Thursday, July 31, 2008
Hopefully we will be able to get the phones back up soon.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So now I am back to calling printers and asking for quotes on a traditional print run. It wasn't what I had in mind, but beggars and choosers. At least I have just spoken to a very friendly and helpful person from one of the printers. Hopefully they can give a quote I can live with and I will have a winner. We would like to know who we are printing with before the layout goes too much further, and I really do want this book out this year.
At least it is a bit cooler today. I should be able to get some quilting done before I cook. I can see the center of the quilt on the frame now, although I can't claim to be half way there yet. I am definitely seeing a machine binding in this quilt's future.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday we went visiting and a very good dinner was had. As you might conclude this did reduce the time available to quilt of tidy the house. However I did manage to finish the first round of painting things black. Unfortunately Ikea are out of stock of the corner shelves I need and don't expect them in for two weeks, so I won't be able to rehouse my stash just yet. I have started moving the bolts though. Especially as one of the wholesalers seems to be watching me. They sent me a box of fabric today, just in time to be first on the new shelves. It turns out I have rather more bolts than I thought, and this walk in storage might not be as huge as I was thinking. Still I will definitely be able to get a better idea of what I have and what I need. Somehow I have run out of marble blues, and I have two quilts waiting that need them. Guess another order is looming.
Other than that it has been hot today. I was hoping it was about to cool down. There has been thunder rolling around for a while now, but the temperature isn't doing much yet. I find quilting (or indeed doing anything) very hard when it is so hot. I had a plan to do some late night quilting, but if the temperature doesn't drop I will pass on that. So here I sit in a distinctly warm office blogging, while the show quilts sit and wait. Ho hum.
Friday, July 25, 2008
While the shelves dry we are going to see the new Batman film. Maybe when I get home I will be able to start getting the room straight. It will be so good to have all my fabric in one place. I will also have a sensible place to put my spare sewing machines, which should make them easier to get at and my sewing room clearer. Win, win I would say.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I finally remembered to take my camera down with me and take some pictures. I know they don't show much, but, well, you will just have to wait to see it all. I am so thrilled with how it is going. I don't think the pictures really show how well it is going, but isn't that always the way. You will just have to take my word for it that it is much better than the last attempt. If nothing else that was so bad I never shared any pictures of it. Not even with close friends, but this one I am quite happy to show off.
I don't know how many of you will remember. I had a rather old computer. It didn't really like me doing anything with pictures including uploading them here. It had a fit if I suggested looking at a video. Well a while ago I got my new machine, and you would not believe the difference. I can now just take some pictures and upload them. It's just so easy now. I suspect it is going to take me a while to get used to how easy it is now.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I really will post photos, I just have to remember to take the camera downstairs with me (OK and the memory card too).
So I am now quite optimistic about this quilt. I still can't be sure I will get it done in time, but I feel I can give it a very good shot. Yes I will put up a photo later, just a little teaser.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I mentioned a while ago about how important friends are, well they've been at it again. Friends are the people who tell you what you can do. Just when all you can see is what you can't. It's been great talking to people I haven't heard from in years too. Keep up the good work, and know you efforts do make a difference.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Hello to some older friends. It's great to know you are still out there doing well and having fun. It's great catching up with you.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The number of people here makes me think we won't be getting out of here any time soon. In fact I suspect this will be a very late one. Still I am making good progress on hand sewing the binding on 'Herd Mentality'.
Trogdor is off driving arround. It's cold here and one drive hasn't warmed him up much. Even sitting idling isn't making much difference. We've had him up on stands this morning, much to the amusement of the rest of our class. They have noticed this happens most meetings. Given we have rented th tarmac here we might as well use it. At home we have mud, not so good for jacking cars up.
All being well we should be running about 10, with two more rounds of qualifying. Given all the VWs have to go first, we may be delayed by oil down. I'll let you know. The photo is taken from our pit. It's not the normal view, there really shouldn't be a stage in the middle of the pits.
In between the racing yesterday I managed to hand finish the binding on Radience. I would have taken a picture last night at the hotel, but there was a very asleep driver all over the bed. You will just have to take my word for it when I say it is looking good.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Our first run should be about 3 o'clock, I'll get back to you then.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I've been discovering things. Did you know if you hang around with sick people there is a good chance you will get ill too? You did, oh. I guess I did too, but, well, I didn't think about it at the weekend. So I spent yesterday not doing much except feeling ill. Fortunately I do feel better today, but the cough is very annoying. I still haven't felt like doing much so I decided the time had come to sort clean socks into pairs. Conclusion, I am too lazy to own plain black socks. So off the the recycling a lot of them will go. I like socks with some design, they are so much easier to pair up. Still I do now have a whole drawer full of nicely paired socks. Perhaps not much of an achievement for most people, but for me something of a novelty. I've been living out of bags for a long time, so clothes in drawers it really nice.
