Sunday, 29 June 2008

Silver Wedding Anniversary

This week my DH and I have been celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. I don't know where the years have gone. I can't believe we have been married for 25 years, we are not old enough. A friend suggested I must have been a child bride and was given the day off school to get married, now that's more like it.

Thank you all for the cards and gifts.

We had a quiet celebration with a family pub lunch. The plan was to then have champagne and cake in the garden. The bunting was up and ready to go when the heavens opened and it poured.

We all took shelter in the conservatory and my sewing table was pressed into service to hold the cake. We had a lovely day.

To commemorate the event I have made a little quilt with 25 hearts. The label still needs to be completed with the dates on.
But a weekend wouldn't be complete without a little bit of sewing and my gift to myself was Gift, Rosie Quinlan's new book. It is lovely, beautifully photographed and the designs are lovely too. What will I make first?

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Art Tour

Despite the rain today we set out to visit some of the venues on The Art Tour. For five summer Sundays and a summer weekend the Network Artists welcome you into their studios, workshops and homes across Northumberland. Having discovered What Katie Did on her blog I decided to go and visit her as she is an exhibitor on the Art Tour. Heading on up to Langley into the rain clouds we were first given a warm welcome by Geoff in Langley Furniture workshops. The quality of the beautiful woodwork was fantastic and it was interesting to see the pieces they had made for an exhibition about Toad of Toad Hall at Seven Stories, the centre for children's books, in Newcastle.

Geoff pointed us in the direction of Kate in her pink shed. WOW! What a place! All of us sewing ladies should have a pink shed like that. What a lovely warm welcome and what inspiration. Kate's motto is recycle, reuse and reduce and what fantastic things she had produced. I feel quite guilty buying new fabric to make my projects when I see what she has done with second hand fabric. I bought these vintage buttons and some picture envelopes made from recycled books, it all came in a handmade Morsbag made from an old duvet cover, No plastic carrier bags here. She was ably assisted by the lovely Gloria another blogger.
Here is Katie in her shed

And my loot.

As you all know I can't go anywhere without a cup of tea so the next stop on the tour was The Garden Station. A restored Victorian railway station in a woodland garden was also exhibiting local artists. We must go back again in better weather and walk in the gardens but we were able to see a rabbit in the garden through the window.

More art across the road in Langley Village hall, where we met Mike Mcfarlane landscape photographer. His work was good too, showing off at its best the fantastic scenery in the beautiful north east of England. Mandy Pattullo's textile art was interesting too.

If you are at a loose end next Sunday set out, Explore the Northumberland countryside and be inspired by the local artists.

Oh and I have been doing some sewing too. A throw for my DS, made from this bright fabric Nantucket by Moda. The fabric is quite busy, so the pattern is simple just 5" squares stitched together to give a random pattern.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Channel Quilted Tote

"Ever wondered what the silver bar in the accessory box of your machine is for, well now is the opportunity to find out whilst making this cute tote bag."
This was the advert for one of Kim's classes at the Fat Quarters.
It went on..
"During the morning you will be shown how to do cross hatch quilting with the minimum amount of marking on your projects." As you know I am keen to quilt on my machine so any opportunity to learn more is welcome. I had tried cross hatch quilting when I made Leanne's bag but marking up all the lines and then erasing all the blue marker lines afterwards nearly took longer than making the bag so I was keen to have a go.

When all set up on the machine the silver bar ,or channel quilting tool, makes it easy to measure off and follow parallel lines of quilting. I cross hatched one half of the fabric and did straight lines on the other half. I will certainly use the technique again.

I finished the bag off when I got home, although I did adapt the pattern to my own design a bit.

Close up of the cross hatch quilting.

I finished off the baby hats and got them in the post to Save The Children complete with letter to Gordon Brown about Third world poverty.

You have to watch out when you leave your sewing room unattended, the animals start to play and look what happens, The Tilda Christmas mice start racing on the Melly and Me giraffes!!!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Knit one, saved one

Lovely weather, lots of gardening, not a lot of sewing. Friday was quilters lunch at The Herb Patch and the start of a lovely weekend. Then it was on to The fat Quarters where I made this little gift bag from the pattern on the Buttonberry blog. I went to Rosarama bead craft for the glass beads and ribbons. It was the first time I had been in and they had lots of lovely beads and jewellery making stuff.

After a trip to Hexham on Saturday to visit the new M&S store (and a good chin wag with Piece-maker) we started on the garden. It just really needed that spring tidy up but had got a bit out of control. The geraniums I bought at great expense a couple of years ago are just starting to flourish and here is a close up shot of the beautiful purple flowers.

On Sunday we went to the open day at the Alex Clark gallery where Jenny bought these fab prints for friends birthdays. Hope they aren't looking in. It was good to meet the artist too. Just across the road from the Herb Patch I am sure we will pop in regularly.

Finally I have been knitting again this week. I have completed one hat and hope I have saved a baby, hat number two is on the way.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Mrs Perkins

Hello Mrs Perkins.
This week I have finished this great Melly and Me giraffe. This was the first time I had used freezer paper to transfer a pattern. It was quick and easy to do. My stuffing technique needs some work however as she looks like she has varicose veins with lumps in her legs. Margaret was right the doll making needles weren't long enough and putting the legs on was a bit tricky, but as you can see she stands up beautifully.

Last week was school holidays and Jenny and I had a day trip to Edinburgh. The weather was completely lousy and Edinburgh Castle was lost in the rain clouds.
We shopped til we dropped. Lots of refreshment stops too, firstly at Henderson's for lunch. I remember this vegetarian restaurant serving wholegrain, vegetarian and vegan meals from my student days. We had a great meal in the bistro and I would thoroughly recommend it. The food was delicious and huge portions too.

Then after more shopping we stopped at Costas for a coffee and Jenny sampled a traditional Scottish beverage.

I also bought some wool to start a quick knitting project. I was taken by this article Knit One Save One in the Women's Weekly magazine about how knitted hats can save the lives of newborn babies in Africa and other poverty stricken countries. If you would like to knit one too, check out details on the Save the Children website here.