Sunday, 25 July 2010

From one extreme to the other

My last quilt tops were so subdued and quiet colour wise so I thought it was time for something a little different. Using a selection of tufted tweets and kona solids this is a part of the new top.

It will have to go on hold for a little while as I'm off on hols for a week. Hope you all have a good one.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Hmm.. front or back??

So this is the pieced backing I was preparing for my newest top made out of the offcuts from that one. However I have a little dilema now. I haven't enough of the grey so either I can order more and wait to finish it or I can wave my magic wand and voila! It is now a top in its own right and not a lowely back anymore!

I confess I am drawn to option 2 and have the back become a front. I can just then use an ordinary backing for both of them.

This will probably be my last post for a week or so as I'm off on hols. I am supposed to be spending a couple of nights in Cardiff on my way to Ireland to break up the drive before carry on to visit family and friends. However, there is always a complication. One of my other aunts (of which I seem to have an endless supply as my Mum was one of 13 kids) had a stroke this morning. She lives in the south of England so we may detour down there to visit her before carrying on to Ireland. It all depends on how she is over the next couple of nights. She isn't allowed to die though, there have been too many funerals already in the last two months!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Solid play and Hall Place

I finished my new top that I've been playing with. This was inspired by which was in turn inspired by Gwen Marston. I've wanted to make this since I saw it in her book and then seeing what filminthefridge made I had to get started.

I used kona medium grey (hooray finally got some) from I also ordered a fat quarter bundle of Timber by Jessica Levitt from them which I was really pleased with. When it came I had  free FQ's of kona baby pink and rose which went I thought really well so I used those for the narrow strips.

Each block finishes at 5.5" and it is 44" x 55" overall. I really like the look of it. Very subtle. I've no idea how I will quilt it though! Any suggestions??

I ended up with a lot of spare trianges so I busy using them in a pieced back. I think this will end up double sided.

I am still putting off unpicking the string quilt but thanks for the encouragement. I am leaving it on the table by my machine so I can avoid it!

I went to a local quilt exhibition today which was held at which is only a 10 minute drive from me. Its a beautiful estate that has been around since the 16th century. They have recently done a lot of work on it and put in new tea rooms etc and this was the first time I had been back. It has wonderful gardens although I'm not that keen on the topiary! Best of all its free to visit and park - what more can you ask for!

Friday, 16 July 2010

The good, the sad and the ugly!

I finished my course today! I can't believe 12 weeks has gone so quickly. It's only been a half day a week but I feel I learnt loads and really enjoyed it. I've already signed up to carry on in September. It will take years but maybe one day I will be a counsellor.

Yesterday evening I went to a mass at the Westminster Cathedral dedicated to the mother of a friend of mine who died a few weeks ago. She worked there for years until her illness got too much for her so they wanted to pay their respects. Now this is the Catholic cathedral in Westminster, so although it was Catholics who built the Abbey next to the Houses of Parliament that pesky Henry VIII did his doings and it wasn't until this one opened in 1903 that we got one back!

It is a lovely building near Victoria - the inside is not what you expect from the outside. I couldn't take a snap of that for obvious reasons!

And for the ugly it is my string quilt!! I was really happy with it and got it all sewn together earlier in the week. Then I took a photo and realised I had turned one section the wrong way around. I'll have to unpick it now!!! It was supposed to make a central square. Not be this wonky! Blaaaarh!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Avoiding the heat

Being a pasty freckle faced redhead in London I'm not one for the sun. The fact that we have been having a heatwave is a bit of a nightmare for me.

In between funerals and visits to the hospital I've been doing my best to avoid being outside. Friday this meant a visit to the O2. This place, formerly the white elephant known as the Millenium Dome is now a major music venue.

Was I going to anything exciting? No! Just the cinema to see Eclipse. I'm not a big fan of the twilight franchise, in fact I get quite irritated with the Bella/Edward gloomfest and want to give them a slap but a friend wanted to go to see it.

I have to admit, it wasn't as bad as the last two films and I quite enjoyed it. I do feel a bit creepy drooling over a teenage boy (Taylor), it isn't seemly for a 40 year old!

Anyway, the O2 is built on what was wasteland and over the years the area is getting a makeover and as its only 10 minutes in the car is quite useful for me.

I've also been working on the scraps again with a load more string blocks. This is the pile I have now and its enough for a new quilt. Time to start squaring them off!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Its art Jim but not as we know it!

I had another day in town today, but much more fun that hospital visiting. I've been wanting to see the Henry Moore exhibition at Tate Britain for months and finally made it.

Afterwards had a wander around some of the galleries and discovered these! They are real decommissioned fighter planes. I don't get the artistic reference but they looked amazing in the room.

Tried to look around a bit more as I haven't been to this gallery for a long while but the rest of the rooms were like a sauna so we went outside into the gardens and had a good natter instead! If you've been watching Wimbledon you might have notice we are having a heatwave instead of our usual rain and I can't cope with it. At least there was a slight breeze today and shade so it was a pleasant afternoon.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Killing time

What do you do when you have to kill a bit of time?

I went to visit my aunt (the incredible inflating woman) today in the hospital and thankfully she is returning to normal. However she is in a new ward and they wouldn't let us in between 1.30 - 3 pm as it was "rest time". As we arrived at 2 which was the time allowed in the other ward it was a real pain so we had an hour to kill.

We went just outside a few hundred yards to this!

London Bridge is just on the left out of shot, the Gerkin is slap bang in the middle of the City, HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge are on the right. Its so easy to take it for granted as this is the area I grew up in, my secondary school was about half a mile further down river from Tower Bridge. But on a lovely day seeing all the tourists running around doing the touristy things I realised how lucky I am.

Not only have I lived a lot of my life near the south bank of the Thames I worked on it for a lot of years as well. I could take you on a tour from Tower to Westminster Bridges of all the pubs I've been drunk in!

Now a-days I feel like I live in a different world to this, I'm all of 8 miles from London Bridge!!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Sadness and Gratitute

Its so easy to let the little things get to you and feel like the whole world is out to get you. I've had my fair share of those times. However when I look back I realise it truly wasn't that bad, and thats probably the same for most people.

I know a family though that has had far more than their fair share of troubles. Good hard working parents with four kids, the dad is suffering with throat cancer. Their only son was murdered a few years ago and now one of the girls has died suddenly at the age of 37. She was difficult and caused them a lot of heartache over the years but they never rejected her and did everything they could to help her.

It puts everything else in perspective. Its just too much. If I was religious I would be angry at a god that did this to people. If I believed in karma I would say they must have been terrible in another life.

Strangely it also makes me grateful. Grateful that my life isn't or ever has been as terrible as theirs. Grateful that I have a nice peaceful life now. Grateful that I was able to walk away from the people in the past that brought me nothing but pain. Grateful for my wonderful Mum who was strong enough to get my dad out of my life before he damaged me beyond repair like he did with his kids from his first marriage.

Today is a day to focus on whats good about life. Enjoy it!