Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Bank Holiday weekend at Alnwick Castle

August Bank holiday weekend never brings very good weather and Monday was no exception. Still in holiday mood we decided to go to Alnwick to visit the castle. Alnwick Castle was built as a medieval fortress in the 13oos and is one of the two largest inhabited Castles in England. Home of the Percy family for almost 700 years and scene of many movies including the Harry Potter movies, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Elizabeth. Used to visiting ruined castles and empty shells in Northumberland I was not prepared for the sumptuous grandeur of the state rooms of the castle with their priceless art works including a large Van Dyke, four Canellettos and a few Titians to boot! The Adam designed chapel decorated with 17th century tapestries was also impressive.
I had some time over the weekend to do some sewing and have finished the applique on the cushion cover from the Rosalie Quinlan Gift book. My technique has improved as I have gone along. Now I need to put on borders and quilt it. I have really enjoyed the needle turn applique.

Now a couple more photos from our holidays. On Sunday Jenny and I went to Asda and got a load printed out to put in an album. We chose so many the machine died from exhaustion half way through.

This is the Basillica of Notre Dame in Boulogne. We had a lovely walk around the ramparts of the old town. We stopped for refreshments in the town square overlooking the Mayors office and these wonderful gardens.

On holiday I also kept a journal as suggested by Leanne Beasley on her blog. The first thing I bought at the supermarket was a note book, a pen and a pritt stick. Every night I wrote about where we had been and stuck in info leaflets, postcards and tickets. At the weekend I finished it off with a pretty cover with paper from a scrap booking shop and some ribbon. I really enjoyed it and it is a good thing to do with all those leaflets you pick up on holiday and then throw away about 5 years later when you don't know what to do with them. Lots more memories to look at.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Holiday Pics

We had a lovely holiday in France last week but now we are back down to earth with a bump. As well as being back to work, today Michael has been in hospital having a tooth out under general anaesthetic, just to add to the stress. Not a lot of chat tonight but some nice photo memories to remind me of our lovely break. I did enjoy sewing the cushion cover from Rosalie's Gift book and my attempts at needle turn applique are improving, however most of it was done in artificial light in the evenings and it would be easier to see in the day light. Special thanks to Dawn for looking after Magic, Jenny's rabbit while we were away.
Is that Robinson Crusoe? No it's my DH relaxing on the beach in his little beach shelter.
I do like beach huts. These ones were in Boulogne, more to follow.
This street in Le Touquet looks so very different from anything you would see in Northumberland!!
Picnic lunch A Baguette . What else?
Strange Englishwoman doing applique on balcony of apartment.

The French seem to like to mix flowers and vegetables in their floral displays.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Nantucket and holiday plans

Holidays from work have meant that I have been busy sewing over the last few days. The Nantucket quilt is finished and handed over to my DS. We then had to rearrange the living room to accommodate it. She was really pleased with it. I quilted it on the machine using a wavy embroidery stitch but found the fabric gradually crept while sewing. When I came to sew across the pattern it started to go into little folds, so I just did one row down the centre and one on each border. However the finished effect is good. I was particularly pleased with the Nancy Halvorsen extra wide fabric I used for the backing as it went really well with the Moda fabric. Here is a close up of my favorite fabric, with little buckets on it, showing the seaside theme.
Helen bought me this Cath Kidston button tin and the cute buttons to put in it as a thank you.

I was also pleased with the label. I read a tip in a book that suggested you print the quilt label words on the computer, choosing a font to match the quilt design, then hold a piece of pale fabric or calico on top of the print up at the window and trace the wording through with an indelible pen, then sew onto the quilt back. I used the pale cream fabric with anchors on it. Quick, easy and very effective.
The next project has already started. I am making the cushions from Rosalie Quinlan's Gift book. This is my first attempt at needle turn appliqué. I wanted some hand sewing to take away on holiday. I've just got to leave it alone until the packing is finished.

Sometimes blogger just gets the better of me. Last night it wouldn't down load photos or save the text. Tonight we have this underlined text. Don't know where that came from. Sorry.