Friday, 13 November 2015

Lake District & Friday Smile

We were busy enjoying our time in the Lake District, last week,  and we didn't have internet connection so I couldn't post my Friday smiles on Annie's Blog, a stitch in time. 
We had lots of smiles during the week so I'm adding a few to join in with Annie's weekly fun.

We were told it was free connection in the lodge where we stayed but it was useless. As a result I almost didn't get in touch with my lovely blogging buddy Chris (Pear Shaped Crafter) and her DH, who have a caravan nearby. We arranged a day out but planned to phone to make arrangements.
DH and I eventually decided to set out for our day out and half way there Chris managed to connect with my  phone so we all met up at Farfield Mill in Sedbergh where we had a great day together. Lots of crafty things to see and lots of chat. It's a super place for a good crafty day out.
 The previous day, DH and I had visited the Motor Museum, Ulverston, and I smiled when I saw this clock over the entrance... .wish I had one at home as I could often do with turning the clock back!

 I'm adding a few pics of MG cars especially for Dolores's Alan who is an MG enthusiast and has a vintage MG. We've just GOT to take him to the museum one day, he'll love it.

 Alan also has a Wurlitzer Juke box in his hall ... much more spectacular than this one.
 My DH, Dave, couldn't choose from this menu and loved the prices. That clock certainly works! Please may I have sausage, egg and chips, a mug of tea and a small cake?..... 
that will be 2 shillings.... which, in todays money, converts to 10p!!!
 Yet another classic MG
 We stayed in this lodge which is so spacious and comfy inside and faces the lake
Each day we were greeted by the ducks and swans who were obviously used to being fed by the visited. I loved the white one but the others seemed to shove it out of the way so I made sure it had it's share of the food. I bought special wild bird food instead of giving them crusts.

 This swan was so persistent and friendly and kept peeping through our balcony.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Weeping Windows, Poppies in Liverpool

On this beautiful sunny warm November day we went into the city centre to see the new art installation outside our magnificent St George's Hall. Over 5000 of the (almost a million) poppies which were displayed at the Tower of London have been retained to create smaller tributes in cities around Great Britain over the next year. 
I did not expect them to make much of an impact, being far smaller number, but when I saw how they were displayed it was quite moving and yet it in was easy to imagine how it was in London.
The sandbags provided a barrier to public access and were perfectly in keeping with the theme of the event and far better than a fence.
 This will be on public display throughout the Winter and I almost hope it snows sometime as it will look amazing in contrast. I'll be there armed with my camera.

Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window

Weeping Window of Poppies
© Richard Lea-Hair and Historic Royal Palaces
By Paul Cummins, artist, and Tom Piper, designer 
Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high window to the ground below; Wave is a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks. These two sculptures, by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, marking the centenary of the outbreak of war, are now brought to audiences at venues across the country as part of the 14-18 NOW programme.
14-18 NOW is presenting the iconic poppy sculptures Wave and Weeping Window at selected locations around the UK until 2018.
The breathtaking sculptures were initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014.
This winter the iconic Weeping Window will be on display outside St George’s Hall, Liverpool.

 The poppies can be seen in the background on the steps at the base of the columns and in front is 
the senotaph with all the wreaths from the weekend's memorial service.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Chicken Feet for a Friday Smile

Recently I was asked to replace the feet and repair the legs of the chicken suit for the CHICS (Children's Cancer Support) group. 
The full suit is worn by the CHIC at all their fundraising events. 
I replaced them in a more substantial fabric and they looked so funny but were exactly what they wanted and looked much better when they were worn over human feet. I had no intention of modelling them here for you, I must say!
The gas engineer did look at me quite oddly when he came in to check the meter and saw them hanging in the hall.
I was only too glad to help and certainly didn't want payment or reward but within a couple of days I received this delivery of  gorgeous flowers. I must say they really made me smile and I was very grateful but CHICS now know never to try to repay me for any help I give in the future!! I'd far rather that the money went to help the children.
The smile button is on full alert this week over at Annie's blog, a stitch in time so pop over for more smiles to kick start your weekend. 
This week I enjoyed a super day out at my lovely friend Neet's house, where we did a little crafting and a lots of chatting and eating fabulous food. Her pizza's with a cauliflower base, (YES CAULIFLOWER!!!) are to die for and I'm smiling because I have the recipe.
I am standing on tippy toe here with Neet as she is so much taller than me but it hardly made a difference, I'm still a little titch! 
Here's the patchwork bag I made for her which I have been saving for some time.....
Neet gave me this exquisite church which she had made from a die cut and it goes so well with the origami Christmas tree which I made. The tree is so easy and is easy to find on pinterest.