I've also discovered something I can do when I am too tired to do anything but can't sleep. Stick weaving. It's thought to have been brought to Europe by the Crusaders, according to Finniwig Studios the company who made the kit I have. It's very easy and quite soothing to do (OK if you're well and active it possibly would be boring) and you get pretty quick results. I am thinking of getting some more sticks and trying to weave bigger pieces. I think starting with more than 6 sticks will be interesting but once it gets going it should be fine. The fabric you make is quite thick but feels fairly fragile, the weft will move around quite easily. It looks like it might be a very interesting base for stitching. I an plotting ideas for some quite structural belts. I think with more sticks (and a less lurgied brain) I might even be able to weave patterns in as I go. It's certainly a technique with a lot of potential. The sample in the photographs is about 3" wide and 23" long, just to give you an idea of scale.
We have also discovered that blinds, bath screens and taps are all ridiculously overpriced, and that when you are bored and ill the Internet can suck hours of time without effort.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I'll try this as one answer for all, as I am getting a lot of queries on this. I haven't got any of the Turning Twenty range of patterns right now, but they should be with me in a few days. They sell faster than I can buy them, which is great but does mena you will somtimes have to wait for them. I am selling them at 8 pounds per pattern whichever one you choose plus 50p posst and packing.
I do have Dawn and Dusk patterns (the photos show the back and front of the quilt) on hand, they are 5 pounds each. If you are looking for ombre fabrics try calling Patchwork Corner, they still have some of the same range I used for the pattern and at this morning there was at least one kit. If that doesn't turn up the colour you want then Equilter may be able to help you. Put ombre into the search bow, you will a get a great range to choose from.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
On the other hand while I was away this weekend I did make some progress on the block of the month quilt I am doing. I am desperate to quilt this so I have to get it made. I think I have done about 25% of it now. This is one of the projects I need to get back to sooner rather than later.
Three of my quilts for the NEC this year just need hand sewing doing. The binding sleeves and labels. For me this is pretty amazing really. The fourth however is at pattern stage. This is worrying but not a disaster yet. It is a wholecloth so only needs quilting. I really must get the pattern onto the fabric though and ideally get my frame up and ready to go.
I have a group of quilts going off to Scotland. I need to get them packed and sent today. It will actually be quite good to get them out of the way, and the rest that are sitting around the house will be off to the storage unit again today as well. Hopefully this will clear enough space for me to get sewing.
I've also been designing some new quilts. As my first book reaches completion I have the next two designed. I want to have samples of both made up by the start on the next term at Patchwork Corner, as I have classes who will be making them. If writing one book was daunting, two together somehow doesn't seem too bad. I must be crazy. To be honest, looking at my sewing room right now, sewing the samples is the scary bit. Still I am sure it will come together. I've also designed three new show quilts, all of which are desperate for me to make them. Hopefully after I get the drawing board set up in the new office I will be able to get them drawn up and ready to go as soon as the class samples and block of the month are finished. No pressure right? Add to that the portrait that is ready to sew and I think I have a few months full of sewing to look forward to. Right now though I had better get on with packing quilts and tidying up.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
When I got home I was faced with the task of sorting the house again and made another push on the office. We are definitely making progress, but there is still a way to go. I am hoping Ikea will get some shelving in soon as I won't be able to really get things straight until they do. Still I guess every step forward is a good step.
I am hoping that tonight if I am woken up by nightmares I will at least not have to the the 'Where the heck am I" phase. Days that start that way are not good.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
On the cutting table issue, I think I have a winner. Ikea (no I hate the store but they do a good range of furniture) sell extending trestles, which are tall enough and stable. They also sell large glass table tops. The combination will mean I can use it as a really giant light box if I need one, and as a good surface for paint and dye. All in all it seems like a reasonable option. It does fail on easy to move, but I think I can compromise on that.
Ikea has a sale on at the moment (in the UK at least) and one of the sale items is the Dimpa bag. These are huge storage bag that zip closed. I find I can easily store 6 bed quilts on one. They are currently 1.99 per bag. However don't go looking for shelving at the Wembly Ikea they are out of stock of pretty much everything.
Last nights talk seemed to go down well. They are a friendly bunch and helped a lot with carrying all my quilts in and out of the venue. I think I would have to say they were a select group, and indeed they seemed disappointed in the turn out. They more than made up for a lack of numbers in enthusiasm and overall I would have to say it was a good evening.
Now the quilt have done that outing I can pack a batch of them up to go to Scotland. I didn't want to send more away before the talk, as I was worried about having enough work, but now I have a gallery space to help fill. The gallery is called 'Touched by Scotland' and I will be giving a workshop there in September. So if you are in the area I hope if I don't get to meet you, you might have a chance to see my work.
