Thursday, May 31, 2007

It really is TAST this time

Got it this time. Some basque stitch and butterfly, some irregular cross-legged buttonhole, and some sedate satin stitch blocks. I'm used to the idea of using satin st. for leaves etc, not sure what else to do with it yet. Sharon's use of it and other stitches on counted thread fabric is new to me because I've only ever used that fabric for cross stitch many years ago now. I do seem to remember doing a sample of irregular patches of satin st. once and rather liking it - I won't find it for a few weeks now as it is packed in a box somewhere, but will post a pic when I do.

Sorry about the muddle with the last post. I tend to write this while the pix are loading so when they don't . . .

TAST latest

Our pc is still in a very ropey state, crashing frequently, so, briefly - butterfly chain, buttonhole with crossed legs and satin stitch. We are moving house in 2 weeks and my creative powers are very weak at the moment, so my samples are very cursory. I will catch up properly during the summer, I am confident. [Sorry, I wrote all this while waiting for pix to load, but I give up, blogger just will not load any more pix for me, so Tast must wait till next time.]

The fourth [only!] pic is kantha work, done at an EG workshop last week. It is all running stitch, each line taking its position from the line above in the coloured areas, and worked to fill the space and join layers in the background. There'll be more pix on silktownstitchers when I can get at it. The workshop was done by Rubina Porter, who visits Bangla Desh a lot supporting work at Sreepur caring for orphans and helping women to earn a living.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

. . . and another . .

6. I've had a bit of a thing this year or so about growing trees. Last autumn we collected seeds and put them in pots. And some of them have been growing - here's a horse chestnut and some oak trees! When we came to live here my Mum was with us and she brought along a small chestnut tree growing in a pot. Rather foolishly perhaps we planted it in the garden, then after a bit realised it was going to get too big and we'd have to cut it down. We decided to leave it till it had produced some conkers of its own, and then to grow trees from them. It produced its first viable conkers last year, and now 3 or 4 are growing, and yes, sadly the tree has been cut down.

And again . . .

[I'm doing these one at a time because our pc is being VERY temperamental at the moment and I don't want to lose a long post]

5. This is our 38' long narrowboat Lyme Lady. She's 30 years old, wooden top, steel hull, just right for two people for holidays, and for taking out groups of friends for day trips. We've had her for 12 years and now have to sell her because there are no canals anywhere near our new home in Poole and we can't afford to keep her in a marina or on public moorings. She has been moored at the end of our garden, for which there is a cheaper rate. She fits very well with not liking water that moves, because canals don't flow like rivers do! She has a very nice stern apparently, which has been much admired.

Tagged continued

4. I had a phase several years ago of teaching workshops on how to use oilbars - Markal paintsticks. I went the rounds of a few groups, then interest waned. Then I was asked to demonstrate with them at the Quilters' Guild AGM when it was in Llandudno. Then silence again. This ws one of my samples right at the start - calico coloured using a stencil, wadding and backing, and some machine embroidering. He's been pinned on my wall for ages and I've just taken him down to pack. I think he's rather cute. There's a crab somewhere too. I've a lot of oilbars still around. Anyone fancy a workshop to try them out?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tag response part 1 . . .

. . . a bit belatedly: 1. I love the sea, not being on it, but by it, just watching it. When our kids were growing up and we lived in Poole (second largest natural harbour in the world) DH and his Dad decided to buy a boat, not your plushy yacht or speedboat, but a modest half cabin, outboard motor job. I thought what a great idea, until I came to ride in it. Then I was nervous and didn't really enjoy our trips out. When we started having holidays on canals I realsied what the trouble was - I don't like being on water that moves!
2. I have 4 daughters, 6 grandchildren - 5 girls, 1 boy, and a 7th on the way who is also a girl. Their parents are not keen on having clear images of them put on the internet, so I've hunted up an unclear one of some of them. We don't see them often as we live in the middle, 250 miles from one lot and 300 from the other. So here are some contented looking daughters and everyone watching salmon leap, on the grand family holiday we all had in Scotland last August.
3. I love flowers, and when these meconopsis / himalayan poppies flowered last yearI was unreasonably happy. We bought 4 plants in pots, put them in the garden and I watched them anxiously for months, getting mad with the slugs. All 4 flowered beautifully. This year only one has grown! But we are moving away anyhow.

I'm going to stop now as blogger is getting unhappy - I can't lose this post, all this effort! Part 2 next time, Dy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The edge of the world . .

No, this wasn't the holiday cottage . . . . this is Castle Sinclair at Noss Head just behind the airport at Wick. It was ruined a few hundred years ago and is in the process of being restored. What a job! We had a week on the northern coast of Scotland, you couldn't get any further north without taking to a boat.
You can keep John o' Groats. For feeling like you are nearly at the edge of the world, go a bit further east to Duncansby Head, a wide promontory with a lighthouse, cliffs, rocky stacks and soaring seabirds, and in the distance, the Orkneys. Duncansby stacks, a busy nesting place at this time of year for fulmar, kittiwakes, guillemots . . .

The view from our cottage across the Pentland Firth to the Orkneys.
... and the cottage itself. Now this was at the real northernmost point, Dunnet Head, another amazing headland, with views from its highest point to Cape Wrath, the farthest west, and Duncansby, the farthest east, along the north coast of the Scottish mainland.
Further south, this view, Dornoch Firth, north of Inverness, where the A9 goes across on a causeway.
What with interruptions, pc playing up etc it has taken me ages to get this post together!

Tulips again . . .

. . . look what's happened to these. Aren't they interesting!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tags and Scotland

Dy has tagged me - I'm not sure what that means!! I think, is it I'm being asked to say , is it 7, things about myself? That seems to be what Dy has done when she was tagged. Well, I don't mind doing that, but have to think about it a bit first! And find some pix to go with it all. Wait on.
Wild skies above Scotland on Saturday, coming south from Inverness on the A9 - wait on for that that, too, husband is making noises that sound like its time for lunch.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Just a few shots of our lovely tulips . . .

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

CQG Journal Quilts March

Some friends who work in Africa came to this country in March to complete a project they have been working on there and I wanted to mark this some way. So I dug out my African fabrics collection and found scraps enough to cut mostly 1" squares of 31 different fabrics, one for each day of the month.
I stuck them with temporary adhesive to some dark blue glazed cotton and stitched round them. Raw edge appliqué. It's been trendy for a long time now but I hadn't really tried it before in a serious piece of work. Then some machine quilting in a pattern from an African print block.

CQG Journal Quilts April

The first 4 A4 size quilts in this challenge are due by 10th May. The co-ordinator wants images sent to her and a bit of writing about why and how they were made. In a bit of a rush, and without as much thought and investigation as might have been given had there been more time, I finished March and April. Here's some 'stages' pix of April's tulips. We had such a great display in the garden this year and I do like tulips very much.
First, a line drawing of a small cluster on paper. I painted splodges of silk paint on dampened calico in roughly the right places.
Then traced the drawing onto light interlining and pinned it to the back with wadding sandwiched between it and the painted fabric.
Stitched the outlines from the back - and I DID have the drawing the right way round! (Think about it!). Then some more stitching on the front.
This is how it ended up on the back. I almost prefer it to the front. Funny how that often happens, the bit you are not trying for turns out better! This then got covered by a backing unfortunately because I didn't manage to work out when the backing should be added and couldn't really leave the interlining as the backing. Next time!
The finished piece right side up. The edging this time is a mixture of lines of straight machine stitches and a pattern stitch. Free machine quilting.