Saturday 26 February 2011

Definition of a good skiing holiday

In theory it should just look like this...

or this...

Now at this point I should just say that if you are within popping distance of a quilt shop this post may not be of particular interest to you. However, if, like me, you have to get on a plane to see a quilt shop in the flesh - enjoy the next few images...

Love that birdy quilt.

Look at all that yummy fabric.
And this is the owner and her son - he built her website

And then there was this:
It was like stepping into a log-cabin inside
There were quilts for sale
And although the shop was beautifully laid out...

...the fabrics were quite dark - a lot of reproductions, batiks and traditional prints and I was looking for something a bit more light and funky. So I used it as an opportunity to buy 'unable to buy where I live' things such as fusible fleece, pellon and insulated fleece.

Then there was this:
Very friendly people:
I liked the way the fabrics were displayed in this shop...

I think you gravitate more towards attractive displays of fabric and perhaps consider things that you hadn't looked at before.

And then it was on to here:

(No, that's not me!)

I think by this stage it would be fair to say that my traveling companions were perhaps all quilted out. Lucky for them there was an 'I'm not in to quilting area' with colouring for the kids and free tea and coffee and they were made to feel just as welcome as me.
So while they snapped the wildlife outside...
...I concentrated on what was inside:

Was really enjoyable to see what is to buy in a 'real' quilt shop as opposed to an online one. My only comment would be (and some of the owners know I am doing this blog post) would be for more fresh, funky, modern fabrics please - I saw no Heather Bailey, Amy Butler, Anna Marie Horner or Tula Pink, not a huge amount of Robert Kaufman or Michael Miller but loads of Moda. Appreciate these are my personal preferences though.

Oh, and on the way to the airport I spotted a Jo-Anns but it was on the wrong side of the freeway/dual-carriage way and I wasn't the driver. Had I been the driver and there hadn't been a barrier dividing the two flows of traffic, rest assured, I'd have done a swift U-turn.

And what fabric did I buy?

That and a little (oh OK, big) bit more ;-)

Friday 11 February 2011

Doll Quilt Swap 10

I joined the Doll Quilt Swap 10 (otherwise known as DQS10) on Flickr, got my partner, set to work and have finished it:

I'm not going to say too much in case she reads this but she has similar(ish) tastes to me. The colour choice came about though because I had to use the centre fabric in each block (which I've fuzzed out until I can do the big reveal after she has got it). Had to because I think it's funny/apt/pertinent/applicable/relevant/whatever to her. So I looked for other colours that would bring it alive and that is how it came about.
I hand quilted it with Perle 8 threads in blue and pink and used this tutorial for the binding. I made an Ok but nothing to sing about job of it. It comes in at a trim 22" square - 2" shy of the maximum size allowed.

Working small means trying out new ideas.

I just fancied doing random wavy which is the sum total of the thought process behind the back. I tried to pick colours that were similar to what I used on the front but not the same. Just have to pop a label on it and then it will sit quietly in a corner of my sewing room before it is allowed to make its journey to its new home from the middle of March.

Please take a look at this Flickr group as there are all manner of styles going on and it is all very inspirational.

Oh...and I got me some new reading. Slowly making my way through the list.

Thank you!

Friday 4 February 2011

And the winner of the Tufted Tweets scraps is...

...Caroline from Tofflecraft. Can you send me an email with your snail mail address and then I can pop it into the post to you.

I went and looked at the blogs of everyone that commented and decided on Caroline because she is a student and it looks like she has just started out blogging/crafting. When I was a student I was flat broke (we couldn't even afford to put the central heating on in the winter) so I am hoping Caroline is suffering similarly (!) and that some Tufted Tweets will put a smile on her face. I also remember that when I was a student we had loads of free time to 'do research' so that means Caroline should be able to whip up a quilt with the scraps in no time at all ;-)

Thank you to everyone who came up with book recommendations for me. I have a lot of reading to do. The books raved about were:
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
  • Night -  Elie Weisel
  • Affinity - Sarah Waters
  • The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
  • The Book of Negroes/Someone Knows my Name - Lawrence Hill
  • Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books
  • The Hunger Games trilogy - Suzanne Collins
  • Eat Pray Love 
  • Talk Before Sleep - Elizabeth Berg
  • The Queen's Fool - Philippa Gregory
  • The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Rebecca - Daphne de Maurier
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 
  • The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenberger. 
The books that I would like to recommend to you are:

  • Rowing Without Oars - Ula-Carin Lindquist - what do you do when you are a mother of four, Swedish news reader who finds out you are going to die very soon? I still think about this book now and it has been about five or six years since I read it. I've also had that 'sitting in the doctor's room being told something you don't want to be told' moment and immediately thinking you have let your children down because this is not how you had planned things. I have been more fortunate though. It is a very humbling book to read
  • A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian - I loved this book. Equal measures of humour and poignancy and I just soooo think it has to be made into a film as the characters are so well developed
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - narrated by a 15 year old boy with a form of autism, it makes you question what 'normal' really means
  • Cause Celeb -This was the debut novel of Helen Fielding who then went on to write the massive Bridget Jones' Diary. I actually think this was even better and is an ironic, sideways swipe at the (sometimes, oh OK, most of the time) shallow world of celebritism.
And there are lots of others books I've enjoyed too but I'm sure they are familiar to you: The Bookseller of Kabul, The Lovely Bones (better, in my opinion than the film), A Thousand Splendid Suns etc etc.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a blog about quilting so to end this post off and in keeping with my Tufted Tweets winner just starting out on her quilty road, I thought I would post an image of my first ever quilt made a gazillion years ago. All done by hand. Minimal quilting because I couldn't be bothered after all that hand piecing.
And check out how I did the binding...or didn't as the case may be:
I decided that 'binding' meant you over cut the backing, which you then folded over to the front. And no mitred corners for me either. If I could get closer in and show you the over-zealous top-stitching on the ends I would.

But it is still loved, still used and is chock full of happy memories, which to me, is what quilting is all about.

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