Friday, 31 July 2015

Celtic Braid (yet another) and Friday Smile

I've not completed much sewing lately but I have managed to finish yet another Celtic Braid table runner. This one is a gift for someone in Wales to go on the table in her new kitchen and it is made in her choice of colours. 

Each Friday, Annie, at, invites us to share something that has made us smile this week, and will hopefully make you smile too.
We've had our daughter and the Brighton Curly Girlies to stay for a week and we have had such fun. We went to a special Indian/ Sri Lankan restaurant, our favourite Yukti Art Kitchen, to celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. We'll be going again soon when the rest of our family comes from Germany and it is certainly recommended both for the excellent food and the friendly service. They made a special meal for the girlies which was exactly to their needs and they ate every morsel.
The food is a work of art on the plate but the portions are generous and whilst I enjoy everything I have been served there I could kill for their kulfi dessert.... Rose flavoured. I love it so much I now ask for it to be reserved for me, when I book a table, incase they ever run out!

We visited Knowsley Safari Park and had an excellent day... or "awesome" day as the girlies said!
Here they are watching the sealions below water level. We also enjoyed a show by these wonderfully amusing creatures.
 We drove through the estate and saw, up close, so many beautiful animals living in excellent conditions just as they would in the wild. The lions and tigers were just amazing but then we arrived at the monkey enclosure and thank goodness we chose the "safe" route outside and free from the devastation within the compound. The monkeys pounced on every car and were so adept at wrenching windscreen wipers, mirrors and anything else available which could be parted from the cars. I must admit it was good fun to watch but we could see who had the higher intellect... the drivers must be stupid to venture inside to have their car parts removed!

It's an excellent day out for young and old alike, educational and good value too and at the end of the safari drive there are plenty of rides and activities for children of all ages. The bigger rides are chargeable but there are many free safe play areas. I feel happier that the animals have so much freedom and are so well cared for. Much better than zoos.

Got any sandwiches mate? No chance as we had to keep our windows closed and move on!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Fabric ATC Swap & Sticky Fingers Quilt Show

I'm thrilled to be joining in the 7th Fabric ATC swap, with Ali, over at Very Berry Handmade and the theme is
My Favourite .....
and the rest is up to me......
so I decided to make my mini collaged, embroidered, doo dah-ed tiny piece of textile art all about my favourite artist....... 
 first a couple of doodles to try to get an impression of his work.
 I decided that this one, below, might lend itself to the task but it looks so bland as a simple sketch of black on white, when he works in bold colour and with such a great sense of freedom. I've have to reign myself in.
He worked in design, art, textiles and architecture, all on a big scale, and had extremely innovative ideas about conservation. He was certainly non-comformist and used his art to spread the message for alternative living. 
Maybe you will guess his name???
 I'll keep that to myself for a little longer unless you are canny enough to guess?
 I rushed to gather a few fabrics so I could begin to transform my ideas and add colour to my mini tribute to him. This is my inspiration and my first steps and it is amazing how daunting but exciting it is to contemplate a creation which is only 2.5 inches  x 3.5 ins. I'm looking forward to seeing how I get on with these tiny bits of fabric (which are still far to much) and I don't think it will be a simple task. Looking forward to doing some free machine embroidery, maybe I'll add a few beads too..... ooooh ! It's so little but really exciting!
  Stage 1 over, now watch this space!!!
I have been lucky enough to see his art in a major exhibition and I have also visited several places where he transformed building with his architectural revamps.
Here's the interior of a station
and sinks in the public conveniences...

How will I shrink a bit of this into such a small area?

Sticky Fingers Quilt Show in Coppull
Several of the members of my quilt group enjoyed a great day out with a visit to this super exhibition which was so well organised.
First we stopped off at the refreshment venue where we enjoyed an exceptional range of home made cakes and tea, all for the price of £1. 
Great start to the day.
On then to Sticky Fingers Shop for a little retail therapy before going into the nearby Methodist Hall to see the fabulous range of quilts and sundry items on display. I'll show just a few and put the rest of my photos on the group's quilt cornerstone blog in a day or two.

