Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hair today...gone tomorrow!

I wouldn't normally post about my hair, but as Judy at Quilting with Ragdolls posted about her hair I thought I'd share my before and after. I've never bothered going to the hair salon to have my hair coloured before...normally I'd just buy something that looked ok on the box. But, I decided it was time to try something new. The interesting thing was that while I was having my hair coloured and streaked to cover the ageing grey hair, a girl of about 13 was having her hair streaked. It stuck me as being quite comical that we spend half our life colouring our hair to look older and then the other half colouring our hair to look younger! So when does that happen? What's that magic age? Hmmm...that's something to ponder!
I also wanted to share some pretty pictures I've managed to take over the last couple of weekends. The lilac is in my garden and the fragrance is wonderful and the other flowers are from my MIL's garden. We have had the warmest April in over a 100 years here in Britain.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Me, Machine and I

Is it me or my machine? After admiring such beautiful work of Anne's (scroll down) I had a go at some free machine quilting on my Trumpet Stars...nothing near the calibre of work that Anne has done, but just a few embellishments. So far I've I've done some echo quilting around the appliqué using my walking foot and I'm really pleased with the results. But when I tried doing some free machine work I got very frustrated. I dropped the feed-dogs and adjusted the tension, but still got funny little loops of the top thread on the underside. My machine has done this before, but I can't remember if I managed to fix the problem...even after checking my library of books. Has this ever happened to you? In the end I unpicked most of the free motion stuff and will tackle it another day. I hoping one of you will say it's my machine so I can justify buying the Janome 6600... :o)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Upon my daughters request...a Sun Hat

My daughter came out of nursery this morning declaring that she NEEDED a sun hat for school and although she already has a sun hat I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make one for her that would be unique and hopefully un-losable. I downloaded a free software program called WildThings which allows you to design a variety of bags, hats, wraps and even slippers. You pick your design, input your dimensions and it drafts the pattern...easy as pie. The instructions on the "how to assemble" are basic, but if you have a sewing background it is a very usable program. I'm thrilled with the results I had in a few hours and liked that I was able to customise it for my needs. I'm thinking I might make one for myself!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A trip to Warwick

At the beginning of the Easter break I promised myself that I would get to Warwick to check out the exhibition at the museum and to visit The Quilter's Den, a new quilting shop that opened last month. Finally today, the last day of the Easter break, I got down there to visit.

As it happened, I parked fairly close to the Warwickshire Museum to see the exhibition by Leamside Textiles. This particular exhibition will be running until April 21st so there is a few days left if you are interested in going. It is a fairly small collection of work, but very well worth a visit if you are into the style of art quilts. The quilts on display are of a very high standard and although I'm not a huge fan of art quilts I could really appreciate the work and the stitching in those on display at the museum.

After a spot of lunch I went down to visit The Quilter's Den and after a lovely chat with the owner Anita I made some purchases...oh it was really hard to only buy a few things..she had so many lovely things. Anita explained that The Quilter's Den will be starting workshops (as of tomorrow) so if you are interested, give her a ring. All in all it was a fabulous day out...and a great way to end the week and the holidays.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Trumpet Stars Top

What does one do while the family sleeps away on a Sunday morning? Well, I got my Trumpet Stars top completed. Now all I have to do is baste it and quilt it...do you think the family will sleep in again tomorrow? Let's hope so! :o)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Push-Pins with Style

My daughter discovered a great tutorial on this blog on how to stylise your push-pins for your corkboard using fabric covered button kits from your local haberdashery. We made sixteen of them (8 for me and 8 for my daughter) in a very short time. I got my button kits from Dunelm and chose to use the 23mm metal ones as that matched my pushpins in size. I also bought the gadget to help wrap the fabric around and secure the backing. Here is another blog showing really cute push-pins made by another lady. It's really good fun.

Friday, April 06, 2007

We're on our way, we're on our way...

...on our way to Grandma's Farm.

Well, not quite, but I did take the children to Burnums Farm on the A5 yesterday and we had a most glorious day. It was picture perfect weather to do something so festive (Easter) as visiting the farm and feeding the animals.


(click to enlarge any of the pictures)

I had heard such wonderful things about Burnums Farm and my visit yesterday lived up to it. The entry price was very reasonable and the owners so pleasant. They had lambs which you can feed milk to from a bottle..something I'd never seen before and for me, the city girl, was the highlight of my day. There is a very large play area in for the children and picnic tables for lunch. There were goats to hand feed and donkeys to chat to. One in particular I thought was sweet. Her name is Diane and she listened very carefully to me as I talked to her...I just had to take a picture. Well, that "girl" probably has seen a few cameras and knew just what to do...almost as if to say, "let me get my head over this gate so you can get my best side"

All the animals were very friendly and obviously used to people. The grounds seem to go on forever and was a very peaceful day out. Just look at that scenery!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Quilt "show" in my garden!

I woke up in the middle of the night and just couldn't go back to sleep. It was about 2:30 AM and all I could think about was the binding on my Lutterworth rows...so I figured since I was WIDE awake I might as well make good use of the time and tippy-toed down to the lounge, carefully closed the door and turned on the one light I needed to stitch by. I then turned on the TV with the sound just barely on and got to work on the finishing touches of the quilt that has been an on-going project since last year. I was amazed at the ridiculous shows that are shown at at ungodly hour of the night, but then settled on a documentary on the life of Edward VIII - He's the one that abdicated the throne to be with his true love, the American divorcée, Wallis Simpson; who incidentally shares my birthday - date only...not year :o) After that show ended I still had a bit of the binding to complete so I flipped through the channels and found another documentary...this time on Edward IV and the deep dark secret that actually he was an illegitimate son and that really our true King is a man that lives in the outback of Australia! Fascinating stuff! Well as you can see from the picture I got it finished, went to bed and got it washed and on the line first thing this morning.

We've had an absolutely fabulous day weather wise and I have made the most of it by grabbing every quilt from the beds and walls and got them on the line too. I love this time of year when everything gets freshened up and aired out. As you can see my whirly-gig is looking like a spinning quilt show!