excuse my ignorance) took part.

We managed to do a short part of the coastal walk (4 miles) with both DS's which gave fantastic views as we climbed upwards. Above is Teignmouth, below The Ness beach, this has red sand due to the clay cliffs (I think)
Each year since we have been going down there Teignmouth has had a sculpture walk along the seafront with various artists making things out of found or reclaimed materials. This year I noticed that some local schools had got involved and people were very creative with white plastic milk bottles.
After Devon we drove back to Cheltenham to visit relatives and managed a day out in Gloucester before trekking home. We wandered down by the docks and this massive basket of flowers was outside the craft centre. I should have stood DS by it to give an idea of scale, I am 5ft 4" and the top (of the basket not flowers) was above my head. I took a quick photo of the cathedral from the docks and told DS that some of the earlier Harry Potter films were shoot there.

Despite my travels I have managed to get some stitching done so I will be back with a show and tell. City & Guilds work is also progressing well but I think I will have to get a short extension.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Festival of Quilts help

A quick post in the vain hope that all the lovely people in blog land might be able to help. Did anyone take a photo of quilt number 905? It was in the children's 5-8 category. If so please can you e-mail me.

Fingers and toes crossed..............

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 2

For those of you who have never stewarded or had any opportunity to get into the NEC before 10am, it looks a bit like this. If you have never volunteered to steward why not next year? You can get into the NEC from 8.30am for total uninterrupted views of the quilts.

I promised to share some of the children's work. Over the four days the projects were, Book covers, Bunting, Xmas decorations, Halloween masks, Seaside wall hanging, Recycled blanket/jumper art pictures, Embellished wrist bands and these wonderful "go green" bags features below. Each session we had between 14 and 18 children, the youngest only 5 but determined to use the sewing machine independently.  It is also great to see children returning each year to spend a day with us. These will be our quilters of the future, who knows in 10 years time someone might go up for an award having started with us.

I did manage to great away for a lecture by Jane Dunnewold which was very inspirational. It was entitled Mining for Meaning and Jane used both images and poetry to illustrate her talk. One  poem was by an American called Mary Oliver. I have googled her and found 87 poems but can't remember which one Jane used. A good point was to master the tools/media you have. I know in the past I have been guilty of buying some new product, coming home and not giving myself the opportunity to play so it sits in a box, I loose the instructions and never use it. I have Jane's new book, Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design On Fabric and after my City &Guilds is finally completed I am giving myself permission to play and make things for me. I have just found checked out her new blog, which is about being creative.

Just by flicking through her posts I found this which said a lot to me -

"Ask yourself  "What if?" And don’t be discouraged if the answer isn’t immediately forthcoming. But start by asking the question. Play with the tools. And open your brain to the possibilities. Your hands might quite possibly follow." Jane Dunnewold 2010

Monday, 23 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 2010

After a quite long period of absence I'm back. It feels like I have been on a tour of the UK, holidaying in Devon for two weeks before visiting relatives in Cheltenham, over to Nottingham for a teaching session and up to Manchester for (sadly) a funeral. After going home for a few days I then left everyone again for the NEC in Birmingham for Festival of Quilts, so this was my home for three nights.

I had such a great but exhausting time and was privileged enough to work with over a hundred children in the children's workshop area. If you helped as well, thank you, especially Karen and Heather who where there the whole time as well. 

Festival is special for me as well as it is the chance to catch up with old friends and friends from overseas who come each year. Anna, Yvonne I hope you caught your flight and made it home to Sweden safely. I have been lucky enough to attend every show since it started at the NEC, I won't forget this year though as my son won a prize. talk about feeling like a proud mum, I wanted to make a badge that said "mother of award winning quilter". Luke was staying with Granny and Grandad so they had to drive him up to receive his prize and certificate at the Gala Dinner. This is him getting his prize and below his quilt.

I am proud to say that apart from helping/supervising when he used the rotary cutter it is all his own work. The pinwheel blocks where made from an old London A-Z (we used to live in London) and black fabric. I want to say a massive thank you to Ferret for encouraging him to continue quilting and to free machine quilt at the Quilters Guild AGM earlier this year.

I don't have any individual permission to publish photos of work but thought that this collage of images would be OK,
On Thursday evening I had a meal with friends before rushing over to the Hilton for the prize giving. I went there again Friday for the international fashion show. It was a very organised evening, great food and even better entertainment from the fashion show. Everyone must have spent hours and hours making their costumes, Ferret's work was fantastic as ever with Phoenix appliqued and quilted onto the back of a leather jacket. DS loved the suit of amour she made for Tet when he visited the show on Saturday.
One thing that made me stop and think was the display of bonnets from the Roses from the Heart project. This was started back in 2005 by Christina Henri and invites people from all over the world to make a bonnet to honour all the convict women from Britain and Ireland that where transported to Australia from 1788 - 1853.

I have been matched to a lady called Isabella Gartland who sailed on the ship "Elizabeth" in 1828. I found out that she was 28, single and a kitchen maid before being deported for vagrancy. I think that Christina needs to collect 25,566 and already had over 18,000. Once they are all made they will be displayed permanently together. If you want to find out more the website is

I have just realised how long this post has turned into so I'll post tomorrow to show you the work that the talented children achieved each day at FoQ