The hall was full and then we discovered that in the church the pews were also draped with even more to see plus an exhibition of City & Guilds work.
This hexagonal panel was exquisitely made

Lots of inspiration for Ch....m.s
Loved this bargello tree skirt.
a whole wall of festive makes....
and I was lucky enough to win this well made, pretty, cushion in the raffle.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Friday Smile & Handbag Tidys

As I moved around our group, taking photos to show the latest makes of our members, Val had left the hanging she was quilting on her table and unwittingly left her specs too and this is what I saw! I think the other ladies thought I was being rude and laughing at Val's lovely piece of quilting but I just saw the funny side .... that lion had been to Specsavers!
I'm joining in Friday Smile with this and if you pop over to Annie's blog you can start the weekend with even more smiles. 
Just received my Block of the Month from Diane the Cheshire Quilter
Love the colours and Flying Geese design but I was fascinated to see how the triangles are sewn leaving a seamed in flap on each side. I need to know how to make these for sure.
Thanks to Diane for a really unusual BOM
I recalled that a couple of years ago, Alison, a friend from Vicky Stampers, had made a Handbag Tidy roll. 
Can't remember what Alison's looked like so, I thought I'd play around to see what I could make with the same intention, i.e., something to organise all the bits and bobs that I can never find in my in handbags. My bag is always like the Bermuda Triangle!

 This simple make closes neatly, with Velcro to fit any bag........
Customised with lots of pockets of various sizes inside and outside to hold cards, pen, first aid plasters, notepad, wipes, receipts, tissues, phone, and all the necessary? junk that we just have to  carry round in our handbags.
There's a springy clip to hold keys
When folded or rolled, everything can be easily located, or the whole thing pops in and out of a bag to change over to another bag.
Any ideas to add to it? I'd welcome a few constructive criticisms as I'm still trying to perfect it.

I also made a few more of these cute little round zip pouches which are so handy for loose coins or keys. So easy to make and it was one of the challenges given to me by Diane, the Cheshire Quilter, as a fundraiser for Hope Hospices.
Diane gave me an easy, super tip for sewing the zips in whilst incorporating the lining, all in one go.

I'm looking forward to our group's trip tomorrow to Sticky Fingers Quilt Exhibition in Coppull and if you want all the details, times and place they're all at the end of my previous post or on our group's quilt cornerstone blog.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Quay Quilters Show Part 2

Here are some more gems from my visit to Quay Quilters exhibition......
You can also see photos of the worthy winner of the show at

I took a pic of this quilt especially for my friend Josie who loves cats... she has FIVE!
 The heads are tilted at different angles giving them different expressions.

A couple of the ( decorations on show. 
I can never have too much of a good thing and so, on Saturday, I will be going with several members of  to visit Sticky Fingers exhibition in Coppull near Preston... can't wait! 

Here are details if you fancy a trip....

Sticky Fingers is a family company, run by David and Wendy Deverill since 1993. 
The business has two distinct sides: adhesives and other related products in which David has 
specialised for over 40 years, and patchwork and quilting which is Wendy’s passion.
Everything is in place now for our exhibition on Saturday 18th July, at  the Methodist Church 
and Hall, Spendmore Lane, Coppull PR7 5BX, just along from the shop. This is our best exhibition
 yet, there are quilts, wallhangings, bags, cushions, table runners, fabric-covered boxes....
the list goes on and on, and that's before we get to the displays of design work and final pieces 
from our City and Guilds students.  
The quality and quantity of the work is amazing!
We have raffles, a tombola, fabric for sale, and refreshments with lots of lovely homemade cakes,
 so do try to come along - and bring a friend!
There is plenty of on-street parking nearby, and a small carpark at the Church Hall for disabled use.
The exhibition will be open from 10.00am - 4.00pm, and all proceeds will be donated to Pancreatic Cancer Action