Wednesday, 22 August 2012

FOQ Masterpieces!

Well - as always the Festival of Quilts lived up to expectations - wonderful quilts on display, there is so much talent within the quilting world, it is a joy to behold. There were many great stalls full of tempting fabric - I was fairly restrained and limited myself to a handful (large) of fabric which I knew would bring me joy and fun!  With a wee extra bit here and there......!

The first quilt I must show you is "Scandinavian Journey" from the Cowslip Workshop Team in St. Stephans, just outside Launceston in Cornwall - as some of you will know who follow my blog, Jo at Cowslip is a dear friend and this is the quilt she made for her niece Henrietta who lives in Norway:  the organic wool wadding was made from the wool of Jo's own sheep and it was quilted by Sandy Chandler who lives just down the road from Jo:

There were so many different quilts that caught my eye - so I will try and give a varied selection here for you to see: 

This Hawaiian style quilt was made by Pippa Moss, and is called Piilani after the greatest and best known King of Maui.  The hand applique and hand quilting are fantastic.  I just loved it.

I have many more to show you, but this will do for now - too many at once is overwhelming!

I left Birmingham late Saturday afternoon and drove on up to Nottingham to spend the next 3 days with my dear old Mum.  She has become very frail and confused, even more so than when I visited with her 10 days ago after her fall.  My sister and I have managed to get some care organised for her and someone will come in every morning now to help her get dressed etc.  She is not at all happy about this, but hopefully - fingers crossed - she will get used to the help and begin to accept it.  I realise it must be so difficult for her, she is a proud lady and has valued her independence.  But at 92 the time has come to let others who care help her.  It is very sad and stressful for us, her family, we just hope she can carry on living in her flat for some time yet.
I drove home yesterday evening through torrental rain - and the forecast is not good for the Bank Holiday weekend - typical!  My son Robbie and his girlfriend Nisha are coming down from London, so I am really looking forward to that. 

I will update with more FOQ pictures later - thank you for all your recent comments, all so encouraging - and a big Hello to the new followers of my Blog!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

FOQ - here I come!

Hello everyone:  this is just a quick blog to say I am off up to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts later today -  2 days of pure inspiration and fun, and lots of tempting fabric!
I shall take many photos to share with you so will Blog again next week on my return.

My current cross-stitch WIP is the "Stitch Me Club 2012" sampler  - - it is such fun.  Part 2 arrived a few days ago and I have saved this to sew when I am in Nottingham with my Mum for a few days after the FOQ.  This is how it is looking so far - I am sewing on 32 count over 2 - the colours of the variagated threads are just lovely: 

I would just like to say how much I appreciate the comments that are left on my Blog - and a big Hello to new followers!
What a wonderful hobby we all have in common!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Looking forward.....

Well what a wonderful 2 weeks of sport - I have so enjoyed watching the Olympics and feel quite lost this morning with no rowing, swimming/diving, athletics or gymnastics to watch!  Although I am not normally what one would call a "sporty person" I became totally absorbed and addicted.  I feel so proud of what we as a country produced, and amazed at the dedication and committment of all the participants from around the world.  Congratulations to everyone.

Sadly 10 days ago my dear Mum had a fall and had to have stitches in her head.  Her confidence has been shattered and she really does seem extremely frail bless her.  I went off up to Nottingham and spent 4 days looking after her.  We watched the Olympics together, and I took my cross stitch and managed to complete this:
The majority of this is from the Shakespeare's Peddler design "Spring at Bean Family Farm" but I have personalised it and moved things around:  I have sewn this for my friend Jo who runs Cowslip Workshops - she has been so thoughtful and generous to me these past months when I have been so low, and it is a small gift to say "thank you".  Instead of a red brick house it is a blue/grey cornish stone farmhouse, and I added a row of quilts on a washing line plus some extra lambs - all this gives it the "Cowslip" feel.  It is now off to the framers - something rustic I think!

In my last blog  told you about the problems I was experiencing tryng to make a strip quilt from a jelly roll - well in the end I unpicked the whole quilt - it was over 2 ins out from one side to another, and I also found that the quarter-square triangle borders I was trying to make from a Layer Cake also caused me problems as some of the pre-cut squares were up to a quarter inch out from others.
So I made log cabin squares - and by doing this was able to square up every round and then I squared up the quarter-square triangles - and this is the end result:

It took me a lot of unpicking, but I got there in the end - and the result is fresh and bright.  I shall be VERY careful when using jelly rolls/layer cakes in the future - perhaps I was just unlucky this time.  When this has been quilted it is going to be a 70th birthday gift for a friend who loves pink!

My youngest daughter Dot paid us a flying visit at the end of July as she went to a wedding reception very close by - it was a bonus to see her as she has just started a new job as "Manager" of "Opening Ceremony" - a shop in Covent Garden.  OC had only previously been in the USA and Japan, but wanted to come to London.  She is loving it - and seems really happy which is great.
Off to the wedding looking gorgeous in a dress previously modelled by Kate Moss.  Then back up to London, still looking gorgeous!:
The weather was kind, and our home and garden looks so lovely when the sun shines - such a rare occurance this summer:

And now it is that time of year again:  the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham!  I am so excited!  A wonderful source of inspiration.............. and so much fabric!  Of course I DO NOT NEED ANY FABRIC!!  Watch this space...............I shall come back with many photos to share with you.
I will spend 2 days at the show, and then I will drive on up to Nottngham and spend another 4 days with my Mum.  I can hardly believe a whole year has passed since the last FOQ - such a difficult year for us where so much has changed.  But my love of quilting and sewing continues - long may it do so.