Neet had an amazing fun display for Halloween, with some items she had made herself ...
but this witch, bought in Prague, kicked her legs, screamed and her eyes lit up.
Yesterday I visited an exhibition in Chester with my quilt group at All Saint's Church, Hoole Road. It's on until Saturday and is well worth a visit if you are near enough to get there.
Yes, I've had a good week with lots of smiles and laughs and there are more to come as soon as I get over to Annie's.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Attic Window Quilt & Malvern Show

Had a busy, tiring week, ending with a trip to the Autumn Quilt Show in Malvern. A long journey there and back as Fridays are always extra busy on the motorways, but we all really enjoyed it.

Winter Village, Attic Window Quilt.
This week I finished this Christmas quilt in double quick time. 
A fairly small quilt and it measures 42 inches x 50 inches.
 My friend Josie told me about the tutorial video for it on Missouri Star Quilt Co site and I wanted to try it out. It was so quick and easy to make, especially with the help of the excellent video instruction. I have found that MSCO tutorials are so easy to follow and their presenter Jenny gives good hints, tips and shortcuts for the easy ways to make quilts.
I love the 3D effect it gives of the scene through the windows.

Here's a taster of the Malvern Show.......So many fabulous stands
The Contented Cats
Tudor Rose
Lots of dolls and Christmas makes on display. 
 some of my favourite exhibits......
 mind bogglingly amazing detail.....
 loved these small arty quilt hangings.....
a great way to use up scraps.
 The black really makes the pinwheels pop giving a 3D look. Simple but clever.
 This close up of a large quilt really shows the quality and detail of the exhibits.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Holly Swag & Friday Smile

 It looks like I might as well admit it.... these days, I only manage to post when I realise that it's Friday and I know I should add a smile to Annie's and all the other lovelies who join in this bit of fun each week.

This week I have been busy but I've managed a few bits of sewing and finished this swag for Christmas. There I have said it... CHRISTMAS!! 
It's looming making things for the occasion is the best part for me. 
No! I'm not leaving it up over the fire until Christmas! It's packed away already!
 I saw similar at an exhibiton in Kent, earlier in the year but I had to make it in my own pattern and change the style and size. It's quite quick and easy to make.
Just cut out big holly leaves in seasonal fabric and lining pieces for the backs. Stitch a bit of thin wadding or interfacing to stiffen them , sew around the leaves, trim and turn to the right size. Press and stitch up the gap. 
The berries are cardboard or plastic discs covered with red fabric gathered up (with a bit of wadding popped inside), or just use big red buttons. 
Here is my template but the leaves can be made any size to suit.
 I marked around the card then cut extra for the seams. 
It doesn't matter which way up the template is used.
Stitch veins onto the leaves using a triple stretch stitch, which shows up somewhat bolder than a normal straight stitch. Curve the lines to look "natural"

I spotted this poster, below, on pinterest ... how true! 
No matter where I go I always take "threads" with me! 
DH says that when they are in your sandwiches, that's the time to complain!
and I hope you'll pop over to her blog to see some more.
It's good to smile.. it costs nothing and it's catching!
When my friend Dolores visited last week I loved her new sewing case, which she had bought in IKEA. I had the green eyed monster so my DH kindly treated me to one this week. 
I thought I would personalise mine to distinguish it from anyone else's as I am sure that some of my quilt club friends will want one for themselves when they see mine.
I haven't quite decided what to add to the back to finish it off. Any ideas, a word, a quote??
 It is good value for £10 as there are so many sewing notions inside held by elastic keeps. Large shears, snips, unpicker, pins needles, etc. 
It's so handy to take in my kit for workshops.