Sunday 14 October 2018

Working in the sun and stitching in the rain.

Having thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Stitching and Knitting exhibition with John on Friday, yesterday was a work day. Over the academic year the university holds a series of open days for potential students and we have to take part in them. They are quite fun events and it is great to meet potential students and their families. When I got up yesterday the temperature was already over 22 degrees celsius and the sun was shining as I drove to work. As I got out of the car at work the wind pushed me along. It seemed to be the perfect day to go walking but here I was at work. I spent the day in doors but every so often when I had the chance to look out of the window I could see that the weather was beautiful and just perfect for outdoor activities. Why is it that when the weather is good it's a work day. Fortunately the people we had visiting the university were very interested in the courses on offer and I had some great conversations with many young people and their parents about the next step in their education journey. Once home I was able to go out for a walk before the sun lost its heat and the day ended.

Fast forward to today when I have the time to do anything I want and what does the weather decide to do ...RAIN! Not that nice gentle refreshing rain that you don't mind walking in, that heavy rain that soaks through all your clothing even if its waterproof and leaves you cold and soggy. Under the circumstances there is only one thing a girl can do and of course that's get sewing.

So I made a few more 6 inch nine patch blocks. I now have 36 of them to go with the 47 snowball blocks. 

I decided to get out my squared paper and plan out the quilt I want to make for my brother. I will need to buy some fabric for the borders and sashing as I don't have any yardage  but at least I now know how the top will go together.

After that I set about cutting out the pattern and pattern pieces for Luna Lapin. I love this rabbit and want to make a couple of them as Christmas gifts. I only had grey felt but that will do for the first rabbit. This will be my slow stitching for the week as it is all put together by hand.

Before I settled down to start some stitching I checked how many bear paw blocks I had made and that the fat quarters I bought at the exhibition matched the backing fabric I'm using. These are going to be fine. The bear paw blocks are an ongoing project that won't be finished any time soon but every so often I put some work in to move it along.

I'm linking this post with Kathy for her Slow Sunday Stitching. It's so relaxing on a Sunday to work on some hand stitching. Why not pop over and see what everyone has been working on.

Back in August I visited the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Society of Art and I want to show you the photos I took. I took them on my phone and I've been having trouble getting them to upload to my computer but I think I'll solved that problem. I'll give it another try later this week.


Friday 12 October 2018

The stitching and knitting show.

Every autumn there's a stitching and knitting show at Alexandra Palace in London and almost every year I go to feast my eyes on the fabrics and yarns, the quilts and amazing fabric art and of course to spend some money on supplies I desperately need. Usually John comes with me and we turn it into a treat day, having danish pastries with our morning coffee and enjoying a leisurely lunch in the restaurant. I took today off work as I have to take part in an open day tomorrow, so we headed to the show. It's open for 4 days, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's always better to visit on the weekday as the weekends are so crowded. There were several school trips in and it was lovely watching the teenagers interact with the staff on the stands and enjoying the fabric and yarns.John and I enjoyed a slow stroll round the show and I picked up loads of ideas for projects. I bought some neutrals to add to my stash and some micro buttons for use with my hand stitching projects.

There were lots of lovely quilts on display but what caught my interest were some pictures by Jenni Dutton of her mum who had dementia.  You can find out more information about Jenni and these pictures here

The pictures are very powerful and thought provoking.  The first one was of her mother as a young girl.

The early pictures were created from photos from her mother's photo album. 

I love these early pictures. They are all made with the same technique but it has been executed slightly differently from picture to picture.

Obviously at the time the early photos were taken the artists mum was fit and healthy and enjoying life but as the series progresses she starts to show signs that all is not well. The pictures also record the process of ageing very well

There is an amazing amount of detail in each picture and it has all been achieved using thread in a whole range of different colours. The effect is stunning.

The following pictures show the ageing  process very well. The colours used and how they are positioned next to each other gives the skin a fragile look with the blood vessels showing through.

The later pictures in the series made people cry as they witnessed the decline as the dementia took over .

Jenni's mum died peacefully on 27th September 2015. 

When I'm next teaching the students about dementia I'm going to use these pictures to  demonstrate the effects of the illness.  Although the pictures were thought provoking and some people cried as they looked at them, I also found them joyful because Jenni had captured the person behind the eyes.

John and I had a fun day at the show and this year I didn't over spend. I saw an embroidery I liked and john bought it for my birthday, which means I have to wait until December before I can have it, but that gives me time to finish one of my other projects. By the time we got home I was tired and this evening I didn't even have the energy to do any hand stitching. Maybe I'll get some sewing done tomorrow evening.


Monday 8 October 2018

Sunday sun and stitching

Yesterday Lucy, John and I were supposed to be walking but when I checked my emails over an early morning cup of tea I had a reminder that I was teaching a first aid course for my guide county. That was a bit disappointing as the three of us have been rather busy lately and so we haven't been walking for a while. I had to get a bit of a wriggle on to get to the venue on time and I left John and Lucy trying to decide where they were going to walk. I enjoyed my journey as I was travelling in my new car which I'll tell you all about it in another post. The course I was teaching started at 9:30 and at 10 a.m. the rain started. The rain caused the temperature to drop dramatically and by lunch time we were all feeling very cold. The rain kept on all day and I was relieved that I hadn't gone walking. We do go walking in the rain but the rain was more like monsoon season and our waterproof clothing wouldn't have kept us dry all day. When I got home I found that John and Lucy had taken Scamp for a walk around the common and got very wet so they decided to stay home and catch up on some work.

I'd planned on sewing yesterday evening but in the end I decided to do some reading. That meant that today I had to do some catching up. I have spent the last two weeks sorting out all my sewing bits. I checked and logged all my projects, including, quilting, embroidery, dress making, knitting and crocheting projects.It's good knowing what I'm working on. As part of the sorting I rediscovered my snowball blocks. I have 47 of these 6 inch blocks and to go with them I'd started making some 6 inch 9 patch blocks. I want to use these blocks to make a quilt for my younger brother. I also have quite a few 6 inch churn dash blocks. The churn dash blocks were made as part of the RSC 16 so they are in a range of colours.

The nine patch are totally scrappy.

This morning I made a start on some more 9 patch blocks.


I also found my charm packs as I am making another set of nine patch blocks but this time using 5 inch squares. It's so easy using pre cuts but I do find that there are always a few squares that I don't use purely because I don't like the fabric.

Today the weather has been really warm and sunny, such a change from yesterday. The sun shining through the windows made the colours in the fabrics really pop. I opened the doors into the garden whilst I sewed. Autumn is definitely on the way and I wont be able to enjoy sewing with the doors open for much longer so it was great to enjoy it while I could.

This evening I finally finished the unicorn hat I've been making. All the crochet was done a little while back but I needed to stitch the horn and ears to the hat and then weave in the mane. This was a fun project to make, especially making the mane. 

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday stitching. Why not pop over and see what everyone has been working on.

Tomorrow I'm going to work out the arrangement I'll use for the 6 inch blocks to turn them into a quilt top. I'm hoping I've made enough blocks so I can get the top put together this week. For the next two months I have minimal teaching so I can have more time for stitching which will be fun. Plus I have a holiday coming up in November. 

For now I need to sort myself out so I've got everything ready for work tomorrow.