This weekend I am off to teach at a retreat at Quorn Hall. This is something entirely new for me and I am sure I will learn a lot from it. I guess spending last weekend with the quiltathon was probably good training, for a weekend in one building with a lot of keen sewers. Hopefully I will have time to blog from there.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Well I've got lots. I won't say I can't tell I have some missing. I've had a bit of a struggle to get the balance back where I want it, but overall I'm not too unhappy. I will find the one the beginning of August a little lean, but I hope to have made a couple more by then, so they may actually get to see some new work, which always goes down well.
Now I just need to fold some leaflets and load the car. See you all later.
Monday, July 07, 2008
It was really good to see so many faces from my workshops at the Quiltathon. As ever names evaded me. Although I did manage Dot's name, and was able to introduce her to Tet. The two of them got the small quilting frame going and much to Tet's relief Dot took over running it most of the day. I think she quilted about eight tops in her first ever stand up quilting session. I hope she isn't paying for it too badly now.
During the day we were very lucky with the weather. Although Dot and I out in the marquee perhaps didn't always appreciate it. It got very hot at the quilting frames. It did mean that we could expand into the garden when we had too many for the workshop. By early afternoon we had teams cutting, sewing, pressing and making binding. It's surprising just how much binding you get through. Much of our fabric was sales men's samples. This lets you cut at least 10" square, some 6" squares and the rest often is around 2 1/2" ideal for binding. All of the quilts we have finished have very wild bindings.
As the evening wore on more younger quilters turned up. I guess teenagers are all busy on Saturday afternoons. Still having an influx of young fresh people (and indeed fresh not so young people) was great. By then I think some of us were flagging a bit. I was really impressed with how keen everyone was to step up to whatever challenge we gave them. Jobs were often allocated by what needed doing when they asked, not by skill level or experience. Without exception, people met the challenge and did the jobs that needed to be done. No cutting isn't as easy as it looks, and yes even a quilt as you go single can be a handful under a small machine.
As you might expect after a late fish and chip supper (thanks to chip lady's husband) people started to drift home. Some of the younger helpers had to be dragged out, which is great, I hope they are as keen to come back and sew again. The tone of the conversation changed and the wine appeared. Here you see the graveyard shift. These sterling ladies kept up the work until relief came in the morning. I crashed out at about 6 and woke up feeling very ill about an hour and a half later. Maybe sleep doesn't agree with me. When I came back the work was still going on and our first Sunday morning worker had appeared. I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures Sunday. First thing I felt too ill, then we were just trying to get as much done as we could before running out of time. As I said there will be a photoshoot later in the year with as many of the finished quilts as we can manage.
If you were there, or know someone who was could you let either me or Jenny know. I would like to compile a list of everyone who gave support in any way. Time, money, fabric, or food. If you helped I want to get you onto the list.
My goal (when I finally got around to thinking about it) was 1.5 quilts per hour. So in 30 hours I was after 45 quilts. Bingo, right on target. I couldn't tell you why that seemed a good number. One per hour just didn't seem enough, but well two per hour was a bit much. Bear in mind the smallest quilts were bigger than 36" square and the largest are good size singles. I think at least 10 of our quilts a re big singles.
We spent a lot of time considering where our quilts might end up. We were particularly keen to produce some for teenage boys, and believe me that is hard. Still every quilt has a label saying where and when it was made with the Patchwork Corner URL. maybe one day we will hear from one of 'our boys'. While they may never know it, we will always think of the owners of our quilts as part of our family. maybe one day Project Linus will be able to tell the people that receive quilts that they are getting this whole extended family too.
I'll try and upload some more pictures later. The ones of the finished quilts will have to wait for some good weather as we will have to take it outside. We are thinking of leaving it till the middle of August to give people time to finish all the quilts and in some cases make a few more. Thank you for all your help this year, and watch out for next years project. If you know of a charity that might like our help let me know and we will see what we can do. We have fabric left over that has to be used to help people so it could be your charity that benefits.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
I can't begin to tell you how impressed I have been with everyone who has given time, money and fabric. Several fabric wholesalers have been very generous, as have individuals. We have one lady here who just popped in to wish us luck this morning and stayed till late afternoon. Impressive huh, well about an hour later she was back and she is still here! Another lady who had to go and baby sit took work with her, she will be back tomorrow.
Now I must stop gossiping and get back to work. I've got more appearing all the time.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Things are still tough here. I guess for the next month I am going to be somewhat distracted, but hopefully things will improve after that.
Don't forget this weekend is the Quiltathon for Project Linus at Patchwork Corner. Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Don't forget the Quiltathon this weekend at Patchwork Corner. I am planning on being there for 30 hours trying to make as many Linus quilts as possible. It's a great xause and I am sure all the helpers will have a lot of fun. Even if you can only spare an hour it will be appreciated.