Saturday, June 06, 2015

Journal Quilts and dying

I have been taking part in the Contemporary quilters Journal quilt challenge..... I decided to use my Bernina780 for all 12 quilts and challenge myself to finding out all the controls and settings on the machine for what I am trying to achieve. It is great fun. I have decided to use white cotton fabric and white cotton thread ( it will allow me to dye the journal quilts at the end).
Here I am trying to use my new found knowledge about the embroidery module..... am loving the challenge. However it does not show up very well in the photo!
 I have just heard today that some of mine will be on show at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August, and then they will be on tour with ICHF shows. Better get some sleeves attached to the back of my journal quilts and get them in the post soon.

The weather has turned summery here these last few days despite some strong winds, so I have been dyeing some fabrics. I inherited the fabrics last year and they have been waiting to be coloured ... am really pleased with the results, just what I wanted. I used the warm primary colours this time and have amazed myself with the pleasing results.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Stitching and flowers in the garden

Some hand stitching has been going on, I am preparing for an exhibition in Lyme Regis in September.... so had better get cracking. Hand stitching does take time, but is a little more portable, and means I can snatch moments here and there amongst my caring duties.

A little later this year as it is usually in full flower by 18th May.... but always a delight, joined this year by some lovely violas I managed to get at Lechlade garden Centre.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bernina course in London

The opportunity to spend two days in London to attend the Bernina Machine course filled me with excitement. Rail tickets were booked, and the respite care too and the family were mobilised. Quite an organisation network to allow me to attend the course.

I loved it.. and learnt a lot of the nuances and tricks of the new sewing machine. I just love my Bernina 780.... amazing machine.

I am so grateful  to everyone who made it possible for me to attend. I was a bit worried about getting tickets for the tube and details like that..... but it all went very well, and I have to say the London underground staff were superb in helping me when I needed it.

The room at Bogod was light and airy, and with only 4 of us on the course we were assured of lots of individual attention.

This piece of work has featured heavily on Bernina promotional material In the past, so it was lovely to see it close at hand.
I am so pleased that I decided to travel home each night, and I think Herr Schnauzer and Mr Siamese were relieved too. On the train journey home I was able to reflect on my learning during the day and make some helpful notes to myself.
Brilliant ! 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Now for some stitching

I was lucky enough to be able to go and see Amanda Hislops lovely exhibition at Coleshill Community Shop , it is a lovely gallery space tucked away in this National Trust Village.
I had a lovely lunch of baked beans on toast and a pot of tea, surrounded by her lovely work.
Meanwhile I have been experiencing a steep learning curve on my new Bernina, I have been creating my own designs and digitising with the dedicated software and working with quilting. I have just purchased the supreme slider for Free machine quilting and I am using it in this photo, have to say it works well, but it is expensive to buy.

This is another of my digitised designs, and then free machine quilted with stippling. Its been fun to do all this. I have signed up to go on the Bernina course in London shortly, so I hope to learn a lot of the tricks of the trade.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


This is the River Thames at Lechlade, a beautiful stretch of the river, and boats can be seen moored here .

This photo is taken from the bridge, and I know all my children and their friends have jumped into the Thames from this bridge, a dangerous activity, but almost a right of passage for teenagers who live around here. Makes me cringe to think about it.
Our reason for going to Lechlade was on a visit with the Open Door group from Cricklade to the Lechlade garden centre. I have to say we had a most enjoyable time, and it is totally wheelchair accessible. We had a lovely lunch in the restaurant and then made some purchases for the garden. I wanted to hide the water butts and these shrubs are just right for the job

Then this Obelisk caught my eye.... and I just had to have it! Also a Jasmine to grow inside.

The problem was we travelled in a full minibus.. no space for plants.... but no worries the garden centre was happy to deliver. So we had a really lovely outing thanks to Open Door.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Studio move........

My lovely studio in the process of being emptied to make way for the hospital bed which will now take over this space.

This will be my new studio space.... it has taken so much organising and moving , I have not stitched in here yet, but granddaughter took full advantage today to do some of her stitching. She now had her own stitching kit and box. No stopping her.

Dorset Day 2015

It was a cold and frosty morning as we started the two and a half hour journey to the Hamworthy Club near Poole in Dorset for the Dorset Day activities. Our group - Great Western Embroiderers were charged with organising the day for West country Embroiderers. The day was organised by myself and Margaret,  and we also had numerous helpers from the group. They did a fantastic job too. 

Anita Bruce was our speaker and we were looking forward to seeing her work and discovering how she completed her work. Do have a look at her work here....amazing!

The lull in proceedings before the doors opened to the public..... traders are in place and tables all set. Last minute discussions by members of Great Western Embroiderers..

One  of the first to arrive is the President of West Country Embroiderers -Maggie Grey and her husband Clive and also the speaker Anita.

The Hall soon starts to fill up and the traders are doing some brisk business too. In the centre is a small exhibition of the Great western Embroiderers work, and members were happy to explain the work they had completed.

A chance for the dodger meet photo.

The charity to benefit from the main raffle this year is Parkinsons Uk Swindon Branch, and members and traders were very generous in their support. ( more later)

I was delighted to be presented with this little posy of yellow roses.. absolutely gorgeous. Thank you.

The journey home in warm sunshine was uneventful and here Salisbury Cathedral was basking in the afternoon sun. We were very happy but weary when we finally arrived home. A great day.

At the end of March the Swindon group of Parkinson's Uk had their monthly meeting and we (Mags and I) presented the charity cheque from the Dorset Day raffle  to Dave Logan the chairman of the group.
The PD group had also  asked me to give my talk - my creative journey...... to them. In appreciation I was given this beautiful bouquet of flowers.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Back in the studio..............

I managed to get back to the studio today, and enjoyed finishing this stage of my sketchbook and making notes about the process.
I also put my Pogo printer into use and added some images from the day with Anita. Its ages since I have used the Pogo... but it is so useful. 

Earlier in the day, I was at the hospital with a physio appointment and was playing with my new camera whilst waiting.
Thought this was an interesting study in shape and texture..... canvas , knitted acrylic, denim, plastic flooring, metal tubing and solid plastic. The colours are also complementary. Did I plan the shot....... no!     It just happened, but did I plan it in my sub conscious?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

sketchbook.... put together.

Using just 2 words and various techniques, a variety of media and quality of papers, I created pages for a sketchbook.

I gathered all the finished papers together, folded them and made them into sections and pierced them ready for making into a sketchbook with no cover. 

I can add more pages as I wish. I now want to make some transparent pages in fabric, with hand and machine stitch..... great fun.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Recent inspirations and work

At the beginning of this month I went to Marlborough Embroiderers Guild meeting and listened to a talk by Lynda Monk.... it was lovely to see her work close to and discover her process of creating her pieces. I have seen her at shows and emailed her a few times, but we had never met face to face. Her blog is Purple Missus

A workshop was held the next day but I was unable to attend unfortunately. Go to the MEG blog for more details

I have been in my studio today and finally have managed to finish a box I started at the GWE meeting earlier this month. It was a lot of hand stitching. So have sore fingers now. My own fault as its ages since my fingers have done a lot of hand stitching, so they are out of practice.

I thought I would see how the macro worked on my new camera, hence the close ups of the box.. Very pleased, I must say. Think I need to read the instruction CD  some more to find out how everything else works. Another learning curve looming on my horizon.

Must get back to the studio and complete some books I am making from the papers created with Anita Bruce on Thursday. I also need to make some notes about the ideas that came to me during the workshop, before they get lost in the everyday tasks of life.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dorset Day 2015

It was only just light when we left home, very misty and the frost was evident in the fields and the verges of the road. 

As the sun came out and broke through the mist, we were looking forward to an exciting but busy day. Our group of West Country Embroiderers  were responsible for organising the day for the Dorset groups. 

We were delighted that Maggie Grey ( WCE president) accepted our invitation to attend with her husband Clive. 
 We had wonderful traders, raffle and a grand lunch and above all the opportunity to meet friends and fellow stitchers.

Anita Bruce was our speaker and she gave us an inspiring insight into her art. She was very generous in sharing her techniques and inspirations and the journey she has undertaken in her very special work.

Her sketchbooks were wonderful too. A most enjoyable talk.

I was quite overwhelmed when I was presented with these beautiful roses by my group, for all the organising and overseeing the event. Aren't they beautiful. 
Of course no Dodger meet would be complete with out the photo. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014